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Midseason “MoneyPuck”: An Advanced Statistical Look at the Chicago Blackhawks and the NHL at the Halfway Point of the Season

By Brian Kinkade
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When it comes to collective team Corsi, arguably the most telling stat is Corsi-For Percentage.  In an individual game, there is a maximum of 100% up for grabs, between 2 teams.  The higher the percentage, the higher the share of total Corsi events per game, and the higher probability of winning games.

Now, it is very possible for a team to have a higher Corsi For Percentage, in a given game, and still lose, but it is far less likely.  The best teams tend to have the higher Corsi For Percentages, however, it is not an exact science.

Corsi For Percentage(CF%) is the statistic that predicted the collapse of the Minnesota Wild, after their hot start to the 2011-2012 season.

Let’s take a look at the CF% rankings compared with Point Percentage rankings, in the NHL, around the halfway point, this season.

(All Corsi-For Percentages are scaled to 5-on-5, 60 minute per scale)

[table id=37 /]

What does this tell us?

The Hawks are ranked 2nd in CF% and are ranked 1st in Point Percentage.  All is well, in the Windy City.

The New Jersey Devils continue to dominate in CF% and leave much to be desired, in results.  It’d still be wise to keep an eye on them, to climb into more serious contention, especially since they play in the weak Metropolitan Division.

Much like the Devils, the New York Rangers are playing well, but can’t quite get the results that one would expect.  It would be unwise to turn your back on the Rangers, right now.

The Minnesota Wild have dropped in CF% as well as in the standings.

The Tampa Bay Lightning continue to hang in there, even without Steven Stamkos.  Once he returns, they will be a team to keep an eye on.

As predicted, the Vancouver Cancuks continued to play good hockey, and keep their CF% high.  As a result, they finally started getting more desirable results, as they are now firmly in contention, in the Pacific Division.

The Colorado Avalanche have slowly dropped, in standings, and CF%

The Florida Panthers have dramatically improved their CF% and slowly started to climb, in the standings.  This season, it may be too little, too late, for the Cats, but they may be a budding contender.

The Philadelphia Flyers  improved their decent CF%, and have climbed from cellar dweller to contender.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are trending, in Point Percentage more in the direction of their dismal CF%, as the season goes on.

The Phoenix Coyotes are no longer among the top-5 teams, in the league, they are now floundering in the bottom third of the league, along with their CF%, as predicted.

Are the Anaheim Ducks the biggest over achievers, in the NHL?  Stay tuned.

How bad would the Washington Capitals be without Alex Ovechkin.

The biggest anomaly would have to be the Montreal Canadiens.  As their CF% drops to the depths of the NHL, their Point Percentage has slightly increased.  Look for something to give, for or against them, in the 2nd half of the season, as that is likely not a sustainable performance.

Now of course, these statistics must be compared to traditional statistics as well, as actually watching the game and seeing who plays the best and worst hockey, with your own eyes.  Advanced statistics are an alternative lens to view hockey, and all of sports through.

Still, there is no denying that there is an abundance of truth in numbers.

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