Skip to main content

Give & Take

Following up on our look at the extent to which personal judgement might affect the compilation of the NHL's Extended Statistics, I bring you today a look at Giveaways and Takeaways. In a nutshell, the numbers seem to show once again that the level of Giveaways and Takeaways per game is primarily dependent on the site of the game, not the teams involved. Compared to the Missed Shot, Gives and Takes don't have much of a direct role relative to other hockey stats, in the sense that whether or not an official scorer calls something a Giveaway or a Takeaway doesn't impact the value of key stats such as Shots, Goals, Assists, or Saves. Nevertheless, if the NHL is going to publish statistics, it has an interest in ensuring valid data is being put out there, and what I'm seeing is a hodge-podge of data that defies logical explanation.

Within the following tables, the Road column shows a teams average events per game while on the road, Home shows the number for home games, and Visitors shows the value for other teams playing in their building. Let's start with Giveaways first...

So what is it about those Oilers fans that cause Edmonton to give the puck away three times as often on home ice? And gosh, is the ice so bad in Dallas that the puck hops away from players who can't control it? Jumping down to the bottom of this list, it seems like teams hardly give it up at all in Columbus or Chicago. When you look at how teams perform on the road (when they play in front of a myriad of official scorers), the numbers fall into a pretty tight range, with all but a few between 7 and 9 Giveaways per game. When you isolate the action down to a single official scorer, however (in the case of the Home and Visitors columns), the numbers go all over the place. The Visitors column helps isolate the official scorer's tendency even more, because we're basically seeing how they perform relative to a wide variety of teams (albeit facing a common opponent). The bottom line is that there is clearly some major differences in opinion as to what consitutues a Giveaway between scorers for the teams at the top and bottom of this table.

And now, the Takeaways...

Again, we have a similar story. At home, the Canadiens and Avalanche (and their visiting opponents) are borderline kleptomaniacs, but on the road, they fall right into line with the average value of 6.2 Takes per Game. Similarly, Takeaways are almost unheard of in Buffalo, Chicago and Pittsburgh. Buffalo and Pittsburgh are especially obvious problems when you see that their Road totals are two of the three best in the league, so the consensus opinion would seem to indicate they swipe the puck more than most.

It's truly unfortunate that we see such wide disparity in these numbers, based on the location of the game (and hence the official scorer involved). Some level of individual judgement is naturally expected, but the levels seen here too troubling to be ignored, and the NHL would be wise to address this, either by drafting and rolling out some standards (much like they do with refereeing) or by abolishing these stats altogether. In the past, I've done some pieces that I thought were pretty interesting, and while I knew the data to somewhat open to interpretation, the insight gleaned from relative values could still be useful. This look at things makes me doubt whether much use, if any, could be made out of using Giveaways and Takeaways at all, however. Unless anyone has some good suggestions, I think I'll hold off from using these stats in any future analysis...

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…

Get Your NHL Super Schedule 2008-9 Right Here!

Click here for the 2009-10 NHL Super Schedule, at my new site,!

The NHL announced the 2008-9 Regular Season schedule today, so of course, it's time right here to publish my very own NHL Super Schedule 2008-9 as well.

For those unfamiliar with what I did last year, the NHL Super Schedule is a spreadsheet that I put together and make publicly available via Google Documents*. It includes an entry for each game in each team's 82-game regular season schedule, with additional information such as how far that team has had to travel since its last game, how many days have passed since that previous game, and various statistics relative to the opponent that evening, such as 2007-8 Winning Percentage, Goals Per Game, Goals Against Per Game, etc. For example, you can total the distance that each team will travel during the upcoming season, or find who plays the most back-to-back games. Check out which team faces the toughest opposing offenses, or which power plays…