Monthly archives for May, 2014

Defense Wins Championships (well . . . not really)

Below is this week's article for the Toronto Star, and at the bottom is a link to the pertinent regression results.  I think the article more or less speaks for itself, but I did want to add a couple of additional thoughts. First, even though the data set included all Finals and Semi-finals since 1980, it's still […]

The Star: Possession is 3/4 of the playoffs

One of the central battlegrounds between the fancy-stat set and hockey traditionalists is “puck possession.”  Most practitioners of hockey analytics believe that puck possession – as measured indirectly by stats that look at shot attempt differential – are powerful predictors of performance.  The traditionalists tend to focus more on such things as experience, grit, and […]

Possession and the Standings: Explaining the Playoffs

This week we looked at whether looking at a team’s possession numbers in the regular season (in conjunction with the regular season points) helped explain playoff performance. Even if you’re already sold on the importance of puck possession, it’s not obvious that this should be the case. Puck possession has already been established at being […]

The Crosby vs. Toews "Debate"

It probably went unnoticed by most fans, but Tuesday’s game 7 between the Penguins and Rangers was more than just a hockey game. It was nothing less than a culture war.   On the one side, there were the old school pundits. On Tuesday morning, Kevin Allen of USA Today was musing about the Penguins’ […]

Crosby and Malkin Together Again

FOREWARD:  Below is the article that ran in the Toronto Star this week. But I wanted to add just a little more discussion that wasn't included due to space limitations, but which I think it important to properly analyze the issue raised. First, although the article mentioned this, it's worth highlighting that Crosby and Malkin played […]