Forward HOAGIE Charts – Pittsburgh Penguins

Once again we take a dive into fancystats to evaluate the recent performance of this year’s crop of Pittsburgh Penguins forwards. The opening night roster for the 2019-20 NHL season is more or less set as they are down to the final 13 healthy forwards in training camp with a single game remaining on Saturday.

I am using 5-on-5 data from the past two seasons 2017-19 and the raw data I used to calculate my stats comes from Natural Stat Trick, although I did have to go back to Corsica Hockey in order to get TOI% and QoC data. I took all forwards who skated 750+ 5-on-5 minutes and sorted them in each category in order to find out where our players stack up against the rest of the league. There were 392 F in our data set, so sorting them the top 31 represent #1 F, the next 31 join them in the top pair as #2 F, and so on down through the #13 F.

When evaluating players there isn’t really a good catch-all stat. Despite attempts at things like Wins Above Replacement, Point Shares, Goals versus Threshold, and Hockey Analysis Rating we still don’t have an easy way of evaluating players. There are many different categories to look at, some players are better in one than in others, but you need a mix of players with different abilities in order to succeed. So our visualizations looks at a lot of different stats.

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Defensemen HOAGIE Charts – Pittsburgh Penguins

With the Pittsburgh Penguins season opening roster nearly set and renewed talk of trades before the start of the 2019-20 NHL season it seemed like the perfect time to finally get around to posting some charts. I rather enjoy numbers, so when I first started writing about the Pens I’d have long clumps of data just recounting various stats I found fascinating, but found that many readers would rather have visuals. So I learned how to do bubble charts to represent the data, and eventually latched on to the HERO chart concept by making my own HOAGIE charts.

I am using 5-on-5 data from the past two seasons 2017-19 and the raw data I used to calculate my stats comes from Natural Stat Trick, although I did have to go back to Corsica Hockey in order to get TOI% and QoC data. I took all D who skated 750+ 5-on-5 minutes and sorted them in each category in order to find out where our players stack up against the rest of the league. There were 229 D in our data set, so sorting them the top 31 represent #1 D, the next 31 join them in the top pair as #2 D, and so on down through the #7/8 D.

When evaluating players there isn’t really a good catch-all stat. Despite attempts at things like Wins Above Replacement, Point Shares, Goals versus Threshold, and Hockey Analysis Rating we still don’t have an easy way of evaluating players. There are many different categories to look at, some players are better in one than in others, but you need a mix of players with different abilities in order to succeed. So our visualizations looks at a lot of different stats.

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2019 AHL Training Camp – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

We are now getting ready for the start of AHL training camps, with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins slated to begin to begin this week. They have initially posted a 20-man roster: 2 goaltenders, 7 defensemen, and 11 forwards. They will get additional reinforcements before too long since the Pittsburgh Penguins still have to reduce the NHL roster by half.

Nine of the players were up in Pittsburgh for the NHL training camp, although none of them saw any action during preseason games. Six of those and three additional AHL prospects were invites to the 2019 Prospects Challenge in Buffalo, and eight of that bunch also participated in Prospect Development Camp back in June.

Schedule

They begin with two separate morning practice sessions on Tuesday September 24. They play their first home preseason game against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at 7:05pm on Wednesday September 25. Back again for morning practice sessions on Thursday September 26. Then a final home preseason game against the Hershey Bears on Friday September 27 at 7:05pm. They finish off camp with a road trip, first facing the Bears at 7:00pm on Saturday September 28 then against the Phantoms at 3:05pm on Sunday September 29. After this they start preparing for the regular season which is set to begin on Friday October 4.

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Goaltender HOAGIE Charts

It has been quite a while since I have played with fancystats and even longer since I have made any charts. So I wanted to take a stab at putting together something to look at the players who are on the roster this year. Normally I keep my posts separate, but there are just a handful of goaltenders to look at so I am going to do both the Vegas Golden Knights and Pittsburgh Penguins in the same post.

The HOAGIE chart was my take on the HERO charts, since where I live we eat hoagies rather than heroes or subs. Using data from the past two seasons 2017-18 and 2018-19 I looked at the 78 goalies who have played over 750 minutes in that time. We then rank them in a variety of stats to make a chart that looks at how their numbers compare to the rest of the league. The highest 31 would be starter performance, then the next 31 the equivalent of a backup, while anybody below that is a fringe netminder.

The raw data I used was taken from Natural Stat Trick, with the exception of Corsi against which I got from Corsica Hockey because the other site doesn’t include it in their netminder data. I used it to calculate percentage of games played, goals against average, save percent, the percentage of shots faced that were scoring chances, and the percentage of shot attempts which reached the net. The %GP gives us an idea of how the coaching staff uses the player, the GAA and Sv% the individual performance, while %SC and %SA give us an idea of the defensive skill of the team in front of them.

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Vegas Golden Knights 2019 Training Camp

The Vegas Golden Knights are gearing up for the 2019-20 NHL season with their annual training camp set to begin this weekend. They have invited 53 players to camp: 7 goaltenders, 17 defensemen, and 29 forwards. There are a number of key roster battles to watch this year and the team will need to be down to a 23-man roster (and cap compliant) before the regular season begins on October 2.

We are going to take a look at the preseason schedule, seeing if we can get an idea of when we can expect rooster cuts to take place, and examine to roster to try to estimate the opening night lineup/salary cap and what the minor league options will be.

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Pittsburgh Penguins 2019 Training Camp

It is that time of year again, the kids have finished up the annual rookie tournament (see the recap of the 2019 Prospects Challenge in Buffalo) and the players are gearing up for the main NHL training camp activities. Barring any last minute additions of invites who impressed during the rookie tournament the Pittsburgh Penguins have invited 54 players: 6 goaltenders, 17 defensemen, and 31 forwards. They will need to be down to 23 players (and cap compliant) before the start of the 2019-20 NHL season on October 2.

Like usual we are going to take a look at the schedule, seeing where one can reasonably expect cuts to occur, and look at who all is attending camp, what their chances of making the lineup are, and what the roster could look like going into the season.

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Pumping the Brakes – Jimmy Schuldt

I have seen a remarkable number of Vegas Golden Knights fans discussing RFA Jimmy Schuldt. They want to know who he will be partnered with on the blue line, and how much they will need to clear off the roster in order to fit him in under the cap. Vegas is a new team, so the fans still need to learn patience, there were similar assumptions last year about Zach Whitecloud based on his single game during the spring that he signed.

The assumption appears to be that he was a Hobey Baker finalist, so obviously he will be heading straight into the NHL. And why would they burn up his ELC if they weren’t planning to give him big money on his next contract? While the fans may be new to the game, the team staff has been around the block a few times so I wouldn’t expect them to make any hasty decisions. Let’s take a look at why people may be overestimating Schuldt’s chances and need to be a bit more patient with his development.

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