by PuckStopsHere on 08/28/15 at 05:18 PM ET
When I posted the league leaders in 2014/15 by excess defensive zone starts (defensive zone faceoffs - offensive zone faceoffs) when a player is on the ice, Paul Gaustad of the Nashville Predators leads. Gaustad has 457 excess defensive zone starts. This makes him the player who had the role most defined by zone starts. Mike Ribeiro, the offensive zone start leader, has 302 excess offensive zone starts. Since both the offensive and defensive leaders play on Nashville, it is clear that they were the strongest users of the strategy of getting offensive players into offensive zone starts and defensive players into defensive ones.
Gaustad played a tough role defensively. This showed up in his puck possession numbers. His team adjusted Corsi rating is sixth worst in the NHL last year at -248.8. That doesn't make him one of the weakest players in the NHL. It means that his Corsi shows the context of a tough defensive role. If he starts his shifts in the defensive zone, he is more likely to face a shot attempt against. In order to better use Corsi to single out the best and worst puck possession players, it is necessary to correct for zone starts. I will do that soon. In fact despite Gaustad's poor Corsi, I would have given him a fourth place Selke vote as best defensive forward because his role is so tough defensively.
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