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Hockey Prospectus Predicts Rangers Can't Sustain Winning in 2nd Half of Season

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Old
01-26-2012, 05:42 PM
  #26
DoTheBlue
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Ahh. The law of averages argument.

I see they listed some previous predictions they got right. Where are the ones they got wrong?

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01-26-2012, 05:46 PM
  #27
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Originally Posted by Bleed Ranger Blue View Post
Normally I'd agree with you -- if Thomas didnt have an insanely good playoffs last year. He deserves the credit.

Lundqvist needs that run too. And I fully expect he'll do it before his career is out.
Thomas is good, absolutely, and I don't mean to belittle him. But just the phrasing of that statement bothers me...it seems like it's a huge slight to Hank. Hank is playing at an otherwordly level, partly due to himself and partly because this is the best team defense he's ever had in front of him. What basis do they have to say that Henrik will revert towards the mean? Everything he's done this season has said otherwise, and by bringing up previous seasons it goes to show a complete lack of regard for the defense around him. It's almost a miracle he's been as good as he has in his career with the subpar teams around him up to this point.

I'm all for advanced statistical analysis. I think in baseball it's fantastic and gives an entire new depth to the game. But when you bring up goaltenders in them, and then fail to acknowledge the variables around that situation, it bothers me. And then to FURTHER say "WELL HE'S NO TIM THOMAS!" just twisted the knife.

Sure, my anger is probably because of my homer goggles being on a little too tight , but I just was never a fan of hockey sabre stats in general.

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01-26-2012, 05:52 PM
  #28
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I assume all these "statistics" are based on shots on goal. What about shots attempted? Maybe the Rangers just suck at hitting the net. They also don't account for the style of play. The Rangers play a lot of dump and chase, and they spend a lot of offensive zone time below the goal line. We aren't likely to generate a lot of shots from there.

These statistics don't prove anything. Yes, the stats are likely to regress toward the mean, but that doesn't mean that the Rangers will win less. Shot totals can go up even while shooting percentage is going down, which would keep our goals scored about the same.

If statistics could accurately predict the success or failure of a sports team, you guys wouldn't need to troll the forums looking for hits on your website.

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01-26-2012, 05:58 PM
  #29
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Defense needs to shoot more when they get it AND hit the net, those stats will be adjusted then. This team is legit and the best Ranger team I've followed seriously (I was too young for those 90's teams). The time to bring home a cup is near.

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01-26-2012, 07:01 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by Greg02 View Post
They posted a link to this on ESPNNewYork about a week ago claiming it was insider only here. I wrote a fairly long post about it in the comment section about the points I thought they would make. The actual article was less extensive than I thought it would be. It's pretty much worthless. Quotes below is what I thought the first time...
It's really all about the system Tort's has employed and the players willingness to buy into it lock, stock and barrel. The defensive awareness of the forwards has as much to do with our success as the defensemen and goaltending does.

I think they'll be a falloff but not as much as they're predicting for us. We'll probably end up with either the 2nd or 4th seed when all is said and done.

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01-26-2012, 07:06 PM
  #31
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Let's be honest. Who here isn't surprised where the Rangers are in the standings now?

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01-27-2012, 12:47 PM
  #32
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Yeah these analysis' always feel a little weird, like it's impossible to have a career year, for a player to improve, for a team to have a great year. It's always about regressing to the mean

I guess it makes sense to some degree when you're trying to predict things, it just always kind of feels like a slight for some reason

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01-27-2012, 01:03 PM
  #33
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lol @ anyone using metrics in hockey.

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01-27-2012, 01:05 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by BlueshirtBlitz View Post
What basis do they have to say that Henrik will revert towards the mean? Everything he's done in his career suggest otherwise.
Fixed it for you. Hank has been many things in the past six years...but average is not something he has ever been over the course of an entire season.

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01-27-2012, 01:07 PM
  #35
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Well be fine

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01-27-2012, 01:26 PM
  #36
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Originally Posted by Levitate View Post
It's always about regressing to the mean
The mean is getting higher every day

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01-27-2012, 01:35 PM
  #37
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Someone somewhere didn't properly study statistics before attempting to use them.

