Theoretical Problems vs Real Problems Part II – Rielly not Polak

February 26, 2017

Back in November I wrote about the Toronto Maple Leafs theoretical problems vs their real problems. This was in response to the criticism the Leafs fourth line and third pair defensemen were receiving. A few days ago Dom Luszczyszyn wrote about the Leafs and how the fourth line and third pair defensemen are a problem for the Leafs. Specifically he pointed the finger at Matt Martin, Ben Smith, Roman Polak and…


Offensive Players Negatively Impact Save Percentage

January 29, 2017

It is all-star weekend and this past week made their picks for “Analytics All-Star Team”. Their eastern conference picks are here and you can find their Western Conference picks here. Their criteria for picking the rosters was simple. They wanted to pick the most fun team to watch and that meant all-out offense. With that in mind, we thought we’d try selecting teams using a statistical basis, shooting for the…


Is Corsi losing its Correlation with Winning?

January 19, 2017

I had someone e-mail me today asking me why some traditionally good Corsi hockey teams are struggling. Any explanation for the NHL season thus far? I hate to use PDO, but is it just the year of PDO without much further explanation? I can’t believe how many traditionally sound possession teams are struggling this year, Dallas really surprised me and of course as a Blues fan seeing Chicago faring so…


Predictive Analyics have failed Hockey Analytics

January 2, 2017

A few weeks ago I wrote about the limitations of predictive analytics. Go read that if you haven’t. Here are some areas where predictive analytics has failed hockey analytics. Gabe Desjardins used predictive analytics and suggested one must regress on-ice Shooting Percentage 80% towards the mean. I found that player on-ice shooting regressed 80% to the mean…   Eric Tulsky used predictive analytics and suggested one must regress on-ice shooting…


Auston the Centerman: A Maple Leaf Christmas Song

December 22, 2016

Christmas is a few days away so how about a little holiday fun. This is an update to the twitter version I posted yesterday. Also see my Twelve days of Hockey Christmas tweets. Auston the Centerman (to Frosty the Snowman) Auston the centerman, is the top prospect we know. With a powerful stride and puck moving skill, and two hands made of gold. Auston the centerman is a fairy tale…


Limitations of Predictive Analytics in Player Evaluation

Hockey analytics generally revolves around identifying what statistics are best at predicting future events, or “out of sample” events more generally. The main reason that Corsi has become such a popular statistic in hockey analytics is because it is more predictive of future events. We look at score and venue adjusted Corsi because we have found that they are more predictive. Many people have developed “expected goals” models and are adoping…

December 18, 2016

Theoretical Problems vs Real Problems of the Toronto Maple Leafs

November 26, 2016

I am taking a bit of a hiatus away from my hiatus on blogging because I read something a few days ago that caught my attention both as a Leaf fan and as a hockey analytics enthusiast and felt compelled to respond. The Leafs have been a pretty interesting team this year with a significant infusion of youthful talent in Matthews, Marner and Nylander. They may even be good enough…


Going On Hiatus…

I just finished an 8-part series on roles and statistics with a specific intent of showing that certain types of players or playing styles have impacts on save percentage. It was received well by some, not so well by others. Clearly there are detractors however this is a case of been there, done that for me. I went through the same debates 5-6 years ago with on-ice shooting percentage. I am confident…

September 20, 2016

Roles and Stats Part VIII: Review and Looking Forward

This is my 8th and final post in my series on the relationship between roles and statistics and this will be a review of what we have learned so far and maybe more important what it all means and doesn’t mean. Series Posts Part I: Background and Methodology Part II: Roles and Offensive Stats – Forwards Part III: Roles and Defensive Stats – Forwards Part IV: Roles and Offensive Stats – Defensemen Part V: Roles…

September 18, 2016

Roles and Stats Part VII: Can roles predict future shooting and save percentage?

In the first six parts of this series I have looked at the relationship between roles and player statistics and, particularly for forwards, there is a clear relationship between how a player is used and their resulting statistics. Now this isn’t an absolute relationship as we saw with Brandon Sutter in part six of this series but it does exist. Thus far I have only presented an “in-sample” relationship (relationship…

September 17, 2016