• Black JEM

    I see Big Buff is at it again – gaining friends and being an all around swell guy.

    • lizmcneill

      it’s annoying when people moan about Buff being gone..and then moan about Bicks being lazy. Erm, Buff was worse!

      • thepuckstopshere

        Big Buff wasen’t making 4 mildo a year either. But, you got to admit, what he did in the playoffs especially to the Nucks was priceless.

        • lizmcneill

          He’s making north of 5M now.

        • Preacher

          Buff’s check of Pronger is one of my most replayed moments from the Finals. It might have been illegal (and I don’t go for that kind of thing) but it couldn’t have been more deserving for such a loudmouth as Pronger was that series.

          • Me too. It was entirely legal, though, as well, which is part of what makes it so beautiful.

      • If Buff was truly lazy he wouldn’t have been as popular in the dressing room. Second disagreement in one day!

        • lizmcneill

          Inconsistent, whatever. I was replicating the meatballs’ lack of nuance.

    • Paul the Fossil

      On the one hand Buff has easily the worst plus-minus on the Jets and one of the worst in the league: -17, ewww. Since he’s second on the Jets in points that suggests a lot of even-strength goals against.

      But interestingly the advanced stats don’t paint the same picture about him. His Corsi percentage for example is 52% which is second-best among Winnipeg defensemen and third on the entire team among regulars. His Corsi relative (comparing the team’s Corsi percentage when he’s on the ice to when he’s not) is similarly solid; so are his Fenwick numbers. The picture is the same if you look at Corsi close/tied.

      A lot of what’s happening with Buff is the Jets’ clown-shoes goaltending: their save percentage while he’s on the ice is .882. Yeesh…that’s easily the lowest for any Winnipeg regular D-man, in fact it’s the lowest save percentage behind any Jet skater who’s played at least 100 minutes this season. And Byfuglien leads the Jets in minutes played, so that brutal goaltending rate adds up to a more goals-against on his plus-minus than on anybody else’s.

      • I would say Buff is not helping himself out either. I remeber during the Game in WPG, he seemed totally uniterested in defense, with Buff in the low slot, Buff allowed Toews to skate to a puck and sweep it around the goalie all while Buffs stick never left the ice and his skates stayed put, and on two of the other goals it was easily seen he was WAY WAY out of position allowing excellent Hawks chances. Perhaps his non-interest in defense could be a SMALL factor in the SV% being hot garbage while he is on the ice!

    • MattC86

      While Buff is not a world-class defensemen, he has some intriguing abilities that drive possession and scoring opportunities for his team when he’s on the ice. The Jets problem isn’t Buff and Ladd and Kane – it’s the hot garbage that occupies their bottom 6 and bottom defense pair, as well as the atrocious goaltending they get from Pavelec. Noel didn’t seem to have much of a system going for the team, but the problem is at the GM spot. They need to get some good depth in there and find a new goalie.

    • birdhead

      “These two black guys are real locker-room problems, but the white guys are awesome. Also, Byfuglien doesn’t do interviews with me :(” I wouldn’t either if I were him.

      • Paul the Fossil

        Heh, you think??

        • birdhead

          I’m honestly just baffled by the implication that Byfuglien and Kane are to blame for all of the problems with the Jets, not even because of their play which that guy can barely bring himself to criticise (maybe because they have some of the better possession performances, at least, on the team: http://somekindofninja.com/nhl/usage.php?f1=2013_s&f2=5v5&f3=&f5=WPG&f4=&f7=10-&bubbleType=corsiRel&yAxis=qoc&update-filters=Update+Results ), but because Evander Kane was honest with the media about being healthy scratched and Byfuglien gets powerplay time. If Claude Noel is embarrassed to have healthy scratched Evander Kane, maybe that’s because healthy scratching Evander Kane was moronic, and if that’s the only way you can figure out to manage your stars, the problem might be with you. And if the guys who aren’t playing your system are the ones getting the best results, maybe your system sucks. And if you can’t figure out how to manage your stars’ ice time without causing resentment in the locker room … maybe you’re just a bad coach.

      • lizmcneill

        They didn’t think much of Odie either, right? Seeing as they gave him away for a bag of pucks….

