Building a NHL Fantasy Predictor: How Much Playing Time is My Forward Getting Next Year?

Ben Wendorf
November 26 2012 07:51AM


Farting around with % of Attempted Shots (%AttSh) and coach data is fun, but the real bedrocks of fantasy prediction have to be line data and the focus of today's post, playing time. The line data is useful for looking at playing time if you anticipate a drastic change for a forward, while the playing time data can be important in telling us something about how predictive it can be, and whether there are any trends within the data that we need to pay attention to. It's one of the dirtier secrets of boxcar statistics (goals, assists, points), that they are frequently driven by playing time as much as they are driven by skill. Pierre Parenteau could've lived in AHL obscurity forever, but he received the ice-time opportunity that made him a great fantasy add the last couple of seasons.

Let's have a look at what our ice-time data can tell us about the future...

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The Best of the Nation - 11.25.12

Jonathan Willis
November 25 2012 08:42AM

After the jump, the best of the Nations from this past week, including a bunch of lockout talk, whether the Sedin twins are Hall of Fame-calibre players, which unknown Europeans might deserve an NHL shot, the best and worst jerseys in Oilers history, a healthy dose of comedy and a look at the only player to compete for the Grey Cup and Stanley Cup in the same season.

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Number Chains - November 24, 2012 Links

Josh L.
November 24 2012 12:49PM

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

Welcome to edition number 15 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.

The decertification talk has begun for the NHLPA. Among those talking about decertification is Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller. His comments appeared in The Globe and Mail in a James Mirtle piece. He talks about how the NHLPA needs to push back against the NHL:

“It seems like the players in any league are going to be subjected to the same scripted labour dispute developed by [NHL and NBA law firm] Proskauer Rose in all collective bargaining discussions now and in the future. Decertification becomes part of the script because Gary Bettman and the owners are trying to get a sense of how far they can push us and at some point we have to say ‘enough.’

“They want to see if we will take a bad deal because we get desperate or if we have the strength to push back. Decertification is a push back and should show we want a negotiation and a fair deal on at least some of our terms.”

He makes good points, but I have a hard time taking this so-called American seriously when he spells labor with a u. Different angles on the decertification debate, Herschel Walker, and some stats related articles are after the jump.

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Number Chains - November 22, 2012 Links

Josh L.
November 22 2012 11:21AM

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

Welcome to edition number 14 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.

In this Thanksgiving edition of Number Chains we salute Matt Duchene for dumping on every one of his teammates in Sweden except Joel Lundqvist. Adrian Dater pulled these quotes:

"Joel Lundqvist is a perfect example. He always works his ass off. Everyone should do that. But I'm not so sure everyone gets that. We just can't play this bad. It is so poor. We were getting booed by our own fans, it's unacceptable. They pay a lot of money to watch us and it's not fair of us to play so bad."

"If this was in the NHL, five players would be sent down to the minors after a game like this. But here, players are too comfortable. There are 33 million Canadians that would sacrifice an arm to play hockey at this level."

Harrison Mooney went on to point out something fairly depressing in response at Puck Daddy:

Strong words from Duchene, who is one of the youngest guys on his team. Granted, age ain't nothing but a number in Colorado. Heck, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York was released two days before their captain was born.

I'm officially old. All the lockout news you can handle is after the jump.

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Scoring in Switzerland

Scott Reynolds
November 21 2012 04:07PM


Photo by Krm500 via Wikimedia Commons

One of the more interesting things about an extended lockout is the opportunity to see NHL players mix with non-NHLers in various European leagues. When you look at the top of any league's scoring chart, there tends to be mixture of proven NHL talent, and players in the prime of their careers who haven't been able to find a regular gig in the best league in the world. Every NHL team wants to find reliable scoring, and seasons like this one tend to highlight some players who might be able to fill that role but haven't yet had a chance.

Of course, reliable scoring isn't just expensive because it tends to cost a lot of money. Trying a new player also carries a huge opportunity cost, and it's that opportunity cost, which sometimes sees really effective players change teams with almost nothing going the other way. Rich Peverley is a recent example of a player who couldn't get a consistent opportunity in a scoring role with his first NHL organization despite sterling numbers in the AHL. But after Peverley moved to Atlanta, he was given that chance immediately, and had tremendous success. The same thing is true of AHL stars P.A. Parenteau and Matt Moulson who both established themselves with the New York Islanders in their mid-twenties after failing to get an opportunity elsewhere.

So which players might be worth taking a chance on for teams who have room on their roster to give a player with a history of success in lower leagues a chance? Today, I'll take a look at some candidates from Switzerland's National League.

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