February 23 2015



My thoughts on NHL’s enhanced stats; Darling vs. Raanta; Sid and Gino awaken; more…


Those of you who dislike advanced stats, some to the point of resenting them, please excuse the next several paragraphs. Because if there is ever a time in which I devote a chunk of ramblings space to them, it’s today. As you know, the NHL launched their advanced stats section this weekend. And I guarantee you that fantasy leagues will now start using these as categories. It may take several years before the transition is complete, but this will happen with a couple of these stats.

The plus/minus statistic is dying. Soon to be dead. And it will be replaced by SAT (formerly known as Corsi). That’s probably the big one, though when chip technology is used to record skater speeds and collisions, the “hits” category will be considered unbiased and much more accurate. At that point hits will almost completely replace PIM in fantasy because there goes the No.1 argument against it.

But mostly, this is huge for fantasy hockey research. Not because the data is suddenly available – it’s been around for years. But because it’s now mainstream. So your competitors are going to look at it, if they weren’t doing that already.

You can find the NHL’s “enhanced stats” page here. The first section is “Skater Shooting”, which breaks down SAT (which was Corsi) and USAT (which was Fenwick). The second section is “Skater Percentages” which takes a look at situational SAT and USAT based on the scoreboard. The third section is “Skater Shooting/Time on Ice” which breaks the SAT and USAT down based on a standardized per 20 minutes, or per 60 minutes of ice time. The final section is “Skater Scoring”, which gives you SPSV% (which was PDO) and ZS% (Zone Starts), as well as first assist vs. second assist data. These numbers give you a nice picture of how the coach uses the players and in which situations, as well as how much ‘luck’ is involved in the stats.

Anyway, I’m not going to get into that stuff here, just make you aware of it. I’ve defined the terms plenty of times in my Fantasy Guides. The NHL does a great job of defining the terms here.

Our own Sheng Peng, who covers the Kings for us over at DobberProspects, had this interview with Chris Foster, who is in charge of digital business development, as well as Gary Bettman. Bettman was his usual “we know everything and have always done everything right” self, so interviewing him is pointless. Foster struck me as someone who is just the face of the project, and really didn’t have much to do with it at all (he claimed that Zone Starts was a new concept? Um…).

And then HockeyAnalysis.com’s David Johnson had this to say about the movement. I think Johnson was a little hard on the NHL, but was mostly bang on in his general thinking. The people who were d