A statistical review of the Thrashers after fourteen games

“Figures often beguile me…especially when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force; ‘There are three kind of lies: lies, damn lies and statistics’” – Mark Twain from “Chapters of my Autobiography” as published in the North American Review, 1906.

Yes… for many, many moons now, people have understood that stats and stats alone cannot be the end all of end alls regarding certain issues…especially in sports. Indeed, they fail to tell the whole story behind how a team or individual player is performing. Worse still, there are times when stats can, whether intentional or not, can even be used to twist or contort the facts.

I know it, you know it…and the Thrasherville people know it.

Case in point. If one simply went with a statistical review of the Thrashers netminders, it could be argued the best goalie they’ve skated out between the pipes this fall is Peter Mannino…statistically speaking, I mean. He’s yet to lose even once, has a team high .938 SV% and his 1.58 GAA is far better than that of either Ondrej Pavelec or Chris Mason.

Peter Mannino allowed only a Steven Stamkos goal last month during his 2 periods of play with the Thrashers. His .938 SV% and 1.58 GAA still leads all Atlanta goalies...statistically speaking, that is (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Peter Mannino allowed only a Steven Stamkos goal last month during his 2 periods of play with the Thrashers. His .938 SV% and 1.58 GAA still leads all Atlanta goalies...statistically speaking, that is (AP Photo/David Goldman)

While true, those numbers don’t reveal the fact that Mannino has played in only two periods, has faced but 16 shots and finds himself back in the AHL with the Chicago Wolves.

But with all that said, let’s take time to review just where the team and the players find themselves in a statistical sense after fourteen games played and as the NHL heads into Monday night’s action.

You, then, may interpret them as you see fit in the comment section below.

First of all, 14 games played equates to roughly17% of the 82-game season. Their 6-5-3 record give Atlanta 15 points in the standings. This total is good enough for third in the Southeast Division, (1 point behind Tampa Bay and 1 point ahead of Carolina). In the conference, they are tied with Boston, NY Rangers, Ottawa and Pittsburgh for spots five through nine at this time.

Last year Atlanta was 7-6-1 for 15 points after 14 games played. Two years ago it was 5-7-2 for 12 points.

The .536 points-winning % is 15th best in NHL, tied with NYR and OTT.

15 points after 14 games played also puts the Thrashers on a course for right at 88 points. For what it’s worth…that was the points total I, along with a few others, predicted they would end up at this April. We’ll see if that holds up as there is much more hockey to play.

There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth regarding the Thrashers offense going into the season. But so far they have scored goals at a very respectable 3.07 per game rate. That is sixth best in NHL…0.01 behind Vancouver.

Unfortunately, they have not faired so well on the other end of the ice, allowing 3.50 GA/G… tied with NYI for dead last in the league. St. Louis’ 1.42 GA/G is best and Boston’s 1.73 is second.

Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd lead the Thrashers in overall team points with 13. Buff has 5 goals and 8 assists while Ladd has 4 goals and 9 assists. Evander Kane’s 7 goals is the most on the squad while Ladd’s nine helpers is tied with Toby Enstrom for the most in that statistical column.

On the opposite of the score sheet…Oduya, Hainsey, Sopel, Meyer and Bogosian are still having their mail delivered to Schnide Island.

Atlanta’s power play has been solid over the course of the initial weeks of the season, scoring goals 25.0% of the time they are afforded the man advantage. That is 5th best in NHL. Dustin Byfuglien and Nik Antropov lead the way here with 3 PP goals each. Dustin has also contributed with 5 PP assists.

Evander Kane scores one of his team-leading 7 goals against the Washington Capitals (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Evander Kane scores one of his team-leading 7 goals against the Washington Capitals (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

The three scored by Antropov account for all of his goal scoring and Enstrom has a team best 7 assists while the Thrashers have had the man advantage.

Conversely, the penalty kill squads have been 78.0% efficient…that’s tied with the Rangers for 25th in the league at this time.

