When Homer Simpson heckles Ned Flanders' Pee-Wee football coaching ability, Marge scolds him, saying "It's easy to criticize!". Homer adds, "Fun, too." When Homer actually does become the coach, he is terrible at it, and the team promptly loses every game.
It is with this in mind that we begin our criticism of Puck Prospectus, a site for which we had such high hopes when it began. The site is certainly doing some very good work, but it's also pointing out some dangerously stupid things.
Here's an example of an egregious error in a writeup on shootouts - the author writes, "Additionally, the Sharks should give Malhotra [lifetime 1 for 2 shooter] a chance to prove whether he’s got the skill or not." This is an absurd claim for two reasons. First, teams practice shootouts, so in this case, the coaches likely (not certainly) have a much larger sample from which to draw. Second, a simple application of the binomial theorem and some playing around with numbers will show that 1 for 2 in shootouts has absolutely no significance. If we assume Dany Heatley's shootout % to be true (which it likely is not), after 2 attempts, he will have a goal 26% of the time. There is no reason to think Manny Malhotra is at all skilled at the shootout, any more than Marek Malik is the greatest shootout artist of all time.
Or how about this article on age and winning which confuses cause and effect, and makes little mention of players' roles on the team when factoring in average age?
Or the obsession of one writer with hockey players' heights and weights, taking to task teams for drafting big defensemen high in the 1st round during the 90s, as though there were any doubt left that these were not good moves?
What supposedly sets apart 'sabermetrics' from traditional methods of observation is rigor, and far too often Puck Prospectus lacks it. We hold out hope that these are merely preliminary observations, and that the writers are also finding their way.