Project Release: The 2018/19 Marlies Analytics Portal

As many of you know, I’ve been using the Toronto Marlies as a test subject for statistical evil-doing since the second round of last year’s Calder Cup Playoffs.

Okay, maybe evil-doing is a weird word. But I was someone in search of tangible backing (or rebuttal) to my eye-test and limited-numbers observations, and I wanted to develop myself a bit in the field of data-tracking and, to some extent, data collection. What started as a few home playoff games became the whole finals, which became this season. Scrap paper became organized binders, and one little spreadsheet became a network of tables, working together in mostly-manual harmony.

This week, I streamlined and polished my game sheet logs, automating the post-tracking counting process. This opened up a new world of possibilities, which led to fork idea after fork idea and some improvements in accuracy.

It also made things easier than ever to publish and update, saving me all sorts of grief. So, I prolonged that grief for a few more days to create some things I had no idea how to do when I started. The one most important to you? Well..

Meet The Portal

Home | All Situations | 5-on-5 | Special Teams | Context | Goalies | Glossary

Yes, the season-to-date results of my collection will now be accessible to you as I update it throughout the year, unlocking items that we take for granted at the NHL level but can now apply to the next generation of Maple Leafs.

Faceoffs? Amazingly not tracked by the AHL, but they’re here. Time on Ice? Not tracked by the league, but estimated using a much more precise method than previously available. Rate stats? Better than ever thanks to the new ice time. Corsi? Tracked. Zone starts? Got em. Special teams? Especially available. By clicking that big text above (or “Marlies Analytics” in the header), you get instant access to the same info I’ve got on-hand – information that is nowhere near the public eye presently.

A few things to note, before you get digging:

  • This is a paid feature. To give everyone a taste of what they could have access to, I’ve kept the portal unlocked until November 24th at 7:00 PM, but after that, it’s for subscribers only. To be blunt, this project will take several hundred hours of work throughout the year. To get a data tracking company to replicate the contents in here would cost thousands to tens of thousands of dollars for a full season; subscribing gets you this information (along with access to single game data in recaps, extra content in other articles, exclusive articles, and other site features) for just $5 per month or $25 per year.
  • On that note, you can turn that first month into just $1 or the first year into just $20 until Monday night by using the code “TWENTY” at checkout. Take advantage of it while you can!
  • There are other sub-features inside this project that I can’t feasibly set up to run on the site but will be integrated into my work. Calling this the tip of the Iceberg is unfair to the wealth of info available, but there is more to the Iceberg yet.
  • On that note, with this streamlined and out of the way, expect a lot more work in the very near future. I’ve got a lot of pent-up takes and with some personal and professional walls out of the way, it’s time to get back to them.
  • There might be more statistics tracked and added throughout the year. There are a few things I regret not tracking throughout the year that I’d like to add. Really, it comes down to whether or not I can find time to re-watch 17 (and counting) games to note what I’ve missed.
  • If you would like to cite information you absorb from the portal, you can, within reason and with credit. If you’d like to say that a certain player has X result in Y statistic, or that they’re ranked in a certain spot on the team (via Jeff Veillette / The Faceoff Circle), that’s cool with me. If you’re screenshotting or otherwise revealing huge chunks of the information, that’s not as cool.
  • With that said, if you’d like to talk to me about the data and my interpretations, I’m pretty open to giving article quotes, doing radio or podcast appearances, or whatever works for both of us.
  • Obviously, this just covers the Marlies. I wish I could do the entire AHL, but there are only so many hours in the day and I can only do so much. Consider this like your favourite Advanced Stats site, except only for one AHL team, and instead of having a scraper, I’m writing all of this stuff down, and then scraping myself, while doing the other work that goes with covering the team.
  • If you work for a pro team and are looking at this with interest and curiosity as to why your team doesn’t do this for themselves yet, I should probably point out my contact form, my email address, and my Twitter and tell you to reach out. I’m all ears.

Now that that’s all out of the way, I hope everyone enjoys! I look forward to seeing how the extra layer of data shifts the conversation, and to hearing all of your feedback!

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