Over the summer, one of the final full pieces I wrote prior to taking some time off was for the Rotoworld draft guide centralized around schedules and the effects of the bye week.
Schedules have fascinated me for years, even though I don’t recall finding any decisive advantage over the course of the season. The pendulum of scheduling advantages swings through team pairings like Anaheim and Los Angeles, Edmonton and Calgary, or Florida and Tampa Bay.
For fantasy purposes, back-to-backs – especially if there’s a rested/tired component can be mined, targeting specific games looking for potential advantages.
Real world effects do exist however, offering a slight competitive advantage for a rested team, such as in the image below. The teams listed along the left play Game 1 against a team playing on back-to-back nights. In the example below, Anaheim plays 10 games against a team that travels up the road to play Los Angeles in Game 2. The Kings get the advantage of their divisional opponent beating up on their opponent before getting a chance at them while rested.
The Bye Week, introduced in the 2016-17 season offers another quirk.
Collectively, the NHL compiled a 10-16-4 record coming off the bye week, presenting another potential opportunity. For example, the Dallas Stars face a team coming off a layover of six or more days, four times. The NHL’s newest team, Vegas Golden Knights is tied with three others (NYI, COL, EDM) with three games.
Seven teams will not face any team coming off a bye week, Carolina, Chicago, Buffalo, Columbus, Florida, Nashville, Minnesota. The Wild and Blue Jackets only have one game against a team coming off a five day layoff. Pittsburgh leads this category when expanding for five or more days rest.
The breakdown is encapsulated in the table below.
Not captured in the table is that Colorado plays six times coming off a layoff of five or more games – twice the league average. Four of those games are at home.
Fancy Stats Sites
I was working on the McKeen’s Hockey Yearbook this past summer when I clicked on one of the more prominent websites I was using for analysis when I received a strange message. It was a finality I wasn’t prepared to accept .. even though, it was inevitable – and I’m surprised it had taken that long.
This prominent stats site went dark and David Johnson’s Hockey Analysis and Puckalytics sites were lost to the general public when Johnson was snatched up by the Calgary Flames.
David was often the voice of contrarians and challenged a lot of the contemporary views in modern analytics and his public checks will be missed. Not as much as the sites. The original proprietary site to present WOWY’s (with or without you), the site helped launch more intricate analysis and a variety of satellite sites to provide a lot more variety, and exceptional cutting edge insight.
The site www.naturalstatstrick.com has been increasingly gaining in popularity and the functionality is incredible. The site tracks all modes of play and seasons, preseason, regular and playoffs.
Analysts have limited ability due to data, but as more micro stats are being gathered by hobbyists, Ryan Stimson and his passing project easily jumps to mind and the project has been taken over as by super tracker, Cory Sznadjer.
Prior to David’s site’s going dark, however, the general public lost Corsica Hockey – a prime resource for a multitude of individual stats, some data visualizations, and it’s with great happiness (and sense of relief) to see the site back, newly improved, quicker, and loaded with the same great features that made it a staple in its previous iteration.
This is the list of sites that I use on a regular basis. Some have Patreon sites to help fund the cost of maintenance.
If you are keen on supporting hobbyists providing exceptional data services to the public, consider supporting some of these fine outlets.
Hockeyviz – Michah Blake McCurdy produces an excellent array of data visualizations and player analysis tools. It’s a must on a list of resources.
Natural Stat Trick – An excellent all purpose site that has taken over the mantle of WOWY info, live game tracking and incredible individual and team level shot metrics.
Hockey-Reference – Catch all among the brotherhood of ‘reference’ sites with other sports, contains an excellent feature to gather information based on a variety of seasonal and situational filters.
Corsica Hockey – The comeback site, relaunched at the end of September to fanfare and admiration for the sheer magnitude of available data. One of the only sites to extensively carry expected goals (xG) and with new and improved goalie metrics, it’s easy to see why so many site visitors are happy to see it back.
HockeyStats.ca – If you are looking for another Live game site, this is just as handy as any other on the market – along with pretty cool Easter eggs to surprise Users.
Corey Sznajder – Known and @ShutdownLine on Twitter, he tracks every single NHL game. That’s nuts. This guy is nuts. And thank God. His invaluable work tracking zone entries, passing and maintaining an incredible, free, accessible database deserves some love in the form of a Patreon.
In keeping with the tradition of hosting an annual hockey analytics conference, Ryan Stimson and Matthew Hoffman of the RIT Institute will be hosting the RIT Hockey Analytics conference once again.
The event, sponsored by the RIT College of Science and RIT School of Mathematical Sciences, is loaded with an array of incredible speakers. But it doesn’t end there. On the Friday night, there’s a workshop on how to use ‘R’ (a tool for statisticians to handle excessive volumes of data) as part of a coding seminars, a diversity element and the ever popular pick up hockey game after the Saturday conference.
To register, follow the link and if you’re expecting this to be all hockey, you’re mistaken. The wealth of information from other sources will be presenting, offering unique perspectives into the application of analytics outside of a hockey rink, and into a basketball court, or soccer pitch.
Safe travels if you are attending, and enjoy the conference!