SHOT VOLUME. IT’S THE REAL THING

by Lowetide

Even during the four game losing streak, Todd McLellan’s media avails lacked the tension of one year ago. McLellan speaks a universal language of hockey and because of it avoids all number of conflicts. Consider this answer today about getting shots on net:

  • Todd McLellan: “Volume shooting, I don’t know what that does to Corsi or Fenwick because I don’t even know what those things are, but volume shooting is important. I think it breaks down defensive zone coverages, gets players out of position, taxes the opposition, makes them play more minutes in their zone.”

Fantastic answer. Todd McLellan avoids the ‘rage of Corsi’ by saying he’s never heard of it, and then proceeds to tell the gathered throngs about the importance of shot differential. Sweet Jesus the guy is smooth, if this were America he’d be one of those southern lawyers with the hayseed drawl that has you giggling right up until the six minutes he pierces the air with perfect words and reason while sending you to the electric chair.

The man from Saskatchewan is nobody’s fool. Today’s lesson? Corsi is a liar, a false God. Have you met my friend shot volume? We get enough volume shooting and it won’t matter what that other fella does! Honestly, it’s brilliant.

IS IT TRUE?

Not yet. Todd McLellan’s team (folks, this is early days):

  • Shots for per game 2014-15: 28.4 (No. 26 overall)
  • Shots for per game 2015-16: 26.8 (No. 25 overall)
  • Shots against per game 2014-15: 30.0 (No. 20 overall)
  • Shots against per game 2015-16: 32.7 (No. 25 overall)

The Oilers were -1.6 shots-per-game a year ago and are -5.9 so far this season—provided NHL.com’s numbers are correct. Edmonton has had some tough games during these six contests, suspect the number improves under McLellan. Shot volume. It’s the right thing to do.

Looks like Andrew Ference draws in and it’s probably on the third pairing. One thing we’ll do for tomorrow morning’s GDT is run TOI totals for all six regular blue. Suspect that third pairing will take a haircut in TOI tomorrow night. I wonder if they consider moving up Eric Gryba, he’s been playing more than Mark Fayne of late.

Mark Fayne for a gritty winger? Is Rene Bourque available? I kid. Probably. The Oilers have also been connected in the past to David Clarkson, Ryan Murray, Dalton Prout and Boone Jenner. Fedor Tyutin is apparently off his previous levels, Jack Johnson gets mentioned in media often. Interesting times.

133 comments
0

You may also like

0 0 vote
Article Rating
133 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

[…] are lots of reasons why McLellan might prefer to couch things the way he does. A real cynic—Lowetide’s Allan Mitchell, for example—might note the effect of the comment. The analytics community may need to wipe away a tear every […]

[…] Volume shooting, I don’t know what that does to Corsi or Fenwick because I don’t even know what those things are, but volume shooting is important. I think it breaks down defensive zone coverages, gets players out of position, taxes the opposition, makes them play more minutes in their zone. – Todd McLellan (Source) […]

trackback

[…] Volume shooting, I don’t know what that does to Corsi or Fenwick because I don’t even know what those things are, but volume shooting is important. I think it breaks down defensive zone coverages, gets players out of position, taxes the opposition, makes them play more minutes in their zone. Source […]

[…] Source […]

Bruce McCurdy

Pouzar: You need to watch last night’s game then.

I saw highlights. Didnt look good on those.

fifthcartel

whoops wrong thread

Ribs

Tired this morning. Read the title as SHIT VOLUME. IT’S THE REAL THING. haha

godot10

There is really no incentive to tank anymore. The first three draft picks are now decided by lottery were the last place team only has about a 20% chance of picking #1, #2, or #3.

The most probable result of tanking is that you pick 4th now, approximately 40%.

Basically tanking is a coin fllip for a top three pick or picking #4.

Plus. Would your rather have Dylan Larkin, Sam Bennett, or Leon Draisaitl.
Nail Yakupov, Alex Galchenyuk, or Jacob Trouba? MacKinnon, Drouin, or Jones?

i.e. Unless there is a generational talent, who is doing the drafting is more important than who is drafted.

