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#41 That Aud Smell

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 09:32 AM

Not sure if this has been mentioned, but Travis Yost from TSN Analytics was on with Schopp and the Bulldog and mentioned that he knows Tim Murray was one of the first executives in a player personnel dept to embrace analytics going back to 2011

 

This is interesting because TM was cagey about his feelings toward #fancystats when he arrived in town. He went through this thing with White at WGR where he called them "useful," but then went on to say that, the more you know about the game, the less useful the stats become (and the less you know, the more the stats can tell you). It sorta seemed like he was throwing them some shade. Maybe not. Maybe he was just being super honest, as he so often is.

 

I don't have the actual studies to point you to, but the short answers are: (1) yes, including more than just shots that reach the goal and/or goalie has been shown to be a better indicator, and (2) faceoffs have been shown to have little effect on possession (it's very short lived, as good puck possession teams get it back quickly when they lose one, bad puck possession teams give it up quickly when they win one.)

 

As for #1, I recall reading (well, not entirely reading) a long-form piece a while back that explained in great (excruciating) detail why *all* the shots are a better indicator of a team's play than just the SOG. A few Google searches did not return the piece, though.



#42 PASabreFan

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 10:15 AM

OK, I'll play along. (I'm not actually so virulently anti-analytics as it might seem, I just tend to hate what Corsi has become.) What about an old-fashioned stopwatch? Measure possession by how long the puck is in either offensive zone, no matter who is controlling it.



#43 Touched by Boyes

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 10:40 AM

OK, I'll play along. (I'm not actually so virulently anti-analytics as it might seem, I just tend to hate what Corsi has become.) What about an old-fashioned stopwatch? Measure possession by how long the puck is in either offensive zone, no matter who is controlling it.

Isn't this how they used to do it in soccer matches? Time of possession has been a metric for strong play for that sport for as long as I can remember.



#44 Claude_Verret

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 11:14 AM

I'm not sure why some find it so hard to believe that the statisticians have come up with some pretty accurate statistical models to describe the sport of hockey.  I've come across papers in my time where there biostatisticians have developed accurate statistical models for far more complex biological pathways and processes like receptor mediated endocytosis or isothermal PCR reactions.  The hockey analytics thing is not a huge stretch. 



#45 TrueBlueGED

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 11:20 AM

OK, I'll play along. (I'm not actually so virulently anti-analytics as it might seem, I just tend to hate what Corsi has become.) What about an old-fashioned stopwatch? Measure possession by how long the puck is in either offensive zone, no matter who is controlling it.


Why should a team be credited with possession when they don't have the puck? The whole point of measuring possession is to know who is controlling the play, and what players are best at it. I don't see a particularly good reason to "penalize" a team that is simply regrouping in its own end during a line change or whatever.

#46 That Aud Smell

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 11:29 AM

The NHL formally embraces #fancystats

 

http://www.theglobea...rticle23107412/

 

Move along, folks.



#47 Woods-Racer

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 11:30 AM

Why should a team be credited with possession when they don't have the puck? The whole point of measuring possession is to know who is controlling the play, and what players are best at it. I don't see a particularly good reason to "penalize" a team that is simply regrouping in its own end during a line change or whatever.

Same as kicking back to goalie in soccer, is time of possession then really time of control no matter what end of the rink?



#48 That Aud Smell

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 11:31 AM

What about an old-fashioned stopwatch? Measure possession by how long the puck is in either offensive zone, no matter who is controlling it.

You might not do that because the numbers you'd come up with would have little to no value.



#49 Hoss

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 11:35 AM

OK, I'll play along. (I'm not actually so virulently anti-analytics as it might seem, I just tend to hate what Corsi has become.) What about an old-fashioned stopwatch? Measure possession by how long the puck is in either offensive zone, no matter who is controlling it.


I've actually been thinking that they should do this once they get more into tracking the puck movements and player movements. Track how much time the luck was in all three zones for each game.

#50 That Aud Smell

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 11:38 AM

I've actually been thinking that they should do this once they get more into tracking the puck movements and player movements. Track how much time the luck was in all three zones for each game.

