CSSI Roundup: Changes Coming

You have any idea what he's talking about, Stu? TL;DR Pavs; sorry.


When the Red Wings' season started and I announced I would be trying to resurrect Chris Hollis' Common Sense Scoring Index with my own adjustments, I had to make some decisions on which way I wanted to take it, knowing full well that the stats taken would be simply for comparing Red Wings to Red Wings as far as their contributions to the team.  One of the most common questions that has come up in regards to the CSSI was whether a player could be granted an assist on his own goal or some other means of being given more than one full point for creating a marker for the Wings.  At the time, I said that I would generally not give more than one point to any player for creating a goal unless they did something overwhelmingly impressive to force such an adjustment (using the example of Datsyuk flipping it over the back of the net to himself for a goal). 

At the time, my reasoning for this was that I didn't want points totals to become overwhelmingly inflated to the point where we would lose more of a grip on what exactly one point is worth in the NHL, even under a system that admittedly inflates point totals by giving out third, fourth, and sometimes even fifth assists for plays.  However, I also decided that, for analysis sake, I would keep track of the plays where I would be more liberal with self-assists and double-points so that I could make a comparison at some point to see the differences in the number.  A kind of adjustment to the adjustment if you will (BRAAAAAHM). 

The Wings have played 26 games so far, so I thought it would be interesting to see how the numbers differ.  After taking a look at the adjustments, I've decided that I like the other system more.  Ultimately, if the aim is to track the players' contributions to the Red Wings, there's no reason for an arbitrary rule limiting the amount of points on a play, especially when I have not limited the amounts of pluses and minuses.  I believe the more liberal system has a very good balance with points, that help showcase a player's offensive contribution and plus/minus, which showcase a bit more complex picture of their contributions (although that is still not a perfect system, as we'll get to below).

Join me below for a look at the stats adjustments and how I believe using this method going forward will be more beneficial.

 

Here is the current tracking post that shows the difference between official stats and the adjustments to date.  Below, I have the chart showing the difference between the adjusted stats and the new stats:

Player Name
GP Old Adjusted Goals Old Adjusted
Assists
Old Adjusted
Points
Old Adjusted
+/-
New Adjusted
Goals
New Adjusted
Assists
New Adjusted
Points
New Adjusted
+/-
Datsyuk, Pavel 26 9
26 35 +22 9 32 41
+22.5
Zetterberg, Henrik 26 9 17 26 +15.5 9 20.5 29.5 +17
Holmstrom, Tomas 26 8 9.5 17.5 +4 8 13.5 21.5 +4
Franzen, Johan 25 13.5 12 25.5 +1 13.5 18 31.5 +3
Filppula, Valtteri 26 6.5 11.5 18 +9.5 6.5 17.5 24 +11.5
Bertuzzi, Todd 26 5 15.5 20.5 +18.5 6 19 25 +19.5
Hudler, Jiri 23 1 5 6 -6.5 1 5.5 6.5 -5.5
Modano, Mike 20 2 8 10

E

2 8.5 10.5 +2
Cleary, Dan 26 12 8.5 20.5 +17.5 12 10.5 22.5 +18
Helm, Darren 26 2 6 8 +13.5 2 8.5 10.5 +13.5
Abdelkader, Justin 18 3 6 9 +18 3 6.5 9.5 +18
Miller, Drew 20 0.5 3.5 4 +7.5 0.5 3.5 4 +7.5
Draper, Kris 2
0 0 0 E 0 0 0 0
Eaves, Patrick 21 4 2 6 +6.5 4 4 8 +6
Lidstrom, Nicklas 26 3 20 23 +16.5 3 21.5 24.5 +18
Kronwall, Niklas 26 5 10 15 +10 5 12 17 +10
Rafalski, Brian 16 0 14 14 +9 0 15.5 15.5 +8.5
Stuart, Brad 26
1.5 11 12.5 +13.5 1.5 11 12.5 +14.5
Salei, Ruslan 26 0 6.5 6.5 +2 0 6.5 6.5 +3
Ericsson, Jonathan 18 2 5 7 +8.5 2 5 7 +8.5
Kindl, Jakub 11 0 0 0 -3.5 0 0 0 -2.5
Janik, Doug 7 0 0.5 0.5 -4.5 0 0.5 0.5 -2.5

 

Player Name GP SV% GAA SOL Big Bad +/- Assists
Howard, Jimmy
20
.916 2.52
1 50.5 9.5
+41 3
Osgood, Chris
5 .891 2.77 0 10
3.5 +6.5 1

 

Looking at adjusted stats to adjusted stats, the differences aren't immediately striking.  In fact, only Eaves sees more than a one-position change in his points ranking thanks in part to leaping over Salei and Ericsson with the aid of self-assists.  The scoring portion widens the gap between Datsyuk as the clear-cut offensive leader of the team and the new #2 guy Johan Franzen, who jumps over Zetterberg thanks to having 6 new adjustment points to Z's 3.5, which includes the assist he's getting credit for on the phantom goal that was called off against the Sharks on Monday night. 

The new plus/minus is where I really think this shows better what the guys have been doing on the ice.  What I found when doing my adjustments was that it had been my tendency to award a half-plus for a great offensive play which led to a goal when the reality was that it should have been awarded bonus assist points instead.  There are several plays where I allowed a player to keep his bonus plus rating anyway because the nature of what he did was both in the spirit of scoring a goal and of good defensive play, but I generally took away the previous bonus pluses I had given out as a result of plays that I didn't consider inherently defensive (As a note, I don't limit my definition of offensive and defensive play to where the puck is and on whose stick is is when the play happens - A forecheck designed to allow the team to change lines is an inherently defensive maneuver.  Throwing the puck low in the offensive zone from the blue line under pressure is at least partially defensive). 

