Curious Statistical Case of Carolina Hurricanes

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  1. JetsFan815 Registered User

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    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.

    [​IMG]

    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:

    [​IMG]

    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

    [​IMG]

    (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)
     
  2. talitintti Registered User

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    Hasn't the cup been won by mediocre advanced stats three times in a row?
     
  3. 93LEAFS Registered User

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    2016 Pitt was good Corsi and xGF% measures. 2017 Pitt was good xGF%. Washington was bottom 10 in the league in both. Only really Washington fits this, 2017 Pitt if you are just looking at Corsi.

    There is something with Carolina and I would add Claude Julian (and probably Daryl Sutter) teams that need further examination. I don't watch the Canes closely, but it doesn't seem much of their philosophy has changed with Brind'Amour from Peters.

    My guess is some combination of people underestimating high-end offensive skill in driving up oiSH%, something the Canes haven't had recently outside of peak Eric Staal, and potentially Aho (and hopefully Svechnikov). Carolina seems to be a team that is made up of guys you ideally want throughout the depth of your line-up. Players who are great at flipping the ice and battling other top lines to a draw or winning the possession battle. But, it's lacking in the truly elite game-breakers who can win it. The system also seems to embrace this. Patrick Kane generally wasn't a great possession player relative to his teammates despite very favorable usage, but he was a game breaker. His team coverts on 9.1% of shots when he's on the ice, and typically, he was the anchor of a high-end powerplay.

    I think an overlooked fact too since Peters took over, Carolina has been 27th of the 30 teams who have been in the league since 2014/15 on the PP. Although, they are highly effective on the PK (4th). That, combined with bad goaltending sinks them. The lack of ability on the PP also seems reflective of their inability to score at 5v5 due to lack of elite offensive players during that time. If Aho maintains, and Svechnikov hits, this may solve some of the issues. Guys like Slavin and Staal are great at flipping the ice, but aren't game-breaking talents.

    I also think its a bit early to use Skinner and Lindholm's sh% seriously. But, they also saw a significant bump in the players delivering passes to them. Skinner got Eichel and Lindholm has Gaudreau. Skinner best linemate in recent years with Lindholm, with the others being guys like Derek Ryan, Phillip Di Giuseppe and Victor Rask. Elias Lindholm got better opportunities, but no playmaker on the level of Gaudreau (although E. Staal was a very good player although, he struggled their too towards the end).
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
  4. Noldo Registered User

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    Is the meaningful difference between their home and away numbers? If yes, could there be something odd in shot counting in Carolina?
     
  5. Pizza!Pizza! Registered User

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    It's the BBQ. It's giving the players "the itis" and causing them to not shoot the puck as well.
     
  6. Wasted Talent Registered User

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    Their away xGF% (57.07) would still be good enough to lead the league this season.
     
  7. Bonzo111 Leafs Fan

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    No finish.
     
  8. Dustin Registered User

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    This is why advanced stats are not.......just kidding.

    I mean there's always going to be outliers but it seems strange that in this case it's always Carolina. It must be the system they employ.
     
  9. Bounces R Way Feaster's Beasters

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    They have an awful group of forwards, like maybe the worst center depth in the league, a pretty decent young defense, a new goalie semingly twice a week, a rookie coach that just thinks they need to grind grit and grapple their way out into scoring goals, an owner that just took over and decides to change everything because he could surely be better and know more about running a hockey team than the last guy, and a GM that traded two recent #5OV picks for Dougie Hamilton, Ferland, and a college prospect who I'm sure can't wait to jump into that mess and then also traded Jeff Skinner in the offseason going into his contact year for the equivalent of the change you might find in your car.

    But ya with those SA differentials and poor shooting percentages, must just be bad luck:dunno:
     
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  10. Emerz #1 PLD Fanboy

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    Their forwards are bad.

    They had 4 or 5 breakaways against the Bruins but not one guy even tried a deke, all just shot five hole for easy saves.
     
  11. 93LEAFS Registered User

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    In the time frame given, they are 6th when adjusted on the road and 4th at home when looking at Corsi. This isn't whoever tracks hits on the Isles padding hit stats. The only logical answers left are that it is partially systems driven and/or that they either don't have the shooters or playmakers to drive up oiSH%. The only team that is sub-7 (although in Carolina's case it's by a .02) along with Carolina is Buffalo over the time-frame mentioned (2014-15 season). This includes the year Buffalo completely bottomed out their roster for draft picks.

    I personally think its a combo of both. Peters like Sutter and Julian emphasized a shot-heavy and suppression approach, but the team doesn't have the offensive players to continually win close games. While oiSH% does tend to normalize within ranges, its pretty clear elite players can drive it up a bit. Almost all the elite centers in the league outside of the ones who played for Sutter and Julian have a career oiSh% over 8.5% at 5v5. Carolina's is low, and basically in 3rd/4th line territory over those years.
     
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  12. Uncle Scrooge Hockey Bettor

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    Appreciate the effort but why are people still wondering why the Canes are why they are ?

    Their forward group is abysmal. They have guys who can skate, and a solid defense, but more often than not they can't separate themselves from their opponents when they have the momentum. When you get good chances and don't put it in it's frustrating, when you know you're likely not going to score a ton guys are afraid to make mistakes, working hard and not getting the result is frustrating, top it off with meh goaltending and you get a perfect storm of being right there but ending up on the losing side a lot.

    Give this team a couple legit 1st liners on top of what they have and they're a playoff team.

    Everyone knows what the Canes are capable of, but everyone also knows they can beat the Canes as long as they stick with it. They need to become a more lethal offensive team to put teams away and reward themselves with the effort they put in.