They will be able to track a whole lotta stuff once the chips are installed.

 

It's player-/team-possession numbers that will benefit the most. The chips in the jerseys will be talking to chips in the pucks, and voila, unimpeachable possession numbers. Probably given in real time, at some point. Shoot. There will soon be a running scroll of it on the bottom your TV screen.



#51 We've

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 11:42 AM

OK, I'll play along. (I'm not actually so virulently anti-analytics as it might seem, I just tend to hate what Corsi has become.) What about an old-fashioned stopwatch? Measure possession by how long the puck is in either offensive zone, no matter who is controlling it.

 

I would be more than surprised if teams haven't tried this some time ago as a first blush look at analytics.  This is the kind of things that interns end up doing and reporting on.


I've actually been thinking that they should do this once they get more into tracking the puck movements and player movements. Track how much time the luck was in all three zones for each game.

 

The league itself may benefit most from this sort of analysis.  Neutral zone play is a yawner.  They could use this to come up with ideas to reduce play in the neutral zone in an effort to create more scoring chances.



#52 PASabreFan

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 12:09 PM

Why should a team be credited with possession when they don't have the puck? The whole point of measuring possession is to know who is controlling the play, and what players are best at it. I don't see a particularly good reason to "penalize" a team that is simply regrouping in its own end during a line change or whatever.

Tell that to Volchenkov.


The NHL formally embraces #fancystats

 

http://www.theglobea...rticle23107412/

 

Move along, folks.

I don't like the "us vs. them" "we won" approach. After all, the league has been keeping the stats that are turned into Corsi for decades. Adding them up and calling them something, OK whatever. The chips are the game-changer here.



#53 That Aud Smell

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 12:23 PM

The league itself may benefit most from this sort of analysis.  Neutral zone play is a yawner.  They could use this to come up with ideas to reduce play in the neutral zone in an effort to create more scoring chances.

 

Hmmmm. Me likey.

 

I don't like the "us vs. them" "we won" approach. After all, the league has been keeping the stats that are turned into Corsi for decades. Adding them up and calling them something, OK whatever. The chips are the game-changer here.

Okay, okay. But the "stats are stoopid" tone and vibe from others (not you, I don't think) is what brings it on.

 

And I agree: The chips are gonna be some next-level sh!t.

 

Tell that to Volchenkov.

 

Oooooh, that is such a great memory. Thanks.


Edited by That Aud Smell, 20 February 2015 - 12:24 PM.


#54 PASabreFan

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 01:01 PM

Hmmmm. Me likey.

 

Okay, okay. But the "stats are stoopid" tone and vibe from others (not you, I don't think) is what brings it on.

 

And I agree: The chips are gonna be some next-level sh!t.

 

 

Oooooh, that is such a great memory. Thanks.

 No, you're right, I think they're quite stoopid.



#55 TrueBlueGED

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 04:37 PM

I don't like the "us vs. them" "we won" approach. After all, the league has been keeping the stats that are turned into Corsi for decades. Adding them up and calling them something, OK whatever. The chips are the game-changer here.

If by "for decades" you mean 2007, then sure. But there's a reason nobody has put these things together for earlier years.

It honestly seems like half your beef is that the people who created the metrics are getting credit where you don't think it's deserved. That's fine, but you strike me as having a hard time separating that from the usefulness of the measures, and that's no bueno (or whatever Google translate says it is in Russian).

Last point: yes the stats are simple in nature and "discovering" them isn't exactly like Newton inventing calculus. But these guys still found new applications and new meaning to it, and that is very much credit worthy. Hell, a huge part of science is finding new ways to apply existing techniques and data.

Edited by TrueBluePhD, 20 February 2015 - 04:37 PM.


#56 That Aud Smell

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 04:44 PM

 No, you're right, I think they're quite stoopid.

that's no bueno (or whatever Google translate says it is in Russian).

 

I've noticed the Rooskie-un-ayshun of names spreading around here like an outbreak of gym mat herpes.

 

I missed the memo. What's the deal?



