The_Ultimate_Pielord

I put math in hockey
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Forum: Armchair-GMSun at 6:50 pm
Forum: Armchair-GMSun at 6:50 pm
Thread: Pitt
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>Pensfan89</b></div><div>Cap space is important but any free agent defenseman that’s worth a damn is going to cost a bit of cap and probably want a longer term contract.
All this stuff you guys are saying about Risto was also said about Schultz when the pens traded for him. And that trade was even riskier. Schultz is just a power play specialist, he’s atrocious at even strength, yada yada yada. And look how that trade turned out?</div></div>

That's... not actually accurate. Schultz was never particularly good on the PP in Edmonton, his highest year by PPO GAR was 2012-13 with a 1.6, and no other year even broke 1. His GAR at evens was a LOT better than Risto's: Between every year of their careers, the top 5 EVO GARs are: 1.Pittsburgh Schultz 2. Pittsburgh Schultz 3. Edmonton Schultz 4. Edmonton Schultz and 5 Edmonton/Pittsburgh Schultz. Even strength defence is more even, with Risto generally grading out as a bit better than Schultz, but it isn't exactly equivalent. Schultz had shown evident growth over the previous few years in Edmonton, with his offence making up for his atrocious defence (this hasn't changed, either, he's only had 1 year above replacement level defensively). And Schultz is very evidently better than Ristolainen now, after his improvement in Pittsburgh.

If Risto had a year with the Sabres similar to Schultz's 14-15 season (the year he jumped forward and became a solid 5v5 player) I might be willing to call them comparables. But so far Risto's only above-replacement year offensively seems to be entirely the result of his team shooting 12.9% with him on the ice (his career average is a big 7.4). His RAPMs for xGF and CF are still very bad, so it's almost certainly just a momentary boost of PDO.

Schultz was an all-offence no-defence guy who could play the PP a bit. Risto's a PP star with no strengths at 5v5 outside of penalty differential. They aren't the equivalent.
Forum: Armchair-GMSun at 10:16 am
Thread: Pitt
Forum: Armchair-GMSun at 12:11 am
Thread: Pitt
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>Pensfan89</b></div><div>Trading for someone and the risk of them being bad is always a risk when trading for a player. Galchenyuk hasn’t been great the last few years.
What wiggle room do you need? It’s not like there is going to be anyone really worth getting in free agency that the pens could afford that would be worth anything.

Crosby, Malkin, Guentzel, Rust, McCann, Tanev, Hornqvist, Kahun, Blueger, Simon, Lafferty, Johnson, and Blandisi are capable of being your 13 forwards. Trade Bjugstad for a pick for 4.1 million in cap space. ZAR trades in this scenario gets another million off. Trade DeSmith for a pick or ahl goalie and there’s another 125k off. And they are replaced by cheaper forwards. The defense is taken care of by Letang, Dumo, Risto, Petterson, JJ, Marino, Riikola, and your choice of Ruhwedel, Trotman, POJ, Addison, etc

Wouldn’t really need anyone in free agency.</div></div>

So, that D corps you mentioned has combined for a GAR of 76.8 since the start of the 16-17 season (Toronto's corps, for reference, has a total GAR of 88.9). Not exactly a super established group of performers. Making things worse is that 49.4 of that is between just Letang and Dumoulin, with Letang contributing 32 on his own. Risto's actually 3rd in that group by GAR over that timeframe, despite an EV GAR of -0.1. The defense is very much not taken care of by that group, not even close. I also don't get the logic of trading a good player to get cap space when you could just not acquire a terrible contract. Nobody is forcing them to acquire Risto instead of an actually good 5v5 defenceman.
Forum: Armchair-GMSat at 11:47 pm
Thread: Pitt
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>Pensfan89</b></div><div>I agree with that last sentence 100% 😂.
But my whole point is basically, this is a buy low/sell low type of trade.
I mean look at the Pearson for Gudbranson trade last year. Everyone said Gudbranson was an absolute dumpster fire and keeping an overrated Pearson who was always invisible was better. Then Guddy comes here and plays extremely well. He was overpaid for sure, but still played well for the pens. And ended up making it a win for the pens. And Pearson has been solid for Vancouver.</div></div>

