Fancy Stats, Goals, and Goal Assessments through 46 Games

By: Meesh Shanmugam

In a never-ending quest to find and improve ways to judge players, here’s a side-by-side look at Corsi, Fenwick, Goals For, Goals Against, and my Goal Assessments for the Penguins through 46 games this season. This post will be mostly colorful numbers to look at, but I’ll throw in a few observations after the numbers. (I did a similar post in the offseason if you’re curious)

Key:

  • CF, CA, CF%, C Rel – Corsi For, Corsi Against, Corsi For Percentage, Corsi Relative. Corsi is the total amount of shots attempted (including missed and those that are blocked) when a player is on the ice. The numbers below are for 5-on-5 situations only.
  • FF, FA, FF%, F Rel – Fenwick For, Fenwick Against, Fenwick For Percentage, Fenwick Relative. Fenwick is essentially Corsi without blocked shots, based on the idea that blocked shots are a planned/skilled event. The numbers below are for 5-on-5 situations only.
  • 5v5 GF, 5v5 GA, 5v5 GF% – Goals For, Goals Against, and Goals For Percentage in only 5-on-5 situations to match the Corsi and Fenwick numbers.
  • Total GF, Total GA, Total GF% – Goals For, Goals Against, and Goals For Percentage in all situations. Consider powerplay and penalty kill playing time when comparing this to other numbers.
  • Even G+, Even G-, Even G+ %, Even G+ Rel* – Goal Assessments based on my postgame recaps assigning contributions and faults for each goal. These are for all even strength situations because I was not smart enough to break down 5v5 and 4v4 separately.
  • Total G+, Total G-, Total G+ %, Total G+ Rel* – Goal Assessments based on my postgame recaps. These are for all situations, so consider special teams play.

*For the G+ rel numbers, I calculated them separately based on position since my goal assessments are certainly tougher on defensemen.

Beware of small sample sizes (Perron, Pouliot, etc.) and click the spreadsheets to enlarge them.

Forwards

Click to enlarge. Numbers from nhl.com and war-on-ice.com

Click to enlarge. Numbers from nhl.com and war-on-ice.com

It doesn’t matter which metric you believe in, there is no doubt Malkin is killing it for the Pens this season. Only he and Hornqvist are green across the board.

For all of the talk about Crosby “slumping”, the big difference I see from last year is the amount of goals I have blamed him for this season. He’s up to 17 already this year and I marked him at fault for only 20 last season. That’s why he’s looking red with my relative numbers.

Brandon Sutter is extremely underwhelming until you get to my goal assessments, which surprised me since I’ve marked him as bad a lot recently. Based on the past few weeks, I expect his numbers in my assessments to drop off. Based on how the numbers fall, I would hypothesize that he’s not putting his teammates into the best situations necessarily, but he’s managing to avoid being the player directly at fault.

Steve Downie is a gem when he can keep himself on the ice. I’ve only marked him at fault for 1 goal when he’s actually playing. However, add 5 more for when he’s been in the penalty box and suddenly he’s not so impressive.

There’s pretty much a number to support liking or disliking any player (except for Malkin and Hornqvist – must likes) on this list, so pick and choose as you see fit.

Defense

Defense Goals Through 46

Click to enlarge. Numbers from nhl.com and war-on-ice.com

Looking at all of these numbers makes the loss of Maatta sting even more. He was the only defenseman that was green the entire way across.

Kris Letang is *mostly* green, with just a little hiccup at his 5v5 GF%. He is absolutely dominating the defensemen overall though, especially when you get to my overall goal assessments and their inclusion of his powerplay work. He is certainly up there with Malkin and Fleury for Team MVP considerations at the all-star break.

Though Despres has had a good season, he has fallen off recently and my goal assessments have reflected that over the past few weeks. I’ve marked him down for more goals at fault on the defense than anyone else.

The bottom of the group is a hodgepodge of guys that are hard to trust. It’s hard to stomach that Pouliot probably deserves a chance up here but won’t get it because of roster construction. Harrington looks much less ready than I initially thought.

I’ll leave you guys to decide what you like and dislike out of all of these numbers. I will emphasize that none of these numbers are good enough on their own to judge a player perfectly though.

I’m in the process of adding up the real-time stats from every game (which I should have kept going through the season, whoops).  Expect a post next weekend looking at turnovers and penalties.

If you have any questions, send them to hockeymeesh@gmail.com or find me on twitter @HockeyMeesh. Thanks for stopping by!