by PuckStopsHere on 07/15/11 at 03:17 PM ET
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.
He was second in ice time on the Wild behind Brent Burns and played a shutdown defenceman role. Burns frequently started shifts in his defensive zone making his opponents more likely to take shots than his team. His Minnesota team is one of the weakest teams in terms of puck possession in the NHL. This all sets up to make Zanon the worst player by Corsi rating in the 2010/11 season.
Zanon is clearly not a good puck possession player but this is not a sign that he is the worst player in the league. Adjusting his rating for team and zone starts clearly shows this. For Zanon to be a successful player he must be able to reduce opponent’s scoring chances significantly because he does not produce them. The fact that he does not play against tougher than average opposition does not help his case.
Greg Zanon is a poor puck possession player. His team (Minnesota) and his high number of defensive zone starts combine to make his Corsi (which would likely not be good in any situation) the worst in the league. This makes Zanon a defensive specialist who does not have tremendous value to his team.
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