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Pete Deboer and Playing With a Lead: A Study

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Old
10-26-2014, 04:06 PM
  #1
jkrdevil
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Pete Deboer and Playing With a Lead: A Study

As many of you know Tuesday nightís loss vs. the Rangers was infuriating. Another blown multi-goal lead, something that many have observed have become more of a trend since Pete Deboer took over as coach. Of course some responded in defense trotting out the usual it is standard score effects, poor goaltending and poor luck. I am doubtful of this because we have seen this now happen under multiple goalies and observation wise it seems it affects us more than other teams. That got me thinking how do the Devils compare to playing with a lead compared to the rest of the league? With the weekend hitting I took time yesterday to play around on War-on-ice (when it wasnít down) and see.

My theory in this regard was simple. If the Devils change the way they play with a league more than the average team it would show when comparing the difference between CorsiFor% with a 2-goal lead (CF%+2) and CorsiFor% in close games that was within 1 goal (CF%Close). For this I calculated the drop in Corsi between (CF%Dif) the two situations for each team and then calculated the league average drop as well as the standard deviation to give me a milestone of what represents a noticeable difference. My comparison goes back to the 2011-12 season when Deboer first became coach. In terms of on-ice strength I used all situations since I wanted the effects of getting a PP and going on the PK to be represented. I also ran the numbers prior to last nightís game.

Now for the results. Under Deboer when the score is close the Devils have a CF% of 53.02, 5th best in the league in that situation. When they have a two or more goal lead their CF% drops to 43.82, 11th best in the league in that situations. The difference between the two situations is a 9.20 drop in percentage points, the third largest drop in the league. Now every team sees a drop on their CF% between the two situations. The average drop is 7.06 percentage points. The standard deviation is 1.57 percentage points, meaning most teams are going to be within that percentage point difference of the average. The Devilsí 9.20 percentage point drop is 1.94 percentage points from the mean, more than one standard deviation. That shows to me that the Devils have a noticeable difference in playing with the lead than the rest of the league.

After looking at that I decided to compare the last three years under Deboer to the previous three seasons prior to Deboer becoming coach. To do this I did the same thing I did for seasons 2011/2012-Pres for seasons 2008/09-2010/11. During this time period under Sutter/MacLean/Lemaire, the Devils in close game situations had a CF% of 52.59, 5th best in the league under this time period. In game with a 2+ goal lead they had a CF% of 44.81, dropping them only to 6th best in this situation. Their drop in CF% between the two situations was 7.78 (19th best). The average for this time period was 7.27 drop in percentage points with a standard deviation of 1.66. They were close enough to the average to safely conclude their drop in play during this period was due to standard score effects.

Now to compare the two numbers. For this I adjusted the Devilsí CF%Dif number from 08-11 to make it equivalent to what it would be for the average from 2011-Pres. For that I came up with a 7.55 equivalent drop. To get an understanding of the difference in how much the Devils change their play with a lead pre-Deboer and currently, I took the 9.20 number under Deboer and subtracted 7.55. That results in 1.66, which is greater than the league standard dev. for 2011-pres. That is to say the difference in how they change their play with lead pre-Deboer and under him is noticeable worse.

Now obviously when you are comparing over multiple years rosters change, but considering the team has a both a higher CF% in close situation under Deboer than pre-Deboer and a lower CF% with a 2+ goal lead under deboer than pre-deboer, I donít think you can pin it on personnel.

Also consider with the teamís scoring woes most of this effect is mostly with only with a 2-goal lead, there are not many 3 or 4 goals leads where they potentially sit back more to skew the numbers. And that 1-goal third period leads are included in the close numbers. It may be a bigger drop off if one were to consider 1st and 2nd period close vs 3rd period with any lead.

In summary, the Devils play with a lead noticeably drops off when they have a multiple goal lead. This drop off is greater than the usual score effects the other teams face. Further, this is something that has only affected the Devils since Pete Deboer took over as coach. Prior to Pete they did not have nearly the level of drop off in their play with a lead. When people complain about how the team plays with a lead under Deboer it is not something that is imaginary. It is a real issue.

Why is this a case? Obviously, this study doesnít answer. It could be playing a more passive system with a lead and sitting back more, playing worse players with the lead or likely both. When you consider how many leads the have blown, points dropped and points given to playoff competitors, this play with a lead is probably a major contributor to the Devils missing the playoffs in the last two year.

