Puckprospectus.com: The Plus and Minus of Plus/Minus

Hockey is usually not the sport where statistical or analytical innovation takes place. So it’s ironic that one of the most useful concepts in sports statistics has been an official NHL statistic for over 40 seasons, leading other sports by at least three decades. The statistic in question is Plus/Minus, which is perhaps the biggest subject of debate in hockey right now. Even though it accounts for the two most important actions in hockey, scoring goals and preventing goals, nobody can agree on what’s wrong with it or how to fix it.

via Puck Prospectus | Articles | The Plus and Minus of Plus/Minus .

And then there’s this:

Let’s make one final adjustment: take a player’s +/- production and subtract from it what happens when he’s not on the ice. In other words, generate a plus/minus relative to his team. This is very similar to what Tom Awad suggested recently:


BERGLUND 2.63	 GETZLAF      23.4
DATSYUK	 2.32	 PERRY	      23.0
B. RYAN	 2.16	 BOOTH	      22.2
STREIT	 1.82	 STREIT	      22.2
PERRON	 1.70	 B. RYAN      21.0
KREJCI	 1.58	 PENNER       19.1
MONTADOR 1.54	 GOMEZ	      18.8
KLEE	 1.52	 KUNITZ	      18.6
RYDER	 1.52	 PARISE	      18.3

This is a bit more interesting: we still see the top Bruins and Wings, but we also see players who’ve had dominant (and generally unsung) seasons for bad or mediocre teams, like Mark Streit. Perhaps the most interesting player on the Corsi list is the much-maligned Dustin Penner, who has continually failed to live up to expectations in Edmonton despite posting cryptically good numbers on a regular basis.

I especially like the phrase “cryptically good numbers.”


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