The Devils lost basically every game since February 23rd. (Fine, that’s an exaggeration. But not one big enough to merit correction).
I’ve been trying to figure out why. One debate (this came up towards the end of Talking Red 108: Short and Sweet) is whether or not shots are a good measure of offense for the Devils.
So I took a quick look at how strong of a predictor Corsi was for 5v5 goal differential for the Devils this season.
These stats span from the euphoric beginning of the season through the inconsequential win over the Canadiens on the 23rd. I grabbed them from NHL.com.
Shot differential is plotted on the horizontal axis, and 5v5 goal differential on the vertical. The Devils are our frame of reference, of course, so the positive in each case represents them outshooting and outscoring their opponents.
The Devils outshot their opponents 30 times, but this only led to a positive 5v5 goal differential in 8 games. In the 14 games the Devs were outshot, they lost 5v5 play 9 times. (2 games had 0 team Corsi. Devils won them both. Shot for shot is the new strategy?)
For those of you looking for wonkier stats, I did run a regression. The correlation between the two was .204. So a higher Corsi does weakly correspond to a bigger positive goal differential. But, once again, the relationship is weak. Furthermore it’s more strongly influenced by the negative side (Devils being outshot leads to larger 5v5 goal deficit) than the positive.
This is a small sample. But it’s all we have to autopsy. So here’s my take:
We need a new forward.