We have often commented on how good Laviolette is with his timeouts. You can even buy a t-shirt commemorating this notion. I always wondered -- is this just selective memory and perception bias, where we remember the ones that worked and forget the ones that didn't?
The answer is a big fat resounding no. Laviolette's timeouts this year have been absolutely incredible.
He's called 27 timeouts this year that weren't after an icing call. In the two-minute spans following those timeouts, the Flyers have a 75 percent Corsi score, which means they had 75 percent of the shot attempts. Corsi is a popular stat because of how well it correlates with puck possession, zone time, and goal scoring.
My first thought was that this might just be a score effect; teams often call timeouts near the end of the games when they're losing, after all. So I broke it down by situation and found they have a 76 percent Corsi after timeouts when trailing, a 60 percent Corsi after timeouts when tied, and a 76 percent Corsi after timeouts when leading.
Another possible explanation would be that he calls timeouts before offensive zone faceoffs where he wants to draw up set pieces, and that skews the Corsi figure for the short period after the timeout. But the data doesn't bear that out either -- the timeouts were followed by 8 offensive zone faceoffs, 13 neutral zone faceoffs, and 6 defensive zone faceoffs. For that minor offensive skew, you'd expect about a 52% Corsi, so the Flyers are clearly just getting a lot more than their share of the shots after Laviolette's timeouts.
Those aren't just empty desperation shots either -- they scored a goal within two minutes of calling a timeout seven times (in 43 total minutes of play), and six of those were when the opposition had five skaters plus a goalie in net. Conversely, their opponents have only 4 goals, and only one against five Flyers skaters and a goalie (two came on the power play and one into an empty net).
I don't know what Laviolette does in that huddle, but it sure is magical.