Columbus Blue Jackets Weekly Stat Update The first 20%


Nov 6, 2015; Anaheim, CA, USA; Anaheim Ducks left wing Patrick Maroon (right) is pushed from behind by Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Scott Hartnell (left) during the second period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

As of today the Columbus Blue Jackets are 4-11, equal to a 0.267 win percentage. Breaking that down further we see that they are 2-3 in the last 5, and 4-4 since Torts took over the team. An interesting, though largely meaninglessness tidbit, is that all four wins have come on the road and in a pair, making the Jacks an extremely streaky team thus far.

But those are just results, what do the process stats say about the team since Torts took over.

Well the most basic and commonly quoted Saber metric is Corsi, essentially a plus/minus equivalent that tracks shots for and against. As with any process statistic the point is not the stat it’s self, you don’t win any trophies for getting the most shots off, but it does correlate very strongly with producing goals.The idea here is that generating shots on goal indicates more, and stronger possession, while preventing the other team from doing the same.

By Corsi per game the Blue Jackets now have a -0.9 differential, 17th in the league. That’s not good but seeing as they currently sit at 29th in goal differential it does suggest some positive regression should be on the way.

Though based on other stats, and the all important eye test, that goal differential won’t be coming up quite as much as one would hope.

Anyone who watches a game can clearly see the defensive unit still just isn’t good enough. Possession statistics, Corsi, Zone entries, all of these are meaningless if the opponent is allowed to march straight into the slot and fire away, then have free reign over any and all rebounds. This is reflected in a 11.92% opponent shooting percentage, third worst in the league, and half the reason for the unusually low goal differential.

The other half is a little stranger, and less obvious, at a 7.97% conversion rate (22nd in NHL) the offense isn’t taking advantage of it’s chances as much as it should. That rate is extremely low, I’d love to say that it’s unsustainable, that positive regression should be expected, unfortunately I just can’t. With nearly 20% of the season gone shooting percentages are beginning to stabilize, and 7.97% though low, is not below the reasonable level. The depressing reality is that this may be an accurate reflection of what this offense is capable of, and if that’s the case they’re going to need to create a whole lot more scoring chances to compensate.

None of this is shocking, the defense is terrible and the offense can’t score, but the teams 4-11 so you already knew that. To make any real improvement a new defenseman is required. Earlier in the season when the forwards were playing well it seemed like an easy solution was to trade from that strength to shore up the weakness, but now that even that strength is gone it’s hard to see where improvement can come from.

Another question is whether or not they should even try and improve, with playoff odds currently standing at 2.7%, it may be time to start thinking about the draft and future seasons.

I’m not saying you should give up stop watching, hockey is still tons of fun. Just don’t expect much in the way of winning. Then again 2.7% isn’t 0.0%, and miracles do occasionally happen.