FanPost

Shot differential/goaltending season wrap (and some actual math!)

If anyone can find the missing third-quarter shot differential/goaltending report, they get a heffalump as a prize.

Trick question! Like most of America (fuck yeah), I got sucked into the Olympics, and honestly, the numbers never really deviated. It's only in March that we welcomed a bit of the suck into our lives, with some bad goaltending and injury crises on the defense. Without further preamble, here are the numbers for the second half of the season:

.

OPP S SA DIFF SG SV% RESULT

.

BOS (A) 36 21 15 Niemi 0.905 W

.

MIN (A) 25 21 4 Huet 0.762 SOL

.

ANA (H) 43 12 31 Niemi 0.818 L

.

CBJ (H) 36 24 12 Huet 1 W

.

CBJ (A) 31 26 5 Huet 0.808 W

.

DET (A) 29 38 -9 Niemi 0.921 SOW

.

OTT (A) 30 18 12 Huet 0.778 L

.

CGY (A) 28 20 8 Niemi 0.95 W

.

VAN (A) 44 28 16 Niemi, Huet .75, .875 L **

.

EDM (A) 37 24 13 Huet 0.917 W

.

SJS (A) 39 37 2 Huet 0.919 OTW

.

CAR (A) 41 24 17 Huet 0.833 L

.

STL (H) 34 19 15 Huet 0.842 L

.

PHX (H) 29 22 7 Huet 0.955 SOL

.

STL (A) 30 35 -5 Niemi 0.971 W

.

DAL (H) 40 27 13 Niemi 0.889 SOW

.

ATL (H) 40 27 13 Niemi 0.852 SOW

.

CBJ (A) 37 28 11 Niemi 0.857 SOW

.

NYI (A) 44 23 21 Niemi, Huet .75, .818 L **

.

EDM (H) 47 14 33 Huet 0.857 W

.

VAN (H) 23 24 1 Huet 0.87 W

.

DET (H) 32 25 7 Huet, Niemi .765, .875 L **

.

LAK (H) 43 30 13 Niemi 0.933 OTW

.

PHI (A) 41 34 7 Huet 0.912 L

.

WSH (H) 23 30 -7 Niemi 0.9 OTL *

.

ANA (A) 41 36 5 Crawford 0.914 L

.

LAK (A) 37 17 20 Niemi 1 W

.

PHX (A) 38 35 3 Niemi 0.886 SOL

.

PHX (H) 32 28 4 Niemi 1 W

.

CBJ (A) 41 32 9 Huet, Niemi 0.741, 0.8 L **

.

CBJ (H) 35 20 15 Niemi 0.842 L

.

STL (A) 34 30 4 Niemi 0.867 L

.

MIN (A) 35 21 14 Niemi 1 W

.

NJD (A) 26 33 -7 Niemi 0.97 SOW

.

CGY (H) 31 26 5 Niemi 0.962 W

.

DAL (A) 38 28 10 Niemi 0.929 W

.

STL (H) 26 31 -5 Niemi 0.839 W

.

COL (A) 37 32 5 Niemi 0.938 W

.

DET (H) 29 21 8 Niemi 0.857 OTL *

 

Shot differential

If that's too much text, here's a graph, with some benchmark games highlighted for easy identification:

The shots and shots-against averages have stayed pretty steady for the Hawks throughout the entire season, going a bit tails-up toward the end there, so there's not much to really talk about in terms of the larger picture, but once you break down the numbers into categories of specific opponents, things get a little bit more interesting.

  • Our season averages against playoff-bound teams, ranked by shot differential:

    .

    OPP S SA DIFF

    .

    SJS 39.3 24.5 14.8

    .

    LAK 35.5 21.8 13.7

    .

    NSH 31.7 22.8 8.9

    .

    COL 33.5 25 8.5

    .

    PHX 32.8 27 5.8

    .

    DET 31.7 26.7 5

    .

