Ducks Gameday -- Kirby Appreciation Thread

Anaheim Ducks (above .500) at Tampa Bay Lightning (at .500), 4:30 pm
Anaheim Calling and Raw Charge -- my 3-year-old nephew is a huge Lightning (McQueen) fan.

Coach_envy_medium

I'm recycling cartoons today for a couple reasons. One, I spent a lot of time making data tables that you'll get sick of fast, and two, I also got caught up yesterday arguing with Ducks fans in the comments of this AC post, mostly about whether the Ducks should trade Lubo (uh, nope!) but also whether the Ducks should later this summer trade everything they own for the rights to negotiate with Shea Weber (uh, nope!).

In fact, from a Ducks perspective I'm not terribly interested in this trade deadline at all. Anaheim probably should be "sellers", but enough is finally going right on the ice with this team that I'm happy enough to see how this roster plays out, UFAs and all. I think we owe this to two individuals, mainly -- there were many points in this season where Teemu Selanne could have barged his way out the door, but he didn't -- let's not pull the rug out from his potentially last season just as things are rolling.

And then there's Bruce Boudreau -- we really ought to give him full opportunity to coach the hell out of this team. Because that's exactly what he's been doing.

First, a look back at the three partial NHL seasons that Boudreau coached, and the impact he seems to have brought:

In 2007-08, the Washington Capitals made Bruce Boudreau their head coach after a 6-14-1 record through their first 21 games. Here's how the Caps did that season pre- and post-Boudreau, along with the "Kirby Factor" row -- Row B minus Row A, essentially.

WSH 2007-08 GP Record Win% GF/g GA/g GD/g PP% PK% SF/g SA/g SD/g
Pre-Boudreau 21 6 - 14 - 1 0.310 +2.2 -3.0 -0.8 14.6% 78.2% +29.1 -29.0 +0.1
With Boudreau 61 37 - 17 - 7 0.664 +3.1 -2.7 +0.5 20.4% 81.5% +31.6 -27.0 +4.5
Kirby Factor +0.354 +0.9 +0.4 +1.3 +5.8% +3.2% +2.4 +2.0 +4.4

You'll note that in pretty much every area, the Caps were an improved team after Boudreau took over. Goals-per-game and shots-per-game improved on both ends of the rink, special teams got a bump, and as a result the team won at a much more impressive rate.

Cut to this season, where the Anaheim Ducks made Boudreau head coach after a miserable first 24 games. We can see some similar improvements, though the Ducks' special teams have fallen a bit back. Still, on the whole, the Ducks have become a much better shooting and scoring team since the coaching change.

ANA 2011-12 GP Record Win% GF/g GA/g GD/g PP% PK% SF/g SA/g SD/g
Pre-Boudreau 24 7 - 13 - 4 0.375 +2.2 -3.1 -0.9 17.2% 86.5% +26.5 -31.0 -4.5
With Boudreau 35 18 - 11 - 6 0.600 +2.7 -2.5 +0.3 16.4% 81.3% +27.4 -28.4 -1.0
Kirby Factor +0.225 +0.5 +0.6 +1.1 -0.8% -5.2% +1.0 +2.6 +3.6

In this instance, it took longer for the results to turn around, so we shall see what this looks like after game 82.

But at this point I have to caution you -- it's not difficult to show improvement to teams that are at their worst "now let's fire our head coach" moments. A shakeup at the top of the coaching order does jumpstart some players naturally, and the baseline for "success" for a takeover coach is substantially low. Still, we have two instances where teams needed a turnaround, and it seems Bruce Almighty was able to deliver both times.

On the flipside, then, here's how the Caps have fared this season since Boudreau's departure (in this table, the Kirby Factor is Row A less Row B):

WSH 2011-12 GP Record Win% GF/g GA/g GD/g PP% PK% SF/g SA/g SD/g
With Boudreau 22 12 - 9 - 1 0.568 +3.1 -3.3 -0.1 16.3% 80.0% +30.6 -29.7 +0.9
Post-Boudreau 37 17 - 16 - 4 0.514 +2.4 -2.5 -0.1 18.6% 81.3% +25.9 -30.8 -4.9
Kirby Factor +0.055 +0.7 -0.8 -0.0 -2.3% -1.3% +4.7 +1.1 +5.8

It hasn't been the same sort of turnaround for the Capitals, but in fairness, they fired Boudreau with a much better record than the first two table examples. Special teams have improved since Kirby left, but goals-for and shots-for are down noticeably. This is not to say that Kirby had no problems in Washington, mind you -- it's just they don't really seem to be resolved since he left.

So we have three examples where Kirby was head coach for part of a season -- two where he had a favorable "takeover" edge and one where he was let go. Let's add 'em up!

ALL TABLES
GP Record Win% GF/g GA/g GD/g PP% PK% SF/g SA/g SD/g
No Boudreau 82 30 - 43 - 9 0.421 +2.3 -2.8 -0.5 16.8% 82.1% +26.9 -30.4 -3.5
With Boudreau 118 67 - 37 -14 0.627 +3.0 -2.7 +0.3 18.6% 81.1% +30.2 -27.9 +2.2
Kirby Factor +0.206 +0.7 +0.1 +0.8 +1.8% -0.9% +3.3 +2.5 +5.7

Very heartening results -- go Kirby!

Coach_kirby_1_medium

* * *

While I'm boring you with numbers, let's take a deeper look at a specific stretch of games where the Ducks have been really successful -- their last 21. Anaheim is an amazing 15-2-4 since January 6, outscoring opponents by a whopping 24 goals in 21 games. And it hasn't really been special teams domination -- Ducks have scored 12 power play goals while opponents have scored 9 over the stretch. At even-strength, the Ducks are playing awesome.

