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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Impact of Man Games Lost to the Penguins by @ChicksDigHockey

One player gets healthy… goes on IR. 

So goes the story of the Pittsburgh Penguins. At any given time this season, between Mump-a-Palooza and injuries, the Penguins have had as many as a dozen players unavailable.  At this writing the list looked something like this; 

Craig Adams, Beau Bennett, Blake Comeau, Steve Downie, Pascal Dupuis, Christian Ehrhoff, Thomas Greiss, Olli Maatta, Paul Martin, Zach Sill, Scott Wilson and Patric Hornqvist.
At a time when everyone wants to quantify and qualify all aspects of the game, I sought out a way to give meaning to the impact of man games lost. In order to do this, I need to familiarize myself with some new terms and clarify some old ones. 

What exactly is a man game lost and do teams report them universally? 

A 'man game lost' occurs when a player who is eligible to play in a game can't play due to illness or injury. It is an official number reported by each team as of their last game. However, some teams include their long-term-injured-reserve (LTIR) players in that report, some don’t. For example, the Bruins count Marc Savard, the Flyers count Pronger, and the Ducks count Souray in their man games lost figures. Additionally, several teams report players as ‘DND’ (Did Not Dress) or ‘DNP’ (Did Not Play) when it’s widely known the player is injured.  Therefore there is a discrepancy between Man Games Lost and Injured counts for some teams.
Thru December 23rd the Penguins reported 112 man games lost (34 games played) *

Next, I wanted to know how I could relate the value of the player lost to the impact his loss has on the team. (I used many sources but by far was the most useful)

Cap Hit of Injured Player (CHIP) and Salary Hit of Injured Player (SHIP) are metrics that attempt to quantify the impact of a player not playing for their team due to injury. Both metrics utilize a player’s cap hit (or salary) under the formula. 

 CHIP = (CapHit x playerGamesInjured)/82. 

The result represents the amount of cap hit or salary lost based on the number of games lost by the player to injury over an 82 game season. 

The Pens’ CHIP is 2722795 while their SHIP  is 2909848 to date. (12/23/14)

Another consideration is the impact the loss of the individual player has on the team. Zach Sill’s injury does not impact the team in the same way Beau Bennett's or Olli Maatta's does. 

Time Missed Impact To Team (TMITT) is a metric that attempts to quantify the impact of a player not playing for their team due to injury. A higher TMITT number equals a higher impact of injured players to the team. TMITT utilizes a skater’s average time on ice (ATOI) or minutes played for goalies, the number of games missed due to injury, the number of games played by their team, and the number of games that the player has played in.

 NHL TMITT = (playerGP x ATOI x playerGamesInjured) / teamGP has developed several TMITT variations to further delineate the impact of the players loss;

TMITT-skater: (as calculated above) Teams with higher TMITT scores are either missing more players, or missing players for more prolonged periods, or are missing players who contribute more valuable ice time for their team. Teams with higher TMITT scores likely have a combination of all three factors 1) more injured players 2) who are injured for a longer period of time, and 3) are players that normally contribute big minutes to the team.
They have applied the same formula to quantify goals, assists and points expressed as TMITT goals, TMITT assists and TMITT points.

Applying these metrics to several injured players helps to better quantify their loss to the team.

Think the Pens have it worse than any other team? We put the Pens head to head with three other teams. The Ducks and Blue Jackets lead the league with most MGL while the Sabres have the same number of MGL as the Pens.

This table* illustrates that not all man games lost are equal. The Pens may not have the most man games lost but the quality of the players lost have gravely impacted the team when it comes to points scored... and by extension, games won.

The next metric I'm going in search of is the one for FGL....Fan Games Lost. You know what I mean! The formula that qualifies the impact of player injuries to marriages, walls punched, livers cirrhosed and twitter accounts blocked. 

* Not including suspensions and DND/DNP

All man game lost metrics via 

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