Not So Small Sample Size

by Ryan

Canadiens Rangers Hockey

It was a really busy night in the NHL, and somehow I missed all of it.

What I do know is that Chris Drury came through for the Rangers, and the Panthers lost a huge game against Philadelphia. This puts Florida in a tough spot with just two games left. The Rags only need a win and they are in, and the Panthers need to win out and watch Drury’s boys lose out.

This means that the Sabres are beyond dead, which isn’t really a surprise to anyone. Looking at the graphs on that page is interesting. According to the one on the left, the Sabres have not been more than eight games over .500 all season. Considering they started the year 6-0-1, that’s pretty freaking terrible.

gamesabove500

If you want to get a proper understanding of just how mediocre the Sabres have been this year, this is a pretty good way to do it. Consider a team like Florida or Pittsburgh, both who are better than the Sabres currently yet struggled mightily at times this season. The range on the graph is much higher, which doesn’t mean much statistically but is a pretty good illustration of just how little movement Buffalo has this year.

This isn’t anything you don’t already know, but the point is that there has been no regression on this team because we are already at the mean; we’ve been there all season. The Sabres haven’t been under .500 all year, but that doesn’t mean they never got very far away from it, either.

When you can actually make a claim that the Sabres win against San Jose is not only the emotional but statistical highpoint of the season; you’re not looking at a very productive year. Since that win the Sabres have only matched the +8 games mark twice, and they followed both times up with a loss.

With three games left, the Sabres could win out and get over the hump for the first time all season. It probably won’t happen, which will only make it that much clearer that change is needed. If the Sabres win out, they better their finish last year by one point.

That wasn’t really what I had in mind when I hoped for progress.