Khabibulin and JDD, fasten your seatbelts!


Nikolai Khabubulin under Quinns system?

Nikolai Khabubulin under Quinn's system?


Okay, I’ve been busy exploring the wonderful world of hockey blogs.  To be certain, there’s some incredible blogs out there to be found.  However, some of these blogs are somewhat cerebral in their approach to analyzing the game of hockey for the average NHL hockey fan–a fact that I can appreciate as a relative newcomer to this area.

To be honest with you, a few short months ago, I didn’t know a Corsi number from Qualcomp number.  If you don’t either, relax and don’t worry about it–that’s what the Noob is here for.  I’ll do the leg work for you and figure out what these obscure and somewhat esoteric numbers actually do mean.  In fact, I’ve discovered that there’s a relatively small circle of men that spend a tremendous amount of time engaging in some form of intellectual masturbation over various obscure hockey statistics–stats which I find to be very interesting.

Just the other day, I came across a blog called, “Behindthenet Blog.”  A gentleman by the name of Hawerchuk from San Francisco is the author of this blog.  He wrote an interesting post about defensive systems and their impact on shot location.  Essentially, the premise behind this post seems to be that various coaching systems have an impact on goal tender save percentages.  One particular example that he cites is the “Jacques Lemaire” effect.  Jacques Lemaire most recently coached the Minnesota Wild hockey team last season and will be reprising his role as the coach of the New Jersey Devils this upcoming season.  In short, he is known for playing the neutral zone trap and being effective at coaching defensive hockey.

What’s interesting is that in this recent post, he’s ranked various coached over the course of time that they coached by how effective their goalies save percentages have been.

What the chart below shows is – for each coach in all years that he coached – the difference between league-wide save percentage and the save percentage each team expected given the shots they allowed.

To my present understanding, the coaches are ranked by how they exceed or underperformed the league wide save percentage based on the number of shots allowed on goal and their goaltender’s expected save percentage.  In short, Jacques Lemaire had a very positive effect on his teams goal tending save percentage which suggests that he coached a system that allowed for a lot of shots on goal, but from lower percentage shot locations.  Here’s a link that shows the distribution of shots that his Minnesota faced.

Here’s the ranking:

Coach      +EXS% YRS
Lemaire     4.3  7
Hitchcock   3.4  5
B. Sutter   2.8  5
Mactavish   2.0  7
Julien      2.0  4
Trotz       1.7  7
Martin      1.3  6
Wilson      1.2  6
Ruff        0.9  7
Quinn       0.8  4
Tippett     0.3  6
Crawford   -0.8  6
Tortorella -1.0  6
Maurice    -1.0  4
Carlyle    -1.3  4
Gretzky    -1.5  4
Quenneville-1.7  6
A. Murray  -2.3  6
Babcock    -2.3  6
Laviolette -3.2  5
Hartley    -3.5  4

If my present understanding is, in fact, correct then this could actually be good news for Nikolai Khabibulin, but not so much for JDD.  Joel Quenneville is the present coach of the Chicago Blackhawks, a team that Khabibulin played for under Quenneville.  Pat Quinn ranked favorably relative to Joel Quenneville on this chart which to me suggests that his coaching system allowed for more shots from lower percentage shot locations than Quenneville’s system.  However, Pat Quinn’s system seems to rank lower than our recent system under Craig MacTavish which could mean than Jeff Deslauriers might face more difficult shots with Quinn now at the helm.



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