Stat Junkie 2: AHL Final Edition

Before we begin on this edition of Stat Junkie, I would like to thank everyone who read the last edition of SJ. Seeing the amount of praise that the post got on Twitter was awesome, so once again, thank you, and I hope you enjoy this next edition of Stat Junkie.

As we've wrapped up the regular season, I found it more fitting to go back and look at the statistics that each team accrued through both parts of the season. While stats are always changing during the regular season, once you're looking at final results, you really get a better picture of whom over- or under-performed.

So, with this post, we're looking back at the first part of the season, when the IceHL relied on the services of the AHL during the NHL lockout. This part of the season lasted for 12 weeks and utilized some different stats than were tracked in the NHL portion of the season.

To reflect this, each category on the spreadsheet was modified to include the different stats. Below is a changelog when compared to the first Stat Junkie post.

-Offense saw the addition of PIMs to its pool of stats (goals and assists). Offense is more of a reflection of what the combined roster of skaters did rather than differentiate between offense and defense.
-Goaltending did not change, as we tracked the same two statistics--goalie wins and shutouts.
-Opportunist and Defense were removed from this post, due to those stats (game-winning/power play goals, and points allowed/blocked shots) not being tracked during this portion of the season.
-The addition of the points column (in GOLD) allow you to see the total points a team put up in the season as well as their projected average across the 12 weeks of play. This will be added in on the 3rd Stat Junkies post (more details on that later).
-Also, the TOTAL column (in PURPLE) will read differently, so we'll explain how that one works.

Also, here's an explanation of how points are accrued on this scale:
-Teams were ranked on a 1-16 scale for a selected stat.
-Points were assigned to these values, 16 points for 1st place, 15 for 2nd place, and so on until 1 point was awarded for 16th place.
-Ties were settled by taking the point total of the positions taken up by the tie and averaging them among the teams involved. (EXAMPLE-A three-way tie for 6th place would involve 3 teams, the next available position being 9th. Thus, we take points from 6th, 7th and 8th place (11, 10 and 9), add them up (30) and split them among the teams, so each team would get 10 points.)
-The maximum points a team could receive in each stat pool is 48 on offense and 32 on goaltending.
-The Overall end ranking is a cumulative score of the 2 groups, so the maximum number of points a team could have there is 80.
-Ties in the Overall end ranking were settled by who had higher ranks in any category, so if a team had two 1st place rankings, but the other has only one, the team with two wins the tie.

So, with that being said, let's dive in and see who reigned supreme in the AHL.

Offense: In the spreadsheet above, this category appears in RED.

While there seemed to be a consistent deviation from the top 8 in a category vs. the top 8 overall, there were some differences that were particularly striking, such as when a team was very far removed from the expectation--that is, when a team is placed 7th in the overall standings, you'd expect them to be around that in the given stats.

 -In goals scored in the West, just 2 of the top 8 teams in that stat were not in the top 8 of the league standings. Dallas and California were not within the top 8 of goals scored, while Alaska and New Orleans were. Dallas was on the outside of the top 8 in a tie for 9th, while California ranked in the bottom 4.
-With the East, 2 of the top 8 goal-scoring teams were not a part of the top 8 in the standings. Despite finishing the AHL season in 14th place, Milwaukee's offense ranked within the top 5. Montreal, the 9th place team, ranked 8th in goal scoring. Boston and Quebec, top-8 teams in the standings, ranked 10th and 15th respectively in goal-scoring.
-Assist-wise, 2 of the top 8 assist-getters weren't top 8 overall squads. Saskatoon and Vancouver displaced California and Boulder from the top 8 in this category, with the two Canadian teams finishing in the top 5. Saskatoon's 3rd place finish in assists was impressive considering its 13th place overall finish. California and Boulder finished 9th and 10th in assists, respectively.
-In the East, 3 of the top 8 overall teams didn't appear in the top 8 of assists. While Tampa Bay, New York and Quebec missed out (placing in a tie for 9th, 12th and 13th respectively), Milwaukee (7th-tied), Atlanta (7th-tied) and Hamilton (3rd) crashed the party.
-PIMs were all over the place, with 3 of the top 8 overall teams failing to be a top 8 PIM-gatherer. Winnipeg, Dallas and Edmonton (10th-tied, 13th and 15th, respectively) were outside of the picture, while Houston (4th), Calgary (1st) and Alaska (5th) managed to be a part of the top 8 in PIMs. Calgary's placement was most surprising, given its 15th-place overall finish.
-Out East, 3 of the top 8 PIM-gatherers weren't a part of the top 8 overall. St. Louis (9th), Tampa Bay (10th) and Chicago (15th) were displaced by Montreal (3rd), Hartford (6th) and Washington (7th).
-The best offense out West was a tie that involved the Winnipeg Winterhawks and Seattle Aviators, who earned 37 out of a possible 48 points. They were only one of two teams to break the 50-goal mark, the other being the St. Louis Archers. Meanwhile, the Aviators were one of 5 teams to break the 200-PIM mark.
-In the East, the North Carolina Nighthawks had the top offense, earning 43 of a possible 48 points. Their consistency was key in securing the top spot, as the Nighthawks finished in the top 5 in all three stats. The St. Louis Archers, the other team who scored more than 50 goals on the season, finished 2nd in the East.

