What follows is a breakdown of man-games lost to injury/illness (MGL) and the corresponding cap hit of each injured player (CHIP) across the first half of the NHL regular season for the Pacific Division (other divisions to follow). Hopefully self evident, but if not, the figure above the columns is the MGL for each game (i.e. number of players missing), the columns are CHIP for the game ($k against the right-hand axis), broken down by position.
As seen in my previous posts, team performance and injury occurrence are far from inextricably linked, so definitely not wise to place too much emphasis on the comparison between injury absences and performances, especially at an individual game level, but for a broad indication of team-performance trends, I have also added five-game rolling average and cumulative Fenwick 5v5 close (red lines against the left-hand axis). There are often one or two injury-related trends, peaks or troughs that are identifiable, though.
For the avoidance of doubt, absences not due to injury/illness (e.g. healthy scratches, suspensions) are not captured here, and who is or isn’t included in the numbers is subject to the conditions I generally apply throughout the year (explained in more detail in the previous post linked above).
Click to enlarge charts
Anaheim Ducks (first-half aggregates – MGL: 205, CHIP: $6.29M)
Significant injuries to Sheldon Souray (all 41 games), Luca Sbisa (32), Matt Beleskey (20), Viktor Fasth (30), Jakob Silfverberg (24), Saku Koivu (15), and Francois Beauchemin (10) have been fairly well spread across the season, but it is interesting that one of the poorest spells coincided with Ryan Getzlaf’s absence in games 19-21. Beauchemin missed games 25-34.
Calgary Flames (MGL: 116, CHIP: $4.34M)
Not a good team, as expected. Even with long absences of Mark Giordano (18), Curtis Glencross (20), and Dennis Wideman (16), not too much to suggest team performance has done much other than gradually decline.
Edmonton Oilers (MGL: 188, CHIP: $4.04M)
An unhealthy first half-half (need a word for that…) was not massively driven by the most valuable players, but things didn’t go especially well while Taylor Hall missed games 10-16. Things have picked up slightly since in relatively good health and once a top-five pick had been secured.
Los Angeles Kings (MGL: 83, CHIP: $3.60M)
The Reverse Oilers in a lot of ways. Impressive possession numbers throughout, and injury to third-string goalie Jonathan Quick aside, nothing too serious going in the treatment room.
Phoenix Coyotes (MGL: 78, CHIP: $3.03M)
Possession numbers took a bit of an early season dive (insert Mike Smith joke here), since stabilized. Injury experience fairly non-descript, if you ignore Shane Doan’s bout with flesh-eating mutant bananas or whatever it was.
San Jose Sharks (MGL: 143, CHIP: $4.85M)
Another constant, strong possession team. Constant blue bars are attributable to Raffi Torres and Adam Burish, with part of the blue bars in games 9-21 due to former pink bar Brent Burns.
Vancouver Canucks (MGL: 108, CHIP: $3.10M)
As discussed in more detail in this post at Canucks Army, things have gone a bit south since Alex Burrows (game 30) and Alex Edler (game 31) left the lineup.
Thomas Crawshaw is a UK-born/bred/based hockey obsessive, creator of the CHIP injury metric, occasional blogger and since watching the NHL, winner of as many Stanley Cups as Glen Sather. He doesn’t write often, but when he does, it’s always almost good.
Follow Thomas on Twitter at @LW3H.