As another week in the NHL is set to begin, I want to provide a primer for what to expect. I am an enormous fan of the Buffalo Sabres, so I am obviously interested in which teams could compete for the opportunity to draft Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel next June.
The Sabres currently sit at 0-3, having just suffered an embarrassing loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Monday after registering just 12 shots on goal! They play the Hurricanes (0-2) on Tuesday evening. That game is of note because Carolina is one of those teams which could potentially challenge the Sabres for last-in-the-league. The 'Canes are struggling mostly because of the injuries to the two Staal brothers.
After Carolina, Buffalo doesn't play until Friday, where they play host to the Florida Panthers (0-2-1). The following day, they play the Bruins (1-3).
There are a few stats that I'm watching and keeping an eye on as the season goes on.
- GF/GP (Goals For/Games Played) The Sabres were 30th (out of 30) in the league last year at 1.83. The next closest was Florida at 2.29. By the way, the best was Anaheim at 3.21. This year, the Sabres are 27th at 1.33. Don't worry, two of teams faring worse at the moment are Boston and Colorado, who were both in the top 4 last year - there will be a lot of changes.
- Corsi F% (Corsi For % in All Situations) Corsi is one of the trendy puck possession stats that is generally a good metric into determining which teams will perform better. Last season, the Sabres were the worst at 43.4%, while the Kings were the best at 55.7%. This year thus far, the Sabres continue to struggle at 31.2%. The Blue Jackets are currently dominating with a 60.3%, but that number will certainly see some regression
It's still very early on in the season, but i'm interested in tracking the above-mentioned stats the entire year. With McDavid and Eichel as prizes, I want to examine every possible stat to determine which teams I am rooting for to gain points (3 point games every game is desirable).
Oh, and the Islanders (2-0-0) play the Rangers tonight, the Sharks on Thursday, and the Penguins on Saturday. The Blues (1-1-0) play the Kings on Thursday, and the Coyotes on Saturday. Go Rangers, Sharks, Kings and Coyotes!