With Pittsburgh during the 18-19 season he put up a GAR of -0.1, or about the same as you'd expect any given AHL team's top dman to do at the NHL level. It was a big improvement from his time with the Canucks, but it's not like he could've gotten much worse. He probably felt ok due to his solid defensive play, but he hurt Pittsburgh's offence every bit as badly as he hurt the opposition's. In 7 games in Pittsburgh this year he managed a pretty solid GAR of 0.6 and he's kept it going in Anaheim, but plenty of crummy players have enjoyed brief flashes of effective play followed by regressing hard back to what they'd always been. Pearson, meanwhile, hasn't really changed a ton from his time with the Kings. A little above average on offence and a little below average on D. If he's seemed impressive in Vancouver, that's because Vancouver's depth represents Jim Benning's attempt to redefine the word terrible.

In terms of buy-low sell-low, it's not clear that either player is redeemable by a change of scenery. If anything, joining the Pens might hurt Risto as Letang monopolizes the PP minutes that are Risto's only chance to shine, and while Buffalo is probably more likely to play Galchenyuk at center than most teams, I don't think Galch's talent is salvageable at this point.
Forum: Armchair-GMSat at 11:33 pm
Thread: Pitt
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>hockeyfanatic05</b></div><div>I stopped reading after the 1st sentence. Comparing Laine to these players and using his stats is completely irrelevant. The whole point of trading for a guy like Risto is points. He's an offensive dman that plays more of an offensive game than defensive, which is perfectly fine if he was actually producing on offense, which he isn't. My side is why trade for a guy making over 5 mill when theres option internally and the team can use the cap space on other positions of need</div></div>

Please read beyond the 2nd sentence: There's good stuff there. Laine isn't being compared to any player discussed in this thread, the whole argument was from a Blackhawks thread about a Debrincat for Laine deal, which is why I used Laine as an example. The actual meat of the argument (points are super heavily dependent on luck and usage, which players can't control, while also saying nothing about defense) stands whether it's Laine or Risto or Phil Kessel or Mikko Koivu.

Amusingly, Risto's driving goals for his team at the best rate of his career, for the first time doing something at an above-average level at 5v5. It isn't real, the shooting will regress and he'll almost certainly return to the Risto we all love or love to hate or love to argue incessantly about on this site at some point, but still. You are correct that Risto sucks, but points are a terrible measure of that suckitude.
You don't acquire Risto, or any player for that matter, so that they'll put up points: you acquire them to help the team put up goals. There are better ways to measure that than points!
Forum: Armchair-GMSat at 11:18 pm
Thread: Pitt
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>hockeyfanatic05</b></div><div>Yet you've not given one reason how he's not overrated. The guy is an offensive dman with 9 points. Thats his job. Score points. He's currently getting outproduced by John Marino. John Marino moves up and replaces Schults. Dumo, Letang, Pettersson, Marino, JJ. Last spot can be battled in the offseason between JOP, Rikkola, and Addison. If neither of them work out, find a cheap 3rd pairing dman, like they just did this year. Zero reason to trade for a guy with a 5.4 cap hit when there are cheaper options that are getting better every year. Everything you said is wrong. Look at Petterson last year. Look at Marino this year.</div></div>

Sure, why not, let's have the points are a useless stat argument too. It's Saturday, I don't have to get up tomorrow!

Here are some arguments using Patrik Laine as an example:

1. Points say precisely nothing about defense. This one's pretty self-explanatory: points only occur on goals scored by your team and are unmodified by goals, shots or chances against your team. In Laine's case, points miss that before this year he had yet to have had a year above replacement-level defensively, per EvolvingWild's GAR metric.

2. Points are EXTREMELY usage dependent. 6 of Laine's points came on the powerplay, which means a different coaching decision could nix 1/4 of his points production, without him doing anything different. And that's without factoring in how playing with elite teammates and seeing large amounts of icetime can bias the results as well. Laine's scoring rate at 5v5 (he has 13 5v5 points) could this year have produced: 15 (Schiefele's TOI), 11 (Roslovic's TOI), or 5 points (in 16 games, Bourque's TOI). All that changed between these scenarios is TOI, which player's can't directly control. NHL coaches are USUALLY smart about TOI allocation, but I doubt you could find someone who says they're perfect. No reason to punish a player for their role. And that's before accounting for teammate impacts (spoiler alert, they're pretty big).

