Friday, August 08, 2008


Quick Fighting Note

Rod left a good suggestion in the comments to my attempt to see if there was any semblance of a correlation between fights and wins.
"It would be interesting to take a closer look at the penalty that comes with the fight (the extra two that one team might get for instigator penalty), as any goal scored during that power play is a direct consequence of the fighting. Moreover, it would be interesting to use this instigator penalty as an indep variable to run a regression to make your point."
Regression analysis! I haven't done those in over a year. I'll definitely have to learn how to do those again.

However, I just went through all the games the Devils had fights in them. The fights break down into two categories: Fights where a player was assessed an extra penalty (e.g. holding, roughing) along with the fighting major and fights where it was just one fighting major for both fighters. While it'll be interesting to look at those extra penalties; I must stress that they aren't the same as instigator penalties. Usually, from what I've seen, those extra minors are for what happened prior to the fight (e.g. a dangerous hit/play leading to a fight).

Amazingly, the Devils have only seen two instigator calls this past season and both went against Dan Boyle on March 7, 2008. Really. Here's the recap. Boyle was throwing down with Zach Parise in the third period, and he got the book thrown at him for starting it all (plus a game misconduct to go with it). The Devils did not score on the ensuing power play, but they did win the game in overtime, 2-1. I hope I didn't completely miss something (and if I did, let me know!), but it makes sense to me. The Devils don't go looking for fights - they have been usually mutual to a point. Either way, the sample size doesn't seem to be large enough to do an analysis on instigator calls alone. But I'll try to recall regression analysis for future use. Thanks, Rod!

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