All Forums > SimLeague Hockey > SimLeague Hockey > WHA Teams & Players
4/18/2010 11:59 PM
Quote: Originally Posted By SAKABAKBRG on 4/17/2010Those great +/- ratings could also mean that those guys were always out there with the 1st line on offense, and never out against the other teams 1st liners. +/- is a horrible stat to use to judge defense. I honestly had someone argue with me once that at one point in a season Hal Gill was a +12 and Nik Lidstrom was a +10, therefore Hal Gill was a better d-man. Look at Ray Bourque. In 1999-2000, he was -11 in 65 games with Boston and +9 in 14 games with Colorado. Did he suddenly remember how to play defense after the trade? +/- is a decent stat to use when it's put in the proper context, but you need more info. Just saying "Player X was a +42 and Player Y was a +17" doesn't mean anything. If Player Y was getting 30 minutes a game and Player X was getting 10 minutes a game, it makes a difference.

And using All-stars and Norris Voting to determine defense ratings? That is even worse! You want to use fan voting (all-stars) or media voting (Norris) to determine how good someone is on defense? Mike Green was a Norris finalist last year based strictly on his offensive stats. He was a liability in his own end


Your points on +/- are well taken. I agree that +/- can be very flawed, but personally I think +/- has some value.

In terms of All-Star voting, I was referring to the post season All-Star teams, which are voted by the media. (Personally, I have no use for the All-Star Game, or its fan-voted teams) I do think that the opinions of the media have some value. Like most things, though, I don't think media opinions are infallible.

In terms of the Salming/Turnbull example, I think it is safe to say that they were out against top opposing players.

Does anyone agree with me that PIM should come out of Def?

Does anyone else share my concerns about the Doug Harvey anomaly?

Good debate and ideas from all posters!
4/19/2010 12:18 AM
Quote: Originally Posted By damag on 4/18/2010
I really have to point out that I am not arguing with the_jsa here, I have nothing against his viewpoint, but I disagree with it completely.

I have great respect for your ideas, Damag. I must admit, I am not married to +/-. I am aware of the many factors that distort its accuracy.

I do have long-standing dissatisfaction with the Def ratings of some players. Some are too high, and some are too low imho.

Baseball is the king of stats, for sure. Hockey is nowhere close. As well, the rolling nature of line changes, and the fact that players on the same team may not play against the same opponents during a given game, depending on how the coaches line match.

And I am SUPER EXCITED about the WHA stats being added!!!!
4/19/2010 11:25 AM
Quote: Originally posted by the_jsa on 4/18/2010In terms of the Salming/Turnbull example, I think it is safe to say that they were out against top opposing players.  Does anyone agree with me that PIM should come out of Def?Does anyone else share my concerns about the Doug Harvey anomaly?Good debate and ideas from all posters!

I share your concern about any player who's DEF rating varies by more than 20 points from year to year.
4/19/2010 1:14 PM
It's funny, in all the years I've been here, I've never seen so many guys complaining about team effect. D rating has always been about team effect. That's how you differentiate Doug Harvey's years with the Habs from his years with the Rangers, for instance.

What's really making it jump out is that the past two seasons have shown, IMO, exaggerated D ratings for defencemen. My personal assumption has been that WIS tweaked the formula in that direction so that more of today's players might be used in more leagues. Really, to my eyes today's hockey resembles the 50s. Less goals, more homogenous defence throughout the league, no truly atrocious teams, low shooting percentages, goalies with high save percentages. And no one uses 50s players in open or high-cap play.

As for defence ratings varying hugely from year to year, it happens in real life. Dennis Wideman may not have been a 95 last year and a 53 this year, but IMO it would be no exaggeration to say he went from a 75 to a 40.

4/19/2010 1:56 PM
Quote: Originally Posted By damag on 4/19/2010

It's funny, in all the years I've been here, I've never seen so many guys complaining about team effect. D rating has always been about team effect. That's how you differentiate Doug Harvey's years with the Habs from his years with the Rangers, for instance.

What's really making it jump out is that the past two seasons have shown, IMO, exaggerated D ratings for defencemen. My personal assumption has been that WIS tweaked the formula in that direction so that more of today's players might be used in more leagues. Really, to my eyes today's hockey resembles the 50s. Less goals, more homogenous defence throughout the league, no truly atrocious teams, low shooting percentages, goalies with high save percentages. And no one uses 50s players in open or high-cap play.

As for defence ratings varying hugely from year to year, it happens in real life. Dennis Wideman may not have been a 95 last year and a 53 this year, but IMO it would be no exaggeration to say he went from a 75 to a 40.



In an attempt to bridge the gap in thought about this issue of varying D-Rating from year to year.....

