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Looking For A Rebound Story? Look To The Northwest

Springing Malik is a blog run by a Rangers fan born, raised and still living in the United Kingdom.  A limey hockey fan, you say?  While it's an odd combination, the blog has a numbers bent, so we took notice of it early on.  The writer there, LW3H (which I can only assume is an acronym for the Oilers last season - "[one] Left Wing, 3 Holes") has developed his own set of underlying stats for injuries, of all things. Rather than base injury analysis off of man games lost, as has been the traditional method, he went about developing his own set of tools, all based on injuries.

His first stat was CHIP, Cap Hit of Injured Players, the definition of which I'll leave to LW3H:

...Multiply each game missed by a player by his 2009/10 cap charge, then take the aggregate of these figures for each team and divide by 82.

CHIP analysis should result in a clearer picture of a team's injury situation, as the more cap money sunk into a player, the better that player should be.  On poorly managed teams, this isn't always the case, though.  To alleviate the mismanagement flaw that's inherent in the CHIP analysis, LW3H invented CMIP, or Cumulative Minutes of Injured Player, and AMIP, Average Minutes of Injured Players.  LW3H explains again, this time paraphrased by me:

...Multiply games missed by TOI/G to get CMIP, then take the aggregate of CMIP for the team and divide by games played by the team to arrive at AMIP.

AMIP shows the true impact of the lost players on the team.  So if the Rangers were to lose Wade Redden, his CHIP number is enormous, but his on-ice impact is not, and that's measured in TOI, so his AMIP reflects his true value to the players' portion of team success.

So why is this information relevant to the Oilers and the Northwest?  After the jump we'll look at the numbers.

We can look at injuries from three different standpoints, all shown in the link:  Man-games Lost, CHIP, and AMIP.

Starting with the traditional metric, man-games lost, the pattern begins to emerge.  Edmonton was the clear winner in this category with 536.  The next closest team was the Philadelphia Flyers with 361 man-games lost, 175 games (or more than two full seasons) behind Edmonton.  The top (bottom?) teams in the league are Edmonton - 536; Philadelphia - 361; Colorado - 355; Long Island - 327; Vancouver - 326; Detroit - 316; and Minnesota - 315.  So the Oilers lead the way, but the Avalanche are 3rd, the Canucks 5th, and the Wild 7th.  Four Northwest teams are in the top seven by this metric.

Using CHIP, the Oilers remain in first at $15,435,000 the Wild are second at $10,379,000 and the Canucks are third at $10,055,000.  The Avalanche slide all the way down to tenth, but there are still four Northwest teams in the top ten. 

Lastly, using AMIP, the story changes slightly.  Edmonton still leads the way by a grotesque margin, over 130 minutes per game surrendered to injuries.  The Flyers take down second place for the second time with 85:25.  Colorado moves up to 4th, Minnesota is 7th, and Vancouver is 8th.  Edmonton, Philadelphia and Carolina (they were third) are at the top of the list by way of the long-term injuries to Nikolai Khabibulin, Ray Emery and Cam Ward.  The Hurricanes also lost Erik Cole for a significant amount of time.

No matter which methodology is used, the the Northwest has four teams in the top ten.  If there is a division set to take a step forward next season, it's the Northwest.  Should these teams see their 2010-2011 CHIP and AMIP numbers settle near the league average, the Northwest will no longer be a patsy.