- Peter Keating
SLOWLY BUT SURELY, statistical analysis is coming to hockey. At least one-third of NHL teams are using advanced metrics to evaluate players, and next-level numbers are leaking into game-day stories and blogs. The NHL has given this stats boom a boost by making shooting, power play and penalty data since 1997 available on its website, alongside "real-time scoring stats," which include hits, blocks, giveaways and takeaways. It's a fascinating trove of data, and hockey metricians have begun to boil and stir the numbers into all sorts of concoctions.
In ESPN The Magazine's Interview Issue, Peter Keating writes that the Blackhawks' success and the Sabres' struggles reveal a fundamental truth about the NHL: Puck possession is nine-tenths of the battle.