FanPost

Playoff Impact of the James Neal Trade

After the James Neal for Nick Spaling and Patric Hornqvist trade was announced, one of the first explanations fans made for it was that it was a move to bring in players who will actually produce in the playoffs. With the Nashville duo having 3 playoff campaigns and Nealer having 4, I decided to crunch the numbers and find out if our newly acquired forwards offer us an upgrade in the postseason tournament.

Point per Game Differential:

With this measure, I am using the formula: (playoff p/g) - (regular season p/g) to put a number value on the difference in production from regular season to postseason. A negative number indicates that the player was more productive in the regular season, while a positive number indicates that the player was more productive in the playoffs.

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Point per Game Percentage Differential:

Seeing how each of the 3 players produces at a noticeably different level, I have also done a point per game comparison using a percentage differential. This has been calculated by taking: (playoff p/g)/(regular season p/g). 100% indicates that production has remained constant, while a percentage below 100% indicates lower postseason production.

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Points per Game:

This is pretty self explanatory. All numbers are from the playoffs only.

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Goal per Game Differential:

With this measure, I am using the formula: (playoff g/g) - (regular season g/g) to put a number value on the difference in production from regular season to postseason. A negative number indicates that the player was more productive in the regular season, while a positive number indicates that the player was more productive in the playoffs.

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Goals per Game Percentage Differential:

Seeing how each of the 3 players produces at a noticeably different level, I have also done a goal per game comparison using a percentage differential. This has been calculated by taking: (playoff g/g)/(regular season g/g). 100% indicates that production has remained constant, while a percentage below 100% indicates lower postseason production.

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Goals per Game:

This is pretty self explanatory. All numbers are from the playoffs only.

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Conclusion:

Based on the data from previous years, there is no reason to believe Hornqvist or Spaling will be able to help us solve our postseason scoring problems. If anything, trading away Neal could make the problem slightly worse. It remains to be seen if either of the two can develop good chemistry with their new linemates, but as GoPens! found, going from Nashville to a new team doesn't automatically mean increased production awaits.

The content expressed in fanposts does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the staff here at Pensburgh.com. FanPosts are opinions expressed by fans of various teams throughout the league but may be more Pittsburgh-centric for obvious reasons.

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