We are nearing the end of the season and the playoffs are upon us. Let’s take a quick look at which teams have doing the best in terms of shot differential heading into the post-season.
Before & After Trade Deadline
|Team||SF Since||SA Since||Since Diff||Before Diff||Improvement|
SF Since – Shots for per game since the trade deadline.
SA Since – Shots against per game since the trade deadline.
Since Diff – Shot per game differential since the deadline.
Before Diff - Shot per game differential before the deadline.
Improvement – How much shot per game differential has improved since the deadline.
The top 3 teams in shot differential before the March 5th trade deadline are still the top 3 teams since the deadline. The Kings, Blackhawks and Sharks are all out-shooting their opponents by a little more than 7 shots per game since the deadline.
The Kings have improved their post-deadline numbers by 3.2 shots per game. That is the 2nd most dramatic improvement in the NHL.
We’ve touched on the Kings improved play in recent posts. Namely, the addition of an offensive weapon in Marian Gaborik plus a focus on gaining the zone with possession of the puck rather than defaulting to dumping it in at a very high rate.
Interestingly, the Kings improved differential isn’t all offense. While they have done a slightly better job of getting puck on net (52% of their attempts at evens have made it on net since the deadline, 50.5% before), there has also been improvement on the other end of the ice. Additionally, their opponents are getting fewer shots on net since the deadline. Before the deadline, 55% of their opponents attempts at evens made it to the goaltender. Since the deadline: 52%. On the season, the Kings have now allowed the 2nd fewest shots per game and the fewest goals.
- Anaheim has garnered the reputation of being a team whose record has been propped up by their shooting and save percentages while being a mediocre possession team. While that criticism has been largely a deserved one for much of the year, the Ducks have been a better possession team of late. They have the 6th best shot differential since the deadline. Their Corsi has improved as well. Before the deadline they owned 49.5% of all attempts at evens. Since the deadline that number has been a much improved at 52.2%.
- Philadelphia has been the most improved team since the trade deadline in terms of shot differential. They are averaging nearly 3.1 shots per game more than their opponents since the deadline. An improvement of 3.9 shots per game over their pre-deadline numbers. Additionaly, their Corsi numbers have also improved dramatically. Before the deadline they were in the red in possession, having owned 49.5% of attempts at evens. Since the deadline their numbers are well in the black, 53.1%. The acquisition of Andrew MacDonald isn’t exactly what you can attribute that improvement to as he is in the red in on-ice shot differential since the trade. Rather, it’s been the play of Kimmo Timonen and Mark Streit who are putting up stellar possession numbers since the deadline.
- The Penguins have had the most dramatic drop in shot differentials. Since the deadline, they are getting out-shot by 3 shots per game. That is 5.6 shots per game worse than their pre-deadline numbers. Their trade deadline acquisitions haven’t panned out thus far. Marcel Goc only had 2 points and a miserable 34% Corsi percentage in 12 games before getting injured. Lee Stempniak has fared better logging 10 points in 18 games, yet the Penguins have only been able to own 45% of all attempts at evens when he’s been on the ice (this is despite spending 83% of his minutes with Sidney Crosby).