PhrankLee

G Money,

Fricking hilarious, because, that’s exactly, what I, was,…after.

BeerMe

Blue Jackets have allowed 4 or more goals in every game so far, 34GA in 7 games. Holy hell, that rivals our Eakins-era suckage!

G Money

PhrankLee,

Now we just, need, Arizona, to, implode. [Shatner voice]

G Money

Adam Wu,

Indeed, this is more or less what I was trying to say to Striatic. One would hope that every coach tries to create at the very least a mindset of ‘get the shot on net’ as opposed ‘Corsi the fuck outta that thing’. The point is, once all of that is in place, whether that shot actually scores, goes on net, misses, or is blocked, is driven by external factors. The effect of maximizing shots (which is the coaches role) in practice maximizes Corsi.

Rather than (disingenuously to my mind) claiming he has no idea what C/F are, I would have preferred TMc state the truth: that C/F have no relevance to coaching, because his job is to worry about shots on net. *That’s* the truth of the matter.

The day a coach tells players to start taking shot attempts even when they know they’re going to be blocked or know they’re going to miss (deliberate misses aside) is the day that coach sets himself up to fired.

As I pointed out earlier, TMc’s own numbers back up that scenario, where his team last year was #4 in Corsi, #7 in Fenwick, and #14 in shots on net. I have no doubt that TMc was maximizing “shot volume”, just as he is this year – but the actual effect of that is to maximize Corsi.

It’s weak analogy, but I’d say it’s something like a manager saying he wants to maximize profit this quarter. Of course he/she does, but in reality, a manager doesn’t control profit. They either increase sales (faster than concomitant increase in costs), or reduce costs (faster than concomitant decrease in sales). Those are the points of control. Profit is an outcome. If they can optimize the things they control, they can maximize profit.

Talking about maximizing profit is a shorthand for the maximization of the things you actually control as part of the process that gets you there.

PhrankLee

G Money,

I’m in full agreement on the season.

.500 or at least threatening .500 would represent monumental progress for this club.

My prayers, if you like, would be answered, in fact.

Adam Wu

G Money:
striatic,

Your statement implies that there are players or coaches who don’t care if they miss or get blocked, which is ridiculous.Of course they care.They just don’t control it.Otherwise, no shot would ever miss or get blocked.

I must dispute this line of reasoning. It doesn’t have to be binary such that absolute control (ie no misses or blocks) and no control are the only options.

Theoretically, it should be possible to design a system that takes shots in places and situations that make it harder for the other team to block. Accuracy on net should be a trainable skill that would reduce if not elminate missing.

Whether doing so in practice would actually result in a better outcome in terms of number of shots getting in goal vs simply increasing shot attempts and letting volume and averages do it for you should be a testable hypothesis.

Visually better

JDï™:
Things were getting a little boring without Torts.

JD_Wry

Things were getting a little boring without Torts.

G Money

When I did my break down of the Oilers season prospects based on toughness of schedule, and how they could achieve .500 even with the brutal schedule start, I concluded this way:


That’s also where the improvement has to come. It shouldn’t be hard to sustain last years mostly losing record against the good teams! What the Oilers need this season is about 2 or 3 more wins against mid-tier teams, and 7 or 8 more wins against the bottom feeders. That’s the battleground, that’s where this season succeeds or fails.

So based on the level of competition, expect the Oilers to go 0.400 or so to start the season – and that’s not a big deal. We’ll need to remind each other of this if we get too down in the dumps!

It’s after that where they need to get on track for the season. One win against CBJ, three wins against ARI, and a couple of wins against CGY and VAN gets you more than halfway there. Find just four more wins than last year against the other 25 teams and you claw above 0.500.

Those were the four teams that this team *should* have gotten at least a few points from last year, and pretty much completely shit the bed.

To which I can now say: thanks Columbus!

Dicky94

Only gets worse for Columbus. Half that team will want out of there by the time Torts is done with them. Not the right guy for that team right now. Also love seeing Flames suck it right now. I’m sure they will turn it around but hoping not.

khildahl

JDï™:
Darren Dreger Verified account
‏@DarrenDreger

Todd Richards out in CBJ. Torts in.

