by Forechecker on 01/12/09 at 11:58 AM ET
One the surprise stories of this NHL season has been the overwhelming dominance of the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference, where their 31-7-4 record has them comfortably ahead of the pack. They lead the NHL in Goals For Per Game as well as Goals Against, and seem primed for a deep playoff run this spring.
Or are they? Is it possible that the Bruins, while certainly a good team, have simply “gotten hot” for an extended period of time, and are due for a natural regression that could pull them down to earth? Are they the NHL’s equivalent of Wile E. Coyote, who, having run off the cliff, is about to learn that there’s really nothing under his feet?
Jlikens over at Objective NHL takes a deep dive into the numbers, focusing specifically on shooting and save percentages, to make the case that perhaps the Bruins are overachieving to this point. In particular, he builds upon an article at mc79hockey which argues that over the course of a season, teams will tend to have a combined shooting and save percentage of 100%; if, during an earlier part of the schedule, teams are cruising well above or below that figure, it is likely that over time, they will fall back in line with the general trend. At this point, Boston’s combined Shooting and Save percentages (in 5-on-5 play) come to 1.048, an extreme figure that appears destined to fall.
So take a look, scratch your head for a while, and chime in; are the Bruins playing over their heads or are they for real?
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