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Triumph

On Why The Devils Will Return To Prominence In The East Next Season

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We've all seen the winning streaks the Devils have been putting together lately, but the one question on everyone's mind is, can the Devils do anything next year? Or will they just revert to being horrible? Are they out of the woods?

I'm here to say - yes, they will make the playoffs next year. And probably by a wide margin, too.

Vic Ferrari was nice enough to update his timeonice scripts for 2010-11. What we're seeing is rather pleasant. I've explained what a Fenwick % is before, but for those who don't know, it's a measure of shots on goal for + missed shots for versus shots on goal against + missed shots against. A team that outshot (including missed shots) another team 30-20 over a game at even strength would have a 60% fenwick.

Under Lemaire, the Devils are at 53.1%. This doesn't sound that impressive, but it's better than most of the NHL. Fenwick at the team level tends to range from 40% to 60%. Since Josefson's callup in February, the Devils are at 54.1% (though this may have more to do with the Devils' trailing in games lately, it's still a good sign). The Devils are at 55.1% with the score tied under Lemaire, which is close to dominant. For reference, last season the Devils were at 52.1% with the score tied.

So I started looking for teams that Fenwick'd over 53% who missed the playoffs - I could only find a few at or near that number, most of whom were done in by terrible goaltending. Fenwick data only goes back to 2007-08, but here's what I found:

2009-10: Toronto (52.9%)

2007-08: Columbus (52.6%)

2010-11: St. Louis (52.5%)

2010-11: New Jersey (52.3%)

2010-11: Calgary (52.2%)

2007-08: Carolina (52.0%)

Teams Over 53% Since 2007-08:

2007-08:

DET: 59.0%

NYR: 55.3%

WSH: 55.1%

S.J: 55.0%

2008-09:

DET: 56.1%

CHI: 54.9%

WSH: 54.8%

S.J: 54.6%

CGY: 53.8%

2009-10:

CHI: 58.0%

DET: 53.1%

2010-11:

CHI: 53.4%

TB: 53.1%

DET: 53.1%

That looks pretty darn close to a list of the best teams in the league each year, no?

I am not saying that if you Fenwick over 53% you are guaranteed to make the playoffs. Far from it. Just that teams that do manage that, tend to make the playoffs. And the higher the percentage is, the more likely that is. And the higher the percentage, the more dominant the team tends to be. As a note, the Devils have run into true buzzsaws the last 3 seasons they've made the playoffs, as they've faced these teams:

NYR: 55.3%

CAR: 52.3%

PHI: 51.9%

Oh, and whose name is missing from this post? Who hasn't played at all yet under Lemaire? Zach Parise, who has been one of the best territorial players in the league - his Fenwick percentages the last three years are:

09-10: 55.5%

08-09: 58.4%

07-08: 55.9%

So yeah, expect a return to dominant Devils' hockey next season.

Edited by Triumph

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And Parise's coming back this week to Fenwick the sh!t out of the last 7 meaningless games!

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And Parise's coming back this week to Fenwick the sh!t out of the last 7 meaningless games!

When I use to play street hockey with my friends, we used to have a lot of arguements during and after the game about who had a better Fenwick. Man those were some intense arguements.

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When I use to play street hockey with my friends, we used to have a lot of arguements during and after the game about who had a better Fenwick. Man those were some intense arguements.

It was easier to count the Fenwick when one team had to chase the ball down the block every time a shot went wide.

In seriousness though, I feel confident in the team for next year. Future looks good, especially if Zach gets locked up.

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It was easier to count the Fenwick when one team had to chase the ball down the block every time a shot went wide.

In seriousness though, I feel confident in the team for next year. Future looks good, especially if Zach gets locked up.

That is why we all kept a pocket scoresheet on us. We didn't want any shenanigans going on in regards to our Fenwick.

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This team is so streaky it's almost absurd. I think they need to start off strong next year if they want to go deep. If Kovy had put the puck in the net vs. Dallas instead of hitting that post and made it 3-0, I think we'd be looking at a completely different and probably playoff bound season. Those first few losses this year made the players question the strength of the team and when Parise went down all confidence was apparently gone. I am excited for next year, especially to see Fayne, Palmieri, and the Swedish kids with a little more size, speed, and hockey sense.

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what these advanced statistics bear out is that this is not an awful team and that thinking that they're the 2nd coming of the past decades Panthers or Thrashers is simply false. the lemaire led team is a much more reasonable expectation than the maclean led one and not just because one is a good coach and one isn't.

it is almost impossible to be as bad and unlucky as the devils were the first half of the season.

