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31 in 31

St. Louis Blues key statistics

O'Reilly's face-off proficiency, Binnington's second-season numbers will be crucial

by Rob Reese @NHLReese

NHL.com is providing in-depth analysis for each of its 31 teams throughout August. Today, three key statistics for the St. Louis Blues.

 

[Blues 31 IN 31: Season preview | 3 Questions | Top prospects | Fantasy breakdown]

 

1. O'Reilly's face-off wins

Center Ryan O'Reilly led the NHL with 1,086 face-off wins and his face-off win percentage (56.9 percent) was first among forwards with at least 1,500 attempts. O'Reilly excelled at even strength, when he won 57 percent of his face-offs to lead the League under the same parameters. Though there isn't a direct correlation to winning face-offs and puck possession, O'Reilly was second among Blues forwards with a shot attempts differential of plus-154, meaning St. Louis attempted 154 more shots than its opponent when O'Reilly was on the ice.

Video: 31 in 31: St. Louis Blues 2019-20 season preview

 

2. Binnington's save percentage

Goalie Jordan Binnington sparkled in his rookie season, going 24-5-1 with a 1.89 goals-against average, .927 save percentage and five shutouts in 32 games (30 starts) and finished second among Calder Trophy finalists for NHL rookie of the year. His wins and save percentage each led first-year goalies to play at least 20 games; his save percentage was tied for fourth in the NHL under the same parameters. We can gain insight by comparing Binnington to other rookie goalies who won the Stanley Cup and what they did as a follow-up. Matt Murray of the Pittsburgh Penguins was 32-10-4 with a 2.41 GAA, .923 save percentage and four shutouts in 49 games (47 starts) in his second season after winning the Cup in 2015-16; Cam Ward of the Carolina Hurricanes was 30-21-6 with a 2.93 GAA, .897 save percentage and two shutouts in 60 games in season two following a Cup win in 2005-06; Patrick Roy won the Cup with the Montreal Canadiens as a rookie in 1985-86 and then went 22-16-6 with a 2.94 GAA and .891 save percentage the following season; and Ken Dryden helped the Canadiens win the Cup in his first season in 1970-71 and was 39-8-15 (ties) with a 2.24 GAA, .930 save percentage and eight shutouts the next season. So there is a precedent that Binnington may have favorable odds at sustaining his success.

Video: Top 10 saves of 2018-19: Binnington

 

3. Dunn's SAT

Defenseman Vince Dunn led the Blues with a shot attempts differential of plus-210 and had 35 points (12 goals, 23 assists) in 78 games last season, his second in the NHL, second among St. Louis defensemen behind Alex Pietrangelo (41 points; 13 goals, 28 assists). Dunn's SAT and point production was impressive considering his time on ice per game (17:32) was fifth at the position for the Blues. The numbers suggest Dunn will continue an upward trajectory in his point totals and shot attempt differentials if his ice time increases.

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