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Possession Is Everything, And Once In Awhile It Leads To A Turnover

Just a reminder: possession is everything.

Chart by Vic Ferrari, all rights reserved

"Puck possession is everything."
--Mike Babcock

It's a quote that's riled up Colorado fans, Dallas fans, Minnesota fans (and exposed them, really exposed them) and Oilers fans (too many links to count). But it holds. The chart above shows the convergence of scoring chances and Corsi, a chart posted by Vic Ferrari here.

I've written about Babcock and Ferrari here, and while I won't re-hash the same concepts, I do want to point out another interesting interesting article in the same vein, posted here byJeff Veillette at Leafs Nation.

Giving away the puck a lot requires two things: lots of ice time, and lots of time with the puck. You need to have lots of time to posess what you're going to give away, leading to that event being an inevitability in good players.


If you're hitting another player, you don't have the puck. If you're finishing a check, you're usually ignoring the puck, and it's a crapshoot as to which team gets another guy in on time to continue the play, usually leaning towards the team of the hit player.

There was a time, not too long ago, when the fans on the #8 bus focused their ire on Tom Gilbert for being soft (he didn't hit) and bad with the puck (he led the team in turnovers). Any attempts to explain that turnovers were a function of ice time and puck possession were shot down in a hail of philistine rocks.

Maybe now we're far enough away, and the fans have figured it out and understand that the more often a player has the puck, the more often they're going to turn it over. Maybe they understand that raw turnovers aren't the sign of a terrible player. If not, and they still think Tom Gilbert was terrible with the puck, how are they going to explain this?