Now, this isn't to say that plus/minus is going to be the de-facto "defensive play" statistic for which some statisticians and fans alike have pined, otherwise, there's no way Todd Bertuzzi would have remained near the top of the rankings in favor of either Brad Stuart or Nick Lidstrom.  In fact, Lidstrom is the highest-ranked defenseman on the adjusted stats column at #5 while on the official stats column, three of the top five Red Wings players for plus/minus rating are blueliners.  Instead, it can be read as something of a combination statistic reading somewhere along the lines of "the guy who is doing the best to make good things happen while simultaneously making sure bad things don't"  I know, highly scientific wording there, isn't it?  Looking at the new rankings, I think the newly-adjusted plus/minus is a better ranking of on-ice contribution.  Of course, I think we also need to take those rankings for comparing forwards to forwards and D-Men to D-Men.  I don't think Lidstrom is only the fifth-most-contributing member of the Wings by any stretch.  I believe this is caused by the tendency of forwards to get relieved of their minuses significantly more often than defensemen.  We may even be seeing a result of this messing with the forward stats as well, since wingers' defensive responsibilities are so much lighter than centermen's and they're more likely to be absolved on a play. 

The scary part is looking at Johan Franzens' adjusted plus/minus in relation to his official plus/minus and realizing that on a team where even Tomas Holmstrom has managed to work his way to a +4 adjustment over official, Johan Franzen's adjusted plus/minus is only +1 comparatively with the new ranking.  Jakub Kindl and Doug Janik are the only players on the chart with a negative adjustment.  This might help explain why many Wings fans are still wondering what's wrong with the team's leading goalscorer.  He's got seven bonus assists, more than anybody, so we know he's a beast in the offensive zone when he's imposing his will, but when he makes mistakes, boy are they costly. 

Individual looks aside, I think the new system creates the real separation from the official stats that I was looking for to start the season.  I may not be able to really compare this to real-world stats in a meaningful way as it works with other teams, but we've known this since the start of the season.  I do intend to continue to track both sets of numbers as the season rolls on so we can get an end-of-year look at the differences, but in the meantime, I'm switching which version is the secret one and which one is the public because I like that system more.  As always, reader feedback is welcome, so please keep those comments coming.

Here's a breakdown of the official-versus-adjusted stats for both points and plus minus to see which players are benefitting most from the adjustments.  I've also put in a position column to look at how it breaks down between centers, wingers, and defensemen.  I'm separating between left wingers and right wingers here, so they'll all be categorized as W.  Also of note, categorizing a few players is a judgment call here.  Both Datsyuk and Zetterberg will be considered centers here while Abdelkader, who has played some center lately is going to be categorized as a winger.  The final column is Stanley Cups won.  Why?  Because I just like to remind everybody; that's why:

Player Name
GP Official Points
Adjusted Points
Points Difference Official
+/-
Adjusted
+/-
+/- Difference Position Stanley Cups Won
Datsyuk, Pavel 26 31 41 10 +6 +22.5 16.5 C
2
Zetterberg, Henrik 26 26 29.5 3.5 +5 +17 12 C 1
Holmstrom, Tomas 26 13 21.5 8.5 E +4 4 W 4
Franzen, Johan 25 21 31.5 10.5 +2 +3 1 W 1
Filppula, Valtteri 26 16 24 8 +5 +11.5 6.5 C 1
Bertuzzi, Todd 26 19 25 6 +8 +19.5 11.5 W 0
Hudler, Jiri 23 6 6.5 0.5 -8 -5.5 2.5 W 1
Modano, Mike 20 8 10.5 2.5

-3

+2 5 C 1
Cleary, Dan 26 18 22.5 4.5 +3 +18 15 W 1
Helm, Darren 26 6 10.5 4.5 +4 +13.5 9.5 C
1
Abdelkader, Justin 18 7 9.5 2.5 +8 +18 10 W 1
Miller, Drew 20 4 4 4 -2
+7.5 3.5 W 1
Draper, Kris 2
0 0 0 -1 E 1 W 4
Eaves, Patrick 21 6 8 2 +3 +6 3 W 0
Lidstrom, Nicklas 26 21 24.5
3.5 +3 +18 15 D 4
Kronwall, Niklas 26 12 17 5 +5 +10 5 D 1
Rafalski, Brian 16 16 15.5 -0.5 +6 +8.5 2.5 D 3
Stuart, Brad 26
10 12.5 2.5 +8 +14.5 6.5 D 1
Salei, Ruslan 26 5 6.5 1.5 +2 +3 1 D 0
Ericsson, Jonathan 18 3 7 4 +5 +8.5 3.5 D 1
Kindl, Jakub 11 0 0 0 -3 -2.5 0.5 D 0
Janik, Doug 7 0 0.5 0.5 -2 -2.5 -0.5 D 0

 

Player Name GP SV% GAA SOL Big Bad +/- Cups
Howard, Jimmy
20
.916 2.52
1 50.5 9.5
+41 0
Osgood, Chris
5 .891 2.77 0 10
3.5 +6.5 3

 

For reference: Here is the new tracking post with the adjustments made.

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