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01-27-2012, 01:59 PM
  #38
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Sabremetrics in hockey should not be completely blasted or ignored. They should be analyzed based on what they actually provide. There is a use for statistics in hockey. However, unlike in baseball, where they started creating advanced stats back in the early 70's (perhaps even before that), stats in hockey is in its infancy. Billy Beane built a team with no defense because "defense doesn't matter". This has since been refuted. Blindly stating "we don't need statz in hockey! stick to something else NERDZ1!...stats are stoopid" is an ignorant way to look at what stats provide.

The key here is that stats predict SOLELY based on what has already happened. Players will regress at age 36 because they always have, etc. Overall offense in the league is down compared with last year and even more so than the year before. Perhaps that means that shooting percentages contribute less to wins than they have in previous year. Until shot quality is quantified accurately, goalie skills will never be evaluated correctly. The problem with these stats seems to be that they don't accurately quantify all aspects of the game before making their predictions. If one was to based the Rangers performance based on 1985 offense, one would predict that their GPG average is way too low and that they will suck. Unlike baseball where trends tend to hold over the course of decades, in hockey this is not the case. Power play numbers move back and forth depending on the refereeing that year and which stars are playing and the quality of goalies. Without adjusting for all of these things (similar to Park factors in baseball which account for longer fences or defense metrics which account for balls a fielder "should have" gotten to), I believe the metrics in hockey are still to primitive to be useful.

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01-27-2012, 02:18 PM
  #39
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i respect statistics a great deal being a big baseball fan and fantasy hockey fan. with that said, claiming the rangers will regress because of career highs without making note of career lows (as has been mentioned) is pretty ridiculous. also, while thomas had an absurd three rounds of hockey last spring (his first was very average), comparing lundqvist's 11-12 numbers to thomas' 10-11 numbers without context is very unfair.

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01-27-2012, 02:22 PM
  #40
Levitate
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Originally Posted by blue425 View Post
Fixed it for you. Hank has been many things in the past six years...but average is not something he has ever been over the course of an entire season.
They mean his average, not to being an average goaltender, but it still doesn't leave any leeway for a guy to improve or have a great year or anything like that, or take into account that maybe this team is better in front of Lundqvist than any team he's had in the past, or that he's playing fewer games which has allowed him to be more consistent and not have as many down periods in his play like he has in the past

Quote:
Sabremetrics in hockey should not be completely blasted or ignored. They should be analyzed based on what they actually provide. There is a use for statistics in hockey. However, unlike in baseball, where they started creating advanced stats back in the early 70's (perhaps even before that), stats in hockey is in its infancy. Billy Beane built a team with no defense because "defense doesn't matter". This has since been refuted. Blindly stating "we don't need statz in hockey! stick to something else NERDZ1!...stats are stoopid" is an ignorant way to look at what stats provide.

The key here is that stats predict SOLELY based on what has already happened. Players will regress at age 36 because they always have, etc. Overall offense in the league is down compared with last year and even more so than the year before. Perhaps that means that shooting percentages contribute less to wins than they have in previous year. Until shot quality is quantified accurately, goalie skills will never be evaluated correctly. The problem with these stats seems to be that they don't accurately quantify all aspects of the game before making their predictions. If one was to based the Rangers performance based on 1985 offense, one would predict that their GPG average is way too low and that they will suck. Unlike baseball where trends tend to hold over the course of decades, in hockey this is not the case. Power play numbers move back and forth depending on the refereeing that year and which stars are playing and the quality of goalies. Without adjusting for all of these things (similar to Park factors in baseball which account for longer fences or defense metrics which account for balls a fielder "should have" gotten to), I believe the metrics in hockey are still to primitive to be useful.
And this is also a real good post IMO. Things just don't seem fully fleshed out yet and predictions based off of basically unreliable stats analysis seem kind of misleading to me.

I also feel like things like defense and goaltending are way underrated in the current state of advanced hockey stats, possibly because they're not terribly easy to quantify in some ways.

