Who Is Really The Best Blackhawk This Year?
There are many ways to determine how "good" a player is or who is the "best." Let's look at the numbers and figure out who is off to the best start.
How do you really judge how good a hockey player is? You can use the traditional stats like goals, assists, plus/minus. The hardcore stat geeks like to use Corsi numbers or Fenwick data to breakdown what happens on the ice. Some fans pay no attention to the numbers at all and just go by the eye test. So which is right? They all are. Each one gives you a different way to view how a player and their team is doing. Let's take a look at what our Blackhawks have been up to after 13 games.
I decided to come up with a ranking system based on six offensive categories; goals, assists, +/-, special teams goals, game winning goals and shooting %. 21 players have suited up for the Hawks so far this season so I have attached a point value to each category. If you lead the team in one of the categories, like Patrick Kane does in goals, you get 21 points. If you are last in category you get one point and so forth. It is not the most scientific of formulas and it pretty much just judges your offensive output. Here is what my rankings came out to.
As you can see, based on pure offensive numbers Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa are the best three Blackhawks. I think if you take a poll of 1,000 Hawks fans you will get these guys, in some order, as the three best on the team. But, while most will agree with the top 3, this rankings system also shows you that numbers don't always tell the full story on a player. Is Nick Leddy the 4th best player on the team? While he is much improved there is no way you could say that. This also has Brandon Saad as the 15th best player. Not many would rank the Saad-father behind Michal Rozsival or Andrew Shaw. In conclusion, the stats the NHL keeps track can give you a pretty good idea on how good a player is, but they do not always do a player justice.
There are some who swear by the Corsi ratings. A player's Corsi number is based on the number of total shots, blocked shots and missed shots that occurred while the player was on the ice. The number basically gives you an idea of how well the team performs while the player in question is on the ice. You can see the Blackhawks Corsi numbers here. Click on the "About Ratings" button to get an explanation of what the numbers mean. According to these numbers Saad is the best Blackhawk with Michael Frolik, Rozsival, Toews and Niklas Hjalmarsson rounding out the top 5. Kane is ranked 14th.
Another measurement popular in some circles is the Fenwick rating. This calculates the shots and missed shots during a player's shifts. You can see the Hawks Fenwick numbers here. According to these ranking Toews is the best Chicago player with Saad, Rozsival, Frolik and Hossa rounding out the top 5. The player who is on the bottom of both lists is Dave Bolland. Do you consider him the worst player on the Blackhawks? I doubt it. Based on the traditional stats he is the 6th best Blackhawk.
I averaged each players ranking from all three groups and came up with this:
I don't know how scientific this but according to all these numbers Jonathan Toews is the best player on the Chicago Blackhawks and Sheldon Brookbank is the worst. Colored me shocked! Maybe we can call this the SCH number or maybe its just a load of bullcrap.