In the fast-paced, action-filled world of ice hockey, understanding the performance of a team or player isn't always straightforward. To complement traditional statistics like goals and assists, more nuanced analytics have been developed, one of which is the Fenwick number. This tutorial guides you through the concept of the Fenwick calculation, its application in the real world, and its role in shaping the success of some ice hockey greats.
The Fenwick statistic is named after its developer, Matt Fenwick, a hockey enthusiast and prominent blogger. Recognizing the limitations of traditional statistics in accurately reflecting a team's control of the play, Fenwick developed this metric to offer a broader perspective of a team's or player's performance.
The Fenwick number is closely related to the Corsi number, another advanced hockey statistic, but with one crucial difference: blocked shots are not included in the calculation. The Fenwick number only accounts for shots on goal and missed shots during even-strength play. The formula can be summarized as:
This calculation offers a measure of unblocked shot attempts, which can serve as an indicator of puck possession and offensive pressure.
Let's illustrate the Fenwick number with an example: suppose in a game, Team B fired 30 shots on goal and missed 5 shots during even-strength play. Applying the Fenwick formula, Team B's Fenwick number is 30 (shots on goal) + 5 (missed shots) = 35. This number serves as a measure of the unblocked shot attempts by Team B during the even-strength play.
The success of the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2009-2015 period demonstrates the practical utility of the Fenwick number. The team consistently ranked among the top in the league in Fenwick percentages, indicating their superior puck possession and offensive drive. This high Fenwick performance correlated with their exceptional success during this period, including three Stanley Cup victories.
In conclusion, the Fenwick number provides a more nuanced understanding of a team's performance by focusing on unblocked shot attempts. It offers a fresh perspective on the game, emphasizing puck possession and offensive pressure over mere scoring. As ice hockey analytics continue to evolve, the Fenwick calculator remains a crucial tool for dissecting and appreciating the finer points of this thrilling sport.