Monday, January 14, 2008

David Staples' Error

I read theCult Of Hockey ever day, and it's definitely one of the best in the Oilblogosphere, especially considering that he's with the MSM. Unlike most of the Main Stream Media, he tells it like it is and rarely refuses to tell the truth, although I would have to say he is guilty of sugar coating the EIG and Kevin Lowe, but I would imagine that is largely a matter of optimism.

David Staples' latest post had some good points, but there was one thing I had to take issue with. Normally I would simply comment on his post, but the Edmonton Journal website is far too confusing for me to finish signing up.

He's been using a statistic of his own invention, the "error", which is based on which players were most responsible for a goal by the other team. Up to three errors are awarded per goal, and they can be awarded to a goalie for being out of his crease, a defenceman being of his man, etc.

In this latest post, he stated which forwards are the best defensively through 45 games, based on errors assigned. His list is as follows:

1. Dustin Penner. GP, 45; ESM, 614, E, 3; One error every 205 minutes.

2. Shawn Horcoff GP, 45; ESM, 678; E, 4; One error for every 170 minutes.
3. Patrick Thoresen, GP 16; ESM, 162; E, 1: One error for every 162 minutes.
4. Geoff Sanderson, GP, 32, ESM, 302; E, 2; One error for every 153 minutes.
5. Ales Hemsky, GP, 38, ESM, 553, E, 4, One error for every 138 minutes.
6. Andrew Cogliano, GP 45, ESM, 462, E, 4, One error for every 116 minutes.
7. Raffi Torres, GP, 32, ESM, 453, E, 4, One error for every 113 minutes.
8. Jarret Stoll, GP, 44, ESM, 528, E, 5, One error for every 106 minutes.
9 . Ethan Moreau, GP, 7, ESM 92, E, 1, One error for every 92 minutes.
10. Kyle Brodziak. GP 44, ESM 424, E, 5, One error for every 85 minutes.
11. Sam Gagner, GP, 42, ESM 488, E, 6, One error for every 81 minutes.
12. Fernando Pisani GP, 19, ESM, 232, E, 3, One error for every 77 minutes.
13. Robert Nilsson, GP 35, ESM, 383, E, 6, One error for every 64 minutes.
14. Zack Stortini, GP 30, ESM 222, E, 4, One error for every 56 minutes.

15. J.F. Jacques, GP, 9, ESM 55, E 1, One error for every 55 minutes.
16. Marc Pouliot, GP 9, ESM 87, E 2, One error for every 44 minutes.
17. Marty Reasoner, GP 45, ESM, 485, E 11, One error for every 44 minutes.

Judging by this, players like Ethan Moreau and Fernando Pisani are less responsible in their own end than players like Cogliano, Gagner, Hemsky, and their ilk. Anyone who has watched these guys play can tell you that this simply is not true.

While I'll admit that the +/- statistic is neither perfect nor close to it, but the error is not going to replace it any time soon. It doesn't factor in the fact that Saint Fernando is playing against players far more offensively potent than Samwise, or that both Fernie and Chopper are gritty players all over the ice, and can be forgiven for the rare mistake in their own end.

No one stat can tell the story, you need to look at goals, assists, quality of opposition, PIM, maybe even the error.


dstaples said...

Three things . . .
1. Gagner is not ahead of Pisani and Moreau.
2. Hemsky and Cogliano are at this point, but recall that Pisani and Moreau both are coming off injuries, so if they are a bit off their game, that might explain it. Also, Cogs, Moreau and Pisani are fairly close in the standings, and one more error by Cogs would put him below Moreau or Pisani. As for Hemsky, he's a better defensive player than people give him credit for. He also plays with the Oil's two best defenders, Horc and Penners, so that helps him.
3. Thanks for writing about the "error." The more discussion on the error, the more I can refine the stat. It's still in its early conceptual states.

Santa Merda said...

Gagner is in fact ahead of Pisani, but I see I misread when seeing him in front of Moreau.