The 28.2 shots per game average is tied with the L.A. Kings and Ottawa Senators for 24th in the NHL. But the 37.8 shot against number is dead last… 0.08 behind Anaheim. The Blues have the league’s lowest SA/G stat, 26.5, while Pittsburgh’s 26.6 SA/G is second best.

5 on 5 GF/GA ratio is 0.70. Only New Jersey’s 0.58 and New York Islanders 0.40 is lower.

Andrew Ladd has scored the only short-handed goal thus far. It came in San Jose during the second period, sparking the come-from-behind 4-2 win against the Sharks. Bryan Little assisted on the shorty that cut San Jose’s lead to 2-1.

As for hat tricks, well there has been one to speak of. Anthony Stewart score thrice out in Anaheim…but really, who didn’t see that coming from him this season?

The Thrashers have, however, allowed three different players to notch hat tricks against them this fall. Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos, Washington’s Alexander Semin and St. Louis’ Jay McClement.

The Thrashers are winning 49.3% of their face offs, which 22nd in the NHL.

Byfuglien has dished out the most hits. 34 times Big Buff has forcefully impacted an opposing player in attempt to dislodge the puck. Eager has 26 hits, Kane has 24 and Chris Thorburn has 22.

Nic Bergfors is yet to register a hit.

Ben Eager’s +2 is highest on the team. Brent Sopel, Bryan Little and Eric Boulton are each +1. Eager has played in all 14 games, Sopel in 13, Little in 10 and Bolts has dressed for 8.

Ladd and Bergfors are EVEN.

Nik Antropov’s –10 is the lowest +/- for Atlanta…he was a +13 last year. Kane and Oduya are –8. Fredrik Modin is –7.

Brent Sopel has blocked 32 shots launched toward Atlanta’s goal. Ron Hainsey has 31, Enstrom has 29, Johnny Oduya has 28 and Freddy Meyer has blocked 15 in just 5 games played.

Who is the forward with the most blocked shots? Chris Thorburn with 12.

Anthony Stewart scores the first goal of three in Anaheim last month. His hat trick is the first and only one so far for Atlanta this season (AP Photo/Lori Shepler)

Anthony Stewart scores the first goal of three in Anaheim last month. His hat trick is the first and only one so far for Atlanta this season (AP Photo/Lori Shepler)

Eager has spent the most time in the sin-bin pondering his on-ice transgressions. He’s amassed 34 penalties so far this year. Byfuglien has 25, Thorburn has 13 and rookie Alex Burmistrov has spent 10 minutes in time out.

But Burmistrov has certainly drawn his share of penalties from the opposition as well.

Surprisingly… one of the Thrashers “enforcers”, Eric Boulton, has yet to collect any penalty minutes. The same can be said of Fredrik Modin.

Kane has taken the most shots on goal, 52, and Ladd is not too far behind with 48. Ladd and Rich Peverley are distant third and fourth…28 and 27 SOG respectively.

Toby Enstrom leads the Thrashers in playing time as he’s averaging 25:59 TOI each game. Byfuglien is behind Toby with 22:29. Zach Bogosian and Johnny Oduya both are averaging 22:18 time on ice.

Eric Boulton, however, has seen 8:45 average TOI in his eight games played so far.

And finally in goal…

Chris Mason is 6-4-1 with a 3.45 GAA and .909 SV%. He sees right at 37.8 shots per game on the average. Only Carolina’s Cam Ward and Anaheim’s Jonas Hiller have faced more shots…428 and 411 respectively. However, both have played in one more game and started two more times then Mason has.

Mason faces a shot on the average of every 1 minute and 35 seconds. Hiller sees one every 1: 42 while Ward has to face one every 1:41.

Ondrej Pavelec is 0-1-2 with a 2.83 GAA and .922 SV%. Not counting the 2:25 played on opening night in which he faced no shots, Opie has seen 116 shots during the three games he’s played, two of which went to shootouts. That’s an average of about 38 and a half shots per game.

