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One Month In, A Few Goals Worthy Of A “1” Polak Score

Judging the Stars’ goal scoring abilities through 12 games

Let’s start here. It has been an insanely weird and, in a whole lot of ways, horrible week for many of you. For those of you whose lives have been completely shaken by the extreme weather, please know we love you. Take care of yourselves and your communities, and soon we will hopefully be back to whatever poses as normal these days.

IF you want to take your mind off of this week’s events and examine where the various Dallas Stars stand with respect to the newest #FancyStat on the block, then allow me to help. Today we will be reviewing the first 12 games of the season and the team Polak Score Standings. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, click here and read this first.

The Polak Score is a player’s mathematical average of great goals scored. It seeks to find out who is the greatest goal scorer per goal on the Dallas Stars. We’re 12 games into the season, and now we have data. So let’s dive in.

As a reminder, the scale is strictly binary: 1 or 0. There are no fractions or decimals because great goals shouldn’t need a qualifier. If the goal is great, it’s a 1. If it’s anything less, it’s a 0.

The Team

The Dallas Stars are not very good at scoring goals.* Literally everybody Nobody could have predicted it, but the Stars just aren’t finding ways to put the puck in the net. As a fan, that’s painful. As someone whose entire online presence is wrapped up in a metric that glorifies goal scoring, I’m devastated. In reality, it hurts to judge any Stars goals because the blind squirrel shouldn’t complain about any of the nuts he finds. But, because I so care about you—the DBD community—I push on.

*Ok fine, they’re good at it on the power play, but really only on the power play.

The Dallas Stars have scored 40 goals so far in the 2021 season (16 of which have come on the power play, not that that’s important right now). Of those, 10 were determined to be worthy of a Polak Point. Thus, the team currently has a cumulative Polak Score of .25. Frankly, that’s kind of expected. Great goals probably shouldn’t be appearing more than 25% of the time, otherwise we need to adjust our definition of “great.” Over a large enough sample size, the total tally should be closer to 0 than 1 (by the way, I’ve learned that if you really want to be taken seriously in the stats world, you have to use “sample size,” like, a lot).

Team Score: .25

The Individuals

We’re only 12 games into the season, so the sample size (!) isn’t big. That means we have some players with outrageously high Polak Scores and some players with criminally low Polak Scores. With that in mind, let’s check the standings:

The Great Goal Scoring Guys

At this point in the season we have two Dallas Stars players with a perfect Polak Score of 1. Granted, both of them have only scored one goal (say it with me: SAMPLE SIZE). Esa Lindell scored in the first game of the season with a beautiful short-handed solo effort. Ty Dellandrea scored on a one-timer touch shot where his positioning, body work, and hockey sense were enough to give him the 1 (Yes, I do admit that this was a soft 1, but I said in the original article that the goal’s importance was a factor. At the time of the goal it was very important to the game and, obviously, to the kid himself on an individual level. That, along with the skill he did employ here, was enough, and I stand by it).

In third, but still on the podium, is Alexander Radulov with a Polak Score of .667 (3 total goals, 2 Polak goals). Both of Radulov’s 1s came in the first game against Nashville, which was actually a great Polak game for the Stars.

The Also-on-the-Board Guys

Five other players have logged Polak-level goals this season. In descending order, they are as follows: Klingberg (.333 Polak Score with 3 total goals), Benn (.333 Polak Score with 3 total goals), Gurianov (.25 Polak Score with 4 total goals), Hintz (.25 Polak Score with 4 total goals), and Pavelski (.222 Polak Score with 9 total goals). Basically, the usual goal-scoring suspects.

The Also-Have-Scored Guys

Seven players have scored goals, just not pretty ones. These guys have a “perfect” Polak Score of 0, which isn’t that bad this far into the season. Sitting at 0, we have: Cogliano (2 goals), Dickinson (3 goals), Dowling (1 goal), Faksa (1 goal), Robertson (2 goals), Oleksiak (2 goals), and Pysyk (1 goal). It’s not time to panic yet.

The Not-on-the-Board Guys

In an ode to Valeri Nichushkin, five players have scored no goals, which means the mathematical result of their Polak Score calculation is “undefined.” Specifically, I’m talking about Blake Comeau, Joel Kiviranta, Joel Hanley, Miro Heiskanen, and Andrej Sekera. Theoretically, these guys are only one goal away from bumping up to the leader’s position, so it’s not all gloom. I’m not counting goalies here because we don’t expect them to score, but if we do see a goalie goal, then they will absolutely be given a 1. I can only dream of the day.

Conclusion

Ok, 12 games in, what have we learned? Truthfully, absolutely nothing. We expected the usual goal scorers to be overwhelmingly “meh” in the Polak Score standings, which has happened. On the other hand, someone with a one-off, unusual play may hold onto a perfect score of 1 for a while. Here, Joe Pavelski has been punished for his volume, while Esa Lindell is tied for first place on one goal.

But there really isn’t much else to learn this early in the season. Miro Heiskanen will score goals. Ty Dellandrea will score more. And maybe, just maybe, the Stars will have a full, healthy roster at some point. So Lindell shouldn’t get comfortable, and the Nichushkin Club shouldn’t be worried. Again, we’ve basically learned nothing.

But, it’s been fun so far, and we really appreciate all of you for following along. Our silly metric is just getting started, and we are happy to keep it rolling. Track our official game-level Polak Score ratings on Twitter at @DBD_Trent and @DefendingBigD.