Jump to content

Inventing a New Hockey Team Statistic: "Clutch/Choke"


Recommended Posts

Before you get on me, I realize everything already exists. I won't be the least bit surprised if someone posts a link showing me that this stat has been around forever already in some dark corner of the web. However, since *I've* never heard of it, here's the idea:

 

In honor of the Toronto Maple Leafs (who I believe will be at the very BOTTOM in this statistic), here we go:

 

The CLUTCH statistic is a measure of regular season team performance versus playoff performance. It measures which teams play BETTER when the stakes are high, and which teams (Toronto) FAIL to live up to expectations.

 

The stat is calculated as follows:

 

CLUTCH = (Playoff team winning percentage*) / (Regular season team winning percentage*)

 

*I'm going to redefine these for simplicity into TRUE winning percentages as follows: 

WINNING PERCENTAGE = WINS / GAMES PLAYED.  The end. Anything that is not a win in today's NHL, is a loss. To evaluate games ending in TIES (for the old NHL) you can just remove those from the GP total like they never happened. Thus, 10 tie games = 10 fewer GP. 

 

So, using the Leafs as an example (from last season):

 

Toronto lost in 7 to Montreal (3-4 record ~= .429 winning percentage). In the regular season, Toronto was 35/56 (35 wins in 56 games = .625 winning percentage).

 

Therefore, Toronto's "clutch" stat = .429 / .625 ~= .686

 

If the value is BELOW 1, it means you're a "choker" in the playoffs. If the value is ABOVE 1, it means you play better when it matters the most. If the value = 1, it means you are consistent (regular season and playoffs). 

 

Thoughts?  🤔

Edited by WordsOfWisdom
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, WordsOfWisdom said:

Before you get on me, I realize everything already exists.

 

Ok fine, I will go easy on you, but your opening premise is a bit wanting. Like, when you say "everything" do you also mean things that have yet to be invented? 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

So taking a look at the Leafs for the past five seasons, this is what we find:

 

------------------------------------------ GP--W---------------------------GP-W------------------------------------------------------

2016–17 2016–17 Eastern Atlantic 4th 82 40 27 15 95 251 242 6 2 4 16 18 Lost in First Round, 2–4 (Capitals)
2017–18 2017–18 Eastern Atlantic 3rd 82 49 26 7 105 277 232 7 3 4 16 21 Lost in First Round, 3–4 (Bruins)
2018–19 2018–19 Eastern Atlantic 3rd 82 46 28 8 100 286 251 7 3 4 17 23 Lost in First Round, 3–4 (Bruins)
2019–20[y] 2019–20 Eastern Atlantic 3rd 70 36 25 9 81 238 227 5 2 3 10 12 Lost in Qualifying Round, 2–3 (Blue Jackets)
2020–21[z] 2020–21 NorthUp-arrow 1st 56 35 14 7 77 187 148 7 3 4 18 14 Lost in First Round, 3–4 (Canadiens)

 

Therefore, the Leafs CLUTCH scores from 2016 until now are:

 

(2/6) / (40/82) = .683

(3/7) / (49/82) = .717

(3/7) / (46/82) = .764

(2/5) / (36/70) = .778

(3/7) / (35/56) = .686

 

(In other words, abysmal.)

 

Now let's see how the Leafs CLUTCH scores looked during their championship years in the 1960's:

 

--------------------------------GP--W--L--T---------------------GP-W-L------------------------------------------------------------

1961–62 1961–62 2nd 70 37 22 11 85 232 180 12 8 4 40 30 Won in Semifinals, 4–2 (Rangers)
Won in Stanley Cup Finals, 4–2 (Black Hawks)[53]dagger
1962–63 1962–63 1st 70 35 23 12 82# 221 180 10 8 2 31 16 Won in Semifinals, 4–1 (Canadiens)
Won in Stanley Cup Finals, 4–1 (Red Wings)[54]dagger
1963–64 1963–64 3rd 70 33 25 12 78 192 172 14 8 6 39 31 Won in Semifinals, 4–3 (Canadiens)
Won in Stanley Cup Finals, 4–3 (Red Wings)[55]dagger
1964–65 1964–65 4th 70 30 26 14 74 204 173 6 2 4 14 17 Lost in Semifinals, 2–4 (Canadiens)[56]
1965–66 1965–66 3rd 70 34 25 11 79 208 187 4 0 4 6 15 Lost in Semifinals, 0–4 (Canadiens)[57]
1966–67 1966–67 3rd 70 32 27 11 75 204 211 12 8 4 35 30 Won in Semifinals, 4–2 (Black Hawks)
Won in Stanley Cup Finals, 4–2 (Canadiens)[58]dagger

 

(8/12) / [37/(70-11)] = 1.063

(8/10) / [35/(70-12)] = 1.326

(8/14) / [33/(70-12)] = 1.004

(8/12) / [32/(70-11)] = 1.229

 

What an astounding difference.  😮

 

 

Edited by WordsOfWisdom
Link to post
Share on other sites

TRIVIA TIME:

 

Can anyone think of a recent team that would have a high clutch score?    :) 

(This would be a team that routinely creeps into a bottom playoff position and then sets the world on fire in the playoffs.)

