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Advanced Numbers for Nerds: Quality & Relative Quality of Competition

Advanced Stats are becoming an important part of hockey analysis, but like all complex processes they occasionally need a different perspective.

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports


What it is: QoC measures the quality of your competition based on their respective Corsi numbers. High positive numbers in QoC means you are facing the teams best players and similar numbers in relative means you face the best competition among your teammates. Negative numbers obviously mean the opposite. Oddly enough, Devante Smith-Pelly led the team in QoC last year.

Limits: These stats rely on Corsi and therefore have similar limitations. It's difficult to say that Corsi is the best factor in determining the quality of your competition.

Advantages: Much like Corsi gets us a clearer view of what is happening when a player is on the ice, QoC allows us to quantify the difficulty of the minutes a player logs, in a way. It further entrenches the relevancy of Corsi, which is a good understanding of the flow of play is when a certain player is on the ice, and then turns it into a representation for the type of flow that a player experiences. It essentially tells us how good the players a certain player plays against are at directing play towards the net. Writing that hurt me a little.

What it means: Much like OZone%, it is probably best to see QoC and relative QoC as a representation of the difficulty of the minutes a player plays.

Guys who face QoC numbers in the positives are facing tougher competition; therefore, fighting harder to move the puck towards the goal. QoC is also susceptible to the "defensive" interpretation, meaning guys with high QoC are often seen as defensive players.

Again, it's difficult to say because offensive players can sometimes face good defensive players who have high Corsi numbers. Because a Corsi can be high due to offensive or defensive reasons, QoC can only tell us if the player faces difficult competition, not if that competition is offensive or defensive in nature. Furthermore, high QoC, just like OZone% can affect a player's Corsi by forcing him to play tougher minutes. Relative QoC focuses on how much harder a player's competition is compared to his teammates. In other words, a player can face a low QoC overall, but still be facing tougher competition than his teammates.