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  • #16
    Originally posted by matchesmalone View Post
    Mainly just the one line, "don't talk to me about back to break right now, just ask me about this game, God almighty!"

    But also how he talks about Duc, I guess I find his frustration humorous. Not really sure how to explain it. After watching him for years, and remember I'm a Canucks fan, so I've been following him closely for a long time. And like everyone, I very well remember his run-ins with media.

    After he was fired by the Canucks, I was not confident he would ever coach in the league again. Then he came back with Columbus this "changed man" with a new lease on life and a whole new philosophy. So when he gets particularly frustrated, it feels to me like a caricature of the old Torts. "Don't Push Me" Torts.
    Amazing, hahahahaha.

    I've always loved how straight up no-bullshit he is.


    • #17
      I'm not going to be able to word this properly, but to me, Torts is a perfect example of where the line between satire and, hmmm, let's say sincerity, is razor thin. Like, when you watch Don't Push Me, are you supposed to be laughing at him, or cheer along as an anthem for standing up for your team?

      At the risk of dramatically over-analyzing this... I guess this is where my point about standing outside the left/right political paradigm comes in. One side could see it as one thing, the other could see it as the other. To me I watch it and it's like a gestalt, like the duck-rabbit or whatever. Squint your eyes and tilt your head one way or the other and it can be either, or both. It highlights the flimsy nature of this divide that people lose their minds over.

      Same goes with the first video I posted, and could be said of much of his media from this season. He absolutely defies categorization, and even for myself watching it, I can feel this visceral urge to react and categorize, but by not doing so, and allowing/forcing myself to remain in tension between perspectives, I suppose this tension manifests as laughter - not full on belly laughter certainly, but a grinning, head-shaking, chuckling, "fuckin' classic Torts".


      • #18
        Interesting article regarding Seth Jones:

        Seth Jones Makes His Money in Reverse


        • #19
          Haha well the title is a bit misleading, but yeah, kind of a neat little insight into an aspect of the life of the pro hockey player that we don't typically hear much about.


          • #20
            I remember reading an article in THN about Jones when he was 15. I remember raving about him at the U18s a year and a half before he was drafted. I said every offensive rush from the opponent was one and out. I said he has cucumber for brains. Matt was like "um what?"

            He's just so chill. "Well I wouldn't say the bottom fell out", he just checks the guy. And representing the home State with the Browns hat. That guy is a pro.
            Last edited by matchesmalone; 03-01-2019, 04:01 PM.


            • #21
              Torts has really been bigging up his team lately. Just before start of playoffs he said he thinks Panarin is a top 3 player in the league. Today he said he think Jones will win a Norris someday, and should be perennially in the conversation.


              • #22
                Originally posted by matchesmalone View Post
                Torts has really been bigging up his team lately. Just before start of playoffs he said he thinks Panarin is a top 3 player in the league. Today he said he think Jones will win a Norris someday, and should be perennially in the conversation.
                Jones is good. He might be in the conversation someday soon, but just from his own age group he’s competing with guys like Hamilton, Nurse, Trouba, Ristolainen, and Rielly. As for right now (ie perennially), well, I could probably name at least 15 defensemen who were better than him this season.


                • #23
                  I strongly disagree. He's heads and shoulders above any of the players you mentioned, except Trouba and Rielly, who I would also consider among the top 15 or so defensemen in the league, but Jones is still better than them.

                  Hamilton is an above average defenseman, nothing more. It is not by accident or stupidity of his coaches that he averages under 20 mins per game every year. I was very high on Ristolainen early on, largely based on potential, despite the analytics people insisting he is worse than Hitler, but with a -41 this season it is becoming clear that he is not going to be what I thought he would be. Nurse is better than the other two, but not even in the same stratosphere as Seth Jones.

                  As Torts said, Jones will be a perennial Norris contender, IF they define the award properly and don't just base it on who has the most points. On the other hand, we don't want to undervalue offensive output, like when everyone was against Karlsson winning Norris because he's a pure offensive defenseman. Obviously points are one of the most revealing stats, and the one everyone knows for a reason. Jones finished 16th in the league in points among defensemen, despite ranking just 43rd among defensemen in PPTOI/GP.

