2010-11 Chemistry by the Numbers – October

by Chelsea

This is something that was originally supposed to be a regular feature last season that I’m going to bring back to a lesser extent this season. If you’re curious on exactly what this feature is, here is our Intro to Chemistry.

Continued after the jump…

October 2010 had a convenient 10 Stars games. While that’s still not a lot to go on, there are some interesting things that have already popped up. But first…

Validating the Obvious

There is chemistry on the Richards line. In fact, the Richards/Neal pair leads the team in chem points (20). Richards/Eriksson and Neal/Eriksson both are tied for third-highest on the team (13).

While you would generally think that the center would be the key piece to a successful line, the numbers actually suggest that Neal has a hand in as much of that line’s production as Richards does. However, if you consider it in terms of “line totals” (Richards/Neal + Neal/Eriksson = Neal’s line total), you get:

Neal: 33 (84% of total)
Richards: 33 (56% of total)
Eriksson: 26 (81% of total)

As expected, Richards’ wingers are considerably more dependent on him than vice versa.

On line 1b, you have the return of Ribeiro/Morrow chemistry, which is the second-highest chem point total on the team (14). The numbers for their line for most of the first ten games look like this:

Morrow: 15 (71% of total)
Ribeiro: 17 (46% of total)
Burish: 4 (100% of total)

From that, you can draw two conclusions: These three rely less on each other than Richards’ line does, and Burish is a bit of a weak link. It’s even worse with Benn there, as he has no chem points with either Ribeiro or Morrow.

Speaking of Benn, y’know that third line that found so much success against Florida only to be immediately imploded by Crawford?

Ott: 7 (70% of total)
Benn: 11 (55% of total)
Wandell: 4 (50% of total)

In fact, Wandell’s other 50% comes from defensemen. Neither Ott or Benn have any chem points with any other forward besides Richards. To reiterate: this line was only together for 2 or 3 games, but all of the players on it have found success almost exclusively while together. Hm.

On the fourth line, the Sutherby/Segal pair is clicking (6) but neither of them have many chem points with Petersen.

Problem Solving – Lines

So considering it pretty well established that Morrow-Ribeiro-Benn just does not work, who do you put in that RW spot?

If you’re feeling extra-adventurous, I would suggest:


Assuming that you don’t want to break up Richards’ line and experiment with Ribeiro on wing, I would go back to the lines they sort of used at the beginning of the season:


And finally, if Crow is determined to get good-citizen Woywitka into the line-up, I propose this instead of scratching Fistric:


If Fistric wasn’t working out on Ribeiro’s line, just switch him with Burish.

Primary vs. Secondary Assists

This is a stat I wish the NHL would officially track, since it seems more useful than some of the ones they do track.

For example, you’d expect a defensman to get secondary assists on outlet passes and cycling the puck and primary assists on rebounds/tips from shots or actual playmaking.

On the Stars, only 4 of 12 assists from defensemen are primary. While that isn’t anywhere near conclusive, you would expect a team getting rebounds off bombs from the point to have more than 4 primary assists from 8 defensemen in 10 games.

Dallas’ playmaking centers, by the way, have a combined 14 primary assists out of 20 total.


Something else I’m keeping track of this season is the team’s record when a player scores a point. So far, there really isn’t enough information there to draw any conclusions from. Still, there are a few interesting pieces of info in there.

Like the records when defensemen register at least a point:

  • Daley (4-0-0)
  • Niskanen (1-0-0)
  • Fistric (1-0-0)
  • Skrastins (1-0-0)
  • Robidas (3-1-0)
  • Larsen (0-1-0)

Record when no defensemen register a point? 1-2-0 with the only win coming in a shootout. That’s compared to 5-2-0 if at least one defenseman does. Their points percentage goes up by 38% if the defensemen play well enough to get on the scoreboard.

Another interesting note is that the Stars have not lost a game in which Ott, Wandell, or Benn got at least one point. They have not won a game if any of Petersen, Sutherby, or Segal have.


I’ll conclude with this pointless tidbit:

The only defensemen to have any chem points with each other are Robidas/Daley (4).


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