The +/- stat

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The +/- stat

Postby Jim on Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:38 pm

I put this in NPR as I am not commenting on the specific numbers of the Pens, just commenting in general about the variation across the team (cam apply to any team)...

I was looking at the stats of the Pens. I thought that it was cool that the team lead in goals is 8 and Jokinen has 7... thought that it sucks that Dupuis has 2... but then I looked at +/-. The majority of the team is between -1 and +3, a few in the +5 area... and then Niskanen with a +11 and Kunitz with a +12. I know how the +'s and -'s technically work, but how does that happen? How does one Dman and one forward double-up the rest of the team like that? I found it very odd.
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Re: The +/- stat

Postby Beveridge on Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:50 pm

I guess Kunitz could be argued that he is always out with Crosby during even strength while Dupuis will get shuffled in with others following a PP and Crosby doubles up with line 3 or 4 guys at times. Probably some is due to changing late or early and being off the ice just in time for a goal against.

Niskanen I think is paired with Malkin and Crosby's line almost all the time.

+/- stat is usually right place (or wrong place) at right time (or wrong time) more than anything. Especially when there is a gap like we see with those 2.

*I could be talking out of my butt like normal, but that's what I could come up with anyhow.
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Re: The +/- stat

Postby relantel on Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:02 pm

Kunitz is +12, Duper +8, both in same ballpark. As for Niskanen vs other d-men, shifting pairs/injuries could see that difference. Was Scuderi paired with him for a while? The team play during a stretch has a large part to do with +/-, as Letang is but a -3 since he returned to the lineup, the only player worse than -1 (Malkin, Jokinen, D'Agostino, Conner, Engelland). You win a game 3-0 and there are lots of plusses. You lose 4-1 only scoring on the power play and there will be a lot of minuses (think Toronto game). As an aggregate, the Pens individual players are +51, the team is +14 in total goals for/against 47/33. PPGF 11, PPGA 8, SHGA 1. 36/25 ~ +11 x 5 equals about right with the shorty allowed, any ENG scored against and a 4-on-4 goal or two.
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Re: The +/- stat

Postby pcm on Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:14 pm

Kunitz and Niskanen also lead the teams in their respective positions (fwd / def) in Corsi, which is just an advanced form of the +/- stat. That's no coincidence. Good things happen more often than not when these 2 are on the ice.
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Re: The +/- stat

Postby Jim on Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:03 am

relantel wrote:Kunitz is +12, Duper +8, both in same ballpark.


Dupuis is a +6 (not +8) and Crosby a +5. That is the regular linemates. Doubling up (plus) both.
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Re: The +/- stat

Postby mikey287 on Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:09 am

You'll find this one interesting, Jim.

2009-10 Dallas Stars:
Mark Fistric (D) : +27
Brian Sutherby (F) : +8
Toby Petersen (F) : +3
Trevor Daley (D) : +3
Tom Wandell (F) : +2
Krys Barch (F) : E
All other regulars : -1 to -15 (last being Niskanen)

ES GF: 157; ES GA: 164
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Re: The +/- stat

Postby Jim on Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:19 am

It is like a statistical anomaly. If this was a scientific test you would think that the sample was contaminated.
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Re: The +/- stat

Postby Mongoose87 on Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:23 am

Usually I'd say they're protecting Niskanen's minutes, but I know they haven't.
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Re: The +/- stat

Postby Beveridge on Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:55 am

Well his minutes aren't protected but who he is out against kind of is. Orpik/Martin always get the top 2 lines of the other team and Sutter usually gets the other top line. As it's been this year, Bort/Maatta have been on the ice a ton with the Sutter line so I think Niskanen usually gets 3rd and 4th lines more often than not.

What would be interesting is taking Niskanen's +/- and compare it against his partner's this year. Scuds for 9 games, Mattaa for 1 and Letang for 5. Around that anyhow.
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Re: The +/- stat

Postby pcm on Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:04 am

It's these kinds of outliers (vs the team average) that give the stat meaning. Obviously, a significant sample size is a must, as so many +'s and -'s have nothing to do with individual play, but a trend like this that adds up to Kunitz and Niskanen being so far ahead of their teammates indicates what it's meant to indicate: they're playing well, good things happen when they're on the ice. Any small variations in +/- are pretty much meaningless though.

Another interpretation is that these players are enjoying a lucky streak (they do have the highest PDO, another advanced stat meant to indicate "luck"). But either way, it means that they're enjoying success right now, so ride the wave.

In Niskanen's case, he has improved significantly in each of his season's here. Luck, for him, could be explained by the old adage of preparation + opportunity. It's hard to gauge what his ceiling is, and it should be interesting to see what Shero will do when Scuderi returns, as Niskanen, Bortuzzo, Maatta have all been exceptional.
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Re: The +/- stat

Postby Beveridge on Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:48 am

pcm wrote: and it should be interesting to see what Shero will do when Scuderi returns, as Niskanen, Bortuzzo, Maatta have all been exceptional.


I'll go to my grave (and he might put me there before he retires) believing that you could put Letang at wing and it would be better for all parties involved.
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Re: The +/- stat

Postby KG on Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:02 pm

Dustin Penner is a +18 this year playing with Getzlaf and Perry. Enough said about +/-....
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