Anytime there’s a change in regime it takes time for the new person in charge to make the adjustments before the world sees results. For Presidents, we give them 100 days. For NHL head coaches, let’s go with 10 games.
Pete DeBoer’s 10th game behind the Golden Knights bench was on Thursday where he led his team to a crazy overtime win over the St. Louis Blues. It moved the team’s record under DeBoer to 5-3-2. They’ve scored 37 goals while allowing 34 with the power play operating at 22.6% and killing at 75%. Their shot share is a whopping 58.5% and the PDO has remained steady under 100 at 98.3.
Let’s start by comparing this all with Gallant, who coached the Golden Knights for 49 games before being let go.
|GF per game||3.70||3.08||+0.62|
|GA per game||3.4||3.04||-0.36|
The numbers show DeBoer up a bit in most categories, but the changes are far from significant.
There have been 8 head coaching changes in the NHL this season. One is Gallant, one just happened yesterday, so we’ve got six others to work with. How did their teams stack up over the first 10 games you ask? We head back to the table!
|New Coach||Old Coach||Difference|
Only three of the six saw their team’s record improve while the other three saw it decline in the first 10 games. The most drastic increase came from Calgary as they won seven of Geoff Ward’s first 10 games. Since then though, they’ve won 11 of 20, just slightly better than their pace with Bill Peters. The sharpest declines came from the Predators and Devils. Nashville went from a borderline playoff team to playing at just a point per game pace through John Hynes’ first 10 games. Their goals for and goals against both headed in the wrong direction as well. As for New Jersey, they went from bad to worse, though it’s gotten better since.
The first 10 games were not always indicative of the future though. Tables are confusing here, so here’s the raw data.
Mike Babcock: 9-10-4 (.478), 3.17 GF, 3.52 GA
Sheldon Keefe (10 games): 6-4-0 (.600), 3.3 GF, 2.7 GA
Keefe (Total): 21-9-4 (.676), 3.82 GF, 3.38 GA
John Hynes: 9-13-4 (.423), 2.54 GF, 3.73 GA
Alain Nasreddine (10 games): 3-6-1 (.350), 2.5 GF, 3.1 GA
Nasreddine (Total) 11-12-6 (.483), 2.97 GF, 3.38 GA
Bill Peters: 12-12-4 (.500), 2.50 GF, 3.04 GA
Geoff Ward (10 games): 7-2-1 (.750), 3.4 GF, 2.8 GA
Ward (Total): 17-11-2 (.600), 3.13 GF 3.1 GA
Jim Montgomery: 17-11-3 (.597), 2.66 GF, 2.45 GA
Rick Bowness (10 games): 6-3-1 (.650) 2.9 GF, 2.7 GA
Bowness (Total): 15-8-2 (.640), 2.76 GF, 2.64 GA
Pete DeBoer: 15-16-2 (.485), 2.70 GF, 3.45 GA
Bob Boughner (10 Game): 4-5-1 (.450), 2.6 GF, 2.9GA
Bob Boughner (Total): 9-12-2 (.435), 2.52 GF, 3.17 GA
Peter Laviolette: 19-15-7 (.549), 3.46 GF 3.34
John Hynes (10 Game): 5-5-0 (.500), 2.7 GF, 3.4 GA
Hynes (Total): 7-7-0 (.500), 2.57 GF, 3.29 GA
Four of the six new coaches have seen their team improve, but the two most recent (San Jose and Nashville) have seen a decline.
The Golden Knights have pretty much remained steady to this point. There are 23 games left. If they keep playing at the .600 pace they have under DeBoer, they’ll end up with 94 points, but if they slip back to the .551 pace they were playing under Gallant they’ll be looking at 91 points.
One makes the playoffs, one doesn’t, and the way we all view DeBoer’s first half-season rides on it the difference between the two.