2014-2015 Advanced Shootout Statistics

This project was inspired by a friend who’s a huge Devils fan.  After seeing the Devils go 0-13 last season in shootouts and missing the playoffs by just 5 points, one had to wonder how this was possible.  They could’ve gone less than .500% in shootouts and still have made the playoffs!

As I began to research this, I began to wonder if the answers lay in the advanced statistics of shootouts.  Were they deking on goalies that were weak against shots from further out? Were they continuously shooting into the glove of a goalie that was known for his catching abilities?  Were the Devils continuously sending out lefties to face goalies that were strong against lefties and weak against righties?

Since none of this information is publically avaliable (The NHL only tracks shot attempts, goals, and shooting percentage) and a handful of people online are already sorting out Corsi/Fenwick/PDO/etc, I sought out to obtain it myself.  Most of my information came from the NHL’s Official Shootout Detail Log from GameCenter but some information (such as shot location and shot distance from the net) were estimated by watching the actual shootouts.

I started out with this year’s and it is updated with the 33 shootouts through today (11/11/14).  For team categories, I calculated winning, shooting, and save percentages for the season then broke it up into categories of home & away, in division & out of division, in conference & out of conference, and shooting first & defending first.  The main categories I tracked for individual shot attempts were shot location, shot type, shot distance from net, handedness of shooter, and if the shooter had scored in the game.  I will continue to update this throughout the year and likely release the new file once a week.  Here is this year’s current statistics:

View/Download 2013/2014 Advanced Shootout Statistics

Interesting Figures So Far:

  • Shootouts are up this year with just over 15% of all games needing a shootout to decide the victor (last year had 14.4% games go to a shootout).
  • 30 of 33 home teams have chosen to shoot first in the shootout but teams defending first have a much higher winning percentage (20-13 record for a 61% winning percentage).
  • Montreal has been the most successful team in the shootouts, going 4-0 with a 47% shooting percentage and a 80% save percentage.
  • Detroit has been the worst team in shootouts going 0-3 with scoring on just 1 of 8 shots and saving just 2 of 7 shots.
  • New Jersey’s shootout win on 10/30/14 snapped their 18 game shootout losing streak.
  • Columbus is the only team that hasn’t been in a shootout this season.
  • The league’s average shooting percentage is exactly 33%.
  • Montreal’s PA Parenteau has been the most successful shooter scoring on 3 of 4 shots.  All 3 of Parenteau’s goals have been game-deciding-goals.
  • Carey Price has had the most success of all goalies going 2-0 and stopping all 7 shot attempts.
  • 63% of all shots are wrist shots and shooters have scored on 36% of them.
  • A majority of shots are taken from the crease to the hash mark but shooters have the highest scoring percent when they deke and release the puck from inside the crease.

This project is long from done as 33 shootouts is such a small sample number.  I plan to work my way back through the past few years to get an accurate representation of trends and patterns through different players and teams in shootouts. Time has been a large restraint and now that the Excel spreadsheet error free and am caught up on this year’s games, I will be starting to file last year’s shootouts.

I believe this will provide better data for goaltenders rather than shooters as they face multiple attempts each shootout and their moves are more natural instinctive reactions to the shooter’s moves.

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