It’s important when using statistics to make arguments or try to sway public opinion that you are not above learning something new. For me, this includes the effect of zone starts on scoring, how Corsi correlates to winning, and why scoring chances are an important metric to track. Each one helps put a player’s performance into context to try and determine the true skill level of a hockey player– both past and present. This is why I don’t change my mind, but I do make new decisions based on new information.
Take Washington’s goalies for instance. At first, I felt Michal Neuvirth deserved the right to be the “number one,” and I wasn’t wrong. He had a wonderful November and performed admirably. Then Semyon Varlamov’s groin started to heal and showed that he was ready to reclaim the number one spot– especially in the context of how he performed in different game situations.
Well, here I am again; only this time I have added a new point of data to my scoring chance database to help me see the level of competition each line combo or d pair is playing against– and that includes goalies.
I have taken the average relative Corsi for each skater on the ice at the time of the scoring chance against.
Relative corsi represents the difference in Corsi rating (the balance of Total Shots For & Against) when a player is on the ice, compared to when he’s on the bench.
So how do the goalies stack up?
|Goalie||EV Sv%||Corsi QoC|
Still Varly. He has a higher scoring chance save percentage (which is an indicator of a goalie’s true skill) than Neuvy, and he faces tougher competition. Braden Holtby is, well, not ready for the NHL quite yet. A line with Sidney Crosby has a Corsi QoC value of about 1.20– that should put into context the quality of scoring chances Varly has kept out of the net.
Unfortunately, we don’t know what “average” should be, since only five or six teams are currently being tracked in scoring chances. I also agree trying to figure out quality of competition this way has its flaws (and I am open to suggestions for improvement), but for a ‘quick and dirty’ way to see the opposition skaters go up against I think I am on the right track.