by PuckStopsHere on 07/07/10 at 11:32 AM ET
I am continuing my look at sabermetrics and hockey today. Yesterday, I listed the players with the top 20 Corsi ratings as counting numbers and today I will list the worst 20. Corsi is a measure of the difference between shots directed at goal (on goal, missed net and blocked) by a player’s team and his opponents. It is used as an alternative for +/- because it encompasses far more events than only goals scored and is an indicator of puck possession.
The players scoring worst in Corsi Ratings are poor at puck possession. They also likely play on teams that are poor at puck possession and are often used in defensive roles, where it is expected that the opposition team will most likely control the puck. While being on this list is not a sign of a good player, it is not necessarily a sign of a poor NHL player. Other factors can have come into play to keep the rating low.
Here are the 20 worst raw Corsi Ratings from 2009/10:
Team effects are clear while looking at this table. There are only eight teams represented (Florida, Edmonton, Colorado, NY Islanders, Tampa Bay, Anaheim, Dallas and Columbus). Six players on the list come from the Florida Panthers, who had a horrible season in terms of puck possession. They were kept close to a playoff spot by incredible play from goaltender Tomas Vokoun.
Colorado is a surprise team on the list of poor Corsis. They qualified for the playoffs, but did so with poor puck possession numbers. It was due to strong goaltending from Craig Anderson and a bit of good luck that is likely unsustainable into next year. I do not think Colorado will be able to maintain a playoff berth next year.
One player worthy of note on this list is Taylor Chorney of the Edmonton Oilers. He played only 42 games all season and managed to fall to 12th on this list. He does not look like an NHL calibre player.
Keith Ballard, the new Vancouver Canuck, will likely see a huge increase in his Corsi next year due to playing on a much better team, but he is the worst in the NHL by Corsi rating last season.
This list of players is largely a list of players used in defensive situations on weak teams. They had poor puck possession. While none of these players can claim that they had strong 2009/10 seasons, further adjustments to these numbers will better elucidate which of these players failed due to circumstance and which of these players failed due to incompetence.
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