I didn’t think the 2010 Stanley Cup finals were a particularly well played series. This probably happened because the teams were not particularly good teams for Stanley Cup finalists. On a historical level, neither team is a particularly elite team. The easiest way to show this is to look at the goaltending. Neither Antti Niemi in Chicago nor Michael Leighton in Philadelphia is among the best goalies in the NHL. One statistical way to show this is to use goaltending goals versus threshold. A top 20 list by this stat from the 2009/10 season does not include either of these Stanley Cup finalist goalies.
When Evgeni Nabokov jumped to the KHL a lot of people wrote him off as an overpriced goalie who had his best days behind him. The common refrain is that he isn’t good enough to be the top player that shows the KHL is a serious challenger to the NHL. To some degree this is a sour grapes responce. If he is leaving the NHL, then he must not be a major loss.
One way to look at Nabokov’s 2009/10 season is shown on the top 20 list of goalie’s goals versus threshold. Nabokov was third last year behind Ryan Miller and Tomas Vokoun. This is essentially a showing that Nabokov put up a .922 saves percentage last year in 71 games played. No other goalie played as many games with as high a saves percentage.
Lately, my sabermetics and hockey posts have been about Tom Awad’s goals versus threshold system, which is an attempt to score each player on how many goals her produces versus a threshold replacement player. I have listed the top 20 players by the offensive portion of the system. Today, I will rank the top 20 players using the goaltending portion of this system.
Here are the top 20 players by goaltending goals versus threshold from the 2009/10 season:
In my recent sabermetrics and hockey posts, I have been discussing Tom Awad’s goals versus threshold system. I have discussed the offensive portion of this system and today will move on to discussing the goaltending portion of this system.
A goaltender’s job is to stop shots on goal. This is how they are evaluated here. They are not evaluated by other stats such as wins or shutouts which have a much larger dependence upon the team in which the goalie plays.
In this summer’s look at sabermetrics and hockey I have started looking at goals versus threshold (so far only the offensive portion). This is a system developed by Tom Awad, which is kept by behind the net. The idea is to rank players with one number that shows how many goals they produce over a hypothetical replacement player (the kind that could be found in the AHL or on waivers).
When we compare player’s ranks in the NHL scoring list to their rank on the offensive goals versus threshold list, we see some discrepancies. To better understand these discrepancies, I have looked at Alexandre Burrows offensive value since he is a player who does significantly better by offensive goals versus threshold. Today I will look at Paul Stastny of the Colorado Avalanche. He is a player who ranks poorly when compared to his rank in the top NHL scorers.
Alexandre Burrows of the Vancouver Canucks was the 36th highest scorer in the NHL last year with 67 points. Yet when we sort the top 20 players by offensive goals versus threshold, Burrows comes 18th in the league. Burrows is the most high profile example of a player who ranks significantly better under Tom Awad’s system when compared to his actual rank in the NHL scoring race.
I have been blogging about hockey for about five and a half years and have seen the hockey blogosphere grow from a small group of bloggers, where it was possible to read everything that everyone wrote, to such a large group that no matter how hard you try there is always somebody out there doing good stuff that you are completely unaware of. I think a rather significant milestone has occurred this week and it is worth writing a blog post to note it. As far as I am aware, we have had the first time that mainstream media sources have ripped off a hockey blog.
Pension Plan Puppets is probably the best Toronto Maple Leaf blog on the net. Their name is a bit of a joke about the fact that the Ontario Teacher`s Pension Plan owns the Toronto Maple Leafs as well as many other businesses in downtown Toronto. The joke is that a Toronto Maple Leaf Stanley Cup victory might lead to rioting that damages the other Pension Plan properties and hence they are happier keeping the Leafs as a bottom feeder. Thus the fans emotions are held hostage (as puppets) by the pension plan.
Yesterday I began looking at the sabermetrics and hockey problem of goals versus threshold as formulated by Tom Awad. I began by looking at the offensive portion of this system. Today I want to look at the top offensive players in this system. This will be similar to the scoring leaders in the NHL except it values goals over assists and takes into account ice time by subtracting off the scoring that a replacement level (threshold) player would have provided with that ice time.
Here are the top 20 players by offensive goals versus threshold compared with their rank in the NHL scoring race:
One goal in hockey sabermetrics is to have one number to show the value of a player above a replacement player. The idea is that any team should be able to find players of a low enough level either by call-ups from the minors or by waivers or some other method. The idea is to find the production level of a replacement player and then show how many more (or less) goals a player produced than that level. The idea comes from the baseball idea of value over replacement player or VORP.
Tom Awad has done a significant amount of work to devise a system to try to approximate this. Bear in mind that it is an approximation and cannot be used to get more than an approximate value for a player. Tom Awad has written three articles on it here, here and here.
Now that I am essentially finished with this summer’s look at Corsi numbers, before I move onto some other sabermetric problems I would like to present my top 50 players. This is something done by the Hockey News annually. My list will differ from the Hockey News list and I will try to justify my selections especially when they significantly differ from those of THN.
When I rank the top 50 players, I ask myself which fifty players would I most want on my team going into the upcoming season. I am not sure that is the same question asked by THN. They do not specify exactly how they come up with their list and a different selection procedure might explain some discrepancies.
About The Puck Stops Here
Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.
Why am I blogging? I want to.
Why are you reading it? ???