Hockeymetrics: Getting to Know Alex Goligoski From an Advanced Statistics POV

Goose with his new defensive partner, Robi.

To start this off, I'm going to be talking about Alex Goligoski's high GVT rating.

I know what you're thinking. What the hell is GVT?

If you've ever heard Sabermetricians talk about Wins Above Replacement (WAR), well, Goals Versus Threshold (GVT) is is the hockey equivalent. The guys at Behind The Net put together a 10 part FAQ on advanced hockey statistics back in October of 2009 and included an explanation in the 10th and final part of the series.

GVT was developed by Tom Awad (links to his methodology are located in the aforementioned BTN link). In a nutshell, here's what it measures.

THE METHOD

A player's GVT value is the sum of three things: his Offensive Goals Versus Average (OGVT), his Defensive Goals Versus Threshold (DGVT), and his Goaltending Goals Versus Threshold (GGVT). In recent years, with the introduction of the shootout in the NHL, a fourth component, Shootout Goals Versus Threshold (SGVT), has been added. Each of these factors is calculated independently. However, before calculating any GVT values, we must first estimate ice time.

As you can see, the common denominator in this metric is goals. Tom points out that this metric is not intended to measure ability or intangibles, so keep that in mind as you look as this spreadsheet.

Still, check out the stats after the jump.

Rank NAME TEAM GP G/GAA A/GA Pts/SA +-/Sv OGIT DIT RPM Val OG Val D Val S Total GVT
1 Kris Letang PIT 62 8 37 45 15 37.5 32.2 10.3 7.7 5.7 0.6 14
2 Nicklas Lidstrom DET 60 12 36 48 3 35 31.1 -1 9.3 3.1 0 12.3
3 Keith Yandle PHX 62 9 43 52 1 38.9 27.9 0.2 9.7 2.5 0 12.2
4 Dustin Byfuglien ATL 61 18 27 45 -4 38.1 28 8.8 9.4 3 -0.5 11.9
5 Tobias Enstrom ATL 55 8 37 45 -2 36.9 27.6 9.7 8.1 3 0 11.1
6 Lubomir Visnovsky ANA 60 9 37 46 4 39.4 29.9 14.1 7.4 4 -0.3 11.1
7 Alex Pietrangelo STL 56 7 26 33 12 28.5 26.4 14.7 5.8 5 0 10.8
8 Shea Weber NSH 60 12 25 37 7 35.4 30.9 2.7 6.1 4.5 0 10.5
9 Brent Burns MIN 58 14 21 35 -2 31.5 30.8 -1.9 6.7 3.1 0 9.9
10 Christian Ehrhoff VAN 58 10 27 37 12 33.8 25.7 1.2 6.3 3.2 0 9.5
11 Alex Goligoski PIT/DAL 60 9 22 31 20 31.9 25.5 17.1 4.6 5.1 -0.3 9.5
12 Drew Doughty LAK 54 8 22 30 12 33.5 31.5 8 3.6 6 -0.3 9.4
13 Dan Boyle SJS 62 6 31 37 -8 40.9 35.1 -6.7 4.2 4.2 0.5 9
14 John-Michael Liles COL 61 6 33 39 -7 31.6 24.3 3.8 6.9 2 0 8.9
15 Tomas Kaberle TOR 58 3 35 38 -2 35.3 23.2 7.6 5.2 3.9 -0.3 8.8
16 Jordan Leopold BUF 59 11 21 32 -6 29.1 31.1 -3.3 6 2.7 -0.3 8.4
17 John Carlson WSH 61 5 19 24 17 30.9 29.3 12.6 2.2 5.7 0 7.9
18 Niklas Kronwall DET 60 10 19 29 6 25.6 26 1.7 5.1 2.8 0 7.9
19 Brent Seabrook CHI 60 4 29 33 0 31.2 30.4 -3.9 4.6 3.1 0 7.8
20 Toni Lydman ANA 57 3 19 22 26 24.2 32.6 27 2.3 5.8 -0.3 7.8
21 Dan Girardi NYR 60 3 22 25 6 28.4 34.8 -0.8 2.7 4.9 0 7.5
22 Kevin Bieksa VAN 57 6 13 19 26 23.5 28.3 13.4 2.1 5.3 0 7.4
23 Kimmo Timonen PHI 60 3 24 27 19 34.2 32.8 3.5 2.1 4.7 0.5 7.4
24 Zdeno Chara BOS 60 10 21 31 20 33.4 32.4 1 4.7 2.9 -0.3 7.3
25 Duncan Keith CHI 60 5 27 32 -1 34.2 32.6 -5 3.9 3.3 0 7.2
26 Matt Carle PHI 60 1 25 26 23 24.4 25.3 8.4 3.5 3.5 0 7
27 Marc Staal NYR 62 7 16 23 8 29.8 32.1 3.5 2.4 4.9 -0.3 7
28 Jack Johnson LAK 60 5 34 39 -8 37.7 28 -10.4 5.1 2.8 -1 6.9
29 Roman Hamrlik MTL 58 4 22 26 0 26.9 28.2 -0.5 3.3 3.6 0 6.8
30 Cody Franson NSH 58 8 14 22 4 18.5 16.8 1.9 4.3 2.2 0.3 6.7
31 Victor Hedman TBL 59 3 19 22 1 22.5 27.2 5 2.8 3.7 0.1 6.5
32 Andrej Meszaros PHI 59 4 16 20 22 22.9 26 8.1 2.4 4 0 6.4
33 Jason Demers SJS 56 2 17 19 11 20 19.5 11.3 2.2 4.1 0 6.3
34 Trevor Daley DAL 60 5 17 22 6 26.5 29.1 6.8 2.4 3.8 0 6.2
35 Rob Scuderi LAK 60 2 12 14 10 19.3 30.6 3.7 0.7 5.4 0 6.1
36 Tyler Myers BUF 57 9 18 27 -7 29.8 29 -2.9 3.9 2.4 -0.3 6.1
37 Mark Giordano CGY 62 5 23 28 -6 31.8 28 -4.3 3 3 0 6
38 Brett Clark TBL 60 8 15 23 -1 24.8 18.4 5.7 3.4 2.5 0 5.9
39 Erik Karlsson OTT 57 9 23 32 -28 31 24 -10.8 5.5 0.7 -0.3 5.9
40 Stephane Robidas DAL 59 4 22 26 -1 32.1 32 1.5 2.4 3.2 0 5.7
41 Joe Corvo CAR 61 9 22 31 -12 32.3 29.2 -8.6 4.6 0.9 0 5.5
42 Adrian Aucoin PHX 56 2 17 19 19 22.1 29.6 12.8 1.8 3.8 0 5.5
43 Dmitry Kulikov FLA 51 5 14 19 8 20.1 18.9 11.4 2.6 2.9 0 5.4
44 Robyn Regehr CGY 59 1 14 15 10 21 30.6 5.6 0.5 4.8 0 5.3
45 Pavel Kubina TBL 60 3 17 20 3 22.1 22.7 7.5 2.2 3.3 -0.3 5.3
46 Paul Martin PIT 60 3 18 21 6 27 26.3 1.1 1.5 3.7 0 5.2
47 P.K. Subban MTL 56 7 19 26 -6 28.1 24 -5.3 3.5 2.1 -0.5 5.1
48 Steve Montador BUF 54 4 11 15 8 17.7 23.3 6.7 1.8 3.3 0 5.1
49 Eric Brewer STL 54 8 6 14 1 18.8 26.2 1.6 1.9 3.1 0 5
50 Cory Sarich CGY 56 3 10 13 10 15.3 20.4 7.9 1.4 3.6 0 5

