Hockey's Structure and Incentive Problem

Kent Wilson
March 08 2013 03:52PM



Yesterday I discussed some of the entrenched misperceptions about statistical analysis in hockey and why they are misguided. Today, in a post called "Hockey's Counting Problem", Cam Charron looked at some of the significant obstacles standing in the way of effective, evidence-based analysis truly getting a foothold in the NHL's upper offices.

Two challenges he touches on that I want to discuss in greater depth are top-down vs bottom-up processes and the clash between long-term decision making and short-term incentives.

Read Article | 5 Comments

Hitting, Shot Differentials and Variance

Kent Wilson
March 07 2013 01:10PM

A couple of things running through my head between Flames games today. The first topic has to do with hitting and winning versus shooting and winning. The second topic is on how advanced analysis in hockey is gaining prominence (but is still obviously misunderstood).

Read Article | 31 Comments

Numbers You Need To Know: #2 - Seth Jones

Derek Zona
March 07 2013 07:31AM

Photo by leech44, via Wikimedia Commons

Seth Jones is likely to be the first overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.  Jones has pulled away from Nathan MacKinnon in the  NHLNumbers Conensus Top 100.  The Scouting Report is included in those rankings and has Jones at #1 overall:

An excellent skater especially for his size, Jones is a rare combination of athleticism and skill.  More than capable of playing in the NHL next year, Jones will be a quality transition defenseman with top 4 capabilities from day 1.  A strong slap shot and good hockey sense will allow him to also see powerplay minutes early in his career.

Though he'll be the #1 overall pick, he'll be #2 in the NHL.  After Jones is drafted by the Blue Jackets, Oilers or whatever team wins the new lottery, he will suit up for his first NHL game sometime in October.  When he does, Seth Jones will become only the second player named Seth to ever play in the NHL.  Seth Martin, a goaltender for the St. Louis Blues, played 30 games in 1967-68.  Jones will surpass that games played mark some time before Christmas.


Read Article | 0 Comments

Capitals vs. Bruins - Tracking puck possessions

Cam Charron
March 06 2013 12:31PM

There's been some talk about the importance of hitting in the hockey blogosphere lately. Most of it has come on Twitter in the wake of the Edmonton Oilers trading for Mike Brown and to whether or not Brown's hitting will make a lick of difference to the Oilers lineup.

My gut reaction is "no, no it won't". I did a big of leg-work in this post at the Backhand Shelf that showed "hits" "giveaways" and "takeaways" were subjective statistics that didn't really mean anything. Every scorer in every building has a different definition of a hit. What I wanted to see was whether actual hits lead to turnovers in any given game.

Read Article | 9 Comments

2013 NHL Mock Draft - Seth Jones Goes To Columbus

Derek Zona
March 05 2013 10:42AM

Ryan Murray
Will Kekalainen add Seth Jones to Ryan Murray on the blueline, or will he go with Drouin or MacKinnon?
Photo by: Fanny Schertzer, via Wikimedia Commons

Seth Jones has seperated himself from the pack and has become a strong be to be the first overall pick at the NHL Draft in June.  There's just one problem - the Blue Jackets drafted defender Ryan Murray last season at #2 overall after losing the draft lottery to the Edmonton Oilers.  Will Columbus take another blueliner or will Jarmo Kekalainen go with Nathan MacKinnon or the fast-rising Jonathan Drouin at #1 and leave Jones for the Buffalo Sabres?

Poor Columbus.  Just a month ago, they had three picks in the top 12 at #5, #8, and #12.  As the Rangers and Kings move up in the standings, those picks are falling through the first round.  Our Predictive Model shows the Jackets drafting #1, #19 and #21 now.

The mock draft uses the NHLNumbers Predictive Model and the NHL Numbers Consensus Top 100 List for the picks.  The sources for the consensus list are Bob McKenzieFuture ConsiderationsISSRyan KennedyCraig Button, Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus, and The Scouting Report.  Their rankings are weight by their accuracy in ranking previous drafts: Bob McKenzie's rankings carry the most weight as he's the most accurate prognosticator in the group.

Read Article | 6 Comments