March 7, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Zac Rinaldo (36) celebrates his goal with teammates left wing Ruslan Fedotenko (26) and center Maxime Talbot (25) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at the Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Flyers Rink Rats: Ron Hextall, Analytics, Rinaldo

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Ron Hextall said he will use analytics to build the Flyers. Hextall went further into advanced stats with Bill Meltzer of HockeyBuzz.com and his views should make every Flyers fan happy.

Ron Hextall believes analytics could be a great asset when finding weaknesses on the team.

 Rather than coaches saying, ‘We gotta get the puck, we gotta create more turnovers, get the puck up ice and get going.’ …. All of a sudden you say, ‘A top team does it 92 times and we’re doing it 73, we gotta get better,’ it’s data, it’s fact.”

Hextall says he will never use analytics as the sole method for building his team. He believes the eye test is just as important as the data. During the Flyers Town Hall Meeting, a fan asked Hextall to further elaborate on his views. Hextall cited offensive zone entries and how it separates good teams from great teams.

Advanced stats always seem to be met with love or venom from most fans. There is no middle ground, which is where the stats should lie. Statistics like Corsi and Fenwick can be useful, but they must also have context surrounding them.

David Quackenbos looks at the future of Zac Rinaldo.

Zac Rinaldo is entering the final year of his contract. The 24-year-old regressed during the 2013-14 season after a strong campaign during the lockout-shortened season. Rinaldo took more penalties than he gained and he was not much better in the playoffs. Rinaldo’s future is dependent on himself. If he shows last season was a fluke and he takes fewer penalties, Ron Hextall could bring him back.

Seth Cordrey dives into the three areas fans will need to keep an eye on during the 2014-15 season.

The Flyers are a middle-of-the-pack team right now. They are good enough to make the playoffs, but not good enough to be serious contenders for the Stanley Cup. Cordrey’s article hits three areas the Flyers will have to improve if they want to become legitimate contenders.

The Reading Royals almost had a joint agreement with the Flyers and Washington Capitals. 

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Tags: Philadelphia Flyers Ron Hextall Zac Rinaldo

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