Nashville Predators: A Crash Course in Modern Hockey Analytics

(Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images) /
3 of 7
(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Scoring Chances

Shot attempt metrics are great at helping you understand the general flow of a game, but aren’t able to really describe its specific nature. Scoring chances help us understand a team’s performance based on where each shot attempt occurred. If you’ve read any of my articles, chances are you’ve seen the following graphic from Andrew Berkshire of Sportsnet:

While Corsi counts all shot attempts equally, scoring chances allow some nuance. As Berkshire points out, a “scoring chance” must come from the “home plate” area, or dark gray and red portions, of the ice. This is entirely based on expected save percentage, on average. Taking a shot from the blue line is effective about 2% of the time, while a shot from the faceoff circle can jump to about 13%.

Scoring chances for (SCF) and against (SCA) provide the scoring chance for percentage (SCF%). This is simply the proportion of scoring chances the selected team generates throughout a game.

High-danger scoring chances are a drum that I beat quite often. These chances come from the red area of the diagram, where a goaltender makes the save roughly 77% of the time. If your team can effectively pressure the low slot, while defending its own, the result will likely be in your favor.

Roman Josi is a great example for high-danger chances. Throughout this season, he has helped generate 66 high-danger chances at five-on-five, while allowing 52. His speed, puck movement, and skating ability combine to make him one of the league’s top attacking defensemen. He has a great understanding of the game, and will always try to get the puck to a high-danger area. While paired with Mattias Ekholm, a much more conservative defenseman, Josi can be a truly dominant player.