In 2015, I had once argued that Los Angeles Kings’ goalie Jonathan Quick should be considered elite when compared to other goalies like Carey Price, Pekka Rinne, and Henrik Lundqvist using measurements like save percentage, goals against average, and wins in both regular season play and the playoffs.
Comment trolls argued that these stats were antiquated and that measurements like adjusted save percentage is a more telling statistic. Kind of like how the gross domestic product of a country can be adjusted with inflation to make real gross domestic product (rGDP) as a more feasible economic measurement.
This small adjustment is just one metric that can draw parallels to micro and macro economic applications that economists have both theorized and put into practice since the .
However, like Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences and Distinguished Professor of Economics Paul Krugman said when discussing the 2008 financial crisis, “economists, as a group, mistook beauty, clad in impressive-looking mathematics, for truth.”
Mistaking a Stripper for a Significant Other
In his 2009 piece, “How Did Economists Get It So Wrong?” Krugman argues that regardless of the unbelievably advanced applications to theoretical economics in contemporary markets, there was some that fell to the allure of fancy algorithms when improperly predicting and handling the 2008 financial crisis.
This argument can be attributed to the emphasis placed on advanced NHL statistics.
NHL writers, statisticians, and even professional NHL managements staffs have taken a liking to these advanced stats to the point of even signing players to salaries based on the potential maximum output a player has. But, these are anticipatory measure that could potentially determine the outcome of a players contributions and team metrics. Not, the outcome itself.
The outcome of a game, like the 2008 financial crisis, can come out of nowhere. It may be unlikely that a team being outscored 3-0 in the first period wins the game, but there has sure-as-shit been comebacks that defy these statistical odds. Plus, some comebacks are far more memorable than some team successfully dumping and chasing the puck while driving puck possession.
Fancy stats are that: fancy. They are a way for pundits who never played the game professionally to separate themselves from other fans and writers in order to be cooler or more respected even though there are other (and maybe even better) ways to analyze the game.
You can still enjoy the game without knowing what corsi or fenwick means and without having to do the same marked scatter chart I would do in general Biology during my ten-year tenure at community college.
Have a drink, eat some shitty food, and yell at the screen while watching the game because advanced statistics are like clicking on a pornographic thumbnail only to find no money shots, or studying surf reports to only sit out and tread water, or believing that bigfoot is real.