clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Numbers For the Devils at the Halfway Mark

New, comment

For many fans of the New Jersey Devils, the first half of this season was one to forget. Ignoring the 2010-11 season, it has literally been decades since this organization was so far out of the playoffs so soon. What do the numbers say about this?

More of this would be nice.
More of this would be nice.
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Last night's game against Montreal was the 40th game of the season.  After tonight's game against Philly, the New Jersey Devils will have officially played half of their games in the 2014-2015 campaign.  They will be the first team in the Metropolitan Division to reach the halfway mark of the season, with most of the teams in the division a few games behind.  The Devils had a much busier first half than their rivals, and sadly for our favorite team, the busy schedule did not lead to better results.

Since the last article on the team's numbers, the Devils have gone 2-6-2.  This is a trend that has continued for a while now, as the ten games before this had the team going 2-5-3.  They have been consistently a bad team for a while now, so this should not seem new to any of you.  There has not been a large enough sample yet to see what changes, positive or negative, the new coaching staff is having on this team, so we will have to wait another 10 or 20 games to really see how the numbers-and the record-change.

So for the last time, let's see how the Devils have done while under the tutelage of Peter DeBoer.

NHL.com Stats

These stats come from NHL.com. They are more of the basic, main stats that will be shown, while the more advanced, possession-based statistics will be shown later on.  This is not a full list of what the site has to offer, so check it out if you want more.  NJ's rank amongst the 30 NHL teams is listed on the bottom row of the chart.

Note: If you need an explanation of what any stat is, a list is at the end of this article. Also, if you would like to compare these stats to the previous articles, they are linked at the bottom.

Team

Point %

G/GP

GA/GP

5-5 F/A

PP%

PK%

S/GP

SA/GP

FO%

NJD

.413

2.08

2.72

0.86

19.5%

79.2%

25.4

30.2

47.7%

Rank

27th

28th

20th

25th

11th

22nd

29th

21st

25th

Well, things have definitely not been going well for the Devils.  The point percentage continues to crumble, now at a miserable .413, down from .450 10 games ago, and down from .500 20 games ago.  .413 is good for 27th in the league, not a spot the team wants to be in for sure.

The team also continues to score less per game, now at 2.08 goals per game, when 10 games ago it was at 2.27.  The 5-5 F/A also has been dropping steadily.  20 games ago it was at 1.10, 10 games ago it was at 0.96, and now it is at 0.86.  The Devils have dropped 6 spots in the rankings on that stat in the last 10 games.  This means that the Devils are continually being beaten at 5 on 5 action.

Not all is terrible, however.  The team is giving up slightly less goals per game, now at 2.72 goals against per game, when 10 games ago it was at 2.77.  This did not change the Devils' position in the rankings, however.  Also, the penalty kill continues to improve, now up to 79.2%.  10 games ago it was at 76.1%.  This moved NJ up 5 spots in the rankings.  But on the reverse, the power play is coming down to earth, now at 19.5% when it was at 21.8% 10 games ago.  This dropped NJ 3 spots in the rankings.

Hockey Analysis Stats

The other area I have been looking to for stats is Hockey Analysis.  While there are other websites out there for advanced statistics, and Hockey Analysis even has a new website called Puckalytics, I am used to navigating this website and therefore I am sticking with it for now.  If you would like to check out more advanced stats from other websites, I have linked some good options at the end of the article, and will continue to link more as I find them out.

Note: Advanced stats note only 5 on 5 action, to remove as many score effects as possible.

Team

FF

FA

FF%

CF

CA

CF%

OZFO%

DZFO%

NZFO%

PDO

NJD

1066

1161

47.9%

1445

1496

49.1%

30.1%

32.1%

37.8%

99.9

Rank

25th

15th

24th

26th

9th

22nd

25th

11th

9th

19th

The advanced stats also show decline for the Devils, but not quite as much of a decline as seen in the previous set of statistics.  The team's Fenwick % is dropping, down to a decrepit 47.9%.  Now over 2 percentage points from the break-even 50%, it is clear that the Devils are a real negative possession team.  Corsi shines the Devils in a brighter light, but at 49.1%, it is nothing to write home about.  Both FF% and CF% dropped 2 spots in the rankings over the last 10 games.

Faceoff percentages have likewise gotten worse, although in an interesting way.  In terms of pure percentages, the team is taking almost an identical amount of draws in each zone as it was 10 games ago.  The difference is seen in the Devils' ranking amongst the rest of the NHL.  New Jersey now takes the 11th most draws in the defensive zone, when 10 games ago they were at 15th.  Likewise, they now take the 9th most neutral zone draws, when 10 games ago they were 7th, and 20 games ago they were 4th.  So as the league is getting better at starting shifts away from the defensive zone, the Devils are not, and they are falling in the rankings as a result.

