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Top 20 Raw Corsi Ratings

I am continuing looking at sabermetrics and hockey, by looking at Corsi Numbers.  I will not spend as long on them this summer as i did last year, but I want to look at the league’s best and worst while looking at them a few different ways.

A Corsi Number is a total of all shots directed at the net (whether on goal, blocked or missing the net) for minus those taken against while a player is on the ice in 5 on 5 situations.  The best source for Corsi Ratings online is behind the net, but it tends to look at things on a rate (per minute) basis and I find it is often more useful to look at counting totals over the full season.  They tend to better show who had a good season, as opposed to who played well in a more limited situation.

Here are the top 20 raw Corsi Numbers for the 2009/10 season:

2009/10 Top 20 Raw Corsi Numbers
1Duncan KeithChi


2Patrick SharpChi


3Jonathan ToewsChi


4Nicklas LidstromDet


4Alexander OvechkinWas


6Brian CampbellChi


6Patrick KaneChi


8Brian RafalskiDet


9Nicklas BackstromWas


10Alexei PonikarovskyPit


11Pavel DatsyukDet


12Marian HossaChi


13Zdeno CharaBos


14Tomas HolmstromDet


15Henrik SedinVan


16Henrik ZetterbergDet


17Peter ReginOtt


18Tomas KaberleTor


19Ian WhiteCgy


20Patrice BergeronBos


These players led the league in puck possession.  Of course there is a strong team element to puck possession and thus Corsi, which is why so few teams appear on this list.  Chicago, Detroit, Washington, Boston, Vancouver, Ottawa and Toronto are effectively the only teams that appear.  Both Alexei Ponikarovsky and Ian white spent the majority of their season in Toronto before late season trades.  Toronto might seem like a surprise team to have good puck possession numbers, as they finished second last, but they did that with a horrible goaltending performance from Vesa Toskala.  Merely replacing him with Jean-Sebastien Giguere is likely to lift Toronto significantly in the standings.

These players on this list are largely the stars of the teams with good puck possession ability.  Peter Regin is probably the biggest surprise player on the list.  As a rookie in Ottawa he did very well, but against weaker competition.  He is ready to play a more significant role in the Ottawa offence in the future.

Duncan Keith leads the way by a significant margin.  This shows both his puck possession ability and that of his Chicago teammates.  This stat makes a strong case that he deserved his Norris Trophy.

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GoPens's avatar

I don’t understand your obsession with counting stats. If player A hits 30 home runs in 300 plate appearances while player B hits 40 home runs in 600 plate appearances, is there any rational argument to be made that B is a better home run hitter than A? If goalie A makes 1500 saves on 1,650 SOG while goalie B makes 1,750 saves on 2,000 SOG, do you really think that goalie B is better than goalie A, just because he made more saves?

Posted by GoPens on 07/06/10 at 03:27 PM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

You cannot ignore rate stats or counting stats if you want a full picture of what is going on.  You have picked some situations where the rate stats might give us a better picture than the counting stats.  Nevertheless there is value to playing a lot and getting a lot of goals.  A player who gets fifty goals is worth a lot more than a player who plays 1/5th the ice time and gets ten goals.  Somebody who achieves big counting numbers had to succeed in lots of situations to do so.  Somebody with good rate numbers and low ice time might have found a niche where they can succeed, but be unable to apply it to a bigger role.

That said, I think you and I would both agree that (for example) Peter Forsberg is a better Hall of Fame candidate than Pat Verbeek and we would use rate stats (in part) to support the case.  I think we would both also agree that Forsberg is not a serious candidate to have been one of the best few centres of all time because of his lack of counting stats. 

I do think that counting stats usually better show who was a great player than do rate stats (because they weed out players who played only bit roles and cannot have their numbers seriously applied to frontline playing time), but both are important.  One reason I am looking at counting stats when it comes to Corsi is (to the best of my knowledge) nobody else online does.  Hence I am unique.  Rate stats have been looked at on <A href=“http://www.behindthenet.ca/”>.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 07/06/10 at 03:37 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Duncan Keith leads the way by a significant margin.  This shows both his puck possession ability and that of his Chicago teammates.  This stat makes a strong case that he deserved his Norris Trophy.

With that in mind, I’d like to be reminded of the case that Mike Green had for being above Nick Lidstrom in Norris voting.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/06/10 at 04:29 PM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

I’d like to be reminded of the case that Mike Green had for being above Nick Lidstrom in Norris voting

This case is largely one of offensive numbers.  Green led defencemen with 76 points.  Lidstrom had 49, which made him ninth among defencemen.

For the record, Green comes in at +233.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 07/06/10 at 05:28 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

As soon as they start awarding the Paul Coffey trophy for best offensive defenseman, I’ll start taking Mike Green seriously as a postseason trophy candidate.

Getting pretty far off point though, so I’ll digress there.

I do like that Behind the Net’s ratings charts allow you to filter by minimum time on ice per game, so you can get the rate stat for only people who played at least 15 minutes per game.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/06/10 at 05:51 PM ET

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imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

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