January 25, 2013

Hockey Stats Are Like Bikinis

There has been an interesting debate going around lately.

It has to do with hockey statistics. More specifically it has to do with the desire to better understand hockey and hockey players through the exploration of new statistics.

In baseball, it is called Sabermetrics. Jason Gregor of OilersNation argues trying to bring Sabermetrics to hockey is impossible and pointless. Dirk Hoag, the noted statistics guru from On The Forecheck, takes offense to Gregor's stance.

I have never been much of a statistics guy. That's why you don't see much statistical analysis on my site.

Instead, I have always been a big fan of players whose contributions are not quantifiable on any score sheet. Players like Rod Langway or Bob Gainey. They may have never had big offensive seasons like Bernie Nicholls or Denis Maruk, but no one would dare suggest that they are the better players, would they?

While I think Gregor is ultimately right in that hockey is not easily quantifiable, I really appreciate people like Hoag that are trying to help us appreciate hockey at an even better understanding.

All of this reminds of something I recently heard Marty Turco say: "Statistics are like bikinis, they only show so much."

Sometimes they make someone look a whole lot better than they really are, too.

1 comment:

Scott said...

I agree with YOUR opinion regarding the two writers, with one caveat. I am one who likes to look for mathematical solutions to what SEEM to be totally subjective topics. I also encourage anything that promotes interest in the game.
Great article, great topic!

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