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Connolly and one of your goalies?

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Old
02-23-2004, 08:10 PM
  #26
Mr Brownstone
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+/- is useless.
Are you that unintelligent of a hockey fan? Plus-minus is probably the most underrated stat in hockey. If you are a minus, then you obviously aren't doing things right or just on a terrible team. Being a minus can really show a coach something, and Hecht should be rewarded for his +/-. Being a plus means you make things happen, and it seems like anytime Jochen sees the ice, a scoring chance arises. Points aren't the whole story. Intangibles such as blocked shots (Brown), giveaways/takeaways, and +/-(Hecht) are very very important.

As for Edmonton, I'd say Connolly + Biron + 2nd for Smyth and Smith sounds very good to me.

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02-23-2004, 08:39 PM
  #27
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Explain to me, so-called self-proclaimed intelligent hockey fan, how Zhitnik has the second worst +/- on the Sabres. Is Zhitnik just not doing things right or is he simply on a terrible team? I'm glad you aren't coaching, since Zhitnik gets more ice time than any other Sabre. You would probably try to limit his ice time, and replace his and Kalinin's ice time with Campbell and Delmore (Campbell's +/- is better than Zhitnik's, while Delmore's is better than Kalinin).

And before someone mentions Satan, note that Satan was -7 in October. His worst month by far was November.

In fact, why not concentrate on "intangibles" like +/- and we can get the following pairings for defense:

Tallinder (+7) / Patrick (+5)
Delmore (+3) / Kalinin (+1)
Campbell (0) / Janik (0)

That defense would be awesome! Nobody would be a -. Bench McKee (-1) when he comes back. Bench Fitzpatrick (-6) NOW. Bench Zhitnik (-7) NOW.

In reality, our best defensemen, in order, are:
Zhitnik -7
Kalinin +1
McKee -1
Patrick +5
Fitzpatrick -6
Tallinder +7
Campbell 0
Delmore +3
Janik 0

Rank is positively correlated (.3767) with +/-, meaning the higher the +/-, the higher the value of the rank (meaning the lesser the rank).

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02-23-2004, 10:38 PM
  #28
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keep in mind also that there are 6 players on the ice
if hecht plays an awesome shift and campbell and delmore screw up, hecht still gets a minus
if hecht plays an awesome shift and biron screws up, hecht still gets a minus
+/- is good for some things, but i dont think it should be a measure of a player's performance or worth

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02-24-2004, 08:04 AM
  #29
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Originally Posted by LALALALALALAFONTAINE
Explain to me, so-called self-proclaimed intelligent hockey fan, how Zhitnik has the second worst +/- on the Sabres. Is Zhitnik just not doing things right or is he simply on a terrible team? I'm glad you aren't coaching, since Zhitnik gets more ice time than any other Sabre. You would probably try to limit his ice time, and replace his and Kalinin's ice time with Campbell and Delmore (Campbell's +/- is better than Zhitnik's, while Delmore's is better than Kalinin).

And before someone mentions Satan, note that Satan was -7 in October. His worst month by far was November.

In fact, why not concentrate on "intangibles" like +/- and we can get the following pairings for defense:

Tallinder (+7) / Patrick (+5)
Delmore (+3) / Kalinin (+1)
Campbell (0) / Janik (0)

That defense would be awesome! Nobody would be a -. Bench McKee (-1) when he comes back. Bench Fitzpatrick (-6) NOW. Bench Zhitnik (-7) NOW.

In reality, our best defensemen, in order, are:
Zhitnik -7
Kalinin +1
McKee -1
Patrick +5
Fitzpatrick -6
Tallinder +7
Campbell 0
Delmore +3
Janik 0

