Sunday, May 27, 2007

Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

Bruce MacLeod has an interesting post up on his blog breaking down the Wings' individual performances in terms of goals-against/goals-for at even-strength, PP, and PK. The first clue that these statistics should be taken with a grain of salt is that they support Bob Lang's performance. However, they overall seem to match my eyeball observations of the various players.
-- How good were Dan Cleary and Kirk Maltby on the penalty-kill? With Cleary on the ice, the Red Wings outscored their playoff opponents, 3-1, while a man short. With Maltby, the Wings posted a 2-2 score while short-handed.
-- ...Mathieu Schneider was on the ice for a remarkable four opposition power-play goals in just 8:08 of ice time.
-- ...Mikael Samuelsson did a nice job stepping into Schneider's skates on the point, averaging about the same G/60 minutes.
-- Two pleasant surprises were Chris Chelios and Robert Lang. Chelios wasn't on the ice for much offense during the regular season, but the Wings outscored opponents 11-5 at even strength with Cheli on the ice in the post-season. With Lang, the Wings outscored opponents 8-2 at even strength. Lang was not on the ice for an even-strength goal allowed in the first or third round while generating offense at a level similar to Datsyuk and Zetterberg.
I've heard a lot of gripes about Maltby, but the guy can kill penalties. I consider him the best PKer on the team, hands down. And that certainly makes him worth the 883K/y we'll be giving him the next three years. And how about Sammy on the point? I'm no fan of forwards at the point, especially after the Jason Williams Saga, but the guy did alright. That, combined with Schneider's poor defense, makes me wonder if the Wings might not be better off going with Markov over Schneids....