Advanced Stats Say Crosby for Hart

Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, Washington’s Alex Ovechkin, and New York’s John Tavares have been named finalists for the Hart Trophy.
While advanced stats aren’t perfect you can tell a lot about the player by them. In this case they tell who should win the Hart. Advanced stats say Crosby should win the Hart, considering he is leading in EVERY. SINGLE. CATEGORY.

Corsi Relative QoC

  1. Crosby: .221
  2. Tavares: -.044
  3. Ovechkin: -.255

The Corsi Relative Quality of Competition value is similar to the Relative Corsi (differential of goals, shots, and missed shots), but takes into consideration the opponents a player usually faces while on the ice. It shows how much offense a player generates while on the ice against the skill of the opponent. Compared to other players in the lineup, star players usually have a lower Corsi Rel. QoC because they usually play against the bottom lines of opponents. Usually top lines draw the gritty lines of the opposition, instead of pitting top scoring lines against each other. However, even for superstars the Corsi Rel. QoC is still interesting, and Crosby is the only Hart finalist with a positive number. At the end of one the score is Crosby 1, Tavares 0, and Ovechkin 0.

Corsi Quality of Competition

  1. Crosby: -.057
  2. Tavares: -.065
  3. Ovechkin: -.069

The Corsi Quality of Competition is the same as the Corsi Rel. QoC except it includes blocked shots in the calculation. Therefore, the reasoning for why the three finalists have poor numbers are the same as the above stat. However, despite having a less-than-great stat, Crosby still leads the finalists in this category. The score at the end of two: Crosby 2, Tavares 0, Ovechkin 0

On-Ice Corsi

  1. Crosby: 16.10
  2. Tavares: 7.18
  3. Ovechkin: -1.83

The On-Ice Corsi is one of, if not my favorite, advanced stat. It’s also one of the most looked at. A player’s Corsi number shows how much offense is produced by the team while he is on the ice. It is calculated as goals + shots + missed shots + blocked shots – those by the opposing team. Not only does Crosby once again lead in this category, but Ovechkin actually has a negativevalue. For someone who is thought to be one of if not the best offensive players in the league, according to his Corsi number, the opposition actually produces more offense with him on the ice than he does. Note: just because a player has a poor Corsi number doesn’t make them a bad player. Advanced stats aren’t perfect. But it is interesting. Sid continues to win the advanced stats battle by more than doubling the Corsi number of the next finalist. After three: Crosby 3, Tavares 0, and Ovechkin 0.

Relative Corsi

  1. Crosby: 20.3
  2. Tavares: 10.8
  3. Ovechkin: 2.1

Relative Corsi is the same as the On-Ice Corsi, except it does not include blocked shots. It still measures the offense generated by a player. Once again, Crosby demandingly leads in this category. Four down: Crosby 4, Tavares 0, Ovechkin 0.

On Ice Shooting %

  1. Crosby: 13.92
  2. Ovechkin: 11.20
  3. Tavares: 8.88

Just what it sounds like, this stat gives the team’s shooting percentage while an individual is on the ice. While the difference between the finalists is not as great in this category, Crosby still has the advantage. Although by looking at regular stats, Ovechkin has more individual shots, Crosby is more effective while on the ice. After five rounds the score is Crosby 5, Tavares 0, and Ovechkin 0.

On Ice Save %

  1. Crosby: 924
  2. Ovechkin: 916
  3. Tavares: 885

Similar to the previous stat, On Ice Save % gives the save percentage of the team while a certain player is on the ice. I really like this stat while debating who should win the Hart because of the emphasis on playing a strong two-way game. Now I know this stat relies a lot on the goalies and defense, but since I believe Fleury, Holtby, and Nobokov are all comparable, the save % statistic is still relevant. Here I will pause to give a shout out to the Pens defense, since nobody outside of Pittsburgh thinks they exist. Thanks for helping Sid’s On-Ice Save % guys! But if you’re one of those that think the Pens have no defense, then you should be extra impressed with Sid’s save % number. At the end of six Sid is still in the lead. Crosby 6, Tavares 0, and Ovechkin 0.


  1. Crosby: 1063
  2. Ovechkin: 1028
  3. Tavares: 974

Like the Corsi, the PDO is one of, if not the most, important values in advanced statistics. It is a combination of On-Ice Save and Shooting percentages. For example, Crosby has an On-Ice Shooting percentage of 13.92 and a Save % of 924. 924+139=1063. The average PDO value is 1000. Anything greater than 1000 is considered a good PDO, while anything below is not desirable. Therefore, Crosby and Ovechkin have good PDO values, while Tavares is less than average in this category. Once again, the emphasis is put on the importance of a strong two-way game, something the MVP should have. Seven categories have been accounted for and the score is Crosby 7, Tavares 0, and Ovechkin 0.

Differential of Offensive Zone Start % and Offensive Zone Finish %

  1. Crosby: +3.7% (50.8-47.1)
  2. Ovechkin: -2.4% (52.1-54.5)
  3. Tavares: -8.1% (53.1-61.2)

Typically, this stat is given in two parts: the percentage of shifts a player starts in the offensive zone and the percentage he finishes in the zone. However, since this depends on matchups and the percentage itself doesn’t say much about the ability of the player, I gave the stat in differential form. I believe it is more important to create offensive zone time. Crosby is the only finalist that ends more shifts in the offensive zone than he starts there. Like the Corsi number, the differential of offensive zone starts/finishes shows a player’s ability to generate offense. Keep in mind that Crosby’s positive differential of 3.7% is a desirable number, but is not amazing. Likewise, Ovechkin’s negative 2.4% isn’t awful. However, Tavares’ -8.1% is surprising….and awful. I can understand fluctuating around 0 by up to 5%. However, a differential of more than 8% is alarming. It’s one thing not to score; it’s another to lose offensive zone possession time. Final score: Crosby 8, Tavares 0, and Ovechkin 0.

And the winner is…

I would like to point out that advanced stats aren’t perfect. However, it is very unusual that a player leads every single category against others of a comparable level of play. When all the stats add up, it’s hard to argue against Crosby for the Hart.

One thought on “Advanced Stats Say Crosby for Hart

  1. Pingback: Advanced Stats Through Round 2: The Rise of Tyler Kennedy | pghhockey

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s