Rank is positively correlated (.3767) with +/-, meaning the higher the +/-, the higher the value of the rank (meaning the lesser the rank).
Let's think about this. Ice time is obviously going to affect +/-. Zhitnik was seeing 22-28 minutes per game when we weren't playing very well and he obviously took the brunt of it. Janik and Soupy haven't seen very much ice time, McKee's been hurt and in limited action, has played when Buffalo was way out of the playoff picture. Tallinder's picked his game up considerably over these past few weeks and he deserves the +7 that he has. I can't explain Fitzy's -6 because he has been pretty stalwart defensively. I personally do think Kalinin has a lot more value to Buffalo at this juncture and I would be in favor of seeing Kalinin take away some of Zhitnik's ice. Delmore has been up with Buffalo during this recent stretch of good play and you have to take that into consideration. I know the topic was +/- however, I also stated other intangibles. Brown is the top Sabres forward in blocked shots. I'm willing to bet Zhitnik is the top Sabre in takeaway-giveaway ratio. Would you say that those are useless stats as well? Saying that I as coach would take away Zhitnik and Kalinin's ice time because of their +/- is just ignorant. I wasn't saying that +/- is the only telling stat for a coach to gauge a player's performance, but it's a very valuable one. With Zhitnik as our top defenseman, he is normally out there with Satan, who undoubtedly has a bad +/-. He also faces each team's top line night in and night out. You're bound to give up some goals when you don't have the supporting cast around you. The goaltending was also rather subpar earlier in the season and that directly affects the +/- numbers. My argument was against you saying +/- was useless. Let's be obvious here, it really isn't. If +/- was useless, it wouldn't be kept as a stat. Teams with players who have solid +/- ratings are enjoying more wins than we are, so how useless is it?

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02-24-2004, 09:08 AM
  #30
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Originally Posted by SabresIn05
Let's think about this. Ice time is obviously going to affect +/-. Zhitnik was seeing 22-28 minutes per game when we weren't playing very well and he obviously took the brunt of it. Janik and Soupy haven't seen very much ice time, McKee's been hurt and in limited action, has played when Buffalo was way out of the playoff picture. Tallinder's picked his game up considerably over these past few weeks and he deserves the +7 that he has. I can't explain Fitzy's -6 because he has been pretty stalwart defensively. I personally do think Kalinin has a lot more value to Buffalo at this juncture and I would be in favor of seeing Kalinin take away some of Zhitnik's ice. Delmore has been up with Buffalo during this recent stretch of good play and you have to take that into consideration. I know the topic was +/- however, I also stated other intangibles. Brown is the top Sabres forward in blocked shots. I'm willing to bet Zhitnik is the top Sabre in takeaway-giveaway ratio. Would you say that those are useless stats as well? Saying that I as coach would take away Zhitnik and Kalinin's ice time because of their +/- is just ignorant. I wasn't saying that +/- is the only telling stat for a coach to gauge a player's performance, but it's a very valuable one. With Zhitnik as our top defenseman, he is normally out there with Satan, who undoubtedly has a bad +/-. He also faces each team's top line night in and night out. You're bound to give up some goals when you don't have the supporting cast around you. The goaltending was also rather subpar earlier in the season and that directly affects the +/- numbers. My argument was against you saying +/- was useless. Let's be obvious here, it really isn't. If +/- was useless, it wouldn't be kept as a stat. Teams with players who have solid +/- ratings are enjoying more wins than we are, so how useless is it?
No doubt ice time affects +/-. But the Sabres score more goals than they give up, so shouldn't Zhitnik be a +. His ice time hasn't decreased when we've been winning. You are attributing his negative to playing a lot when we sucked, but he played a lot when we've won. You have to take both effects into consideration. And overall, the Sabres are a +.500 team who scores more goals than they give up. Explain why Zhitnik is a negative.

McKee's played in more wins than losses this year when he's been in the lineup. The Sabres are 13-12-4 with McKee. Thus, your contention that McKee is a negative because he played when we sucked is wrong.

Tallinder deserves the best +/- among defensemen simply because he's picked up his game in McKee and Patrick's absence?

Thanks for noting the mystery surrounding Fitzpatrick's +/-.

Delmore has been up with Buffalo during our good play? You forget he was with us and played his way to Rochester when we sucked? What would the net effect of that be? In fact, Delmore was a +2 in November, when we sucked and when Delmore sucked to the extent that he was sent down to Rochester. Did that correspond to great play? Of course not.

