- I continue to be amused that Nathan Gerbe, waived by the Sabres last summer because he wasn’t good enough at hockey, has four goals this season - which, not counting Matt Moulson (who shouldn’t count because he had the unfair advantage of playing for an actual NHL team until last Sunday night), would be tied for first on the Sabres with Cody Hodgson. I’m not saying they shouldn’t have bought Gerbe out. He would likely have zero goals on this team. I just think it’s peculiar - and a form of poetic justice, I suppose - when things like this happen. I also wonder if it suggests that Gerbe’s coaching in Buffalo was part of the problem.
- I think even people who aren’t proponents of advanced stats agree by now that plus/minus is a fundamentally flawed stat. But, show of hands, who’s surprised that Mark Pysyk and Christian Ehrhoff are the Sabres’ only plus players right now (+1 each)? In a season of suck, they’re two players who haven’t.
- Conversely, my eyeballs began to spew blood as I came across Tyler Myers’ -8 and Mike Weber’s -12. Weber averages more than -1 a game. Insert barfing sound here.
- Speaking of advanced stats, I’ve abstained until now because of how incredibly boring they are to read about - most writers, in my view, do not do a good job of incorporating advanced stats in a compelling way. That said, I recognize the importance of advanced stats as they paint a much more complete picture than traditional stats alone, so I’ve been perusing extraskater.com in an effort to better understand them. And, much to my surprise (and delight), I find that advanced stats are a hell of a lot more interesting to look at than they are to read about.
- From what I've learned so far, Corsi and Fenwick seem to be the most important advanced stats as they’re indicators of puck possession, something which many advanced stats gurus believe leads directly to on-ice success. In that light, the Sabres’ Fenwick for percentage at 5-on-5 (dead last, by a country mile) and Corsi for percentage (also dead last, by an even larger margin) sure explain how they’ve been as bad as they have. Can't score if you don't have the puck. Can't stop the other team from scoring if they always have the puck.
- Good on the Sabres broadcasts, by the way, for dabbling in advanced stats by presenting Corsi numbers, although Sabres fans may collectively lose their minds if the Sabres’ Corsi is ever not in red with a minus in front of it.
That's all I got. Happy weekending, everyone.