February 27, 2008

Stuart and Bergeron

Stuart was traded for two RFA's (1st round pick Kobasew and 6th round Ferrence) last season. LA practically gave him away for a third round draft pick from Detroit this season. I have a strange feeling Stuart wont be coming back to LA in the summer...

Last season, Bergeron was shipped along with a third round pick for the first round pick Grebeshkov. This season he was stolen from the Islanders for a Third round pick (Essentially the Islanders got two third round draft picks for Grebeshkov and the services of Bergeron for a year).

As an aside, I recently wrote an article about Stuart's winning percentage. Now Stuart has a real good team to play on and a chance to improve his winning percentage, but don't count on it. Detroit should be able to better protect him and use him less compared to his past teams (Stuart will probably rank 4th on Detroit's depth chart when the team is healthy) and this should help him improve his game.

February 20, 2008

Western Domination of the Eastern Conference.

The Record (W-L-T)
There always seems to be a few stories about how good the West is compared to the East in the few cross conference games we see each season. Since the new schedule of change , there have been fewer than 400 cross-conference game. Below I have the data I consider important about these games. The first table show the record for the western teams vs. the eastern conferences split into two groups home (H) and away (A). I've included the west vs. west figures for one season in the row below for comparison.

Some people have suggested the domination is a result of the eastern teams playing in a different time zones and traveling farther than normal, but as you can see from the table above the western teams do only 3% better at home and 9% on the road compared to the normal home-away advantage. Also worth noting, the home-away advantage is smaller for the inter conference games than the west vs. east games.

The statistics

The statistic that best correlates with winning is goal differential, but there are several ways to get to the same goal differential. Below is a table that presents what I consider the most important statistics in hockey for these west vs. east games. Like above, the table is split into home/away games.

[S = Shots, G = Goals, EG = Expected goals (based on shots on goals), SQN = shot quality neutral save percentage]

The most interesting portion of this table is the fact that the east is actually significantly better at getting short handed goals, but these goals seem to costing them power play goals against. It would appear that the east is encouraging offense at the cost of the powerplay goals against. It's hard to measure if this strategy is paying off though.

At home the west is getting 27% more expected goals against the east (15% more shots)

Some people have mentioned that goaltending is better in the west. This does not appear to be the case either as on average the east actually has better save percentage numbers.

None of the data can really clarify whether the west is better because of it's offense or it's defense, but it's worth noting the if the west played the east every game they'd have 9% more goals and if the east played the west every game they'd have 9% fewer goals! So if they split the season evenly the east would be down by about 5% and the west up by about 5%.

Note: The data is a couple weeks old.

February 13, 2008

Stillman for Corvo...

First off, this trade appears to be started by the Carolina Hurricanes. If you take a look through all the NHL teams at this time, Carolina’s top defenseman has the fewest points for a team’s top D-man (12). In fact Commodore is 1 of 4 defenseman with 12 points. The next worse team’s top D-man has 17 points and most teams have 1 defenseman who has at least 24 points. Carolina was in desperate need for a offensive defenseman. The problem for Carolina, not many teams give up their offensive defenseman very quickly. If Carolina wants to have a good chance to make the playoffs they need a decent offensive defenseman. Carolina asked for Corvo, Ottawa then asked for Stillman. The rest of the deal is simply making up for lost players (Ottawa needed to replace a defenseman and Carolina needed to replace a forward). Neither player is really a critical part of the team.

A lot of people like to point to one team and say they won in this trade, but in this situations both teams got what they needed without giving up something they really needed to keep. Carolina needed Corvo and Stillman was ranked 4th on the team in points, he isn't the most important part of Carolina's offense. Corvo, also has more points for Ottawa than the top two Carolina defenseman combined, but Ottawa still has Redden's offense and Meszaros isn't too far behind Corvo.

Either way it was a good deal for both teams. Like most trades should do, it made both teams better off.

Features added to website

Like last year I have my trade page up and running again.
I have also added a new feature that shows what players played in which games in a simple graphic format that makes it easy to see who got injured when and how long they were out for. It gives you an idea how many injuries a team has had. You can find it here.