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Scott Cullen Analytics


A look at WOWY numbers to find combinations that might not be working; Oleksiak, Perron and Tavares are Heroes and more in Scott Cullen’s Statistically Speaking.

Diving into the with-or-without-you numbers, here is a look at some of the players providing the biggest drag on possession for a teammate this season. (I’m borrowing this idea from Tyler Dellow, who I’ve seen run some of these numbers in the past.)

The critieria for those on this list are players that have played at least 200 5-on-5 minutes, and at least 100 of those minutes with the teammate in question (with the teammate playing at least 50 minutes without that particular player).

Just because a player has worse shot differentials with a teammate doesn’t automatically mean that they can’t play together. It might, but it could also reflect different usage according to game situations, or that there are simply more optimal situations for a particular player elsewhere in the lineup. This can also provide some context for why a player might have worse possession stats than expected. Like, as an example, it's possible that Buffalo's Rasmus Ristolainen could fare better with another partner.

Here are the players, along with their teammates that provide the biggest drop in Corsi For% when they are on the ice together. (eg. Mikael Backlund has a Corsi For% of 59.2% when he is on the ice without T.J. Brodie. With Brodie, that drops to 41.3%). Stats via



Mikael Backlund T.J. Brodie Calgary 41.3 59.2 17.9
Jaccob Slavin Victor Rask Carolina 43.2 61.0 17.8
Carl Hagelin Nick Bonino Pittsburgh 43.3 60.1 16.8
Marcus Foligno Josh Gorges Buffalo 39.7 54.4 14.7
Johan Larsson Josh Gorges Buffalo 39.4 53.7 14.3
Nikolaj Ehlers Patrik Laine Winnipeg 43.3 57.3 14.0
Phil Kessel Trevor Daley Pittsburgh 40.0 54.0 14.0
Matthew Tkachuk T.J. Brodie Calgary 47.3 61.0 13.7
Nicklas Backstrom Alex Ovechkin Washington 45.1 58.4 13.3
Jaden Schwartz Jay Bouwmeester St. Louis 50.2 63.4 13.2
Greg Pateryn Nathan Beaulieu Montreal 41.3 54.4 13.1
Henrik Zetterberg Danny DeKeyser Detroit 41.3 54.0 12.7
Trevor Daley Phil Kessel Pittsburgh 40.0 52.6 12.6
Ryan McDonagh Dan Girardi N.Y. Rangers 43.0 55.5 12.5
Jesper Fast Kevin Hayes N.Y. Rangers 39.1 51.5 12.4
Michael Frolik T.J. Brodie Calgary 45.9 58.2 12.3
Sam Bennett Troy Brouwer Calgary 45.2 57.1 11.9
Brian Gionta Josh Gorges Buffalo 40.5 52.3 11.8
Rasmus Ristolainen Josh Gorges Buffalo 41.9 53.6 11.7
Artemi Panarin Artem Anisimov Chicago 54.0 65.6 11.6
Brian Dumoulin Phil Kessel Pittsburgh 43.5 55.0 11.5
Jordan Staal Joakim Nordstrom Carolina 54.5 65.9 11.4
Joe Pavelski Paul Martin San Jose 46.2 57.6 11.4
Mark Streit Wayne Simmonds Philadelphia 45.6 56.8 11.2
Kyle Okposo Rasmus Ristolainen Buffalo 43.1 54.3 11.2
Mark Scheifele Patrik Laine Winnipeg 45.1 56.2 11.1
Brandon Saad Jack Johnson Columbus 49.8 60.9 11.1
Boone Jenner Jack Johnson Columbus 42.3 53.3 11.0
Ivan Provorov Wayne Simmonds Philadelphia 45.8 56.7 10.9
Paul Postma Ben Chiarot Winnipeg 44.0 54.8 10.8
Tomas Tatar Danny DeKeyser Detroit 40.1 50.8 10.7
Kyle Turris Marc Methot Ottawa 40.5 51.2 10.7
Joe Thornton Paul Martin San Jose 48.4 59.0 10.6
Viktor Arvidsson Roman Josi Nashville 48.8 59.4 10.6
Chris Neil Chris Kelly Ottawa 45.4 55.9 10.5
Claude Giroux Brayden Schenn Philadelphia 47.5 58.0 10.5
Derick Brassard Dion Phaneuf Ottawa 46.8 57.3 10.5
Marc Methot Kyle Turris Ottawa 40.5 51.0 10.5
Ondrej Palat Andrej Sustr Tampa Bay 43.1 53.5 10.4
Marc Methot Tom Pyatt Ottawa 40.9 51.2 10.3
Joonas Donskoi Justin Braun San Jose 47.5 57.8 10.3
Marcus Foligno Rasmus Ristolainen Buffalo 43.0 53.3 10.3
Shayne Gostisbehere Andrew MacDonald Philadelphia 49.4 59.6 10.2
Patrick Marleau Justin Braun San Jose 47.1 57.3 10.2
Matt Read Pierre-Edouard Bellemare Philadelphia 50.7 60.9 10.2
Patrik Berglund Jay Bouwmeester St. Louis 47.8 57.9 10.1
Andrew Shaw David Desharnais Montreal 46.5 56.6 10.1
Cody Ceci Tom Pyatt Ottawa 39.7 49.7 10.0
David Krejci Brandon Carlo Boston 47.8 57.8 10.0
Jean-Gabriel Pageau Dion Phaneuf Ottawa 40.8 50.8 10.0


