Skip to main content


Got any good books to recommend?

Greatest Hits from Working the Net:

Harlow Salon - one of the very best hair salons in Nashville TN.

Fighting the Good Fight In Front of the Net

Before heading out for the Thanksgiving weekend, I wanted to leave a tasty treat for all of you to snack on - a look at rebound opportunities. Especially in a close game, working hard for those extra shots can make the difference between winning and losing, and the battle around the crease can be one of the most exciting aspects of the game.

My criteria here involves looking at shots that occur within 5 seconds of another shot, and are taken from 60 feet or less, without an intervening faceoff or other event. In his seminal Shot Quality paper, Alan Ryder uses the filter of 2 seconds, and a max shot distance of 25 feet. The difference here is that I'm not concerned with the goalie's ability to stop this rebound shot, I'm interested more in how often these events are occuring. For the purposes of Shot Quality (and a goalie's ability to make a save), a slapper from 50 feet should be the same whether it came off a faceoff win or whether an initial shot came in, and the rebound was picked up and fed back to the point. For this analysis here, however, I'm trying to figure out which teams are getting those "second shot" chances.

For the 2005-6 NHL Regular Season, I tallied 4,420 rebound shots, making for roughly 1.8 per team, per game. For 2006-7 (through last Sunday's games), I've got 753, which across the first 296 games yields only 1.3 per team, per game. Today, I'll post the Rebounds For numbers for this year and last, hopefully over the weekend I'll put up similar numbers for Rebounds Against.

The table below shows Rebounds For per game, for 2005-6 as well as the present season, and the difference between the two. Top performers in each category are shaded green, bottom-feeders are shaded pink. What we see here is that Colorado and Vancouver have markedly increased their rebound opportunities, while the San Jose Sharks, Ottawa Senators, and Florida Panthers have created much fewer than last season. At the bottom of the list, you have an indicator of how bad the Central Division is outside of Detroit and Nashville. St. Louis, Chicago, and Columbus garner the least rebound opportunities in the league, and for the Blue Jackets, the margin is pretty large. Perhaps a factor in Gerard Gallant's firing was that his boys just weren't winning (or fighting?) the battles in front to score those tough goals.

Click the image below to enlarge.

Popular posts from this blog

How I'm Trying To Make Money Sports Blogging

To kick off this series of articles general sports-blogging articles here at OTF Classic, I think it's best to start with a comment that Brad left here last week, after I shared my goals for 2012, which include specific revenue targets:
I considered diving into the world of internet marketing myself, but I felt that my friends would hate me for bugging them about stuff. I mean, it's pretty low-risk high-reward, so it's tempting. I wouldn't mind reading about tips on how to maximize impact of blogging in general to make it a legitimate income source. Trying to make money at sports blogging can be a very touchy subject - for the vast majority of us, this is an activity we pursue to both exercise our creativity and share our love of the game, whether it's hockey, football, badminton, whatever, with fellow fans. Mixing that personal conversation with a commercial message can turn people off, especially if it becomes too intrusive for the reader.

It's not unreasonabl…

Canadian Baloney, starring James Mirtle

A tireless refrain from the Canadian media is that Nashville is an absolute failure as a hockey market, and failing to move the team north of the border is an exercise in folly by the NHL.

Our latest exhibit comes from James Mirtle, usually one of the more thoughtful hockey bloggers extant:
But Nashville, quite simply, has proven it cannot sustain an NHL hockey team. Even with the lowest ticket prices in the entire league (I know: I've looked into flying there for a game or two) and a ridiculously forgiving arena lease, the team has had attendance issues despite having one of the best records in the league.

It's not a matter of Canadians not wanting teams in the southern U.S.; I've argued time and again in favour of teams like Dallas and Tampa Bay that have supported their teams and really brought something to the table in terms of bringing news fans and new energy to the game. That's a good thing.

The Predators, however, are not that, not in the beginning and certainly no…

Hooray for PythagenPuck

Back in November, around the quarter-mark of the NHL regular season, I wrote a piece looking at Expected Winning Percentages for each team, based on their Goals For/Goals Against ratio, using the PythagenPuck method as outlined in Alan Ryder's "Win Probabilities" article over at Hockey Analytics. Since we're approaching the end of the campaign, I thought it worth revisiting the two assertions I made back in November - that the Ottawa Senators were capable of getting back into the playoff race, and that the Boston Bruins were in danger of a freefall to the bottom of the standings.

Just to review, the basic idea behind win probability models like PythagenPuck is that over the course of a season, the Goals For and Goals Against numbers can be used to derive a team's winning percentage, within a a surprisingly narrow margin of error. For instance, if you only had GF/GA information, you could make a very good stab at projecting what the standings would look like. The w…