Total Player Charts: Conceptualizing Time On-Ice Percentages

Ben Wendorf
December 10 2012 08:48AM



I've always felt pretty strongly about Tom Awad's now-two-year-old assertion that, absent something better, even-strength ice time is a pretty good proxy for overall player value.

His numbers bore that out. However, I suggested that we could better refine and increase predictability of even-strength ice time by expressing it as a percentage of the team's even-strength time in games the player played (a wordy way of describing 5v5%). Though it will probably be a post in-and-of-itself, 5v4% and 4v5% are both testing to be similarly positive refinements on those TOI metrics.

Rather than handle that today, I wanted to unveil a little idea that had been bouncing around my head for a while. I'll be damned if I can recall the post from Beyond the Box Score, the excellent baseball statistics web site, but they had a season preview a while back where they used radar plots of a number of metrics like OBP, Fangraphs' Baserunner rating, UZR/150 (something to that effect), and for each player on a given team their talent in those metrics filled a certain portion of the radar plot. The more you filled the radar plot, the better you were. Author Note: Having heard back from BtB's Justin Bopp, the creator of the Diamondview Composite Player Evaluation that inspired the Total Player Charts, I can put my agitation and accreditation worries to rest).

There's certainly room for doing this when the statistical hockey gods agree on a metric already (spoiler alert: they never will) - till that time I'm content to build a radar plot of three metrics, 5v5%, 5v4%, and 4v5%. In part, this is to represent player value, as well as where that value gets allocated (just even-strength, or powerplay and penalty kill as well). I'll call them Total Player Charts, or TPCs (which, it turns out, is also an acronym for all sorts of important ish) can do a lot of neat stuff with 'em.  

Let's have a look.

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Best of the Nation - 12.9.12

Jonathan Willis
December 09 2012 08:59AM

Lots of interesting stuff across the Nation websites this week, including an exclusive interview with an NHL head coach, 2013 Draft talk, a look at how goalies perform as they age, and obligatory stuff on the NHL lockout. Read more, after the jump!

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December 08 2012 05:35PM


Any league that has the sense not to lock themselves out through Christmas and any team that has the sense to mysteriously drive off Theo Peckham gets our business. Where do you go when there is nothing to do and you are still riding high on having survived a Raiders game?

It's time to go to an ECHL game.

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December 07 2012 05:18PM

With the heart warming news that the Lockout negotiations are extraordinarily poorly, your ol' pal Wanye decided to go to a place where rage and danger are the norm. A place where most people rightfully fear to tread. When there is nothing left to live for you have nothing left to lose. 

Time to take in a home game of the Oakland Raiders.

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Number Chains - December 7, 2012 Links

Josh L.
December 07 2012 02:48PM

This new, regular feature on NHLNumbers will share interesting stats-related posts from around the web almost every day.

Welcome to edition number 18 of the rebooted Number Chains. In this space you will be able to find the best analytical hockey writing from around the internet on a close-to-daily basis. Subject matter will include statistical evaluation, financial analysis, contractual issues, and (sometimes) closely-related tangential works. If you have something you would like to submit for a future edition (your writing or that of someone else) feel free to send it to me via Twitter @JoshL1220 or leave a comment.

Back in November Chris Stevenson of The Ottawa Sun introduced the hockeyworld outside of North Texas to the thriving megalopolis of Plano, TX. He begins his story with an amusing data point:

This suburb in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex could very well be home to the top pick in the 2013 NHL draft, giving Plano two first-round picks in the last three years.

That's potentially two more than, say, Montreal has produced in that time.

He goes on to describe the successful efforts made by the Stars organization, which spurred the growth of these young players:

Plano is a prime example of the growth of hockey in the U.S. A non-traditional hockey market, the arrival of the Dallas Stars in 1993 -- the year Noesen was born -- planted another hockey seed in the American west.

Recognizing they needed to grow a generation of hockey fans -- what better way than to get them playing the game? -- the Stars, led by president Jim Lites (he's back for a third term under new owner Tom Gaglardi as president and CEO) and then-general manager Bob Gainey started an aggressive program that led to rink building (there are now six Dr. Pepper StarCenters in the Metroplex), a program that reawakened the passion for hockey in older fans and started a love for the game among younger ones.


"The surprising part when we got there was there were a lot of latent hockey players from the Northeast, from Michigan, from different places in Canada who had put their skates away because they didn't think they had anywhere to play," said Gainey. "When we opened up the arena that we used as our practice facillity, one way to manage the ice and make some money was to run these rec leagues and they just exploded. There were a lot of people there already who had interest, but for lack of a way to express it had let it go."

And it continues to grow, despite what attendance figures would suggest. After the jump, a week's worth of hockey statistical-related content.

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