I ran some numbers from the 2011-2012 season for the St. Louis Blues. The numbers were very simple.I looked at the Blues under Payne and under Hitchcock. The only numbers I considered were Goals For (GF), Goals Against (GA), Shots For (SF), Shots Against (SA), Power Play (PP), and Penalty Kill (PK) under each coach.
For the entire season, the St. Louis Blues had 206 GF (2.51 per game) and 155 GA (1.89 per game) in 82 games.
Under Payne, the St. Louis Blues had 32 GF (2.46 per game) and 35 GA (2.69 per game) in 13 games.
Under Hitchcock, the St. Louis Blues had 174 GF (2.52 per game) and 120 GA (1.74 per game) in 69 games.
For the entire season, the St. Louis Blues PP was successful 18.9% of the time. Their PK success rate was 85.2%.
Under Payne, the St. Louis Blues PP was successful 7.5% of the time. Their PK success rate was 73.8%.
Under Hitchcock, the St. Louis Blues PP was successful 23.1% of the time. Their PK success rate was 89.7%.
For the entire season, the St. Louis Blues had 2,520 SF (30.73/game) and 2,183 SA (26.6/game) for a +4.1 differential.
Under Payne, the St. Louis Blues had 400 SF (30.8/game) and 341 SA (26.2/game) for a +4.54 differential.
Under Hitchcock, the St. Louis Blues had 2,120 SF (30.72/game) and 1,842 SA (26.7/game) for a +4.03 differential.
Judging by these statistics, I can really see two main differences between the teams. The huge goal differential (-0.23 goal differential per game under Payne compared to +0.78 goal differential per game under Hitchcock) was largely determined by these two main factors. First off, the power play being over three times as good under Hitchcock added quite a few goals to the totals, enabling more wins; while the penalty kill being two and half times as good under Hitchcock subtracted quite a few goals to the totals, enabling more wins. The second is that the team allowed goals on over 10% of their shots against while Payne was behind the bench, whereas they only allowed 6.5% of the shots to go in the net under Hitchcock. This occurred even though the shots allowed per game was virtually identical under the two coaches. The only logical explanation is that the system that Hitchcock runs creates a ton of shots from the outside compared to Payne's system. This was shown quite well in the last playoff game. The national announcers said at one point that the St. Louis Blues' goaltender, Brian Elliot, allowed a rebound for the first time in the game early in the third period, despite allowing 16 shots in the first two periods.
I just thought this was interesting information, so I wanted to share it with you fellow Blues fans!