Basically, the theory is that Hershey is a better team when Richmond is in the lineup.
At first I didn’t even want to consider it. I thought they were nuts and there was no way one player, that was barely playing (their post went up a little before Christmas), could possibly be having that large an impact.
I took a look at some simple, basic stats after that post and thought maybe there was something to it. And since the article went up, the results have continued. So, now I present it to you with some statistics to make the point.
First, let’s just break it down by record so far this season:
- w/ Richmond – 12-2-2-1
- w/o Richmond – 9-6-2-2
- Overall – 21-8-4-3
So, the Bears based on points percentage (percentage of points earned):
- w/ Richmond - .794
- w/o Richmond - .579
- Overall - .681
Ok, but maybe the Bears have played weaker competition when Richmond has been in the lineup…
Point’s percentage of Bears opponents (as of 1/9/12):
- In games w/ Richmond - .564
- In games w/o Richmond - .534
- Overall - .549
Is there something else that is influencing it and making it seem like he is the missing link? Maybe per game scoring explains it…
- w/ Richmond – 4.2 goals per game
- w/o Richmond – 3.5 goals per game
- Overall – 3.8 goals per game
- w/ Richmond – 2.8 goals allowed per game
- w/o Richmond – 3.1 goals allowed per game
- Overall – 2.9 goals allowed per game
Let’s keep looking though…there has to be something we are missing.
Maybe your argument would be, a lot of those games probably came early in the season and since the team is playing better of late, everything is evening out. This is a relatively true statement as the Bears started out good, went into hibernation through November, and have come out to feed since December 1.
But is their success of late because Richmond has been getting more opportunities?
Through the first two months of the season Richmond played in only 8 of a possible 20 games (40%). Since December 1 he has played in 9 of 16 (56%).
And the numbers are just as supporting…take a look:
Since December 1, 2011 the Bears by record:
- w/ Richmond – 9-0-0-0
- w/o Richmond – 3-2-1-1
- Overall – 12-2-1-1
- w/ Richmond – 1.000
- w/o Richmond - .571
- Overall - .813
And the opposition over that stretch? It is pretty much the same. Overall the Bears opponents had a point’s percentage of .563 since December 1. The difference with or without Richmond is less than .010.
Scoring since December 1:
- w/ Richmond – 4.6 goals per game
- w/o Richmond – 4.1 goals per game
- Overall – 4.4 goals per game
- w/ Richmond – 1.9 goals allowed per game
- w/o Richmond – 3.6 goals allowed per game
- Overall – 2.6 goals allowed per game
So, wait. You are telling me that a guy who has, so far this season, no goals, 2 assists, and a +3 rating is the key to the Bears this year?
Overall the numbers are pretty convincing. The sample size is still relatively small though. The Bears have only played 16 games since December 1 (9 with Danny, 7 without) and have only played 36 on the year. By the end of the season the sample size will be large enough for the coaching staff to have to strongly consider making roster decisions based on the information.
|Danny Richmond, picture by Kyle Mace at Sweetest Hockey on Earth|
Personally, I am not entirely convinced....but I am getting close.