Derek Zona, one of our family of websites’ new editors, wrote a post at NHLNumbers highlighting the best shot blockers in the NHL, not based on how many raw shots they blocked, but as a percentage of total attempts when on the ice. He did the same thing for the Edmonton Oilers today at Copper n Blue.
Why the discrepancy is important? Well, the Canucks leading shot blocker this season was Alexander Edler, according to NHL.com. He blocked 145 shots. However, he has an unfair advantage. According to Behind The Net, Edler’s relative Corsi was +0.9 per 60 minutes, meaning that he was on the ice for many more shots against from the opposition than, say, Dan Hamhuis or Aaron Rome, allowing him to inflate his shot block totals.
So I’ve looked at regular players this season to compare a player’s shot blocking ability:
|NAME||Attempts/60||Blocks/60||ES BS %|
Attempts/60 here is the total number of shot attempts, goals, shots, misses and blocks per 60 minutes, while Blocks/60 represents the number of individual blocks over the same span.
Check out Chris Tanev, again a statistical darling. He’s both the best Canuck in shot suppression, as well as blocks. However a player can prevent shots, Tanev does it in spades. Aaron Rome also scores very highly here. He’s an unrestricted free agent that I’d love to see the Canucks bring back, but I think he’ll make more on the open market than a suitable replacement would.
Impressively, Dan Hamhuis ranks last. His defensive ability mostly lies in his ability to suppress shots and his ability to quickly end possessions and turn the play forward with strong passing.
Here are the forwards:
Shouldn’t be too surprising to see a lot of depth guys up top, except for Zack Kassian, who apparently was afraid of pucks in Buffalo last season. You’ll note that forwards tend to block quite a few fewer shots than defencemen, and wingers even moreso.
I would have liked to try this for the penalty kill to see what we can learn but BTN is not yet set up to show us player blocks in 4 vs. 5 situations, which is a bit of a pity.