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Top 20 Defensemen Defensively(as voted by HF)

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Old
11-18-2012, 11:15 AM
  #101
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Originally Posted by Legionnaire11 View Post
I know all the "stat guys" will spit on it all day and derive complex formulas to measure players defensively. But I guarantee that if +/- didn't exist, there would be a plethora of "stat guys" who would create it. It's a simple measure that fans can quickly understand and apply to what they've seen on the ice.

Is it flawless, and is it safe to use it as a reliable gauge in every instance? of course not, but used responsibly and understood for what it is, +/- is a fantastic stat.
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Originally Posted by wickedwitch View Post
+/-, like most other stats, has value if you know how to use it correctly. The difference is that it's really easy to use it incorrectly.
It's not though. Look at Filip Kuba.

Year+/-Shots For @ 5v5Shots Against @ 5v5RatioTeam SH%Team SV%
2010-2011-2652050550.7%6.5%88.3%
2011-2012+2665363050.9%10.7%92.6%
Both years the Senators outshot (albeit barely) their opponents. Both years he was used in a similar fashion - started roughly the same amount of shifts in the offensive zone as the defensive zone, played against roughly the same level of competition. Yet his +/- went from 886th of 891 players (6th worst in the league) to 9th of 894.

In back to back seasons with a similar performance he went from 6th worst to 9th best in the entire league. Nine hundred players. Solely because of team shooting percentage and team save percentage.

Those numbers are all at 5v5. So, his team shot 6.5% at 5v5 when he was on the ice in 2010-2011... and next season his team scored on 10.7% of their shots. Team shooting percentage is not something players can control. Another thing players can't control is how their goalie plays behind them... In 2010-2011 he basically received sub-AHL goaltending - 88.3% sv% at 5v5 is truly awful... The next season he had almost Vezina-calibre goaltending behind him. 92.6% is pretty darn good - Rask had a 0.929 at 5v5, Lundqvist and Quick were at 0.933, and Rinne was 0.928.

That's a pretty extreme example - but based on nothing more than fickle percentages that Kuba cannot control, he went from -26 to +26.

+/- in the traditional sense has zero useful information in it. None. Find me a player where it provided some amount of meaning and I can explain to you why it didn't... Humans look for patterns that don't exist, it's our nature.

As for "I guarantee that if +/- didn't exist, there would be a plethora of "stat guys" who would create it"... There is a +/- stat that 'stat guys' created. It's called Corsi, and instead of measuring goals, it measures shot attempts. There are only a couple hundred goals for a team each season, but there are thousands of shot attempts. More data = less statistical noise. It's been proven that Corsi and Fenwick (very closely related), do a much better job of predicting future success. They do a better job of predicting team scoring chances (based on people who watched every hockey game, recorded every scoring chance and who was on the ice for/against), a better job of predicting goals for/against, and a better job of predicting which team wins and which team loses.

It's not always presented as +/- because the numbers are so large.. it's usually presented as a ratio. It doesn't matter if you help your team create 1,000 shots per game if they're giving up 950 shots per game, versus creating 30 shots per game and giving up 28.5 - the ratio is what is important.

Using Fenwick, I placed a pretty significant bet on the L.A. Kings winning the cup, despite the fact they were an 8th seed. These numbers work. +/- doesn't.

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Old
11-18-2012, 11:18 AM
  #102
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Originally Posted by haveandare View Post
I didn't vote on these at all but aside from McD not having as many games under his belt as other guys I don't see why his being mentioned as among the best defensive d-men is laughable. In the games he's played, he's shown himself to be extremely talented in that facet of the game. He took over for an injured Staal in his first full NHL season and played top pairing minutes on a team that made it to the ECF.
Isn't that enough? How does his body work of shutting people down compare to any number of defensemen? It doesn't. Especially when...

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Originally Posted by HatTrick Swayze View Post
Agreed. I think Staal when 100% is the best defensively. But McDonagh is right there, at least based on last season. Girardi is great in the zone but can get exposed at times on the rush.

Either way the fact that the Rangers have 3 legitimate candidates in the top-15/20 makes me a happy guy.
You see what I'm saying? It's fanboydom at it's worst. Flavor of the month. <- Not directed at you HatTrick.

I'm also not saying he won't be, but it is way to premature to list him there, if at all.

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Old
11-18-2012, 11:26 AM
  #103
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Erik Karlsson is the number one defensive defenseman in the league. EK's defense is keeping the puck away from the other team and in the offensive zone. He not only did just that in his NORRIS winning season but almost averaged a point per game ...
Someone gets it

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11-18-2012, 11:32 AM
  #104
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Someone gets it
Wayne Gretzky is the best defensive player ever?

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Old
11-18-2012, 12:39 PM
  #105
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Duncan Keith is horrible defensively and what he is doing ahead of Drew Doughty is downright laughable.

