This post marks the conclusion of my real-time Puck Possession tracking series. I intended to do it for 10 games, and I've now finished the 10 game stretch, so I think I'm going to wrap it up to some degree here. The information I've been gathering seems pretty useful to me, and a bunch of people have told me they're enjoying it, but to be honest the amount of work that goes into it is pretty big, and it's reached a point where it's actually distracting me from enjoying the games. That being said, I have some interesting ideas for things to do with the data I've already collected, so this isn't the last you'll hear about this little experiment I've got going. Follow me beyond the jump for the details of how the game against the Rangers went.
If you're not familiar with how this works, what I'm doing is measuring how long each team has control of the puck in the offensive zone over the course of the game. I mark the beginning of a possession as the time at which the attacking team first gains clear control of the puck in the offensive zone, and I mark the end of a possession as either the time when the puck leaves the zone, or when a defender gains clear control of the puck and is not under significant forechecking pressure. I call the resulting statistic Time On Attack (TOA). After looking for insights in the numbers themselves, I compare them to other statistics like Corsi to see how well they line up.
Here's the Time On Attack data for the game the Leafs played against the Rangers on Tuesday:
A pretty close game on the whole, with the Leafs carrying play early-on, and building up a 3-0 lead early in the 2nd period. The Rangers clawed their way back into the game, carrying a fairly hefty TOA advantage through the rest of the 2nd and 3rd periods. The numbers here seem to generally reflect the flow of the game (Leafs lead early, Rangers come back in the 2nd), and the TOA, like the score and the shots, are very similar for both teams.
How does this data compare to other puck possession metrics?:
The numbers here are all pretty close as well. The Rangers did a bit of a better job blocking shots, but the TOA is within 2% of the other data, a slim margin that works out to only a few shot attempts. I'm not sure that there's much more to say about the numbers here. They all line up well, and are about what we'd expect given the way the game unfolded.
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So that's the end of my 10 game sample. I actually missed two games in the middle, but I'd like to keep the sample contiguous, so I'm going to go back some time soon and collect data for the games I missed. After that, I have some ideas for things that I'd like to look at within this data in more detail. I don't yet have a way to pull individual player statistics out of these numbers, but I'm hoping to be able to eventually. If you have any suggestions for info you think I might be able to pull out of these numbers that I could either look up quickly, or that would make a good post on its own, let me know in the comments below. Keep in mind that this is only 5v5 data, so I can't answer any questions relating to special teams.