An impotent boomer and his turgid scheming; A hard, deep, and penetrating look at Qs flaccid PP

Discussion in 'Chicago Blackhawks' started by helicon1, Nov 1, 2018.

  1. helicon1

    helicon1 Registered User

    Jan 4, 2010
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    Sub-subtitle: Did the erected PP system cause premature climax?

    Tldr; I decided to rank the Hawks PP over Qs tenure. It's effectiveness was compared to other teams and coaches in some basic stats like shot generation, and scoring chance quantity and quality. It didn't rank as bad as I thought. It was much worse!

    Ok, so the pp sucks. There have been discussions over the reasons why, from the inzone setup and handedness, entries, personnel, etc. There's also been discussions about the solutions; more movement of both puck and man, multiple shooting threats, etc. I'm sick of watching it, more sick of complaining about it, and even more sick of reading the complaining about it. So why a thread? Well, I wanted to do something less about specific systems or lack thereof, and more big picture.

    I was curious first at how the PP has changed over the years. It's always seemed underwhelming, but was it better in the early years? I remember it as less problematic, but was that just because the team was so dominant 5 on 5, it didn't matter as much? There has been more complaining over the past couple of seasons, but that may be linked to the team not being as good. Secondly, I've been reading HF for over a decade now, and in any given year 90% of the posters here (not just Hawks Hf but HF as a whole) are complaining about their PP. Obviously his system is very flawed, but where has Q ranked among the rest of the league over the years? I decided to look at where the Hawks have ranked league wide in some of the underlying stats to answer that.

    Admittedly, these numbers are simplistic and somewhat subjective, but I do think the results are interesting.I wanted to look at a couple of things specifically; how effective they were at generating shots, and the quantity and quality of the scoring chances they were getting. For the first two I used shot attempts (SA), and corsi for (CF). For the second scoring chances for (SCF) and high danger chances for (HDCF). Given that teams have spent different amounts of time on the PP, these results were standardized per 60 minutes of PP time. No significance to that number beyond the obvious, it's just what the site I was on used. I only did 5 on 4, and should mention that the actual numbers per 60 for these stats don't matter, I'm only focusing on team ranking (i.e. comparing all 30 or 31 teams against each other only in a given year). That said, please feel free to suggest something else I should have looked at or some flaw I'm missing in doing this. I may look at the playoffs later, as I think you can eliminate some of the small sample size issue by looking at it in a few different ways. I thought about adding expected goals for (xGF) too, but nah.

    Terms like corsi have been pretty common for a few years now, but for anyone who doesn't get any of the advanced stats stuff I'm happy to explain. What I'm looking at is pretty simple though. The scoring chance ones always seemed a bit subjective to me. In the case of the high danger chances, intuitively I'd always thought it referred to those chances in the slot (faceoff circles to goal line), and in and around the net. The last is what I'm most interested about as the Hawks have always seemed to have trouble generating really good chances. We've always just had players with better finishing ability than most other teams.

    So yeah, the basic premise of this is that you'd want to generate a lot of shots and scoring chances on the PP, especially in the "high danger" areas. Genius I know. I should be an nhl coach. Process over result, so high rankings may imply a solid system, especially with regard to those prime, high danger area chances. Anyway, I'm going to comment on this somewhat chronologically and it's a bit rambly. First , the table, in which I also include PP% rank and shootng percentage (SH%) rank:

    YearCF/60SF/60SCF/60HDCF/60SH%PP Rank

    -So first off, smaller numbers are better, i.e. 1 means you were the best nhl team at generating shots or scoring chances per 60 in that particular year.

    -The result for 08-10 a little surprising. I expected 09/10 especially to be a bit better process wise at least, despite the low pp rank. I had memories of them not being terribly effective, but attributing that to lack of finish and luck. The opposite is actually true though, as they had a very good shooting percentage considering they were good at generating shots, but not really good chances. In what will be a common theme, they basically out-talented (or out-Kaned more accurately) a lot of their systematic issues.
    -So the shot generation success here is interesting considering it's something they would struggle a lot with as the years progress. Campbell obviously helped with entry and setup, but they had him the year before too. I think PKs were generally more passive back then than now, so maybe that helped? Plus teams were generally unsure of how to deal with the Hawks speed and talent, and for the most part played it safe.
    -As I've written, the main thing I'm interested in here though are the HDCF rankings. Bottom third in the league is not good, and seems to be the major issue with the PP throughout the years. They're just not able to easily get themselves chances in those prime areas. This has been an issue even at 5 on 5 to some extent, even with the cup teams (minus 09/10) that dominated possession.
    -I give Q a mulligan on 08/09. I shouldn't, but there's plenty of other stuff to complain about. He didn't have the luxury of a training camp to install his ****ty schemes. So maybe it could have even been worse? Anyway, shouldn't be this bad with Marty ****ing Havlat and a real-life, honest-to-goodness actual PP quarterback in Wiz.

