Is there an equivalent of a "Moneyball" for the NHL?
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01-10-2013, 06:39 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Originally Posted by
As someone who loves numbers and uses everything he can when it comes to fantasy hockey, I do not think there is an equivalent way to use the moneyball idea and move it into th hockey world.
Baseball for stats are a more indivudually driven stat structure where as hockey has there stats more team or line structured. When a guy is up to bat it his him vs the pitcher, when someone is on the ice, it is not a one to one battle, there are 5 other guys on the ice who are on his team and to achieve the goal it will take joint venture. While there are some stats that can be used such as number of shots or shooting percentage, it would come down to how you view the stats.
Is a shot on goal the same as a hit or is goal the same as a hit?
Some guys get lots of shots on net but do not score becuase they have a week shot and unless you have a greater breakdown of the speed of the shot being taken by each player, it would be difficult to figure out that even though he has a lots of shots, the reason he is not scoring more may not be because the goalies are good, it is that the shots are bad
People get really trapped in this idea that it's about stats. It is not about stats. At all.
It is about data.
In baseball it turned out that a lot of the historically recorded stats are also useful data for the purposes of understanding the game.
In hockey that is much less true.
But that has little bearing on the question of whether or not the game can be understood better through data. It just means that a bigger investment will have to be made to acquire, refine, and exploit the really useful data.
Look what the guys over at STATS are doing with SportVU:
Using tracking algorithms, it would not be difficult to extract the X/Y position of every player on the ice for every second of every game. With a bit more development, it would be possible to track the puck's X/Y position, perhaps even it's Z coordinate.
I have a lot of trouble believing that that data, competently analyzed (heck, even incompetently analyzed) wouldn't produce a wealth of information exploitable in both coaching and personnel decisions.
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