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How Did The Blackhawks Fare In THoR

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Jonathan Daniel

Last night, Statistical Sports Consulting released their latest edition of the Total Hockey Ratings list, THoR for short. This is what the rating system does:

THoR is a two-way player rating that accounts for all of the on-ice action events when a player is on the ice as well as their linemates, their opponents and where their shift starts. Each event is assessed a value according to the chance that it leads to a goal.

Basically, THoR looks at the factors working for and against a player while he is on the ice and determines the value of what the player contributed. This contribution is  converted to a rating that attempts to quantify how much more valuable that player is in bringing about wins over a season than an average replacement player. You can read the full explanation and all the paper presented to the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on their site.

There has been some serious debate over the efficacy of this rating system and there are questions about what an average replacement player really is that cast a shadow over the results. In other words, there is probably some tweaking necessary to make this model more effective.

With that said, some of the Blackhawks players made this list at Even Strength and in the All Situations categories. There are some notable names around the NHL that were very poorly rated or how do not appear at all and thus even more questions are being asked about whether this statistical model is of value.

You can browse the full Even Strength List and the full All Strengths List by following the links. *please click on the charts to view a larger image.

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As you can see from the charts above, Patrick Kane was not present on the Even Strength list nor was Patrick Sharp. Each of those lists is has 251 players on it. This and the fact that other NHL megastars fell to near the bottom and in some cases completely off of the list indicates to me at least that there may be some flaws in this model. At this point, it is an interesting look at WAR in the NHL and something to think about even if it does not end up becoming an accepted analytics model as time goes on.

*all data used herein came from Statistical Sports Consulting and their THoR lists linked above.