Thank you for reading my book

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10-26-2014, 04:21 PM
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Do we know statistics for actual # of leads we have given up over these time periods, and how they compare to the rest of the league?

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10-26-2014, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by devilsblood View Post
Do we know statistics for actual # of leads we have given up over these time periods, and how they compare to the rest of the league?
I'm sure that can be researched, but it was not something I looked up. I wanted to take goaltending out of the equation, that is while I focused in on the difference of the possession numbers and compared it to the rest of the league.

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10-26-2014, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by jkrdevil View Post
As many of you know Tuesday nightís loss vs. the Rangers was infuriating. Another blown multi-goal lead, something that many have observed have become more of a trend since Pete Deboer took over as coach. Of course some responded in defense trotting out the usual it is standard score effects, poor goaltending and poor luck. I am doubtful of this because we have seen this now happen under multiple goalies and observation wise it seems it affects us more than other teams. That got me thinking how do the Devils compare to playing with a lead compared to the rest of the league? With the weekend hitting I took time yesterday to play around on War-on-ice (when it wasnít down) and see.

My theory in this regard was simple. If the Devils change the way they play with a league more than the average team it would show when comparing the difference between CorsiFor% with a 2-goal lead (CF%+2) and CorsiFor% in close games that was within 1 goal (CF%Close). For this I calculated the drop in Corsi between (CF%Dif) the two situations for each team and then calculated the league average drop as well as the standard deviation to give me a milestone of what represents a noticeable difference. My comparison goes back to the 2011-12 season when Deboer first became coach. In terms of on-ice strength I used all situations since I wanted the effects of getting a PP and going on the PK to be represented. I also ran the numbers prior to last nightís game.

Now for the results. Under Deboer when the score is close the Devils have a CF% of 53.02, 5th best in the league in that situation. When they have a two or more goal lead their CF% drops to 43.82, 11th best in the league in that situations. The difference between the two situations is a 9.20 drop in percentage points, the third largest drop in the league. Now every team sees a drop on their CF% between the two situations. The average drop is 7.06 percentage points. The standard deviation is 1.57 percentage points, meaning most teams are going to be within that percentage point difference of the average. The Devilsí 9.20 percentage point drop is 1.94 percentage points from the mean, more than one standard deviation. That shows to me that the Devils have a noticeable difference in playing with the lead than the rest of the league.

After looking at that I decided to compare the last three years under Deboer to the previous three seasons prior to Deboer becoming coach. To do this I did the same thing I did for seasons 2011/2012-Pres for seasons 2008/09-2010/11. During this time period under Sutter/MacLean/Lemaire, the Devils in close game situations had a CF% of 52.59, 5th best in the league under this time period. In game with a 2+ goal lead they had a CF% of 44.81, dropping them only to 6th best in this situation. Their drop in CF% between the two situations was 7.78 (19th best). The average for this time period was 7.27 drop in percentage points with a standard deviation of 1.66. They were close enough to the average to safely conclude their drop in play during this period was due to standard score effects.

Now to compare the two numbers. For this I adjusted the Devilsí CF%Dif number from 08-11 to make it equivalent to what it would be for the average from 2011-Pres. For that I came up with a 7.55 equivalent drop. To get an understanding of the difference in how much the Devils change their play with a lead pre-Deboer and currently, I took the 9.20 number under Deboer and subtracted 7.55. That results in 1.66, which is greater than the league standard dev. for 2011-pres. That is to say the difference in how they change their play with lead pre-Deboer and under him is noticeable worse.

Now obviously when you are comparing over multiple years rosters change, but considering the team has a both a higher CF% in close situation under Deboer than pre-Deboer and a lower CF% with a 2+ goal lead under deboer than pre-deboer, I donít think you can pin it on personnel.

Also consider with the teamís scoring woes most of this effect is mostly with only with a 2-goal lead, there are not many 3 or 4 goals leads where they potentially sit back more to skew the numbers. And that 1-goal third period leads are included in the close numbers. It may be a bigger drop off if one were to consider 1st and 2nd period close vs 3rd period with any lead.

In summary, the Devils play with a lead noticeably drops off when they have a multiple goal lead. This drop off is greater than the usual score effects the other teams face. Further, this is something that has only affected the Devils since Pete Deboer took over as coach. Prior to Pete they did not have nearly the level of drop off in their play with a lead. When people complain about how the team plays with a lead under Deboer it is not something that is imaginary. It is a real issue.