Kalinin taking away ice time from Zhitnik? What a silly suggestion. Do you even watch the games? Do you realize that Kalinin is paired with Zhitnik? Do you realize that Kalinin's play increased tremendously when he was paired with Zhitnik? Do you realize that Fitzpatrick's play decreased when he was no longer paired with Zhitnik? This is the silliness I am talking about. You actually believe that Zhitnik's +/- is remotely related to his play. It isn't. You state you would do this, six sentences prior to stating it was ignorant of me to make such a suggestion to you.

Zhitnik isn't paired with Satan. In fact, Zhitnik and his partner (now Kalinin, then Fitzpatrick) are on the ice against the other team's top line. Satan is unlikely to intentionally see ice time against the other team's top line. There will be some overlap, but you make it sound as if they are a group. They aren't. They are used by Ruff in different situations. Further, Satan was -7 in October, where he didn't play too badly and where the Sabres didn't play too badly. Find a different reason.

It's tough to blame a supporting cast in this one. Nobody else, save Satan, has a worse +/- than Zhitnik. How can you blame someone else when their +/- is better than Zhitnik's?

I never said anything about intangibles. I said +/- is useless. It is useless. You haven't done anything to persuade me otherwise. In fact, you've had the opposite effect with your explanations. And there are useless stats, unless you think that Robert Svehla was the most physical player in the NHL.

You'd be willing to bet that Zhitnik leads the Sabres on takeaway-giveaway ratio? You are willing to bet on a flawed statistic the NHL no longer tracks to try and find a reason not to release Zhitnik?


Last edited by LALALALALALAFONTAINE: 02-24-2004 at 09:11 AM.
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02-24-2004, 10:50 AM
  #31
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Speaking of not proving things, you haven't proved to me how +/- is useless. When did I ever voice the idea of releasing Zhitnik? Have you not yet realized that I was merely stating that +/- means a whole hell of a lot more than you give it credit for? Maybe we're just differently thinking hockey fans with emphasis on different statistical categories. The only thing useless has been this discussion because I already know neither of us will reach an agreement.

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02-24-2004, 02:09 PM
  #32
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Based strictly on +/-, it makes no sense to keep Zhitnik. It makes sense to release him. He is our worst defenseman if you are judging things on +/-.

As for not showing the uselessness of +/-, did you miss the above discussion? Our best defenseman has the worst plus minus. Our second best defenseman has a middle of the road +/-. +/- correlates negatively with the worth of our defensemen.

I can respond to all your contentions that it is useful (all of which have been rebutted), and that won't prove jack because you can't prove a negative. 2/3 of our best three defensemen have negative +/-, and each of them has played on a team with a winning record.

What is +/- good for? It sure as hell has no use in comparing the relative worth of players, even on the same team.

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02-24-2004, 02:11 PM
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billsandsabres
keep in mind also that there are 6 players on the ice
if hecht plays an awesome shift and campbell and delmore screw up, hecht still gets a minus
if hecht plays an awesome shift and biron screws up, hecht still gets a minus
+/- is good for some things, but i dont think it should be a measure of a player's performance or worth
Excellent point. One of the goals the Sabres gave up against the Isles was not the fault of the defensemen who were back, but of the forwards who got caught. Everyone gets a minus.

And then all of the odd man rushes the goaltender bailed us out from are ignored.

Perhaps you could enlighten me. If +/- isn't a measure of a player's performance or worth (I agree wholeheartedly), then what the hell is it good for?

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02-25-2004, 06:56 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by LALALALALALAFONTAINE
Based strictly on +/-, it makes no sense to keep Zhitnik. It makes sense to release him. He is our worst defenseman if you are judging things on +/-.

As for not showing the uselessness of +/-, did you miss the above discussion? Our best defenseman has the worst plus minus. Our second best defenseman has a middle of the road +/-. +/- correlates negatively with the worth of our defensemen.

I can respond to all your contentions that it is useful (all of which have been rebutted), and that won't prove jack because you can't prove a negative. 2/3 of our best three defensemen have negative +/-, and each of them has played on a team with a winning record.

