Talking analytics and advanced stats on Inside Sports

Had the opportunity to be a guest on Inside Sports last night. Host Reid Wilkins invited me on to discuss analytics and the enhanced stats that have been released by the NHL.

You can hear the full interview here (starts at 2:30):

Couple notes I want to add:

  • You can access the enhanced stats on NHL.com. Keep in mind, this is the first phase of the NHL’s stats initiative. We can expect some data visualization tools and player tracking in the near future. [NHL.com]
  • There are tons of good articles that provide an introduction to analytics and advanced stats. This one from Sports Illustrated gives an excellent primer on Corsi, Fenwick, PDO and QualComp.
  • The best website for advanced stats is War on Ice. Has everything you need, excellent functionality (i.e., filters), easy to use, and has an excellent glossary. HockeyStats.ca is also pretty solid, as well as Nice Time on Ice. New data visualization websites are popping up every week, so it’s worth keeping an eye on.
  • A few of the original blogs/websites that pushed the growth of analytics were Behind the Net, Irreverent Oiler Fans, Objective NHL and mc79hockey.com. A couple of those sites have been taken down as they’ve been hired by NHL clubs.
  • Reid and I briefly touched on Taylor Hall and how his possession numbers align with his boxcar stats. Ryan Batty of the Copper and Blue had an excellent piece from last season that covered this: Taylor Hall – Points vs Corsi.
  • We also discussed shot quality, which I would argue is good to know, but doesn’t predict future outcomes as well as Corsi/Fenwick. This piece by Eric Tulsky at NHL Numbers explains the correlation differences.  Nick Mercadante of Blue Shirt Banter also has a solid post on this.
  • If you’re wondering why Boyd Gordon is the Oilers MVP, please read this excellent piece: Boyd Gordon – Superhero.
  • Shawn Horcoff was accustomed to doing a lot of the heavy lifting as an Oiler. Prime example of a solid two-way centerman who went up against the best players in the NHL and started often in the defensive zone.
  • My research at the University of Alberta focused on  hockey fans and their online collaboration to develop new information and knowledge pertaining to the game. You can read more about it here, or access the full research paper. Also recommend reading my post Finding the SuperFan.
  • Michael Parkatti and I put together a public lecture at the U of A last year on hockey analytics. You can watch the full session on Livestream.
  • I touched on a few of the reasons why analytics was significant and how fans are really the drivers of new information and knowledge. More of my thoughts can be found here: Importance of Hockey Analytics II.

Thanks to Reid for having me on his show. Definitely a unique experience!

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