By The Numbers: Hellberg


(Photo credit to Scott Paulus)

There was so much to be excited about with Magnus Hellberg coming into this year. His rookie season was finished off with brilliant results that helped the Admirals reach the playoffs for the eleventh-straight season. For his efforts, he took part in the Nashville Predators pre-season camp. Sadly for Hellberg he was injured on the first day. He started off his season in Milwaukee and started in net for three games. Then came the Pekka Rinne injury and a call up to the NHL where Hellberg saw 12:12 of ice time in a relief role. He was next swapped by Nashville with the undefeated performer in net for the Admirals, Marek Mazanec, and instantly thrown back into the fire with games on the road with the explosive Texas Stars and pesky San Antonio Rampage.

It seems as if, ever since, he hasn’t played with the consistency and execution he displayed at the end of last year. Have teams figured him out? Is there a nagging injury? Is he a slow starter? Is there a little bit of a mental let down knowing he was in Nashville and then his replacement Mazanec has been, well, Mazanec? To me, it is very difficult to pin it on the roster switch with Mazanec but that is just one of many speculations you could dish out on the matter. Me, I’m a nerd who enjoys looking at statistical breakdowns in cases such as this to find differences or similarities. Let’s take a look at the numbers on Hellberg this year to last year – specifically this year’s first nine starts (which means, you guessed it, all of them to this point) versus last season’s first nine starts.

Magnus Hellberg’s First Nine Starts in 2012-13

10-21-12, @ HOU: W, 17 saves, 4 goals allowed, 0.810 SV%

10-31-12, vs. CHA: W, 27 saves, 4 goals allowed, 0.871 SV%

11-9-12, vs. CHI: ND (pulled), 13 saves, 3 goals allowed, 0.812 SV%

11-24-12, @ CHI: W, 30 saves, 3 goals allowed, 0.909 SV% – 5-6 in shootout saves

12-9-12, @ CHA: W, 26 saves, 2 goals allowed, 0.929 SV%

12-11-12, @ CHA: L, 30 saves, 3 goals allowed, 0.909 SV%

12-15-12, @ PEO: L, 34 saves, 2 goals allowed, 0.944 SV%

12-19-12, vs. RFD: L (pulled), 11 saves, 3 goals allowed, 0.786 SV%

12-29-12, @ RFD: L, 36 saves, 3 goals allowed, 0.923 SV%

Magnus Hellberg’s First Nine Starts in 2013-14

10-11-13, @ ABB: L, 28 saves, 3 goals allowed, 0.903 SV%

10-12-13, @ ABB: W, 26 saves, 1 goal allowed, 0.963 SV% – 4-4 in shootout saves

10-19-13, vs. CHI: L, 19 saves, 3 goals allowed, 0.864 SV%

11-8-13, @ TEX: L (pulled), 33 saves, 6 goals allowed, 0.846 SV%

11-10-13, @ SA: L, 43 saves, 2 goals allowed, 0.956 SV% – 4-5 in shootout saves

11-13-13, vs. GR: W, 28 saves, 1 goal allowed, 0.966 SV%

11-15-13, vs. CHI: L, 22 saves, 3 goals allowed, 0.880 SV%

11-19-13, vs. ABB: L, 33 saves, 4 goals allowed, 0.892 SV%

11-20-13, @ GR: L (pulled), 35 saves, 4 goals allowed, 0.897 SV %

The Sum

2012-13 Season
4-4-0-0 record, 224 saves, 27 goals allowed, 0.892 SV%
Goal Support in Games Started: 30

2013-14 Season
2-2-3-1 record, 267 saves, 27 goals allowed, 0.908 SV%
Goal Support in Games Started: 20

The way I see it by the numbers Hellberg is simply facing more this year with far less offensive production in front of him. He’s actually doing better than he was his rookie season as far as saves and save percentage is concerned. It’s only the win column where things don’t match up and the goal support the Admirals provide when he starts. So, is this a slow start for Hellberg? Actually not. He’s provided the Admirals a much needed stopper in goal. Just like any goalie though there are only so many shots that can get poured in before an offense breaks through. That’s happening at the same rate, 27 goals allowed through nine starts, as last season with a better save percentage.

Long story short (too late), the Admirals offense and defense need to step up their games to relieve some of the pressure being forced upon their netminder. It’s a dangerous game to play the way the Ads have this season. As a whole they have been outshot by their opponents 386-349 this season and it’s what both sides do with those shots that make the big dent. The Ads are seventeenth in the AHL in goals scored. They faced the top two teams in the AHL in goals scored on back-to-back nights this week and were outshot 80-56 in those games. That’s asking for trouble. For the Ads to see an improvement from their recent run of games all that’s required is to relieve stress on their own net by putting some shots on goal at the other end. To boot, the Ads need to sharpen up their finishing rate because 44 goals scored from 349 shots just isn’t good enough to hang with teams such as the Heat or Griffins.

