Enhance Your Experience: Bring Back the Shift Chart


As you may remember, MHH has completely sold its soul and is taking part in some sponsored posts with the theme "Enhance Your Experience". Last week, I recommended simplifying some of the more convoluted rules on the ice. This week, I'm stepping onto the soapbox to bang a drum about a topic that's near and dear to many of our hearts: Bring back the shift charts!

Don't remember shift charts? Shift charts were a report the NHL used to put out for each game showing a graphical representation of each player's ice time (example). Simple. Useful. Effective. For some reason, the NHL quietly stopped publishing these after the 2006-2007 season and that's a darn shame. Why did they get rid of them? I don't believe there's been any published explanation, but I wonder if it has to do with the fact that they changed the format for their TOI data at that time as well. Check out the 2006-2007 TOI report and compare it to one from 2007-2008. Could it be just a matter of not having the resources to update their shift chart generator?

Since the NHL still publishes their shift-by-shift statistical data, it's possible to to "roll your own" shift charts, like Vic Ferrari does at TimeOnIce.com. Those of you who remember me from my previous home know that I wrote a program to generate shift charts as well. But after one season, I ran into some technical difficulties and I haven't had the time to coax my limited technical know-how to fix the damn thing. Until then, I'll continue to plead with the NHL to bring the shift chart back. Please!

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