Before taking a real deep look at the numbers, lets just look to see some basic stats. Sergei Bobrovsky. 2.09 and .931. You don’t need to be a hockey whiz to figure those numbers out. He’s 6th in the league among starters with his 2.09 GAA, and 5th among starters with his .931. He is quick, he says the right things, and best of all, he’s going to be a Flyer for at least three years. I have a feeling that if this keeps up our long term goalie question will finally be answered! At the NHL.com “LW” position, we have two guys who are in the top 15 in points. Ville Lieno at 9 with 13, and Scott Hartnell at 15 with 11. Lieno also has 10 assists, good for 4th among NHL LWers. Flipping to the RW, Claude has 16 points, good for 4th and Danny Briere has 12 points (only 13 games) which is good for 14th. Briere’s 8 goals is good for 2nd among RW’s. The centers didn’t want to feel left out, and Richards and Carter are tied for 13th respectively in C points with 14 each. Carter is tied for goals at fourth place with 8, while Richie has 10 assists, good for an eighth place tie. Pronger’s three goals puts him tied at 10th for all defenders, Kimmo’s 7 assists is good for a 16th place tie with… the offensive DYNAMO Mike Green, while Sean O’Donnell and Andrej Meszaros (a slight upgrade over Syvret/Bartullis/Parent/Kraijeck) are 3rd and 5th in the league for +/-, and most importantly: we have no Flyers in the top 30 for TOI/G (23.32). Blair Betts is a +5 with 6 points, Andreas Nodl has finally found some offense with 5 points in 8 games, and Powe is chipping in with 5 in 16. Even Jody Shelley has an assist and is a +1 (had to do that). The heated debates this year (other than Shelley) have been about advanced stats, so lets take a look at those.
The first thing that stands out to me (I am not a master of advanced stats, so feel free to tell me how good my arguments are, they can only get better with your guys critisism) is Brian Boucher. His GFON/60 (Goals scored while he’s on the ice) is a 3.01, which is higher than Bob’s 2.94; meaning that Boosh has gotten more help than BOB (this is of course 5 on 5)! Bob’s 1.58 GA/60 for 5 on 5 hockey is good for 5th in the league among guys who have started at least 9 games (Tim Thomas is at 9 and I didn’t want to exclude him). His ESS% and PKS% are both top notch, and got even better from the last time I posted about them in the “Random Questions” fan post.
Now here is my “test” I guess, to see if I learned anything from all of the information that you guys threw at me last week. The Flyers have only 5 positive forward “ratings” (Individual +/- less the +/- when the player is off of the ice), and three of them play together. Can you guess which line is dominating the ice so much that it is basically skewing the ratings of the other Flyers? Yep its Briere, Lieno, Hartnell all with ratings over 1.55 (under 2). The only three other positives (keep in mind this is all even strenghth) are Andreas Nodl (1.27) and James van Reimsdyk (1.05) and Blair Betts (.59). Dead last: Mike Richards with a -2.53 (His special teams make up for it though). Powe, Richards and Carter are all seeing the top opposistion, with only Briere, Giroux and Nodl notching competition over 0. And the LHB line is dominating the QualTeam category. Surprisingly enough, Andreas Nodl, yes the guy who is playing with Mike Richards has the lowest QualTeam with Richards right below the LHB line (LBH only Flyers over 0). Now comes the problem with sample size: G/60 is led By Andreas Nodl with a 1.98. Zherdev has a 1.91, good for second on the team, followed by Betts’ 1.7. Giroux only has a .3 G/60, lowest of anyone who scored. Nodl stays atop the P/60 with a 3.3 with Betts, Carter, Harts, and Giroux behind him. From the bottom up… Shelley (no surprise), Carcillo (no surprise), Richards (big surprise), JVR (big surprise). Those two need to play better even strength, and its no surprise they have been playing together. Only 2 Flyers have been outscored ES… Carcillo and Richards. The top 5 here is a common trend. Nodl. HBL. Betts. JVR, Carter, and Zherdev follow; somewhat shocking to me.
One major problem has been the penalties for the Flyers. Shelley has taken over 5 times more penalties than he’s drawn per 60. Powe has taken 4x more, Carter has taken almost 8x more, Richards 1.5 more, while hartnell has racked up his taken and has none drawn to even create a ratio. On the converse, Zherdev has drawn 4x more, Giroux is 3x better, Carbomb is 2x good, and Lieno is 4x. Danny has taken more than his fair share, but he takes 2 per 60, and draws 2 per 60, so that breaks down evenly.
Now to the power play… Briere (4.34), Giroux (3.57), Carter (2.47), Lieno (1.41), and Richie (1.25) are the only forwards to score on the PP, and those are their G/60. Richards has 3.75 first assists per 60 good for first on the team, while Hartnell is the only Flyer to rack an assist that didn’t have a goal. Zherdev and JVR have 1.72 and 1.07 TOI/60 and have yet to record a point.
Short handed… The Flyers have only 2 PK units that have given up goals. Powe/Betts and Richie/Giroux. The Powe Betts combo is averaging 5.32 GA/60, while the Richie combo has only given up 2.57. It is clear who our number one unit is. If it wasn’t clear before, Giroux’s GF/60 is a 5 and Richies is a 4 as the two of them are actually outscoring the opposition on the PK 4-2 and 3-2. Those numbers, a quarter through a season, are ridiculous. Matt Cooke is the only one who compairs with a 3-1 ratio. Everyone else with 2’s GA look like this: 6,4,4,3,11 etc. What Claude and Richie are doing while short handed is out of this world.
In conclusion, I would say that this Flyers team is just as good as their record. There are 3 elite teams in my mind in the East: Us, Pittsburgh, and the Caps. Right now, our goalie is playing with the best in the league. Our GA/G is 2.19 good for fifth in the league, with depth we couldn’t have imagined last year, and a bomb threat at the point of our PP that’s ranked 11th at 20.3%. Our short handed units are crazy good, ranked 9th in the league at 86.4, and if GF were included we would be top 5. Last night helped our G/G get to 3rd in the league with a 3.31, and we have two guys at each position in the top 15 in points. We are scary good, and last year was no fluke