The one big positive to note is the Devils' crumbling PDO.  They are now an unlucky team, with a PDO under 100 for the first time this season.  The luck that drove them early, or at least may have helped them early, is now gone altogether.  At 99.9, the Devils essentially have neutral luck.  There is no more regression to the mean, and if anything, it means the Devils could perhaps benefit from some more luck as the second half of the season begins.

Goaltender Stats

Here are the stats for New Jersey's goalies.  Now that Keith Kinkaid has started multiple games, we can really track how he does over the course of the season.  Most of Cory Schneider's stats will come from the Devils' main website, while stats for the backups will come from Hockey Reference.

Goalie

GP

GS

W

L

OT

GA

SA

SV

SV%

GAA

SO

PIM

MIN

QS

Cory Schneider

35

32

12

18

4

83

1,009

926

.918

2.47

2

0

2,019

17

Rank

1st

1st

20th

1st

12th

2nd

1st

1st

16th

21st

13th

22nd

1st

N/A

Cory Schneider is now becoming wildly consistent.  He has an identical save percentage now as he did 10 games ago, still at a quality .918.  20 games ago it was at .914, so he really has been consistent for a long time.  This is despite still leading the league in games played, shots against, saves, and minutes. His goals against average has also improved, but only by 0.05 percent, good for a movement of one spot up in the rankings.

What is also good is that he is still over 50% in terms of quality starts.  He has 17 quality starts out of a total of 32 starts, for a QS% of .531.  Over 50% there is definitely a plus, and he still has it.  Safe to say, as long as he is starting, the Devils will have a chance to win almost any night.

Goalie

GP

GS

W

L

OT

GA

SA

SV

SV%

GAA

SO

MIN

QS

Scott Clemmensen

3

1

0

0

1

8

54

46

.852

4.71

0

102

0

Keith Kinkaid

7

4

1

2

2

10

139

129

.928

2.01

0

298

3

Clemmensen has not started in a long time, so no change there.  Keith Kinkaid, however, has been earning himself more playing time for sure.  Even with last night's damaging statistics-3 goals against with only 25 shots faced-he still has a superb .928 save percentage, and a quality 2.01 goals against average.  Those are excellent numbers, and will surely get him more playing time.  Yes he only has one win in 4 starts, but has given the Devils 4 points out of a possible 8 when he starts, which is a better point percentage than the team has overall.  I am certainly rooting for him.

What Does It All Mean?

Well, simply put, the Devils are still a bad team.  It is clear as to why DeBoer got the boot, although how much blame he should be given is a matter of debate and probably always will be.  The new coaching tandem of Adam Oates and Scott Stevens has a lot to work on, both offensively and defensively.  The one area of the team that is really rock solid is the goaltending.  Cory Schneider is a very good goaltender, and Keith Kinkaid looks like he could be on that level one day as well.  If anyone wants to look on the bright side, look no further than in net, as that is the main area to praise.

As for everywhere else...well improvement needs to start at 5 on 5 action.  The drop in goals for versus goals against during 5 on 5 play is disturbing to say the least.  The Devils are continually getting beat when the playing field is leveled.  This is perhaps shown the most in the team's crumbling possession numbers, especially Fenwick.  For a team that had a 53.6 FF% only one year ago, to have it all the way down at 47.9% is quite a disturbing change, to say the least.  The Devils seem to have considerable difficulty making crisp passes, controlling the neutral zone, gaining the offensive zone, and simply just keeping the puck away from the opposition.  As long as this remains the case, the Devils will continue to be a sub-par team.  Not everyone can Leaf their way to success.

Your Thoughts

What are your thoughts?  What do you think the data says about the New Jersey Devils through 40 games?  What other statistical information can you provide that tells something else about this team?  Please leave your comments in the section below, and thanks for reading.

Old Articles:

The First 10 games.

20 Games in.

The Numbers Through 30.

Other websites with quality statistics to check out:

www.war-on-ice.com

www.behindthenet.ca

www.puckalytics.com

www.naturalstattrick.com

Statistics Chart:

Point% = percentage of points the Devils have gained

G/GP = goals per game played

GA/GP = goals against per game played

5-5 F/A = Ratio of goals for versus against in 5 on 5 play

PP% = power play percentage

PK% = penalty kill percentage

S/GP = shots per game played

SA/GP = shots against per game played

FO% = faceoff percentage

FF = number of Fenwick events for the Devils

FA = number of Fenwick events against the Devils

FF% = Fenwick For percentage

CF = number of Corsi events for the Devils

CA = number of Corsi events against the Devils

CF% = Corsi For percentage

OZFO% = offensive zone faceoff percentage

DZFO% = defensive zone faceoff percentage

NZFO% = neutral zone faceoff percentage

PDO = statistic to determine luck.  Add a team's shooting percentage and save percentage at even strength.  100 is the mean.

QS = Quality Start for goalies.  A quality start is when a goaltender has a save percentage greater than his average SV% for the year.  If he faces less than 20 shots, however, he only needs a save percentage of .885 to get a quality start.