3. Points are VERY luck-dependent. Shooting percentage is one of the most volatile stats in the NHL and forms a huge part of goal numbers, (and goals aren't even the least
predictive part of points, secondary assists have even more variance, to the point where they are essentially useless in skater evaluation). In Laine's case, the 20-point drop he experienced from 17-18 to 18-19 is entirely explained by his shooting percentage dropping by 6 percentage points (from 18% to 12%) and by his secondary assists falling from 14 to 3 (11 points right there). He wasn't really playing differently, but his points were way worse. Not really what you want from a stat.

Points work better when restricted to primary points (goals+primary assists) and used as a rate (e.g. P1/60). Even then, there's an argument to be made that advancements in regression models like EvolvingWild's RAPMs and Micah McCurdy's Magnus 2 more firmly measure individual offence by accounting for things like teammates, competition, score effects, etc. While using them in concert makes sense, it can lead to a tendency to double count offence, especially when using something like GAR, which is based off of the RAPMs.

Stop using unmodified points. Please. Use better stats.
Forum: Armchair-GMSat at 11:14 pm
Thread: Pitt
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>Pensfan89</b></div><div>He’s not overrated though. We’ve already been through that. You can spout it all you want, doesn’t make it true. And who do we have that could replace Schultz? Ruhwedel as our 3rd pair RD? Yeahhhhhh that would make for great use of that space. And Galchenyuk is the overrated one in this trade. The pens don’t get anything better for Galchenyuk. I’m willing to bet. They will have to trade him in a buy low/sell low trade soon.</div></div>

Risto's overrated, I went into this.

Tbh Galch is pretty overrated too. The argument with hims was always that playing him at centre could bring back some of his early-career success, including his 14.7 GAR year in 15-16, but since that year he's now in his 4th straight sub-replacement seasons in 3 different organizations. Tocchet was a coach of the year candidate last year and Galch still put up a putrid -3.2 GAR with the Coyotes. Sucks to say, but Galch is pretty much done at this point, and his rep as an underrated and incorrectly used player is pretty much the only reason he's still in the league.

At 5v5 ZAR is pretty clearly the best player in this deal. Even after accounting for Risto's PP excellence and terrific penalty differential, ZAR might still have the edge, especially after an 18-19 season in which he drove play very well in limited usage. This entire thread and argument is over a trade where the best 5v5 player is Zach Aston-Reese.

There's something wrong with us.
Forum: Armchair-GMSat at 11:03 pm
Thread: Pitt
Must... not... get... into... another... Risto fight... AAAAAHHHH!

Risto has been useless at 5v5 his entire career, and there isn't a clear way the Sabres could have covered that beyond "literally never play him at 5v5", which isn't really a good solution.

Why do I say he's useless at 5v5? His even strength goals above replacement (EVDGAR+EVOGAR, essentially a measure of how well a player drives results for his team at 5v5) has been negative every year of his career until this one. Has he turned a corner? Well, his defense has dramatically improved from utterly apocalyptic to league average, but his offence is responsible for double the impact of his defence, and that's been the result of his goals numbers dramatically outperforming his expected goals numbers. For some guys, generally elite shooters like Patrik Laine, that can be sustainable, but over a small sample (small here meaning less than about 3 seasons) it can pretty much entirely be checked up to good luck. The defensive improvements MIGHT be real, but it's a small sample, we have plenty of data on Risto sucking defensively, it isn't evident that he's patched his biggest defensive problem, and he's at an age where players generally are what they are, without any major improvements. So yeah, Not sold.

The argument then goes, "well, maybe he's been in a bad situation". First off, crummy GAR numbers aren't the results of any of the following: Quality of teammates, quality of competition, zone starts, score effects or venue effects (and I've almost certainly missed some). All of this stuff is accounted for in the regression model that the metric is based off of. But, just to be EXTRA sure it's Risto sucking, we can look at hand-tracked microstats, courtesy of Corey Sznajder. There are 2 areas that are VITAL for defensemen that these stats track: zone xits and entry defense. Let's see how Risto does!

