Been a while since I’ve taken a hack at one of these, so let’s get to it. These should obviously come with something of a caveat, as five games isn’t much of a sample size. However, seeing as how my time machine is on the fritz and I can’t zoom into the future a couple months and then come back with numbers with a bigger sample size, this will have to do. Blame the dog. She chased her ball in there and knocked something loose. Engineering isn’t really her thing.
That’s Duncan Keith’s Corsi-percentage, which is tops in the league among defensemen, and in fact tops the every single player. Better yet, Niklas Hjalmarsson’s 64% is second in the league. Again, these numbers were piled up against some awful teams, other than Dallas. So you’d expect these numbers to be pretty high. But for comparison’s sake, Keith’s season long Corsi% last year when he won the Norris is 57%. Hammer’s number is impressive because A)he’s not really required to push the play as much as defend, B) he spent three games playing with both van Riemsdyk and Oduya and flipping from the left to the right and back again. While I still worry about Keith being now over 30 and maintaining this form, the opening signs are very positive indeed. We’ll find out more this week on the road, of course.
This one’s a bit strange. That’s the number of offensive zone starts for Hjalmarsson, which leads the team. This would be the complete reverse of last year when Ebenolts och Elfenben started almost every shift in the defensive zone. Some of this is ballooned by playing with TVR who Q obviously wanted to shield. Helps the Corsi and possession, obviously. Of course, Hammer and Oduya also lead the team in defensive zone starts, which means… well, they’re out there after faceoffs a lot I guess.
-3.27, -5.44, -11.51
Brandon Saad’s, Patrick Kane’s, and Andrew Shaw’s relative Corsi, which for those who don’t know is how their overall Corsi% compares with the team average. This is where I get a little myth-buster. The perception is that Shaw compliments Kane and Saad perfectly, and every time that line would score the beaters rush to reinforce this. Yeah, I’m not so convinced. These numbers were piled up while getting the most amount of starts in the offensive zone compared to the defensive zone. Both Shaw and Kane are over 77% offensive zone starts, in fact.
This doesn’t mean that the trio are underwater overall. They’re not. They’re just not carrying play as much as their teammates. And some of this is opposition based, as Shaw and Kane are seeing the toughest Quality of Competition (though when you’ve seen Buffalo, Calgary, Nashville, and Philly, it’s a real question of how tough the toughest of that really is).
I’m not sure why exactly. Some of it is probably due to Shaw’s faceoff struggles, though he’s 25-for-53 this year which isn’t terrible. I guess some of it is that with Shaw at center and rarely first into the zone, you lose some of his forechecking and that’s one of his strengths. Or it’s just a weird thing after five games. Something maybe we’ll look at more in-depth at a later date.
The amount of shot attempts Patrick Sharp is averaging so far this season. Last year, he averaged 6.5 per game. The year before that is was just 5.7 shot attempts. The year before that it was 5.6. So yeah, Sharp just finds more ways to shoot more as he gets older, though I don’t think we should expect him to stay up over nine per game this season. Some of this is probably due to the power play being really geared to getting Sharp shots from the middle of the blue line. Some of it may just be a directive. Sharp has basically averaged six shots on goal per game, and he’s only shooting 6.9%, almost 5% his career rate. Sharp averaged 3.8 shots per game last year, second in the league. Sharp’s shots per game has climbed every year actually, aside from his injury-ravaged lockout year of 2013. If that continues and Sharp averaged four shots per game with his career shooting percentage, that would be 38 goals. That sounds good. I’ll have that.