NHL teams and media are transitioning to a modern understanding of the game. Using the Nashville Predators as an example, let’s break it all down.
To slightly oversimplify the debate, there are essentially two schools of thought when analyzing hockey. The first involves the so-called “eye test.” Basically, this perspective values points on the board and visually apparent contributions of a player. The alternative to this involves a deeper usage of analytics. With some examples from the Nashville Predators, here’s a breakdown of the most commonly used “advanced analytics.”
Often, only statistics at five-on-five are included, omitting special teams situations. Special teams inflate certain metrics, and can paint an inaccurate picture of a team or player’s performance.
The goal of these statistics is quite simple. Teams want to dress their best lineup for every game. To do so requires a great deal of understanding as to the specific contributions of each player. Hockey is a fast-paced, nuanced game. The more comprehensive a metric, the more helpful it will be in making those tough decisions.