Greg passed along this comment regarding the Oilers’ ESTR’s:
“Without looking into it further, it really seems to benefit players who played a lower qualcomp on their team with very good linemates (Ryan, Oshie and Berglund come to mind there), but there are some very good players who look good by a lot of metrics (Datsyuk, Hossa, Havlat). Nilsson played with good players against the dregs and finished +2. Horcoff played with the best against the other teams best and finished +9. Yet it’s ranking Nilsson higher?”
A fine question, and a good case study to undertake. Concentrating on the Oilers’ portion of the question, let’s compare Edmonton forwards Shawn Horcoff and Robert Nilsson. At first glance, counting stats seem to be a hands down victory for Horcoff:
But Horcoff played in 80 games versus Nilsson’s 64 games, and got 21:21 minutes versus 15:11 minutes (ATOI). Let’s look at what difference that makes to the rates if we give Nilsson equal games and ice time:
|*Normalized to Horcoff’s GP and ATOI|
All of a sudden, the two players are as equal as you can get, on counting stats and points per game rates, right?
Yeah, except one thing. Horcoff still would have seen more PPTOI (300 to 277 minutes) than Nilsson even with the normalization (The base numbers were 300 minutes to 158 minutes PPTOI).
Oh, and another. At Even Strength, taking out Empty Net goals, both players were +6, and that’s without normalization.
And by our metrics, the average GF and GA for Nilsson were under slightly more difficult circumstances than for Horcoff.
So how do these numbers look now?