Behind the numbers

Behind the Numbers

Moving forward, I’ll be doing a weekly “Behind the Numbers” post digging a bit deeper into some of the more nitty gritty statistics out there.

My goal in doing this is two-fold. First, I would like to help the average hockey fan understand not only the terminology of advanced metrics, but more deeply grasp the value they provide in a cohesive manner in line with other metrics. Second, to shed light on internal trends within the Sabres in comparison to the league at large.

In any case, if you have any ideas or questions you’d like answered, with regard to advanced statistics, feel free to post them here or send me a message. Your question might be featured as a topic.

Let’s get started!

Team Trends:

It’s no secret the Sabres have played much better hockey in tighter games this season compared to previous seasons. Last year, Buffalo was 30th in the league in 1 goal game winning percentages. In fact, if you look purely at the 2017-2018 OT losses, they were tied for 5th with 12.

It’s been a tale of two cities with this team from last year to this year. The Sabres sit 6th in 1 goal game winning percentages and are middle of the pack in OT losses.

Why does this matter? Pure and simple, 1 goal games have gone the Sabres way thus far. Purely looking at the numbers within each game is also revealing. (For reference, GF means Goals For and GA means Goals Against).

Here’s where Buffalo sits in terms of period statistics:

Period 1 GF: 11th

Period 2 GF: 28th

Period 3 GF: 16th

OT GF: 3rd

Period 1 GA: 11th

Period 2 GA: 13th

Period 3 GA: 15th

OT GA: 24th (the worst team has 5 and Buffalo has 4)

What stands out to me is how terrible the Sabres are in the 2nd period GF. Buffalo is relatively mediocre in all periods of scoring, whether for them or against them, which is an incredibly huge boost for this team, since they’ve been so anemic for so long. That being said, Housley needs to figure out the 2nd period woes, and quickly.

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