Mason is 1-0 in shootouts this season, stopping both tries by the Anaheim Ducks. Opie is 0-2, stopping 3 of 7 shootout attempts between the Blues and Blackhawks.

And of course, there’s the aforementioned Peter Mannino who is 0-0-0 and a .938 SV% and 1.58 GAA. He played in the second and third period on last month’s 5-2 loss to Tampa Bay stopping 15 of the 16 shots he faced in 38:26 TOI. He faced one Tampa Bay shot every 2:24 during those two periods.

Hmmmmmm…imagine what Mason and Pavelec’s numbers would look like if they only faced a shots every two minutes or so. Of course, many would say think about what Mannino’s stats would look like if he played up here more and saw as many shots as the other two.

But that’s stats for ya…and you know what some people say about ‘em.

127 comments Add your comment

Rawhide

November 9th, 2010
4:52 pm

stendek – I’m really sorry to hear of your news. You know I may be facing the same type of situations with my youngest in the years to come. Give him my best and thank him for his service to our country.

glovesave29

November 9th, 2010
5:14 pm

Stendek – I know I am always busting on you, and rarely give any credibility to what you say. But I do have a great deal of respect for those in service to our country (one of the reasons I get pissed at those who yell “Knights” at games, but I digress…) and I thank him for his sacrifices so that we get to live in this great nation. I travel the world for business, and even though we have our share of problems, this is still the greatest nation on earth. I am always glad to hear the border agents welcome me home.

JT from Columbus

November 9th, 2010
5:55 pm

Does anyone have a link to watch tonights game on the internet?

Red Light

November 9th, 2010
5:57 pm

Ottawa has won three straight and the Thrashers have gained a point in six straight on the road. Easy answer = Ottawa 4, Atlanta 3 in OT or the dreaded shoot-out.

glovesave29

November 9th, 2010
6:12 pm

NHL has changed the format for the All Star game – and it sounds interesting….

Fans will chose the pool of players. There will be two captains, and they will “draft” their teams from that pool of players. Conferences, even teams, will be split between the two sides.

Midfield

November 9th, 2010
6:48 pm

This is a pretty depressing read. The bright side is that even with all these knuckleheads and midgits in uniform, the team is hanging on to a midle of the pack in the Conference. It means that we at least have quality coaching.

Thrashers27

November 9th, 2010
7:08 pm

Don’t know why, but I have a feeling our boys are gonna put a whoopin’ on those boys from Kanata. I’m calling it Thrashers, 4-1.

Rightshot

November 9th, 2010
7:29 pm

STENDEK – Sorry to her about your son. Thank him for serving our country from all of us and I’ll say a little prayer for him. Hope you can have a nice Christmas anyway.

Rawhide

November 9th, 2010
7:31 pm

JT from Columbus – Try —>THIS <—

Anybody else watching the Edmonton vs. Carolina game? It’s 4-0 Canes with 11:00+ minutes left in the first period.

Just Dah-YUM!

When do we get a crack at these Oilers?

Curly

November 9th, 2010
7:31 pm

Rawhide

November 9th, 2010
7:35 pm

Curly – Looks like our links lead to a TV color screen. Anybody else have something?

Now that the whole Dish Network vs. Fox Sports has been worked out, I went on and ordered the NHL Center Ice.

JT from Columbus

November 9th, 2010
7:37 pm

Thanks for the links, but I am also getting the color bars. I’ll keep checking back for more ideas,

Curly

November 9th, 2010
7:45 pm

It may be we can not get the feed because it is from Canada?

Rawhide

November 9th, 2010
7:46 pm

Thrashers up 1-0 on Ladd PP goal about 4 minutes into game.

Lee

November 9th, 2010
7:49 pm

Haha. I love Kamal’s “Are we disconnected?”

1-0 Thrashers! Whoo hoo!

