Thursday, April 21, 2011

Post-mortem on the Coyotes

There's a lot more to just losing in the first round, but when you're in the western conference and you played three other playoff teams in your own division 6 times each all season, you should be competitive enough to win at least one game in the first round, which every other playoff team has been able to do.

So shame on Phoenix - but why did they lose? It's not just because they bumped into a juggernaut or anything like that. FOR THE RECORD - the Red Wings couldn't have played any better with Zetterberg in the lineup. They were dominating.

In this review I compared the regular season stats with the post-season stats to see where players might have achieved or not achieved according to their average numbers. Obviously, to succeed in the playoffs, you'd expect you'd need to improve your performance in the playoffs, or at least be consistent. It's no time for slumps.

Also, you might argue that comparing four games in the playoffs isn't comparable to the 70+ games in the regular season. As accurate as that would be, if they'd played better there'd be "more accurate" numbers? Who cares. This is results comparing results to see why a big point producing playoff team became a declawed kitten in the playoffs.

In short
Over achievers

  • Shane Doan. If your best players have to be your best players, all Phoenix proves is you need more than one "best player" to win in the playoffs. All Doan's numbers exploded in the right direction in the playoffs, he was amazing.
  • Martin Hanzal was great in the faceoff circle and impressive in generating offense.
  • Rusty Klesla improved his defensive and physical game.

Consistent players

  • Keith Yandle, excellent ice-time, fantastic offense, but defensive weakness that can't be ignored.
  • Michal Rozsival's increased offense wasn't matched by increased defense.
  • Ray Whitney was great in the regular season, and didn't miss a beat int he playoffs.
  • Lori Korpikoski improved his offense, but it exposed his defensive weaknesses.
  • David Schlemko, wasn't great, but he wasn't great in the regular season either.
  • Andrew Ebbett played so little it'd be unfair to say he underacheived.

  • Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov put up numbers that belong in the OHL, and betrayed the team with his performance. He owes them an apology.
  • Adrian Aucoin didn't deliver defensively.
  • Eric Belanger wasn't as defensively consistent as hoped.
  • Ed Jovanovski seems to be entering the twilight of his career.
  • Taylor Pyatt's ice-time showed more was expected of him than what he delivered.
  • Lee Stempniak didn't deliver anything. His future in the NHL could be in jeopardy.
  • Vernon Fiddler didn't deliver either, though didn't have much of a role.
  • Mikkel Boedker's role was small and didn't show much while he was at it.

Hope for the future - these guys weren't called on to make a difference, but they showed some spark in their games

  • Kyle Turris showed reliability
  • Paul Bissonnette's physical play really showed promise.
Player breakdowns.

