Sunday, June 28, 2009

Swedish Elite League NHLE with TOI

My attempts to analyze NHL Equivalencies have always been hampered by the question of usage. The NHL has published player ice time (TOI) data for over ten years, but other leagues have been slower to publish the data, either because they didn't track it officially or because they released only a very limited number of statistics to the public.

The Swedish Elite League has now published TOI for two seasons, which allows me to include ice time in the equivalencies. There aren't a huge number of players who've played significant time in both leagues the last two seasons, and because we only have one past season of SEL data, most of the players in question went from the NHL to the SEL, which is not the preferred direction for an equivalency study.

Here's the list:

Joe DiPenta SEL 18.4 10.6 57.9 10 18 23
Kris Beech SEL 18.5 11.5 62.1 62 36 46
Mathias Tjarnqvist SEL 21.2 13.7 64.3 43 12 15
Ossi Vaananen SEL 21.2 14.3 67.6 27 9 11
Jaroslav Hlinka SEL 19.5 13.9 71.3 84 36 47
Petr Tenkrat SEL 17.0 12.5 73.6 43 18 23
Ronald Petrovicky SEL 10.5 8.3 79.1 9 16 20
Jan Hlavac SEL 19.1 15.2 79.3 73 36 46
Josef Melichar SEL 19.3 18.8 97.6 13 14 18
Michael Holmqvist SEL 12.7 14.0 109.7 26 17 22
Patric Hornqvist NHL 17.8 11.4 64.0 46 21 26
Josef Melichar NHL 19.3 13.8 71.4 13 19 24
Ossi Vaananen NHL 21.2 17.9 84.5 27 18 24
Fabian Brunnstrom NHL 12.9 11.6 89.9 56 43 56
Jonas Frogren NHL 17.3 13.4 77.5 2 14 18

17.9 14.0 77.8 38 22 28

Players retained approximately 78% of their ice time when they went from the SEL to the NHL, and 57% of their per-game scoring. However, if we compare scoring on a per-minute basis, giving each player 22.2% more ice time, they retain 72% of their scoring. In other words, given equal ice time, we would expect them to score 26% more than they do*. But it's not true for everyone. Victor Hedman played over 21 minutes already as an 18-year-old in Sweden, so it's difficult to imagine him playing much more than that as a rookie in the NHL. Obviously we expect huge skills growth for teenagers, but a 40-point season would be a tremendous achievement for Hedman in Tampa Bay.

*In a previous analysis, I found that when we adjusted AHL players for PP scoring, their NHL Equivalency was 32% higher than if we ignored usage. The usage factor in the SEL and AHL seems to be similar.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New Article on Puck Prospectus: Minnesota High School Hockey equivalencies

"Overall, Minnesota hockey translates to the NCAA (NHLE = 0.41) at approximately 0.18, giving an NHLE of 0.073. The translation to the USHL is 0.195; its translation to the NCAA is 0.65; the overall NHLE is 0.052. Via a similar process, the NHLE via the NAHL is also 0.052. This puts the difficulty level of Minnesota H.S. hockey somewhere between 5.2% and 7.3% - which is not very high: the leading scorer in Minnesota over the course of a decade might be good for 20 points as an 18-year-old rookie in the NHL."

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Friday, June 19, 2009

New Article on Puck Prospectus: One-Goal Games

"While the trend is certainly downwards as scoring increases, several points confirm that it's possible to have both high-scoring and a high correlation between overall performance and performance in one-goal games. As scoring levels rise, the number of wins each team gets in one-goal games decreases, but there was no disincentive for them to play to win these games."


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Odds? Not in Pittsburgh's favor

The Vegas line for the Pittsburgh Penguins winning Game Seven tomorrow night in Detroit has been edging ever slowly against them. Twenty-four hours ago, a six-sports book average had them at 37.4% to win; they're now at 36.0%.

This seems like an underestimate to me. If we use their regular season goals for and against as an estimate of their true talent (.594 Detroit; .550 Pittsburgh), Pittsburgh has a neutral-site winning percentage of 45.5%.

Of course, there is a very strong home-ice advantage in the playoffs. Since 1979-80:

Round 1 - Home Team WPCT = .576 vs Neutral-Site WPCT = .509 (Adv = .067)
Round 2 - Home Team WPCT = .548 vs Neutral-Site WPCT = .506 (Adv = .042)
Round 3 - Home Team WPCT = .546 vs Neutral-Site WPCT = .504 (Adv = .042)
Round 4 - Home Team WPCT = .563 vs Neutral-Site WPCT = .505 (Adv = .058)

Using the Round 4/Finals Home-Ice Advantage, Pittsburgh should have almost a 40% chance of winning Game 7, which means the oddsmakers are underestimating them by more than 10% - provided you don't think Pittsburgh is actually better than their GF/GA predicts. Of course, it's been 38 years since the visiting team has won Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals, so perhaps the home-ice advantage is larger in a deciding game than it is normally. It has only happened six times, so it's hard to know. Regardless, Pittsburgh is not the favorite to win the cup tomorrow night...


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Stanley Cup successes, failures and non-entities...

One the eve of a potential cup win for the Detroit Red Wings, here are a few answers to your Stanley Cup trivia questions...

Most Wins:

Henri Richard 11
Jean Beliveau 10
Claude Provost 9
Red Kelly 8
Maurice Richard 8
Yvan Cournoyer 7

Most Cup Appearances:

Jean Beliveau 13
Henri Richard 12
Red Kelly 12
Maurice Richard 12
Jean-Guy Talbot 11
Doug Harvey 11
Bert Olmstead 11
Gordie Howe 11

Most Cup Losses:

Gordie Howe 7
Bert Olmstead 6
King Clancy 6
Glenn Hall 6
Red Horner 6
Busher Jackson 6
Doug Harvey 6

Most Cup Losses without a Win:

Norm Ullman 5
Brian Propp 5
Bruce MacGregor 5
Gerry Melnyk 5
Pep Kelly 5


Monday, June 1, 2009

New Puck Prospectus Post: The Right Guy in Goal

"With an unproven goalie, teams can not tolerate a losing streak, so newly-arrived goaltenders have to play well immediately in the NHL. The difference between an NHL All-Star and a fringe goaltender is approximately one goal every other game. It doesn't matter that it might take 60 or 70 games to tell whether a goaltender has a true talent save percentage of .910 or .900 - if he plays poorly in his first 10 or 20 games, he gets sent down and somebody else gets a chance."

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