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The Puck Stops Here

Radko Gudas And His Puck Possession

Yesterday I posted the top 20 players by team and zone adjusted Corsi ratings.  This is a group of players who were puck possession starts in the 2015/16 season.  Perhaps the biggest surprise player on the list is Radko Gudas of the Philadelphia Flyers.  He is 17th with a +170.4 adjusted Corsi.  This leads the Philadelphia Flyers.

Gudas was in his first year in Philadelphia after spending the first three years of his NHL career with the Tampa Bay Lightning.  He was traded along with a first and third round draft pick in 2015 (the first rounder was traded to Columbus and Gabriel Carlsson was selected.  Majek Tomek was the third round selection) in exchange for Brayden Coburn.  This appears to be a very one-sided trade in favor of the Flyers.  Gudas returned from knee surgery at the start of the season.  He wound up the Flyer defenceman with the most total ice time last season.  Offensively he didn't make much of an impact.  He scored 5 goals and 9 assists for 14 points.

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Top 20 Players By Team And Zone Adjusted Corsi

Today I want to carry on with my summer sabermetrics series.  I have been looking at Corsi and making adjustments in order to make it a more individualized statistic.  I am taking player's Corsi ratings and adjusting them for the team in which they play and then adjusting them again for their zone starts.  There is some controversy about how much a zone start is worth in term of Corsi points.  I have charged players half a point for an offensive zone start and credited half a point for a defensive zone start.  Since I have already team adjusted the numbers, I am also making an adjustment for team zone starts.  This is the team zone start Corsi value divided by five to account for five players on the ice.

The group of players on this list are some of the best puck possession players in 2015/16.  Puck possession is not the only part of hockey and it is possible to be a good player without being on this list, but it is clear that all players on this list had good seasons.

Here are the top 20 players in 2015/16 by team and zone adjusted Corsi:

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Devils Do Defensive Zone Starts Differently

I am always on the lookout for teams that do things differently from all the others in order to better gage the efficiency of that strategy.  Yersterday's post showed one such situation.  I listed the top 20 players in 2015/16 by excess defensive zone starts.  This list included 18 forwards and two defencemen.  Both defencemen are New Jersey Devils in Adam Larsson and Andy Greene who were ranked second and third overall. 

While the other teams in the NHL try to match their defensive forwards and faceoff men with defensive zone starts, New Jersey does something differently.  They have a top defensive line that they attempt to play in as many defensive faceoffs as possible.

New Jersey was not a particularly successful team last year finishing 20th overall and missing the playoffs.  However they were successful in preventing goals having the ninth best goals against in the NHL.  While part of the credit for that is due to Cory Schneider's strong goaltending, it is hard to give Schneider credit for the Devils allowing the eighth fewest shots against.

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Top Defensive Zone Starters

I am continuing mu summertime sabermetrics series by listing the 20 players with the most excess defensive zone starts.  I have already posted the leaders by offensive zone starts and this is the opposite group.  Zone starts are the number of faceoffs for which a player is on the ice sorted by offensive, neutral and defensive zones.  This list is the list of players sorted by defensive zone starts minus offensive ones. 

This group is used by their teams in very defensive roles.  As a result they will not score as often as they might have if they played a more offensive role.  This can be used to adjust a Corsi rating in order to make it a more individualized number.

Here are the top 20 players by excess defensive zone starts in the 2015/16 NHL season:

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Nashville’s Offensive Zone Starts

Yesterday I posted the top 20 players by excess offensive zone starts.  These are the players who start more shifts in the offensive zone than the defensive zone than any others.  Thee are players who play an offensive role with their team.  It is clear by looking at the list that one team makes more of an effort to maximize offensive zone starts for certain players than any other team.  The Nashville Predators have the top three players by offensive zone starts in Mike Ribeiro, Filip Forsberg and Craig Smith.  They also have the 13th player in James Neal.  This shows that Nashville makes an effort to get certain offensive players on the ice in offensive situations more than any other team in the league. 

These Nashville players have increased offensive totals as a result of their usage.  They are the highest scoring forwards on the Predators.  However they are not the top scorers in the NHL.  Ribeiro leads the NHL in offensive zone starts and this helped him score 50 points.  Forsberg is second in offensive zone starts and scored 64 points.  Smith is third in the league in offensive zone starts and scored 37 points.  James Neal is 13th in the league and this helped get him 58 points.  Defencemen Roman Josi and Shea Weber have more points than several of these players but are not used in the same offensive roles with lots of offensive zone starts.

