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…


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

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

Roles and Stats Part VI: Who’s Who?

This is part six of my series on the relationship between roles and statistics. I recommend you read some or all of the previous posts before reading this one starting with my first post where I provide a background and the overall methodology of this research project. In this sixth post I want to look at which players are in some of the more extreme roles that have the most…

September 16, 2016

Roles and Stats Part V: Roles and Defensive Stats – Defensemen

This is part five of my series on roles and stats. In part four of the series I looked at how roles relate to the offensive statistics of defensemen and found that there was a relationship however it was not nearly as strong as for forwards (as one would expect). Today I will look at roles of defensemen and defensive statistics which one would think ought to show a stronger relationship….

September 15, 2016

Roles and Stats Part IV: Roles and Offensive Stats – Defensemen

This is part four of my series on roles and stats. The first was an introduction and a description of methodology. The second and third parts of the series looked at offensive and defensive statistics for forwards respectively. This post will look at how roles relate to offensive statistics for defensemen. Leading and Trailing TOI% The above chart looks at the impact of roles, as identified by leading and trailing TOI%,…

September 14, 2016