Today's number is "898".
898 is Nino Niederreiter's PDO from the 2011-2012 season, which, aside from a 9-game "cup of coffee" in 2010-2011, is the only year he has spent in the NHL, playing 55 games.
PDO is basically a measure of luck. It's job is to see if a team or player's performance over a period of time is sustainable and to highlight outliers who are being affected by extremely good or bad luck. It adds together a player's On-Ice Shooting Percentage and On-Ice Save Percentage (or a team's shooting percentage and save percentage).
A player has an On-Ice Sh% of 9.5% and an On-Ice Sv% of 93.5%, so 9.5% + 93.6% = 103.1. His PDO is 103.1.
This figure can be written in a number of ways. Some people will write it as 1.031, others will write it as 1031. I tend to use the latter as I prefer working with whole numbers, but it really makes no difference. In that format, the player from the example has a PDO of 1031.
1000, or 1.0 is the league average and therefore any team with a PDO higher than that during, say, the first half of the season could be considered to be "lucky" and would be expected to regress towards the mean during the second half of the year, while any team with a PDO sub-1000 could be considered to be unlucky and would be expected to regress towards the mean in the second half.
PDO is a very convoluted and somewhat difficult to explain concept. There's been plenty written about it exploring every aspect of it and every potential problem, so I recommend doing some reading around the subject.
-For a more in-depth explanation of PDO, go read these articles:
Back to Nino, and, as I said before, he had a PDO of '898' in 11-12, which was the lowest of any player in the league who played more than 30 games. The Islanders staff obviously watched him play all year and kept seeing the puck flying into their net while he was on the ice and not doing the same at opposition's end of the ice, so they came to the conclusion that Nino must be the reason for this.
There has been a lot of work done to show that On-Ice Shooting and Save Percentages are primarily luck driven and can't be influenced all that much by the players on the ice. It's still a hotly debated topic, and I recommend you go do some further research if you're curious about it. Our friends over at Arctic Ice Hockey have an entire "Shot Quality" section that features multiple articles on the subject.
Part of Nino's problem was the fact that he spent most of his time with Jay Pandolfo and Marty Reasoner on the 4th line, but that doesn't entirely count for the awful luck he experienced. A big factor was Nino's own Shooting Percentage which was a staggeringly-low 1.4% on 74 shots-on-goal.
If Nino's Sh%, On-Ice Sh% and On-Ice Sv% improve and land anywhere close to league average, he will have a much smoother ride on his new NHL adventure. He wasnt a terrible puck posession player in his 2011-2012 stint, and he's now older and more well-prepared, faced with the prospect of playing with much better linemates in more favourable situations. This gives me great hope that he's gonna have a very good year for the Wild.
I highly recommend that you keep an eye on the PDO numbers for individual players and teams over the course of this season and look out for big outliers to give you an idea of who is due a change in fortune. Cam Charron tracks it on a team level with monthly articles on NHLNumbers.com like this, so look out for those. Individual numbers can be found on BehindThenNet.ca.
Hopefully, Nino's shit luck has run-out and he'll reap the benefits this year as a Wild player. The idea of Nino "Knightrider" and Jared Spurgeon (who was also prematurely dumped by the Islanders) becoming star players in Minnesota is both awesome and hilarious.
For more stuff about Nino Niederreiter, read my Player Preview article from last night.
Hit me up on Twitter @GerDevine so you can tell me how dumb and bad my article was.