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Point Allocation - Original Six Era

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Old
09-27-2012, 05:56 PM
  #1
Hockey Outsider
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Point Allocation - Original Six Era

Here is my attempt to apply Iain Fyffe's "Point Allocation" system to the NHL from 1953-1967. The system allocates the points a team earns in the standings to each player on the team, based on their on-ice contributions.

The paper explains the methodology and shows the results. Comments (and suggestions to improve) are welcome.

http://uploadfiles.ca/201PointAllocationOriginalSix.pdf

(Also - if anyone has a suggestion for a more efficient way to store the file, let me know).

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09-27-2012, 06:12 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Well done

Quote:
We must calculate the “Goals Created” (or “GC”) for each player on each team9. GC equals one-half of
the player’s goals, plus one-half of the player’s assists divided by the ratio of assists to goals on that
team. In practical terms, the sum of Goals Created will equal the total goals scored for each team.
As an example, Gordie Howe scored 49 goals and 46 assists in 1953. That season, there were 1.45 assists
per goal in Detroit. Thus, Mr. Hockey gets credit for (49 / 2) + (46 / 2 / 1.45) = 40.4 goals created. In
total, Red Wings scored 222 goals10, thus Howe earns 18.2% (40.4 / 222) of the team’s 43.5 points from
Goal Creation. This equals 7.9 (0.182 * 43.5) Points Allocated to Offense (PAO). This is, according to
Point Allocation, the greatest offensive season during the Original Six era11.
8
Fantastic method for determining "goals created"

I've never fully bought the unofficial shot totals and save percentages from the O6 period, so that's a weakness for me, when you are determining defensive value.

That fact that the top 2 defensemen based on the formula (Kelly and Pronovost) played on the same team for so long shows the limitation of the defensive point allocation that you acknowledge.

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09-27-2012, 06:49 PM
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HO, can you clarify this statement?

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For the remainder of his career (1956-67), Sawchuk ranks last among goalies in Point Allocation, both in total and on a per-game basis.
What is the sample of goalies you are using here that Sawchuk ranks last in? Is it guys who started a minimum number of games? If so, what is the minimum? Thanks.

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09-27-2012, 06:53 PM
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Iain Fyffe
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Solid work.

Although the method for calculating the marginal rate for goals seems simplistic, it comes close to the appropriate number in my mind. I use a 44/56 split between offence and defence rather than 42/58. This is based on historical results. I'm sure I'll get around to publishing something on that at some point...

I don't think there's any reason to be skeptical of the O6 save percentage numbers. As I understand them they were compiled from official NHL game reports. The league was recording shots on game sheets, they just weren't compiling the numbers at the time. That's what I recall, anyway, can't guarantee the accuracy of it.

I've never been sure about assuming that goals and assists should be considered of equal importance in offence, which is what you're doing here if I understand it. I'm of the opinion that points probably fairly represent offensive contribution. Years in which there are more assists per goal might well reflect a greater importance on passing plays in scoring goals. When possible, I like to assume that hockey people at the time knew what they were doing, rather than applying an arbitrary adjustment. I doubt it makes a lot of difference in the end though.

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09-27-2012, 07:15 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post

I don't think there's any reason to be skeptical of the O6 save percentage numbers. As I understand them they were compiled from official NHL game reports. The league was recording shots on game sheets, they just weren't compiling the numbers at the time. That's what I recall, anyway, can't guarantee the accuracy of it.

i.
In modern times, there is a fairly significant arena effect when it comes to shot recording, despite the fact that save % is an official stat, and one that GMs are increasingly focusing on when trying to build winning teams and awarding contracts.

In the O6 era, save perentage wasn't even an officially recognized stat by the NHL, and there was a much bigger emphasis on GAA. So recording shots accurately wouldn't have been a priority. And without the national telecasts there would have been less ability to standardize the definition of "a shot." So, if anything, I would expect the definition of a "shot" to vary even more during the Original 6 than it does today.

This is all theoretical. A rough test would involve looking at the team-by-team shots-allowed totals of the era and comparing them to the defensive reputations of the teams. If Johnny Bower's Leafs are allowing more shots than most teams, I would be highly skeptical of the data. Is all the data available on the yahoo hockey group?

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09-27-2012, 07:46 PM
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Iain Fyffe
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To be more specific, I don't think there's much reason to be more skeptical of those numbers than modern numbers.

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09-27-2012, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Fantastic method for determining "goals created"
Thanks, but that was all Iain's work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
HO, can you clarify this statement?

