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03-30-2012, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
Hits, as a stat, are actually negatively correlated to winning, presumably for this very reason. I don't think that being willing to hit actually causes a team to lose more, but you only hit if you don't have the puck... and puck possession is how you win hockey games.

If we could get a decent giveaway stat, I wonder if we might not end up with the entirely counter-intuitive correlation that more giveaways correlate to more winning (because giveaways are a sign of puck possession).
You're right, on average the raw stat of hits for is negatively correlated with winning. Inversely, being hit is actually positively correlated with winning. I'll re-phrase McDonald's joke at the MIT Conference, which basically went, imagine a coach telling his players to get hit and start missing the net more in order to win games ... since totals shots are a better indicator of future goal scoring ... during intermission. It makes no sense.

Like you said, giveaways and takeaways tell nothing about winning and losing because of the way they are measured by the NHL. Some obvious giveaways aren't counted in for the home team whereas the road won't get away with much.

Some people like Johnson I believe is his name at hockeyanalysis started adjusting for those stats. I did the same with my own data and you get much better results and you get to the point where it actually a part of winning and losing games.

I'm of the opinion at the moment that hits are relevant as long as they create turnovers. Some players are great at hit like Landeskog. Other hits that come 2 seconds after the puck is gone, I guess aren't as important.

Also, another thing I found odd at first was that teams that don't hit a lot or don't put pressure tend to create more turnovers. You will find the same in football. QBs who have lots of time to throw tend to throw more interceptions. Main reason for that would be that your opponent starts thinking and knows he has no options and starts making bad decisions.

Anyhow, the whole subject of giveaways and takeaways is very interesting. Like you said, playmakers tend to commit more giveaways. Same is observed in basketball. Point guards who handle the ball will commit more turnovers than your centerman who can't handle the ball at all in the first place. So, time of possession obviously plays a role into this.

Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
This actually brings to mind another point that, I must admit, occasionally bugs me.

If one can think of an objection to microstats within thirty seconds (what about shot quality? what about teammates? what about those guys who always play against the top lines?), that doesn't give leave to dismiss the whole thing. The odds are very good that the objection has already been thought of by analysts, examined, and either had a metric introduced or was dismissed as not making enough difference to matter on aggregate.
great point indeed lol! can't believe the number of times I read this as objections to analytics

Originally Posted by Et le But View Post
I'm still not entirely convinced statistical analysis can work for soccer, concepts like shooting percentage and balls lost/recovered are just far less meaningful than they are in basketball or hockey. Hockey is closer to basketball here, there's far more stoppage and less players meaning more emphasis on individual variables. Perhaps someone will prove me wrong someday but I have yet to see proof that soccer can be quantified.
honestly I haven't done my homework on soccer yet. I have a decent amount of articles I can't wait to read but haven't done so yet. However, from the small amount I have read I'm led to believe it can actually be done, but in general, the maths are more involved and complicated. For instance, the standard pythagorean formula won't work, or at the very least, doesn't give as good an indication of team performance than it does for hockey, baseball and so on. But I've seen a different formula which computes a pythag expectation, except there's more maths behind it. I'll see if I can get the link back.

there it is

I can't find the link back on the actual paper that explains how the formula works, I have printed it but can't find the link

so if goals for and against can explain team winning%, then I'm led to believe there must be some sort of analytics that can be used

Last edited by Mathletic: 03-30-2012 at 03:48 PM.
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