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Norris Trophy Watch

Started by NickMancini, January 31, 2021, 02:30:44 pm

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Welcome to the Norris Trophy Watch!

This will be used as as a way to discuss and track the top Norris candidates throughout the season. This series will be tracking the top Norris Trophy candidates through numerous amounts of stats to monitor and analyze their progression, production, efficiency, and reliability as we progress through the abbreviated 2021 NHL season.

With that, even though it is less than ten games into the season. Shea Theodore is looking great. He already has a 5.4 xGF and a 55.5% Corsi For! Again, it is early, but he is for sure a (wayyy too early) favourite. Devon Toews(5 pts in 8 gp & a 55.75 Corsi for) and Jakob Chychurn(6 pts in 8 gp & 53.7% Corsi) are both having some quietly good starts to their seasons as well. I would looooove to see them keep this up.

On the other hand, Seth Jones has been disappointing through the first nine games. One point & 44.7 Corsi is definitely not going to cut it. Also, even though Quinn Hughes is putting up points, he gets tossed around out there, and something seems off compared to last year. Maybe I haven't watched him enough?

Anyways, let me know your thoughts on the defenceman across the league through the early stages of the season!!



I just updated all the numbers and...

Seth Jones is not playing very well at all at the moment. Between the 33 players, I am tracking for this series, Jones ranks worst in both GAR and WAR. We knew he was off to a rough start, but this might make things worse for him. You would think he should be able to turn it around soon. Yet, things are not looking great.

On the lighter side of things, Cale Makar is continuing to showcase his world-class talent. Leading all the skaters in [email protected] 7, the next closest at 3.3. As well as WAR @ 1.3 with the next closest being 0.6... Unbelievable for a second-year guy.

Who do you think is behind Makar in GAR and WAR? (hint: two players are tied behind him for both, they also do not play on the east coast)



Just looking at the traditional stats, Makar and Hughes are doing excellently. John Carlson isn't far off their pace either.


Quote from: DougWinkey on February 01, 2021, 11:58:38 amJust looking at the traditional stats, Makar and Hughes are doing excellently. John Carlson isn't far off their pace either.
their advanced stats are just as good. Carlson is doing well but could be better, it'll be interesting to see what happens in a week or so!



Finally, my top top five Norris Trophy candidates are here. I have to say, tracking each of these players individual stats has made it much more challenging than I expected when picking a top five list. Nonetheless, here ya go...

1.) Cale Makar (11gp 1G 11A 62.6 CF% xGF= 5.4 xGA= 1.9)
Makar is a smooth skating, play driver that converts while making everyone around him better. Cale ranks first in GAR and WAR, of those being tracked.

2.) Shea Theodore (7gp 3G 4A 55.5 CF% xGF=5.2 xGA=2.3)
Theodore is an offensive threat who also drives plays very well. Out of all the players being tracked, Shea ranks third in WAR and GAR, so far.

3.) John Carlson (10gp 4G 7A 43.6 CF% xGF=3.7 xGA=4.1)
Carlson is building off of last years Norris run. One of the more productive dmen being watched, Carlson is first in goals and total individual expected goals, second in shooting percentage, and fifth in GAR and WAR.

4.) Victor Hedman (8gp 3G 7A 51.7 CF% xGF=2.6 xGA=4.1)
As the betting favorite to win the Norris at +550, Hedman is continuing to lead the Lightning to what will most likely be another deep playoff run. Watch for Hedman numbers to go up as the catch up in the amount of games played.

5.) Shea Weber (10gp 2G 5A 50.8 CF% xGF=3 xGA=3.7)
After playing in his 1000th NHL games, Weber lands fifth on the list but just barley. So far this season, Weber looks great and his team looks even better. If they continue on this trajectory sky will be the limit.

With that, I left two players right on the edge. Quinn Hughes being one of them, he can produce offense and points like no other (expect Makar). Yet, his defensive side seems to be lacking. Another guy on the outside looking in is John Klingberg. While the team hasn't played the same amount of games as everyone else. Klingberg is consistently controlling the games from the back end. Overall, this is about all around ability. Not just who puts up the most points.

Let me know what you think!!


I must give credit when it is due, and Jeff Petry is DUE!

Entering his 11th season, Petry is off to one of, if not his hottest, start yet. With 12gp, Petry has 14 pts and only 2 pims. On top of that, his possession numbers are great (51.9 CF%) and his advanced analytics are even better with a GAR of 5.6 and an xGAR of 6.6. These are simply outstanding numbers allowing Petry to QUICKLY rise within the top five of the Norris Trophy Watch.



