Wow! After all these years, I’m writing my first HockeyPhan.com blog. Actually, this is my first blog...ever. I’m surprised I hadn’t done this earlier and more often. I tend to be better with the written word, as opposed to tripping over my tongue, which you all seem to enjoy me doing week after week on the podcast. At least here, if I screw up, I have plenty of time to fix it and no one will ever know I made a miscake.

What I will be doing here will be a weekly thing. (Don’t hold me to that) So future posts will be much shorter than this one. This first post will be the Marvel Origin Story. And thus goes...

Among a small but merry group of Covelli friends, I have the nickname “Stat-Man”. This is because of the last few years of fielding requests from Justin for “off the beaten path” stats that are not found in the USHL Universe. And to date, I have fulfilled every request. Back in December, a request was made to me by someone who we’ll just refer to as Bob. We had talked about how it seemed like the Phantoms almost never had a lead in a game. And he asked me if there was any way to find out how many minutes so far this season the Phantoms had actually led. I imagine that NextGen stats keeps track of that for the NHL, but it is definitely not a stat kept in the USHL.

So, I sat down and went through all 7 or so games the Phantoms had played up to that point, going box score by box score, adding up the total time the Phantoms held a lead. And it was bad, like, baaaaaad. That idea evolved into how much time they trailed and were tied and what percentage of the season were those times. I continued tracking these numbers into spreadsheets, adding games from the next couple of weeks as they were played.

But, I had nothing to compare those numbers to. How did they stack up with other teams? So I sat down and ran the numbers for Chicago. When I was done, I showed a few people these numbers and how they compare. Those people are alcoholics now. Going further down the rabbit hole, I decided to run these numbers for each team in the East. Now I was tracking the entire conference, and could rank best to worse.

The next step was I created spreadsheets for the Phantoms that broke down how the numbers added up against each EC team. So now going into each week, I could see how the season series against a certain team had gone so far. And finally, I made a simple chart that ranked the teams in each category in case no one wanted to look through a bunch of spreadsheets.

Each category is easy to figure out, but I think the first one needs a bit more explaining. Time Leading, Time Tied and Time Trailing are simple enough. "No Score" took some thought. My original thought was that from the time a game starts until the first goal is scored should be counted as the teams being tied. As I started going through games, it seemed most first goals were scored early in games. And I wondered if that time would skew the Time Tied percentage.

“What happens if either team doesn’t score first until the 3rd Period?” I don’t know; it hasn’t happened yet. So far, only 4 games played by EC teams have had the first goal scored in the 2nd Period. The longest was a first goal coming at 9:03 of the 2nd. The next longest was 2:36 of the 2nd. So "No Score" became its own category, and Time Tied is reserved when both teams have scored and are playing a tied game.

So, in summation, each week I will post these updated numbers. I will point out that these numbers tell pretty much the same story the overall standings do. It just became a different way of looking at how teams have done this season. Just to note a couple things, a line in a spreadsheet that is peach colored indicates a win. If the box for the "No Score Time" is blue, that indicates that the team that chart is for scored the first goal. These posts will be for Youngstown’s numbers. But if you would like to see another team’s chart, a request can be made to me through Twitter at @Dump_ChasePod. The photos you see below will be Youngstown’s season so far, an example of the numbers with a specific opponent (Team USA U18s, in this case), and the overall rankings for the Eastern Conference. I hope you all enjoy while I go ice down my fingers!