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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) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hockey, sabermetrics

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   1. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: December 04, 2013 at 09:45 AM (#4610295)
Patrick Roy is a very offensive-minded coach, which I think is a good thing in this play-great-without-the-puck area of the game. I've had the chance of seeing a lot of him in the past seven years (he was the coach of our local junior team) and honestly, his Remparts were a lot of fun to watch. Although he does not care about stats, he puts a lot of emphasis on puck possession, which is different from the dump-the-puck-into-the-corner-and-hope-for-the-best philosophy Canadian coaches have had for so long. It makes for very exciting hockey.

BTW: I use to despise him. Not only did he won two Stanley Cups for the hated Canadiens (one time by beating my beloved Nordiques in the first round), but the year after the Nordiques moved to Colorado, he actually won a cup for them to. And then another one (by that time, I had softened my stance, though). I remember being extremely happy for Sakic, who had suffered through the Nordiques Astros-like stretch, but I was heartbroken to see my beloved team win so far away from where they should have been in the first place. 1995, what a horrible year for Quebec City (we lost the Winter Olympics to Salt Lake City that year to).
   2. Enrico Pallazzo Posted: December 04, 2013 at 10:12 AM (#4610310)
Corsi and Fenwick are really just different ways of expressing or estimating possession time and the proportion of shots in a game that belong to your team. For most coaches, there's really no reason to use them if you can get that information in other ways. I'm sure the Colorado Avalanche tracks plenty of useful things.

Every coach agrees that puck possession is important and that you're more likely to win when the opponent doesn't have the puck or can't get a shot off when they do. Players are lauded for those skills in the NHL. This isn't like the OBP debate, where something clearly valuable was constantly dismissed through ignorance.
   3. devo Posted: December 04, 2013 at 10:28 AM (#4610319)
So what is the Avalanche coaching him into, then?
   4. rawagman Posted: December 04, 2013 at 10:38 AM (#4610331)
Corsi and Fenwick are really just different ways of expressing or estimating possession time and the proportion of shots in a game that belong to your team. For most coaches, there's really no reason to use them if you can get that information in other ways. I'm sure the Colorado Avalanche tracks plenty of useful things.

Bingo - Corsi/Fenwick are proxy stats. Many NHL teams can neglect the proxies for the real thing, which, if Roy's quote can be parsed, is the case for the Avs.

Every coach agrees that puck possession is important and that you're more likely to win when the opponent doesn't have the puck or can't get a shot off when they do. Players are lauded for those skills in the NHL.

Except if they play for the Toronto Maple Leafs...
   5. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 04, 2013 at 10:44 AM (#4610333)
That's OK, Patrick. I'm not into hockey, after all.
   6. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: December 04, 2013 at 10:48 AM (#4610340)
On base percentage is still a market inefficiency in hockey.
   7. valuearbitrageur Posted: December 04, 2013 at 11:47 AM (#4610376)
what a horrible year for Quebec City (we lost the Winter Olympics to Salt Lake City that year to).


Wasn't that a win? I'm pretty sure it was economically.
   8. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 04, 2013 at 11:55 AM (#4610383)
The Maple Leafs are just incorrigibly ####### lazy. I've seen them three times on TV this year and every game they were just dead lazy. Most recently against Pittsburgh last week, they went up 4-1 halfway through the game and coasted the rest of the way as if they were perfectly happy to log one point. They were outshot 17-0 in the third period and 5-0 in overtime. This against the Penguins, who are nearly invincible in shootouts.

Never say never, but it's probably going to be a long time before useful and consistent advanced stats come to hockey. It's a very complicated game in which to try to measure individual value.
   9. simon bedford Posted: December 04, 2013 at 12:02 PM (#4610392)
patrick was one of those guys who was always acutely aware of his stats when he was playing...
   10. Greg K Posted: December 04, 2013 at 12:02 PM (#4610393)

Wasn't that a win? I'm pretty sure it was economically.

I'm not sure if Winter Olympics are slightly different.

Estimates of Vancouver 2010 have an operational cost of $1.84 Billion (all values Canadian) with $580 million coming from tax-payers, and a study afterwards estimated a $2.5 billion contribution to the British Columbian economy.

It sounds like 2002 Salt Lake was a bust, though I'm having a tough time getting hard information on that. Turin sounds like it went significantly over budget as well.
   11. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: December 04, 2013 at 12:14 PM (#4610407)
Wasn't that a win? I'm pretty sure it was economically.

Well yes, economically. But in 1995 I was 18 and did not care about the economy. I was still dreaming, then.

