Monday, December 14, 2009


This started ten days ago... I read about Hawerchuk's quick item here at Tango's site.  It's devoted mostly to baseball and sabermetrics - excellent for fans and students alike.  The art of recording and analyzing hockey data is jumping forward, and Tango posts a couple of times a week on it.

In any case, I stuck a comment out there... and, like most of my comments in places like this, it made no visible impact.  I don't mind that, actually, since what I don't know about advanced statistics could fill a typical introductory textbook on the subject, no matter what the real standings posts may say.  But I do find it interesting to follow the topics as they develop and see other people who may have thought along similar lines, and see what they post about it.
It is not surprising that winning teams tend to have higher save percentages, but this save percentage split is much larger than normal (this year goalies have averaged .939 in all wins and .873 in all losses). Even though these teams outshot their opponents by a 2-to-1 margin on average, they still lost 40% of the time. This indicates that often a goalie does not have a low save percentage because of a low shot total, but rather that he has a low shot total because of a low save percentage.
Emphasis mine, just to highlight the similarity to what I'd written last week:
Those two trends seem to suggest that stopping a high percentage of shots is what pushes the totals higher, not the reverse. In his four worst save % performances of the year, [Cam] Ward was yanked every time, meaning that he didn’t play well enough to be allowed the chance to face a lot of shots - in much the same way as a pitcher getting smacked around doesn’t get a lot of IPs.
Incidentally, the author of that Puck Prospectus piece, Phil Myrland, blogs at the provocatively-titled Brodeur is a Fraud.  Many of his sidebar links go to other worthy, puck-oriented writers (haven't checked them all).  At this rate I may need a separate hockey section of the blogroll.

If all this puck talk bores you, I do apologize.  I haven't the energy to risk much more right now.

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