Sample Sizes, Results-Based Analysis, and Eric Nystrom

Josh L.
June 20 2012 01:40PM

Source: Wikipedia Commons

Sample size issues have been known to cause crazy amounts of unwarranted hysteria. The 2011/12 season of Eric Nystrom should be Exhibit A in the coming years whenever a player comes out throwing bulls eyes to start a season out of nowhere.

There is usually a reason the career bottom six player with ten goals by Thanksgiving startles you. In your mind you know it shouldn't happen, but it has. Yet, you look up again and said player is getting more ice time, playing against increasingly more difficult competition, and given more defensive responsibility. All of this after said player was given away by one of the worst teams in hockey to help the team you follow get above the cap floor after the New York Rangers ditched Sean Avery (which, I realize, makes very little sense). Fans had to attempt to reconcile what they saw on the ice with what they intuitively knew about the player.

This is the story of how Eric Nystrom confused an entire fan base for several months while proving how fickle small sample sizes and the results-based analysis springing from them can be.

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Zone Entries: Introduction to a unique tracking project

Eric T.
June 20 2012 11:03AM

About the project

For the last year, Geoff Detweiler has been tracking the Flyers' zone entries and I have been writing about them for Broad Street Hockey. This article will be the first in a series in which I hope to introduce a new audience to the work and inspire a few readers to try tracking other teams.

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Assessing Skill, Risk and the Erik Karlsson Contract

Kent Wilson
June 20 2012 08:41AM



Yesterday when the Erik Karlsson contract was announced, but before any numbers were divulged, my immediate reaction was "the Senators are going to overpay". It was a somewhat glib, but it's a gut feel developed from watching NHL GM's overreact to splashy offensive seasons for years. In addition, as a Flames fan, I suffered through Dion Phaneuf's metamorphosis from "perenial Norris candidate to!" to "uh, this contract is an albatross" in the space of a couple seasons. I learned the painful lesson that even in younger players, extrapolating an upward trend line in linear fashion is a fraught with peril.

There's no question Erik Karlsson is a talented offensive defenseman. And there's no argument that what he accomplished last season was extraordinary. But at $45.5M over seven years, the Senators are taking on an enormous amount of risk.

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45 years of jet lag: What happens when teams cross time zones?

Rob Pettapiece
June 19 2012 11:09AM



Back when we thought the new divisional alignment was going to come into play, no team was happier about the proposed change than the Dallas Stars. How do I know that? Because they said so: "no team can be happier about the change than the Dallas Stars."

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St. Louis Blues Re-sign Barret Jackman

Jonathan Willis
June 18 2012 12:36PM

The already meager list of quality defensemen slated for free agency dropped by one today, as the St. Louis Blues signed Barret Jackman to a three-year contract worth $9.5 million.

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