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Depth Scoring from Forwards for Each NHL Team

A different way to look at each NHL team and where their goal scoring production at even strength comes from, as well as how top-heavy or how deep each team is.

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

In an attempt to get a look at how teams are built with their depth at the forward position and how much scoring and possession they get from that depth, fan of the site, Kevin Reuter compiled some data on his own. He was good enough to share his data with multiple Penguins resources, myself being one of them.

The Data:

What Kevin did was compiled all 5v5 scoring data (Goals, Assists, Points/60) as well as some Corsi data, and used resources from sites War on Ice and Left Wing Lock to get an accurate feel on line combinations. We already know that the line combinations aren't 100% accurate. But he tried to get the best gauge on which players spend the most amount of time on each line using EV TOI as well.

It should be noted that this data was compiled at the 50 game mark for each team. Some players you will not see because they did play enough games to be entered without skewing the data or reducing the existing accurate averages(Jordan Staal is the first name that comes to mind).

For example, using the Penguins goals on the top line:

Sidney Crosby 5
Chris Kunitz 6
Pascal Dupuis 4
David Perron 8



So the best way to put it, is he entered in all of the data, figured out the line combinations of who spends the most time on which line (sometimes easier to figure than others), and by using an average, it gives you a rough idea of how many goals, points, etc. that a first line, second line, third line, and fourth line player on any team averages.

Rather than just throw the numbers onto a table and look at them that way, I thought it would be better and more interesting to look at all of the numbers as a pie chart for each individual team, with each slice of the pie representing the percentage of goals that each line scores for each team.

Average 5v5 Goals per Player Per Line for Each NHL team Through 50 Games of the 2014-15 Season

Metropolitan Division

Carolina Hurricanes

Carolina Pie Chart

A fair breakdown for a team of Carolina's caliber. Their depth doesn't have any names that dazzle on it, but the deployment of Jeff Skinner in a third line role (perhaps someone can tell me how accurate this is) helps that line get going. Jordan Staal being added after this data was compiled will certainly help distribute things as well.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Columbus Pie Chart

Top heavy to say the least. What is that fourth line? It reminds me of the Penguins when they were happily rolling out Tanner Glass and Joe Vitale every night.

New Jersey Devils

NJ Devils Pie Chart

Feels like the same story as Carolina. A decent top line, and just a dropoff after that with nothing that does much for you.

New York Islanders

NY Islanders Pie Chart

The Islanders are for real. The depth spread between their top three lines, all while being young and cheap on the salary cap is terrifying. Anders Lee and Ryan Strome, seeing third line minutes, while averaging 10 even strength goals on the year is truly impressive.

New York Rangers

NY Rangers Pie Chart

What else is there to say other than Rick Nash is carrying the flag for the Rangers in terms of offense this season? I think he has 36 goals total. Tanner Glass' name has popped up for the second time while writing this, and that's not for good reasons.

Philadelphia Flyers

Flyers Pie Chart

Pretty spread out in terms of depth across all lines. Four even strength goals per player on your third and fourth lines is less than ideal, but it's way better than having a third line that can play and a fourth line that can't even skate.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Penguins Pie Chart

The Penguins fourth line is still a problem, yes. I was honestly surprised to see the production levels from the third line, seeing as how it is a point that is always made saying how bad the Penguins bottom six is. Let's just hope that the depth can be bolstered to get the fourth line better. We've seen Zach Sill scratched as Blake Comeau made his way back to the lineup after injury. That's a start.

Washington Capitals

Capitals Pie Chart

Really good scoring depth across the top three lines. Goals chipped in from the 4th line as well.

Atlantic Division

Boston Bruins

Bruins Pie Chart

Case and point, Patrice Bergeron is awesome. I'm not sure who is arguing this, but it still needs to be said. RIP the 'Best 4th Line in Hockey' circa 2011

Buffalo Sabres

Sabres Pie Chart

The Sabres are a different level of bad perhaps than any other level we have ever seen, but we can at least say they have their wealth spread around fairly well. Adding Evander Kane to this mix next season, in addition to an almost guarantee of landing Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel should change this picture a whole lot.

Detroit Red Wings

Red Wings Pir Char

Feels like another case where there isn't one line that's entirely dropping the ball. Nothing fantastic in the bottom lines, but nothing dreadful enough to bury the team either.

Florida Panthers

Panthers Pie Chart

The Panthers have a bright future with Aleksander Barkov and Nick Bjugstad going to be locked up for the long term. Avoiding adding players like Dave Bolland and Shawn Thornton to the picture would be a big help, but cap floor teams do what they have to do.

Montreal Canadiens

Canadiens Pie Chart

Another team with a bright future for some young kids in Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher. An equally dark time in the fourth line. I realize there are only two players averaged in, but, yikes, Michael Bournival and Manny Malhotra.