What is +/- good for? It sure as hell has no use in comparing the relative worth of players, even on the same team.
I don't think anyone here has ever said that +/- was the only stat that measured a players performance. It is however, a general measure of a players defensive performance. Defensive ability could not be measured by goals and assists, and in general is very difficult to analyze objectively. +/- is not a perfect system, you have pointed out a number of times one of the biggest flaws of the system is that players that are doing their job well can get penalized for someone elses mistakes.
The +/- system does a good job when considered over a reasonable period of time. I think most people will agree that +/- ratings over half a season are sometimes suspect. +/- ratings over a full season are better, but still may not tell the whole story. But if you look at a player over 2 or more years, and his cumulative +/- rating is highly negative, that player probably has some defensive short comings. That is where +/- is most effective, over time.

However imperfect +/- is, that does not mean it is worthless. If we were to apply your logic for discounting +/- to goals, that stat would be meaningless also. Didn't Noronen just get credited with a goal? He didn't take a shot on net, he didn't even shoot the puck down the ice. In other cases, a guy shoots the puck towards the net, the puck bounces off the back of another player. The player that the puck bounced off of gets credit for the goal.

Assists? A player takes a shot at the net, misses. The puck bounces off the end boards to his teammate, who puts the puck in the net. The guy that shot it off the end board gets an assist. Why? Just because he was the last player to touch the puck? It would make more sense if he passed the puckto the player that scored. How about the defense man that makes a great pass in his zone that leads to a goal, but since the puck bounced off another player while being passed to a third player, the defenseman doesn't get the assist even though he started the play and made the pass that made it possible.

We can find flaws in anything thing if you try hard enough, but that doesn't make it worthless. In fact, as much as you like to cite statistics, Iím surprised you would draw such huge conclusions from such a limited data set. Itís easy to pick and choose a set of limited data that will support any opinion.

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02-25-2004, 08:08 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by djhn579
I don't think anyone here has ever said that +/- was the only stat that measured a players performance. It is however, a general measure of a players defensive performance. Defensive ability could not be measured by goals and assists, and in general is very difficult to analyze objectively. +/- is not a perfect system, you have pointed out a number of times one of the biggest flaws of the system is that players that are doing their job well can get penalized for someone elses mistakes.
The +/- system does a good job when considered over a reasonable period of time. I think most people will agree that +/- ratings over half a season are sometimes suspect. +/- ratings over a full season are better, but still may not tell the whole story. But if you look at a player over 2 or more years, and his cumulative +/- rating is highly negative, that player probably has some defensive short comings. That is where +/- is most effective, over time.
There are great defensive players over a long period who have a negative +/-, like Ron Francis. I don't think it adds the information you think it does.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djhn579
However imperfect +/- is, that does not mean it is worthless. If we were to apply your logic for discounting +/- to goals, that stat would be meaningless also. Didn't Noronen just get credited with a goal? He didn't take a shot on net, he didn't even shoot the puck down the ice. In other cases, a guy shoots the puck towards the net, the puck bounces off the back of another player. The player that the puck bounced off of gets credit for the goal.

Assists? A player takes a shot at the net, misses. The puck bounces off the end boards to his teammate, who puts the puck in the net. The guy that shot it off the end board gets an assist. Why? Just because he was the last player to touch the puck? It would make more sense if he passed the puckto the player that scored. How about the defense man that makes a great pass in his zone that leads to a goal, but since the puck bounced off another player while being passed to a third player, the defenseman doesn't get the assist even though he started the play and made the pass that made it possible.
The problem is that goals and assists are tangible. +/- is used to ascribe intangibles and not easily measured things like defensive play. Most people use it as a substitute for actually watching the game. The guy in the main board arguing that Pyatt isn't as good as Saprykin defensively is using the argument of a negative plus minus. And he's wrong. Anyone who watches the game can tell you that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djhn579
We can find flaws in anything thing if you try hard enough, but that doesn't make it worthless. In fact, as much as you like to cite statistics, Iím surprised you would draw such huge conclusions from such a limited data set. Itís easy to pick and choose a set of limited data that will support any opinion.
There's no evidence that +/- amounts to a hill of beans. I am very comfortable using stats, but a lot of stats in a lot of sports are worthless. In hockey, very few individual stats tell the story. You do have to use some in combination to get the story sometimes. And they are usually good in asking a specific question, like, "Was Dave Andreychuk used well by Lindy Ruff." They aren't that good in solving whether player X is better than player Y. Save percentage, I would argue, is the main exception to this.

