LGD - Game 43: Rangers @ Leafs - The Second Half

Steve Dangle
January 04 2014 01:15PM


                                                                    via NHL.com

I thought about what picture to use for this post for a while. Maybe something from the Winter Classic? Maybe something of Henrik Lundqvist looking dapper?

No. It's the second half of the season. The Winter Classic is in the past. It's all about the standings now.

While Boston (56 points), Tampa Bay (54), and Montreal (52) sit perched in the Atlantic's three playoff spots, the Leafs sit in the top wild card spot in the east with 47 points. More importantly, there's a plethora of teams lurking behind the Leafs waiting to pounce, the Rangers being one of them. You'll notice I excluded Buffalo from the chart because... C'mon.

KEY STATISTICS

  Rangers Leafs
Corsi Close % 51.7 (12th) 42.7% (29th)
5v5 GF/60 1.68 (26th) 2.19 (16th)
5v5 GA/60 2.34 (19th) 2.09 (12th)
PDO 97.8 (28th) 102.1 (4th)
     
  Rangers Leafs
5v4 GF/60 6.57 (11th) 7.48 (6th)
5v4 SF/60 55.3 (10th) 56.2 (7th)
4v5 GA/60 5.41 (9th) 6.37 (18th)
4v5 SA/60 48.1 (8th) 63.2 (27th)

Via ExtraSkater and NHL.

Let's talk about PDO, kids!

PDO is an "advanced" stat that helps calculate luck. 

"WHAT?!?! HOW DO YOU CALCULATE LUCK, BLOGGER NERD?!?!?"

OK, obviously you can't really calculate luck. Luck is luck. You can't predict the puck taking a weird bounce like Finland's 1-0 goal against Canada. You can't predict that time Phaneuf took a wild slap shot that went in off of Grabovski's head against the Flyers a few years ago (actually, that one kind of makes perfect sense). Luck is what it is, and hey, sometimes you make your own luck. But here's what PDO is...

Add up your team's save percentage with your team's shooting percentage. Boom. PDO.

The Leafs have one of the league's highest PDO's while the Rangers have one of the lowest. Basically, the Leafs score on a high percentage of their shots, and stop a high percentage of shots against. The Rangers? Not so much.

What's key to note about PDO is more often than not, the Hockey Gods have a way of evening it out.

MAPLE LEAFS LINEUP

From Daily Faceoff:

James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Phil Kessel
Mason Raymond - Nazem Kadri - Joffrey Lupul
Nik Kulemin - Jay McClement - David Clarkson
Jerry D'Amigo - Peter Holland - Colt Knorr

Carl Gunnarsson - Dion Phaneuf
Cody Franson - Jake Gardiner
Morgan Rielly - Paul Ranger

The Leafs' lineup remains unchanged from the Winter Classic. Tim Gleason won't make his Leafs debut until Tuesday according to Paul Hendrick.

RANGERS LINEUP

From Daily Faceoff:

Chris Kreider - Derek Stepan - Rick Nash
Carl Hagelin - Brad Richards - Mats Zuccarello
Benoit Pouliot - Derek Brassard - Ryan Callahan
Brian Boyle - Dominic Moore - Derek Dorsett

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi (future Leaf)
Marc Staal - Anton Stralman (former Leaf)
John Moore - Conor Allen

I'm just kidding about "future Leaf" Dan Girardi. A lot of fans have been saying the Leafs should go after him this upcoming offseason. They're also saying the Leafs should trade for Rangers defenceman Michael Del Zotto. Everyone's saying everything. It's the Leafs.

STARTING GOALIES

It'll be Jonathan Bernier going for the Leafs, and rookie sensation Cam Talbot going for the Rangers. Talbot is 8-3-0 with two shutouts and a .936 save percentage. Who knows how many starts he'll actually get this season, but those are numbers worthy of Calder consideration for rookie of the year.

As for Bernier, I've already read some Reimer supporters grumpy about the decision. If you've ever watched my videos, you know I love Reimer, but Bernier was a star in the Winter Classic. I'd like Reimer to get more starts overall for sure, but I have no problem with Bernier getting this one. The Leafs have had plenty of time this week, so it's not like they need to rest him, either.

The Rangers and Leafs battle at 7:00pm Eastern on CBC.