What is the sample of goalies you are using here that Sawchuk ranks last in? Is it guys who started a minimum number of games? If so, what is the minimum? Thanks.
He ranked fifth out of the five goalies who appeared in at least 300 games (Hall, Plante, Sawchuk, Worsley, Bower). I don't mean to slam Sawchuk too much, but it's worth emphasizing that unlike Plante and Hall, he had a short, brilliant peak, followed by a longer period of fairly mediocre play.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
This is all theoretical. A rough test would involve looking at the team-by-team shots-allowed totals of the era and comparing them to the defensive reputations of the teams. If Johnny Bower's Leafs are allowing more shots than most teams, I would be highly skeptical of the data. Is all the data available on the yahoo hockey group?
I agree with Iain - the shot data is official (it's not like someone went back and watched all the games and recorded shots and saves, it was already published in newspapers). The NHL never bothered compiling the daily summaries into season and career totals - but there's no reason researchers can't do that today.

Take a look at "Complete Goalie Stats from 52-53 to 82-83.xls" posted by Hockeydad55 in the Hockey Analysis Group - all of the data I used is from that file.


Last edited by Hockey Outsider: 09-27-2012 at 09:22 PM.
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09-27-2012, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
Solid work.

Although the method for calculating the marginal rate for goals seems simplistic, it comes close to the appropriate number in my mind. I use a 44/56 split between offence and defence rather than 42/58. This is based on historical results. I'm sure I'll get around to publishing something on that at some point...
I'm curious to see what you found.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
I've never been sure about assuming that goals and assists should be considered of equal importance in offence, which is what you're doing here if I understand it. I'm of the opinion that points probably fairly represent offensive contribution. Years in which there are more assists per goal might well reflect a greater importance on passing plays in scoring goals. When possible, I like to assume that hockey people at the time knew what they were doing, rather than applying an arbitrary adjustment. I doubt it makes a lot of difference in the end though.
Correct - I'm trying to ensure that half of the offensive credit goes to goals (thus each goal is worth 0.5) and half of the offensive credit goes to assists (since there are up to two assists per goal, each assist is worth around 0.30). I like the symmetry in assuming that shooting and passing are equally valuable skills. Ultimately, I think that this has a fairly small impact (though obviously my approach would slightly favour goal-scorers like Hull, M. Richard, Geoffrion, etc).

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09-27-2012, 10:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
Thanks, but that was all Iain's work.
I thought that it was. I guess I've changed my mind in the decade or so since I first did it.

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09-28-2012, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
I agree with Iain - the shot data is official (it's not like someone went back and watched all the games and recorded shots and saves, it was already published in newspapers).
On the other hand, that would be the obvious way to spot-check the stats... find a complete game tape, and see if the recorded shot total is at least reasonably close to what the tape shows. Shouldn't take more than a few hours to know whether the old numbers are garbage or gold.

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09-28-2012, 10:17 AM
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Interesting study but it seems to me it favors forwards on the better teams. Looking at 59-60, I find it hard to believe that Henri Richard is anywhere close to being the best forward that year. Ahead of Hull & Howe? Is he benefiting from playing on a packed team that ran away with first place that year?

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09-28-2012, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pappyline View Post
Interesting study but it seems to me it favors forwards on the better teams. Looking at 59-60, I find it hard to believe that Henri Richard is anywhere close to being the best forward that year. Ahead of Hull & Howe? Is he benefiting from playing on a packed team that ran away with first place that year?
Yes, players on stacked teams will tend to benefit this way. This is because the system allocated the points a team earned to its players. But the fact is, the effect of having numerous good players is not additive, it's multiplicative. So players receive a benefit from having more good players on the team.

At times I've toyed with the idea of including a "synergy" element, essentially regressing teams' point totals to the mean somewhat, in order to account for this fact.

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09-28-2012, 05:01 PM
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seventieslord
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How do you know it is multiplicative and not additive? Just curious.

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09-28-2012, 08:04 PM
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Iain Fyffe
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How do you know it is multiplicative and not additive? Just curious.
To be honest I couldn't give you anything hard on that. However it's a theory that nicely explains why players on good teams get better results via point allocation than they would on bad teams.

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09-30-2012, 01:41 AM
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seventieslord
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Here's something I noticed:

In 15 years, there are 75 instances of a player showing up in the top-5 for a season, and just five of those times, it's a defenseman.

That just seems to be very proportionally wrong.

This isn't the first point allocation system I've seen that has this limitation, obviously. It seems like maybe not enough defensive credit is given to the defensemen.

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