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31 in 31

Philadelphia Flyers key statistics

Giroux's ability in faceoff circle, Gostisbehere's workload on power play critical to success

by Rob Vollman / Correspondent is providing in-depth analysis for each of its 31 teams throughout August. Today, three key statistics for the Philadelphia Flyers.


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1. Power play

From 2011-12 to 2014-15, the Philadelphia Flyers scored on 20.8 percent of their power plays, which ranked third in the NHL behind the Washington Capitals (22.7) and Pittsburgh Penguins (21.2). Since then, they've scored on 19.2 percent, which ranks 17th in the NHL.

On the surface, it may appear that the Flyers power play is on the decline. But in terms of shot-based metrics, they were sixth in the League in 2015-16 with an average of 102.94 shot attempts per 60 minutes on the man-advantage, and they led the NHL last season with 109.88 shot attempts per 60, according to Natural Stat Trick.

Flyers center Claude Giroux was fourth in the League with 31 power-play points (five goals, 26 assists) in 2016-17, the sixth straight season he finished in the top seven in power-play scoring. During that span, Giroux leads the NHL with 191 power-play points (44 goals, 147 assists) in 448 games.

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2. Claude Giroux is faceoff specialist

In addition to his contributions on the power play, Giroux is among the best in the League in the faceoff circle.

In traditional terms, Giroux's career 54.3 faceoff winning percentage ranks 10th among active NHL players who have taken at least 1,000 faceoffs.

Rather than evaluate a player's abilities on faceoffs with a subjective assessment of who touched the puck first, he can be judged using the Net Shots Post Faceoff (NSPF) statistic, developed by Craig Tabita of Puck Base. It compares a team's shot-attempt differential within 10 seconds of an even-strength faceoff, relative to the results of a League-average center taking the same number of faceoffs in the offensive, defensive and neutral zones.

From this perspective, Giroux consistently is among the League leaders. His NSPF of plus-113.8 the past three seasons is third behind Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins (plus-175.3) and Ryan Johansen of the Nashville Predators (plus-115.1).


3. Shayne Gostisbehere has specific role

The Flyers signed Gostisbehere to a multiyear contract (reportedly six years, $27 million) on June 9. According to his underlying numbers, Gostisbehere, 24, is used in a very specific role that few defensemen can play effectively, let alone so early in their career.

First popularized by Keith Yandle, the role involves deploying a puck-moving defenseman primarily in the offensive zone and against secondary opponents at even strength, and predominantly on the power play.

Among active defensemen who have played at least 100 games since 2009-10, Gostisbehere ranks first with an offensive-zone start percentage of 64.78. His power-play ice time of 547:22 is fourth among NHL defensemen the past two seasons and is nearly 50 times the amount he's spent killing penalties (11:47).

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