Phil Kessel's five goals have launched him to the top of Campbellnomics. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)
There's an old axiom in hockey that suggests they don't care how, they care how many. Well, at THN.com, we don't care how many. What we care about is how many were important.
That's the premise behind Campbellnomics, a statistic that is unique to THN.com and is updated every Tuesday. Campbellnomics measures the offensive contributions, with a weighted emphasis on goals over assists, players make in key situations of the game.
We're not interested in who scores the sixth goal in a 6-2 game, but we do want to give credit to players who score the goal that put the team up 3-2, or the player who scored the first goal of the game.
Here's how it works: Players are awarded one point for a goal (including the shootout) and a half point for an assist – hey, this isn't minor hockey here and goals are more important than assists – when a goal is scored in the following situations: the first goal of a game, a goal that puts a team in a tie or ahead in a game, a comeback goal, a game-winning goal and an overtime goal.
A new wrinkle on Campbellnomics this season is the comeback goal. A comeback goal can only be scored when a team is trailing by two or more goals and that goal has a direct effect on his team getting back into the game. The goal must be one of goals scored in succession that result in the game later being tied.
This system both recognizes big goals and weighs them more heavily. For example, if a player scores the all-important first goal of the game, he automatically receives two points, one for the first goal of the game and one for putting his team ahead. If a player scores the game-winner in a 1-0 shootout, as Fredrik Sjostrom of the New York Rangers and Antti Miettinen of the Minnesota Wild did this past week, he gets four points – one for the first goal of the game, one for putting his team ahead, one for the game-winner and one for a shootout goal.
Obviously, the Campbellnomics rankings are sometimes radically different than the NHL scoring race because of the emphasis on important goals. For example, Paul Stastny, Thomas Vanek and Aaron Voros are in the top five in NHL scoring, but don't crack the top 20 in Campbellnomics. Conversely, Slava Kozlov and Tyler Kennedy are tied for 135th in NHL scoring, but are in the top 20.
Campbellnomics is updated Tuesdays only on thehockeynews.com. For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.