Zone exits:
Possession exits/60: 35th percentile (fewer exits than 65% of the league)
Possession exit percentage: 18th percentile (lower percentage of exit attempts resulting in an exit with possession than 82% of the league)
Well that isn't impressive. Maybe he can redeem himself with entry defense!
Entry defense:
Breakups/60: 14th percentile (fewer breakups than 86% of the league)
Possession Entries Allowed/60: 37th percentile (allows more entries with possession than 63% of the league)
Possession Entry % Allowed: 14th percentile (allows a higher percentage of entry attempts against him to succeed than 86% of the league)
Welp, that isn't impressive.

Risto's pretty boxcars and occasional good season by GAR are pretty much entirely driven by 2 things: his legitimately elite powerplay ability, and his ability to avoid taking penalties. Those aren't invalid, but they can be inconsistent, the value of penalty differential has been contested with how frequently NHL refs award make-up calls, and it's long been demonstrated that 5v5 is the most important strength state. Tons of people defend Risto on here for flashy hits and pretty boxcars, but a defenseman who constantly causes his team to get shelled whenever he's on the ice fundamentally isn't anything that you can build around. Buffalo should be trying to dump his contract ASAP, as Dahlin taking PP time from him could make that a LOT harder to do.
Forum: Armchair-GMSat at 3:03 pm
Thread: Honka update
Idk how much the Habs really need Julius Honka. His main talent is zone exits: an exceptionally useful specialty, but one that only really shines at even strength. His entry game has historically been pretty meh, and his PP numbers are ugly. The Habs don't really need more 5v5 talent at RD, if they acquire one, he needs to work on the PP. That generally means an entry specialist, which is the opposite of Honka.

Beyond that, the Habs' biggest problem is the fact that, since the start of the 17-18 season, their 10 million dollar starter ranks 37th in total GAR among goalies that have faced 500 or more unblocked attempts in that span, right behind Brian Elliott. If we switch to GAR/60, he's at 52nd, between Matt Murray and Anders Nilsson. In the same timespan, with the same cutoff, his dFsv% (the difference between his sv% and the sv% we would expect from a league average goalie) is a hearty -0.59. For context, that means Price has been less effective than a league average goalie over this span. His neighbours are Steve Mason and Anders Nilsson. He's sitting below the likes of Aaron Dell and Tristan Jarry. Montreal's biggest issue isn't anything about its skaters, it's that even after spending 12.25 million dollars on goaltending, the team doesn't have a starting-caliber goalie. If this team wants to be relevant, they need a starter who is not Carey Price.

This is why the team shouldn't bother with a Honka deal. If they can't contend until Price's contract ends, they'll waste Honka's good years and be better off with the pick. If they want to try and contend now, all assets need to be available in the quest to dump the Price contract and fix the goaltending situation. That might well take their entire 2020 draft plus a couple firsts.
Forum: Armchair-GMSat at 11:52 am
Forum: Armchair-GMFri at 10:10 pm
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>Spleenmaster1002</b></div><div>Don’t really see the point in this for the Jets. I don’t think Määttä is enough for the Jets to want to swap Laine and Debrincat.



I don’t think you’ve watched him this year. He’s noticeably better defensively and has been passing and setting up guys really well. He’s been using his body more and giving a lot more effort while forechecking and backchecking. He’s over a PPG and leading the Jets in points.</div></div>

Points remain an EXTREMELY poor stat when quoted unmodified. Let's use Laine as an example to run through a few reasons. It'll be fun! :)

1. Points say precisely nothing about defense. This one's pretty self-explanatory: points only occur on goals scored by your team and are unmodified by goals, shots or chances against your team. In Laine's case, points miss that before this year he had yet to have had a year above replacement-level defensively, per EvolvingWild's GAR metric.

2. Points are EXTREMELY usage dependent. 6 of Laine's points came on the powerplay, which means a different coaching decision could nix 1/4 of his points production, without him doing anything different. And that's without factoring in how playing with elite teammates and seeing large amounts of icetime can bias the results as well. Laine's scoring rate at 5v5 (he has 13 5v5 points) could this year have produced: 15 (Schiefele's TOI), 11 (Roslovic's TOI), or 5 points (in 16 games, Bourque's TOI). All that changed between these scenarios is TOI, which player's can't directly control. NHL coaches are USUALLY smart about TOI allocation, but I doubt you could find someone who says they're perfect. No reason to punish a player for their role. And that's before accounting for teammate impacts (spoiler alert, they're pretty big).