Jamie Oleksiak – The Stars defenceman scored a pair of goals in a 4-3 overtime loss at St. Louis. Battling for a regular spot in the Dallas lineup, the 23-year-old has four points (3 G, 1 A) in his past four games. It was also the second straight game in which his ice time was a career-high, seeing 22:27 of action against the Blues.


David Perron – St. Louis’ veteran winger scored a goal in the win over Dallas, giving him 11 points (3 G, 8 A) during an eight-game point streak.

John Tavares – The Islanders’ star centre contributed a goal and an assist in a 2-1 overtime win against Calgary. He has five points (1 G, 4 A) in the past five games.    


Brock Nelson – The third-year Islanders centre failed to register a shot attempt and had team-worst possession stats (4 for, 14 against, 22.2 CF%, 0-6 scoring chances) in a 2-1 overtime win vs. Calgary.

Antti Niemi – Dallas’ netminder didn’t play poorly, but the numbers are what they are. He surrendered four goals on 31 shots at St. Louis, the fourth time in 13 games that he’s allowed at least four goals. 


Dan Hamhuis – Dallas made the veteran defenceman a healthy scratch for the second time this season. 


Stars D Julius Honka recorded two assists against St. Louis; he has three assists in the past four games…Stars LW Jamie Benn put up a goal and two assists in the loss to the Blues, giving him 16 points (5 G, 11 A) in the past 15 games…Blues C Jori Lehtera contributed a couple of assists in a 4-3 overtime win; he has four points (2 G, 2 A) in the past four games…Islanders G Thomas Greiss stopped 25 of 26 shots in a 2-1 win over Calgary. He has a .920 save percentage in nine games.

Mark Jankowski – A 2012 first-round pick of the Calgary Flames, Jankowski made his NHL debut at the Islanders. He had 12 points (3 G, 9 A) in 13 AHL games before landing his promotion.


Some goaltenders being added most, yet still owned in less than half of TSN leagues:

Chad Johnson – Goaltending has been a problem for the Flames, but Johnson, a 30-year-old backup is pushing for more playing time, posting a .922 save percentage in a dozen starts. Owned: 30.7%

Cam Ward – After a bunch of subpar seasons, Carolina’s veteran netminder has hit a hot streak, putting up a .941 save percnentage in his past 11 starts. Owned: 38.6%

Andrei Vasilevskiy – Tampa Bay’s 22-year-old goalie is going to nudge Ben Bishop aside soon, it appears, delivering a .951 save percentage in eight starts this season. Owned: 46.3%

Much of the data included comes from and

Scott Cullen can be reached at