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The Numbers at Season's End

With the season officially over for the New Jersey Devils, let's take a look at how the final numbers turned out, and what they can show us about our favorite team. Were they kinder than the final record shows, or are they as bad as they should be?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the season is over, we can get an entire snapshot of the New Jersey Devils' season.  For the most part, they played poorly, and we know that.  The numbers, however, will let us look and see exactly where, and how.  As I have been tracking them all season, we have seen some trends, and overall the numbers have not been that great when in comparison to the league.  Possession has been poor and offense has been poor at least partially as a result.  There have been some positives also, however, like attempts prevention, which has improved throughout the season.  Of course, the goaltender statistics have also been quite good.

Nevertheless, here are the final numbers for the season.  At this point, you can compare them to any other time during the season to get an idea of how this Devils' team performed at different points throughout the season, and where it led to at the end.

Since the last post, after 68 games played, the Devils have gone 4-7-3.  It was a poor end to the season, and we should expect to see a little drop in the numbers since the last post.

NHL.com Stats

These stats come from NHL.com. Let's see what the final stats tell us.

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

.476

2.15

2.55

0.93

19.3%

80.6%

24.5

30.7

47.3%

Rank

25th

28th

14th

23rd

8th

21st

29th

24th

27th

There are a couple bright spots here worth mentioning.  The first has been the power play, and it has been pretty good all season, at least in comparison to the rest of the league.  The Devils have been consistently between 19 and 20 percent for a while now, and it has kept them in the top 10 in the league.  That is a quality conversion rate, and one that the Devils will need to continue to produce in the years to come.

Before moving on, the penalty kill also improved throughout most of the season.  It was absolutely dreadful to start the year, but especially once the calendar year turned over, the Devils have improved in that area.  80.6% represents a slight drop from last time when it was at 80.9%, but overall that is a decent percentage for a team that was hovering around 68% through 10 games played.  21st in the league is not good for an organization that generally does well on the kill, but improvement was nice to see, and it will be important for next year.

The other positive is goals against per game played, which is at 2.55.  This fell slightly from last time, when it was at 2.52, but still that number is better than half of the league.  This is of course thanks to the great goaltending that New Jersey has received.  They have not been good at preventing shots, giving up over 30 per game on average, so the lower goals against per game played has to be due to quality goalies.

Hockey Analysis Stats

The other area I have been looking to for stats is Hockey Analysis.  These will be the possession-related stats.  Again, let's see what the final numbers bear 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

2217

2539

46.6%

2969

3321

47.2%

28.8%

33.6%

37.6%

100.7

Rank

29th

11th

26th

29th

6th

26th

28th

7th

4th

8th

The rankings for these numbers are almost identical from last time, and that makes sense.  By the end of the season, there is so much data out there that it is hard to change your ranking in the league.  You are what you are, and the numbers and rankings show that.

However, not all of that is terrible for the Devils.  Like in most seasons, NJ was good at attempts prevention.  Their Fenwick against was ranked 11th in the league which is not bad, but their Corsi against was excellent at 6th in the league.  The Devils only allowed, on average, 40.5 Corsi events against per game, which is a solid number.  That would be 40.5 attempts on the Devils' net, regardless of whether or not they were blocked or missed the net altogether.  Considering that New Jersey allowed 30.7 shots on net per game, only allowing another 10 or so attempts per game is quite a feat.

The other interesting stat is PDO, which shows that the Devils had a decently lucky season.  They were not plagued by a lack of luck, and that makes sense.  In previous years, it was easy as a fan to feel unlucky, as NJ would dominate possession and control the game but lose 2-1.  This season, I almost never felt unlucky in that way.  I mean, as proof of lack of domination, just look at the FF%, CF%, or the splits between offensive, defensive, and neutral zone faceoffs.  The Devils did not dominate in the same way as they had in previous seasons, and as a result were not unlucky.

