|Written by Ryan Ma|
|Tuesday, 29 December 2009 10:51|
We’ve all heard of the phrase “the numbers don’t lie”, but there is always room for statistical anomalies that make each and every one of us scratch our heads. This week we’ll take a look at 17 statistical anomalies along with my thoughts on whether the numbers will re-align itself or are they in for the long run.
As always, before the good stuff, let’s take a look at a few:
Players in the last seven days with the highest production in each category who are less than 50% owned in Yahoo leagues.
Maaaasquito Bite of the week: Mason Raymond
Raymond is having a breakthrough season as he’s already blown his career-highs out the water in just 39 contests into this campaign. The main difference between his rookie and sophomore seasons compared to this year is the all important factor: ice-time. For the first two years of his young career he was toiling in third line checking duties and averaging just 12:31 and 13:43 per contest, but has seen it jump to 17:19 in his third season with the Nucks. The main question is can he keep it up? With Pavol Demitra’s return looming the outlook could seem bleak, but with Mikael Samuelsson slumping the last few contests and Raymond’s red-hot hand, Demitra might be replacing Samuelsson rather than the youngster Raymond on the Vancouver second line. If you expect a bit of a drop off and budget between 25-30 points, I think that’s fairly reasonable for an expectation for the remainder of the season.
Now onto the anomalies...
He’s currently firing at a massive rate of 22.2 percent. His career shooting percentage is 13.1, so look for the numbers to even itself out as the season progresses. Look for a drop off back down to 10 percent the rest of the way to even itself back towards the 15 percent mark by season’s end.
Prior to this season, Erat’s weakest month statistically is December (37 points in 82 contests) and his strongest month is January (61 points in 85 contests). Did that trend swap, or will it continue this season?
Much like Sedin, Marleau is connecting on a ridiculous pace of 19.2 percent, which is 4.5 percent higher than his career average. Look for that stat to adjust during his typical second-half slowdowns.
Heatley currently has 10 power-play goals, which is very close to the pace of his career-high of 23 that he set with the Sens in 2005-06. It appears that the underachieving Heatley of the past two years has pulled a Harry Houdini.
Penner is just nine points short of his career-high, but the surprising thing is we haven’t even been through half the season yet. His eight points in 12 December contests are beginning to show a stat adjustment already.
Similar to Penner, Wolski is having a great start to the campaign as he’s just 12 points short of his career-high with more than half of the season remaining. The difference between Penner and Wolski is that the latter will have extra help from his team mates namely Paul Stastny and Milan Hejduk while Penner doesn’t. Expect a bit of a slow down but probably not as much as you would find from Penner.
JBo ranks amongst the league leaders in overall ice-time by averaging 26:47 per contest, yet is tied with the likes of Mark Giordano and Jack Johnson for 45th in terms of offensive production from defenseman. With that amount of total ice-time it’s just a matter of time before the production matches up with the ice-time. JBo does tend to pick up the scoring in the second half of seasons so there’s a bright light to look for at the end of the stat adjustment tunnel.
Nicklas Lidstrom/Brian Rafalski
Joining Bouwmeester and dwelling in mediocrity is the Detroit duo of Lidstrom and Rafalski. Lidstrom is currently firing at just 1.1 percent, 1.1!!! Rafalski isn’t faring much better as he’s only tickling the twine at a rate of 3.8 percent. Both players have career shooting percentages of greater than five percent, so once the Wings get healthy, look for the duo to wake up from their slumber for a major stat adjustment.
Richards leads all Western Conference players by averaging 5:11 on the power-play each contest for the Stars, which is up around the area where he was registering with the Lightning when he had his 91 point season in 2005-06. His SOG is also on pace to surpass the 300 plateau for the first time in his career. Look for his current scoring pace to continue.
Boyle garners the most ice-time on the power-play amongst Western Conference defenseman (4:39), which could be the main reason why he’s currently on pace to set a new career-high in points. He’s projected to have a seasonal line of 15 goals, 51 assists, plus 15 rating, 51 PIMs, 32 PPP, and 194 SOG, which would be on pace with the numbers of his prime years in Tampa. Pretty good if you ask me!
Pavel Datsyuk/Andy McDonald/Jonathan Toews
Datsyuk is four for five in the shootout this season followed by McDonald and Toews with scoring rates of 66 percent. The league probably operates at a rate of roughly 20 percent. So could the trio be due for a stat adjustment fair soon?
Now onto the team anomalies...
The Hawks have received 72.4 percent of their maximum amount of points. New Jersey leads the league with a 74.3 percentage. San Jose obtained the President’s trophy with a percentage of 71.3 last year and Detroit the year before with a 70.1 percentage. Anything over 70 percent is probably unrealistic in this day and age of parity in the NHL, so you might see a stat adjustment of a few more losses for the Hawks and the Devils moving forward.
Blue Jackets Defense
Currently they’re 27th ranked in the league by giving up 3.22 goals per contest. Last year they finished with the ninth overall ranking by giving up just 2.72. It is a Ken Hitchcock-coached team after all, so look for that stat to adjust itself in the remaining 41 contests. Hopefully the Jackets can use their shut out from Monday night for a positive second-half run.
Detroit Red Wings
On the opposite end of the scale the Red Wings were at top of the league last season by scoring an average of 3.52 goals per contest. This season, they’re 27th ranked with an average scoring rate of 2.49 goals. Granted a lot of their struggles this season have been due to injuries to a few of their key players, but they’re all set to return shortly after the Olympic break, and that’ll be when that stat really adjusts itself during the stretch run.
Five on Five
San Jose was barely out-scoring their opponents in five-on-five situations last campaign (1.09 for/against ratio) this season they’re operating at a blistering 1.34 ratio. This year they have the fire power to consistent rack up points in even strength situations, so don’t look for a stat adjustment to come along anytime soon with Heatley, Marleau and Joe Thornton at the helm.
The Blue Jackets are operating at a 21.6 percentage with the man advantage. Eight months ago, they were dead last with an efficiency rating of 12.7 percent. At least Hitchcock is doing something right...
The Stars have a win percentage of just 35 percent in one-goal games. With three very potent scoring lines, I’d expect that number to rise towards where Edmonton/Calgary/Anaheim/San Jose now currently sit at around 45 percent by the end of the campaign.
Questions or comments? Like always I’ll be ready and willing to discuss them with you in the comments section below. I wish you and your family a Happy New Year and I hope to see you guys back here again next week to discuss more from the Western Conference.
|Last Updated on Friday, 01 January 2010 22:55|