by PuckStopsHere on 03/05/12 at 08:38 PM ET
For most of the season the Los Angeles Kings have been the lowest scoring team in the league. Likely that is what motivated them to trade for Jeff Carter. Recently they have lost their position as the lowest scoring team in the league. The Minnesota Wild has even fewer goals per game. LA has 2.12 goals per game (that is a reduction in their scoring rate since I first wrote about them in December). Minnesota has 2.08 goals per game.
Minnesota’s top scorer is Dany Heatley. He has 46 points on the season. That makes him the 68th highest scorer in the league right now. The only other player on the team with a significant scoring rate is Mikko Koivu. He has 37 points in 45 games. He has a shoulder injury and is out and indefinitely. Nobody else on the team is scoring more than a point every other game. Minnesota is not a team with much scoring power.
Minnesota has been an interesting team this season. They started off extremely well. They were first overall in the league in late November. Since then things have fallen apart. They are currently third last in the West Conference.
The general explanation for things is that Minnesota overachieved at the beginning of the season. They were winning at an unsustainable rate. Corsi analysis showed this. They were getting badly outshot in their games. They were allowing their opponents possession of the puck. That is not the way to remain ca first place team. A team getting badly outshot (including missed and blocked shots for Corsi analysis) is a bad team and will regress to that level in time. Kent Wilson of Puck Daddy wrote a great piece explaining this. This prompted the people at hockey wilderness to write a juvenile response article to say we don’t care that you stats people predicted what would happen. As often happens on the internet, fans are partisan. When somebody says something negative about their team they see it as an attack and fight against it. It doesn’t matter if the negative thing is factual; they still deny it and fight against it. In this case the best they could do is go through the trouble of writing a lengthy article to tell you they “don’t give a damn”. Their actions contradict their words.
Minnesota had a strong start to the season. It was an improbable result that was not sustainable. Now they find themselves the lowest scoring team in the league and well back in the playoff race. The underlying numbers always suggested this is where they would most likely be even when they were first overall. This is a success of Corsi analysis.
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