MAKE WAY FOR THE CORSI GOD!
If you've been following the Golden Knights on Twitter the past few weeks, you may have noticed that @GoldenKnights often refers to forward Jonathan Marchessault as the Corsi God.
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Gauging from the comments, there seems to be some confusion as to why he's referred to by this unofficial moniker. Contrary to some of the comments, it has nothing to do with Corgis, dogs or any kind of furry creature.
In short, it's because Marchessault is the team's most prominent possession player.
Corsi is an advanced statistic that attempt to gauge what percent of the time one team has the puck compared to another, by using the total amount of shots (on goal, that go wide and that are blocked before reaching the goalie) taken.
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Individual Corsi scores can be produced by utilizing these stats for when a certain player is on the ice. When compared to the Corsi scores of teammates, it can help recognize which players are on the ice when the team performs the best.
With a Corsi percentage of 55.1, Marchessault is far and away the best possession player on the team.
Where goals and assists are obviously the more telling stat at the end of the day, they are often subjected to outside factors beyond a player's control.
What if a player keeps getting stoned cold by a goalie? Does that mean he was any worse? He still generated the quality scoring chance, after all. And vice versa; if a player's own goalie stands on his head when he's on the ice, does it make him a good defensive player because the other team didn't score?
Not to mention, some players may be on the ice for only a combined 50-60 goals all season. Meanwhile, players can be on the ice for thousands of shots and attempted shots over the course of the season.
It's kind of like taking tests in school. If you take 100 math tests and fail one of them, you're still probably going to be a pretty good student. If you take three math tests but your one failure of those 100 is in those three, you'll be seen as an awful student.
With more data entries, over the long run, it's possible to get a truer identification of how well a team plays with a player on the ice.
These sorts of statistics have become increasingly accepted by hockey operations executives over the past several years as a way to gauge and predict performances with methods not necessarily recognizable to the human eye.
Marchessault has not only been a dominant Corsi player this season, but also in past seasons, even before he found scoresheet success at the NHL level.
Two years ago, Marchessault scored only seven goals for the Tampa Bay Lightning. But he was a 53.9 percent Corsi player. This suggests that although his point totals weren't there, that he was actually playing pretty well.
Marchessault was also a positive Corsi player on a Florida Panthers team that mostly struggled in this regard last season.
Behind Marchessault, his two linemates, Reilly Smith (53.22%) and William Karlsson (53.08 %) are second and third on the team. Neither of his linemates had nearly as good Corsi scores last season before being put on a line with Marchessault.
Of all Vegas' regular forward, only Alex Tuch (50.44 %) is also on the positive side.
Although we're not saying he's better than any of these players, Marchessault's 55.1% is better than players like Sidney Crosby (52.1%) and Alexander Ovechkin (46.97%), despite the disadvantage of playing in the defensive zone more than either player.
If these stats make sense, then great.
If you're still learning, it's OK.
Just call Marchessault the Corsi God like the rest of us and you'll be fine.