The case for Brian Campbell
Now, one could argue that TVR’s struggles have to do with Campbell’s down season. After all, I did mention earlier TVR spends most of his ice time with Campbell. And Soupy’s 48.2 Corsi-for mark with 53.5 percent of his starts coming in the offensive zone is not a pretty stat.
But what if it’s TVR who’s bringing down Campbell?
There are some numbers to suggest that. Campbell’s Corsi-for with TVR this season is 50.11. Entirely acceptable. However, that number improves to 51.43 percent when Campbell gets away from TVR. And TVR’s Corsi-for when he’s away from Campbell drops to 47.62.
Da Windy City
If you look at all of the Blackhawks and their time spent on the ice with TVR and Campbell this season, you’ll find that Campbell has posted a positive Corsi-for mark with 14 of the 22 Blackhawks he’s seen the ice with.
TVR, meanwhile, has a positive possession rate with 10 of 23, and one of those guys was Spencer Abbott. He was with the team for one game (a game in which Campbell didn’t suit up).
The reason I’m bringing Corsi-for into every aspect of this discussion is it’s a far more appropriate indicator of success than many other stats in the NHL. If you possess the puck more frequently, you tend to win more games.
Eight of the league’s 10 worst possession teams across all situations are non-playoff teams right now. Minnesota and Ottawa bust that mold. Yes, Minnesota, the team that TVR got walloped by in possession last night.
Meanwhile, blocked shots, hits and giveaways/takeaways are all stats arbitrarily decided by someone in a given building on a given night. Not that TVR is very good at compiling any of those stats outside blocked shots, either.
I’m not downplaying the importance of something like Niklas Hjalmarsson continually putting his body on the line by blocking shots. I’m just saying it can be dangerous to get sucked into arbitrary stats when looking at certain players.