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11-10-2012, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
You bring up a good point, but I think there are reasoned arguments on each side. You are focusing on the lack of concentration on the offensive side, while others might point out the dilution on the defensive side. The two factors may offset, or there may be other factors which determine which has more influence in a given era. Expansion in the late 60s & 70s led to increased scoring, despite most expansion teams not being able to score at nearly the rate of most O6 teams.

The Rangers trying to block every shot or teams in the 90s clutching and grabbing are obviously examples of defensive systems. Would it work without a strong (Euro) goalie like Lundqvist? Is it countering dilution or less relative talent compared to other teams? Is it innovation or do these "defensive systems" devolve the game?

I think one factor has been the OT/SO points that came into play. This encourages teams to play for the tie, which means play a stifling defense and avoid giving up goals at all costs. The NHL has probably been short-sighted in using this point system, rather than an alternative which did not reward "playing for the tie."

How does raw data take into account any/all of the factors you have mentioned over the course of so many posts? Are you suggesting that relying on raw data is more informative than using adjusted stats as a replacement/supplement to raw data?

Have you taken any steps towards improving adjusted stats? Are you just going to complain, critique, shake your head that "adjusted stats aren't perfect, so they're a failure", and present distracting tangents?
I'm not advocating using raw data to compare players across eras. I have suggested and given many examples of using percentages as a way of measuring productivity compared to peers in increasing sets of players to establish a range that a player might have achieved compared to peers in other eras.

I have also suggested using reason to complement mathematical estimates.

Gretzky usually scored more assists than the next best performer got points. Then he added 55-60 goals. I think this is a perfectly reasonable way to look at how he'd do in any other era. That was his talent level. Howe scored just a bit better compared to his peers in his era. What's wrong with these observations? Howe might have got 93-95 goals in Gretzky's 92 goal year if he were the top outlier instead of Gretzky. Math and reason.

To accurately predict what Gretzky or Howe would have actually scored last year is problematic given that their presence in the league changed the way everybody plays. So in effect they would be playing against themselves.

We can look at a measure of their production as a percentage of sets of peers in their eras and apply those to last year and see what shakes out. I did this with Howe and came up with some incredibly high number of goals but since we aren't actually trying to predict that shouldn't be an issue. I think the Howe result of over 300 goals is simply a reflection of just how dominating he was compared to his peers when he scored 49 goals.

Maybe AS shouldn't be trying to set a fixed, realistic looking number to use as a measure. That just makes it look like a prediction. Comparing to peers in their own eras and then comparing those results is a better approach IMHO.

IQ measures are taken against peers in the relevant era. Nobody tries to guess how Newton from the past would fare on an IQ test or physics exam today. Perhaps that is a good example to draw from.

Or maybe a precise definition of what AS is trying to achieve would work here. Honestly it really just looks like an attempt to predict actual GS and that clearly causes confusion. I don't see it as a measure of productivity either. What does 'value of gs' as an example actually mean. What is it trying to do?

GS is productivity. So are sales. Publishing articles, getting out the vote and numerous other examples used in the study I referenced. Ten years ago an individual might achieve a dominant position of productivity compared to peers. Today, the thinking goes, with better training (coming from the success of those 10 years ago), more competition perhaps there may be a few individuals sharing in that top percentile of productivity. But could this not simply be due to the lack of an new dominant outlier? Their appearance is unpredictable.

The lack of a dominant individual should not and cannot justifiably be an argument for devaluing the productivity of those from the past. Does a lack of an Einstein today diminsh his accomplishment? Or is it reasonabe to say that there are many Einsteins today. I say it is not reasonable. Before Einstein or Orr everyone was bunched together at the top simply because those outliers were not present.

We see these outliers because of their dominant productivity. The performance of the whole era they belonged to also has higher value because of their presence. Outliers change everything. Einstein opened a whole new way of thinking that accelerated schievements in Physics that persists today just as Orr changed the way d-men play forever. Both can be seen as having built on the work of previous outliers. In a very real sense these outliers made their eras outliers.

When you average eras so that their achievements are all equal, as a method of comparing them, you devalue the achievements of the eras and the outliers that led the way.

Gretzky was a superb offensive machine as Newton and Liebnitz were superb mathematicians. Nothing is going on today that compares to those eras. The unintended consequence of averaging the eras to compare them is to devalue the accomplishments of the outliers themselves. Hence averaging necessarily reduces the output of the best while increasing the output of the rest.

Removing the outliers does not solve this problem since they impacted the productivity of all their peers. Everybody learned something about offence from Gretzky and math from Gauss. You cannot remove their impact on their era by just removing their accomplishments.

I conclude that you can only really look at an outliers productivity in the context of the era they achieved. If anything their productivity should be increased to reflect the fact that their presence increased the productivity of their peers thus closing the true gap between them and their peers. I don't think its fair to reduce the value of their peers though.

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