    -Sharp backdoor *****es! What an exciting half (two-thirds?) season 10/11 was. This play was pretty effective for a while, and almost as exciting as the Toe(ws) Jam play. Two plays that I first remember seeing in the 09/10 playoffs coincidentally. These numbers aren't too bad when compared to most other years.
    -The early success of the PP that season seemed largely driven by this play as like most of his ideas Q judged it solely on the result and kept using it. Eventually it was less effective as teams gameplanned (as they do). There's always a bit of lag however, with a particular scheme/hunch/lineup not working and Qs willingness to abandon it. And thus, "backdoor *****es" was soon discontinued and never heard from ever again. A little bit of hyperbole, but Q did have tendency to completely give up on old plays/players/schemes once they stopped working. He takes a bit of an all or nothing approach to things. Only useful for that brief moment before it/they are banished to the void or traded for Rob Scuderi.
    -So to answer the question at the end of the subtitle, the climax was too soon, and only lasted two seasons - 09/10 and 10/11. Unfortunately though, it wasn't much of a high. It's the type of climax that leaves you dissatisfied and slightly depressed, with a mess on your hands.

    -11/12 is just gross across the board. Kane being injured (he had a few minor issues I think?) and playing out of position might explain why they weren't able to out-talent their problems that year. Kane clearly wasn't himself with 12 PP points. Toews had concussion issues too I believe, and probably came back too early on the ok of the Hawks crack medical team (sorry for the trigger Car Bomb). The low PP ranking was much deserved this particular year. And on the note of Kane basically being the PP; as annoying as it is watching him sometimes stickhandle on the halfboards for 30 seconds while everyone else stands around watching, the results for this year are a pretty good illustration of what this team would look like without Kanes' freelancing/individual brilliance. As bad as these results are, they could actually be much worse. I mean this post isn't overly complimentary of Q obviously, but I have to admit; that level of ineptitude is kind of impressive.

    -So the cup years were pretty bad. Not a surprise as the pk in both years was good, and as we know Q coached teams may only have one special team with an average or better ranking. So it was written in the (Canadian) constitution. I do find it interesting how the results for 14/15 kind of mimic their 5 on 5 rankings though. Both on the PP and at even strength that was a solid to really good possession team that struggled creating good chances for itself. Now Kane was out for a bit, but it was only 20 games. They were just over breaking even on high danger chances created versus allowed that year at 5 on 5.
    -The 13/14 team was bad at generating HDCF at 5on 4 despite its top 10 ranking. Once again the fundamental flaws are papered over by the talent/finish. This is not a recording.

    -Take one part underscouted/undrafted russian with one of the best one-timers in the league; add one of the most talented offensive players of his generation; and finally, mix them together at the same time = #2 ranked PP. A combination this potent could only possibly have originated with a brain genius HOF like Q. An average coach might have the ingredients but he wouldn't think of mixing em together in a big ol' bowl like Q. That's the secret sauce right there, mixing those fellas together. That analogy got weird quick. Anyway, I think 15/16 is the best example yet of us out-talenting our issues. The rankings are terrible even by Q standards but it didn't matter with those two out there. It was like having two kanes almost. Plus Kane was engaged and in "destroyer of worlds" mode from puck drop. What I remember most from that season, aside from the globetrotter like offensive possessions, is saying "how the **** did that go in?" after a Panarin goal. It's kind of amazing yet also infuriating how effective they were, given the added difficulty of a Q/Dineen coached PP.
    -Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to last. Kane's shooting percentage regressed back to his career average the next year, and Panarin became a one-dimensional shooter. 2018 was just a mess. Hope Boqvist proves worth it. One thing I do find a little weird is that the only team worse than Chicago last year in generating HDCF/60 was Columbus. Not that I think it says anything about him specifically but it's odd/unlucky for him (Panarin) that his teams have finished 25, 27 and 31 in ranking for that stat.

    To finally end this, I think the table is (sorta?) convincing numerical evidence that the PP is and always has been a been an embarrassment. Compared to the rest of the league there has never been a year where it would qualify as good based on the rankings. Not that we needed any evidence to know that. Although there were a handful of years the team managed decent shot outputs, they've always sucked at getting those really good chances in the low slot and the second and third chance opportunities around the net that other teams have no trouble getting against the Hawk pk.

    I was going to and still may do some other coaches as well for comparison sake. I figured I'd concentrate on some of ones that are hated the most on here (Yeo, Carlyle, Boudreau). Because of my earlier observation on Panarin I decided to go ahead and do Tortorella now. I combined all three seasons he's been with the BJs for my comparison. Q graded out as 4 ranks better in corsi, and 1 in shots for. Torts is 9 ranks better in SCF, and 13 in HDCF.

    I might do this for the pk too. It is also bad.
    JaegerDice, Kurtosis, djeck42 and 3 others like this.
  2. ChiHawks10

    ChiHawks10 What in the actual f$#* is going on in my avatar? Sponsor

    Jul 7, 2009
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    Rolo, RememberTheRoar, RayP and 2 others like this.
  3. Pez68

    Pez68 Crawl Seabrook, Crawl.

    Mar 18, 2010
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    Chicago, IL
    He just said what anyone with a hockey brain already knows. Q has no ****ing clue how to coach an effective PP, and never has. Overwhelming talent has always been his go-to strategy.
    Marotte Marauder likes this.
  4. Marotte Marauder

    Marotte Marauder Registered User

    Aug 10, 2008
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    A simpler reconciling of the data.

    From 08/09 through last season Q's PP has been at league average cumulatively.

    Same period, Babcock has been 22% above league average cumulatively.

    Yeah, Q is a great coach.
  5. Kurtosis

    Kurtosis Trying Not To Suck

    May 26, 2010
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    We’ve all known for a while he sucks. Thanks for putting numbers to it I guess?

    Cue the QDF to explain to us how it’s on the players.
    RememberTheRoar likes this.

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