Behind the Net combines offense and goaltender portion of the metric and it's represented on this spreadsheet as Val OG. Val D is defense and Val S is shootout.

Also, I only included defensemen who have played at least 50 games this season.

In Val OG, Goligoski is ranked 19th. in Val D, he's ranked 8th.

Now one criticism that I read after the trade went down is that Goligoski is overvalued. That his 31 points come primarily because of the minutes he got playing behind Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik, and Paul Martin, to name a few.

So I checked out the leaders in offensive zone starts for defensemen. Simply put, this measures a percentage of shifts where a defenseman's shift starts with an offensive zone faceoff.

In this category, Goligoski is ranked 6th in the NHL with a percentage of 57%. So far, that point holds up.

But in 14th is Goligoski's former teammate, Kris Letang, with a percentage of 55%. And in 30th is Paul Martin with 52% of his shifts starting in the offensive zone.

What does this tell us?

Not much that we didn't already know about hockey. I'm sure if I had the time, I could probably go back and research Darryl Sydor's zone starts from the 90's and 00's and would find that the majority of his zone starts were in the offensive zone.

Because that's how you utilize offensive defensemen who, compared to some of his other mates on the blue line, are defensively deficient.

On the flip side, I'll bet Richard Matvichuk and Derian Hatcher's zone starts were mostly in the defensive end of the ice because...well...they're defensive defensemen!

Which I think is where a lot of critics of this deal are failing to see the point of the deal. We've written ad nauseam about the Stars' depth strength on the wings. And how they could really use a puck moving defenseman.

Well, they dealt from a position of strength to fill a need. Will that put them over the top and into a playoff position?

No. And I don't think anybody from this corner is really arguing that.

But the Stars clearly thought with this move that they'd be able to move Jamie Benn into James Neal's minutes to not only make up for Neal's absence, but probably overcome it. Not to mention, they also think highly enough of the rest of the roster, including Tomas Vincour, that he'll able to fill Benn's minutes pre-trade.

But only time can judge this trade.

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