Analytics mailbag: Save percentages, PDO, and repeatability

Cam Charron
May 27 2014 12:48PM

A week or so ago I opened this space up to questions about analytics, in an effort to make these numbers and terms that we use often on the hockey blogosphere more accessible to the average fan.

My initial plan was to have a post or two with all the questions and answers, but it's more practical to dedicate a post to each question and get as much information as possible in the reply. I won't publish names or emails with questions and will edit questions to remove all personal details, so even if you are a mainstreamer with a anti-stats reputation to maintain, nobody will ever know. Our first question is on the subject of save percentages and PDO.

Is PDO really a useful statistic? On a team wide scale, I feel like its a flawed stat. A team with a top ten goalie is much, much more likely to sustain a PDO considerably higher than a team with a bottom-ten starter. Even shooting rates seem to be somewhat sustainable for skilled teams, although much more variable so that argument is much less significant than the goaltending side. Wouldn't, mostly due to goal tending but slightly shooting talent too, PDO not really measure luck but instead to some degree skill? I can see on an individual player level how it could be more effective.

Thoughts? Do you think PDO is truly a good indicator of luck?

First, it's worthwhile to explain what "PDO" actually is.

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Playoff LFR: Vista Cruiser

Steve Dangle
May 27 2014 10:13AM

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That 70's line and the Kings have the Blackhawks on the ropes. Can they take out the champs?

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The Return of Leo?

Steve Dangle
May 26 2014 09:57PM

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Uncle Leo!

It's playoff time, so Leafs talk is scarce. Let's all take a moment to chuckle at that in a somber manner, sigh, pause for a moment, and tuck all that anguish deep down inside until it resurfaces as an ulcer.

Anyway, the buzz of the day appears to be the seemingly likely possibility that Leo Komarov will return to the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

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Marlies Fall 6-3 in First Loss of Playoffs

Jeff Veillette
May 26 2014 09:12PM


The Toronto Marlies needed Game 1 to be a serious wake up call. Winning 5-1 is nice, but if you replay a game where you get outshot 50-19 a hundred times, I doubt you get many more wins, let alone by four goals. They needed to take more control of tonight's game, and they needed to be more disciplined to keep themselves from being on the penalty kill for a significant chunk of it. To there credit, there were a few moments where that happened, but for the bulk of it, the team repeated their issues. This time, they weren't bailed out by miraculous goaltending, and lost their first game of the playoffs.

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Playoff LFR: Marty Bar Down

Steve Dangle
May 26 2014 09:52AM

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The Martin St. Louis and the New York Rangers snipe on the growing legend of Dustin Tokarski. Can the Habs come back?

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