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Team Shooting/PP Percentage Musings

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Old
12-31-2011, 07:04 AM
  #1
EastonBlues22
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Team Shooting/PP Percentage Musings

I was semi-bored, so I decided to run some numbers. It turns out that the average team shooting percentage right now is 9.12%, with a standard deviation of 1.05%. Since the standard deviation is only about 12% of the average, there's (relatively speaking) not a lot of variance in this particular measure across the league. In plainer terms, it means that most teams are going to be pretty close to league average when it comes to shooting percentage.

For example, even though the Blues clock in at 25th in the league with an 8.44% shooting percentage, that's still well within one (relatively narrow) standard deviation of the league average. More specifically, the difference between what the Blues are shooting now and league average is worth about 19 goals over 2500 shots on goal (about 0.23 goals per game), or about 8% fewer goals than would be expected if they were league average. Even with the poor PP numbers, it seems impossible to state with any degree of certainty that the difference between this team's ability to score when shooting the puck (relative to the average team) is a product of anything more significant than luck at this point. (For the record, the Blues as a team clocked in at 9.54% last year.)

Fun fact time: The Blues are currently holding opposing teams to a 7.9% shooting percentage, which is more than a standard deviation below league average.

Fun fact time #2: A team that has an 8.44% shooting percentage can afford to give up ~7% more shots than it takes against an opposing team that shoots 7.9% and still break even statistically. The Blues are currently averaging about 16% more shots per game than their opponents. At that rate, they're "breaking even" or better against a team that's shooting 9.79% or worse.

For those that are curious, there are six teams more than one standard deviation better than league average (> 10.17%), three teams more than one standard deviation worse than league average (< 8.07%), and one team that is more than two standard deviations worse than league average (< 7.02%).


Code:
Team	        Goals For   Shots For	  S%
Philadelphia	123	1133	10.86
NYR        	106	986	10.75
Toronto	             113	1063	10.63
Boston	             118	1114	10.59
Vancouver	127	1216	10.44
Edmonton	98	941	10.41
Washington	106	1046	10.13
Chicago	             121	1233	9.81
Detroit	             119	1230	9.67
Ottawa	             114	1193	9.56
Tampa	             97	1017	9.54
Pittsburgh	117	1252	9.35
Nashville	             97	1038	9.34
New Jersey	92	996	9.24
Dallas	             94	1035	9.08
Winnipeg	             100	1112	8.99
Buffalo	             96	1075	8.93
Anaheim	             84	945	8.89
Carolina	             101	1172	8.62
Minnesota	89	1037	8.58
Montreal	             96	1123	8.55
Calgary	             95	1113	8.54
Florida	             98	1154	8.49
Phoenix	             96	1137	8.44
St. Louis	             95	1136	8.36
San Jose	             95	1176	8.08
Colorado	             98	1234	7.94
Columbus	             88	1167	7.54
NYI	             78	1035	7.54
Los Angeles	79	1181	6.69
In related news, the current league average for PP% is 17.19%, with a standard deviation of 2.99%. (That's about 17% of league average for those following along, or a 55% increase relative to the corresponding team shooting percentage figure, thus describing a group of data points with much more variance.) That places the Blues well below one standard deviation away from league average at their current 12.7% pace. The difference between their current conversion rate and league average is about 13 goals over 290 PP opportunities, or about 1 goal every 6 games (6 total goals so far this season).

Put another way, the difference between the Blues current PP and a league average one could potentially represent about 68% of the difference between the Blues current team shooting percentage and a league average one. (Note, this is not an implication of causality in either direction...just an implication regarding the potential strength of this particular relationship.) That number is well above what might be expected, since 1 standard deviation for PP% is worth ~9 goals a year and 1 standard deviation for S% is about 26 goals a year...implying that a PP 1 standard deviation above average will only get you ~35% of the way to having a S% 1 standard deviation above average. An excellent PP is a nice boost in the right direction, but it's hardly a guarantee. Even a PP that's 2 standard deviations above average only gets you 70% of the way there...so there's still plenty of work to be done elsewhere.

With that in mind, though, it should come as no surprise that 5 of the 6 teams with a team shooting percentage more than a standard deviation above average have a PP% that's approximately 1 standard deviation better than average or better as well (with the exception being the Rangers).

Fun fact #3: If the Blues increased their PP% from 12.7% to 22.7% (from more than 1 standard deviation below average to more than 1 standard deviation above average), it would net them an additional 29 goals over the course of an average year. Getting just 5 more shots on net per game (from additional shots taken, or by missing the net less often) would result in about 35 additional goals over the course of the year.

What's all this crap mean? Well, it's mostly just fun with numbers...but I guess the take-home messages are: 1) Total shots and shot disparity matter over the long-haul...a lot. The quickest and most efficient way to score more goals is to simply get more shots on net. 2) Competitive parity is going to keep things close enough in this league that luck will always play a larger role than we would care to admit.

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12-31-2011, 09:37 AM
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PocketNines
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Interesting numbers and analysis. Thanks for putting it together.

As for the takeaway I thought it was smart for Hitchcock to simply be preaching shoot on the PP and when in doubt shoot more. They didn't seem do to that last night. For the amount of zone time they had, only to get one and two shots on some of those power plays was weak.

One thing I think the Blues are getting lucky on is the number of odd man rushes NOT resulting in goals against. This is an area I feel the Blues have lucked out so far this year.

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12-31-2011, 01:35 PM
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oPlaiD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PocketNines View Post
Interesting numbers and analysis. Thanks for putting it together.

As for the takeaway I thought it was smart for Hitchcock to simply be preaching shoot on the PP and when in doubt shoot more. They didn't seem do to that last night. For the amount of zone time they had, only to get one and two shots on some of those power plays was weak.

One thing I think the Blues are getting lucky on is the number of odd man rushes NOT resulting in goals against. This is an area I feel the Blues have lucked out so far this year.
Over the course of a season team shooting percentage will almost always regress to the league average. There are very, very few players who show a statistically significant ability to shoot the puck at an above average level.

The real "skill" or the good teams is puck control, allowing you to take more shots and limit shots of the opposing team. That's why the Blues start this season is so encouraging: while it's likely their goaltending will regress more towards average and they give up a few more goals, they will most likely start scoring a few more, too, and the Blues are one of the top 3 teams in the league in terms of controlling the puck. They are definitely in elite territory right now.

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