Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Potpourri II: Guest Statistical Analysis

This post is from the comments section of my "Change Edition" post earlier today. I hope our friend Whitebeard feels free to supply this blog with this sort of information more often. His handle on USCHO is wetsubarcticanine for anyone familiar with the good observations he makes there. I knew as soon as I started reading it that it deserved it's own post.
I’ve been playing with some numbers to see how well they stack-up against my perceptions. While you can make claims that agree with what you want by picking cherries, I think they back my observations.

UAA is actually outscoring their opponents at even strength. In goals per game, with an equal numbers of skaters, the top 5 WCHA teams are: DU (2.67), NoDak and SCSU (2.44), Wisco (2.28), Minny (2.13) followed by UAA (2.06). In giving-up goals at even ice, the order of the 5 stingiest is: Duluth (1.33), UAA (1.67), Denver (1.83), NoDak (1.89), and Kato (1.90).

Things really go craptistic with people in the box. The four teams weaker on the PP than the conference average (its a small smidgeon more than a goal per game), in order of mounting futility are: DU (0.94), SCSU (0.83), Tech (0.65), and UAA (0.44). If that weren’t enough to salt my beer, the four teams that are below the conference average at denial on the PK are: Duluth (1.11), Tech (1.30), Kato (1.50) and, lugging the red lantern, UAA (1.72).

Those following dutifully, and ready for the quiz at the end, may have spotted a really odd thing. UAA has surrendered more goals short handed than at even strength (31-30). Though I’ve not looked for such a thing, I’d expect that stat to be approaching hen’s teeth uniqueness. The 4 teams with fewer PP goals than PP goals allowed are: SCSU (-3), Kato (-5), Tech (-13), and really out there UAA (-23).

UAA still has the fewest PP’s per game in the conference (.90 less than the average) but up a lot from where they were after the ridiculous officiating in the games aginst CC here in Anchorage and I started keeping track. Also they have given-up the 3rd most opportunities (.71 more than the average), but continuing to come down. Who they have and haven’t played is a factor, and some teams are more prone to spending time contemplating the error of their ways on the other side of the ice from the team benches.

There’s stats and reality. For a while I’ve seen a complete reversal of what was happening when UAA regularly killed 2 to 3 minutes of 5 on 3 in nearly every game earlier in the season. The team was defeating their opponent at the ’Wolves blue line, almost always at one of the points. They denied entry to their zone for well more than half of the clock ticks the other team was up 2 men. (The 5 or 4 kill wasn’t as spectacular, but it was much better than things have been of late). I haven’t put hash marks on my palm to get any kind of accuracy, but it seems that other teams are in the zone and set-up with more than disturbing regularity when they come up the ice on the PP now.

Conversely, we have very little time on the PP with possession in the attacking zone, because we are being denied it, or trying to gain possession along the boards after a dump. (This weekend against the technophiles, I some improvement.)

I’d think an effective drill for gaining the zone with possession is hard to devise and work at practice. It’s also likely that the narrower sheet on campus would make any reps somewhat pointless.

What to do, what to do?



Anonymous said...

Get a new special teams coach! Or let some other guys play like SELBY!!!

Anonymous said...

UAA isn't that deep, there aren't that many "other guys" to put in the line up.

The defense and pk improved dramatically under Campbell Blair when he first got here, what happened?

Go Gophers! said...

Is UAA gonna have any top recruits from Alaska in upcoming years? They've got to start keeping their home grown talent. There are many talented young players playing juniors in the lower 48 from Anchorage that would be better than 90% of the UAA roster atleast. You fans of UAA keep your heads up. Even if the wolves don't get home ice, they are a dangerous team and I would not be surprised to see them struggle down the stretch a bit and then put it together for a 3 game series and get to the Xcel Energy Center.

Anonymous said...

The last 10 games or so of the special teams has been a disaster.
Put back together the groups you had earlier in the season. They were successful then. Coaching. When I see a forward back on the point on the pp when moments earlier a 2nd defenceman had just scored from the point I just argh..... I did see that the pp was changed up saturday, however only 1 opportunity to see them as our other 2 pps ended up 4 on 4's. Discipline boys. Hopefully this new group will be playing this week-end. Our special team units need to be physically strong, confident and most importantly patient with the puck. Backstom, Lafranchise, Hunt and Robinson are all strong both ends of the ice. They should be the one's on the pp. We need forwards who are capable of maintaining possession of the puck along the boards. Moir and Bales did a great job of that this past week-end. I also see that overplaying a few players is tiring them. You can't be effective on special teams when you've just come off a regular shift and prior to that were on another pp and a pk. There are enough players who are capable (and have earned) a spot on the special teams units. Good luck this week-end boys.

seawolvesfan said...

pleased to see we got a HAWAIIANSEAWOLFFAN, oh and SUPERSEAWOLFFAN what no me im the SUPERSEAWOLFFAN for showing my SEAWOLF PRIDE and my seawolves hat. dissapointing weekend. gameday curse continues 0-4-1. same old same old. up 3-0/2-0 and tying 3-3 in both games...cant really say anyting that hasnt already been said but the boys knew there better than that. you take a shift off, make a bad decision in our end and other teams will pounce(countless goals have occured because of a defensive breakdown-minor if that) FREE SELBY...well you should first talk to coach to see if he has some attitude problems or anything that warrents him on the bench. to be honest im kinda sick of hearing SELBY...if he has some attitude problems/personal problems then i would rather see him on the bench than on the ice

Anonymous said...

uaa lets get 3 or 4 points in denver, remember msu and the cc tigers have played two more games than us go seawolves!!!!

