Is PA Parenteau's Production a Result of John Tavares and Matt Moulson?

Courtesy Adam Prince

Yesterday, I talked about the importance of re-signing PA Parenteau. The conclusions I drew were mostly from Parenteau being a potential 70 point player who is actually, you know, playing on Long Island and how it’s a lot easier to keep someone who is already here than convince someone who isn’t. Let’s take it one step further and do some analysis.

One of the potential knocks on Parenteau’s improved numbers this year is the idea that they are thanks to not only an improved John Tavares but that Parenteau has spent much of the season on the first line with Moulson and JT91. This is certainly an important aspect of how PAP has developed here on Long Island and certainly factors into how badly the Islanders should want to retain his services.

Parenteau has emerged as a solid player; there’s no debating that. But he’s on pace for 70+ points at the moment and that would be around 20 points more than last year’s total. That’s a big difference for a UFA-to-be headed into contract negotiations this summer.

So, is he a product of playing on the first line for much of the season? Let’s take a look. Looking at his corsi, it’s 3.69 and that’s tied for the best on the team with Tavares. So there’s obviously going to be some of one player affecting the other here but that’s certainly in Parenteau’s favor. It’s been gone over at great length in the past week that Tavares is singlehandedly driving the Islanders’ possession, so to see Parenteau with a similar corsi is encouraging although not nearly definitive. Parenteau’s other advanced metrics are pretty similar across the board including his quality of competition, points per 60 minutes and team goals for per 60. Since I can’t break those figures out between the games he’s been on the first line and the games where he hasn’t, they should be somewhat similar to Tavares (note — I’m not the greatest with advanced stats, so that’s my attempt. I encourage those of you who are accelerated students to chime in).

Let’s take a look at some of the statistics that can be specifically broken out. Here is the breakdown of PAP’s scoring as he has been moved through the lineup this season. I’ve broken out the points he has scored on the power play, since those don’t factor into our logic here (and I don’t have a log of the power play lines throughout the season. Also FYI — none of PAP’s goals were empty net goals).

DEC 29 – JAN 23 (PAP second line – Okposo moved up)
TOT 3-11-14, +3, 25 SOG in 13 games (1.92 SH/G)
PP 2-4-6 // EV 1-7-8

NOV 21 – DEC 28 (PAP first line)
TOT 3-11-14, -1, 40 SOG in 17 games (2.35 SH/G)
PP 2-2-4 // EV 1-9-10

NOV 4 – NOV 20 (PAP second line – Grabner moved up)
TOT 2-4-6, -2, 16 SOG in 7 games (2.28 SH/G)
PP 0-0-0 // EV 2-4-6

Opening Night – NOV 3 (PAP first line)
TOT 1-7-8, -3, 16 SOG in 10 games (1.6 SH/G)
PP 0-3-3 // EV 1-4-5

And now to get to the gist of it, here are the totals off and on the first line during even strength…

EV first line production:
27 GP, 2-13-15, 56 SOG, 0.556 PTS/G, 2.07 SH/G
EV second line production:
20 GP, 3-11-14, 41 SOG, 0.700 PTS/G, 2.05 SH/G

So that’s a rather simple measurement of his time with and without Moulson and Tavares, so I wouldn’t want to draw any broad conclusions from it. The shot per game averages are almost identical so that’s not telling much and those are only the shots that hit the net. But, kind of amazingly, Parenteau actually has a higher even strength points per game average while not on the first line. That’s really surprising when you consider that time is spent with the defense-first Frans Nielsen and some of it has been spent with the .2 PPG Brian Rolston.

Here’s one more stat to throw out here. The Islanders are 16-7-3 this season in games where Parenteau has at least one point. In fact, take a look at his game log. Most of the Islanders’ win streaks this year have coincided with a Parenteau point-streak. Now it’s kind of a chicken-or-egg question; is that record due to PAP stepping up and giving the Isles the secondary scoring they desperately need or is it because the players around PAP were playing better during the wins, helping him to accrue more points?