Today, the Marlies Tracking Project went under a substantial update, cleaning up a few hours and adding the last seven games of data to the mix. This is the biggest single update to the database since the launch of the project and brings us up to date as the team reaches the half-season mark and prepares for it’s Boat Show road trip.

To be transparent, “biggest single update” isn’t really a positive thing; that means the public side of things fell very behind. The reasoning here is two-fold; I’m without a working laptop right now (mine had been struggling throughout the year, but reached the point of no return last week and was sent in for repair), and I’m juggling some other projects (which I’ll talk more about soon).

My laptop should be back in perfect order before the team comes back from the road trip, and some other arrangements have cleared up, so we should be back to that immediate minimum, 24 hour maximum for updates moving forward.

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What Does The Project Contain So Far?

Well, it’s grown substantially since it started as a testing ground during the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs. Since then, I’ve learned how to keep better focus during games, developed more intuitive tracking sheets, and built up more streamlined spreadsheet flows to best track, sort, and present data. In November, the interactive data portal was added to The Faceoff Circle for paid subscribers to be able to follow along with my records.

As a result, the types of things we can look at have expanded too. The current portal currently gives all sorts of info on things like possession, deployment, more accurate ice-time estimates, special teams play, drawn penalties, faceoffs, and more. This is a complete database of all 39 Toronto Marlies games this season, meaning as much as hundreds of minutes of eye-opening data on prospects and veterans in the Leafs organization.

What’s Next?

Besides actually making sure that these updates go up on time (and a return to game-by-game recaps and breakdowns, which took a vacation that coincided with the crippling of the Macbook keyboard), I feel that there is a significant enough sample to use this data for more written content on the players and the team at large, so keep an eye out here for that.

I would also like to add more metrics to the mix. I’ve been doing some light noting of neutral-zone data, key passes, and other minor micro-stats that catch my eye (turnovers, takeaways icings, etc), but they’re in passing and likely not as accurate as the things I’m focusing on. I’ve also started to build shot heat maps over the past few games and would like to see if there is anything I can do with those in the long run.

Theoretically, it would be possible to re-do the previous 39 games to include accurate representations of that data. That, however, would likely require an extra 125-175 hours to do both retroactively and in future second-lap watches, so if you’re interested in that extra layer of metric taking, the best way you can show that is with your membership.

Sign Up For Access And Support

While this project gives people who have access an unprecedentedly quick look at these players’ minor-league metrics, it also consumes a lot of my time. The end result will probably be over 7000 shifts tracked of multiple important metrics by the end of the season – that’s hundreds upon hundreds of hours of watching, counting, logging, streamlining, and updating.

If you want to support this project, along with other projects on this website (like the AHL Youth Usage Project), my other articles and social media posts, or just about anything else I do, your best way of going about that is my picking up a subscription to The Faceoff Circle. Subscriptions are $5 Canadian per month or $25 per year; solid value whether you care about supporting my work or simply just want access to these numbers.

Want This For Your Team? Contact me.

To my knowledge, this project is the most in-depth publicly available database on any AHL team, and likely exceeds what many teams are tracking internally. The project has now tracked over 3500 shifts in a way that captures the most popular modern statistics in the public community, allowing for dissection and evaluation of these players in a significantly more accurate way than we’ve had the chance to see before.

While many teams can get away with not having this information, and succeed without it, having that extra layer of context and backing, that “error bar” of data, can make a world of difference and bolster the accuracy of a team’s decisions. It can find unnoticed inefficiencies or identify unexploited strengths.

If you’re keeping tabs on this project and feel that your team is missing an internal information base like this, wouldn’t it be great to have someone who has already worked out how to do it seamlessly, already has a system in place, and has a long-term interest and knowledge of development leagues already? If you’re seriously interested in adding my services/work to your organization, you can reach me at jeff@veillette.me.

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