by PuckStopsHere on 09/27/11 at 02:42 PM ET
As I look into the point share method developed by Justin Kubatko of hockey-reference.com, I have listed the top 20 seasons by the offensive, defensive and goaltending portions of the system. It is now time to look at the top seasons by the total system, which is the sum of the three portions.
Here are the top 20 seasons ever by the point shares system:
This list contains no seasons at all in the original six days. This is in part because fewer games per season were played, but also because some of the numbers used in the more accurate, more modern calculations were not gathered.
Bobby Orr leads this list. He is the only defenceman to appear on it and he appears five times, including the top two seasons of all time. I will look more carefully at Orr in a future post and debate whether this means he had the best seasons in hockey history or not.
Wayne Gretzky is the most prominent forward on this list. He also appears five times and has the three best seasons by a forward according to point shares. Amazingly half of the seasons on this list belong to either Bobby Orr or Wayne Gretzky. Mario Lemieux has two seasons on this list. Phil Esposito has one.
The goaltenders are selected differently depending upon their era. From 1983/84 onward when shot data was recorded, it selects players who faced a lot of shots. This is not necessarily the best goaltenders, but rather the hardest working ones. This is two Roberto Luongo seasons and one each from Dominik Hasek and Jose Theodore. Before this time it selects goaltenders who played behind good defences and faced very few shots. In this period, since shot data is not known, it is assumed that all goaltenders face the same number of shots. Those goalies who faced few shots were given credit as though they faced a league average number. This includes two Bernie Parent seasons and one from Tony Esposito.
The seasons selected by the point share system are good seasons. The goaltending seasons selected are the least reliable. They select recent goalies who faced a lot of shots and before shots are available they select goalies who faced few shots. A proper system should not be biased as much by shot totals and definitely not in contradictory ways depending upon era. The seasons from position players are more clearly the best seasons of all time. There is question as to whether or not the defensive portion is meaningful and as a result it makes the defenceman seasons less reliable than the forward ones. The forward ones are most reliable, but even they have questions in the arbitrary valuation of assists relative to goals. The point share system attempts to answer an important question, namely quantitatively how many points were various players worth to their team, but it doesn’t give a definitive answer. It has several problems that must be addressed before that definitive answer is possible.
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