Mar 13, 2010, 4:30 PM EST
One of my underlying goals whenever I delve into the deeper stats and hockey roads less traveled is to try to return from such journeys with nuggets of truth that appeal across the fan spectrum. You might cringe or get a little intimidated when people bring up a player’s Corsi rating, but in some cases such stats are actually very simple (yet they sound like incomprehensible Godzilla monsters of spreadsheets).
This is not to say that I am – by any means – an expert number cruncher. I have a few mildly interesting made-up stats that I’ll torment you with from time to time, but let’s just say I’m not exactly a math genius. That being said, I think we can all agree that there’s a lot more that goes into a hockey game than what’s listed in a box score.
TSN’s Scott Cullen seems to have similar goals, although he seems interested in developing antiquated methods such as “researching points” and “not leaning heavily on corny jokes.” (Whatever, Scott.) In his latest column, he used some weird formula to measure a player’s intangible value to a given team. He notes a few limitations to the experiment; for instance, he judged players on cumulative totals, so injuries might make a player look bad. Cullen also noted that certain players – like the Sedin twins with their cycle heavy puck possession playing styles – aren’t as often in position to rack up hits or blocked shots.
Regardless of the drawbacks to the numbers, the results are pretty interesting. He listed the top three players for each team plus the player who rated the lowest.
Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting cases, starting with the top five league-wide.
- Ryan Callahan – 9.13
- Dennis Seidenberg – 8.14
- Dustin Brown – 7.89
- Cal Clutterbuck – 7.16
- Ryan Kesler – 7.12
Three of those players made Team USA. U-S-A! Yeah!
The NHL’s most intangible-deprived players and some other interesting findings after the jump.
Moving on, let’s take a look at the other end of the spectrum. Here are the bottom five, at least according to Cullen’s numbers. (Fifth worst down to worst)
- Teemu Selanne -0.13
- Eric Godard -0.21
- Patrik Elias -0.26
- Daniel Sedin -0.31
- Patrick Sharp -0.35
Before I let you go, let me run down a few other interesting tidbits. Alex Ovechkin leads the Capitals with a 4.24 rating followed closely by frequently criticized defenseman Mike Green (4.19). Dion Phaneuf is the second best intangibles guy on the Leafs and outcast Matt Cooke is number three on Pittsburgh. Kristian Huselius ranked last for Columbus, so feel free to crack out some “Uselius/Useless” jokes. Injuries might explain why Eric Staal and Marc Savard came out the worst on their respective teams.
But, perhaps most importantly, Todd Bertuzzi brings the least amount of intangibles to Detroit. Well, I can sleep well tonight.
- Roy: ‘They got away with things that we could not’ 10
- Video: Panthers’ Luongo leaves game due to injury (Updated) 0
- Video: Jets’ Lowry hits Sabres’ Kaleta from behind 5
- Video: Lightning pay tribute to St. Louis 6
- He’s baaaaack: Brodeur joins Blues on tryout basis 20
- Chelios calls ex-teammate Shanahan an inexperienced ‘politician’ 16
- Sharks players go to bat for McLellan: ‘Why would you get rid of him?’ 1
- Garbutt to have hearing for kneeing Hall 3
- The day before Thanksgiving, six new playoff teams 16
- What they’re saying about St. Louis’ return to Tampa Bay 24
- Video: Milan Lucic calls Dalton Prout one-punch ‘gutless’ (101)
- Prout drops Lucic: ‘As far as I was concerned we were engaged in a fight’ (88)
- The Leafs didn’t salute their fans last night, so that’s a thing now (79)
- Jack Johnson filed for bankruptcy, parents allegedly took advantage of him (58)
- Bruins’ Lucic expected to play against Habs after getting one-punched (Updated) (47)