Yahoo’s Buzzing the Net — “World Junior 2015: Eichel a statistical nightmare for opponents as Finnish opposition falls flat”

by Megan Richardson

If you follow me on Twitter, you probably know I’ve accepted a position doing CHL stats writing with Yahoo’s Buzzing the Net. This is my first post for them. I’ll try to remember to link all of them here, for my own records if not for anyone else’s viewing (hi mom!).

Yesterday, I asked my Twitter followers to pick a game for me to look at from an analytics perspective. They chose Finland versus the USA, my first look at Jack Eichel in action–and what glorious action it was!

I looked each team’s even strength shot attempts (missed, blocked, or shot on net), and who was on the ice for them. Think of it as a plus-minus, only instead of tracking goals scored for and against, it tracks shot attempts. (You probably know this as Corsi.) Say the U.S. attempts a shot that misses the net. Even though it missed, it’s a positive sign that the players on the ice made good plays to get into the offensive zone. In the long run, those plays add up to more goals for than against, but goals are very fluky (just think about that wonky Finnish goal!). So shot attempts do a better job of showing us players who are likely to be good at scoring more goals than are scored on them. That’s the short version of the puck possession story, I’ll write more on this in the future. For now, let’s look at some numbers…