The Hockey Graphs Cult

So yesterday I wrote an article about the state of player evaluation models in hockey analytics. It was a mostly well-received article. Web Sant, whose model I critiqued, had a ‘quibble’ and we had a pleasant follow up discussion even if we ended up with a respectful disagreement.   A quibble. I never said that my model purports to measure talent: “natural aptitude or skill.” It does measure performance. Different….

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Commentary on Hockey Analytics and Player Evaluation Models

Every time I see a chart like this being tweeted out I cringe.   Top skaters by goals above replacement Lack of penalty draws held back Getzlaf, Bergeron, Koivu, Klefbom, Wheeler…even Crosby, a little. pic.twitter.com/1AT6yUm0id — Sean Tierney (@ChartingHockey) July 14, 2017 I cringe because it gets a lot of attention. I cringe because it gets a lot of likes and retweets and accolades. I cringe because people put these…

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Followup on Rielly’s Save Percentage

The other day I wrote about Rielly and his on-ice save percentage. A brief twitter discussion with Tyler Dellow occurred which ended with Dellow asking me to explain how Rielly went from -0.9 Sv% Rel in 2015-16 to -2.8 Sv% Rel in 2016-17 while playing similar shut down roles in both seasons.   He was -.009 relative to team in 15-16 playing the same “shut down” workload as most of…

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Rielly, Gardiner, the Rookies and Save Percentage

Yesterday Tyler Dellow wrote about Morgan Rielly’s poor on-ice save percentage over the past two seasons. While it is an interesting read, the hypothesis at the end of the article left me wondering why it wasn’t explored more. The article starts out wondering if shift start location may be a factor at play in Rielly’s poor on-ice save percentage. Dellow noted that generally defensive zone shift starts result in higher…

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Who should Leafs target to improve Defense?

Earlier this week James Mirtle wrote about whether the Leafs should trade some of the future to improve the Leafs defense now (requires subscription). Specifically he identified the need for a top pairing right side defenseman to play with Gardiner. The second pairing would be Rielly with Zaitsev and the proposed third pairing would be Dermott with Carrick. For that top pairing right side defenseman Mirtle identified 7 potential targets: Justin Faulk,…

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Summer Project: Stat site rebuild…

The core of my code to generate my stats used at stats.hockeyanalysis.com and puckalytics.com is nearly 10 years old. Since then the code has been modified, extended, and optimized but has now reached the point where I am thinking it has seen its best days and I need to do a complete re-write to get to implement some of the new features I would like. My code was written to work…

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Dissent and uncertainty…

So, it seems Hockey Graphs doesn’t like dissent. I tried to post a response in the comments to Matt Cane’s defense of WAR to respond to the latest Hockey Graphs attack (though a far more substantiated critique than most other Hockey Graphs writers as I would expect from Matt). Of course the Hockey Graphs policy is to stomp out and censor critique and discussion so it seems it didn’t pass…

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How good is Nick Foligno

GAR suggest Nick Foligno is quite good. Secret Stars: How the underrated Nick Foligno and Brandon Saad are bringing the Blue Jackets to new heights. https://t.co/aqH7XjHw80 pic.twitter.com/1g9PDKpCSh — dom (@domluszczyszyn) March 30, 2017 Some might even call him “Secret Star” (see above) that the rest of the NHL hasn’t caught on to. Anyone who shares the ice with Foligno and Saad plays and looks better, and it’s for that reason…

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GAR, What is it Good For??

So, this whole heated debate started when I criticized using GAR to draw conclusions about hockey players. Let’s use this metric that rates Mathieu Perreault (11g, 38pts) ahead of Scheifele (29g, 77pts) to show why Foligno and Saad are so good. https://t.co/lFJdXD90Sy — David Johnson (@hockeyanalysis) March 30, 2017 What has gotten lost in this whole debate and group attacks from the Hockey Graphs writers is that I think GAR…

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