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Deep Dive #1: S72 SMJHL stats/time-on-ice leaders
(This post was last modified: 09-11-2023, 06:16 AM by aeonsjenni.)

Full transparency: I have never in my life watched a game of ice hockey. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen more than maybe 3 plays of ice hockey in my life. So I come into this with zero understanding of the sport or anything about it whatsoever, so I really have no clue what the value of a hit or assist or blocked shot is. Regardless, I was confused to see when looking at the index that there's not a listed metric to tell us how much a player is accruing volume stats relative to the time they are given on the ice. I have no clue if this absence is because these volume/time-on-ice metrics are absolutely useless and meaningless, or anything like that. There are listed metrics for GF/60 minutes, as with GA/60, SF/60, and SA/60, which I think would correspond to a hypothetical "(+/-)/60", where (+/-)/60 = GF/60 - GA/60. Otherwise, there are no rate metrics that correspond to time-on-ice, really. So we can choose to calculate per-60-minutes rate statistics for the following volume stats: goals, assists, points, blocks, hits, and takeaways.

I'm going to go through each of these rates, look at the top-10 leaderboard, and compare it to the top-10 that corresponds to the relevant volume stat (I won't be showing these volume top-10s, as they can be freely accessed via the index).

We can start with goals:
                     goals   timeOnIce goals/60 min
Theodore Svatos      53      1190      2.672718
Olivers Ozols        50      1302      2.303263
William Tree         50      1345      2.231091
Jeff Lewis           21      572       2.203503
Inactive Forever     47      1305      2.161113
Wednesday Addams     46      1288      2.142524
Nathan Cormier       43      1270      2.032216
Joseph Reed          43      1321      1.952401
Tony Soprano         43      1360      1.897594
Mercedes Baylé       41      1299      1.893813

[Image: goals.png]

So, for the most part, we can see that players with the most goals per minute, generally, are also the players with the most goals. The standout here is Jeff Lewis, who only scored 21 goals but impressively did so in only 572 minutes on the ice, less than half of the time any other players on this list were given. The other thing to note here is that Theodore Svatos, on top of scoring the most goals of any player in the season, did so with substantially less time than anyone else in the top-10 for goals, behind by more than an hour compared to anyone else on that list. Otherwise, there's not much to learn from this, as the remaining  players are within 60 minutes of 1300 minutes, so a rate stat does little to differentiate them.

At this point, I became concerned that maybe all of this was going to be fairly uninteresting, which may very well be the case if almost all players spend about the same time on the ice. To make sure I wasn't making a useless effort, I had a look at the distribution of players by time-on-ice, getting this chart:
[Image: Figure_0.png]

It seems like most players sit in a range from about 1000 minutes and 1500 minutes (I'm eyeballing it), so I'm optimistic that there's enough variance that we will be able to learn a little from these rate stats.

Moving on to assists:
                     assists timeOnIce assists/60 min
Thomas Sawschuk      68      1346        3.032292
Rowan O'Beirne       67      1343        2.992853
Scott Seitz          55      1171        2.819027
Thomas Liebold       64      1367        2.809551
Alekss Ivanova       57      1317        2.596515
Iliket Urtles        57      1329        2.573848
Johnny FourStar      58      1360        2.558259
Nathan Cormier       54      1270        2.552085
Jordan Tanner        55      1294        2.550593
William Tree         57      1345        2.543444

[Image: assists.png]

The only real standout here is Scott Seitz, who was the third most efficient assister despite being only the ninth most voluminous assister. However, as with goals, the trend stays the same, and there's not a huge difference between rate and volume.

Now taking points:
                    points  timeOnIce  points/60 min
William Tree        107      1345      4.774536
Thomas Sawschuk     106      1346      4.726809
Theodore Svatos      91      1190      4.589007
Nathan Cormier       97      1270      4.584302
Thomas Liebold      103      1367      4.521620
Rowan O'Beirne      100      1343      4.466945
Wednesday Addams     94      1288      4.378202
Alekss Ivanova       95      1317      4.327525
Inactive Forever     93      1305      4.276244
Iliket Urtles        94      1329      4.244591

[Image: points.png]

Our goal-scoring friend Theodore Svatos climbs high here, and despite finishing outside the top-10 in points, he ends up as the third most efficient points-scorer in the league, when you account for time spent on the ice. Once again, the top player by volume is also the top player by efficiency, something I did not expect.

