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Top Canadiens Players According To Numbers: Dadonov Is Due

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Montreal Canadiens

The last time we took a closer look at the stats, to the surprise of many, it was Canadiens winger Mike Hoffman who stood out as one of the best players according to the underlying numbers, finishing in the top 3 when it came to shot share (CF%), high-danger shot share (HDCF%), and expected goals share (xGF%).

Since then, Hoffman has improved his production to the point that he’s on track for the seventh 20-goal season of his career.

With that in mind, we can take a look at the current numbers to get a better idea of which player is most likely to follow in Hoffman’s footsteps.

Shot Share (CF%)

Corsi For percentage (a.k.a. CF%, or shot share) measures the percentage of shot attempts a team controls when a particular player is on the ice.

Example: If Brendan Gallagher is on the ice for 7 shots by the Canadiens and 3 shots against, he will have a Corsi For Percentage of 70 percent, since the team controlled 70 percent of the overall shots during his shifts.

Here are the top Canadiens players in terms of shot share.

Montreal Canadiens best CF%

Just as he did last time we checked the numbers, Jonathan Kovacevic leads the pack. He’s quickly making a strong case that he should be included in the Canadiens’ long-term plans.

The most notable difference in this edition of the statistical review is Hoffman’s numbers. He was a healthy scratch during a couple of games, but he still saw a slight dip in overall shot control.

Regardless of the change, when Hoffman is on the ice, the Canadiens tend to control the play.

Rookie Arber Xhekaj completes the top 3, yet another feather in his cap. He’s clearly more than just the scariest player in the NHL and the leading goal-scorer among defencemen.

The above-average shot control numbers aren’t surprising in Sean Monahan and Kirby Dach’s case, but Evgenii Dadonov’s name is worth keeping in mind.

High-Danger Chances For (HDCF%)

HDCF% is a similar statistic to CF%, however, rather than measuring every shot taken during a game, it only measures the overall share of high-quality chances when a particular player is on the ice.

As was the case the first time we reviewed the numbers, Hoffman leads all Canadiens players in this very important statistical category, and he’ll probably stay in the lead for the foreseeable future because the Canadiens struggle to control high-danger chances.

The Canadiens have only managed to control 41 percent of the high-danger chances this season, which makes Hoffman’s results even more impressive.

HAbs HDCF

As you can see, only two players find themselves on the right side of 50 percent, with Hoffman’s numbers eclipsing all challengers by a significant margin. And once again Dach and Dadonov make an appearance.

Expected Goals Share Percentage (xGF%)

Expected goals for percentage (xGF%) is a statistic based on shots, but those shots have been weighted for shot quality, including factors such as the type of shot, the location, whether the shot was taken on the rush, or even a rebound.

It gives us a better idea of overall performance, which, in turn, reveals whether a certain player’s production is sustainable or not.

Or in Hoffman’s case, it reveals that his two-goal performance against the Detroit Red Wings wasn’t a stroke of luck.

xgf%

And while there is no doubt Hoffman’s decision-making has been suspect at times, we also have to guard against a certain mental shortcut we tend to use when absorbing a lot of information.

Availability Heuristic.

Our brains are capable of processing an impressive amount of information, but they still rely on notable examples when coming to conclusions.

In hockey, we are much more likely to notice a mistake than a good play, and thus, the availability heuristic comes into play.

That’s not to suggest Hoffman has played like an All-Star, but there was a clear disconnect between his early-season underlying numbers and his scoring pace.

And that’s exactly what the numbers are telling us regarding Dadonov.

There’s no guarantee he will immediately start scoring as Hoffman did, all signs point to a player that should see his name on the scoresheet a little more often in the future.

TL;DR

  • Mike Hoffman’s lack of production was not indicative of poor play on the ice.
  • Evgenii Dadonov isn’t scoring but he should be.
  • Jonathan Kovacevic continues to be a great waiver pick-up.
  • The Blackhawks probably gave up on Kirby Dach a little too early.

 

(All statistics are 5v5 unless otherwise noted, via NaturalStatTrick)

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