First off, you should all know how I feel by now about St. Louis trading away Jaroslav Halak for Ryan Miller. Grant (aka CanesandBluesFan) did a great Blues by the Numbers post about this earlier this season. When you look at their numbers, they are very comparable, except for one. Halak is younger than Miller. That is why in the goalie dataviz below I show you both the full view of the chart (with the y axis including zero) and then a "zoomed-in" look of the chart (removing zero from the y axis). The zoomed out view shows two goalies that are very close in save percentage from the start of the 2013-2014 season. However a closer look at the cumulative save percentage by game does shows some differences? But how significant are the differences? It looks like for most of the 2013-2014 season there is a 2% difference in save percentage between Miller and Halak with the gap narrowing recently. In his press conference, Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong suggested that they were getting 5% upgrade in goaltending. According to ExtraSkater, Halak's 5v5 save percentage is 92.3% and Miller's is 92.2%. I'm not sure where Armstrong is seeing a 5% improvement in goaltending. But then, that is why he is paid the big bucks, and I am blogging in my bedroom on a Friday night. (Right?)
Because Halak and Miller are so comparable those two pieces of the trade cancel each other out. What's left of the trade then? The Blues traded away Chris Stewart, a prospect, and a pick for Steve Ott. Is that a fair price for Steve Ott? If you take a look at the player usage chart for the Blues you will noticed that I highlighted Stewart's and Ott's bubbles. Ott is negative corsi (possession) but that is to be expected because well he was playing for the Buffalo Sabres. It looks like he was seeing the same ice time as some of the Blues top forwards and going up against tough competition (but with Buffalo being at the bottom of league, isn't everyone tough competition at this point?).
Taking a look at the second tab you'll notice Ott's scoring was dropping prior to joining the Sabres. He had a little bump after joining Buffalo, but nothing like what he was putting up with Dallas. But even his numbers when playing for the Dallas Stars do not match the numbers that Stewart has been putting up for the Blues. I'm not making an argument that the Blues should've kept Stewart. Rather, I'm suggesting that what the Blues gave up for Ott just isn't worth it in the long run. Of course, I would be happy to be proven wrong!
This is just a quick look at the blockbuster trade of the season and some of the fancy and non-fancy stats behind it. Let me know in the comments if you would like to see any additional comparisons and I can work on it this weekend.
Personally I will miss Halak between the pipes and I've always enjoyed watching Stewart play. At least I have family in Buffalo so I might just have to make a trip to the First Niagra Center next season.