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A Deep Dive Into Unannounced Changes In Analytics

from Bryan Bastin of On The Forecheck,

With the 2019-2020 NHL season nearly three weeks old, amateur and professional statisticians, armchair analysts, and visualization creators have been hard at work providing deeper insight intothe hockey games we watch each night. The large majority of the publicly-available data and statistics all are derived from the NHL’s own Application Programming Interface (API). Before you yawn and dismiss it for techno-babble, the NHL API is also used to feed websites like NHL.com, ESPN, TSN, and most fantasy hockey sites. It contains a massive amount of information, that, once sorted through, can give you anything from number of hits for a player to the framework for advanced statistics like Goals Above Replacement (GAR).

Two of the most widely-known and respected people in the analytics community are Josh and Luke Younggren, who are on Twitter as @EvolvingWild and known for their website Evolving Hockey. They host a treasure trove of stats on their website, as well as being one of the few publicly-available sources for statistics like Expected Goals (xG)—a measure of the probability that any missed shot, shot on goal or goal had of scoring. Calculating xG takes in many, many factors (those interested can read more here), but one of the most important is shot location. The NHL provides this information in its play-by-play data in the form of X and Y coordinates—making it simple to calculate shot distance and angle, among other things.

However, Monday evening Josh and Luke posted to Twitter a peculiar finding:


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink


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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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