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.

Let's go to the phones

Now that the bulk of the free agent signings are behind us, and we face a dearth of hockey news leading up to the beginning of training camps, I'm working on formalizing the data that I use into fixed database structures, rather than the ad-hoc spreadsheets I've been using previously. While I'm doing that, I wanted to poll ye dwellers of this vast connection of tubes called the Internet and get your thoughts:

When it comes to statistical analysis, what areas of the game do you think deserve more attention?

My research assistant is standing by!

Remember that I can only deal with the information publicly available, so while it would be neat to know "time on attack" or "successful pass percentage" information, to my knowledge it doesn't exist in any public forum. To jump-start your brain cells, here are a couple things I'm thinking of:

1) Look at team performance in the period of time after individual players take a Fighting major, to see if there is any verifiable "momentum" endowed on a team when particular players fight as opposed to others. Lots of people assume such a boost exists, but can we identify it?

2) Back-testing the PythagenPuck model that was used in November to predict that the Senators would end up alright despite their sub-.500 record at the time, and determine at what time it starts to become a reliable gauge of a team's prospects. Is it 10 games? 15 games? 20?

3) Back-testing the playoff prediction model I used this spring to see if some of the parameters can be tweaked to make it more accurate, and also see how it might have performed during the regular season.

So please, fire away in the comments and let me know where you think the spotlight should be directed...

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…

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…

Where are my tickets, Mr. Holland?

While working on a piece about the 10th anniversary of the great Colorado/Detroit game at Joe Louis Arena, I caught myself reflecting on some of the great games I've had the fortune of seeing in Detroit during the 1990's, through a variety of means. Then another thing came to mind - when I'm in attendance, the Red Wings win. I'm on a huge personal winning streak here, so perhaps the Red Wings front office would want to bolster their chances during the upcoming playoffs and make sure I'm in the house for those critical games? I can make myself available...

June 4, 1995: Detroit takes Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals from Chicago, 3-2 (although the Hawks put one of the goalpost as the final horn sounds). Wow, has it been that long since the Blackhawks achieved anything? Ticket courtesy of a college buddy who had a spare.

October 13, 1995: The Wings pummel the Edmonton Oilers in their home opener, 9-0. After the painful Finals sweep against New Jersey the…