Why is this a case? Obviously, this study doesnít answer. It could be playing a more passive system with a lead and sitting back more, playing worse players with the lead or likely both. When you consider how many leads the have blown, points dropped and points given to playoff competitors, this play with a lead is probably a major contributor to the Devils missing the playoffs in the last two year.

Thank you for reading my book

sunny, is that you?

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10-26-2014, 04:40 PM
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The answer is he system.

The team plays there best when the system is being played. That's heavy forcheck, and lots of possession. It's our best offense and defense.

One aspect to maintain that is aggressive pinching from the defense to maintain long zone presence.

We play it "safe" with a league which exposes us to more transition time which we are weak against.

Solution is to either keep the aggression on all game or adapt a new defensive system for leads. Playing a watered down version of our system doesn't seem to be the answer.

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10-26-2014, 04:44 PM
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Thanks for going through all the work, jkdevil. I honestly had no idea whether the Devils' frequency of blown leads was normal or not for the modern NHL. Seems it is not.

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10-26-2014, 04:49 PM
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Could it also be the Devils okay does not change but the teans personnel is less effective when other teams get more aggressive?

I mean the Devils are going from 5th best to 11th best, although the percentage drop is slightly outside 1 std dev they're also starting with one of the highest numbers so have more room to drop.

I think the summation can be the Devils system is effective in both close and non close games but their lack of team speed harms them more when other teams press.

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10-26-2014, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devils731 View Post
Could it also be the Devils okay does not change but the teans personnel is less effective when other teams get more aggressive?

I mean the Devils are going from 5th best to 11th best, although the percentage drop is slightly outside 1 std dev they're also starting with one of the highest numbers so have more room to drop.

I think the summation can be the Devils system is effective in both close and non close games but their lack of team speed harms them more when other teams press.
Part of the problem is they stop pressing and the system isn't built for that on top of the players not being built for it either.

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10-26-2014, 04:52 PM
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Bro cool research and all but this is the new NHL and blown leads just happen.

Sorry to rain on your parade.

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10-26-2014, 04:57 PM
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we seem to get big leads early in the game, giving the other team plenty of time to get back in the game, and most teams have enough pride to crank it up when they're down too

but I'm not protecting Deboer here.....I just dont know if its him or his system or our old players?

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10-26-2014, 04:57 PM
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Part of the problem is they stop pressing and the system isn't built for that on top of the players not being built for it either.
I disagree, I think they actually keep with their regular system more than a lot of teams do.

The Devils struggle with getting the puck into the offensive zone when they have the lead, not that they move away from being aggressive or forechecking. A lot of this struggle comes from having very flew players that can skate a puck out of trouble and there's more trouble when teams let their horses loose.

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10-26-2014, 04:57 PM
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This is meaningless without league-wide stats...

I remember the same narrative about Sutter blown leads on this board..

So if you want to show something meaningful, show DeBoer's last 3 years vs. the league's last 3.

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10-26-2014, 05:02 PM
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Maybe source your stats too. That way some of us can help you with research.

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10-26-2014, 05:04 PM
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http://www.nhl.com/ice/teamstats.htm...ordWhenLeading

Last year:
25th ranked when leading after 2 periods. 75% win rate. And even then they got the OT point 6 out of 7 times when "losing"
12th ranked at winning when trailing after 2 periods. 20% win rate.

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10-26-2014, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimEIV View Post
This is meaningless without league-wide stats...

I remember the same narrative about Sutter blown leads on this board..

So if you want to show something meaningful, show DeBoer's last 3 years vs. the league's last 3.
Don't forget when Julien was the coach. The blown lead brigade with "Julien ball" was even bigger than it is now.

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10-26-2014, 05:16 PM
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Don't most teams play differently with a 2 goal lead than with a 1 goal lead? Also consider that if the other team is down 2 goals, they're probably going to be pressing more as well.

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10-26-2014, 05:19 PM
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General corsi statistics for 2012, 2013,2014 compared to the rest of the league.

http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/team...T&sortdir=DESC

http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/team...ESC&sort=GFPCT

http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/team...ESC&sort=GFPCT
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Devils stats.jpg‎ (674.5 KB, 4 views)

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10-26-2014, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Devils731 View Post
Could it also be the Devils okay does not change but the teans personnel is less effective when other teams get more aggressive?