#57 Claude_Verret

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 04:49 PM

I've noticed the Rooskie-un-ayshun of names spreading around here like an outbreak of gym mat herpes.

 

I missed the memo. What's the deal?

 

Imagine the that aud smell after we trounced those dirty russki's in '76.



#58 (E5)

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 04:51 PM

I'm pretty tired of arguing about the viability of these things, and I'm certainly not going to put much of any effort into arguing with somebody who has summarily dismissed them in advance. The war is over, the nerds won. Neither you nor anybody else has to be happy about it, but it doesn't change reality. Some of the most successful NHL teams are using statistics to elevate their franchises (Chicago and LA being the two most successful with it) and they have access to proprietary stats that we don't...but that doesn't change that what we do have available has enhanced our understanding of the game and ability to evaluate players for those who care how to use the stuff properly. And that's really the key, is using it properly--knowing what the stats are really saying, knowing their limitation, and thinking about the implications the right way.

 

Use it, don't use it, like it, don't like it...whatever. But the nerds did win, and at some point people will start accepting it.

 

 

I do agree for the most part. It just illustrates nothing is full proof...scouts that watch players in person and get a feel for how the player is can sometimes be right, and sometimes be wrong....similar to that of analytics. In both cases, the teams that are right more then not are most successful. 



#59 SwampD

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 05:07 PM

If by "for decades" you mean 2007, then sure. But there's a reason nobody has put these things together for earlier years.

It honestly seems like half your beef is that the people who created the metrics are getting credit where you don't think it's deserved. That's fine, but you strike me as having a hard time separating that from the usefulness of the measures, and that's no bueno (or whatever Google translate says it is in Russian).

Last point: yes the stats are simple in nature and "discovering" them isn't exactly like Newton inventing calculus. But these guys still found new applications and new meaning to it, and that is very much credit worthy. Hell, a huge part of science is finding new ways to apply existing techniques and data.

I"m totally fine with fancystats being used to help make my team better. Unfortunately, up to now, they've only been used to tell me that my really crappy team or crappy player "isn't really that bad, here's why..."

 

I think another reason I don't really welcome them with open arms is that, well, I don't really have to have a reason. It's sports and I watch to see human beings compete, and overcome adversity,... all the usual stuff. Stats takes the humanness out of the game. It's one of the reasons why I can't f'n stand baseball, with the changing lefty/righty pitchers halfway through an inning because this guy hits blah blah bla,... ugh. 

 

With these chips, the data is only going to get even more precise, and predictions more accurate (the Madden Super Bowl was just as "exciting" as the real one with the exact same score). Maybe we'll end up just watching those in the future. At least then we don't have to worry about guys struggling with PCS



#60 TrueBlueGED

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 05:21 PM

I"m totally fine with fancystats being used to help make my team better. Unfortunately, up to now, they've only been used to tell me that my really crappy team or crappy player "isn't really that bad, here's why..."

I think another reason I don't really welcome them with open arms is that, well, I don't really have to have a reason. It's sports and I watch to see human beings compete, and overcome adversity,... all the usual stuff. Stats takes the humanness out of the game. It's one of the reasons why I can't f'n stand baseball, with the changing lefty/righty pitchers halfway through an inning because this guy hits blah blah bla,... ugh.

With these chips, the data is only going to get even more precise, and predictions more accurate (the Madden Super Bowl was just as "exciting" as the real one with the exact same score). Maybe we'll end up just watching those in the future. At least then we don't have to worry about guys struggling with PCS


The first paragraph simply is not true. That might be what you've encountered, but they have absolutely been used to confirm things we knew: Crosby is the best, Bergeron is the best defensive forward, Chara is amazing, and you want to have the puck and put more pressure on the opposition than they put on you. Personally I don't find it especially interesting to discuss those sorts of confirmations...I think it's much better to discuss instances where the stats and the eyes don't match up, because then there's actually a debate to be had and varying perspectives to dissect.

