Originally posted on The Pensblog  |  Last updated 2/27/13
Pittsburgh_penguins_v_7dc5
At least that's the case according to some particular "fancy stats." Via the Sporting News: Who's the most valuable player on the Pittsburgh Penguins? Is it the face of the NHL, Sidney Crosby? Is it the league's reigning MVP, Evgeni Malkin? How about goal machine James Neal? According to Michael Schuckers, an associate professor of statistics at St. Lawrence University, the answer is — wait for it — Tyler Kennedy. Schuckers will present a paper this week at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in which he unveils a new catch-all statistic called Total Hockey Rating (THoR), designed to evaluate how many wins individual players are responsible for. "The idea is that we have all this information that we get in these play-by-play files and we want to assess what is the value of an individual play on one hand, and so we went into a bunch of ways of trying to look at that, and also consider the things we know about hockey, like that shooting percentage with small sample sizes tends to fluctuate a whole lot," Schuckers told Sporting News. "That's how we evaluate the plays, and then, on the other side of the equation, we want to account for the folks that are out on the ice with a given player. And then, also, the recent work showing that where somebody starts their shift has a big impact on how they produce." The data covers the last two seasons, and Kennedy tops the Penguins with 6.05 wins created per season. You can read all about it in the Sporting News post.
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