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Steve Dangle has a YouTube channel with over 3 million views and is the co-host of the Steve Dangle Podcast on iTunes and SoundCloud. Steve has also worked for CBC, the NHL Network, Leafs TV, Nike, the KHL, and most of all, the Toronto Zoo. stevedangle.com
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#1 leafer2013
January 04 2014, 02:21PM
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Carlyle is scapegoating Reimer for that 3rd period collapse during the playoffs. By any stats you want to look at, Reimer is clearly the better goalie. Yet people blindly support Bernier and his inferior goaltending because they refuse to admit the truth: that Nonis is ruining the franchise with his moves.

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#2 leafer2014
January 04 2014, 02:43PM
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leafer2013 wrote:

Carlyle is scapegoating Reimer for that 3rd period collapse during the playoffs. By any stats you want to look at, Reimer is clearly the better goalie. Yet people blindly support Bernier and his inferior goaltending because they refuse to admit the truth: that Nonis is ruining the franchise with his moves.

Any stat you want to look at? How about save percentage? Bernier's better. GAA? Reimer's gotta be better in tha...oh wait Bernier's better.

You and the people who liked your post are as blind as the diehard, uneducated homers you view with such distaste.

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#3 Leafs2014
January 04 2014, 02:49PM
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leafer2013 wrote:

Carlyle is scapegoating Reimer for that 3rd period collapse during the playoffs. By any stats you want to look at, Reimer is clearly the better goalie. Yet people blindly support Bernier and his inferior goaltending because they refuse to admit the truth: that Nonis is ruining the franchise with his moves.

I get why people still favor Reimer. He's been huge for us in past seasons, especially last year. However, if you think Reimer is better than Bernier, you don't have a good eye for goalie talent. There isn't one aspect of goaltending that Reimer is superior in, and there are several areas where he doesn't even come close to Bernier (rebound control, puck handling, high glove)

Reimer is a great goaltender, but Bernier is on another level. Wether you like it or not, Nonis has already chosen Bernier to be the franchise goalie, and 29 other GMs would do the same thing.

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#4 WesternDP
January 04 2014, 03:19PM
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I like to think of PDO as a possible proxy measurement for luck. It's far from perfect. It will work with some team,s but not so well for others. It's not like some toss of the dice in gaming theory. It lacks true randomness. It only has the rough appearance of true randomness.

Because it is far from perfect, you should not assume that the Leafs will regress.

There have been teams with a consistently high PDO in the past and there will be more in the future. The Leafs might be one of them. All it takes is good goal tending (perhaps a star) and good shooters and you get a high PDO or "luck" as some people would call it.

To see how imperfect PDO is as a measurement for luck, you only have to look at the numbers for some good teams of the past. Nobody can be lucky for 12 straight years, that's talent. I believe these are the PDO numbers for the following teams.

EDM 1981-88 1.042 NYI 1975-86 1.040 MTL 1970-79 1.040 BUF 1993-99 1.026

Buffalo wasn't lucky. That was Dominik Hasek in his prime. The Islanders weren't lucky. That was partly Mike Bossy with an "unsustainable" 21.8% shooting percentage over 11 years...one of the games greatest shooters.

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#5 MaxPower417
January 04 2014, 03:48PM
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leafer2013 wrote:

Carlyle is scapegoating Reimer for that 3rd period collapse during the playoffs. By any stats you want to look at, Reimer is clearly the better goalie. Yet people blindly support Bernier and his inferior goaltending because they refuse to admit the truth: that Nonis is ruining the franchise with his moves.

If you let some posts go by without a comment your trolling wouldn't be so screamingly obvious and you'd likely get more bites on the ones you do post on. Then you wouldn't have to make new accounts to argue with yourself!

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#6 Kent Wilson
January 04 2014, 07:57PM
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@WesternDP

PDO doesn't apply to dynasty teams from a bygone era. No modern team has consistently sustained a conspiculously above average PDO.

Also, are you seriously suggesting the current iteration of the Leafs might have super-elite talent like Hasek or Bossy?

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#7 WesternDP
January 04 2014, 09:15PM
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@Kent Wilson

"PDO doesn't apply to dynasty teams from a bygone era. No modern team has consistently sustained a conspiculously above average PDO."

Since 2006, Pitsburgh's tend to be good, far beyond the realm of randomness or luck.

"Also, are you seriously suggesting the current iteration of the Leafs might have super-elite talent like Hasek or Bossy?"

No, just saying that they have the component parts that can give some good PDO numbers that might not regress as people expect.

As a baseline the Leafs players have good career shooting averages. Add in the fact that they are a statistically young team, in their best shooting years and you might not see the same regression that you see with other teams that more mixed in terms of age. Add in some stellar goaltending and you get good PDO numbers.

The historical numbers are just calm people down. Show people that something has happened a few times before and people are more likely to admit it could happen again.

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