Best of the Nation - 11.11.12

Jonathan Willis
November 11 2012 10:27AM

Photo: Hakan Dahlstrom/Wikimedia/CC BY 2.0

It's Hockey Hall of Fame week, so we lead off with a question: should the Canucks retire Pavel Bure's jersey? From there, the conversation goes all over - NHL equivalencies, the impact of the lockout on AHL attendance, whether rebuilding actually works, the U.S. presidential election, how to win an Evander Kane autographed stick and jersey, NHL '13, puckhogs, the demise (or exaggerated demise?) of the Sedins and much more.

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Undervalued Player - Marc-Edouard Vlasic

Corey S.
November 09 2012 02:48PM

Ivanmakarov at en.wikipedia from Wikimedia Commons

Ever since the last lockout, the San Jose Sharks have always seemed to have a lot of big names in their defense corps. Over the last half-decade, the Sharks blue-line corps has seen players such as Dan Boyle, Christian Ehrhoff, Brent Burns, Rob Blake and Brian Campbell play big minutes, and with a cast like that, there are bound to be some players who get overlooked. On the Sharks, that player is Marc-Edouard Vlasic. This isn’t to say that Vlasic is completely overlooked because most hockey fans know that he is a solid player, but what might get overlooked is just how good he is.

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Putting error bars on NHL equivalencies

Eric T.
November 09 2012 07:40AM

After I posted the prospects wing of our reference library, I got a couple of interesting replies on Twitter:

I love what the #fancystats community have done, lots of useful stuff, but confidence in their goalie and prospect analysis a bit too high.

@steffeG @Sens_Army_ @NHLnumbers not in that library are any columns pointing to the limits of prospect analysis.

I asked both of them to explain further. (I also defended myself -- my Tweets announcing both of those articles made light of how iffy the stats are in those areas, so I think it was clear that I know there are limitations.) The essence of their feedback, as I understood it, was that by not actively discussing the uncertainty, we as a community have implied that we know more than we do.

This strikes me as a fair criticism, at least in part. It seems like half the articles in the goalie section talk about how unpredictable goalies seem to be, so I'm not sure I'd accept the critique there. But it's pretty rare for us to put actual error bars on our projections. For prospects in particular, there have been a lot of articles written where we give league translation factors to two decimal places; I am pretty certain that the authors did not mean to imply that we can project results to within 1%, but we haven't explicitly laid that out for people.

Can we actually estimate the uncertainty on those projections?

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Number Chains - November 8, 2012 Links

Josh L.
November 08 2012 02:00PM

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

Welcome to edition number ten 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.

On this fine Thursday we begin with a post by Gus Katsaros at Leafs Nation. In the post Gus broke down the Leafs season into 20 game segments to see if any conclusions could be drawn about what went wrong. His final conclusion?

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How Often Does Rebuilding Work?

Scott Reynolds
November 08 2012 08:53AM

Photo by Elliot via Wikimedia Commons

At about the half-way mark of the 2009-10 season, you could see the writing on the wall for the Edmonton Oilers. They were going to finish dead last, and the verbal from the organization suggested that what happened by accident that season was about to happen by design in the season that followed. The Oilers aren't, of course, the only team to have used tanking as a strategy for ultimate success, and so I decided to find out how successful other teams were over the long term while using that strategy. Three seasons have come and gone since that time, so now seems like a good time to check in on how these clubs have improved.

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