With the Hurricanes having scored 17 goals over their past three games, it seemed like a fool’s errand to pick just one aspect of this team to hammer out a column about this week.
So instead, this week’s edition of BTN is going to be a few mini-columns about the analytics behind some of the things that have driven the Hurricanes recent success. I hope you enjoy.
Brock McGinn’s Breakout
You can’t talk about the success the Hurricanes have had recently without mentioning the way that McGinn has come on.
He’s got goals in three straight, and seven points in those three games. Obviously, this level of production isn’t the most sustainable thing in the world, but when you take his whole season as a body of work, it looks very good for a depth winger.
According to corsica.hockey, His expected goals share sits at 52.63 percent, and his corsi share is a less impressive but still solid 50.43 percent.
In terms of production, his 1.76 points per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 rank him 103rd out of the league’s 327 forwards to skate at least 300 minutes in that context this year.
Nobody’s expecting him to continue his clip from the last three games, but if he can match the pace he’s had over his whole season so far moving forward, that would go a long way to solidifying the team’s secondary scoring as they make their playoff push.
PD... Oh It’s Actually Decent?
Last year we often wondered what this Hurricanes team would be capable of if it could find a way to come in at about league average in shooting percentage and save percentage.
This year, we’ve gotten just a little bit of a taste of what that might look like. According to stats.hockeyanalysis.com, at even-strength, the Hurricanes rank 23rd in the league in PDO (team shooting percentage + team save percentage) at 98.9. Naturally, league average is 100.0.
When you isolate the two components that make up that number, Carolina ranks 11th in shooting percentage and 28th in save percentage. When you include the success that Cam Ward has had while the team is killing penalties, the ‘Canes rank 22nd in team save percentage at all situations.
So while much has been made about Ward’s improvement this year (and he has improved), it still hasn’t been enough to lift the team toward even average goaltending.
If Ward can find some of the touch he’s had shorthanded and figure out how to replicate it at even-strength, then the team will really be in business.
The Doctor is In
In a similar fashion as McGinn, Derek Ryan has provided the Hurricanes with a crucial punch of secondary scoring that has helped fuel the team’s success for the better part of a month and a half now.
Predominantly playing on the right wing of the team’s top line with Jeff Skinner and Victor Rask, Ryan has flourished despite being away from his natural position in the middle.
The 30-year-old has put him 18 points in 30 games this season since being called up from Charlotte in November, and his rate stats are just as impressive.
Ryan’s 1.75 P/60 at 5-on-5 puts him just a shade behind McGinn’s mark of 1.76. Ryan ranks 107th out of those same 327 forwards from the stat I mentioned with McGinn earlier.
But while McGinn’s production has largely come in this recent outburst, Ryan’s points have been spread out in a bit more of a consistent fashion.
His possession number could use a bit of work, with his corsi share at 49.22 percent and his expected goals share at 48.15 percent.
But the production he brings to the lineup at his price tag is beginning to look awfully indispensable to this team.