Smoothie

November 9th, 2010
7:50 pm

GameCenter Live baby!! Glorious high definition!!

JT from Columbus

November 9th, 2010
7:54 pm

Game is on now on the web site mentioned earlier!

JT from Columbus

November 9th, 2010
7:59 pm

Spezza goal 1-1

kracker

November 9th, 2010
8:06 pm

That “slashing” call on Pevs was total homer Canadian refereeing BS.

Smoothie

November 9th, 2010
8:16 pm

Will someone please get it thru Ramsay’s head that Modin should never play on the PK unit! All he does is kill your chances of stopping the other team from scoring! Enough!

Nate

November 9th, 2010
8:17 pm

Rawhide – Thanks for the link. I have DirecTV and the game is blacked out right now on my Center Ice package. #$#@!!!!!!! Gotta call and cancel.

Rawhide

November 9th, 2010
8:26 pm

Nate – No prob…glad everyone can watch now.

Ya know, one suggestion I would make to the Thrashers is to insist the TV network covering their games televise ALL 41 away games. If they are going to chose to not air a dozen or so games a year, those should be home game that we can get down to see anyway.

What is SPSO airing right now?…Women’s volleyball.

What is FSSO airing right now?…UEFA Champions League soccer, AC Milan vs. Real Madrid.

:roll:

kracker

November 9th, 2010
8:37 pm

Smoothie, why are you on Modin’s case? Did he take the faceoff? Surely not…I hope not. It took all of 3 seconds for the Gonchar one-timer to score.

kracker

November 9th, 2010
8:40 pm

Oops, sorry, Smoothie. I was fighting PC problems and lost track of the time. I see it is now 1-3. Ugh.

Smoothie

November 9th, 2010
8:45 pm

He’s slow in general. You’re right, he wasn’t really culpable on that PPGA, but he just doesn’t move well laterally enough to be out there a man-down so much of the time.

kracker

November 9th, 2010
8:49 pm

Looks like physically shoving the goaltender (with the puck) into the goal is legal now. Mason didn’t move 15 inches backwards on purpose, folks.

Smoothie

November 9th, 2010
8:51 pm

Well, there you go. Modin gets schooled by Foligno. This Sens team has too much depth for our Thrashers. Of course, it doesn’t help that we’re not really skating out there with much effort. They seem demoralized after the 3rd goal and Mason’s been pretty pathetic. That third goal was all on him…teams should not score from the half-wall when there’s no traffic in front. WTF? Why is Mason not ready to play tonite?

michael

November 9th, 2010
8:54 pm

well games kinda meh..although while watching the link..id really like to order from boston pizza. freakin canadian commercials

Thrashers27

November 9th, 2010
9:12 pm

Ugghhh…That’s the last time I make a prediction like that.

Get The Puck Out

November 9th, 2010
9:30 pm

adthe.net is the pc link.

Get The Puck Out

November 9th, 2010
9:32 pm

But ottawa is the only team playing.

Thrashers27

November 9th, 2010
9:41 pm

Awful! Just awful!…Stewart scores, but pffft.

michael

November 9th, 2010
10:00 pm

pretty lazy game. positive ramsay will rip them a new one next practise. no system is easily installed on a group of players especially one with almost ta whole new group of people. I have faith in the team.

Cornbread

November 9th, 2010
10:28 pm

They’ve got swagger even going down in defeat. They were not happy with the loss. You can tell by the looks in their eyes and their actions on the ice in the end. They kept bringing it and Buff and Boults were willing to go in the end.

I’ve been hearing good words from the out of town broadcasters all year about this team. Lots of good stuff was said about Ramsay tonight and how he and Dudley are going to change the culture in Atlanta. I think I saw that tonight when they were not playing their best.

It’s getting to that point in the season when the good teams are not going to lose as easily as they may have in the beginning. The Thrashers must begin to take it to that next step by playing and winning more consistently and making the bad games less of an occurence. I think they know they are capable of that when they didn’t back down late in the third tonight.