Goaltender Stats

Here are the stats for New Jersey's goalies.  Most of Cory Schneider's stats will come from the Devils' main website, with some extra coming from Hockey Reference.

Goalie

GP

GS

W

L

OT

GA

SA

SV

SV%

GAA

SO

PIM

MIN

QS

Cory Schneider

69

68

26

31

9

148

1982

1834

.925

2.26

5

0

3924

43

Rank

4th

3rd

19th

2nd

9th

9th

3rd

3rd

5th

9th

8th

32nd

5th

N/A

As John wrote in our end of the season awards post, Schneider was undoubtedly the MVP of this team.  He singlehandedly kept the Devils in many games, and was the major reason as to why NJ was competitive in many games when they probably should have been blown out.  The numbers largely prove this.  His save percentage was 5th best in the league with anyone who had at least 30 starts.  If you raise that number to 50 starts, his save percentage was 3rd best.  60 starts, 2nd best.  The only goalie who played as much as Schneider and was consistently better than him was Carey Price, and Price is a lock for the Vezina.  You might also claim that Devan Dubnyk was better too, but there is an argument to be made there, which still says something about Schneider.

The one stat I threw on there at the end early on was quality starts.  This stat was developed by Rob Vollman to determine when a goalie played a quality game in net and gave his team a chance to win, regardless of what it says on the scoreboard.  He got the idea from baseball, where a pitcher gets a quality start if he tosses 6+ innings and gives up 3 earned runs or less.  For the goalie, he needs a save percentage in the game that is at or above his average save percentage for the year.  If he faces 20 or fewer shots that night, however, his SV% need only be at 88.5%.

Schneider had 43 quality starts in 68 games started.  That is a quality start percentage of 65.2%.  According to Vollman, the league average hovers around 53%.  This means that Schneider was consistently providing quality starts to the Devils, much more so than the average goaltender.  Just another sign that Schneider was the man.

Goalie

GP

GS

W

L

OT

GA

SA

SV

SV%

GAA

SO

MIN

QS

Keith Kinkaid

19

13

6

5

4

40

469

429

.915

2.59

0

925

8

Rank

51st

58th

53rd

57th

26th

55th

53rd

53rd

N/A

N/A

55th

55th

N/A

Kinkaid, recently inked to a new two year contract extension, had a quality season.  He certainly deserved his extension, and I for one am happy to see him backing up Schneider for another two years.  He provides peace of mind at the backup position, something the Devils have not had in quite some time.

His save percentage of .915 is very good for a rookie who is really cracking the NHL for an extended period for the first time.  He also had a record above NHL .500 for a team that was definitively below that mark.  It is hard to speak negative of Kinkaid, and I hope to see him improve in net over these next two seasons.

What Does It All Mean?

Well, of course, it all adds up to mean that the Devils were not really good this year.  We obviously knew that, but the stats help us define exactly why they were so bad.  The eye test can tell us a lot, but so do the numbers.  Apart from goaltender stats, the Devils were in the top half of the league in very few positive statistics.  GA/GP, PP%, FA, and CA all had the Devils in the top half of the league.  Also, they were ranked high in DZFO%, NZFO% and PDO, but being high on those lists is not necessarily a good thing, especially the defensive zone faceoffs.

In the end, if we are to highlight anything, it would be the goaltender stats, both that of Schneider and Kinkaid.  Both had good save percentages, goals against averages, and both had quality start percentages above 60%.  If this list of numbers proves anything, it is just what we have known for a while now: that the goalies have been good, and the team in front of them has not.

Anyway, thanks for following along this year as I tracked the numbers.  I hope it was informative for you.  If you would like to go back and compare the numbers from any other point in the year, use the links below.

Your Thoughts

What are your thoughts about the end of year numbers for the New Jersey Devils?  What do they tell you about this team?  What other stats do you have that you feel would improve this conversation?  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.

The Numbers at the Halfway Mark.

55 Games Down.

The Numbers Through 68.

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.