Hockey Analytics

Chris Boyle uses advanced hockey analytics to provides a different perspective on hockey.
35 items

Here’s Why the Senators Continue to Roll

By: Chris Boyle Follow @ChrisBoyle33 They are at it again. The Senators bullied the defending Stanley Cup champions into a corner with their decisive 5-1 victory in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final, pushing their Cinderella run much further than anybody anticipated. The Senators are starting to push into uncharted post-lockout territory. Teams with […]

Puck Luck Abandons Rangers at the Wrong Time

By: Chris Boyle Follow @ChrisBoyle33 The Rangers have built their recent foundation of success on elite goaltending and torrid shooting streaks. With this type of blueprint, it is possible to be outchanced and outpossesed and still emerge victorious. The Blueshirts moved away from this over-reliance this season and it is ironic that their elimination came at […]

Skjei and Smith: Mobile and Shutdown Defenders

By: Chris Boyle Follow @ChrisBoyle33 The Rangers may have entered their series with the Senators as heavy favorites, but actually their regular-season shot metrics painted a picture of a team who could struggle with the team speed of Ottawa. The Senators also boasted an early Conn Smythe candidate in Erik Karlsson who had dominated the Bruins […]

Can Rangers Replicate Game 1 Magic Over Habs?

By: Chris Boyle Follow @ChrisBoyle33 Coming into the playoffs, the Canadiens-Rangers matchup looked like a toss-up. While the Canadiens won all three regular-season matchups, the shot metrics showed a .039 difference between the two Eastern Conference rivals. Over 185 minutes, the Rangers and Canadiens were separated by one clear-sighted shot from a foot inside the blueline. […]

How Rangers Can Beat Carey Price

By: Chris Boyle Follow @ChrisBoyle33 With the first round matchup with the Montreal Canadiens locked in, the Rangers finally have something to focus on. The Canadiens are a dangerous first round opponent and present a significant threat to the Rangers’ Stanley Cup aspirations because of the possibility of Carey Price stealing a series. Since Chris Kreider […]

Which Team is Better Playoff Matchup for Rangers?

By: Chris Boyle Follow @ChrisBoyle33 With the Rangers virtually locked into the first wild card spot, the team’s immediate focus is getting Henrik Lundqvist back in the lineup and keeping the players healthy before the playoffs begin. The Blueshirts’ playoff opponent is still to be determined, but the site has their likely first-round opponent as the Montreal […]

Rangers’ Deal for Zibanejad is Paying Off

By: Chris Boyle Follow @ChrisBoyle33 Rebuilding your team on the fly is a difficult thing to do. After last season’s disappointing first-round exit to the Penguins, the Rangers looked to be in a difficult place. Older veterans and a younger core that hadn’t quite taken over yet, left the Blueshirts in a difficult spot between a […]

There’s More to Stepan Than Goals

By Chris Boyle Follow @ChrisBoyle33 Derek Stepan is currently struggling to score. He hasn’t scored in his last 56 shots and his shooting percentage has plummeted from 10.6% (his career shooting percentage) to 7.6%. This is a perceived problem in a game like hockey where the goals are so rare. Because they happen so infrequently, […]

Why the Sabres’ Power-Play is So Lethal

By Chris Boyle Follow @ChrisBoyle33 The Buffalo Sabres are on the perimeter of the playoff race, only four points out with 20 games to go as I write this. This is a pretty remarkable achievement considering they played a quarter of the season without Jack Eichel and have continually struggled to maintain positive possession numbers. […]

Anders Lee Possesses Elite Net Front Presence

BY: CHRIS BOYLE In order to have sustainable offensive success, it is essential to deceive opposition defenses and goaltenders. There are plenty of tactical approaches to achieve this deception and one of the most valuable is the ability to destabilize a goaltender’s sightlines while creating high leverage shot attempts. This is commonly known as net-front presence. […]

Future Looks Bright for Rangers’ Buchnevich

BY: CHRIS BOYLE After the Rangers‘ exit from the 2015-16 NHL playoffs, there were concerns that the Cup window had closed. When you go “all in” by trading future draft picks and prospects for deadline acquisitions like Keith Yandle, Eric Staal and Martin St. Louis, you require impact performances from unexpected sources. The Rangers came up […]

Why Gamble on Greiss Will Pay Off

By: Chris Boyle The Islanders have solidified their position in goal after giving Thomas Greiss a contract extension. It may seem like a significant commitment to a goaltender who has never played more than 41 games in a season, but it is a solid gamble and could be a good value play. His new contract would barely […]

McDonagh Well Deserving of Second All-Star Nod

By Chris Boyle Ryan McDonagh earned an All-Star berth for the second straight season following Tuesday’s announcement of the NHL’s All-Star rosters. The Rangers‘ captain continues to be the anchor of the team’s blueline, but traditional advanced data doesn’t appreciate the dominant player he truly is. Over the last two seasons, McDonagh has been a mediocre […]

Why Okposo Is the Perfect Complement to Eichel

By Chris Boyle In search of a running mate for Jack Eichel, the the Sabres dipped into the free-agency pool and acquired long-time John Tavares wingman Kyle Okposo in the offseason. Their chemistry on the Island was unmistakable. Tavares possesses one of the greatest offensive skill sets in the NHL and Okposo proved to be a strong complement […]

Eichel on Verge of Becoming one of the Best?

By Chris Boyle Jack Eichel is back. Like a returning savior, the 20-year-old immediately provided hope for the Sabres‘ once-struggling offense. In a mere 17 minutes, Eichel notched a goal and an assist in Tuesday’s win against the Senators. He followed up that performance with a two-goal effort Thursday in a comeback win over the Rangers. […]

Greiss Proving His Value

By Chris Boyle Possessing elite goaltending is the equivalent of a video game cheat code. It helps you avoid prolonged slumps in play and virtually assures you of yearly playoff contention. When you don’t possess it, some of your underlying issues are exposed. The Islanders possess a franchise-defining center, but they have struggled to find secondary scoring so […]

Rangers Getting Bang For Buck With Grabner

By Chris Boyle When NHL teams pick through the discount bin during the offseason, they usually get the best bargains with players that are coming off an injury-plagued period or players who suffered through a prolonged shooting slump. When you can combine both those factors, it can present the opportunity for a low risk/high reward […]

Can Rangers Sustain This Early-Season Success?

By Chris Boyle The Rangers are off to a hot start again. Because of the small sample nature of early season data analysis, some in the hockey analytics world have flagged the Rangers for regression from such a hot start. Sky-high PDO (shooting percentage + save percentage) and mediocre possession numbers (49.2 percent) suggest that the good […]

Rangers’ Dynamic Duo Driving Strong Start

By Chris Boyle The 2015-16 New York Rangers were a team driven by individual greatness. They continually outperformed their possession and shot metrics. Spectacular goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist masked some of their deficiencies, but in the end, they were eliminated in the first round by the Penguins. The loss to the eventual Stanley Cup champions provided the […]

Why Taylor Hall is an Elite Talent

By Chris Boyle When Taylor Hall joined the Edmonton Oilers from the Windsor Spitfires, he did so with a near flawless resume. The first pick overall in the 2010 NHL Draft was a two-time Memorial Cup champion, a World Under-18 Champion with Team Canada and a silver medal at the World Under-20 Championships. He was […]