    VAN 26 28.3 -2.3
    In somewhat of a surprise, the Hawks have played the Sharks extremely well all season. Whether it's just a Western Conference whose-dick-is-bigger thing is probably a matter of opinion, but should the twain meet in a later round of the playoffs, I really like the Hawks' chances. Actually, the only team in the conference that the Hawks have played better than the Sharks are the bottom-feeding Oilers.

    The next two teams on the list, L.A. and Nashville, both play pretty defensively, but can't really hold the Hawks in check every single game. Over the course of a series, they should also be easier to deal with. Then we have Colorado, whose main tactic for limiting shots against involves throwing their bodies in front of them, and someone said that a Hawks-Lanche series would probably break league records for minutes played.

    Phoenix and Detroit have both played the Hawks well over the season series, and I'm glad one team will take the other out in the opening round (FUCK SCUM, throw the snake, ETC. ETC.), but the real danger for the Hawks might be Vancouver once again. Luongo hasn't looked great since the Olympics, but this is a team that has the physical presence to make things hard on our skill guys. If Campbell and Johnsson aren't healthy and the Hawks have to face this team in the second round, we could see an alternate ending to last season's playoff series.
  • Here are the Hawks' numbers against non-playoff teams:

    .

    OPP S SA DIFF

    .

    EDM 38 21.3 16.7

    .

    MIN 32 20.1 11.9

    .

    DAL 36.8 26 10.8

    .

    CBJ 34.3 25.5 9.2

    .

    ANA 35 26.5 8.5

    .

    CGY 31.3 23.5 7.5

    .

    STL 32 27.3 4.7
    Blah blah blah irrelevant teams. As uninspiring as St. Louis is, they really embraced their role as circus freaks and ran some games kind of close. Looking at both charts together really drives home how well the Hawks were able to control games by simply making sure that most of the action occurred away from their own end (only Vancouver was able to limit the Hawks to under 30 shots per game and outshoot them on average, although -2.3 shots still isn't a huge number).

Goaltending

Onto goaltending, although this will be brief and rather unthorough.

During the regular season, Hawks goalies played in 28 games where one or both logged under 0.870 SV% (which has served as my arbitrary line of mediocrity all season). The Hawks managed to win 21% of those games, mainly by scoring like motherfuckers, and took the game into OT or a SO 28.6% of the time, but a full 50% of those subpar outings resulted in straight-up losses. Huaters might want to shield their eyes before I post the number splits:

.

< 0.870 record w/o so

.

huet 16 4-8-1 3-8-0

.

niemi 15 7-5-2 4-5-1

There's some overlap with the records vs. games played, because the starting goalie has been pulled six times (Huet four times and Niemi twice). What stands out to me, considering that both Huet and Niemi have a comparable number of "bad" games, is the disparity between their win-loss records. Never fear, there's an explanation!

  • Huet gives up goals in bunches. This is probably the top reason why coaches pull their goalies, whether or not the goalie was fully to blame -- pulling him not only acts as an attempt to relieve the guy who isn't performing well, but also sends a message to the rest of the team. The only game where Niemi has been guilty of goals-in-bunches syndrome was the Islanders game. Otherwise, this is Huet's malady to conquer. Whether it's a function of bad defense in front of him (the Calgary game comes to mind), or his own mental fragility, the fact that three or four goals get put on the board at once usually spells doom for the team giving up those goals. The only reason why we recovered against Calgary was because the diarrhea stopped after the first 12 minutes of the game.
  • Niemi has a great shootout record. The Hawks are 9-6 in shootouts this season, and Niemi is 6-2. Without the extra point gleaned from the shootout, Niemi's record when posting a bad SV% comes back down to earth, although it's still not as bad as Huet's.

Um, yeah, that's a lot of information, but unlike my last fanpost, most of it is topical and timely, so please (PLEEEEAAAASE?) get some discussions going. The playoffs are another beast, and as such will require a separate post, I think. Hopefully the problems of Detroit and Vancouver will have disappeared by then.

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