by PuckStopsHere on 07/14/12 at 03:27 PM ET
Yesterday I posted the worst 20 players in 2011/12 by their adjusted Corsi rate. The adjustment comes when players Corsi (difference in shots directed at goal for and against) when they are on the ice is compared to that of their team when they are not on the ice in five on five situations. This gives us an idea of which players have a significantly different puck possession record than their teammates. The difference can be because the player in question is not very good but it also might be because of the situation in which the player plays.
Manny Malhotra of the Vancouver Canucks has the worst adjusted Corsi rate in the league in 2011/12. He had a -32.6 Corsi rate. This is a difference of 32.6 extra shots directed at the Canucks goal per 60 minutes of even strength ice time. This is quite a significant number.
In Malhotra’s case a huge part of this Corsi rate comes from the way he is used. Alain Vigneault put Malhotra on the ice for defensive zone faceoffs at a much higher rate than any other player in history. Over 86% of the non-neutral zone starts for Malhotra were in the defensive zone. This is by far the largest such value ever recorded since these stats were available. If you start your shifts in the defensive zone you are far more likely to have a shot directed at your own net than at the opposition’s goal. An excess zone start is worth about 0.8 Corsi events. Thus Manny Malhotra having the worst Corsi rate is a sign of how he is used more than his skill level.
Corsi is a context dependent stat and this is clearly a situation where context is important. To the uneducated a Corsi list should be a definitive list of the best and worst players in the league - when strangely they do not demand that of any other stat in the league. It is.a success that we identify Malhotra as having played in a very different role than anyone else in the league.
This is a more extreme example of how context determines the fact that Daniel Sedin has the top adjusted Corsi rate in 2011/12. The way the Vancouver Canucks gave out playing time determines that offensive players will have good Corsi rates and that defensive ones will have poor ones. This is a significant effect that is bigger than the level of individual playing ability to drive these numbers.
Manny Malhotra has very poor puck possession numbers relative to his teammates. This is because he plays a much tougher role than any of this teammates.
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