With everyone on the list finally getting closer in the amount of games played. Ive had a better idea on who to put into the first top ten rankings. While im sure its not all a surprise, some of it will probably turn some heads  ;D

1.) Cale Makar
2.) Jeff Petry
3.) Shea Theodore
4.) John Carlson
5.) Shea Weber
6.) Victor Hedman
7.) John Klingberg
8.) Jakob Chychurn
9.) Quinn Hughes
10.) Aaron Ekblad

  • Hughes is legit only an offensive threat. His defensive game still hasnt come around.
    • Makar is the actual definition of game changing.
      • Theodore is a true play driver
        • Petry is playing his best hockey yet
          • Chychurn is going to win the Norris in the future. It wont happen within the next couple of years, but it will happen.
            • Ekblad deserves some more recognition (no im not being a homer)


March 01, 2021, 02:07:58 pm #7 Last Edit: March 01, 2021, 02:17:07 pm by NickMancini
So, I was updating everyone's stats, and I may have created a thing. I'm not sure if it is correct in any way, but as I was looking at it all... it kinda does make sense. Please take this with a grain of salt, but what if I told you this was the final results (top 10) from what I have created?

1.) C. Makar
2.) J. Petry
3.) J. Carlson
4.) M. Rielly
5.) S. Theodore
6.) D. Nurse
7.) J. Faulk
8.) C. McAvoy
9.) N. Pionk
10.) T. Barrie

Im not sold on Rielly or Barrie being there, but we will see how this plays out. Let me know what you think!


A new week means an update on the numbers! When I first started doing this I just wanted to create something new and fun. With a shortened season, we might as well try and create something new and exciting that could shed some light on the NHL and their players. Growing up as a defenceman, I still enjoy following all of thise guys (before and after this series). While I did not intend to create any sort of "formula" or "model" or anything else from this, besides some articles. Here we are, and im honestly not sure what I have created. While I use those words(formula or model) extremely, extremely hesitantly, the numbers have actually made sense, SO FAR. While this does not take into account who each defenceman is playing with or against, or any special team situations. The idea behind this is to give your their straight up results. The reason being, no matter the situation being played within the game, what matters most is the overall picture of each individuals end game.

Top Ten (by the numbers).                         Top Ten (personal)
1.) Jeff Petry.                                      1.) Cale Makar
2.) Cale Makar.                                      2.) Jeff Petry
3.) Morgan Rielly.                                   3.) Victor Hedman
4.) Devon Toews.                                   4.) Charlie McAvoy
5.) Victor Hedman.                                 5.) John Klingberg
6.) Nick Leddy.                                      6.) John Carlson
7.) Adam Fox.                                        7.) Shea Theodore
8.) Shea Theodore.                                8.) Neal Pionk
9.) Neal Pionk.                                      9.) Aaron Ekblad
10.) Charlie McAvoy.                              10.) Jakub Chychrun

Again, these are guaranteed to change within the next few days. Yet, the Leddy and Toews bumps are kinda of shocking. While I anticpated Toews would do well in Colorado, I wasnt expecting this. On the other hand, Leddy plays on a team that is as close as you can get to defense first and he still mananges to rank in the top of an award that seems to be based on offense production(the past few years). Not going to lie, im super excited to see where all of this takes me!


Another Update!! I have continued to test the "model" with a few different types of players. I was a little nervous while doing this that everything I have put together was going to fall apart, and my test players would equal the same as some of these top defensemen in the league. Thankfully that was not the case. After plugging in the numbers for extremely vanilla players like Mark Borowiecki (0.033), Erik Gudbranson (-0.918), and Marc-Eduardo Vlasic (3.652). They all ranked significantly lower than the rest of the players being tracked, besides Vlasic. But he remains on the lower end. Now on the opposite side of things, I plugged in Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid's numbers to see the results. The highest-ranked defenseman right now is Jeff Petry @ 6.380. Connor McDavid came in much higher at 8.86, and Matthews came in at 8.194. So far, so good!!

Now, there is always room for improvement, and I know I'm missing something. Yet, I have come much further than I ever would have expected tracking all these guys. Enough of that, here are your updated rankings(by the numbers) for the Norris Trophy Watch...

1.) J. Petry @ 6.38
2.) D. Toews @ 6.33
3.) M. Rielly @ 5.67
4.) C. Makar @ 5.43 (only 15gp)
5.) S. Theodore @ 5.19
6.) T. Barrie @ 5.16
7.) A. Ekblad @ 5.04
8.) A. Fox @ 4.65
9.) J. Carlson @ 4.55
10.) D. Doughty @ 4.44

I'm actually happy with this ranking right now. Despite missing Hedman, he produces but his defensive game hasn't been great. Everything seems to humming along just fine. You could probably argue that Pionk or McAvoy should also be in the conversation. The whole Doughty thing is strange, but I would be shocked if he stayed in the top ten for long. I also am surprised Hamilton ranks as low as he does (3.93). Anyways, were half-way through the season and things are only beginning. Stay tuned for more!


More and more tests, on top of more and more updates. I apologize for all the trials and explaining them, but I really want to make this right, and I'm still shocked Ive made it this far. Maybe by explaining more of my process, I can work through it better? idk I'm just rambling at this point. Yet, in the meantime, I will continue to work at this to make it the best it can be.

With that, the new test was just as much a success as the other ones. Pugging in the numbers from Roman Josi's 2019-20 Norris year and Mark Giordano's 2018-19 Norris year. Both players ranked substantially higher, 9.26 for Josi and 9.10 for Giordano, than anyone else right now. I'm doing something right, haha!! Anyways, this week's numbers are better than last. I can say I'm super excited to see the final results at the end of the season.

