A common retort that many in the hockey analytics community have gotten is: “have you ever played the game?”
The insinuation, of course, is that if you haven’t played hockey at a high level, let alone in the NHL, then you can’t possibly understand the game. Certainly not as well as those who have. And that when it comes to evaluating players or making decisions on how best to improve a hockey team, the former players and lifelong hockey men that populate the league’s front offices can always fall back on their instinct for the game in ways that no one else can.
But let’s talk about relying on your gut instincts to make decisions.Continue reading