An Outsiders Inside view of the NHL Stats Revolution - Part 1

Kent Wilson
September 02 2014 12:00PM

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I began writing about hockey in 2005. Through a combination of timing and proximity, I have had the fortune of a ringside view of the genesis, dissemination and popularization of hockey's so-called advanced stats. Over this two part series, I will share some of the insights engendered by this somewhat unique perspective. My focus will be on what's currently happening in the league now as teams flock to build analytic departments around possession theory, as well as why the movement grew outside of the league's front offices and where we may expect this sort of analysis to go in the future.

The off-season of 2014 may well be remembered as the summer of stats, although corsi numbers and their various accoutrements made their way into popular discourse earlier in the year when they began popping up in national broadcasts and game day discussions. No doubt the new numbers began to spread in part due to the spectacular failure of the Toronto Maple Leafs, a club that had been deemed as a bellwether for possession-based theory at the onset of the season. Their subsequent 84-point, 12th place finish in the face of expanded expectations and executive confidence was the metaphorical canary in the coal mine as it were.

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The NHL Advanced Stats Cheat Sheet

Nation World HQ
September 01 2014 12:00PM

Cheating


This guide is an overview for the media and newcomers to the NHL's advanced (or "fancy") stats. It includes definitions of the key advanced stats concepts, plus an FAQ to clarify some of the typical inquiries about these measures. It is not to meant to be completely comprehensive; only a useful introduction to possession-based analysis.

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THE ROUNDUP

Nation World HQ
August 29 2014 08:05AM

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NHL reportedly looking at expansion, the changing world of sports journalism, Flames expectations, comparing Justin Schultz to PK Subban and more in this weeks Roundup

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The Log Off Podcast, Ep.8: with Corey Sznajder

Dimitri Filipovic
August 28 2014 10:53AM

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With the tracking project he has had his face buried in for months now finally starting to get the widespread attention that it deserves, we had Corey Sznajder join the show this week. We discussed which players - like Valtteri Filppula for example, who's pictured above - have particularly caught his eye in the games he has tracked thus far. 

We also looked into whether their strong zone entry data is something that those holding out hope that the Colorado Avalanche won't fold like a deck of cards this coming season can find solace in, and whether the unseemly zone exit numbers for the Canucks will be righted now that John Tortorella and his system are out of the picture.

There's also a Severin Blindenbacher reference somewhere in there, too.

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2014 - 2015 TEAM PREVIEW: CALGARY FLAMES

Nation World HQ
August 27 2014 12:43PM

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Since losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning in game seven of the 2003-04 Stanley Cup Finals, the Calgary Flames have not made it out of the first round and they have not qualified for the playoffs in the last five seasons.

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