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Advanced Statistics vs Team Standings

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04-02-2013, 01:17 AM
  #26
DuckJet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taco MacArthur View Post
Please elaborate (and be specific). Hockey Prospectus had the Ducks as on the bubble at the start of the year, and obviously didn't see Fasth coming to help tandem with Hiller.

Who (or which advanced stats) are suggesting that the Ducks would be a solid lottery team?
Well...a lot of posters, but you misunderstood me. There are some who use PDO and Fenwick as a be all end all for team performance, and were that true, then Anaheim would be looking at a 4th overall or so pick. I'm not gonna go out and find individual posters and Twitter users.

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04-02-2013, 02:01 AM
  #27
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Originally Posted by garret9 View Post
Just because there are thousands of variables and split second decisions which act almost in randomness doesn't mean it can't be statistically modelled. Especially when there are particular end goals in mind that are defined to very particular acts.
In sciences like Ecology and Evolutionary Medicine, this is done all the time.
You aren't adding up all the micro-events together in order to determine a macro-model, but instead are starting with the macro-goals/endresults and working backwards.
Correct, though it *can* mean that the model doesn't do much to improve one's ability to either explain the phenomenon or predict future outcomes. Technically every model starts out by trying to be better than random chance as the threshold for "is it useful". So a model that can predict or explain better than a random guess can be considered a useful model (i.e. it can explain at least a nominal amount of variance in the observed outcomes). However it may not be more predictive than observing the event itself (i.e. watching the games) if it isn't a particularly strong model. It sounds like some of these advanced stats can be useful for understanding "what" makes a team successful or not (over time). The problem I see (on these boards at least) is when fans ignore observational evidence and focus solely on advanced stats to argue the merits of certain teams, players, etc. I don't believe any of these stats are predictive enough to replace actually watching games as a method of analyzing and predicting outcomes.

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04-02-2013, 10:25 AM
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckJet View Post
Well...a lot of posters, but you misunderstood me. There are some who use PDO and Fenwick as a be all end all for team performance, and were that true, then Anaheim would be looking at a 4th overall or so pick. I'm not gonna go out and find individual posters and Twitter users.
Some people misuse advanced statistics. That doesn't make advanced statistics a bad thing.

Some people also misuse traditional statistics, and other people also misuse the "I watched the games, so I know more" argument (very likely, more people misuse these than those who misuse advanced statistics).

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04-02-2013, 10:27 AM
  #29
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As far as the micro-simulation model idea, one of the areas I work in professionally is the area of complexity science and genetic algorithms.

In ESPN: The Magazine a few weeks ago, they had an interesting article about a guy who was using a micro-simulation model (for basketball) to beat Vegas.

The potential is there - which means that it hasn't happened yet, but that also makes it a very exciting time.

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04-02-2013, 12:13 PM
  #30
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Do people realize that if every NHL team had an identical talent level, there would still be teams with 100 points and 75 points over a full 82 game season, out of nothing more than sheer randmonness?

By virtue of that, it's not enough to simply look at a team in the standings and declare whether they're good or not.

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04-02-2013, 03:37 PM
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckJet View Post
Well...a lot of posters, but you misunderstood me. There are some who use PDO and Fenwick as a be all end all for team performance, and were that true, then Anaheim would be looking at a 4th overall or so pick. I'm not gonna go out and find individual posters and Twitter users.
See post #4 of this thread. For some reason, a lot of people like to abuse advanced statistics and then talk down on people who disagree with them. If you use the available statistics correctly (by soberly assessing what they can and can't do), then they can really help you understand some aspects of the game.

But yes, I agree that people who find a single formula and use it as some kind of holy grail that explains everything don't really know what they are talking about.

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04-02-2013, 04:10 PM
  #32
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Originally Posted by burf View Post
This anecdote is clearly damning to the proven correlation between fenwick and winning.

