Hogging the Puck: A Follow-Up (All That You Wanted & More)

Ben Wendorf
November 15 2012 07:45AM


After initially publishing the piece on players who "hog" the puck (players who take a high percentage of the Fenwick attempts-for {shots + missed shots} when they're on the ice), I received a lot of helpful feedback and queries about the metric, which I called "percentage of attempted shots," or %AttSh. Some of the questions revolved around, "What if the player is playing with someone with a high %AttSh, like Rick Nash or Jeff Carter?" I had another question wondering if the %AttSh had a normal distribution like all of us stats folks love. And our own Eric T. wondered aloud what a chart of the player's shooting percentage minus his linemates' shooting percentage (x) would look compared to the player's %AttSh (y). Some of these questions I'd been wondering about myself, but some were angles I hadn't considered, so I figured I ought to put together a follow-up post to tie up some of those loose ends. Enter if you dare...

Read Article | 8 Comments

Reference library: Variance and regression

Eric T.
November 14 2012 04:50PM

This article is part of the NHL Numbers reference library, which seeks to collect articles from around the web that have contributed to our understanding of the game.

This page is devoted to articles that look at the role of variance and regression in hockey. This will include looking at how much variance a given statistic has and whether it reflects a true talent, how actual performances compare to random chance models, etc.

We need your help to keep the library complete and up to date -- contact me on Twitter (@BSH_EricT) or via email (bsh.erict -at- gmail) with suggestions of articles you think we should consider adding.

Return to the library main index.

Read Article | 3 Comments

The One-Percenters

Scott Reynolds
November 14 2012 09:04AM


Photo by Mike Durkin via Wikimedia Commons

Before the start of the 2011-12 season, I talked about a group of players that I called "the one-percenters", a group of players whose cap numbers were less than one percent of the salary cap. In order for a player like this to cover his bet, all he needs to do is competently fill a spot in the lineup on a regular basis. But some of these players can do more than that, which makes them extremely valuable. Before the season, I mentioned a few candidates that I thought might provide that kind of value: Niclas Bergfors, Bryan Bickell, Evgeni Nabokov, and Frans Nielsen. A couple of those players did, a couple of others didn't, and a few more bargain surprises emerged. So which one-percenter helped his team most in 2011-12?

Let's take a look at my top five candidates:

Read Article | 2 Comments

Older players and the grind of a long season

Eric T.
November 13 2012 02:31PM


I've often heard it suggested that players wear down over the course of a season.

When I wrote about whether players elevate their game in the playoffs, multiple people in the comments argued that players can and should conserve energy during the regular season. It's a particularly common suggestion for older players, who are presumed to be more prone to fatigue. Guys like Jaromir Jagr and Teemu Selanne hate taking days off, but players and coaches are so convinced that they will wear out that they insist on it.

I'm not a physiology expert by any means, so I'm not qualified to make direct assessments of whether older players will suffer more cumulative fatigue than younger players would. However, I am capable of looking at whether such fatigue is born out in the stats.

Read Article | 6 Comments

Chris Higgins Doesn't Get Mainstream Attention, But He Should

Dimitri Filipovic
November 13 2012 07:27AM

A past-his-prime Scott Gomez. Tom Pyatt. Michael Busto. An over-the-hill Olli Jokinen. Brandon Prust. Evan Oberg. A third round draft pick. Those are all of the assets that Chris Higgins was traded for over the span of two years, as he transitioned from being a former lottery pick to a journeyman who couldn't find a place to stick. 

As the story goes, the Canucks weren't even all that interested in Higgins in February of 2011, when they acquired him from the Panthers at the trade deadline. They had their sights set on another player, but wound up making a deal for Higgins - who was on the shelf with a hand injury at the time - in the final minutes before the deadline in an attempt to bolster themselves on the wing for a long playoff run. 

Once he arrived in Vancouver, Higgins was able to lay claim to something that not many others could: he had called five different cities "home" over the course of the previous 20 months. Since then, he has proven to be an exceptionally valuable commodity for the Canucks, and a darling of the advanced stats community. But still, I feel that there are far too many hockey fans out there who don't appreciate what he brings to the table, and it's time that we change that.

Read Past the Jump for More on Chris Higgins.

Read Article | 4 Comments