Curious Statistical Case of Carolina Hurricanes

  1. JetsFan815
    As someone who is into advanced stats, I find Carolina Hurricanes absolutely fascinating. Year after year they under-perform their underlying metrics by a ludicrous amount. This season they have cartoonishly good, 07-08 Detroit Red Wings level shot and shot quality numbers yet their actual goal differential lags far behind.

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    So over the last 5 seasons the Hurricanes actual 5 on 5 Goals For % has under performed their Corsi For % on average by -7.69% and under performed their Expected Goals For % by -7.49%.

    This is at a point where it can no longer reasonably be attributed to "small sample size" or "puck luck", so there needs to some explanation to Carolina Hurricanes. Goaltending has been blamed as the reason for this wide divergence but atleast at 5 on 5, goaltending seems to only be smallish fraction of the problem:

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    This shows that underperforming their goal for is a far bigger problem then than goaltending. This season esp the Carolina goalies are stopping about what you'd expect at 5 on 5 but their shooters are already 30+ goals below expected just barely over a 3rd of the way into the season. That's insane!

    In the past some blamed the "Bill Peters system" for inflating shot totals, yet now with the new coach the problem is worse than ever and Bill Peters is having no such issues on his new team in Calgary where that team's GF% pretty much aligns with their xGF% and Corsi stats (ironically enough Calgary under-performed their Goals For at a level similar to previous Carolina seasons last season under Glen Gulutzen but it appears the problem has been "fixed" under Bill Peters). So I don't know how much blame can be put on "coaching" or "the system".

    Another explanation that has been bandied about is a "lack of shooting talent" in Carolina, this sounds more plausible however I looked at recent players that have come into Carolina or moved out from Carolina to see how their shooting % was affected and there seems to be a significant negative "Carolina effect" on the shooting %s

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    (For players with long NHL careers (Williams, Semin, Stempniak) I only looked at their last 3 years before coming to Carolina)

    This is by no means an exhaustive list of players, just the "big name forwards" that came to my mind but the drop in sh% when they play for the Hurricanes is striking and these are not bad players.

    So with all that said, what exactly is going on in Carolina? I don't think either "the system" or "bad shooters" narrative explains it. I almost think that if you put Alex Ovechkin on the Hurricanes he would become a 30 goal scorer. Whenever I watch them play, my eye test aligns with the numbers, they generate a good amount of high quality chances. Clearly it seems we are missing something with this team that makes them stand out like a sore thumb advanced stats wise, anyone have any ideas?

    (And if your contribution to this thread is going to be "this is why these stats are meaningless" then please move on, the Canes are very much an exception to this rather than a rule)

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