3 September 2013

The Pain Game 2013 - per-game breakdown (West)

Having seen one or two examples of trends in team performance being illustrated by charts of possession-proxy metrics at a game-by-game level (examples below), I figured I could attempt to show injury statistics in a similar way, restrospectively at least - it remains to be seen whether tracking the numbers on such a frequent basis for the upcoming season is a viable prospect or a Hugh Jessiman.

So, what follows is a breakdown of man-games lost to injury/illness (MGL) and the corresponding cap-hit of each injured player (CHIP) across the entire 2013 (ir)regular season for what was once known as the Western Conference.  Hopefully self-evident, but if not, the figure inside the x-axis is the MGL for each game (i.e. number of players missing), the blue bar is CHIP for the game ($k against the right-hand axis).

I've also added the rolling/cumulative Fenwick 5v5 close (red line against the left-hand axis), if only for a broad indication of team performance trends.  Definitely not wise to place too much emphasis on the comparison between injury absences and performances, especially at an individual game level - clearly, many other factors come into play - but it adds a bit of context.  For the avoidance of doubt, absences not due to injury/illness (e.g. healthy scratches, suspensions) are not captured here and who is or isn't included in the numbers is subject to the psuedo-abitrary rulings I normally apply throughout the year.

Data sourced from extraskater.com and tsn.ca.

[Click to enlarge charts]

Anaheim Ducks (season aggregates - MGL: 70, CHIP: $1,660k)

Not much going on here, for what was a largely healthy Ducks team.

Calgary Flames (MGL: 136, CHIP: $3,383k)

The CHIP spike for Games 8-20 mostly due to Miikka Kiprusoff's absence, which obviously shouldn't feed through to possession numbers anyway.  Nice to see that the tanking/awfulness from the midpoint flourished regardless of the degree of health.

Chicago Blackhawks (MGL: 98, CHIP: $3,852k)

As you would expect, the domination of the Hawks only really got going once Dan Carcillo became available to be healthy scratched from Game 17 on.

Colorado Avalanche (MGL: 154, CHIP: $5,467k)

Well, the first few games were enjoyable...

Columbus Blue Jackets (MGL: 137, CHIP: $4,166k) 

As you would expect, the return to relative health of the Jackets only really got going once Marian Gaborik joined the roster from Game 37 on.

Dallas Stars (MGL: 93, CHIP: $2,611k) 

See Calgary's second half, only without the injuries.

Detroit Red Wings (MGL: 247, CHIP: $6,966k) 

A possibly misleading uptick over the last dozen games, unless you really think Kyle Quincey's return to the line-up was that important.

Edmonton Oilers (MGL: 217, CHIP: $5,689k) 

The absence of the vital attributes supplied by Ryan Jones, Ben Eager and Theo Peckham missing over the early stretch simply torpedoed the Oilers' season.

Los Angeles Kings (MGL: 103, CHIP: $3,900) 

Good team.  Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene injured.  Fin.

Minnesota Wild (MGL: 91, CHIP: $2,804k) 

Another generally healthy team until the late absences of former goalscorers Dany Heatley, Mike Rupp and Zenon Konopka.

Nashville Predators (MGL: 130, CHIP: $3,651k) 

Another team for which it's difficult to make the case that injuries were a major contributing factor to being out of playoff contention.

Phoenix Coyotes (MGL: 115, CHIP: $3,323k) 

Lines and bars that stubbornly refuse to move north, however much everybody expects them to.

San Jose Sharks (MGL: 96, CHIP: $2,626k) 

The last of the relatively healthy Pacific Division teams - looks like they did benefit from this over the last 15-16 games.

St. Louis Blues (MGL: 122, CHIP: $3,873k) 

Clearly a much healthier first half than second, but also some serious mean-reversion going on with the possession numbers.

Vancouver Canucks (MGL: 160, CHIP: $6,500k) 

Ryan Kesler played Games 13-19 and 39-48, FYI. 

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