Hockey Insights: Discussing Important Questions with Jeff Angus and Ryan Ma, Volume 3

Hockey Insights: Discussing Important Questions with Jeff Angus and Ryan Ma, Volume 3

Welcome to the third edition of Hockey Insights, where we sit down with hockey analysts Jeff Angus and Ryan Ma to discuss important questions surrounding the game today. In this edition, we’ll take a look at the role that analytics plays in understanding player performance, player value metrics, and dive into some controversial topics like goalie interference.

Question 1: How important are advanced statistics in judging a player’s performance?

Jeff Angus: It’s assumed that traditional statistics such as goals, assists, and plus-minus tell us a lot about a player’s performance when they’re on the ice. However, advanced statistics allow us to dig deeper beyond these basic numbers. Analyzing things like shot attempts and scoring chances can provide insight into how much a player is genuinely impacting the game. That said, it’s essential to find a balance between these new tools and traditional scouting methods.

Ryan Ma: Advanced stats are critical for understanding a player’s impact on a game. While I agree with Jeff that there should be a balance between analytics and traditional scouting methods, advanced statistics bring objectivity to the decision-making process. They help general managers make informed choices based on concrete data rather than purely relying on gut feelings or personal biases.

Question 2: What specific advanced metrics do you find most valuable?

Jeff Angus: Corsi Numbers – which measure shot attempts for and against – have become a prominent metric for evaluating individual players. Besides, Fenwick Numbers – which exclude blocked shots from the Corsi equation – provide additional insights into a player’s ability to contribute offensively while suppressing opposing team shots defensively.

Ryan Ma: One of my favorite advanced metrics is Expected Goals (xG). xG assigns values to shots depending on factors such as shot type, distance from the net, and game situation. Additionally, I’m a fan of examining zone entries and exits as it helps to understand how effective a player is at carrying the puck and transitioning the game from defense to offense.

Question 3: How do you view the importance of “intangibles” like leadership and work ethic in a player’s evaluation?

Jeff Angus: Intangibles should never be overlooked – they can make or break a player’s career. However, I’m hesitant to place too much weight on them alone. A balanced approach that considers both numerical data and intangible qualities reveals a more accurate picture of a player’s value.

Ryan Ma: Intangibles might not directly translate into tangible results, but they are essential elements that can contribute to team success. It’s essential not to undervalue these attributes when building a team. Analytics can inform us about many aspects of a player’s performance, but it cannot quantify the impact of their work ethic, character, and leadership in the dressing room.

Question 4: How should goalie interference be addressed in the NHL?

Jeff Angus: Currently, goalie interference is one of the most confusing aspects of our game. The on-ice officials are being tasked with making split-second decisions that can have significant consequences on the outcome of a match. To better address this issue, I would like to see more standardized guidelines for what constitutes “interference” and potentially invest in additional off-ice video review resources.

Ryan Ma: I agree with Jeff; the current system is nebulous and open to interpretation. Providing clearer guidance on what constitutes goalie interference would improve the situation. However, implementing an off-ice video review system may slow down games and introduce potential controversies. We need to strike a balance between maintaining the flow of the game and ensuring accurate decisions are made.