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Is there an equivalent of a "Moneyball" for the NHL?

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Old
08-01-2012, 10:52 PM
  #176
Roboturner913
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Best example I can think of is Jim Rutherford when last lockout ended. He signed castoffs like Whitney, Stillman, Gerber that nobody else wanted and put them in positions to become stars, let rookies and 2nd year guys take key roles, built a team around depth rather than star power.

Didn't work long-term but that probably had more to do with age, unfortunate injuries and changes in the way the game was being played.

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08-01-2012, 11:11 PM
  #177
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLAPSHOT723 View Post
I finally got the chance to watch Moneyball, great movie.
Read the book. The movie doesn't do justice to the real science behind it.

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08-01-2012, 11:14 PM
  #178
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I feel like, in broader terms, Nashville did this. They really went D heavy, with a trio of Rinne, Weber and Suter. They had/have a lot of defensive forwards as well.

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08-01-2012, 11:19 PM
  #179
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLAPSHOT723 View Post
I finally got the chance to watch Moneyball, great movie.

For anyone who hasn't seen/heard of it, the movie is about the Oakland A's who changed the way of forming a baseball team. Instead of going for scoring, the GM and Assistant GM looked for players with great On Base Percentage (OBP). The OBP eventually led to scoring, but there was a severe lack of home runs.

I know that baseball and hockey are more different than broccoli and chocolate, but the hockey fan in me got to thinking. What's the NHL equivalent to this? Was it the trap? Could there be a new way of forming a team that we can think of?
Think of all that calcium!

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08-01-2012, 11:21 PM
  #180
Crumblin Erb Brooks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin27NYI View Post
I feel like, in broader terms, Nashville did this. They really went D heavy, with a trio of Rinne, Weber and Suter. They had/have a lot of defensive forwards as well.
It would be about them this upcoming season, losing Radulov and Suter.

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08-01-2012, 11:22 PM
  #181
Henrik To Daniel
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Speaking of Moneyball is it a good movie? It's the only Jonah Hill movie i haven't watched and he's my favorite actor

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08-01-2012, 11:26 PM
  #182
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Drafting and developing your talent seems to be a good strategy employed by the past few Cup champions (LA, Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Detroit, all of their core players were home grown players). Aside from that, no team has some earth shattering inside track in building a successful team.

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08-01-2012, 11:26 PM
  #183
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Mike Gillis has talked about this on multiple occasions. Says it isn't as cut and dry as on base percentage in baseball but there are multiple advanced stat's you need to analyse. Giveaways, Takeaways, Shots, Shots from certain locations, puck possession time etc.

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08-01-2012, 11:27 PM
  #184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenith View Post
Everyone that watches this movie for the first time and is an HF member seems to be compelled to always make a thread on this.

It's fascinating, really.
First time I've seeen this thread

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08-01-2012, 11:29 PM
  #185
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The best thing would be find a way to blend between these 3 stats:

1- Relative Corsi (Player's +/- in shots relative to teammates' average)
2- Relative Corsi Quality of Competition (Player's opponents' average relative corsi)
3- (On-Ice Plus-Minus per 60 Minutes) - (Off-Ice Plus-Minus per 60 Minutes)

For example, TJ Brodie is good in 1 and 3 (meaning lots of puck possession and it actually has a positive effect on the score board), however is weak in 2 (faces crappy players)

A quick look at this page
http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_stati...1+62+64+65+66#

shows us Chara, Karlsson and Weber all have a very good blend of the 3. Looks like Norris voters were right.

Garrison and Enstrom are also solid.


This is for defensemen.

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08-02-2012, 12:05 AM
  #186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MandyAlwaysKnows View Post
The best thing would be find a way to blend between these 3 stats:

1- Relative Corsi (Player's +/- in shots relative to teammates' average)
2- Relative Corsi Quality of Competition (Player's opponents' average relative corsi)
3- (On-Ice Plus-Minus per 60 Minutes) - (Off-Ice Plus-Minus per 60 Minutes)

For example, TJ Brodie is good in 1 and 3 (meaning lots of puck possession and it actually has a positive effect on the score board), however is weak in 2 (faces crappy players)

A quick look at this page
http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_stati...1+62+64+65+66#

shows us Chara, Karlsson and Weber all have a very good blend of the 3. Looks like Norris voters were right.

Garrison and Enstrom are also solid.


This is for defensemen.
How Paul Bissonnette and M.A. Bergeron find themselves atop that list is astonishing. Could also add Gervais' name into the mix of names that don't belong (especially when you consider that both him and Bergeron played on the worst defensive unit in the NHL).

