Hockey Analytics and The Rest of the Story!

I grew up listening to Paul Harvey. Yes I’m that old.

A matter of fact I actually use to read a collection of his stories to my homeroom kids and Grade 9 classes, they loved them. They loved the endings, we all did.

“That’s the rest of the story.” Nevertheless, when it comes to hockey and analytics, the story as yet to be completed.

Some would suggest analytics are the be all end all, that’s certainly not the case in my mind.

Statistics and analytics are changing the game, but they don’t tell the entire story.

Time and time again all we hear about are numbers, ratings, proficiency and projections.

It’s the new era of the game. Don’t get me wrong, analytics are important, but do they measure will, compete level and character?

Do they even consider a players intangibles?

I’ve never been a big lover of stats and to be brutally honest I absolutely hate them at times. In my opinion, stats can be extremely superficial and misleading if relied upon solely to tell the story.

Recently an anonymous source shared their philosophy on analytics.

“You only hear them (the analytic experts) when they are cutting up someone or some team.”

“My concern is that coaches are using analytics and not using the information to dig in to find out the details. The numbers only tell one part of the story.”

“It has to be a tool, not the story,” the source added.

Those that closely monitor stats probably think I’m archaic with my take on the numbers and the role they play in the game, they might even say I’m not a true hockey connoisseur.

To each their own and maybe I’m a dinosaur, but my focus is on the young developing player and minor hockey coaches, that put way too much emphasis on the numbers.

Obviously, analytics play a huge role in the game at the College, Major Junior and professional ranks, but even then they sometimes obscure reality.

Do these next level stats measure effort? Do they measure resiliency? Do they measure how driven a player is? I think not. Do analytics really tell the rest of the story?

Actually I don’t believe analytics to be Paul Harvey worthy. They don’t tell the rest of the story only part of it.

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