 

Perhaps the Montreal Canadiens? :canadiens:

 

How about some guesses as to the biggest clutch performers in NHL history, and conversely, the biggest chokers in NHL history?

(As defined by the stat of course.)

 

clutch = (playoff winning %) / (regular season winning %)

 

It's just that simple. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/11/2021 at 6:45 PM, WordsOfWisdom said:

How about some guesses as to …the biggest chokers in NHL history?


It would take work but if you spent the time to calculate your stat for the Washington Capitals starting from 1982-83 season until the present, you’ll no doubt confirm, statistically, the truth of Tony Kornheiser’s “choking dogs” accusation.  Maybe they hold the “record”.

 

He made that phrase famous in the DC region while still a WaPo sportswriter (along with his pal Wilbon) before they both left for greener ESPN pastures and ‘Pardon The Interruption”.  It would have been late 80’s since 1990 was their 3rd most successful playoff run (losing to Bruins/Borque in the East Finals) next to 1998 and 2018.

Edited by SaucyJack
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, SaucyJack said:


It would take work but if you spent the time to calculate your stat for the Washington Capitals starting from 1982-83 season until the present, you’ll no doubt confirm, statistically, the truth of Tony Kornheiser’s “choking dogs” accusation.  Maybe they hold the “record”.

 

He made that phrase famous in the DC region while still a WaPo sportswriter (along with his pal Wilbon) before they both left for greener ESPN pastures and ‘Pardon The Interruption”.  It would have been late 80’s since 1990 was their 3rd most successful playoff run (losing to Bruins/Borque in the East Finals) next to 1998 and 2018.

 

So let it be written. So let it be done.   :5a6425fa25331_VikingSkoool:

 

--------------------------------------------W--L---T-------------------GP-W

1982–83 1982–83 Wales Patrick 3rd 80 39 25 16 94 306 283 4 1 3 11 19 Lost Division Semifinals to New York Islanders, 1–3[6]
1983–84 1983–84 Wales Patrick 2nd 80 48 27 5 101 308 226 8 4 4 28 25 Won Division Semifinals vs. Philadelphia Flyers, 3–0
Lost Division Finals to New York Islanders, 1–4[7]
1984–85 1984–85 Wales Patrick 2nd 80 46 25 9 101 322 240 5 2 3 12 14 Lost Division Semifinals to New York Islanders, 2–3[8]
1985–86 1985–86 Wales Patrick 2nd 80 50 23 7 107 315 272 9 5 4 36 24 Won Division Semifinals vs. New York Islanders, 3–0
Lost Division Finals to New York Rangers, 2–4[9]
1986–87 1986–87 Wales Patrick 2nd 80 38 32 10 86 285 278 7 3 4 19 19 Lost Division Semifinals to New York Islanders, 3–4[10]

 

The Clutch stat for the Washington Capitals:

 

(1/4) / [39 / (80 - 16)] = .410 

(4/8) / [48 / (80 - 5)] = .781

(2/5) / [46 / (80 - 9)] = .617

(5/9) / [50 / (80 - 7)] = .811

(3/7) / [38 / (80 - 10)] = .789

 

The 1982-83 season was an epic choke job.  :)

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps a new name is in order?  Instead of calling it "clutch", how about if I called it "Stanley"?  :) 

 

Since the Stanley Cup is the ultimate objective, it only makes sense that a team statistic called "Stanley" would evaluate how each team did towards achieving that goal, based on the expectations placed upon them going in.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I like your idea no matter what you call it.

Is there a way to do this for individual players? 

 

Another stat I wish they kept was goals saved by skaters.

My wild team has Jonas Brodin who generally stops 2-3 goals per year, but it's never added to his goals scored column or registered in any format. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Tomdog said:

I like your idea no matter what you call it.

 

Thanks.  :)

 

16 hours ago, Tomdog said:

Is there a way to do this for individual players?

 

Hmmm. Since it's based on W-L record, I guess you could do it for goalies. Not sure how it could be done for skaters.

