Earlier we looked at how puck-moving goaltenders impact possession at even strength. Now, we’ll look at another important aspect of the game to see if puck-moving goaltenders can have an impact on possession statistics on special teams, either on the power play or while shorthanded. I’ll analyze these metrics in a similar fashion as was presented at even strength.
When facing a power play, the shorthanded team often clears the puck when they gain possession to relieve pressure from their goaltender. Instead of pursuing the puck, they will often change bodies and defend their own blue line. The power play team’s goaltender usually has the ability to play the puck without the pressure of turning the puck over unlike at even strength. A puck-handling goaltender can take advantage of this opportunity and breakout the puck quickly.
To begin as we did before, let’s compare our puck-handling goalie’s Corsi For Percentage WOWYs (Note the horizontal axis as the average CF% is much higher on the power play than at even strength):
Bishop and Smith saw a positive score for their CF% WOWY while Price and Brodeur were negatives. With or without Brodeur in net, New Jersey had a higher shot attempt percentage than any of the other puck-handling goaltender’s teams.
As said before, the CF% graph shows an incomplete picture so the components of Corsi For and Corsi Against will have to be broken down individually. As power plays are about creating offense, we’ll start with the Corsi For component.
Bishop and Smith’s teams saw a higher rate of shot attempts for with them in net while Price and Brodeur’s teams saw a smaller rate with them in net. Price was the only goalie with a small impact (-1.03 CF/60 Rel) while all three other goalies saw much larger swings in their WOWY statistic. Bishop led the group with a +4.83 CF/60 Rel with Smith (+4.51 CF/60 Rel) not far behind. Going the opposite direction, Brodeur had an impact of –5.54 CF/60 Rel.
Does this impact transition to a higher rate of scoring chances?
It is clear to see Bishop and Smith had a large positive impact on Corsi, Scoring Chances, and High Danger Scoring Chances, while Price and Brodeur had a negative impact to the three possession metrics.
At even strength, Bishop’s impact to shot attempts didn’t transition into a positive impact on scoring chances, but it very much did so on the power play. Bishop’s ability to jumpstart the offense created problems for opposing teams, shown by a relative high danger scoring chance for per 60 minutes of ice time of almost five. Smith also had a much larger impact on the power play than he did at even strength. It is surprising to Price, who had a positive impact at even strength, have negative relative numbers on the power play. It is possible that his backup was very strong with the puck on the power play causing Price to be looked at in a negative light. Brodeur mightily struggled with puck possession on the power play.
Next, does a positive impact on shot attempts for lead to a positive impact to shot attempts against? On paper it makes sense as the more time you’re possessing the puck on the power play, the less time your opponent has for shorthanded opportunities.
Once again, Bishop and Smith had a positive impact on shot attempts against (a positive impact is indicated by allowing a fewer number of shot attempts against). Smith only saw a very small change (+.30 CA/60 Rel) where Bishop’s impact was much larger (+2.25 CA/60 Rel). Price had the largest negative impact (-2.70 CA/60 Rel) and Brodeur wasn’t much further behind (-1.14 CA/60 Rel).
Does this transition into fewer scoring chances against on the power play?
Adding relative numbers for scoring chances and high danger scoring chances only complicates the matter as the graph has little continuity. No one goalie either positively or negatively impacts all three possession metrics. CA/60 Rel and HSCA/60 Rel on the power play seem to have an inverse relationship among these four puck-moving goaltenders.
Overall, Bishop and Smith are able to positively affect both shot attempts for and against while on the power play where Price and Bishop have much less success in doing so.
Shifting to shorthanded situations, a puck-moving goaltenders main objective is limiting the oppositions shot attempts instead of creating additional shot attempts. Effective puck-moving goaltenders will come out of their net to stop wrap-around passes and actively using their stick to break up opponent’s opportunities. Goaltenders are heavily dependent on their defensemen being able to clear the puck out of the zone then not allowing a clean entry back into the zone.
I’ll start with the goaltender’s CF% WOWY graph but we’ll have to further analyze their Corsi For and Corsi Against graphs to get the full picture.
Bishop, Smith, and Brodeur all have a positive CF% WOWY while Price has a negative CF% WOWY. Price’s negative WOWY statistic shouldn’t hold too much weight as he still has a much larger CF% than either Bishop or Smith.
As limiting offense is the priority while shorthanded, we’ll break down the shot attempts against statistic first:
Similar to the above graph, Bishop, Smith, and Price all allow more shot attempts against than their backup goaltenders. Brodeur (+8.38 CA/60 Rel) is able to cut down the number of shot attempts against shorthanded just as he does at even strength. He faces over 17 less shot attempts against per 60 minutes of shorthanded ice time than any other puck-handling goaltender. While credit cannot be entirely given to Brodeur’s puck-handling ability, this is a distinct advantage for New Jersey (they led the league in penalty kill percentage in ‘11-‘12 with 89.6%).
Let’s compare the relative shot attempt statistic to that of scoring chances and high-danger scoring chances:
Only Bishop and Brodeur showed positive relative numbers pertaining to against possession metrics where Smith and Price were negative for all three metrics. Bishop saw his relative impact increase as shot attempts became scoring chances and high-danger scoring chances. Brodeur saw the opposite effect and even had a slight negative impact on high-danger scoring chances. Price by far had the worst relative numbers yet faced less shot attempts, scoring chances, and high-danger scoring chances than both Bishop and Smith.
Switching from defense to offense, can our puck-moving goaltenders generate more shot attempts than their backups in shorthanded situations?
Bishop, Smith, and Brodeur all had positive CF/60 WOWYs but the overall impact wasn’t large. Smith (+2.14 CF/60 Rel) and Price (-1.39 CF/60 Rel) were the only goaltenders impacted by more than one shot attempt per 60 minutes of shorthanded time. Of the goalies, Brodeur’s Devils posted the highest CF/60 of 14.81.
Let’s analyze this further to see if other possession metrics were impacted:
For the most part, our four puck-moving goaltenders had a positive impact on shorthanded possession metrics. Bishop and Smith posted positive relative numbers in all three metrics and Price and Brodeur were positive in two of the three. Brodeur posted the lowest relative high-danger scoring chance statistic at –1.45 HSCF/60 Rel.
In total, Brodeur and Bishop shined on the penalty kill by helping create more offensive opportunities and limiting opponent’s shot attempts. Smith and Price were able to have a positive impact on shot attempts for while shorthanded but also allowed more shot attempts against.
Next, we’ll look at top goaltenders that aren’t known for their puck-handling abilities to see if any of them impact possession statistics to the point that our puck-handling goaltenders do.
Follow Steve Ness on Twitter at: @QuickkNess
All data from War-On-Ice.com.