Summary of RIT Hockey Analytics Conference

This past weekend I attended and spoke at the Rochester Institute of Technology Hockey Analytics Conference and because it was such a great conference I wanted to write up some of my thoughts on the event. First up was a panel discussion on the State of Hockey Analytics with Timo Seppa, Sam Ventura, Andrew Thomas and Matt Pfeffer. Three of these guys now work with NHL teams (Ventura with Penguins,…

October 12, 2015

What are Rel and RelTM stats?

This came up in a twitter conversation today and since I will be referencing both of these as part of my RIT Hockey Analytics Conference talk it might be a good idea to re-introduce them to anyone who are not familiar with them. At their core, Rel and RelTM stats both attempt to account for the quality of teammates a player plays with. The problem with Corsi%, as Paul Bissonette…

September 21, 2015

Analytics, Coaching Tactics, and Observable Results

Today the Carolina Hurricanes officially announced that Eric Tulsky has been hired in the position of “Hockey Analyst” with his role being defined as follows: As Hockey Analyst, Tulsky will provide and analyze data to assist the hockey operations department and coaching staff. The official announcement also mentioned that Tulsky had worked for the team last season on a part-time basis which we already knew. For me the interesting thing…

August 20, 2015

Order from Randomness?

If you want to claim that a piece of data is random, then there must be no identifiable patterns within it for if there are, then the data is not random. For example one can easily look at a long-term list of forwards sorted by on-ice shooting percentage and clearly see that it is not random. The top of the list is dominated by everyone we would identify as elite offensive forwards and…

August 10, 2015

Score Effects, Save Percentage and Brandon Sutter

Score effects are a well known and well understood observation in hockey analytics. Essentially what score effects tell us is teams play differently depending on the score and in turn the resulting statistics are altered because of it. To keep this simple, in general teams that are leading give up more shots, but a smaller percentage of them end up as goals (they also take fewer shots but a higher…

August 9, 2015

An Expanded look at 5-year performance by NHL Centers

The other day I wrote an article looking at who the best two-way centers over the past 5 seasons and it generated a lot of interest and some requests to look at some more players. I am not going to go into too much analysis here but I have pulled together data for a number of additional centers which I hope will answer some of your questions. The majority of…

July 11, 2015

Who are the best two-way centers in NHL over past 5 seasons?

Maybe the most important position in hockey is center, certainly more important than wing and probably more important than defense or goaltending. Even more important is having a real good two-way center capable of playing big minutes at both ends of the rink. Think about the recent Stanley Cup winners. In Chicago you have Jonathan Toews. In Los Angeles you have Anze Kopitar. In Boston you have Patrice Bergeron. Going…

July 9, 2015

A look at free agent wingers Williams, Semin and Beleskey

I am sure this post will rattle some feathers in the Hockey Analytics community but hey, it won’t be the first time I have accomplished that. I have been looking through the list of potential free agents looking for players that are possibly under valued, possibly over valued, or otherwise interesting for one reason or another. There has been a fair bit of discussion around the three players that are the…

June 30, 2015

TOI% Correlations with Rel Stats

Yesterday I looked at what statistics TOI% correlates with which will give us an indication of how coaches distribute ice time to their players. It has occurred to me that TOI% is really a “Rel” statistic in the sense that TOI% gets handed out to players based on how the players compare to the rest of the team and not the rest of the league. So, in comparing TOI% to overall…

June 28, 2015

What else does TOI% correlate with?

A few days ago I wrote a post looking at whether scoring chances and high danger scoring chances does a very good job at explaining variations in on-ice shooting percentages among NHL forwards. The short answer is that they do explain some of it (scoring chances better than high danger scoring chances) but is still a long way from being an ideal explanatory variable. We know that because I found…

June 27, 2015