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Gretzky 88-89 Even Strength

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Old
11-13-2010, 03:21 AM
  #101
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Originally Posted by Cognition View Post
I think it's hilarious when people tell someone using really detailed, sober, contextual statistical analysis they're "just going by stats" when all they're going by themselves is point totals and awards
Statistics are great. But they tell us absolutely nothing useful unless interpreted correctly.

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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
But I don't think so - that's like saying a goalie is equally responsible for all the goals FOR while he was on the ice.

Gretzky did not play defense. Period. It wasn't his responsibility.
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
And to a large degree, most of the time, defensemen are more responsible for GA than forwards are.
I tend to agree.

I mean, your goalie example is obviously extreme, but I definitely agree that holding Gretzky as responsible for the goals against when he's on the ice as he is for the goals for when he's on the ice is... pretty suspect.

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11-13-2010, 03:33 AM
  #102
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Originally Posted by overpass View Post

I don't think it's reasonable to give Gretzky any credit for the goaltending improvement. Not that I think save percentage is entirely independent of skaters, but we're talking about a single offensive player here. That leaves about 15 standings points to attribute to Gretzky and any other changes to the team.

I just have to point out that I really disagree with this part. The presence of a Wayne Gretzky (who still scored 2+ points per game) is so profound that it entirely changes the way a team would play against the LA Kings. I think it's just as likely that Gretzky's presence helped the team save percentage significantly as it is that it didn't.

(I say this as someone who as always held that save % is largely team dependent).

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11-13-2010, 03:42 AM
  #103
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
there's really only 8 instances where it was truly an all-time great underperforming his team's goal differential, and the Hull, Stastny and Sakic ones can be mostly explained by Mikita, Goulet and Forsberg as off-ice comparables.

Leaving Yzerman in 1990, Lemieux in 1996, Gretzky in 1989 and 1994, and Perreault in 1976.
I'm not entirely sure, but I believe Francis, Nedved and Jagr mostly played together in that '96 season, leaving Lemieux with Sandstrom and Smolinski, so I think he might be another case of having an off-ice comparable. Though, he was also becoming more of a PP specialist at this point.

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11-13-2010, 04:01 AM
  #104
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Statistics are great. But they tell us absolutely nothing useful unless interpreted correctly.
I agree. But it's a much worse form of delusion when the counter-argument is "but everyone knows x player did y!"

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11-13-2010, 04:19 AM
  #105
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Originally Posted by Cognition View Post
I agree. But it's a much worse form of delusion when the counter-argument is "but everyone knows x player did y!"
I don't think it's bad when everyone who was actually watching hockey at the time does, in fact, know x player did y.

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11-13-2010, 04:28 AM
  #106
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I don't think it's bad when everyone who was actually watching hockey at the time does, in fact, know x player did y.
That's because they didn't have the use of these stats.

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11-13-2010, 04:48 AM
  #107
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Originally Posted by Regal View Post
I'm not entirely sure, but I believe Francis, Nedved and Jagr mostly played together in that '96 season, leaving Lemieux with Sandstrom and Smolinski, so I think he might be another case of having an off-ice comparable. Though, he was also becoming more of a PP specialist at this point.
This is correct, although Lemieux played more with Naslund than Smolinski at even strength.

Francis' mainly centered Jagr in '95, '96 and '98, and he was +67 in 202 games (at least +12 each year). Besides those four years, he was -77 in 1531 games, with a best of +13.

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11-13-2010, 05:14 AM
  #108
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I just have to point out that I really disagree with this part. The presence of a Wayne Gretzky (who still scored 2+ points per game) is so profound that it entirely changes the way a team would play against the LA Kings. I think it's just as likely that Gretzky's presence helped the team save percentage significantly as it is that it didn't.

(I say this as someone who as always held that save % is largely team dependent).
Seriously, we're going to credit Gretzky for the team's improved save percentage? Is he responsible for the sunshine too?

One reason could be about 1.6 more shots per game than in '88. However, if this was mainly due to a run and gun style with Gretzky, then wouldn't expect GAA to significantly decrease.

