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01-17-2013, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by GuineaPig View Post
Since when is this a fact? Plenty of people say the opposite (see: "Hitchcock's system is the reason Elliott and Halak had such good save percentages!|), and the stats folks say that even-strength save percentage doesn't really vary based on the number of shots against. Reducing shots against on the penalty kill would be a surefire way to increase a goalie's save percentage, however...
Hitchcock's system doesn't just limit shots; it's also very good at limiting chances. If the Detroit defense of the 90s played the way St. Louis does (or Dallas did) Osgood would have 5 or 6 Vezinas.

...which shows why your example would be incorrect. Hasek's play in 2001-02 was pretty much the same as it was in 2000-01. The Red Wings simply took more penalties (19.8% of his shots were while the Red Wings were shorthanded in 2001-02 vs 17.4% the previous year) and his PK SV% dipped a bit, which could be either due to bad luck or slightly poorer PKing.
While it's true Detroit took more in 2001-02 than in 2000-01... Buffalo too significantly more in 2000-01 than Detroit in 2001-02. Buffalo's penalty kill dropped from 88% to 86.5% without Hasek; Detroit's improved from 85.7% to 86% with Hasek.

So I think we can pretty conclusively state that despite facing significantly fewer shots (26.5 with Buffalo, 25.6 with Detroit) that there's a good chance he may have been seeing fewer chances in Buffalo. Which backs up my longstanding argument; Buffalo had a solid defensive system and good defensive players, and focused on eliminating chances - especially second chances. With an elite goalie like Hasek whose only weakness is a bad rebound, getting rid of those rebounds religiously changes a mediocre defense into a very good one very quickly.

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