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Down for the count: Numbers reinforce troubles for the Blues this season

Down for the count: Numbers reinforce troubles for the Blues this season

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There are some pretty obvious numbers that tell the story of the Blues’ season: 63 points (a 92-point pace in an 82-game season), fourth place in the NHL’s West Division. And, to end the season, Avalanche 4, Blues 0.

But that tells you where they ended up, the final destination in the GPS. It doesn’t tell you the road the Blues took to get there: Was it Interstate 170 or 270? Did they use 64, 44 or 70?

Actually, it seemed as if the Blues took surface streets more than they ever took the interstate. They had a four-game winning streak early, a four-game winning streak late that saved their season, and in between got stuck at a lot of red lights. Or even worse, with a flat tire or a misfiring engine.

To better explain what went wrong along the way, there are plenty of other numbers, some of which elucidate the situation (275 man-games lost to injury), others don’t. Here are some of those numbers. Unless otherwise noted, the numbers come from nhl.com.

102: Blues goals in five-on-five play, tied for 22nd in the league.

18%: Amount below the league average in expected goals at five on five for the Blues, per hockeyviz.com.

2.72: Goal support for Jordan Binnington, which ranked 36th in the league among goalies who were in 10 or more games.

2.94: Goal support for Ville Husso, which ranked 23rd in the league.

2.65: Binnington’s goals-against average; also, his expected goals-against average at moneypuck.com, meaning he performed pretty much exactly as expected.

58.1 and 55.4: Percentages of defensive zone faceoffs won by Tyler Bozak and Ryan O’Reilly, respectively.

42.6: Overall faceoff percentage for Robert Thomas, which ranked him 145th among players taking at least 200 faceoffs.

1,358 minutes, 32 seconds: Ice time for defenseman Justin Faulk, the eighth-most among skaters. He was fourth in even-strength ice time at 1,159:55. Faulk was second in the number of shifts, at 1,700. That’s a lot of going over the boards.

1,161 minutes, 56 seconds: Ice time for O’Reilly, the seventh-most among forwards.

8: Goals on slapshots by Mike Hoffman, tied with Alex Ovechkin for the most in the NHL.

4: Goals on backhand shots by O’Reilly, tied for seventh-most.

25.8: Percentage of shots by Sammy Blais that were goals. That was sixth-best among players in more than 10 games. He scored on eight of his 31 shots.

19: Secondary assists for David Perron, tied for eighth in the league.

20: Primary assists for Perron, tied for 21st

12.6: The Blues’ shooting percentage with Thomas on the ice, the best mark on the team and the 15th best mark in the league among players with 10 or more games.

5: The number of Blues who were on the ice for more shot attempts than attempts allowed at even strength. In order, from most above .500 to least above: Robert Bortuzzo, O’Reilly, Perron, Mackenzie MacEachern and Jordan Kyrou.

59.5: Percentage of offensive zone starts for Kyrou, the most on the team.

26.8: Percentage of offensive zone starts for Jacob de la Rose, the fewest on the team.

2 and 3: Ranks for the Blues in penalty killing time per 60 minutes for Carl Gunnarsson and Oskar Sundqvist, respectively, both of whom missed most of the season because of injuries.

6: The number of seconds of shorthanded time for Kyrou, the least on the team among players who appeared in more than five games (Austin Poganski and Klim Kostin had no shorthanded time).

7: Team-best net penalties for Kyrou, who drew 12 penalties from opponents (the most by a Blue) and was called for five penalties.

4: Shots each by Torey Krug, O’Reilly, Zach Sanford and Vince Dunn that hit the post, to lead the team. Vladimir Tarasenko hit three posts in his 24 games.

10: Blues goals with a sixth attacker, the most in the league.

.696: Blues point percentage when leading after the first period, ranked 23rd.

.800: Blues point percentage when leading after the second period, ranked 24th.

523: Number of missed shots by the Blues, the third fewest.

39: Number of shots tipped by the Blues, the least in the league.

28.2: The percentage of tipped shots the Blues scored on, the second-best rate (behind Philadelphia).

6: Tipped shots by O’Reilly, the most by a Blue.

139th (tied): Where that ranked in the league for tipped shots.

3.0: The percentage of deflected shots the Blues scored on, the worst rate in the league. (Tipped shots are off the attacking team’s stick; deflected shots are off gear or a body part.)

23: The number of games in which the Blues scored first, the third fewest.

12: The number of high-danger scoring chances, per moneypuck.com, by Brayden Schenn and Kyrou. No one else on the team had more than six.

3.54: Expected goals per 60 minutes of ice time by the line of Jaden Schwartz, Schenn and Kyrou, the highest rate for any Blues line, per moneypuck.com.

0.78: Expected goals per 60 minutes by the line of Mike Hoffman, Tyler Bozak and Robert Thomas, the lowest rate for any line playing at least 30 minutes together, per moneypuck.com.

3.72: Individual high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes by Kyrou, the most on the Blues, per naturalstattrick.com.

92nd: Kyrou’s rank in the league in that category, among players with at least 200 minutes.

43.89%: Blues’ “high-danger chance” percentage, per naturalstattrick.com, meaning that out of 100 high-danger chances, about 44 were by the Blues and 56 were by the opponent; only Chicago had a lower percentage.

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