Fancystats Glossary

I've noticed that over the last few months, some of hockey's so-called "Advanced Stats" seem to be reaching that critical mass in Oil country and around the league, where they are no longer only found on the nerdy fringes of hockey conversations. Even mainstream media and your brother-in-law are starting to throw terms like Corsi and ZoneStart into conversations about why they hate Tom Gilbert. But there's still a lot of confusion about some of these new numbers, and what exactly they mean, which can lead to unfortunate errors in analysis and incorrect conclusions, like hate for Tom Gilbert.

So, I decided I wanted to help clear things up with a definitive, well-researched glossary of some of the more important new statistics out there, and what exactly they mean. And since Downright Fierce clearly hasn't changed this blog's admin password in the 3 years since my last post, I figured this would be as good a place as any.

Here are a few of the most commonly used new statistics, and what exactly they represent. I may update this post with more statistics in the future, so feel free to bookmark this post for future reference, and welcome to the brave new world of advanced hockey knowledge:

Corsi: Named for autistic savant / goalie coach Jim Corsi, this is probably the most widely cited of all the so-called fancy stats. At a time when most hockey statistics consisted of nothing more than counting the number of instances a specific event occurred (goals, PIMs, etc.), Jim used his incredible mathematical mind to count the number of instances of multiple different things, and then add them together. Shots, blocked shots, tipped shots, wide shots, medium shots, and close-ups are all combined to get as clear a picture as possible of which team is controlling the play when a given player is on the ice. Even more interesting still is CorsiRel, which compares a player's Corsi while on the ice with that of any blood relatives he has in the league.

Fenwick:  Similar to Corsi, and named for noted witch doctor Matt Fenwick, the Fenwick stat counts all the same things as Corsi, with the exception of blocked shots, because those are scary to think about.

QualComp: Short for Quality of Compensation, this stat measures the ability of a given player to maintain a lavish, Dan-Ellis-type lifestyle. It takes into account not only a player's salary, but also their investment portfolio and real estate holdings, as well as local tax codes and school systems.

QualTeam: QualTeam is similar to QualComp, but refers instead to a player's compensation relative to other players in the same market. QualTeam correlates very highly with a team's WH index (wife hotness).

PDO: Pronounced "Pee-do," the Personal Digit Overcount stat refers to the highest number to which a given player could count up to in their head at a given point in time. The important thing to remember with PDO is that it is heavily influenced by the randomness inherent in the mind of a hockey player, and that in most cases it regresses heavily to the mean of ~1000. Anything much higher than that suggests that a player is using luck to help drive his ability to pick the next number in order, while anything lower than around 950 or so suggests a player is either having a string of bad counting luck, or is pretty dumb.

ZoneStart: This number, expresses as a percentage, tells us how much time a given player has spent playing professional hockey in the Terrestrial Ecozone of their birth. A forward with a low ZoneStart number, hailing from the Palearctic region, for example, is likely to be soft player lacking in leadership skills (source: Don Cherry).

So that's it for now. For some more robust and/or real definitions, you can look here, here, or here.


T'was The Night Before Draft Day

What follows is a terribly dorky parody that I spent too long writing because I'm a huge hockey nerd with nothing better to do. But it was fun. For your consideration:
T’was the night before Draft Day, and all through the ‘Sphere
Every Oil fan was stirring, on their fourth or fifth beer.
The mock drafts were posted by the ex-GMs with no hair,
In hopes that many bloggers would soon click there.

The basketball fans were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of LeBron dunked in their heads.
But McCurdy, and Lowetide, and of course Black Dog Pat,
Had just started their zillionth Oilers roster chat.

While stifling a yawn, I refreshed my twitter,
I perused Willis’ coach profiles and sipped at my bitter,
Opening a new window, I clicked like a flash,
Googled Justin Schultz and pondered Rick Nash.

The moon on the breast of a Lowetide pic of Bardot,
Gave the lustre of mid-day to “objects below.”
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a Fussy Britches trade rumour-- Where’s that sixth beer?

“With a GM like Toonces,” I said, slurring like Jon Quick,
“He’ll probably go and screw up the first pick.
Or he’ll fucking trade Smyth to the goddamn Flames!”
And I spitted, and shouted, and called him rude names.

“Fuck Dithers! Fuck Toonces! Fuck Tambi and Tambo!
Fuck Versions 1 through 3.0 and, of course, fuck TambLowe!
We’re at the top of the draft! You signed Petrell for Horcov!
Now draft Nail! Draft Nail! Draft Nail Yakupov!”

But then, in a twinkling, I thought of a man,
Called the Magnificent Bastard, who seems to have a plan.
As I threw back my head, draining the last round,
“In Stu We Trust,” I prayed without sound.

His eyes- how they twinkle! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks are like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth will be drawn up like a bow,
When he calls up a 4th rounder that he knows will play in The Show.

He’s chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laugh when I see him, in spite of myself!
The glints in his eye and his calm level-head
Are the only things that soothe Oilers fans' dread.

He gives not a clue, but stands by his work,
Filling up draft slots (and rarely with jerks!)
He’ll lay his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, o’er the Consol Energy Center he’ll pose!

He’ll spring to the podium for his team and pick a winner,
Trying to give us a meaningful game after Winter.
And I heard St. MacGregor exclaim, as I went out like a light,
“Happy Draft Day to all, and to all a good-night!”



The craftiest GM in the League strikes again!


Merry Christmas Baby

Hey! Look! SLOW FRESH OIL updated! Begin Christmas riots... nnnnNOW!

So yeah, not much to say about the Oilers that hasn't already been discussed in the ever-growing Oilogosphere. Other than this:



Wishing for Wins, the Calder & a good return on the Hemsky trade. From Stan Weir & your friends at SLOW FRESH OIL!