How soon do Jackets fans start buying Matthews jerseys?

frjohnk

JDï™:
Darren Dreger Verified account
‏@DarrenDreger

Todd Richards out in CBJ. Torts in.

When does Columbus play Calgary?

JD_Wry

Darren Dreger Verified account
‏@DarrenDreger

Todd Richards out in CBJ. Torts in.

Pouzar

Bruce McCurdy: my attention was how shitty Dougie Hamilton looked.

You need to watch last night’s game then.

russ99

1. I though Howson was an amateur scout.
2. The last thing we need right now is making any more moves based on Howson’s “inside information” on Columbus.

The sooner the last of the old boys is gone, the better. I really hope this is Chia throwing him a bone and getting him out of the way.

jp

G Money:
What I actually came for:

Yesterday JP suggested adding shot distance histograms to my post-game shot data NerdAlerts.

They’ll be part of the “Shot Analysis” section starting tomorrow.Here’s what they’ll look like:

http://i.imgur.com/6mpsoXk.png
http://i.imgur.com/x1tBKr7.png

Cool that you were able to do this.

The Oilers look all right as most of Vancouver’s extra “shot volume” was from >40 ft. Though I guess that 20-30 ft bin dominated by the Canucks are pretty high quality scoring chances.

theres oil in virginia

Bruce McCurdy,

In the past, the Oilers would play that tired Flames team and lose.

Romulus Apotheosis

Mike Gartner was a heck of a player. I loved this card as a kid

http://canadiancouchpotato.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Mike_Gartner.jpg

v4ance

http://oilersnation.com/2015/10/20/random-thoughts-on-wings-oilers-and-more

“Speaking of Hall, he had food poisoning, not the flu in Dallas. He had one small bowl of oatmeal in the 24 hours leading up to the game.”

I remember some posters criticizing Hall for his lackluster effort in the Dallas game, some insinuated that he was hung over from attending the Blue Jays game and others were proposing trading Hall based on that game.

I doubt anyone will admit they joined the mob that was ready to run Hall out of town but you should be ashamed of yourselves.

stevezie

I’ve heard a lot of verbal about how bad Hunt looks so far, but six points in four games is a helluva pace.

Considering there aren’t six good defenceman blocking him, and considering the problems the pp has had, i boldly predict we are one bad ference game away from seeing him.

And i think it makes sense.

Of course, i haven’t seen the Condors games. Sometimes the haters are voices of reason.

striatic

BTW, I agree that Corsi and Fenwick or similar advanced analytical tools are invaluable and must be thoroughly understood and used for a modern General Manager to have consistent and continuing success with player acquisition and retention in the NHL. This has to do with things like the need to model the entire complex system that is the NHL in order to attempt to compare players across a variety of different playing situations, sample sizes and so on but basically because it just works.

http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/eye-on-hockey/22800149/how-the-los-angeles-kings-corsid-their-way-to-the-nhls-elite
http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/eye-on-hockey/24548618/blackhawks-gm-stan-bowman-says-analytics-give-team-leg-up

Instruction and development aren’t the same as acquisition and retention though and while coaches might be able to use things like Corsi and Fenwick when it comes to determining player deployment, they benefit more from other analytical tools for various reasons, including traditional “shots” adjusted for time on ice which is something most coaches can observe rather simply and with minimal bias presuming they aren’t presumptive imbeciles.

Basically, I think McLellan knows exactly what Corsi and Fenwick are, and like you say figures that if he consciously tries to maximize Corsi, he will fail, so he doesn’t. I think he knows the difference between Corsi and Shot Volume and very specifically and intentionally prefers the shot volume metric because it is much more relevant to what he needs to instruct his players to do, when to shoot and when not to shoot, than Corsi is.

I believe this because he brings up Corsi *and* Fenwick totally unprompted in a way that indicates familiarity despite a claim of unfamiliarity in a discussion about Hall putting pucks “on net”, then absolutely dismisses the mentioned stats with a preference for “on net” based statistics.

