An Intro to Scoring Chances

This is Travis Zajac getting a scoring chance. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

If you have ever watched a Devils' broadcast you may already be familiar with the term scoring chance. It is something that gets mentioned everyone once in awhile or it will show up in a graphic.  Even though scoring chances are used by the Devils and probably many other teams it is not a stat that is publicly available. This is why a handful of fans decided to start recording and sharing scoring chances online.

Right now there are 8 teams being covered: the Oilers by Dennis King at MC79Hockey; the Panthers by Derek Zona at Litter Box Cats; the Rangers by George E. Ays at Blueshirt Banter; the Flyers by ToddtheFox at Broad Street Hockey; the Flames by Kent Wilson at Flames Nation; the Capitals by Neil Greenberg at Russian Machine Never Breaks; the Leafs at Under the Helmet of Slava Duris; and the Canadiens by Olivier at En attendant les Nordiques. This list could be larger if there are others, like myself,  who will be starting this year. 

Since this a new concept at In Lou We Trust it seems appropriate to give an overview of what exactly a scoring chance is and how it is recorded.  Considering John has been using plenty of advanced stats for awhile now this really shouldn't be hard to grasp. If you understand Corsi/Fenwick then understanding how scoring chances work will not be a problem for you.  

What is a scoring chance?

Now if you follow hockey you have probably heard someone use a variation of this quote "We may have given up a lot of shots but they weren't quality shots".  Scoring chances are the stat that can either prove or disprove such statement.  A scoring chance is defined as a shot directed toward the opposing net from a dangerous scoring area (shown below, it's the area within the black line).  Missed shots count but blocked shots do not. Players on the ice when a scoring chance is taken are awarded either a chance for (+1) or a chance against (-1). If you want to find out if a team is really preventing or getting quality shots you want to look at the scoring chances. 

Scoring_area_medium

How are scoring chances recorded?

The most common tables you'll see associated with scoring chances come courtesy of Time on Ice. The script here allows those who track scoring chances to easily create something like this:

Team Period Time Note Boston New Jersey
NJD 1 18:35 Tallinder from Elias 17 18 40 44 46 55 1 7 12 21 26 29 5v5
NJD 1 18:13 Elias from Rolston, Goal 17 18 40 44 46 55 1 7 12 21 26 29 5v5
NJD 1 15:11 Pelley own rebound 11 12 20 22 40 54 1 10 11 18 22 34 5v5
NJD 1 14:17 Kovalchuk from Zajac 12 19 37 40 54 63 1 2 6 17 19 32 5v5
BOS 1 14:04 Seguin from Seidenberg 12 19 37 40 54 63 1 2 6 17 19 32 5v5
BOS 1 12:05 Campbell from Paille 11 20 22 40 44 55 1 2 6 10 11 18 5v5
BOS 1 11:21 Peverly from Ryder, Post 21 37 40 49 63 73 1 2 7 17 19
5v4
BOS 1 11:13 Ryder 21 37 40 49 63 73 1 2 7 12 26
5v4
BOS 1 9:56 Peverly from Seidenberg rebound,Goal 12 21 40 49 63 73 1 6 7 16 19 29 5v5
NJD 1 8:58 Josefson from Clarkson 11 20 22 40 44 55 1 2 6 14 16 23 5v5
NJD 1 2:05 Clarkson from Tedenby 11 20 40 44 55
1 17 21 23 26 34 5v4
NJD 2 13:36 Zajac from Palmieri 19 37 40 44 55 63 1 7 17 19 29 32 5v5
NJD 2 11:13 Clarkson from Henrique 12 23 40 49 54 73 1 7 14 16 23 29 5v5
NJD 2 7:16 Zharkov from Mair, Miss 11 20 21 22 34 40 1 11 18 22 23 34 5v5
NJD 2 6:46 Clarkson from Zharkov 11 20 21 22 34 40 1 11 18 22 23 34 5v5
BOS 3 18:19 Ryder deflection from Bergeron, Miss 37 40 44 49 63 73 1 2 6 12 26
5v4
NJD 3 16:00 Zharkov breakaway, Goal 11 20 22 40 44 55 1 7 10 11 18 29 5v5
NJD 3 14:03 Zajac, Miss 19 37 40 44 55 63 1 2 6 17 19 32 5v5
NJD 3 13:53 Kovalchuk from Zajac 19 37 40 44 55 63 1 2 6 17 19 32 5v5
NJD 3 10:50 Urbom Wraparound Goal 21 23 34 40 49 73 1 14 16 22 23 34 5v5
BOS 3 8:50 Marchand from Sequin 19 37 40 44 55 63 1 17 19 22 32 34 5v5
BOS 3 8:49 Bergeron from Marchand rebound, Miss 19 37 40 44 55 63 1 17 19 22 32 34 5v5
NJD 3 3:22 Zharkov from Mair, Miss 21 23 34 40 49 73 1 7 16 17 23 29 5v5
NJD 3 1:02 Mair breakaway 11 12 20 21 22 40 1 2 6 10 11 18 5v5
BOS 3 0:04 Kelly deflection from Seidenberg, Goal 23 40 44 49 55 73 1 7 12 21 26 29 5v5

This is a summary of all the scoring chances in a game. It shows the period, time remaining, players on the ice, and situation. In the notes I'll tell you who actually took the chance, who set it up, and whether it missed the net or was a goal. 

