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Habs: Puck-Unlucky or Shooting Blanks?

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Old
11-10-2011, 02:16 PM
  #1
Lshap
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Habs: Puck-Unlucky or Shooting Blanks?

So what is it with us? We're getting nice set-ups, we're crashing the net more, we're 11th in the league in shots-per-game. Goals should be flying into the net, but they're not. In fact, we're a dismal 21st in the league in goals-per-game. This, after two previous seasons of low goal scoring.

So it's time to ask:

Are we just unlucky? Or are we just not great shooters?

Our best % shooters (as of November 10/2011):

Moen is 51st in the league (20%= 4G / 20 shots)
Desharnais is 60th (20%= 2G / 10 shots)
Kostitsyn is 89th (16.7%= 5G / 30 shots)

Major fall-off after that.

Our top goal scorer, Pacioretty, is 199th in the league in Shot %, yet is right up there at 8th in total shots.

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11-10-2011, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Lshap View Post
So what is it with us? We're getting nice set-ups, we're crashing the net more, we're 11th in the league in shots-per-game. Goals should be flying into the net, but they're not. In fact, we're a dismal 21st in the league in goals-per-game. This, after two previous seasons of low goal scoring.

So it's time to ask:

Are we just unlucky? Or are we just not great shooters?

Our best % shooters (as of November 10/2011):

Moen is 51st in the league (20%= 4G / 20 shots)
Desharnais is 60th (20%= 2G / 10 shots)
Kostitsyn is 89th (16.7%= 5G / 30 shots)

Major fall-off after that.

Our top goal scorer, Pacioretty, is 199th in the league in Shot %, yet is right up there at 8th in total shots.
I think it goes back to the PP, we are 25th or 27th on the PP, and that's where a team normally has the most high quality shots. Plus the 3 SH goals so far hurt also.

The last two years we have improved 5 on 5, adding Pacioretty and Cole plus more PMD's help in this area but right now the Pp is not what it was before Mrakov's injuries.

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11-10-2011, 02:41 PM
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Here's a just-posted analysis on the subject of shot quality:

http://flamesnation.ca/2011/11/9/can...-quality-shots

On the specific subject of the Habs' shooting percentages, they are average 5-on-5 and absolutely ridiculously abysmal 5-on-4, which is a reverse of last season.

How abysmal 5-on-4? They are worse than any club's 5-on-5 shooting percentage, including their own.

But amusingly, another team has just managed to pass the Habs as worst 5-on-4 shooting percentage in the NHL. What kind of talentless bunch of no-offense grinders can possibly get that kind of results? A crappy club known as the Chicago Blackhawks.

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11-10-2011, 02:50 PM
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You can blame bad luck when you go through a drought over a period of a few games.

When you start wondering if its bad luck over a two year period, well, no offense (pun intended), you need to turn to the system that the coach has a team playing.

The Habs shoot a lot and a lot of the shots are low percentage shots that a NHL goalie can easily stop. We lack net presence in screening goalies. We are very predictable on offense. This team is not a good passing team. Many many factors that push "bad luck" out of the way as an excuse for this team not being better offensively.

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11-10-2011, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by SouthernHab View Post
You can blame bad luck when you go through a drought over a period of a few games.

When you start wondering if its bad luck over a two year period, well, no offense (pun intended), you need to turn to the system that the coach has a team playing.

The Habs shoot a lot and a lot of the shots are low percentage shots that a NHL goalie can easily stop. We lack net presence in screening goalies. We are very predictable on offense. This team is not a good passing team. Many many factors that push "bad luck" out of the way as an excuse for this team not being better offensively.
Isn't scoring just a function of shots taken and scoring pct. which evens out and favours no particular team over time.

It may take years but if we're just patient, math should take care of it.



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Last edited by Agnostic: 11-10-2011 at 04:39 PM.
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Old
11-10-2011, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Agnostic View Post
Isn't scoring just a function of shots taken and scoring pct. which evens out and favours no particular team over time.

It may take years but if we're just patient, math should take care of it.
Not all shots are created equal. A harder, more accurate shot will score much more often than a soft shot that thumps into the goalie's chest.

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11-10-2011, 04:35 PM
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Not all shots are created equal. A harder, more accurate shot will score much more often than a soft shot that thumps into the goalie's chest.
Yup, many stat-munchers forget that little fact. Not a single one of Gomez' shots is as valuable as, say, MAB's shots.

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11-10-2011, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Lshap View Post
Not all shots are created equal. A harder, more accurate shot will score much more often than a soft shot that thumps into the goalie's chest.
I forgot the 8-10 's that my post needed.

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11-10-2011, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Agnostic View Post
Isn't scoring just a function of shots taken and scoring pct. which evens out and favours no particular team over time.

It may take years but if we're just patient, math should take care of it.
No. I could be wide open in the slot. Just me and the goalie. I could fire wrist shots and slap shots at the goalie and if he is an NHL caliber goalie, he is going to stop almost all of them.

