Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Five Things You May Not Have Noticed

I keep a lot of statistics. I like to share them now and again. If I had more time, I'd share more.

As it is, time is limited, so after poring over my enormous spreadsheet I have chosen a few stats that I thought might catch the eyes and imagination of some of the Habs fans I know.

1. PK Subban Powerplay Efficiency (2.048 GF/60)

PK ended last season 8 minutes after he basically willed the Canadiens into another period of playoff hockey with what was becoming a reliable feature of his game: the PP goal.

This season has been different. Drastically so. Barely over two goals per 60 minutes of PP hockey. If you assume that all powerplays are 2 minutes (which they are not because goals end PPs) then that gives him an efficiency rating of 6.8% on the PP.

More astounding perhaps is that PK is near bottom on the team in this regard. Weber is on while the team clicks at a 5.045 rate and the much maligned Plekanec is doubling Subban's efficiency.

2. Jaroslav Spacek limiting goals against (0.968 GA/60)

Speaking of much maligned, the "fitter" and oft-injured Spacek has made goal prevention his early season highlight. 0.968 GA is much better than the team average and only second to Palushaj who has yet to be on for a goal against of any kind.

3. Lars Eller's crooked shot (45.5% of chances on target)

As you may or may not know by now, a scoring chance is a shot or indeed a missed shot from within a defined area of the ice. Lars Eller has had moments this season where he made everyone think we should have thrown more to St. Louis in that trade. However, this hasn't necessarily been reflected in wins or even goals.

One of the reason may be that Eller has missed the net 12 out of the 22 times he's had the chance to release a shot from the "slot". This is unusual when you compare to players like Plekanec, Cole, Cammalleri and Kostitsyn who all have been putting more than 2/3 of these golden opportunities on target.

4. Carey Price's Win Threshold (0.902)

Remember the old days when people defending one goalie or another would invoke the win threshold -- the save percentage required to win games.

In the past, this was pulled out because sometimes the low scoring and free shot giving Canadiens would be asking a very high percentage of their goalies. I thought it was worth highlighting that the Canadiens now seem to have got this area of their game in order. The average win threshold has been 0.902, which means plenty of games where Carey only needed to post 0.900 to win (He's 2-2-1 in those).

5. Scott Gomez's ghost (0.051 goal created/60)

Frame of reference, we have two players creating more than 1 goal per 60 minutes played, and two more over 0.9. With 122 minutes played (23 of which have been on the PP) over 8 games, one might well expect a player who routinely gets trotted out on a scoring line to have played more than a bit part in one PP goal.

At his current rate, Gomez would have to play 472 more games to duplicate the contribution Pacioretty has made in less than quarter of a season.

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