Some Troubling Numbers

What a streak.

Saturdays win over Montreal has moved this rebuilding club into 4th in the East (P%).  I continue to be amazed.  I truly believed that if Ottawa didn’t have a great start they would lose that game, but as has been the case for the vast majority of the season, Ottawa shrugged off a poor start and banked 2 points in a game that could have gone either way.

Good for them, again.

But along with those 2 points came some worrying statistical developments, that, if not improved, bode ill tidings for the future.

PP%, the measure of a team’s success in scoring during the power-play, currently sits at a middling 17.9%.  If this team is going to continue working towards improvement special teams will be a major area of focus, with the PP% being front and centre.  Sitting 15th in the league in this category is not good enough, and the Sens have the fire-power to be much, much better.

PK%, the measure of a teams ability to defend while killing a penalty, currently functions at a a rate of 80.8%…seriously poor, pegging the Sens at only 23rd in the NHL.

What happened to this teams early dominance in the special team department, and how much of the teams requirement for come-backs rests in its lack-luster performance on both the PK and PP?

An average team will combine (PP%+PK%) for a special teams factor of 100.  The Sens sit at a woeful 98.7.  One need look no further than this for an index in need of serious attention, impressive P% not-withstanding.

Next is SA/G.  Yes Andy has been a dandy, but to require Vezina worthy performances on a game in, game out basis is a recipe for disaster…it can’t last, not for any goaltender.  This stat has been steadily worsening, and now sees the Senators sitting 29th in the league for shots against…29th!  This absolutely must improve if the team has any real chance at maintaining even a modicum of this momentum over the remainder of the regular season.

Lastly is GF 1Pd.  At 29, the Senators sit 25th in the NHL in first period goals.  This too must improve.

The team is playing some extremely entertaining hockey, and finding ways to rack up impressive points totals…but the stats say they’re playing very close to the edge, and that is never a good thing, over the long-term.

Keep up the good work boys, but remain focused on improving your game, not the accolades for what has already come and gone.


Follow Sensay on Twitter at @GNSensay


2 Responses to “Some Troubling Numbers”

  1. I agree with your logic wholeheartedly, but I think that a better way of looking at this team is to view them as a team that is in the midst of a re-build or learning how to play in the NHL.

    So, now we have a team who has learned the “never say die” attitude with the fun to play factor built in because of the youthful exuberance. Right now – and probably for most of the rest of the year – the Pavlov’s dog theory of a bone in the form of two points is satisfying this teams psych. They are without a doubt learning to be a better team, but it will take time. There is no magic cure for this. I for one am enjoying my Pavlovian fix in the form of a few brewsky’s and a few high fives with my fellow crazies. Go lads GO. You make me proud! Ride the wave………..

    • Absolutely, but as games tighten up, and opponents come in more prepared for the Senators, this team will either have to take the next step, or suffer a serious decline in P%.
      This season is solely about development, and in that vein it has been a very good year, but, as you rightly point out, this is the next lesson to be learned, this time, however, they face the added pressure of expectation, both from the fans and themselves.

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