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02-07-2012, 09:08 AM
Les Wynan*
Join Date: Nov 2011
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Originally Posted by Vaasa View Post
You are confusing a fact, that the fourth line was outshot 29-13 without Murray; to a cause that that reason that the fourth line was outshot was because Murray was not on the ice. The fact is that you simply have no basis for that causal statement.
I'm well aware that six games constitutes a tiny sample size. My statement that the fourth line has been less effective with Murray not on it is supported by the degree to which they have been dominated with him out of the lineup. That doesn't necessarily mean his absence is the only reason they've sucked; just pointing out that they have, indeed, been terrible without him while admitting that there are many other confounding factors including, but not limited to, Andrew Desjardins being promoted to the top line.

Originally Posted by Vaasa View Post
In order to have any statistical validity in saying that the absence of Murray was directly the cause of the fourth line being outshot the situation in ALL of the games this season, both with and without Murray, would have to be the same. That means the exact same teams playing, with the exact same rosters, with all the players in the exact same condition of health, at exactly the same time, on exactly the same ice surface, with exactly the same penalties called at the same time to same players, etc. To prove CAUSE, you must have the some conditions in a testable manner.
This is a professional sport. You're not going to be able to conduct a controlled experiment to determine player value. That absolutely does NOT mean that relying on flawed memory and flawed interpretation of that memory is superior to using the numbers that are available. This statement is also rather hypocritical since I presume you have zero problem using point totals or TOI or plus/minus to evaluate a player. Why aren't you calculating p-values or error bars or adjusting for teammates and competition for those? Or perhaps you operate under the delusion that you not only watch every minute of every NHL game but retain the entirety of those games in your memory bank, able to sift through the recesses of your brain on demand to extract information about the events that occurred during any player's shift?

Originally Posted by Vaasa View Post
But the problem is that you can't even really infer a solid correlation relationship with those stats. Are those shot counts adjusted depending on opposition, line mates, time on ice, health of the players, and other factors that might skew the numbers one way or another? No, they aren't. And even if could infer a correlation relationship, you might be drawing the wrong one. You seem to saying that Murray is so defensively sound that his presence on the ice reduces the oppositions ability to get shots on net. I could just as easily say that the correlation instead is that Murray is so bad defensively that the defensive pairs are more careful when he is on the ice, effectively reducing the shots against. And that when he is off the ice, they trust the remaining forwards defensive abilities more allowing more shots on goal knowing they have additional defensive support to help clear the rebounds.
I think you're seriously misunderstanding the reason I brought up the on-ice shot totals for the fourth line with Murray out of the lineup. It's a pretty basic tenet of hockey that if you're getting outshot by the opposition you're spending more time in your own zone. The role of the fourth line, at least in my view, is to maintain possession as long as possible, thereby increasing the likelihood that the other three lines can begin their shifts in the good end of the ice. When Murray has been on the ice this season, the Sharks have outshot the opposition 192-153, meaning they've spent around 56% of their shifts in the offensive zone which is a very high number relative to most other fourth lines in the NHL. If you want to believe they're territorially dominating the opposition when Murray is on the ice because the Sharks' defense are playing more conservatively...that's your prerogative to draw that conclusion. Just know that it's a very, very misinformed one. And that last sentence indicates to me that you have an extremely fuzzy concept of strategy at the NHL level. No coach, especially not McLellan, is instructing their fourth line to spend their entire shift in the defensive zone allowing as many shots as possible because they'll be able to clear the rebounds. In a completely asinine post, that line takes the cake. Congratulations.

Last edited by Les Wynan*: 02-07-2012 at 09:16 AM.
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