And shockingly, they've been outshooting opponents, also. Carolina outshot Anaheim 31-26 last game, but before that the Ducks outshot eleven straight opponents -- don't know that's happened ever in Anaheim's history.

So, I dug some numbers together to see how individual Ducks were performing at even strength over their successful 21-game stretch. Mostly this was done with the use of Vic Ferrari's internet tool but there's a glitch that happens after the Ducks' game in Columbus -- I had to compile the last four games through my own spreadsheet wizardry. What this table shows is for each player, when they were on the ice in even-strength situations with a goalie in each net:

  • How many goals-for and goals-against were scored.
  • How many shots-for and shots-against were fired on net.
  • How many attempted shots (shots on goal plus missed shots and blocked shots) happened.

Anaheim Ducks Last-21-Games Even-Strength-With-Goalies Stats
(Players sorted by Position, then Goal Differential, then Shot Differential)

Goals Scored
Shots on Net Attempted Shots
Player Pos GP GF GA GoalDif SF SA Sdif ASF ASA ASDif
LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY D 21 19 8 +11 145 137 +8 287 276 +11
TONI LYDMAN D 20 13 6 +7 136 133 +3 236 289 -53
SHELDON BROOKBANK D 21 12 6 +6 138 145 -7 249 309 -60
LUCA SBISA D 21 18 12 +6 137 167 -30 280 304 -24
CAM FOWLER D 21 15 15 0 192 155 +37 352 298 +54
FRANCOIS BEAUCHEMIN D 21 13 13 0 206 178 +28 381 351 +30
NATE GUENIN D 1 0 0 0 2 13 -11 7 19 -12
MATT BELESKEY F 18 14 6 +8 97 90 +7 159 178 -19
SAKU KOIVU F 21 18 11 +7 125 139 -14 229 258 -29
COREY PERRY F 21 13 7 +6 157 132 +25 329 266 +63
TEEMU SELANNE F 21 13 7 +6 124 134 -10 230 249 -19
RYAN GETZLAF F 21 11 6 +5 151 131 +20 322 262 +60
NICK BONINO F 20 11 8 +3 131 116 +15 212 244 -32
JASON BLAKE F 19 12 9 +3 124 110 +14 238 212 +26
ANDREW COGLIANO F 21 15 12 +3 138 127 +11 234 257 -23
NIKLAS HAGMAN F 21 9 6 +3 104 114 -10 189 235 -46
GEORGE PARROS F 17 2 0 +2 47 53 -6 79 110 -31
ROD PELLEY F 20 3 2 +1 62 55 +7 107 123 -16
BOBBY RYAN F 21 11 11 0 135 131 +4 276 260 +16
ANDREW GORDON F 1 0 0 0 2 0 +2 8 7 +1
JEAN-FRANCOIS JACQUES F 1 0 0 0 2 4 -2 3 7 -4
MARK BELL F 5 0 0 0 10 15 -5 18 33 -15
KYLE PALMIERI F 4 1 2 -1 11 20 -9 21 35 -14
JONAS HILLER G 20 40 26 +14 451 429 +22 829 849 -20
JEFF DESLAURIERS G 1 4 2 +2 22 25 -3 43 56 -13
IIRO TARKKI G 1 1 2 -1 5 9 -4 24 17 +7
Team 21 45 30 +15 478 463 +15 896 922 -26

Now you'll note at the bottom that this is a very goalie-favorable stretch of games for the Ducks. At even-strength, Anaheim outshot opponents by 15 SOG and also outscored opponents by 15 goals -- Hiller has been much better than his counterparts, or Anaheim's shot selection has been superior, or we've been luckier, or some combination of all those factors. So it's a cherry-picked table for sure, but it still does reflect a quarter of the season -- there's some value in the results.

It is interesting to see how evenly-spread the plus/minus has been among the forwards who have played, and yet how distinct performance has been among the blueliners. Certainly Fowler and Beauchemin have seen a lot of tough opposition, so the fact that they have most of the minuses isn't too troubling, but while they're hanging in there it's been very crucial that Visnovsky has been kicking ass. He's a goal-differential machine -- he gets easier minutes than some, but the fact that he milks them effectively matters a ton.

That's really why I don't get the "trade Lubo" sentiment -- it almost seems to me that's just a fan's vote against winning games. Add in the fact that Lubo is signed for only $3M next season, plus the Ducks are 2-9-2 this season without him (outscored 34-47), and I have no idea why he's not a hugely crucial part of next year's success. Plus, if need be, he can be traded probably more effectively next trade deadline (there's better bidding when teams are made aware a player is available), anyways.

One last note on the table -- I give our top line a lot of shit, but this table suggests they've been more unlucky than undominant. Look at the shot attempts while Getzlaf or Perry is on the ice -- they are owning the puck a lot of the time, it seems. Maybe they're still surrendering too many excellent chances against, but keep it up, big guys -- glad to see you guys in the outscoring and outchancing department.

Phew -- that's a lot of analysis! Feel free to point out anything you notice or ask anything you want clarified in the comments.

Prediction: I should be around for game comments today -- stop on by! Ducks keep rolling 4-2, with a goal from each forward line. Lubo ends up +3.

Go Ducks.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Battle of California

You must be a member of Battle of California to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Battle of California. You should read them.

Join Battle of California

You must be a member of Battle of California to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Battle of California. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker