Sabremetrics/Microstats in Hockey
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03-30-2012, 04:00 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
I've actually been thinking about the problems with the way hits, giveaways, and takeaways are counted in the NHL. Like MathMan said the tracking of them is very inconsistant from building to building. It's not all that different from a hook being a penalty at one point in time and not later in the game/in the season/ with different referees.
With the hit/takeaway/giveaway tracked as is by the NHL I think they're pretty much useless. Lafleurs Guy mentioned that a hit by Chara is given the same weight as a hit by Desharnais and he's absolutely right. Just like a hit separating a guy from the puck is given the same weight as a hit behind the play a second or two after the player has passed the puck.
Just Thoughts/Chris Boucher's stats do a pretty good job of measuring actual puck battles one/lost and his data on the Habs isn't tracked for any other team in the league. While I'm still overwhelmed by the sheer amount of data he has it's pretty valuable in my opinion.
Along those lines, I think the "hit" statistic would have more meaning if it was actually "hit causing a change in possession of the puck" or at least "hit separating the guy from the puck". Similarly, giveaways/takeaways would be more valuable if all changes in possession were counted, whether it be an unrecovered dump-in or a defenseman chipping the puck off the glass in the offensive zone to the opposition.
If I finally get a PVR for next season and some free time I think I might end up counting something along either lines for the Habs since scoring chances are already being tracked. I'm not even sure if it's feasible without a lot of spare time given the speed of the game.
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