Live look at all analytic nerds:
Just kidding, they’re not all nerds.
This is the W I needed. There has been a constant battle on Hockey Twitter over the last few years about analytics. I used to hate them, not because of what the provide but because they are believed in by not only, but a few loud, obnoxious, pretentious assholes who think that they’re never wrong about anything, especially hockey. Now, more times than not, these people also had never played the game at a high level but that should not matter if you ask them. What happens if you disagree with them? They throw a giant hissy fit, cry that they’re being picked on, and pull some statistic out of their ass that 90% of the hockey world has never heard of. Trust me, I have this down to a science.
I realized that I shouldn’t disregard analytics just because of a couple idiots and came to terms that there is a place for it in the game. They can be used to evaluate talent and production, as long as you’re also using common sense. I think the ‘eye test’ and analytics are valuable resources to an NHL team and teams that use both will have better results.
Having said this, I couldn’t agree more with Theo and Marty and I’m so glad they said this. Analytics and trends and statistics go out the window when its playoff time. Playoffs are about will, grit, camaraderie and who has a bigger ball bag. Yes, it does help to have more skill, but that does not guarantee a W. Just ask the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Thats what makes hockey unbelievable. Its a game of inches, a battle of who wants it more, and believe it or not, there isn’t a stat designed to show what player or what teams want it more. Don’t say this too loudly though, because somewhere there is an analytic nerd who is so mad that they broke their Ticonderoga pencil in half and immediately wheeled out their Ti-83 in search for some stat that can try and prove everyone wrong.
Now a quote from one of the best hockey movies ever made, Mystery Alaska.
This is hockey, okay? It’s not rocket surgery. If you don’t play this game with a lot of heart and a big bag of knuckles, you don’t got dinky-doo.