                  Jones finished 4th in the league in TOI this season. You know I believe that TOI is one of the most useful stats available to us. Since there's a whole hell of a lot that doesn't show up on the stat sheet, the eye test is not communicable, and the eyes of NHL coaches are much better trained than ours anyway, TOI is probably about as close a thing as we have to the "it factor" I mentioned in my recent discussion of AI simulation and player rankings (the statistical measurement of all the things that don't otherwise show up statistically). Of course there are mitigating factors; guys like Josi, Pietrangelo, Giordano's TOI takes a hit because they play on teams with such deep defense cores (and yet Josi still ranks 5th in the league in TOI).

                  Jones was one of only 17 defensemen this season to average more than 2 minutes per game on both the PK and PP. This list happens to coincides pretty closely with what I would consider the top 15 or so defensemen in the league.

                  Along with points and TOI, the other most useful, comprehensive collection of stats we have is the Vollman numbers. Time after time after time, the Vollman charts reveal hidden truths about players that can take years to enter public knowledge. There are other stats I find very useful for forwards, like individual and on-ice scoring chances and high-danger scoring chances, but I don't find those particularly relevant to defensemen. Vollman numbers chart 5-on-5 CF% relative to team vs. difficulty of deployment - quality of competition and offensive zone start %. Players who are able to maintain a strong corsi despite difficult deployment tend to be the most valuable players.

                  I charted Jones, first vs. some of the best under-25 defensemen in the league. I can't figure out how to post pictures, so this isn't going to be as effective as I'd hoped. Jones does have one of the highest percentage of offensive zone starts, but he also faces some of the highest quality of competition, and his corsi is well ahead of any of the players in this category except for Thomas Chabot, who faces somewhat easier competition. Only Ekblad, Severson and Rielly face significantly higher quality competition, but their corsi are significantly inferior.

                  Next I charted Jones against 15 of what I would consider the best defensemen in the league, and he does pretty well there too. At least in the middle of the pack. Of course, even within the Vollman numbers, when there are so many different variables, it isn't always objectively clear who shows better, when one guy has better corsi, one guy has more difficult QOC, one guy has more OZS%, and one guy simply plays a lot more at ES, and all the different possible combinations. Of the players I charted, the only ones who show indisputably better than Jones were Kris Letang, and P.K. Subban. To a lesser extant, Giordano also shows pretty clearly better than Jones. Giordano has a slightly more difficult deployment and significantly better corsi, but plays more than 2 minutes less per game at ES. Alex Pietrangelo sees fairly more difficult deployment than Jones, but plays slightly less at ES and has slightly worse corsi, so that's a pretty close call, but I'd give the edge to Pietrangelo.

                  Both Chabot and Karlsson have similar ESTOI and corsi to Jones, and start less in the offensive zone, but face less difficult QOC.

                  According to the Vollman charts, Jones shows clearly better than Burns, Doughty, Suter, Josi, Rielly, Hedman, and arguably better than Carlson, Karlsson, Chabot, Trouba and Byfuglien.

                  Things like hits and blocks have their place and do tell us something about specific things, but I don't put much emphasis on them when thinking about best all-round players. Somewhat more important (but still not terribly important) I think is takeaways and giveaways. Here Jones does fairly well, ranking 11th among defensemen in takeaways and only 40th in giveaways. Considering he plays the 4th most TOI in the league, to rank only 40th in giveaways says something about the way he manages the puck.

                  Taking all of these factors into account, I would say he's certainly top 10 in the league, and maybe even top 5.

                  Actually, returning to the under-25 group again, Hampus Lindholm, Charlie McAvoy and Miro Heiskanen are pretty comparable to Jones based on the Vollman numbers, but Jones still has the edge over those guys based on all of the other stats. Heiskanen will be one to watch for sure.


                  • #24
                    Seeing the charts would indeed be better. To upload an image, click the "A" at the top of the post window. Then click the Image button. Once you're in the Image Properties window, select Upload. After selecting your image, click Send it to the Server, then wait a few seconds and click OK. If your image is too big or small, you can double click on it to adjust it.

