Today on the Lowdown, my guest between 11 and noon will be Rob Vollman. Rob has a new book out (Hockey Abstract 2014) and has agreed to open up the phone lines and emails and texts to answer questions. I’m hopeful you take advantage, because access like this isn’t often presented, and Vollman is the real deal.
- Rob Vollman, Hockey Abstract 2014: When Taylor Hall asked how he could improve his Corsi, the analytics community was already ready and waiting with his answer: controlled zone entries. Entering the opposing zone in possession of the puck, and denying that same privilege to your opponents, is an obvious way of improving a player’s or team’s shot differential.
Vollman’s second edition digs deeper into questions like this one, and tells us exactly where we are in real time. That’s the beauty of his second book in my opinion, another snapshot after a year of unbelievable progress. A lot has been made recently about the scramble caused by Extra Skater, but I think the advanced stats community has been very open with information and how to gather it. If we as a community (those of us not pursuing this as a career) don’t grasp the words and music, then we need to ask out loud. Today is a great opportunity, and I sincerely hope you contact us during the show, or as a followup with Rob.
ZONE ENTRIES 2013-14 (VOLLMAN)
This is also in the Vollman book, percentage of zone entries (pro and against) and percentage overall. Edmonton scores extremely well in this area, that’s another discussion point for the group. I think the good number may be as a result of in-season change in philosophy by coach Dallas Eakins. Ladies, we are us. I’m as guilty as anyone, waiting around for the Dellows and the Vollmans and the Tulskys to deliver Bill James Baseball Abstract in hockey form. Tell me something good, as Chaka Khan sang all those years ago. I’m never going to scrape the stats, or mine the data, or whatever in hell you people call it, but I can ask questions before all of this goes behind the Bettman wall. Adult learner? Yeah baby!
Let’s get started. 11am. Same bat time, same bat channel.
THE BLUE THE BLUE THE BLUE
I had a chat with Jason Strudwick on his show last night, and we discussed the blue line. Struds is great on this subject, because he was there defending the sorties. One thing that Jason impressed upon me during our conversation: Young defensemen make mistakes and are inconsistent. We know this, but in the context of next season’s team there’s certainly a large question on the horizon. It goes like this:
- Who do you play on the No. 1 pairing with Jeff Petry this coming season?
I’m inclined to go with Marincin until someone takes it away. Andrew Ference lacks the footspeed, and we can’t assume Nikitin can do the job until he’s established some kind of a reputation in our town. Klefbom is a possibility, but he has even less experience than Marincin (and a less impressive block of NHL games). Nurse? That’s the deep end, unwise and best not to even contemplate.
It’s Marincin from here.
VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER, 2013-14 BLUE
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
It’s a fun day, hope you can tune in 10-noon on TSN 1260. We’ll begin with Steve Lansky from Big Mouth Sports and talk US Open tennis and the changes in hockey television coverage this year. Brian King (PDO!) follows as we tee up the Labor Day classic and the football weekend. In hour two, it’s Vollman and your questions, along with a thorough look at his new book. 10-1260 via text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. See you on the radio!