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The Puck Stops Here

Top 20 Players By Raw Corsi

Today I return to my summertime sabermetrics and hockey series by looking at the top 20 players in 2013/14 by raw unadjusted Corsi ratings.  This is the beginnings of an individualized ranking of puck possession ability.  Corsi measures the difference between the attempted shots (shots on goal, missed shots and blocked shots) taken in 5 on 5 situations by a given team and their opponents when a given player is on the ice.  It has been shown to correlate very well with puck possession on a team level.  When looking it as an individual ranking there are several factors which must be removed.  The most obvious is team effects.  A good team is more likely to possess the puck than a bad team.  Thus a player on a good team is more likely to have a good Corsi than a player on a bad team.  In time I will correct for those and other effects.

Here are the top 20 players in the 2013/14 season by raw, unadjusted Corsi rankings:

Rank Player Team Corsi
1 Anze Kopitar Los Angeles +507
2 Jake Muzzin Los Angeles +469
3 Justin Williams Los Angeles +426
3 Patrice Bergeron Boston +426
5 Jonathan Toews Chicago +425
6 Marc-Edouard Vlasic San Jose +418
7 Drew Doughty Los Angeles +413
8 Joe Thornton San Jose +404
9 Duncan Keith Chicago +395
10 Brad Marchand Boston +389
11 Brent Seabrook Chicago +387
12 Patrick Sharp Chicago +367
12 Jaromir Jagr New Jersey +367
14 Travis Zajac New Jersey +330
15 Dwight King Los Angeles +322
16 Marian Hossa Chicago +313
17 Reilly Smith Boston +312
18 Joe Pavelski San Jose +307
19 Erik Karlsson Ottawa +304
20 Brent Burns San Jose +299
20 Anton Stralman NY Rangers +299

This list actually has 21 players due to a tie in 20th place.  These 21 players represent seven teams in the NHL - Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Jersey, San Jose, Ottawa and the NY Rangers.  All teams have at least two players on the list except for Ottawa and the Rangers who have a player each near the bottom of the list.  There are five players each from Chicago and Los Angeles.  This leads the league.  This clearly shows that team effects are significant in individual player raw Corsi rankings. 

These players must be good players to have as good puck possession numbers as they have but the fact that this list is limited to so few teams is going to be corrected using team adjustments.  First, I will write a post about Anze Kopitar and his league leading Corsi and what it means.

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shazam88's avatar

How many top 20 raw corsi ranked players does a team need to have to be dynasty-worthy?  I see significant signs of eliteness throughout that chart.

Kidding, well mostly. But nice to see Anze at the top. Such an understated overall game.

Posted by shazam88 from SoCal on 07/10/14 at 06:50 PM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

The point I have tried to make about elite teams is that that they are more than just the best teams in the NHL.  If that was all I mean by elite of course there is an elite team every year - somebody has to win.  If we have a group of five year olds who can barely skate making up a hockey league, some team will win and that team would likely have about as many players in a top Corsi list in that league as the LA Kings and Chicago Blackhawks did in the NHL - but they wouldn’t be an elite team.  They wouldn’t be a particularly good team in that I could get some buddies together that I play pick-up hockey with and we could beat them.

Now the point isn’t that exaggerated in the NHL.  An elite team is a team that is dominant on a historical level.  It is a team that would be in the discussion of the best teams of all time.  In today’s NHL we don’t have that.  Teams go one and done in winning Stanley Cups.  If they are both lucky and well managed they may come back and do it again in a few years, but they do not have any significant dominance over the league.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 07/10/14 at 07:00 PM ET

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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