Monday, October 12, 2009

Sizing up the Sabres

Here's a little bit of my own statistical comparison between our Detroit Red Wings, and the Buffalo Sabres. The two will play at Buffalo's HSBC Arena tomorrow at 7:00 PM (EST)

The Sabres are dead last (30th) in Goals scored per Game with a measly 1.33 average. Detroit is 14th with a 3.00 G/G average. Advantage: Detroit.

However, the Sabres are 1st in the entire NHL with a 1.00 Goals Allowed average. Detroit is 18th in the league with a 3.25 G/A average. Advantage: Buffalo.

Buffalo’s scoring woes can be at least somewhat attributed to a weak powerplay that is third to last in the league (28th) at 11.1% thus far in the season. Detroit, though shaky at times, has a solid start to the season with the man advantage and currently sits in 6th place in the NHL at 30%. Advantage: Detroit.

Again, what the Sabres lack in offense, they are making up for in defense and currently boast the 3rd ranked penalty killing percentage in the league at 90%. Detroit’s PK problems from last year continue to haunt the team as they rank 26th in the NHL with a lowly 64.7% effectiveness rating. Advantage: Buffalo.
Well, let's break down these stats a little more, see if I can make them a little less meaningful...

If you simply pull ranks and average them for G/G and G/A:

Buffalo: 15th
Detroit: 16th

If you combine PK and PP percentages to get an overall effectiveness rating:

Buffalo: 101.1%
Detroit: 94.7%
Again, this is only after 4 games, so I wouldn't read too much into it. I also don't take Corsi or any kind of sabermetrics into account. If you don't know what I just referred to, thank your lucky stars and believe me when I tell you that you'd be better off keeping it that way.

So it would appear that Buffalo has a slight advantage going into this game. But remember, defense wins championships, but offense wins games...and this certainly isn't for any championship.

Oh and Detroit took both meetings against the Sabres last season, beating them 3-1 at home on January 10th (I was at that game) and again in Buffalo on April 6th (while most of you suckers were watching MSU get pounded at Ford Field) by a score of 4-1.

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