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02-25-2004, 08:41 PM
  #36
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Originally Posted by LALALALALALAFONTAINE
There's no evidence that +/- amounts to a hill of beans. I am very comfortable using stats, but a lot of stats in a lot of sports are worthless. In hockey, very few individual stats tell the story. You do have to use some in combination to get the story sometimes. And they are usually good in asking a specific question, like, "Was Dave Andreychuk used well by Lindy Ruff." They aren't that good in solving whether player X is better than player Y. Save percentage, I would argue, is the main exception to this.
+/- fills a need. It gives scouts, coaches and GM's (and fans) a measure of how well a player performs defensively. It's not perfect, but neither is judging just by watching someone play. You and I can watch the same player in the same game and make different judgements on the players ability. Even on a specific play, you may say he made a great defensive play, while I could say he put himself in a bad position and in desperation made a play that looked sensational but was just lucky.

Since it would be impossible to watch every player in every game, +/- provides a rough guage of a players defensive play. It can be used to make a rough comparison between players. Over time, with the number of different players a specific player plays with, if he has a negative rating, there is a high probability that the player has poor defensive habits. Some players may just be unlucky, but if they are so unlucky they can't get a positive rating over an extended period of time, they probably aren't very good.

+/- is not as worthless as you make it out to be, nor is it the most important stat used to evaluate a player. It is a tool, and as with any tool, you have to know how and where to use it.

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02-25-2004, 08:55 PM
  #37
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Originally Posted by djhn579
+/- fills a need. It gives scouts, coaches and GM's (and fans) a measure of how well a player performs defensively. It's not perfect, but neither is judging just by watching someone play. You and I can watch the same player in the same game and make different judgements on the players ability. Even on a specific play, you may say he made a great defensive play, while I could say he put himself in a bad position and in desperation made a play that looked sensational but was just lucky.

Since it would be impossible to watch every player in every game, +/- provides a rough guage of a players defensive play. It can be used to make a rough comparison between players. Over time, with the number of different players a specific player plays with, if he has a negative rating, there is a high probability that the player has poor defensive habits. Some players may just be unlucky, but if they are so unlucky they can't get a positive rating over an extended period of time, they probably aren't very good.

+/- is not as worthless as you make it out to be, nor is it the most important stat used to evaluate a player. It is a tool, and as with any tool, you have to know how and where to use it.
I guarantee you scouts, coaches and GMs are not using +/- for anything, except as a bargaining tool in contract negotiation (and that's only because they can, and will do anything to save a buck. Hell I would use it too.).

Defense is not too difficult to judge. Does anyone not think that Delmore sucked to an incredible degree against the Devils tonight? If so, they simply have no hockey knowledge.

What does Ron Francis' +/- tell us? Career wise, he is -10. He is also a Selke winner and a great defensive player. I don't think you'll find too many people saying his +/- indicates he's subpar defensively.

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02-25-2004, 09:23 PM
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djhn579
+/- fills a need. It gives scouts, coaches and GM's (and fans) a measure of how well a player performs defensively. It's not perfect, but neither is judging just by watching someone play. You and I can watch the same player in the same game and make different judgements on the players ability. Even on a specific play, you may say he made a great defensive play, while I could say he put himself in a bad position and in desperation made a play that looked sensational but was just lucky.

Since it would be impossible to watch every player in every game, +/- provides a rough guage of a players defensive play. It can be used to make a rough comparison between players. Over time, with the number of different players a specific player plays with, if he has a negative rating, there is a high probability that the player has poor defensive habits. Some players may just be unlucky, but if they are so unlucky they can't get a positive rating over an extended period of time, they probably aren't very good.

+/- is not as worthless as you make it out to be, nor is it the most important stat used to evaluate a player. It is a tool, and as with any tool, you have to know how and where to use it.
sorry guy but you are just losing this argument post after post. It certainly doesn not gauge a players defensive play. not in the least, over any period of time. read LaLa's posts over and over again until it sinks in.