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08-02-2012, 01:11 AM
  #187
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy Stardust View Post
How Paul Bissonnette and M.A. Bergeron find themselves atop that list is astonishing. Could also add Gervais' name into the mix of names that don't belong (especially when you consider that both him and Bergeron played on the worst defensive unit in the NHL).
Yes but that's only for Corsi. Consider the other two stats as well.

But personally I always thought Bergeron was underrated. It's rep, lack of size, lack of being good defensively in the traditional sense, but really he can definitely help out a team. Probably what the OP is looking for. Outcast players that could be assembled and be a good team. Bergy may be one of them.

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08-02-2012, 04:01 AM
  #188
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Quote:
Read the book. The movie doesn't do justice to the real science behind it.
This. I liked the movie, but they had to simplify some of the more eye-opening statistical revelations because they wouldn't translate well to an actual narrative.

For one, I think the OP mischaracterizes Beane's and dePodesta's system by claiming that they "didn't go for scoring". In fact, what they found was that fielding ability is vastly overrated, because in baseball, defense depends so much on one player, the pitcher, such that everyone else's contributions pales in comparison. Every batter, on the other hand, is almost as important as any other, with only minor variations depending on placement within the rotation. They were able to replace a truly all-star talent on the outfield by picking up a couple of glorified designated hitters and sticking them in field positions where they'd do the least damage, including putting a former catcher who couldn't even throw the ball anymore and playing him on first base. (That part wasn't a Hollywood embellishment, that really happened.) They couldn't replace Damon's defense, but they could replace his Run Differential contribution over the course of a season by adding offense on the cheap, and in baseball offense is easier to add cheaply than defense. (For one thing, fielding ability deteriorates quicker than batting ability in over-the-hill players.)

In hockey, I think it's the reverse; defense is more cost-efficient than offense. So as much as many, including myself, may hate it, the "systems hockey" (i.e. boring defensive hockey) of Tippett and Hitchcock may be the closest equivalent. And the closest there's been to the A's ability to take bargain bin players and reaches at the draft and turn them into superstars is some teams' ability to make any goaltender look Vezina-worthy. We really haven't seen a team that's able to do that with skaters.

Some s.abermetric-style statistics I'd like to see used in hockey, even if I have no clue how they'd be reliably tabulated:

(1) the ability to make the opposing team take long shifts on defense. This is the equivalent of the pitches per at bat statistic that the A's valued, because it demonstrated the abilities to both control the strike zone and wear out pitchers.

(2) shots through in traffic

(3) rebounds/shot

(4) Corsi dropoff per ten seconds after thirty seconds (measures ability to take long shifts; good for evaluating potential penalty killers)

(5) clearing percentage (what percent of attempted clearings from the defensive zone actually result in clean, legal clearings)

(6) pass percentage in the neutral+offensive zones

(7) pass reception percentage in the neutral+offensive zones

(8) ability to either shoot off or establish control of bouncing, rolling, overly fast, or misaimed pucks

I don't know much about hockey superstats yet (other than QCo), some of these may already exist.

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Old
08-02-2012, 08:43 PM
  #189
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Personally I think there is so much parity in the league in terms of salaries and overall balance between teams that if a team is trying to use advanced stats to get a Cup win (the ultimate goal)... it's brutally tough and honestly ANY strategy can seem to work one year and not the next. That's just the nature of the game.

A management team and coaching staff can work their ass off all year with moneypuck type strategies and squeeze every ounce of efficiency they can find out of their roster. Then they get into the playoffs... meet a hot goalie and it's all over in 5 games in the 1st round.

Personally, maybe I'm just an old-timer but I think there are too many variables and incalculable intangibles (plus plain old luck and randomness) in the game of hockey to really be able to use moneypuck strategies to achieve consistent success.

Of course one strategy that might work could be what the Oilers are doing... tank continuously and draft #1 ten years in a row and have so much talent on continuous ELC contracts that they have no choice but to eventually start winning with all that talent they've accumulated cheaply.

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08-02-2012, 10:56 PM
  #190
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One thing could be try to go for a cheap hot goaltender tandem maybe. And max out all the rest.

The frontloaded contract are a very good moneypuck for team with money, good way to play the cap.

Finally trying to open a 2 year windows with lot of veteran acquired cheap because they on the edge to be finish could be a cool thing to see a team try.

We could look a bit at what the panthers did last year if this is something that the BJ could done in part.

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08-03-2012, 12:11 AM
  #191
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I really hate when people try to equivocate the two, as it always leads to detractors of advanced stats in hockey to the inevitable defeatist "we'll never be able to advance as far as baseball" attitude. While of course hockey is behind, there is some fantastic work done already, and just because it isn't perfect, doesn't discredit the findings of the advanced stats community.

