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03-09-2013, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by oilersrule14 View Post
But that still hasn't addressed whether stats can measure the effect of physicality.

You mentioned an alternative point to support the stats, and I think it's very valid. However, there's no stat that can tell me if the physicality of a Pronger has a positive effect on his teammates, in terms of opening up room for them or allowing them to play at ease.

Any stats attempting to do so are going to suffer from the fact that you can't separate Pronger's effectiveness of play from his physical play, nor can you separate his teammates's regular effectiveness of play from any increased effectiveness of play due to physicality.

I think that's an overlooked aspect of the game by the talking heads of the statisticians groups, and an overemphasized aspect of the game by the talking heads of the no-stats group. Usually, it's the quieter guys not causing a stir that put fair emphasis on all aspects.
But in the end you don't really need to separate Pronger's physicality from his overall effectiveness. The effect of the physical play is included in the player's overall effectiveness, assuming that the physicality actually leads to better results.

Having said that, I think that the largest obstacle for development of feasile advance statistics for hockey is the effect of other teammates. After all, even the best effort can result in no positive development if the linemate manages to put the puck to the stands from a perfect opportunity while sometimes piss poor pass might result in big positive if the linemate manages to anticipate the situation.

Due to its nature as fast paced team game development and collection of advance stats will probably require enormous amount of watching of the games. And in a one sense it might be that statistics can never show us something that we could not have seen just by watching the games. But statistics might give us a way to better compare the findings of different watchers because in the end there is limited time that we can spend watching the game.

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