I would say part of the increase in save% would be due to Kelly Hrudey's 16 games (.873 w/o Hrudey in '89).

Many of the worst +/- players from '88 are no longer on the team in '89, including Carson -19, Erickson -14, Bourne -31, Hardy -27, Fox -7, McKenna (-14/30), and Paterson (-10/32).

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11-13-2010, 08:35 AM
  #109
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Originally Posted by Cognition View Post
I agree. But it's a much worse form of delusion when the counter-argument is "but everyone knows x player did y!"
If you think that is the only argument being used here you aren't comprehending very well.

Basically it boils down to we have other stats that show the team was much better after Gretzky's arrival and that Gretzky was scoring quite a bit at even strength as well.

The thing that is dragging him down is the new holy grail stat of HOH (r-on r-off) which includes a division by a factor that Gretzky is only 1/6 responsible for individually. I think we all agree he is responsible for a much greater percentage of the GF than the GA.

So on the one side of the discussion we have a statistic that is heavily influenced by a group effort being applied to an individual.

On the other we have the opinion of everyone who watched hockey during that time, a Hart trophy, Gretzky being 4th in even strength goal scoring in the league despite being primarily a playmaker, a big team improvement...

Which is more delusional again?

This in the same week as Gainey revisionism based on the same type of group statistic.. who is up on deck next?

I mean no one is claiming Gretzky was a defensive stalwart but basically if you believe the statistic.. you're telling me that the LA Kings were no better of with Gretzky than they were without him.

And that is obviously false! Reality check!

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11-13-2010, 11:12 AM
  #110
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I agree that Gretzky is more responsible for goals for than he is for goals against, but that doesn't explain why the Kings fared better while he was off the ice as opposed to on it at even strength. It might if the highest scoring seasons usually saw this happen, but we have already seen that this is not the case. It isn't as if the other skaters and the goaltender on the Kings suddenly became worse defensively when Gretzky stepped on the ice, so Gretzky has to be a considerable factor in why the ratio is relatively poor even though Gretzky scored so much.

Anyway, for those enlightened folks who see through the statistical smoke, can you please explain to me why the Kings fared worse when Gretzky was on the ice at even strength, and not much better?

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11-13-2010, 11:38 AM
  #111
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Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
I agree that Gretzky is more responsible for goals for than he is for goals against, but that doesn't explain why the Kings fared better while he was off the ice as opposed to on it at even strength. It might if the highest scoring seasons usually saw this happen, but we have already seen that this is not the case. It isn't as if the other skaters and the goaltender on the Kings suddenly became worse defensively when Gretzky stepped on the ice, so Gretzky has to be a considerable factor in why the ratio is relatively poor even though Gretzky scored so much.

Anyway, for those enlightened folks who see through the statistical smoke, can you please explain to me why the Kings fared worse when Gretzky was on the ice at even strength, and not much better?
It's strange this is being looked at in a vacuum.
Take away Gretzky and that line is still going to be scored on a lot, only without the goals for.
IE. It's a •lot• better with Gretzky.

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11-13-2010, 11:58 AM
  #112
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Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
can you please explain to me why the Kings fared worse when Gretzky was on the ice at even strength, and not much better?
I would say it was because of the considerations that Gretzky played about 30-33 minutes a game and the Kings' depth played quite well (no doubt helped mainly by Gretzky's presence in more ways than just the on ice ones), especially Nicholls who scored a ton while not playing with Gretzky on the ice (he was going to have a breakout season much better than his usual 95-100 point pace without Gretzky anyway).

Gretzky was not only facing the other teams best checkers but going head to head with the top scoring lines as it was quite common to have the "you score 3 we score 4" mentality with the best offensive players. The Kings without Gretzky on the ice very likely got easier match ups both defensively and offensively and did quite well.

As mentioned before, Gretzky had much more of an effect on the success of the Kings than just on ice considerations. Not only do the rest of the Kings benefit just from having Gretzky at practice and in the locker room, but the expectations on the franchise just changed when Gretzky arrived.

