Defensive Systems and their Impact on Shot Location

As we saw a few weeks ago, Jacques Lemaire’s defensive system substantially limits the rate at which opponents take high-percentage shots against his teams. This effect has been persistent over the course of nearly a decade. This made me wonder what impact other coaches have on shots faced by their teams.

What the chart below shows is - for each coach in all years that he coached - the difference between league-wide save percentage and the save percentage each team expected given the shots they allowed.

Coach +EXS% YRS
Lemaire 4.3 7
Hitchcock 3.4 5
B. Sutter 2.8 5
Mactavish 2.0 7
Julien 2.0 4
Trotz 1.7 7
Martin 1.3 6
Wilson 1.2 6
Ruff 0.9 7
Quinn 0.8 4
Tippett 0.3 6
Crawford -0.8 6
Tortorella -1.0 6
Maurice -1.0 4
Carlyle -1.3 4
Gretzky -1.5 4
Quenneville-1.7 6
A. Murray -2.3 6
Babcock -2.3 6
Laviolette -3.2 5
Hartley -3.5 4

As you can see, Lemaire stands out, though it would be interesting to see how the shot location chart looks for Hitchcock's teams. Bob Hartley brings up the rear for coaches who coached four seasons or more - his poor performance may be entirely due to having Ilya Kovalchuk on the ice most of the game.

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