Richard M. Coleman Offers a Primer on Hockey Analytics

Analytics are becoming essential tools for better understanding the action on the hockey rink and the players’ potential, says Richard M. Coleman, hockey analytics expert and founder of Coleman Analytics. They provide information beyond what coaches, scouts, and sportswriters can pick up through observation. He says they can help coaches track performance, plan offenses, decide which players to draft, or determine the right training program for their team or individual players.

Frequently Used Statistics

Hockey teams and experts use various complex analytics. Each statistic contributes information toward gaining a fuller picture of the player or team. Richard M. Coleman, a hockey analytics expert and a pioneer in the field, says they can improve decision-making for the team’s coaches and other leaders.

Fans can also improve their enjoyment of the sport by learning the meaning of some basic metrics. These metrics include:


Corsi is the number of goal attempts regardless of whether they were successful. It includes all attempts, including blocked shots. Corsi can be calculated for teams or individual players, depending on the purpose of the analysis.


Fenwick is similar to Corsi but does not include blocked shots. It also applies to teams and players.

Expected Goals

The expected goals statistic is the danger of a shot, which provides context about the team or player’s chances. It is the probability that a given shot will score based on historical data and incorporates information such as shot angle and location. Teams and players can have an expected goals statistic.

On-Ice Shooting Percentage

A player’s on-ice shooting percentage represents the team’s shooting percentage when that player is on the ice with the team.

On-Ice Save Percentage

This player statistic is the team’s save percentage when he is on the ice with the team.


PDO calculates the on-ice shooting plus the save percentage in a game. It is meant to show how lucky or unlucky a team or individual is. A PDO of 1 is considered neutral. A PDO of more than 1 indicates the team is “lucky,” while a PDO of less than 1 is “unlucky.”