Making Use of New Ideas - dCorsi

Gregory Campbell feels pain for Bozak's wingers - Bruce Bennett

How can dCorsi help us identify player comparables?

So building upon the work I did using SDI last week, Frag went and constructed a similar regression tool to assess Corsi For rather than Corsi Against, and then expanded it to include forwards. This lets us compare expected Corsi For based on usage to actual Corsi For. Using this comparison, and the comparison to Corsi Against provided by SDI, we can construct comparables for any player we like. All we have to do is find players with similar dCorsi (delta Corsi) values in both the Corsi For and Corsi Against realms.

The latter portion of this isn't particularly mathematical - it just requires us to find players within a range of dCorsiF and dCorsiA values around the player we're interested in. As an example I've cobbled together a list of all of the Leafs and their closest comparables in the NHL over the past 6 years:

Defenders

Let's start with the blue line, which should be easy since we already discussed SDI recently. If we add in the dCorsiF factor we can get an interesting picture of what "type" of defender each guy compares to. Have a look at the list:

Player Name dCF20 dCA20 dCorsi20
MEYER, FREDDY 0.868 1.774 2.642
RANGER, PAUL 0.595 1.747 2.341
TYUTIN, FEDOR 0.528 1.517 2.045
PETRY, JEFF 1.006 0.650 1.656
GILBERT, TOM 1.140 0.467 1.607
FRANSON, CODY 1.032 0.471 1.503
COLAIACOVO, CARLO 1.012 0.448 1.460
POTI, TOM 1.086 0.338 1.424
STREIT, MARK 0.817 0.345 1.162
WHITE, IAN 1.414 -0.337 1.077
YANDLE, KEITH 1.467 -0.441 1.026
LIDSTROM, NICKLAS 1.562 -0.583 0.978
PHANEUF, DION 1.643 -0.814 0.829
MARKOV, ANDREI 1.353 -0.738 0.616
PITKANEN, JONI 1.159 -0.381 0.779
MESZAROS, ANDREJ 1.115 -0.489 0.625
GARDINER, JAKE 0.997 -0.544 0.453
HAMRLIK, ROMAN 0.973 -0.538 0.435
NORSTROM, MATTIAS -0.350 0.761 0.411
VOLCHENKOV, ANTON -0.443 0.794 0.351
STAAL, MARC -0.342 0.652 0.310
GUNNARSSON, CARL -0.441 0.743 0.302
SALO, SAMI -0.843 -0.581 -1.424
EMINGER, STEVE -1.019 -0.603 -1.623
PECKHAM, THEO -1.177 -0.541 -1.719
FRASER, MARK -1.032 -0.798 -1.830
MIKKELSON, BRENDAN -1.358 -0.846 -2.204
ORESKOVIC, PHIL -1.098 -2.197 -3.295
CHORNEY, TAYLOR -0.832 -3.081 -3.913
HOLZER, KORBINIAN -0.968 -4.531 -5.499

This is using 6 year data, so obviously some players have larger sample sizes to draw on than others. This shouldn't necessarily be considered indicative of the players' absolute value in comparison to the rest of the NHL, but by way of impact with respect to how they've been used on their respective teams.

Cody Franson and Paul Ranger might actually make a half decent top pairing in the not too distant future - that is if Ranger returns to form, and if Franson can be locked up.

What will likely surprise Leafs fans the most are the Paul Ranger and Cody Franson rankings, and the comparison between Dion Phaneuf and Nicklas Lidstrom (who is likely driven lower in these rankings by direct result of the fact that he spent his entire career with a model franchise in Detroit).

It's nice to see where Carl Gunnarsson sits and who his peers are. This also gives us insight into what Jake Gardiner has been so far, and perhaps where we'd like him to end up (Scott Niedermayer's numbers were +1.03 dCF and +1.98 dCA - so he was actually better defensively than offensively - the comparisons to him don't make sense yet).

So let's look at the Leafs forwards (both current AND recently departed) and see who sits where in comparison to other NHL players over the past 6 years?

