Monday, January 28, 2013

Hockey stats, Czech dominance and Howie Rose.

The first exposure I had to Hockey was the classic NES game "Ice Hockey". Ice Hockey taught me a few things about the game, some of which later turned out to be false.

1) Hockey is played with five guys. Seriously I found out this was wrong last week.
2) Hockey teams need to have a strong mix of small, medium and super fat players in order to be successful. The fat guys are the best at scoring goals while the small ones are good at face-offs. It turns out none of that is at all accurate.

3) Czechoslovakia is a dominant hockey nation, this turned out to be true.

Being a stats guy I have started delving into the world of Hockey stats. Frankly I don't like what I am seeing so far. Why is points a thing? Maybe it's my lack of familiarity with the sport but this seems like a wholly unnecessary statistic. Why can't I just look at Goals and Assists separately? This statistic seems to give them equal value but from what I can tell, Goals have more value than Assists. If two players each have 20 points and one has 15 goals and 5 assists and the other guy has the opposite, wouldn't the guy with 10 more goals be the more productive player? This seems like making a baseball statistic that is just the sum of hits and runs.  Maybe someone who knows more about Hockey can explain this to me.

I realized last night that Howie Rose, the voice of the Mets on the radio, is also the Islanders TV announcer. This makes me instantly like the Islanders more and ensures I will be watching more of their games. I also saw that the Washington Capitals just won their first game yesterday, mirroring their city mates The Wizards who took the longest time to win an NBA game this year. I have yet to see the defending champion Kings play a game yet so I will give them a watch tonight. After about a week of watching I remain as clueless as ever and still don't understand icing.


  1. Hockey is impossible to understand or like unless you are Canadian. Also, in NES Ice Hockey, the medium guys are useless. I always had a squad of 3 skinny fast guys to skate past everyone else and score, and 2 fat guys to serve as enforcers.

  2. Yes the medium guys appear to have no value whatsoever.

  3. What is hard to understand about hockey? It is pretty much the exact same game as soccer or basketball, only you can actually fuck people up. Ice Hockey on NES was great, but BLADES OF STEEL changed the game.