As to the rest of what you said, I can respect that from a fan perspective. We're here to be entertained after all, and if a lot of stats makes your eyes glaze over or you really don't have time to learn about them then hey, do what you want and what's enjoyable. My beef is (and maybe I'm misreading) that most anti-stats arguments aren't of this nature, but rather argue the stats don't work and have no place in a blood and guts sport fueled by passions and so on. The whole "games aren't won on a spreadsheet" and the like just drive me up a wall, especially when voiced by those who obviously don't know the stats well if at all.

#61 PASabreFan

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 07:42 PM

If by "for decades" you mean 2007, then sure. But there's a reason nobody has put these things together for earlier years.

1997? If so, that's three decades. :)



#62 Bknotz

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 08:10 PM

We always talk and hear about offensive/defensive "advanced" stats such as Corsi, but does anyone know of any advance stats that describe goaltenders? I think it would be interesting to see where some goalies on bad teams ( such as Neuvirth) stand compared to goalies on good defensive teams.


Edited by Bknotz, 20 February 2015 - 08:11 PM.


#63 rakish

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 09:17 PM

We always talk and hear about offensive/defensive "advanced" stats such as Corsi, but does anyone know of any advance stats that describe goaltenders? I think it would be interesting to see where some goalies on bad teams ( such as Neuvirth) stand compared to goalies on good defensive teams.

I wrote this a few years ago.  I was trying to get a sense of what available goaltenders at the time should be paid. I took everybody's shots against at each distance, multiplied by the league average for that distance, then combined the distances to give you an idea of how many goals they saved. Then plotted that against how much money they made.  This was before I realized that you couldn't just draw in your own line of regression because it looked good.

 

As I wrote then, I think the idea is a failure because Cody Hodgson was on the ice for worse 10 foot shots than Steve Ott was, or he was really unlucky.  This makes sense if you watched Buffalo play hockey that year, but how do you adjust for that?  The same would be true of Neuvirth in your question.  Yeah I can tell you how many 10 foot shots he sees, and what percent the average goaltender saves, but like Hodgson and Ott, is he seeing a more difficult 10 foot shot than Rinne is? I think he is, making the piece useless.

 

So I wouldn't bother reading the piece.



#64 X. Benedict

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 08:09 AM

Nhl.com just added "enhanced stats" ...... Not sure why they didn't just call them Corsi and Fenwick....but the best I can tell that's exactly what they are.

As with their inclusion in broadcasts around the league today, they look like they are here to stay.

#65 PASabreFan

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 08:51 AM

Nhl.com just added "enhanced stats" ...... Not sure why they didn't just call them Corsi and Fenwick....but the best I can tell that's exactly what they are.

As with their inclusion in broadcasts around the league today, they look like they are here to stay.

They're descriptive labels. They're trying to edumucate folks like me.

 

Yes, shot attempts is Corsi and unblocked shot attempts is Fenwick.

 

http://www.nhl.com/i...s.htm?id=754260



#66 X. Benedict

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 08:54 AM

They're descriptive labels. They're trying to edumucate folks like me.
 
Yes, shot attempts is Corsi and unblocked shot attempts is Fenwick.
 
http://www.nhl.com/i...s.htm?id=754260


Spasibo.

#67 SwampD

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 09:26 AM

The first paragraph simply is not true. That might be what you've encountered, but they have absolutely been used to confirm things we knew: Crosby is the best, Bergeron is the best defensive forward, Chara is amazing, and you want to have the puck and put more pressure on the opposition than they put on you. Personally I don't find it especially interesting to discuss those sorts of confirmations...I think it's much better to discuss instances where the stats and the eyes don't match up, because then there's actually a debate to be had and varying perspectives to dissect.

I just meant in relation to the Sabres. Don't you remember, we had two top twenty centers on the team. No need to make changes.:wallbash:

As to the rest of what you said, I can respect that from a fan perspective. We're here to be entertained after all, and if a lot of stats makes your eyes glaze over or you really don't have time to learn about them then hey, do what you want and what's enjoyable. My beef is (and maybe I'm misreading) that most anti-stats arguments aren't of this nature, but rather argue the stats don't work and have no place in a blood and guts sport fueled by passions and so on. The whole "games aren't won on a spreadsheet" and the like just drive me up a wall, especially when voiced by those who obviously don't know the stats well if at all.

