December 20 2013 12:00PM
Visualized Corsi provides us with an interesting method to evaluate players' overall performance, relative to the league and each other. If you need a primer, go here, otherwise FlamesNation gets into the Corsi Visualization craze past the jump.
All of these guys have appeared in at least 10 games. Line mates without percentages have played less than 60:00 at even strength with the player in focus, and thus not counted. The darker the red, the better the results. The darker the blue, the worse the results. Players are sorted by even strength TOI/G. Due to injury, Giordano's sample size is limited but he looks damn good comparatively. All of the data came from Extra Skater and Hockey Analysis. Thanks to the folks at Arctic Ice Hockey for getting everything started.
The first graph shows the standard visualized Corsi chart - under 50% is blue, over 55% is red and everything in between is orange.
You will immediately notice there's something missing - the colour red. Well, the Flames have no one who exceeds the 55% mark. Glencross and Wideman are the closest, at 54.4% - but that's not good enough. Also, notice what happens to Mike Cammalleri - he fades into a sea of blue here, but as we move downwards the picture will improve.
As a fan, you'd hope that the coach plays his best players the most. But as we see here, that's not exactly happening. The defensive minutes are correctly distributed (although this chart suggests Butler and Smid still play way too much), but the forward minutes are not. Ideally, the top left should be a haven of orange (and, usually, red) with the blue being confined to the bottom right. Backlund has been getting more ice time lately, though, so perhaps the problem has been identified.
The second graph shows Corsi relative to the team's total Corsi percentage - 43.9%. Red is above the total, blue is below the total.
As the Flames' overall Corsi is terrible, there's a lot more red here than there should be. Remember how I mentioned Cammalleri above? Well, here he's all red instead of all blue. There are a lot of positives, as this shows us just how good the top four defensemen are. Although, Stempniak and Wideman's 42.1% seems out of place, as does Brodie and Glencross' 38.9%. I don't know how the percentages are so low, but it seems odd.
Monahan, David Jones, Bouma, and Colborne look really bad here.
This last graph shows Corsi percentage relative to the rest of the team - each colour covers 10 percentages.
This graph sort of gives us a little more context on where each pair is relative to another. Mike Cammalleri and TJ Galliardi have been the best forwards by this measure, while Mark Giordano is the best defenseman. The worst forwards are Monahan, Colborne, Bouma and McGrattan. The bottom three defensemen continue their reign of suck. Shane O'Brien has 5 of the 10 worst Corsi percentages under his name - that's impressive.
I question how much better this team would be with 3 bottom-tier defensemen that didn't bleed shot attempts like they were coming out of a sliced subclavian. The three of them have 0 combined positive Corsi percentages where they were driving the bus. Same with the bottom-tier forwards - Colborne, Bouma, McGrattan, Monahan and David Jones. Certainly circumstance can explain some results (Bouma, Galliardi) but in other cases the numbers are too low to fault anything except for the player.
The problem with this team isn't that they can't hold third period leads or that they aren't effective on special teams. The appearance of both of those problems stems from the fact that they can't control shot attempts in any meaningful way when Backlund, Glencross and two top-4 defensemen aren't on the ice. This team simply isn't very good at controlling the puck; in fact, they're historically bad now. Add that to worse than replacement level goaltending on 60% of the team's shots against and you have quite the disaster on your hands.