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The Best Defensive Players

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Old
12-16-2003, 05:23 PM
  #1
Sexton Hardcastle
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The Best Defensive Players

I have completed one of my current projects, ranking player's defensive conitrubtions to their teams.

Who are the best defensive players? Who are the worst? Is Scott Stevens a truly great defensive defenseman? How great is Nicklas Lidstrom? Where does Mike Peca stack up?

Defensive Contribution Index:
http://members.shaw.ca/hbtn/player_s...nsive_cont.htm

Daryl

 
Old
12-16-2003, 08:57 PM
  #2
ZombieMatt
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That was a really, really, interesting read.

Fun to look at, but like yourself, I wonder how much these stats really compute into something more encompassing.

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12-17-2003, 04:12 AM
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Daryl Shilling
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountie
That was a really, really, interesting read.

Fun to look at, but like yourself, I wonder how much these stats really compute into something more encompassing.
Thank you, I hoped it would be of interest to some...

After looking the entire database up and down, I firmly believe that DCI computes into something that is very relevant and telling, it doesn't copmpute in an all-encompassing statistic though. I've never seen a statistic that ever did, though. Statistics are, after alll, simplifications of the very complicated realities they're taken from, so they can't tell a story that big.

DCI seems to be a statistic that is telling of a player's general defensive contribution from season to season, though. Almost every player out there ends with up with a DCI score that reflects his reputation as defensive player, so that's a good point for the index.

Another point in its favour is that players tend to put up fairly similar numbers from year, which is another test for a statistic that says something. That also doesn't bode well for the NHL's excuse that these statistics are inconsistent.

So, no, we don't have the all-encompassing. We never will.

Daryl

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12-17-2003, 04:20 AM
  #4
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Love it. A very nice and very interesting read.

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Old
12-17-2003, 04:34 AM
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nice job...

but the Lidstrom thing?

and what about Foote?

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Old
12-17-2003, 05:32 AM
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Daryl Shilling
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Originally Posted by El_Loco_Avs
nice job...

but the Lidstrom thing?

and what about Foote?
Thanks.

I'm not really sure what to make of the way Lidstrom's DCI kept coming out. He's an above average shot blocker and doesn't give the puck away very much compared to the amount he takes the puck away. He's a rather inactive hitter, though.

Lidstrom's Averages (all compared to league average defenseman):
HIT: 0.69
BLK: 1.63
TK/GV: 1.34
DCI: 1.22

Anyhow, I don't think it's any inherent fault in the DCI system that Lidstrom comes out this way, especially considering how many well-thought of players coming out with such strong numbers. We're left with some things to consider:

a) Lidstrom is an overrated defensive player.
b) Lidstrom is a great defensive player, however RTSS stats don't measure his strongest contributions.

If you agree with 'a', then you need to be thinking that he got his reputation as a result of things such as media hero worship, having a high +/-, being a principle player on Stanley Cup squads, etc. In short, that his reputation is based mostly on things that aren't as solid.

If you believe option 'b' you have to consider that most other players with big reputations as defensive players score very well in the DCI system. So, essentially, you'd have to believe the system is wrong because of one player that it doesn't rate that highly.

I don't think there's easy answers for the Lidstrom situation in DCI, but it seems to indicate that more questions need to be asked.

Adam Foote's Yearly DCI
1999: 1.65
2000: 1.82
2001: 1.22
2002: 1.95

DCI sees Foote as being a very good defenseman from year to year. Actually, it sees him as one of the top 20 defensive defensemen during the period RTSS stats were recorded.

Daryl

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12-17-2003, 05:35 AM
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Where does Pronger fall in all of this?

 
Old
12-17-2003, 05:46 AM
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Daryl Shilling
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonwyck
Where does Pronger fall in all of this?
Pronger is a VERY good shot blocker, with the 13th best Block score among defensemen over the RTSS period. His 2.34 (more than twice as good as average) is strong, but the group is very tight right where is: he could easily have been a top 5 defender in this regard.

Pronger's Average Component Scores:
HIT: 1.29
BLK: 2.34
TK/GV: 1.10

Injury, I think, kept Pronger from being higher on the list.

Daryl

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12-17-2003, 05:48 AM
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Yea, he did miss some games even before last season...

 
Old
12-17-2003, 05:54 AM
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Explain to me why world's best defensive forward Jere Lehtinen is nowhere to be found?

