NHLnumbers Podcast: All About Tracking


In this edition we covered all things tracking with an expert panel on the subject: Neil Greenberg from the Washington Post and ESPN Insider, Geoff Detweiller of Broad Street Hockey, Eric T. of BSH and NHLnumbers and our own tracking addict Corey S. We went over Eric’s article on the link between scoring chances and shot differential and what it means for scoring-chance tracking, Geoff and Eric’s very promising project tracking zone entries, tracking zone exits and what the future holds for tracking/advanced stats.

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Tracking Stats Full

If you would like to track zone entries, which I strongly encourage, please contact Eric T. at this email address: [email protected]. He will hook you up with an easy-to-use spreadsheet that will automatically tell you who was on the ice for each entry if you record the time.

  • I think the scoring chances project still has utility, if only to continue to prove the on-going thesis regarding possession metrics AND because chances are more intuitive and less esoteric for the general fan.

    • Kent,

      While I think you are correct, in my view to say this is to miss the point. Is there utility? Sure. But more importantly there appears to be far more benefit to tracking things, such as zone entries. Corey and our guests made pretty strong arguments, but to restate some:

      1. Scoring chances tell us very little that shots data don’t.

      2. We can get scoring-chance information from play-by-play data so any benefit from tracking is only a bit more precision.

      3. Based on a one-team-season sample, zone entries appear to be very important. They may tell us more about how a team is winning and allow us to find inefficiencies which we can’t do with scoring chances.

      4. Zone entries can only be tracked by watching games.

      I certainly wouldn’t begrudge anyone for continuing to track chances, but their time and effort would be much better used elsewhere.