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02-25-2004, 09:36 PM
  #39
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Originally Posted by LALALALALALAFONTAINE
I guarantee you scouts, coaches and GMs are not using +/- for anything, except as a bargaining tool in contract negotiation (and that's only because they can, and will do anything to save a buck. Hell I would use it too.).

Defense is not too difficult to judge. Does anyone not think that Delmore sucked to an incredible degree against the Devils tonight? If so, they simply have no hockey knowledge.

What does Ron Francis' +/- tell us? Career wise, he is -10. He is also a Selke winner and a great defensive player. I don't think you'll find too many people saying his +/- indicates he's subpar defensively.
Looking at Ron Francis' stats, I would say that he was awful defensively his first 4 years, was great to decent his middle 17 years, but has been on a downhill slide his last 4 years. Just because your a great defensive player at one point, it doesn't mean you will always be a good defensive player. Too often, people get caught up on a players reputation and give them too much or too little slack for what they are doing in the present. How would you explain him being a -71 his first 4 years? or a -42 his last 4 years? or a +103 his middle 17 years (that's only a + 6 (roughly) each of those 17 years). His best 2 years defensively he was a +30 (when he won the selke) and a +25. Other than that, he was decent. I haven't watched a lot of him personally so I'll just leave it at that. Maybe someone who has seen a lot of him play could give us another opinion...

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02-25-2004, 09:39 PM
  #40
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sorry guy but you are just losing this argument post after post. It certainly doesn not gauge a players defensive play. not in the least, over any period of time. read LaLa's posts over and over again until it sinks in.
That's very insightful... Thanks for stopping by...

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02-25-2004, 11:16 PM
  #41
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To me +/- is a good tool of comparing players within the same team. There's no way you can compare two players between two different teams.

For instance, there's no way you can say Martin Havlat (+13) is a better defensive player over Todd Marchant (-14)...but on the same token, you can clearly see that Rick Nash (-24) is definitely not up to par defensively vs. the rest of his teammates.

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02-25-2004, 11:33 PM
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That's very insightful... Thanks for stopping by...
all the facts have been posted for you... i think some posters have done a fine job of illustrating....repeatedly...a simple point. Defensive gameplay should be judged solely on game performance. Hockey is not like Football or Basketball... we don't have stats for tackles and sacks or steals and blocks...+/- is just a lame stat to make up for that fact.

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02-26-2004, 09:23 AM
  #43
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Originally Posted by Jame
all the facts have been posted for you... i think some posters have done a fine job of illustrating....repeatedly...a simple point. Defensive gameplay should be judged solely on game performance. Hockey is not like Football or Basketball... we don't have stats for tackles and sacks or steals and blocks...+/- is just a lame stat to make up for that fact.
I'm sorry to break it to you, but the NHL does not keep track of +/- for the hell of it. It's not perfect, but it is useful and cannot be ignored in all instances. Look at TEAMS around the league, in more cases than not +/- will indicate which players are getting outmatched by their opposition when they're on the ice. (and also which players are having a good year overall vs. a bad year)

It's not perfect, but it sure is not useless.

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02-26-2004, 02:57 PM
  #44
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Originally Posted by Fan-of-#9
I'm sorry to break it to you, but the NHL does not keep track of +/- for the hell of it. It's not perfect, but it is useful and cannot be ignored in all instances. Look at TEAMS around the league, in more cases than not +/- will indicate which players are getting outmatched by their opposition when they're on the ice. (and also which players are having a good year overall vs. a bad year)

It's not perfect, but it sure is not useless.
Who is it useful too? Not one GM in the league uses a players +/- to gauge anything about their game. I guarantee it. If a team is interested in a player or offered a player they will scout, watch film, etc... +/- just isnt accurate enough to gauge anything... No one looks at Federov's -7 and says "well he must be getting outmatched by the opposition." or Jason Wooley's +14, he must be just kicking ass out there. +/- is the product of what team you play for. If you really wanted to argue that it had a use i would say it would be comparing players on the same team playing roughly the same minutes. But i watch hockey and the sabres, so ill trust my eyes and the eyes of others over a ridiculous statistic that is flawed in so many ways. and since i know no GM is using it as the basis for any trade, and no coach is using it to judge a players performance (he watches the game too). It makes it completely uselss. If +/- had one use it would be to fuel fan arguments about players ability...like this one.