G Money

What I actually came for:

Yesterday JP suggested adding shot distance histograms to my post-game shot data NerdAlerts.

They’ll be part of the “Shot Analysis” section starting tomorrow. Here’s what they’ll look like:

http://i.imgur.com/6mpsoXk.png
http://i.imgur.com/x1tBKr7.png

G Money

striatic,

Yes, I can agree with that. Point being: coaches don’t/can’t control misses or blocks. They are trying to maximize shots on net. By consequence, they are actually maximizing Corsi.

But if you consciously try to maximize Corsi, you will fail. [People will bring up you know who at this point, but I believe that point to be disproved, since I believe the actual task of trying to maximize Corsi will cause you to give up possession too easily and will actually torch your Corsi numbers. But that’s a theory to fit the observed facts, not a statement of truth]

I *think* this particularly shot/Corsi difference might be different than what you were indicating earlier.

Or not, perhaps I am misremembering or misinterpreted what you said earlier. Or maybe I’m misinterpreting what you’re saying now. I’m just dropping in here at random breaks from programming, so not paying a whole lot of what is my normal due care and attention.

striatic

G Money: Your statement implies that there are players or coaches who don’t care if they miss or get blocked, which is ridiculous. Of course they care. They just don’t control it. Otherwise, no shot would ever miss or get blocked.
Trying to maximize your shot volume is the same thing as trying to maximize your shot attempts. That’s the part you control.

My statement implies that *if* there were coaches looking to maximize for Corsi, they wouldn’t care if lots of shots were missed or blocked. If no such coaches exist, it is because no coaches are specifically maximizing for Corsi, McLellan included.

Coaches might get higher Corsi as a result of maximizing for shots but were are talking about a spectrum of shot opportunities.

“If you have a high percentage chance of getting the shot on net, shoot, I don’t care if there is a low percentage of it actually going in.” is a different instructional philosophy from “Shoot, always, even if there is a low percentage of the puck even reaching the net. There’s still a chance so just shoot.”

I highly doubt any NHL head coach adopts the latter philosophy but I also highly doubt any NHL coach truly maximizes for Corsi or Fenwick.

frjohnk

rickithebear: Are you surprised!

Hamilton is a 1st comp 14.27 HSCA/60 in EC
Hamilton is a 1st comp 18.06 HSCA/60 in WC

Petry is 2nd comp 17.59 HSCA/60 in WC
Petry is 2nd comp14.22 HSCA/60 in EC

To the Petry is great in MTL.
Really!
2nd comp and 14.22 HSCA/60 in EC.

Fayne was 11.36 HSCA/60 in his career with NJ
Fayne is 16.6 HSCA/60 with EDM.

Why are there big gaps in these players numbers on different teams?

Is it the players themselves? or something else?

With NJ, Fayne played on a very good defensive system with forwards who were good defensively and elite on back pressure. In NJ, Fayne played in a system with forwards that did not expose his weaknesses ( such as mobility) and played with a partner ( Greene) that could advance the puck with ease ( compared to Fayne)

Compare that to Fayne playing in Eakins system with a group of forwards who are lackluster when it comes to defensive play.

Hamilton in Boston looked like a stud. But in Calgary, Flames fan are finding out he is not very good defensively.

With EDM last year, Petry had a HSCA/60 number of 15.4. One of his better numbers. For the rest of the season and playoffs, his HSCA was 14.5 with MTL.
This year, only 7 games but his HSCA/60 is at 12.65.

We don’t know how much of an impact systems and personal can have on a players stats such as HSCA/60, but I think it is more significant than most realise.

khildahl

RexLibris:
With an extra game played, the Oilers have a -4 goal diff, with two empty net goals.

The Kings have a -8 goal diff having played one fewer game.

This is all kind of academic at this early stage, but team defense is happening.

And goalering. Lots of goalering.

