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Vulgar Statistics: Compete Level


It began, like so many games have this season, with truly terrible hockey.  And a tweet by Dear God Why Us’s contributor sba:

SBA Tweet

Over the course of the next hour and several tweets he laid the groundwork and outlined the key statistical contributors while I crunched the numbers in Excel.  The objective was simple: to highlight the Ted Nolaniest of Ted Nolan’s players and give them their due praise.

No small task as you can see

No small task as you can see

And so the Compete Level formula was born:

(Hits + Blocked Shots + PIM (per game)) divided by each player’s current cap hit and multiplied by modifiers that account for the grittiness that only being born in North America and wearing a letter can bring.  Without further ado…

Compete Level Pic

Click to Enlarge


Finally, a metric that shows John Scott to be the best player on the team with an impressive Compete Level of 17.51 Nolans.  All the right faces are at the top.  Marcus Foligno?  Check.  Steve Ott?  Check with a capital C.  Konopka, McCormick, Ellis, Weber?  It’s like a parade of grit and hustle.  Sure Zemgus Girgensons comes in a disappointing 11th, but from his paltry 6 penalty minutes and Latvian heritage we can correctly infer that he’s not really competing.  Mike Weber on the other hand, with his team-leading 9.98 Hits + Blocked Shots + PIM per game is competing so hard that he’s basically a ghost of the 1991-1992 Sabres who set the NHL record for PIM in a season with 2,713 or put another way, 17 Mike Weber interference penalties per game.  Is it hot in here?

More impressive is the bottom of the list which frames the Ted Nolan doghouse so well it’s basically just a photograph.  Cody Hodgson?  Soft rich guy.  Henrik Tallinder?  Nopeville.  Christian Ehrhoff?  More like Christian Tehrible at Competing-hoff.  And of course it wouldn’t be complete without the two worst Ted Nolan players of all time rounding out the bottom, Mikhail ‘did you know he’s Russian you guys?’ Grigorenko and Ville ‘so not Brad Richards’ Leino.  There isn’t even a full Nolan of compete level combined.  For those keeping score at home, John Scott is approximately 60 times more valuable to this team of plucky grinders than Mikhail Grigorenko.  (Note that John Scott has played 4.23 times as many minutes under Ted Nolan as Mikhail Grigorenko has (153.1 – 36.2), or 7 times as many games (23 – 3).)

Thankfully in a world of meaningless stats like Corsi and Fenwick and Shots and Goals Scored we have something real like Compete Level to adequately award the John Scotts and the Steve Otts and the Mike Webers of the NHL.


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