Calculating the Hockey Card, Part 1

In my previous article, I tried to figure out the method APBA uses to calculate the penalty numbers on the hockey cards. I then wanted to tackle the passing numbers (10-15), but I noticed a pattern. Basically, when it came to passing numbers, there was no pattern.

Well, initially there was no pattern. Once I finally broke down and decided to figure out the whole card, a pattern then emerged. So I figured if I was going this deep, I might as well try to write an article on how to calculate a card. Or, in this case, three articles. The first article will go over the top and bottom of the card, i.e. all of the ratings. The second article will go over how to calculate the actual play numbers for the skaters, while the third article will go over the goalies.

For this, I had used a data file I had made a few years ago of the Western Conference players of the 2010-11 set. Using this data, I was able to figure out most of the patterns and calculations. I had to rely on a few other cards from the other seasons I had to figure out some of the outliers.

Please note that this will not be 100% accurate. There were some things I could just not figure out, or there were things that may have been mistakes on the card maker’s part. However, this will get you most of the way there.

The stats you will need:

  • Games played
  • Minutes played: Most stat sites will have this by ice time per game, so just simply multiply that by games played to get the minutes for the season
  • Shots
  • Goals
  • Assists
  • Power Play Goals
  • Minor Penalties
  • Major Penalties
  • Misconduct + Game Misconduct Penalties
  • Faceoffs Won
  • Faceoffs Lost
  • Blocks

And here we go:

Position Ratings: This is based on reputation, with some correlation to ice time.  Higher ice time players tend to get the higher ratings.  Somewhat based on the shots allowed per team, the higher ranked teams (those with the fewest) will have their players average around 3.5 while the lowest (those with the most) will average around 2.5.  This is also somewhat tempered by the block ratings for the defensemen, which are calculated purely by stats.  Teams with a high amount of blocks should have a slightly lower average than those with a low amount of blocks.  For example, 2010-11 Detroit had a very low block rate, but had a higher than expected average defense to compensate.

Forecheck: There is no rhyme or reason to what players get, this is strictly on reputation.  Only forwards get this rating.  A handful will get a 5, about four players per team will get a 4, eight players will get a 3, about one per team will get a 1 and the remainder will get a 2.

Shot Frequency: Take the number of shots, multiply by 163.8, divide by the number of minutes played, and subtract one (unless it is already zero).

Shot Rating: Surprisingly, even though this is based off shot percentage, it is not entirely linear.  Use the shot percentage (Goals / Shots) and assign accordingly:

Shot %RatingShot %RatingShot %RatingShot %Rating

Minutes: Ice Time per game rounded to the nearest minute.

Faceoff: Somewhat based on reputation and somewhat based on stats:

  • All 5’s took at least 48 faceoffs per 60 minutes and had a success rate of 52.8%  However, not everybody who crossed this line got a 5
  • Most of the 4’s took at least 40 faceoffs per 60 minutes and had a success rate of 48%
  • 3’s are either infrequent faceoff takers with good percentages or frequent faceoff takers with mediocre percentages
  • 2’s are either infrequent faceoff takers with below average percentages or frequent takers under 45%
  • 1’s are everybody else who took at least a few faceoffs a game.
  • 0’s those who took less than a few faceoffs a game.

However, there are ratings that make no sense.  Here are a few:

PlayerRatingFO %FO/60 Min
Koivu (MON)552.956
Fiddler (PHO)453.967
Kopitar (LAK)449.943
H. Sedin (VAN)352.053
Backes (SLB)344.444
Backlund (CAL)248.045

Min/Maj/Mas: I detailed how to calculate the penalty ratings in this article.

Clearing: Reputation, some correlation to defensive abilities, no correlation to team shots allowed.  Only defensemen get a clearing rating.

Intimidation: Reputation, no correlation to defensive abilities or penalty minutes.

J: Based off games played: 80+ for J-0, 71-79 for J-1, 60-70 for J-2, 42-59 for J-3, 1-41 for J-4.

C: This is mentioned in the Version 2 Rule Book, but if you don’t have it:

  • Left of Slash (Offensive) is the higher of (Forecheck or Clearing) plus the A Rating (described later in article) plus Intimidation Rating
  • Right of Slash (Defensive) is the highest Defense Rating plus the higher of (Forecheck or Clearing) plus Intimidation Rating

I: This is also mentioned in the Version 2 Rule Book, but if you don’t have it:

  • Left of Slash (Offensive) is the S Rating (described later in article) plus Intimidation Rating
  • Right of Slash (Defensive) is the highest Defense Rating plus the Intimidation Rating

Blk: This is derived from Blocks per game.  2.10 or higher gets you a 3, 1.26-2.09 gets you a 2, .76-1.25 gets you a 1, everything else is a 0.  Only defensemen get this rating, even if a forward warrants one.

A/S: Although this appears in the Version 2 Rule Book, the cards I looked at appear to be a little different.  Here is what I saw:

A/SAssist Rating (for A)Shot Rating (for S)

This is a lot to chew off in one article, so we’ll go over how to make the actual card for the skater in Part 2.



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