23 January 2010
The concept (for newcomers and the forgetful) - take any word or phrase from the dictionary, add/subtract/change one letter, supply new definition. Et voilà, as José Theodore would say (four or five times a game).
Ballard - wild duck, as in manoeuvre performed by goalies in Florida to avoid stick-swinging team-mates
Carcilogen - dangerous substance or agent that tends to cause invasive and destructive disease
Carnivoros - characterised by destructive or predatory behaviour, exhibited by players having the fortune to face the Rangers' #34 in a fight
Demonsterate - to present by experiments, examples or practical application that a terrible defense does not help the statistics of Swedish rookie goalies
Inaugeration - formal induction of a player in the official bad books of all NHL officials
Make It Steven - media campaign instigated by Jim Balsillie, designed to promote the repatriation of Mr Stamkos to southern Ontario from the hands of evil sun-belt franchise
Payn threshold - the upper limit of John Davidson's tolerance for Andy Murray's coaching
Reddline - to discriminate against by refusing to make significant financial commitment to, as practiced by 29 NHL GMs
Redd line - stationary marker on a hockey rink, not featuring in the offensive and defensive zones
War broom - implement used by NHL Hockey Operations department to sweep controversy under the carpet
3 January 2010
As a pretty insignificant follow-up to the Best of the Decade series of analyses on the excellent Behind The Net, today's endlessly fascinating set of figures looks at the WPEF rankings over the last decade of (regular season) play in the NHL. As per those analyses, I've taken "decade" to mean the all games from the start of the 1999/2000 season through to the end of 2009 (plus a couple of games in 2010...because I was late starting on this).
[For the full, more-complicated-than-it-needs-to-be explanation behind WPEF, follow the LINK to the original blog on this.]
As a simplified explanation, WPEF (Weighted Point Efficiency Factor) is a measure of how well a player scores points taking into account:
- Number of minutes that player gets to play
- How those minutes and the points the player gets are split between even-strength, powerplay and short-handed situations (PP points being less valuable or well-earned than ES points, which are in turn less valuable than SH points)
The list below shows the ranking of all players with a WPEF in the decade of 0.65 or above (as a fairly arbitrary cut off point). I've excluded anyone who played fewer than 82 games over the period – it gets a bit distorted for low points, low minutes players.
The usual caveat - it's not perfect or complex by any means, but gives a pretty decent picture of a few players who picked up the tougher points with relatively limited minutes though.
- Although there have been several examples of players having an individual season with a WPEF above 1.00 (the best individual seasons from 1997/98 through 2007/08 are helpfully illustrated HERE), nobody managed to maintain it above 1.00 for the whole decade, though Peter Forsberg came especially close.
- As you might expect, the top end of the list is dominated by star offensive players. Where the single-season lists occasionally highlight relatively strong offensive performances from a few role players who don't receive as much ice-time (especially on the PP), sustaining this over several years seems unlikely (perhaps showing the performance to be anomalous in the player's career or the player develops into more of a star offensive player over time).
- Noticeable that several of the better offensive talents who have only been in the league two or three years make the list - will they sustain this as they get more playing time?
- Vladimir Tsyplakov receives due recognition for being the highest-ranked oddity, though his performance was barely over one season in the decade. Though if Rich Peverley drops off the NHL radar as quickly and unexpectedly as he emerged, he could arguably steal that award.
2 January 2010
[Looking for more up-to-date figures? For my latest update, try HERE.]
This is my third look for the 2009/10 regular season - and we're now roughly at the mid-point - at which teams have been hit hardest by injuries by trying to place a value on the games missed by players due to injury/illness.
(The corresponding analysis as at the end of November 2009 can be viewed HERE.)
The concept again - multiply each game missed by a player by his 2009/10 cap charge, then take the aggregate of these figures for each team and divide by 82. This indicator of value lost to a team by injury/illness is called CHIP (Cap Hit of Injured Players).
Yes, I'm still doing the extra bit ...
As last month, for a different indicator of player "value", I've also illustrated a similar metric based on TOI/G alongside the CHIP numbers.
