January 19, 2012; Toronto, ON, CANADA; Minnesota Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom (32) makes a save as forward Devin Setoguchi (10) keeps Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul (19) out of his crease at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated Minnesota 4-1. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Numbers Game: Minnesota Wild vs Toronto Maple Leafs

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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 Toronto Maple Leafs.

(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

LEAFS

LEAGUE POSITION 10th 3rd
HOME RECORD 2-0-2 2-1-0
ROAD RECORD  1-1-0  3-0-0
PP% 30.8% 5th 29.2% 6th
PK% 72.7% 24th 90.9% 2nd

-5v5-

WILD

LEAFS

GF% 63.6% 6th 50.0% 16th
CF% 58.5% 2nd 46.9% 23rd
FF% 59.4% 2nd 45.3% 27th
SF% 61.7% 2nd 45.4% 24th
Sh% 5.3% 24th
9.3% 9th
Sv% 95.1% 6th 92.3% 21st
PDO 100.4 14th 101.6 8th

-5v5 CLOSE-

WILD

LEAFS

GF% 62.5% 9th 45.0% 17th
CF% 58.9% 2nd 46.9% 24th
FF% 60.0% 3rd 45.3% 24th
SF% 61.0% 3rd 45.4% 22nd
Sh% 6.7% 21st 9.2% 11th
Sv% 93.8% 9th 90.7% 21st
PDO 100.4 14th 99.9 15th
(GF%=Goals For %, CF%=Corsi For %, FF%=Fenwick For %, SF%=Shots For Percentage, Sh%=
Shooting Percentage, Sv%=Save Percentage)

After a fairly average night in Buffalo, the Wild’s numbers have fallen ever so slightly. Their Sh% at 5v5 is still very poor and should be due to improve soon. The powerplay is excellent while the penalty kill is lackluster, though they managed to not concede any PP goals last night.

The Leafs’ run this year is extremely hard to explain. They have been successful while posting terrible underlying numbers;  having poor puck possession and no real luck to fall back on. The best explanation is their solid special teams. Hopefully they will start falling-away soon and maybe the Wild can capitalise tonight as long as they dominate them in the possession battle and don’t give them too many chances on the powerplay.

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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 50% of their team’s games so far:

 5v5 CLOSE

PLAYER #1

PLAYER #2

PLAYER #3

Wild CF% Top 3

KOIVU (68.0%)

PARISE (67.3%)

BALLARD (66.1%)

Wild CF% Worst 3

GRANLUND (48.1%)

HEATLEY (52.3%)

FONTAINE (53.8%)

Leafs CF% Top 3

ASHTON (60.5%)

BOLLAND (54.9%)

GARDINER (50.4%)

Leafs CF% Worst 3

MCCLEMENT (40.4%)

FRANSON (42.7%)

BOZAK (43.2%)

Wild FF% Top 3

KOIVU (71.1%)

PARISE (69.9%)

BALLARD (69.1%)

Wild FF% Worst 3

GRANLUND (45.7%)

BRODIN (50.6%)

BRODZIAK (54.5%)

Leafs FF% Top 3

BOLLAND (54.5%)

ASHTON (53.3%)

KADRI (51.7%)

Leafs FF% Worst 3

MCCLEMENT (34.2%)

ORR (36.1%)

RIELLY (39.1%)

Wild PDO Top 3

FONTAINE (1130)

COOKE (1128)

BRODZIAK (1116)

Wild PDO Worst 3

NIEDERREITER (906)

HEATLEY (923)

GRANLUND (951)

Leafs PDO Top 3

ASHTON (1089)

RANGER (1065)

GARDINER (1056)

Leafs PDO Worst 3

ORR (793)

RIELLY (800)

GUNNARSSON (818)

The Wild’s two best forwards have taken over and are putting up great possession numbers. Granlund is still the only player sub-50%. He needs to tighten up his defensive game a little more. The Brodziak line is riding a high PDO right now.

As for the Leafs, Bozak sucks, Franson appears to be struggling in terms of puck possession and Ashton and Bolland have impressive numbers so far, Rielly and Gunnarsson have had some bad puck luck.

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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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Tags: 5v5 Advanced Stats Clayton Stoner Close Corsi Dany Heatley Even-strength Fenclose Fenwick Jonas Brodin Leafs Maple Leafs Mikael Granlund Mikko Koivu Minnesota Wild Minnesota Wild Preview NHL Pdo Sh% Statistics Sv% Wild Wild Game Night Zach Parise

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