by PuckStopsHere on 07/05/09 at 05:33 AM ET
I have written about the top 20 and worst 20 adjusted +/- ratings when adjusted as a counting stat from last season. This is not the only way to adjust +/- ratings. Gabe Desjardins of behind the net calculates them in a different manner. He calculates the */- per minute when a player is on the ice and his team’s +/- per minute for the team when a player is off the ice and compares them to make an adjustment. This uses +/- as a rate statistic. As a result, his method is better at finding players who do not play as many games or as much playing time than the previous method.
Here are last year’s top 20 adjusted +/- ratings by this method (among players with 50 or more NHL games played):
Rank as Counting Stat
Clearly this is a different list from the counting stat list. Only eight players appear on both lists. They are Patrik Berglund, Pavel Datsyuk, Rene Bourque, Alexander Semin, TJ Oshie, Blake Wheeler, David Krejci and Daniel Sedin. Travis Zajac finished in third place on the other list and does not rank in the top 20 on this one. Patrick Berglund rockets to number one, since he did not have as much ice time as some above him and he benefits from a rate stat adjustment. Of those who appear on this list and not on the previous one, six of the twelve players missed the playoffs. This is because players are compared to the results of their team when they are off the ice and it is easier to compare well on a bad team. These players are Mark Streit, Ryan Malone, Ken Klee, Stephen Weiss, Dean McAmmond and Ben Guite. Ryan Malone is a particularly interesting player here because his defence was criticized last year. It seems a far more accurate description is that he played on a team where a lot went wrong and as a high priced free agent who did not produce as well as hoped offensively, he bore a lot of the brunt, even in places where it was undeserved. The six who appear on this list and not the other who made playoffs are Tomas Holmstrom, Bobby Ryan, Steve Montador, Michael Ryder, David Perron and Ruslan Fedotenko. This group was limited in total ice time (either per game or total games played) and this was held back in the counting stat standings.
This +/- adjustment method is a useful way to identify players who performed well in their role last season and in many cases could handle a bigger role. It is similar to other +/- adjustment methods, but differences exist. One must be careful to select the best method for what they are trying to figure out and one must be aware of the inherent noise in all methods. As we can see a player who is first with one method might be ninth in another and a player who is third or fourth in one method may be outside the top twenty in another.
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