Is there an equivalent of a "Moneyball" for the NHL?
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04-10-2009, 08:49 PM
Originally Posted by
take it for what it's worth but I'm actually onto something that's "moneyball" like or Sabremetrics rather like
I don't treat it the same way Bill James does it, although I'm working on similar ideas
my model uses some nonlinear equations, some linear equations and some statistical theorems; my problem is right now I don't have access to a lot of statistics, I spoke about it to a stats professor and he said he'd see what he can do to help me out
btw, a lot can be made only with games played and points as the previous poster pointed out; and by a lot, I mean most of the work
My all-time favorite blogger/writer, Tom Benjamin, had a great discussion on this a couple of years ago. If you search through his blog for Poisson, you can find some other posts on the topic of statistical validity in a game that's generally governed by randomness; and even a discussion on the "clutch" factor. Here's an excerpt:
The assumption is that goal scoring can be modelled by something called a Poisson distribution. Thatís a fancypants way of saying that goals are random events even though they donít meet the strict definition for randomness. Most fans have difficulty accepting that idea probably because it means that when we say that the good guys played well, we really mean that they were favoured by randomness.
This is not to say that ability does not count because it counts a great deal. What it means is that ability and try are more or less constant from shift to shift and game to game. The results achieved in any given shift or game, therefore, are determined by the external - essentially random - factors. I like to think of it as a coin flipping contest with the coin weighted in favour of the better player or team.
This assumption flies in the face of many hockey myths around things like clutch play and the apparent ability some players have to rise to the occasion. The fact is that somebody has to come through in the clutch and that somebody is randomly selected by the hockey gods. This idea makes us feel uncomfortable because it is disturbing to realize that so many things in life are beyond our control. It means hockey - indeed life - in the short run is about luck and probabilities. Skill only outs in the long run and even a season is a relatively short time period.
Make sure you read the reader comments as his mathematician friend responds to some reader queries and ideas.
(There's also a gaggle of Oilers bloggers who routinely dive into this stuff.
, a huge fan of sabremetrics if I recall is one, and Irreverent Oil Fans @
I hope this piques the interest of BOHB moderator Fourier....