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The Puck Stops Here

Worst 20 Players By Team And Zone Adjusted Corsi

I have been writing several posts about sabermetrics and hockey over the off-season.  I have been looking at Corsi ratings.  These are the difference between attempted shots by a team and their opponents when a player is on the ice in even strength situations.  This number is then adjusted for the team which the player plays on and the situation in which he plays.  The situation a player plays in is measured using zone starts.  This is the number of times a player is on the ice for a faceoff in a given zone.  Each excess zone start is worth 0.8 points of Corsi.  This is used to rank a player's puck possession ability.  The adjustments attempt to make this an individual ranking that ranks an individual player's puck possession.

Here are the worst twenty players in the 2013 by team and zone adjusted Corsi.  These are players who usually have the puck under their opposition's control while they are on the ice.  This is not a strong group of players.

1 Robyn Regehr Buffalo/ Los Angeles -192.58
2 Jordan Nolan Los Angeles -175.48
3 Cory Emmerton Detroit -174.88
4 Dave Bolland Chicago -165.12
5 Drew Miller Detroit -156.28
6 Brian Lashoff Detroit -153.88
7 Jordin Tootoo Detroit -149.08
8 Michael Del Zotto NY Rangers -139.44
9 Colin Fraser Los Angeles -135..88
10 Shawn Thornton Boston -130.76
11 Eric Gryba Ottawa -123.6
12 Keaton Ellerby Los Angeles -120.08
13 Filip Kuba Florida -119.4
14 Jay Pandolfo Boston -114.76
15 Darroll Powe Minnesota / NY Rangers -111.92
15 Mike Weber Buffalo -111.92
17 Jiri Tlusty Carolina -111.8
18 Brooks Orpik Pittsburgh -108.96
19 Cory Conacher Tampa Bay / Ottawa -105.96
20 Patrick Kane Chicago -104.76

There are a few groups of teammates on this list.  There are four Detroit Red wings in Cory Emmerton, Drew Miller, Brian Lashoff and Jordin Tootoo and four Los Angeles Kings in Robyn Regehr, Jordan Nolan, Keaton Ellerby and Colin Fraser.  These were ineffective players who often played together on teams that were otherwise good at puck possession.

The worst player on this list is Robyn Regehr.  He once was a solid defenceman but those days are over. 

Near the bottom of this list are two players who are well regarded as NHL players in Patrick Kane and Jiri Tlusty.  These are players who managed to score despite the fact that their team did not maintain puck possession while they played.  It is possible to succeed as an NHL player with poorer puck possession.  The very worst players on this list are not very good NHL players, but some of the players on the fringe of the list can be good NHL players.  A player who is on the fringe of the list and still succeeds is likely a sniper who scores well despite fewer chances than most would have with better puck possession and generally succeed on the power player.  I want to look at Patrick Kane and possibly Jiri Tlusty to show that their puck possession failures do not prevent them from being good NHL players, but they do have a clear weakness.

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Da lil Guy's avatar

Eric Gryba arguably only got on the Sens last year after injuries to Cowen, Karlsson, and Mike Lundin (who had been pegged as the 7th defenceman). Both Gryba and Patrick Wiercioch ended up on the Sens team.

Wiercioch seems to have played his way into the Sens top 4 with his offensive ability. Gryba is a heavy hitting checker who is used exclusively for his defensive abilities and remains on the bubble with the Sens - likely to be in a dogfight with veteran Joe Corvo this year over who takes the seat in the press box.

I think most Ottawa fans still don’t know what they have with Conacher. He looks like he could be the winger on the second line, but he also looks like he could lose out in the numbers game and start the year in the AHL due to his waiver exempt contract. Numbers like this are part of the reason he still doesn’t appear to have a great deal of trust from Sens coach MacLean.

Posted by Da lil Guy from Guelph, Ontario on 09/25/13 at 09:52 AM 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.

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