Tuesday, May 13, 2008

It's the little things that hurt the most

Today I kept trying to get some Canucks stats off NHL.com, but every time I tried nothing showed up. Turns out it was because I had it set for playoff stats instead of regular season. Sigh...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Yet another reason to love Alex Burrows

According to the data at The Forechecker Alex Burrows has drawn more penalties than any other player in the NHL (with 67). Of course he's also comitted his share, but overall he's +18 in "penalty plus/minus" (penalties drawn minus penalties comitted). The Canucks converted on 17% of their powerplays this season, so that's 11 extra goals that they got because of Burrows' antics. This is especially impressive because most of the players around Burrows on that list are the top offensive forwards in the league, who force opponents into comitting penalties to stop them because they're so good offensively. Burrows drew more penalties than any of them(while also getting far less ice time) just by pissing guys off. So, you know, well done there.

The best division in hockey this year...

These numbers represent the ammount of points the average team in each division had if you ignore games against division oponents(adjusted for an 82 game schedule).

Central 91

So it seems the Atlantic was the best division in hockey. More than that, this data gives us more prespective on just how mind-blowingly bad the Southeast is.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Which teams overachieved this season?

This is a bit long-winded so please bear with me.

You know how Bill James figured out that a teams won/loss record was directly connected to its total runs for/runs allowed for the season? Well there's no reason that the same thing shouldn't apply in hockey. In fact, if you graph the ratio of each team's goals for to its goals allowed against its points total for the past 3 seasons you get this fun little formula: 76.73X+13.27, where X=(total gf/total ga). Punch in your team's value for X and you should get a reasonable estimate of its points that season.

The principle behind this is pretty simple (it works the same for the ratio, but i'll use the difference between gf and ga in the example coming up). If team A outscores its opponents by 0.5 goals a game, it should do better than team B, who gets outscored by 0.5 goals a game. Luck may fuck with this of course. For example, team A could win one a game by 5, then lose the next three by 1 each, while team B could lose a game by 5, then win the next three by 1 each. In this situation team A stilll outscores its oponents by an average of 0.5 goals a game (5-1-1-1)/4=0.5, while team B is still gets outscored by 0.5 goals a game, but nonetheless team A goes 1-3-0 while team B goes 3-1-0.

If you assume that such variations are due to luck (i.e. that teams can't purposely apportion the goals they're going to score across different games as it suits them), then over the long run these breaks should even out, and a team's record should end up quite close to the record predicted by the formula. If a team's record is a lot better than its goals for/allowed would indicate, this is probably due to luck rather than some intrinsic ability on the part of the team to apportion its goals. Thus, the team is overachieving and its results should get worse as its luck evens out. Indeed, the four biggest "overachievers" last season based on this formula were Vancouver, New Jersey, Dallas, and Atlanta (all had many more points than the formula would indicate) and all 4 took a step back points-wise this year. (Of course it doesn't always work. The formula said Pittsburgh overachieved last year too.)

So who overachieved this year and is due for a step back next season? Without further ado here's what each team's record would have been this year based on the formula above, compared with its actual record.

Thursday, April 3, 2008



Stat of the day

So far this season only four Canucks players have played every game for the team. Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Markus Naslund and...Alex Burrows.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Team Values

Just for comparison's sake, here's the most recent Forbes financial data for the 4 major sports.

Average team value: $957 million
Average team revenue: $204 million
Average team profit: $17.8 million

Average team value: $431 million
Average team revenue: $170 million
Average team profit: $16.5 million

Average team value: $372 million
Average team revenue: $119 million
Average team profit: $9.8 million

Average team value: $200 million
Average team revenue: $81 million
Average team profit: $3.2 million

Supposedly for stocks the average price/earnings ratio is supposed to hover around 15. For the leagues mentioned here the team value/profit ratios are, respectively 53.7, 26.1, 37.9, 62.5. So either I'm missing something (that's probably it) or sports teams are grossly overvalued.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Well I'll be Jiggered

The Forechecker has taken a look at the goalies doing better when they face more shots issue, and it seems like there isn't too much of an overall trend to speak of. Three other guys (Roloson, Kolzig and Khabibulin) show increases in save percentage when they face more shots, but that's it. Marty Turco shows a downward trend.

Interestingly enough, two years ago when he was in Florida, Luongo showed no increase in his save percentage as he faced more shots. The trend only started occuring when he joined the Canucks. His backups so far on the Canucks also show the same increase when facing more shots. Sabourin last year had a 0.931 save percentage in games where he faced 25 or more shots, and a 0.872 in games where he faced less than 25. Sanford so far this year: 0.927 when facing 25 or more, 0.819 when facing less than 25. So maybe it's the team not the goalie.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

You know what's stupid?

Complaining about the quality of play in the all-star game. It's the fucking all-star game! It's not supposed to be real hockey. It's supposed to be a fun little divergence for the ordinary and nothing more. Who cares if there's no hitting? You get 1000 games a year that do have hitting. Do you really need one more that badly? I don't get where this weird consensus comes from that the all-star game is essentially a waste of time because it's not played the same way every single other game of the season is played. Guess what guys, if it was just another game it would be called regular season game number 382 and it would feature two random teams instead of the best players from each team in the league. It's not a regular game. It's a showcase of league talent and it's about everyone getting together and celebrating hockey and all that b.s. So just sit back and enjoy it for what it is.

There, I feel better now.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Short Messages Adressed to Various NHL Players Just in Case They Randomly Stumble Upon This Blog

Markus Naslund: Why do I get the feeling I'll be seeing you in a Ducks uniform next year?

Miika Kiprusoff: Thanks for killing my fantasy teams you Finnish son of a bitch.

Evgeni Nabokov: Are you aware that you've played every single minute for your team this year? That's quite impressive. Well done sir.

Derek Boogard: I know I'm a bit late on this, but "pinky and the two brains"? What does that even mean? Is it supposed to mean they're like pansies or something? Are you saying the Sedins are smarter than Naslund? I just want to know. Everyone else seems to get it but me. It makes me angry and suspicious. Please, I'm begging you, just tell me.

Chris Pronger: I don't care how many cups you win, you're still a douchebag.

Jerome Iginla: Allright, im finally convinced. I will no longer call you overrated, and will stop going out of my way to point out that you were actually born in Edmonton. Tell Kipper to go fuck himself.

George Parros: What's a moustache ride?