Not-So-Advanced Stats: An Introduction To “Fancystats” For Wild Fans

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WOWY (With Or Without You) stats are basically used to show how players perform with and without each other, to figure-out if one is acting as a crutch for the other or vice versa. WOWY tries to separate out the effects of playing with one particular teammate on the Corsi/Fenwick numbers of both players. They are tracked at Stats.HockeyAnalysis. To view a player’s WOWY numbers, select “Players” from the tab at the top of the site, choose a player, then you can choose a season, and either “5v5”, “5v5 ZS Adj” or “5v5 Close ZS Adj”. Each of these will provide his WOWY numbers in a different situation.

5v5 = All even-strength play.

5v5 ZS Adj = ZS Adj (Zone-start adjusted) is something that is done by the guy that runs He says “I adjust for zone starts by ignoring the first 10 seconds after a face off in either the offensive or defensive zone. I do this because it has been shown by both myself and others that the benefit of a zone start is almost completely negated after 10 seconds of play.

5v5 Close ZS Adj = This is the same as previous, only now it filters the data further to only include situations when the score is considered “Close” (the game is tied or a one-goal lead in the first two periods, and tied in the third period). People have analyzed this and noticed that in games where the scoreline favours one team, the trailing team usually tends to start overpowering the possession metrics; because they take shots from just about everywhere to press for a tying goal.

The last category would be considered the most representative of true possession value, with the qualifier that by adding the most filters of data it’s also the smallest category and could be subject to noise from the small sample size.

Here’s an example of a WOWY page from It is Tom Gilbert -> 2012-2013 -> 5v5 Close ZS Adj:

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The players listed under Gilbert are organised by the amount of time they spent on the ice with him. The first non-goaltender is Clayton Stoner, who was Gilbert’s most common defensive partner last year (207:53 minutes together). The chart shows that Gilbert and Stoner’s Corsi For (CF) % together was 42.6. It shows that Gilbert’s when he was away from Stoner (136:05 minutes) was 53.6, and Stoner’s (195:35 minutes) when he was away from Gilbert was 47.9.

So both players did better away from each other, but Gilbert significantly more so. These sample sizes are a bit too small to draw any significant conclusions, due to the lockout-shortened season.

Something that needs to be considered when looking at WOWY numbers is the possibility that players will be taking on vastly different roles when not together. For example, two 3rd line forwards could spend most of the year together, apart from 10 games where 1 moved to the top line and the other to the 4th. They are going to be facing different competition and be playing with players of highly differing skill. This is why context is important when examining WOWY numbers.

A good example of WOWY numbers being put in to action is in this Cam Charron article, where he basically dispels the much-hyped myth that there is good chemistry between Phil Kessel and Tyler Bozak.