Since this is my first article on Matchsticks and Gasoline I will give you a bit of background about myself. I've been a lifelong Flames fan and I have followed them all the way from the Cup win, through the Young Guns era, to the 2004 Cup run, and into yet another rebuild. My earliest hockey memory (aside from learning how to skate) must be the 89 Stanley Cup Final when my mom let me stay up late to watch the Flames become the only visiting team ever to win a Stanley Cup in the old Montreal Forum.
A few years ago I found Matchsticks and Gasoline, a site that really turned me on to advanced stats, what they mean, and how they are changing the game. What I want to present to you today are the definitions of the stats that I have been learning and studying and that I will be using in the near future.
As we all know, right wing is an organizational weekness for our club even after the signing of right wing Czech Daniel Pribyl. This series will be focused on upcoming Unrestricted Free Agent right wing players and some speculation as to where they would fit in on the depth chart, if signed, and what impact they may have on the team as a whole.
I have identified 7 players that could potentially help the Flames in a position of weakness and where they might slot in to the current lineup. Best case scenario, one of these players ends up becoming the top line right wing we need for Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. Worst case scenario, someone gets knocked down the depth chart. The 7 players I have looked at are these:
To evaluate these players, I have looked at a number of statistics that I think are important for scoring wingers, depth wingers, and players that can move up and down the line up as needed. All of the stats that I pulled are solely 5v5 even strength numbers. The vast majority of the game is played at 5v5 and it's widely accepted that 5v5 numbers are the best indicator of any player's ability in a given area.
To start off I will look at the counting numbers (GP-G-A-P-TOI/Game) followed by some of the more advanced figures. Anyway, on to the definitions.
P/60: How many points is this player scoring per 60 minutes of icetime?
GF%: Goals For Percentage. This is a plus/minus statistic, over 50% is good, below 50% is bad.
GF%Rel: Goals For Percentage Relative to the Team. This tells us whether or not this player is allowing more or less goals than his team mates.
CF%: Corsi For Percentage is the total amount of shots at net rather than shots on net versus the amount of shots the player is directing toward his opponents net. Another plus/minus stat.
CF%Rel: Corsi For Percentage Relative to the Team. This tells us whether or not this player is allowing more or less shots at net than their team mates.
ZS%: Zone Start Percentage. Players with a higher number start closer to the opponent's net more often than not. Players with a low number start in the defensive end more often. Generally your scoring players will have a high number while your more defensive players will have a lower number.
ZS%Rel: Zone Start Percentage Relative to the Team. Players with a positive value are given the starts more likely to lead to a scoring chance than players that have a negative value.
SCF%: Scoring Chances For Percentage. Similar to Corsi For and Goals For this will tell us which players are directly contributing to scoring chances for vsersus how many scoring chances the player is allowing. This is a plus/minus stat.
SCF%Rel: Scoring Chances For Relative to the Team. Whether or not a player is allowing more or less scoring chances than his team mates.
HSCF%: High Danger Scoring Chance Percentage. Another plus/minus stat indicating a players ability to generate or deny High Danger chances against. High Danger chances generally come from the low to mid slot area although there are some vaguely defined exceptions for some shots coming from outside of those areas.
HSCF%Rel: Once again, High Danger chances generated vs the rest of the players team.
To add some perspective I've also included the career averages for each of these stats for every player I'm considering. All of my numbers are pulled from War On Ice and I will also include the terms of the players' previous contracts courtesy of General Fanager.