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Fun With Numbers

Actually, that's a lie. None of this will be fun. Or maybe it will if you're into that kind of self-flagellation thing which, if you're a Leafs fan, is likely. Anyway, without further ado, more from the king of stats and the newest member of the Barilkosphere judging by how much he's been willing to work on their numbers. First up, how the Leafs have managed to outshoot their opponents:

Their goaltending has indeed been poor in tie games - with a 934 save percentage, they're 28th in the league.  But the real culprit has been a miniscule shooting percentage - just two goals on 245 shots, or a 0.82% shooting percentage.  Yes, you read that right.  The Leafs have scored on less than 1% of their shots at even-strength when the game was tied.  This is simply unheard of: when the Leafs have been down, their shooting percentage is 5.4% this season; when they're up, it's 10%. 

So if the Leafs ever get a lead they'll blow the opposition out! Gabe summed it as the Leafs' bad luck meeting goaltenders good luck meeting to create a crushing reality from which there is no escape. Just kidding, I added that last part. He actually says, as he has maintained, that it will eventually even out. I am looking forward to that happening sooner rather than later.

A visit from our favourite author comes after the jump.

Next up, laughing at the Toronto media! Obviously, we missed this article because we hardly regularly read anyone in the Toronto establishment anymore other than Mirtle and Cox (yes, Damien "The Omen" Cox) but apparently Dave Feschuk took a dip in that stats game (Leafs chances of getting to playoffs? 1.7%) with predictable results:

If you want to estimate a team's chance of making the playoffs this early in the season, you have to take its current record and regress very heavily to the mean.  And, in the case of Toronto, who have outshot their opponents and have been without their presumptive #1 goaltender for much of the season, you should probably expect them to play over .500 hockey the rest of the way.

But it's nicer to think that the Leafs have just a 1-in-60 chance of making the playoffs, isn't it?  Because then you "don't need to think too much" and you can just beat up on Brian Burke for being such a crappy GM.

Oh, and if anybody out there wants to give me the Leafs at 60-1 to make the playoffs, I'll take it.

To be fair, the legion of anti-Leafs that will beat us over the head with that 1.7% figure wouldn't be able to find flaws in Sportsclubstats methodology either. Hell, I was already measuring the height of the ceiling beam before I read that post. To top things off, Illegal Curve points out this gem:

The biggest flaw in Feschuk’s story was that he took the 1.7% chances and said that the Bruins would now have a 98.3% chance of a lottery pick—which is ridiculous because he is citing a stat that speaks to the team’s chances of making the playoffs. The stat doesn’t attempt to predict where the Leafs would finish in the standings (between 16th and 30th). Toronto would have to be among the worst six teams in the NHL to have their pick be part of the lottery.

Oh Feschuk, always look on the dark side of life eh?

And while I'm lauding the work of a Queen's grad, congratulations to the 2009 Yates Cup Champion Golden Gaels. You can read more about the game from fellow Golden Gaels Neate Sagerand Andrew Bucholtz or just bask in the picture:


The Mitchell Bowl (or national semi-final) goes Saturday at 1pm on TSN against the Laval Rouge et Or juggernaut. Good luck Golden Gaels!