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The Noon Number: 853.

853.

I've often made the joke that when Marco Sturm signed with the Vancouver Canucks, I had to check which team he was on because I forgot. He was once the major piece that Boston got in return for Joe Thornton, but he fell off a cliff after that. Literally, of course. How else would you explain all the injuries and bouncing around the NHL that he did after that trade?

Never a fan of this signing, it's nice to see a few other Canuck fans give him a little bit of abuse. But, come on, now. Marco Sturm isn't really that bad, is he? (Well, yes)

853 is Marco Sturm's PDO. PDO is a number that stands for the name of some Oilers blogger who lived in his basement who came up with the idea (I think). It is hockey's equivalent to baseball's BABIP (batting average on balls in play) and assumes that players with a too high-or-low PDO will regress to the mean of 1000.

You calculate it by adding on-ice shooting percentage and on-ice save percentage at even-strength and multiply it by 1000. This isn't a player's individual shooting percentage, but that of his whole team. Since every shot must result in a save or a goal, the average PDO is 1000. The more minutes you play, the more it regresses.

I made a handy chart here from every player in the NHL last season. The y-axis indicates the player's PDO, and the x-axis indicate the number of minutes played. Look how it flattens out as the minutes get bigger:

Anyways, Marco Sturm's is 853. It's not because he sucks, it's because him and his teammates are shooting a terrible 4.35% when he's on the ice, and his goalie has only saved 81% of the shots against. That won't keep happening.

In fact, Marco Sturm's Corsi rating per 60 minutes is 10.55 and he's started 14 shifts in the defensive zone to 13 in the offensive zone, and all of his Quality of Competition indicators are above par. He's been playing relatively tough minutes and coming out ahead.

But his PDO is pretty bad, which means he's been getting unlucky, which means his problems, which every hockey player has, are far more visible. It also may have cost the poor guy a spot on the team. Sheesh, Marco. Why can't you be more like Dale Weise (1059)?