I’ve been working on a predictive model and have been playing around with GF and GA numbers for all teams. Every way I look at the data, the Oilers are in the middle of the league with both numbers (20th in GA/Gm and 23rd in GF/Gm) to this point in my admittedly small sample size (small on a per-team level, not on a league-wide one). They’ve allowed 0.04 more goals per game than the league average. Goaltending is a wonderful thing.

G Money

Hey, Jordan Eberle, and also Darnell Nurse’s fight from the preseason made a proud appearance on The Daily Show’s piece on the Canadian election!

rickithebear

Bruce McCurdy: Watched the Oilers’ win over the Flames today & one of several things that grabbed my attention was how shitty Dougie Hamilton looked.

Are you surprised!

Hamilton is a 1st comp 14.27 HSCA/60 in EC
Hamilton is a 1st comp 18.06 HSCA/60 in WC

Petry is 2nd comp 17.59 HSCA/60 in WC
Petry is 2nd comp 14.22 HSCA/60 in EC

To the Petry is great in MTL.
Really!
2nd comp and 14.22 HSCA/60 in EC.

719

Was also at Flames/Capitals game tonight (always wanted to see Ovechkin play live, what a talent!)

Some observations:

Hamilton makes a lot of bad decisions with the puck and is easily knocked off the puck as well. He was the worst Flames d-man by eye.

Capitals power play is built around getting Ovi a one timer. He is deadly accurate with his shot too.

The Capitals defensemen are really good at carrying/protecting the puck.

The Capitals are able to get open in the slot/danger areas a lot. This continually happened tonight, I shudder to think what would happen against the Oilers D. Hopefully Nilsson plays that night.

jp

pts2pndr:
PeOiler,

He told me if you want to lead you must always set the right example! Demeaning another individual only demeans you and your credibility is always questioned by that individual! Took it to heart and I am hear to relay this story!

I was thinking the exact same thing (though without the Vietnam story). Damn good advice that’s not followed nearly enough.

Bruce McCurdy

Watched the Oilers’ win over the Flames today & one of several things that grabbed my attention was how shitty Dougie Hamilton looked.

Other things that Caught my eye were how great the Hall-Nuge-Hendricks line played & how often Connor McDavid caused a change of possession. Every time he did I’d say to my TV “i’ll take that” (meaning, the puck) & I must have said it aloud about 6 or 8 times over the course of the game.

A couple of posts for the Oil & a couple of iffy goals for the Flamrs kept the score respectable but it ws a shit kicking, plain & simple. Flames on tired legs of course, but so what. Kick em while they’re down, I say. Gord knows Oilers have been on the short end of the scheduling often enough.

G Money

RexLibris,

That was an awesome rant!

G Money

BOOYAH! TIME ON ICE!

Defense Pairings
Pairing RegTOI EVTOI CF CA CF% SACF% WOWY CF% WOWY SACF%
Reinhart Gryba 18:30 17:48 6 19 24 25.2 45.6 47.7
Schultz Dreamy 17:39 16:28 8 15 34.8 37.2 41.4 43.2
Sekera Fayne 15:51 15:03 12 13 48 49.8 36.8 38.8
Schultz Gryba 01:58 01:07 1 3 25 26.3 40.4 42.4
Sekera Schultz 01:04 00:48 2 1 66.7 67.7 38.9 40.8
Sekera Reinhart 00:42 00:42 1 0 100 100 39.1 41.1
Fayne Dreamy 00:38 00:38 1 0 100 100 39.1 41.1
Gryba Dreamy 00:16 00:16 2 0 100 100 38.5 40.4
Fayne Reinhart 00:15 00:03 0 1 0 0 40.2 42.2

