Top to Bottom: The Overachievers and Underachievers After One Month

Cam Lewis
November 14 2016 12:00PM

It's more of a 'Bottom to Top' but 'Top to Bottom' sounds better. This is a monthly feature where I'll do a dive into each team's underlying numbers to see if they match up with where they currently sit in the standings. 

It's been one month. At this point, we can, in most cases, start to see patterns unfolding that indicate whether teams are good or bad based largely on their underlying numbers. Still, though, one month isn't an entire season. While we can start to get a decent picture of what's going on, there are teams who haven't yet hit their stride, are struggling to adapt to new rosters or coaches, or are simply overachieving based on a hot goalie or strong performances due to a favourable schedule. Let's see who, after one month, is as good or as bad as their place in the standings indicates. 

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Why you shouldn't be worried about Auston Matthews' slump

Jeff Veillette
November 13 2016 12:08PM

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Photo Credit: Charles Leclaire/USA TODAY SPORTS

Another game, another goalless effort. While his homeland talks about building walls, Auston Matthews has been claimed by media outlets in Toronto have hit a wall, now that his rate of production has slowed down considerably from that beautiful night on October 12th. That's when he scored four goals in his first NHL game; since then, he has two goals and six assists in fourteen games; hardly mindblowing numbers, especially when you consider that even the bulk of those came before October 15th.

Some are confused. Some are alarmed, even starting to wonder if the Leafs went after the wrong guy. But he'll be fine.

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Iain MacIntyre Talks Analytics; I'm Confused?

J.D. Burke
November 12 2016 01:45PM

The Canucks don't have a lot going for them. This much is evident. They're the league's most impotent offence, and they haven't been particularly stout in the defensive zone either.

By raw, goal-based metrics, the Canucks are arguably the league's worst team. They're scoring 1.9 goals per game, good for 30th in the league. In spite of out this world goaltending, they're surrendering 2.9 goals per game, too, good for 21st. You don't have to dig deep for evidence of this team's shortcomings.

I wouldn't dispatch of that spade just yet, though. According to The Vancouver Sun's Iain MacIntyre, there are metrics which reflect a Canucks team that's played well of late... I think?

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Ben Smith, and the Value of Penalty Kill Faceoffs

Ryan Hobart
November 12 2016 09:13AM

The Maple Leafs are currently faced with a problem we knew they would have from the start of the season: they just have too many forwards. If you had told me they'd claim two more on waivers to add to that mix, I would have said you were crazy, but here we are with Ben Smith and Seth Griffith added into the mix.

The Leafs chose to re-waive Seth Griffith, and I'm not going to get into why that itself was dumb. Instead, I want to focus on the addition of Ben Smith, and investigate what kind of effect he is having.

I have a two-part disclaimer for this post. First, if you don't like math at all, you probably won't enjoy this piece. Second, I am doing that thing where I already have a conclusion in my mind before I analyze the math, which is bad form, so I apologize for that.

Are you ready to dig into it?

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Dispatches From the Waiver Wire: Seth Griffith, Jakub Nakladal & Someone Else

J.D. Burke
November 11 2016 04:29PM

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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski- USA TODAY Sports

It's Remembrance Day, sure, but that hasn't stopped NHL executives from trimming fat from the outside of their rosters.

According to Renaud Lavoie, the Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes placed a player apiece on the waiver wire.

As the title alludes, there are two players among the three worthy of consideration. One more so than the other, too. Let's unpack what each brings and why the Canucks would be wise to place a claim on either.

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