The Maple Leafs front office is basically a parody of a parody at this point. We’ve all been enjoying the hubris throughout the season. My view was basically that their seemingly crazy views were going to catch up with them eventually, whether it’s this year or next year and that ultimately, the people who bought into the numbers were going to be vindicated by a Leafs team that never accomplished anything of note before having a round of firings and trying again. With the eight game losing streak, that seems like it’s going to happen now.
Dave Poulin went on TSN 1050 today and was asked about whether maybe, just maybe, there might be something to this analytics claptrap. Response? “Our shot differential over the last 8 games is better. So the analytics talk doesn’t make a lot of sense.” Hoo boy.
You see, one of the fundamental tenets of analytics is that teams play differently when they’re leading or trailing a game and that it shows up in their shot counts. This is not a new idea. It has been around for years. If the Maple Leafs are publicly rejecting the utility of analytics (and they have, repeatedly), you would expect that they would be familiar with the concepts. They don’t seem to be.
For the season as a whole, the Maple Leafs have a 48.8% Corsi% when they’re trailing, a 41.3% Corsi% when they’re tied and a 38.7% Corsi% when they are leading. This graph contrasts how much 5v5 time the Leafs spent leading/tied/trailing through their first 68 games with how much time they’ve spent leading/tied/trailing through their last eight games.
One of the most valuable sports franchises in the world. Managed by people who are apparently completely unaware of how the most completely straightforward metrics about their business work.Email Tyler Dellow at email@example.com