That is real, though, and you can't dismiss it just because there is no stat for it,... yet. I guess we need something like a "Nilan quotient". If we knew we had a guy on our team with a 16.4 NQ (17.2 being the highest), and there would have been an 87% likelyhood that he would have broken Lucic's jaw in the Millier incident, our worlds could coexist.

Edited by BolotoO, 21 February 2015 - 09:33 AM.


#68 carpandean

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 09:38 AM

That is real, though, and you can't dismiss it just because there is no stat for it,... yet. I guess we need something like a "Nilan quotient". If we knew we had a guy on our team who had a 16.4 NQ (17.2 being the highest), and there would have been an 87% likelyhood that he would have broken Lucic's jaw in the Millier incident, our worlds could coexist.

 

Sounds like a joint venture between nhl.com and hockeyfights.com.  Some combination of size (height, weight), hits, roughing minors, fighting majors, strength of opponents, average fight-card rating, etc.

 

Then, of course, you have to figure out what correlates to winning: a team's top rated NQ players, the average (over the roster or by TOI) NQ rating, the interaction of NQ and Corsi/Fenwick relative (a.k.a., the Gordie Howe Effect), ...

 

 

ETA: 7,777th post!


Edited by carpandean, 21 February 2015 - 09:40 AM.


#69 TrueBlueGED

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 10:03 AM

I just meant in relation to the Sabres. Don't you remember, we had two top twenty centers on the team. No need to make changes.:wallbash:

That is real, though, and you can't dismiss it just because there is no stat for it,... yet. I guess we need something like a "Nilan quotient". If we knew we had a guy on our team with a 16.4 NQ (17.2 being the highest), and there would have been an 87% likelyhood that he would have broken Lucic's jaw in the Millier incident, our worlds could coexist.


First, fair enough. I often wonder what Roy and Connolly would have looked like if we had Corsi and contextual stats for those first two post-lockout seasons. I have a feeling we'd have been able to see statistically what we all knew visually. Although to this day they're still the best centers by far this team has had since Drury and Briere left. You're all welcome for the reminder :P

As to your second point, I don't disagree at all. As always the eternal debate is the relative importance of each factor. I think a "lazy" player who puts up 50 points yearly can have a role on my team, but if you put together 12 of those guys you're probably going to have issues.

#70 carpandean

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 10:51 AM

They need to change the wording for SAT Rel on NHL.com:

 

Shot attempts Rel = Shot attempts for player - Shot attempts for team when player is not on the ice

 

Unfortunately (confusingly), they have a stat, SAT For, and another stat, SAT.  The former is only shots attempts by the player's team while the player is on the ice; the latter is the net shot attempts (player's team SA - opponent's SA) while the player is on the ice.  SAT Rel is based on the SAT stat, not the SAT For stat.  In other words, "Shot attempts for player" is actually the SAT stat (net shots attempted) while player is on the ice, not the SAT For stat for the player, and likewise for the team.

 

The funny thing is that the Sabres' players dominate this stat, since it subtracts off one really big negative number from a smaller negative number.  For example, Deslauriers has a STAT of -309, but leads the league with a STAT Rel of +712.  In other words, while there have been 309 more shot attempts against than shot attempts for while he was on the ice, there were actually 1,021 more shots against than shots for while he wasn't on the ice.  Seems pretty useless to not scale each by TOI or something like that.


Edited by carpandean, 21 February 2015 - 10:58 AM.


#71 TrueBlueGED

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 12:41 PM

Given that the NHL thinks zone starts and primary assists are some sort of proprietary innovation, I'm not even remotely surprised at the number of errors and oversights present.

Regarding the relative stats...they were always pretty weak at league-wide comparisons, to the point where I think they're basically useless outside of comparing players on the same team. Maybe adjust for team possession to make them more comparable? Don't think TOI would do the trick.

