A Wild Night: Advanced Stat Rundown

Sure, Florida lost by four goals, but what do the advanced stats show us?

The Panthers invaded Xcel Energy Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota last night, and limped out with a 5-1 loss. Florida has still never earned a regulation win at the venue, and now holds a 1-7-1-1 record there. Although all you really need to know is right there on the bottom line, we’ll take a closer look into the advanced box score to see what nuggets we can glean from their unfortunate endeavor.

The basic box tells us that the Panthers controlled the shots-on-goal category by eight, with 30 to 22 for the Wild, and the advanced metrics bear that out, with the Cats getting 48 shots off to 40 for Minnesota. The admittedly small selection size consisting of last night’s contest shows that quantity doesn’t always equate to quality, and a lot of the shots-on-goal were unfortunately of the Shawn Mattias-like quality. Shooting directly into the goaltenders chest pad or glove. The big question is: “Do higher Corsi percentages lead to victory in more cases than not,” or maybe “Can the Panthers earn 100 points based solely on possession stats?”

I’m going to let you draw your own conclusions to that question.

Now, down to the nuts and bolts. With the disappearance of the seminal war-on-ice.com, the lack of complete concentration on my part throughout the full 60 minutes, and the limitation of other currently existing websites, I was relegated to using the always-excellent but notably slow www.hockey-reference.com’s advanced stat boxscore (they’re usually available around 12 hours after the final game of the night). For simplicity’s sake, I used all situations to include even strength, power play, and penalty kill. The players are ordered by their Relative Corsi minus their relative Zone Starts.

The Good

Marco Scandella 0.41

Defensman Scandella took one shot on goal in just a hair under 21 minutes, but he isn’t generally known as an offensive threat by any stretch, with just 23 goals in 319 career contests. In 28 shifts for the Wild, he was on-ice for 21 Corsi events for and 13 Corsi events against, despite starting in the defensive zone in 10 of his 13 Zone Starts. This comparison pretty decisively shows that Scandella is aces when it came to getting the puck from his danger zone to ours.

Christian Folin 0.35

Folin, also a blueliner, played 17 minutes last night, spread over 24 shifts. He took a single shot on goal and finished at plus-1 for the night. While he was on the ice, the Wild got 17 shot attempts off and gave up 12, a CorsiRel of 58.6%. Paired with starting eight-of-11 times in the D-zone, Folin’s efforts in part helped Minnesota come away with the win.

Keith Yandle 0.28

Yandle’s night was the best the Panthers had to offer. Paired with Jason Demers, Yandle was second (by three seconds) in time-on-ice, with 24:01 over 26 shifts. He earned a minus-1 rating and took three of Florida’s 30 shots-on-goal. The Panthers got 29 shots off with Yandle on the ice, versus just 14 against for a 67.4% CorsiRel, second only to Aleksander Barkov’s 67.7% figure (but Barkov started in the offensive zone 87.5% of the time). Yandle started half of the time on each end, with seven Zone Starts each.

The Moderately Successful

Derek MacKenzie 0.25

Erik Haula 0.22

Reilly Smith 0.21

The Decidedly Average

Jason Demers 0.20

Mikko Koivu 0.19

Mikael Granlund 0.19

Dylan McIlrath 0.19

Jason Zucker 0.18

Nino Niederreiter 0.15

Charlie Coyle 0.13

Jon Marchessault 0.10

Jason Pominville 0.08

Michael Matheson 0.03

Nick Bjugstad 0.03

Colton Sceviour 0.02

Vincent Trocheck 0.00

Eric Staal 0.00

Kyle Rau -0.04

Jussi Jokinen -0.07

Mathew Dumba -0.09

Jonas Brodin -0.10

Ryan Suter -0.16

Jared Spurgeon -0.18

Zach Parise -0.20

Seth Griffith -0.20

Aleksander Barkov -0.21

Jaromir Jagr -0.28

The Slightly Underwhelming

Mark Pysyk -0.33

Chris Stewart -0.35

Tyler Graovac -0.39

Of Corsi Did

Paul Thompson -0.40

Thompson played just 9:57 over 15 shifts last night, so maybe his sample size was smaller than most. He had three offensive zone starts to zero defensively, and the Panthers outshot the Wild 12-to-8 with him on the ice. Thompson took two shots on goal.

Aaron Ekblad -0.40

Ekblad led the Panthers with four shots on goal, and brought up the rear with a team-low-tying minus-2 rating for the night. He played 24 shifts totaling 22:59 on the ice, and notably failed to help keep the puck in the zone. Observant watchers of the game who say he’s probably too focused on offense for a real defenseman wouldn’t be wrong, plus he doesn’t really seem very fast anymore. The Panthers got 23 shots off with Ekblad on ice, and allowed 21. That in itself wouldn’t be an entirely bad measure, but his shortcomings become more evident when paired with his overwhelming use in the positive zone (13 offensive zone starts versus just two defensive).

Kurtis Gabriel -0.42

Gabriel spent seven minutes in the box for the Wild, and skated a game-low 5:50 over nine shifts. During his limited time-on-ice, Minnesota was outshot 12-to-1. Gabriel started two-of-four times in the offensive zone.

Let me know what you think of this format. Would you like to see it more often? Let me know, and sound off below.