Monday, November 19, 2007

Goal Differential vs. Standings

I took a minute to pull these off of TSN's standings tonight. Pretty basic stuff - You've got actual standings, goal differential, goal differential per game, new standings, and the difference between new and old rank. I'll mostly leave people to draw their own conclusions.

Is Ottawa really that good? Probably yes, though the kind of rate they're putting together is likely unsustainable long term. The Rangers' poor GD rating can likely be attributed to their complete lack of offense, so even though they might be lucky to be ranked 3rd in the conference you'd have to think they're going to improve as the year goes on as well. Finally, Buffalo may not be quite as bad as they look while Atlanta is probably even worse.

And of course, the West: where Detroit is great again, Edmonton is as bad as they look, and the only inconsistencies come in the form of flattering standings for both Anaheim and Nashville, where of course the former is a team that I would be delighted to have join Edmonton in the league's basement.


Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Good stuff. You do see broadcasters meantioning quite a bit nowadays, even a couple of years ago that just wasn't done. Hopefully one day soon we'll see lists like this on TSN's own site.

We're looking at teams abilities to score goals and prevent them here, which is clearly a hell of a lot more repeatable than a team's ability to 'find ways to win'. One thing I'd caution about though, especially this early in the year, is that there is a diminishing rate of return on goals if the score is lopsided.

Simply put, a goal scored when you're already leading by three goals, and the other coach has decided to give the kids some added responsibility and give his starting goalie a break, and no defender is going to be in the mood to sacrifice his health to block a shot ... those goals aren't worth as much.

So the Flames in 05/06, who for some reason weren't involved in a lot of blowouts, partly because they were capable of stifling out wins instead of keeping on pounding at you. If you account for this fact in any sensible way, or even just randomly issue GF and GA across the schedule ... then either way you'll see that they were full value for the 101ish points they racked up. Whereas straight goal diff showed them to be lucky as hell (as mudcrutch reminded Flames fans fortnightly :D ).

11/20/2007 12:22 pm  
Blogger Tyler said...

Maybe the Flames were one of the teams who can beat their GD Vic. They sure didn't look it against it Anaheim in R1 that year when they seemed to think that it was early 1908's rules - best of 5.

In any event, I listened to the Sports Media Roundtable on the Team 1260 yesterday. I wonder if those guys were doing bonghits between segments, because I'm pretty sure that they said that the Oilers would be .500 with the injured guys in the lineup. Unfuckingbelievable.

Good stuff Showerhead.

11/20/2007 1:17 pm  
Blogger Dallas said...

Do you guys have an RSS feed? I wanted to link in your blog to my Oilers news feed.

11/20/2007 6:47 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

11/21/2007 12:37 am  
Blogger Doogie said...

I seem to remember Earl Sleek or someone like that looking specifically at lead-changing goals as an index of a team's ability to hold the lead, and consequently as an index of success. Wouldn't that be more accurate than simple GD or Pythagorean W%? I don't remember now how it worked.

11/21/2007 4:42 pm  
Blogger Dallas said...

Thanks Vic. Added in Irreverent Oilers to the feed.


11/21/2007 5:42 pm  

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