Kukla's Korner

The Puck Stops Here

Devils Have Their Disposable Coach

The New Jersey Devils hired their coach yesterday.  Former Florida Panther coach Peter DeBoer is their choice.  They made this choice on July 19th, well after the draft and free agent frenzy.  This is well after the other NHL teams hired their coaches.  As a result several top coaching candidates have already accepted head and assistant coaching position in the NHL and other leagues thus taking them out of running for the New Jersey position.

I have criticized the way the Devils handle their coaches.  It is clear that Peter DeBoer is seen as an interchangeable part.  I think he is most likely going to be replaced as Devils coach within two year and I think that is the way Lou Lamoreillo wants things.  He doesn’t want a longterm coach.  He would let DeBoer have a longterm run in the unlikely outcome of a Stanley Cup or runaway coach of the year, but otherwise this is a shortterm position.

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San Jose Sharks Have The Best Team Corsi

Yesterday I listed the NHL teams by their 2010/11 team Corsi rating.  This is a good list to show which teams did well in puck possession and which teams did poorly in puck possession at even strength.  Puck possession is not all that there is to hockey, though it is significant.  There are other factors including goaltending and special teams play that also are important to a team’s success.  Nevertheless it is clear that if a team’s Corsi rating and their position in the standings disagree significantly that is usually a trend that reverses itself in the future.  It is unsustainable to significantly over or under produce your team Corsi rating unless other clearly quantifiable reasons exist.

This does not mean as commenter Moq says Boston was the best scoring five on five team in the NHL during the regular season, but since Corsi numbers don’t care about actually scoring they imply St Louis was a better team than Boston (and Philly and Anahaim), which anyone who actually watched the hockey games would scoff at. , but it is a significant thing.

Today I want to look at the San Jose Sharks.  They are the team that led the league with a +505 team Corsi.

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Team Corsi Ratings

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.

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Thrasher Fans Still Owed Ticket Deposits

The Atlanta Thrashers are no longer an NHL team.  However controversy still exists surrounding them.  Many fans are still owed money that they put down on tickets for the 2011/12 season.  Here is an article on the situation.  It seems that the Atlanta Spirit Group is delaying as long as possible to refund money.  People who put sufficient pressure on the group to force a refund have been recently paid, but many have not received their money yet. 

From the article:

A disgruntled Atlanta Thrasher season ticket holder told Channel 2 consumer investigator Jim Strickland that it’s been a big hassle trying to get his refund on next season’s deposit.

Strickland discovered gauging the scope of the problem was a hassle too.

“It’s just been one excuse after another. Where’s my money at? Where’s my refund? It’s been well over a month from the time it was guaranteed to be sent back to me,” complained fan Brad Lyons.

Strickland called Lyons’ ticket representative. James Desmond refused comment and hung up the phone.

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Corsi Shows Saku Koivu’s Decline

Saku Koivu was one of the most popular members of the Montreal Canadiens in the latter part of the 1990’s and most of the 2000’s.  He captained the team for nearly a decade and played almost 800 regular season games with the team.  A major break with that occurred in 2009 when Koivu left as a free agent to join the Anaheim Ducks.  Koivu, now 36 years old, has settled into a midline role with the Ducks.  His scoring is slowly starting to decline.  This season he scored 45 points.  That is his lowest point total since the 1990’s (not including 2001/02 when cancer limited him to three games played).  This is some level of decline, but his slowing down can be most clearly seen looking at his Corsi rating.  This season he posted the seventh worst Corsi rating of -270.

This is a much more significant decline than his point total.  It shows that Koivu is no longer doing as well in terms of puck possession.  In 2009/10 Koivu posted a +55 Corsi with the same Anaheim team.  That Anaheim Corsi was similar to his last couple seasons in Montreal, as he was consistently around the zero point.  His -270 Corsi is well below his established levels.

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Greg Zanon Has The Worst Corsi Rating

In yesterday’s sabermetrics and hockey post, I listed the worst 20 players in 2010/11 by their unadjusted Corsi rating.  These are the players who were on for the highest difference between attempted shots (shots on goal, missed shots and blocked shots) for their opponents and their own team in 5 on 5 situations.

The player with the worst Corsi rating was Greg Zanon of the Minnesota Wild.  He had a -429 Corsi rating.  This is slightly over five extra shots taken per game by Zanon’s opponents. 

Zanon is quite typical for a low Corsi player.  He is not a player who drives puck possession.  Last season he scored 7 points (all assists) in 82 games.

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Worst 20 Raw Corsi Ratings

As I continue my summer posts on sabermetrics and hockey, today I will look at the worst 20 players in 2010/11 by their raw (unadjusted) Corsi rating.  Here at the top 20 players; today is the flip side.

This group of players are generally not well known hockey players.  Many play tough defensive roles on weaker teams and thus have the situation in which they play as an explanation for their poor rating.  Those players who do not play tough roles are some of the weaker players who played regularly in 2010/11.

Here are the worst 20 players by unadjusted Corsi rating in 2010/11:

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Ryane Clowe Has A Top Corsi Rating

A couple days ago I made a sabermetrics and hockey post where I listed the top 20 players in 2010/11 by Corsi rating.  Appearing in the number two spot on the list is Ryane Clowe of the San Jose Sharks.  He has a +322 Corsi rating for last season.  I think it is an interesting case study to understand why he has such a good Corsi.

The first reason that any Clowe appears near the top of a raw Corsi list is that he played on a good team.  The San Jose Sharks were one of the best teams in the NHL.  They finished second in the West Conference and had a good team Corsi.  Of the San Jose players, why is Clowe the one with the highest Corsi?

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Ryan Kesler’s Corsi Shows His Role Change

Ryan Kesler is a good player and his Corsi rating shows this.  It also shows how important context is to interpreting any statistics in hockey (this includes but is not limited to Corsi).  In 2009/10 Kesler had a good raw Corsi rating.  He placed 35th overall in the NHL.  This was sixth on the Vancouver Canucks. 

A first glance one might imagine that wasn’t a particularly significant achievement.  One of the major factors that influence Corsi ratings, aside from the skill of the individual player involved, is the teammates of the player.  Players on good teams will naturally have better Corsis than those on weaker teams.  If a player is sixth on his team, he is likely not the player driving the team’s results.

However there are other factors that influence Corsi ratings.  If a player consistently starts in his own zone, his opponents are more likely to take shots than his team is and thus give him a poorer Corsi.

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Top 20 Raw Corsi Ratings

In an effort to look at sabermetrics and hockey, I am beginning the look at Corsi Ratings from last season.  The idea behind Corsi Ratings is that they are to be similar to +/- ratings but with a much bigger sample size and hence better signal to noise.  A player’s Corsi is recorded in 5 on 5 play only (here at least) and is the sum of attempted shots (shots on goal, missed shots and blocked shots) for a team minus the attempted shots against while a player is on the ice.  It gives a very good measure of puck possession, as the team with the puck takes the majority of the shots.  Just like +/-, it is affected by many factors aside from the skill of an individual player.  A player on a good team will have a good Corsi.  A player on a bad team will have a worse Corsi.  A player who plays against weak competition will have a better Corsi than one who plays against strong competition.  A player who frequently starts shifts in his own zone will have a worse Corsi than one who frequently starts shifts in the offensive zone. 

Today we are looking at raw Corsi ratings.  Which players have the best Corsi ratings with no adjustments at all?  Later we will attempt to adjust them.

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About The Puck Stops Here

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.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

Why am I blogging? I want to.

Why are you reading it? ???

Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com


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