Thoughts on New Conference Format

In general, I really like the new conference format.  Well, really, I didn’t like the previous conference format so I am glad that is gone.  First off, let me mention a few things that I don’t like about the current setup. 1.  Reduces chances of rivalries forming/developing.  Essentially under the current system if you make the playoffs you could meet any one of 14 other teams in the first round.  Rivalries are primarily built through competing for playoff spots and meeting in the playoffs.  Under the current system you are far less likely to meet the same team in the playoffs in

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Showing Shooting Percentage Matters (Yet Again)

I hate to keep beating the “Shooting Percentage Matters” drum but it really dumbfounds me why so many people choose to ignore it, or believe it is only a small part of the game and not worth considering and instead focus their attention on corsi/fenwick, and corsi/fenwick derived stats as their primary evaluation too. It dumbfounds me that people don’t think players have an ability to control shooting percentage yet we all seem to agree that shooting percentage is affected by game score.  Rob Vollman wrote the following in a comment thread at arctic ice hockey. <blockqote>The score can affect

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Some Thoughts on Shot Quality

There has been a fair bit of discussion going on regarding shot quality the past few weeks among the hockey stats nuts.  It started with this article about defense independent goalie rating (DIGR) in the wall street journal and several others have chimed in on the discussion so it is my turn. Gabe Desjardins has a post today talking about his hatred of shot quality and how it really isn’t a significant factor and is dominated by luck and randomness.  Now, generally speaking when others use the shot quality they are mostly talking about thinks like shot distance/location, shot type, whether

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Follow up on recent conversations…

Earlier this week I participated in several conversations elsewhere and thought I’d post a followup to a few of them. “The Bet” The other day I posted an article about on ice shooting percentage being a talent and referenced a discussion I had with Gabe Desjardin’s of Arctic Ice Hockey at MC79Hockey.com.  As part of that discussion we were negotiating a “bet” of sorts.  In it I suggested that as a group Crosby, Gaborik, Ryan, St. Louis, H. Sedin, Toews, Heatley, Tanguay, Datsyuk, Horton would have an average on-ice shooting percentage over 10% this season while Gabe suggested that the

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On-ice Shooting Percentage as a Talent

There has been an interesting discussion of on-ice shooting percentage at Tyler Dellow’s mc79hockey.com.  I have argued that we need to look at on-ice shooting percentage as a talent, and not something that just happens randomly while others have largely dismissed it.  One person in particular is Gabe Desjardin’s who has a followup post on his blog largely dismissing its importance. In his blog post Gabe first discusses Gaborik’s value just considering his on-ice shooting percentage. So are these totals 75% skill then?  Let’s do a quick check on how many goals that skill would be worth: 1000 on-ice shots/season * 2.5% above

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The Skinny on Steckel

The Leafs traded for David Steckel yesterday and while this is by no means a significant trade my first reaction to it was a very positive one.  A fourth round pick is almost worthless and Steckel is a more than useful quality defensive third/fourth line guy who can kill penalties, something the Leafs desperately need.  Upon further review of the stats, I still like the trade because of it’s low risk but my thoughts on Steckel are a little more mixed than I first believed. The Good On the surface, Steckel looks like a premiere defensive forward.  Over the past

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Predicting the Western Conference

Yesterday I posted my 100% statistics based predictions for the eastern conference, today here are the predictions for the western conference.  See the eastern conference predictions for more details on how these predictions are calculated but generally speaking I use my player rating system and combine them with my estimates for ice time for every player to come up with a predicted goals for and against for every team.  I haven’t converted the goal differentials to won-loss records because I actually think looking at the predicted goals for and against and goal differential provides better insight into the strengths and

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Predicting the Eastern Conference – Version 2.0

A week or two ago I presented a prediction of the eastern conference using a purely statistics based analysis.  There were a number of limitations with the process which I outlined at the beginning of the post but I have fixed some of those so this is version 2.0 of the prediction algorithm.  Let me summarize the process.  I took each teams current rosters and estimated the amount of even strength, power play and shorthanded ice time each player on the roster would play.  For veteran players, the estimates were loosely based on previous years ice time which should give us

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Mike Weaver – Premiere Defensive Defenseman

Over on Pension Plan Puppets there was a brief discussion of some of the top defensive defensemen and I suggested that Mike Weaver has to be considered among the top few defenders in the NHL.  The response was generally along the lines of ‘Mike who?’ and then followed with “he only looks good because he plays in front of Vokoun who may be the best goalie in the NHL.”  My thoughts on Vokoun being over rated aside, the numbers really do support Weaver as being a premiere level defensive defenseman.  Let’s look at some Mike Weaver numbers. Over the past

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Predicting the Eastern Conference

I have spent a lot of time and effort putting together player ratings so I decided it was time to finally put them to good use and attempt to use them to predict results for the upcoming season.  This is my attempt at the eastern conference and time permitting I’ll tackle the western conference in the future. To accomplish this goal I used my 3-year (2008-11) offensive (HARO+) and defensive (HARD+) ratings at 5v5close, 5v4 powerplay and 4v5 penalty kill situations and combined all of the ratings for all of the players on each team and then converted them back

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