It has been noted at ILWT, among other places, that the Devil's are having an uncharacteristically low-achieving season with regards to possession. For the record, we are up to 15th after a slow start and at just over 50% at evens we are technically a positive posesssion team so some of this travesty may be overblown. I'm going to look briefly at 2 hings, but more importantly present some of the stats. The 2 things are Corsi On vs Corsi Off and ZS% Adj Corsi.
Corsi On versus Corsi Off
War On Ice has statistics called Corsi% and Corsi%off. For those new to Corsi, it is the shot attempts including blocked and missed shots. Corsi% is the ratio of those attempts for and against when a player is on the ice. Corsi% off is a stat that War on Ice uses to indicate how well the team performed in games that the player was in when he was not on the ice. Corsi Rel% is the stat that shows how they've done in relation to their teammates in games they've played in. Below are the results.
|Name||Games||Corsi Rel%||Corsi%||Corsi%off||Corsi Rel%|
A lot of this isn't surprising, like Jagr being at the top (though the degree to which we need him is even more glaring here than normal). Bernier is at the top and that is deserving because he and Josefson have rejuvenated our bottom 6 from a possession standpoint. The high Corsi off stats indicate that Jon Merrill, Ryane Clowe, and Damien Brunner among others may have an overrated possession game.
The list of players that the Devils are a negative possession team without are Jagr, Bernier, Greene, Severson, Cammalleri, Zajac, Gelinas, and Havlat. They all deserve credit for helping this team in possession, though Gelinas's high ZS% may somewhat dampen that. Also Havlat deserves no credit as he has is 4 below teammates. He just happens to keep playing in games that we stink in I guess.
Adjusting Corsi for Zone Starts
Hockey Analysis has zone start statistics. These tell what percentage of time a player opens a shift in each of the 3 zones: Offensive, Neutral, and Defensive. This is important in possession because it is easier to get shots when you start close to the other net. Before I move on I should mention that Hockey Analysis has attempted ZS adjusted stats, andso has Michael Schuckers, the creator of ThoR. These are not worse methods than mine, and they are worth checking out if you get a minute.
I ran something called a multiple linear regression on the ZS% stats as predictors and the Corsi% as a result. Did I successfully lose everyone yet? Yes? Good. What that means is that I did math things to create a formula that can use any players zone start information and produce what their Corsi should have been based only on their zone starts. Whatever the difference is between that and their actual corsi will determine their Adjusted Corsi. My findings for the Devils are below.
Regression Formula: Expected Corsi = 85-(OZ%*0.12)-(DZ%*0.53)-(NZ%*0.4)
|Player Name||Team||GP||CF%||OZFO%||DZFO%||NZFO%||Expected CF%||CF%Resid||Adj CF%|
So Jordin Tootoo is still awful. I've never seen someone so unaided by every statistic. Even Salvador had some redeeming stats when we looked at zone starts. Conversely, Bernier has overachieved more than anyone on this team both with respect to statistical expectation as well as with regards to his talent level (subtle dig). Former Devil's Advocate subjects Stephen Gionta and Dainius Zubrus also performed very well in this stat. Gelinas is a ZS fiend in a bad way. For a defender he spends a remarkably low amount of time defending. His monstrous 43.4 OZFO% seriously inflates his possession stats.
Last consideration is that my computations indicate that Jagr is miles ahead of Zajac and Cammalleri as a possession driver despite that lines success as a unit Jagr's WoWY stats with regards to those guys are pretty eye-opening. No one can deny Cam's finishing ability is undeniable, but I'm not ready to call him a possession demigod like Jagr. Zajac is running low on redeeming qualities and he might get a Devil's Advocate article of his own soon.
The Devil's top shelf possession players according to these stats are Jagr, Greene Severson, Bernier, Ruutu, and Josefson. The first 3 have the feel of perennial possession drivers and the latter 3 are having a good season and helping drive our bottom 6.
The possession goats are Tootoo, Helgeson, Clowe, and Havlat. Too some degree Henrique belongs here too, but given his magic ability to consistently outperform his possession stats I'm inclined to give him a pass.
Were these statistics more or less in line with your observation? Do you think Hockey Analysis's ZS% Adj stats are more accurate? Who needs to improve their possession game and who needs to be utilized differently by the coaches? Leave comments below!