All entries by this author

An Evaluation of the Total Hockey Rating (THoR), Part I

Back in March our Total Hockey Ratings finished 2nd as part of the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference Research Paper Competition.  That drew plenty of attention to the outcomes but little to the underlying process and methods.  In this and a couple more posts we’ll take a look and evaluate how well THoR does as a two-way hockey metric.  I’ll start by comparing some of the omnibus (all inclusive) player ratings.  My goal is to   consider how these ratings do at predicting future performance  […]

NHL Shot Quality matters and, maybe, it doesn’t

Here we go  again. @BSH_EricT @AMcLean14 @mirtle We go down this road too often. It seems like it would matter, but it doesn’t, like QoC for pitchers — Hawerchuk (@behindthenet) October 28, 2013 Much of the problem with the debate over shot quality, it seems to me, is the words.  Just saying shot quality is too general and that is because people mean two different things when they say it.   First they mean the probability of an individual shot and, second, they mean the  […]

Schuckers interviewed on TSN 1050 Toronto

Below is the audio from Schuckers’ interview on TSN 1050 Toronto’s Drive with Bill Hayes on Monday August 26, 2013.  Schuckers appearance starts around minute 35.   Tweet

Schuckers named Significant Contributor by American Statistical Association.

Statistical Sports Consulting LLC’s Co-Founder Michael Schuckers was recently named 2013 Significant Contributor by the American Statistical Association’s Section on Statistics in Sports.   Schuckers is also an Associate Professor of Statistics in the Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics Department at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY.   As part of being named a Significant Contributor, Schuckers gave a luncheon talk at the Joint Statistical Meetings in Montreal at the beginning of August.  His talk was entitled What Statistics/Analytics Tells Us About Ice Hockey.  Additionally, he  […]

Value of NHL Team Scouting relative to Central Scouting

 With the 22nd pick in the 2008 National Hockey League (NHL) Entry Draft, the Edmonton Oilers selected Jordan Eberle, center. With the 25th pick the Calgary Flames selected Greg Nemisz, center. Since they were drafted Eberle has played 195 NHL games, while Nemisz has played in 15 NHL games. Going into the draft the NHL’s Central Scouting Service (CSS) had ranked Eberle as the 33rd best North American skater while Nemisz was ranked 22nd best in that same category.  This choice by Edmonton seems to  […]

Total Hockey Rating (THoR) results through end of 2013

The THoR page ( has the latest set of Even Strength (EV)  and All (EV/PP/PK) ratings for players that appeared in over about 25 games in the past two seasons.  What is new here is that we have added a new model for EV and PP and PK to the model to our EV model.  The model for all events includes all of the terms in the EV model (see the THoR page) such as Quality of Teammates, Score Effects, and Zone Starts and adds  […]

The Value of a Zone Start

There has been a back and forth going between Tyler Dellow of mc79hockey and David Johnson of about Zone Start % (ZS%) and it’s impact on play and, in particular, the impact of ZS% on Fenwick For % (FF%) or Corsi For % (CF%).  There discussion so far is here (Dellow), here (Johnson) and here (Dellow)..   I appreciate the work of both but I prefer to think of what is gained by an individual  zone start.  Bruce McCurdy is on the right track, in  […]

Total Hockey Rating (THoR) results through 04/14/13

The THoR page ( has the latest set of Even Strength ratings for the top 150 players.  I’ll give some commentary below.  Since MIT Sloan, we have added rink effects for each rink to the rink effects for shots and a score effect when the score has a differential of 2 or more.  The former aims to reduce bias in recording of RTSS events while the latter is indicative of changes of style of play according to the score. We got some good feedback at  […]

THoR takes 2nd Place in Research Paper Competition

A paper by Statistical Sports Consulting LLC co-founder Michael Schuckers and Jim Curro has won 2nd place in the Research Paper Competition at the 2013 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. Second places carries with it a $5000 prize. The conference has been called the ‘super bowl of sports analytics’.  This is the third consecutive year that Schuckers has had a paper in the finals of the competition but the first time that he has finished in the money.   Total Hockey Ratings Paper Tweet

2013 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

2013 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

We are very fortunate a paper that I wrote with a former student, Jim Curro, accepted to the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference Research Paper Competition.  The paper presents a  new ratings system which we think is an improvement over the current approaches.  It creates a two-way (offense and defense combined) rating that isolates the impact of an individual player by adjusting for home ice, the quality of competition, the quality of teammates and where a player starts their shifts.  We assess the impact of a player  […]