By the numbers: East Division road trip

The TBirds returned home this week after a 13 day, 6 game road trip through the East Division of the WHL. The trip took them through the 5 towns in Saskatachewan (Prince Albert, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Regina, Swift Current) and the 1 in Manitoba (Brandon). We’re going to take a quick look at some of the stats from the trip compared to the rest of the season so far.

We’ll take a look at a few stats. When “season” is mentioned, it’s in reference to the 16 games before the East Division road trip and then “road trip” will be talking about the last 6 games.

Shots on goal for
Season average per game 28
Road trip average per game 30.17

Shots on goal against
Season average per game 30
Road trip average per game 28.5

Just looking at the numbers, Seattle should have fared better than 2-4. Shots don’t always mean goals but the team put 2 more shots on goal per game while holding their opponent to 1.5 fewer shots.
In 11 of the previous 16 games, the TBirds gave up 10+ shots in the first period. On the trip, it only happened once, versus Regina.

Goals by period for
Season 1st 7 2nd 19 3rd 10
Road trip 1st 8 2nd 4 3rd 6
As you can see, in 10 fewer games, the TBirds scored more goals in the first period. But they couldn’t carry that through to the 2nd and 3rd periods.

Goals by period against
Season 1st 10 2nd 16 3rd 13
Road trip 1st 2 2nd 10 3rd 8
Like the goals for, Seattle started off great defensively in the first period but couldn’t sustain that.

Looking at the goal numbers as a whole, the 2nd period was the killer on the road trip. They were outscored 10-4 in the middle frame in those 6 games.
Only once, the game vs Brandon, were they ever behind in the 1st period and that was just for 4 seconds before tying the game. A much different set of 1st periods than the team had been through the 16 games before their trip.

Power plays
Season 11/65 16.9% Averaged 4.06 power plays per game
Road trip 3/24 12.5% Averaged 4 power plays per game
Got the same amount of power plays but couldn’t convert at the rate that they had before the trip started

Penalty kills
Season 11/66 83.3% Averaged 4.13 power plays against per game
Road trip 18/22 81.8% Averaged 3.67 power plays against per game
Seattle took gave up about half a power play less per game but also stumbled very slightly in killing off the ones they did give up

It’s easy to look at the 2-4 record and say it was a failed trip. While only 4 points is disappointing, they did work on some of the problems that plagued them early in the season, notably their very slow starts. It’s something to build off of for the rest of 2014 without Barzal to help with the offense. They also spread out the scoring which is great for the rest of the season. 12 different players accounted for the 18 goals scored on the trip and Seattle will need those contributions from up and down the lineup to continue.

16 of the next 20 are inside the US Division so Seattle will need to continue to score, maintain their discipline and keep their special teams numbers up. The end of 2014 may play a big part as to how where they will be in the standings at the end of March 2015.