Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Monday, October 22, 2007

BoC finds room for improvement: 5-on-5 hockey

It's still very early in the season, but one thing that seems to be common among all the slow-starting BoC teams is that for all three teams, 5-on-5 results have plenty of room for improvement. If we look purely at 5-on-5 results (no 4-on-4 or pulled goalie situations), here's how the teams are producing thus far:

  • The San Jose Sharks in 8 games have scored 10 goals-for and allowed 12 goals-against. That is, they are allowing 1.2 goals for every one they are scoring.
  • The Anaheim Ducks in 10 games have scored 8 goals-for and allowed 13 goals-against. They are allowing 1.6 goals for every one they are scoring.
  • The Los Angeles Kings in 9 games have scored 11 goals-for and allowed 23 goals-against. They are allowing 2.1 goals for every one they are scoring.
  • All three teams together in 27 games have scored 29 goals-for and allowed 48 goals-against. They are allowing 1.7 goals for every one that they are scoring.
Of course there's plenty of reasons and excuses available ("It's early" is still a valid explanation), but it is worth noting that 5-on-5 hockey is a big reason why none of the three clubs has seemed to meet early expectations. If you neglect the 5-on-5 issues above, the teams in non-5-on-5 situations all have positive goal differentials (SJ is a +3 while ANA and LA are +2).

Outscoring opponents at even-strength isn't a real necessity to make the playoffs; certainly a lot can be made up with special teams. But come postseason, generally the level of opposition goes up and often special teams production decreases. The Ducks last spring, for example, primarily killed in the playoffs not because of their power play, but rather because they dominated 5-on-5 hockey. For all three teams, this looks so far to be one key area to work on; an effective 5-on-5 game makes success look easy.

Just for fun, here's the top 15 and the bottom 15 BoC performers at even-strength-goal-differential-per-60-minutes. Unlike the above discussion, these tables include more than just 5-on-5 production, but rather anything labeled as "even-strength". That means that in terms of ice time and results, these include 4-on-4 and empty-net situations (basically, any time icing can be called on both teams). Note that quality of opposition is not considered here; that may help explain why some players fall on either list.

The top 15:
PlayerTeamPosGP

ES Min.

G–A–PtsPlus–Minus–DiffDiff/hr.
Petteri Wirtanen

ANA

C

1

2.87

1 – 0 – 1

+1-0+1

+20.93

Douglas Murray

SJS

D

6

57.00

0 – 2 – 2

+4-1+3

+3.16

Scott Thornton

LAK

W

6

46.00

1 – 0 – 1

+2-0+2

+2.61

Brad May

ANA

W

8

49.50

0 – 0 – 0

+2-0+2

+2.42

George Parros

ANA

W

9

33.88

0 – 1 – 1

+1-0+1

+1.77

Joe Thornton

SJS

C

8

106.30

2 – 4 – 6

+7-4+3

+1.69

Kent Huskins

ANA

D

10

152.50

1 – 3 – 4

+7-3+4

+1.57

Jaroslav Modry

LAK

D

9

126.82

0 – 0 – 0

+7-4+3

+1.42

Joe Dipenta

ANA

D

9

86.10

0 – 3 – 3

+3-1+2

+1.39

Corey Perry

ANA

W

10

132.88

3 – 1 – 4

+7-4+3

+1.35

Ryane Clowe

SJS

W

8

89.22

1 – 2 – 3

+4-2+2

+1.35

Milan Michalek

SJS

W

8

92.05

2 – 1 – 3

+4-2+2

+1.30

Ladislav Nagy

LAK

W

7

60.72

0 – 2 – 2

+2-1+1

+0.99

Ryan Getzlaf

ANA

C

10

133.53

2 – 5 – 7

+8-6+2

+0.90

Jonathan Cheechoo

SJS

W

8

94.13

2 – 1 – 3

+5-4+1

+0.64



The bottom 15:
PlayerTeamPosGPES Min.G–A–PtsPlus–Minus–DiffDiff/hr.
Raitis Ivanans

