Journal of Hockey Analytics: Volume I Issue 3

Josh W
May 26 2014 01:05PM


Courtesy of @GoalieWays

Welcome back to this weeks Journal of Hockey Analytics to help with all your boring Mondays at work, and all your future hockey analytics research.  In this week we look at how simple drafting rules can beat scouts, reviewing some raw season long zone entry data and even some junior level analytics to analyze Griffin Reinhart.

For all your links, continue past the jump!

I won't spend too long on this but over the weekend it was learned that Tore Purdy, aka JLikens of Objective NHL had passed away. He was one of the pioneers of Hockey Analytics who had done great initial work building up the ideas that we use in our day to day work now. Many people on twitter have been paying their respects and summary of the situation have been quite well written by The Edmonton Journal, Hockey Buzz and Puck Prediction

On to this week's analytics work:

  • The most interesting article of the week came from Rhys J who compares the results of the Vancouver Canucks scouting staff over the last decade compared to extremely simple drafting rules.  The results are very surprising [Canucks Army]
  • Cam Charron explains why the simple rules can beat scouts and gives some interesting opinions on the subject [Canucks Army]
  • Unhappy with the method that Rhys use, Daniel Wagner re-ran the experiment but this time making his selections based on the CSS rankings [Pass it to Bulis]
  • Garik of Lighthouse hockey watched every NY Islanders game of the season and has released his data on the Islanders Neutral Zone play. He has made his raw data available here for your future work if interested. [Lighthouse Hockey]
  • Similarly, Sens fan Manny has released similar data in raw google spreadsheet format for the Ottawa Senators. It includes zone entry stats, raw game data with every 5v5 in/out of zone entry/exit and game stats for team and players and season total. The info includes individual and on-ice player stats including one time shares and avg. time in zone per entry of both types. A lot of hard work was done by him. [Google Docs]
  • CanesAndBluesFan looks at how corsi of players changes with age [St. Louis Game Time]
  • Adam Gretz takes a look at how much of the salary cap each team should spend on their stars []
  • Rob Vollman analyzes the career of Teemu Selanne [Bleacher Report]
  • Last week I posted a link to an academic study on the "Hot Hand".  Eric T pointed out this counter article on the subject. Check it out - always worth looking at opposing pieces [Sabermetric Research]
  • The Hockey News released and article on the usage of visors varies within the age and birthplace of visors [The Hockey News]
  • Continuing the debate from last week Ryan Lambert weighs in on if Jonathan Toews is better than Sidney Crosby [Yahoo Sports]
  • Megan writes about Zone Entries with stats she tracked during the WHL Portland/Edmonton series [Shinny Stats]
  • The UBC author who recently wrote that NHL players peak at 29, using +/-, thinks Marty St. Louis is an exception to the rule [NY Times]
  • In some academic work, Mills et Rosentraub look at the NHL and cross-border fandom [Journal of Sports Economics]
  • Justin Bourne analyzes the systems that the Rangers are using to beat the Montreal Canadians [The Score]
  • Tyler Dellow analyzes the Habs chances in their series against the Rangers when starting Tokarski [Sports Net]
  • Travis Yost looked at usage of players by age [Sporting News]
  • Yost (again) also looks at why Chris Stewart would be a terrible trade target [Hockey Buzz]
  • Nick Emptage looks at what we can predict and what we cannot [Puck Prediction]
  • Eric Tulsky shows why you shouldnt use small sample sizes to analyze players [Outnumbered]
  • Neil Paine looks at which NHL goalie has been the hottest during these play offs [FIveThirtyEight]
  • Garik uses some CHL fancystats to try and predict what type of player Griffin Reinhart may be (if at all) [Lighthouse Hockey]
  • Eric Tulsky looks at neutral zone play and why Chicago is having difficulty against L.A. [FiveThirtyEight]
  • While Sean Mcindoe is more known to be a comedy writer, he has done a great job in combining analytics with humour. Most recently he looks at how long the Kings/Blackhawks can sustain their strong core [Grantland]
  • Eric Tulsky analyzes scouts and veteran players [Outnumbered]
  • An AMA was run with Andy Andres who is running an SQL/R/Sabermetrics MOOC [Reddit]
  • Phil Curry claims that possession is 3/4 of the playoffs [DoHA]
  • I use some fancystats in the American Hockey League to try and analyze their conference finals as well as review the Calder Cup quarter finals [NHL Numbers]
  • Remember the racist tweets that came out of Boston when Subban scored? Bill Speros analyzed the volume of those tweets looking at original work vs. retweets []
  • Travis Yost analyzed playoff Corsi% and the Conn Smythe Trophy [Hockey Buzz]
  • Anton Stralman is touted as a really good player putting up great corsi but never scores [mc79hockey]
  • Looking at basketball (the same ideas can apply to hockey) Nate Silver looks at when you should sign a basketball player to a max contract [FiveThiryEight]
  • This isn't so much a problem with the online hockey analytics community, but rather with the secret statistics offices. The willingness to share research data Is related to the strength of the evidence and the quality of reporting of statistical results [PLOS|one]
  • The Montreal Canadians use numbers to show that Galchenyuk has been "clutch" within the playoffs []
  • Garret Hohl asks if you should judge Dustin Byfuglien on his Corsi% or his Goal Differential [Arctic Ice Hockey]
  • Scott Cullen uses some analytics in his piece on the Islanders signing Halak, nice to see those being used in main-stream media pieces [TSN]
  • Byron Bader analyzes how teams have done at drafting through the different rounds over the year [Flames Nation]

I don't typically want to link to opinion pieces since a lot of the arguments repeat themselves every time and little new comes out of it. There are a few opinion pieces that kept coming up this week so I decided to include them.

  • While not talking about hockey, but rather the use of fans and stats within baseball, Bob Ryan makes the argument that the average fan just doesn't care about stats. It has some good carry over to hockey [Boston Globe]
  • A large number of responses, from various sources, were written to address the Bob Ryan piece.
  • In hockey, another piece by Steve Simmons wrote about how fancystats just don't make sense to him []
  • Much like Bob Ryan's article, this provoked responses from everyone and their dog.
  • Eric Fingerhut analyzes a Washington Post article by Neil Greenburg on the interest in fancystats and sports [The Fingerman]
  • These anti-stat columns have been around for as long as stats have been around. This historical piece from the 50s in Sports Illustrated was writing about how stats were ruining baseball [Sports Illustrated]

I will be away for work this summer in Europe and thus with the time change it will make things difficult for me to keep up to date with twitter. If you write anything about hockey analytics, or you have seen anything interesting please send it my way so I can keep these updated throughout the summer!

    I'm just an hockey statistics analyst with a focus on hockey prospects. I currently live in Victoria, BC. In my free time I am either programming, writing, working on or working out. While I spend too much free time in front of a computer I enjoy rowing, running and weight lifting.