Sabrmetricizing Ain’t Easy!

A great explanation of sabrmetricians I found:     

“The questions that sabermetricians deal with in our
work are the same as the questions that are discussed
by sports columnists and by radio talk show hosts every
day. To the best of my knowledge, there is no difference
whatsoever in the underlying issues that we discuss. The
difference between us is very simple. Sportswriters always
or almost always begin their analysis with a position
on the issue. Sabermetricians always begin our analysis
with the question itself.”- Bill James

I put forth this quote as my excuse for not getting a new post out this weekend.  Well that, and too much turkey the past couple of days.  

I’ve been working on using Ryder’s player contribution data to answer the questions, “What is it that playoff teams do better than non-playoff teams?”, and “What is it that improves for non-playoff teams as they become playoff bound?”. 

By looking at each team’s offensive, defensive and goaltending contributions, along with the underlining situation play, I was hoping to uncover a golden nugget of two of wisdom.  And I still might, but I haven’t gotten anywhere meaningful as yet.

What I’ve done thus far is focus on the Western Conference and look back at the past three years.  I’ll keep plugging away and just leave you with a couple of interesting points which perhaps are me stating the obvious.

  1. Detroit is a bit unique for an elite team in that its success is not highly dependent upon their goalie.  The contribution from their offense and defense is such that they shouldn’t invest much money in a top level goalie.  And they certainly can’t be accused of that.
  2. Teams whose goalies have a really high player contribution from their goaltending yearly results fluctuate.  Nashville, Vancouver, Anaheim, Edmonton, LA Kings and Phoenix are in this group.  A high goalie contribution is typically the result of poor defensive play (or truly outstanding goalkeeping in Luongo’s case).  I was surprised that Anaheim appeared on this list given Niedemeyer, Pronger and crew over there.

 So I’ll keep plugging away and see if I can get anywhere.  It seems like my data set may be too small.  I’m also beginning to think there is about 6 recipes for success.  That might be good for the Oilers as perhaps we can identify specific areas to improve that might get them over the hump.

 I’ll leave you with a table for last season.  Bear in mind that Ryder multiplies each team’s points by a factor of 10 in his player contribution model.

 

  Offense Defense Goalie Total
Team        
San Jose

41%

43%

16%

1,171

Detroit

53%

40%

7%

1,120

Chicago

44%

38%

18%

1,040

Vancouver

40%

38%

22%

1,001

Calgary

47%

39%

14%

982

St Louis

40%

46%

14%

921

Columbus

36%

49%

14%

920

Anaheim

42%

41%

17%

909

Wild

31%

38%

31%

890

Nashville

34%

40%

26%

879

Edmonton

42%

31%

28%

850

Dallas

44%

43%

13%

830

LA Kings

32%

45%

23%

791

Phoenix

37%

53%

10%

790

Avs

35%

59%

6%

690

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2 Comments

Filed under Hockey

2 responses to “Sabrmetricizing Ain’t Easy!

  1. Thanks Noob. I’m aware of Timo’s site but hadn’t really mined it for gold as yet. Will check it out.

    Now that the turkey is finally wearing off, Ryder’s numbers are starting to make some sense. Hope to have more written by the weekend.

  2. Hockey Noob

    Over at the Ice Hockey Metrics (icehockeymetrics.com) blog by Timo Seppa, a Puck Prospectus author, he has developed an interesting metric called ESTR (even strength total rating). Like Ryder’s Player Contribution number, ESTR has offensive and defensive ratings. I’ve never taken the time to see how the two different metrics compare, but it might be interesting.

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