The Friends with Numbers Podcast, Episode 4: "Should We Edit Out The Part About Mikhail Grabovski?"

Dimitri Filipovic
February 07 2013 09:40AM


As we promised last week, we begin this edition of the podcast with a chat about Jordan Eberle, and his shooting. We then go on to discuss Vincent Lecavalier, Phil Kessel, the "code" for fighting, and the extreme zone start deployment we're seeing all across the league. 

We would love to hear from you, the listener, for suggestions on future topics of discussion. Rather than us just being in our own little world, we'd like to make this as interactive a show as possible. Feel free to tweet at either Dimitri or Cam.

Click Past the Jump to Listen to the Podcast.

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Transactions of the Week, January 28-February 3

Chase W.
February 06 2013 04:40PM

Pernell Karl Subban - Switzerland vs. Canada, 29th April 2012-2
By Fanny Schertzer, via Wikimedia Commons


Aloha, and welcome back to NHL Transactions of the Week, a retroactive look at player movement around the league from January 28-February 3, 2013. For those wondering whether the column had perished in the wake of a Sunday evening devoted entirely to football, fear not, for I have attempted to round up everything notable from the aforementioned window to the best of my abilities. If you would be kind enough to excuse my tardiness in posting the following breakdown, without further ado, we shall neutrally, impartially, evenhandedly, and without bias, start in the Eastern Conference.

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Toronto Plays A Special Brand Of Bad On Special Teams

Derek Zona
February 06 2013 11:33AM

Leafs Coaching Staff
"Do any of you guys know what this is?"
Photo by Leafsfan67 via
Wikimedia Commons

If Toronto's special teamers were racehorses, we would would call him Elmer.  If they were Tibetan, they'd be vulture food.  If they were seafarers, they would live in Davy Jones locker.  The Maple Leafs have been a pretty bad team for a very long time, but their special teams have been even worse.  In 2009-10, the Leafs hit an NHL post-lockout low with an STE of 88.6, but that's par for the course for these Leafs.

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2012-13 Early Season Special Teams Efficiency (STE)

Derek Zona
February 05 2013 05:25PM

John Tavares
by Michael Miller via Wikimedia Commons

I developed Special Teams Efficiency (STE) as a way of comparing the gains and losses in special teams efficiency between teams.  It's a measure of efficiency (% of power plays converted + % of penalties killed) and nothing else.  Penalties drawn or taken don't figure into it directly.  I explained then:

If we had a simple metric to apply to special teams, we could get a sense of just how much of an impact special teams can have on a season.  Since the league average for power play success percentage plus penalty kill success percentage is 100, why not add the two and use it as a baseline for measuring special teams efficiency?  Though the tendency to regress toward the mean may be somewhat less strong (but then again, maybe not!), it may still be useful as an evaluation tool.  In this case, we'll call the combined number Special Teams Efficiency, or STE. Since the post-lockout orgy of power plays (2005-2007) the per team yearly average of special teams situations is 643.  If all teams were to draw the same amount of penalties, a team with a 100 STE would net zero special teams goals. It follows, then, that a team with a 105 STE would net 32 special teams goals more than average, and a team with a 95 STE would net 32 special teams goals less than average .

STE correlates with season-to-season performance much more strongly than I'd initially anticipated.  Below is a table containing the R^2 Correlation between team STE and total points:

Year R^2 Points
2005-06 0.47
2006-07 0.44
2007-08 0.36
2008-09 0.41
2009-10 0.33
2010-11 0.47
2011-12 0.29

 Though the season is still too young to gain anything from goals gained/lost, there are some interesting numbers at play.

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PDO numbers by NHL team - Feb 4

Cam Charron
February 04 2013 08:23AM

PDO doesn't stand for anything, but this week @Thats_Offside suggested "Percentage-Driven Output". One place hockey lags behind other sports for advanced metrics is the hockey community's insistence on naming stats and rankings after creators, leading people to ask questions like "what does PDO stand for?" and "what does CORSI stand for?"

My primer on PDO can be found over at Backhand Shelf and if you are still unfamiliar with the concept, it's worth taking the time to get acquainted. Since there's no place to find PDO at a team level, each week I'll post them here at NHL numbers, using shooting and save percentage data gathered from

Here are team-level PDO numbers, updated through Sunday's games:

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