Best "half seasons"
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12-07-2012, 04:50 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Originally Posted by
Czech Your Math
I'm uncertain which list you mean, but Crosby's ESGF/GA ratio and On/Off ratio were better than some players with higher PPG, just as some players with lower PPG than Crosby had better ES data.
That's my point. The ESGF/GA and On/Off ratios vary so wildly relative to what most every reasonable hockey observer would consider better seasons (check out Elias '01 or LeClair '97 relative to the best of Jagr and Lemieux) that it's hard not to question their validity in this debate.
1. The ESGF/GA and On/Off ratios are only available for a full season. Since most players have a substantially higher PPG during their best 41+ games than they do over the same full season, it would stand to reason they would have substantially higher ES ratios during their "half seasons" than over the same full seasons.
How would one then rationalize the ESGF/GA ratios of Lemieux and Jagr in their best seasons relative to the all the other players who had played full seasons and had much better results?
2. In the case of Lemieux & Jagr in '96, the "Off" part of their On/Off ratios were comprised in large part by the other's line. Suffice it to say that a prime Jagr or Lemieux is a much tougher comparison than an injured Malkin having an off year.
That makes sense. However, it should cut both ways. If you believe that a very productive player playing on a different line would likely be a considerable disadvantage to one's On/Off ratio, doesn't it follow that a very productive player on the same line would likely be a considerable advantage to one's production?
Is (adjusted) PPG the best indicator of which player had the best "half season"? Certainly other factors can and should be considered (such as the ES data), but if one was allowed only one stat with which to gauge the quality of a forward's half season, PPG seems the best one. It's the most direct measure of the player's offensive contribution, as the others are influenced by additional factors (quality of defense/goaltending, quality of other lines) which are outside the player's control.
I do think it's the best single indicator for all the reasons you mention. After seeing the results, it's hard to give much credence to the ESGF/GA data.
It's a matter of interpretation. Some, such as yourself, may believe that using any 41+ game stretch in comparison with the first 41 games is cherry-picking. Others, such as myself, would say that 41+ consecutive games is basically apples to apples, especially as the games seem to be as tough or tougher in the second half as the first half. Also, even restricting it to 41+ games, rather than a full season is somewhat artificial. Players are generally judged on at least a full season basis, as the schedule balances out over a full season and the larger sample means the "luck" factor is less of an influence (which is one reason why multiple seasons are even more reliable than a single season).
At some point, restricting it not just to 41+ games, but only the first 41+ games of the season is reminiscent of "only N players have X goals, Y assists and a PPG of Z or better."
It's not that it isn't impressive for the player to be part of such an exclusive list, but that the more the criteria are arbitrarily tailored to meet that player's stats, the less impressive it becomes.
I completely disagree. Beginning at the player's first game of the season is the least arbitrary point possible - everyone has the exact same starting line.
2010 Ovechkin scored at a higher rate (both raw and adjusted) to start the 2010 season and doing so for 52 games makes it all the more impressive. 1999 Selanne (on an adjusted basis) and 1995 Lindros scored at lower rates, but not that much lower. They did have better linemates than Crosby, but they also had better ES data that was at least similar and often much better during those years.
I'm not sure who based an argument for Crosby on ES production, but it wasn't me. It seems reasonable that superstars with superstar linemates would fare better at ES than superstars with blunt instrument linemates.
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