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Vulgar Statistics: The Team And Its Goaltenders


Well crap.  A few days ago someone wondered if the team played better in front of Miller or Enroth, and while I can’t answer that (it’s one of those ‘what your eyes see’ things), I can at least put forth the numbers.  Unfortunately this entire discussion may have just been made irrelevant depending on what Miller’s status is after the Lucic hit (more on that in a later entry).

Since it’s pretty much impossible to find a goalie by goalie breakdown (at least in terms of what the team is doing in front of them) when both play, I will be excluding those games.  I think the best way is to go category by category and discuss as I do so.

Goals For and Against

Miller – 3.11 – 2.56

Enroth – 3.4 – 1.6

Thoughts: Certainly a lot to suggest that Enroth is getting better team play while in net…but he’s also had a relatively easy slate.  After Pittsburgh it was Columbus, Calgary, Ottawa, Ottawa.  Not exactly cup contenders.  And at least two of them (Columbus and Ottawa) are a mess in net which leads to more goal support.

Shots For and Against

Miller – 31.67 – 30.67

Enroth – 30.40 – 33.40

Thoughts: Again, to be fair at least one of Enroth’s games the team was outshot because it wasn’t taking them very many shots to pile up goals, that being the second Ottawa game.  Outside of that game, the shots are dead even at 32.75 for and against for the team with Enroth in net.

PIM For and Against

Miller – 11.44 – 15.11

Enroth – 9.80 – 9.00

Thoughts: Well the team certainly seems to play a more spirited game with Miller in net (even without Atlantapeg’s ridiculous 39-15 PIM margin).  Whether that translates to playing better or worse, I don’t know.

Hits For and Against

Miller – 16.78 – 19.56

Enroth – 14.20 – 19.20

Thoughts: Well, we all know the Sabres aren’t much of a hitting team, especially with their defensemen.  The lack of hits in front of Enroth is interesting since it seems to suggest playing worse defense, but the goal totals speak for themselves.  Perhaps since the opposing teams weren’t as good, the defensemen didn’t need to challenge them with physical play.

Giveaways and Opponent’s Giveaways

Miller – 8.22 – 8.11

Enroth – 7.60 – 7.00

Thoughts: It’s a difference, if only a slight one, but it does lean a little towards the team playing better in front of Enroth which is what certainly seems to be the case when you’re watching.

Takeaways and Opponents’ Takeaways

Miller – 5.22 – 6.33

Enroth – 6.80 – 8.80

Thoughts:  Okay so the Sabres take the puck away from the opposition more under Enroth, but also have it taken away more.  Which means what?  (I think my hypothesis is starting to take shape.)

Faceoff Percentage

Miller – 52.4%

Enroth – 49.7%

Thoughts: Well the team definitely seems to win more faceoffs in front of Miller, although they’ve generally been much improved in that category overall this year.  Like  most things before it, it doesn’t add up to much which brings me to…

The Hypothesis:

There hasn’t been a huge difference in play in front of Miller versus in front of Enroth.    Overall Miller has faced stiffer competition and thus both he and the team have looked a little worse with him in net.


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