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The mysterious save percentage stat ...

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Old
02-15-2004, 02:26 AM
  #1
igor*
 
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The mysterious save percentage stat ...

Some of you with really good memories might remember a similar thread this summer. The fact that the 2nd period save%, league-wide, was much worse than the other periods was kind of odd, and hard to figure. Always tougher to figure things out in the summer when there aren't any games to watch. But a couple pre-season games in and I think it becomes pretty obvious why ... if a guy is looking for it.

Clearly the style of play and quality of chances make a difference to save percentage. But it really is hard to say how much. Just a guess, but I'd think about +/-.005 depending on the style of play and type of team a goalie is playing behind.

And as a game wears on, as players get tired and/or teams are trailing and need to open it up a bit ... you'd expect the chances to be better quality and the save percentage to drop a bit from 1st to 2nd to 3rd. Makes sense, no? But it doesn't work that way.

Anyhoo, once again this year the overall save percentage is climbing (wasn't too long ago that it was .906) its up over .912 at this moment. And the breakdown by period:

1st: .919
2nd: .904
3rd: .912


The same pattern as last year.

Humour me on this >>> Over the course of a week or so, just by watching the highlights from around the league try keeping a rough count of how many goals were scored in transition, off odd-man rushes. And keep a rough tab of how many of those were scored in the second period.

IMO if the league wanted to improve the flow of the game, besides smaller goalie equipment (or bigger nets) the simplest thing would be to change which ends the goalies start the game at.

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02-15-2004, 03:47 AM
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igor
Some of you with really good memories might remember a similar thread this summer. The fact that the 2nd period save%, league-wide, was much worse than the other periods was kind of odd, and hard to figure. Always tougher to figure things out in the summer when there aren't any games to watch. But a couple pre-season games in and I think it becomes pretty obvious why ... if a guy is looking for it.

Clearly the style of play and quality of chances make a difference to save percentage. But it really is hard to say how much. Just a guess, but I'd think about +/-.005 depending on the style of play and type of team a goalie is playing behind.

And as a game wears on, as players get tired and/or teams are trailing and need to open it up a bit ... you'd expect the chances to be better quality and the save percentage to drop a bit from 1st to 2nd to 3rd. Makes sense, no? But it doesn't work that way.

Anyhoo, once again this year the overall save percentage is climbing (wasn't too long ago that it was .906) its up over .912 at this moment. And the breakdown by period:

1st: .919
2nd: .904
3rd: .912


The same pattern as last year.

Humour me on this >>> Over the course of a week or so, just by watching the highlights from around the league try keeping a rough count of how many goals were scored in transition, off odd-man rushes. And keep a rough tab of how many of those were scored in the second period.

IMO if the league wanted to improve the flow of the game, besides smaller goalie equipment (or bigger nets) the simplest thing would be to change which ends the goalies start the game at.


Is this stat pretty much the same at home as on the road?

I know that in the old forum in Mtl the gm's box was at the end that the Habs defended twice because they were more interested in the goings-on back there. Maybe guys get lazy when they're defending the far end, or they're busy trying to look good in the opposition end and get caught up ice.

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02-16-2004, 01:24 AM
  #3
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very interesting stat. just an opinion, but maybe this is the case because teams have a longer way to skate to change on the fly in the second period which results in either lines being out too long and not being able to defend as well as well rested players or if a team takes a chance and makes the long change they get caught out of position and give up an odd man rush. tough to say because save percentage, while a key stat, doesn't make any distinction in the difficulty of the saves, just whether a save was made so there's no real way to track if the disparity in the second comes from better scoring chances because of the long change or whether it's just coincidence.

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02-16-2004, 08:48 AM
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I've always thought that the 1st period, the teams and refs are getting a feel for the game. The goalies are warm, teams generally try to simply get the puck on net early, and the refs are (hopefully), trying to fit into the flow of the game.

The 2nd period is usually where the teams are actually in the game and playing to win. More power plays, more odd man rushes, more risks, because you still have time to make up for it.

