Philadelphia Flyers' 5 Most Impressive Stats Early in 2013-14
The Philadelphia Flyers have not had a great start to the season, but they have righted the ship a little by going .500 over the past eight games.
Claude Giroux finally scored his first goal, and the vibe in the Wells Fargo Center was decidedly positive for the first time in a little while.
There are definitely a few positives for the Flyers to build on, which I'll detail here. These are their five most impressive statistics from the 2013-14 season thus far.
Steve Mason's Save Percentage
SV %: .925
Goaltending has not been the problem in Philadelphia for once. Steve Mason, working on a one-year contract, has been outstanding for the Flyers in 12 starts.
Mason has the seventh-best save percentage out of other goaltenders who have 12 or more starts this season. For comparison's sake, Ilya Bryzgalov had save percentages of .900 and .909 in his two seasons in Philadelphia.
Claude Giroux's Time on Ice Per Game
Claude Giroux certainly isn't in a slump for lack of playing time. On the contrary, he has actually been quite impressive by how much weight he's been able to pull this season aside from his lack of goals.
He averages the fourth-most minutes per game for all forwards in the league and leads the Flyers. He plays a ton of shifts and in every situation, and hopefully his goal against the Oilers is a sign of the ball starting to roll for him.
Zac Rinaldo's Hits
Zac Rinaldo is not a player opponents want to see on the ice. Say what you will about his penchant for taking bad penalties and his lack of offensive output, but he is an extremely effective agitator.
He stands up for teammates, fights as well as anyone in the league and brings a ton of energy every shift.
That energy, combined with underrated speed, makes him one of the best hitters in the league, and he's tied for fifth in the NHL right now with 55, which is incredible given that he doesn't play very many minutes.
Matt Read's Special Teams Time
PP TOI/G: 2:44, SH TOI/G: 2:56
Matt Read burst into the NHL as a nobody two years ago and led all rookies in goals with 24 (yet still didn't get nominated for the Calder). The 27-year-old has a ton of speed and a very good shot, but his improvement as a complete player has been impressive to witness.
His hockey IQ, along with his skating ability and work ethic, have allowed him to play a ton of minutes in all situations. He's fifth on the team in shorthanded time per game and is the only Flyer other than Kimmo Timonen who averages more than two minutes on both the power play and penalty kill.
Sean Couturier's Advanced Defensive Metric
Offensive Zone Start Percentage: 43.3, Corsi Relative: 1.1
If you look at this player usage chart, it's easy to see how effective Couturier has been. While he doesn't light up the stat sheet or show up in the highlight reel, the 20-year-old brings a lot to the table.
Out of Flyers forwards with at least 10 games, he starts in the offensive zone the third least, plays against the second best competition and still has a decent Corsi rating, which measures shots attempted against shots given up by the team when that player is on the ice.
Couturier is effective because he wins a lot of faceoffs, makes smart passes, has great positioning, is effective getting the puck out of the zone and can create a little offense when he needs to as well.