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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Reference library: Prospects

Eric T.
November 07 2012 04:05PM

This article is part of the NHL Numbers reference library, which seeks to collect articles from around the web that have contributed to our understanding of the game.

This page is devoted to articles that touch on prospects. This will include league translations, historic trends, and other things that relate to evaluating prospects.

We need your help to keep the library complete and up to date -- contact me on Twitter (@BSH_EricT) or via email (bsh.erict -at- gmail) with suggestions of articles you think we should consider adding.

Return to the library main index.

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Number Chains - November 7, 2012 Links

Josh L.
November 07 2012 02:02PM

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

Welcome to edition number nine 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.

The NHL and NHLPA met for several hours on Tuesday and have further meeting scheduled for today. The rumor floating out there is the hope for hockey by December first. In the mean time, Mike Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune looked at the potential perks the NHLPA could receive in the next CBA. Among the perks are the following:

1) Joint NHL/NHLPA Health and Safety Committee with equal representation by the league and union;

2) Establishment of a "standard of care" and "primary allegiance" obligations between the team medical staff and players (this is directly due to the tragic Derek Boogaard situation that remains ongoing);

3) Offseason rehab activities would no longer be required in the team's home city;

4) Players have access to second medical opinions at the club expense;

Thanks to Puck Daddy for digging up that link. These are obviously not the sticking points keeping us from having hockey, but they're interesting nonetheless. The emphasis on player safety comes through again in spades. The players are obviously conscious of the concussion problem, and it's interesting to see the role they want the NHL to play in their health. These perks also won't be free, and I wonder how much impact the inclusion of these perks has had on the other negotiations. I imagine the owners would like these expenses to be counted as part of HHR.

After the jump we have some statistical goodness from Kent Wilson and Jonathan Willis, another crazy proposal by Jesse Spector, and other nuggest of hockey fun.

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