Sports Magazine

The Relationship Between Takeaway-to-turnover Ratio and Outscoring the Opposition

By Kicks @Chrisboucher73
Hockey is about how many, it is not about how. Ignoring data-generated scouting is tantamount to ignoring how many goals a player scores, or how many saves a goalie makes. Tunnel vision either way is dangerous, but an open-mind could result in an otherwise unavailable opportunity to win.
Takeaway to turnover ratio is a reflection of how many takeaways a player produces for every 1 turnover. the higher the take-to-turn ratio is, the more often that player gains puck-possession, and the less often they lose puck-possession.
Events that are considered giveaways include:
  • failed passes
  • failed dekes
  • failed dump-outs
  • failed dump-ins
Events that are considered takeaways include:
  • Successful stick-checks
  • Successful body-checks
  • blocked passes
  • blocked shots
  • loose-puck recoveries

No one stat should be looked at as gospel. That said, the correlation between even-strength takeaway to turnover ratio and scoring more goals than the opposition is quite impressive.
This graph reflects the Montreal Canadiens combined team takeaway to turnover ratio for each game this season. The green bar represents games where the Habs outscored the opposition at even-strength, the yellow-line shows when they scored an equal amount of ES goals as the opposition, while a red bar reflects games where they were outscored at even-strength.
The Habs have produced an even-strength takeaway to turnover ratio of 2 or more in 18 games this season. They have only been outscored at ES twice in those 18 games. 
Save-percentage remains the great equalizer. As such, it's important to note the impact save-percentage had in the two games where the Canadiens produced a T-to-T ratio above 2 and were still outscored at even-strength. In one of those games, Carey Price had an even-strength save-percentage of only .826. In the other contest Peter Budaj produced a save-percentage of 0.884, while the opposition goalie stopped all 25 ES shots he faced. If we combine those ES game totals, the Habs were actually only out-shot by a combined 1 shot through those two games.

There can be no denying the importance of statistical analysis in hockey. Ignoring the ''how many'' is simply a mistake. Disputing, or failing to recognize data-generated scouting because it's not easy, or because it takes too much time will result in mistakes similar to not playing Steve Shutt with Guy Lafleur because he skates funny (ask your parents).

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