The 3rd period usually has one, or sometimes both teams trapping for the whole period, really limiting the quality of the chances.

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02-16-2004, 09:10 AM
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I took an advanced Economics course in University and had a modelling assignment. I found an anomoly that completely defied logic. Every time housing starts in Saskatchewan went up, the price of lumber would fall (or vice-versa). The correlation was absolutely perfect. It made no sense.

The professor said that sometimes, statistical anomolies happen. This could be a similar situation. There may not be a logical reason.

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02-17-2004, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Sakich
I took an advanced Economics course in University and had a modelling assignment. I found an anomoly that completely defied logic. Every time housing starts in Saskatchewan went up, the price of lumber would fall (or vice-versa). The correlation was absolutely perfect. It made no sense.

The professor said that sometimes, statistical anomolies happen. This could be a similar situation. There may not be a logical reason.
It is always a valid question, Sakich. A lot of the stats stuff that gets discussed on internet boards is nothing more than coincidence. Oilswell is usually the guy who drives this point ... and often it is correct IMO.

I don't know much about stats. I do, however, know quite a bit about probablities. Poisson's equation calculates probabilities for random events precisely. Unfortnately its pretty heavy math for Excel, and I'm too lazy to write a script in VB.

For the largest sample size Excel can handle (425 games) the likelihood of the second period Save% being this low, by random chance, is 1.3%.

Likelihood of this being coincidence by sample size:
over 71 games: 16.8%
over 142 games: 9.4%
over 213 games: 5.5%
over 283 games: 3.5%
over 425 games: 1.3%

Since the actual sample size (1230 games last year and the first 862 games of this year) is well over 2000 games ... the chance of this phenomenon being a coincidence are a small fraction of 1%.

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02-17-2004, 11:18 AM
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Igor...

Is there a stat for not just scoring chances, but quality scoring chances? If not, look at the relation of scoring chances to every period (if you can find that info) from the 2nd period vs the 1st or 3rd.

Then again, last night we saw 2 goals scored on 48 shots in the 1st and 3rd, and 1 goal scored on 8 shots in the 2nd period...

Gasp!!! maybe it is simply unexplainable!

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02-17-2004, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stauffer is my hero
very interesting stat. just an opinion, but maybe this is the case because teams have a longer way to skate to change on the fly in the second period which results in either lines being out too long and not being able to defend as well as well rested players or if a team takes a chance and makes the long change they get caught out of position and give up an odd man rush. tough to say because save percentage, while a key stat, doesn't make any distinction in the difficulty of the saves, just whether a save was made so there's no real way to track if the disparity in the second comes from better scoring chances because of the long change or whether it's just coincidence.
Ding! Ding! Ding! ... we have a winner!

Or at least I think so. Actually I'm certain of it. If a guy bears this in mind while watching the games ... it starts becoming pretty evident over the course of several games.

BTW: Unless you are realted to Bob Stauffer ... that's a bloody odd nickname.

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02-17-2004, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgbone
... Is there a stat for not just scoring chances, but quality scoring chances? If not, look at the relation of scoring chances to every period (if you can find that info) from the 2nd period vs the 1st or 3rd.
Nope. It's just too subjective to be published. It is recorded by all teams during video review though ... and is the most important thing for teams to consider. Roger Nielsen was the guy who really spearheaded this kind of analytical coaching ... but virtually everyone else has copied him in the last decade.

Quote:
Then again, last night we saw 2 goals scored on 48 shots in the 1st and 3rd, and 1 goal scored on 8 shots in the 2nd period...

Gasp!!! maybe it is simply unexplainable!
I wouldn't put any stock at all in just one game.

And its just hockey, I don't think there is anything paranormal going on.

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Old
02-17-2004, 11:53 AM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igor
I wouldn't put any stock at all in just one game.

And its just hockey, I don't think there is anything paranormal going on.
No, I know just one game doesn't prove anything, it was just leading up to my point that maybe somethings aren't really explainable.

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