Number Chains - May 25, 2012

Cam Charron
May 25 2012 01:51PM

 

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

Headed towards the offseason, we don't have too much to pore over this week, but there are a few concepts of note...

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The Effect of Zone Starts on Offensive Production

Cam Charron
May 22 2012 05:05PM

(--NOTE-- This piece was written by Rob Pettapiece of The CIS Blog , known also for his work on players who claim to be in the the best shape of their lives  and he is also the man behind the significant discovery that Canadian teenagers age . Visit his more general sports blog here . Primarily a baseball guy, I often joke with Rob that he knew about Corsi and advanced hockey stats before he knew anything about hockey.)

We know that players with more offensive zone starts tend to have better offensive numbers. But are those players given these OZone starts because they are better offensively, or do they merely appear better offensively because they are given these zone starts? In other words, we know there's a correlation, but where is the causation, if any?

The Canucks' justification for trading Cody Hodgson suggests that you can inflate a player's statistics if you give him more offensive zone time, so at least one team (and many of its fans) believe that it's the zone starts that make the player, to some extent. But how can we figure out just how much a zone start is worth to a player's offensive numbers?

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