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01-15-2013, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by almostawake View Post
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.
That website is awesome. I would love something like that to come to hockey to track true location of shots, goals, who was "really" on the ice and where they "were" when a goal was scored. How fast they are with the puck, and how far they skate per shift. That kind of data would be monumental to the game and to every team that used it....and us.

We might finally see teams start utilizing their players to the best of their abilities.

This would also be huge for goaltender analysis as well. You could track where the puck was shot, where the goalie deflected it to, etc. etc.

Hockey is really in it's infancy with respect to data collection about the game.

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