 

If we looked at the "Stanley" rating for a goalie, it would measure which goalies play better in the playoffs than in the regular season. 

 

16 hours ago, Tomdog said:

Another stat I wish they kept was goals saved by skaters.

 

You mean when a skater slides down to block the open net and prevents a goal?  

 

16 hours ago, Tomdog said:

My wild team has Jonas Brodin who generally stops 2-3 goals per year, but it's never added to his goals scored column or registered in any format. 

 

Why would it be added to his goals scored?  Wouldn't you just want a stat called "SAVES" and credit him with a save for preventing a goal?  :)

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, WordsOfWisdom said:

 

Thanks.  :)

 

 

Hmmm. Since it's based on W-L record, I guess you could do it for goalies. Not sure how it could be done for skaters.

 

If we looked at the "Stanley" rating for a goalie, it would measure which goalies play better in the playoffs than in the regular season. 

 

 

You mean when a skater slides down to block the open net and prevents a goal?  

 

 

Why would it be added to his goals scored?  Wouldn't you just want a stat called "SAVES" and credit him with a save for preventing a goal?  :)

 

Sure but if they an't call it a save, it really is as good as a goal scored.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Tomdog said:

Sure but if they an't call it a save, it really is as good as a goal scored.

 

But for statistical integrity, you can't label two different events in hockey with the same stat.  It would have to be given a separate name because a player who saves 50 goals in a season (by shot blocking) is not an offensive dynamo like Auston Matthews. 

 

I think you could realistically call it a "save" (as it is with goalies) and that's all there is to it. Simple.  :)

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...
On 11/21/2021 at 10:25 AM, WordsOfWisdom said:

Not sure how it could be done for skaters.

 

I thought about this for a bit and now I know how it could be done for skaters:

 

Take any stat you want (G, A, PTS, +/-, PIM, CORSI, etc.) and we compare regular season to playoff performance. Just that easy.

 

Example:

 

For CORSI, it would be the CLUTCH stat applied directly to CORSI (since it's already a percentage).  

For GOALS, we'll do GPG (to get a rate) and apply the CLUTCH stat to the GPG.

(One could also do GPTOI if you prefer using TOI rather than GP.)

 

Basically, I figured it out. Stay tuned for more spreadsheets (lol).  

 

👌😃

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/11/2021 at 7:45 PM, WordsOfWisdom said:

Can anyone think of a recent team that would have a high clutch score?    :) 

(This would be a team that routinely creeps into a bottom playoff position and then sets the world on fire in the playoffs.)

 

Perhaps the Montreal Canadiens? :canadiens:

 

I was thinking the Stars' 2020, but I got only 1.039 according to your clutch score (I was expecting more). Maybe we should try the Devils and Kings as they qualified as the #8 seed I think.

 

 

On 11/11/2021 at 7:45 PM, WordsOfWisdom said:

How about some guesses as to the biggest clutch performers in NHL history, and conversely, the biggest chokers in NHL history?

(As defined by the stat of course.)

 

I think the North Stars of 1991 should be the #1. .609/.425 = 1.433. They are probably one of the only team with a losing record to reach the Stanley cup final.

 

About choking, the Stars also have had that reputation back in the late 1990s where they were one of the top team in the regular season before fading in the playoffs. Let's give it a try:

 

1997: .429/.649 = .661 (Marchment sucks)

2003: .500/.730 = .685

2004: .200/.617 = .324

2006: .200/.697 = .287

2007: .429/.666 = .644

 

I was surprised not to see the Presidents' trophy edition of 1998 and 1999 but they actually choked later in the playoffs.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Math said:

I was thinking the Stars' 2020, but I got only 1.039 according to your clutch score (I was expecting more). Maybe we should try the Devils and Kings as they qualified as the #8 seed I think.

 

1995 New Jersey Devils were a middle of the pack team, but they really turned it up a notch in the playoffs:

 

Regular season: 22-18-8  --------> 22/40 =  0.550

Playoffs: 16/20 -------------------------> = 0.800

 

Clutch = 0.800 / 0.550 = 1.454

 

:)

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, FD19372 said:

The Choking Award should be a combined statue of Bob Clarke, Paul Holmgren, Dsve Scott and Terry Murray.

 

 

Yeah like a Mount Rushmore type one!!!

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Clutch- Vasilevskiy in game 7

 

Choke- Mitch Marner. Mr. October was a great nickname for Reggie Jackson in Baseball, somehow it seems to apply to Mitch as well. As the games get bigger he gets smaller.

  • Uggh... 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...