Oh wait, maybe it's just random chance, which is accounted for in any statistical regression model anyway.
This right here is a textbook example of why the opinions of people who worship at the church of advanced stats (as opposed to people who think there's -some- use for them, myself included) need to be taken with a huge grain of salt.

When something fits their model (say, Minnesota last year having a brutal second half...or Colorado doing the same a few years prior) they declare it proof of concept. When something does not, such as Anaheim this year or the Rangers last year and this year, they throw it out and declare it "random chance" or "luck."

The simple fact of the matter is the Rangers' strategy is not predicated upon taking a bunch of shots or having the puck the majority of the time. Their strategy is to manipulate shooting percentages by forcing many low-percentage shots through packing the house, then beating the other team on the (less frequent, but higher percentage) counterattack or in special teams. If they're attempting a lot of shots, which will drive fenwick UP, it's in response to a failure in execution, which means they're probably either losing the game, or capable of reading the tea leaves that they're going to.

Fenwick works fine in a game between Pittsburgh and Detroit, since they're trying to do the exact same thing. Between Detroit and the Rangers, it tells you next to nothing, since their objectives are different (one is messing with shooting percentages, the other is possessing the puck). Using Fenwick or Corsi as a be-all, end-all in this latter case is like ignoring that card counting can flip the house's advantage on its head.

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04-02-2013, 04:19 PM
  #33
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Since a lot of advanced statistics seem to focus on career averages, is there ever any way to take into account turnover within a team?

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04-02-2013, 04:19 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by billybudd View Post
The simple fact of the matter is the Rangers' strategy is not predicated upon taking a bunch of shots or having the puck the majority of the time. Their strategy is to manipulate shooting percentages by forcing many low-percentage shots through packing the house, then beating the other team on the (less frequent, but higher percentage) counterattack or in special teams. If they're attempting a lot of shots, which will drive fenwick UP, it's in response to a failure in execution, which means they're probably either losing the game, or capable of reading the tea leaves that they're going to.
That all seems doubtful.

Someone counted the scoring chances for the first 50-60 Rangers games of last season. While I haven't gone through the data in any detail, I would bet that, as a general rule, the games in which the Rangers did best in scoring chances were also the games in which they did best in Fenwick.

What's also interesting is that the Rangers had about 50% of the scoring chances on aggregate. And not incidentally, also about 50% of the Fenwick events at even strength.

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04-02-2013, 06:20 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by Master_Of_Districts View Post
That all seems doubtful.

Someone counted the scoring chances for the first 50-60 Rangers games of last season. While I haven't gone through the data in any detail, I would bet that, as a general rule, the games in which the Rangers did best in scoring chances were also the games in which they did best in Fenwick.

What's also interesting is that the Rangers had about 50% of the scoring chances on aggregate. And not incidentally, also about 50% of the Fenwick events at even strength.
What seems doubtful? That the Rangers practice some strategy other than "put as many pucks on net as possible at all times while preventing shot attempts from being taken?" If they were a possession team, they'd be known for takeaways or transition and praising the virtues of those things. They aren't. They're known for shotblocking and praising the virtues of THAT.

http://espn.go.com/new-york/nhl/stor...king-here-stay

http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.h...tssPlayerStats
http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.h...tssPlayerStats

Shotblocking is a mechanism to manipulate shooting percentages and the Rangers are the successful team most-dependent on it for success. They're card counters.

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04-02-2013, 06:45 PM
  #36
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Originally Posted by billybudd View Post
Shotblocking is a mechanism to manipulate shooting percentages and the Rangers are the successful team most-dependent on it for success. They're card counters.
Errrr... Couldn't you just as easily say that shotblocking is a mechanism to reduce shots on goal? I mean, that would be the more accurate description to me, and it would be reflected positively in their Fenwick.

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04-04-2013, 01:21 AM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
See post #4 of this thread. For some reason, a lot of people like to abuse advanced statistics and then talk down on people who disagree with them. If you use the available statistics correctly (by soberly assessing what they can and can't do), then they can really help you understand some aspects of the game.

