I won’t lie, I was surprised and confused when the Coyotes signed Brad Richardson so quickly when free agency started. I never really followed Richardson’s career but had never really been impressed with him. He never stood out, but there must have been a reason the Coyotes signed him quickly and to a three-year deal. My curiosity was peaked.
I later read Richardson was new assistant GM John Chayka‘s choice. Now I was even more curious, what did Chayka see in Richardson’s advanced stats that I never noticed or paid attention to?
To really understand the signing, I felt I needed a crash course in advanced stats. I had heard about the stats and looked at them briefly but never really dug into what they mean. There are three main stats I looked at Corsi, Fenwick, and PDO.
Corsi is named after Jim Corsi, former goaltender and current goalie coach for the St. Louis Blues. Corsi is shots on goals, missed shots and blocked shots; basically it counts any shot towards the goal throughout the game. It is best used to analyze shorter periods of times. A high Corsi indicates a team or player are spending more time in the offensive zone, on the attack. A negative Corsi shows a team or player that is spending their time defending and chasing the puck.
Fenwick, which was developed by blogger Matt Fenwick, includes shots on goals and missed shots. Blocked shots are excluded because blocking shots is a skill (see: Z, Gordon, and Vitale). Fenwick is best used to analyze over a longer period of time.
Corsi = shots on goal + missed shots + blocked shots
Fenwick = shots on goal + missed shots
Both Corsi and Fenwick can be used for a team or individual. Both are down for and against. For is an event that happens while a player is on the ice that is on behalf of his team while against is an event that happens while a player is on the ice but for the opposing team. It comes down to possession. A team that possesses the puck tends to win more.
PDO was created by another blogger, Vic Ferrari. PDO is the sum of shooting percentage and save percentage. PDO should be fairly consistent over time. If PDO is low, it can predict an increase in performance is coming. If PDO is how, it may mean a player or team, is about to decrease their performance.
Something to keep in mind is usage and role of the player. A defensive role player will see their Corsi take a hit.
In looking at Brad Richardson’s advanced stats, it is obvious he is a defensive juggernaut, although his two years on the Vancouver Canucks were his worse defensive wise. In the charts below both 2014-2015 and 2 years represent his time with Vancouver. I think Richardson, on a Tippett-coached team, will be able to flex his defensive skills.
|Corsi For||Corsi Against||% at even strength||diff in shots when player is on vs off|
Above is Richardson’s Corsi stats. A CF% above 50 would mean the team is controlling the puck more often than not wheRichardson is on the ice. A negative Corsi indicates the opponent is taking more shots than Richardson. His time with Vancouver was spent chasing the puck while on other teams more time was spent in the offensive zone.
|Fenwick For||Fenwick Against||% at even strength||diff in shots when player is on vs off|
Above is Richardson’s Fenwick stats. Fairly similar to Corsi, especially with his time with Vancouver.
|team shooting % when player on ice (even strength)||team save % when player on ice (even strength)||shooting % + save % (even strength)||offensive zone FO/(off zone FO + def zone FO)||defensive zone FO/(off zone FO + def zone FO)|
For me, this is the chart that really shows Richardson’s defensive powers. He may not be scoring goals, but he is helping his team (even Vancouver). His numbers have remained fairly consistent over his career. The team save %, when Richardson is on the ice, is pretty high. He is also used more often in defensive zone faceoffs, as his dzs is higher than ozs (for 3 out of 4 stat lines).
Richardson is obviously a defensive minded player. Hopefully, he can help prevent shots from getting through to Smith. It seems our goalies are taking more shots than needed. Also, if he can get back to his pre-Vancouver Corsi and Fenwick numbers, the Coyotes would have a better chance of puck possession, thus a better chance at winning.