Team Defence should and does play a role in a players individual D-Rating - it just makes sense - if the team is doing well defensively then the players must be good defenders

On the flip side - regardless of how a team does from year to year - an individual (in real life) does not go from being a great defender to a poor defender over the course of one season - no matter if he switches teams or stays on the same team - unless he had one too many concussions, a major injury, or there is a massive change in the teams coaching philosophy.

If Larry Robinson were traded to the Oakland Seals - would he forget how to play Defensively? NO! Would he still be a 95 rated Defensmen? NO

There has to be some LOGICAL middle ground
4/19/2010 2:13 PM
Couple of things, stepping back from the numbers...

One of the reasons for the D rating in the first place is so that you can play off players and teams from different eras against each other. In a way, the D rating itself is a form of "normalization". So these numbers are not expressed opinions of how good or bad the players were. Again, if it were named something other than "Defensive Rating" it might not upset so many.

Also, is there really a need to get carried away by big numbers? One of the very first things I ever read in these forums was something I never saw expressed again... an ancient owner who dated back to Version 1.0... and I truly do forget his name, I'm sorry... who had a theory that D ratings don't behave in a linear fashion but more bell curved. The closer you get to zero or to 100, the less massive the effect. So, a 90 defenceman doesn't really play like he's a whole six times better than a 15. Or the difference between a 40 defenceman and a 60 plays like twice the difference between a 60 and an 80. That kind of thing. I never saw anyone else say it, but I always remembered it because it kind of holds a grain of truth for me.

(Side thought - If Larry Robinson were traded to the Oakland Seals, yes his rating would end up being about a 16. He might have saved Oakland about 20 or 30 goals a season at very most, and ended up with a minus rating of 40. The Seals were that bad. Some analysts have suggested that the infamous Bill Mikkelson was actually a very good player who just happened to play for the expansion Washington Capitals. You have to get a lot of regular ice time to go -60.)

4/19/2010 6:04 PM
How about we just got back to 1.0, and give everyone an A, B, C, D, or F?
4/19/2010 7:09 PM
I want to take a second, in the middle of all my whining, to really give kudos to the guys running the show here (and I don't mean the Sapheads.)

Building this site and having the SIM work as well as it does using the stats that are available in real life is an amazing achievement!

Anyhow - if the DEF really represents the defensive aptitude, I'd like to see it normalized for a player across his career with a bit of minor variation. Sure +/- is a team stat but DEF should be unique to a player. If you get enough positionally sound defensemen, then the +/- will go up for all members of the team.
That said: looking at stats, it's difficult to say how much of the team goals against is due to team defensive play and how much is the goalie. I've never seen Robinson play but with Dryden in net, he didn't have to be THAT awesome to get a great +/-. We all know that Lafleur and Shutt were not exactly checking forwards and they have awesome DEF ratings.
4/19/2010 8:25 PM
Quote: Originally Posted By sikboy21 on 4/19/2010



Anyhow - if the DEF really represents the defensive aptitude, I'd like to see it normalized for a player across his career with a bit of minor variation. Sure +/- is a team stat but DEF should be unique to a player. If you get enough positionally sound defensemen, then the +/- will go up for all members of the team.


That said: looking at stats, it's difficult to say how much of the team goals against is due to team defensive play and how much is the goalie. I've never seen Robinson play but with Dryden in net, he didn't have to be THAT awesome to get a great +/-.

We all know that Lafleur and Shutt were not exactly checking forwards and they have awesome DEF ratings.

Three things:

1/ Normalizing a player's defensive rating across his career means taking team effects out of it entirely. Then it's just opinion.

2/ There are many statisticians who would argue that Dryden was merely a league average goalie on a smothering team. He had four HOF defencemen in front of him for a great deal of his career.

3/ Lafleur and Shutt - perhaps the greatest examples of why the name "Defensive Rating" is a bit of a red herring. And again - team effect.

4/19/2010 8:33 PM
I was going to agree with the Dryden argument but Damag beat me to it....

That's like saying Lidstrom, Chelios, Rafalski, Fetisov, Konstantinov, etc. didn't have to be that good because they had Osgood behind them in net....OR did Osgood not have to be that good because he had all those greats in front of him plus Defensive Forwards like Yzerman and Fedorov....I think Bowman deserves some credit for that...

It'd be neat to do away with the D-rating and instead draft a coach - and your drafted players would play to the team style of your Coach.
4/19/2010 8:41 PM
Maybe it's a complete philosophical difference of why I play this thing, but I like finding interesting seasons in the database. I like seeing that a player had a really great season once, and then maybe never did it again.

