by PuckStopsHere on 08/28/09 at 01:37 PM ET
The flipside of yesterday’s sabermetrics and hockey post on the top 20 Fenwick Numbers is the worst 20 in 2008/09. That is what I will show today. The Fenwick Number is a measure of puck possession. It measures the differential of shots on goal and missed shots for a player’s team and his opponents when a player is on the ice in 5 on 5 situations. It is much like the Corsi Number except that it doesn’t include blocked shots. Both are these are attempts to improve upon +/- ratings by increasing the number of events involved and thus increasing signal to noise in these metrics.
Here are the worst 20 Fenwick Numbers in 5 on 5 situations from last season with comparisons to the worst 20 Corsi numbers.
Rank in worst 20 Corsis
Just like in the top 20 Fenwick list, this is largely a shuffled version of the worst Corsi list. The five players who appear on this list and not the worst Corsi list are the bottom five: Ethan Moreau, Jassen Cullimore, Bruno Gervais, Jason Strudwick and Bryan McCabe. The players who had worst 20 Corsis who do not have worst 20 Fenwicks are Tim Jackman, Jay McKee, Greg Zanon, Brooks Orpik and Brett Clark.
It is differences in blocked shots for and against that move players on the Corsi and Fenwick lists. Players who block a lot of shots will move up once those shots are removed from the events counted and players who have a lot of shots blocked (generally those who take lots of slapshots) will move downward.
This list is a group of players who are not known for their puck possession abilities. Generally they come from weak teams. Many of these players play in tough defensive situations for their teams. Any player on this list who does not play in a tough defensive situation does not belong in the NHL.
The best offensive player on this list is Jay Bouwmeester, who scored 42 points last year. Though he was among the most frequent defensive zone starters last year that does not fully excuse his poor showing in these puck possession stats. A top defenceman (one worthy of an invite to the Team Canada Olympic camp or a $6.6 million annual salary) should be able to do better than this. He is the player held in the highest esteem by most hockey fans on this list and is the second worst in the league by Fenwick Number. The only player worse than him is teammate Karlis Skrastins (and their difference is negligible). Skrastins had significantly less ice time than Bouwmeester, so as a rate stat he had a worse Fenwick Number. Florida is the worst team when it comes to having poor Fenwick Numbers with six of the worst 20 coming from the Panthers. This is because they are a team that did not have good puck possession. They relied on top goaltending and a shot blocking defence to win games.
The Fenwick Number results are not horribly different from the Corsi Number results. Generally, they select the same players at the top and bottom of the league but shuffle their order somewhat. One way to view this shuffling is as an uncertainty in exactly where players should lie in such rankings, but it has a meaning due to differences in blocked shots. They are both attempts to measure puck possession in the NHL. The question of which is a better measure is still unclear and I will attempt to address it in the future.
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