Fort St. John at Grimshaw Preview [Tue., Jan. 22]

Chris Clegg Writer

Fort St. John at Grimshaw [Tue., Jan. 22]
LINE: Grimshaw by 1/2

It’s a battle of third place clubs in each division. FSJ is locked into third in the West while GRIM is three points behind MAN in the East in the race for second; each club has four games left. GRIM has home games left vs MAN on Jan. 24 and Feb. 1. The question is how many players will FSJ take to GRIM and what effort will they put in to win the game? Hence the line shifts to GRIM being favoured.

GRIM has the advantage in special teams. GRIM’s PP is ranked second and PK third, while FSJ is ranked fifth in each. GRIM’s PP% is 30.69% to FSJ’s 22.67%.
Both teams are middle of the pack in shots on goal for and against in each category, ranking third to fifth. Overall, GRIM is +22 in shots for and against while FSJ is -12.
FSJ leads the league in PIMs overall for and against at +143. GRIM is second but a distant +39. FSJ is the second least penalized team in the NPHL but GRIM has the second most penalties taken against them. Something has to give.
Slow starts hamper FSJ. They are dead last in scoring the first goal of the game in only 37.50% of its games. GRIM is tied for fourth at 45%.
As with all teams getting the lead is important. FSJ is 5-1 when scoring first but only 3-7 when they do not. GRIM is only 4-5 when scoring first and 3-8 when allowing the first goal.
How important is the lead at intermission for these teams? FSJ is 6-0 when leading after one period and 7-0 when leading after two. If trailing, FSJ is 1-6 after one period and 0-6 after two. GRIM is 5-2 when leading after one period but 1-9 when trailing. GRIM is 6-0 when leading after two periods but a dismal 1-12 when trailing.
FSJ does not blow many leads. They rank second in giving up leads in only 12.50% of their games; GRIM has given up leads in 35% of its games.
In goals for and against, neither team is ranked first in any period, or last. FSJ is +1 in goals overall in the first period and +14 in the second but -3 in the third. GRIM has been outscored in every period: -5 in the first, -15 in the second and -11 in the third.
Don’t expect much stick work. FSJ is the least penalized team in the league in stick fouls, GRIM is third least. The Jan. 19 was a clear indication of this: GRIM took the game’s only stick foul, a high-sticking minor.
FSJ has never lost in GRIM going 7-0. FSJ is also 7-1 at home vs GRIM so they are 14-1 overall, yet GRIM is favoured. Despite the fact FSJ essentially has nothing to play for, I’ll go with history. FSJ to win and take the half-goal.

NOTE: David Temple, former NPHL linesman and avid NPHL fan, sets the lines, which are set on the Sunday previous for the games from Jan. 22-25.


The Season Series

1. Sat., Jan. 19 – Grimshaw 3 at Fort St. John 5
2. Tue., Jan. 22 – Fort St. John at Grimshaw
The Stats Pack
[Ranking in Parenthesis]

Category			Fort St. John		Grimshaw

Record 8-8-0-0 [3-West] 7-10-3-0 [3-East]
Power Play 17-75, 22.67% [5] 31-101, 30.69% [2]
Penalty Kill 15-58, 74.14% [5] 18-76, 76.32% [3]
Shots For 37.31 per game [5] 40.55 per game [4]
Shots Vs 38.06 [3] 39.45 per game [5]
Shots Diff -12 [5] +22 [4]
PIM For 16.19 per game [2] 25.15 per game [4]
PIM Vs 25.13 per game [4] 27.10 per game [6]
PIM Diff +143 [1] +39 [2]
Scoring 1st 37.50% [7] 45.00% [T4]
Record Scoring 1st Goal 5-1 [2] 4-5 [6]
Record Allow 1st Goal 3-7 [5] 3-8 [6]
Lead After 1 Period 6-0 [3] 5-2 [5]
Trail After 1 Period 1-6 [5] 1-9 [6]
Lead After 2 Periods 7-0 [3] 6-0 [4]
Trail After 2 Periods 0-6 [T5] 1-12 [3]
Goals Scored in 1st 1.63 per game [6] 1.95 per game [2]
Goals Scored in 2nd 1.88 per game [3] 1.60 per game [4]
Goals Scored in 3rd 1.81 per game [3] 1.65 per game [5]
Goals Allowed in 1st 1.56 per game [4] 2.20 per game [6]
Goals Allowed in 2nd 1.00 per game [2] 2.35 per game [6]
Goals Allowed in 3rd 2.00 per game [T3] 2.20 per game [6]
Goal Diff in 1 +1 [4] -5 [5]
Goal Diff in 2 +14 [3] -15 [6]
Goal Diff in 3 -3 [3] -11 [5]
Come From Behind Wins 18.75% [4] 15.00% [T6]
Blown Leads 12.50% [2] 35.00% [6]
Team Stick Fouls 2.31 PIM/Game [1] 2.90 PIM/Game [3]