Monday, July 14, 2008

Sabermetrics And Defence

In the summertime when hockey news starts to slow down, I like to write about hockey sabermetrics issues. I have a reasonable archive of sabermetrics posts.

This summer, I thought I would try to address the sabermetric problems of rating a player's defensive ability. This is a tough problem and one that is not fully solved, but there are several techniques to try to identify the best defensive players. I will try to address some of them with their pros and cons.

By its nature, defence is hard to rate. You cannot easily assess how many goals a given player prevented (the same way you can assess how many a player scored). Defence is a team related activity. Even if you do a great job of taking your man out of the play, another player on the ice may score. It is hard to separate individual contributions from team results. As a fan watching a game, it is easy to see spectacular plays or significant mistakes and miss the play of a steady defensive player who almost never allows an offensive opportunity to develop.

Defence is very important to winning hockey games, but assessing it statistically can be difficult. I hope to look at some of the problems in this assessment and some of the methods that can be used to try to gage a player's defensive contribution.

I bought some reeboks the other day, tried to skate on them and i think i had problems cuz my blades aren't in the middle. How can i sort this out if theres no hockey shops near me?
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