Columnist image
Scott Cullen

TSN.ca Analytics

|Archive

One of the perpetual challenges facing the hockey analytics community relates to shot quality. The standard argument against using Corsi, or shot attempts, is that all shot attempts are not equal. This is obviously true, but we also know that using score-adjusted shot attempts still provides the best predictive value on a team level because it provides a viable sample size sooner.

Using high-danger scoring chances from War on Ice, though, it’s possible to see which players and teams have a higher percentage of their shot attempts qualifying as high-danger scoring chances. This can help provide some balance between the eye test and shot attempt measures.

On the team level, it’s difficult to have a wide range in shot quality, but it does appear to exist. Since the start of the 2013-2014 season, here are NHL teams sorted by lowest-to-highest percentage of shot attempts qualifying as high-danger chances.

 

TEAM HIGH-DANGER SCORING CHANCES/SHOT ATTEMPTS, 2013-2014 TO PRESENT

 
RANK Team HDSC CA HD/CA%
1 NSH 1244 7627 16.3%
2 MIN 1272 7341 17.3%
3 STL 1280 7030 18.2%
4 CBJ 1391 7516 18.5%
5 S.J. 1470 7903 18.6%
6 MTL 1544 8281 18.6%
7 WSH 1440 7622 18.9%
8 CGY 1648 8722 18.9%
9 N.J. 1237 6535 18.9%
10 NYR 1489 7857 19.0%
11 ANA 1469 7709 19.1%
12 FLA 1415 7367 19.2%
13 BOS 1433 7408 19.3%
14 OTT 1524 7782 19.6%
15 PIT 1444 7362 19.6%
16 DET 1319 6640 19.9%
17 WPG 1484 7431 20.0%
18 VAN 1543 7687 20.1%
19 BUF 1817 9037 20.1%
20 PHI 1569 7758 20.2%
21 L.A. 1348 6631 20.3%
22 DAL 1633 7916 20.6%
23 CHI 1502 7260 20.7%
24 CAR 1619 7825 20.7%
25 T.B. 1520 7263 20.9%
26 COL 1815 8653 21.0%
27 NYI 1693 8032 21.1%
28 ARI 1673 7918 21.1%
29 EDM 1783 8411 21.2%
30 TOR 1871 8802 21.3%
 

 

On the individual level, however, there is a little more variance, and this is what prompted my interest. Those of us that pay attention to possession stats can lock in an opinion on a player based on Corsi or Relative Corsi results, and while shot quality isn’t a prime determinant of player value, there is enough uncertainty involved in evaluating defensive play that it’s at least worth a look to find out which defencemen are allowing higher and lower percentages of high-danger scoring chances, relative to overall shot attempts.

Taking that approach, then, here are the top defencemen in terms of allowing high-danger scoring chances as the lowest percentage of shot attempts this season (minimum 100 minutes of 5-on-5 play):

 

DEFENCE, LOWEST % OF HIGH-DANGER CHANCES/SHOT ATTEMPTS, 2015-2016

 
Name Team HDSC CA HD/CA%
Shea Weber NSH 25 230 10.9%
Justin Braun S.J. 21 183 11.5%
Robert Bortuzzo STL 11 90 12.2%
Marc-Edouard Vlasic S.J. 22 177 12.4%
Roman Josi NSH 30 238 12.6%
T.J. Brodie CGY 12 95 12.6%
Tyson Barrie COL 28 209 13.4%
Deryk Engelland CGY 24 172 14.0%
Carl Gunnarsson STL 27 192 14.1%
Matthew Carle T.B. 30 212 14.2%
Erik Johnson COL 32 221 14.5%
Francois Beauchemin COL 34 225 15.1%
Ryan Ellis NSH 22 145 15.2%
Colton Parayko STL 29 190 15.3%
Griffin Reinhart EDM 17 111 15.3%
P.K.  Subban MTL 39 253 15.4%
David Schlemko N.J. 20 129 15.5%
Andrei Markov MTL 38 244 15.6%
Mark Pysyk BUF 25 160 15.6%
Yannick Weber VAN 16 102 15.7%
 

