How important are faceoffs in hockey?

Aside from the standard team stats like wins, losses, and goals, and the standard players stats like goals, assists, and points, faceoffs might be one of the most talked about stats in the game of hockey. You can’t go five minutes in a hockey game without the broadcasters talking about how the teams and players have done in faceoffs, and they always talk about how it helps a team get possession of the puck, and how it helps the team win.
But, is that actually true? Are faceoffs actually important in a hockey game, or are they just statistical noise disguised as a notable part of a hockey game? I decided to do a bit of a deep dive into how much they impact the game.
So, you may be wondering, how can you just simply find out the value of something in sports. Its actually a lot easier than you may think. You remember in math class when they made you figure out the equation of a line? That’s going to play a big role in figuring this out.
Now, this isn’t something I discovered on my own (I’m not that smart). I’m using …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Grapefruit Notes: Robbie Ray continues to dominate, Vlad Jr. is hitting everything, and more!

I know spring training stats should be taken with a grain of salt, but Friday’s win over the Tigers was one of those games that gets you really, really excited for what could happen this season.

Things worth mentioning…
Yet again, we’re sitting here and talking about how great Robbie Ray pitched. Ray tossed five-and-one-third innings against the Tigers and allowed just one earned run on hour hits and one walk while picking up seven strikeouts. All told, he’s thrown 13 2/3 innings this spring, has allowed three earned runs, and has 18 strikeouts. The really exciting part of Ray’s start was his uptick in velocity, as he was hitting 97 miles-per-hour after throwing five innings of work. Again, it’s spring, and it’s the Tigers, who are ass, but there’s certainly merit to the optimism around how Ray looks heading into the season. We could be seeing something along the lines of 2017 Ray here.
The other Big Star of the day for the Blue Jays on Friday was Vlad Jr., which has been a common theme throughout Grapefruit play. Vlad went three-for-three, smacking three singles at 86.5 mph, 98.8 mph, and 101.1 mph on the afternoon. Through 20 at-bats this spring, …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Introducing the TLN Maple Leafs Stat Pack

We’re happy to announce the roll-out of a valuable stats resource for Maple Leafs fans, the TLN Maple Leafs Stat Pack (MLSP).
Preview of the MLSPThis expansive Tableau dashboard, which will be updated the day after each Maple Leafs game, is designed to give fans a one-stop shop for deeper insights into their beloved Buds. Aiming to fill a void left by surface-level data storytelling in traditional sportswriting and television broadcasts, the MLSP will summarize skater, goaltender and team stats to help tell fans a better story about the performance of their Maple Leafs. We guarantee you will learn something new and interesting every time you visit.
Features of the dashboard include:
Skater Stats
Points by Type (primary vs. secondary)
Points by State (even strength vs. powerplay vs. shorthanded)
Expected Goals Share (xGF%)
Shot Attempt Share (CF%)
“Expectations vs. Reality” (a scatterplot of actual goal share [GF%] vs. expected goal share [xGF%] to see who is out/underperforming their expected goals rate
“Give ‘n Take” (a net view of takeaways and giveaways)
“Sin Bin” (a net view of penalties taken and drawn)
“Predator vs. Prey” (a net view of hits taken and given)
“Wear & Tear” (a …

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Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation