Philly Phaithful
Better With Popcorn

Projecting the 2011-12 Flyers: Regressing to the Mean at the 33% Mark

Before Tuesday’s game with Washington, the Flyers were on top of the Eastern Conference having played 33% of the season.

Sadly, injuries have hit the Flyers and the team will be running several AHL call-ups for at least the time being.

So far, these players have played well and the team has kept on winning. The goaltending seems to be a strength, as Ilya Bryzgalov seems to have found his way out of ‘the woods.’

Looking at the skaters, the majority of them have overachieved so far this season while the goaltending has underachieved. As the season wears on, these numbers should balance out, but the winning percentage should stay the same.

It’s important to explain the math behind the regression just like we did a month ago.

With that said, here is the chart showing how the skaters match up right now. In order to allow for recent trends in a player, his regressed shooting percentage is based on either his last 16 months of regular season play or 100 regular season games if he has been injured. The players who suffered most from this are Chris Pronger and Matt Walker.

 

Player

Current Shots

Current goals

Current SH%

Regressed SH%

Projected goals

Projected shots

Shots over rest of season

Goals over rest of season

Bourdon

7

0

0.00%

1.35%

0

28

21

0

Briere

65

9

13.85%

13.80%

26

190

125

17

Carle

44

4

9.09%

3.11%

7

129

85

3

Coburn

33

1

3.03%

2.04%

2

97

64

1

Couturier

44

5

11.36%

10.25%

19

176

85

9

Giroux

81

16

19.75%

16.40%

36

203

122

20

Gustafsson

3

0

0.00%

1.75%

0

12

9

0

Hartnell

70

14

20.00%

15.38%

35

205

135

21

Holmstrom

1

0

0.00%

6.29%

0

3

2

0

Jagr

68

10

14.71%

10.00%

23

199

131

13

Lilja

12

0

0.00%

2.33%

1

35

23

1

Marshall

3

0

0.00%

2.00%

0

12

9

0

Meszaros

48

2

4.17%

5.18%

7

141

93

5

Pronger

23

1

4.35%

3.70%

2

51

28

1

Read

63

11

17.46%

13.90%

28

184

121

17

Rinaldo

16

1

6.25%

3.00%

2

47

31

1

Schenn

11

0

0.00%

8.10%

2

32

21

2

Shelley

5

0

0.00%

5.56%

1

15

10

1

Simmonds

64

7

10.94%

11.60%

21

187

123

14

Talbot

39

7

17.95%

10.27%

15

114

75

8

Timonen

42

0

0.00%

3.17%

3

123

81

3

Voracek

54

4

7.41%

7.60%

12

158

104

8

Walker

1

0

0.00%

1.30%

0

2

1

0

Wellwood

1

0

0.00%

5.22%

0

4

3

0

Zolnierczyk

18

1

5.56%

6.57%

5

72

54

4

JVR

75

8

10.67%

11.69%

25

220

145

17

Total:

891

101

11.34%

 

265

2591

1700

164

Per 82:

 

 

 

 

3.23

31.6

 

 

 

 

Unlike the previous entry, only goals and shots were projected, not assists. The reason for this is that the injuries have caused line juggling, which has a heavy influence on assists. For all intents and purposes, with 164 goals left to be scored, there should be about 290 more assists handed out for the whole team.

Because of the injuries to Claude Giroux and Pronger, the calculations reflect both of them missing time for their current ailments. In turn, it’s also projected that Eric Wellwood and Harry Zolnierczyk should fill in the missed time for Giroux instead of Jody Shelley.  Brayden Schenn is also projected to miss more significant time as well.

Eric Gustafsson is projected to return to the lineup and eventually push either Marshall or Bourdon out of the lineup.  Matt Walker is also projected to see very little, if any, ice time.

The numbers show that right now, Scott Hartnell is projected to have a career season, he’s on pace for 35 goals which would shatter his career mark from the 08-09 campaign.

Sean Couturier’s addition to the top line in Giroux’s absence will mean more minutes and more shots, at least for the short term. The current calculation assumes Couturier will stay in the top 6 of the course of the rest of the season leading to 19 goals. Before Giroux was injured, Couturier was on pace for 14 goals on 129 shots.

 

The goaltending situation is rather unique. Bryzgalov’s slow start and Bobrovsky’s play being closer to his norm project both goaltenders to have .913 save percentage at the end of this season. Because both goalies have the same save percentage and Peter Laviolette likes to ride the hot hand until it goes cold, it’s really a guess as to who will be the long-term starter.

Even with Bryzgalov’s contract, don’t be surprised if Bobrovsky steals a few starts from Bryzgalov due to injury or poor play just as Cory Schneider took the Canucks starting job from Roberto Luongo for a little while earlier this season.

Currently the Flyers allow 28.21 shots per game. Over the course of the remainder of the season, the Flyers should allow 1,524 more shots and with a .913 save percentage from the goalies from here on, the team will allow 133 more goals.

This leads to a goal differential of 31 over the course of the rest of the season. Over 54 games, an even goal differential leads to 60 points. Since six goals equals one extra win in the standings, the Flyers are on pace to earn another 70 points in the standings.

Since the Flyers currently have 39 points and are on pace for another 70, they are poised to hit 109 points this season. Since there’s a 10 percent margin of error on the goal differential distribution to standings points, the window is really 104-114 points. In short, this Flyers team is really good.