By the numbers:                          Personal:
1.) D. Toews 7.98.                      1.) J. Petry
2.) J. Petry 7.89.                      2.) V. Hedman
3.) M. Rielly 7.36.                     3.) C. Makar
4.) S. Theodore 6.57.                   4.) S. Theodore
5.) V. Hedman 6.52.                     5.) J. Carlson
6.) D. Nurse 6.44.                      6.) M. Rielly
7.) J. Carlson 6.37.                    7.) A. Ekblad
8.) C. Makar 6.339                      8.) C. McAvoy
9.) A. Ekblad 6.330.                    9.) A. Fox
10.) A. Fox 6.06.                      10.) D. Nurse

I like Devon Toews a lot. I thought him going over to Colorado would be a significant boost to the Avalanche blue-line. Yet, I don't want him enough to call him a Norris candidate, let alone the current front-runner. Could he make a push for the top ten this year, 100%! But that time has yet to come. I also want to put Makar higher. If he didn't get injured, he would be my personal favorite to win the award. The last thought I have is on both Hedman and Rielly. Both are very good defensman, but almost half of there points come from the power-play that consists of some sort of combinaton including Matthews, Marner, Nylander, and Tavars for Rielly. Then Stamkos, Point, Palat, Killorn, and Kucherov if he was healthy for Hedman. Are we awarding point production from being on stacked teams???


March 31, 2021, 12:13:08 pm #11 Last Edit: March 31, 2021, 12:20:55 pm by NickMancini
Back with another update, a new set of rankings, both by my numbers and the eye test, and some further thoughts on the Norris Trophy Race. First, the rankings...

By the Numbers:                  Personal:
1.) S. Girard @ 8.011.             V. Hedman
2.) D. Toews @ 7.619.            A. Fox
3.) J. Petry @ 6.640.              S. Girard
4.) C. Makar @ 6.417.            J.Petry
5.) A. Fox @ 6.299.               D. Toews       
6.) M. Reilly @ 5.744.            C. Makar
7.) S. Theodore @ 5.608.      C. McAvoy     
8.) T. Barrie @ 5.339.             D. Nurse
9.) J. Carlson @ 5.018.          S. Theodore
10.) D. Nurse @ 5.015.          J. Carlson                 

For my personal rankings, I really did not know who else to put besides Hedman. While his underlying numbers aren't as great as some of the other guys on the list, he still produces more than any of them while playing top-line minutes against top-line players.

I'll be honest, Girard was off my radar till more recently. While I expect his and Toews numbers to drop now that Makar is back in the line-up. What they had done before then and while he was out has been incredible. Both of them are playing lights out, and its kind of unfair that Colorado has THIS many of studs on the back end. As Makar starts to gain back some games he missed out on, he will most definitely rise in the numbers and personally.

I have become a big fan of Adam Fox. One of the things that I like most about him is he starts in the defensive zone most of the time. Starting in the defensive zone 51.5% of the time, and he's third across the defenseman in the league in points. Talk about being able to play a complete 200 feet!

Last but not least, McAvoy seems to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. Continuing to play extremely well, its still not enough to overcome a guy like Hedman. But at the same time, he is so efficient and important to his team that he seems to always get stuck in the middle of these rankings. Maybe McAvoy will be the next Girodano? as in it was About time he wins one!


For this week's update, I want to start off with a little personal note. I have decided I am going to attempt to learn Python in order to improve upon my analytical knowledge. With data and anayltics becoming more and more apart of sports, and even life. Its time to try and learn it as well. I hope im not in over my head LOL.

Moving onto the update/rankings... Some names have dropped and some have risen, again this is a week to week things. So, dont get to excited or mad about it!!

By the Numbers:                   Personal:
1.) S. Giardi.                         C. Makar
2.) D. Toews.                          A. Fox
3.) C. Makar.                          V. Hedman
4.) A. Fox.                            C. McAvoy
5.) S. Theodore.                       D. Toews
6.) J. Petry.                          S. Theodore
7.) M. Rielly.                         J. Petry
8.) J. Carlson.                        D. Nurse
9.) T. Barrie.                         D. Hamilton
10.) C. McAvoy.                        S. Girardi

I have a hard time with Barrie, Carlson, and Rielly being in the top ten for numbers. Two reasons, one would be look at who they are playing with. There is no doubt they are benefiting extemely from those around them. Two, they are relie too much on the power-play for my liking.

With Makar back in the line-up. I still anticpate both Girardi and Toews numbers to go down. While I think they will contiune you to play well, they will see less oppurtunity with Cale back in the line-up.

Fox and McAvoy are SO good! Im so excited to see what kind of players those two end up maturing into.

Final thought, Hedman probably should be #1 but I have a hard time giving it to him. It is not that he isnt one of the best defenseman in the league. Its just that he also relies on the power-play a decent amount. On top of that, some of his underlying defensive numebrs arent great. If we are going to give it to the "most well rounded defenceman" well then they probably should be pretty good at both side of the ice. Not just great in one and soild in the other.