Over the last summer I looked at the Win Threshold of teams, explaining that Win Threshold is the SV% your goalies need to reach for your team to play .550 hockey, or to make the playoffs. Here is a review of Win Threshold. Since this study, I have been posting 1/6 reviews of Win Threshold and the NHL. Here's how the NHL was looking 1/6 of the way through.
Follow the Jump for a look at how the Leafs and the rest of the NHL are doing so far:.
Win Threshold is calculated by taking the total shots against a team has, subtracting their goals for, and then dividing again by shots against. So: [(Shots against)-(Goals For)]/(Shots against)
This number will be a percentage, more specifically, the save percentage your team requires in order to win .550% of games. This is thus a good indication of which teams will make the playoffs and which won't. The unknown factor involved, however, are the goaltenders, which can bring a team with a high win threshold into the playoffs, as long as they exceed it.
1/6 of the way through the season, the top 10 teams for Win Threshold Delta were 1. Washington, 2. Philadelphia, 3. Edmonton, 4. Pittsburgh, 5. Buffalo, 6. NY Rangers, 7. Dallas, 8. Boston, 9. Phoenix, 10. Chicago
The larger the Delta number, the better the team will perform. These numbers are indicators of how each team has performed relative to their win threshold. The Win Threshold rank suggests how the team has been performing. The Delta rank indicates how the team including their goalies have been performing. It does not necessarily mean the goalies have been stellar, but if the goalies were required to save 87.1% of the shots like in Washington's case, but have actually saved 91% of the shots, they will have a delta spread of 3.9%, which is large. On the other hand, a team like Anaheim has been requiring a 93.8S%, but has only managed to stop 91% of the shots, leading them to the 29th best (2nd worst) delta.
It is expected that these teams would continue on their positive delta over the next section of the season, improving their records, as there was a cushion created between the play of the team and of the goalie. However, looking at Win Thresholds of certain teams and comparing them to their team's goaltending, I suggested the following changes in the standings (in contrast to the delta showings):
A decline for: Edmonton (4), Minnesota (8), Florida (14), and a slight decline for Pittsburgh (3), Buffalo (11), NYR (7), Dallas (1), Los Angeles (15)
An improvement for: Columbus (30), Toronto (5), Carolina (24), Winnipeg (28), St. Louis (25), Montreal (26), Vancouver (20)
Based on improvement or regression from each team's goalies. This means that a team like Edmonton may fall out of the top 10, or that Montreal will move up one or two rankings. It could also mean, in the case of Columbus, that their goalies improve, but they remain in 30th.
Here's what we have in the NHL so far:
|Rank||Team||GP||P%||G/G||GA/G||S/G||SA/G||Win Threshold||Win Threshold Rank||Team SV%||Δ||Δ Rank|
So let's examine our findings:
And now for the final point. The leafs are once again suffering from abysmal goaltending. Their team save percentage is 24th in the NHL, above Washington, Colorado, Tampa Bay, Ottawa, Carolina & Columbus. Frankly, I don't think our goaltending situation is any better or worse than any of those teams, however. Ward is a great goalie, but they have little behind him. Washington should be good with Vokoun but that's been a struggle so far. Tampa Bay has a zombie, Colorado has enigma, and Ottawa is LOL and Columbus is riding the young guys just as we are. We should be thankful we're actually ahead of these teams given the experience in our net, but we should be pissed we haven't accommodated for that lack of experience. Florida is currently in a playoff position, and are doing it on the back of a free agent signing that we have to believe we could have had in the ACC. This is not revisionist thought, many of us, including myself, advocated to sign Theodore.
We built up a good cushion at the start of the year, and it looked like that cushion would be maintained when our goaltending began to improve. Unfortunately, our goaltending went from bad to worse, as Gustavsson and Scrivens gave up some stinkers, and Reimer has been sub-subpar upon his return from concussion. I believe the Monster could be a decent backup, and want to believe in Reimer, but until this team starts proving me wrong, I'll be a skeptic.
According to the stats, I predict that by the half way point we'll see a decline in Minnesota & Phoenix's rankings and delta, as well as traditional regression and improvement based on positive or negative delta. I also suggest that in addition to delta, there will be improvements from Anaheim, Carolina, Toronto, Washington, Nashville & Chicago. Chicago will sit first in the league by the half way point, with Philadelphia first in the east.
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