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02-26-2004, 03:30 PM
  #45
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I agree that there are occasions when +/- is irrelevant. Let's look at some examples from this season of when it TELLS THE STORY of how the player is performing or underperforming:

Mike Modano -17 Pretty good indicator of how his season is going.

Niklas Havelid -20 Can't say first hand, but I'd guess he's not having a great campaign, ask the Ducks fans how his play has been this season.

Dany Heatley -12 He's played 13 games this year, I'd say he's still not quite up to par yet.

Miro Satan -11 Has been around an even +/- for awhile, the start of the year for Miro mirrored his +/- at that time.


Zdeno Chara +32 Ummmh ya think he's having a good year, ask Ottawa fans.

Martin St. Louis +27 The guy is a Hart Trophy candidate, and it's not because of his +/-

Kris Draper +22 He leads the Wings in +/- this season...he's having a career year.

Bobby Holik +15 Ask Ranger fans about Holik's effort and value to their team this year.


I know that +/- is NOT the determining factor when evaluating a player. It's not the most useful stat, not even close. BUT, it is useful, and that's why it's a major statistic in hockey.

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02-26-2004, 05:31 PM
  #46
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Originally Posted by Jame
all the facts have been posted for you... i think some posters have done a fine job of illustrating....repeatedly...a simple point. Defensive gameplay should be judged solely on game performance. Hockey is not like Football or Basketball... we don't have stats for tackles and sacks or steals and blocks...+/- is just a lame stat to make up for that fact.

There are a lot of opinions being thrown around in this discussion, but I wouldn't say there are any facts that prove either point. Citing the statistics on one group of defensemen (6 players) out of 700+ players in the league does not prove a point. There is a lot of natural variability in any statistic, so in a small sample size, you will find cases where the best defensive player may not have the best +/-.

I keep hearing that people here know for a fact that no coaches, gm's or scouts use +/-. I would like to know how often these people talk to all the gm's, coaches, etc and how they know them so well that they will tell them how they assess players in the league?

+/- is, as I said before, a tool. It's not perfect, but it can help to a certain degree. Is it the only thing that should be considered? Of course not. Blocked shots would be interesting too, but defensive play isn't just about blocking shots either. Watching someone play is good too, but it's impossible to watch every game and you don't know if your seeing them at their best or worst. Also as I said before, two people can watch the same exact play and see it totally differently.

If you don't put much faith in it because you got a bad +/- rating due to poor line changes, that does not make the stat useless, it makes you biased.

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02-26-2004, 09:15 PM
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djhn579
There are a lot of opinions being thrown around in this discussion, but I wouldn't say there are any facts that prove either point. Citing the statistics on one group of defensemen (6 players) out of 700+ players in the league does not prove a point. There is a lot of natural variability in any statistic, so in a small sample size, you will find cases where the best defensive player may not have the best +/-.

I keep hearing that people here know for a fact that no coaches, gm's or scouts use +/-. I would like to know how often these people talk to all the gm's, coaches, etc and how they know them so well that they will tell them how they assess players in the league?

+/- is, as I said before, a tool. It's not perfect, but it can help to a certain degree. Is it the only thing that should be considered? Of course not. Blocked shots would be interesting too, but defensive play isn't just about blocking shots either. Watching someone play is good too, but it's impossible to watch every game and you don't know if your seeing them at their best or worst. Also as I said before, two people can watch the same exact play and see it totally differently.

