October 21 2014 03:51PM
Here at Canucks Army, we make no secret that we're all fans of Jamie Benn. And really, can you blame us? What's not to love? The guy scores highlight reel goals, has won World Junior and Olympic gold medals, hits like a freight train, once busted open Jarome Iginla, and to top it all off, is from Victoria, B.C.
Benn solidified himself as a legitimate NHL star last season when he found an elite linemate in Tyler Seguin, and Jim Nill's offseason additions of Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky look to have vaulted Dallas into the conversation as one of the outside contenders to wrestle the Central Division crown away from the Chicago Blackhawks.
Needless to say, Tuesday's 5:30 PM showdown against the Stars is going to be another stiff test for the Canucks. Read past the jump.
October 20 2014 12:45PM
Alex Edler: actually pretty good at preventing quality shots
Most people in the stats community dislike plus-minus, but my feelings are much stronger than that. I loathe plus-minus. It’s personal. The draft for my keeper league hockey pool was about to start and I was considering taking a flyer on a young Erik Karlsson. He was coming off his 2nd season in the NHL, where he posted an impressive 45 points. However, at minus 30 I figured he must be in for a significant drop in playing time considering he was obviously such a huge defensive liability to his team. Karlsson ended up finding himself on the roster of my arch nemesis, scored an insane 78 points, and hilarity ensued. I hate plus-minus.
In theory, plus-minus should be an immensely useful stat. The team who scores the most goals in a game wins, so by extension it seems to make sense that better defensive players would be on the ice for more goals for than goals against. Unfortunately, because this statistic is so greatly affected by goaltending and team’s on-ice shooting percentage, amongst other factors, the usefulness of plus-minus is negligible and it has been largely abandoned by the stats community.
This got me thinking: while we know plus-minus itself is a useless statistic, is there a way we could more accurately calculate the impact a player has on their terms scoring differential? Or put more simply, can we create a better plus-minus? Read past the jump to find out.
Nation World HQ
October 20 2014 11:45AM
The Nation Network brings you the Nation Minute, a rapid fire look at stats and news around the network or NHL. On tap this week: The Canucks offense, Jonas Hiller, Ben Scrivens, Mark Fayne and more.
October 20 2014 10:44AM
It's early in the season, the Canucks are 3-1-0 mostly on the backs of beating woeful Alberta-based teams, and there's still an awful lot of noise present in the underlying data.
While we can infer some things about the club based on the roster, the eye-test, and the past performances of some of the club's personnel, the truth is, it's too early still. The data at this point isn't mature enough to allow us to draw conclusions about the quality of this new-look Canucks club with any confidence.
We'll still proceed and see what we can see, but keep the relative softness of the Canucks schedule and the volatility of miniscule samples in mind. At this point in the season, this is guesswork mostly.
Read past the jump.
October 19 2014 06:28PM
Now, I know. It’s hard to compare sports, especially hockey and baseball. But the parallels that can be drawn between the two can show that the Canucks can learn from their Pacific Northwest counterparts success, and downfalls.
More after the jump.