The impact of a goaltender's puckhandling skills

Eric T.
May 27 2012 04:30PM


Photo by slgckgc via Wikimedia Commons

Bruce McCurdy had an excellent piece recently in which he tracked every time Ilya Bryzgalov and Martin Brodeur touched the puck during the Devils-Flyers series to show what a big difference there can be in puck-handling skills.

The difference was enormous -- Brodeur had 90 good passes and 8 bad ones to Bryzgalov's 15 and 10. When there was no safe pass, Brodeur cleared the puck away from the forecheckers 32 times to Bryzgalov's 13. There could be no question that Brodeur was playing the puck much more effectively than Bryzgalov.

Yet what was missing from the article was an assessment of how much that mattered. How much value does all of that skilled puck-handling add?

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Kings vs. Coyotes Scoring Chance Recap

Corey S.
May 27 2012 12:38PM


Photo by Nichole Gaze via Wikimedia Commons

It has been a year since I first started tracking scoring chances and I have yet to see a team run over their opponent like the Los Angeles Kings did to the Phoenix Coyotes in the Western Conference Finals. It may have taken them five games to win the series, but this could have easily been done in four because Phoenix was completely outmatched both at even strength and on special teams. They were outchanced by 41 overall and by 30 during five-on-five play alone. The Coyotes have made a habit out of riding the Mike Smith train to victory this season but not even Henrik Lundqvist can carry his team through a series when the team in front of him is getting destroyed.

It's been a nice run for the Coyotes but it was evident in Game One that they were on life support and didn't have the talent up front or on defense to compete with a team like the Kings in a series.

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Nation Radio - May 26, 2012

NationRadio
May 27 2012 12:02PM

Hands up anyone who picked an LAK/NJD Stanley Cup final heading into the season. Anyone? Bueller?

It's been an especially odd post-season, with favorites falling and previously apathetic fanbases awakening suddenly to their team's unexpected success. If the Kings win the cup, as they should, will that victory be met with a bang or a whimper in Los Angeles? To be fair to that city, it has been so long since their team enjoyed any notable success that they can be forgiven if they forgot about hockey for awhile.

Allan discussed this and a variety of other topics with Kent Wilson, David Staples, Kirk Luedeke and others on this week's show.

This is Nation Radio.

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Rookie Usage Charts

Robert Vollman
May 26 2012 10:15AM


 Photo byKmf164 via Wikimedia Commons

 

In his excellent recent article on 2011-12 rookie scoring, Jonathan Willis hinted how the situation in which a player is used can give them either a great advantage (Ryan Nugent-Hopkins) or put them at a great disadvantage (Sean Couturier). One way to graphically represent these advantages and disadvantages is with Player Usage Charts.

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Number Chains - May 25, 2012

Cam Charron
May 25 2012 01:51PM

 

This new, regular feature on NHLNumbers will share interesting stats-related posts from around the web every week.

Headed towards the offseason, we don't have too much to pore over this week, but there are a few concepts of note...

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