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11-18-2012, 12:48 PM
  #106
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Duncan Keith is horrible defensively and what he is doing ahead of Drew Doughty is downright laughable.
He's not Kris Letang bad.

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Old
11-18-2012, 01:03 PM
  #107
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Originally Posted by seafoam View Post
Erik Karlsson is the number one defensive defenseman in the league. EK's defense is keeping the puck away from the other team and in the offensive zone. He not only did just that in his NORRIS winning season but almost averaged a point per game ...
You have a 1 goal lead with 60 seconds left, who would you rather have, Karlsson or Chara? 11/10 Chara. Karlsson is overrated.

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11-18-2012, 01:11 PM
  #108
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Originally Posted by WTFetus View Post
+/- is a decent stat if you're only comparing it between players on the same team. It's extremely flawed and ridiculous to compare +/- between players on different teams.
Not even between teammate comparisons, it's only a decent tool if it's compared between teammates playing in similar situations.

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11-18-2012, 01:13 PM
  #109
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Originally Posted by eklunds source View Post
It's not though. Look at Filip Kuba.
[...]
his +/- went from 886th of 891 players (6th worst in the league) to 9th of 894.
[...]
Solely because of team shooting percentage and team save percentage.
Uh, no.

Kuba's play improved by leaps and bounds, and Karlsson also happened.

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Old
11-18-2012, 03:14 PM
  #110
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There's something to be said for a guy like Lidstrom who is consistently a + player every single year. Just like there's something to be said for a rookie who gets called up from the AHL and goes -6 in 10 games with 4th line ice time.

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11-18-2012, 03:32 PM
  #111
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Originally Posted by eklunds source View Post
As for "I guarantee that if +/- didn't exist, there would be a plethora of "stat guys" who would create it"... There is a +/- stat that 'stat guys' created. It's called Corsi, and instead of measuring goals, it measures shot attempts. There are only a couple hundred goals for a team each season, but there are thousands of shot attempts. More data = less statistical noise. It's been proven that Corsi and Fenwick (very closely related), do a much better job of predicting future success. They do a better job of predicting team scoring chances (based on people who watched every hockey game, recorded every scoring chance and who was on the ice for/against), a better job of predicting goals for/against, and a better job of predicting which team wins and which team loses.

It's not always presented as +/- because the numbers are so large.. it's usually presented as a ratio. It doesn't matter if you help your team create 1,000 shots per game if they're giving up 950 shots per game, versus creating 30 shots per game and giving up 28.5 - the ratio is what is important.
I'm not aware of anyone claiming that +/- is a good tool for predicting anything in the future, especially the outcome of games. But it does tell us how many times a guy was on ice for goals scored for and against. It's just a statistical measure, if you find it meaningless for your purposes then I can't help you there. Like I said, if it's understood and used for what it is, it's a fine stat.

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Old
11-18-2012, 04:03 PM
  #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legionnaire11 View Post
I'm not aware of anyone claiming that +/- is a good tool for predicting anything in the future, especially the outcome of games. But it does tell us how many times a guy was on ice for goals scored for and against. It's just a statistical measure, if you find it meaningless for your purposes then I can't help you there. Like I said, if it's understood and used for what it is, it's a fine stat.
I like to break it down a little bit and see the GF on ice and GA on ice. If people did that they might appreciate +/- a little more. A defensive defenseman who is on the ice for a lot of GF isn't really deserving of praise but if he isn't on the ice for a lot of GA then you gotta say he's doing his job.

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11-18-2012, 04:04 PM
  #113
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Originally Posted by Legionnaire View Post
Isn't that enough? How does his body work of shutting people down compare to any number of defensemen? It doesn't. Especially when...



You see what I'm saying? It's fanboydom at it's worst. Flavor of the month. <- Not directed at you HatTrick.

I'm also not saying he won't be, but it is way to premature to list him there, if at all.
I don't think it's enough to warrant laughing at his inclusion on the list like he's Gilroy or something and his inclusion is completely absurd. He has a small body of work but it's of very high quality and he was playing first pairing minutes for a lot of that time, being asked to replace a defensemen who is widely thought to be one of the best defensive guys and doing it with great success. I'm not saying he deserves any spot on this list or even a spot on the list but I don't think its nearly as crazy as you make it seem. "Fanboydom at it's worst" and "Flavor of the month" are huge overreactions. The kid is an incredible d-man. Maybe not top 20 league wide but certainly not very far behind.

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11-18-2012, 04:06 PM
  #114
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Further, I would bet coaches really like to look at +/- of different 5 man unit combinations. To a slightly lesser extent it's extremely useful to look at the +/- of individual lines or defensive pairings. It may not be a great stat to ***** an individual's players worth but if used with the correct context it can be more useful than it's given credit for.