There is no doubt that the Kings would have improved had Gretzky not played a single game that season, and yet a large part of that is due to the presence of Gretzky.

I don't doubt that Gretzky had lost a step (probably two) as a player by that point. Even in his last two seasons in Edmonton he was a 185 point player and not a 210 point player and it wasn't only due to the fact that the league had tightened up by 1986-1987 and the Oilers themselves were less run and gun.

Still, as an even strength player alone Gretzky was definitely top 3 in 1988-1989, which is exactly what he was as an overall player.

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11-13-2010, 12:27 PM
  #113
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
Seriously, we're going to credit Gretzky for the team's improved save percentage? Is he responsible for the sunshine too?

One reason could be about 1.6 more shots per game than in '88. However, if this was mainly due to a run and gun style with Gretzky, then wouldn't expect GAA to significantly decrease.

I would say part of the increase in save% would be due to Kelly Hrudey's 16 games (.873 w/o Hrudey in '89).

Many of the worst +/- players from '88 are no longer on the team in '89, including Carson -19, Erickson -14, Bourne -31, Hardy -27, Fox -7, McKenna (-14/30), and Paterson (-10/32).
If Gretzky's team playing differently had a possible effect on sunshine, then yes I'd say that Gretzky had a possible effect on sunshine.

Seriously, I sometimes get the feeling that everyone here has played a little too much video game hockey, where goalies are basically islands on themselves, stopping a certain percentage of shots, independent of the way their team plays.

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Old
11-13-2010, 01:02 PM
  #114
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
It's strange this is being looked at in a vacuum.
Take away Gretzky and that line is still going to be scored on a lot, only without the goals for.
IE. It's a •lot• better with Gretzky.

Right. And without Gretzky on his line, the other lines that supposedly "outperform" his line would a lot more attention, hurting their performances.

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11-13-2010, 03:24 PM
  #115
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
If Gretzky's team playing differently had a possible effect on sunshine, then yes I'd say that Gretzky had a possible effect on sunshine.

Seriously, I sometimes get the feeling that everyone here has played a little too much video game hockey, where goalies are basically islands on themselves, stopping a certain percentage of shots, independent of the way their team plays.
Do you have any evidence that a player can influence the save percentage of the goaltender behind him, relative to his teammates?

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11-13-2010, 04:08 PM
  #116
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Do you have any evidence that a player can influence the save percentage of the goaltender behind him, relative to his teammates?
By helping to reduce high percentage shots (covering passing lanes, preventing breakaways), clearing rebounds and not taking penalties.

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11-13-2010, 05:51 PM
  #117
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
By helping to reduce high percentage shots (covering passing lanes, preventing breakaways), clearing rebounds and not taking penalties.
I asked for evidence, not a listing of the putative mechanisms through which such an effect could be achieved.

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11-13-2010, 05:54 PM
  #118
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I asked for evidence, not a listing of the putative mechanisms through which such an effect could be achieved.
Youtube or it didn't happen!

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11-13-2010, 09:24 PM
  #119
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Originally Posted by Irato99 View Post
BraveCanadian explains exactly why it's irrelevant to compare r-on/r-off stats within a team.
Except it's far from irrelevant. As long as everyone's clear the intention is to discuss even strength play.

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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
How many players have scored the equivalent of 168 Pts in 1989 and played any defense whatsoever?
The only answer is perhaps Gordie Howe and Yzerman in 89.
What you just outlined is that perhaps there's a systematic issue with the way we get wowed by high offensive numbers without considering everything. We're so quick to say that a 150-point season is better than a 120-point season but if one guy was 120GF/120GA at even strength, and the other was 100GF/50GA then it should be clear which one was helping the team more. There are plenty of examples of players who were top-3 in scoring and made a huge difference in their team's even strength goal differential. Gretzky's 1988-89 is not one of them.


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Since when did Gretzky help in any way in regards to GA??? He certainly did not in Edmonton.
Of course it was his wings and defensemen (and goalie) to focus more on GA.
We've already established that the goalies and defensemen are equally culpable no matter which forwards are on the ice.

