Hockey's Structure and Incentive Problem

Kent Wilson
March 08 2013 03:52PM

 

 

Yesterday I discussed some of the entrenched misperceptions about statistical analysis in hockey and why they are misguided. Today, in a post called "Hockey's Counting Problem", Cam Charron looked at some of the significant obstacles standing in the way of effective, evidence-based analysis truly getting a foothold in the NHL's upper offices.

Two challenges he touches on that I want to discuss in greater depth are top-down vs bottom-up processes and the clash between long-term decision making and short-term incentives.

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LFR6 - Game 25 - Too Much to Bear

Steve Dangle
March 08 2013 10:38AM

Let's be honest here - it's the Bruins. What did you expect?

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Bruin'd. Boston beats Toronto 4-2

Cam Charron
March 07 2013 09:04PM

It was a rough night for the Nazem Kadri line and I'm trying to figure exactly why. I don't think it was because Kadri was roughed up along the Bruins bench late in the first period and Brad Marchand jabbed at him, because Kadri and Clarke MacArthur connected on a pretty goal early in the next period.

Then again, it was a rough night for a whole lot of Leafs. Not in the physical sense, but just in the sense that their early pressure on the Boston Bruins' net and Anton Khudobin got unrewarded, three defensive breakdowns cost the Leafs goals against and they ended up with a 4-2 loss at the Boston Gardens, their 8th straight defeat against one of the best teams in the East.

That said, it's not as bad as the scoreboard indicated. When the Leafs went down 3-1 late in the second, I got the impression that the Leafs deserved better. Recap below.

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Preview: Game #25 Leafs @ Bruins - The Punk Test

Cam Charron
March 07 2013 03:55PM

That video is from the last time the Toronto Maple Leafs won against the Boston Bruins. That was back on March 31st… 2011 which amounts to a seven-game losing streak against the Northeast Division rivals. They've been out-scored 37-10 and shutout three times. In that span of time, Boston has been the best team in the Eastern Conference.

The Bruins, it can be argued, are the franchise the Leafs are trying to model themselves off of. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of what the Boston Bruins are. In traditionalist hockey quarters, they're a team that's thrived on thuggery and toughness. When you pay closer attention to how they've built their team, you find that each player addition comes as the way of a methodical decision-making process.

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Maple Leafs scoring chances through 24 games

Cam Charron
March 07 2013 02:07PM

Through 24 games we've tracked the Toronto Maple Leafs. They've taken 230 scoring chances in that span of time and the opponents have taken 236. The team is mostly around even, and considering they've spent a lot of time through the first half of the season ahead, the ice has been naturally tilted against them.

So that's the good news. I've tallied up the individual totals from each game that I post in the game recaps, fix any errors with the data, and adjust them per 20 minutes. Here is the data after 24 games:

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