I’m Not An Advanced Stats Guy But Plus Minus?

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Advanced Stats: Corsi vs Plus Minus — 

Before you shake you head a few times or wonder if Mitch Kasprick has been abducted by aliens, I want to let you all know that it is actually me.  Yes it is me, Mitch Kasprick writing about advanced stats!!! 

I think by now most hockey fans have heard the term “Advanced Stats” or “Fancy Stats” and have either shrugged them off or haven’t taken at least a little time to delve into them.  I’m about as “old school” as you’ll get when it comes to critiquing or analyzing a hockey game.  My years of coaching and especially scouting have taught me to trust my eyes and believe what I have seen.

There are two things I despise in hockey.  First is the “shootout” (I’ll address this at a later date) and second is the “plus/minus” statistic.  The one advanced stat that does itself  justice is Corsi.  Now before you think I’ve gone over to the dark side or been brainwashed, let me tell you that Corsi is not a perfect statistic either but it is much better than plus/minus in my humble opinion.

In it’s simplest form the Corsi score is an average of shots directed towards the opposing team’s net minus the shots directed at a team’s own net per game at even strength.  The Corsi number is a player stat and not a team stat.  So basically, a player (and his linemates) that shoots the puck  on or toward the opposition goal and/or creates plays that result in shot attempts in the offensive zone while limiting his opponent scoring chances (shots on or toward his own goal) will end up with a higher Corsi score.  Simple enough.

Egghead Jr.

I’ll get this to go mainstream yet !!!

BUT like most statistics, the Corsi score is not perfect.  The Corsi score does help eliminate the luck factor that can be associated with the rating for goals both good and bad when the actual player had nothing to do with impacting a play.

When you consider that shots and shot attempts are  more frequent occurrences  in a game compared to goals scored, players won’t be penalized or rewarded for plays they were really not part of.  If you compare the number of goals that are scored per game (5 or 6) vs the number of shots and shot attempts  (60-100) per game, it gives a truer sample of the players contribution to the game.

Like I mentioned earlier, Corsi is not the perfect stat but I will take it over plus/minus.


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