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Buffalo Sabres left winger Thomas Vanek (L) misses the puck during a scoring chance in front of the Canadiens goal as Montreal center Glen Metropolit (R) closes during second period NHL hockey action in Buffalo, New York, March 24, 2010. REUTERS/Gary Wiepert

GARY WIEPERT

Many in hockey analytics say the Corsi rating is among the most useful statistics in evaluating players. Named for Buffalo Sabres goaltending coach Jim Corsi, it measures total shot differential while a player is on the ice.

Total shot differential doesn't mean a plus-minus calculation of shots on goal. The Corsi rating accounts for all shots directed at goal - goals, shots on goal, missed shots, and blocked shots. It's a proxy for time of possession, which the NHL doesn't calculate, but it also gauges how often a player's team is in a shooting position, versus how often his shift allows opponents to gain a shooting position.

The numbers used below are expressed over 60 minutes, so for Chicago Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa, if he played the entire game, his shift would generate nearly 23 more shots (directed at goal) than the opposition.

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Here's a look at the NHL's best and worst Corsi performers among active players as of last Thursday (minimum of 40 games). The information is available at behindthenet.ca, a website produced by Gabriel Desjardins, an electrical engineer who lives in San Francisco and crunches numbers for professional sports franchises:

Top fiveMarian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks, 22.89. Peter Regin, Ottawa Senators, 21.32. Patrick Sharp, Chicago, 20.89. Tomas Holmstrom, Detroit Red Wings, 20.58. Jonathan Toews, Chicago, 20.49

Bottom five Ryan Johnson, Vancouver Canucks, -25.15. Jason Strudwick, Edmonton Oilers, -24.18. Nate Thompson, Tampa Bay Lightning, -22.62. Ethan Moreau, Edmonton, -21.27. Steve Eminger, Anaheim Ducks, -20.68.

Matthew Sekeres

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