I mean the Devils are going from 5th best to 11th best, although the percentage drop is slightly outside 1 std dev they're also starting with one of the highest numbers so have more room to drop.

I think the summation can be the Devils system is effective in both close and non close games but their lack of team speed harms them more when other teams press.
Yes, they have more room to drop, but I was trying to find out if they drop their play more than the average team drops because of score effects. Basically trying to figure out if some of the issues observed with leads go beyond score effects.

Could team speed handling a more aggressive team be one of the issues? Yes, particularly just by observing it seems Pete tends to lean on the more veteran players who are slower. I noted that player selection may be an issue.

Considering how good they are in close situation I can't imagine it is something to where it can't be coached back to what the average drop is.

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10-26-2014, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimEIV View Post
This is meaningless without league-wide stats...

I remember the same narrative about Sutter blown leads on this board..

So if you want to show something meaningful, show DeBoer's last 3 years vs. the league's last 3.
I looked at the league wide stats. That was my comparison point. And I specifically looked at the last 3 years vs. the league last three years. That was the first number I looked at.

Their drop in possession with a multi-goal lead is much more than the average drop in possession with a multi-goal lead.

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10-26-2014, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Emperoreddy View Post
Maybe source your stats too. That way some of us can help you with research.
As I mentioned in the first paragraph I user war-on-ice.com

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10-26-2014, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrdevil View Post
I looked at the league wide stats. That was my comparison point. And I specifically looked at the last 3 years vs. the league last three years. That was the first number I looked at.

Their drop in possession with a multi-goal lead is much more than the average drop in possession with a multi-goal lead.
Maybe could be the amount of time Pete gave to the fourth line in the third compared to other teams.

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10-26-2014, 05:25 PM
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Don't most teams play differently with a 2 goal lead than with a 1 goal lead? Also consider that if the other team is down 2 goals, they're probably going to be pressing more as well.
Yes, that is basically score effects. I took a look at our play is worse than what you would normally get with score effects.

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10-26-2014, 05:30 PM
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Here is a interesting statistic from last seasons playoffs on two goal leads.

"This is something that's been happening a lot in these playoffs. Over the first 28 playoff games, a two-goal lead has been blown 11 times. Eight times the team that blew it went on to lose the game (Pittsburgh twice, Columbus twice, Anaheim once, Minnesota once, New York once, Los Angeles once)."

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10-26-2014, 05:32 PM
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"A third cause, and the only thing that I believe coaches affect, stems from something like the rat food-reward experiments we used to do in my psychology classes. With a lead, coaches are less prone to use guys who "take risks," which seems to be a trait that goes hand-in-hand with "having talent." The last thing a coach wants is to see Nazem Kadri make a dangle inside his own blueline, turn the puck over, and give up a goal. What they do want, is Jay McClement to chip the puck out of the zone because, like fans, they’re less stressed out when the puck isn’t in their zone. So, it gets out, coach feels relief, sees who made the clear, and the rat has been rewarded. He wants more of that."

Never heard of the rat food-reward experiments till now. Could be why the fourth line is used more often at the end of the game. Dump it in and take less of a gamble.

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10-26-2014, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperoreddy View Post
The answer is he system.

The team plays there best when the system is being played. That's heavy forcheck, and lots of possession. It's our best offense and defense.

One aspect to maintain that is aggressive pinching from the defense to maintain long zone presence.

We play it "safe" with a league which exposes us to more transition time which we are weak against.

Solution is to either keep the aggression on all game or adapt a new defensive system for leads. Playing a watered down version of our system doesn't seem to be the answer.
Yes the system, the heavy forecheck works great when you have the horses and the speed to implement it. We're just too slow, plain and simple.

Not sure what our possession stats are for this year but I don't think we've done a great job at all this year. Even with Jags, Zajac and Zubs there's only a few times where I thought they were dominating and controlling the puck.

There has been a bit of a difference though with our more mobile D being able to carry the puck an helping with the rush instead of just dumping and chasing. I haven't seen the D pinching much as they have been in the past. We have seemed to open the game up a bit with scoring some more goals, trying to be a little more creative in the offensive zone which has taken away from the grinding it out along the wall.

Weather it's speed on the forecheck, speed to rush the puck, speed to recover and back check properly, the plain and simple fact is that this team lacks speed, that is the end all be all for many of our problems.

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