And since the beginning of 2013-2014 (minimum 1000 minutes of 5-on-5 play):

 

DEFENCE, LOWEST % OF HIGH-DANGER CHANCES/SHOT ATTEMPTS, 2013-2014 TO PRESENT

 
Name Teams HDSC CA HD/CA%
Roman Josi NSH 456 3097 14.7%
Shea Weber NSH 479 3202 15.0%
Clayton Stoner MIN/ANA 273 1729 15.8%
Robert Bortuzzo PIT/STL 219 1351 16.2%
Deryk Engelland PIT/CGY 321 1917 16.7%
Jonas Brodin MIN 447 2668 16.8%
Ryan Ellis NSH 303 1799 16.8%
Jared Spurgeon MIN 363 2152 16.9%
Kevan Miller BOS 226 1339 16.9%
Nate Prosser MIN 214 1267 16.9%
Raphael Diaz MTL/NYR/VAN/CGY 231 1356 17.0%
Ryan Murray CBJ 206 1203 17.1%
Victor Bartley NSH 189 1100 17.2%
Marc-Edouard Vlasic S.J. 410 2370 17.3%
Andy Greene N.J. 412 2377 17.3%
Matt Greene L.A. 228 1300 17.5%
Adam McQuaid BOS 251 1431 17.5%
Dalton Prout CBJ 289 1645 17.6%
Sami Vatanen ANA 303 1718 17.6%
Dan Boyle S.J./NYR 390 2207 17.7%
 

Some interesting points here:

Shea Weber, a star defenceman who hasn’t fared well in shot attempt measures in recent seasons, tends to show better in this regard, both this season and since the start of 2013-2014.

There is an interesting mix of defencemen, from highly-regarded puck-movers like Ryan Murray, Ryan Ellis, Jonas Brodin, Jared Spurgeon and Marc-Edouard Vlasic, to bruisers like Deryk Engelland and Clayton Stoner, who tend to fare quite poorly in shot attempt metrics. Might this help mitigate (not eliminate) their widely-perceived shortcomings?

On the other hand, here are the defencemen allowing the highest-percentage of high-danger scoring chances this season (minimum 100 minutes of 5-on-5 play):

 

DEFENCE, HIGHEST % OF HIGH-DANGER CHANCES/SHOT ATTEMPTS, 2015-2016

 
Name Team HDSC CA HD/CA%
Alex Goligoski DAL 82 274 29.9%
Yevgeni Medvedev PHI 39 138 28.3%
Josh Manson ANA 26 93 28.0%
John Klingberg DAL 72 272 26.5%
Drew Doughty L.A. 57 216 26.4%
Noah Hanifin CAR 37 142 26.1%
Scott Harrington TOR 25 96 26.0%
Mark Streit PHI 64 247 25.9%
Jason Demers DAL 52 201 25.9%
Joe Morrow BOS 29 115 25.2%
Dmitry Orlov WSH 30 119 25.2%
Aaron Ekblad FLA 39 156 25.0%
Brian Campbell FLA 43 176 24.4%
Luke Schenn PHI 29 119 24.4%
Michael Del Zotto PHI 57 235 24.3%
Brayden McNabb L.A. 43 178 24.2%
Mark Stuart WPG 44 183 24.0%
Jacob Trouba WPG 50 208 24.0%
Jake Gardiner TOR 37 154 24.0%
Brandon Manning PHI 38 159 23.9%
 

And since the beginning of 2013-2014 (minimum 1000 minutes of 5-on-5 play):

 

 

