Summer of 2019 I spent hours, days and weeks of tracking data at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
Which data I focus on?
- Zone exits
- Zone entries
- Zone denials for defenders
- Shot attempts and assists on them (slot and other)
- Odd man rushes
- Clear paths
- Quality of teammates (measured by shot attempt differential)
- Quality of opponents (measured by goal differential)
What are the key findings?
As for the tournament itself I checked what type of data was important in order getting results. Team strength (goal differentials) was put to find correlations with following results:
- +0.88 dangerous possessions / chances (odd man rushes plus clear paths)
- +0.87 clear paths
- +0.85 slot shot attempts
- +0.84 odd man rushes
- +0.76 shot attempts
All measured variables proved to hold significance on final results with dangerous possessions being the most important in the game.
As for teams Canada dominated the tournament scoring 25 goals while allowing 6 in 5 games played. They also dominated in control of dangerous possessions at even strength (+14.4 differential per game). Russia was second with 18:6 goal differential in the same number of games but with much less dominant dangerous possession score (+2.0 differential per game at even strength). To be honest other teams performed below that level and no other team finished the tournament with positive differential of dangerous possessions.
Moving to players here is not to go throug all detailed data results but to highlight standout players of the tournament. Here they are:
Lastly, sorry to Switzerland, the only team I did not track player data on.