Heading into the 2015-16 season, the Dallas Stars consistently hammered home their goal of having a strong start—something that they've, thankfully, been able to achieve so far. But how much does it really matter? At Sports Illustrated, the Department of Hockey Analytics looked at how well you can predict success based on a team's first 10 games.
The DHA looked at everything from point totals to shot attempt differentials to come to their conclusion.
We started with team point totals. It turns out that even after ten games these don't mean a heck of a lot. Sure, if you're Columbus or Anaheim or Calgary you're in trouble, but nobody needed us to tell them that. Beyond those outliers, though, team points after ten games predict only about 14.2% of the variation in teams' point totals over the final 72 games. Bad news for teams like the Bruins, Senators, Coyotes, and Devils who are off to unexpectedly good starts, but may not finish the season as well as they've started it.
Moving into #fancystat territory, they also looked at something called EVSA (which stands for Event, Venue, and Score-Adjusted shot attempt differential and is based on work by Micah Blake McCurdy, who is a great person to follow on Twitter). Although EVSA was more helpful in predicting long-term seasons success, the DHA ultimately came to this conclusion.
In other words, a full 70% of the variation in teams' performance over the final 72 games can't be explained by teams' performance over the first 10 games, at least using the more-than-seventy statistics we looked at. Apart from the teams at the very top and very bottom, ten games' worth of stats tells us very little about how teams are going to finish the season.
Basically, unless you're the best of the best or the worst of the worst after 10 games, you can still salvage your season. You can read the rest at the link. [SI]
Patrick Sharp, who sat out yesterday's practice, is questionable for today's game. [Stars Inside Edge]
Here's something to be happy about this morning.
More good news: Jack Campbell, who has been out this season with a hand injury, was assigned to the Texas Stars, and backed up Maxime Lagace in Saturday's game. [DMN]
It's been so far, so good for the Stars' tandem in net. And you know what other team is having success employing a two-goalie system? You might recognize them as today's opponent. [NHL]
Curtis McKenzie and Travis Moen hit the ice on Saturday to promote Try Hockey for Free Weekend.
To get your blood pumping before puck drop, relive 10 notable fights of the modern era—including this one between a young Jamie Benn and Jarome Iginla.
Added bonus: You can see Corey Perry get hit a few times. [Sportsnet]
Ryan Miller returned to Buffalo on Saturday, and his former team paid tribute to his years with the Sabres. And then they scored three goals on him.
Alex Ovechkin lit the lamp for the 484th time to tie Sergei Fedorov for most goals by a Russian player. (He appeared to score No. 485, but it was called back for goalie interference.)
Washington Capitals (@washcaps) November 8, 2015
There's got to be a reasonable explanation to Sidney Crosby's slow start to the season, right? [The Hockey News]
Brothers Ryan and Dylan Strome are following in the footsteps of other NHL siblings, including the Staals. [ESPN]
And finally, here's your daily dose of Hockey Feels.