Wednesday, September 17, 2014

DeKeyser Gets a Raise


In my post on Brendan Smith I mentioned that despite DK being hailed by many as the future of the Red Wing blue-line it was clear that at least statistically, Smith was the superior player. Yesterday Ken Holland and DeKeyser were finally able to reach a contract agreement, 2 years for an average cap hit of 2.1875 million dollars. DeKeyser gets a raise, the Red Wings keep him as an RFA when the contract ends and both sides get to see how he develops. While it seems a big win for everyone involved, after striking out in free agency DeKeyser needs to make a big leap next season. The question then becomes how far is DK from becoming the legit top 4 Dman the Red Wings need?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Red Wings PP: No Righties Required

The other day Justin Bourne continued his excellent breakdown of each team's unique trait. His unique trait for the Red Wings was their extreme use of the slot to breakout, you can check that out here http://www.thescore.com/nhl/news/56932. However, for this I’m going to use his breakdown of the Philadelphia Flyer’s elite power-play from last season. As you can see from the diagram he put up, the Flyers are in the perfect situation for a 1-3-1 power-play. With Claude Giroux as the primary puck handler, they have four elite scoring options.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Don’t Give up on Brendan Smith

Just this morning Helene St. James analytical focus was on one of this website’s namesakes, Brendan Smith. After mentioning a few of Smith’s many attributes, chief among them his skill with the puck, she finishes the piece by discussing his potential trade value. Meanwhile, in the same analysis of Danny DeKeyser she finished by describing DK as “a building block for years to come.” Her attitude towards these two players seems to reflect that of most Red Wings fans. With the Wings struggling to find elite defenders, these two have been thrust into the spotlight. Watching from a distance, we see DK’s solid defensive game, and Smith’s tendency to create offensive for both the Wings and the opposition. As an admitted Smith fan, I am somewhat troubled by these perceptions.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Howard after RBS or QS

Yesterday I looked at the goals Jimmy Howard gave up in Quality Starts and in his Really Bad Starts. The final results showed that most of the time Jimmy posts quality starts by not allowing transitional goals, leading me to the conclusion that the team defense may be a bigger factor than Jimmy himself. However, this does not tell us if Jimmy’s previous starts are affecting his confidence in the next start. To do that I did the same analysis for both the game after a Quality Start and the game following a Really Bad Start.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Howard's Goals Against in RBS and QS

Today at WingingitinMotown, JJ from Kanas took a look at Jimmy Howard's number of Quality Starts and Really Bad Starts. You can check it out here http://www.wingingitinmotown.com/2014/8/28/6068191/red-wings-goaltending-analysis-jimmy-howard-quality-starts.

For those of you who are unaware, these stats come from Rob Vollman's Hockey Abstract 2014 (which I highly suggest you purchase) and are defined as
•Quality Start (QS): A performance where the goaltender put up a .917 or better save percentage or, if the opponent failed to get more than 20 total shots, a game where he stopped 88.5% or better.
•Really Bad Start (RBS): A performance where the goaltender failed to attain even an .850 save percentage.

One theory he mentions is the possibility that “Howard gets cocky after a dominant start and lets off the gas or that he gets fired up by a loss and bears down harder on the next go.” He and I are both hesitant to agree with that claim. I am hesitant mainly because simple regression to the mean explains at least part of this effect. Also, since we are dealing with the best goaltenders in the world I assume they have the ability to focus and manage their emotions, with some extreme exceptions. Supporting my theory, it has been demonstrated that no goalie is particularly streaky, at least statistically speaking (http://nhlnumbers.com/2012/5/11/the-myth-of-the-hot-goalie-consistent-goaltenders-vs-inconsistent-goaltenders) leading me to believe this is just simple variability rather than a change in concentration.

Regardless, I have slightly more information to add to this analysis since I broke down the type of goals Howard let in last season. Based on the theory I would guess in his RBS Howard lets in more clean goals, the goals over which he has the most control. While in the QS, if it is truly Howard “baring down,” we would see the opposite as he lets in less of these controllable saves.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Reason for Optimism in the Big D

As I demonstrated when tracking the Red Wings goals last season, a large percentage of goals come from the generation of shots off the rush. This compliments nicely with the recent push from the analytics community to demonstrate the importance of winning the neutral zone battle. Thankfully, Corey Sznajder (@ShutdownLine) has been working to track entries for every game in the past season. Once all this info has been collected, I will analyze and post the data. However, he has been kind enough to share what information he currently has (~60%) and it has been published on a few sites around the web.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Glendening vs Andersson Part 2

Sorry for the lack of activity, its been a busy week as I get back into the swing of things. Last time I looked at the battle for the 4th line center between Luke Glendening and Joakim Andersson. My conclusions concurred with one reached over at WingingitinMotown, that Andersson should take the final spot.