2012-13 Qualitative +/- Ratings
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01-21-2013, 02:40 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: The Triangle
PtP, similar to my post in the Penalty Liabilities thread, the main thing stopping me from incorporating that kind of system is a lack of ability to review video of entire games. I can be certain of having quality video of every goal, which makes this project easy to implement. I couldn't pull it off if it went beyond just the goals.
You're right, though, that the numbers tend to brutalize defensemen. I think there are two important takeaways to be made:
1) One of the big lies that standard +/- propagates is that there is a singular "overall value" to every player. That is just not true. Forwards have a distinct type of value compared to defensemen. Unless his name is Bobby Orr, a defenseman is highly unlikely to have an actual "positive" impact on the scoreboard. Even a very good defenseman will get burnt for goals-against more frequently than he materially contributes to goals-for. The opposite is true of forwards. It's just the nature of the game. The way we evaluate each position should reflect that reality, which is obscured in the traditional stat since defensemen get their pluses primarily from linemate play.
2) The key to evaluating defensemen in this system is to generate enough data points that small negatives start to look good. Say a guy like Lidstrom plays 82 games and ends up -5. That looks bad by the traditional standard, but it would be a phenomenally good number in this system -- and unlike traditional +/- it would be an accurate reflection of his personal effect on the game. The value would become apparent when you look at the rest of the league and everyone else is -10 or worse.
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