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Hockey Prospectus 2010-11 Paperback – September 15, 2010
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It's the first book I've ever bought as a computer file. I wasn't sure how big or good it would be, and a $10 savings is always welcome. When I downloaded it and locked through it, and I noticed a chapter called "A Brief History of Statistical Analysis in Hockey." I turned to it quickly.
There, I was rather surprised to see my own name mentioned. I had worked with an editor of Baseball Prospectus about 11 years ago about the possibility of coming out with a hockey book along those lines. I struck out, in part because I couldn't find a team of writers to help.
It's nice to be remembered. And it's nice to see they kept at it, until a book was created. "Hockey Prospectus 2010-11" is that book. I'm much less of a hockey follower than I was back then, so it's a little more difficult to judge its merits. But, the people in this book are on the right track. There's more data available now than there was 11 years ago (ice time, hits, etc.), and it helps. Each player in the league, then, receives a paragraph, and each team receives a few pages.
Like the Baseball Prospectus, there are plenty of numbers. Some are easily followed, some will need some more time to digest. But most of the fantasy projections seem more or less on target. I used to do that sort of thing, and the predictions fit into what I found to be a rational range -- which is all you can expect.
The team comments are less satisfying. Many of the teams simply get a review of last season. How did the offense do? Defense? Goaltending? Special teams? And what's the outlook. The comments often mirror what is in the player comments' section. There are exceptions.Read more ›
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!Read more ›