Daily Faceoff Live: Does margin of victory potentially indicate lasting NHL success?

In the latest episode of Daily face-to-face live Frank Seravalli and Mike McKenna asked Cam Charron if margin of victory analysis can indicate lasting NHL success.

Frank Seravalli: Let’s move on to this week’s edition of the next wave. That’s right, it’s this week’s edition of The Next Wave delivered by DoorDash, please be joined once again by former Toronto Maple Leafs analyst Cam Charron. And Cam, we’re almost a third into the season. And so when you’re looking at in terms of, we’re always trying to sort that out, which teams are real, which teams aren’t, what are some of the metrics you’re looking at, so if the teams are real?

RAdm Charron: In previous years, Frank, we would have looked at Corsi’s percentage to be able to easily tell if the teams that own the puck are the ones that are likely to be successful in the future. But that kind of changed, and it kind of ties in with what Steve Yzerman was talking about. You know, I posted this on Twitter last week and it’s interesting, like it’s from the 2007 season to the 2012 season. And you see Corsi is the most predictive after 20 games of the last 62 games, you can predict a team’s 5v5 game the most. But if you take that forward and if we look at our next slide here, it’s from 2013-14, we see that it’s actually the 5-on-5 goals that matter a lot more. And that’s, I think, because of the way teams just play in the offensive zone, they play with a lot more movement, they play with a lot more passes, and they get a lot harder to defend. The quality of the shot therefore matters much more than before. And so that makes it a lot harder, it’s a lot harder to be able to predict whether teams are going to, you know, whether their success is sustainable or not. I look at teams like Seattle and the New York Islanders teams that have had good goals for percentages so far this season, but don’t necessarily own the puck a lot. It’s going to be really interesting to see if they can keep it going because from what we’ve seen over the last few years, those are really the goals by the way more than anything else.

Mike McKenna: So Cam, I noticed you had a ring on your finger. I’m curious about this. What can it be.

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RAdm Charron: This is my 2018 Calder Cup championship ring. I don’t know.

Mike McKenna: OK. Alright, well, as you can see, I’m wearing my jersey from that exact series. I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished with the Texas Stars. We fell to your club the Toronto Marlies in the Game 7 Final of that year. But anyway, so the chart you just mentioned there, I notice the Oilers man, it doesn’t suit them very well. What can you develop with this club?

RAdm Charron: So with the Oilers, not only do they do that, I was surprised to watch this morning and they have a very low 5-on-5 goal percentage. But the other thing also is that they don’t have won only two of their games based on what I would consider clear margin games. So these are games where you win by more than one goal, not counting empty nets. And that’s a lot too, like the Detroit Red Wings last year who started pretty well. They were around .500 at this point in the season and they really went down because they also only won two games by more than one goal. And you saw last night against Chicago, the Oilers had a big lead and they kept letting the Blackhawks come back in that game and they only won by one in the end.

RAdm Charron: So I think that’s a good indicator of what we can look for, what we can look at teams going forward, which is if they’re winning a lot of one-goal games, that’s maybe a sign that they are a bit unlucky. So some teams like this are close to my heart. There’s also Ottawa and the Washington Capitals who were pretty unlucky in one-goal games, but they won a lot of points in those clear-margin games. So yeah, you know, you look at the top teams, of course, Boston, New Jersey, they’re just winning though, because they’re really, really good teams. But yeah, you know, as we go through this chart, and I’ll also post it on my Twitter feed, I think it gives us a good indication of which teams are getting lucky, which teams are getting unlucky. And to me, the Oilers are a team that gets a lot of points in one-goal games, more than they should. And the other thing, Mike, I would add on that, that the 2018 series is that you personally made it very difficult for us, and I don’t know if this series would have stretched to seven games without you.

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Mike McKenna: Thanks I appreciate that. It was an amazing series.

Frank Seravalli: Yeah. So Cam, as we wrap up and I was just watching some of your clear margin plays, I was also shocked to see how things turned out for a team like the Anaheim Ducks. I think they have a regulation victory at this stage of the season. What more can you tell us about the importance of these clear-margin games? For example, explain that for someone you know who may not be as well versed in this area, what is the big metric you are looking for? What stands out in terms of access to these? Is it just about taking the lead? Is it to maintain it? What stands out?

RAdm Charron: Well, it’s both. It shows that you are able to get an early lead and are able to hold it. And it’s usually the teams that are successful in these kinds of games. And also just a general indicator of the quality of the team. And you don’t get those narrow wins and you don’t have to hang on to a late push and you just live those games without drama. And that’s a really flawed way to do it. I watched the Leafs-Sharks game last night, I thought the Leafs had pretty good control of the third period. They scored a late goal and won the match. I didn’t think they were really, you know, I didn’t think they were really overwhelmed or really too much in danger all along. So it’s a really flawed system, but it’s basically a good indicator of whether the team has taken an early lead?

RAdm Charron: Could they hold it? Did they push back that late push and really make it easy for their fans? You know, just the non-nervous moments and you just see like, for a team like Anaheim, the only regulation win and it wasn’t by, it was just by one goal. As if it was not a very good team and it is the sign of a team which has just played from behind. And when they win games, it’s because they somehow managed to force overtime and collect points during the overtime period. And these are much less durable in the future. And especially when you look at the playoffs, there is no 3-on-3 overtime in the playoffs. These are just outright wins and losses.

Frank Seravalli: Maybe we should change the name of this metric to something like coaching pulse or something because it’s the guys who live and breathe it behind the bench in terms of all the drama or non-drama situations which could make things much easier for these coaches. Thanks to Cam Charron, I think I called it the next wave, but it’s actually called the Number Crunch and it was delivered by DoorDash. You see the promo code at the bottom of your screen. Game Day 25 is giving you 25% off and free shipping on your first order of $15 or more with DoorDash all your favorites and more delivered right to your door. And if you don’t follow Cam Charron on Twitter, do it. You can see some of those things he throws out there all week between his appearances on Thursdays with us here on Daily face-to-face live @camcharronyvr. Thank you very much Cam. Goodbye.

RAdm Charron: More guys.

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You can see the rest of the episode here:

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