3. Points are VERY luck-dependent. Shooting percentage is one of the most volatile stats in the NHL and forms a huge part of goal numbers, (and goals aren't even the least
predictive part of points, secondary assists have even more variance, to the point where they are essentially useless in skater evaluation). In Laine's case, the 20-point drop he experienced from 17-18 to 18-19 is entirely explained by his shooting percentage dropping by 6 percentage points (from 18% to 12%) and by his secondary assists falling from 14 to 3 (11 points right there). He wasn't really playing differently, but his points were way worse. Not really what you want from a stat.

Points work better when restricted to primary points (goals+primary assists) and used as a rate (e.g. P1/60). Even then, there's an argument to be made that advancements in regression models like EvolvingWild's RAPMs and Micah McCurdy's Magnus 2 more firmly measure individual offence by accounting for things like teammates, competition, score effects, etc. While using them in concert makes sense, it can lead to a tendency to double count offence, especially when using something like GAR, which is based off of the RAPMs.

Laine's defence has improved this year, but it's still not a strength of his game. He's mostly what he's always been, a great shooter that struggles to drive play at 5v5. That's arguably worth enough to make the deal make sense, since Laine's shot is one of if not the single best in the league, but still.

Stop using points. I don't care what Sportsnet says.
Forum: Armchair-GMFri at 9:32 pm
Thread: GO HABS GO
Forum: NHLNov 20 at 5:48
Forum: Armchair-GMNov 20 at 5:43
Forum: Armchair-GMNov 19 at 10:09
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>Bf3351</b></div><div>Everybody who wins a selke puts up a lot of points dude... Putting up points while being incredible in your own end makes that player even more special because it's hard to do. Kopitar could be the best defensive forward in NHL history if he dropped offense and just shut down the other team...</div></div>

"The Frank J. Selke Trophy is an annual award given 'to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.'"-NHL.com <a href="https://www.nhl.com/news/nhl-frank-j-selke-trophy-winners-complete-list/c-287904026?tid=287709666" rel="nofollow noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">https://www.nhl.com/news/nhl-frank-j-selke-trophy-winners-complete-list/c-287904026?tid=287709666</a>

Points are not an aspect of defense.

I will die upon this hill, possibly wearing a Mikko Koivu jersey. I blame the Younggrens.

<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>Bf3351</b></div><div>Ok, but that doesn't make the stat useless. Let's talk about Dion Phaneuf. They've been on good defensive teams in the past, yet horrible defensively and there's a big fat minus next to their name all the time. Does that make +/- irrelevant? +/- isn't always cut and dry. It takes someone with common hockey sense to fill in the blanks. Doughty for example. One of the best defensemen in the league when it comes to his defensive ability. Yet he had a horrible -34 next to his name and if you watched him he deserved most of those minuses by not playing well. I take the entire Kings team in to consideration as well as the terrible partner he had named Derek Forbort. If +/- was pointless it wouldn't be an NHL stat.</div></div>

The issue is that RAPMs do the exact same job but better. So do variants of 5v5 GF%. There's no reason to use +/- with the stats we have now.

A lot of the classic NHL boxcars are weird. Why do the first 2 passers and the goal scorer get credit on a goal, but nobody else on the ice? Why not just the first pass, like in basketball? Why factor special teams goals in only one direction? Why include empty-net stuff at all? These ideas face less scrutiny than any component of RAPMs or even GF% or CF%.

+/- is better than nothing, but it's a LOT worse than modern regression models. It'll catch some players, but it'll miss some too (Taylor Hall's always been good defensively, but his plus/minuses have typically been very bad). It's not quite in "even a broken clock is right twice a day" territory, but there's no reason to use a clock that ticks erratically when a better clock is right there.
Forum: Armchair-GMNov 19 at 9:49
Forum: Armchair-GMNov 19 at 9:36
Forum: Armchair-GMNov 19 at 9:31
Forum: Armchair-GMNov 19 at 9:23