Originally posted on JibbleScribbits  |  Last updated 5/7/12
Yesterday Mike Chambers of the Denver Post had a write up at the Denver Post on Jan Hejda. I was unimpressed with his analysis.

Let's first adress the (very slight) potshot at me:

Don’t believe your little league anonymous blogger — plus-minus is hockey’s best overall statistic,

Actually let's ignore the potshot and look at the content. You should question what I say. Always. You should be skeptical. Just because I say it, it doesn't make it true. An opinion is worth nothing until it can be backed up. So what's the basis for Mike's opinion that +/- is "hockey's best overall statistic"

because it’s how hockey players judge themselves

Oh. Well what about the people whose job is actually judging how well hockey players are playing.  Like a coach. Maybe an NHL coach. Maybe a Jack Adams and 2x President's cup winning coach? What would  a person with that kind of pedigree have to say about +/-:

"[plus/minus] is not ­really indicative of how a player plays"

Oh. And how much stock does the Avs coaching staff put in plus/minus:

 Hejda participated in all but one game, played a team-high 1,675 minutes and was second in average ice time (20:40 to Erik Johnson’s 20:50). So he was utilized. He was never in the dog house (except, maybe, for that one game the team said he had a groin injury when it was carrying eight D). Like it or not, and politics notwithstanding, the coaching staff had faith in him throughout the season.

(emphasis mine). So the Avs coaching staff ignored his +/- and kept putting Hejda out there. But not only did they keep playing him minutes. They kept playing him hard minutes. Cam Charron had a really good quick look at Hejda yesterday:

But I'd like to dig even further into Hejda's usage:


Jan Hejda was a defensive stalwart for the Avs this season (at least that's how the coaches used him). He was second on the team in TOI/game (20:40), 1st in ES TOI (17:33) but he was also second on the team in SH TOI (3:02 {McC-3:06})

Where was he used: He took 473 more face-offs in the defensive zone as he did the offensive zone. Besides his defensive partner, Ryan O'Byrne, no other Av had more than 250 (J. McC-247, M. Olver-78).

And who was he used against?: The best players in the league.

Jan Hejda was used often, in his own end, (a man down) and against the best players in the league. Obviously the man down part didn't contribute to his +/-. But lets compare him to a defenseman with a good +/-. Ryan Wilson took 349 more offensive zone starts than defensive starts. Between the two of them thats a difference of 822. That's enormous. Ryan Wilson also played much much weaker competition.

Basically Jan Hejda (and Ryan O'Byrne) played the very hardest minutes on the team so that Ryan Wilson ( & Shane O'Brien, Tyson Barrie, Matt Hunwick, Stephan Elliott and to a lesser extent even E. Johnson & K. Quincey) didn't get demolished.  If one guy is playing against the opponents top players, and doing it in his own end you would expect him to have more GA while on ice than a guy playing only in the Offensize Zone and playing weaker players. Despite all this Jan Hejda's GA/60 was still only 3rd highest on the team (E.Johnson and S. O'Brien's were higher).  The only reason his +/- was so low was because the team didn't score when he was on the ice... because he never played in the offensive end.

Chambers analysis is exactly why I hate +/- so much. It's not just worthless, it actually detracts from the knowledge of how the player played. It is so misleading that people who follow hockey for a living completely whiff on a players' game based on a number that has zero bearing on how he actually played. No Avalanche player drew a tougher assignement this season than Jan Hejda. He was on the hockey equivalent of the front lines. He was put in an impossible situation, and played it as well as anyone in the league could have.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Eddie Lacy defends Mike McCarthy for weight loss comments

Red Sox nearly had serious catcher emergency in loss to Tigers

Ohio State DL Dylan Thompson ineligible for season

Roger Federer will miss Olympics, U.S. Open with knee injury

Seahawks extend Pete Carroll through 2019

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye releases first statement following car crash

Report: Brock Osweiler could have made more money staying with Broncos

Andrew Luck: Feels `as good as I've ever felt` for training camp

Amar'e Stoudemire announces retirement after signing one-day contract with Knicks

Report: Gregory failed multiple drug tests since suspension

Olympian Abby Johnston: Worst thing about Olympic village is no Pokemon

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

Report: Paul Pierce to return to Clippers

Jimbo Fisher: You come to FSU to win national championships

Andre Johnson worked out for Tennessee Titans

Shattenkirk for Krejci trade rumor still floating around

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman denies link to C.T.E.

Michael Vick: Cam Newton can’t beat me in 40-yard dash

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

Odell Beckham Jr. says Giants will play in Super Bowl LI

Iowa researchers say they can optimize Monday Night Football ratings with scheduling

Terrelle Pryor can visit Ohio State as five-year ban comes to a close

Rudy Gay admits to having ‘no idea’ about what the Kings are doing

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker