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Let’s Learn About Hockey Analytics Together

What does it all mean?

Buffalo Sabres v Vegas Golden Knights Photo by Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images

Hockey analytics have become more prominent over the years, with many NHL teams embracing the importance of analytics and hiring statistical staff to bolster their squads.

I’m going to be totally honest: this is one of my weak spots when it comes to hockey. I am unfortunately not one of those people who can sit down and explain what xG or Fenwick or goals above replacement means. I fully admit that I have not dedicated the time or energy to understanding what these ‘fancy stats’ mean - but that doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize the value of analytics, or how NHL teams utilize them.

With that said, this post is a bit of an experiment.

I’ve reached out to Chad DeDominicis of Expected Buffalo, who has graciously agreed to take some questions from Die By the Blade readers on specific analytics topics and terminology, so we can help spread the wealth of knowledge to all. (Chad is also, of course, the former managing editor of DBTB!)

Consider this post a flexible, open, nonjudgmental space for your analytics questions. Let’s try and keep them basic, for starters, and make one thing clear: there’s no shame in not understanding something and asking for explanation or help.

The only shame would be in not understanding something and dismissing it as meaningless, just because you don’t understand. But we’re not going to do that here!

What hockey analytics related subjects or terminology do you have questions about?

Post them in the comments, or, if you’d prefer, email me. We’re then going to work something out with Chad (and Anthony) to help answer some of your questions, depending on how much traction we get, whether via a post here, video, etc.