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01-27-2012, 02:27 PM
  #41
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Some of this might be negated by Staal getting healthier and Sauer coming back. We're obvioiusly not going to finish with the same winning % as we have now... that's obvious. Nevermind the stats, it's just not happening. We're not that good

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01-27-2012, 03:04 PM
  #42
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Originally Posted by sousuffer View Post
Sabremetrics in hockey should not be completely blasted or ignored. They should be analyzed based on what they actually provide. There is a use for statistics in hockey. However, unlike in baseball, where they started creating advanced stats back in the early 70's (perhaps even before that), stats in hockey is in its infancy. Billy Beane built a team with no defense because "defense doesn't matter". This has since been refuted. Blindly stating "we don't need statz in hockey! stick to something else NERDZ1!...stats are stoopid" is an ignorant way to look at what stats provide.

The key here is that stats predict SOLELY based on what has already happened. Players will regress at age 36 because they always have, etc. Overall offense in the league is down compared with last year and even more so than the year before. Perhaps that means that shooting percentages contribute less to wins than they have in previous year. Until shot quality is quantified accurately, goalie skills will never be evaluated correctly. The problem with these stats seems to be that they don't accurately quantify all aspects of the game before making their predictions. If one was to based the Rangers performance based on 1985 offense, one would predict that their GPG average is way too low and that they will suck. Unlike baseball where trends tend to hold over the course of decades, in hockey this is not the case. Power play numbers move back and forth depending on the refereeing that year and which stars are playing and the quality of goalies. Without adjusting for all of these things (similar to Park factors in baseball which account for longer fences or defense metrics which account for balls a fielder "should have" gotten to), I believe the metrics in hockey are still to primitive to be useful.
I think the issue with trying to apply statistics to hockey as they are used in baseball is that at it's most base level baseball is a one on one battle, pitcher vs batter, batter vs fielder (as you mentioned balls a fielder should have gotten to)...in a team game like hockey there are things you can't quantify, a guy who takes a hit to make a play doesn't show up on a score sheet, Callahan taking a pounding in front of the net providing a screen doesn't show up on a score sheet...and the majority of stats, not all are team driven...exhibit A would be Marek Maliks +32 in 06/07.

Are statistics in hockey valid, in some context they are, but they need to be taken in context of team success/failure among many other factors.

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01-27-2012, 03:16 PM
  #43
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So the stats indicate I shouldn't watch the Rangers in the 2nd half, their 1/2 season run isn't sustainable. Damn, I was just starting to enjoy this team. These statisticians sure know how to ruin a fanbase's fun.

See you next year guys, maybe the stats will indicate that next year will be a good season to watch.

Did the stats tell us which team is going to win the Stanley Cup? I am going to run to Vegas.

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01-28-2012, 03:30 AM
  #44
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I donīt give a ***k about such articles, I enjoyed the first half and think the team is strong and clever enough to play the way the played also in the 2nd half of the season!

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01-28-2012, 03:45 AM
  #45
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My expectations at the start of the season were to take the division and get past the 1st round lol. Anything better than that and they will have exceeded my expectations making me a happy fan.

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01-28-2012, 02:20 PM
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bleed Ranger Blue View Post
Normally I'd agree with you -- if Thomas didnt have an insanely good playoffs last year. He deserves the credit.

Lundqvist needs that run too. And I fully expect he'll do it before his career is out.

I also agree that Sabremetrics hold less of a place in hockey, a game built upon desire and passion.
I agree with the notion that SABR has little place in hockey, but it's not because it's built on passion and desire. SABR works in baseball, because stats like BABIP, ERA+, and OPS are dependent on a very select, very personal-level stats.

BABIP relies exclusively on batter vs. defense. Pitchers become irrelevant. It's considered a "luck" stat, but doesn't take into account a defense plays hitters a different way. Just as in hockey, "luck" is manufactured by circumstance, i.e., Brad Richards scoring more goals as a product of those around him scoring less, or Marian Gaborik scoring more because the defense has to worry about Brad Richards, too, and can't focus exclusively on him.

ERA+ relies on pitcher vs. ballpark. The NHL employs the exact same arena size, with no weird gullies, walls, distances to determine GAA or SV%, rather than ERA. You won't see utterly massive home/road splits in the NHL, because the arenas are all the same.