7 thoughts on “By The Numbers: Hellberg”

  1. What bothers me more is the type of goals that he is allowing. In the last two games, it’s tough to find a goal against where you tip your hat to the other team and say, ‘Nice shot. Good on ya.’ There have been some softies of late. And you can’t give away goals to good teams like the Heat, Griffins, and Stars.

  2. Ryan: I’m not sure that they’ve been softies. I certainly think the shorthanded goals he has allowed, which there have been a few, he’d certainly want back for as good as he has shown himself to be in a shootout/breakaway type of circumstance.

    The problem lies with the team in front of him, though. When you concede as many shots as the Ads have to a Heat, Griffins, or Stars team – it’s no shocker that they lose those games. You can’t allow the deadliest offenses in the league to keep firing for holes in a goalie’s armor. If they get 40 shots against in a game, teams like that will pop in three or more goals quite easily with the talent they have

    The effort against the Griffins last time out? Bad. They never got into the game and let the Griffins skate circles through them. The effort against the Griffins at home prior to that? Perfect. The Ads were on equal footing with their scoring chances and clogged up the neutral zone to take away that great team speed the Griffins like to play with. There is lots of youth and immaturity coming through in these recent games, Hellberg certainly a part of that, but collectively the team can’t expect Hellberg to make about 38+ saves a night to keep them in it. I think the team now versus the one we see playing in the late stages of the season will be day and night. The points streak to start the year shows the positives. Games like Texas, Abbotsford, and Grand Rapids shows the real weak spots in the team’s youth, skill, and work rate for 60 minutes. They all just need to educate themselves on their mistakes and play better as a group… most importantly for a full 60 minutes. It’s been rare when the Ads don’t have that one killer period that comes back to bite them.

    All in good time, I say. The talent is all there in the team. There are just some early growing pains that are making themselves very evident in the opening months of the season.

  3. I don’t know man…I didn’t like the 3rd and 4th goals on Tuesday, and after watching the highlights from Wednesday, I didn’t care for some of those either.

  4. I have to side (mostly) with Ryan here. While I’m sure the injuries play a part, but only should for a game or two after coming back (unless something bigger is not being said), Hellberg definitely does not have the consistency seen in the second half of last season. Mazanec, on the other hand, is playing very well with the Preds, already having earned an NHL shutout. Stats are stats and can be made to say anything, but too many goals have been let in this season. I do agree with Lavender in that the team in front of him can’t allow so many shots on goal.

    All that being said, I’ve thought for about a month now that if Hutton wouldn’t have to be exposed to waivers to be sent down to Milwaukee he surely would have been and it would be Mazanec and Hellberg in Nashville. The two probably would have fought for the starting position and all else assumed the same, Mazanec most likely would have won it. There is just no way the Preds will expose Hutton to waivers as, even if there’s very little chance another team would pick him up, they can’t take any chance as then they would have to go get another goalie.

    I have little doubt that next season Hutton will earn another contract, but it will be with a team in the league that starts with an “A” rather than an “N.”

  5. Before we get all freaking out about Magnus Hellberg early 2013-2014 not being the same goalie as Hells Bells circa the crazy run to playoffs 2012-2013, lets not forget that Milwaukee is currently in 5th place, is 8-4-3-1, having played 16 games, the same amount or fewer than every other playoff team in the West. Overall, its been a very good start for Milwaukee.

    Yes Hellberg hasn’t been great and Mazanec was awesome. Many of the players saw it coming out of camp. Certainly coach Dean Evason and Scott Ford did:

    Give him some time, I would be willing to bet on Hellberg heating up soon. Perhaps Magnus has been pressing too much knowing the opportunity is out there right now and he’s got stiff competition.

  6. In all fairness to the team, whoever made their schedule this year should be taken out back, whipped and demoted. Put him/her in charge of toilet plunging on game night. Think fatigue might have played a part in the loss to the Griffins? Give the tender and the skaters a break.

  7. Firsttimer: I wouldn’t say that. It’s nothing like a three-in-three can be (only have had one of those so far and they were Texas/Texas/San Antonio). We still have 8 of them to go: Dec. 12-14, Dec. 20-22, Jan.24-26, Feb. 14-16, Feb. 21-23, Mar. 7-9, Mar. 21-23, and Apr. 11-13. (Yikes…)

    Typically the AHL is a weekend driven league to capitalize on attendance. To see a midweek two-in-two is actually kind of weird. All a matter of limiting travel as best as possible, I suppose.

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