R. Stroz

November 9th, 2010
11:02 pm

Modin Sucks!

He’s TOO DARN SLOW, especially for the penalty kill.

Oh well, another week night heaping pile of FAIL.

Brendan

November 10th, 2010
12:01 am

I missed this game entirely. Long day. Long, long day. I’m watching the replay on Center Ice. Andrew Ladd just scored on the PP. Here’s the boxscore to tonight’s game: http://www.nhl.com/ice/boxscore.htm?id=2010020207.

Couple of things jump out. Atlanta OUTSHOT their opponent, 37-29. The PP Unit notched two tallies, one from Ladd and one from Anthony Stewart. For both Thrashers, their 5th of the year. But here’s something that grabbed my attention, Pavelec stopped 10 of 11. I remember Pavs last game in Ottawa was a 40-something save beauty, if I’m recalling correctly. Mason, on the other hand, stopped 14 of 18. Maybe Mason has been slightly overused this season?? I don’t know. Enstrom, once again, led all Thrashers in ice time.

I notice two goals from Jason Spezza, whom this blog talked about earlier in trade rumors. Ottawa had two PPG’s, as well. Brian Elliot did get the start for the Sens. I’m not sure there’s anything else left to say about tonight’s game. The NHL Network is reporting changes to the All-Star Game, as follows. Gone is the East/West format, in favor of naming two Captains, and 2 assistant Captain, who then hold a DRAFT to field their roster, based upon whom THE FANS have voted there. Hmmn, interesting concept. Hope it works. It’s better than home ice in the Cup Finals being determined by the All-Star Game winner, like in baseball.

So, we’re back to .500, for Veteran’s Day, vs. the Minnesota Wild, at the Bulb. During the Summer, I posted that the very earliest we should make any observations about our team … would be Veteran’s Day. I pressed for ThanksGiving as a 1st point of evaluation for the season. That Atlanta, with a budget BELOW the FLOOR of the cap, could be .500 … represent tremendous return on the investment dollar.

Stop clapping. You’re only encouraging more of that kind of thinking. Did Chicago win the Stanley Cup last year … by fielding the best “league minimum” salaried players in the league? Or did they go out, pushing the salary cap to its very limits, securing the necessary pieces via player renewals and free agency? The answer is the latter, not the former. And who cares that they then had to jettison players. The end result was … their first Cup in 49 years. Bottom line, Chicago won. Their strategy produced the desired result. Returning to our Thrashers, I think we know what the strengths and weaknesses of our team are. The sky HASN’T fallen. There is life, in Thrasherville, AFTER Kovalchuk. The coaching staff is doing the best job they can, but still … there are nights when the team is still not ready to play. Or not until the 3rd period. That’s got to be addressed, if .500 is going to be something Atlanta continues to enjoy.

Brendan

November 10th, 2010
12:12 am

Are we about to be Ranallo’d?

R.Stroz, I can literally hear your voice saying, “Cut Modin! Cut him, now!!”

Brendan

November 10th, 2010
12:17 am

R.Stroz, if you had to pick between Modin and Todd White, and you were FORCED to keep one over the other, who is your pick, sir?

stendek

November 10th, 2010
4:53 am

First I want to thank Bill plus all others for kind words. As for Thrashers. Total shet! From top to bottom. Blown lead. Lack of heart. No fire whatsoever. More of same bullshet from Checkenhawk debacle. Coach is damn idiot. Players are lazy uncaring a$$holes. Send em packing. Otherwise. Nice night all around. STENDEK

stendek

November 10th, 2010
5:12 am

There is a hockey myth that no game can be played without a goaltender. Thrashers explode that myth every night. Marshmallow Mason? Uh, no. Pathetic Pavs? Uh, no. Perhaps someone from stands should be selected to fill role prior to every contest. Home ice or not! Results would not be any worse. STENDEK

LAC

November 10th, 2010
6:09 am

I now have some serious concerns about the goaltending. The team defense is terrible, why can we NOT cut down on the SOG ?

