Saturday, January 13, 2007

More Number Crunching - and - Good News For Cyclones

My last post was heavy on stats. I hope I don't make your eyes glaze over, but looking at the stats as of today (1-15-07) they have played half their season and I continue to be impressed, so it merits a continued analysis...

Games Played: 37
Wins: 21
Losses: 13
OT Loss: 1
Shootout Loss: 2
Points: 45
Overall Win %: .608
Home Win %: .667
Away Win %: .531
Goals For: 110
Goals Against: 91
Goal Differential: +19
Last 10 Games: 7-2-0-1
Penaltis in Minutes: 849

What does all this mumbo-jumbo mean? Damn fine hockey, that's what it means. .608%? You gotta be kidding me! It breaks down to .531 on the road (recoving after a bad start on road wins) and .667 at home! That's fantastic - especially polishing these stats after coming off a stretch of 7 games in 9 days. That's brutal at any level! Let's see some local men's league players do that!

For the fans, this means that if you go to a hockey game, you have about a 66% chance of seeing them win. Secondarily, it means if you don't see a win, you will still see a good hockey game. That's what I call getting your money's worth.

Their weakness right now is the power play. To go deep in the playoffs, they need to fix this. However, it may not be as bad as the 15% rating. First, you have to figure that they are pretty high up in terms if penalties against. A lot of their power plays are cut short by penalties and they spend a lot of time in the box, therefore getting fatigued.

The league is demanding the referees call the games very tight, in the "new NHL" style. Personally, I don't like it but that's another whole blog entry. For whatever reason, the Cyclones are getting more than their fair share of penalties. But they rise to the occasion and have the best penalty killing in the league. That's pretty damn impressive.

So, even if they don't fix their power play by the time the playoffs come at least they can fend off the other guys' power play. That's not a great thing to have, but it's a decent off-set.

The other weakness is marketing. All of us who go to games know this because we know how good it is but we don't see the organization selling themselves off the ice. So far, I'm still not worried. They had only precious few months to put a team on the ice last summer. They had their priorities straight. They concentrated on GOOD HOCKEY. They delivered GREAT HOCKEY. Marketing crap is still crap and won't sustain. They first built a fine product.

Now they need to market that product. They have started that. We're seeing TV commecials, soda can advertising, Yellow Book cover, embedded flash ads on the Enquirer and Post websites, etc. They are getting the ball rolling in support of an established product.

That's OK by me. They have to keep it up and continue to improve. I still maintain that they need to get on the radio next year. They've proven this year that they have the goods; but next they have to put the goods out 'in your face' for people to see.

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