Friday, August 28, 2009

Defensive Systems and their Impact on Shot Location

As we saw a few weeks ago, Jacques Lemaire’s defensive system substantially limits the rate at which opponents take high-percentage shots against his teams. This effect has been persistent over the course of nearly a decade. This made me wonder what impact other coaches have on shots faced by their teams.

What the chart below shows is - for each coach in all years that he coached - the difference between league-wide save percentage and the save percentage each team expected given the shots they allowed.

Coach +EXS% YRS
Lemaire 4.3 7
Hitchcock 3.4 5
B. Sutter 2.8 5
Mactavish 2.0 7
Julien 2.0 4
Trotz 1.7 7
Martin 1.3 6
Wilson 1.2 6
Ruff 0.9 7
Quinn 0.8 4
Tippett 0.3 6
Crawford -0.8 6
Tortorella -1.0 6
Maurice -1.0 4
Carlyle -1.3 4
Gretzky -1.5 4
Quenneville-1.7 6
A. Murray -2.3 6
Babcock -2.3 6
Laviolette -3.2 5
Hartley -3.5 4

As you can see, Lemaire stands out, though it would be interesting to see how the shot location chart looks for Hitchcock's teams. Bob Hartley brings up the rear for coaches who coached four seasons or more - his poor performance may be entirely due to having Ilya Kovalchuk on the ice most of the game.

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The only issue there is the results due to the system or the defensive ability of the players? Its most likely a combination of the two.
Presumably the personnel changes over 5-7 years and multiple teams takes care of that issue.
I understand that, and you're most likely part in some sense, but your point about Hartley and Kovalchuck may in some cases, misprepresent the numbers.

The list makes sense for most part, but it just may be a tad misleading.
Highly interesting.

A question:

Are the results for even strength/5-on-5 play only, or for all game situations?
B.Sutter...can that be Brent? He's only coached at the NHL level for 2 years though.
Do you have the numbers for Vignault? Recent numbers for Keenan? (ie in Calgary?) vs carreer? I would also be interested to see the numbers for Bowman if it's possible.
i'd be very curious about offense under those hitchcock/lemaire systems - i.e. is their ability to prevent goals at one end also preventing goals at the other end of the ice?
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