NHL players are being asked more and more about advanced stats.
Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty is one of them, and LA Kings Insider writer Jon Rosen received a heaping spoonful of that delightful Doughty candor in a conversation about defensive partner Jake Muzzin.
“Yeah. I think that Corsi thing is a bunch of crap, personally. That’s not to take away from Muzz being the top guy in the league, because you know Muzz is a really good player. He’s improved so much over the last few years. He’s just going to improve even more and become better. Me and Muzz have it in our minds that we’re going to be one of the best D-pairings in the league one day, so we’re going to work towards that.”
This is somewhat noteworthy because the Kings were the best Corsi team in the NHL last season and one that incidentally turned that monstrous puck possession game into a second Stanley Cup in two seasons.
This is also noteworthy because Muzzin led all defenseman last season in Corsi and it’s been used as a leading indicator that he's one of the best young players in the NHL.
Lambert did a nice job breaking down why players like Doughty probably could give a toss about fancy stats, and it’s true: Coaches and general managers are the ones that should be paying attention to possession numbers, zone starts and the like.
Well, that is until there’s uniformity on possession metrics on something like NHL.com, in which case agents will fight to make these stats part of arbitration hearings and contract talks, in which case a guy like Muzzin will be paid handsomely for these fancy stats.
When that’s the case, maybe Doughty would reconsider his stance by 2019.