Saturday, September 22, 2012

2012-13: CBJ Statistical Outlook

So now that the stats for every player have been estimated, we can begin to look at how that will likely measure up against the rest of the league, should a full season actually be played this year.

So regarding the stats I posted...

I think that for the most part, these represent what I expect from each player, as a fan. Regrets? I've got a few. For one, I think that the 6th defense slot putting up anywhere north of 25 assists is a bit of a reach, but our 6th slot is arguably as strong as some teams' 4th slot so I won't change it. The goalie stats are overly optimistic, I'll be the first to admit. But anything less than those posted will be a disappointment for me and a disaster for the team. Brassard's stat expectations may be a little too sweet and Vinnie's may be a bit too sour. Ultimately, I shouldn't have called them "predictions", but more what I think each guy is capable of. I think these represent relatively fair benchmarks, below which each player will need to be called to the principal's office and dressed down a bit.

I also tried to account for injuries, but who can realistically do that?

And I didn't include any suspension predictions, although Wiz seems like a ticking time bomb about to do something stupid.

So please remember a few things.

1. This is coming from a blogger.
2. Almost no one outside of Vegas can accurately and reliably pick team performance in hockey.
3. These don't take into account much in the way of coaching, systems, possession or shooting percentage. I don't find advanced stats terribly reliable or easy to interpret, let alone try to use them to explain an entire season. In certain cases, they're helpful but overall I'm skeptical of their utility in this scenario and frankly, there isn't enough time to incorporate all that stuff.
4. This also doesn't count on call-ups for anything. Guys like Savard and Audy-Marchessault, amongst a few others, may or may not pot a few over the course of the season. I've predicted a truncated season for Prospal, which isn't my hope but his age has to count for something.
5. If you don't like it, then please kindly let me know why and I'll try to either address your criticisms or drink until I type a rude, poorly thought out response in all caps. Or fuck it. Write your own blog. It's free and you know you're not spending your spare time watching hockey.

Here is my expected goal production for the CBJ in 2012-13, in order of the line combinations I'm anticipating:
FIRST LINE                   SECOND LINE                    THIRD LINE                   FOURTH LINE
Brassard: 30G                 Prospal: 10G                      Anisimov: 20G                 Dorsett: 10G
Umberger: 25G                Dubinsky: 25G                   Foligno: 18G                    MacKenzie: 8G
Atkinson: 23G                 Johansen: 20G                   Letestu: 16G                    Gillies: 3G

Boll: hahahahahahahahaha

FIRST PAIR                         SECOND PAIR                     THIRD PAIR
JMFJ: 12G                           Tyutin: 8G                               Aucoin: 2G
Wiz: 12G                              Nikitin: 9G                               Erixon: 2G

This leaves us with a painfully optimistic total of 253 goals over the course of the season, which would have been good for fourth in the league in 2011-12. However, this is with almost all guys firing on all cylinders and producing exactly as expected. To give us some more framework against which to judge this, here are the top ten offensive teams from last season, courtesy of

2011-2012 - Regular Season - Skater - Goals For - Average Goals For/Game
TeamGP5 on 55 on 45 on 34 on 44 on 33 on 33 on 43 on 54 on 5ENPSTotalGF/G
9TAMPA BAY821733621120002602322.83

Something that you'll notice, if you look at the teams on this list is that most teams made it into the playoffs, although few teams went very far into the dance. If our Columbus Blue Jackets can put 253 pucks in 82 opposing nets, they would have to be playoff bound, right? Well, keep your britches on. This is the Blue Jackets we're talking about here.

Undoubtedly, this prediction/expectation will prove to be wrong and the #CBJ will fall short. Despite expecting good to great performances out of Brassard, Umberger, Atkinson and Letestu (which may or may not be warranted, based upon what they've shown us), I don't really expect them to hit these numbers... I just expect that they will be able to. Which will give us all license to shout obscenities in their native tongues at them. For example, if RJ Umberger gets less than 10 goals this year, there will be a stream of Pittsburgh-themed insults coming from section 227 that will make yins sisters blush yet.

Umby: "Let me a good pass, and I'll net yins a goal anymore."

The one thing that I like about this lineup is the depth and versatility of the forward corps. Instead of being fixed cogs, each piece will be able to fit into multiple roles and as we all know, there are going to be a lot of holes that need to be plugged over the course of an 82 game season (fuck I really hope there is an 82 game season). If one of our top line guys goes out with an injury, we have ample replacements waiting in the wings and chomping at the bit for a chance to prove his worth.

One last issue with interpreting this giant educated guess as a guaranteed successful 2012-13 campaign would be that we haven't even started taking into account potential defensive outcomes. These will be critical to actually winning games, as the Leafs were kind enough to show us last year. The goaltending, combined with the coaching systems implemented could end up being huge successes. But as CBJ fans, we should all know better than to assume that. So why don't we just assume that we will never see the Jackets score again, so that we can be pleasantly surprised every time they do?

Life advice from Gris: set the bar so low that you're always pleasantly surprised.

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