Caps Scoring Chances: Week 1

Marcus Johansson

Readers of the blog know I put a lot of stock into numbers to help put context around which players are performing and which aren’t. Corsi is one of my favorites because it is a good proxy for territorial possession in a game.  To get a player’s Corsi rating, simply add up all the goals, shots on goal, missed shots and blocked shots of that player- both for and against- when he is on the ice. If it is positive, that player helps create scoring chances, and if it is negative – well, the opposite happens. Or, simply go to Behind the Net, and let them do the work for you.

If anyone is a handwriting analyst, let me know.

If anyone is a handwriting analyst, let me know.

This year I decided to take it a step further and log scoring chances for each game the Caps play. By hand. Then log them into this great script Vic Ferrari has made. It is a similar endeavor that started in baseball’s SABR circle, Project Scoresheet, designed to get the most complete picture possible of a skater’s contribution to a team’s win or loss.

While a scoring chance is subject to interpretation, I try and stay as close as possible to Sabres goalie coach Jim Corsi’s definition, who used the metric to evaluate the play of his goalies. So for me, a scoring chance is a shot on goal that is within the area of between the dots and to the top of the circles, in the yellow wedge area highlighted in the illustration. Blocked shots are not considered scoring chances, but a missed shot is if it originates in the slot, the blue highlighted area.

scoringChanceDiagram

A skater is awarded a scoring chance anytime he is on the ice and someone from either team has a chance to score from the highlighted areas.  A “chance for” is recorded if someone on the Caps has a chance to score and a “chance against” if the opposing team has a chance to score.

Here are some examples of the scoring chances, using Vic’s script, from the Ottawa game on Oct 11, 2010. First, the individual player data.

# Player EV PP SH
4 J. ERSKINE 13:54 4 5 0:05 0 0 3:51 0 2
8 A. OVECHKIN 15:23 4 5 7:14 6 1 0:00 0 0
10 M. BRADLEY 3:23 0 1 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
14 T. FLEISCHMANN 9:11 2 3 5:14 3 1 0:49 0 1
15 B. GORDON 9:15 1 0 0:05 0 0 4:04 0 0
16 E. FEHR 8:33 4 4 4:53 6 1 0:00 0 0
19 N. BACKSTROM 15:56 4 4 5:13 3 1 1:43 0 0
21 B. LAICH 11:06 2 2 4:40 6 0 3:01 0 2
22 M. KNUBLE 14:33 1 3 4:53 3 0 0:29 0 0
25 J. CHIMERA 10:59 1 5 0:05 0 0 2:26 1 1
26 M. HENDRICKS 9:47 1 1 0:05 0 0 2:45 0 1
27 K. ALZNER 15:05 1 4 0:49 0 0 1:13 1 1
28 A. SEMIN 11:29 2 3 4:40 6 0 3:41 0 2
30 M. NEUVIRTH 44:09 9 12 9:58 9 1 10:00 1 4
52 M. GREEN 17:34 4 5 8:36 6 1 5:42 0 2
55 J. SCHULTZ 15:13 3 3 0:00 0 0 4:56 0 1
74 J. CARLSON 14:47 4 4 3:18 6 0 3:44 1 1
89 T. SLOAN 13:06 2 3 0:00 0 0 0:34 0 1
90 M. JOHANSSON 7:03 1 5 0:00 0 0 1:02 1 1

By all accounts Ovechkin struggled last night, but he had some decent chances to score at 5v5, on the ice for 4 scoring chances for and 5 against. He dominated chances on the PP with 6 for and only one against when he was on the ice. We know that if Ovi gets his shots the goals will come.

MJ90 on the other hand continued to struggle at -4 during 5v5 play and had zero minutes despite the Caps having five PP opportunities. Perhaps it was the injury that will sideline line him at least through this weekend, but more likely a continuation of his defensive struggles we have seen in the first two games.

Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 8 9 2 5 6 1 0 0 0 3 0 0
2 4 5 2 4 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0
3 3 3 1 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 4 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 19 17 9 12 9 1 0 0 1 4 0 0

Taking the period-by-period breakdown we see the scoring chances almost a draw at even strength (19 vs 17) but the Caps dominated the power play 9 to 1 – despite having no goals to show for it.

As we get more data, we will be able to see who are the “passengers” and who are driving results. It’s a labor of love and while it may not always be perfect, consistency and time will give insight into a player that cannot be seen through traditional stats.

Scoring chances through three games:

Player TOI (EV) SC +/- (EV)
Nicklas Backstrom 45.2 3
Boyd Gordon 18.9 1
Alex Ovechkin 46.7 0
John Carlson 43.8 0
Eric Fehr 27.5 (1)
Mike Knuble 42.6 (1)
Tomas Fleischmann 30.4 (1)
Tyler Sloan 13.1 (1)
Jeff Schultz 50.7 (2)
Brooks Laich 31.1 (3)
David Steckel 8.7 (3)
Matt Hendricks 25.9 (3)
Mike Green 55.6 (3)
Tom Poti 28.4 (3)
Alexander Semin 35.7 (4)
Karl Alzner 38.5 (4)
Matt Bradley 24.1 (5)
Jason Chimera 33.6 (6)
Marcus Johansson 30.4 (7)
John Erskine 39.9 (8)
  • Tim

    Great article – one of the better breakdowns of this I have seen. Probably going to have to look it over again tomorrow when I’m more awake.

    Just curious – by your standards, is a blocked shot taken from the slot a scoring chance? I assume not, but I wanted to check.

  • Neil – RMNB

    @Tim: Thanks. No blocked shots are counted, and most misses won’t be either. I chose the slot for misses to reward players that get themselves in a position to have a high quality chance.

  • ChrisD

    Interesting.

    What about SC/TOI, that is, SC per minute of ice time? Changes the ordering a bit. Backstrom’s still the cat’s meow (+0.07/minute) but Stecks (-0.34/minute).takes over the bottom rung from Erskine (-0.20/minute). Erskine himself is “only” fourth worst.

    So when Steckel’s on ice, the opponents get a scoring chance every three minutes. Ouch. (Of course, it’s really not fair, since he’s had less than 9 minutes’ ice time.)

    Fun. Thanks.

  • David

    I am no handwriting analyst, but I can read terrible handwriting (like my own). From top to bottom of the right side of the notebook paper:
    -Ovi left hand trouble
    -Green trouble puck handling
    -Nifty Pass by Hendricks to Fehr (period 2)

    -Flash 1 on 2
    -Semin [crossed out]
    -PP
    -PP
    -PP Fehr
    -[emison?] (???) PP
    -Fehr PP
    -Backstrom (Ovi) PP
    -PP
    -PP
    -Semin Goal

    -Semin [crossed out]
    -Fehr
    -Chimera
    -Goal Against
    -Goal Fehr (Hendricks)

  • Neil – RMNB

    @ChrisD I am going to be updating this spreadsheet on Google Docs every week. It has Scoring chances per 15 min and the special teams data for every 2 min:
    https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0Avav4WxQQLomdG1YNVFCdk1sWWE2S1g1N2ZPOVpCNnc&hl=en#gid=0

    @David You. Complete. Me.

  • http://redlinestation.blogspot.com RedArmyLine

    Neil,

    Is it possible for you to publish the scoring chance tables on a game-by-game basis?

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