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The Malik Report

Do the Red Wings use ‘fancystats?’ Yes, but they keep their own, too

The Vancouver Sun's Jim Jamieson asked Red Wings GM Ken Holland about "fancystats," and I believe this is as close to, "We read Winging it in Motown's CSSI's just like everybody, but we also chart our own faceoffs for a reason" as we're going to get:

“We’re not doing hockey analytics, per se,” said Detroit GM Ken Holland earlier this month when the Wings were in town. “We’ve had companies present to us. I would say the analytics we use are probably the same ones other teams use.”

Holland, the dean of NHL GMs, said he believed analytics is more suited to a fixed-event sport like baseball — though it has some value in hockey.

“Baseball is a lot of one-on-ones — a pitcher and a batter,” he said. “Those players meld together to form a team. Analytics in hockey, it’s a little more difficult, because you rely on four other people. You can be doing your job every time, but if someone else is not doing their job, you might get a minus. I think there’s a place for analytics. I think it’s a tool that you use along with your pro scouts, along with the statistics, along with your gut instincts. We’re looking at it, trying to figure out how it can help.”

The Wings seem to fall in line with the teams who won't dismiss the stats, but--as you keep on seeing the Wings' goalies do--attempt to match possible statistical bias for statistical bias, suggesting that not everything can be quantified, at least not yet:

“Our puck possession was Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Chelios, Larry Murphy, Vladimir Konstantinov, Bryan Rafalski, Nik Kronwall — elite defencemen,” he said. “In 1995, when we put the Russian Five together, our style was one that a lot of people in the industry didn’t think you could win with.

“Then, it was north-south, bang and crash, chip-and-chase hockey. Then we were one of the first teams to win the Stanley Cup (playing that style). If you go all winter and you’ve got the puck 60 per cent of the time, I like your chances of winning.

“Puck possession is something all teams want to do, but not all 180 defencemen in the league can play that game.”

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About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.