  • So, if you have not heard the Hawks are 22nd in the NHL in 1 goal games based on the superior NHL.com advanced team stats in 1 goal game differential. I am sure many have simply ignored this number since it really does make most go “huh?”, the reason this number shows up as it does is simple, it INCLUDES OTL and SOL, it does not at all break out anything else. It treats a Regulation 1 goal loss the same as an OTL and a SOL, when a RegL=/=OTL=/=SOL. So let’s break this 1 goal game loss down a little more and see what it really says.
    Overall the Hawks according to nhl.com are 11-4-10 in 1 goal games, meaning at the end they have won 11 and lost 14 a dismal 0.440 Win % (22nd). But as I mentioned this includes OTL and SOL as well as OTW and SOW.
    So how do the Hawks fare in Regulation 1 goal games? The Hawks are 7-4 a 63.6% point rate. This places the Hawks 9th in NHL in P% in regulation 1 goal games.
    How are the Hawks in games that are 1 goal or tied at the end of regulation? The Hawks are 7-4-10. (This does not include OTW and SOW). The Hawks P% here is 57.1% good for 10th in the NHL.
    Including OTW and SOW the Hawks have a 64% point rate, 15th in the NHL.
    What this nhl.com 22nd place number does not show is the WHY or the WHERE the 1 goal games occur. In regulation in 1 goal games, the Hawks are playing good, where the Hawks are failing inside these numbers is in the OT/SO more specifically the SO which accounts for 6 of the Hawks 10 OTL/SOL.
    To take the 1GG W-L record on its own without breaking out numbers causes the fact the Hawks win 1 goals games that are decided before instances that only occur during the regular season at a pretty decent rate to be lost in the noise. At most, the Hawks have given up 10 standings points, but that is assuming a 100% OT/SO Win rate. Compared to the average of 50%, the Hawks have given up 3 standings points (4 points in 14 OT/SO games) and maybe 4-5 points compared to the better teams. Would these points be nice yes, is it cause for conern? Not really. It would be nice to get the #1 seed every year, but the Hawks are also not exactly fighting for the last playoff spot either or even being anywhere close to having to worry about that, and OTL/SOL is not going to have them fall into it, it would be RegL that do that, which BTW the Hawks are really good at winning in regulation, even 1 goal games (7-4).
    At worst the shortcoming the Hawks have in 4v4 OT and the SO result in lost standings points and perhaps not win the division, it does not reflect a fundamental weakness in the team that can be exploited by another team in the playoffs since these circumstances do not exist in the postseason, nor will it prevent the Hawks from being a playoff team since their P% is still sustained high enough in this “weak” area to more than assist in making the playoffs. Nor is their a concern about the Hawks in late tied games. They are currently 2-3-4 in games tied after two. For one, that just does not happen very much to begin with, 9 times only this season, and inn 5v5 tied with the Hawks current GF-GA rate, that results in mostly 3W-1L in those 4 games resulting in a 5-4 record. When combined with the rest of their play, is doubtful to be THE or even a noteworthy player in a 7 game series. If the Hawks are concerned every game is tied after two or they are trailing, this 9 game sample is going to be the least of their worries because they are getting beat elsewhere! At best it gives the team something to improve on besides the PK.
    Anyway you look at beyond the Highest order number in 1GG, how the Hawks are performing in close or 1 goal games is nothing to be concerned with, especially come the playoffs. Their play in 5v5Close/Tied is the best in the NHL. If it comes down to it, I can think of no other team that plays a better game with the game on the line on the whole than the Hawks do, at least on paper.

    • Paul the Fossil

      “Their play in 5v5Close/Tied is the best in the NHL.” This.

      • I only feel able to respond here because I didn’t read above, but when I look on extraskater I don’t see this and I’ve had the discussion with TMFF. but the Kings are best ion CF, CF%, FF, and FF% according to the site (as far as I can see).

        Technicality, because the Hawks are still good, but I don’t know what the argument is above.

        • It was more an opine and aside from the main point, but LAK is FAR worse then the Hawks in GF(both)-CA(tied)-FA(tied)-SA(tied)-SH%(both)-PDO(both). They both are good, but LAK has some bigger holes then the Hawks. It really is an opinion of who is better as much as it is what stats support who is being argued for or against. Both teams are good, but IMO the Hawks are simply better overall compared to the Kings. See for yourself

          • I see. Some of the discrepancy is probably accounted for by my integrating tied and close, and your separation of both. I’ve also been looking at Fenwick and Corsi only.

          • birdhead

            Close should include tied, shouldn’t it? So tied is just breaking down close a bit.

          • Tied is anytime the score is tied
            Close is 0-1 goal difference in Periods 1-2 and tied in period 3.
            The concept for close is in those situations the Offense and Defense are playing “typical” there is no score effect. Once a team is down 2+ goals or down at all in the third the trailing and leading team play to protect the lead or take chances to get back into the game.

