Customer Review

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting new take on hockey stats - entertaining and thought-provoking!, October 6, 2010
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This review is from: Hockey Prospectus 2010-11 (Paperback)
I've been following the Puck Prospectus website since it went up, so how could I resist the book? I'm glad I didn't. Like most annuals, each team has its own write-up, with individual players getting blurbs ranging from a couple lines to nine or ten, as well as prior seasons' stats and the editors projections for the coming season. Goals, assists, +/-, average time on ice are standard, but they also throw in a new statistical metric, VUKOTA, which is used on their site, but now gets its own 4-page explanation. Stats like the VUKOTA GVT CORSI etc are new, for sure, but they add intangibles into the mix that definitely make me think about players in ways I hadn't before.

Excellent multi-page articles on topics such as Shot Quality, League Equivalencies, and my favorite "An Argument For A Balanced Schedule" are more than mere filler; they're thought-provoking pieces that flesh out an already info-dense book.

I didn't get the standard preview feeling out of this book that I normally get when I get other annuals. Whether comparing Jonathan Cheechoo to past 50 goal scorers like Bobby Carpenter and Gary Leeman, or the now-famously-controversial listing of Kiril Kabanov as the 8th most promising prospect, what other hockey guide is going to let me know opponents scored on only 4.7% of shots when Tanner Glass was on the ice, or who was 15th in the league in hitting the post (Mitch Raymond) and that Mike Green led all defensemen in even strength points per 60 minutes?

And there's bits of odd humor scattered throughout. For example, why would the info on David Clarkson have multiple references to Rush? I have no idea, but it was so out of left field I couldn't help but laugh. Or even the "!" whenever Darroll Powe! is mentioned - it seems so obvious, so why is it making me smile?

I've kinda gone fanboy on this, I know. But what can I say? They hooked me! Fantasy fans will definitely get a kick out it. And the hardcore July-and-August-hating hockey fan, the one who haunts the newsstands and magazine racks in September waiting for the various NHL previews, will not regret spending twenty bucks in cap room for an all-star book like this one.
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