by PuckStopsHere on 08/06/09 at 01:20 PM ET
In this summer’s look at sabermerics and hockey, I have been looking at the Corsi Number. The Corsi Number is the difference in the number of shots directed at the net (shots on goal, blocked shots and missed shots) taken by a team while a given player is on the ice and those taken by his opponents in five on five situations. I have given the top 20 and worst 20 adjusted Corsi Numbers found when treating Corsi as a counting number (total over the entire season). A similar adjustment can be done as a rate stat (per minute of ice time). The main difference between these adjustments is that players who succeed, but in lesser roles on teams are more likely to be found at the extremes of the ratings.
Here are the top 20 adjusted Corsi rates from the 2008/09 season among players with 50 or more games played:
The adjustment done here is the same as behind the net does with on/off ice adjusted +/- ratings. The Corsi rate for a player is calculated when a player is both on and off the ice on his team. The difference is the adjusted Corsi rate.
This does a good job of identifying players who excelled in the situations in which they played. It makes it easier for players who had more limited ice time to make the list than in other Corsi adjustment schemes.
The top two players with this adjustment system are the same top two as with the counting stat adjustment in Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf (although their order is reversed). They are clearly top players who are benefited from their team’s defensive line usage. Anaheim has had a shutdown line that has usually consisted of Travis Moen, Sami Pahlsson and Rob Niedermayer, that is used to play against top opponent’s lines. While this line is outscored and outshot, they managed to reduce the scoring rates of opponents significantly. In any adjustment scheme, the Anaheim stars are compared to the shutdown line and this helps the stars appear highly in the rankings.
Only six players appear in this top 20 and also in the counting number top 20. They are Perry, Getzlaf, Zach Parise, David Moss, Daniel Sedin and Eric Staal. Most of the players ranked in this top 20 played more limited roles with their teams. For example, third place finisher Sergei Fedorov appeared in only 52 games in Washington.
One of the more surprising players on the list might be Dustin Penner of Edmonton. The fans have not embraced him despite his high Corsi ranking. His large RFA offer that brought him to Edmonton have pushed unreasonable expectations upon him. While Penner is succeeding in a limited role, he has not been the frontline star to lead the franchise as some hoped for. Thus he is seen as a disappointment.
This adjusted Corsi list is a group of players who succeeded in the roles in which they played last year. Those that played more limited roles are ready to increase their playing time with their team. Those that played frontline roles are NHL stars.
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