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11-18-2012, 06:47 PM
  #115
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He's not Kris Letang bad.
Oops.

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11-18-2012, 07:35 PM
  #116
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Originally Posted by FoppaForsberg View Post
You have a 1 goal lead with 60 seconds left, who would you rather have, Karlsson or Chara? 11/10 Chara. Karlsson is overrated.
The other team wouldn't even have the puck for the remaining 60 seconds because Karlsson would carry the puck into the opposing teams zone

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11-18-2012, 11:03 PM
  #117
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Pretty terrible.
And you were expecting....?

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Old
11-18-2012, 11:32 PM
  #118
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Originally Posted by eklunds source View Post
It's not though. Look at Filip Kuba.

Year+/-Shots For @ 5v5Shots Against @ 5v5RatioTeam SH%Team SV%
2010-2011-2652050550.7%6.5%88.3%
2011-2012+2665363050.9%10.7%92.6%
Both years the Senators outshot (albeit barely) their opponents. Both years he was used in a similar fashion - started roughly the same amount of shifts in the offensive zone as the defensive zone, played against roughly the same level of competition. Yet his +/- went from 886th of 891 players (6th worst in the league) to 9th of 894.

In back to back seasons with a similar performance he went from 6th worst to 9th best in the entire league. Nine hundred players. Solely because of team shooting percentage and team save percentage.

Those numbers are all at 5v5. So, his team shot 6.5% at 5v5 when he was on the ice in 2010-2011... and next season his team scored on 10.7% of their shots. Team shooting percentage is not something players can control. Another thing players can't control is how their goalie plays behind them... In 2010-2011 he basically received sub-AHL goaltending - 88.3% sv% at 5v5 is truly awful... The next season he had almost Vezina-calibre goaltending behind him. 92.6% is pretty darn good - Rask had a 0.929 at 5v5, Lundqvist and Quick were at 0.933, and Rinne was 0.928.

That's a pretty extreme example - but based on nothing more than fickle percentages that Kuba cannot control, he went from -26 to +26.

+/- in the traditional sense has zero useful information in it. None. Find me a player where it provided some amount of meaning and I can explain to you why it didn't... Humans look for patterns that don't exist, it's our nature.

As for "I guarantee that if +/- didn't exist, there would be a plethora of "stat guys" who would create it"... There is a +/- stat that 'stat guys' created. It's called Corsi, and instead of measuring goals, it measures shot attempts. There are only a couple hundred goals for a team each season, but there are thousands of shot attempts. More data = less statistical noise. It's been proven that Corsi and Fenwick (very closely related), do a much better job of predicting future success. They do a better job of predicting team scoring chances (based on people who watched every hockey game, recorded every scoring chance and who was on the ice for/against), a better job of predicting goals for/against, and a better job of predicting which team wins and which team loses.

It's not always presented as +/- because the numbers are so large.. it's usually presented as a ratio. It doesn't matter if you help your team create 1,000 shots per game if they're giving up 950 shots per game, versus creating 30 shots per game and giving up 28.5 - the ratio is what is important.

Using Fenwick, I placed a pretty significant bet on the L.A. Kings winning the cup, despite the fact they were an 8th seed. These numbers work. +/- doesn't.
Can you present evidence for your assumptions that 1) goalies are 100% responsible for save percentages and 2) skaters are 0% responsible for quality of shots taken and allowed? Both assumptions ring false to anyone who has played hockey. They may be useful simplifying assumptions for the majority of NHL players but are surely not universal hockey truths.

And can you explain to me why Bobby Orr's career +597 in the regular season, including league-leading totals in six of seven seasons, is meaningless?

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11-19-2012, 12:04 AM
  #119
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I dare someone to make a top-20 list that doesn't generate responses of "How is player X (Who just happens to be on my team, really just a coincidence) not on there? Terrible."

Not that I mind, as I knew from the start it would be perceived as bad, but I'm interested to see who could do a better job.

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11-19-2012, 12:38 AM
  #120
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A little shocked Enstrom isn't on there, he's essentially paired with a 4th forward.

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11-19-2012, 12:41 AM
  #121
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A little shocked Enstrom isn't on there, he's essentially paired with a 4th forward.
In b4 Kuba.

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11-19-2012, 12:53 AM
  #122
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This thread quickly got flooded with Sens fans screaming Karlsson. How delusional can you all be?

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Old
11-19-2012, 12:55 AM
  #123
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What a garbage list

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Old
11-19-2012, 07:26 AM
  #124
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Surprised that Giradri didn't go higher than 10th, other than that it's a decent list.

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11-19-2012, 08:46 AM
  #125
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It's nice to see Alzner so high, I didn't realize his reputation was so strong on HF.

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