LAK

W

8

52.33

0 – 1 – 1

+1-3-2

-2.29

Rob Davison

SJS

D

3

22.03

0 – 0 – 0

+0-1-1

-2.72

Brady Murray

LAK

W

4

39.48

1 – 0 – 1

+1-3-2

-3.04

Andrew Miller

ANA

W

4

39.42

1 – 0 – 1

+1-3-2

-3.04

Rob Blake

LAK

D

9

116.02

0 – 0 – 0

+4-10-6

-3.10

Patrick Rissmiller

SJS

W

7

57.85

0 – 0 – 0

+0-3-3

-3.11

Lubomir Visnovsky

LAK

D

9

152.50

0 – 1 – 1

+6-13-7

-3.11

Patrick O’Sullivan

LAK

W

9

91.33

1 – 1 – 2

+4-9-5

-3.28

Michal Handzus

LAK

C

9

97.90

0 – 1 – 1

+4-10-6

-3.68

Brad Stuart

LAK

D

9

122.45

0 – 0 – 0

+1-9-8

-3.92

Marcel Goc

SJS

C

7

56.67

0 – 0 – 0

+0-4-4

-4.24

John Zeiler

LAK

W

7

56.17

0 – 0 – 0

+0-4-4

-4.27

Curtis Brown

SJS

C

3

20.57

0 – 0 – 0

+0-2-2

-5.83

Maxim Kondratiev

ANA

D

2

9.42

0 – 0 – 0

+0-1-1

-6.37

Jason King

ANA

W

2

21.38

0 – 0 – 0

+0-3-3

-8.42

10 comments:

RudyKelly said...

Oh Ivanans, you big idiot.

I'm worried that Ivanans may soon be replaced by Kevin Westgarth. On the one hand, it'd be awesome if Westgarth came up because he was Parros' heir at Princeton and loves karaoke; on the other, Ivanans looks like a serial killer. Decisions, decisions...

RudyKelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Earl Sleek said...

Heh, Ivanans is even at the top of the bad list--at least he's not making millions of dollars to be there.

I guess the telling stat is that there are exactly four BoC defensemen who are plus players at even-strength: SJ Murray, LA Modry, and ANA Huskins & Dipenta.

And that's not four defensemen that anybody's really proud of.

spade-in-victorhell said...

earl have u seen a more unispired game from the ducks vs the stars?

and explain the power play...do the ducks even have a plan?

Earl Sleek said...

earl have u seen a more unispired game from the ducks vs the stars?

Sure. It hasn't been that long since our Blue Jackets outing, has it? Actually, I was pretty drunk on Saturday, but it's Dallas. They can make a lot of teams look uninspired.

and explain the power play...do the ducks even have a plan?

The Ducks scored a 5-on-3 goal in the 3rd period with Sammy Pahlsson, Rob Niedermayer, and Mark Mowers on the ice (note: the Ducks were the ones with 5 skaters). The latter two have already exceeded their PP minute totals from last year, even though yesterday was the first PP goal-for that was achieved while they were on the ice.

The plan is to score as many goals as they can with a Getzlaf-Perry-Kunitz unit, then piss away the other half of the power play with Mowers and Niedermayer.

Or if you're looking for a grander plan, it's something like "wait for Bert, wait for Teemu, and wait for Scott (and maybe Bobby Ryan too)".

Megalodon said...

Douglas Murray is the greatest!



And don't call him Doug!

JD said...

Is this post a reaction to Anaheim's PP woes? Would we be so geeked up by the value of scoring 5 on 5 if the PP was as deadly as it was last year?

SJ and Calgary both scored one EV goal last night but the Sharks walked away with a convincing 4-1 win thanks to two PP goals and a shorty.

I agree that EV goals become more important in the playoffs, but that can be said for PP goals as well. How far could the Sharks have gone last year if the PP hadn't broken down. The Sharks scored on only 7% of their 57 PP chances in the playoffs.

(Keep in mind, those numbers are misleading. I'd prefer to know how many goals per two minutes of PP time were scored.)

Earl Sleek said...

Is this post a reaction to Anaheim's PP woes? Would we be so geeked up by the value of scoring 5 on 5 if the PP was as deadly as it was last year?

Maybe not this early--PP outscoring can certainly hide some flaws, but I still got the lesson from last year's playoffs--power play production can win you some games, but even strength play can win a cup.

Last year (regular season), the Ducks outscored their opposition by 56 goals. Half that came from the PP (89 - 61), and half of that came from non-PP goals (165 - 137). That was a case of outscoring across all situations.

In the first two rounds of the playoffs, it seemed to continue (mostly due to a fantastic PK, though). Ducks outscored the Wild and Canucks by 9 goals, 6 of which were because of the PP.

However, consider the last two rounds. The Ducks' PP scored 7 goals; the Wings' and Sens' PP scored 13. Had it not been for an overwhelming ability to outscore outside of power plays (25 - 15), the Ducks would have gone the way of the Shark.

I guess all I'm saying is that in the short term, playing near-even at even-strength can get you plenty of success, but I'd be worried if all I was bringing into the playoffs was a hot power play.

jd said...

Stated simply:

It is best to score more goals than your opponent when you are at even strength, and best to score more goals than your opponent when you are not.

Earl Sleek said...

It is best to score more goals than your opponent when you are at even strength, and best to score more goals than your opponent when you are not.

Yup. That's about right.

And that's the point, I guess. So far BoC is doing that latter without doing the former--there's the room for improvement.