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Here’s another story about how a hockey team is using analytics to try and win more hockey games

Jul 31, 2014, 1:18 PM EDT

Jim Nill, Tom Gaglardi, Jim Lites AP

A lot of you are probably getting tired of reading stories about hockey and so-called “advanced statistics.” But remember that how you perform when you’re tired is when you really find out what you’re made of, so here’s another story. Push yourself!

From the Dallas Morning News, on the Stars’ efforts to effectively analyze data under general manager Jim Nill:

Nill and his staff now use a computer program that does the work of at least 100 college students: it measures Corsi, giveaways/takeaways, scoring chances and a host of other stats. After each game, the coaching staff reviews the numbers then goes back to the film and tracks its own stats to look for any discrepancies.

At this point, most fans just want to know that their favorite team has entered the data age and isn’t relying solely on eyeballs to make player-personnel decisions. No, stats aren’t everything in hockey. But in 2014, they’ve grown to become something. And 10 years from now, they’ll be even more something. So you’d better keep up.

Besides, as Nill says, it’s “a lot easier to make a decision” when you have numbers to back it up.


Babcock on analytics: ‘I love the information’

Leafs hire 28-year-old stats advocate as assistant GM

Awareness of analytics a necessity for new NHL executives

  1. nyrnashty - Jul 31, 2014 at 1:31 PM


    You can stick your Fenwick up your Corsi.

    These stats are dumb and really don’t help you judge players. Any coach/assiatant coach/front office people can tell if a player sucks or not, I don’t need Jimmy from down the block telling me after the game that one of my players misses the net alot, or how many giveaways/takeaways he’s responsible for, it’s pretty easy.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 31, 2014 at 7:47 PM

      And I suppose you like smashmough, “3 yards and a cloud of dust” football as well.

  2. JoeAvg - Jul 31, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    Nice Bob McKenzie clip on NHL teams and advanced statistics.

    • rbbbaron - Jul 31, 2014 at 2:27 PM

      Good stuff. Corsi and Fenwick and the rest aren’t terribly “advanced”, they’re just basic possession metrics. It’d be interesting to get some more insight into which type of metrics the different clubs are using (of course they’re going to keep that safeguarded as long as they can).

  3. rbbbaron - Jul 31, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    The article isn’t so much about the use of the metrics themselves as it is about measurement error (“How reliable is the information?”). Measurement error will be reduced with better technology; once the reliability of the measurement is assured, then it becomes a question of the metrics– how they’re used and what their significance is.

  4. endusersolutions2013 - Jul 31, 2014 at 7:48 PM

    And of course, corsi has goten more “advanced”, such as Rel Corsi COQ (quality of competition).

  5. guitarhunterdude - Jul 31, 2014 at 10:30 PM

    I find it kind of funny that things like Corsi and Fenwick are called “advanced,” let alone “metrics.” It’s simply a modified shot differential; true “metrics” (to me at least) are formulas that assign value to various player stats based on how each of those stats is determined to contribute to a win. Things like Win Shares, PER, or RAPM in basketball, or (a combination of metrics) WAR in baseball. I’d imagine many teams have similar, in-house, metrics developed already, and the greater (public) hockey community will soon have some as well. Being a big stat nerd, I find that refreshing; hockey’s been behind the statistics curve for quite some time, and I’m happy to see the sport gaining some ground in that regard.

  6. blomfeld - Aug 1, 2014 at 2:10 AM

    ‘The pigs who are few will feed there gluttony with the stupidity of the masses’ … Josef Stransky

    FU DATA MAN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Okay all of you ‘smart-assed’ Babcock lovers, ask yourselves this. Aside from my lone ‘good’ self, exactly how many of you ‘pro data’ losers predicted last September that the LA Kings would prevail as Stanley Cup champs ? LOL ! Of course we know that the answer to that question is ‘zero’ ! Regardless, the bottom line is that the average ‘healthy’ human brain ‘augmented’ by a set of five ‘functioning’ senses (ie: sight, feel, hearing, taste and smell) is ‘infinitely’ more powerful than ‘any or all’ of the world’s most advanced computers and analytics combined ! What Babcock and these idiots in Dallas are offering is no different than some ‘two-bit’ Arab trader in Cairo back in 468 BC, who’s trying to sell a three-headed camel ‘who sings like Elvis’ to some poor & innocent passerby ! Truly pathetic … yet as we humans go, quite expected … 😦

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