Ilya Bryzgalov they key factors that keep a team competitive (save percentage and goals against average) were bush-league at best. He needed to save more shots, and he just couldn't do it.
Significant stats:
Good - not much to see here.
Bad - he saw only 3.75 more shots per game, but his goals against average went up by 1.88 goals per game. Thus, 2 of those 3 extra shots basically went in the net. Not good. No one seems to win with a GAA over 3.00 yet his was 4.36, which leaves him way out of the game. No one seems to win with a save percentage under .900, and of course his was a dismal 0.879, which was down 0.042 from the regular season. Not good for him.
Keith Yandle (ranked 1 in TOI) offensively generative, but defensively he struggled. Led the team in ice-time.
Significant stats:
Good - offensively jumped 0.53 points per game to 1.25 ppg! That's 103 points in the regular season, an incredible number for a defenseman. His giveaways were dropped by almost .25 per game, but over four games, that's only one giveaway.
Bad - But a bad number for a defenseman is being a -5 after being a +12 in the regular season. His hits went down a little, his blocks were down by 1 per game, he started missing the net more often, and decreased his takeaways.
Shayne Doan (ranked 2 in TOI) offensively dominating, he was scoring at a goal every four shots, which is incredible! With increased ice-time he delivered hits, shots and points.
Significant stats:
Good - his increased his points per game by 0.42 per game, at a 1.25 points per game pace. That's 103 points in the regular season, compared to his 60. Definitely picked his game up. He was given even more ice time than in the regular season, he was dishing out 3.6 more hits per game, averaging 6 each night.
Bad - was a -2, but that's only a difference of 7 from the regular season. His faceoff percentage was significantly worse than the regular season, though that's not one of his strengths. No blocked shots and no takeaways suggest his defense was weaker than the regular season as well.
Michal Rozsival (ranked 4 in TOI) increased physical presence came at a cost of defensive consistency.
Significant stats:
Good - His average time on ice was identical to the regular season, which shows consistency from the coach. He increased his hits per game by 1.
Bad - scored no points, though this isn't one of his strengths. His -3 was disappointing after his +3. His giveaways increased, his blocks per game were down, which didn't help his defensive game.
Martin Hanzal (ranked 5 in TOI) increased his offensive contributions and improved on his already strong faceoff percentage.
Significant stats:
Good - increased points per game by 0.32, saw an increase in shifts by 3.7, an improved faceoff percentage at 52%! an increase in hits per game, blocks, was more accurate with his shots on net.
Bad - was a -6 after being a +4 in the regular season.
Ray Whitney (ranked 6 in TOI) consistent play from regular season to the playoffs. He didn't miss a beat which must feel good for the coach.
Significant stats:
Good - continued his strong offensive numbers at 0.75 per game from the regular season into the playoffs, and earned increased ice-time as they were often trying to play catch-up in the score. He hit more often per game, and remained consistent with the plus/minus as well.
Bad - his blocks were way down, failing to block any shot during the games. His giveaways were down, but his takeaways were down by a similar margin.
Adrian Aucoin (ranked 7 with TOI) wasn't as defensively reliable as he suggested he'd be over the regular season.
Significant stats:
Good - blocks per game increased by a full shot, and take aways increased by 0.65 per game.
Bad - he was a -4 after being +18 over the regular season. Plus he scored no points, which doesn't help.
Rusty Klesla (ranked 8 in TOI) improve his defensive and physical game.
Significant stats:
Good - improved his plus minus, from -6 in the regular season to only -2. His hits increased by 1.75 per game to 3 every night.
Bad - his blocks per night were down, he missed the net on shots much more often and his giveaways per night were up.
Lauri Korpikoski (ranked 9 in TOI) increased physical presence came at the price as his offensive and defensive roles both went south.
Significant stats:
Good - physical game improved to the tune of 2.75 hits per game, 1.65 better than his average over the regular season.
Bad - offense decreased by half, and he was a -6 after being a +17 in the regular season. He missed the net more and had more giveaways, which isn't good, and his takeaways were down. Not good.
Eric Belanger (ranked 10 with TOI) wasn't as defensively reliable as he suggested he'd be over the regular season.
Significant stats:
Good - he was delivering over 1 hit more per game than average, and increased his shifts per game, BUT
Bad - scored no points, was a - 4 after being a +11 in the regular season and his giveaways were up, takeaways were down, and he wasn't shooting the puck as much.
David Schlemko (ranked 11 in TOI) consistent ice-time, but inconsistent defensive reliability. Ultimately, he remained consistent from the regular season to the playoffs.
Significant stats:
Good - consistent offensive contributions, with increased shooting percentage.
Bad - inconsistent defensive effort, dropping from a +8 to a - 3.
Ed Jovanovski (ranked 12 in TOI) saw his role diminished in the playoffs as his defense and ice-time dried up.
Significant stats:
Good - consistent in his hits per game at around 1.75, though he had decreased ice-time and fewer shifts.
Bad- scored no points, was a -2 after being a +4, his ice-time decreased, fewer shifts and his givewaways were up significantly by almost an extra 1/2 giveaway per game.
Taylor Pyatt (ranked 13 in TOI) defensive role as underwhelming while he was counted on with top-6 ice-time.
Significant stats:
Good - faceoff percentage was improved, though he wasn't asked to do this often. His hits were more frequent.
Bad - offense shrank, but not as much as his defense did, dropping from a +11 in the regular season to -3.
Kyle Turris (ranked 14 in TOI) wasn't called upon to do a lot, but showed promise for the future.
Significant stats:
Good - increased offense by over 1/3 point per game, was a +1 (above his average of 0 in the regular season), improved shooting percentage, in a diminished role with less ice-time. His face-off percentage was imrpoved (almost 50 %) and his hits per game increased by 1 per game. Blocks were up, takeaways were even and giveaways were down. All good things.
Bad - I'm not going to say anything bad about him - I think there's plenty going on here for the future.
Lee Stempniak (ranked 15 in TOI) outmatched in his role, failing to meet his regular season standards in almost all offensive and defensive categories. He was the ghost of himself in the playoffs.
Significant stats:
Good -
Bad - scored no points. What role does he fill if he's not scoring? His faceoff percentage shrank by 15 %, he was a -3 after being a +4 in the regular season, leading to decreased ice-time, and his hits per game dropped by 0.5 per game. His blocks were down, giveaways were up and takeaways down.
Vernon Fiddler (ranked 16 in TOI) saw his ice-time decrease and his role with the team shrink with decreased physical play.
Significant stats:
Good - takeaways were increased by a 1/3 per game.
Bad - but ultimately he didn't do much with the puck. He scored no points, was a -2 after being a + 3 in the regular season, has his ice-time decreased, lost almost 5 shifts per game from the regular season. His hits per game decreased by 0.45 and was less effective at shot blocking.
Mikkel Boedker (ranked 17 in TOI) wasn't as defensively reliable as he suggested he'd be over the regular season. He struggled, but wasn't relied upon in his role to be a difference maker.
Significant stats:
Good: (nothing) which indicates he has a lot of learning to do.
Bad: points per game were down 0.16, he was a -1 after being +11 in the regular season, and his hits were down by almost a quarter hit per game in the playoffs. He hadn't any blocked shots, and his takeaways were down and his giveaways were up.
Andrew Ebbett (ranked 18 in TOI) didn't have enough ice-time to make a difference in the series.
Significant stats:
Good - wasn't really counted on with a major role, and his ice-time reflects this at 7:58 per night. He did increase his hits per game by 0.27.
Bad - scored no points, decreased 3.2 shifts per game in the playoffs, and didn't do much with the puck when he was on the ice.
Paul Bissonnette (ranked 19 with TOI) wasn't a factor in the series, but provided significantly more checking that the regular season would suggest.
Significant stats:
Good - his hits per game were at 5 in the playoffs, 2.46 higher than his regular season average. His blocks per game were increased by 7.90 per game, he had no giveaways and fewer takeaways than he averaged in the regular season.
Bad - he only played one game. If these stats mean anything, he might have added more defensive prowess with an increased roll.

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