6 March 2010

The Pain Game

Injury stats update – February 2010

[Looking for more up-to-date figures? For my latest update, try HERE.]

This is my penultimate look for the 2009/10 regular season at which teams have been hit hardest by injuries by trying to place a value on the games missed by players due to injury/illness.

(The corresponding analysis as at the end of January 2010 can be viewed HERE.)

The concept again - multiply each game missed by a player by his 2009/10 cap charge, then take the aggregate of these figures for each team and divide by 82. This indicator of value lost to a team by injury/illness is called CHIP (Cap Hit of Injured Players).

Yes, I'm still doing the extra bit ...

Again, for a different indicator of player "value", I've also illustrated a similar metric based on TOI/G alongside the CHIP numbers.

While acknowledging cap charge is a less than perfect measure of player, with a number of limitations and inconsistencies, I'm not totally sold on TOI/G as being any better overall (I'm guessing Mike Mottau isn't a significantly more important player to the Devils than Zach Parise) - it does provide a decent comparison and the results do vary from the CHIP rankings somewhat.

A quick summary of the alternative metric:

  • TOI/G (through games played prior to the Olympic break) replaces cap charge as the measure of value in the calculation
  • For goalies, TOI/G has been worked out as Total Minutes Played / Games Dressed For - i.e. a goalie playing every minute of 75% of the games, zero in the rest, would end up with a TOI/G of 45 minutes (or close to it, once you factor in OT and so on)
  • This arguably overstates the worth of starting goalies somewhat, but it's simple and you could equally argue that a workhorse goalie is the hardest position to replace, so it's fair for them to have a much higher TOI/G figure
  • Where a player hasn't played all year (e.g. Mike Van Ryn) or where a player fairly clearly has a reduced TOI/G figure due to getting injured in their only game or one of very few games (Kurt Sauer), I've used TOI/G from last season (or further back if necessary)
  • For each player, multiply games missed by TOI/G to get (for a more palatable name) Cumulative Minutes of Injured Player (CMIP)
  • Take the aggregate of CMIP for the team and divide by games played by the team to arrive at AMIP (Average Minutes of Injured Players) - it feels more understandable expressing this metric as an average per game (whereas CHIP is a running total)
The figures...

The table below shows:

  • Total CHIP for each team for the 2009/10 regular season (through games played in February, i.e. before the Olympic break)
  • The player who has contributed most to the team's CHIP figure
  • The number of players with a CHIP contribution of over $250,000 (think of it as being equivalent to a $1m player missing 20 games or a $4m player missing five games)
  • Movement in CHIP ranking since 31 January
  • AMIP for each team over the same period (e.g. an AMIP of 40:00 could be seen as the team missing two 20-minute per game players for every game this season)

10 second analysis...

As teams only played six or seven games in February, like Hal Gill at the end of shift, there's obviously not a huge amount of movement.

With the Red Wings now looking relatively healthy, it's looking pretty clear that the Oilers have an insurmountable lead (a phrase not heard by anyone this season). I don't have the figures, but I suspect they are also way ahead if I rank the teams by DUIIP.

The Lightning equally have a nice cushion at the other end of the ranking, which may widen thanks to the long-awaited outbreak of Gabby Groin in Manhattan. Based on limited personal observation, their good health can probably be attributed in large part to an extreme reluctance to get in the way of opposition players as they head towards goal.

The next lists are the top 30 individual CHIP and CMIP contributions:

Again, not a huge amount of movement here, but after a personal best 10 straight minutes of good health, the apparent return of Ricky DP's knee-knack gives him a slight chance of threatening the leaders once again.

  • Figures include (and are arguably distorted by) some players on long-term IR, such as Mike Rathje (still seemingly unretired, despite being out for three years and 27 Flyers goalies). They do exclude a few minor-leaguers who are or had been on the NHL club’s IR since pre-season
  • There are undoubtedly a few inaccuracies and inconsistencies in there - I did the best I could with the information out there. Some corrections are picked up month-to-month too
  • The cap figure doesn't really correlate very well to the "worth" of a player in some cases, e.g. where rookie bonuses are included this year, where players are seeing out an old (underpaid or rookie) contract or where players are horrendously overpaid
  • Also, for any player who was acquired on re-entry waivers (e.g. Sean Avery, Randy Jones), the cap hit will only reflect that for their current team, i.e. 50% of the player’s full cap hit (shared between his current and old teams)
  • I've once again stuck a full team-by-team listing of games missed and CHIP/CMIP numbers by each player on the web HERE
  • Injury/games/TOI info courtesy of tsn.ca and nhl.com - man-games lost info more than likely does not exactly match up with the "official" figures released by individual teams
  • Cap info courtesy of hockeybuzz.com and capgeek.com

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