IceAHL Offense WEST:
Gold: TIE-Winnipeg Winterhawks and Seattle Aviators, with 37 points
Silver: Portland Pioneers, with 33 points
Bronze: Edmonton Kodiaks, with 32.5 points

IceAHL Offense EAST:
Gold: North Carolina Nighthawks, with 43 points
Silver: St. Louis Archers, with 39 points
Bronze: Baltimore Blue Crabs, with 34.5 points

Goaltending: In the spreadsheet above, this category appears in BLUE.

As was the case with the first Stat Junkie, there's a ton of tiering in goaltending. It's the nature of the position, and due to the limited bend a stat has, it's more of an expectation of goaltending to be more tiered. Stats are more dynamic in offense because you can have those nights where you get a range of values. Goaltending--you either got the win or you didn't, or you got the shutout or you didn't. Only four real possible outcomes in goaltending, far more in offense.

 -In the West, the teams with the most goaltending wins were the Alaska and Houston, both sporting 15 wins apiece. They were two of four teams who averaged more than one win per week, the others being Boulder and Northwest, each with 13 wins.
-Meanwhile, the East goaltending wins leaders were Tampa Bay and Chicago, both earning 15 wins. Interestingly enough, the four teams in the IceHL that had 15 wins owned the same two goalies: David Leggio for Houston and Chicago and Dustin Tokarski for Alaska and Tampa Bay.
-In shutouts, the West was carried by Dallas and Calgary, who both had 4 shutouts to their credit.
-In the East, shutouts were most frequent for New York; they were the only team with 5 shutouts.
-Overall, the West's top goaltending belonged to the Dallas Outlaws, earning 27.5 points out of 32. They edged out the Alaska Huskies by half a point.
-In the East, the best overall goaltending belonged to the New York Guardians, with 30 points out of a possible 32. They beat the second-place Tampa Bay Barracudas by 3.5 points, more than double the gap between 1st and 3rd in the West.

IceAHL Goaltending WEST:
Gold: Dallas Outlaws, with 27.5 points
Silver: Alaska Huskies, with 27 points
Bronze: Calgary Cavalry, with 25.5 points

IceAHL Goaltending EAST:
Gold: New York Guardians, with 30 points
Silver Tampa Bay Barracudas, with 26.5 points
Bronze: Milwaukee Lagers, with 24 points

Points Breakdown: In the spreadsheet above, this category appears in GOLD.

This stat has no bearing on the overall awards given in the post, but is rather a way to see how many points a team posted in the season and their average output on a weekly basis.

-2 teams in the West (Seattle and Winnipeg) and 3 teams in the East (New York, North Carolina and St. Louis) posted weekly averages of more than 50 points per game.

Overall: In the spreadsheet above, this category appears in PURPLE.

What you see on this spreadsheet is the cumulative totals of all the stats, which determines the best teams. The R Rank column shows the placement the team came in during the season. The Differential column shows the difference from their finish on paper. A positive differential means the team had a placement on paper better than in the league, while a negative differential says the opposite--they did worse on paper than they did in the real season.

 -Taking top honors as the best overall team in the West, the Dallas Outlaws won with 52 points out of a possible 80. While their offense was fairly average, their stellar goaltending made up the difference.
-Meanwhile, the best team out East was the New York Guardians, with 61.5 points out of 80. Winning the goaltending category certainly didn't hurt, but neither did their 4th place finish in offense. Those strong showings combined to show that Guardians were not a team to be trifled with in the East.
-In 2nd place in the West, the Alaska Huskies and Regina Renegades both finished with identical 50.5 point finishes. But due to Alaska having a higher ranking in any category (with a 1st-place tie in goaltending wins), the Huskies take the number two spot out West.
-In the East, 2nd place belonged to the Tampa Bay Barracudas, with 54.5 points. Tampa Bay's consistency gave it enough points to grab a spot on the overall podium, and its consistency made them a force to be reckoned with.
-Taking 3rd in the West was the Regina Renegades, with 50.5 points. Regina lost a tie with Alaska, but had strong showings in their offense, giving them a 4-point edge over their nearest competition.
-Out East, 3rd place belonged to the North Carolina Nighthawks, with 50.5 points. While their offense was superior, their goaltending left a lot to be desired, as only one team came behind them in that statistic.

IceAHL Overall WEST:
Gold: Dallas Outlaws, with 52 points
Silver: Alaska Huskies, with 50.5 points
Bronze: Regina Renegades, with 50.5 points

IceAHL Overall EAST:
Gold: New York Guardians, with 61.5 points
Silver: Tampa Bay Barracudas, with 54.5 points
Bronze: North Carolina Nighthawks, with 50.5 points