Skip to main content

Endorsements

Got any good books to recommend?

Greatest Hits from Working the Net:

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

It's Good To Be Home

Thanks to emailer Chris for another article inspiration:

I was telling my friend that hockey is one of the few [the only?] sports where the rules state that the home team gets an advantage -- line changes and face-offs. Since the home team gets to put their stick down last for a faceoff, does the home ice advantage help, hurt, or make no difference to the "good face off" men?
Besides hockey, certainly baseball rules give the home team an advantage by batting last, but outside of that, you're right, most sports do try and stay neutral in terms of home & visitor play. To answer Chris's question, I used the Game Summary files from the 2005-06 season, as well as the first 730 games of this season (give or take a couple games) to determine overall faceoff win percentages for the home and visiting team, broken down by location on the ice:

FO Win% 2005-06

VisHome
Offensive49.29%52.41%
Defensive47.59%50.71%
Neutral49.95%50.05%
Total49.00%51.00%


FO Win%, Current Season

VisHome
Offensive47.73%52.08%
Defensive47.92%52.27%
Neutral48.77%51.23%
Total48.19%51.81%


Interestingly, we do see a slight dominance by the home team here, that persists from one season to the next. Given an average of roughly 60 faceoffs per game, this translates into a couple extra draws per game being won by the home team. So, Chris, indeed, it seems like the home team does enjoy a benefit in the faceoff circle.

Before we get too excited, however, it should be noted that faceoffs don't seem to be hugely important through most of the game. Javageek over at Hockey Numbers demonstrated that "quick goals" (occuring within 8 seconds of a faceoff) are pretty rare, and I'd tend to agree with that analysis, as at least for a short while after a faceoff, players on the defensive side should be in good position (they haven't had time to make mistakes yet). What I really need to do is revive some of my prior FO work to look at actual shooting percentage versus what Shot Quality would predict. For example, Javageek notes that shooting percentage in the 8-second window is about half the norm, but if most of those shots are 50- to 60-foot slappers, that's not really out of line. I'll see if I can dig into that issue and provide an update in the next couple days...

Technorati Tags:

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…