The Jackets & The First Goal: A Guest Analysis

After looking at the team's Game State numbers, one of our readers, Ryan Real, reached out to me asking if I'd be interested in information on when the team was scored on in each game, to try and figure out when those first goals occurred, and how often the team lost after giving up an early goal.

Ryan did some awesome work compiling and breaking down the numbers, so I'm going to turn this over to him and let you read his take.

Thanks again, Ryan!

Last season, the Jackets recorded six shutouts, so we throw those out. There were 76 non-shutout games. Overall, opponents scored first 49 times and the Jackets scored first 33 times. Of the 76 non-shutout games, the Jackets scored first 27 times.

The latest first opponent goal came against Philadelphia, 10/25, at home, 14:59 of third.

Of the 49 games where the opponent scored first, 46 came in the first period and 36 came in the first 10 minutes.

11 of those first opponent goals were on the PP.

Of all the non-winning outcomes (48, 35 regulation losses and 13 overtime/shootout losses), the opponent scored first in 37 games. So when an opponent scored first, that team was guaranteed a point 77.1 percent of the time. If you just take the 35 regulation losses, the opponent scored first in 28 of those. That's a little more nebulous, though, because I don't feel like that number does you much good.

Of Steve Mason's 53 starts, the opponent scored first 31 times, so about 58.5 percent of the time. When Mason gave up the game's first goal, THE TEAM was 10-15-6. I didn't count how often he got pulled, just that he gave up the first. When the Jackets scored first and Mason was in net, the team was 14-6-2. Huh. Three of those wins came in the shootout and one was in overtime.

For Mathieu Garon: The opponent scored first 18 out of 29 times, so about 62.1 percent. When Garon gave up the first goal, the team went 2-13-3. Ouch. One of those wins came in overtime, too. When the Jackets scored first and Garon was in net, the team was 8-1-2. One win came by shootout and the other came in overtime.

Home/away comparison: I made the two Sweden games "Neutral" because that really shouldn't count as home and away (even though the NHL did designate one team home and the other away for each game).

Of the 40 games at Nationwide Arena, the Jackets scored first 19 times, a clip of 47.5 percent. On the road? 14 times, for 35 percent.

When the Jackets scored first at home, they went 12-5-2. When opponents scored first at Nationwide, the Jackets went 5-13-3.

When the Jackets scored first on the road, they went 10-2-2. Wow. When the opponent scored first on the road, the Jackets went 6-14-6.

Anecdotally, from what I remember, Brad Richards scored the first goal about three times last season. Jacket-killer.

ALSO: I averaged all the times together and got 14:45 as the average time of first goal, but I don't think that really makes sense because the later goals sorta skew all the time that way. I think. I still can't figure it out after talking it over with someone else, but I think the 46 goals in the first period out of 49 is more indicative.

Matt's Take:

OK, I lied, I am going to add a little bit of my own thoughts here. When you combine the game state numbers and the scoring data Ryan compiled, it seems clear to me that while goaltending is an issue (giving up the first goal in over half your games is bad - giving it up in the first ten minutes of the game is a systemic problem!), I still believe that as important as Ian Clark working to improve Steve Mason and whomever becomes his backup is (hopefully Mark Dekanich for most of the season, but until he's healthy that's an open question), the improved offensive production is vital. The Jackets simply could not respond to an early goal more often than not, and allowed opponents the opportunity to build leads rather than pulling themselves back into the game.

Time will tell, but if the Jackets can turn themselves into a squad that is more prepared to respond when tied or even down a goal, I believe we're going to see a major impact.

For those interested in the base numbers, here's the raw data:

.

Date Opponent H/A ToFOG Jackets/Opp Starter Outcome

.

10/8/10 San Jose N 1 - 2:11 O Mason L 3-2

.

10/9/10 San Jose N 1 - 2:02 O Mason W 3-2 (OT)

.

10/15/10 Chicago H 1 - 9:37 O Mason L 5-2

.

10/16/10 Minnesota A 2 - 4:52 (PP) J Garon W 3-2

.

10/20/10 Anaheim H 3 - 0:58 J Mason W 3-1

.

10/22/10 Calgary H 1 - 8:13 O Mason L 6-2

.

10/23/10 Chicago A 1 - 7:23 O Mason W 3-2

.

10/25/10 Philadelphia H 3 - 14:59 J Garon W 2-1

.

10/28/10 Edmonton H 1 - 7:20 J Mason W 3-2 (SO)

.

10/30/10 Colorado A 1 - 4:14 O Mason L 5-1

.

11/2/10 Montreal H N/A J Garon W 3-0

.

11/4/10 Atlanta A N/A J Garon W 3-0

.

11/6/10 Minnesota H 1 - 8:49 (PP) O Garon L 3-2

.

11/10/10 St. Louis H 2 - 10:58 J Mason W 8-1

.

11/12/10 Colorado H 1 - 6:11 J Mason L 5-1

.

11/17/10 Los Angeles A 1 - 7:40 J Mason W 5-3

.

11/19/10 Anaheim A 2 - 0:17 J Mason W 4-3

.

11/20/10 San Jose A N/A J Garon W 3-0

.

11/22/10 Nashville H N/A J Mason W 2-0

.

11/24/10 New York Islanders A 1 - 10:16 O Garon W 4-3 (OT)

.

11/26/10 Detroit H 1 - 7:04 O Mason L 2-1

.

