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Introduction to Phantoms shot quality data

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Hello, Travis Sanheim should be in the NHL.

Kate Frese / SB Nation

Back on December 9th, or game 26, I began to separate the Phantoms’ Corsi into high, medium, and low danger. Two months and 25 games of data later, it feels like a good time to discuss it a bit. Before I get into how I decide if a Corsi event is low, medium, or high danger, if you don’t know what Corsi is, or would like a refresher, I highly recommend Charlie O’Connor’s advanced stats primer on The Athletic.

Danger zones

Introduced by WAR On Ice (WOI), danger zones were created to take metrics like Corsi to the next level. Common knowledge tells you that a shot from the point is less dangerous than a shot taken from the slot, and separating these into different categories helps tell the full story.

When tracking Corsi events, I base shot location off of this diagram. After reading multiple articles about shot location, I decided that WOI’s danger zones made the most sense for what I’m doing. The high-danger area (red) is high, the danger area (yellow) is medium, and the rest of the ice surface qualifies as low. However, that’s not the only thing that determines a shot’s danger.

Rush shots, rebounds, and blocked shots

Both rush shots and rebounds have been shown to be more dangerous than your average shot, so a danger level is added for shots that qualify as such. For example, if a rush shot’s location is the low danger zone, it will be counted as a medium danger shot because it was off the rush. The same goes for rebounds. A rebound shot taken from the medium danger zone will be counted as high danger because it was a rebound.

Something that websites like WOI had and have to deal with is the fact that the NHL’s play by play data places blocked shots at the location they were blocked, rather than where the shot was taken. To work around that, a blocked shot would lose a danger level. Since I’m watching every blocked shot that’s not a problem for me, and whether a shot is blocked or not does not go into my decision to qualify it as low, medium, or high danger.

If you’d like to read more about danger zones, shot types, and the method that WOI used, you can do so here.

What does it miss?

There are a few things that the data doesn’t take into account that I may try to introduce next season, with the main thing being shot types. Specifically, deflections. For example, there is currently no difference between a wrist shot and a deflection - that’s not ideal. Second on my list of things to add is score-adjustments, and hopefully both of these can be ready for the 2018-2019 season.

Some other things that have an impact on the danger of a shot but do not have any impact on the data include shot speed, shot angle, and shooter talent. All of which may prove to be impossible to implement for various reasons.

Now that I’ve explained what goes into these numbers a bit, let’s get into some early observations.

*All data referenced from here on out is from a 5-on-5 game state and from a 25-game span starting on December 9th and ending on February 10th.

Martel shoots a lot, and from everywhere

Sample size: 14 games

Danick Martel has one of the weirdest, yet one of the best, stat lines when it comes to iCF. In his last 14 games he’s taken 62 shot attempts (4.43 per game), 20 of which were low danger, 22 medium danger, and 20 high danger. That’s 32.26% low danger, 35.45% medium danger, and 32.26% high danger. No other Phantom is even close to having a 33% split like that. On a per game level Martel generates more high danger shot attempts than any Phantom.

Carey, Aube-Kubel, and the medium danger shot

Sample size: 25 games

Something that both Greg Carey and Nicolas Aube-Kubel do well is generate offense off the rush. I haven’t been specifying if a shot is a rush shot or not, rather just adding a danger level if it is (I’ll be fixing this next season), so I can’t say for sure if that is what’s happening here, but it feels like they, Carey especially, take a ton of rush shots from the low danger zone.

Carey & Aube-Kubel 5v5 iCF

Player iLDCF iMDCF iHDCF
Player iLDCF iMDCF iHDCF
Greg Carey 20 35 8
Nic Aube-Kubel 21 41 16

Carey (55.56%) and Aube-Kubel (52.56%) are the only Phantoms to have over 50% of their attempts qualify as a medium danger shot. What’s really interesting to me is that Carey takes the lowest amount of high danger shots per game among forwards. Their 5-on-5 goal-scoring leader doesn’t really shoot from the high danger area.

Brennan generates the most among defensemen

Sample size: 22 games

Super unsurprising, I know. T.J. Brennan took 65 low danger, 24 medium danger, and 6 high danger shot attempts in 22 games, all of which were the highest numbers from a defenseman. However, a ton of shots also go the other way while he’s on the ice which leads to his low, medium, and high danger CF% all being (barely) negative relative to his team. Low-event hockey and T.J. Brennan are two things that just don’t go together.

On-ice scoring chances for

Any shot that is medium or high danger qualifies as a scoring chance, and here are the top ten Phantoms via 5-on-5 SCF%.

Phantoms 5v5 SCF%

Player GP SCF SCA SCF%
Player GP SCF SCA SCF%
Travis Sanheim 8 69 46 60.00%
Corban Knight 14 97 71 57.74%
Will O'Neill 18 134 103 56.54%
Mark Friedman 20 112 87 56.28%
Mikhail Vorobyev 9 57 45 55.88%
Mike Vecchione 19 96 76 55.81%
Nic Aube-Kubel 25 165 131 55.74%
Maxim Lamarche 17 130 106 55.08%
Oskar Lindblom 25 135 111 54.88%
Matt Read 17 94 78 54.65%

I plan on having a more in-depth post once the regular season is over, but for now if you would like to know the individual shots or on-ice percentages for any player that I didn’t mention here, leave a comment below or tweet at me and I’ll be sure to get back to you. As always, you can find raw 5-on-5 CF% for the Phantoms on Phancy Stats.