Metrics Monday: Paul Martin Carrying Play
Want some numbers that will make you drool with delight like you’re staring at a finely cooked steak?
The Penguins have allowed 10 goals against at even-strength thus far this playoff run.
Paul Martin, with just over two hours over even-strength ice time logged this post-season, has been present on the ice for one of those goals-against.
The Penguins have scored 15 goals at even-strength this post-season, and Paul Martin has been present on the ice for six of those goals.
That’s a goals-for percentage of 85.7%, in case you were wondering.
In fact, over the course of the last two post-seasons, 75% of every goal scored when Paul Martin is on the ice is a goal registered by the Penguins.
In 429 minutes of even-strength hockey the last two playoff runs, Martin has only been on the ice for 10 goals against. So, essentially, that’s a goal every 42 minutes of even-strength time on ice.
For a guy that averages just about 16 minutes of even-strength time on ice per game, that means Martin is out for a goal-against every 2.5 hockey games.
Did I mention that he’s taking the ice against the top line of every team the Penguins face?
That, my friends, is the modern day definition of a shutdown defender.
I’m thinking of a word to describe all this and the only one I can think of is unflappable.
It was a word that also popped into my head watching the game last night from the lower bowl of the arena. When Martin gets his motor going, he can’t be stopped. The Rangers did everything they could to take Martin out of the game. They failed at every attempt. Sticks to the midsection, slashes at the gloves, Martin outhustled and outworked every opponent he came across in that game.
There’s something special about a mobile defender that whips around the rink with his head up. Paul Martin has become the general of the Penguins defensive unit, and there isn’t a single player on the ice that’s surveying it the way he is right now.
Extra Skater has a fun new statistic they’ve been tracking called “Setup Passes” – or an estimate of how many passes a player makes that result directly in a shot attempt on target.
Martin leads the Penguins defensive unit with 44 set-up passes through the first eight games of the playoffs.
That isn’t the only category Martin leads the Penguins defensive corps in.
His Corsi-For percentage (the sum of all on-ice shot attempts) is currently at 59.6%, best on the team.
Marc-Andre Fleury’s save percentage with Paul Martin on the ice is currently .981%, best on the team.
I think you get the idea.
One thing is for certain, the Penguins have a secret weapon wearing number seven.
And with Martin’s numbers improving with age, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ray Shero would be considering an extension.
Would be befitting of a general, to be certain.