Analytics in Hockey

Number crunching, algorithms, and the future of statistics in Hockey.

Goaltending. That’s right, that one little thing that can bail out a slacking team at any given night – and on the other hand, it has the power to ruin everything your skaters have done right in a matter of minutes. This past year, the top 10 goalies had an impact of 27 to 15 GSAA (goals saved above average), which is enormous and practically puts you in the playoff race by itself. On the other hand, if you happen to sign Scott Darling, the exact opposite is true. Few things in hockey are as...
I would like to share with you team rankings based on the ELO rating system. This is purely mathematical based on wins and losses. Each team has a score. That score increases or decreases based on wins and losses. The amount of change is based on the score of the opponent. Eg. If a strong team beats a weak team then they don't gain a lot of points because it is expected. If a weak team beats a strong team then they gain a lot of points and the strong team loses a bunch. It balances out....
As someone who is into advanced stats, I find Carolina Hurricanes absolutely fascinating. Year after year they under-perform their underlying metrics by a ludicrous amount. This season they have cartoonishly good, 07-08 Detroit Red Wings level shot and shot quality numbers yet their actual goal differential lags far behind. So over the last 5 seasons the Hurricanes actual 5 on 5 Goals For % has under performed their Corsi For % on average by -7.69% and under performed their Expected Goals...
As an alternative metric to points-per-game, I've been working on calculating the amount of points a player puts up in each game they play relative to their teammates and adjusting that based off of the player's age. I'm not familiar with any similar metrics in the NHL, but I wouldn't be surprised if one exists.
I thought it would be fun to measure the "value" of a Stanley Cup, year-by-year, as determined by the number of teams competing for it. This idea came about when I was thinking about how the 1950s Habs 5-straight Cups weren't as impressive to me as say; the Hawks 3-in-6. The reason is that I don't personally find it "impressive" that 1 team wins a cup in a small field of 6 teams. I might be underestimating the difficulty in that, but it's moot, really. So with that in mind, I set about...
As per request from @Ripshot 43 before the season started, I have been reviewing every goal against in the league on every night since the season started. Early on, I made the mistake of not just making a chart with every goalie to play this year and keeping track that way. So the other night, I had to go through almost a month's worth of reviews and count them and put down every goalie in the league on a file on my computer, and count their stoppable goals and type them down. Then update...
I checked out Hockey Reference and saw that they had expanded their scoring logs to the 1987-1988 season (before they only used to have scoring logs from the 2005-2006 season and then they put playoff scoring logs for seasons before that). This was super cool but I found something even cooler: you can get scoring logs for seasons even before 1987-1988 as all you have to do is change the season in the URL manually. This works back to at least the 1968-1969 season for some players at least (I...
Dominik Hasek is (as expected) by this metric the most dominant regular season goalie ever, with 7 straight seasons in Top 100. Although Hasek's two best seasons are significantly better than Roy's, Roy's top 7 seasons stack surprisingly well against Hasek 3rd to 6th best seasons.
When "corsi" became a buzz word in hockey, there was definitely a revolution in the types of players teams would employ. Gone were the lumbering defensive defensemen who couldn't move the puck - it was adapt or get out. Gone were many floating goal scorers who let their linemates do all the work. But it seems that we've hit a point where the league has "homogenized" in those aspects. In 2008, the best possession team in the league had a CF% of 58.84% and the worst had 42.85%. This was...
With the recent discussion about RFAs and the number of teams that seem to have a need to move players with salary, I wanted to see if it was possible to create a way in which one could estimate the cost to trade a player with negative value or an unwanted contract. To begin, I decided that all the components involved in a trade needed to be quantified in the same stat. This stat ended up being the WAR created by Evolving-Wild; while WAR isn’t perfect I do believe it offers a relative...
I found this kind of interesting. Based on a very small sample, but might worth keeping an eye on. New York seems to have gotten much better defensively, but also seem to be very opporunistic, scoring at an average level despite being the worst team at creating High Danger scoring chances 5v5. Washington is hard to read - last year they were the worst team for trading chances 5v5, but they scored often and the PP was was top 10. I am not big into stats, I was just looking at some Leaf...
Its maybe not the most interesting data, but I did a little study looking at how likely it is for a team finishing at a certain position one year, to finish at any given position the next year (its based on all seasons post-lockout). For me this was interesting because I was wondering how often teams have made big jumps in the standings. Of course everyone knows of examples of teams going from the top to the bottom over night, or vice versa, but I didn't really have a feel for if it was...
Some have really stepped up their game lately. But once we choose to do so, we introduce a personal bias into the analysis since there is no objective way to decide which player's last season's stats are more indicative of predicting this year's performance and which player's career stats are better suited for the task
First, I apologize if (a) this is common knowledge; or (b) someone else has already done this. I'm pretty new to hockey stats, though I've been a fan of the game for a long time. I searched, but didn't find something similar. It seems to me that short-handed goals ought to count as far as a team's special-teams performance. A great PP isn't so great if you give up a lot of SHG, and a great PK can be even better if you score a lot of SHG. So, as of 2/23/19, here are the top teams in the...
Hey folks, I recently ran a study on home ice advantage in the playoffs dating back to 2016. I posted it to a new website (link in my bio) as a blog-style article with additional info related to sports betting. I figure stat junkies might be interested in this whether or not they are gamblers, so here are the data tables and the non-gambling related commentary. All feedback/suggestions, positive or negative, is more than welcome. There is an inherent advantage to playing at home versus...
I find a problem with basically all studies here (including my own) in that they require a lot of work and time. There are usually many hours of boring research to have to be done, in order to learn and know about many factors leading up to the end results. There also seem to basically always be factors "biasing" things, including (of course) "randomness" or "circumstances".
I have put together a spreadsheet which compares all teams league wide.
I've taken draft class data from 2003 to 2016, with career games played and points, and cup winners from 2004 to 2018 to give a visual representation how each Draft Class compares to each other as well as give a breakdown of which teams have accumulated the most amount of First Liners/Top 4 D/Starters in the last decade of drafting. Feel free to offer thoughts/feedback! Link to the dataset is here if you want to filter to your team specifically or see the names (hover your mouse over the...
Hey guys, I thought I'd post some of the Puck Possessed issues I have been working on lately, and see if people are interested. My goal is to visualize hockey data and analysis in a way that general fans can understand and enjoy. I also want to make sure the comic style pages perk some interest from younger hockey lovers. My most recent issue is actually a static video analysis of a beautiful & smart goal, broken up in screenshots, but typically I actually analyse hockey data, chart it and...
This is a standard feature on my site; although this represents the regular season, I had to wait until the Stanley Cup concluded because the power ratings (and therefore the average strengths) change during the playoffs. These are for the 2018-19 NHL regular season. AVGOSTR - average opponent strength, measured in goals/game. So someone like Jordan Binnington faced an average opponent 0.03 goals/game below average (basically an average opponent). These are weighted by minutes played,...
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