Talking Advanced Stats with Elliotte Friedman

Thomas Drance
October 06 2011 01:32PM

You all know Elliotte Friedman – he’s the Hockey Night in Canada Broadcaster who happens to write the best English language hockey column in the world. His 30 Thoughts go up every Monday (they’re rarely delayed, but when they are, Twitter has a panic-attack). No one captures chatter from the rink quite like Friedman does every Monday. It’s those insightful tidbits that make his 30 Thoughts columns indispensible to NHL fans. When 30 Thoughts returned from its summer hiatus this year, I noticed that Friedman was talking about zone-starts and hockey analytics in a way he previously hadn’t done. I thought perhaps there had been a change in his thinking over the summer in regards to fancy-stats, so I decided to e-mail him and see if he’d talk “moneypuck” with me. Elliotte agreed, and while I had my Wayne Campbell meeting Alice Cooper moment, we set the date of the interview for this past Tuesday. On Tuesday, Elliotte’s wife gave birth to the couples first son – but Elliotte e-mailed me the next day and was still interested in talking about hockey-stats. On behalf of the Nation Network, I’d like to extend my gratitude to Elliotte for his candor and class, and our congratulations to him and his wife on the birth of their son. What follows is the conversation we had:

Thom Drance: Elliotte, one of the main reasons I wanted to speak with you was the appearance of advanced metrics in your regular 30 thoughts column beginning last month, I'm curious, how would you describe your interest in these number?

Elliotte Friedman: I've always been interested in statistical analysis and what it can mean. I think that, in this day and age if you're not open-minded to something – it's a bad thing. You have to be open minded to all ideas and theories to see if they really make sense, and can help you judge players, teams or whatever. For me it was just a matter of having the time to figure out what they were trying to do, and if they made any sense.

Read Article | 29 Comments

HOCKEY IS BACK! Toronto v. Montreal

Pension Plan Puppets
October 06 2011 12:04PM

 

 

THANKS BE TO BUDDHA! After a long summer, NHL hockey is finally back. The 82 game grind begins with a matchup against the Old Enemy. The Leafs built their playoff push last year in large part on their success within their division. They've not lost a season series to the Canadiens since 2006 which is funny because they've also been the worst team to ever play hockey in that span.

Read Article | 1 Comments

Penalty-Killing Plugs

JP Nikota
October 06 2011 07:32AM

 

Michael Langlois made an interesting comment on the Leafs season preview podcast that was published on the Globe's website yesterday. He pointed out that, to his memory, most of the best penalty-killing forwards (going back for decades) were the best all-around players, and not those we have come to think of as a "PK specialists".

Read Article | 1 Comments

Leafs Acquire Steckel

Kent Wilson
October 04 2011 05:24PM

 

 

News came down this afternoon that the Leafs have grabbed David Steckel from the Devils in exchange for a fourth round pick. The former Capital costs just $1.1M in cap space over the next two seasons and is one of the very best face-off men in the league.

Read Article | 0 Comments

Nazem Kadri’s Draft Class

Jonathan Willis
October 03 2011 06:29PM

How does Nazem Kadri compare with his draft class?

Read Article | 26 Comments