While acknowledging cap charge is a less than perfect measure of player, with a number of limitations and inconsistencies, I'm not totally sold on TOI/G as being any better overall (Tom Poti is more valuable to the Capitals than Alex Ovechkin. Discuss.) - it does provide a decent comparison and the results do vary from the CHIP rankings somewhat.
A quick summary of the new metric:
- TOI/G (through games played on 31 December) replaces cap charge as the measure of value in the calculation
- For goalies, TOI/G has been worked out as Total Minutes Played / Games Dressed For - i.e. a goalie playing every minute of 75% of the games, zero in the rest, would end up with a TOI/G of 45 minutes (or close to it, once you factor in OT and so on)
- This arguably overstates the worth of starting goalies somewhat, but it's simple and you could equally argue that a workhorse goalie is the hardest position to replace, so it's fair for them to have a much higher TOI/G figure
- Where a player hasn't played all year (e.g. Pavol Demitra, Mike Van Ryn) or where a player fairly clearly has a reduced TOI/G figure due to getting injured in their only game or one of very few games (Kurt Sauer), I've used TOI/G from last season (or further back if necessary)
- For each player, multiply games missed by TOI/G to get (for a more palatable name) Cumulative Minutes of Injured Player (CMIP)
- Take the aggregate of CMIP for the team and divide by games played by the team to arrive at AMIP (Average Minutes of Injured Players) - it feels more understandable expressing this metric as an average per game (whereas CHIP is a running total)
The table below shows:
- Total CHIP for each team over the first three months of the 2009/10 regular season (through games played on 31 December)
- The player who has contributed most to the team's CHIP figure
- The number of players with a CHIP contribution of over $250,000 (think of it as being equivalent to a $1m player missing 20 games or a $4m player missing five games)
- Movement in CHIP ranking since 30 November
- AMIP for each team over the same period (e.g. an AMIP of 40:00 could be seen as the team missing two 20-minute per game players for every game this season)
10 second analysis...
The Oilers have now forged "ahead" in the standings pretty significantly. While Vancouver's problems have eased somewhat with the return of Daniel Sedin, Edmonton has continued to rack up the cap hit and minutes lost, with the long-term absences of Hemsky and Pisani being added to by Khabibulin's injury throughout December.
Injuries to several big names on the Red Wings roster see them take over second place. I hear Chris Chelios is still available...
Again, inflated AMIP numbers relative to the CHIP ranking can largely be attributed to where starting goalies have been out for the whole year (or a significant period). And I can confirm that calling Lehtonen and DiPietro "starting" goalies did indeed win the 2009 Nobel Prize for Use of an Oxymoron.
The next lists are the top 30 individual CHIP and CMIP contributions:
Markov's return should see his lead of the CHIP race end soon (provided he doesn't get a bad back from bending over to pat the heads of his team-mates after every goal). Again, goalies dominate more on the CMIP basis.
- Figures include (and are arguably distorted by) some players on long-term IR, such as Mike Rathje (there’s a fair argument that Rathje shouldn’t be on here, since I can’t imagine he’ll either play again or that the Flyers are missing him - and his TOI/G number from 1973/74 when he last played is clearly overstating his value a touch). They do exclude a few minor-leaguers who are or had been on the NHL club’s IR since pre-season
- There are undoubtedly a few inaccuracies and inconsistencies in there - I did the best I could with the information out there. Some corrections are picked up month-to-month too
- The cap figure doesn't really correlate very well to the "worth" of a player in some cases, e.g. where rookie bonuses are included this year, where players are seeing out an old (underpaid or rookie) contract or where players are horrendously overpaid
- Also, for any player who was acquired on re-entry waivers (e.g. Sean Avery, Randy Jones), the cap hit will only reflect that for their current team, i.e. 50% of the player’s full cap hit (shared between his current and old teams)
- I've once again stuck a full team-by-team listing of games missed and CHIP/CMIP numbers by each player on the web HERE
- Injury/games/TOI info courtesy of tsn.ca and nhl.com
- Cap info courtesy of hockeybuzz.com and capgeek.com