Stats. Is it just me or are they getting out of hand? I have read more and more articles dealing with “adjusted corsi” dealing with zone starts and different line mate combinations etc lately. I do think there is a place for all stats however all stats are subjective to the million variables that go into an average day in this world. Stats will never tell a whole story, they will never tell you about the compete levels in players, their motivations, their bad or good luck. They won’t tell you humidity factor in different arenas or noise level, they don’t tell you about the chirping of one player to another or about hidden injuries that players play through.
Corsi, the way I understand it, is basically the plus minus stat on roids. It deals with 5 on 5 play and the shots for and against while a player is on the ice. Here again we could look at so many different variables it makes a head spin, ice condition, how well the trainer sharpened skates on and on… nothing is ever perfect. I like stats as a basic outline that show how a player does in general. For instance if a player is minus 27 he is probably a defensive liability or if a player has 100 points he is pretty damn good player.
I will state one more time that I do not believe stats tell the whole story.
When I read on Flamesnation.ca about how Kipper was the weak link on the Flames I did have to shake my head. There were a lot of stats thrown out there, you can read it here http://flamesnation.ca/2011/7/27/the-weakest-link
Now before I give you my take on that please be aware that Kent Wilson and the team do an awesome job, I regularly read the blog and highly recommend it. Having said that the real and only true way to judge hockey…is to watch hockey. Kipper was fantastic last year and yes there was the occasional bad goal but is he really the weakest link? I remember so many goals that I was flabbergasted at the defence being atrocious yet the stats say that five on five they do a decent job. It’s hockey. One mental slip by a player and the opposition is in the slot in a prime scoring area. The stats used in this blog say five on five when the opposition beat the Flames five on five it’s Kipper’s fault. C’mon.
To summarize I think stats are only meant to round out an opinion and to maybe provide some general justification, if you rely solely on them you blind yourself to the beauty of hockey. Besides if one really wanted to look at Kipper’s stats I could argue to one that matters most, wins, he was third. In losses he has less than bums like Lundqvist, Ward, Brodeur…you know statistically better goalies than Kipper 5 on 5… How is that possible…because hockey is played on the ice not on a calculator.