Ovechkin vs. Lindros as of Summer 2000
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10-18-2012, 10:50 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Originally Posted by
Czech Your Math
It's the ideal metric, but at least it's objective, unlike the votes of a bunch of hacks that might see half the league for one or two games per season. The problem with Norris/AS voting, is not just that the qualifications of the voters are in question, but also that there is little depth in the results.
Another metric would be to use the leaders in ice time amongst d-men (top 2-3 per team), but this is only useful as far back as the data goes (late 90s?). It also would be predicated on the assumption that defensive talent is spread evenly amongst teams, which is obviously not the case.
There is no easy solution. Norris/AS voting could be of some use for determining the top 5-6 d-men in the NHL... one could also measure the overall representation of non-Canadian d-men in the NHL (using a minimum number of games each season)... but that leaves a huge range in between, and any method for estimating this is going to be far from perfect in the case of d-men IMO.
Again, I'm not sure just how important this is to the Ovechkin vs. Lindros question, except in determining just how much greater the defensive quality of the league was/is compared to previous eras. It's apparent to me that the defensive quality improved substantially, given that:
A) scoring declined substantially from the time Lindros entered the league, and has never recovered to pre-'94 levels
B) the influx in overseas/US talent was disproportionately composed of top tier scoring forwards, at least in the earlier stages of the exodus
One would have expected league scoring to increase, but instead it decreased. This may have been due more to defensive coaching/systems, changes in goalie equipment and technique, and lack of rules enforcement, as opposed to an increase in defensive (goalie/d-men) talent (since there was a proportionally larger influx of offensively talented forwards than defensive players).
If you are interested in looking at factors leading to the dip in league scoring I would guess you are on the right path pursuing the role of European defenders. I think their presence could be another potential item added to your list of explaining why scoring dropped.
My issue is determining that on the basis of which defenseman scored in the top 10-20 on any given year, while doing a decent job of capturing most impact defenders, doesn't seem to be the most effective method (especially when your pursuit is to account for "substantially improved defensive quality"). We're looking for all the "top-tier" defenders right?
Whether it's North Americans or Europeans, you are punishing certain players. Ulf Samuelsson was certainly a meaningful European defender, but he would be overlooked in this analysis. He was 6th in All-star voting in '87 while finishing 42nd in scoring among defensemen. Surely there'd be no meaningful way to capture his importance that year with his point totals.
I understand your reservations with going the All-star or TOI routes, but I think their limitations are lesser than simply counting their points as if they're all scoring forwards.
Last edited by Rob Scuderi: 10-18-2012 at
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