Making advanced stats simple, practical, and fun for hockey fans Advanced stats give hockeyÍs powerbrokers an edge, and now fans can get in on the action. Stat Shot is a fun and informative guide hockey fans can use to understand and enjoy what analytics says about team building, a playerÍs junior numbers, measuring faceoff success, recording save percentage, the most one-sided trades in history, and everything you ever wanted to know about shot-based metrics. Acting as an invaluable supplement to traditional analysis, Stat Shot can be used to test the validity of conventional wisdom, and to gain insight into what teams are doing behind the scenes „ or maybe what they should be doing. Whether looking for a reference for leading-edge research and hard-to-find statistical data, or for passionate and engaging storytelling, Stat Shot belongs on every serious hockey fanÍs bookshelf.
Author: Rob Vollman
Release Date: 2016-09-13
Best known for Player Usage Charts and his record-breaking ESPN Insider contributions, Rob Vollman was first published in the fall 2001 issue of the Hockey Research Journal and has since co-authored 10 books in the Hockey Abstract, Hockey Prospectus, and McKeen's magazine series. He writes for NHL.com, and lives in Calgary, Alberta. Tom Awad is a Montreal-based electrical engineer who loves applying numbers to his job, hockey, and anything else he can get his hands on. He has co-authored six previous books on hockey analytics. Iain Fyffe created Hockeythink (originally Puckerings), the first dedicated hockey analytics site, in 2001. He has served as editor of the Hockey Research Journal and was a co-author of the books Hockey Prospectus 2011 and 2012 and Hockey Abstract 2014, as well as the author of On His Own Side of the Puck. He lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick
A guide for sports fans on how to watch and appreciate the game of hockeyMore and more fans are watching the NHL each week, but many of them don't know exactly what they should be watching. How does an offense create shooting lanes for its best sniper? When a center breaks through and splits between two defensemen, which defender is to blame? Why does a goalie look like a Hall of Famer one week and a candidate for the minor leagues the next? This guide for sports fans on how to watch and appreciate the game of hockey takes you inside a coach's mind as he builds a roster or constructs a game plan, to the chaos of the goalie's crease, and deep into the perpetual chess match between offense and defense. Discussing topics such as what to look for when a team goes on the power play and why playing center might be the most grueling job in sports, Take Your Eye Off the Puck shows fans how to get the most out of watching their favorite sport.
Over 500,000 hockey fans follow Bob McKenzie on Twitter and millions more on TSN—no one has the access or breadth and depth of experience when it comes to the hockey. Now in his very first book on the NHL, Bob goes behind the scenes, covering the inside stories, the lesser-known personalities and the events that shape Canada’s game. He talks to Bobby Orr about Connor McDavid (touted as “the next Crosby”), reveals the actual stats that NHL coaches and scouts use, and explores what it’s like to be Don Cherry’s son. Entertaining, insightful and a damn good read, Hockey Confidential is a must for every hockey fan.
In the inaugural edition it was written that "statistical analysis is coming to hockey in a wave very similar to the one that hit baseball years ago," and guess what? That wave is here! With every passing season, there's another explosion of new analysts, new websites, new perspectives, and new developments. Non-traditional statistics are being used in TV and radio broadcasts, front offices are hiring statistical analysts, and newspapers and magazines are including whole new sets of data. It used to be that front offices, agencies, and media outlets would use analytics to get an edge, but now it's being used to avoid falling behind. Soon, venturing forward without an analytics team will be like venturing forward without trainers, or equipment managers. While we fans can certainly continue to enjoy the sport without analytics (and equipment managers), knowledge of the underlying numbers can help stretch that enjoyment. Acting as an invaluable supplement to traditional analysis, modern statistics can be used to test the validity of the conventional wisdom, and to gain insight into what teams are doing behind the scenes --- or maybe what they should be doing! Inspired by Bill James' Baseball Abstract, Hockey Abstract is not an annual guide to read once and place on a shelf, but a timeless reference of the mainstream applications and limitations of hockey analytics. More than just an update, this 2014 edition is 40% bigger and better, and includes heavyweight co-authors Tom Awad and Iain Fyffe. The Hall of Fame, what makes good players good, team-level player usage chart interpretations, shot quality, score effects, the value of enforcers, a deep look at goaltending, and a hunt for the game's best at scoring goals, drawing penalties, killing penalties and working the power play are all among this year's topics. Whether you use Hockey Abstract as a primer for today's new statistics, as a reference for leading edge research and hard-to-find statistical data, or whether you read it for its passionate and engaging story-telling, Hockey Abstract 2014 belongs on every serious hockey fan's bookshelf.
Mike Babcock is the only hockey coach in the history of the game to lead teams to victory in the Stanley Cup, the World Championship, and the Olympic Games. Currently head coach for the Detroit Red Wings, he is arguably the best coach in the game today. In this book, against the dramatic backdrop of the Canadian men's gold medal victory in Vancouver, Babcock provides an inspiring roadmap for achieving goals and fulfilling dreams. This is not just a book about hockey but a book about life, rooted in Babcock's "Leave No Doubt" credo. Written by Babcock and his longtime friend Rick Larsen, the credo hung on Team Canada's dressing-room wall during their historic run to Olympic gold. It provides a compelling framework for excelling in life. Illuminated by revealing stories about overcoming doubt, "owning pressure," and making a difference, "Leave No Doubt" is based on a firm belief in everyday commitment and a step by step approach to being "better than good enough." The words originally written for Canada's Olympic gold medal hockey team - leave no doubt, every day counts, our determination will define us - inspire an approach to succeeding in life that is relevant to people of all interests and ambitions. Athlete or not, each of us will find valuable guidance in this succinct primer from one of the most respected leaders in sports.
The complete history of the growth of the NHL. Changing the Game: A History of NHL Expansion celebrates an often-overlooked aspect of hockey history. The book provides comprehensive coverage of the NHL's spread across the North American market in the 1920s along with the memorable expansions that began in 1967. Relive some great and painful moments from the debut seasons of forgotten teams such as the Montreal Maroons and California Seals along with fan favorites like the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. Every first-year NHL roster is covered and nearly 100 players share their memories of playing for hard-luck clubs.
Author: Shane Malloy
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2011-02-11
Genre: Sports & Recreation
The Art of Scouting delves into the secretive world of hockey prospecting, a world more akin to Cold War-era spying than a casual day in the stands. Scouts decide whether a player has the talent to make the final step to the NHL-or not-but what they do and how they do it are a mystery to most fans. Shane Malloy is one of the first media personalities to be welcomed into the world of scouting and brings to hockey fans an enlightening and fascinating narrative that explains the culture, history, science and art of hockey scouting. Malloy's unique experience-combined with interviews featuring scouts, coaches and hockey executives- will give readers a true understanding and appreciation for what scouts do and how they do it, what it really takes to make it to the NHL, and how to watch the game like a scout. Praise for The Art of Scouting: "If you love hockey but wonder how teams are built and what goes into scouting, then this book is a gem." — Kelly Hrudey, Hockey Night in Canada Analyst "The work that Shane has done is based on knowledge and diligence. We have great respect for this project as it has tremendous substance to it. An excellent source of information." —Doug Wilson, Executive Vice President and General Manager, San Jose Sharks "If you have ever been at a hockey game and seen the scouts in the corner and wondered what they do, how they do it and why they do it, The Art of Scouting by Shane Malloy will take you inside their world." —Bob McKenzie, TSN Hockey Insider "For anyone fascinated by player evaluation and what goes into it, this is a must-read. Interesting perspectives and a good cast of characters. Thought-provoking and entertaining." —Peter Loubardias, Hockey Broadcaster,Rogers Sportsnet "The Art of Scouting provides readers with a behind-the-scenes view of the sport's lifeblood...scouting and the people that do it...A great read for any hockey fan." —Brad Treliving, Vice President and Assistant General Manager, Phoenix Coyotes
New York Times Bestseller After twenty consecutive losing seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates, team morale was low, the club's payroll ranked near the bottom of the sport, game attendance was down, and the city was becoming increasingly disenchanted with its team. Pittsburghers joked their town was the city of champions...and the Pirates. Big Data Baseball is the story of how the 2013 Pirates, mired in the longest losing streak in North American pro sports history, adopted drastic big-data strategies to end the drought, make the playoffs, and turn around the franchise's fortunes. Award-winning journalist Travis Sawchik takes you behind the scenes to expertly weave together the stories of the key figures who changed the way the small-market Pirates played the game. For manager Clint Hurdle and the front office staff to save their jobs, they could not rely on a free agent spending spree, instead they had to improve the sum of their parts and find hidden value. They had to change. From Hurdle shedding his old-school ways to work closely with Neal Huntington, the forward-thinking data-driven GM and his team of talented analysts; to pitchers like A. J. Burnett and Gerrit Cole changing what and where they threw; to Russell Martin, the undervalued catcher whose expert use of the nearly-invisible skill of pitch framing helped the team's pitchers turn more balls into strikes; to Clint Barmes, a solid shortstop and one of the early adopters of the unconventional on-field shift which forced the entire infield to realign into positions they never stood in before. Under Hurdle's leadership, a culture of collaboration and creativity flourished as he successfully blended whiz kid analysts with graybeard coaches—a kind of symbiotic teamwork which was unique to the sport. Big Data Baseball is Moneyball on steroids. It is an entertaining and enlightening underdog story that uses the 2013 Pirates season as the perfect lens to examine the sport's burgeoning big-data movement. With the help of data-tracking systems like PitchF/X and TrackMan, the Pirates collected millions of data points on every pitch and ball in play to create a tome of color-coded reports that revealed groundbreaking insights for how to win more games without spending a dime. In the process, they discovered that most batters struggled to hit two-seam fastballs, that an aggressive defensive shift on the field could turn more batted balls into outs, and that a catcher's most valuable skill was hidden. All these data points which aren't immediately visible to players and spectators, are the bit of magic that led the Pirates to spin straw in to gold, finish the 2013 season in second place, end a twenty-year losing streak.
Author: Benjamin C. Alamar
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2013-07-02
Genre: Business & Economics
Benjamin C. Alamar founded the first journal dedicated to sports statistics, the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports. He developed and teaches a class on sports analytics for managers at the University of San Francisco and has published numerous cutting edge studies on strategy and player evaluation. Today, he cochairs the sports statistics section of the International Statistics Institute and consults with several professional teams and businesses in sports analytics. There isn’t a better representative of this emerging field to show diverse organizations how to implement analytics into their decision-making strategies, especially as the programs behind analytic tools grow increasingly complex. Alamar provides a clear, easily digestible survey of the practice and a detailed understanding of analytics’ vast possibilities. He explains how to evaluate different programs and put them to use. Using concrete examples from professional sports teams and case studies demonstrating the use and value of analytics in the field, Alamar designs a roadmap for managers and other professionals as they build their own programs and teach their approach to others.
Author: Bill James
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2010-05-11
Genre: Sports & Recreation
When Bill James published his original Historical Baseball Abstract in 1985, he produced an immediate classic, hailed by the Chicago Tribune as the “holy book of baseball.” Now, baseball's beloved “Sultan of Stats” (The Boston Globe) is back with a fully revised and updated edition for the new millennium. Like the original, The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract is really several books in one. The Game provides a century's worth of American baseball history, told one decade at a time, with energetic facts and figures about How, Where, and by Whom the game was played. In The Players, you'll find listings of the top 100 players at each position in the major leagues, along with James's signature stats-based ratings method called “Win Shares,” a way of quantifying individual performance and calculating the offensive and defensive contributions of catchers, pitchers, infielders, and outfielders. And there's more: the Reference section covers Win Shares for each season and each player, and even offers a Win Share team comparison. A must-have for baseball fans and historians alike, The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract is as essential, entertaining, and enlightening as the sport itself.
With its flexible capabilities and open-source platform, R has become a major tool for analyzing detailed, high-quality baseball data. Analyzing Baseball Data with R provides an introduction to R for sabermetricians, baseball enthusiasts, and students interested in exploring the rich sources of baseball data. It equips readers with the necessary skills and software tools to perform all of the analysis steps, from gathering the datasets and entering them in a convenient format to visualizing the data via graphs to performing a statistical analysis. The authors first present an overview of publicly available baseball datasets and a gentle introduction to the type of data structures and exploratory and data management capabilities of R. They also cover the traditional graphics functions in the base package and introduce more sophisticated graphical displays available through the lattice and ggplot2 packages. Much of the book illustrates the use of R through popular sabermetrics topics, including the Pythagorean formula, runs expectancy, career trajectories, simulation of games and seasons, patterns of streaky behavior of players, and fielding measures. Each chapter contains exercises that encourage readers to perform their own analyses using R. All of the datasets and R code used in the text are available online. This book helps readers answer questions about baseball teams, players, and strategy using large, publically available datasets. It offers detailed instructions on downloading the datasets and putting them into formats that simplify data exploration and analysis. Through the book’s various examples, readers will learn about modern sabermetrics and be able to conduct their own baseball analyses.
Author: John Scott
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2016-12-27
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
The John Scott story is the ultimate underdog narrative in sports during 2016 when Scott—in the twilight of his career—went from a joke All-Star fan-voted nominee to scoring two goals and winning the All-Star Game’s MVP title. This is his heartwarming story about an average Joe who became a sports superhero overnight. Known as a willing-and-able fighter and bruiser in the league, John Scott was a surprising and tongue-and-cheek nominee for the 2016 NHL All-Star Game. He’d been in the league for over eight NHL seasons, playing for teams such as the Wild, Blackhawks, Rangers, Sabres, and the Sharks. Scott’s best attribute as an NHL player was dropping his gloves—never the best player, the 260 pounder did become the most feared fighter in the NHL, racking up extensive penalty minutes. In order to prevent him from playing in the game, his current team—the Phoenix Coyotes—traded Scott to the Montreal Canadians, who demoted him to the AHL team in an attempt to disqualify him from playing in the All-Star Game. Fans were outraged and Scott was devastated. He’d been downgraded in his job—forced to relocate while his wife was pregnant with twin girls. But the fans wouldn’t back down and insisted the NHL let Scott play in the game. The league relented, and Scott not only was invited to attend the NHL game in Nashville, but was nominated a team captain. The media and sports fans at large fell in love with the giant six-foot-eight player who by all means, was just a normal guy and no superstar player. In a true Cinderella story, Scott scored two goals and was the All-Star Game’s MVP. This is his personal memoir—detailing his life growing up and how he was able to keep his sense of humor and become the ultimate Cinderella-Story of hockey.