If Gretzky did not help in any way in regards to GA, how does this help his case? This is exactly what the numbers indicate! It's an indictment of him that his offensive style probably led to more goals against. not every star forward had this problem.


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Ok, so what?
He scored 168 pts that year, on a crappy team.
What coach in the world was going to tell Gretzky to start backchecking when he had never done it in his career? Wouldn't it make more sense to play him with linemates that were capable of it, like in Edmonton?
I already said it might have been a coaching issue.

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So your contention is Gretzky was defensively responsible in Edmonton, right?
Anyone who watched the Oilers during that time will simply laugh at that suggestion.
So Gretzky was not good defensively at all. I agree.

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wingers, defensemen and goalie - ie. Those responsible for GA, which Gretzky was clearly not. Unless you have examples of offensive stars with 160+ points making any difference whatsoever on defense.
Wouldn't that discussion be limited to just two players?

Gretzky and Lemieux rarely made an impact on goals against, but they both had a bevy of better even strength seasons than Gretzky's 1988-89 season. By this standard, it was piss-poor.


Quote:
I'm just still looking for any evidence Gretzky ever played defense.
He didn't.
In your statistics, why on earth was he so much more efficient in Edmonton?
Are you really trying to imply he was playing defense in Edmonton?
In both situations he was the best player on the strongest line on the team. You have to admit that his off-ice comparables were much, much stronger in edmonton, but he outperformed them to a very high degree there.

Even if his zero backchecking remains a constant, time spent in the offensive zone can make a big difference. If he wasn't able to always keep the opposition pinned then there would be more occasions where they manage a rush back the other way.

Why is it so hard to believe he was no longer as efficient an even-strength player anymore?

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So you believe Ovechkin makes a significant impact on GA while he is on the ice?
Of course he doesn't - the only area he directly affects is GF.
Not true. You can't get scored on when you have the puck. Jagr had the same convenient affliction.

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
You're saying some controversial pretty things in this post...

1) Hockey is a game played by human beings, and human psychology can't completely be captured by mathematics.

2) Hockey is a team game, and each player isn't playing on an island where a fancy formula can perfectly capture every aspect of his personal performance.

I'm sure this post isn't going to be very popular among a certain crowd....


You, of all people.

Yeah, the "usual suspects" are in here to dogpile seventieslord when they see the opportunity. But you are smart enough to understand that these numbers do indicate something. Exactly what, is still in discussion. But there's no ned for your backhanded comments.

seriously, when overpass (who is the last to draw any conclusions from numbers and back them with any fervor, whose M.O. is usually present stats, disclaim, disclaim, analyze, then disclaim some more) is in this thread refuting most of the claims that Gretzky had some sort of magical impact on the team, it should be an eye-opener.

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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
Correct me if I am wrong, but Seventies, are you actually implying the 89 Kings would have been better off without Gretzky? Or at least on a similar level?

As well as those Lemiuex/Yzerman/Perreault teams?
No. That's impossible. Mainly because tougher competition can explain at least some of any on/off discrepancy. And we know for sure that they all faced the toughest defensive competition.

However, what is entirely arguable, is that these players, in the ways that they were used by their teams that year, weren't extremely beneficial at even strength, especially when compared to what other stars of their ilk were able to do.

I'd apply the same logic to the Perreault and Yzerman seasons, not so much with Lemieux as the below quoted post appears to explain it. Lemieux had an off-ice comparable that was arguably already as good as him.

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Originally Posted by Regal View Post
I'm not entirely sure, but I believe Francis, Nedved and Jagr mostly played together in that '96 season, leaving Lemieux with Sandstrom and Smolinski, so I think he might be another case of having an off-ice comparable. Though, he was also becoming more of a PP specialist at this point.
You're right. This explains 1996 better.


Last edited by seventieslord: 11-13-2010 at 10:53 PM.
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11-13-2010, 09:34 PM
  #120
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This in the same week as Gainey revisionism based on the same type of group statistic.. who is up on deck next?
Actually, that's not the same at all. After adjusting for an inordinate number of ENG, Gretzky did outperform his team slightly. (though not to a degree near what other top-3 scorers did over the years) - This is currently being discussed and debated to uncover why. In other words, it could be situational, and almost certainly is to at least a small degree.

