Stats vs. Eye-Test is Dead – There is Only the Acceptance or Denial of Evidence-Based Analysis

Jeremy Davis
November 15 2017 11:32AM

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PHOTO CREDIT: KELLEY L COX - USA TODAY SPORTS

For as long as sports have been around, they’ve been romanticized. We like to weave stories around athletes who perform impressive feats at the unlikeliest of times, and the amalgamation of these tales, passionately stitched together, produces the mythology of a player, a team, or a sport.

For a long time now, statistics have disrupted this mythology. They don’t buy into the big moments, treating them like any other event. They aren’t fooled by fluctuations in samples known to be affected mainly by luck. And, in general, they’re all business and very little fun.

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Get Out While You Still Can: Erik Gudbranson and the Sunk Cost Fallacy

Jeremy Davis
November 07 2017 09:54AM

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PHOTO CREDIT: NHL.COM

Coming into this season, there was a whole lot of discussion about Erik Gudbranson. The pending unrestricted free agent was awarded a one-year $3.5 million extension in the summer after missing the majority of his first season with the Vancouver Canucks.

Gudbranson has been a polarizing player throughout his young career, with some lauding his physical, stay-at-home style, and others criticizing his horrendous possession numbers. The conflict between these two camps seems to be coming to a head as time ticks away on his one-year pact with the team, bringing on serious questions about what to do with the 6-foot-5 Ottawa native going forward.

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Prospect Statistics Have Moved Far Beyond Looking at Point Totals

Jeremy Davis
September 19 2017 09:29AM

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PHOTO CREDIT: DAVID BANKS - USA TODAY SPORTS

I, like many hockey nuts across Canada, have a subscription to the Athletic. It’s one of the few sports publications I’ve been willing to pay for, and that has a lot to do with their lineup of writers. Analytically oriented writers Tyler Dellow and Dom Luszczyszyn played a major role in that, not to mention that them landing Corey Pronman allowed me to discontinue my ESPN Insider subscription. Another major factor was the hiring of Justin Bourne, whose most recent gig was as a video coach for the AHL’s Toronto Marlies.

What got me excited about the Bourne addition is that his focus area has previously been on scouting and systems analysis, which is an area that I’d like to improve in. I was genuinely obsessed with the systems articles that he used to produce for The Score before taking the job with the Marlies in 2015.

While I’m still looking forward to what Bourne has to say about hockey strategies and video analysis for both NHL and non-NHL players, one of his recent articles for The Athletic suggests to me that his knowledge of prospect statistics and analytics is lagging a bit behind. The piece, titled “When Evaluating Players, Gauging Opportunity They’ve Been Given is Crucial” laments the lack of available statistics for prospects beyond raw points. (Paywall, obviously.)

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2017 Consolidated Draft Rankings: March

Jeremy Davis
March 23 2017 01:15PM

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I skipped over last month, what with the NHL trade deadline and all, but we are now just three months away from the NHL Entry Draft, and plenty of services have dropped new rankings on us, so it’s a fine time to take a look at how the first round is shaping up.

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Do The Canucks Have Something in Evan McEneny?

Jeremy Davis
February 24 2017 03:34PM

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Photo Credit: Lindsay A. Mogle / Utica Comets

NOTE: This was written before Jim Benning revealed today that Evan McEneny would be called up to the Vancouver Canucks in response to several players being diagnosed or tested for the mumps. I was going to advocate for McEneny being a late season call up, but now that that's already happened, you can consider this a primer on him instead.

Once a forgotten member of the Canucks prospect pool, Evan McEneny is suddenly putting up numbers in his first full season with the Utica Comets. Struggling to remain in the lineup just a few months ago, McEneny is now an all-situations player for Comets coach Travis Green, and is seemingly resistant to the rotating healthy scratches.

Is this simply a blip of the radar, or do the Canucks still have something in McEneny?

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