ievans made a great suggestion in one of the comment threads:
"The frustration on my part here is that we’ll watch the PDO for, say, the Kings suffer for most of the year, then normalize and swing back in their favor, but the PDO for the Sharks last year didn’t. We rode the PDO train to 7 wins (yay!), and expected things to regress a bit, but instead it swung back even more violently, and now we have a losing record.
What I really want to know is if any other similar team has experienced this kind of extended poor luck as shown by the advanced stats. I’m not talking about bad teams performing badly. I’m talking about a team with solid underlying numbers vastly underperforming year to year. Because it feels like we’re the outlier here in the shitty direction, that probably indicates some underlying fact not captured in the stats themselves."
Here's a preliminary result that may help. I used the 150 team-year data drawn from behindthenet.ca (5 seasons, 30 teams).
1) I took the Sharks' current (through 17 games) FenClose, GF/60, and SF/60 (52.61%, 2.18, 25.36) as an indicator of 1) underlying puck possession ability and 2) shot-creating and goal-scoring ability (you know, offense). Remember, this is all 5v5 with Close scores because this is most hockey play and where puck possession and offense measures most usefully reflect team ability. I then did a spit-ball formula to get the teams with the closest figures to SJ 2012-2013 just by doing a sum % deviation from those statistics (FenClose, GF/60, and SF/60).
So I tried to do what ievans wanted. What team has comparable FenClose, GF/60, and SF/60 in these conditions? What was their corresponding PDO and point total? Can a team have solid "underlying numbers" and underperform? Does it happen often?
2) Result: two teams were really, really close. And they are from the same franchise. New Jersey Devils 2007-2008 and 2010-2011. Crap GF/60, low-mid range SF/60, good FenClose (top 10).
3) What were the PDOs and Season points for NJ 07-08 and 10-11? 07-08, 99 points, 996 PDO. 10-11, 81 points, 978 PDO.
4) This means what? While this does not answer ievans' question entirely, the numbers clearly show that if PDO stays around 1000, a low goal-scoring season, MAY NOT lead to a collapse in point total given a good FenClose. In fact, NJ 07-08 scored fewer goals/60 than SJ 12-13, and they even allowed more goals. Their PDO was 996 and ended with 99 points. NJ 10-11 ended with 81 points. The difference, in numbers, between NJ 07-08 and NJ 10-11 is PDO (in particular, SV%). If PDO remains stable (that is, if SH% stays in the gutter and SV% stays in the clouds OR a likely increase in SH% with a corresponding decrease in SV%), SJ 12-13 could very well be NJ 07-08 (which ain't so bad, man).
5) Does high FenClose happen often in conjunction with low GF/60, low-mid SF/60, PDO~1000, and low point total? I put a limit of +/-1% FenClose relative to SJ 12-13. The only team besides NJ 10-11 to have a point total below 90 was CMB 07-08. Their PDO? 985. So, again a PDO collapse (notably SV%).
6) So, all of this should be taken with salt as I haven't done all of the math required to conclude that if SJ 12-13 does end with a low point total, it would have company with two other teams out of 150 (er, it would be 3 out of 180, ~2%ish). However, so long as PDO does not collapse, I would say SJ 12-13 has a real good shot at being NJ 07-08 rather than NJ 10-11. I mean, that has to count for something, right?
Table with relevant numbers below. Have at it with context, history (any NJ perspective?), and critique (warranted or otherwise) in the comments! (I guess I'll have to write that FP on game theory another time...)
|FenClo, GF/60, SF/60|
Yup. Numbers above. (Would love to see a win tonight.)