Micah Blake McCurdy is creating Visualizations for Hockey Stats
455

patrons

$2,928
per month
I make visualizations that help people understand hockey at hockeyviz.com. My graphs, charts, and articles show what happened, suggest what will happen, and deepen our understanding of how we should think about hockey.

Descriptive Visualizations

What happened?

Hockey is a maelstrom of movement and almost every facet of it is a threefold-mixture of two extremely skilled teams and a great deal of happenstance and puck-luck. People have long sought to sift the signal of talent from the noise of randomness with statistics---describing just how unusual and how remarkable are the performances we watch every day. We understand the amazing by comparing it to the ordinary, and our visual intuition for making these comparisons is extremely strong---much stronger than our intuition for numbers in tables.

For instance, here's a graph showing where the Ottawa Senators took shots when Erik Karlsson, their star defender, was on the ice:
 
You can quickly see the kind of impact he has: the big red patch of shots that he takes personally from his usual spot at the right point; the way the team gets great shots from right in front, the way the team avoids he high slot and instead attacks along the goal line. I make many kinds of descriptive graphics that help people understand what happened -- who did what, who was amazing, who hurt their team, who was a non-factor.

I make a raft of different descriptive visualizations, simple and complex, covering single games, seasons, teams, and whole years, published every day of the hockey season on my website, hockeyviz.com.

Predictive Visualizations

What happens next?

At the same time, we want statistics to help us separate the lucky from the good, to understand whose fortunes are about to turn for the better. Prediction requires us to isolate which features of hockey arise from the skill of the players, which of these skills can be repeated in the future, and which of these matter for winning. I make predictive models which I use to simulate seasons and estimate the probabilities of making the playoffs, of meeting particular teams, or of getting a high draft pick. For instance, here is a graph showing Minnesota's likely first-round opponent from last year:


They salvaged their season with a goalie trade and then maneuvered their way into a match-up with St Louis after seeming sure to meet Anaheim or Nashville. There are various outlets which produce predictions, but their methods are either shrouded in secrecy or known to be weak. I've written extensively about my methods and I publish all the details of models for anybody to read or use for themselves. I make many predictive visualizations---for the Presidents' Trophy, for the lottery picks, for specific playoff match-ups, point projections for individual teams, and much else.

Expository Writing

How should we think about hockey?

In addition to making descriptive and predictive visualizations regularly, I also write accessible, scholarly articles delving into every aspect of hockey for which data is available. For instance, I schemed up a method for calculating score-adjusted shots which has become widely used, as well as a method for doing strength-of-schedule adjustments for counting stats. Some of these articles are theoretical and technically sophisticated; others are simple and short. I illustrate all of these with custom visualizations and publish them free of charge for all who are interested in understanding hockey better.

Tiers
Supporter
$2 or more per month 29 patrons
You will feel serene in the knowledge that you are keeping hockeyviz.com open and free of ads in perpetuity. Your houseplants will flourish.
Subscriber
$5 or more per month 279 patrons
You'll be given access to the matchup toy and all other premium content.
Early Access
$10 or more per month 185 patrons
You'll be given access to each day's graphs in the morning, as soon as they are ready, several hours before they're released to the general public. You'll be given access to the matchup toy and all other premium content.

You will be granted access to my draft twitter account, where I post drafts and work in progress. Patrons at this level are encouraged to comment on drafts and help shape the development of new visualizations.

Goals
$2,928 of $5,000 per month
When I reach $5,000 per month, I'll be able to cover all of my expenses entirely from public hockey work and I won't have to supplement with freelance work or casual teaching.
1 of 1
I make visualizations that help people understand hockey at hockeyviz.com. My graphs, charts, and articles show what happened, suggest what will happen, and deepen our understanding of how we should think about hockey.

Descriptive Visualizations

What happened?

Hockey is a maelstrom of movement and almost every facet of it is a threefold-mixture of two extremely skilled teams and a great deal of happenstance and puck-luck. People have long sought to sift the signal of talent from the noise of randomness with statistics---describing just how unusual and how remarkable are the performances we watch every day. We understand the amazing by comparing it to the ordinary, and our visual intuition for making these comparisons is extremely strong---much stronger than our intuition for numbers in tables.

For instance, here's a graph showing where the Ottawa Senators took shots when Erik Karlsson, their star defender, was on the ice:
 
You can quickly see the kind of impact he has: the big red patch of shots that he takes personally from his usual spot at the right point; the way the team gets great shots from right in front, the way the team avoids he high slot and instead attacks along the goal line. I make many kinds of descriptive graphics that help people understand what happened -- who did what, who was amazing, who hurt their team, who was a non-factor.

I make a raft of different descriptive visualizations, simple and complex, covering single games, seasons, teams, and whole years, published every day of the hockey season on my website, hockeyviz.com.

Predictive Visualizations

What happens next?

At the same time, we want statistics to help us separate the lucky from the good, to understand whose fortunes are about to turn for the better. Prediction requires us to isolate which features of hockey arise from the skill of the players, which of these skills can be repeated in the future, and which of these matter for winning. I make predictive models which I use to simulate seasons and estimate the probabilities of making the playoffs, of meeting particular teams, or of getting a high draft pick. For instance, here is a graph showing Minnesota's likely first-round opponent from last year:


They salvaged their season with a goalie trade and then maneuvered their way into a match-up with St Louis after seeming sure to meet Anaheim or Nashville. There are various outlets which produce predictions, but their methods are either shrouded in secrecy or known to be weak. I've written extensively about my methods and I publish all the details of models for anybody to read or use for themselves. I make many predictive visualizations---for the Presidents' Trophy, for the lottery picks, for specific playoff match-ups, point projections for individual teams, and much else.

Expository Writing

How should we think about hockey?

In addition to making descriptive and predictive visualizations regularly, I also write accessible, scholarly articles delving into every aspect of hockey for which data is available. For instance, I schemed up a method for calculating score-adjusted shots which has become widely used, as well as a method for doing strength-of-schedule adjustments for counting stats. Some of these articles are theoretical and technically sophisticated; others are simple and short. I illustrate all of these with custom visualizations and publish them free of charge for all who are interested in understanding hockey better.

Recent posts by Micah Blake McCurdy

Tiers
Supporter
$2 or more per month 29 patrons
You will feel serene in the knowledge that you are keeping hockeyviz.com open and free of ads in perpetuity. Your houseplants will flourish.
Subscriber
$5 or more per month 279 patrons
You'll be given access to the matchup toy and all other premium content.
Early Access
$10 or more per month 185 patrons
You'll be given access to each day's graphs in the morning, as soon as they are ready, several hours before they're released to the general public. You'll be given access to the matchup toy and all other premium content.

You will be granted access to my draft twitter account, where I post drafts and work in progress. Patrons at this level are encouraged to comment on drafts and help shape the development of new visualizations.