Nashville vs. Atlanta, inside the numbers

Just as the Nashville Predators started rounding into regular season form with last night's 2-1 win over Atlanta, we here at On the Forecheck are getting our game on as well.

Follow after the jump to take a look at the advanced even-strength statistics from that contest, and ponder a question I have for you...

Last season, I cranked out the following table after most Preds games, in order to give a quick summary of how the game flowed for various players. The data presented reflects Even Strength play only, and the columns are as follows:

EV TOI - Even Strength time on ice for that player.

That player's individual totals for Shots on Goal, Shots Attempted but blocked, Shots that miss the net, and (on the defensive end) how many shots they blocked.

Then we have the team totals during the time that player was on the ice. We have Shots On Goal For & Shots on Goal Against, which gives us a Shots On Goal +/-. Then we have the same thing for Total Shots For & Against (which includes Missed & Blocked Shots), leading to the Corsi number, the balance of Total Shots For & Against while that player is on the ice. Over the long haul, the Corsi number is a good indicator of how a player helps to "tip the ice", driving the play towards the offensive end and limiting chances on the defensive side.

The best performers in various sections (relative to their ice time) are shaded green, while the bottom dwellers get pink/red.

There are two major qualifications you need to keep in mind when looking at these tables. First of all, they don't reflect quality of competition or quality of teammates, so sometimes a guy may come out on the negative side of things, but if he did so while battling the other team's top line, that may not be a bad result. Secondly, hockey is very much a game of bounces, and a single game doesn't speak very much to a given player's talent or value - take these results for what they are, an indication of how one game went, but not enough to laud or condemn a player in general.

 Even Strength Individual Totals Team Totals While Player Is On Ice
 Player Pos EV TOI Shots Shts Blkd Missed Shts Blocks SOG For SOG Ag SOG +/- Tot SF Tot SA Corsi
 Cody Franson D 14:14 0 3 0 5 4 4 0 13 12 1
 Shea Weber D 21:17 2 2 0 0 10 7 3 19 11 8
 Kevin Klein D 18:20 4 0 1 2 10 9 1 19 19 0
 Martin Erat R 14:13 2 0 0 1 9 8 1 16 15 1
 David Legwand C 15:09 2 2 0 0 7 4 3 15 6 9
 Matthew Lombardi C 17:45 3 1 0 1 9 10 -1 15 16 -1
 Cal O'Reilly C 14:34 0 0 0 1 6 6 0 13 16 -3
 Ryan Suter D 22:18 1 1 0 0 13 7 6 21 12 9
 Jamie Lundmark C 7:57 1 1 0 0 4 2 2 9 5 4
 Jordin Tootoo R 10:06 1 0 1 0 6 1 5 12 3 9
 Jerred Smithson R 12:46 2 1 1 0 6 3 3 16 7 9
 Steve Sullivan L 14:15 1 1 0 0 4 7 -3 10 17 -7
 Patric Hornqvist R 16:22 3 5 0 1 5 7 -2 16 17 -1
 Joel Ward R 15:22 2 1 2 0 6 6 0 11 8 3
 Colin Wilson C 14:35 0 0 0 1 9 8 1 12 13 -1
 Francis Bouillon D 19:32 1 1 1 2 11 11 0 20 19 1
 Sergei Kostitsyn L 13:01 1 0 0 0 7 4 3 11 6 5
 Ryan Parent D 14:59 0 1 0 0 4 6 -2 12 13 -1

Usually I sort this with the forwards first and the D second, in descending order of TOI. It's too late for me to correct this table, however, so it's sorted by jersey number.

It's no surprise to see Shea Weber & Ryan Suter among the Corsi leaders, they typically drive the play substantially. To see Jordin Tootoo and Jerred Smithson with such positive results, however, is a bit unusual. Another thing to notice is how some guys are "high event" players (lots of shots for & against) as opposed to "low event". A good example is to look at Patric Hornqvist and Joel Ward side by side, in terms of Total Shots Hornqvist's figures for both For & Against are significantly higher.

A Question for OtF Readers

My question to you is, what else would you like to see in a table like this? Keep in mind that we don't have much room to add data, and I deliberately leave out Hits, Giveaways and Takeaways because there's little evidence that they actually help win hockey games, and are recorded so inconsistently across the league that they are basically meaningless. I'm open to other ideas, though!

To keep up with all of our coverage of the Nashville Predators, you can subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on Twitter (@Forechecker@predatweeter, @SLakePreds & @Short_Shifts) or catch the site on Facebook. You can also email me at the.forechecker@gmail.com.

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