          • birdhead

            Exactly, Fenwick and Corsi close should encompass all tied situations plus one-goal situations.

          • 1 goal only in the 1st and 2nd, not 3rd. Obviously there is a statistical difference between Close and Tied. Close can be trailing and losing a 1 goal game early but not at 30s left in the 3rd, while tied can be late.

          • birdhead

            Exactly, all tied situations plus one-goal situations. (SOME one-goal situations may have been clearer.) Does anyone do possession stats by leads? e.g. 1-goal lead, 2-goal lead.

          • birdhead

            Well, to counter a bit of your optimism, I would say that this one (5v5 FF% up one) doesn’t look great: http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/teamstats.php?disp=1&db=201314&sit=5v5up1&sort=FFPCT&sortdir=DESC (Hawks are 10th in the league). Also, again, like Chico says, there’s not much there that backs up your assertion that the Hawks are the best possession team in the NHL when tied or close. St Louis, LA, and San Jose are all ahead of the Hawks in various of the measures there. They’re not even all that impressive when trailing by 1, at 12th. They’re behind LA and (just) San Jose in close.

            I’m not saying I think the Hawks are bad when leading (although wow I’m really not comfortable with the down one and up one rankings). I’m just saying “best by possession metrics when tied and close” appears to be not true, and not even cumulatively true.

          • birdhead

            And by the way, the Hawks were first in the league in ff% when both up one goal and down one goal last season. This year they’re 12th and 10th respectively. I hate to agree with you know who, but I’m not thrilled by those numbers at all.

          • birdhead

            I’m just going to keep replying to myself: I’m not sure how repeatable those rankings are though. It’s not like everyone else has remained the same and the Hawks have dropped. People have shuffled.

          • I am not doing a year to year comparison, especially to a shortened season. The past seasons have no effect on this season, and comparing 48 to 82 games I think is tough. I am simply looking at this year.

          • birdhead

            The Hawks have played 47 games this year though …

          • Different players, different competition, different opposing teams, after 47 games last year teams were prepping for the playoffs or making the last ditch effort, this year it is still the middle of the season. The only similarity of note is,
            1. It is still hockey
            2. It is 47 & 48 games.

          • birdhead

            The Hawks’ core is the same, the coach is the same. I take your point about season pace but when the argument you’re specifically trying to counter is “the Hawks aren’t closing out games like they did last year” and the very stats that you’re using identify a couple of big differences in play, that’s worth talking about.

          • What I am trying to do is show it is NOT a concern for this year. Last year is last year. The team in the end is still different, some nice and good players are now gone. What matters is this year now, not last year, and I am trying to show that is not a concern this year either. It may not be “as good” as last year, but that does not mean it is bad either.
            To use the argument to begin with “they are not doing it like last year” is a Red Herring. That does not influence at all how the team is doing this year. The Hawks in several areas are MUCH MUCH better than last year(PP), while in others are worse (PK), what matters is the whole package, not a specific nuance, and how it effects their chances this season, not what it did for them last season.

          • In the end here, I do like the fact we are arguing how GOOD the Hawks are, not how bad. You think they are really good, I just think they are even gooder!

          • 10th and 12th are not terrible. I had no broken down to as specific as +1 and -1.
            As for “possession” I was making more of an observation (opinion) of the OVERALL 5v5 play in all those areas listed in those tables. The Hawks are strong (top 1/3) in all whereas even though in the end LAK has better FF% and CF% they have bigger problem areas that those % may be masking out. CF% and FF% are the final symptom of the play in these breakdowns, but they are just that a symptom meaning they are influenced by other areas combined and I think overall in those areas the Hawks are stronger because they have fewer and less dramatic weak areas. LAK is burning both ends, in my opinion they have less room to fuck up with because of that then the Hawks. They may be to vicariously balanced at it may not take much to knock them out of whack!

          • birdhead

            I think the thing that must be confusing me and Chico is that when you say “Their play in 5v5Close/Tied is the best in the NHL” I translate that to “they have the best Fenwick or Corsi 5v5 Close and Tied in the NHL”. So like, maybe put that a bit differently the next time?

            St Louis is also above or just below the Hawks in all of these measures. How do you feel about them?

          • STL scares me TBH, I can easily see them bouncing the Hawks in a 7-Game series.
            As for 5v5 tied/Close, I have been trying to say overall, not just CF% or FF%, I will try to be more clear.

          • birdhead

            Yeah I’m um, terrified of the Blues. I take heart that all three games vs them this year have at least been close though.