                    As for your analysis of Jones, well, it's evidently a lot more researched than mine. From my limited analysis, though, I'd have listed these players as having had more effective seasons than Jones:



                    • #25
                      OK... so. After our disagreement I decided to try to make a list of top 10 or top 15 defensemen. Something I do every few years anyway. But the difference is, in the past I have based those in part on the player's current season, and in part on their total body of work, and it was largely subjective and based on reputation. But because I started this project in the framework of a debate or disagreement, I decided to just look at the stats from this season and make it as objective as possible, posting all of the relevant stats I use. But, after a bit of research, I started to realize that the stats I'm using aren't enough. I started to realize/remember how flawed GA/TA are, which threw a wrench in my argument, because they make guys like Yandle (110-27) and Petry (129-39) look really bad. These are guys who in my opinion are not nearly as good as their offensive numbers suggest. The Vollman numbers do indeed do some work to discredit them, but I realized that I need more numbers. But of course, while I want to be right, I'm more interested in getting to some kind of truth. If there are numbers out there to convince me Yandle is an elite defenseman, I want to find them. So went on a search for the most useful stats for valuing defensemen. Disappointingly, there is no public database that I could find on zone exits, which I think would have been one of the more important stats for D. If anybody is aware of one, please let me know. But with a bit of creativity, I've been able to squeeze some use out of stats that at first seemed pretty useless, and now I think I've got something pretty interesting in the works. But it's gonna take some time to sort through it all. So for now, here are the vollman charts:

                      It was too hard to read from the pictures with all the overlap, but I found you can just copy the link to share.

                      Here is the one with just a bunch of the top defensemen in the league, including the one's Josh listed that I don't agree should be there.


                      And here is the one with top under-25 defensemen.

                      Last edited by matchesmalone; 04-16-2019, 05:13 PM.


                      • #26
                        To clarify how they work, the further a player is to the right means higher percentage of offensive zone faceoffs. If you highlight the circle to look at the stats, for some reason these show up as 10x the stat.

                        So 50% shows up as 500. The higher a player is vertically means higher quality of competition. This is a tricky one to explain. It is the average corsi of the player's opponents relative to the opponent's team. I'm assuming (fairly certain) it doesn't actually track the player's competition every moment they are on the ice, but rather the players they line up against on a faceoff, as with zone starts. So if a player's quality of competition is +1.5%, that means on average, the opponents they okay against have a +1.5% corsi relative to their team. Again, for some reason this shows up as 10x the actual stat. So if a player has +1.5% QOC, this will show up as 15%.

                        QOC is an interesting stat to me, because while it is very useful, it can mean a lot of different things. For offensive defensemen, I suppose a high QOC can mean that other teams are matching their top defensive players against that player, but for defensemen in general, a high QOC means the defenseman's coach is matching him against the other team's top offensive players. The stat is unable to distinguish. The bizarre thing to me is, high in God's name is San Jose able to keep Burns and Karlsson so protected?

                        Anyway, the size of the circle just indicates the amount of ESTOI, and the color of the circle indicates relative corsi. This means the player's corsi relative to the rest of his team. A 5% means their corsi is 5% better than their team average. Darker blue means better, darker orange/brown means worse, and grey is neutral.

                        If you were to take a random sample of players, relCF% would range between roughly -5% and +5%, and average around 0. But because we are looking specifically at some of the top D in the league, the range is from -2.78% (Ristolainen) to a ludicrous +7.12% (Letang), and the vast majority of these players are in the positive. Same goes for QOC - because we're looking at a sample of some of the best defensemen in the league, the majority of them face a pretty high level of competition.


                        • #27
                          This is some great work. Thanks for putting this all together. You’re right that zone exit stats would tell an interesting part of the story.

                          I’m a bit confused about something though - why do we want to look at offensive zone starts? If you’re going from a coach’s angle, unless it’s the last few minutes of play, offensive zone starts are how coaches shelter players. Wouldn’t defensive zone starts juxtaposed with QOC be a better measure of which players are most trusted by their coach?

                          And then, of course, I have to point out that I’m still not fully onboard with corsi in the first place, so its use as a measure for QOC doesn’t thrill me. Alas, what else do we have?


                          • #28
                            Haha yeah you're exactly right man. Further up and left are the most exposed players. Down and right are most sheltered.

                            Negative offensive zone starts or positive defensive zone starts? They don't mean exactly the same thing but similar idea. I'm not entirely sure why Vollman chose to use OZS. My best guess is the minor detail that defensive zone starts aren't always decided by the coach - in the case of icings.


                            • #29