Forward Lines
Line Combo RegTOI EVTOI CF CA CF% SACF% WOWY CF% WOWY SACF%
Yak Poo McSuper! 11:10 10:07 5 10 33.3 34.9 41 43
Purcell Korpi Lander 10:45 10:45 5 8 38.5 41.1 40 41.9
Chance Klink Nuge 09:38 09:38 9 6 60 61.6 35.9 37.9
Gazdic Slappy Letestu 04:39 04:39 3 2 60 62 38.6 40.6
Chance Slappy Nuge 04:06 04:06 1 3 25 26.3 40.4 42.4
Klink Gazdic Letestu 02:18 02:18 2 1 66.7 71 38.9 40.7
Yak Poo Nuge 01:40 01:40 0 4 0 0 41.6 43.6
Letestu Poo McSuper! 01:30 00:15 2 0 100 100 38.5 40.3
Chance Letestu Nuge 01:04 01:04 0 2 0 0 40.7 42.6
Chance Klink Letestu 00:49 00:49 0 1 0 0 40.2 42.2
Chance Klink McSuper! 00:38 00:38 0 1 0 0 40.2 42.2
Chance Yak McSuper! 00:36 00:36 1 0 100 100 39.1 41.1
Yak Korpi McSuper! 00:36 00:36 4 1 80 80.4 37.5 39.5
Chance Slappy Letestu 00:33 00:33 1 0 100 100 39.1 41.1
Chance Nuge McSuper! 00:26 00:26 1 0 100 100 39.1 41.1
Slappy Poo McSuper! 00:20 00:20 0 2 0 0 40.7 42.6
Chance Yak Nuge 00:16 00:16 0 2 0 0 40.7 42.7
Yak Korpi Lander 00:15 00:15 0 1 0 0 40.2 42.2
Yak Lander Poo 00:14 00:14 1 0 100 100 39.1 41.1

RexLibris

jm363561: …..and PChia was wrong?His Clarkson bullet dodge?Early days.

Coaching.

Hartley is a terrible coach.

He hasn’t coached a positive possession team since God Knows When and refuses to adapt his style.

He prioritizes the OTC crap we bemoan here when he puts Bollig on the 1st line or gives Engelland prime playing time or moves Backlund to the 4th line.

He started a goon squad for the opening faceoff in a deliberate attempt to goad Tortorella into a line brawl.

He is a bad coach and cannot properly deploy good players. He relies on ZSs to such an extreme that suggests that he either cannot or will not adjust his coaching strategy to counter the opposing team’s strategies.

Hamilton is only 22 and should not be in the position he is with this team. Julien was far better at deploying his talent accordingly and in a game plan suited to their strengths.

We saw this with Eakins and while the results were worse for most of the time we seem to forget that for two of the last three years the Flames finished right next to the Oilers in the draft standings.

I’d take Hamilton today, but until the Flames jettison Hartley that team is going to reap poor rewards.

I hope he stays for a decade.

RexLibris

With an extra game played, the Oilers have a -4 goal diff, with two empty net goals.

The Kings have a -8 goal diff having played one fewer game.

This is all kind of academic at this early stage, but team defense is happening.

And goalering. Lots of goalering.

jm363561

Woodguy:
Soooooooooooooooooooooo…………………

What if Neely and Sweeny were right about Hamilton?

…..and PChia was wrong? His Clarkson bullet dodge? Early days.

RexLibris

jonrmcleod:
If my math is correct, the Flames currently have the 2nd worst goal differential in the NHL.

Only two teams with double-digit – goal differential this early.

Flames at -13, Blue Jackets at -21.

hunter1909

RexLibris: It comes down, in my opinion, to coaching at this point and Hartley is just plain mis-casting that roster.

It happens to the best of them.

Think Kubrick, with “Eyes Wide Shut”.

RexLibris

hunter1909: They play the game on ice.

Right now I don’t think they are even doing that.

BtN has the first 4 gp up and Engelland/Kulak are -6.2 or more in CorsiRelQualComp.

All six have – Corsi QualComp scores right now and Giordano/Hamilton haven’t yet faced the toughest competition prior to tonight’s game.

It comes down, in my opinion, to coaching at this point and Hartley is just plain mis-casting that roster.

hunter1909

I’m going to be following the Flames/Bluejackets for the rest of the season. Seems I’m addicted to gallows humor.

No idea how that got started.

hunter1909

RexLibris: That defense is good on paper.

They play the game on ice.

Centre of attention

First time in Flames franchise history that they lose their first 4 home games.

Made my night.