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Old
12-17-2003, 06:16 AM
  #11
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Originally Posted by Modano = Dud
Explain to me why world's best defensive forward Jere Lehtinen is nowhere to be found?
This system is based off of counters tracked by the NHL. They count the number of times that a player throws a hit, blocks a shot, commits a giveaway, or takes away the puck. Lehtinen doesn't (or more accurately: during these years he didn't) do any of these things at an elite level. That isn't to say that he's overrated or a bum, but like I said before: DCI doesn't measure things like positioning, making a "smart play", etc.

Counting only Lehtinen's healthy seasons, he has a DCI of 1.9, still making him almost twice as good as the average forward in the league, which would put him in 11th place in the league during that period.

Daryl

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12-17-2003, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daryl Shilling
Thanks.

I'm not really sure what to make of the way Lidstrom's DCI kept coming out. He's an above average shot blocker and doesn't give the puck away very much compared to the amount he takes the puck away. He's a rather inactive hitter, though.

Lidstrom's Averages (all compared to league average defenseman):
HIT: 0.69
BLK: 1.63
TK/GV: 1.34
DCI: 1.22

Anyhow, I don't think it's any inherent fault in the DCI system that Lidstrom comes out this way, especially considering how many well-thought of players coming out with such strong numbers. We're left with some things to consider:



If you agree with 'a', then you need to be thinking that he got his reputation as a result of things such as media hero worship, having a high +/-, being a principle player on Stanley Cup squads, etc. In short, that his reputation is based mostly on things that aren't as solid.

If you believe option 'b' you have to consider that most other players with big reputations as defensive players score very well in the DCI system. So, essentially, you'd have to believe the system is wrong because of one player that it doesn't rate that highly.

I don't think there's easy answers for the Lidstrom situation in DCI, but it seems to indicate that more questions need to be asked.

Adam Foote's Yearly DCI
1999: 1.65a) Lidstrom is an overrated defensive player.
b) Lidstrom is a great defensive player, however RTSS stats don't measure his strongest contributions.
2000: 1.82
2001: 1.22
2002: 1.95

DCI sees Foote as being a very good defenseman from year to year. Actually, it sees him as one of the top 20 defensive defensemen during the period RTSS stats were recorded.

Daryl
i think this says it all Good defensive players DO take the body a lot. They are not necessarily the hardest checkers in the league, but always make life hard for the puck carrier and limit his options by forcing him to make decisions. Hitting is probably the most fundamental aspect of making offensive players into these forced decisions.

HIT: 0.69
BLK: 1.63
TK/GV: 1.34
DCI: 1.22



Its both a and b
a) Lidstrom is an overrated defensive player.
b) Lidstrom is a great defensive player, however RTSS stats don't measure his strongest contributions.

I don't think anybody would argue that Lidstrom is a good defensive player but picture a Lidstrom who hits players as well if his hit column were better compared to the average d man his hits were anemic.

new improved lidstrom
HIT: 1.69
BLK: 1.63
TK/GV: 1.34
DCI: 1.55 (somebody let me know if my math is correct here)

a Lidstrom who went out of his way to hit people 2.69 assuming his blocks and takeaway didn't change his new DCI:1.88

and of course RTSS stats don't measure his strongest contributions. points from the back end , as well as position play etc.,

I hear a lot of detroit fans mention that Lidstrom looks better when he played with one of their younger dmen instead of Hatcher (although Hatcher is missing from the top 10 DCI list at least he is also absent from the worst list as well) but maybe this goes to explain it.

What I'm asking is should I get rid of Lidstrom in my fantasy league?

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Old
12-17-2003, 03:07 PM
  #13
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I think with a guy like Lidstrom or maybe an Al McInnis, what happens is that over the course of their careers, they play the position so well, and can play angles and anticipate at a much higher level that players, (the smart ones anyway) will try and play away from them when they are on the ice. If you're leading a 3 on 2 and look up to see Lidstrom and say Pushor, which side are you going to attack to?

As a result there is less opportunity to compile some of these precious stats that make up this system (a vast improvement over +/- BTW). The other variable in this equationis the fact that it is the NHL keeping these stats. Notoriously unreliable in categories like blocked shots and hits I see no reason to trust those numbers as the truth.

It is nevertheless a really intriguing system in spite of that. What would be really intriguing would be to back-up and try to imagine the ratings of guys like Gainey, Carbonneau, Ludwig, Langway.

