Award picks

As a follow up to my lists of award contenders, here are my picks for the major individual awards.

Hart (MVP)

Winner: Crosby

Runners up: Getzlaf, Giroux, Pavelski, Kopitar

Stats comparison

Crosby runs away with this one. His 103 points is gaudy in today’s NHL and he played most often with non-stars Kunitz, Dupuis, and Stempniak. He played a huge number of minutes, drew penalties, played against the other team’s best — he did it all. Pavelski may be a surprise on the runners up list, but he really shouldn’t: he scored 40 goals, was strong defensively, and played in all situations.

Vezina (top goalie)

Winner: Rask

Runners up: Varlamov, Price, Bobrovsky, Bishop

Stats comparison

This was a tight choice between Rask and Varlamov but I gave the edge to Rask’s better 5-on-5 save percentage. (Assessing goalies is always difficult.)

Calder (top rookie)

Winner: MacKinnon

Runners up: Palat, Johnson, Trouba, Krug

Stats comparison

MacKinnon lead all contenders in points, shots, and penalty differential, but this wasn’t an easy selection. I can see cases for Palat with his excellent production on tough minutes or Trouba for doing well while forgoing the sheltered minutes usually given to rookie defencemen.

Norris (top defenceman)

Winner: Giordano

Runners up: Weber, Karlsson, Suter, Niskanen

Stats comparison

The only thing that made this a tough call for Giordano was the time he missed. He had sparkling numbers (+13% GF% rel and +10% CF% rel) while playing the toughest minutes in all situations on a bad team. Some may be surprised with Niskanen as a runner up but he performed very well playing mostly with a rookie (Maatta) and two boat anchors (Scuderi and Engelland). Despite not playing as many minutes as other D his +30 5-on-5 goal differential is best among Norris contenders.

Selke (top defensive forward)

Winner: Kopitar

Runners up: Bergeron, Getzlaf, Toews, Little

Stats comparison

This was a two-horse race between Bergeron and Kopitar. What pushed me over towards Kopitar is his higher quality of competition, more ice time (3 mins/game), and ridiculous +20% GF% rel. Just to spell that last point out: while he was on the ice at 5 on 5, the Kings scored 56 goals and allowed 25 (69%). While he was on the bench, they were 75-78 (49%). It doesn’t hurt that he also had 70 points.

Team zone starts

One stat that you can see on the site for players but not teams in zone starts: in which zones of the ice (offensive/neutral/defensive) players/teams start. This indicates which zone teams most often play in and can help anchor evaluations of players’ zone start stats. A few people have asked about these stats so I compiled the data for the 2013-14 season. Here it is ordered by O/DZS%, which is OZ starts / (OZ + DZ starts):

Team EV ZS OZS NZS DZS O/DZS%
Chicago Blackhawks 3910 1358 1474 1078 55.7%
Los Angeles Kings 3714 1307 1319 1088 54.6%
Boston Bruins 4004 1388 1430 1186 53.9%
Detroit Red Wings 3800 1299 1389 1112 53.9%
New Jersey Devils 3663 1181 1446 1036 53.3%
St. Louis Blues 3831 1281 1388 1162 52.4%
New York Rangers 3935 1322 1407 1206 52.3%
Carolina Hurricanes 4030 1360 1415 1255 52.0%
Tampa Bay Lightning 3834 1254 1414 1166 51.8%
Phoenix Coyotes 3881 1237 1466 1178 51.2%
Winnipeg Jets 3793 1201 1447 1145 51.2%
Philadelphia Flyers 3801 1219 1417 1165 51.1%
Dallas Stars 3973 1277 1474 1222 51.1%
Anaheim Ducks 4161 1369 1474 1318 50.9%
Ottawa Senators 4026 1285 1499 1242 50.9%
New York Islanders 3876 1250 1402 1224 50.5%
Washington Capitals 3884 1236 1434 1214 50.4%
Minnesota Wild 3736 1176 1357 1203 49.4%
Florida Panthers 3879 1206 1435 1238 49.3%
San Jose Sharks 4222 1327 1532 1363 49.3%
Pittsburgh Penguins 3750 1114 1489 1147 49.3%
Colorado Avalanche 3916 1249 1375 1292 49.2%
Columbus Blue Jackets 3684 1140 1347 1197 48.8%
Calgary Flames 3924 1204 1433 1287 48.3%
Vancouver Canucks 3945 1222 1403 1320 48.1%
Nashville Predators 3989 1239 1397 1353 47.8%
Montreal Canadiens 3969 1117 1491 1361 45.1%
Edmonton Oilers 3847 1077 1448 1322 44.9%
Buffalo Sabres 3812 1092 1336 1384 44.1%
Toronto Maple Leafs 4257 1111 1512 1634 40.5%

Is faceoff winning subject to score effects?

