One-third into the 2011-12 season, enough hockey has been played to give us a good idea of the best players so far this season. Now let’s have a look at the best defensive defensemen in the NHL this year. Those rearguards are often forgotten when we look at their team’s overall success, but they are key contributors nonetheless in helping their team make the playoffs.
The Corsi relative (or Corsi Rel) is a way to compare players that neutralizes the team effects, Corsi Rel is a player’s Corsi when they are on the ice versus when they are off. If a player has a Corsi/60 of 6.0 (meaning the team directs 5 more shots towards the opposing net than they allow when the player is on the ice), but a Corsi/60 of 5.0 when the player is sitting on the bench, the player’s Corsi Rel is 1.0. Corsi Rel is always per 60 minutes of ice time.
The Quality of Competition is a pro-rated stat for each player, measuring the rating of the opposition per minute of ice time. Higher means tougher competition, zero is average, and negative means inferior competition.
QoC Corsi Rel – A quality of competition metric that uses Corsi Rel rather than rating. Over 1.000 is stiff competition indeed, and 1.500 is insane Dani Girardi and Nicklas Lidstrom territory. Less than -1.000 is extremely sheltered (hello, Jody Shelley and George Parros).
|Name||Team||Plus/Minus Rating||Blocked shots||Takeaways||Giveaways||PK Ice Time/game||Corsi Rel QoC||Total|
As you can see, most of these rearguards are used more often than not against tougher opponents and log a lot of ice on the penalty kill. These blue liners sacrifice their bodies to block shots and avoid giving away the puck to their opponents by making good decisions while handling the puck. Surprisingly no Zdeno Chara or Keith Yandle among the defensive leaders.
Who do you think is a surprise? For me the biggest surprise is David Schlemko
Fred is a freelance sports write and translator, as well as a featured Montreal Canadiens blogger on http://hockeyindependent.com/blog/ and a baseball columnist on http://www.dobberbaseball.com/. Fred also joined HabsAddict.com in time for the 2011-12 season.
Follow Fred on Twitter for more miscellaneous statistics.
About the Author: Working as a freelance sports writer and translator, Fred, 33, graduated from Laval University in Quebec City, earning a bachelor of translation in 2002. An avid fan of the Northeast division teams, he's also a long time fan of the Washington Capitals and the Montreal Canadiens. Fred also speaks fluently French and Spanish. http://twitter.com/FredPoulin98 www.traductions-quebec.com