Saturday, April 6, 2013

Plus/Minus or Scoring Chances?

The Plus/Minus (also seen as +/-) statistic has often been used as a measurement to a player's on ice contributions to their team, especially defensively. But has the plus/minus statistic been holding too much value to coaches and scouts? While generally, +/- can tell how well a player, especially defenseman, have been playing, I think scoring chances need a little more attention. If you watch enough hockey, you know that every goalie is good for giving up a few soft goals here and there, which often times are at no fault to the defensive players on the ice, and a soft goal scored is usually a bonus to the offensive players on a goal that wouldn't usually go in. However, I think scoring chances are a better measurement as to a player's value to their team.
     Think about this; would you rather have a player on the ice who can create ample scoring opportunities for your team and play sound defensively, or a player who can score goals on a consistent basis and doesn't play great defense? While goals are nice and ultimately help your team win,  the team's goal should be to minimize scoring opportunities against, and maximize scoring opportunities for the team. I think if this statistic were to be used instead of +/- that how valuable a player really is to their team would be shown more accurately. If this were the case, this statistic would show how a ratio of how often a player is on the ice for a scoring chance for their team over how many scoring chances against they are on the ice for. Goals would still be included, but only goals scored on legitimate scoring chances, eliminating some of the soft goals from the equation. So instead of +/-, the statistic would be Scoring chances for/Scoring chances against. Although some may already share this idea, I think a movement towards this statistic and away from +/- would serve better as a recruiting tool and a player's contributions to their team.

No comments:

Post a Comment