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03-01-2013, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Jagorim Jarg View Post
But the only reason we can give any value to statistics whatsoever is by cross-referencing them with the eye test. In theory, takeaways are an indicator of defensive play. If I tell you Patrick Kane has more takeaways than Jay McClement, you don't think "Well Kane must be better defensively." You think, "Well, we need to augment the statistic to better indicate reality." That's the eye test telling you McClement is better defensively than Kane, and that's nothing more than an effort to change statistics to reflect what we already know to be the effective method - the eye test. To figure out what truly impacts the game, you need to constantly alter your statistics with adjustments to compensate for what you know to be true, because of the eye test.
With your example of Patrick Kane has more takeaways than McClement you're implying that takeaways would be the only defensive play one could make. Which is not true. It can easily be tested through regression analysis by asking the question how are takeaways correlated with goals against? Or are they at all correlated? What we are trying to do here is identifying the plays/strategies that lead to fewer goals being scored against your team in a given situation.

I'm not sure I understand your point but the eye test is required in any scientific endeavour in a sense. To classify a play as a homerun you have to know what a homerun is. From that point on you can add all the nuances necessary. What are the dimensions of the stadium, wind, humidity and whatnot.

Then you can ask the question what strategies lead to most runs being scored: good batting avg, good slugging pct, plate patience and whatnot. The same can be done for hockey.

If you want to analyze the performance of a goalie you have understand in what position he was put. How much time was spent on the PP, PK, ES. From what area of the ice shots were taken from and so on. All those things can be analyzed objectively.

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