by PuckStopsHere on 07/18/11 at 04:28 PM ET
In today’s sabermetrics and hockey post, I will show the team Corsi ratings for 2010/11. This is the difference between attempted shots (shots on goal, missed shots and blocked shots) for and against for the different teams at 5 on 5. These numbers do a very good job of capturing how well various teams do at puck possession. Better Corsi ratings mean better puck possession.
Of course puck possession is not everything in hockey. A team can do significantly better or worse as a result of goaltending, special teams or other reasons. Generally teams that do significantly better or worse in the standings than their Corsi ratings show cannot keep it up the next season. As an example in 2009/10, the Colorado Avalanche made the playoffs but had a poor Corsi. In 2010/11 they finished 29th overall in the league. Their Corsi showed that 2009/10 was an overachievement that they couldn’t repeat.
Here are the 2010/11 team Corsi ratings:
|1||San Jose Sharks|
|2||Detroit Red Wings|
|5||St Louis Blues|
|7||New Jersey Devils|
|8||Tampa Bay Lightning|
|10||Los Angeles Kings|
|13||Columbus Blue Jackets|
|20||New York Rangers|
|25||Toronto Maple Leafs|
|28||New York Islanders|
Looking through this list we can make several conclusions.
San Jose leads the list and that is a big part of the reason a player like Ryane Clowe could have the second best raw Corsi rating last year. San Jose was a strong team who finished second in the West Conference. They did so despite less than stellar goaltending from Antti Niemi. One wonders if they might have been able to win the league if they kept Evgeni Nabokov around and if Nabokov played as well as he has in the past.
Next up are Detroit, Chicago and Pittsburgh. These are three good teams who have all had recent Stanley Cup success with their current cores and all must be considered Stanley Cup contenders if their cores keep producing.
St Louis is a bit surprising in the next position. They have a good young team and a solid goaltender in Jaroslav Halak, who didn’t have a particularly strong 2010/11. This might be a sleeper team to watch next year.
Vancouver is next. They were the Presidents Trophy winner and came within one game of the Stanley Cup. In the regular season they had some very strong goaltending from Roberto Luongo, far better than any of the teams with better Corsi ratings. This allowed them to do as well as they did. I think in all likelihood, Luongo will have another Vezina candidate season next year, but those who think he won’t, should expect the Canucks to drop back a step.
New Jersey may have missed the playoffs last year, but they finished strong and had a pretty good team Corsi. They should be better next year.
Tampa Bay was next. They are followed by Calgary, another non-playoff team. Miikka Kiprusoff may have won a Vezina trophy a few years back, but he is no longer providing top goaltending. If you think he has the ability to bounce back, you ought to expect Calgary makes the playoffs.
Los Angeles and Montreal are next. Washington won the East Conference in the regular season yet they sit in 12th spot. They did suffer through a lot of injuries to key players and have likely improved their goaltending by adding Tomas Vokoun, so I wouldn’t pick them to drop off.
Columbus was next. They are a team that with strong goaltending (can Steve Mason provide?) could be a playoff team.
Boston won the Stanley Cup despite finishing 14th in team Corsi. I think they were a bit of a surprise cup winner. They were not the best team in the regular season and they had by far the best goaltending in the league provided by Tim Thomas. This shows just how important Thomas was to his team. He should have won the Hart Trophy.
Buffalo and Phoenix are next and have Corsis a bit better than zero. They are followed by Florida. The Panthers puck possession suggests they should have done better than last in the East Conference. Given the number of changes the team made in the off season, it will be hard to directly compare it to next season.
Ottawa is the best of the minus teams. Their problem last year was poor goaltending. I think Craig Anderson solves this problem somewhat and we should see Ottawa do better next year.
Nashville is next. Their standing in the regular season was better than this due to strong goaltending from Pekka Rinne. That must be repeatable or Nashville could be in trouble in the tough Central Division.
The New York Rangers and Philadelphia were next. They were both playoff teams. The Rangers exceeded their Corsi on the strength of Henrik Lundqvist’s goaltending. Philadelphia was a bit more of a fluke. They didn’t have strong goaltending. Big changes were made in Philadelphia in the off season, so it will be hard to directly compare with next year, but they were not as good as their standing showed last year, so the team can be improved talentwise and still wind up with fewer points. However, I don’t think they have improved their talent levels, so this team could drop a bit.
Carolina, Atlanta (now Winnipeg), Dallas and Toronto are next. These are all weaker teams.
Colorado again has a poor team Corsi and this time their regular season standing is more in line with it.
Edmonton, New York Islanders and Minnesota were next and none were particularly good teams.
Worst in the league is the Anaheim Ducks. They were a playoff team with some solid frontline talent in Corey Perry, who won MVP, Lubomir Visnovsky, Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan, but their depth was really bad. They had some of the worst depth players in the league. They also had strong goaltending from Jonas Hiller (and Ray Emery in his short time there). Given Hiller’s vertigo problems and Emery’s free agency their goaltending next year may suffer and that could lead to a significant drop in Anaheim.
I will look at some of the more interesting individual teams in the future and use these team’s Corsi ratings to make team adjustments to individual players to better show which players were the difference makers in terms of puck possession.
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