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McMahon’s VIP Insider Blog (12/6): PDO chart analysis

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Exclusively for our VIP supporters, TMR editor Mike McMahon brings you these “insider” blog posts, where he’ll discuss the news and give some insight and perspective on the stories we’re covering here at The Mack Report as well other insider info from stories around the country …

  • I wouldn’t categorize Merrimack as much unlucky as I would just poor. Right now, they’re performing like a poor team, giving up a lot of goals and not scoring many themselves. They’re results are as unsustainable as UMass’ results are successful. Both teams should regress to the mean, but the question is by how much? UMass will regress. They’re on pace to go 31-3, which would be historic. That’s not going to happen. Shooting almost 14 percent is an insane number. It will lower. Even the team’s .928 save percentage is a tad high, but that number is at least more sustainable. We’ve seen singular goalies post save percentages in the .930 range over the course of a season. A team shooting almost 14 percent for an entire season would make the Minutemen, categorically, one of the best hockey teams of all time. Are they? They’re good, but they’re not all-time good.
  • UVM’s games are boring, according to this chart, and BC, BU and Maine are creeping up into that category as well.
  • The teams, according to this chart, that are playing the most sustainable hockey are Providence, UMass Lowell and Northeastern.
  • It’s interesting, if we look at UMass again, and we back them down off the level where they are currently performing, where do we think they regress to? Probably somewhere in the Providence/Northeastern range. So again, that makes them one of the top teams in Hockey East, and almost surely a top-three team in the league. This chart would also suggest to me that UMass Lowell might not be getting the greatest results, but over time, that could improve.
  • The “unlucky” portion of the chart is deceiving to me, at least in college hockey. The talent separation between top teams and bottom teams (nationally) is huge. Labeling teams “unlucky” can often be a misnomer. Sometimes, compared to the teams at the top level of the spot, the “unlucky” teams just aren’t as good. So, their performance numbers suffer and we label them something they’re not. In the NHL, the talent gap is a lot smaller (between best team and worst team). For example, the best NHL player is an A+ player, and the worst NHL player might be a B- player. In college hockey, the best player is probably an A player (we’ve seen plenty of college players step right into the NHL with success). While at the same time, the worst college player might be graded as a D- or even an F. The gap is huge compared to the NHL, which can skew numbers if there are teams playing against each other have that same separation.

About Mike McMahon

Mike McMahon is in his 13th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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