Since Thursday, our comments and Facebook page have sort of been railroaded by Ribeiro loyalists. These folks have been saying that Mike Ribeiro is the superior player compared to Mikhail Grabovski. I’m gonna let two guys in particular have the floor for a moment, and then I’m gonna be a jerk and tell them why they’re wrong.
Alex: This is ridiculous. Grabovski didn’t do anything for the Leafs last year. How can you possibly compare Grabovski to Ribero? It’s a good signing for the caps, but he does not replace Ribero at all.
Nick: Yeah, Ribeiro knows some crazy [fecal expletive] with the puck. Grabovski has potential, but he seemed pretty much worse than useless last season.
Nick: I prefer to look at real stats. You know, goals, assists, PPG? As opposed to teammate-played-better-assists. tl;dr Objectivity over subjectivity.
Alex: Grabovski can’t even replace Ribeiro, let alone be an improvement. Nick’s right; you cant judge two players by some [fecal expletive] stats. The only stats that matter are the real ones. The other stats are just a replacement for not actually watching the guy play.
Nick: You can say that Grabo was playing with terrible linemates, or that Ribeiro had more favorable ice time, or whatever. The fact still remains that Ribs has produced way better. [. . .] Plus Ribeiro is just jokes to watch [. . .] Anyway, Grabovski will do well, good signing, but I can’t see this is an upgrade.
(Comments were edited for clarity, brevity, and profanity.)
So the argument goes like this: Grabovski didn’t help the Leafs in 2012-13. Ribeiro had more goals and assists, which are better indications of how those players will produce in the future anyway.
And also Ribeiro is something called “jokes”, which is apparently good.
Okay, my turn.
People on Twitter often ask us for some kind of resource that explains advanced statistics in hockey. From now on, Robert Vollman’s Hockey Abstract will be my go-to answer. Vollman. In 242 pages of crystal-clear prose, Vollman uses age-old debates like “who is the most undervalued player?” and “who is the best defensive forward?” to introduce statistical metrics like Fenwick and Goals Versus Threshold in a way that will make sense to any level of reader.
Free of bombast or antagonism that might put off casual fans, Vollman’s tone is always cheerful and conversational. The creator of the brilliant player usage charts you’ve seen on RMNB and Japers Rink, Vollman revisits and re-stokes classic barroom debates, in the process delivering both a primer on statistical analysis and a crash course on the habits of a highly successful hockey player. It’s a great read if you’re curious about player evaluation or if you just wanna have some extra ammo next time you’re talking hockey with some hardcore fans. And obviously, nerds will love this book.
But I think Hockey Abstract has some special value for Caps fans in particular. The book is packed with lists of guys you wish were on your team’s roster– containing bunches of Caps. Former Caps.
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