Through 3/9/11 (or 67 games)
I've been thinking about the ups and downs of this season compared to last as well as the idea that the Hawks play hard for this goalie vs. that. I wanted to see if the numbers for SOG were dramatically telling for different periods this season (monthly) and last. Also I wanted to see what they looked like depending on who was in net. My TV is broke so while I'm waiting for Fed Ex to deliver my parts I thought I'd do some research.
Full stats below the jump:
So looking at the numbers the shot differential is significantly down from last year (+9 last year vs +3.5 this year) and that's relative to a decline in both shots for and shots against. They are generating 2 fewer SF/G and giving up 3.5 more SA/G.
The Hawks give up fewer shots against when Crawford plays vs. when Turco plays (27.50 vs 30.28) so the idea that the Hawks play better defensively in front of Crawford has some merit. However, and this is strange, both Crawford and Turco see more shots against in their wins than in their losses.
Yet what seems more determinative is the accuracy of the shooting and/or the quality of the chances. Regardless of the goalie, in the Hawks wins they generate more than 4 goals/game. In their losses it's just over 2 goals/game. The numbers are almost identical regardless of who is in net. Apparently, for this season anyway, as goes the Hawks offense so goes the Hawks. And just like last season in their wins they score on average 2 more goals, while generating two fewer shots for. And in their losses they give up two fewer goals even though they give up 2 more SOG/G. SOG doesn't seem to matter all that much.
Also, I'm not sure that shot differential is all that determinative of success so far this season for the Hawks. In the two months with their highest positive shot differential (January +7.36 and November +7.29) their records were only 6-4-1 and 7-6-1 respectively. On the other hand they had their best month in February going 8-3-2 and only had a shot differential of +1.62. (I'm temporarily ignoring their numbers so far in March as they've only played a few games and the numbers were skewed heavily by the game last night where the Hawks outshot the Panthers 39-15)
Man, last season's shot differentials were gaudy. Wow.
Anyway, don't read too much into these numbers, just food for thought. Enjoy.