This blog was met with many responses like this one.
Hockey twitter is turning on itself. The "analytics" camp vs the "you don't know anything camp because I played club HS hockey and you didn't" camp.
Me...I don't have a camp. I love analytics. Not just in hockey, but in everything. I've written about this before, but I love looking at data points and trying to find patterns and predictable patterns. If I were smarter I'd probably be able to use that love of data to, ya know...make money. Alas, I am just a lowly blogger. I just want to make it clear that I like data. I understand the data points being used. I do think they have some value...BUT I have yet to see a set of data points in hockey that tell the full story about an individual player. Hockey is soooo fluid. It is non-stop. It is so hard to chart EVERYTHING that leads to chances. I've seen the micro stats. I have seen the macro stats. I have seen people try to make a "WAR" in hockey the way they have it in baseball, but hockey is too complex. Every situation is different. It's not just pitcher vs batter in a series of situations that are static. People like things simple. They like to feel smart. They want to be able to point to a red box and a percentage or a bar graph and say "SEE, he SUCKS". While the other group wants to show you how many minutes he plays and the points he produces. "SEE, he's awesome". Again...it's not simple.
Jones isn't a perfect player. He isn't Victor Hedman. He also doesn't suck by any stretch. He is a bonafide #1 defenseman and any chart that says otherwise should be thrown away. I am not a professional scout by any stretch. I just watch a lot of hockey. Jones struggles a bit in transition defense. His gap control isn't the best and he gets caught flat footed at times because of that. If a replacement level player played the way he did in transition it would be a HUGE problem. Jones is 6'4 so his reach and pure speed when pivoting to skate forward mitigates some of the flat-footedness in transition. Any attempt to take that transition defense, attach it to some analytics, and say that he is overrated is lazy in my opinion. That is not criticizing people out there who actually compile the data which is a painstaking process that I would personally NEVER do. The data can be and should be part of the analysis. It should never be used by dopes on the internet to say "OVERRATED!!!" because they don't/can't watch hockey carefully. Seth Jones would make any team better instantly. I'd love to see him play for a zone team that let's defense skate forward in their neutral zone defense to break up plays and take away space instead of retreating. That's where he gets into some trouble. Let him go forward and cover his area and Jones will continue to be a top 10 defenseman in the NHL. Also...this