I know some of you guys are arguing that you hate that all you have to do is find an Alex Smith or a Ted Harris, and then those guys turn into cookie cutters and show up on every team. Well, one thing I almost never do is play ultra high cap leagues. I hate 'em. And the main reason is that I want something more to do when I draft a team than just fill in Robinson, Lidstrom, Orr, Harvey, Lapointe, Potvin and away you go. All that is, is just a brand new set of cookie cutters.



4/19/2010 9:49 PM
So are they going to put in the WHA? 09-10 Stats are in for NHL
4/20/2010 11:38 AM
Quote: Originally posted by damag on 4/19/2010That said: looking at stats, it's difficult to say how much of the team goals against is due to team defensive play and how much is the goalie. I've never seen Robinson play but with Dryden in net, he didn't have to be THAT awesome to get a great +/-. We all know that Lafleur and Shutt were not exactly checking forwards and they have awesome DEF ratings.Three things:1/  Normalizing a player's defensive rating across his career means taking team effects out of it entirely.  Then it's just opinion.2/  There are many statisticians who would argue that Dryden was merely a league average goalie on a smothering team.  He had four HOF defencemen in front of him for a great deal of his career.3/  Lafleur and Shutt - perhaps the greatest examples of why the name "Defensive Rating" is a bit of a red herring.  And again - team effect.

Very insightful.

I think getting a normalized DEF rating would be too much like getting the pee out of the pool. To determine a bona fide DEF rating there might be too much opinion but there's no real stat to use to do it. I'd love to see it but I think it may be too much to ask.
4/20/2010 3:50 PM
someone posted this in the 09-10 stats thread that may pertain to the direction this thread has gone...

The Selke finalists were announced today. The Professional Hockey Writers Association thinks Pavel Datsyuk, Ryan Kesler, and Jordan Staal are the three best defensive forwards in the league, and most people would agree that those three are at least right up there with the very best in the league right now.

D ratings for those guys in the 09/10 stats - Datsyuk - 72, Kesler - 51, Staal - 62. Come on WIS, that is ridiculous.


4/20/2010 5:32 PM
I like the idea of an "expert panel" deciding on what a player's defensive rating should be.

That may be an idealogically objectional opinion to those who believe that statistics should be the only data used in the sim engine.

I am not sure how to measure a player's defensive abilities with statistics, though.

Some ideas:

1) plus/minus,

2) minutes spent on the PK as a percentage of a team's total PK time;

3) minutes of ice time during the last 10 minutes of the third period during times the team has a 1-goal lead, as percentage of the total of all such time for the team;

4) overall team defensive record;

5) body checks per minute of playing time;

6) blocked shots per minute of playing time;

7) calculating the goals-per-minute scored by all 5 opposing skaters when playing against Player X vs. the goals per minute those opposing players scored against the rest of the league that season;

8) # of GA on the ice for per minute of playing time.

Problems with above ideas:

1) +/- also measures offense...Say a forward line combines for 140 goals, and is on the ice for 105 goals against, then they are +35. * Another forward line, with the same amount of ice time, combines for 65 goals and is on the ice for 50 GA, then they would be +15. But it could be argued that the second line, due to the GA data, is the better defensive line. (* This example assumes only regular-strength shifts.)

2) I like this one. But subjective to the coaches preferences. And PK is but one aspect of defensive play.

3) Love this one.

4) A common criticism with +/- goes something like "Billy-Bob, Frank, Isiah, and Ruprecht were playing perfect positional hockey, but Stanky missed his check and so they all get a minus."

Using the Team Defensive Record has the exact same issue, except that when Stanky misses his check everybody on the bench "gets a minus", (or whatever), too.

5) Like this one, but again, body checks measure only one (of several possible) defensive styles.

6) Narrow. A piece of the puzzle?

7) Is this even possible to do?

8) This stat does not measure how players are chosen by the coach...e.g., if you are your team's best defender, you may be out all the time against Peter Statsny, Dale Hawerchuk, Wayne Gretzky, Mike Bossy, and Denis Savard. One would expect such a player to be on the ice for more GA.

So, as many questions as possible answers.

In general, I really like the hockey product produced by WIS. I do think a measure of a player's defensive acumen is important, though, for accurate simulating. I also think this defensive measure should measure only defensive aspects of the game (not, for example, PIM, which can be simmed for independently).
of 9
All Forums > SimLeague Hockey > SimLeague Hockey > WHA Teams & Players

Terms of Use Customer Support Privacy Statement

Popular on WhatIfSports site: Baseball Simulation | College Basketball Game | College Football Game | Online Baseball Game | Hockey Simulation | NFL Picks | College Football Picks | Sports Games

© 1999-2014 WhatIfSports.com, Inc. All rights reserved. WhatIfSports is a trademark of WhatIfSports.com, Inc. SimLeague, SimMatchup and iSimNow are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts, Inc. Used under license. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.