Blues did not have a strong start to the season and it is still haunting them. The team was mired in penalties early on sapping their precious bodily fluids killing penalties instead of scoring goals.
But the good news is, even with the limited 5v5 time they have allotted themselves through every fault of their own, their underlying numbers are good. Not as good as last season’s numbers, but good enough to build on at this point in the season.
The team’s corsi so far this season is solid. It is in the positive, and has been for most of the season so far. Their corsi for per 60 has tracked league average for most of the season. This isn’t great, but it isn’t bad either. Like I said, it is something to build on. It is difficult though to make shot attempts when you are playing a lot of hockey at 4v5. The corsi against per 60 is exactly what we would expect from this team playing Hitchcock Hockey. The Blues have one of the lowest corsi against rates in the league at this point in time, I would not expect this to dramatically change anytime soon (unless Hitchcock runs off to Gettysburg with the 4TH MD LT ART and leaves Yeo in charge of the team). One note about these rate stats that you should keep in mind. The team is last right now in 5v5 TOI. Since these rate stats use the team’s 5v5 TOI for its calculation, the Blues’ rates are going to be every so slightly skewed from the rest of the league.
The team is currently carrying a negative balance in their 5v5 scoring ledgers. The team is under 50% goals for and just below league average in goals for per 60 and right at league average for goals against per 60. This calls for a Keynesian solution by scoring more goals, as opposed to enacting austerity policies designed for better defense (remember they are already good at defense).
Their PDO (team save % plus team shooting %) is one of the lowest in league. As they say, no where to go but up! Unless they just fester there at the bottom of league PDO for the remainder of the season because they keep playing Tarasenko with Lehtera. But that is next week’s article!
As a bonus, I added a comparison to the first 25 games of the previous season as well. Should not come as a surprise the Blues are not living up to the previous version of themselves. But go take a look at it anyways, because I spent more time designing those damn interactive data visualizations than I did writing this.