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Taylor Chorney - Not As Bad As We Thought

Over the last couple of days we've looked at the zonestart stats for the Oilers in 2009-2010.  Even though Pat Quinn and his "Rollin' Rollin' Rollin, Keep Movin' Movin' Movin" line changes were in effect most of the year, Shawn Horcoff, Ales Hemsky, Dustin Penner and Ethan Moreau got the bulk the tough starting assignments up front.  On the back end, Quinn had no problems with putting out his worst in the defensive zone and Taylor Chorney suffered the brunt of the sitzkrieg coaching style. 

Chorney's underlying stats also suffered because of his zonestart number.  It's obvious that defensive zone start would have an impact on Corsi - it's difficult for a player to direct shots at the opponents' net when he's starting 175 feet away from that net.  We've previously graphed the inverse relationship between Zonestart and Corsi at the team level, but Vic Ferrari and Jlikens have worked out the math at the individual level.  Vic demonstrated that each net offensive zonestart is worth +.6 Fenwick, and Jlikens demonstrated that each net offensive zonestart is worth +.8 Corsi.

With that information, we can use a bit of simple math to understand how each player's starting position impacted their overall Corsi and what that means for a Tom Renney-coached team in 2010-2011.

Armed with Jlikens' Corsi information, we can normalize Edmonton's 2009-2010 individual Corsi values quite simply:  multiply the net zonestart by .8, then add or subtract that value from the raw Corsi value to get Normalized Corsi.  If we divide that number by even strength time on ice and multiply by sixty, we get Normalized Corsi/60,  which we can easily compare to Desjardins' Corsi/60 value at, the world's finest statistical haberdashery.  The table below shows the numbers needed to complete the calculations (save the even strength time on ice totals, available at, Normalized Corsi/60 and the Δ (Delta), or change in the number from Corsi/60 to Norm Corsi/60.

These tables are sortable by column -- simply click on the desired column header cell.

NAME 09/10 DZ OZ OPCT ZS NET Corsi/60 Norm Corsi/60 Δ
Ales Hemsky 95 73 0.435 -22 2.85 6.43 3.58
Dustin Penner 343 288 0.456 -55 0.77 3.17 2.40
Sam Gagner 235 224 0.488 -11 -2.51 -1.91 0.60
Robert Nilsson 213 197 0.480 -16 -5.46 -4.40 1.06
Ryan Jones 114 103 0.475 -11 -6.75 -5.54 1.21
Gilbert Brule 229 215 0.484 -14 -7.01 -6.18 0.83
Shawn Horcoff 369 306 0.453 -63 -10.99 -8.12 2.87
Mike Comrie 122 111 0.476 -11 -9.96 -8.84 1.12
Ryan Potulny 234 208 0.471 -26 -10.78 -9.12 1.66
Andrew Cogliano 260 251 0.491 -9 -10.27 -9.83 0.44
Patrick O'Sullivan 260 259 0.499 -1 -13.35 -13.30 0.05
Zack Stortini 205 179 0.466 -26 -17.44 -15.64 1.80
Fernando Pisani 162 140 0.464 -22 -22.15 -19.91 2.24
Ethan Moreau 296 245 0.453 -51 -22.99 -20.30 2.69
Jean-Francois Jacques 131 139 0.515 8 -20.25 -20.98 -0.73


  • The full season players that improve the most are Shawn Horcoff, Ethan Moreau, Dustin Penner, and Fernando Pisani.  Horcoff leaps over three players and Penner actually increases the gap between he and Sam Gagner, the man in second place.
  • Jean-Francois Jacques, of course, looks worse when accounting for the fact that he was the only Oiler with more offensive zonestarts than defensive zonestarts.
  • Yet again Robert Nilsson looks better by this metric.  Some have suggested that these types of stats paint too rosy a picture for Nilsson, but hey, people get down on you when you're getting beat up by bad luck.

Name 09/10 DZ OZ OPCT ZS NET Corsi/60 Norm Corsi/60 Δ
Sheldon Souray 182 202 0.522 20 2.28 0.93 -1.35
Tom Gilbert 404 397 0.496 -7 -6.01 -5.75 0.26
Aaron Johnson 151 128 0.459 -23 -9.29 -7.26 2.03
Ladislav Smid 227 200 0.468 -27 -8.95 -7.40 1.55
Ryan Whitney 396 377 0.488 -19 -8.51 -7.87 0.64
Taylor Chorney 197 127 0.392 -70 -26.72 -21.14 5.58
Jason Strudwick 298 254 0.460 -44 -24.53 -22.41 2.12


  • Sheldon Souray ended up with 17 more offensive starts in his limited time, and he was the only defender. 
  • The big gainer here, and on the team is Taylor Chorney.  Chorney had the fifth-worst OPCT in the league amongst defensemen, and did so as a rookie.  His improvement of 5.58/60 jumps him ahead of Jason Strudwick, his typical defensive partner through most of Chorney's games played last year.  Relative Corsi also shows that Chorney was better than Strudwick.   So, Norm Corsi would improve Chorney's lead on Strudwick in the Relative Corsi rankings as well.  While Chorney has taken heat in many circles, and especially from me, it seems that it was Strudwick dragging Chorney down, not the other way around.

Normalizing Corsi for starting position on the ice seems trivial, but it does have a significant impact on individual players.  Some, like Dustin Penner, will look even better  - and his season already looked amazing.  Others, like Taylor Chorney, had tough seasons that look better.  Yet others, like Jason Strudwick, had tough seasons that look even worse.  Now, off to talk Desjardins into tracking Norm and Rel Norm Corsi, Jim's weird cousins.