Monday, March 30, 2015
Statistical Analysis

Statistical Analysis

30

A significant portion of modern hockey analytics revolves around Corsi (or SAT% as defined by the NHL), which is really nothing more than looking at which team takes more shot attempts. If you can out shoot your opponent, the theory is that it goes a long way to driving success in terms of out scoring your opponent and ultimately winning games. There is a lot of evidence to support the case that Corsi is a major component of on-ice success. While I believe many people put too much weight on Corsi statistics, I do accept that it is a major component...

0

Last week, I took at look at zone start changes from Randy Carlyle to Peter Horachek and found some interesting differences. Among them was a flip in zone starts by David Booth, going from a heavy defensive-zone player under Carlyle to a heavy offensive-zone player under Horachek. Another significant observation was the massive improvement in the first line's Corsi from near league-worst levels (low 40s) to being more than respectable, particularly for Tyler Bozak, who had a CF% of over 53%. Booth also saw a massive improvement in his CF% from Carlyle to Horachek. This week, I look at WOWY stats...

Randy Carlyle Peter Horachek

113

Under Randy Carlyle, the Maple Leafs were a test case as to whether a team can win despite being dramatically out shot largely through controlling shot quality, both for and against. There is ample evidence to suggest that under Carlyle the Leafs were in fact an above average shooting percentage team and may even in fact have been able to suppress shot quality against to some degree. Unfortunately, their ability to be significantly out shot outweighed any ability to have a positive impact on shot quality, and they were at best a mediocre team. Randy Carlyle is gone now and it seems...

163

The other day, over at my hockey analytics blog, I wrote an article on the relationship between Possession/Corsi (CF%) and Shooting Percentage (Sh%) in 5v5 close situations. I figured I'd piggy back on that analysis a little and take a look at the Leafs over the past three and a half seasons spanning the Randy Carlyle era. In my HockeyAnalysis.com article, I showed that, while some elite level teams or truly bad teams can break the trend, there is generally a strong negative correlation between a teams CF% and shooting percentage. Recall that CF% stands for Corsi For Percentage, which is the percentage...

29

I originally intended this to be a look back after 41 games, but recent events made it much more sensible to use 40 games as a cut-off. Come April, there should be some interesting comparisons between Carlyle's coaching era and Peter Horachek's. For background, my methodology is listed as part of my first post at MLHS. There's also been some very nice work done on scoring chances recently at war-on-ice.com. Those numbers usually don't agree with mine, and I'm a little hesitant on them because of how poor some of the shot location data can be from rink to rink. In...

192

And what should the Leafs do with the polarizing young defenceman? The answer isn't an instantly-gratifying one: Continue to be patient. There is currently no bigger riddle or lightning rod on the Maple Leafs than the 24-year-old, recently-signed-long-term Jake Gardiner. When he broke into the NHL during the 2011-12 campaign, Gardiner was a breath of fresh air, adding a much-needed skill dynamic to the backend while logging 21:35 per game and notching 30 points on the season, good enough to lead all rookie defensemen. In the eight full seasons since the 2005 lockout, only 20 rookie defensemen have scored 30 or more points...

29

The last three games have really highlighted the Leafs defensive woes, but the problem has been an ongoing one and a significant portion of the blame must be given to the Leafs top line. On Puckalytics.com, you can find what I call "Percent of Team" statistics, which are nothing more than the percentage of all events by the team that the player was on the ice for (only counting games in which he played in). So, for example, we can see that Ryan Suter leads the league with a %ofTeam TOI of 45.44% this season, which means Suter has been on...

97

Nazem Kadri has faced enormous expectations ever since his name was called by then-Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke at the 2009 NHL entry draft. Most scouts had Kadri pegged as a prospective 2nd line center. In the eyes of the Toronto media, a player of his skillset and creativity brought about visions of what could possibly become the elusive first line center the Buds have coveted since the departure of Mats Sundin, one that would help resurrect the franchise and ultimately lead the team’s brigade towards success. In a crazed hockey market like Toronto, sky-high expectations are in the nature...

6

The opening period of tonight's game was similar to the Leafs' last road outing against Detroit. The difference was that the Hurricanes were able to take advantage of their dominance. They not only out-chanced Toronto 8-3 at ES, they finished the period up 2-0. Toronto had some fightback early in the second, and while Carolina dominated the middle of the period, a late goal gave the Leafs some hope. Until the last five minutes, there wasn't much Toronto push in the final frame, as Carolina added a third goal, and held the chance advantage. Things turned around in the last...

17

While the score line was different, there was a lot similar between the Leafs' back-to-back wins against the teams from Southern California. Much like Sunday, the Leafs went out to a 2-0 lead, despite being out-chanced in the first two periods, and, also just like that game, Anaheim responded with a goal late in the second, putting some pressure on Toronto. The Leafs showed some good resilience with another great third period; despite holding a lead, they were even in chances. Of course, the difference was that they turned four of those chances into goals, making the final score pretty lopsided. It...