Ottawa Senators

Ottawa Pie Chart

I'm not positive, but this seems like one of, if not the biggest drop-offs in production when you get into the third and fourthlines. Six players all seeing fourth line minutes averaging 1.5 5v5 goals through 50 games. That is bad. It's actually terrible. That line of Bobby Ryan, Mika Zibanejad, and Mike Hoffman though. That one is fantastic.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Pie Chart

Tampa Bay is remarkable. Insanely deep in production, and young. A third line that produces with young players like Vladislav Namestnikov and Jonathan Drouin? Good lord. Heavy on the top end with ridiculously talented offensive players like Steven Stamkos, Tyler Johnson, and Ondrej Palat, while the bottom six still have young talent that can produce. Scary.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto Pie Chart

I don't know what to say about the Maple Leafs that hasn't already been said. They have good average goal production at 5v5 among their top three lines. Oh yeah, David Clarkson makes 5.75 million dollars per year. That is part of the problem.

Central Division

Chicago Blackhawks

Blackhawks Pie Chart

Chicago's first and second lines with great production per their standard over the last several years. Their fourth line leaves a bit to be desired, but you can say that about a lot of other similarly deployed lines in the league.

Colorado Avalanche

Colorado Pie Chart

Same story we've seen with a handful of these. Very productive top six. Bottom six isn't awful and produces enough to not be a complete waste of ice time. Room for improvement for sure, but nothing truly terrible.

Dallas Stars

Dallas Pie Chart

Extremely good depth across the first three lines, and from what we have seen, a highly productive fourth line. It only seems to be lacking in comparison to how good and productive the first three have been. It will be curious to see how these numbers will hold up in lieu of the Tyler Seguin injury that will have him on the shelf for some time to come.

Minnesota Wild

Wild Pie Chart

Pretty good depth spread across all the lines. It's hard to factor some things into this one though, when you remember the AAV that Zach Parise and Ryan Suter are going to be eating up for the rest of eternity. If depth questions ever become a serious issue with the Wild, those two things will be a gigantic, glaring issue.

Nashville Predators

Nashville Pie Chart

Holy cow, that first line of Mike Ribeiro, James Neal, and Filip Forsberg. Talk about lightning in a bottle. One has to imagine that the acquisition of Mike Santorelli on Sunday will only help bolster what is evidently an issue with scoring production from the Predators bottom two lines.

St. Louis Blues

Blues Pie Chart

Vladimir Tarasenko is amazing on his own merits. Seeing the other Blues in comparison to how he has been tearing it up to start this season makes you realize how much trouble some teams would be in terms of scoring goals without certain players.

Winnipeg Jets

Winnipeg Pie Chart

The Jets were already going to be spending the rest of the season without Evander Kane. It will be hard to get a grasp on what kind of effect the trade they made with Buffalo will have until we see what they do with the draft, and any other trades they might make.

Pacific Division

Anaheim Ducks

Anaheim Pie Chart

At first glance, it was surprising to me to see that the Ducks third line, on average, was not producing as many goals per player as the Penguins third line does. However, the Ducks top two lines, centered by Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler providing high production, is not surprising at all.

Arizona Coyotes

Coyotes Pie Chart

Low level productions are to be expected for the Coyotes, seeing that they are not a good team, and even moreso that they are looking to sell right now. It's also to be expected that your fourth line depth is not good when you are paying Joe Vitale over 1 million dollars per year.

Calgary Flames

Flames Pie Chart

This one really interests me. I think it's the first, and perhaps the only, that i ran into while making these where I noticed a very even split of all four slices for each line. They don't have a truly top heavy dominant line, nor do they have a very weak fourth line that is bringing them down.

Edmonton Oilers

Oilers Pie Chart

This is kind of what is to be expected from the Oilers. A highly productive first couple lines, simply from the talent they have on them, and then a whole lot of average at best.

Los Angeles Kings

Kings Pie Chart

Looks like the status quo for the Kings, with several lines that can score and do so in bunches, without having a really true dominant goal scorer. That fourth line has seen better days for the Kings, and I'm truly curious to see how the production changes with Mike Richards out of the picture.

San Jose Sharks

Sharks Pie Chart

Great scoring capabilities up front. The third line tails off just a bit in comparison to some of the other, better third lines than some other teams, and 10000% surprising that a team that deploys John Scott on their fourth line would lack goal scoring there. Wow.

Vancouver Canucks

Canucks Pie Chart

Another team with pretty well distributed goal scoring across their four lines.  They've got a ways to go, but they did a good job distributing the wealth with the pieces they got back in the Kesler trade over the summer.


After seeing all of these team charts side-by-side, it's a lot more eye-opening to see how each team has built its roster. It also is kind of revealing as to what kind of expectations you might have for what kind of production each line is capable of showing on a long-term basis.

Any additional commentary you might be able to add, or correct me on any definitive data errors, feel free to contact me on Twitter, or leave a comment below in our comments section.

Thanks again to Kevin for sharing this data with us and making some additional ways to view things available.

I hope everyone enjoys these ways of seeing each team side-by-side.