Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Killing Our Own Power Plays?

During my recap of the Ferris State game, I mentioned that it seems like Michigan takes an awful lot of penalties while they have a man advantage. In Saturday's game, the Wolverines cost themselves 1:51, 1:29, and 1:28 in power play time due to taking quick penalties after they had been given a man-advantage.

I decided to figure out how many times we've killed off our own power play and see how many goals it has cost us over the course of the season thus far. I'm not a math major, so be kind if I say anything stupid.

What I found is that we have had 151 power plays, accounting for 231 minutes and 26 seconds with the man advantage. We have scored 30 PPGs. That works out to a goal every 7 minutes and 43 seconds of power play time.

On 21 occasions we have taken a penalty to wipe out a power play chance prematurely, which accounts for 25 minutes and 9 seconds of lost power play time. That means over the course of the season, the math says that we've cost ourselves about 3 1/4 goals.

That doesn't actually seem like very many, but take into account the games where we really killed ourselves:
-Against BU, we ended 3 of our own power plays, costing ourselves a whopping 5:57 in power play time. We lost 3-2.
-Against FSU, we ended 3 of our own power plays, costing ourselves 4:48 in power play time. We lost 3-2.
-Against OSU, we cost ourselves 1:41 in power play time. We lost 5-3, but the 5th goal was an empty-netter.

That's 12 minutes and 26 seconds in those three games alone. All one-goal losses (essentially). Based on our season-average (granted our PP sucked at the start of the year), you would expect about 1.6 goals in that amount of power play time. It would be expected that one or two of those losses could have ended differently, minus the penalties when we were up a man. In a season where we're going to be fighting tooth and nail for a tournament slot, that's big.

As for context, I don't really know what it means. I didn't run the numbers to see if our opponents have been comparable, or if this is similar to previous years' totals. It's far too late at night for that. I was just curious to see what it could have meant to this year's team.

Edit: Yay for doing math well at 1 am! A commenter pointed out that I didn't factor in that even with blowing a power play, we could still score even-strength. Based on re-running the numbers quickly (and including short-handed time in our points per minute) we've cost ourselves about 2.3 goals over the course of the season instead of 3.25, and in the three games I mentioned, you would expect 1.1 goals, not 1.6. Those numbers are still a tick high because I kept the short-handed time in there.

So, really, it seems like it's more of an annoyance for the fans (and probably Red) than a true difference-maker, though if it could have swung a game against a team like Ferris, that could have been big for our chances. I still think it's interesting to see that we've blown over a period's worth of time with the man advantage over the course of the season.


Anonymous said...

You are right, it's crazy how many penalties we've taken on the power play. As for the math, to figure out how many goals these penalties lost us, you have to use the difference between power play points per minute and even strength points per minute times the number of power play minutes lost.

Packer487 said...

Ah hell, I knew I was going to do something silly with the math.


BlueCE said...

But then you have to substract the fact that the other team's chances to score also go up when we up the power play, which makes the goal differential become larger again (assuming the other team has a low chance of scoring when they are not on even strenght)

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see stats regarding how many times Michigan has been down 5x3 shorthanded and goals allowed, along with number of times Michigan has had 5x3 powerplays and goals scored.

And the number of games that Michigan has won in which Hogan has given up a soft goal.
@WMU is the only one I can think of.