What's the most important thing a team can do in the playoffs?

Can you hazard a guess?  How about outshoot the other team when the score is tied?  Here's what happens when you do:

 

Win%
By Game 59.7
By Series 70.6

 

And it helps to go big.  Since the lockout, teams had a Fenwick ratio (ie - Corsi w/o blocked shots) of 55% or more when the game was tied won 26 series and lost just 5, which is an 84% winning percentage.  The five who beat the odds?

 

Year Winner Loser Round Fenwick% Outcome
2006 Buf Ott 2 39.6 4-1
2006 Car Edm Finals 39.6 4-3
2008 Phi Mon 2 39.9 4-1
2006 Edm Det 1 40.7 4-2
2009 Ana SJ 1 41.3 4-2

 

All of these wins required some pretty extreme goaltending, often from unexpected sources.  So there are two paths to winning in the playoffs: outshoot your opponents when the game is on the line; or have your goaltender hit a performance peak and have the other team not make its shots.  If I was building a team, I know which one I'd design for...

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