I know that’s going to make a few laugh. I won’t stop you.
Jeremey Colliton has now gotten as many games as Joel Quenneville did this season. They each were behind the bench for 15. Obviously, at the top the records are pretty clear reading. Q went 6-6-3, whereas Colliton is at 3-10-2. Q had three regulation wins, Colliton two. It doesn’t make for a pretty sight.
Before we dig deeper, it was thought before that Colliton faced the far tougher schedule. And that will be true when this month is over and the Hawks wade through the Jets twice more, the Avs twice, the Preds, the Sharks, and Stars (and you thought it couldn’t get worse!). The numbers don’t particularly bare that out.
The points-percentage of the teams the Hawks faced with Q behind the bench was .546. With Colliton it’s .561. For reference’s sake, the former mark would see a team collect 89 points over a full season, the latter 92 points. So just about equal, with a shade harder for Colliton.
But that isn’t the whole story. Q got to see the Ducks when they were awful, and Colliton when they were playing much better, but Q also got the Blues three times which would drag the points-total average down as well. Make of all of it what you will. Those marks will probably look different at the end of the season when teams like the Rangers and Coyotes settle in more where they should be. Right now, it seems like things are neutral in that sense.
Anyway, let’s go into the metrics.
The Hawks had a 51.5 CF% under Quenneville. That’s dipped to 50.0 even with Colliton. Their scoring-chance share has gone from 49.1 to start the year to 48.2 now. If you can believe it, their high-danger scoring chance percentage has actually improved, from 43.6% under Q to 46.3% now (neither being an acceptable number).
What Colliton really hasn’t gotten is a save, anywhere. The even-strength save-percentage under him is .908, where it was .914 for Quenneville. Now you may say that the save-percentage would of course go down because the Hawks are giving up so many more chances under their new, ever-so-handsome coach. Is that so?
They’re actually giving up slightly less attempts per game at evens now, 57.1 vs. 58.8 before. They’re giving up one more shot per 60 at evens, from 32.4 to 33.3 now. Surprisingly, they’re giving up noticeably less scoring chances per 60, from 31.1 to 27.4 under C. And they’re giving up less high-danger chances per 60, from 13.8 per 60 to 11.7.
Now, a drop from .914 to .908 at even-strength may not sound like much, and it isn’t really, it’s about three more goals. It’s just where those goals go. If they got the Hawks to overtime in one-goal games, Colliton’s record might read 3-7-5, or if overtimes went their way a couple times, being as random as it is, it could be something like 5-6-4. Or maybe they all come when the Hawks are getting blown out anyway and it doesn’t matter. We can say, either way, that Colliton’s ride while bumpy has been also unlucky (last night being a perfect example).
On the other end of the ice, the Hawks have seen a noticeable reduction in their attempts for per 60 and their shots for per 60, while their scoring chances for and high-danger chances for have remained about steady. So while the team’s shooting-percentage has remained around 7.5% for both coaches, there’s less shots for them under Colliton to cash in on. Again, the difference in shots means the Hawks have missed out on a goal and a touch more, but not enough to wet oneself over.
As silly as it sounds, because they are bad defensively either way, the Hawks have actually slightly improved in their own end under Colliton, but still have a long way to go. They haven’t gotten a save, and their offense is going the wrong way. That could be to the league just closing up a little as a whole. It could be DeBrincat going cold, though some of that is usage. It could be the constant line-shuffling. It could be all of it.
None of it is pretty.