Player Name dCF20 dCA20 dCorsi20
GRABOVSKI, MIKHAIL 3.149 0.186 3.335
KOPITAR, ANZE 2.961 0.263 3.223
LADD, ANDREW 2.864 -0.120 2.744
ERAT, MARTIN 2.544 0.191 2.735
BACKES, DAVID 2.572 0.134 2.706
WHEELER, BLAKE 1.832 -0.674 1.158
NASH, RICK 1.747 -0.593 1.154
KESSEL, PHIL 1.947 -0.826 1.121
CARTER, JEFF 2.142 -1.101 1.041
PAVELSKI, JOE 1.455 0.261 1.716
STASTNY, PAUL 1.402 0.250 1.652
MACARTHUR, CLARKE 1.426 0.148 1.574
FROLIK, MICHAEL 1.274 0.185 1.459
GLENCROSS, CURTIS 1.242 0.112 1.354
SPEZZA, JASON 1.505 -1.272 0.233
DUMONT, J.P. 1.477 -1.303 0.174
DUCHENE, MATT 1.432 -1.263 0.169
VAN_RIEMSDYK, JAMES 1.519 -1.396 0.123
HELM, DARREN 1.473 -1.385 0.088
CLARKSON, DAVID 0.781 0.621 1.402
ROLSTON, BRIAN 0.711 0.625 1.336
OSHIE, TJ 0.690 0.618 1.309
BURROWS, ALEX 0.721 0.587 1.307
MIETTINEN, ANTTI 0.594 0.303 0.897
CARTER, RYAN 0.521 0.281 0.801
KULEMIN, NIKOLAI 0.563 0.154 0.717
KADRI, NAZEM 0.491 0.110 0.601
HENSICK, T.J. 0.479 -2.313 -1.834
LUPUL, JOFFREY 0.413 -2.223 -1.810
STEWART, CHRIS 0.273 -2.470 -2.197
LAPERRIERE, IAN -0.419 0.861 0.442
FRATTIN, MATT -0.554 0.873 0.320
PERRON, DAVID -0.481 0.615 0.134
GORDON, BOYD -1.576 0.949 -0.626
KOMAROV, LEO -1.654 0.833 -0.821
RUPP, MICHAEL -1.508 0.677 -0.831
WELLER, CRAIG -1.571 0.629 -0.942
HOLLWEG, RYAN -1.829 0.758 -1.071
WHITE, TODD -0.764 -0.783 -1.547
MORRISON, BRENDAN -0.435 -1.171 -1.606
BOLLAND, DAVE -0.673 -0.953 -1.627
FISHER, MIKE -0.737 -0.931 -1.669
MCCLEMENT, JAY -0.958 -0.764 -1.722
CHRISTENSEN, ERIK -0.947 -0.869 -1.816
MADDEN, JOHN -0.935 -0.898 -1.833
LAPIERRE, MAXIM -1.121 -0.800 -1.921
CAMPBELL, GREGORY -0.563 -1.512 -2.075
BOZAK, TYLER -0.447 -1.720 -2.167
KUBALIK, TOMAS -0.417 -2.286 -2.704
ORR, COLTON -3.048 0.105 -2.943
BARCH, KRYSTOFER -2.936 -0.091 -3.028
STAUBITZ, BRAD -3.094 -0.032 -3.126
WESTGARTH, KEVIN -3.502 0.140 -3.362
MACINTYRE, STEVE -3.767 -1.637 -5.404
MCLAREN, FRAZER -3.695 -1.749 -5.444
ROSEHILL, JAY -3.737 -2.001 -5.738

I've tried to roughly sort the players into tiers that likely approximate usage. The first 4 groupings are likely top liners (notice MacArthur?), the groupings for 5-9 are all 2nd or 3rd line caliber depending on the team. Groups 9-15 would all slot in as 3rd or 4th liners probably (and seriously how the hell did Bozak land a 5 year deal?). I also included a bunch of names of players we lost this off-season. Perhaps this can highlight what we've sacrificed and what's coming back in return? If you can't see an even larger issue with the Bozak for Grabovski decision (personality clashes be damned)... well I'm not sure what else to think.

So think of this as conversation fodder or food for thought. Personally I'm pleased with the "accuracy" of the comparables, and think this goes a long way to explaining the issues with how the Leafs are building their team.

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