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That is why we all kept a pocket scoresheet on us. We didn't want any shenanigans going on in regards to our Fenwick.

Don't take this the wrong way, but it sounds like you used to play on a very anal retentive street. :)

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Don't take this the wrong way, but it sounds like you used to play on a very anal retentive street. :)

That is how we all were. Maybe that is why half of the people I used to play with now write for In Lou We Trust.....

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I've especially been noticing recently how strong their Fenwick has been. Last few games it'll be something crazy like six shots for then two shots against. For the first period anyway. The seconds and thirds have been much more sloppy, but it's definitely looking up as compared to earlier this year. I hope the team remembers if Lemaire decides not to stick around though, because they forgot last year under Maclean.

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The perennial 65+ points of Zach Parise will help quite a bit fancy stat or not.

Out of curiosity what was Mac's team fenwick number?

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I'm not worried about the regular season, we can make the playoffs next season.

I'm worried about being a viable contender. We need offensive defenseman, certified at-least-2nd-pairing puck moving defenseman who play the PP. We still don't generate squat from the backend and that will continue to be the downfall of this team unless its addressed.

Even

Volechenkov-White

Fayne-Tallinder

Taormina-FA/Rookie

We won't cut it with this. Not if we are serious.

I don't care if they are negative stat value offensive Defenseman like Kaberle, if he can be had for a reasonable price and 2 or 3 years - then fine. He'll be tradeable if his contract isn't out of whack. We can afford a guy who doesn't play as much defense, because everyone else on this team does.

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so .. were back to being satisfied by limping into the playoffs and getting abused and ousted in the first round ... rolleyes.gif

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The perennial 65+ points of Zach Parise will help quite a bit fancy stat or not.

Out of curiosity what was Mac's team fenwick number?

the devils were at 49.6% with the score tied and 51.3% overall.

I'm not worried about the regular season, we can make the playoffs next season.

I'm worried about being a viable contender. We need offensive defenseman, certified at-least-2nd-pairing puck moving defenseman who play the PP. We still don't generate squat from the backend and that will continue to be the downfall of this team unless its addressed.

Even

Volechenkov-White

Fayne-Tallinder

Taormina-FA/Rookie

We won't cut it with this. Not if we are serious.

I don't care if they are negative stat value offensive Defenseman like Kaberle, if he can be had for a reasonable price and 2 or 3 years - then fine. He'll be tradeable if his contract isn't out of whack. We can afford a guy who doesn't play as much defense, because everyone else on this team does.

this doesn't make very much sense with what i've posted above. i am suggesting that the devils will absolutely destroy at even strength next season. they could be at 55% next year. and that, even with a garbage power play, is going to be enough to make NJ dominant, because they have a great penalty kill. and before i get told that it's a new NHL and PPs are important, there are fewer power plays this year than any year since 1980.

fayne in a small sample size has the 2nd highest shots/60 of anyone who plays on the power play. i think he'll be capable of playing 20-23 minutes a game next year, maybe he will be put on the power play.

if the devils want to make this acquisition at the deadline, great. there is no way they should sign or acquire a player like this in the off-season without seeing what taormina and fayne are capable of - these sorts of players are totally overrated on the open market. differences in power play skill are not big enough, and especially not for the devils who don't draw power plays, to start signing players for the PP alone.

Edited by Triumph

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Yeah -- the Fenwick is losing its novelty for me.

Although I think "Team needs more Fenwick" may be a nice catch phrase next year -- you know... like cowbell?

Seriously - the more that Fenwicks get thrown at me the more I feel like - it's sort of losing it's meaning.

Shoot the puck and squelch the other team before they even get a shot off... it's a nice little stat confirming the obvious -- which IS what stats are about.

Bhaa -- I just have a thing against stats. they're after the fact. and they are stating the obvious. But it's relevant obvious, and I'm glad you're sharing Tri!

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Yeah -- the Fenwick is losing its novelty for me.

Although I think "Team needs more Fenwick" may be a nice catch phrase next year -- you know... like cowbell?

Seriously - the more that Fenwicks get thrown at me the more I feel like - it's sort of losing it's meaning.

Shoot the puck and squelch the other team before they even get a shot off... it's a nice little stat confirming the obvious -- which IS what stats are about.

Bhaa -- I just have a thing against stats. they're after the fact. and they are stating the obvious. But it's relevant obvious, and I'm glad you're sharing Tri!

But what about when stats reveal information that isn't inherently obvious?

