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January Phantoms Report: Go Birds

Okay, I promise this actually about the Phantoms, not the Eagles. Maybe.

Kate Frese / SBNation

Just two periods into the first game of the month, the Phantoms lost their best defensive center, Corban Knight, to injury, and the team began to struggle. They dropped the first three games of the month (one in the shootout), but were able to bounce-back and pick up 12 standings points out of a possible 20. They leave January with a record of 5-3-2 which, while not bad, it isn’t necessarily good by their standards, and their 5-on-5 play took a bit of a hit.

January 5v5 Trends

Metric December January Trend
Metric December January Trend
GF/GP 2.86 1.90 -0.96
GA/GP 2.00 1.50 -0.50
GF% 58.82% 55.88% -2.94%
CF% 51.29% 47.92% -3.37%

This was by far the least offensive month of the season at 5-on-5, for both the Phantoms and their opponents. Their Corsi suffered, but they still out-scored their opponents at 5-on-5, so that’s a win. Goaltending really helped them here.

January 5v5 CF%

Player GP CF CA CF% CF% Rel
Player GP CF CA CF% CF% Rel
Mikhail Vorobyev 2 25 19 56.82 9.50
Sam Morin 3 57 46 55.34 4.07
Nic Aube-Kubel 10 115 104 52.51 6.28
Oskar Lindblom 10 111 101 52.36 6.00
Danick Martel 4 47 44 51.65 5.60
Matt Read 6 65 62 51.18 -1.37
Travis Sanheim 3 33 32 50.77 6.32
Mike Vecchione 10 106 107 49.77 2.50
Philippe Myers 10 142 147 49.13 1.89
Radel Fazleev 10 79 82 49.07 1.43
Mark Alt 7 92 96 48.94 0.37
Alex Krushelynski 9 76 81 48.41 0.29
Mark Friedman 9 83 92 47.43 1.40
T.J. Brennan 9 124 140 46.97 -1.42
Steven Swavely 8 61 71 46.21 -1.52
Greg Carey 10 108 126 46.15 -2.47
Will O'Neill 6 74 87 45.96 -4.49
Maxim Lamarche 7 89 105 45.88 0.45
Colin McDonald 10 101 120 45.70 -3.04
Reece Willcox 9 89 106 45.64 -4.55
Cole Bardreau 8 81 99 45.00 -6.29
Phil Varone 10 109 136 44.49 -4.90
Chris Conner 8 76 99 43.43 -2.99
Corban Knight 1 9 13 40.91 4.14
Chris McCarthy 1 3 10 23.08 -19.03

Aube-Kubel able to drive play without Martel

Something that came up in the Flyers Top 25 Under 25 series was whether Nicolas Aube-Kubel’s success this season was a product of his linemates, and we’re getting more and more evidence that points towards that not being the case. His +6.28 CF% rel was the best among skaters who played in at least half of the games this month.

Numbers have begun to match the eye test for Lindblom

Finally, Oskar Lindblom is above 50% CF on the season. His CF% and CF% rel this month were both just behind Aube-Kubel, and his numbers look even better when broken down into low, medium, and high danger Corsi.

Lindblom 5v5 CF%

Danger CF CA CF%
Danger CF CA CF%
Low 49 56 46.67%
Medium 35 25 58.33%
High 27 20 57.45%

That’s pretty much ideal. When Lindblom is on the ice, the Phantoms mainly allow low danger shot attempts while generating quality scoring chances themselves.

3 Stars of the Month:

1. T.J. Brennan

Brennan led the Phantoms in goals, points, shots on goal, 5-on-5 iCF, and average Game Score this month, making him the easy choice for #1. With six points (four goals) over his last six games, Brennan was hitting his stride offensively before leaving for the All-Star game where we were reminded just how hard he can shoot the puck. 101.0 mph, to be exact.

2. Alex Lyon

Looking like the Lyon of last season, he comes out of January with a 4-1-1 record, a 93.33% save percentage, and a goals against average just above two. Unofficially, I have Lyon posting a save percentage of 93.60% this month. These numbers differ because when I track a game sometimes I’ll miss a shot on goal, or sometimes I’ll see one that is missed by the official tracker. I, of course, have the benefit of re-watching every shot however many times I want to make sure it actually did or didn’t hit him. Anyway, I only feel the need to bring that up so that I can talk about the quality of his saves.

Lyon All Situations SV%

Danger SA GA SV%
Danger SA GA SV%
Low 86 1 98.84%
Medium 62 3 95.16%
High 55 9 83.64%

Judging off the numbers that NHL goalies put up, stopping 83% of the high danger shots faced is no easy task. The same can be said about him stopping 95% of the medium danger shots! Again, a number that is above average, assuming that AHL goalies as a whole put up numbers similar to what NHL goalies do. There’s no evidence I can show to prove this, but it makes sense to expect something relatively similar from both leagues.

3. Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Four goals, two assists, and a +6.52 CF% rel in ten games makes for a pretty good month, don’t you think? I think I’m slowly becoming a NAK hype-man. He’s above-average at everything and is trusted to play in all situations. He puts up plenty of points, and might drive play better than any other Phantom.

Highlight of the Month:

1/27/2018: Oskar Lindblom scores versus the Utica Comets.

Quick Notes:

  • Mikhail Vorobyev returned to the lineup and posted a +9.50 CF% rel in two games this month.
  • Samuel Morin left the AHL Outdoor Classic with an injury. This is the 4th separate time that he’s been out injured this season.

All stats via Phancy Stats