If you don't put much faith in it because you got a bad +/- rating due to poor line changes, that does not make the stat useless, it makes you biased.
a players +/- rating is a product of the team he plays for. It is a terrible representation of the individual. Players on good winning teams have good +/- and vice versa. like i said it is only usefull in comparing players on the same team. look up the difference in +/- of players who went from good to bad teams in the last two years...i wont cite any examples because that wouldnt prove a point....???. why such a drastic change. the best players in the world arent going to have a good +/- if they are playing for crappy teams. and that is why its a pretty useless stat. because it is not telling at all of an individuals play. it is a stat that reflects 6 players at once. no oter sport has such a statistic (i could be wrong)

I think you're missing my point. It doesnt matter whether WE can watch every game or not, it doesnt matter if WE see the same play differenty or not. the only persons opinions that matter when determining a players value are the GMs, Coaches, Management, Scouts etc etc....why would they use a stat that is so fundamentally flawed? i hate to use the other sport references again. but would you put a mark against the first basemen if the the centerfielder dropped the ball. or how about this. The D line clogs up the middle, Takeo comes free on the blitz, the corners shut downt the wideouts. feeling the pressure the qb has to dump the ball to the rb. the strong safety comes up to make the short yardag tackle but misses horribly. the rb moves the ball for 12 yards. lets blame everyone on the field shall we.

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02-27-2004, 10:19 AM
  #48
LALALALALALAFONTAINE
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Originally Posted by lecherous
To me +/- is a good tool of comparing players within the same team. There's no way you can compare two players between two different teams.

For instance, there's no way you can say Martin Havlat (+13) is a better defensive player over Todd Marchant (-14)...but on the same token, you can clearly see that Rick Nash (-24) is definitely not up to par defensively vs. the rest of his teammates.
For instance:
Patrick +5
Delmore +1
Janik E
McKee -1
Campbell -2
Kalinin -3
Fitzpatrick -6
Zhitnik -9

I guess we can clearly see that Delmore and Campbell are superior to Zhitnik and Kalinin defensively.

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02-27-2004, 10:25 AM
  #49
LALALALALALAFONTAINE
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Originally Posted by Fan-of-#9
I agree that there are occasions when +/- is irrelevant. Let's look at some examples from this season of when it TELLS THE STORY of how the player is performing or underperforming:

Miro Satan -11 Has been around an even +/- for awhile, the start of the year for Miro mirrored his +/- at that time.

I know that +/- is NOT the determining factor when evaluating a player. It's not the most useful stat, not even close. BUT, it is useful, and that's why it's a major statistic in hockey.
It doesn't mirror Satan's production. Satan was -7 in October. Most complaints about Satan occurred AFTER that, when he was no longer captain, particularly in November and December. In November he was -2 for an extended period. Once again, +/- fails to tell the story. And February, when Satan has been turning his game around, Satan is -1. +/- has been useless in judging Satan's play.

I could build a team of - players and win the Cup.

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02-27-2004, 10:29 AM
  #50
LALALALALALAFONTAINE
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Originally Posted by djhn579
There are a lot of opinions being thrown around in this discussion, but I wouldn't say there are any facts that prove either point. Citing the statistics on one group of defensemen (6 players) out of 700+ players in the league does not prove a point. There is a lot of natural variability in any statistic, so in a small sample size, you will find cases where the best defensive player may not have the best +/-.

I keep hearing that people here know for a fact that no coaches, gm's or scouts use +/-. I would like to know how often these people talk to all the gm's, coaches, etc and how they know them so well that they will tell them how they assess players in the league?

+/- is, as I said before, a tool. It's not perfect, but it can help to a certain degree. Is it the only thing that should be considered? Of course not. Blocked shots would be interesting too, but defensive play isn't just about blocking shots either. Watching someone play is good too, but it's impossible to watch every game and you don't know if your seeing them at their best or worst. Also as I said before, two people can watch the same exact play and see it totally differently.

If you don't put much faith in it because you got a bad +/- rating due to poor line changes, that does not make the stat useless, it makes you biased.
The cases of +/- correlating to good play is less than when it doesn't correlate.

Scouts don't use plus minus at all. That's not a scout's job. A scout's job is to judge the player on the ice, not read stats on a player.

In terms of judging defense, of those that saw the game against the Devils, does anybody think that Zhitnik, Kalinin, Delmore or Campbell played well in the least?

There are many reasons why +/- sucks. It makes the stat bad. Not paying attention to a bad stat doesn't make one biased, it makes one reasonable.

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