Momentum Matters

By IJay Palansky and Phil Curry In sixteen NHL cities that aren’t Toronto, much of the talk over the past few weeks has been about the “momentum” each team carries into the playoffs. During lulls in the game when color commentators are desperate for something passably intelligent to say, they trot out the good ol’ clichés about how either the [...]

Coming in Hot: More on Momentum and t...

This week we looked at whether there was anything behind the common claim that teams need to go into the playoffs playing well. There are actually several ways one could examine this problem, some of which unfortunately suffered from a lack of data. Ideally, I think we would have liked to look at a team’s “fundamentals” over the last several [...]

The Mythical President’s Trophy...

With NHL playoffs coming up next week, fans and players alike are ready to channel their nervous excitement in weird and interesting ways.   I’m not talking something boring like a standard-issue playoff beard. Or watching the game from your “lucky chair”.   I’m imagining something along the lines of former Ottawa Senator Bruce Gard [...]

Nonis’ Clarkson Catastrophe

July 5, 2013:  The Toronto Maple Leafs sign David Clarkson to a 7 year, $36,750,000 contract. November 2013:  Dave Nonis comments that “people run with these [advanced hockey] stats like they’re something we should pay attention to and make decisions on, and as of right now, very few of them are worth anything to us.” If Nonis had “paid atten [...]

More on the Hit Parade: The Good Stuf...

There were a couple of requests to see more about the regressions that were run. So here it is. First, I should mention that the kind of regression that is run is called a probit regression. The variable we’re trying to explain is wins, so it can only take on two values – 1 if a team wins the game, or 0 if it doesn’t. (Note that we are [...]

The Hit Parade: More on the Relations...

This week’s Star column looked at the relationship between hitting and winning. Several articles have already been written on this topic in the advanced stats community, but somehow the analyses generally seem to fall short in what seemed like a rather obvious way. This piece set out to correct this oversight. This week, I need to mention tha [...]

The Department of Hockey Analytics on...

A few weeks ago we were interviewed with Darryl Metcalf from extraskater.com on The War Room with Mick Kern and Peter Berce on the NHL Network on SiriusXM.  You can listen to a recording of the interview here:

Why Some Guys Miss the Net More Often

In today’s Toronto Star article (http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/2014/03/20/alex_ovechkin_a_perfect_example_of_why_the_nhls_shooting_percentage_is_flawed.html), I talked about Sh% and why it doesn’t tell us enough about how good players are at turning scoring opportunities into goals.  Specifically, I pointed out that Sh% excludes shots [...]

Living Large and in the Past: More on...

This week’s piece in The Star looked at the effect (if any) of a player’s size on his own performance and that of his teammates. Unfortunately, space constraints prevented us from going into as much detail as we would have liked. To that end, I would like to give a more thorough explanation of what we did. I have tried to write this up in a m [...]

Do NHL trade deadline deals actually ...

It’s trade deadline time, and fans of middling teams are no doubt dreaming of a shining knight who will ride into town and inspire the team President to dust off his long abandoned Stanley Cup parade map.   But do deadline acquisitions actually work, or is adding a key part now like trying to fix a plane mid flight?   Or maybe athle [...]