15

I didn't have any particular topic I wanted to write about this week, so yesterday morning I asked my twitter followers what they wanted me to write about as far as a statistical analysis of the Leafs is concerned. I'll tackle a few of those questions today. James van Riemsdyk I had a question from @breakaway23 on James van Riemsdyk's career season pace thus far, which has been mostly overlooked. If we project JVR's stats to the 80 games he played last season, we have the following prorated stats: JVR's goal rate has remained very steady the past three seasons, while his assist rate...

17

Through the first half of this game, the Leafs looked in great shape, especially given it was the second half of a back-to-back; they had a 2-0 lead, and were roughly even with the defending Stanley Cup champions in chances. They seemed to hit a wall late in the second, though, as the Kings generated six straight chances, including two goals. That continued in the third, with Los Angeles going into the lead, and it seemed like that might be it for Toronto's hopes in this game. However, instead of folding, the Maple Leafs showed some great resilience, as they...

7

Over the last couple of seasons, these types of games from the Leafs have been rare; they were the better team and carried the play against Detroit. This season, they've been much more common, a testament to the improved depth and better possession play Toronto has had so far. The Leafs came out strong, having the better of the first half of the opening frame, but Detroit got back into it, levelling the score and finishing the period near even on chances. Unsurprisingly, Toronto had a great second period, as they've done all year, doubling up the Wings in chances,...

5

The Toronto Maple Leafs had one of the worst chance performances I've seen, almost as bad as the game that Buffalo played against them in October. Toronto were out-chanced 19-3 at ES after two periods, and had absolutely no business being in the game at all, let alone being down by just one. For that, they had to thank the excellent performance of James Reimer, who held off Detroit's challenges. They also had a strong penalty killing game, which has become a regular occurrence. The third period was better, and Toronto managed to get level through Kessel, but even then...

1

If you've been following my scoring chance wrap-ups, there's a lot familiar in the story of tonight's game. The Leafs managed to take the lead in the first period, despite being clearly out-chanced, then had a strong second period, in which they consolidated their lead. That was followed by a third period where Calgary again dictated play, and while they got one goal back, Jonathan Bernier managed to keep the Leafs ahead. Through the first two periods, the chances were fairly close, Calgary having a slim lead. Toronto's third period defence wasn't that bad, as they held Calgary to just two...

15

In the first half, this was a similar game to last Saturday's effort against Washington: The Leafs were opportunistic, opening up a 4-0 lead despite trailing in ES Chances. After they got that lead, Vancouver took over the game, as after the fourth Leaf goal, Vancouver out-chanced Toronto 19-6. Most of this was on the power-play, as the Leafs spent almost ten minutes of the game short-handed, and despite the chances the Canucks couldn't get closer than two goals. Vancouver dominated the second period, despite the fact the Leafs managed two goals in the frame. The third, when Vancouver managed to...

1

Toronto had a bad start against a short-handed Devils team, falling behind 8-4 in ES Chances, and 1-0 on the scoreboard. However, they seemed to recover after that, finishing the first period level in ES chances, and twice managed to tie the game up in the second. They struggled in the third, though, with the Devils managing to defend well, and opening up a three goal lead. Toronto had one strong ES shift in the third, but other than that generated little in their attempt to chase down the lead. The ES numbers ended up close, but the Leafs losing...

0

The Leafs started December with another strong performance, which was similar to their game against the Capitals. The first period was even in chances at ES, but the Leafs took the lead with a pair of goals, including a very early one from the on-fire Tyler Bozak. A good second period, which has become a consistent thing for the Leafs, saw them extend the lead to 4-1, and they held on in the third for the win. The game was pretty much even at ES, but the Leafs were vastly superior on special teams, really limiting the Stars power-play, despite Dallas...

610

The Maple Leafs were opportunistic early against the Capitals. Despite getting outchanced in the first period, they scored two goals from the point to chase Justin Peters, before scoring a third early in the second against Braden Holtby. The Leafs had a good second period, beating out the Caps in chances, which is consistent with their performances all year. While Washington had a couple of solid stretches in the third period, the game was pretty much decided by that point. That first period deficit in chances ended up being the only period that counted as close, so the Leafs lost that category...

75

In the summer, I wrote about Bozak's statistically-improved 2013-14 season. In that post, I observed that Bozak had significantly improved his 5v5 offensive production last season, and in particular his assist rates, while noting that his power play production had been relatively unchanged. Here is my concluding paragraph from that post: It is difficult to know from the statistics whether Bozak took a step forward in his development or changed his style of play last season to become a more important member of his line, but he appears to have been. Of course, one season does not make a trend so it will be...