Sabremetrics/Microstats in Hockey
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04-03-2012, 10:38 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Originally Posted by
Part of the reason why I posted this thread is that I'm trying to figure out why folks keep going back to this stat. Not sure if it was RelCORSI or not but that would explain a lot if it is. So far I haven't really seen a compelling reason for this stat to really be given the kind of importance I've seen it being given from some posters on here. All I hear is... go to this site or 'its' self explanatory'... I'm sorry but that doesn't cut it. When I see Gomez with a higher CORSI than Crosby I'm skeptical about what kind of value it brings.
Like EllertoKostitsyn said, you have to consider the context. Crosby faces the best opposition and (generally... this season is a bit wonky because of the injuries and Pittsburgh is ridiculously good) starts in the defensive zone more than the offensive zone.
Talking about Gomez last year (this year injuries made things wonky and the coaching change has him used in weird fashions) - he generally faced the 2nd-best opposition and started in the offensive zone more than the defensive zone (because the Habs were pretty good at pushing the puck toward the opposition goal and Halpern's lines were able to take a lot of defensive zone draws).
By looking at the context of usage and using intuition (your scepticism works well here) you can conclude that while Gomez' "Corsi Rel" was better than Crosby's last year and their "Corsi On" was close Crosby is still a better player than Gomez is and there's no debate.
Corsi (or it's brother Fenwick which just excludes blocked shots) is an excellent tool at the team level. When looking at individuals it can still be useful, it just means you have to look at what kind of matchups the individual gets as well as which zone the player starts in (or zone-starts...if you're familiar with the behindthenet stuff look at Vancouver's Zone Starts for their centres... ingenious coaching by Vigneault)
Looking for context in the microstats is not all that different than in goals/points (though comparing the shooting % to the player's career is another thing to keep in mind).
An easy example, last year Ville Leino put up 19G and 53Pts which looks like a decent 2nd-line player. Looking at how he was used though, Leino started a lot in the offensive zone at even-strength (significantly more than Gomez last year) and faced 3rd-line opposition. Looking at the percentages the Flyers' shooting percentage when he was on the ice (on-ice sh%)was high by about 2% (10% where ~8% is normal), and his personal shooting percentage was 16.2% when in his career he's about a 13% shooters.
Add in the fact Leino was easily the 3rd-best player on his forward line (IIRC he played 80%+ of the time with Briere and Hartnell) and it's not surprising that the signing blew up in Buffalo's face.
Context is everything and at the individual player level I find the Quality of Competition and Zonestart reports at the behindthenet website as valuable as the individual's Corsi. Even if you ignore Corsi and just look at the traditional goals/assists/points, looking into the percentages, the Zonestarts, and quality of an opposition give me a lot better view of what a player produces.
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