Patrick Kane #s, A DIFFERENT Look.

I took a quick look at some of Patrick Kane's 2015/16 season stats as compared to his previous career here.  I thought that was enough of my time wasted, and then I saw this:

This tweet was rightly mocked on Twitter dot com.  And not just for the creepy pseudo-religious painting, as if this sports guy was Touched By God's Light. No neutral observer thinks Patrick Kane's is one of the Top Ten players in NHL history.  

The post from the other day was a high-level look at how his current season stacks up compared to his prior career. But that dumb tweet made me wonder how his performance this season compared to his peers - meaning the other top scoring forwards.  The current top 20 scoring forwards (as of of 3.13.16) are:   Kane, Jamie Benn, Seguin, Kuznetsov, Crosby, Thornton, Gaudreau, Pavelski, Backstrom, Panarin, Oveckhin, Bergeron, Tarasenko, Wheeler, Kopitar, Malkin, Stone, D. Sedin, Giroux, and Hall.

I ran some custom queries at for those Top 20 forwards, using 5v5 data, "score, venue, and zone" adjusted (again - to date Corsica hasn't explained these adjustments in detail).  


Starting with some Corsi, the first thing that jumps out at me is the difference between his rank when looking at Team numbers - CF60 (17th), CF% (15th) - versus his individual numbers - individual CF (6th), individual CF60 (10th).  So Kane is producing compared to the best of his peers, but his team overall with him on the ice is not. Has Kane ever been called selfish before? Kane relative to his team compared to his peers relative to theirs?  Oof. Not good.  Kane is one of only 2 of this group to have a negative relative CF%.  [The other is Panarin, his linemate].

Shots on net are pretty much the same.  His team stats (SF60, SA60, SF%) with Kane on the ice are on the lower end of the group. His individual stats are in the top half of this group. His stats relative to his team, compared to his peers relative to theirs, are the worst of the group. And these other top 20 forward scorers are not playing on bottom feeding teams so their relative stats look good.   This is Seguin and Benn compared to the rest of the Stars (currently 4th overall in SF%); Malkin and Crosby compared to the rest of the Penguins (currently 7th overall in SF%). We've got 3 Caps in this group (11th in SF%).  

Of this group of forwards, Kane is one of only four that have a negative relative SF%.  The others are Panarin, Gaudreau, and Malkin.

My takeaway: most of the other Top 20 scoring forwards are outperforming their good teams. Kane is underperforming his. 

Same patterns with expected goals. I'll admit these can throw me so I'll try to explain my thinking as simply as I can.

First, Kane's Relative expected  GF/60 (Rel.xGF60) compared to his peers is at the bottom.  And like above, Kane's Relative expected GF/60 is actually one of the two negatives in the group (with Panarin again). That makes intuitive sense to me - his Relative CF60 and Relative SF60 are actually negative, and I would generally be surprised if someone who produced less shots than his teammates was expected to get more goals than his teammates.  

However, Kane's Relative GF/60 is the best in this group.  He's taking a negative expected GF/60 relative to his team and turning it into the best GF/60 relative to his team in the group.  So he's getting more goals on the ice than his teammates are with him off the ice, even though he's expected to get less. And that difference between his GF/60 and his teammates GF/60 is not only bigger than expected - its the best among the other top-20 scoring forwards so far.

If the guy with one of the worst differences in expected goals per 60 relative to his team is ending up with one of the best differences in goals per 60 relative to his team...something else needs to be happening.  I'm probably over-simplifying it, but as these expected goals models attempt to account for shot quality to some degree, I'm assuming Kane is just getting more shots going into the net when he's on the ice than he probably should, compared to his teammates and his peers.  

Kane is in the middle of the pack in drawing more penalties than he takes, individual rebounds taken, and individual rush shots taken. Nothing noteworthy there. [Lets pause for a moment to say wow to Blake Wheeler, who leads this group with 27 individual 5v5 rush shots, 6 more than 2nd-best Ovechkin].

The obvious takeaway in this chart is that Kane gets the 2nd-best zone start ratio of the top 20 forward scorers, and ends up with the 15th-best zone finish ratio of that group.  I'll be interested to see how the Corsica zone adjustment model works to see if it sheds any more light on how to interpret and weight zone starts, but to my uneducated eye, this shift in zone-starting and zone-ending locations looks bad for Kane


Again, this is not a real deep look into Kane's stats.  But I'll ask a question similar to what i asked the other day: what is Kane really doing that's so much better than his top scoring peers?  If he was playing so great (as well as getting so many points), you'd think there'd be at least a few top-5 rankings on these charts.  Not the case.  He gets a lot of individual shots, and has great shooting percentages.  But his per possession rates are middle of this pack, at best, and he's routinely at the bottom of this peer group when it comes to outperforming his teammates. This is not the season of a guy who deserves to be painted like a religious icon.

Again I'm right in my analysis.