Thread: Speculation: Fire Todd Mclellan
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03-20-2012, 05:26 PM
Les Wynan*
Join Date: Nov 2011
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Originally Posted by SJeasy View Post
I'll give you the narrative for yourself and others. It comes from reading many articles and hearing interviews about and with several players. The Sedins are the best starting example. They have had a huge uptick in offensive efficacy since their start in the league. They are known for going home and working on different offensive strategies and tweaks every summer. They stay ahead of the curve for the most part before those defending them can catch up. I am not saying that they couldn't do other things to improve, but IMO they are getting a lot of mileage through what goes on between the ears. I don't think they are even near the top in physical gifts. The paradigm helps them continue to get high quality chances. The guys who fall off on SH% and stay there are few in number but they are usually marked by relative inability to adapt when others adapt to them or when some physical issue imposes itself on their game. The common term for aging players is losing their legs and is usually accompanied by a drop in SH%.

In some senses, trades are used to freshen or revamp strategies for teams. New wrinkles every year. A new AC or HC can have the same effect. The use of video has greatly accelerated the ability of teams to adapt to opponents and for teams to modify their own strategies. All of these issues play into SH%. SH% is close between teams but it doesn't take a lot to give an advantage. 0.5% over a year is huge. That is 25 goals or so. By your count of 6 goals per win, that is 8 points in the standings. I do see teams play for the 0.5% advantage by emphasizing quality chances. We just had Trotz and the Preds and I watched a tweaked version of his 3 man legal pick play entry. Same play as about 3 years ago when he started it and the one I saw was on steroids. Designed to spring a guy free on the goalie from a defended blueline with the defenders standing up and no dump in.
There is one reason and one reason alone the Sedins have torn up the league the last few years: they start 80% of their shifts in the offensive zone. The way Vancouver deploys their forwards is radical and no team even comes close to replicating that. The Sedins are essentially used as offensive specialists (with Malhotra and before him Kesler used as defensive specialists) with no defensive responsibilities. Give any first-liner and even some second-liners that zone start rate and you'll have an Art Ross Trophy winner.

You can see anything you want but until you're able to prove there are teams that can consistently influence shot quality at both ends of the ice, there's no point in discussing it. If you can do that, I guarantee you teams will be lining up to pay you a lot of money for your predictive model. Tons of people have looked at this and concluded that, at the team level, there is no repeatability year-over-year in SH%. I've linked to the study many times, it's not exactly hard to re-do for yourself either if you're interested and have Excel. I've never denied that having a higher shooting percentage is immensely beneficial - the rub is in that teams are unable to sustain that year-to-year. "Luck" is viewed as a pejorative term but it shouldn't be and some things that are dismissed as luck are certainly constant strategic adjustments that are made. But some of it just randomness and it's been repeatedly shown that by far the largest component of team shooting percentage is randomness.

And, again, you still haven't addressed why you'd like to see Pavelski and Thornton split when they continue to lead the team (and are among league leaders) in even strength +/- playing against opposing teams' best.

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