Tuesday, November 26, 2013

USA vs. Sweden the NHL numbers - a skills game?

We have done this before. It is nasty. And we R 100% convinced that you can prove anything with statistics.
So we do not believe in this in its full extension. But take it for what it is. It is a numbers game. But we will use the statistical numbers as listed by the NHL - right now at NHL.com.

The first background knowledge is that Sweden sport some almost 60.000 licensed Ice Hockey players. The second number is that USA organize some 500.000 + licensed Ice Hockey players. This is an odd number since it is hard to determine who is supposed to become licensed or not and how good our sources are. Still the numbers illustrate two different hockey educational systems where the American version is about/roughly maybe 8-10 times larger.
So by using basic statistical understanding, most numbers should come out with an eight to ten times advantage to the USA. Or with using more fuzzy math = a substantial advantage for the US Americans on track towards being large at the top.

This is how it looks like right now in NHL as you look at nationalities in the top 10 best skaters across the board right now, as comparing USA vs. Sweden:
Top number of Scorers in the top 10 list
USA 1 vs. Sweden 1
Top number of Assist players in the top 10 list
USA 0 vs. Sweden 4
Top number of Points (scoring plus assists) in the top 10 list
USA 1 vs. Sweden 3
Top number of plus/minus statistics in the top 10 list
USA 1 vs. Sweden 2

Critique? The sample is to small? Maybe, but even with a larger sample still many many players raised with a Swedish Hockey education do play in the NHL and US Americans are not represented with the dominance that the size of their Hockey engagement/education (number of licensed players) would suggest. Canadians have much better representation too in the top 10 lists? True, but still the Canadian Hockey educational system is also like ten times the size of the Swedish version. Both Canada and the USA ought to have representation in the NHL that U would suspect to be like 8-10 times larger than the Swedish representation... we think.

In our opinion the single largest difference between Swedish and US American hockey education is one single thing. Dear reader - Now, it is your turn to try to figure out what that may be.
A hint - you should be able to find it here on this blog.

And we did it - we wrote one post without a specific word we use all the time here


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