by PuckStopsHere on 07/13/12 at 02:41 AM ET
I posted the top 20 players by their adjusted Corsi rate in 2011/12. Daniel Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks leads the league with +22.5 Corsi events per 60 minutes of even strength play. This is a four point lead over anyone else in the league. This shows that Sedin had the largest difference between the puck possession of his team when he was on the ice when compared to when he is not on the ice. This is clearly a sign that Daniel Sedin is a very good NHL player. It also highlights the difference between the situations when Sedin was on the ice when compared to when he was not on the ice. Sedin led the league in offensive zone starts in 2011/12. This means that he was on the ice for more offensive faceoffs (minus defensive ones) than anyone else in the league. It is easier to attempt a shot on goal and to prevent a shot on goal when you start your shifts in the offensive zone.
Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault had a unique strategy in 2011/12. He did not worry about matching up lines with their opposition. He played his best offensive line - the Sedin brothers - in as many offensive zone starts as possible. They started their best defensive line - centred by Manny Malhotra - in as many defensive zones as possible. This is not entirely a new strategy but nobody had ever employed it on a similar level to Vigneault. This creates a significant difference between the circumstances under which the Sedins play (or the way Manny Malhotra plays) and any other Vancouver Canuck.
This shows that zone starts are significant issue that needs to be accounted for in Corsi analysis. They are easiest accounted for in raw studies (this is a rate calculation). There is a 0.8 Corsi advantage for an excess zone start. This number is harder to use in a rate calculation.
Daniel Sedin is a very good player. His being among the league leaders in any Corsi analysis is not a surprise. His being the top requires a zone start advantage to go with his talent. If Sedin played a more regular role where he started shifts in all three zones relatively equally I doubt he would be the overall league leader.
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