Two fundamental measures of puck possession—that happen to correlate strongly with success—have hit the big time. NHL.com, as part of a redesign, will unveil a reported 35 new analytics on its stats page tomorrow. Corsi and Fenwick are painfully basic for "advanced" stats, and from here on out they'll explain themselves. They're getting appropriately basic new names.
The terms "Corsi" and "Fenwick" won't be part of the redesigned NHL.com when it is launched on Friday, Sportsnet has learned.
The league has instead decided to label the statistics "shot attempts" and "unblocked shot attempts," according to sources, in hopes of making them more understandable for a broad audience.
This is welcome stuff. Does your dad know what Corsi, named for a goalie coach, measures? Or Fenwick, named after the blogger who came up with it? Probably not. But he can figure out "shot attempts."
Of course, there's a little pushback. These things already had names, man, shibboleths for the stathead community and for tuned-in fans. Secret passwords meant to keep out the dinosaurs afraid of change. And of course, the new names are slightly general: "unblocked shot attempts literally means "the plus/minus of a team's unblocked shot attempts vs. its opponent's while a player is on the ice in 5-on-5 situations."
But that's OK. Demystification is always a good thing. Like the Luther Bible, this is formerly guarded knowledge being put into the hands of the masses. The loss of clubby nicknames are a small price to pay to promote general enlightenment.