Montreal Gazette columnist Jack Todd has a bone to pick with the analytics community, and he’s addressing it the one way he knows how — by writing some of the hackiest drivel you’ve ever read.
In his Sunday column, Todd addresses some of the finer points in the world of hockey, like how you can’t quantify blues musicians (?) Or something:
When I was listening to the superb local blues man Adam Karch over the weekend, it occurred to me that even if it were possible to quantify what Karch does in numerical terms, I wouldn’t want to.
I don’t want to know what his fretting and picking tendencies are in the seventh bar of a 12-bar blues riff, because there is something of a mystery to what Karch does and how he does it and it should remain that way. It’s what makes him unique, why he’s an artist and not just another purveyor of schlock pop.
And that’s how the piece starts. This master takist let’s you know right off the bat that you’re about to take a wild ride into the depths of hackery not seen since last week’s Thomas Friedman column.
Oh, and indeed, the hackery doesn’t stop there. This piece is so chock full of strawmen and faulty logic it’s impossible to really address everything.
But let me tell you, Todd really covers his bases bringing up every hackey argument to attempt to take down hockey analytics.
From quoting Pierre McGuire to make a cheap, irrelevant point:
Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy run the Colorado Avalanche, a team that managed to rack up 112 points last season despite their professed disdain for analytics. (The numbers people would no doubt say that’s why they lost to the Minnesota Wild in the first round of the playoffs.)
Pierre McGuire went further than Sakic and Roy.
“Any coach that uses analytics to show a player what he did right or wrong,” McGuire told TSN Radio 690’s Mitch Melnick, “should be terminated on the spot.”
To bringing up intangibles and how Corsi can’t measure them:
Hockey is equal parts chaos and emotion, both impossible to quantify. What the numbers show is the result of all that passion, not the cause. They don’t really measure the effect of an intimidator like Murray, or of a leader like Brandon Prust.
Todd spares literally no expense when dishing out this piping hot hackey take.
We at The Hot Takery have bestowed great honor on master takists like Steve Simmons, but the hackey hot takery of Jack Todd is simply unmatched.