First off, just let me say that we really haven’t done something like this before. Normally we do a weekly podcast where we talk for 45-60 minutes about the Wild and how they’ve done in the past week.
So why am I typing? Because there is a guy that’s been firmly parked in Yeo’s doghouse. There’s plenty of advanced metrics out there that probably show you why or why not he is a good player, but I wanted the most basic question answered: When he is on the ice, do the Wild win?
Of course, if you’ve been following the Wild for the past few seasons, you know that player is Erik Haula.
So I set out to essentially compare the team’s record when that player skates, versus when he does not. Let’s start with the numbers.
First, it should be noted that for anyone that played less than 5 minutes in a game, I did not count that game for or against them (they’re marked with an *). PTS/82 is the number of points the team would have if you maintained that same record over an entire 82 games (to put all of the players at an even level) and PP82 DIFF is the difference between their PTS/82 versus the Wild’s. Positive numbers mean the team wins more when you’re on the ice and negative numbers mean the team loses more when you’re on the ice.
Secondly, we’ve got a bunch of guys in the middle who have played all 44 games, so the team’s record when they are on the ice is equal to the actual record. That’s not the interesting part. The interesting part is on the ends.
Sitting halfway through the 2015-2016 season, the Wild win more when Haula is skating. To put his 105.1 points in context, that would’ve been 2nd in our division last year, and would put us above the Blues this season (3rd). Basically, Yeo might be leaving as many as 4 wins on the floor by starting someone else over Haula.
The other interesting part is Jarret Stoll. He’s the only player on the Wild with at least 4 games played where the team has a losing record (less than a point per game) when he is on the ice. It’s a smaller sample size than Haula, so things could change, but it’s undeniable that the Wild have not fared well since he’s been in the lineup. Not sure if there’s a good explanation on why the team is so much worse with him in. Obviously he was waived in NY, so they saw something that they weren’t in love with. He has 0 goals and 1 assist, with a -2 in 15 games for the Wild. Not good numbers. Perhaps another part is that some feel he’s lost what little foot speed he had. That could affect line changes and just an ability to get up and down the ice (which would be reflected in the -2).
Bottom line is that it would appear that Yeo has picked the wrong dog for the doghouse, and perhaps Stoll is the anchor that is going to drag this team to the bottom.