The Gainey/Ramsay debate involves a player with better strictly defensive stats than another, and any discussion of the situations the two players were in, favours the player with the better stats (with the exception of rink size)

If you have a problem with that statement, take it to the appropriate thread.

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Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
I agree that Gretzky is more responsible for goals for than he is for goals against, but that doesn't explain why the Kings fared better while he was off the ice as opposed to on it at even strength.
just a correction here, we did adjust for ENG and it benefitted Gretzky a bit.

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Originally Posted by poise View Post
I would say it was because of the considerations that Gretzky played about 30-33 minutes a game
GF/GA figures indicate it was about 26.

Besides, (and I realize you're getting to this discussion late), should the icetime make a major difference? If you increase your icetime by 20%, you'll probably score 20% more and allow 20% more. Same ratio.

Quote:
especially Nicholls who scored a ton while not playing with Gretzky on the ice
Was Nicholls so good that Gretzky shouldn't have been expected to outscore him by more than he did? Also, the two apparently played together at even strength for at least some time this season.

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Gretzky was not only facing the other teams best checkers but going head to head with the top scoring lines as it was quite common to have the "you score 3 we score 4" mentality with the best offensive players.
Then he should have outscored these players by more than he did. After all - he's Gretzky and they're not. Right?

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11-13-2010, 09:41 PM
  #121
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Seriously, I sometimes get the feeling that everyone here has played a little too much video game hockey, where goalies are basically islands on themselves, stopping a certain percentage of shots, independent of the way their team plays.
Can't speak for CYM, but I've unfortunately had enough time in my life in the last 6 years to play maybe 10 games of video game hockey. (except when I get old friends to come over and get drunk and we break out Genesis NHL '97 but that is in no way an attempt at an accurate representation of an NHL game, and manual goalie is mandatory, and we go diving around everywhere so the goalies are far from islands)

Aside from my duties as a husband, father and employee, all I do is play, watch, study, analyze, and discuss hockey. Playing video game hockey would simply take away from some of the above, and that just can't happen.

As far as Gretzky affecting sv% is concerned, if there's any truth to his presence having an impact on a team's sv%, then it stands to reason that the Oilers goalies would see their sv% drop by a similar degree when he left.

they went from .880 as a team, to .876, basically maintaining their performance.

Or was this "residual Gretzky effect"?


Last edited by seventieslord: 11-13-2010 at 10:49 PM.
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11-13-2010, 09:49 PM
  #122
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
What you just outlined is that perhaps there's a systematic issue with the way we get wowed by high offensive numbers without considering everything. We're so quick to say that a 150-point season is better than a 120-point season but if one guy was 120GF/120GA at even strength, and the other was 100GF/50GA then it should be clear which one was helping the team more. There are plenty of examples of players who were top-3 in scoring and made a huge difference in their team's even strength goal differential. Gretzky's 1988-89 is one of them.
i think it is not clear, unless they are in very similar circumstances.

if 120GF/120GA was for a team with terrible goaltending and D, being neutral would be very good.

100GF/50GA on a team with great goaltending and D may not be as impressive.

guy lafleur (during his peak) and marcel dionne (in certain seasons) may be actual examples of this.


but usually you have been comparing them to their teammates.

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11-13-2010, 10:22 PM
  #123
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Besides, (and I realize you're getting to this discussion late), should the icetime make a major difference? If you increase your icetime by 20%, you'll probably score 20% more and allow 20% more. Same ratio.
Again, not true in the real world in general because it doesn't take into account the situations that he played that ice time in or the competition it was against!

In the ivory tower of perfection for simple math you'd be right: ie. if each line of the team played the same proportion of their icetimes in the same situations and against the same levels of competition as every other line on the team .. but that simply isn't the case.

As an example, if Gretzky plays 20% more and his "regular" linemates don't (they didn't, he double shifted a lot), we've introduced another bunch of variables like "who was he playing with the other 20% of the time?" and "what situations were those extra minutes played in?" and "who were those minutes played against?"

