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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The NHL’s Most Dominant Player: The Comprehensive Player Index – The Colonel

In blogging stages, On Goal Analysis has been bringing you around to a new statistic, the Comprehensive Player Index, or CPI. The CPI calculates a combination of player scoring and three, key, away-from-the-puck statistics that measure transition from defense to offense. We gauge these statistics Per Shift and in so doing, provide a rating that indicates who provides their team the most positive activity directed at winning a game each and every time they jump over the boards onto the ice. By this assessment, the player with the highest CPI is the most dominant player in the NHL.

For background, our measurement begins with Points Per Shift (PPS). Simply stated, it is the number of points scored divided first by the number of games played and then by the average Shifts Per Game (SPGs). The PPS measures direct offense a player provides to help his team win a game.

The PPS’ companion is a measurement of Defense Per Shift (DPS). DPS is not an estimate of how many times a neutral zone trap coughed up the puck. It is a combination of Hits, Blocked Shots and Takeaways executed by a player that potentially transition his team from defense to offense and the ultimate aim of scoring goals to win the game.

We then add these figures together to determine who provides the most scoring and away-from-the-puck activity that positively impacts his team’s ability to win games, the Complete Player Index.

CPI Notes

You cannot tell strictly from a player’s PPS or DPS who is the number one CPI player.

For games ending on Saturday night, 12 December, Left Wing Alex Ovechkin was the top PPS player with a rating of .07475 while the average PPS stood at .04193. As of that night, only 4% of shift activity engaged in scoring or assisting on a tally. This symbolizes the fact that most of the time skaters are on the ice they are doing something other than touching the puck. The number is, as some pointed out, also influenced by a lower amount of Shifts Per Game (SPGs) running for longer stretches of actual time than when players skate more individual shifts. We still measure points against SPGs, however, because evaluating points per 60 minutes is just not a fair comparison between, say, 60 minutes of Alex Ovechkin time versus the same hour for George Parros.

The top DPS player was Defenseman Matt Greene with a .22965 ranking. At that same time, average DPS was .10867. So a heartier 10% of shift activity was used in Hits, Blocked Shots and Takeaways that potentially transitioned a team from defense to offense. Hits are the largest single component to this measurement which proves checking is not dead in the NHL. And it is interesting to note the highest number of Hits outpaces the greatest number of Blocked Shots 1.8-to-1, and Takeaways 3.9-to-1.

For the other 84% of shift time, players are skating, taking or participating in a faceoff (an unfair measurement to use in our index due to it being a specialty activity which relatively few players execute), missing a shot, giving the puck away, or any of a range of other activities that do not directly involve stick and puck toward the aim of scoring a goal and winning a game.

Adding PPS and DPS together reflects a percentage of each shift’s total activity in which a player applied positive, dominating effort toward his team’s potential victory.

Finding The CPI

To see the Top 10 players in terms of their CPI, go to www.ongoalanalysis.com and scroll down the right sidebar under the standings and the next day’s NHL schedule. The CPI will be computed after each Saturday evening’s stats are in and posted to this site following their discussion on the On Goal Analysis BlogTalkRadio show, JabberHockey, Sundays at 5:30pm EST. (The current Top 10 CPI for Saturday, 12 December is posted.)

The Top 10 list includes two players each from DAL and the LAK, and one each from ANA, MIN, NYR, OTT, PIT and WSH. These players average a CPI of .23262. It includes three each Left Wings and Defensemen and two each Centers and Right Wings, with the highest average CPI being held by the Left Wingers (.23841).

There is also one Rookie on the list who has at least as many SPGs as the lowest- Veteran number (19.8) – DAL’s Jamie Benn. The top three other Rookie CPIs not depicted belong to Justin Abdelkader of DET ( a .23593 but skating only 15.4 SPGs), Michael Del Zotto of the NYR (.19136) and Ryan Wilson of COL (.18229). Three of the more followed Rookies, John Tavares, James van Riemsdyk and Matt Duchene, though Numbers 1, 3 and 5 in Rookie scoring, come in at 21, 24 and 22 in Rookie CPI respectively.


After blogging about Points Per Shift and making the claim that this figure defined who the most dominant player in the NHL was, comments correctly indicated a portion of the calculation was missing. Defense Per Shift was therefore also calculated and added to PPS to provide the Comprehensive Player Index. The CPI is a measure of the players who are the most dominant in the game due to their contributions to the team’s “W” each time they are on the ice. You can find the Top 10 CPI on the OGA home page updated weekly on Sundays following OGA’s JabberHockey show.

And this week’s leader is (take me to www.ongoalanalysis.com )...


mijopo said...

Just stumbled on your blog and site, great stuff, I've been wanting hockey to start refining metrics for a long time. I posted some comments about this at my own blog: http://mijopo.blogspot.com/2009/12/player-effectiveness-measures.html

Frozen Pill said...

Thanks for comment and your post regarding our CPI on your blog. Stay engaged and thanks for reading!