As long as Nashville has talented defensive players who will succeed despite a lot of defensive zone starts this can be a successful strategy.  This assumes that the offensive players in the offensive roles are successful.  While Filip Forsberg is pretty good offensively, that isn't so clear when it comes to Craig Smith.  Nashville would be better served with a better offensive player in his role.

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Top 20 Offensive Zone Starters

So far in my summertime sabermetrics series I have mostly been writing about Corsi and trying to interpret it as an individualized statistic.  In order to do this I need to have some information about how a player is used by his team.  In order to do this I am looking at zone starts.  When a player is on the ice for a faceoff, the zone is recorded as an offensive, neutral or defensive zone start.  I am looking today at the top players ranked by excess offensive zone starts.  This is offensive zone starts minus defensive ones.

The players on this list are used in offensive situations by their teams.  This is a choice by the coaching staff of the player's team.  They select offensive players for offensive zone starts.  This can help top offensive players increase their point totals.  They also select players who are not so strong in the defensive zone to protect them from tougher situations where they are more likely to struggle.

Here are the top 20 players by excess offensive zone starts in 2015/16:

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Correlation Between PDO and Corsi

Today's sabermetrics post is written because of a comment by "The Meal" written on a post a couple days ago.

I’m not the most savvy #fancystats guy, but I’m wondering if there was ever any correlation done for PDO vs. Corsi.  I’d expect there to be a negative correlation between the two (at least on large sample population data).  Is this correct?

I suppose the logic is that Corsi is a measure of attempted shots and a team taking more shots is presumably taking more low quality shots.  The problem is for the most part that is not true.

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Brent Seabrook Has A Poor Team Adjusted Corsi

Yesterday I posted the worst 20 players in 2015/16 by team adjusted Corsi.  The biggest name player on the list is Brent Seabrook of the Chicago Blackhawks.  He finished with the 13th worst ranking at -155.8.  Of the 20 worst players, Seabrook was the highest scoring in 2015/16.  He scored 14 goals and 35 assists  for 49 points.  He did this from defence.  It was the highest scoring season of his NHL career.  Thus Seabrook's offence is not a problem.  Is the problem his defence?  He has a reputation of being a very god defenceman.  He was on the gold medal winning 2010 Canadian Olympic Team. 

In fact Seabrook's puck possession numbers have fallen quickly in the last couple of years.  Seabrook is noticeably slowed down since his best days.  At age 31 he is no longer playing his best hockey.  During this time he has seen his giveaways increase significantly.  More frequently he has played his ice time apart from Duncan Keith who is generally a good puck possession player and has hence helped Seabrook keep his numbers up.

Brent Seabrook has managed to mask his decline with better offensive numbers but it has become a problem.  Chicago may have to find another top defenceman to help Seabrook reduce his playing time.  That will be a tough thing for them to do. 

It appears Brent Seabrook is into his decline.  This does not bode well for his role on the Blackhawks.  His Corsi is clearly showing his decline.

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Worst 20 Players By Team Adjusted Corsi

Today I am continuing my summer sabermetrics series by posting the 20 worst players by team adjusted Corsi in 2015/16.  A couple days ago I posted the top 20 and these are the players who most struggled in term of puck possession.

Corsi is the difference in attempted shots taken by a team and its opponents while a given player is on the ice in 5 on 5 situations.  This number is then team adjusted.  A baseline is found for each team that is used as a zero point for comparison between different teams.

In order to make sure the adjustment is sensible, I have limited this list to players who played 50 or more games with only one team in 2015/16.

Here are the 20 worst players by team adjusted Corsi:

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Patrice Bergeron Has The Top Forward Team Adjusted Corsi

Yesterday I posted the top 20 players by team adjusted Corsi.  Atop this list is Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings but since he led the league in raw Corsi as well I have already written about him.  I thought I would take this time instead to look at the top forward by team adjusted Corsi.  Since defencemen get more playing time than forwards, it is harder for a forward to lead in any counting stat.  Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins having the fourth highest team adjusted Corsi of +250.2 is quite an achievement.

Corsi is a puck possession stat.  It measures the difference between attempted shots between a team and their opponents when a given player is on the ice in 5 on 5 situations.  This number is team adjusted much like I adjust +/-.  Basically a team "zero point" is found so that players on differing teams can be better compared.

Bergeron is well-established as a top puck possession player.  For example here is a post I wrote about his puck possession a few years ago.

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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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