June 08 2012 09:12AM
You might remember a little while ago I took a look at goaltenders who had a bit heavier burden in terms of team quality and situations than other goaltenders. Even though this had little bearing on the goaltender's performance numbers (namely, even-strength save percentage), it does call attention to the varying difficulties at the position. Rather than just isolating this study in the most recent season, I decided to expand the research to all seasons in the Desjardins Era (beginning in 2007-08 to the present). Focusing on single seasons this time, let's have a look at some of the toughest (and easiest) team situations in NHL goaltending the past five seasons.
June 06 2012 08:44AM
Taking the NHL’s official real time statistics at face value, we come across some astonishing things. For instance, the Chicago Blackhawks are more than 50% more physical on the road than at home. Perhaps they’re showing off for the home fans, but a more likely explanation is that the home scorer is more generous counting hits than road scorers are (this seems especially plausible given that home scorers dramatically over count both giveaways and takeaways for the home side as well).
How do we make the data usable?
June 05 2012 12:00PM
The internet can be a cruel place. Nino Niederreiter had a bad season. In fact, it was historically unproductive. A quick Google search is probably all you need to see to realize how down casual observers are on Nino.
The second suggested search is "nino niederreiter bust". The former top ten pick played ten minutes a night on a bad team for 55 games and notched one solitary goal to go with exactly zero assists. It's early to call him a bust. As bad as his season was there is still plenty of reason for optimism going forward. Just how bad was his season though?
June 04 2012 04:16PM
The New Jersey Devils are in real trouble.
According to NHL.com, on 44 occasions a team has won both the first and second games of the Stanley Cup Finals. Forty-one times, the team with that 2-0 advantage in the Finals goes on to win the Stanley Cup – a 93.2 percent success rate.
Can they manage the comeback?
June 04 2012 08:33AM
The average playoff team this past season won 45.8 games and earned a team overall even strength save percentage of .921.
The average non-playoff team won just 35.5 games, probably because they only got .914 goaltending.
Obviously, goaltending is the absolute equalizer in hockey, and average teams ought to pay more for it to become "good" teams. Toronto, Columbus, Edmonton, Winnipeg, all ought to make finding the right goaltender a #1 priority this offseason and take a step forward?