I have frequently wondered if there is an inverse correlation between Corsi and Shooting percentage and have written about it several times in the past specifically with how coaching changes impact these statistics. For example, last season and investigated how coaching changes impacted the teams Corsi and shooting percentage.
In the summer though I looked at three teams that we know employed analytics at the coaching level – Toronto, Carolina and Edmonton. In that article I showed that each of those teams improved their Corsi in 2014-15 over 2013-14 but that they also all saw a drop in their team shooting percentage. The Oilers have a new GM and a new coach and it seems likely that Tyler Dellow is no longer working directly with the coach. Since we don’t know what impact analytics is playing at the coaching level so we can’t really look at the Oilers anymore. That said, know that both Carolina (Tulsky has gone from part-time to full-time) and Toronto are still heavily on the analytics path so I wanted to see how those two teams have performed thus far this season.
Let’s look at the Hurricanes first and these are 5v5 statistics only.
Corsi on a dramatic upward swing, shooting percentage on a downward trend. It’s only three data points but that is a correlation of -0.98.
How about those Leafs?
Ditto for the Leafs and the correlation is -0.98 as well. Now the departure of Kessel meant that we probably should have expected shooting percentage to drop some but it is indicative of managements move towards possession and not valuing shooting talent/shot quality as much.
Now, a huge disclaimer here. We are dealing with very small sample sizes and only a couple of teams where we have some insight into what is going on at the management and coaching levels. But with that said, so far the trend I identified in the summer is continuing for both the Hurricanes and Leafs. It will be interesting to see whether the trend continues through the rest of the season (though Carolina’s shooting percentage is at historically low levels so doubtful it remains this low).