The Noon Number: .851

Well, October's good and gone. That's Roberto Luongo's worst month of the season, so, luckily, his early-season nerves are as good as gone, and the Canucks are in fine shape tonight against the Calgary Flames.

One problem: the game was scheduled on Tuesday, November 1.

See, with the idea that "Luongo isn't good in October" what really makes October different from, say Tuesday, whereby Luongo has played noticeably worse than in Octobers?

Charts are my favourite:

Sunday 0.923
Monday 0.920
Tuesday 0.912
Wednesday 0.917
Thursday 0.922
Friday 0.920
Saturday 0.920
October 0.913
November 0.916
December 0.923
January 0.921
February 0.923
March 0.920
April 0.904

But nobody ever comments on Luongo's Tuesday performance. Why? Or worse, his Tuesdays in April? While that would be the day that Luongo capitulated against Chicago in Game Four, he also put up one of his best performances of the season seven days later in Game Seven. It's because we know that split statistics are pretty useless.

As Rob Pettapiece, mathemagician and sports geek from the CIS Blog, puts it:

Looking at stats like "Luongo's performance in October" won't help you much because, generally speaking, those specific breakdowns are fairly meaningless and hold little predictive value. Luongo's played enough games in the last few years that we already have a pretty good idea of his talent level at this point, the early-season .869 notwithstanding.

Luongo has had a rough beginning to 2011. He posted a single quality start in seven games. But it's not indicative of any career trends. Eliminate Tuesdays from the equation, however (his worst games against New York and Edmonton) and he's ended up with a pretty decent month. The .851 Noon Number is Roberto Luongo's Tuesday performance from last season, not that it makes a lick of difference. That's only in the regular season, and doesn't count his three playoff overtime wins on a Tuesday last season.

Continuing what Rob said,

there's nothing inherently different about Tuesday games or November games; you might as well use the whole week and the whole calendar if you want to predict how Luongo will do tonight. Even if you argue that "road games against Calgary" are unique in some way, whatever knowledge you gain from looking at those is outweighed to a large extent by what you already know by considering Luongo's entire track record.

FWIW, I have no idea where to find Luongo's performance in Calgary on a Tuesday in November after a full-moon. Not like it matters, in any case. October performance aside, we know Luongo is better than what he showed us. He's played well-enough for long enough. Ditto Ilya Bryzgalov, Jaroslav Halak, and Dwayne Roloson.

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