Donald Dunlop said...

Go Gophers:
At pretty much every other program in D1 Hockey (other than the Gophers) the player decides which school they will attend. Every elite player (including the Alaskan ones) gets multiple offers.

When the Alaskan elite players see UAA as a better fit for school and/or their hockey careers (whatever "equation they use to do so) then they'll choose UAA. The staff here are working toward getting the "am I going to a successful program" part of the equation to the positive. Then hopefully in conjunction with the "stay at home and be a local sports hero" pitch they can get more of the top elite players from here.

As for your assertion that there are loads of Alaskans playing juniors that are ready for D1 I'd argue that there are fewer than you might think. I follow a lot of them and so does the coaching staff. They contact local prospects at the earliest times allowed by the NCAA.

The best local available prospect is William Rapuzzi with Green Bay in the USHL. I don't have knowledge of anything specific but would assume that UAA's door is open to him. I'll add here that the Seawolves have players committed that I'd rate higher than Rapuzzi and at least 2 others that I'd rate in the same category.

So yes ... the program would love to get those best Alaskans but if they don't ... they'll find plenty of kids in western Canada that might fit the bill. Luckily, UAA has an "in-state tuition" agreement with British Columbia.

Anonymous said...

Donald: The "in-state" tuition deal for BC residents ended this year. Too bad. It was an attractive agreement. -30-

Donald Dunlop said...

Palin is useless.

Anonymous said...

From the Lower 10 (Canada?) she made interesting daytime TV. Ah, the crazy antics! -30-

Anonymous said...

palin is worthless.

Anonymous said...

seawolf fan:

Do you think before you type? If you don't want Ken Selby on the ice, then you probably don't deserve to be Seawolvesfan. The dude has been hosed by Shyiak all year until Saturday. He needs to be on there simply for the fact that we have to find a group that clicks. If we are gonna sit anybody, maybe sit the third goalie. How much has he contributed? Why would he start over a Ken Selby or a Jeff Carlson? Bottom line, you make sense in about 30% of your comments. Lets try to get that accuracy up to say, maybe 50%. Good luck.

Go Gophers said...

Players in MN do get other offers than the Gophers (not sure exactly what you mean), quite a few get offers from No Dak and MN and some choose North Dakota, particularly section 8 HS players (section 8 is the NW region) go to ND. A good majority of No Dak's fans are actually from the Minnesota side of the border believe it or not.

matthew said...

Per Maize's Blog:

Tommy Grant-Forward-Alaska-Anchorage

Grant would possibly be receiving the same level of attention as Bozak if he played on a better team. He skates well and has NHL size. He's very instinctive and can put the puck in the net when he gets the opportunity. He could be a real steal for some team this summer.

seawolvesfan said...

anon @ 8:56

hate to say this to a fellow seawolves fan but:

"seawolf fan:

Do you think before you type? If you don't want Ken Selby on the ice, then you probably don't deserve to be Seawolvesfan. The dude has been hosed by Shyiak all year until Saturday. seawolf fan:

Do you think before you type? If you don't want Ken Selby on the ice, then you probably don't deserve to be Seawolvesfan. The dude has been hosed by Shyiak all year until Saturday."

do you think before you type? ive learned the hard way if you write something you have to back it up. it seems like everybody has jumped onto the selby bandwagon this season. THERE IS OBVIOUSLY A REASON WHY KEN HAS BEEN SNUBBED ALL YEAR LONG JACKASS. coach might not be letting us know that ken has personal problems, some attitude problems or anything that warrents him on the bench. unlike DD i am a professional sports fan so ive come to know that i would rather have my VIKINGS/RED SOX have a sub .500 season and not make it in the playoffs with guys on out team that have no prima-donnas/selfish/self-destructive players on my teams then having them and having a .750 season and go far in the playoffs. but dont get me wrong ken has got some stick skills and generally makes good decisions with the puck but again THERE IS A REASON WHY HES BEEN SNUBBED. so before i join the FREE SELBY bandwagon(which come to think of it i dont join bandwagons i make new ones)somebody should get the dirt on selby(if any). so in my mind you have made only 0% sense in your comments.

Anonymous said...

You are only 16. Shut the fuck up. Go get your fuckin driver's license and a grown-up chair. Can you even see over the keyboard? I think we can all safely say that Selby is not the reason for the struggles. So why not play him?

I figured you liked the Red Sox. They are the most obnoxious fans in the world. Please don't wear UAA gear with BoSox.n So are Vikings fans. What's next, the Gophers?

Anonymous said...

