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03-01-2013, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Mathletic View Post
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.
But then it's your better judgment telling you that since we know McClement to be better defensively, we need to adjust our definition of a defensive player to include more of what McClement does.

Ultimately, the most important aspect of defensive play is positioning, and positioning is fluid and relies in large part on anticipation, which is wholly intangible. How can you assign a metric to gap control? How can you measure a player's ability to effectively neutralize a passing lane on a penalty kill?

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.
Still not perfect. You need to measure velocity of shot, position of defenders, length of possession of puck leading to scoring chance, etc. Too many variables.

There are so many brilliant minds working on hockey analytics that I would have to think a set of reliable metrics would exist by now if they were possible.

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