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02-05-2013, 06:04 PM
Bear of Bad News
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Originally Posted by GuineaPig View Post
It's a losing battle, I'm afraid. A lot of people will simply accept that save percentage is worthless, and that shot quality varies wildly (but is apparently undetectable) from team to team. It's because it allows them to claim their favourite goalie is better while downplaying the success of another team's goalie.
I don't think that that's the case (maybe it's the professor in me).

I agree that there will always be naysayers, but I also think that there are people who genuinely want to learn about this stuff (plus, once you're educated on this stuff, it's easier to selectively apply it to your own team anyhow ).

And you can risk-adjust this stuff (with the modern level of data available); even-strength save percentage is one of those flavors (and the easiest available), but you can do so much more. The problem is that you can't then apply it backwards to the older time periods.

Shot quality does vary, but we don't really fully understand yet *how* (or to what extent different factors wash out or don't wash out).

Ultimately, statistics reflect events on the ice, and to the extent that they can be done better or more accurately, that's good, but they're always going to be a one-dimensional representation of a four-dimensional process.

EDIT: Just saw Mike's response - good stuff.

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