SeawolvesFan: A Boston Red Sox supporter since October 2004. You are the backseat driver of the bandwagon.

Donald Dunlop said...

Don't print baseless assumption about a players "anything". There is ZERO NADA NONE NEINE NYET NO indication that Ken Selby has ANY issue that you assume WHATSOEVER. So don't say such things here.

If you have something to say then backing it up means describing the who/what/how you came by the information you are putting in the comment box. If you don't then it's nothing but YOUR IMAGINATION.

Donald Dunlop said...

Grant's free agency value is a matter of judgement. Chris Dilks has all sorts of motivations for writing what he does. He is biased and inexperienced. Note the inclusion of dud Trevor Bruess from Chris's hometown Mavericks on the list. It's as likely that he made the post to pump up Bruess flat tires as to inform anyone about potential free agents. Hell ... one of the few he listed is already a draft pick.

Don't get me wrong he may receive some interest and/or even be a possible flight risk but I'd think he'd need another year of the same sort of performance to be a big risk. If Grant didn't play with Crowder would he have 14 goals?

An argument could easily be made that Crowder is more of a free agent flight risk.

Chris is mostly worth reading for his comments section. Anything else he writes is suspect.

Anonymous said...

Excellent point about Grant. Paul Crowder is the only player on the roster that should receive NHL interest right now. He (Grant) is who he is because of Crowder. And Grant does that very well. I think a Parkinson-Grant-Selby line could also be productive after/if Crowder says bye-bye Anchorage.

Anonymous said...

Grant has had numerous GLORIOUS scoring chances in the past 6 games that he has failed to capitalize on. I don't see him anywhere near ready for the NHL or even AHL just yet.

puck swami said...


As I put the finishing touches on my UAA preview, I am having a hard time finding a good list of famous UAA graduates anywhere on the internet? Does one exist? Who are the most famous UAA grads beyond the 5 NHLer Seawolves?

-Puck Swami

seawolvesfan said...

whoa did i say KEN is the reason for our struggles? no i didnt. AGAIN THERE IS A REASON AS TO WHY KEN'S BEEN SNUBBED THIS SEASON. and im certinly not saying he has any issues, but if he doesnt then why hasnt he played more? he most of the time makes good decisions with the puck and on the defensive but maybe coach has a perfectly good reason to put KEN on the bench. maybe hes not a hard worker in practice or coach believe other skaters will help out the team more than him on the ice. 3rd generation red sox fan so screw you anon @ January 27, 2009 12:15 PM. i may only be 16 but im looking out for our team has a whole and if coach believes that Ken should be on the bench than i trust theres a good reason. without shyiak we wouldnt be having the success weve been having so i trust him with his decisions.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Seawolves fan. Cause no fan has ever disagreed with a coach's decision.

ZzzZZzz said...

I think you need to bring a little back-up for your assumption that Selby has a bad attitude and is a problem player before you post your assumption here on the blog. From what I've seen of the kid he's very cordial, goes out of his way for the team and does not show ANY signs of being a "prima-donnas/selfish/self-destructive player".

I've spoken to Ken a few times over the years and he seems like a genuinely nice guy that wants to be playing hockey and contributing to the team... After the game last Saturday Ken was signing autographs with a couple other players at the Seawolf table. He showed a genuine caring for each kid that came by for an autograph by asking their name, talking to them, asking questions of them, and exhibiting EXACTLY the kind of appreciation for the "little fans" that a true Seawolf sportsman would show. It wasn't the "awe, this is BS that the coach makes me do this" that a "prima-donnas/selfish/self-destructive player" would show...

I think it is safe to say that if Ken were a selfish, self-absorbed player that constantly butted heads with the coaching staff he wouldn't have stuck with this program for 3 years. So before you sling mud and make assumptions about the attitude of a particular player maybe you should do a little homework...

seawolvesfan said...

anon @ January 28, 2009 11:42 AM

who knows the players and whats best for the team...the coach. i would personally like to see ken get some more ice time but again theres a reason why he hasnt been playing more.

anon @ January 29, 2009 12:59 AM

i wasnt trying to sling any mud, i was just trying to remind everybody that if coach believes other skaters will bring more to the table than ken then i would agree with that decision.

Anonymous said...

Put your most skilled players out to kill of penalties.
All top end teams do this.

Anonymous said...

I watched the CC/UAA game today in the GCI archives, and was really pleased with Ken Selby's play. This kid deserves to be playing.

Does he make a mistake once in a while? Who doesn't. Even the captain coughed it up in front of Jonnie O in that series. Ken hasn't had enough ice time with his linemates to gel, and that is not his fault.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I don't want to re-new this arguement, but I will put in my two cents.
Selby does not have an attitude problem. He works hard, and I know he wants to play. If I was in his position I would have given up. But he hasn't, he's still here trying to prove himself to the coaches.
I don't think he has been given the chance to fit into the coaches 'plan'. I want him to play, get experience and bring a little flair that this team needs.

ps: The ads from UAA for our hockey team suck, they should hire Dunlop to get the fan-ball rolling.

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