by PuckStopsHere on 08/21/13 at 12:59 AM ET
In my summer sabermetrics and hockey series I have recently posted the top 20 players by team adjusted Corsi ratings. This is an improvement over the top players by raw Corsi ratings, but it still needs some work to be a viable rating for individual players since it does not take into account the circumstances in which the individual player plays. Some players play in offensive situations where it is easier to get a positive Corsi and others play in defensive situations where a negative one is more likely.
At the top of the team adjusted Corsi list are Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks with +258.8 and +248.8 ratings respectively. While these are players who are in the upper echelon of talent in the NHL, it is hard to argue that either were the best player in the NHL last year. Henrik finished 20th in scoring with 45 points and Daniel finished 31st in scoring with 40 points. Those are solid offensive numbers but they are not league leading and neither player is strong defensively. It is reasonable to expect that the Sedins might be among the best puck possession players in the league in 2013, but it is hard to justify them being on top of the list.
The problem is they are some of the biggest beneficiaries of playing in offensive situations with lots of offensive zone starts. When the Vancouver Canucks start a shift in their offensive zone, Alain Vigneault made an effort to ensure that the Sedins were on the ice and when the Canucks started a shift in the defensive zone he made an effort to ensure the Sedin shifts were not spent there. In fact Vigneault is the first coach to maximize this to his advantage. The Sedins are a big beneficiary and it has improved their offensive and puck possession numbers.
Daniel and Henrik Sedin lead the NHL in team adjusted Corsi ratings. This shows that they lead the rest of their teammates in puck possession more than any other player in the NHL. This is partly due to their skill and partly due to the situation in which they are played. The trick is to separate these two influences.
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