          • Close helps and STL is the real deal this year! I think it comes done to a handful of mistakes, vice generated chances, and who plays the longest at the highest intensity. Who ever fucks up and lets up first, loses.

          • To go from “best” to “top 1/3” though, that’s a massive step! That takes us from being in a peerless group of the best 3 or 4 teams to being in a bucket of about a dozen teams AFTER the best.

          • Being top 1/3 I agree is not exactly HOLY SHIT!, but being Top 1/3 EVERY ONE of the 30 categories listed (15 each in Tied/Close) is more of a HOLY SHIT! Every team has its weaknesses and strengths (even BUF) but in the Top 1/3 or better in most walks is something else altogether. I am looking at WHOLE package, not trying to knit pick this one stat here or that stat there, but as a whole deal. The way I see it the Hawks ARE that top 1-3 team, they ARE that dominant on the whole, no one stat after winning the Cup can adequately categorize or summarize a team in how strong it is, how weak it is, where it is strong and where it is weak, are they outperforming or underachieving. They (Hawks) have holes, they have areas that are not good, but compared to others they are not as glaring, EXCEPT the PK.

          • To add onto this,
            For players I think it may be more appropriate to really really analyze the nuances more, I do not get real deep into player stats that much. I look at teams. Who is the strongest, who should win, what are the holes what are the strengths, what is cause-effect, etc…. (I think this comes from my jobs nature) all based on the data and how it relates or is effected by other parts. When 1 part moves, what could have caused it and/or what will it effect. It is at times a subjective look at teams admitingly(sp I know, disqus will not let me unfuck it), since as I mentioned, numbers do not catch everything, but the subjective “conclusion” I try to root as deep as possible in data first.

          • birdhead

            Top 1/3 EVERY ONE of the 30 categories listed (15 each in Tied/Close) is more of a HOLY SHIT!

            But that’s also true of several other teams, including the Blues and the Kings and the Sharks and the Pens. The Kings are above the Hawks in, I think, every single one of those categories, and the Blues in several of them. And yes, I know we’ve discussed that the Kings have weaknesses that aren’t fully captured by the stats, and I agree with you, and I agree that no one stat captures everything, but you’re making a case for statistical uniqueness from the Hawks that just isn’t there. For me, what separates the Hawks from the Blues and Kings right now is not statistical in nature, it’s the affection I have for them. Which is fine, I’m a fan, I’m allowed to be a bit one-eyed, of course I think the goaltending and PK were underperforming in the first half, etc etc, but come on, this is not objective analysis.

            The most you can say objectively, I think, is that the Hawks are right there with the cream of the league in most situations. Otherwise you’re going to have to do a whole lot more journalism – or traditional analysis – the Hawks are here, these teams are with them, here is specifically why I think these teams have more weaknesses than the Hawks do. Which is maybe true but not at all obvious from the data. (For example, almost all of your yellow-reds for the Kings are based on absolute numbers of shots against – but they’ve spent more time tied than the Hawks have! Of course they have more shots against!)

          • It is subjective from the objective and at worst we agree the Hawks are a Top Team, I am fine with that at the worst! lol
            But for your suggestion LAK and STL are ALSO in the top 1/3 in all those categories, well no they are not
            LAK >10th in 10 of 30, STL in 8 of the 30. The worst the Hawks are in any of them is 10th in 1, 9th, 8th and 7th in three others. All others the Hawks 6th and better (I,e, they are worst than SIXTH in only 4 cats). No team comes close to doing this besides the Hawks. It is this across the board Top level in these cats is why I say they are the best in 5v5 C/T.
            But at worst as you said, they are JUST a top tier team! lol

          • Thanks … and this is just the point imo. They are clearly good, but to call them league-best or paint them as so completely dominant skews the numbers.

          • I understand “not 3rd” but I have trouble with it–I don’t mean from you specifically, but generally when I see that data excluded. Leaving out one-third of all data seems potentially terribly misrepresentative to me. Arguably, that’s when the data for being behind or ahead by a goal becomes most informative, to glean how well a team does when truly under pressure in tight situations.

          • Additionally,
            The Hawks are not FAR better is SA and do lag LAK in some areas as well.
            But with the comparison of CF% and FF% being the best single metrics, it is very close. The high octane Offense of CHI vs the stubborn D of LAK.

          • birdhead

            The high octane Offense of CHI vs the stubborn D of LAK.