    Carolina is a perfect reminder that ultimately hockey games are decided on the scoreboard. Early on in the season they were scoring a ton and thus won a lot of games. But they just don't have the forwards to keep that going consistently.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
  13. Critical13 Fear is the mind-killer.

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    Whenever we play them, I find that none of their players actually scare me in terms of shooting. I never expect them to score. A muffin from in close is still a muffin.

    Outside the odd Aho magic, you don’t see a ton of great playmaking either. I think if you add Gaudreau/Marner/Rantanen, all of a sudden some of those in close shots are generated of east-west passing for easy tap ins or transition goals.

    I think they lack creativity and it makes the so called high danger chances a lot less dangerous.
     
  14. ijuka Registered User

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    The reality is that Carolina Hurricanes lacks talented offensive players and losing Skinner doesn't help at all.
     
  15. garnetpalmetto Administrator

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    This was addressed after the 11/21/18 game against Toronto when the Maple Leafs broadcast team (and subsequently their fans) accused whomever counts shots at PNC of being a bit heavy handed. I took a look at our home shot count versus away shot count. Here's that data with updates from the games since then.

    First, the home games:

    DateOpponentCAR ShotsOPP Shots
    10/4/18NYI4620
    10/7/18NYR4024
    10/9/18VAN3325
    10/20/18COL4322
    10/26/18SJS4123
    10/28/18NYI3920
    10/30/18BOS4431
    11/10/18DET5232
    11/12/18CHI4035
    11/17/18CBJ3124
    11/18/18NJD2534
    11/21/18TOR4532
    11/23/18FLA3935
    11/30/18ANA3429
    12/11/18TOR3029
    And away

    DateOpponentCAR ShotsOPP Shots
    10/5/18CBJ3532
    10/13/18MIN5723
    10/14/18WPG4326
    10/16/18TBL4027
    10/22/18DET3921
    11/2/18ARI5125
    11/3/18VGK3425
    11/6/18STL3920
    11/8/18CHI3438
    11/24/18NYI2719
    11/27/18MTL2249
    12/2/18LAK3435
    12/5/18SJS4023
    12/7/18ANA3919
    And now the averages:

    CAR Average Shots (Home) - 38.8 shots/game
    CAR Average Shots (Away) - 38.14 shots/game

    CAR Home/Away Shot Differential - 0.66 shots

    OPP Average Shots Allowed (@ PNC Arena) - 27.67 shots/game
    OPP Average Shots Allowed (Away) - 27.28 shots/game

    OPP Home/Away Shot Differential - 0.39 shots

    It's been a long while since I've taken a stats course and calculated statistical significance, but I have a feeling a difference of 0.66 shots between their home and away performance isn't significant.
     
  16. ArtemisIncarnate Go vegan

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    It's similar to the Hawks high danger chances allowed the last few seasons. Sure they were pretty bad league wise in allowing overall high danger chances, yet if you watched the game it wasn't as dangerous as other teams, which is why even Darling had awesome stats on the Hawks.
     
  17. 1specter Registered User

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    Great post and sums it up nice.

    I'm sure this thread will be full of 'hur dur advanced stats are garbage' posts though.
     
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  18. Negan4Coach STICK TO SPORTS

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    This seems like a lot of work to go to just to demonstrate that "advanced" stats are garbage thb
     
  19. lomiller1 Registered User

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    2015/16 Pit was one of the best statistical teams in the NHL after it’s coaching change.

    2016/17 the whole east was a jumble of mediocrity, whoever went to the final was guaranteed to look mediocre because there was nothing else. The only real standout team for Corsi/xGoals was Washington but they had been getting sub 0.900 since January. Pit won the lottery and got to play a Nashville team that was decimated by injury in the final

    2017/18 Washington wasn’t great but they still had personnel with a history of being very good statistical players.
     
  20. talitintti Registered User

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    There is no lottery in hockey. There are human decisions and human acts that determine the outcome of the games.
     
  21. lomiller1 Registered User

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    It's not a shot quality issue. Most likely it's small sample size. Even over 80 games there are teams every year that have really high/low sh% and they almost always come back to league average sh% in subsequent years.


    [​IMG]
     
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  22. Paris in Flames Registered User

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    They don't have a hell of a lot of finishing power on the team so I feel they take a lot of shots...from anywhere...which likely inflates things a little.

    It's honestly how I play NHL online.
     
  23. Blueline Bomber Dial 911, somebody’s about to get killed

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    Their forward corps lack finishers. Thus, no matter how many shots they take, how many chances they generate, if no one can put the puck on those chances, it all becomes rather meaningless.

    Doesn't help that that kind of thing builds up on itself. If you score only 1 goal in 40+ shots one game, and begin the next game putting everything on net and still coming up with nothing, there's the "Here we go again" mentality that creeps in
     
  24. lomiller1 Registered User

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    No. Multiple lines of research suggest that at most 60% of NHL outcomes result from sustainable repeatable skill. The other ~40% is non-sustainable non-repeatable, AKA luck. The gap is even closer when evenly matched teams play each other.

    [​IMG]
     
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  25. talitintti Registered User

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    NHL is human activity and human activity is almost impossible to analyze like that. A play like this isn't repeatable, but it is a human decision that decided the outcome of the game. Had Laine done this in game 7 OT in Stanley Cup finals, maybe you could relieve your fellow fans by the fact that it wasn't Laine's fault because it wasn't "repeatable".


    An elite goaltender makes a terrible mistake at a crucial moment in a playoff series which he doesn't do 99,9% of the time - that's just a statistical error, right? Nope, it's a human decision, human mistake, human who decided the outcome of the game - not luck.
     
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