By the Numbers: BU versus UMass Amherst

Along with our normal coverage of Boston University men’s hockey, this year at the Boston Hockey Blog, we look to provide more in-depth statistical analysis. Instead of just looking at traditional numbers, we want to delve into more advanced stats such as Corsi and Fenwick.

For those who don’t know what those numbers mean, here is a brief explanation. Corsi, which is named for former Buffalo Sabres goalie coach Jim Corsi, measures the shot differential of a team or player (we will look a team’s performance) while on the ice.

A team’s total number of shots on goal, missed shots and blocked shots is added together (Corsi For) and is subtracted from the other team’s chances on net (Corsi Against). The final Corsi number, or percentage, gives an indication of how well a team is possessing the puck and getting it toward the net.

The higher the Corsi percentage, the more likely the team has the puck, and vice versa. Instead of plus/minus, which depends a lot on the goaltending and other factors, the number of shots a team takes is more controllable. Fenwick is very similar to Corsi, except it removes blocked shots from the equation.

For last Friday’s game against the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, we’ve broken down BU’s Corsi and Fenwick numbers for the whole game and period-by-period.

Corsi Full Game

  • Corsi For: 71 (shots on goal, missed shots, blocked shots)
  • Corsi Against: 63
  • Corsi For Percentage: 53 percent

Corsi First Period

  •  Corsi For: 29
  •  Corsi Against: 20
  •  Corsi For Percentage: 59.2 percent

Corsi Second Period

  • Corsi For: 22
  • Corsi Against: 16
  • Corsi For Percentage: 57.9 percent

Corsi Third Period

  • Corsi For: 20
  • Corsi Against: 27
  • Corsi For Percentage: 42.6 percent

Fenwick Full Game

  • Fenwick For: 49 (shots on goal and missed shots)
  • Fenwick Against: 48
  • Fenwick For Percentage: 50.5 percent

Fenwick First Period

  • Fenwick For: 24
  • Fenwick Against: 15
  • Fenwick For Percentage: 61.5 percent

Fenwick Second Period

  • Fenwick For: 11
  • Fenwick Against: 14
  • Fenwick For Percentage: 44 percent

Fenwick Third Period

  • Fenwick For: 14
  • Fenwick Against: 19
  • Fenwick For Percentage: 42.4 percent

Takeaway

BU tallied six goals in the third period, yet its Corsi and Fenwick numbers are much higher in the first period where the Terriers notched just one goal. In this case, a lot of BU’s first-shot opportunities in the third went into the net, so the offense could not generate multiple scoring chances on a single shift. In the first, the the Terriers had many shots, but goalie Steve Mastalerz kept UMass in the game. But by the end of the game, though, BU owned an advantage in Corsi and Fenwick and on the scoreboard.