Habs Goal Scorers 2010-11 - Part 1 - The Team

Jamie Sabau

After examining 135 goals for the 2011-12 season, I decided it would be interesting to examine how well those results correlated with the season prior.

After looking through last season's goals, I came up with several premises that needed expanding testing. To do that I'm going to work backwards through time and check out goal scoring from previous Habs teams. I won't be doing individual posts with links to videos this time, because that took a lot of time, and that's something I currently don't have. So this will be like the conclusions post from October 24th, including all the data I find.

In the 2010-11 season I'm going to lower the threshold to be included from 15 to 14 for two reasons. One being that two players scored 14 goals in fewer than 82 games, and two being that Pacioretty was one of them, and I think his inclusion is important.

The players we will look at individually are Brian Gionta, Tomas Plekanec, Andrei Kostitsyn, Mike Cammalleri, P.K. Subban, and Max Pacioretty. However I'm going to look at every goal the team scored to give a more complete picture, then compare it to the totals of the 6 higher end goal scorers.

First we'll look at the top 6 goalscorers:

Goals Goals on zone plays Goals off the rush Goals on individual plays
118 66 52 39

Observations:

  • 33.1% of the goals scored by the top 6 scorers were on individual plays. This is down 1% from the most recent season, but close enough that it seems to be a consistent level.
  • 56.0% of the goals were scored on zone plays. in 2011-12 the majority of the goals scored by the top scorers were off the rush, which too me says that Jacques Martin's Canadiens spent more time holding the puck in the opponent's zone than Cunneyworth's did.
  • Last time we talked about Eric T's zone entry work, and how Cunneyworth's tendency to go to chip and chase instead of carrying the puck across the line could reduce scoring. I think we may be seeing evidence of that here.
  • Lars Eller and David Desharnais were just rookies this season, keeping Cammalleri and Kostitsyn along with the addition of Erik Cole really should have been a recipe for success. It's too bad the season broke apart like it did.

Next we'll look at what kinds of shots these top 6 guys used:

Goals Wrist Slap One Timer Snap Tip/Deflection/Chip Backhand
118 40 26 31 19 24 9

Observations:

  • Subban's inclusion in the top 6 goalscorers dramatically increases the volume of slap shot and one timed goals. Slapshots rose from just 6.7% in 2011-12 to 22% in 2010-11. One timers rose from 13.3% to a whopping 26.3%.
  • Backhand goals are down 3.5% from 11.1% in 2011-12 to just 7.6% in 2010-11. Cole and Pacioretty were the backhand leaders this past year, so with their exclusion outside of just 37 games for Max it makes sense that there's a drop.
  • Still a lot of net drive goals, 20.3% in fact. This is nearly identical to the 20.7% of goals scored in this manner in 2011-12.
  • With 33.6% of the goals counted among the top 6 scorers, the wrist shot is still the dominant shot. This is down from 2011-12 though, as 37% of goals came off of wristers last year.

Now let's look at the team's depth scoring, namely everyone who wasn't one of the top 6 scorers:

Goals Goals on zone plays Goals off the rush Goals on individual plays
95 60 35 21

Observations:

  • Logically, there's far less skill among the bottom of the lineup than at the top. I think this is very apparent when looking at this breakdown. The less skilled Habs had more trouble scoring off the rush, meaning they were more dependent on system play to create breakdowns. Only 36.8% of goals from the depth guys came off the rush.
  • Also likely due to less skill, only 22.1% of depth goals scored were on individual plays, 11 percentage points fewer than among the top 6. Really this is 33% fewer goals scored on individual plays.
  • There was actually a ton of skill among the depth of this Canadiens team, much more so than the 2011-12 squad. The previously mentioned Desharnais and Eller breaking into the league, along with guys like Benoit Pouliot, Jeff Halpern and James Wisniewski. I may have to begrudgingly revisit 2011-12 once again to compare the depth scoring between the two editions of the Canadiens.

Did the less skilled players score on different kinds of shots than the top 6?:

Goals Wrist Slap One Timer Snap Tip/Deflection/Chip Backhand
95 26 21 10 8 34 6

Observations:

  • The backhand shot is a highly skilled play in my opinion. It's tough to get a lot on that shot, and unsurprisingly, all 6 backhand goals belonged to either Pouliot, Desharnais or Eller. Guys who can push 15 goals and have great hands.
  • Driving the net was an even more common goal scoring technique among the rest of the lineup than wrist shots. A whopping 35.8% of goals from this group were score on net drives where a player tips, deflects or chips the puck past the goaltender. This method was more dominant for this group than the wrist shot was for the skilled group.
  • Wrist shots and slap shots are much closer to equal in this group. It seems like the depth guys are much less discerning with their shot selection, perhaps preferring power over accuracy more often than the skill guys.
  • Surprisingly, the same portion of goals (22%) were scored on slap shots in both groups, it was the wrist shot that suffered, dropping from 33.6% to 27.4% in the less skilled group.
  • Perhaps also due to lesser skill, the percentage of goals scored on one timers from the top group to the bottom group dropped from 26.3% to 10.5%, less than half.

Tomorrow I'll get into the individuals' differences among the top 6 scorers.

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