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Bob McKenzie on how NHL teams use analytics

Bob McKenzie on how NHL teams use analytics

TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie joined Macko and Cauz on TSN 1050 earlier today and discussed the hot topic of hockey analytics.

on the Analytics Debate

“The thing that makes me laugh a little bit about the whole analytics debate, in the media the old school media vs. the new school if that’s what you want to call it. People are still debating Corsi. I mean, the analytics in the National Hockey League team by team for the most part are so beyond Corsi that it’s not even a talking point. Corsi’s just a basic metric that some people use, some people don’t.

The stuff that teams are doing, I don’t want to say it’s more sophisticated because it is shrouded in mystery. But there’s no question that it’s more sophisticated because they link things more to video and break things down more analytically that way. I kind of chuckle because this whole argument over Corsi, Fenwick and PDO and all these things. Most of the teams that I’m aware of are years past the whole Corsi debate.”

On the use of video:

“There are continual upgrades on the software and the programming that (allow you to) break down a game in video. (For example) the game’s over, (TSN 1050 Host) Macko has played a game and (TSN 1050 Host) Cauz has played a game and I’m the coach and I say, I want every one of Macko’s shifts from that game, or I want every one of Macko’s shifts where he tried to get the puck out from the hash marks to the blue line. They can have that in a matter of moments.

A lot of coaches will say I’m not into the analytics. Well they are and they aren’t. What happens with a lot of teams is they take the video and they break it down to every single thing that happens as an event in a game. And they can identify positive and negative events for every player on the ice. They come up with their own (metrics) and detailed breakdowns for each individual player for every little thing he contributed positively or negatively over the course of the game. And at the end of the game within hours or the next morning the coach can come back in and his video guy will say here’s the break down for everything.

Where you need some analytics on a broader base is what’s happening in the games you can’t see where you don’t have intricate video breakdowns for. That’s for everything else that happens in the National Hockey League. That’s where teams will come up with other metrics to do other broader based stuff where the management is more involved than say the coaches. When you talk about analytics, everyone talks about it like it’s one sweeping stroke, for a Coach it’s much much different than for General Manager.”

Interview with Bob McKenzie – July 23, 2014

Macko and Cauz hosted by Bob Mackowycz &  Matt Cauz airs weekdays on TSN 1050 at 9am ET.

above photo courtesy of @Pengellyink