Got four questions for the mailbag, so let’s have at it.
Q (More of an FYI, from Ray): I questioned the SAT data showing the Lightning dominated the first two periods of Game 6 in a BSB comment. Anyway, I actually didn’t watch the game live – I taped it -and so I could revisit it. I tried to keep track of zone time in the first period (too mindless to do the entire game).
My numbers aren’t perfect, I’m sure, but they are unbiased with presumably small errors which likely mostly balance out.
I believe OZ time itself is a better indicator of possession, but the NHL stopped tracking it in 2001 for some reason. We use SAT because, logically, if you have the puck in the offensive zone, you are getting shot attempts. Yes, this does undervalue the cycle, and wearing down and pinning the opposition, but the goal of the cycle is to get shot attempts. You can cycle all you want, but if you don’t get shot attempts, the puck won’t go in.
Your email was very detailed. I’m posting the full email in the comments so that people can discuss.
Q, from Petre: The need some tough, skilled forwards for second and third lines….trade Talbot to get into the first round. He’s a very valuable commodity maybe more so now than before. Also let St.Louis go..not that he doesn’t have heart. When watching the playoffs I felt there was way to much play in the Rangers’ end. There need to be changes. I would say toughness was lacking?
There are a few questions here, but let’s get through some of the roster decisions before going over toughness. Cam Talbot is not worth enough to get you into the first round. The goalie market is underwhelming, and now that Robin Lehner is on the market, it takes away from Talbot’s value. To get full value, you need to package him. I agree on Martin St. Louis, it’s time to cut bait.
In regards to time spent in the Rangers’ end, without actually tracking OZ time, we don’t know for sure, but Ray’s data showed the Rangers were in the Bolts’ end more in Game 6. You can use war-on-ice to look at the SAT%/CF%, which gives you the best indication of zone time. The problem is that the score will affect this, as a team protecting a lead will be more focused on defense, and vice versa.
Q, from “anon” (really?): Have you seen this article on McIlrath/Lindberg? Looks like McIlrath is improving.
That article certainly is promising, and if you have the time, you should all be reading it. Jeff Beukeboom singled out Dylan McIlrath as a kid who was showing great improvements in the latter half of the season and the playoffs. Beuk notes that McIlrath is a big hitter, which we know already, but also noted that his big hits didn’t take him out of position. For someone like McIlrath, who will struggle to skate, positioning is everything. The fact that he isn’t running around hitting people and disregarding his position is a good sign.
The article also mentions that Oscar Lindberg could be NHL ready for next year. My guess is that the Rangers will expect him to compete until the very last day for a roster spot.
Q (from Jon): I took the time to dissect Ryan McDonagh’s numbers prior to his injury in Game 4 of the ECF and after. I came up with this table.
Thank you for putting this together, much appreciated.
The injury really did take its toll on McDonagh. His TOI was cut by four minutes, taking two less shifts per game (mostly from the shorthanded TOI). He wasn’t as physically engaged, he wasn’t as offensively engaged, and he just looked off. This confirms it. Thank you again for putting this together.
As always, if you have a question for the mailbag, use the form on the sidebar.