Possession stats now available

This is just a quick announcement that possession statistics are now up on the site. The link goes to a league-wide leaderboard; if you click on individual players you can also view the player’s career possession numbers by clicking on the possession tab.

Right now the possession statistics are pretty basic but this represents a shift of faceoffs.net away from being all about face-offs and more towards general hockey analysis. There will be other site changes to this effect soon.

The bugs continue in the NHL’s enhanced stats

Chris Oddo asks:

I just noticed a massive discrepancy between the NHL site and yours on Offensive zone faceoff percentage.

I mean they have Tavares winning over 70 percent for the last four years and you have him down around 55, which seems more realistic. They have Paul Gaustad winning 212 out of 233 defensive zone faceoffs. That can’t be, right?

I was a bit concerned at first to see that my numbers might be wrong and also that I had somehow missed the superhuman talent of Paul Gaustad, with his 91% defensive zone face-off win percentage. The good news is that my numbers are fine; the bad news is that the NHL still hasn’t fixed their bug-laden enhanced stats.

The short answer to the above discrepancy is that on NHL.com they are counting offensive zone face-off losses as defensive zone face-off losses and vice versa.

Here is the longer answer. The NHL keeps play-by-play files for each game (which I get my data from, and so do other similar hockey stat sites). Face-offs are recorded in the play-by-play files like this:

FAC NSH won Def. Zone - WSH #19 BACKSTROM vs NSH #28 GAUSTAD

The zone is always from the perspective of whoever won the face-off. So it was a defensive zone draw for the winner, Nashville’s Paul Gaustad, and an offensive zone draw for the loser, Washington’s Nicklas Backstrom.

But if you’re lazy, or don’t really know how hockey works, you might just see the words “Def. zone”, count that as a defensive zone face-off for both players and call it a day. This is what NHL.com seems to currently be doing.

Compare my numbers for Gaustad with NHL.com

SourceOff. zone FWOff. zone FLDef. zone FWDef. zone FL

faceoffs.net 28 21 212 172
NHL.com 28 172 212 21

Note the numbers are the same and the face-offs won are correct; they just have the losing columns mixed up.

Using Gaustad’s numbers as an example makes NHL.com’s error obvious, because Gaustad is used very heavily for defensive zone draws and almost never in the offensive zone. For a player whose face-offs are more evenly spread out, by just looking at the incorrect NHL.com numbers you might never even notice something was wrong.

Stats updates – 5vs5 and more

It’s been a while since my last blog post but I’ve been quietly working behind the scenes to set the stage for some new features to come. I’ll be rolling it out bit by bit.

For now, just one little thing: I am adopting the “industry standard” of using 5-vs-5 data when presenting my NSPF advanced face-off stats, rather than using all even strength situations as before (which would include 4-vs-4 and 3-vs-3).

So the numbers may look a little different than a couple days ago as I am not counting 4-vs-4 and 3-vs-3 anymore, but hopefully this gives a better basis for comparison.

I am always looking for suggestions on how to make this site more useful; please reach out if there is something specific you are looking for.