My summer "project" this year was to come up with some better ways to show something that I think is very important: the lines the Avalanche use, and how they perform in the game. I tracked them last year using excel, but I never really liked how those numbers copied into the blog entries. And, it was a lot of work. So, I dusted off my old Visual Basic books and set about finding an easier and prettier way.
Here's an initial version of what I've come up with:
So far, these reports list the lines and pairings used along with some key stats for each players. As you can guess, my HTML skills are not "all that", so bear with me. Hopefully, they'll be easy enough to read.
I think most of the report will be self-explanatory. The only new concept is what I'm calling the ITCS game score. It's an idea I got from playing EHM (a hockey text sim) - the game would apply a 1-10 rating for each player after a game. While I have no idea who that rating was calculated in EHM, I think the game score I came up is similar in spirit. Basically, a player starts with a game score of 5. If you dress, and do absolutely nothing good or bad in a game (*casts a glance at Tyler Arnason*), you get a 5. Positive stuff you do in the game gets you a higher score, while negative stuff counts against you.
- positive +/-
- fights (helping the team)
- blocked shots
- shots taken
- missed shots (yes, even these count, as they do reflect offensive chances)
- negative +/-
- penalties (except fighting majors)*
*for now, roughing penalties don't count either way
Most of the stats are weighted to reflect the average output of an Avalanche player at that position (forward or defense) last year. So blocked shots count a bit differently for Brett Clark than they do for Ian Laperriere. This is still very much a work in progress. I still need to work in faceoffs and a few other minor stats. And I also may tweak the formula a bit as the season goes on, if I see something that needs adjustment. In particular, I think the formula for D needs a bit more fine-tuning. Still, from the first 3 games, it looks like on the whole it's more or less working as I intended it to.
Game score isn't intended to be a be-all-end-all, bottom-line rating. But it's another tool to help evaluate how well a player performed in a particular game.
This is just the beginning - I plan to tweak and add to this report throughout the season. Now that I've got the foundation laid, making additions should be relatively easy (and if the NHL would stop changing around the reports I'm pulling data from, it would be even easier...hint, hint). I still don't have goalies represented, for example, but those should be coming pretty soon. I also plan to add in powerplay and penalty kill reporting. Next up, I'm hoping to add back the highly useful shift charts that the league, in all its wisdom, has deep sixed.
I always welcome feedback here at ITCS. When it comes to these reports, I'd like to encourage you to let me know what you think. Is there something you'd like to see added or changed? Comments are a great way to let me know (I see all of them). Or, there's a contact form at the top of the page. Either way, let me know.