Power, Resistance, and women in hockey

There’s a part of Michel Foucault’s philosophy of power that gets overlooked a lot. Power and resistance, he asserts, create each other. Power is, after all, diffuse and often oblique, set into language and the gaze. Resistance plays along the same lines. There is no exercise of power that occurs in the absence of resistance. There is no resistance that does not create the exercise of power.

I’ve read several recent laments about the gendered structures of normalizing power we experience when talking about women in hockey, and every time I keep wanting to say “power and resistance create each other.” Continue reading

Corsi Save Percentage for Goalies who Moved Teams

In response to my previous post about the repeatability of corsi save percentage, it was suggested on twitter that looking at goalies who moved teams might help illuminate whether team effects were creating the correlations found. In particular the question was whether by adding in blocked shots, corsi save percentage is capturing a team’s ability to block shots rather than a goalie’s performance? Continue reading

Testing Corsi Save Percentage

The dirty little secret about save percentage is that it doesn’t really work. It doesn’t work at the NHL level and it doesn’t work at minor league level, and it really doesn’t work at the amateur level. The save percentage a player puts up in any given season tells you virtually nothing about how he or she will do the next season. It simply doesn’t do what it purports to do. It doesn’t truly tell us who is performing well and who isn’t and it doesn’t tell us who is likely to perform well in the future.

It simply takes too long for the signal in save percentage to outweigh the noise and provide good information. To date, there isn’t anything else, but then, there just hasn’t been as much attention given to goaltender measures as to other aspects of the game.

In fact, I have yet to find a test of corsi save percentage, although many people have been willing to tell me it’s probably not a good measure. I finally decided to at least begin a test myself. I’m not a statistician. I may have done these tests wrong. But there seems to be enough here to suggest that corsi save percentage ought to be looked at further. Continue reading

Why Pekka Rinne is Virtually Certain to Regress

Pekka Rinne has played 22 games this season. He has a .9310 overall and a .9426 at 5 on 5. Yesterday, when Braden Thompson posted this article at On The Forecheck about Rinne and regression, Rinne had a .932 overall and a .946 at 5 on 5.

So why is it not reasonable to assume that Rinne will maintain a .932/.946? Continue reading

Status and Talent in Evaluating NHL Goaltenders

The other day,  Stefan Wolejszo posted about adding the concept of Goaltender Status to our analysis of goaltenders. I am going to try to summarize this post a bit here, and hopefully I am not misrepresenting it. I urge everyone to go and read it so that we’re all on the same page, because there are some assumptions made in that post that forced me to think hard about categories of analysis in NHL goaltender evaluation. Continue reading

A Look at Zone-Based Goaltender Workload

There’s a new way of looking at save percentage available at War-On-Ice that I find interesting. They break save percentage down by shot location as coded in the NHL play-by-play reports from each game. Whenever a shot is officially scored, it’s given an X,Y coordinate to map its location on the ice surface. Shots from some areas have a better chance of becoming goals than shots from other areas. This seems obvious, but it’s never before been systematically incorporated into goaltender analysis on a large scale. Continue reading

Goaltender Time per Corsi Event

If you know anything about goaltending, you know that the ability to recover and set up from shot to shot makes a huge difference between shots going in and shots staying out. This is why rebound save percentage is so low: there’s no time to react and adjust.

That’s why this tweet from Greg Balloch (@GregBallochST) made me sit up and pay attention.

The bells really started to ring when he followed it up with this one:

That’s a whole lot more time to recover, read, and set up between shots. Continue reading

PDO actually does what it says it does

People say a lot of stuff about PDO and there are a lot of ways in which it gets attacked. It’s a weird little stat, not very commonsensical. Counter- intuitive, in fact. And whole screeds have been written to try to take it down from the base out. None of those have worked because PDO actually does what it’s supposed to do. It just doesn’t do anything more than that. Continue reading

Drafted vs Undrafted: Who plays in the NHL?

My summer project was building a database of professional goaltenders playing in several leagues in both Europe and North America in recent years. This database consists of 491 professional goaltenders who played in the top pro leagues in Europe and North America between 2007-08 and 2012-13. These goalies represent 20 nationalities and they played their amateur hockey in 17 different countries. They were born between 1965 and 1995. The 42% who were picked in the NHL entry draft were drafted between 1991 and 2014. In terms of pro experience, they have played anywhere from 1 to 1291 games in those 9 leagues.

Among professional goalies across the world, undrafted North Americans are 5 times as likely to get a free agent chance to play in the NHL as undrafted Europeans. That’s explained in large part by the fact that undrafted North Americans are more likely to play in the American Hockey League (AHL) than undrafted Europeans. The same pattern is holding for drafted Europeans. They’re simply less likely than North Americans to play in the AHL.

Continue reading