Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Gimme Three Goals!

We all know the Bruins have trouble scoring, but let's look at the actual numbers. Since the start of the year the Bruins have played 25 games. Their record is 4 regulation wins, 12 regulation losses, 5 OT/SO wins, and 4 OT/SO losses. They have managed a total of a mere 18 points, while allowing opposing teams 37. As you can see, if they go to overtime they win 56% of the time (almost always in a shootout). That part is ok, but itisn't good enough.

During this time the Bruins have managed just 49 goals (1.96 goals per game) while they gave up 67 (2.68 goals per game).

They played 10 games where they scored only one goal in regulation, 9 where they managed 2 goals, and only 6 where they managed 3 or more. When scoring 3 or more goals they have a record of 4-1-1. When scoring less that three goals their record is 0-14-5. Ahem.

The math here is quite simple: the Bruins need to score three or more goals in regulation to win.

By the way, last season the Bruins led the league by giving up a mere 2.32 goals per game. They are off from that this year, but that can be blamed on the higher number of blowouts and in losing in general. When you are behind late in the game you tend to take chances and that gets you scored on. So I would argue that defensively the B's are almost as good as last year. Almost.

The big difference won't come as any surprise: last year they managed a whopping 3.29 goals per game, 2nd overall. Again, it is clear that if they can score three, just one goal per period, they can not only make the playoffs but win most of their remaining games.

Ah, but can the Bruins be expected to score three goals per game with the talent they have this season? To answer that question I computed the goals/per game from last season for the Bruins who are still on the team (i.e. no Kessel). For some players, such as Sturm, Bergeron, and Paille I used their numbers from this season. The predicted number of goals per game for the current Bruins worked out to: 3.04. So yes, the Bruins have the talent to score 3 goals per game. Let's hope Savvy comes back soon. In the meantime the rest of the players have to step up. But yes--it's not asking the impossible to score 3.

So gimme three goals!

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