DEFENCE, HIGHEST % OF HIGH-DANGER CHANCES/SHOT ATTEMPTS, 2013-2014 TO PRESENT

 
Name Teams HDSC CA HD/CA%
Stephane Robidas ANA/DAL/TOR 301 1318 22.8%
Martin Marincin EDM/TOR 320 1407 22.7%
Lubomir Visnovsky NYI 233 1029 22.6%
Erik Johnson COL 568 2511 22.6%
Michael Stone ARI 567 2516 22.5%
Slava Voynov L.A 272 1215 22.4%
Justin Schultz EDM 643 2877 22.3%
Michal Rozsival CHI 290 1308 22.2%
Radko Gudas T.B./PHI 382 1724 22.2%
Morgan Rielly TOR 606 2735 22.2%
Justin Faulk CAR 629 2842 22.1%
Jay Harrison CAR/WPG 374 1691 22.1%
Andrej Sekera CAR/L.A./EDM 567 2565 22.1%
Nikita Zadorov BUF/COL 276 1250 22.1%
Mark Streit PHI 617 2797 22.1%
Derek Morris ARI 210 953 22.0%
Jake Gardiner TOR 604 2750 22.0%
Ryan Murphy CAR 300 1372 21.9%
Adam Pardy WPG 262 1204 21.8%
Simon Despres PIT/ANA 297 1366 21.7%
 

The go-go Dallas Stars aren’t afraid to trade chances and it means that Alex Goligoski, John Klingberg and Jason Demers are all among those allowing a high percentage of high-danger chances, relative to overall shot attempts.

It’s not so surprising to see Jake Gardiner on this list, though as a player who fares really well using shot metrics, this may simply mitigate against those measures (like the opposite of Engelland and Stoner).

Drew Doughty is a more surprising name on the list of high-percentage high danger chances. Some of the players on this year’s list, including Doughty, Aaron Ekblad and Dmitri Orlov are allowing such a low rate of shot attempts against overall that, in this small sample, their high-danger chances stand out as a higher percentage.

Conversely, Marc-Edouard Vlasic is among those with the lowest rate of shot attempts against at even strength, yet is also right near the top in terms of lowest percentage of high-danger chances. He’s good.

When the list is expanded since the start of 2013-2014, Gardiner is still there, along with several other Maple Leafs defencemen, and Flyers veteran Mark Streit appears on both lists.  

This exercise isn’t intended to provide an absolute answer on the defensive performance of the players involved, rather it might add some consideration beyond shot attempt metrics when trying to evaluate defensive performance.

From Monday’s lone game:

HEROES

Max Domi – Scored a pair of goals in Arizona’s 4-3 overtime win at Anaheim, giving him seven goals and 13 points in 14 games. Domi ranks second among rookie scorers, behind Chicago’s Artemi Panarin.

Mikkel Boedker – The speedy winger netted the overtime winner for Arizona, and added an assist, giving him 10 points (4 G, 6 A) in the past seven games.

Sami Vatanen – The Ducks defenceman contributed a goal and an assist with nine shot attempts (4 SOG) in the loss to Arizona, and has four points (2 G, 2 A) in the past five games.

Ryan Kesler – Scored his first goal of the season, and added an assist, with stellar possession stats (21 for, 5 against, 80.8 SAT%) in the loss to Arizona. Kesler has one goal on 29 shots, which is a career-low 3.4%, but he’s also generating 1.93 shots on goal per game, his lowest rate since 2006-2007.

ZEROES

Corey Perry – The Anaheim winger had two shot attempts, both missing the net, had poor possession stats (7 for, 17 against, 29.2 SAT%) and was on for two goals against in 18:31 of ice time in a 4-3 overtime loss to Arizona.

Ryan Getzlaf – Managed one shot on goal (and two misses) but had similarly poor possession stats (8 for, 18 against, 30.8 SAT%) and was on for two goals against, despite starting 70% of his shifts in the offensive zone.

VITAL SIGNS

Dustin Jeffrey – Was called up from Springfield in the AHL, where he had 12 points (5 G, 7 A) in 10 games, and centered the line with Max Domi and Mikkel Boedker.

Much of the data included comes from www.war-on-ice.comwww.hockey-reference and www.naturalstattrick.com

Scott Cullen can be reached at scott.cullen@bellmedia.ca