Huskies/Bisons: Looking at the stats
As we get closer to dropping the puck on the Canada West semi-final playoff series between Saskatchewan and Manitoba, let’s take a look at how these two teams stack up on paper and who may have an advantage.
Stats can be pretty trivial but the numbers don’t lie either. It was pretty interesting to see how the two teams match-up and it will no doubt be an exciting few games.
On the surface it doesn’t appear that much separates the Huskies and the Bisons. The two teams were separated by just a single point at the conclusion of the Canada West regular season and the two teams split the four game season series. However, as I did a little digging, there are some telling numbers that may give us an idea as to who, if anyone, has an edge in this series.
Head to head: The two teams split the season series with each winning two games. The Bisons outscored the Huskies 10-8 over the four games. The two Saskatchewan wins were each by a single goal while the Manitoba wins were each by two goals. They each won one game in Saskatoon.
Over the last five years the Huskies are 7-7-0 while the Bisons are 7-5-2. Over the last five years, IN SASKATCHEWAN, the Huskies are 5-3-0 while Manitoba is 3-3-2.
Home ice advantage? The Huskies put up an 11-3-0 record on home ice while the Bisons were 7-5-2. Saskatchewan outscored opponents 55-38 at home while the Bisons narrowly edged the opposition on the score-sheet 45-41 on the road. The Huskies are 1-0 in shootouts at home while the Bisons are 0-1.
Special teams: The special teams are very tight as is everything else we seem to be talking about. Let’s start with the power play. The Huskies clicked on 21.6% of tries, good enough for second in Canada West. The Bisons are third at 21.5%. (did I mention they were close?). The Bisons have allowed three shorthanded goals while the Huskies have allowed just one. Let’s also note here that the Bisons have had a league high 158 power play opportunities.
Onto the penalty kill. The Huskies have been shorthanded more than any other team in Canada West at 149 times. The Huskies penalty kill operated at 82.6% (4th) while the Bisons have the top ranked penalty kill at 84.7%. The teams are one/two when it comes to shorthanded goals. Manitoba has scored five while the Huskies have scored four.
Close games: In one goal games the Huskies are 12-4-1 this season while the Bisons are 2-3-2-2. Saskatchewan is 3-0 in overtime and 1-1 in shootouts. Manitoba is 1-2 in overtime and 0-2 in shootouts. There are no shootouts in the playoffs so really the only relative stat is the overtime records.
Two and three goal games: Saskatchewan is 1-3-0 in two goal games and 2-0 in three goal games. Manitoba is 4-2 in two goal games and 6-1 in three goal games.
What do we know? I think the only thing I will say for certain is that this will be a very good and very close series. Special teams could break this series wide open. The Huskies need to stay disciplined. They have taken more penalties than any other team and the Bisons draw more power play opportunities than any other team.
The second factor that jumps off the page at me is how the teams fare in close games. The Huskies play in a lot of one goal games and they do very well in close hard fought games. What we haven’t seen from the Huskies this season is a lot of two and three goal wins. The Bisons have won the two and three goal games but in close, one goal games the edge lies with the Huskies.