Now we can get into some defensive metrics, starting with hits:
                        hits  timeOnIce  hits/60 min
Daniel Grumathan        277      1264    13.146481
Ryland Murphy           267      1245    12.866953
Deep Thought             25       117    12.796815
Lean On (Coconut Mall)  241      1144    12.643544
Lily Jin Morrow         132       632    12.523719
Bongo                   221      1069    12.401409
Xavier Beausoleil       264      1320    11.996213
Cameron Dallas          208      1055    11.830879
Drew Sureshot           230      1194    11.554080
Jeff Lewis              108       572    11.332303

[Image: hits.png]

A huge outlier here is Deep Thought, who was only on the ice for about 2 hours throughout the entire season, but managed an astonishing 12.79 hits per 60 minutes during that time. Jeff Lewis appears again as being impressively efficient at getting hits, just in the same way they were efficient at scoring goals. Lily Jin Morrow is our third outlier, but is slightly less-so than the other two. However, as with every metric we've looked at so far, the top-two in volume line up exactly with the top-two in efficiency.

Shots Blocked:
                        shotsBlocked  timeOnIce  shotsBlocked/60 min
Zedward Zilliams             285      1500          11.400887
Lazer Gato                   270      1510          10.728714
Sven Holmberg                207      1289          9.633632
Sydney Shaw                  221      1467          9.041423
Boho Biscuit                 200      1365          8.791316
Ho Lee-Smokes                181      1298          8.369297
Kristian Seppanen            178      1282          8.330408
Grell Fortox                 167      1241          8.074784
Willow Soderberg-Snooks      214      1603          8.010814
Buster Knutt                 167      1378          7.273079 

[Image: shotsBlocked.png]

Unlike with hits, there's hardly any difference between the top-10 in volume and the top-10 in efficiency when it comes to shots blocked. Only Isak Sogard, who ranks #9 in volume with 171 shots blocked, falls out of the efficiency top-10, replaced by either Grell Fortox or Buster Knutt, who are t-10 in volume. Between the two, Grell Fortox was substantially more efficient, achieving their 167 blocks with more than 2 fewer hours on the ice.

And finally, takeaways:
                         takeaways  timeOnIce  takeaways/60 min
Westley Kirkpatrick            105      1608          3.916895
shnopple lopple                 84      1474          3.419731
Jonas Salat                     75      1321          3.407284
Chris Robertson                 82      1480          3.323875
Cheeks Klapanen                 79      1479          3.205265
Robin Nyckel                    76      1432          3.184839
Sillysauce Mctartersauce        75      1451          3.100490
Mit Wobet                       82      1594          3.085607
Unspeakable Horror              71      1395          3.054712
Curious Betsy                   64      1262          3.043191

[Image: takeaways.png]

Westley Kirkpatrick absolutely dominated in takeaways this season, achieving the highest rate of takeaways per 60 minutes by a very wide margin while spending more time on the ice than just about anyone. There's not a ton of mix-up in this chart either, though Curious Betsy and Unspeakable Horror (hey! that's me!) sneak into the bottom of the list, at the expense of Might-go IA and Furious Chicken. The top-2 rule still applies as well.'

So, what have I learned from all of this? Well, overall, I think I may have been approaching this whole exercise from the wrong place. I am mostly familiar with football and baseball, where balancing volume and efficiency are important parts of understanding and comparing a player's production. I entered under the subconscious assumption that skaters would face this balance in a similar fashion to a pitcher in baseball, where a common topic of discussion is that a pitcher tends to perform worse (i.e. lower efficiency) when they pitch a large number of innings (i.e. higher volume), which is why relief pitchers, who throw far fewer innings than starting pitchers, tend to have lower ERAs (better efficiency) than starting pitchers, despite the common trend of starting pitchers being generally more capable than relief pitchers. What I found is that skaters are much more like a batter in this regard. A batter's efficiency doesn't go down when they have more plate appearances, so for the most part, the best batters will be given as many plate appearances possible, barring injuries, which means that the batter with the highest batting average will almost always be the batter with the most hits. In hockey (or at least sim hockey), as I have learned, the most efficient players will be invariably given as much time on the ice as possible, and they will maintain that efficiency, allowing them to also be the most voluminous players, in the end.

Thanks very much for reading!

a cool look at the statistics, thank you for this break down. stats are always fun to dip deeper into

Approved, check the portal for your +5 TPE @aeonsjenni

[Image: CptSquall.gif]


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