We've all been frustrated by the recent results (or lack thereof). After the jump, a quick look at some shooting trends points out one pretty clear problem.
I started with data on how the Flyers' Corsi percent has changed over the course of the season. It didn't show much change at all, and I suspected the reason was score effects: teams tend to shoot a lot more when they're losing, so any dropoff in the Flyers' play recently might be somewhat covered up by the score effects.
There's a simple solution to this problem: break things down and look at their Corsi when they're ahead, tied, or losing. That gives us the following chart, which shows a moving average of their recent performance in each of those scenarios.
Data this complicated is like a Rorschach test; everyone can come away with their own interpretation. But here's what I see:
- For most of the season, the Flyers' Corsi when trailing (56.8% for the year) and tied (52.2%) have been reasonably steady. There was a little slump in the middle of the season, but all things considered, they look pretty consistent.
- The Flyers Corsi when winning (43.5% for the year) tells a different story. It's been pretty steadily dropping all year long, leaving the fans increasingly frustrated at how this team can't hold a lead.
- The recent play has been decidedly mediocre. What the heck changed to make this team suddenly drop from getting ~53-55% of the shots in tied games to getting ~48%?
Let me make one small addition to this chart and see if I can answer that last question.
Get well, Prongs. We need you.
Edit: Great addition from zot22 -- Pronger also missed games 34-46, which happens to be right where that mid-season slump happened.