Between last week’s and today’s Advanced Stats Sunday then Pens have dropped three games in a row, something that hadn’t happened at all in last year’s regular season. While I didn’t quite expect to see three losses, this quote is from last week’s article, “Statistically we can expect the Pens to have some rough games coming up.” Advanced stats really can help predict the future.” This week I’m going to look at how some bad games affect players’ advanced stats.
Last week, I said the Pens would have some rough games because of the advanced stat, PDO. It can help predict when players will go on a tear or taper off. In the case of the Pens, it happened to about the entire team. Going into this past week, only three players had a PDO lower than the baseline of 1000. Since everyone is supposed to be drawn to a PDO of 1000 I said that we can predict the production of players to taper off, and the team to experience a rough patch. Well, it’s safe to say that happened. Unlike last week, now there are nine players with PDOs less than 1000. While you want to have the highest PDO, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Like I said, the tendency is to average to 1000 so when a team’s PDO numbers are lacking it usually means some wins are coming. I know it’s weird, and sounds like it should be the other way around, but that’s just how it works. Another positive? Sidney Crosby, despite leading the league in points, only has a PDO of 1001. He finished last season with a PDO of 1034, so we can predict that this coming week will most likely be a big week for him. We can also expect to see big weeks from Evgeni Malkin, Jussi Jokinen, and Paul Martin.
The average PDO of the Penguins currently sits at 987.21, which means we can expect some big games for the Pens coming up. It should be exciting. Look for it to start tomorrow against the Canes.
Like last week, the first line is till at the top of both Corsi and Fenwick, and in the same order. However, Matt D’Agostini currently holds the number one spot in both categories. Matt played a great game last night. He was strong on the forecheck, had a net front presence, and drew a penalty. He was one of the few bright spots from the game. Despite his numbers though, I am not going to include him in the Corsi and Fenwick standings because he has only played one game. It is far too small a sample size to draw conclusions. Similarly, I will once again be disregarding the stat line of James Neal. (Actually, Neal leads in both Corsi and Fenwick ahead of D’Agostini). So here are the updated stat leaders. In parenthesis is the change from last week.
- Chris Kunitz 25.78 (-11.52)
- Sidney Crosby 22.78 (-12.72)
- Pascal Dupuis 19.57 (-9.33)
- Chris Kunitz 33.8 (-3.5)
- Sidney Crosby 31.3 (-4.2)
- Pascal Dupuis 26.2 (-2.7)
This is what happens when you drop three games in a row. Obviously stats are going to decline. This isn’t to say these are bad numbers, because they are still excellent Corsi and Fenwick numbers. All three of their numbers are greater than their stats from the end of last season. However, this past week certainly didn’t help any.
I didn’t write about this last week, but since not much had changed in the Corsi/Fenwick department, I decided I could add this section. Note: in advanced stats, Pens taken and drawn are over 60 minutes of five on five play.
Sometimes the players who take and draw the most penalties are surprising. For example, if I were to ask the average fan who they thought was the most heavily penalized player, they would most likely say Tanner Glass, Deryk Engelland, etc. You get where I’m going with this. They always think of the fighters and grinders. However, Matt Niskanen is actually the most penalized Penguin. He averages 1.4 penalties taken per sixty minutes. He is followed by Robert Bortuzzo (1.1) and Evgeni Malkin (1.0). Obviously the Malkin PenTaken/60 of 1.0 is a direct result of the daily rage penalty. Sidney Crosby and Joe Vitale (0.9) and Tanner Glass and Brooks Orpik (0.8) round out the top five most penalized players.
On the other end of the spectrum, players are drawing penalties as well. This is where I can let some guys off the hook for taking penalties. For example, I had just said how Sidney Crosby takes 0.9 penalties for 60 minutes, making him the fourth most penalized player on the team. However, Crosby also draws 1.3 penalties per game. Vitale, Glass, and Malkin are other heavily penalized players who draw more penalties than they take. Leading the Pens in drawn penalties are Jayson Megna (6.4) and Matt D’Agostini (5.0). Remember, though, they both have only played one game. From the remaining players, the leaders are Joey V (2.8), Harry Z (2.8), and Tanner Glass (2.3). Including Megna and D’Agostini, nine Penguins players are drawing more than one penalty per game. On the other hand, only three players are taking a penalty or more per 60.
The problem in the penalty department is when players take more penalties than they draw, which is the case of Niskanen, Bortuzzo, Maatta, and Martin. Orpik, Sutter, and Dupuis take the same amount of penalties as they draw.
At the end of the day though, penalties haven’t been costing the Pens games. Granted, the PK has been terrible on the road, but our power play has been atrocious this past week. It will be interesting to see how Letang fits in as he gets back to 100%.
This was a shorter update than last week, but I hope I was still able to share something interesting. I believe we’ll see some good hockey this week. Expect some wins, and some big games from the two-headed monster. They’re mathematically due for it. And with that, I conclude this Advanced Stats Sunday.