The creation and explanation of the DAWG stat to measure a player’s “heart”: Canucks Conversation Oct. 14th

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
1 year ago
Over the past week, our own Chris Faber put on his thinking cap and stayed up until the wee hours of the morning crafting up a formula that could successfully measure how much dawg a player has in him.
For those not familiar, “got that dawg in him”, is a term used to describe a person (usually an athlete) who is mentally tough and able to perform in important situations.
In other words, if an NHL player has got that dawg in him, he is a player who is working hard, is involved all over the ice, and is an overall selfless player.
Faber first used the term to describe Tristen Nielsen during this year’s Young Stars Classic, and ever since, we’ve been trying to determine an analytics-based way of measuring a player’s traits that would typically only be reserved for the eye test.
Now, that’s all changed.

How scoring works in the DAWG stat

A score of 100 is extremely good but 100 can be surpassed. Of players who played more than 200 minutes last season, there’s only one player with a 100+ DAWG rating. A rookie out of Montreal:
We can’t give out our full secret formula just yet, but Faber is using seven different advanced stats — none of which are points — to determine a player’s DAWG rating.
We ran this formula a number of times using stats from last season to fine-tune it, and the results of the final formula make us believe we nailed it.
First, there’s the DAWG rating of the Canucks skaters on Wednesday night’s season opener against the Edmonton Oilers.
Top four DAWGs from game one:
Luke Schenn — 113.13
Kyle Burroughs — 105.12
Oliver Ekman-Larsson — 80.26
Elias Pettersson — 78.34
Bottom two:
Bo Horvat — 34.81
Brock Boeser — 24.46
These numbers essentially confirmed our eye test of the players who showed the most heart — to use a more traditional term — in the Canucks’ loss to the Oilers.
Second, there was the league-wide numbers, where Phil Kessel in sunny Arizona ranked dead last in DAWG around the league.
Last season, Kyle Burroughs was the top-dog from the Vancouver Canucks with a rating of 80.36. Luke Schenn was close behind with a 79.82.
We talked about it more on today’s episode of Canucks Conversation, which you can watch below!
Catch the livestream at 1 PM Pacific Monday through Friday on The Nation Network’s Youtube Channel here and the CanucksArmy Twitter account here!
The show is also available in podcast format around 2 PM every day wherever you get your podcasts!

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