Let's talk about stats vs traditionalists

Kent Wilson
July 30 2016 11:00AM

The advanced stats vs conventional hockey guys fight is probably getting old for anyone watching the argument from the outside. Nevertheless, it rages on, flaring up whenever a new school guy flagrantly denies conventional wisdom or an old school guy balks at nerds analyzing the game with spreadsheets.

Many might be surprised to find out that the two schools of thought actually agree more than they disagree. The problem is, there are fundamental areas of friction between the two sides that may never be resolved. Let's talk about these issues, from the view of a new school outsider with a background in psychology (i.e.; me).

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adjGSAxGA/60 — A(nother) Different Look at Goaltending

Ian Fleming
July 30 2016 11:00AM

Sometimes grand ideas come in the form of a “eureka!” moment, a brief instant of intellectual clarity, an epiphany of sorts. We’ve all experienced it — that feeling of instantaneous comprehension of some previously unsolvable notion — and it’s glorious. For just that brief pause, we feel like we’re on top of the world.

As cool as it would have been, unfortunately, that is not at all how Adjusted Goals Saved Above Expected Goals Average (adjGSAxGA/60) was derived. It is simply a slightly different way of looking at things, borne from a slow-drip of new ideas and research in the analytics community, blended with an interest in the methodology behind Goals Saved Above Average (GSAA) metrics, and with just a splash of the insanity it takes to live deep inside “Goalie Twitter.” So, without further adieu, let’s jump into it.

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5 Players that the Leafs Could Buy Out Next Week

Jeff Veillette
July 29 2016 04:53PM

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Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY SPORTS

Thanks to the oddities of the NHL Rulebook, the Toronto Maple Leafs now have an opportunity to shed some contracts. Their arbitration-eligible players have now all been settled with, which means a second "buyout window", lasting 48 hours, will open up on Monday. Seeing as the Leafs have less than $60,000 in cap space at this exact moment and a lot of potential rookie bonuses to deal with that can't be thrown under Nathan Horton's LTIR, this may be a good way for the team to optimize their cap situation for the next two seasons ahead.

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Kerby Rychel isn't actually expansion exempt, but that's fine

Jeff Veillette
July 29 2016 11:08AM

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Photo Credit: Aaron Doster/USA TODAY SPORTS

Back on June 25th, the Toronto Maple Leafs traded for California-born but Ontario-raised Kerby Rychel, acquiring him from the Columbus Blue Jackets for Scott Harrington, a player who had been with the organization for less than a year, plays in a position of abundance, and hadn't played since January thanks to an upper body injury.

It was seen as a steal for the Leafs, not just because they were picking up a younger, more talented prospect who wanted a change of scenery. The silver bullet was that he also Waiver and Expansion Draft exempt thanks to his first AHL season being a "slide year" created by a long-term OHL career. As it turns out, though, speculation about his expansion status was mistaken.

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Stat of the Union: A Hockey Analytics Roundtable

Adam Laskaris
July 29 2016 10:52AM

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Graphic by Matt Henderson: @mhenderson95. The best!

Who doesn't love a good discussion? It's been quite a while since we've done a roundtable at NHLnumbers, so we figured we'd go big for our return to the game.Today, we focus on a quite broad topic: The state of hockey analytics, and their place in the modern game.

We've scoured the web for some of the brightest minds in hockey and looked to grab a number of differing opinions about the sport we know and love from people in a number of different backgrounds, who've all worked in the game in one way or another. 

Heads up before you go any further! It's about 10,000 words long

(But it's well worth the read.)

If you must, proceed forward and see what our panel has to say.  

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