#72 rakish

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 04:39 PM

I have an analogy for the problem of using corsi. I'm going to ask a few questions of X, he's being generous enough to try to work through it with me, allowing me the space to get my point across. It will take a bit to get to hockey, but eventually we will get to hockey.

In the 18th century or so, the King of England decided to implement the window tax. The assessor would drive up to the house, count your windows, and levy your tax. The first two questions are, Why didn't this work? and What does it teach us about data?



#73 X. Benedict

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 08:03 PM

I have an analogy for the problem of using corsi. I'm going to ask a few questions of X, he's being generous enough to try to work through it with me, allowing me the space to get my point across. It will take a bit to get to hockey, but eventually we will get to hockey.

In the 18th century or so, the King of England decided to implement the window tax. The assessor would drive up to the house, count your windows, and levy your tax. The first two questions are, Why didn't this work? and What does it teach us about data?

 

I'll try my best.. 

 

In the 18th century when the Kind of England taxed windows, human nature being human nature, people began to brick up their windows. I'm imagining they even built houses without windows to save a few pence on the tax. Ultimately, in response to the tax, people would have hid, boarded up, or concealed their wealth by building homes with fewer, less, or probably in the case of the Irish and Scots, homes with no windows. 

 

The second part, I believe, is if the counting of windows is used by the State to determine wealth, the data, that is, the counting of windows would create a weird model. Even though the windows might  indicate some degree of wealth, they really wouldn't represent wealth. The Tax-man would have a helluva time trying to figure out where real income resided based on the measure of only windows. And daily reports on CNBC of the National Window Index would have nothing more to do with real incomes than the number of walls or faucets in any particular bungalow. 

 

How am I doing?


Edited by X. Benedict, 21 February 2015 - 08:04 PM.


#74 carpandean

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 08:15 PM

The second part, I believe, is if the counting of windows is used by the State to determine wealth, the data, that is, the counting of windows would create a weird model. Even though the windows might  indicate some degree of wealth, they really wouldn't represent wealth. The Tax-man would have a helluva time trying to figure out where real income resided based on the measure of only windows. And daily reports on CNBC of the National Window Index would have nothing more to do with real incomes than the number of walls or faucets in any particular bungalow.

 

I was thinking that the second part is basically ... you can't measure a system without affecting it and, thus, tainting your measurements.



#75 PASabreFan

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 08:25 PM

The Observer Effect. Also, the peasants would have been very envious when the tax man drove up in his county SUV.



#76 LastPommerFan

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 09:41 PM

So how long until players start taking terrible shots all the time during contract years to drive up their Corsi?



#77 Jeanbe

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 10:14 PM

Not long at all.



#78 TrueBlueGED

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 10:28 PM

So how long until players start taking terrible shots all the time during contract years to drive up their Corsi?

 

Not long at all.

 

Given that shot charts exist, I have a really hard time believing this would be effective in negotiations. Would probably get said player in a coach's doghouse pretty quickly too, which would be self-defeating.



#79 LastPommerFan

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 10:32 PM

Given that shot charts exist, I have a really hard time believing this would be effective in negotiations. Would probably get said player in a coach's doghouse pretty quickly too, which would be self-defeating.

Could make arbitration interesting again.

 

Do you think the measurement existing has had/will have no effect on the way the players play the game?



#80 TrueBlueGED

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 12:11 AM

Could make arbitration interesting again.

 

Do you think the measurement existing has had/will have no effect on the way the players play the game?

 

You've seen the typical athlete reaction when presented with stats, right? :P

 

I honestly don't think it has happened, nor do I think it will happen. For starters, players already preach about "getting pucks to the net" and "good things happen when you get shots" in hopes of good bounces, so I think a lot of the feared potential behavior from these stats going mainstream is actually already ingrained in players. Secondly, if there were to be an effect, I think it would only be with the marginal players who are trying to pump up their value...the really good to great players will already have a high value by, ya know, being good at playing the sport properly. And lastly, like I alluded to above, I really can't picture a coach tolerating such behavior on a regular basis. I'd say GMs wouldn't be fooled by that type of play either...but the history of NHL contracts tells me GMs are easily fooled :lol: