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11-15-2012, 05:01 PM
Czech Your Math
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Originally Posted by habsfanatics View Post
I have seen throughout this thread that even guys that know the numbers better than I do and insist themselves that there are some flaws and then turn around and immediately post about so and so doing this and using AS as their only source of proof. Czech has done it several times now, even admitting to not seeing many of the seasons or games discussed prior to the lockout. This isn't meant to bash, but I see them being used as the be-all end-all quite often.
Whos has using them as a be-all end-all? Adjusted stats, whether production or plus-minus, are not perfect, but I believe they are by far the most objective data available for evaluating forwards. I didn't say they are the only data that should be considered. However, people use rankings, awards, Cups, etc. with often little or no "adjustment" for how much easier or more difficult it may be to earn each in different eras and seasons. I understand there are potential misuses of adjusted stats, and I'm not saying I've never changed my interpretation of them as I had more information. Pretending that raw stats are generally as useful as adjusted stats is misleading as well IMO. Adjusted stats simply takes the first and by far the most important steps in the adjustment process. It corrects for the changing goals/win (league gpg), wins/season (length of schedule) and assists/goal (how often assists awarded on goals). That is what I call "simple adjustment". Anything past that, including's adjusting for player's own scoring and roster size, is entering the realm of adjusting further for difficulty/quality of the individual's season (e.g. a smaller roster doesn't change the value of the production... it changes the difficulty of attaining that production level... and of the minimum quality of player necessary to attain that level).

As to the bolded, if you mean before the '95 lockout, I generally watched less hockey then than in the several years following. That doesn't mean I wasn't watching the playoffs when I could, and following the seasons as they happened to some degree. The NHL was more widely available in the 90s on Fox, ESPN, etc. (those were some of the best days for free hockey) and I could/would go to bars/restaurants to watch playoffs on satellite as well. IIRC, when I was younger in the late 70s & much of the 80s, there just wasn't as much coverage of the NHL outside Canada. However, I remember watching Lafleur & Dryden on live TV, so it's not like I just showed up to watch Crosby & Ovechkin either.

Originally Posted by habsfanatics View Post
The only point I have and have no idea if it really has any merit is that it would seem likely that the distribution of points wouldn't remain static from top tier to bottom tier players. If the league gets tougher, it may not impact the skilled guys as much as the tweeners. Seems pretty logical, no?
If everything stayed the same, then one would expect the distribution of points between tiers to remain equal. However, a number of things changed: avg. gpg decreased... new equipment... possibly new coaching/systems... more power plays... more Euro/US players, esp. at top tier forward... expansion. Without knowing which factors caused the observed effect, it's difficult to further adjust properly. I think "simple adjusted" is a good base from which to explore further. I've repeatedly suggested using regression analysis, because it measures multiple factors simultaneously, some of which may be correlated and/or contemporaneous changes.

It's unclear what you mean by the league getting "tougher" and how your conclusion follows from that. If you mean "lower scoring", then it depends on which factors are responsible, as to how (and how much) to adjust further. It also got tougher in terms of the total talent pool, and the average quality of top forwards. These factors could change the dynamic between tiers, since the lower tiers may not have improved as much as the top tiers during the Euro/Russian/US influx. A lot of things may seem logical, but that doesn't mean they're always true, esp. since there are multiple factors at work.

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