Acknowledgment: 5 on 5 data from stats.hockeyanalysis.com.
Mastermind behind passing stats: Ryan Stimson.
Since the last post...
The Islanders went a mediocre 8-4, losing to garbage teams like the St. Louis Blues, Washington Capitals, and Minnesota Wild. The Isles entered free fall, dropping 1st place in the Metropolitan and now are dangerously nine points ahead of third place. Which Islanders should you blame for this collapse, and how long does it take you to sense sarcasm?
Before I get into this post I just want to say how much I appreciate all the comments and interest you have all shown. A lot of work goes into tracking passing stats, but it makes it worthwhile to see how many of you commented or voted in last article's poll, so thanks.
One comment I received that I would like to address was from garik16. He correctly pointed out that there is more to offense than passing, which led to my incorrect judgment of Anders Lee. And so I would like to bring shots into the discussion.
Explanation of terms
The graph below takes some explanation to understand. A2SAG/60 and SAG/60 are the shot attempts generated by a player expressed in per 60 form. These are passes that led to blocked shots, missed shots, or shots on goal. The designation A2 simply means that it was a secondary pass. A2SAG/60 and SAG/60 added together gives Composite SAG/60 and represents the passing portion of a player's Corsi Contribution/60.
Corsi Contribution/60 is Composite SAG/60 (see above) + iCorsi/60. iCorsi/60 is the shots a player took that hit the net, were blocked, or missed. This is where a player's shots enter the equation. So really, Corsi Contribution/60 is an all-emcompassing measure of Corsi skills, including a player's passes and shots that led to a Corsi event. You won't find this anywhere else, and if you want the data yourself just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hamonic and Hickey Go on Welfare
It's interesting to see the different ways that players contribute to Corsi events. Lubomir Visnovsky employs an almost 50/50 mix of passes to shots, which has led to great success these past 31 games. Boychuk, Hamonic, and Donovan are the shooters in this group, though it should be mentioned that Boychuk gets over 25% more shots than the other two.
And while Thomas Hickey was heralded as a hero in my last post, bringing shots into the equation has dropped him into last of the regular six defensemen. Still he's the second best passer on the team and necessary for balance on the blueline.
As far as Griffin Reinhart goes...he's a rookie leave him alone.
Ryan Strome Solves the North Korea Situation
Ah Ryan Strome, how many of us couldn't wait to see him out of that Niagara Ice Dogs uniform and in the Blue and Orange? He's already paying huge dividends for this team, contributing 47.3% to his strong Corsi%. Corsi Contribution Percentage is simply a player's total Corsi generated, divided by the team's Corsi For while he's on the ice. For example, Ryan Strome generated 169 Corsi events, whether by pass or shot, of the team's 357 Corsi events that occurred while he was on the ice, giving 47.3%.
Anders Lee, another member of the Kid line, contributes only 38.6% to his Corsi. This is below average and suggests he rides Strome and Brock Nelson to attain his amazing CF%. But hey when you lead the team in shots per 60 you can do whatever the hell you want.
Other players worth mentioning include Cal Clutterbuck leading the team in iCorsi/60, Frans Nielsen edging out John Tavares in Corsi Contribution/60, and Nikolai Kulemin placing fourth to last in Corsi Contribution/60. Perhaps he's more of a drag on the first line than we first thought.
After bringing all aspects of Corsi into the discussion, I feel more confident making a suggestion for you to consider. When designing line combinations, perhaps the best strategy to take is having a solid Corsi contributor on each line, the best being Ryan Strome, Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen, and John Tavares. Splitting them onto separate lines isn't as drastic a suggestion as it might seem, as JT and KO are the only two currently on a line together.
To fill out the rest of the lines, one could employ a combination of Corsi Contribution%, and the player's personal mix of shooting to passing. Lee - Tavares - Nelson would not only be solid in possession but also feature a mix of shooters and passers. Likewise Kulemin - Grabovski - Okposo all tend to shoot and pass in a somewhat 50/50 manner. Bailey - Strome - Clutterbuck would be a very effective line, as would Grabner - Nielsen - Cizikas.
This not only requires the benching of Matt Martin, but also a major shake up of lines. So even if this doesn't happen, it still makes your rosterbation better than ever. Or you know, you could make the valid argument that nothing should change since the Isles lead the league in Fenwick Close, but hey that's no fun.
For my next article
I'll continue to measure players with these stats, but also bring in team stats so we can determine whether the Islanders are more efficient passers than their opponents.