Analysis: Who is Playing Well on the Thrashers PK Unit

One year ago the Thrashers PK allowed 88 goals against. So far this year, the team has allowed just 17 on 107 times being shorthanded.

The data in the table below in ONLY for PK during 5 on 4 disadvantage (excludes 5 on 3 situations). Among the forwards, the coaching staff is leaning most heavily on Reasoner, Peverley, Thorburn and Armstrong. This represents a major change from last season when the top 4 PK forwards included Reasoner, Perrin, Slater and C. Stuart.

Who has been most effective so far? When looking at Even Strength situations I put a lot of weight on Goal Differential, but on the PK scoring is an afterthought (and often involves a lot of luck), so I put greater emphasis on the PK GAA (Goals Against Average). Bottom line, the job of the PK unit is to prevent a goal against.

In the table below I have ranked all the Thrasher forwards who average at least half a minute on the PK in the order of their PK GAA. Rich Peverley has not only lead the Thrashers in points on offense but he currently sports the lowest PK GAA of any forward who plays the PK on a regular basis. Right behind Peverley is Chris Thorburn who has excelled so far this season after being given a bigger role in killing penalties. In the middle of the pack we find surprising rookie Evander Kane, Colby Armstrong and veteran PKer Marty Reasoner. Trailing behind in effectiveness are Jim Slater and Todd White who have each seen their PK minutes decline this year.

 

Forward POS GP TOI/60 GFON GAON GFA GAA G Diff
RICH PEVERLEY C  25 2.47 2 3 1.94 2.91 -0.97
CHRIS THORBURN C  25 2.36 2 3 2.03 3.05 -1.02
EVANDER KANE C  25 1.63 1 3 1.48 4.43 -2.95
COLBY ARMSTRONG RW 24 2.23 1 5 1.12 5.61 -4.49
MARTY REASONER C  25 3.35 2 10 1.43 7.16 -5.73
JIM SLATER C  11 1.29 0 2 0.00 8.43 -8.43
TODD WHITE C  25 0.48 0 2 0.00 10.00 -10.00

 

On defense, the guys receiving the heaviest PK burden are Ron Hainsey, Pavel Kubina and Zach Bogosian in that order. Last season Tobias Enstrom was the Thashers leading PK defenseman but this year he has seen his PK TOI cut back significantly with the arrival of Kubina and Schubert and with more minutes going to Bogosian.

In his reduced role Enstrom has been nothing short of perfect. In fact, so far the this season when killing 5 on 4 penalties the Thrashers have actually outscored the opposition 1-0 when Enstrom is on the ice--that's rather amazing.

Among the non-Enstrom defenseman new comer Pavel Kubina has the best PK GAA with Popovic right behind him. Bogosian and Hainsey bring up the rear. It is worth noting that the spread among the defensemen is much smaller than it is among the forwards, which suggests that all of the defenseman have been reasonably effective on the PK so far this year.

 

Defense POS GP TOI/60 GFON GAON GFA GAA G Diff
TOBIAS ENSTROM D  25 0.86 1 0 2.78 0.00 2.78
PAVEL KUBINA D  24 3.02 1 5 0.83 4.14 -3.32
MARK POPOVIC D  16 1.72 2 2 4.35 4.35 0.00
ZACH BOGOSIAN D  25 2.87 3 6 2.51 5.02 -2.51
RON HAINSEY D  23 3.87 0 9 0.00 6.07 -6.07
CHRISTOPH SCHUBERT D  23 2.13 1 6 1.22 7.33 -6.11

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