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Hockey Analytics

Yeo's Wild One Goal Games

by Gus Katsaros
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

The Minnesota Wild mimicked the Anaheim Ducks entering 2015-16. Brightness in the hope for the immediate future glimmered at the end of 2014-15 and overextending into 2015-16. The Ducks unstable season start imparted heat for Ducks coach, Bruce Boudreau, but they persevered and since have turned it around for the most part.

 

Minnesota’s bench boss didn’t survive, despite a stellar, albeit illusory, start to 2015-16.

 

Mike Yeo was given the reigns to tame and shape the Wild on June 17, 2011, and paid the ultimate coach’s price after suffering an eighth straight loss, forcing the change.

As the calendar turned, the Wild posted a dismal 3-12-4 record with seven one-goal losses.

 

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Since 2016 began, the #Wild have fallen apart (going 3-12-4). Over the last 14 in that span it's been even more dire pic.twitter.com/8fOEJr8XZg

— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) February 14, 2016

 

One goal losses are a common theme in Minnesota’s monthly record. They sit in 29th as of games played through Tuesday, only ahead of the Maple Leafs with a .364 win percentage in one-goal games.

 

In October, amid a record of 7-2-2, six wins were via one goal, (6-1-2 record) while running a 102.24 PDO, not too high, but a distinct disparity when parsing out one-goal versus non-one goal games. The Wild shot 11.46% in October one-goal games, and a paltry 5.63% in non-one goal games. Shot metric differentials were excellent for the pair of multi-goal games, yet tipped to favor the opposition in one-goal games.

 

PDO has gradually dropped month to month as well, down to a season low 96.92 in seven February games. Yeo paid the price there for a faltering PDO, primarily driven by the team’s notoriously low shooting percentage.

 

Devan Dubnyk, star of 2014-15 after stabilizing the Wild crease – we’ll explore that shortly – hasn’t provided the same stellar goaltending in ’15-16 but it’s not all on the netminder. Lacking the necessary support to apply average goaltending and expect consistent wins, there’s been very little scoring punch. Losing Zach Parise for eight November games was a big blow, but the Wild weathered the injury to post a season high 12.8% shooting percentage in non-one goal games. Better production is required from the likes of Jason Pominville, Thomas Vanek and especially the underachieving Mikael Granlund, having Mikko Koivu – an aging depth center, at the top of team points is telling for the state of affairs.

 

Minnesota monthly itemization of shot metric differentials plays out like the table below. In the final column pointing to on-ice save percentage, goaltending was stellar in a 9-3-2 December – the peak of the season – but the calendar flip has been disastrous. On-ice save percentage slipped, but so too did shooting percentage, putting more pressure on the goaltending to step up and cover for the lack of scoring support. Dubnyk couldn’t pull magic out the hat once again.

 

Glaringly obvious is the change in differentials month to month, peaking altogether in December, and in a downhill trot ever since.

 

Month

GP

W

L

O

   CF%

  GF%

   SF%

   SCF%

   HSCF%

  PDO

  OSh%

  OSv%

Oct

11

7

2

2

50.86

58.92

50.40

53.15

48.16

102.24

10.40

91.85

 

2

1

1

 

57.50

62.50

62.59

63.84

61.29

98.39

5.63

92.77

1-Gl

9

6

1

2

49.38

58.02

47.69

50.78

45.24

103.10

11.46

91.64

Nov

11

4

5

2

44.87

51.52

44.11

45.47

41.21

101.86

8.67

93.19

 

4

2

2

 

43.66

60.00

42.88

49.62

43.75

105.56

12.80

92.76

1-Gl

7

2

3

2

45.57

46.67

44.82

43.11

39.76

99.75

6.31

93.44

Dec

14

9

3

2

51.06

70.77

53.72

51.84

56.65

102.42

7.07

95.35

 

8

6

2

 

51.81

75.42

55.75

54.56

60.01

102.32

7.22

95.10

1-Gl

6

3

1

2

50.07

63.33

51.00

48.21

52.17

102.55

6.87

95.68

Jan

13

3

7

3

46.26

42.31

49.14

45.25

49.29

98.53

5.04

93.48

 

6

2

2

2

49.78

47.22

52.21

50.69

50.68

99.15

3.76

95.39

1-Gl

7

1

5

1

43.25

38.10

46.50

40.58

48.11

98.00

6.15

91.85

Feb

7

1

5

1

50.41

41.67

53.01

48.99

51.56

96.92

7.46

89.46

 

5

1

4

 

49.95

41.67

54.78

50.34

50.48

96.53

7.89

88.64

1-Gl

2

 

1

1

51.55

41.67

48.58

45.61

54.24

97.89

6.38

91.51

 

In a rolling average chart (10 games moving average) the 2015-16 season is depicted like this.

 

View post on imgur.com

 

Individual shooting and save percentage is shown below. Save percentage peaked in mid-December, and it’s been downhill ever since. Shooters have gone just as cold.

 

View post on imgur.com

 

The trouble began in 2014-15.

The signs were there toward the ending of the season, even with an incredible run from Devan Dubnyk, turning the Wild into an impenetrable shutdown machine. The Wild had scoring trouble – a similarity this season, but masked their success with inflated save percentages and score effects.

 

This is how the Wild’s 10-game rolling averages chart out, both per 60 FOR and per 60 AGAINST.

 

View post on imgur.com

 

View post on imgur.com

 

Minnesota thumped the hapless St. Louis Blues in the first round, before getting their lumps against the eventual Stanley Cup Champions, Chicago Blackhawks.

 

I felt Minnesota forwards exhibited rampant individualism in offensive generation; simplistically skating pucks into the opposition zone and firing shots on net or getting it deep into the zone on a dump in or failed rush attempt before the Blackhawks skated it right back out.

 

Felt the Wild's offensive game was really based on zone entry, puck to the net, with goal mouth scrambles. No East-West component.

— Gus Katsaros (@KatsHockey) June 19, 2015

 

Blackhawks let them come in all day long, and fire away. Desperation made it worse and suddenly Wild Fwds resorted to individualism & swept

— Gus Katsaros (@KatsHockey) June 19, 2015

My hope in this regard is to determine this using data from the passing project, so I’ll refrain from expanding on this concept until I can reasonably make the assumption into a reality using current actionable data. There’s a tweet below with team aggregation for solo rushes, but the Wild only have nine games tracked to this data release, making it difficult to validate the conclusion on a small amount of games – especially without the benefit of having the latest collapse factored in as well.

 

 

Solo Rush Aggregation by team (via passing project). Individualism abounds in Habsland with only 12 games tracked pic.twitter.com/8bQWEg4NqQ

— Gus Katsaros (@KatsHockey) February 4, 2016

 

*************

I wrote the Wild players for the McKeen’s Yearbook and generated a bunch of charts for the 2014-15 season. At the end of the season, the Wild were playing an average game, hovering around 50% CF%, with a downslope in scoring chances as well. You can explore that link for different classes of events.

 

In the end, Yeo’s tenure looked like this from 2011 to 2014-15 season. The downturn at the end of 2014-15 season is evident here. High PDO, and bouncing around 50%.

 

View post on imgur.com

Gus Katsaros
Gus Katsaros is the Pro Scouting Coordinator with McKeen’s Hockey, publishers of industry leading scouting and fantasy guide, the McKeen’s Annual Hockey Pool Yearbook. He also contributes to popular blog MapleLeafsHotStove.com ... he can be followed on Twitter @KatsHockey