Grinding It In Deep

So I’m relatively new to being a sports fan. I’ve off and on watched basketball, football, and soccer my whole life, but this is generally under duress and usually with a book in my hand, only looking up when the crowd gets excited and everyone starts yelling.

There was really nothing to prepare me for how . . . erotic calling a sport can be. I wasn’t raised on a steady diet of grown men (or women) telling me all about someone’s big, hard body as they crash into another big, hard body and so naturally found myself smirking a lot during game commentary, looking around the room to see if anyone else heard what I just did. I definitely wasn’t prepared for hockey commentary, which has the added bonus of someone’s stick getting caught in someone’s thighs. It seems like it’s just standard operation procedure to talk about pucks squirting out of places, to mention someone’s thick thighs, to talk about a player being “rubbed off” in the corner.

With that in mind, here are some gems to make your inner 12 year old giggle. Context not included.Read More »

Defense (Doesn’t) Do Dallas

(3/11/15: I have to issue a pretty massive correction to this article, as I was using the incorrect definition of what the NHL considers at Takeaway. It does change the outcome of many of my charts/graphs, however the conclusion as a whole remains unchanged – the Stars offense is not being as defensively responsible as needed. All data is from the same time period, so will not include any updates from recent games.)

After this weekend’s disastrous games, I think it’s time to dive back into defensive metrics and why we seem to be failing miserably at holding onto a lead.

One of the terms commonly thrown around when discussing defense is “Shot Suppression”. The stat that best represents this is Fenwick Against. Fenwick is just Missed Shot & Shots on Goal (it leaves out blocked shots, which are included in Corsi). Why leave out blocked shots? Well, over large sample sizes, Fenwick has a slightly better correlation to possession. Also, there is some disagreement as to whether shot blocking is luck or skill. Since we’re looking at the full season of data, Fenwick is an appropriate measure here.

All numbers from War-on-ice, 5v5, and are score adjusted (because lord knows, we’ve played from behind a lot lately), unless otherwise noted.

Now, everyone knows we have a defensive problem, but it’s one thing to know there’s a chink in the armor, and another to see the giant gaping hole. Dallas is currently 22nd in the league in Fenwick Against Per 60 (FA/60). Last season, they were 15th.


2.23 FA60 Rolling Average

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