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The Numbers Game: Minnesota Wild vs Buffalo Sabres

Mar 24, 2012; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller (30) makes a glove save during the third period against the Minnesota Wild at the First Niagara Center. Buffalo defeats Minnesota 3 – 1. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

In a new feature that I’ll be running here on Gone Puck Wild throughout the season, before each game, I will be analysing the underlying numbers for both the Wild and their next opponent to see how they match-up. Tonight’s opponent is the Buffalo Sabres.

(For more info about some of the stats and terms I use in these articles, check out my stats introduction piece).

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-Here are the underlying numbers for both teams so far this year at 5v5 and 5v5 Close:

WILD

SABRES

LEAGUE POSITION 15th 30th
HOME RECORD 2-0-2 0-2-1
ROAD RECORD  0-1-0  0-3-0
PP% 30.4% 5th 9.5% 28th
PK% 66.7% 28th 90.0% 5th

-5v5-

WILD

SABRES

GF% 70.0% 5th 26.7% 29th
CF% 60.8% 1st 42.3% 29th
FF% 61.7% 2nd 40.7% 29th
SF% 65.8% 1st 42.7% 27th
Sh% 5.8% 23rd 3.3% 29th
Sv% 95.2% 5th 93.6% 14th
PDO 101.0 13th 96.6 25th

-5v5 CLOSE-

WILD

SABRES

GF% 71.4% 5th 9.1% 30th
CF% 60.9% 1st 38.9% 30th
FF% 62.9% 2nd 39.55 29th
SF% 66.7% 2nd 41.5% 28th
Sh% 7.6% 18th 1.4% 30th
Sv% 93.9% 9th 90.3% 22nd
PDO 101.5 12th 91.7 28th
(GF%=Goals For %, CF%=Corsi For %, FF%=Fenwick For %, SF%=Shots For Percentage, Sh%=
Shooting Percentage, Sv%=Save Percentage)

Once again, the Wild have been excellent across the board, in both 5v5 and 5v5 Close. They’ve also been incredibly unlucky, with an extremely low Shooting Percentage and middle-of-the-pack Save Percentage. The PP is doing very well and the PK is doing terribly.

The Sabres are absolutely awful in all areas except for the PK. They have a low PDO which suggests bad luck, but with their talent level being so far below league average, I think it will be hard for their Sh% to progress all the way back to the mean.

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-Here are the Best 3 and Worst 3 players for each team in various statistical categories. This only counts players who have played 3 games so far:

 5v5 CLOSE

PLAYER #1

PLAYER #2

PLAYER #3

Wild CF% Top 3

STONER (76.7%)

MITCHELL (75.0%)

PARISE (69.1%)

Wild CF% Worst 3

GRANLUND (48.0%)

BRODIN (53.2%)

FONTAINE (53.8%)

Sabres CF% Top 3

PORTER (50.0%)

PYSYK (48.4%)

EHRHOFF (45.7%)

Sabres CF% Worst 3

MCCORMICK (16.7%)

KALETA (25.9%)

MCBAIN (27.7%)

Wild FF% Top 3

STONER (77.4%)

MITCHELL (77.3%)

PARISE (71.4%)

Wild FF% Worst 3

GRANLUND (48.6%)

BRODIN (51.9%)

HEATLEY (55.0%)

Sabres FF% Top 3

PORTER (51.3%)

PYSYK (46.8%)

EHRHOFF (46.5%)

Sabres FF% Worst 3

MCCORMICK (11.1%)

KALETA (19.0%)

MCBAIN (27.5%)

Wild PDO Top 3

FONTAINE (1273)

COOKE (1150)

BRODZIAK (1136)

Wild PDO Worst 3

NIEDERREITER (875)

SCANDELLA (909)

HEATLEY (917)

Sabres PDO Top 3

OTT (1002)

EHRHOFF (1002)

MCCORMICK (1008)

Sabress PDO Worst 3

WEBER (793)

SCOTT (800)

MYERS (818)

Stoner and Mitchell are still putting up incredible numbers. There’s no way this lasts, is there? Granlund and Brodin made steady improvements during the Stars game. Fontaine is still getting some bad puck-luck while he’s on the ice.

The Sabres numbers are truly awful. I remember a Sabres fan tried to tell me that Patrick Kaleta is one of the best defensive forwards in the league. His laughable possession numbers beg to differ. Porter is the only player keeping his head above water for the Sabres.

The Wild should crush these guys tonight.

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Okay, that’s all from me. Make sure you check-out Scott’s official Gone Puck Wild Game Preview before puck-drop where you’ll get his insight along with all the information you need about the game.

Follow me on Twitter for more hockey views/analysis.

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*Numbers in this article courtesy of:

-Extra Skater

-BehindTheNet.ca

-Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com

-SomeKindOfNinja.com

-HockeyAbstract.com

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Topics: Advanced Statistics, Buffalo Sabres, Clayton Stoner, Close, Corsi, Dany Heatley, Fancystats, Fenclose, Fenwick, Jonas Brodin, Kyle Brodziak, Marco Scandella, Mikael Granlund, Minnesota Wild, Minnesota Wild Preview, NHL, Ott, Pdo, Stats, Steve Ott, Thomas Vanek, Vanek, Wild, Wild Game Night

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