Flyers Team Corsi with Emery vs. Mason

While perusing ExtraSkater today, I noticed something I had never noticed before: so far this season, the Flyers have been much better with Steve Mason on the ice than Ray Emery in terms of Corsi at 5v5 close.

  • Flyers with Mason (1024 minutes): 50.1% CF**
  • Flyers with Emery (425 minutes): 47.4% CF

I'm not suggesting that the differences are attributable to the goalies themselves, I really don't know why they exist, but we're not exactly dealing with small sample sizes here. So, I decided to dig a bit deeper to see if there were any hints in the component parts of Corsi. First, how do the Flyers' Corsi attempts break down depending on who's in net? Again, all numbers are 5v5 close.

Goalie % Attempts on net % Attempts blocked % Attempts missed
Mason 48.3 29.9 21.8
Emery 52.8 24.8 22.4

So, the Flyers get a higher percentage of their shots on net while Emery is in goal, and have a higher percentage of shots blocked while Mason is in net. Is it possible that the Flyers are more conservative with shot attempts when Emery is on the ice, only taking shots that are likely to hit the target?

I was going to create a similar table looking at how opponents' Corsi attempts break down based on who's in net for the Flyers, but there's almost no difference in proportion of attempts that hit the net, are blocked, or miss based on who's in net, so we'll skip that. One take-away is that opponents get a much higher percentage of their shot attempts on net (~57%) than do the Flyers (~49%).

What about Corsi event rates with each goalie in net? If the Flyers are more conservative with shot attempts with Emery, that should be borne out in the rates. The table below has Corsi events per minute at 5v5 close.

Goalie Corsi, for Corsi, against Shots, for Shots, against Blocks, for Blocks, against Misses, for Misses, against
Mason 0.98 0.98 0.47 0.56 0.29 0.24 0.21 0.18
Emery 0.81 0.90 0.43 0.51 0.20 0.21 0.18 0.18

Note: "Blocks, for" means Flyers shots that were blocked, by the opponent.

Every single component of Corsi, for or against, happens less frequently with Emery on the ice. So, although the Flyers are getting a higher percentage of their shot attempts on net with Emery on the ice, they're still getting fewer shots on net per minute. For whatever reason, there are fewer pucks aimed at either net when Emery is on the ice. Perhaps it's because the Flyers shoot at will when Mason is on the ice, but are more picky when Emery is on the ice. Perhaps the Flyers press more in the defensive end and prevent shot attempts. I don't have a ready explanation for this, but I thought it was worth thinking about.

**I didn't want to get into it above, but this is worth noting, too. The Flyers get 45.8% of the game's shots on net when Mason is on the ice (i.e., their opponents get 54.2%), and 45.7% when Emery is on the ice. Thus, the difference in CF% is due entirely to the Flyers getting a larger percentage of the game's blocked and missed shots when Mason is in net. So, if they are consciously being picky and/or focusing on suppressing shots when Emery is on the ice, they're probably better off doing that than playing a more wide-open game as they seem to do with Mason.

This item was written by a member of this community and is not necessarily endorsed by <em>Broad Street Hockey</em>.