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Statistically Advanced - Week Three: Vasteras Iron Eagles


Statistically Advanced is a weekly feature which will give an in-depth look at a VHL team, discussing said team's weaknesses and strengths, using fancy "advanced" stats to predict trends. Each week, I'll analyze a different VHL team. Warning: If you hate numbers, this post will likely not be for you. 


This week will focus on the Vasteras Iron Eagles.


Before y'all get mad at me, yes, I screwed up. There was no installment of Statistically Advanced last week. I didn't think I'd be so busy, but turned out I was out of the house from 6 am to 11 pm every day, leaving me absolutely no time to calculate stats and compile this article. But I'm back now!


Here, I'll make it up to you with this adorable little goalie.


Anyway, let's get started! I'm not going to explain the stats like I had to last week, if you don't understand, then ask me for clarification and read my first post, which explains what Corsi is. 





Ed.: I've realized this article is a little bit heavy on bashing the Eagles. My sincere apologies go out to all Eagles fans I've offended. Please don't hurt me.


Team Overview


The Vasteras Iron Eagles appear to be a decent team, currently sitting 3rd in the European Conference, with a 28-19-4 record after 51 games. Their 60 points give them a nice 8-point cushion over the 4th place Express.


However, it looks like this team may be buoyed a little by very strong goaltending (thanks to the lovely Eggly Bagelface) and a decent defensive core. They're struggling to score goals. And, as we all know, it's really hard to win in hockey if you don't score.


So what? Are the Iron Eagles going to hang on to their playoff spot? Or will they regress and fall out of the top 3?


Advanced Trends


As I said last week, it's absolutely impossible for me to calculate Corsi for the entire season. That would be awful and would take weeks. Screw that. So, I use the last 10 games as a sample size to provide us with a rough outline. Obviously, stats like PDO can be calculated for the entire season.


In their last 10 games (as of January 30th), the Eagles went 4-6. This stretch included some interesting games, such as their 6-0 washout of the Calgary Wranglers, and, most recently, a thorough 5-2 boning at the hands of the Toronto Legion (note: that game was 1 short of being the first I've seen where a team allows 100 shot attempts against).


Okay, I'm gonna throw some numbers at you now, so buckle up.


I'll begin with this team's Corsi stats. The Eagles, over our 10-game sample, had a CF% of 39.11%. Sorry, Vasteras, but that's kind of awful. It gets even worse in close situations, as the team had a CF Close% of 32.76%. In only 5 on 5 situations, the team's CF% was 39.13%. In case you still don't understand this stat, this very basically means that the Iron Eagles only possess the puck between 30-40% of a game. Unfortunately, unless you're the Toronto Maple Leafs, you can't win games by doing that. (Just so you know, the NHL's worst Corsi team are the Buffalo Sabres, with a CF% of 41.9%.)



Over the 51 games played this season, the Eagles have a PDO of 102.8. This may be the scariest stat in this article. As a stat meant to give a rough estimate of a team's luck, a high PDO tends to mean that a team is due to regress, and not continue whatever success they're currently having. Unfortunately, the Eagles have a high PDO. In fact, this is 0.1 higher than the Legion's PDO I looked at last week.


Now, does this mean the Eagles are going to start sucking? Well, not necessarily. But it does mean that they probably are outplaying themselves a little bit.


I want to break down that stat a bit, though. PDO is the sum of a team's shooting percentage and its save percentage. The Eagles have a team save percentage of .933. That's extremely good. This team has been largely supported by the strong goaltending of Eggly Bagelface (with a name only a mother could love – wait, is he named after this weird Japanese fashion trend?). In fact, they pretty much seem to rely on him to win games that they really don't deserve to.


So basically, sorry Eagles fans, but I highly doubt that this team can continue to win games.


Other Notes


  • This Iron Eagles team appears to rely heavily on their top line for scoring. Willem Janssen, Zach Cuff and recent acquisition Keiji Toriyama account for 67% of this team's goals. Two thirds. That's a little worrying. If this team wants to win, they'll really need a bigger offensive contribution from Leitner and Kylrad, as well as from their (solid-in-their-own-end) defensive core.


  • In conjunction with the less-than-sparkling Corsi stats, the Eagles seem to have a problem with getting shots. 24.8 per game has them second-last in the VHL. That's simply not good enough. Obviously, you can't win a hockey game if you don't shoot.


                “You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take”

-Wayne Gretzky

- Michael Scott.


  • Actually, this team is the Toronto Maple Leafs of the VHL. Terrible Corsi, strong goaltending, high PDO... huh.


  • As for some good news, I found some! This really is a decent defensive team! The Eagles have a rock-solid penalty kill, second in the league with 86.6%. A team goals-against-average of 2.12 is also strong, good enough for 3rd in the league. Really, credit has to be given to Till Lindemann, Mattis Trumbauer and Blake Knight for playing some good shutdown hockey.


Prediction for the Season


The Eagles are quite a fascinating team. They're winning, and hanging on to a playoff spot, but most of their stats say they shouldn't be. However, it would surprise me if this team continued to win. I would absolutely not be surprised if Vasteras dropped out of third place (sorry). It'll take a much greater contribution from everyone offensively if this team wants to win. I mean, you can't win if you don't score, right?


That's it for this week's installment of Statistically Advanced. Next week (and yes, I mean next week), I'll look at the Calgary Wranglers (pretty badass name, I wish they weren't in last). Maybe there's an outstanding reason why they're doing so poorly.


This post wasn't as long as the previous one, as I didn't have to explain the stats. So you'd better freaking read all of it. Or else. As always, please tell me if I fucked up, or left out something you wanted me to mention, or said something outrageously bullshit.


I leave you now with the most American picture I've seen this week:



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Content 3/3 - Vateras seems to get bashed a lot. From their recent trade to this article. I hope that they will be able to get on the good side of the league soon.


Grammar 2/2 - Taking into account that you conducted this media spot more like a podcast, I am not going to dock you for some grammar errors. However, I would try to stick to more formal writing for media spots in the future. 


Appearance 1/1 - I remember seeing that little goalie video on Facebook. At that age, being goalie is really hard. haha


Overall 6/6 - Can not wait for next week's article!

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