Roles and Stats Part II: Roles and Offensive Stats – Forwards

This is part two of my series on how roles impact statistics. In Part I I looked at a brief history of the debate and also described the methods used in this research. The history section is optional but I recommend reading the methods portion as it describes the statistics and methods used which will not be repeated in great detail here. This second post in the series will look at the relationship…

September 12, 2016

Roles and Stats Part I: Background and Methodology

This is the first of what will be a series of posts on the impact of roles on stats with a particular interest in the impact of roles on shooting and save percentages. Background My involvement in hockey analytics has been somewhat outside of the main stream. I am a firm believer in shot quality and the ability of players to influence on-ice shooting and save percentages while hockey analytics has…

September 11, 2016

Warren Buffett on Brandon Sutter

Yesterday I wrote about Brandon Sutter and his seemingly very good defensive ability in response to @DTMAboutHeart‘s comment that he was a below replacement level defensive player. The counter argument that @DTMAboutHeart (and others) put put is that Save % is all random and it infects goals against data with mass randomness that will inherently lead to outcomes like Sutter’s goals against stats that have no basis in talent. Exhibit A…

July 16, 2016

The Brandon Sutter Litmus Test

Today on twitter @DTMAboutHeart made a comment that Brandon Sutter is a below replacement level defensive player. Every year since 2009 Brandon Sutter’s defense has rated below replacement level — DTM About Heart (@DTMAboutHeart) July 15, 2016 Based on this comment I would like to propose this as a litmus test for whether you are doing hockey analytics correctly or not. Before I get to that, let me put out a…

July 15, 2016

Who is Adam Larsson?

Let’s for a moment set aside the fact that the Oilers traded away maybe one of the top 5 offensive players in the league in Taylor Hall and lets take a look at what they acquired in Adam Larsson. Adam Larsson was drafted 4th overall in the 2011 NHL draft so he was a highly regarded defenseman entering the league. He immediately started his NHL career and played the majority…

June 29, 2016

Corsi vs Goals when predicting conference finalists

Every year I’ll see a tweet like the following and while they frustrates me it also shows me peoples biases. NHL teams that made conference finals ranked No. 2, 6, 7, 8 in score-adjusted Corsi% during regular season. — Neil Greenberg (@ngreenberg) May 13, 2016 It shows peoples biases because clearly Neil is attempting to defend Corsi, something he has invested himself in over the years, by showing the value…

May 14, 2016

Review of Beleskey and Williams impact on save percentages

Last off season two of the better wingers on the unrestricted free agent market were Matt Beleskey and Justin Williams. In the analytics community Williams is generally lauded as a possession king and and undervalued player while Beleskey was pointed out as the unrestricted free agent most likely to be over paid (turned out he ended up with a lower than expected deal but still some figured he was still over paid)….

April 10, 2016

Who Deserves the Norris Trophy?

The NHL award that seems to be generating the most interest and discussion this season is the Norris Trophy given to the best defenseman. In some circles Drew Doughty seems to be the favourite because he is having a great season in a great career on a team having a great year. Others are picking Erik Karlsson because of his dominant offensive season for a defenseman, one that few defensemen…

April 9, 2016

Anecdotes and validating statistical models

I often get criticized by others in the hockey analytics community, particularly on twitter, when I through out a piece of data that runs counter to conventional analytical thinking and raise a question as to whether it means something or not. Sometimes I do it because I believe in what I am saying but other times I do it because I think we should constantly be challenging and testing current…

March 18, 2016

Is possession hockey providing diminishing returns?

Ian Cooper sent me a link to an article he recently wrote how hockey analytics has driven the importance of puck possession hockey which in turn can change the dynamics of hockey analytics. In his article he showed that in recent years there has been a smaller spread in team CF% talent which he believes is due to a higher percentage of teams focusing on puck possession hockey. That’s more consistent with a…

March 15, 2016