11/28/10 Detroit A 2 - 10:12 J Mason L 4-2

.

12/1/10 Nashville H 1 - 17:02 O Mason L 4-3 (SO)

.

12/3/10 Buffalo A 1 - 5:58 O Garon L 5-0

.

12/4/10 Pittsburgh H 1 - 6:43 (PP) O Mason L 7-2

.

12/6/10 Dallas H 2 - 15:45 J Garon W 3-2 (SO)

.

12/9/10 St. Louis A 1 - 1:14 (PP) O Garon L 4-1

.

12/11/10 New York Rangers H 2 - 9:53 (PP) O Mason W 3-1

.

12/13/10 Calgary A 1 - 2:20 O Mason L 3-2 (OT) Pulled after 4:25

.

12/15/10 Vancouver A 1 - 19:37 O Garon L 3-2 (OT)

.

12/16/10 Edmonton A 1 - 3:58 O Mason L 6-3

.

12/18/10 Dallas H 1 - 13:13 O Garon L 2-1

.

12/21/10 Calgary H 2 - 16:34 J Garon W 3-1

.

12/23/10 Vancouver H 1 - 9:08 O Garon L 7-3

.

12/26/10 Chicago A 1 - 7:00 O Garon L 4-1

.

12/27/10 Minnesota H 1 - 2:59 O Mason W 4-3 (SO)

.

12/30/10 Toronto A 1 - 15:19 O Mason W 3-2

.

12/31/10 Ottawa H 2 - 18:57 J Mason W 4-3 (OT)

.

1/2/11 Nashville A 2 - 2:57 J Mason L 4-1

.

1/4/11 Phoenix A 1 - 6:40 O Garon L 4-2

.

1/7/11 Anaheim A 1 - 5:48 O Mason L 6-0

.

1/8/11 Los Angeles A 1 - 2:13 O Garon L 6-4

.

1/11/11 Phoenix H 2 - 2:14 J Garon L 4-3

.

1/14/11 Detroit H 2 - 5:14 J Mason W 3-2 (SO)

.

1/15/11 Detroit A 1 - 17:34 O Mason L 6-5 (OT)

.

1/18/11 Tampa Bay A 1 - 17:52 J Garon L 3-2 (SO)

.

1/19/11 Florida A 1 - 2:43 O Mason W 3-2 (OT)

.

1/22/11 St. Louis A 1 - 6:07 O Mason W 5-2

.

1/25/11 Anaheim H 1 - 4:12 (PP) O Mason L 3-2

.

2/1/11 Chicago H 1 - 9:10 J Mason L 7-4

.

2/4/11 Detroit A N/A J Mason W 3-0

.

2/5/11 Edmonton H 1 - 2:14 O Mason W 4-3

.

2/8/11 Pittsburgh A 3 - 7:29 J Mason W 4-1

.

2/9/11 San Jose H 2 - 1:56 J Mason L 3-2

.

2/11/11 Colorado H 1 - 15:54 O Garon W 3-1

.

2/13/11 Dallas A 1 - 4:36 O Mason W 2-1

.

2/16/11 Los Angeles H 1 - 16:52 O Garon L 4-3 (SO)

.

2/18/11 Chicago A 1 - 7:32 J Mason W 4-3

.

2/22/11 Nashville H N/A J Mason W 4-0

.

2/25/11 Phoenix H 1 - 1:34 O Mason W 5-3

.

2/27/11 Nashville A 3 - 1:47 O Garon L 3-2

.

3/1/11 Vancouver A 1 - 14:27 O Mason L 2-1 (SO)

.

3/3/11 Edmonton A 1 - 12:06 (PP) O Mason L 4-2

.

3/4/11 Calgary A 1 - 3:45 O Mason L 4-3

.

3/7/11 St. Louis A 1 - 1:24 O Mason L 5-4 (SO)

.

3/9/11 St. Louis H 3 - 2:32 J Garon L 4-3 (OT)

.

3/11/11 Los Angeles H 1 - 8:08 (PP) O Mason L 4-2

.

3/12/11 Carolina A 3 - 9:16 J Mason W 3-2

.

3/15/11 Boston H 2 - 12:20 J Mason L 3-2 (SO)

.

3/17/11 Detroit H 1 - 0:33 O Mason L 2-0

.

3/19/11 Minnesota A 1 - 10:52 J Garon W 5-4 (OT)

.

3/20/11 New Jersey Devils H 1 - 9:24 O Mason L 3-0

.

3/22/11 Colorado A 1 - 5:59 J Mason L 5-4 (SO)

.

3/24/11 Phoenix A 2 - 3:51 (PP) O Garon L 3-0

.

3/27/11 Vancouver H 1 - 7:52 O Garon L 4-1

.

3/29/11 Florida H 2 - 3:41 (PP) J Mason W 3-2 (SO)

.

3/31/11 Washington A 1 - 1:39 O Mason L 4-3 (OT)

.

4/1/11 Chicago H 1 - 2:41 O Garon L 4-3 (SO)

.

4/3/11 St. Louis H 1 - 5:00 O Garon L 6-1

.

4/5/11 Dallas A 1 - 5:00 (PP) O Garon L 3-0

.

4/8/11 Nashville A 1 - 6:00 O Mason L 4-1

.

4/9/11 Buffalo H 2 - 7:18 J Mason L 5-4
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