Sabres Sabremetrics: by Joey Pezzino
Here is my thesis to the Buffalo Sabres in 2010-11: I believe that for this current Buffalo Sabres team to have maximum success moving forward, that we will need to see Paul Gaustad and Andrej Sekera step up and play more consistently. I really do believe that their success will equal overall team success and I have some stats to prove it.
But first, you might ask why I choose these two players? The reason is that two major needs of this team have been a “third-line center” and a “number two defenseman” and both of these guys have shown flashes that they can be those guys moving forward for this team. But just how important are they?
So I did some research and here it goes:
I related "time on the ice" to wins for Gaustad and the Sabres. I looked at the last 82 games that Gaustad played at least 16:26 mins. (which I consider 3rd line minutes) or more in and found the team to have a record of 49 31 2 - good enough for 100 team points which is very solid out of 164 (a basic regular season schedule) --- Teams with 100 points or more make the playoffs 100 % of the time.
I then related the amount of wins the Sabres have when Paul Gaustad produces at least one point and I found the record to be an amazing 54 22 10 - in 86 games and good enough for 118 points out of a possible 172.
I related "time on the ice" to wins for Sekera and the Sabres. I looked at the last 84 games that Sekera played at least 21:00 mins. (which I consider 2nd d-man minutes around) or more in and found the team to have a record of 46 25 13 - good enough for 105 points out of a possible 168.
I also then related the amount of wins the Sabres have when Andrej Sekera produces at least one point and I found the record to be an outstanding 31 13 3 - good enough for 65 points out of a possible 94 in those 47 games played.
So what does this tell you moving forward?
The most important thing you should take from this is that: this team might not need a top 6 forward as bad as you think. If the teams play from its third line was consistent at all, then I think this team’s record would be leaps and bounds better. We need Gaustad to be our third line center and if he can’t be the guy then we better add one like Brooks Laich in the off-season because, when on a Lindy Ruff team, in order to have success, he must have a good number 3 center (See Peca and Drury and the team’s record when they were here, compared to when they weren’t
For Sekera, it shows you that he can play at this level. The big question will be if he can make the jump to being a top four d-man every game and then from there a number two defenseman just as Brian Campbell did. The one thing to remember here is that Sekera is still young at 24, so he has more time to prove himself than Gaustad.
Here are the stats from the last 4 years I used:
2010-11 2009-10 2008-09 2007-08
16:26: 14-6-0 14-8-2 15-14-0 6-3-0 = 49-31-2 100/164 Points 82 games
When Gaustad Scores: 10-6-1 13-3-4 13-10-1 18-3-4 = 54-22-10 118/172 Points 86 games
21:00: 15-8-2 4-1-3 16-11-5 11-5-3 = 46-25-13 105/168 Points 84 games
When Sekera Scores: 6-6-1 7-2-0 12-4-1 6-1-1 = 31-13-3 65/94 Points 47 games
I do have to wonder why Gaustad and Sekera don’t see these minutes every night because clearly this team is really good when these two guys play good minutes! Come on Lindy. Thank You….