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…

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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…

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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…

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Correcting a post on shot quality and save percentage revisited, again

It is beginning to become a regular occurrence but someone over at Hockey Graphs has attempted to debunk a theory/stat/opinion of mine and once again failed in their procedure for doing so. This time Garret Hohl tried to debunk Sv% RelTM as a useful statistic by looking at the persistence and predictability of Sv% RelTM over time despite the fact that just a month ago I suggested that evaluation of the past and predicting…

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Evaluating Player Evaluation Metrics and Expected Goal Models

  Think about the perfect scenario where we have an infinite sample size. A scenario where every player plays an infinite amount of ice time with and against every other player. In fact, every 6-player combination of 3F-2D-1G plays against every other 6-player combination an infinite amount of ice time. Players start an infinite number of times in the offensive zone, defensive zone and neutral zone and they play an…

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Is Erik Karlsson a good Defender? Does it matter?

I read an article today discussing whether “role player” still have a role in the NHL today. A significant part of the discussion revolved around Erik Karlsson, whether he is a good defensive player, and essentially whether it mattered. Former offensive NHL defenseman Brian Leetch discussed Karlsson’s play and that overall he contributes everything a team could ask of him. “It’s a game of mistakes. Something’s going to go wrong…

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Are we predicting the future or analysing the past?

So, yesterdays post created an interesting, and mostly positive to my delight, response. Credit goes out to Matt Cane who hit the nail on the head in figuring out the response I was looking for. @hockeyanalysis So I think a key point to note here is that CF% shows a lot more consistency within season. — Matt Cane (@Cane_Matt) February 6, 2016 @hockeyanalysis Split half correlation for CF%: F: 0.74/D:…

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Hockey Analysis, War on Ice and the future of stats sites

The big news in the online Hockey Analytics community yesterday, aside from the Ottawa Hockey Analytics Conference, was the Andrew Thomas announcement that war-on-ice.com will be shutting down in the upcoming months. Although in many respects War on Ice was a competitor to my site (stats.hockeyanalysis.com and puckalytics.com) it was also a great site that was developed for different reasons and served a different purpose. My sites were developed by…

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What baffles me most in hockey analytics

I am always astonished by how much I get critiqued about shot quality and whether it exists or not and whether it is important or not. I get even more criticism if I ever bring up the idea that defenders can have an ability to boost save percentage. To me this is the most baffling thing I have come across in hockey analytics. Let me explain why. I would hazard a…

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