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Hockey Newsbeat

Monday, February 24, 2014

OT: The NHL is finally back thread, part 2

Now that the Olympics are over it’s time for the important Hockey to restart.


Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Avalanche coach Patrick Roy ‘not into’ sabermetrics

and you can’t spell stats without Stastny!

“I think as the Internet gets bigger and social media gets bigger, the stats get more magnified,” Avs center Paul Stastny said. “But in hockey, a lot of stats stuff is out of your control. You can do everything right and might still get scored on. I think too much of hockey is still all about character, and that’s something you can’t see on paper. In baseball, you have four hours to sit there and look at stats. I think that’s why it’s so big.”

...Michael Lewis, the author of “Moneyball,” can cross Patrick Roy off his list of potential interviewees for a hockey version of his best-selling book.

Roy won’t be studying the statistics known as Corsi or Fenwick — two of the more popular new sabermetrics of hockey that some in the sport value.

“To be honest, I’m not into that,” Roy said. “I’d rather go with the very basic ratings after games.”

For the Avalanche coach, that mostly means statistics such as team scoring chances for and against and plus-minus.

...Roy values offensive zone time for his players and team, however, which partially forms the basis for a statistic known as Corsi — named for Jim Corsi, a former goalie coach with the Buffalo Sabres. The statistic essentially measures any shot directed toward the net, giving a plus or minus to the players on the ice.

“We keep track of how much time we have the puck in the offensive zone,” Roy said. “But that can be a deceptive stat sometimes. It’s not a perfect science.”

Repoz Posted: December 04, 2013 at 07:05 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: hockey, sabermetrics

Sunday, November 24, 2013

NHL teams are slowly embracing the idea analytics have real value

I once sat next to Rod Gilbert at a Father & Son dinner. That’s all I got.

So what, exactly, are advanced stats and what do they have to do with the game that’s unfolding before you at the rink or on TV? It boils down to this: The core assumption is that a team that spends more time in possession of the puck than its opponent has a better chance of scoring more goals and, therefore, winning a game.

Certainly, most hockey people would agree that possession is a good thing, but here’s where it gets tricky. The NHL doesn’t actually track puck possession, so the analytics

community uses a proxy for it - a team’s even-strength attempts at the opposition net (goals, shots on net, shots that miss, shots that are blocked).

This is the aforementioned Corsi - probably the most commonly heard analytics term and one that can be sliced and diced to reflect a number of different aspects of a team or player. Fenwick is Corsi without the blocked shots.

Why not just use goals? You could, but they are a fairly rare occurrence in hockey, so the go-to is shot attempts because the volume of data is so much larger.

Still with me? Of course there are other things that advanced stats calculate, like zone-start percentages and penalties drawn/taken, but most flow from Corsi and Fenwick.

There is controversy, of course. One, which the critics of advanced stats frequently trot out, questions how a sport with so few fixed events can be analyzed like a sport such as baseball, which has so many.

Hockey analytics consultant Eric Tulsky agrees that hockey has more challenges than baseball, but has an answer for that: “The flip side is it’s a flow sport, and so there’s more events and because of that, there is more data. We just need to learn how to use it.”

Repoz Posted: November 24, 2013 at 10:45 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: hockey

 

 

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