We beat these clowns three times last year and looked like chump change last night, sorry, sorry.

It better pick up and soon, This is NOT a very good team…

TrueBlue

November 10th, 2010
7:31 am

Did C-Viv write that article about Thrashers losing last night? If so, he is 100 percent wrong….It says Thrashers went up 2-0 and gave up 5 straight goals……They went up 1-0….then gave up 5 goals but then scored again.

R. Stroz

November 10th, 2010
8:18 am

R.Stroz, if you had to pick between Modin and Todd White, and you were FORCED to keep one over the other, who is your pick, sir?

The one that could do the best job of washing my car.

World Be Free

November 10th, 2010
8:25 am

Stroz, the one that knew the fastest route to the airport to use their one-way ticket out of town. Modin has to go and get The Fly up here.

Please play team defense, it has to start sometime. I want to see Buff lay someone out and set the tone to one of these games. I am not looking for a stretcher-bearing hit, just one that puts the otgher team on notice that the big man is in the house. A Pronger-type hit would be nice.

Headed to The Bulb (as Brenden puts it) Thursday night, missing Saturday night’s game again Cyndy.

R. Stroz

November 10th, 2010
8:33 am

WBF – Have fun Thursday and remember there’s a Falcons game at the Dome.

TRAFFIC NIGHTMARE

Alan R.

November 10th, 2010
9:25 am

one suggestion I would make to the Thrashers is to insist the TV network covering their games televise ALL 41 away games.

[snip]

What is SPSO airing right now?…Women’s volleyball.

What is FSSO airing right now?…UEFA Champions League soccer, AC Milan vs. Real Madrid.

One step further: Air ALL 82 games. It seems to me the networks refuse to carry X number of Thrashers games, but will put in their place content that people are even less interested in.

Red Light

November 10th, 2010
9:41 am

You want to see some banging on Thursday night, just watch Minnesota’s Bruise Brothers.

Cal Clutterbuck already has 62 hits in 13 games and former Islander Bobby Nystrom’s son, Eric, has 41.

But, just how challenged is the Wild offensively?

Defenseman Brent Burns leads the team in goals, newly-signed Matt Cullen is leading all forwards in ice time, and leads all players in PP time on ice with 4:48 per game. Cullen led the Sens in PP ice time too last season in his 21 games after being acquired from the Canes, he only ranked third among forwards when with the Canes last year and was 8th in 2008-09.

I’ve always been a fan of Cullen’s, but that seems like an awful lot of ice time for him so far. He’s also seeing PK time at 2:16 per game. John Madden is playing 16:08 per game and Andrew Brunette is at 16:16.

World Be Free

November 10th, 2010
9:49 am

Stroz-heading to the game very early to deal with the nightmare.

Red Light-I hope the Wild’s bruisers wake up our slumbering hitmen. I expected this team to be more physical, not just Buff. We simply do not hit enough, thus allowing ALL opposing offenses to roam freer than they should.

Knock someone down and maybe sit on them! It does not matter what level of hockey you play on-the team IS influenced when one of your teammates come to the bench woozy. As a player you think-”that could be me”. Klutterbuck needs to ditch the shield, then I can respect him.

Red Light

November 10th, 2010
10:04 am

WBF:

It’s interesting that Clutterbuck has gone from six majors and 76 PIMs during his first full season, to two majors and 52 PIMs last year and no majors so far this season. BTW, he’s only 5-11, 213 pounds and turns 23 years old next week. Brad Staubitz is the guy who drops them for the Wild these days. Maybe he’d like to take on Kane or Eager?

BTW, Eager had 21 majors during the last two seasons in Chicago, and this year he’s only dropped them once?

Red Light

November 10th, 2010
10:08 am

Sorry, actually Eager has gone twice but neither lasted 20 seconds.