For Craig Ludwig: Scoring Chances And War-On-Ice
A quick guide for wading through scoring chance information as stored on War On Ice.
During the second intermission of the Dallas Stars broadcast Saturday night Craig Ludwig made reference to wanting to know the scoring chance tally for the Stars 4-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. He lamented the fact that the league doesn't track scoring chances anymore.
Via the miracle of Twitter I reached out to Craig offering where he could find the information he sought.
"@DefendingBigD: @taz3311 if you want scoring chance totals dive head first into @war_on_ice "WTF IS THAT???— craig ludwig (@taz3311) March 22, 2015
It appears he isn't familiar with the glory that is War-On-Ice.com. That is a crying shame. It is simply the best hockey website to spring up this season and full of tons of data. We can go through more of it at a later time if there is popular demand, but for now in the interest of getting Craig Ludwig the information he desires let's take a look at scoring chance information as recorded on the site.
What is a scoring chance?
One of the main issues with statistics tracked by the NHL is a lack of standards for how to track information. Scoring chances were very loosely defined when the NHL tracked them. The lack of standards made the scoring chance information as tracked by the NHL questionable at best.
In recent times the definition has been made more concrete by the crowd-sourced project to track scoring chances. War-On-Ice takes it a step further. The full definition for what they define as a scoring chance can be found at this link. This is the Cliff's Notes version:
Basically any shot from right in front of the goalie is counted. Any shot in the red areas that gets through unblocked counts. And any shot from a yellow area that is off a rebound or off of a rush counts. These are the shots reflected in the data they collect.
Where is the information?
The most common application for most people will be seeing how specific games are going. It's really easy to do. When you get to the website click on games at the top.
When the page comes up you can click on the date and it will take you to the game screen. These games update live during each game on game day. When you do that the game screen pops up.
By default the screen will be set to Even Strength play. The column highlighted in red is Scoring Chances For for both teams. There is a lot of other cool information there, but given the topic of the post we'll ignore it for now. To specifically answer Ludwig's question: this is where you can find that information should you want to use it.
If you want even more information you can switch the Columns to Display setting to "counts".This will give you the raw data. Below In red I highlighted Scoring Chances For and Scoring Chances Against. This is the scoring chances that occurred for and against with the player on the ice.
As you can see there is a wealth of easily accessible information right at your fingertips should you desire to seek it out.
Larger applications are possible too. For instance we can easily look at team numbers:
We can also look at individual player results over the season:
This information can then be used to provide analysis that is outside of the scope of this post.
In short, it's a wonderful website full of awesome information to answer the question "WTF is that". Scoring chances are easy to access, particularly on game days. Give it a whirl sometime Craig (and everyone else).
If there are any other pieces of information you'd like broken down just let me know - it's a long summer so there is bound to be time for it.