May 09 2012 05:06PM
To those who are only now discovering advanced analysis in hockey, the entire endeavor must be slightly overwhelming. The collection of foreign sounding terms and acronyms, the array of tables and graphs, the intimidating argot of stats speak and often counter-intuitive findings can make the field seem alien and off-putting.
Evidence-based inquiry into hockey (and, indeed, all sports) isn't a conspiracy by calculator weidling nerds to usurp the jocks and anger the established decision makers however. The current thinking, from general theory to common terms, grew over a period of time: through hidden conversations in the first internet unenet groups to the recent, rapid evolution due to the explosion of online stats resources, self-publishing and crowd-sourced data.
The goal of the new NHLNumbers site is to bring together some of the most influential voices of that conversation, including Derek Zona and Scott Reynolds of CoppernBlue, Tyler Dellow of MC79hockey and many others. We will firmly root current thinking in the findings of the past as well as establish new measures and methods for the future. We will seek to render the ever evolving project of evidence-based inquiry more cohesive, more accessible and less intimidating to those who are only now discovering "new" stats and ways of analyzing the game. At the same time, NHLNumbers will engage the established, hardcore stat-heads.
With the help of some of the brightest and most strident iconoclasts, we will investigate and analyze not only the quantitative side of winning hockey games, but the economic and behavioral factors that influence team evaluation, player acquisition and fan perceptions.
So welcome to the new NHLNumbers. We suspect the fights in the comment strings will be legendary.