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I like the argument but the entire premise that the Devils naturally have a fenwick around 53% is false. They have had a fenwick around 53% under Lemaire, in the 2nd half of a season in which they were written off by the other teams in the league. You can't expect them to have a fenwick over 53% for all of next year. You're cherry picking a particularly attractive sample from the last season (post lemaire), and as such you are introducing sampling bias in your analysis.

Basically this is just saying "If the Devils play like they did the second half of the year, they will make the playoffs easily." I mean, i could have told you that without a single statistic, they've been phenomenal until very recently. The question is are they gonna play like that all of next year? I don't know, but basically to accept that, you need to accept that either Maclean was a horrid coach, Lemaire is a spectualar coach who is returning, or both.

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Yeah - but it IS inherently obvious -- but you get to say HERE I TOLD YOU SO.

It's an "I told you so" stat -- which is why it's relevant. Shots for and against should be obvious -- it's a "shoot da damm puck" stat for our Devils! Maybe it's also and "don't even LET the get a shot off" ... :noclue: It's a cute little stat and I think effective at driving a point home.

Actually I do like the way Tri is putting it all into perspective. You say a test for drug efficacy is 50.2% sounds like whoopdee do but that's HUGE! The Fenwick is huge with Lemaire.

The Fenwick is great for those who can still enjoy a low scoring game - who sees it's value. If the world of hockey could get excited about fenwicks we'd have less hue and cry for sh!tty rules like the trapezoid <_< I hate that feckin' trapezoid :angry:

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Well, now that I think about it, you can treat the hiring of Lemaire as a regime change, and as such you are just considering the sample under Lemaire as relevant (and ignore the team under Maclean). In order to safely extrapolate though, that depends on Lemaire coming back.

Or you need to believe Maclean is just a particularly awful coach, and the team is naturally at a 53% fenwick under a decent to average coach like Lemaire, and even if he doesn't come back it will acheive near 53%.

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Well, now that I think about it, you can treat the hiring of Lemaire as a regime change, and as such you are just considering the sample under Lemaire as relevant (and ignore the team under Maclean). In order to safely extrapolate though, that depends on Lemaire coming back.

Or you need to believe Maclean is just a particularly awful coach, and the team is naturally at a 53% fenwick under a decent to average coach like Lemaire, and even if he doesn't come back it will acheive near 53%.

I don't think I'm data snooping. Here's why:

A: The Devils are way different than they were at the beginning of the year. The Devils have been regularly using 7 players who were not on the opening day roster (Palmieri, Tedenby, Josefson, Zharkov, Steckel, Fayne, Salmela). It's a different team.

B: The argument that the Devils are to be taken lightly - the Devils' Fenwick is getting better; March has been the team's best month Fenwick-wise. I don't think anyone is taking the Devils lightly since February. Since Josefson was put on the roster instead of Sestito, there's been a change - Josefson is at 56.9%, Sestito at 46.9%.

C: The team pretty much gave up on MacLean in December and it shows in the shot numbers.

D: Kovalchuk has gotten better as the season's gone on, Fenwick-wise.

We'll see if Tedenby and Josefson can sustain this next season. But I don't think it's unrealistic to expect 53% as a team, and even as high as 58% if everything goes right.

Edited by Triumph

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I don't think I'm data snooping. Here's why:

A: True

B: Yeah potentially.

C: Agree

D: I recall your earlier thread on the subject. I think he'll have a better season next year with the FA saga/growing pains of this season behind him too.

One thing, Andy Greene is likely gone next year. He gets some tough assignments and his absence could hurt the team (he played 27 minutes last game with White/Volchenkov out). I have no idea what his Fenwick is. Where do you get Fenwick/Corsi stats online? I can't find them on Google easily.

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One thing, Andy Greene is likely gone next year. He gets some tough assignments and his absence could hurt the team (he played 27 minutes last game with White/Volchenkov out). I have no idea what his Fenwick is. Where do you get Fenwick/Corsi stats online? I can't find them on Google easily.

i'll respond about how to find the stats tomorrow, but greene is not taking tough assignments nor does he have a good fenwick. he's with the awful anssi salmela. greene is at 50.5% in the calendar year 2011, but i think a lot of that is due to how bad salmela is.

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This system is a problem. Yeah, it's great to enjoy a winning season for 8 months, but it's a bitch losing in the playoffs so soon. This system drains the players during the season and they're spent when the playoffs begin. This team was particularly horrible in that they weren't very good for the second half of last season and it carried into the first half of this season. I think we need a new system in order to compete for the cup. Keeping your defensemen in center ice during the attack isn't any way to win a cup. And crunching the center zone in you own end isn't any way to get a breakout during transition. Even Denis Potvin says that it's draining to play 1 goal games every night. It takes a lot out of your players.

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