The table below, also from Time on Ice, shows you the scoring chances for (green) and against (red) for each individual player while at even strength, power plays, and short handed.

# Player EV PP SH
1 J. Hedberg 54:00 15 6 2:00 1 0 4:00 0 3
2 M. Fraser 18:32 5 4 0:00 0 0 2:27 0 3
6 A. Greene 20:50 5 5 0:00 0 0 1:28 0 1
7 H. Tallinder 17:40 5 2 0:00 0 0 1:17 0 2
10 R. Pelley 10:47 6 1 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
11 A. Mair 11:07 5 1 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
12 B. Rolston 15:27 2 1 1:26 0 0 1:41 0 2
14 A. Henrique 12:36 3 0 0:45 0 0 0:00 0 0
16 J. Josefson 12:55 2 1 0:45 0 0 0:03 0 0
17 I. Kovalchuk 16:17 4 3 2:00 1 0 1:18 0 1
18 V. Zharkov 8:48 6 1 0:00 0 0 0:58 0 0
19 T. Zajac 14:56 4 4 0:45 0 0 2:13 0 0
21 M. Tedenby 15:58 2 1 1:15 1 0 0:00 0 0
22 A. Urbom 16:28 5 0 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
23 D. Clarkson 13:28 4 0 1:15 1 0 0:00 0 0
26 P. Elias 15:20 2 1 1:15 1 0 1:47 0 3
29 A. Salmela 18:32 5 2 0:00 0 0 1:33 0 0
32 N. Palmieri 14:16 4 3 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
34 M. Fayne 16:03 5 0 0:34 1 0 1:15 0 0

Finally the other table you'll see in my posts will show the players actual chances and chances assists. This is something I noticed George E. Ays use prominently in his posts and I feel it is good to know who is actually getting into the scoring area and who is finding these players.

Player Chances Chance on Goal Chance Assist
Clarkson 3 3 1
Zharkov 3 1 1
Kovalchuk 2 2 0
Zajac 2 1 2
Josefson 1 1 0
Mair 1 1 2
Elias 1 1 1
Urbom 1 1 0
Tallinder 1 1 0
Pelley 1 1 0
Henrique 0 0 1
Palmieri 0 0 1
Tedenby 0 0 1
Rolston 0 0

1

Now there are plenty of other tables, graphs, and charts that can be associated with scoring chances but since I am still new to this I'll be sticking to the basics for now.  As I get more comfortable, I will try to bring you more advanced stuff that you might see others doing.

Scoring Chances vs Corsi

So how does scoring chances relate to everyone's favorite advanced stat, Corsi?  Corsi approximates puck possession; if you have a high Corsi that means you are attempting more shots than your opponent, which means you have the puck more often and in an attacking position. Scoring chances measure how well a player is utilizing that puck possession and if they are getting off quality shots. I find that it complements Corsi quite well and helps paint a much clearer picture to how a player performed. 

Lets use the Devils' last game of the 2010-11 season for some examples. The Devils defeated the Bruins 3-2. I recommend going through John's recap of the game and checking out the Corsi numbers. John first mentions the great play of Vladimir Zharkov and his line in general. They all finished with a +6 or better Corsi. Not only were they controlling possession, they were also finding their way into the scoring area and getting chances. They all finished the game with +4 or better in scoring chances. 

The Elias line finished with the highest Corsi all at +7 or better yet they weren't as successful in getting into the scoring area only managing +1 each in scoring chances. The defensive pairing of Fayne and Urbom seemed to struggle finishing -2 and -1 respectively in Corsi, but they both managed to finish +5 in scoring chances. They actually finished the game without a scoring chance against. Even though Fayne and Urbom did not fare well in keeping the Bruins out of their zone, they did manage to prevent them from getting into the scoring area. 

Conclusion

Hopefully after reading this you will have a good understanding of what a scoring chance is. If not, feel free to comment below. I am new to writing here at In Lou We Trust so feel free to critique as much as you would like. My goal is to bring you this information as clearly as possible, so any help from the readers and other scoring chance trackers is welcome.  I'm looking forward to adding another element to ILWT this season. 

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