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08-03-2012, 01:52 PM
  #192
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frelimo View Post
This. But we all know shot's isn't everything, just like OBP isn't everything in baseball.
Certainly, but shot differential does strongly correlate to scoring chance differential, which in turn strongly correlates to goal differential. It's good enough that I'd consider it to be the central factor in hockey analysis (when context is applied, in terms of players).

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08-06-2012, 10:43 PM
  #193
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Originally Posted by Henrik To Daniel View Post
Speaking of Moneyball is it a good movie? It's the only Jonah Hill movie i haven't watched and he's my favorite actor
Pretty good movie in my opinion.
I watched it for the first time 2 weeks ago and it was pretty good and I myself don't watch or follow baseball. I would recommend it for sports fans

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08-06-2012, 11:10 PM
  #194
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The whole idea of a moneyball team was centered around every player doing his part. It was basically a system that required every component to do its job. Moneyball is about getting on base, and the guy after you in the lineup to do the same. The emphasis was simply to not get out. Stealing and bunting were strongly discouraged. In hockey, the trap fits this kind of concept. It was a team system where every component of the system had a simple task or job to do. And if everybody did their part, the system was very effective. All in all, both the trap and moneyball style of baseball also lacked aggressiveness. So imo, the best thing out there that could resemble a moneyball team would be the trap.

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08-06-2012, 11:23 PM
  #195
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Moneyball wasn't really about OBP, it was about the fact that at the time, OBP was undervalued in the market. (Being against stealing and bunting is more simple analytics than moneyball). They didn't go after OBP because they though OBP was the best thing to go after, they pursued it because it was the cheapest way to get a particular number of wins.

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08-07-2012, 06:43 AM
  #196
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Moneyball players in NHL are role players, specialists for different on-ice situations:
face-off winners, penalty killers, players who play point on PP, shot blockers, hitters, in-front-of crease players etc.

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08-07-2012, 08:27 AM
  #197
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Quote:
Originally Posted by begbeee View Post
Moneyball players in NHL are role players, specialists for different on-ice situations:
face-off winners, penalty killers, players who play point on PP, shot blockers, hitters, in-front-of crease players etc.
I would argue that "Moneyball players" are players that the current market undervalues; i.e. players who drive possession without putting up lots of points, PK specialists, defensive-oriented forwards, good backup goalies perhaps, etc.

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08-07-2012, 08:46 AM
  #198
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Undervalues and they are elite or very good at certain play i.e. penalty killing or faceoff.

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08-07-2012, 09:24 AM
  #199
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Anybody else read The Beauty of Short Hops? [http://www.amazon.com/The-Beauty-Sho.../dp/0786462884] It's basically a rebuttal to Moneyball. I read it after reading Moneyball and found it somewhat interesting in the beginning, but it soon began listing off plays that 'could never be quantified' (seriously, no ****). I feel like this argument applies to hockey in a much more real way, without resorting to outlier occurrences that I don't care about.

I actually have two brief essay's on advanced goaltending statistics, one in line with conventional sabremetrics while the other implies much of what we want to measure cannot be quantified. Like anything, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Yes, advanced statistics are a useful tool, but they must be balanced with human observation and intuition, for as flawed as these mechanisms are, statistics are equally as flawed. One can only hope that their flaws 'bend' different ways.

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08-07-2012, 09:37 AM
  #200
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenith View Post
Everyone that watches this movie for the first time and is an HF member seems to be compelled to always make a thread on this.

It's fascinating, really.
I am a number cruncher and I find one flaw in trying to make a money-ball theory for hockey. The X factor. Hockey is a team sport more than baseball and money ball is based mostly upon on base %, strikeout to inning pitch and other individual stats. Hockey has an on-going game where things change on the fly.

The corsi-numbers is a start, but the problem is often with how numbers are kept and who is deciding the numbers. Some arenas are very generous with the shots on a goal. The NHL has step in on this subject (Boston in the 70's and 80's) was the team most mentioned with padding shots on net in the home arena.

For a hockey ball theory to work, one needs to look at a lot more factors than baseball. Things such shots on taken at ES and PP and SH and coming up with a math equation that works. Some teams are better at drawing powerplays than other teams. Unlike many sports, who the ref is plays a large factor in how a game will go. Kerry Fraser was notorious (hate him or love him) for controlling the game. Games where Paul Stewart and John D-Ameco reffed tended to let the team plays hockey and deal with the mayhem that would happen.

To find a balance you need to look at the TOI for players and how their play goes when they play say 3 games in 4 days. Some players can play full out for all games, but many players are tired by game 3 so the coach will reduce icetimes in the the two games--some coaches don't reduce icetime and allow the players to burn out. The hockey coach controls the game more than the baseball manager.

But the big wild card is how teams handle when they get hit. Some teams handle it better then others. But there are some players who take one or two hits and they are useless for the rest of the game.

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