by PuckStopsHere on 08/10/09 at 08:22 PM ET
In this summer’s look at sabermetrics and hockey, I have been looking at the Corsi Number. I have published top 20 and worst 20 adjusted Corsi lists with Corsi Number treated as both a counting stat and a rate stat. Here are the top 20 and worst 20 adjusted Corsi numbers as a counting stat and the top 20 and worst 20 adjusted Corsi numbers as a rate stat. It is clear that the players who made the top 20 lists were players who excelled in the situations that they played and those who were on the worst 20 lists failed in their situation. However, it is not clear how tough the role they played on their team was. One piece of the context, which helps to interpret if the player failed because they are not NHL calibre players or because they played in a tough role in which it would be hard for any player to excel is important to try to make sense of Corsi Numbers, is which zone they tended to take faceoffs in.
Players who consistently start shifts with faceoffs in the defensive zone are more likely to have poor +/- ratings (with more goals against) and have poor Corsi ratings (with more shots against) than those who start shifts with neutral zone and offensive zone faceoffs. Similarly, those who consistently start shifts with offensive zone faceoffs are more likely to have good +/- and Corsi ratings.
There is enough information in the NHL game summaries to calculate zone starts on faceoffs. This has been done by Vic Ferrari at irreverant Oiler fans. This is discussed in in this post. The results can be found sorted by teams at http://timeonice.com/faceoffsXXX.html where XXX must be replaced by the short form for the team in question. A list of short forms can be found here. In the future I will look at who had the toughest and the easiest faceoff zone starts in the NHL and correlate this with the Corsi number results to see which players appeared on the top Corsi lists largely due to easy usage and which ones appeared on the worst lists due to playing tough roles and which players excelled despite tougher roles and failed despite easier roles.
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