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Sometimes the best ‘metrics’ are the most basic ones

The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons suggests that there are still some tried-and-true statistics that indicate and predict team success just as well as advanced metrics:

I’m with Pierre LeBrun on this one: You can have all your fancy analytics and new mind-numbing hockey statistics but the most discernible statistic in hockey (other than wins and losses) remains scoring at even strength, 5-on-5.

The top five teams in the league in that statistic as of Saturday: 1. Chicago; 2. Pittsburgh; 3. Montreal; 4. Anaheim; 5. Boston. The bottom five: 1. Florida; 2. Calgary; 3. Philadelphia; 4. New Jersey; 5. Colorado.

ou get the odd anomaly like Tampa Bay being too close to the top — but it is far more telling that a lot of the time possession, shot percentage breakdowns that is being presented as hockey analysis these days by many those who don’t understand hockey.

If you want to know why the Edmonton Oilers, with all that young talent, it’s primarily because they can’t outscore their opponents at even strength and rank 27th in the NHL doing so. Truth is, they haven’t developed enough physically to get to that point.

The Leafs, by the way, are 10th in the NHL at 5-on-5 scoring, which is an almost perfect representation of where you would place them in this shortened season.

Continued with mostly Toronto baseball and hockey talk...

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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com