But yes, I agree that people who find a single formula and use it as some kind of holy grail that explains everything don't really know what they are talking about.
It was especially hilarious/frustrating for people who never watched a second of a stretch of games tell Ducks fans their team was outplayed and outchanced, when that plain and simple didn't happen. It's one thing to say they're fortunate, but that was just outrageous.

IMO people saw how advanced stats took off in baseball and want that to happen in hockey badly, so they start being ignorant to the sport itself, which is kind of funny in a way.

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04-04-2013, 10:50 AM
  #38
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Well here's kind of advanced standings (which I really think should be the way NHL goes anyway):

Chicago Blackhawks 81,43 %
Anaheim Ducks 74,32 %
Pittsburgh Penguins 73,68 %
Boston Bruins 71,43 %
Montreal Canadiens 70,83 %
Minnesota Wild 61,11 %
Ottawa Senators 61,11 %
Vancouver Canucks 61,11 %
Toronto Maple Leafs 61,11 %
San Jose Sharks 61,11 %
Los Angeles Kings 59,72 %
Detroit Red Wings 56,94 %
St. Louis Blues 55,88 %
New Jersey Devils 54,17 %
New York Rangers 54,17 %
Edmonton Oilers 54,17 %
New York Islanders 52,70 %
Columbus Blue Jackets 51,39 %
Nashville Predators 51,35 %
Winnipeg Jets 50,00 %
Phoenix Coyotes 50,00 %
Washington Capitals 50,00 %
Dallas Stars 48,61 %
Philadelphia Flyers 48,61 %
Carolina Hurricanes 48,57 %
Buffalo Sabres 45,95 %
Tampa Bay Lightning 45,71 %
Calgary Flames 42,86 %
Florida Panthers 40,54 %
Colorado Avalanche 38,89 %

Plain and simply, collected points / all points distributed in team games. In other words, regulation win = 100% (2/2), OT/SO win is 67% (2/3), OT/SO loss is 33% (1/3) and regulation loss is 0% (0/2).

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04-04-2013, 08:05 PM
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Ryan Getzlaf View Post
It was especially hilarious/frustrating for people who never watched a second of a stretch of games tell Ducks fans their team was outplayed and outchanced, when that plain and simple didn't happen. It's one thing to say they're fortunate, but that was just outrageous.

IMO people saw how advanced stats took off in baseball and want that to happen in hockey badly, so they start being ignorant to the sport itself, which is kind of funny in a way.
Well, given that Anaheim was getting ~45% of the shots at even strength at the time, the inference that they were getting outplayed was certainly available - the posters that made the assertion can hardly be faulted.

That said, given that the Ducks were playing with the lead a lot, and were generally doing well on special teams in terms of shots for and against, and were perhaps doing alright in terms of aggregate scoring chances (I've yet to see the data), the fenwick data was likely selling them short.

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04-05-2013, 04:08 PM
  #40
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Originally Posted by Master_Of_Districts View Post
Well, given that Anaheim was getting ~45% of the shots at even strength at the time, the inference that they were getting outplayed was certainly available - the posters that made the assertion can hardly be faulted.

That said, given that the Ducks were playing with the lead a lot, and were generally doing well on special teams in terms of shots for and against, and were perhaps doing alright in terms of aggregate scoring chances (I've yet to see the data), the fenwick data was likely selling them short.
Given the condescending nature of most of those posts, yeah, they can definitely be faulted.

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04-05-2013, 04:48 PM
  #41
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The oft-used counterargument of "you don't watch the game" is pretty condescending itself!

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04-05-2013, 07:22 PM
  #42
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The oft-used counterargument of "you don't watch the game" is pretty condescending itself!
Yes, it definitely can be, when meaning the game of hockey. However, in this case, where people meant Ducks games, it turned out to be quite true and a pretty valid counter-argument.

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04-09-2013, 04:01 PM
  #43
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Devils should be much higher all things considered.

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