Now put some traffic in front of the goalie to screen him and more of those shots will go in.

Again, if I am entering the offensive zone with the puck and then shoot at the goal, the goalie will stop most of them. However, if I am skating in toward goal and make a crisp pass to my linemate which forces the goalie to change positions, the chances of scoring go up.

We are throwing shots on goal that the goalie clearly sees. Our passing is not precise and more often than not, on rushes, the person with the puck shoots a majority of the time instead of passing.

Honest question. When was the last time you saw a Hab score a goal on a give and go play? Very rare occurence in Montreal.

We do not have an offensive minded coach. Thus, we do not have an offensive minded team who is doing the extras needed to score more goals. Shots on goal from this team is basically an irrelevant stat as most of them are very easy for the goalie to see and stop.

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11-10-2011, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by SouthernHab View Post
No. I could be wide open in the slot. Just me and the goalie. I could fire wrist shots and slap shots at the goalie and if he is an NHL caliber goalie, he is going to stop almost all of them.

Now put some traffic in front of the goalie to screen him and more of those shots will go in.

Again, if I am entering the offensive zone with the puck and then shoot at the goal, the goalie will stop most of them. However, if I am skating in toward goal and make a crisp pass to my winger or center which forces the goalie to change positions, the chances of scoring go up.

We are throwing shots on goal that the goalie clearly sees. Our passing is not precise and more often than not, on rushes, the person with the puck shoots a majority of the time instead of passing.

Honest question. When was the last time you saw a Hab score a goal on a give and go play? Very rare occurence in Montreal.

We do not have an offensive minded coach. Thus, we do not have an offensive minded team who is doing the extras needed to score more goals. Shots on goal from this team is basically an irrelevant stat as most of them are very easy for the goalie to see and stop.
I agree 100 percent. I was doing my mathgeek impression.

The lack of creativity also extends to odd man rushes where invariably the goaltender can play the shooter and not worry about much else happening. The team's predictability is part of it's problem and I agree that's coaching.

Having said that I am not sure the team can be much more successful running-and-gunning without more firepower up front. I do know however that I am tired of offensive rankings in the bottom third of the league.

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11-10-2011, 05:16 PM
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I forgot the 8-10 's that my post needed.
Y'know, I re-read your post about five minutes later and thought, "Oh crap... he was kidding". Sorry for sounding like a pedantic idiot.

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11-10-2011, 05:34 PM
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Exactly. Habs aren't bad cause their shooting % is low, their shooting % is low cause they're bad!

In terms of goal scoring I mean. We're getting many chances, usually even outchancing our opponents, but we don't have any proven consistent goal scorers. Cammy's the closest thing we have, but he saves it for the playoffs, which I don't really have a problem with TBH. But we could use a higher end goal scorer on this team badly.

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11-10-2011, 06:37 PM
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Not all shots are created equal. A harder, more accurate shot will score much more often than a soft shot that thumps into the goalie's chest.
Reread the link in my earlier post (you read it, right? I mean, I know you're not just completely misrepresenting an argument just to have an easy strawman to beat you, that tactic would be beneath you.)

TLDR? All right, I'll tell you the gist: there is literally zero correlation between a team's shooting percentage one year and another year. It is not something teams are "good" or "bad" at. How good one team's shooting percentage is one year has zero bearing on how good it is next year.

Shot quality exists on the individual levels, but teams do not have the ability to affect their overall shooting percentage on the long run. That is demonstrated fact. We're down to arguing that the Habs are some unique snowflake that is so bad that they suck in a way that none of the other NHL clubs manage which, while it may be a popular pastime amongst this fanbase, is pretty awful as a logical argument.

Besides, I don't see anyone else explaining why they went from "sucky at 5-on-5 and great 5-on-4" to "average 5-on-5 and sucky 5-on-4"...

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11-10-2011, 07:03 PM
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Apparently there is a statistical answer to every question about hockey and when that fails, bad luck is often fingered as the culprit.

Here is something you can't measure... it's hesitation. When a coach is watching a game he has to develop a "feel" on whether his players are hesitating or not. That hesitation, even if it is brief, allows the goaltender to establish position on the shooter. When that happens your shooting percentage will not be as good as when you catch the goaltender unaware.

I firmly believe that for many of the Habs, there is an element of hesitation in their offensive game. It is very slight and very subtle but an inch or a split second makes a huge difference in a dynamic, flowing game like hockey. Sure we are getting shots but they are shots against a team that has been given time to improve their positioning reducing our effectiveness.

The creativity and natural instincts have been replaced by mechanical play where every move has to be calculated before it is made. I really think there is offensive talent on this team and it has been stifled.

So I would say it is neither luck nor is it poor talent... it is the mindset of the players that is holding them back. Someone needs to unleash these guys, let them display their strengths, let them make mistakes, let them learn and let them create some excitement. The results certainly couldn't be much worse.

Can I measure it? Of course not, but fortunately hockey is more than a game of pure stats.

