Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Last Five in Fenwick: Games 6-11

Sorry this is coming up a bit late. At any rate, since there's some error between the NHL game sheet and Timeonice, I don't have any data for the Carolina shutout. I guess I am getting the last five games after all.

I updated the spreadsheet to include positive and negative Fenwick/Corsi events, so I can calculate Fenwick% and Corsi% while Vic Ferrari is (hopefully) updating his playershot scripts. Thanks goes out to Timeonice for making this possible.

Game 20074 Bruins 3 @ Capitals 1
Game 20082 Capitals 1 @ Bruins 4
Game 20102 Thrashers 3 @ Capitals 4 (OT)
Game 20134 Capitals 1 @ Wild 2
Game 20154 Capitals 7 @ Flames 2

Here's the data. Quite a big turnaround from the first five.

Some observations:
  • A 55.8% Corsi and 56.7% Fenwick are really, really good.
  • Eric Fehr was, understandably, benched. The game before his healthy scratch he was a -6 Corsi in 10 minutes of 5-on-5 ice time and wasn't particularly good prior to that.
  • Mathieu Perreault may have not deserved to be sent down again. Even if his play was poor the final game, it was so stellar the two games before that on average he was really good.
  • Then again, Alexander Semin playing better and chemistry between Brooks Laich, Mike Knuble, and Semin probably contributed to that in large part as well.
  • The bottom two forward lines were kind of, well, brutal. Fehr, Hendricks, King, Steckel, Gordon and Johansson weren't getting the job done as well as we would have liked.
  • Did Boudreau challenge Carlson to be better? He was, and even dragged his partner Erskine up with him.
Here are season to date numbers. For Corsi% and Fenwick%, the numbers are averages of the five-game segments, which means that if a guy plays in one segment but not another (e.g. Beagle, Perreault) take the numbers with an even bigger pile of salt than usual.

The last three rows are quality of competition, quality of teammates, and Zonestart. All of them look a bit messed up at this point. We can't really take their values for too much significance, but the order in which the Caps show up probably won't change much (e.g. Gordon last in Zonestart).

Thanks to behindthenet.ca for the QoC, QoT, and Zonestart numbers. My apologies if there are any mistakes.

Some observations:
  • Despite small sample, I'm pretty convinced Fahey isn't an NHL-caliber defenseman. Such high Zonestart with low Corsi numbers is pretty, well, terrible, quality of competition and teammates notwithstanding.
  • Alex Ovechkin thus far has had one bad Fenwick stretch with good production and one good Fenwick stretch with average production. The result? Pretty good production and pretty good Fenwick. That being said, a team-low QoC and team-high QoT probably means he should be doing a lot better. 
  • Either that or he and Nicklas Backstrom are destroying the opposition/helping their teammates so much that their opponents/teammates take permanent skewage in their Corsi Rels.
  • Every Caps D aside from Fahey and Sloan is above 50% Corsi. That's pretty good.
  • Well, considering those D are Schultz, Carlson, Alzner, Poti, Green, and Erskine (who frequently gets paired with one of the aforementioned D), I guess that's not saying much after all. In Fenwick Erskine is just above 50% and Alzner dips just below that break-even mark.
  • When can Eric Fehr get better than team-worst help on his line?
  • Jeff Schultz is second on the team thus far in 5-on-5 TOI. Looking at his Fenwick numbers, I'm liking that.

Special teams: the power play was hot for one game (Calgary) and was cold otherwise. The penalty kill was cold for one game (Boston) and hot otherwise. Each is around 10% off of where we might have expected it to be before the season started--the PP 10% lower, the PK 10% higher. Pretty even there. Unfortunately, his unsustainably high save percentage in shorthanded situations--0.963!!!--means the Caps' PK, the way it's been playing, is likely due for some regression. I'm really not sure what grade to give here--I could fathom anything from a D to an A. C+

Goaltending: Neuvirth is .918 at evens, .963 on the PK, and .909 on the PP, for .924 total. We'd like to see that first number increase about 10 points to be around top-5 in the league by season's end. That being said, having faced only around 200 shots, he could just be unlucky. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. A+

Even strength play: A lot better than the past six games than in the first five--I game I don't have data for is the Caps' consensus best to date!--so I'll give 'em the benefit of the doubt here too. The 39 Fenwick and 46 Corsi are certainly very good (not quite stellar considering that they were trailing for much of three of the games, and score effects boost Corsi and Fenwick). The top two lines have been very good, the bottom two leave something to be desired but are not AHL-esque by any means, I guess. A-

Overall: The Caps pretty much had the underlying numbers down, but the results weren't quite there yet. The Caps probably deserved more than going 3-3 in the past six games. At the very least they scored 2 of the 3 goals Tim Thomas has allowed thus far this season. A-

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