Become a smarter NHL fan with one simple stat

Updated: March 30, 2010, 4:45 PM ET
By Peter Keating

The Blackhawks' Patrick Sharp is the best player in the NHL.

Depending on your reaction to the above sentence, you're either going to love or hate today's post. We're looking at Corsi numbers, a straightforward way to separate hockey standouts from clunkers -- and a great way to tick off Don Cherry.

Corsi numbers are named after Sabres goaltending coach Jim Corsi, who apparently developed them, and have been popularized by blogger Vic Ferrari. A player's Corsi number is the difference between the number of shots directed at the opposing goal and the number of shots directed at his own goal while he is on the ice. Not just the differential in goals (which would be his plus/minus), but also in shots on goal, shots that miss the net and blocked shots. At the moment, Sharp leads the league (for players with more than 50 games played), while the Oilers' Jason Studwick has the lowest Corsi number in the NHL for a regular.