OPS relies exclusively on the batter. Pitchers again are irrelevant. Defense becomes irrelevant. You can look at a stat in a vacuum in baseball, because it's statistics are very much defined on a single player. RBI and runs aren't, but generally there aren't large fluctuations between players on-base percentages and slugging percentages when the team around them changes. Again, Marian Gaborik scoring more than last season has at least two notably unaccounted for precursors: Brad Richards taking defensive focus and pressure off of him, and being healthy.

"Advanced" stats are great in some settings, but they take into account VERY little when applied to a free-form, team-dependent game like the NHL, and lose a lot of usefulness/credibility when applied to this sport.

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01-28-2012, 02:28 PM
  #47
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Wow. Hockey prospectus sounds an awful lot like a Devils fan.

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01-28-2012, 02:40 PM
  #48
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Reading a little more into it, the guys loses credibility in a hurry.

"and Pekka Rinne is suddenly appearing mortal since a lack of depth and injuries forced them to use a number of promising but untried defensemen like Mattias Ekholm, Ryan Ellis, Roman Josi and Teemu Laakso."

"The level of success the Predators have achieved with marginal spending and a limited talent pool is admirable, but they could potentially find themselves as sellers at the trade deadline with head coach Barry Trotz's future finally in question this offseason."

Pekka Rinne's last 10 games he has a line of:

9-0-1, 1.60 GAA, .948 SV%, and only 1 shut-out. 9 straight games allowing 2 goals or less, and 10 out of his last 12 allowing 2 or less. This is a guy who has been in Vezina contention two straight years, and was nearly rookie of the year (How's Steve Mason working out these days? lol). The Predators have won 4 in a row, 9 of their last 10 (90%), 10 of their last 12 (80%), and 16 of their last 23 (70%). Since the first month of the season, they have gone 25-12-2 (69.2%). They are getting BETTER as the season moves along, much like the Rangers. Pekka Rinne has been anything BUT "mortal." Ellis and Josi look like Weber-Suter of 4 years ago. Untried? Sure, but they have been nothing short of what they were billed to be.

Marginal spenders? Sure. Limited talent pool? Absolutely not. Sellers at the trade deadline (11 games from now, falling from 3 points away from the President's Trophy, Western Conference title, and Central Division Champs), to considerably out of post-season contention (10 points up on 9th place, with a game in hand)? Definitely not. They would have to lose their next 11 games in a row, AND have Minnesota, Dallas, Colorado, Calgary, and Phoenix win their next 10 games, and even then, they are exactly 2 points out of the playoffs at the deadline. Trotz will most certainly NOT be on any hotseat as long as that team is even remotely in contention (and probably would last 3-4 years of not being in contention, with all he has done there).

Post has very little credibility after addressing it's first two teams.

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01-28-2012, 02:47 PM
  #49
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Whatever. Just have a great second half and prove these idiots wrong. I'm not worried at all.

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01-28-2012, 03:20 PM
  #50
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I think hockey metrics are still in their infancy at this point so I can't take seriously these blogs that base their entire analysis on a mountain of statistical data. Watching actual hockey games still counts for something, doesn't it?

Sometimes the best statistics are the simple, good old fashioned ones printed in the paper every day--the standings. I don't mind if the Rangers don't sustain their current pace throughout the second half if they still manage to finish atop the divison. As much as people love Cinderella stories in the playoffs, the Cup winner is usually a division winner as well. Finishing with at least 100 points is another good indicator.

But teams in the NHL are starting to use it, but they're adopting it gradually and integrated with all the traditional forms of evaluation.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sport...rticle2178777/

Quote:
Some of those working for NHL teams, however, argue that the quality of analysis is only now getting to the point to be really useful.

ďItís not that everyoneís been blind to this stuff forever,Ē said Pittsburgh Penguins director of player development Dan MacKinnon, who used SAIís metrics extensively last season and was one of the members on the first hockey panel at MITís Sports Analytics Conference this year. ďItís more that, it hasnít been available until fairly recently. The NHL didnít even track this kind of [advanced data] until 2006 or 2007.Ē

Other than the Penguins, MacKinnon points to the Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames and Tampa Bay Lightning as teams that have begun to invest in this type of analysis.

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