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Statistical Oddities

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12-29-2004, 09:05 PM
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Statistical Oddities

Alright, I've been working on a game similar to WhatIfSports, and I was developing a set of formulas to determine defensive ability. After playing with the +/- stat, I had a hunch about the difference between the points a player scores and his +/-.


Conroy scored 47 points. His +/- was 13. The difference, then, is 34.

Now, I went through the game-by-game stats for Conroy on TSN, and counted up an approximate GA by looking for each game where his +/- was below his point total. Conroy's was 36.

Notice how similar his points/+/- difference is to the total I counted up.

I did this for Iginla, and the same thing happened- his points/+/- difference was 57, and the "GA" I determined was 52. I'm guessing the reason there's a slight variation is because of how the +/- stat works- namely, because shorthanded goals against for a player aren't tallied.

Oddly enough, this same phenomenon goes awry when it comes to defensemen:

Tarnstrom (52 points, -37)

Plus/Minus/Points Difference: 89
"GA": 99

Niedermayer (54 points, +20)

Plus/Minus/Points Difference: 34
"GA": 50

I don't think anyone really cares, but I just thought I'd point it out for all us stats buffs!

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12-29-2004, 09:59 PM
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I'm not really sure I follow your reasoning... but also consider that you don't get a + if you score on the PP, so players who are powerplay specialists are at a disadvantage right off the bat...

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12-29-2004, 10:43 PM
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Mr Bugg, you might be interested in the Hockey Research.com site. Take a look at the Just the Stats section. The author explains his concepts like "Weighted Goals" and "Pythagorean Equation", one variant being based on +/-.
It's all a great read for us 'stats buffs', as you say. It was real neat when this first came out a few years ago, but unfortunately, the site hasn't been updated since.

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12-30-2004, 01:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Masao
you don't get a + if you score on the PP
I think that's the big reason for this discrepency

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12-30-2004, 03:09 PM
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Yeah, it's not so much the discrepency I'm interested in here... it's that they're so similar, and thus the difference you get by subtracting +/- from points is equal to an approximate GA for a skater.

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12-30-2004, 03:28 PM
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What the hell??????????????

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12-30-2004, 03:45 PM
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I don't care!

What the hell is he talking about?

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12-30-2004, 04:00 PM
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I'll try and explain it again...

Using game-by-game statistics, I counted up the number of goals that were scored against Calgary while Conroy was on the ice.

That number- his GA, or "Goals Against" for lack of a better term, was very close to the difference (think mathematically here- difference as in the result of two numbers being subtracted) that resulted from subtracting Conroy's +/- number from his total points.

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