One thing I love about Baseball is how much time you can spend dissecting the statistics. No sport lends itself better to be broken down by the numbers than baseball. Not that statistics ever tell the whole story, far from it, but they sure give us plenty to talk about between games, and during the off-season. The other great thing baseball has done is add newer statistics over the past few decades, essentially as the game evolves so too do the statistics we use to measure it. Sure ERA is still the gold standard, but WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) is the hot new stat on the block. When taking both ERA and WHIP into consideration we get a much better overall picture of the players performance than just ERA or just WHIP alone. That's what stats are all about right? Getting an accurate portrayal of performance based on tangible numbers.
Why am i rambling about baseball? Because Hockey is desperately in need of some newer more innovative stats to help quantify a players value. Specifically some numbers that can be couple with the dreaded +/- statistic because we all know what a sham that number can be. So without further ado i present to you my first new stat of the season, Shift Impact Percentage which will henceforth be abbreviated SIP or SIP %.
SIP% is calculated by adding specific tangible statistics that a player accumulates over a fixed period of time and then dividing that total by the total number of shifts the player has played during that same time period, the resulting quotient is the SIP%. The stats to be accumulated are as followed:
Total Shots Attempted
These are the only tangible stats that show the player had an impact on his shift. A player can hit someone, block a shot, register an assist, attempt a shot (which will inevitably include the goals scored), give the puck away, or take the puck away from someone else. The only other stat i could define as impactful per shift would be faceoffs won and lost, but i figured it wouldn't be fair because Centers would have either drastically higher or drastically lower SIP% than all other skaters based on the fact they take the majority of the faceoffs. Defensemen would likely never register any faceoffs, so i removed it from the equation.
The idea of this statistic is to gauge what percentage of shifts does a player do something impactful on the ice. The equation looks like this:
(Hits+Blocked Shots+Assists+Total Shots+(Takeaways-Giveaways)) / Total Shifts = Shift Impact Percentage
or (h+b+a+s+(t-g)) / TS= SIP%
So if i had a game in which i had 25 shifts and this was my line:
1 blocked shot
My SIP% would be (2+1+0+5+(1-1)) / 25 = .320%
In other words, roughly one third of my shifts were impactful. Once you see this statistic run on a bunch of NHL players to get an idea of what is a good SIP% and what is poor, then you can start to gauge a players value based on their SIP. My next blog will be the SIP percentage for several key Buffalo Sabres so as to put this statistic in perspective.
The goal isn't to eliminate +/- entirely, but to use SIP in conjunction with it in order to paint a more accurate picture. Hopefully i explained this well enough, and my next blog will paint it even clearer.
***Also i just created a twitter account and can be followed @SabreHess ***