We know that teams leading in games tend to go into a defensive shell and allow more shots at a lower shooting percentage. Are faceoffs also subject to score effects? JapersRink wondered this on twitter and I decided to look into it.

First, how would a game’s score affect faceoffs? For shots it’s a combination of player selection (coaches with the lead trust more defensive-oriented, less “risky” guys and vice versa) and strategy (e.g. dump the puck in rather than press a rush). The analogues for faceoffs are weak. There’s no concept of “risky” faceoff players. But there may be conservative team faceoff strategies that trade off reducing the chance of winning overall for reducing “high-risk” losses.

Let’s get to the numbers. There have been 73,725 faceoffs this season, with the home team winning 52.0%. If the score does affect faceoffs we’ll see a trend in win percentage by score situation (up by 2+, up by 1, tied, etc.). Here’s the data:

Score situation Home team FO%
Leading by 2+ 52.4%
Leading by 1 51.7%
Tied 52.0%
Trailing by 1 51.8%
Trailing by 2+ 52.4%

The home team’s best faceoff winning percentages come when the it is leading by a lot or trailing by a lot. There’s no clear trend. What if we expand our dataset and look at 2011-12 and 2012-13? Over these two seasons there were 113,788 faceoffs of which the home team won 51.6%. The data:

Score situation Home team FO%
Leading by 2+ 51.2%
Leading by 1 51.7%
Tied 51.8%
Trailing by 1 51.7%
Trailing by 2+ 51.5%

This time the results are inverted: the best faceoff percentage comes when the game is tied and the worst comes when leading or trailing by a lot. Again, no consistent trend by score situation. I think we can say with confidence that faceoff winning isn’t subject to score effects.

On NHL Network Radio’s The War Room

I was on SiriusXM NHL Network Radio’s The War Room today talking advanced stats. Hosted by Mick Kern and Peter Berce, the show also featured Ian, Phil, and IJay from the Department of Hockey Analytics. We introduced some of the basics of advanced stats and talked about who’s using them, which stats you should look at, and looked at some players’ performances from an advanced stats perspective. Listen below:

Upgrades Jan. 20-Feb. 16

Upgrades and tweaks to Extra Skater in the last four weeks include:

How often each team is leading/tied/trailing

Here’s a table showing the percentage of time that each team is leading, tied, or trailing in all situations and through last night’s games. The numbers aren’t too far off the 5-on-5 ones you can find in the score situations report but I thought it was interesting. Buffalo has had the lead just 11% of their season so far. Yikes.

Team Up % Tied % Down %
Blues 43.9% 31.3% 24.9%
Ducks 42.6% 34.1% 23.2%
Penguins 42.5% 35.1% 22.4%
Avalanche 42.5% 34.2% 23.3%
Blackhawks 39.4% 39.4% 21.2%
Bruins 39.3% 38.2% 22.4%
Sharks 39.2% 38.6% 22.2%
Blue Jackets 36.9% 36.0% 27.1%
Canadiens 34.1% 35.8% 30.0%
Lightning 33.8% 40.1% 26.1%
Stars 33.1% 36.0% 30.9%
Rangers 32.3% 36.7% 31.0%
Red Wings 31.9% 41.9% 26.2%
Senators 31.7% 34.2% 34.0%
Coyotes 31.6% 33.3% 35.1%
Maple Leafs 31.2% 38.7% 30.0%
Flyers 31.0% 34.4% 34.6%
Canucks 30.7% 40.8% 28.4%
Wild 30.7% 36.0% 33.3%
Predators 29.9% 34.8% 35.4%
Devils 29.5% 38.6% 31.9%
Kings 27.4% 44.7% 27.8%
Hurricanes 26.9% 37.4% 35.7%
Jets 26.2% 41.2% 32.6%
Oilers 24.7% 31.8% 43.5%
Capitals 23.7% 40.8% 35.5%
Flames 22.0% 38.2% 39.8%
Panthers 21.2% 32.7% 46.1%
Islanders 20.4% 40.0% 39.6%
Sabres 11.2% 42.3% 46.5%

Downtime

You may have noticed that Extra Skater has been slow to respond or down at times over the last week or so. Sorry about that. Some issues have surfaced that have essentially choked the site. None of the ‘quick fixes’ I’ve tried have worked so I’ll have to dig deeper to find the root problem and fix it. Expect more downtime while that happens.

This post is just to let you know what’s been going on with the site’s downtime and to prepare you for more of the same (hopefully not much). If the site is down, you can check this blog, which is run separate from the site, or twitter for updates.