Rob Vollman's Hockey Abstract 2014
In the inaugural edition it was written that “statistical analysis is coming to hockey in a wave very similar to the one that hit baseball years ago,” and guess what? That wave is here!
With every passing season, there's another explosion of new analysts, new websites, new perspectives, and new developments. Non-traditional statistics are being used in TV and radio broadcasts, front offices are hiring statistical analysts, and newspapers and magazines are including whole new sets of data. It used to be that front offices, agencies, and media outlets would use analytics to get an edge, but now it's being used to avoid falling behind. Soon, venturing forward without an analytics team will be like venturing forward without trainers, or equipment managers.
While we fans can certainly continue to enjoy the sport without analytics (and equipment managers), knowledge of the underlying numbers can help stretch that enjoyment. Acting as an invaluable supplement to traditional analysis, modern statistics can be used to test the validity of the conventional wisdom, and to gain insight into what teams are doing behind the scenes --- or maybe what they should be doing!
Inspired by Bill James' Baseball Abstract, Hockey Abstract is not an annual guide to read once and place on a shelf, but a timeless reference of the mainstream applications and limitations of hockey analytics.
More than just an update, this 2014 edition is 40% bigger and better, and includes heavyweight co-authors Tom Awad and Iain Fyffe. The Hall of Fame, what makes good players good, team-level player usage chart interpretations, shot quality, score effects, the value of enforcers, a deep look at goaltending, and a hunt for the game's best at scoring goals, drawing penalties, killing penalties and working the power play are all among this year's topics.
Whether you use Hockey Abstract as a primer for today's new statistics, as a reference for leading edge research and hard-to-find statistical data, or whether you read it for its passionate and engaging story-telling, Hockey Abstract 2014 belongs on every serious hockey fan's bookshelf.
To arrange an interview with any of the authors, or to ask questions about the book, contact via email, vollman at hockey abstract dot com.
with James Neveau of NBC Chicago, September 5, 2014
with Taylor McKee of the Marlet, November 28, 2014
with Jim Jamieson of the Province, December 21, 2014
Audio interviews are available on this site under the Listen
link on the left hand side menu.
All reviews are included here in chronological order, regardless of recommendation.
If any are missing please contact the author via email, vollman at hockey abstract dot com.
Book Review by Dimitri Filipovic of the Sporting News, August 11, 2014
Book Review by Jaime Eisner of Five for Howling, August 16, 2014
Book Review by Rob Vollman (author) at FlamesNation, August 16, 2014
Book Review by J.J. from Kansas of Winging it Motown, August 19, 2014
Book Review by Kevin Baumer of Blue Seat Blogs, August 20, 2014
Book Review by Matt Wagner of Jackets Cannon, August 21, 2014
Book Review by Dominik of Lighthouse Hockey, August 24, 2014 Book Review by John Fischer of In Lou We Trust, September 7, 2014 Book Review by "Kid Ish" of Anaheim Calling, September 24, 2014 Book Review by Josh Lile of Defending Big D, September 26, 2014 Book Review by Braden Thompson of On The Forecheck, October 1, 2014 Book Review by Michael Willhoft of Islanders Insight, October 4, 2014 Book Review by Robb Tufts of St. Louis Game Time, October 7, 2014 Book Review by Dom Luszczyszyn of the Hockey News, October 12, 2014 Book Review by Jim Jamieson of the Province, November 21, 2014 Book Review by Anatoliy Metter of the Hockey Writers, November 26, 2014
Keep up with the latest reviews by following Rob Vollman on twitter; @robvollmanNHL
Mike Weaver by Christophe Perreault of 25 Stanley, August 18, 2014 (en francais)
Habs in the HoF by Christophe Perreault of 25 Stanley, August 21, 2014 (en francais)
Buy Rob Vollman's Hockey Abstract 2014 today!