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12-17-2003, 03:38 PM
  #14
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Couple things that stand out on your list.

2000 Top 10 DCI:

Defense DCI
1) Kyle McLaren 2.46
3) Don Sweeney 2.24

Forward DCI
5) David Andreychuk 2.50

All 3 of these players had great DCI numbers under Pat Burns in Boston that season according to your criteria. That is great stuff.


2002 Worst DCI
Forward DCI

Jaromir Jagr 0.45
Teemu Selanne 0.45
Ilya Kovalchuk 0.46
Sergei Samsonov 0.48
Sergei Berezin 0.52
Igor Larionov 0.58
Maxim Afinogenov 0.59
Alexander Mogilny 0.60
Andrew Brunette 0.62
Patrik Stefan 0.63

Look at all those Russian forwards! 6 out of 10 there

 
Old
12-17-2003, 03:53 PM
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Daryl Shilling
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malefic74
I think with a guy like Lidstrom or maybe an Al McInnis, what happens is that over the course of their careers, they play the position so well, and can play angles and anticipate at a much higher level that players, (the smart ones anyway) will try and play away from them when they are on the ice. If you're leading a 3 on 2 and look up to see Lidstrom and say Pushor, which side are you going to attack to?

As a result there is less opportunity to compile some of these precious stats that make up this system (a vast improvement over +/- BTW). The other variable in this equationis the fact that it is the NHL keeping these stats. Notoriously unreliable in categories like blocked shots and hits I see no reason to trust those numbers as the truth.

It is nevertheless a really intriguing system in spite of that. What would be really intriguing would be to back-up and try to imagine the ratings of guys like Gainey, Carbonneau, Ludwig, Langway.
Those are all extremely valid points that I agree with, and are issues that most likely create some statistical illusions with some players DCI numbers. It could well be that in the most extreme cases, the best defensive players in the league don't have as much opportunity to build up some numbers due to players staying away from them. It's possible, thought at this point it's a guess.

As for Gainey and company, unfortunately we don't have those numbers. My Ice Time Estimation system shows their Even-Strength, Short-Handed and Power-Play minutes, at least. It's not the most ideal system for grading defensive players, but viewing their SH minutes is a small step that can be taken. That essay, for the interested:

Ice Time Estimation
http://members.shaw.ca/hbtn/player_study/ice_time.htm

Career Ice Time Totals
http://members.shaw.ca/hbtn/player_s...r_ice_time.htm

Food for thought, partly on course in this defense-oriented conversation: the short-handed totals, anyway.

Daryl

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Old
12-17-2003, 04:09 PM
  #16
Daryl Shilling
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unthinkable
2002 Worst DCI
Forward DCI

Jaromir Jagr 0.45
Teemu Selanne 0.45
Ilya Kovalchuk 0.46
Sergei Samsonov 0.48
Sergei Berezin 0.52
Igor Larionov 0.58
Maxim Afinogenov 0.59
Alexander Mogilny 0.60
Andrew Brunette 0.62
Patrik Stefan 0.63

Look at all those Russian forwards! 6 out of 10 there
I noticed that about that same thing about this group of players. Another thing from year to year is that the bad DCI forwards tend to be smaller guys, though not always.

For the curious, the 20 worst DCI forwards, overall, 1999-2002:

1. Sergei Berezin - 0.47
2. Daniel Briere - 0.49
3. Igor Larionov - 0.56
4. Pavol Demitra - 0.57
5. Gino Odjick - 0.57 (he didn't even HIT out there!)
6. Jaromir Jagr - 0.59
7. Ray Whitney - 0.59
8. Valeri Kamensky - 0.61
9. Marion Gaborik - 0.62
10. Luc Robitaille - 0.62
11. Saku Koivu - 0.63
12. Mario Lemieux - 0.63
13. Teemu Selanne - 0.63
14. Kip Miller - 0.63
15. Dan Cleary - 0.64
16. Andrew Brunette - 0.65
17. Pierre Turgeon - 0.65
18. Jochen Hecht - 0.65
19. Michael Nylander - 0.65
20. Nik Antropov - 0.65

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Daryl

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Old
12-17-2003, 04:13 PM
  #17
Mack
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interesting. Yelle when he was on the avs was ranked best defneisve forward? for a few years in a row. COOL!

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