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…

April 4, 2017
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How good is Nick Foligno

April 3, 2017

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…

April 2, 2017
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GAR and dealing with Critique in Hockey Analytics

The other day I caused a bit of a stir on twitter when I critiqued this article by Dom Luszczyszyn at The Athletic (paywall required unfortunately). My critique went like this: 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   I get why people love WAR/GAR stats but if you rate Perreault >…

April 1, 2017
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Binning to Overcome Noisy Data

Apparently hockey analytics hates “binning” and ‘petbugs’ is the latest to write about it today over at Hockey Graphs. There are reasons not to use binning, however binning can help overcome noise in observed data. As this is a hockey blog lets use shooting percentage as an example. In hockey, shooting percentage observations show a lot of randomness in them due to the small sample sizes we are dealing with. Here…

March 31, 2017
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Rielly and Quality of Competition

March 23, 2017

The issue of the importance of quality of competition is a hotly debated topic in hockey analytics. On the one hand it is easy to believe that players that play shut down roles against the opposing teams top players are likely to have their statistics negatively impacted. On the other hand, hockey analytics hasn’t been able confirm that is true as most analysis suggests the impact of quality of competition is…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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
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