The "expected" goals for and "expected" goals against in different situations, even at even strength, would vary a lot.

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11-13-2010, 10:32 PM
  #124
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post


You, of all people.

Yeah, the "usual suspects" are in here to dogpile seventieslord when they see the opportunity. But you are smart enough to understand that these numbers do indicate something. Exactly what, is still in discussion. But there's no ned for your backhanded comments.

seriously, when overpass (who is the last to draw any conclusions from numbers and back them with any fervor, whose M.O. is usually present stats, disclaim, disclaim, analyze, then disclaim some more) is in this thread refuting most of the claims that Gretzky had some sort of magical impact on the team, it should be an eye-opener.
That's funny, because one of the caveats that overpass did mention in his adjusted plus minus thread that featured r-on and r-off was that it was important to compare players playing in a similar role to minimize the affect of all the variables that the raw stats simply ignore (and are not measured currently in any way and frankly would be very difficult to try to).

Again, this is the most likely reason that Gretzky didn't perform how you may have expected using the metric you chose. You are comparing different lines playing different situations and competition. You aren't using the right tool for the job.

As usual, the caveats are ignored, and the simple single number at the end becomes the gospel truth on HOH even though it is derived from a raw statistic that doesn't even remotely measure individual performance.

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11-13-2010, 10:46 PM
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seventieslord
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nik jr View Post
i think it is not clear, unless they are in very similar circumstances.

if 120GF/120GA was for a team with terrible goaltending and D, being neutral would be very good.

100GF/50GA on a team with great goaltending and D may not be as impressive.

guy lafleur (during his peak) and marcel dionne (in certain seasons) may be actual examples of this.


but usually you have been comparing them to their teammates.
Correct, I've been comparing them to teammates, so that would eliminate almost any D or goaltending discrepancies.

You are right that 120/120 could be more impressive in the right situation. I should have been clear and added "all things being relatively equal".

Quote:
Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
Again, not true in the real world in general because it doesn't take into account the situations that he played that ice time in or the competition it was against!
Well, we're talking about even strength only, so that handles the situation part. And he was a 26 minute player which means that generally half the time he was on the ice. Let's not pretend he didn't see a good spattering of all sorts of situations.

I've already said a ton about competition. Of course he faced the hardest. So did all the other 128 top-3 scorers since 1968, and most did better from a goal differential standpoint.

Quote:
As an example, if Gretzky plays 20% more and his "regular" linemates don't (they didn't, he double shifted a lot), we've introduced another bunch of variables like "who was he playing with the other 20% of the time?" and "what situations were those extra minutes played in?" and "who were those minutes played against?"
Yeah, so why does he allow more goals against per minute than this revolving cast of wingers? If there's a guy who played half the time with Gretzky and half the time with others, and his average is .06 goals against per minute and Gretzky's is .09 per minute, logically, he had to have been getting scored on more with Gretzky than otherwise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
That's funny, because one of the caveats that overpass did mention in his adjusted plus minus thread that featured r-on and r-off was that it was important to compare players playing in a similar role to minimize the affect of all the variables that the raw stats simply ignore (and are not measured currently in any way and frankly would be very difficult to try to).
You mean how I am comparing top-3 scorers to eachother? And how they performed in goal differential in relation to their teams full of NHL-caliber players, generally featuring a proportional number of stars, good players, mediocre players and scrubs?

Quote:
Again, this is the most likely reason that Gretzky didn't perform how you may have expected using the metric you chose. You are comparing different lines playing different situations and competition. You aren't using the right tool for the job.
Except this "tool" seems to show that many, many other players throughout history did better by ths metric.

Quote:
As usual, the caveats are ignored, and the simple single number at the end becomes the gospel truth on HOH even though it is derived from a raw statistic that doesn't even remotely measure individual performance.
I missed the part where Bobby Clarke ever had a 0.5 Ratio or where Alexandre Daigle was ever at 2.0... clearly it does measure individual performance to some degree. The best players show up at the top and the worst players show up at the bottom!

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