Sunday, May 14, 2017

Comparing the three championship years

There were plenty of similarities between this year's President Cup win and the Saint John Sea Dogs' previous two.

Like 2011 and 2012, the Sea Dogs suffered very few loses, playing well at both home and away. The team was also strong defensively this year, sporting the league's best penalty kill just as they did in 2011 and 2012. This year though, the team allowed just 31 goals compared to 39 in past championship seasons.

Here's a statistical look at each President Cup winning playoff run:

PP27.4 (3rd)28.2 (2nd)17.6 (8th)
PK92.6 (1st)88.2 (1st)89.7 (1st)
PointsHuberdeau - 30Galiev - 34; Coyle - 34Joseph - 32
GoalsHuberdeau - 16Galiev - 16Joseph - 13
AssistsGaliev - 17Phillips - 23Joseph - 19

Looking back now, some of those offensive numbers in 2012 seem absurd (an average of 5.75 goals per game!). Some of those numbers got a boost from Saint John's very lopsided first round series with Cape Breton.

It's also interesting that the Sea Dogs' biggest challenge in this year's playoffs came in the third round against the Chicoutimi Sagueneens - just like in 2012. The Sea Dogs lost just once to the Sags in 2012 (an overtime defeat) but twice this year (one being in overtime and the other on a late third period goal).

It'll be interesting to debate in the coming years how these three teams should be ranked. No doubt the team's performance in Windsor this week and next will have an impact on that.

The Sea Dogs begin Memorial Cup play on Friday against the host Spitfires.

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