Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The fight decider

All the junk being tossed around about how Neil should fight Rosehill but not Schenn despite the bad on-ice decision that would be had me inspired to develop a "Fight Decider" matrix.  

Pretty simple:  I looked at the guys on each team who had at least 2 major penalties (fights).  I took the averagetime on ice (TOI) per point (P) which gives the average amount of time between points.  I then divided fight penalty minutes (FPM: No. of Majors x 5 min) by this value to give a trade-off value.

So, how would one use this to decide if it's intelligent to fight an opponent?  

Well, a neutral match-up (with respect to the overall effect on the team) will have a similar 5 minute trade-off value (TrOV).    A good match-up would see one's opponent with a substantially higher TrOV.  A bad matchup would see one's opponent with substantially lower TrOV.

So.... how do the Senators/Leafs players stack up?

Player          TrOV

Rosehill        0.023

Schenn         0.029

Orr               0.082

Carkner       0.105

Neil               0.127

So it's pretty clear that Neil fighting Rosehill or Schenn would be a bad tradeoff for the Senators.  Neil shouldn't have fought Schenn based on this, though Schenn taking a run at him is a good enough reason.  Even Carkner/Orr doesn't make sense for the Senators, but is a good choice for the Leafs.  

I checked out some 'skill' guys too. Fisher comes in at 0.153 & Hagman comes in at 0.125. An even tradeoff would be Neil v. Hagman.

Remember kids, criticize the method and results, but keep it in perspective.Of course, this doesn't count in fighting for team motivational purposes.  I'm going to try to work something together that establishes a GF/GA differential while the fighter is in the box, but that's a little manual intensive.  Also, a team-value factor may be added to account for how valuable a guy is relative to the others on his team (e.g., a goon on Toronto with 4 points is probably similar in scoring value to their second liners!).


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