The Bolt Prospects Podcast, Volume 23

This week's “Petr Svoboda Edition” of the Bolt Prospects Podcast (also available on Lightning Radio's iHeart station) includes the following topics:

· The No. 23
· Brayden Point joins Syracuse
· What’s next for Adam Wilcox, Matt Peca, and Brendan O’Donnell?
· Stamkos vs Bishop
· Interview with Tanner Richard
· #BPMailbag (Why is D so passive? … Building a team core with TB players/prospects 21 and under … Stamkos’ confidence growing? … Off-season free agent targets … TB prospects in NHL top-50)

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To listen on Lightning Radio, go to TBLPowerPlay.com.

Schedule (all times Eastern):

Monday, March 30: 12 PM, 2 PM, 11 PM
Sunday, April 5: 2 PM
Monday, April 6: 12 PM, 2 PM, 5 PM, 11 PM

Previous BP Podcast editions:

Volume 22 (March 20)
Volume 21 (March 13)
Volume 20 (March 6)
Volume 19 (February 27)
Volume 18 (February 20)
Volume 17 (February 13)
Volume 16 (February 6)
Volume 15 (January 23)
Volume 14 (January 16)
Volume 13 (January 9)
Volume 12 (December 19)
Volume 11 (December 12)
Volume 10 (December 3)
Volume 9 (November 26)
Volume 8 (November 21)
Volume 7 (November 13)
Volume 6 (November 5)
Volume 5 (October 30)
Volume 4 (October 23)
Volume 3 (October 17)
Volume 2 (October 8)
Volume 1 (October 1)

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Mike’s Advanced Stats response (as referenced in Volume 22):

@BurrLehane:

“How come the prominent advanced stats revolve around shots for and against? What about passing accuracy and zone time?”

Why shot-based metrics instead of passing and zone time data? In a word: availability. The NHL records various events, including shot attempts, which are compiled into a play-by-play file (here’s an example) that is one of a number of official reports made publicly available for each game. The league has never recorded passing data and—probably because doing so was tedious and the value of providing it unclear—stopped tracking actual zone time in the early 2000s.

There have, however, been attempts to manually record and analyze information not otherwise available. For example, tracking passes (see this primer and the larger effort it led to), there have been stabs at measuring time of possession (see here and here) and there have been efforts—including this Herculean feat that landed Corey Sznajder (@ShutdownLine) an NHL gig—to evaluate how effectively players move the puck in and out of zones. Of course, it’s possible the technology the league sort-of unveiled for the All-Star game could eventually render much of these labor-intensive projects unnecessary if the next-level data is made accessible to the public. Until then, the stats community will largely have to make do mining and refining data it can gather conveniently.

Having said all this, there’s good reason to be content, at least presently, with shot-based metrics as a proxy for meaningful possession, a leading indicator of future success or failure, and one of the core components of the now-mainstream analytics movement.