Tyler Tracker: Update 0.5

In early September I announced I would be tracking the performance of the Tylers over the course of the season. Initially I intended on having these posts track the performance of both Tyler Myers (Tyler 1) and Tyler Ennis (Tyler 2). After some thought, however, I decided that it’s best to focus on only one of the Tylers, as tracking performance is meaningless without for comparison. Therefore, I will be comparing  Tyler 2’s performance this season to that of his rookie season. It’s only fair that I track him according to the high standard that he established for himself last season. Normally I will do an update every 10 games (based on statistics averaged over a 5 or 6 game span), but today I’m only going to focus on his first 5 games; hence the reason I’m referring to this post as “Update 0.5.” Expect to see the full update after his first 10 games of the season, complete with pretty pretty charts and graphs (eventually). After the jump I’ll examine his performance thus far.

Source: sabres.com, Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Nobody will argue with me when I say that Ennis has not gotten off to a very good start this season. It appears that the dreaded Sophomore Slump has again claimed another victim. But how exactly has he performed in comparison to his rookie season? Well, I’ll allow the numbers to do the talking for me.

For reference, here is my notation for the abbreviations I use in my charts.

– GP: Games Played

– G/G: Goals/Game (Goals per Game)

– A/G: Assists/Game (Assists per Game)

– P/G: Points/Game (Points per Game)

– TOI: Time on Ice, in minutes

– TOI/G: Time on Ice/Game

– PPTOI/G: Power Play Time on Ice/Game

– SHTOI/G: Shorthanded Time on Ice/Game

Welcome to Slumpville, Tyler 2. Population: You

As you can see above, Ennis’ production has dropped off fairly significantly from his rookie season. There really isn’t much to say about the numbers that you cannot see for yourself. They merely confirm that his production has not been on par with that of last season’s, at least after 5 games.

I think that the most significant drop has been in his PPTOI/G. Could this potentially be the reason for the decrease in his production?  To answer this I’ve also looked at a breakdown of when assists or goals were earned. According to the stats sheets, of his 4 assists in 5 games, 2 were at even strength and 2 were on the power play. So I don’t believe that this decrease in production can be entirely attributed to a decrease in his PPTOI/G. That is not to say, however, that an increase in PPTOI/G would not be beneficial.

While his decrease in production could be attributed to the aforementioned Sophomore Slump, I believe that there are other contributing factors. In the 2010-2011 season, Ennis started the year playing on the top line with Derek Roy while Roy was on his point-per-game pace. In fact, Ennis’ first three assists of the year were on goals scored by Roy; the fourth was on Tim Connolly’s first goal of the season.

Those numbers lead me to believe that his success depends largely on the talent level of the players on his line (duh). I’m not saying that Brad Boyes and Ville Leino aren’t talented, I’m merely suggesting that perhaps he don’t have any chemistry with them. Although, Lenio’s faceoff percentage (FO%) of 33.3 certainly has something to do with it (worst on the team with a minimum or 30 FO attempts). From what I’ve seen, the 63-23-22 line does a great job of touring the offensive zone with the puck, but that is about it.

In the game on October 18th against the Canadiens, Ennis had 4 shots on goal (SOG). That was actually DOUBLE the amount he had in his previous 2 games combined. I think this was largely due to the fact that Lindy Ruff moved Ennis to a line with Drew Stafford and Derek Roy; a line that looked dangerous from the moment that Ruff put them together. Although he wasn’t credited with an assist, it was Ennis who forced the turnover that led to the game tying goal (GTG).

I’m sure that Ennis will be given a long leash before he starts catching enough ire from Ruff to spend a game in the press box, but at a certain point something needs to be done. When you’re a scorer and your name is mentioned amongst the likes of Robyn Regehr, Patrick Kaleta, and Cody McCormick as far as points go, you might want to get working on fixing that problem. Especially after a rookie season were you were just on the outside of being a Calder Trophy nominee. Do something Tyler.

In Tylers we trust.


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