Those nifty little graphics that you've come to know and love on Baseball-Reference and Basketball-Reference are now available on Hockey-Reference as well. Known as "sparklines," they visually indicate when, and by how much, a team won or lost each game. If you mouse-over each day, you can get additional details about the game, and clicking on a day will take you to the box score for that game. They are available on the "Roster and Statistics" page for each team year.
As a side note, you'll also notice that many of the combobox menus have been converted to the standard Sports Reference-style menus across the site. We feel that these provide a better experience for users.
Or maybe you remember fondly the 1992 Unified Team that won the gold in its only Olympics:
You can get started by looking at the athletes, the teams, the years, or even the individual games. With the 2014 Winter Olympics rapidly approaching, we are happy to be able to provide you with this data, and welcome any feedback or suggestions to improve it.
As Nate Silver tweeted out earlier today, Neil Paine is leaving Sports Reference early next month to join Nate's new FiveThirtyEight.com. I know I speak for everyone here at SR when I say I'm feeling a mix of sadness that on a daily basis we won't get to tap Neil's encyclopedic knowledge of European NBA players, his knowledge of pretty much every sabermetric study ever done, his patience dealing with every kind of user complaint, and his wit, pluck, and genuine enthusiasm for his work. But also happiness for Neil that his writing and thinking is getting the platform it justly deserves. I know someday we'll be bragging that we knew Neil Paine before he was a bigshot. :)
I'll be anticipating his articles and I suggest you search them out as well when the site launches in early 2014.
Sports Reference has hired two new web developers/engineers/programmers to their burgeoning staff of now five.
David Corby joined us the last week of October and thus far has been shepherding the NBA and College Basketball sites. (Yes, we did give him a lot of time to get settled.) He is a UVA grad who worked in commercial operations at JetBlue. He's a largely self-taught developer with a wide range of development work. David once played against David Wright in a HS baseball game, and he went 4-4 with 4 doubles (Wright did, that is). He is largely a New York fan -- especially a Yankees fan, which proves we stand by our company policy that we don't discriminate on the basis of sports franchise affinity.
Hans Van Slooten (@cantpitch) will be joining us in December, working out of our newly-established Minneapolis branch, coincidentally located in Hans' home (note we do not offer company tours at this branch). Hans will be working on the hockey site and number of new projects/items from our wish list that we previously haven't had the bandwidth to work on. He joins us from OLSON (where he was a technical director) and, previous to that, comScore. He's a Twins and Vikings fan and will also help me source locally produced lefse and lutefisk for the Sports-Reference Christmas party.
After the introduction of SV%+ to goalie stats a little over a week ago, there was some discussion as to whether or not it was the best way to represent goals allowed relative to league average. After reviewing some poll results, we've decided to change things up a bit and switch the representation to Goals Allowed %- (the minus because lower is better). The formula is now 100*((1-player save %)/(1-league average save %)) -- this means that Semyon Varlamov, who currently has the best save percentage in the league at .965 (vs. league average of about .913), gets a 40 GA%- &emdash; on a per-shot basis, he allows goals at 40% of the league average rate. Conversely, Martin Biron has allowed 9 goals on 38 shots, which gives him a GA%- of 273 (yikes). This works out better for us because goalies who have not allowed a goal will get a 0 GA%- instead of getting an undefined value as they would have in the old system.
In case you missed it yesterday, we rolled out a couple of new goaltending stats for the 2014 season -- Save Percentage+ and Goals Saved Above Average. Overnight we got some feedback about SV%+ in particular, and the structure of having 1 minus the goalie's own SV% in the denominator of the formula. Right now, we are measuring the rate at which the league allowed more goals than the player, where 100 = average. So in the case of a 133 SV%+, the league's rate of goals allowed per shot would be 33% higher than the player's rate.
There are other alternatives. If we re-arrange the formula so that 1 minus the league SV% is in the denominator, we would be measuring the rate at which the player allowed fewer goals than the league. (Because of the nature of division, this is an important distinction from the definition in the previous paragraph.) If we tweak the formula in this direction, there are 2 options: we can compute a "minus" type of stat in which lower numbers are better, or we can stick with the "plus" style familiar to all from baseball's OPS+ and ERA+. The former would represent a goalie who allows 33% fewer goals than the league as a 67 (remember, lower is better); the latter would represent that as a 133.
As is the case sometimes in this business, there is no "right answer" here, but rather a matter of preference. For instance, we've long assumed users would find it counterintuitive to have a rate stat where lower numbers = better performance, but maybe that's not true. I'm interested in opinions on this, so let your voice be heard in the following poll -- which format do you prefer? Or do you care at all? I can't promise the poll-winning format will be what we eventually stick with, but I'd like to know what people think.