Sunday, December 20, 2009
Even Strength Data for Games 1-500
As a continuation of a previous post, I figured that I'd throw up EV data for the first 500 games of this season.
I've included both overall EV data, as well as data on even strength play with the score tied. Empty net goals have been excluded.
The first sheet shows data for games 1-500, the second for games 1-252, and the third for games 253-500. I've also included a fourth worksheet that compares each team's corsi ratio with the scored tied from the 1st half of the year (games 1-252) to the 2nd half (253-500).
It pains me to admit it as a Habs fan, but Gabe Desjardins is absolutely correct -- the Canadiens look like a terrible team by the numbers. Over the last 250 some games, the Habs have had the worst corsi ratio in the league at EV with the score tied, and by a large margin at that. The scoring chance numbers don't look any better.
To make matters worse, the Habs have also been getting bombed on special teams. In the same 250 game period, they've given up almost twice as many shots on the PK as they've accumulated on the powerplay (55 vs. 98). In fairness to Montreal, that has more to do with their league worst penalty differential than it does with special teams performance per se. In any event, the numbers aren't good.
Curiously, the team's underlying numbers were actually quite respectable over the first 250 some games. It'll be interesting to see where they end up.
On the other side of things, the Ducks appear to have improved considerably at EV relative to the first 250 games. While their current record may not be impressive, they're definitely trending in the right direction. If they can find a way to take fewer penalties, they should be able to at least compete for a playoff spot.
Phoenix continues to perform well at EV. The season is almost halfway over at this point and the Coyotes currently have the 2nd best corsi ratio in the league when the score is tied. This is surprising considering that they were 28th last year in this regard.
I'm not entirely sure on how to account for their turnaround, although I suspect that it boils down to two things. For one, they've gotten rid of and/or sent to the minors a lot of guys that were really hurting them last year (Turris, Lindstrom, Hale, Fedoruk, Lisin, Porter, and Carcillo). The replacements -- Lombardi, Prucha, Fiddler, Lang, Vandermeer, Aucoin, and Vrbata -- are demonstrably better hockey players.
Secondly, I think that the coaching change has likely had an effect as well. Tippett's teams in Dallas were consistently able to outshoot the other guys, both at EV and overall. While it's hard, if not impossible, to quantify his contribution, I think that it's safe to say that he's an upgrade over a relatively inexperienced Gretzky.