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11-10-2011, 07:13 PM
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So... last year they were hesitating, but only when 5-on-5, and this year they are hesitating but only when on the PP?

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11-10-2011, 07:24 PM
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So... last year they were hesitating, but only when 5-on-5, and this year they are hesitating but only when on the PP?
How the problem manifests itself is fluid, but the underlying problem is the same every year- can't score enough goals.

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11-10-2011, 07:27 PM
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So... last year they were hesitating, but only when 5-on-5, and this year they are hesitating but only when on the PP?
That is a patronizing comment... but expected.

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11-10-2011, 07:33 PM
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How the problem manifests itself is fluid, but the underlying problem is the same every year- can't score enough goals.
That's not the underlying problem, that's a symptom. Goals are a result, not a process.

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That is a patronizing comment... but expected.
I'm sorry, I'm just getting a little tired of explanations that sound reasonable enough but don't fit all the known facts.

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11-10-2011, 07:35 PM
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Reread the link in my earlier post (you read it, right? I mean, I know you're not just completely misrepresenting an argument just to have an easy strawman to beat you, that tactic would be beneath you.)

TLDR? All right, I'll tell you the gist: there is literally zero correlation between a team's shooting percentage one year and another year. It is not something teams are "good" or "bad" at. How good one team's shooting percentage is one year has zero bearing on how good it is next year.

Shot quality exists on the individual levels, but teams do not have the ability to affect their overall shooting percentage on the long run. That is demonstrated fact. We're down to arguing that the Habs are some unique snowflake that is so bad that they suck in a way that none of the other NHL clubs manage which, while it may be a popular pastime amongst this fanbase, is pretty awful as a logical argument.

Besides, I don't see anyone else explaining why they went from "sucky at 5-on-5 and great 5-on-4" to "average 5-on-5 and sucky 5-on-4"...
Our team has had two complete seasons of low-scoring plus 14 games this season of continued low scoring. After 178 games this is not simply a blip. This is a reflection of our roster.

My question was: What exactly does it reflect? Do we have bad luck or bad shooting? I'm not sure how your article answered that specific question and how that article answers Montreal's chronic issue over the past 178 games plus playoffs -- namely, we don't score as much as most other teams. I understand the limits of shooting percentage, but that was never my singular focus.

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11-10-2011, 07:38 PM
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I'm sorry, I'm just getting a little tired of explanations that sound reasonable enough but don't fit all the known facts.
No problem. I admire the stat work you do and no one should belittle it because there are some amazing conclusions that can me made because of it. But sometimes stats alone can't provide all of the answers and that is when intuition or subjective judgments must be used along with those stats.

A bit of science and a bit of art.

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11-10-2011, 07:43 PM
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Numbers are great for measuring what's already happened. They're less accurate when measuring what will happen next.

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11-10-2011, 07:50 PM
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Our team has had two complete seasons of low-scoring plus 14 games this season of continued low scoring. After 178 games this is not simply a blip. This is a reflection of our roster.
The similarity is actually pretty superficial.

2009-2010 the team just sucked 5-on-5 (but were dynamite on the PP). Their shooting percentage was actually average; they just didn't get the scoring chances.
2010-2011 the team couldn't buy a 5-on-5 goal. This is the first year where shooting percentage became a real problem.
2011-2012 the team can't buy a 5-on-4 goal.

Low shooting percentage is not a chronic problem. It's a recent thing, and it really only applied to last year. This year it's only happening on the PP.

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11-10-2011, 07:55 PM
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Numbers are great for measuring what's already happened. They're less accurate when measuring what will happen next.
You can never get 100% certitude about the future. But some numbers (shots for and against) have pretty good predictive value, others (shooting percentages) don't.

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11-10-2011, 07:55 PM
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No problem. I admire the stat work you do and no one should belittle it because there are some amazing conclusions that can me made because of it. But sometimes stats alone can't provide all of the answers and that is when intuition or subjective judgments must be used along with those stats.

A bit of science and a bit of art.
There is a flip side to numbers can't explain anything though. If you can't back up your intuitions with empirical evidence you shouldn't have nearly as much confidence in them as what you can figure out. The past 400 years of the scientific revolution has done nothing but demonstrate that human intuition is much better at coming up with neat stories than real explanations.

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11-10-2011, 07:58 PM
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The similarity is actually pretty superficial.

2009-2010 the team just sucked 5-on-5 (but were dynamite on the PP). Their shooting percentage was actually average; they just didn't get the scoring chances.
2010-2011 the team couldn't buy a 5-on-5 goal. This is the first year where shooting percentage became a real problem.
2011-2012 the team can't buy a 5-on-4 goal.

Low shooting percentage is not a chronic problem. It's a recent thing, and it really only applied to last year. This year it's only happening on the PP.
Not to mention that what was true for the Carboneau era team has basically no bearing on the current squad. Plekanec, Kostitsyn, Pacioretty and Gorges are the only skaters that have played this year left from that time and none of the coaching staff is the same either.

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