Dear Oilers: Find New Official Scorers

The inconsistency of the NHL's official scorers is well-known in the 'Sphere.  Multiple posts have been written about the disparity from rink to rink, especially in the RTSS data.  From Objective NHL:

Home arena bias seems to be most pronounced with respect to the RTSS data, which includes statistics like hits, takeaways, giveaways, blocked shots, and so forth.

Hawerchuk at Behind The Net has harped on the problems with the Rangers' data:

Madison Square Garden has long been the bane of NHL shot analysis.  For whatever reason, the official scorers at MSG have incredible difficulties figuring out where the puck has been shot from.

There seems to be no standard data definitions, which leads to wild discrepancies in the counts.  On top of that, because each team handles the tracking and recording of this data in their home rink, bias sets in.  One of the rinks with an extreme bias is Rexall Place.

Bruce talked about the problems at Rexall Place, namely that the official scorer has what can only be an incredibly broad definition of a giveaway:

The league leaders in giveaways are none other than your Edmonton Oilers, who have been charged with a scandalous 972 such turnovers, nearly triple the 359 charged to the Blue Jackets. Not surprisingly, most of this discrepancy can be found on home ice, where trigger-happy statisticians have charged the Oil with 737 giveaways, compared to just 235 on the road.

Bruce isn't the only one who has noticed a significant problem.  John at In Lou We Trust found the same ridiculous disparity from years gone by:

I can point out examples beyond just blocked shots.  Here's a stark one: the Edmonton Oilers got tagged with 779 giveaways at home last season.  On the road, only 279 were counted.  While they exceeded the mean by an incredible amount at home, they're actually close to the mean on the road.  The Oilers were awful last season, but I find it really hard to accept that they were so exceptionally awful at home throughout 2009-10 that they gave away the puck more often. It's more likely that their scorers had a far more liberal definition of a giveaway compared to other teams.

The gentlemen at Nucks Misconduct noticed another failing of the official scorer, again clouded by bias, at Rexall place on Saturday night.  This sequence, where Darcy Hordichuk took a run at Keith Ballard...


...only to end up on his head, was scored as a hit for Hordichuk, not Ballard.

If the Oilers aren't willing to address this, the NHL should have a conversation with the club and perform an audit of the numbers the scorers at Rexall have tabulated.  That alone should be plenty of evidence that a change is necessary.

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