            And yet, interestingly, the Hawks’ FF/60 close and FA/60 close are both much lower than the Kings’. The Kings actually play a higher-Fenwick-event style than the Hawks do. But they have generally excellent goaltending and they shoot much worse than the Hawks do. Maybe it’s all attributable to shot quality (seriously, because the Kings have consistently been possession-dominant on a par with the Hawks and low-scoring over the last three seasons), I don’t know.

          • LAK just don’t let pucks in the net much! That is much more than just the Goalie, that is the whole scheme, they limit those “quality” chances allot more, because they are stubborn! lol
            I do agree SQ is part of it, they limit it for opponents, but their own forwards just are not developing their own god SQ.

  • birdhead

    So this is a very topical post about a “true WOWY” and Duncan Keith. Now I just want someone to repeat it for Seabrook, for trolls and giggles. Some of y’all can code, can’t you? I really don’t have time to learn how to do this. http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=6566&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    • Very interesting. I really like Dellow, he’s an insightful hockey head and a pretty good writer as well. Great link … and ya, would love to see how Seabs (and Hjammer) both compare here.

      • birdhead

        I find him to be a huge dick to be honest, but agree about his hockey insight. His stats work is always really interesting and makes me wish we had an equivalent writer interested in the Hawks. I often want to duplicate what he’s done, which sometimes I can manage but more often requires more resources than I really have.

        • Heh, I haven’t detected the dickishness, and I’ve never read comments there or interacted with him; I’ll be on the lookout from now on. I’d LOVE to have someone putting together similar stuff for the Hawks! I’d eat it up. Some Edmonton bloggers were/are among a small but growing handful of people that are really consistently pushing some quality stuff out there. I’d love to hear any other suggestions you might have. I’m a Comp Lit grad, so it’s always going to take me a little longer to fight to detect true relevance/integrity when it comes to statistical analysis. I’m slow at it, but I’m good once I get there.

          • birdhead

            He’s a dick on twitter, but I always agree with him about hockey stuff so I take deep breaths and try really hard to ignore the rest of it.

            A friend and I have speculated that what you need for stats blogging is a dedicated fanbase of a reasonable size or a reasonable persistence and a terrible team. You need fans with a lot of time on their hands that they aren’t going to shrug their shoulders and say, well, instead of killing myself over my hockey team, I’ll go watch baseball/basketball/football until they’re good again. (I reckon you also want cold, indoorsy winters.) So the Hawks might not get a statsblogger until Kane and Toews are old.

            I was a teenaged English/Philosophy major (although my Philosophy major was in logic and I took a bunch of abstract maths that I was not very good at) so I really feel you wrt: the stats stuff, which I’m also not too great at. I like following other people’s stuff and sometimes I try to replicate it for the Hawks. (I bookmark stuff I find interesting here: https://delicious.com/statsdex, but not overly consistently, for example I don’t think I bookmarked that stuff about goaltending/shot quality with the beautiful datavis the other day, and now I can’t think who wrote it.)

            I really enjoy Eric T’s stuff, particularly around zone entries which you’ve probably read at BSH. He’s been writing a lot lately for SBN proper rather than Broad St Hockey and that’s been really interesting. Down Goes Brown does really good primer/layperson term posts that I really like. I’ll just keep sticking stuff here when I like it, it’s nice to be able to kick around its potential applicability to the Hawks!

          • Accipiter
          • birdhead

            dat’s der bunny. thanks man. *bookmarks*

          • Still think this is a MUST read for anybody into stats. For two reasons.
            1. It tends to show SQ does in fact exist
            2. Wrought numbers do not paint the whole picture

          • lizmcneill


          • Unfiltered or analyised numbers, take them as they sit in the raw and nothing more. (example +/- and hits and not expounding on what effects those and how they can not only be misleading to how well a player is playing, but can also be counter intuative)

          • We still have to have our coffee meeting over this. Someday.

          • Accipiter

            Someday. I will mark it on my calendar.

          • Accipiter and I had a weensy discussion about that Boyle piece a while ago. I’ve meant to go through it more thoroughly but haven’t yet. Soon. There are a few things in there he discounts as noise/subjective which are in fact pretty important, and the data available still makes it too dicey to conclude much (stuff like angle of the puck, velocity, etc.).

            But it is interesting.

            I’ll check out your bookmarks later, for sure, thanks for posting. For now, gonna take advantage of the cold indoorsy winter to do a little reading.

          • I think he did as well but also in part simply due to the task at hand he needed to “trim the fat” so to speak, but I also think at the very least he proved there really is something statistical in the differing types of shots on net and circumstances. In part it has at least removed some noise for this sample.