October 27 2012 10:11AM
Our goal in fantasy hockey is to read tea leaves to identify the players who will help us accumulate as many counting stats as possible. Checkers and grinders are undoubtedly vital to the NHL game, but those skills are worthless to us in fantasy. What we want are the guys lighting up the scoreboard.
Oddly enough, oftentimes the guys lighting up the scoreboard have done a lot of damage on the powerplay. Of the top 50 goal scorers from last season the average player netted 27% of his goals on the powerplay. It's easier to score on the powerplay given that there is one less defender so identifying players who proved to be good even strength scorers and should see a bump in powerplay time next year should yield some fantasy sleepers.
October 26 2012 11:50AM
This new, regular feature on NHLNumbers will share interesting stats-related posts from around the web almost every day.
Welcome to edition number one 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 feel free to send it to me via Twitter @JoshL1220 or leave a comment.
We begin today with a look at Tyler Dellow's calculations aimed at defining the real financial gap between the NHL and NHLPA. He took the time to crunch the numbers of the NHLPA's three proposals from last week in an effort to pin down how big the financial gap between the two sides is at this point. Those of you looking for hope in the wasteland that is the Lockout should take a trip to the link and focus on this statement:
When you get right down to it, the difference between the parties sure seems to be getting awfully small: even at 5% growth, the worst possible, the PA has presented an offer that appears to be about $487.4MM away from what the NHL wants financially over a six year period. That’s $81.23MM per year (and it shrinks if growth is higher!) $2.71MM per team. Do the Oilers NEED to have Kevin Lowe AND Steve Tambellini AND Craig MacTavish? They used to get by with one GM. Now they’re probably paying three guys GM money.
Less depressing non-Lockout posts after the jump...
October 25 2012 04:22PM
Photo by Michael Miller
The possibility of the Penguins trading Jordan Staal seemed remote leading up to the draft. Logically it made sense for the Penguins to explore the possibility given that they were likely to lose him for nothing after this coming season, but realistically the chances were slim that he would be on the move. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Jordan was on his way to Carolina to play with big brother Eric.
The obstacles were considerable for both clubs involved. Yet, they managed to strike a deal (in less than three hours) that considerably changed the cosmetics of both teams. The Hurricanes got the best player in the deal, but does dealing Staal fundamentally change who the Penguins are?
October 13 2012 08:32AM
NHLNumbers is a site dedicated to pushing hockey thinking further up Bloom's Taxonomy from the lower understanding stages to higher levels of cognitive thought. The best research is always going to be supported by data, or numbers, which is why we do what we do. The work being done lately doesn't have a direct one to one application to fantasy hockey so one of the challenges we face as the site continues to grow is finding unique ways to provide interesting but helpful content to empower fantasy players to make better decisions when building their rosters.
One approach to this problem is focusing on the context in which an individual player operates. No one is going to be able to pin down how well a player will perform perfectly, but with a holistic approach we can establish reasonable expectations for player performance based on the situations (context) in which they will operate.
October 06 2012 05:28PM
Goalies are obviously important in hockey. They're the last line of defense to an otherwise huge target. They, like catchers in baseball, get unique equipment tailored to the unique job they do . The unique role they play doesn't necessarily make each goalie unique. Over the past few years the idea that there isn't much difference between most of the leagues starting goalies has grown legs. Goalie performance has high variance, and LeafsNation czar Cam Charron's observation about the recent playoff goalies puts the issue in context:
Los Angeles, Florida, Detroit, Washington, Phoenix, all these teams got competent-to-great goaltending for pennies on the dollar and all made the playoffs. Last season, the Tampa Bay Lightning spent more on their combination of Dwayne Roloson, Sebastien Caron and Mathieu Garon than any of those teams and never found the right guy.
NHL teams largely participate in a crapshoot to find capable goaltending. Fantasy GMs do too, but they might actually have a more difficult job finding capable goalies given the standard set up of fantasy leagues. Four of the ten standard scoring categories in Yahoo leagues are attributed to netminders. Each of a team's two starting goalies then accounts for 20% of that team's scoring potential in a head to head league. This obviously forces GMs to key in on "elite" goaltending talent earlier than they otherwise would.