The announcement for the Olympics was made just a few weeks after the Nordiques' departure and many people felt that having the Olympics would mean a new arena and thus a new team. When it was announced that we had actually finished last, we really felt crushed. Especially the several thousands of us watching the announcement live on a giant screen in Carré D'Youville.

BTW, 1995 is also the year the referendum was lost for the yes side in Quebec. That was crushing too for the young me who voted yes, then.

1995, the year I became an adult... Now, I would not want the Olympics, would not vote yes again and I'm not thrilled at all about the 400M$ in public funds used to built a new arena to lure a NHL team back (which is about as likely as luring a MLB team back to Montreal).
   12. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 04, 2013 at 12:20 PM (#4610410)
Every coach agrees that puck possession is important and that you're more likely to win when the opponent doesn't have the puck or can't get a shot off when they do. Players are lauded for those skills in the NHL. This isn't like the OBP debate, where something clearly valuable was constantly dismissed through ignorance.

And then there's time when games like last night happen. For the non-advanced stuff, the Hawks outshot the Stars 50-18 and lost 4-3. It happens. Doesn't make the stuff useless.
   13. Greg K Posted: December 04, 2013 at 12:24 PM (#4610417)

BTW, 1995 is also the year the referendum was lost for the yes side in Quebec. That was crushing too for the young me who voted yes, then.

1995, the year I became an adult... Now, I would not want the Olympics, would not vote yes again and I'm not thrilled at all about the 400M$ in public funds used to built a new arena to lure a NHL team back (which is about as likely as luring a MLB team back to Montreal).

At the risk of de-railing the thread, what changed in yourself regarding separatism re: 1995 to 2013?
I'm endlessly fascinated by the 1995 referendum, but I'm not sure I've ever actually talked about it with someone who voted in it.
   14. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: December 04, 2013 at 12:36 PM (#4610426)
At the risk of de-railing the thread, what changed in yourself regarding separatism re: 1995 to 2013?
I'm endlessly fascinated by the 1995 referendum, but I'm not sure I've ever actually talked to someone who voted in it.

To keep it short: I was 18 in 1995, it was my first vote, I was (and still is...) coming from a nationalist (yet very open) family and although I was studying in the only English-Speaking Cégep in Quebec City with a lot of members from our English-speaking community, I was what I would call now a young idealist. 18 years later, "nationalism" makes me sick, even Quebec left-leaning soft nationalism. I've studied many forms of nationalism and all share inherently the same logic and, well, this logic really is not suiting me any longer.
   15. Cabbage Posted: December 04, 2013 at 12:40 PM (#4610434)
So what is the Avalanche coaching him into, then?


Patrick Roy definitely falls into the category of "Famous people likely to enjoy bondage play".
   16. zack Posted: December 04, 2013 at 12:45 PM (#4610440)
Goddamit Cabbage that is not something I needed to picture.
   17. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 04, 2013 at 12:46 PM (#4610444)
So what is the Avalanche coaching him into, then?

Beating women. And protecting other people who beat women.
   18. rawagman Posted: December 04, 2013 at 01:10 PM (#4610467)
Never say never, but it's probably going to be a long time before useful and consistent advanced stats come to hockey. It's a very complicated game in which to try to measure individual value.


There are plenty of good stats in hockey - we do some great things at Hockey Prospectus, for example (why yes, I am biased. Why do you ask?)
Unfortunately, not all teams use them.
   19. Gaelan Posted: December 04, 2013 at 01:13 PM (#4610469)
To keep it short: I was 18 in 1995, it was my first vote, I was (and still is...) coming from a nationalist (yet very open) family and although I was studying in the only English-Speaking Cégep in Quebec City with a lot of members from our English-speaking community, I was what I would call now a young idealist. 18 years later, "nationalism" makes me sick, even Quebec left-leaning soft nationalism. I've studied many forms of nationalism and all share inherently the same logic and, well, this logic really is not suiting me any longer.


What is happening in Quebec right now is interesting to me as an outsider. Though I think the nationalism aspect is overstated in comparison to the deeply corrosive secularism that permeates at least the elite strata of Quebecois society. And then there is the associated but distinct problems of political corruption; the fanaticism of the student movement; the structural economic problems.

I grew up in Ottawa, speak French, and always thought of Quebec as a harmonious part of Canada despite all the rhetoric. Now, living from further away, I see a society that I barely recognize.

In any case, I'm genuinely interested on your viewpoints on, for instance, the secularism charter.
   20. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 04, 2013 at 01:19 PM (#4610479)
rawagman: I've been a HP reader for some time and immensely enjoy the work you're doing.
   21. rawagman Posted: December 04, 2013 at 03:41 PM (#4610650)
PASTE - thank you!

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