FanPost

Functional Toughness, Winning & Injury Prevention

Functional Toughness is the holy grail of NHL draft picks, the skilled player that can get dirty. The Don Cherry wet dream, a 20 goal scorer, with 10 fights, and a bunch of roughing minors, who hits and blocks and wins battles in the corner. The type of player causes women in the front row to orgasm when they catch a whiff of him. The type of player that causes NHL scouts to visit place is Saskatchewan with slogans like "New York is Big, But This Is Biggar", towns where foreign food is American Hot Dogs.

This player that is result of the unholy union of a Sasquatch, a Polar Bear and a Mermaid, is a rare find. The question is how important is this rare breed to your hockey team?

Like a Steel Toed Shoe

The idea of Functional Toughness is much like a Steel Toed Shoe, something not so robust and cumbersome that you can lift you feet, yet not so flimsy that an ant reaching terminal velocity will injury your athlete's foot.

Thus this player is someone who can eat minutes and play a regular shift, but also providing a physical presence.

The Metric

First was to determine quality of player, cavalierrogue discussed the thought of using points to determine the skill side of the equation, but I also wanted to include the defensive specialist in the discussion as they get a regular shift. So I decided that TOI/Game was my preferred measure. I chose a time longer than the average Gene Principe Pun yet shorter than the average Sitcom without commercials. With the help of Derek Zona arrived at 12 minutes or more.

I then put to use the same formulas discovered in QUALGRIT, from there I separated into Forwards and Defensemen and combined into a nice chart. This is based on the 2013 year.

And I have chosen Kari Byron to present it.

Kari_byron_wallpaper_2-t2_medium

TEAM F RGH F FGT FFUNTUFF D RGH D FGT DFUNTUFF FUNTUFF PTS INJ DISP INJ (5) DISP (5) PTS(5)
BOS 1.5 2.4 3.9 2.4 1.5 3.9 7.8 62 22 1 105 4 306
PIT 2.3 0.8 3.1 2.2 2.2 4.4 7.5 72 19 0 101 4 292
MON 3.5 1.1 4.6 2.0 0.9 2.9 7.5 63 22 1 99 5 279
PHI 2.7 2.4 5.1 1.4 0.9 2.3 7.4 49 25 2 98 5 272
STL 3.0 1.2 4.2 1.6 1.0 2.6 6.8 60 17 0 91 4 263
DAL 1.5 1.5 3.0 1.6 0.9 2.5 5.5 48 18 1 93 4 260
VAN 2.0 1.1 3.1 1.6 0.4 2.0 5.1 59 17 1 93 4 268
OTT 1.7 2.3 4.0 0.3 0.6 0.9 4.9 56 21 1 98 5 257
TB 0.8 0.8 1.6 1.9 1.4 3.3 4.9 40 18 1 93 8 256
WAS 3.0 0.4 3.4 0.6 0.9 1.5 4.9 57 19 0 94 7 257
NYR 1.6 2.1 3.7 0.9 0.1 1.0 4.7 56 18 1 97 7 242
NJ 3.1 1.2 4.3 0.3 0.0 0.3 4.6 48 22 2 98 6 241
MIN 1.9 0.2 2.1 0.4 2.0 2.4 4.5 55 16 4 101 5 232
NSH 2.8 0.4 3.2 0.6 0.5 1.1 4.3 41 19 0 103 2 234
CAR 1.4 0.1 1.5 0.8 1.9 2.7 4.2 42 22 0 102 2 241
CLB 1.6 1.2 2.8 0.5 0.8 1.3 4.1 55 19 0 105 3 265
COL 1.6 1.3 2.9 0.9 0.3 1.2 4.1 39 25 1 103 4 265
TOR 0.9 0.2 1.1 1.4 1.6 3.0 4.1 57 18 1 96 3 277
BUF 1.7 1.7 3.4 0.2 0.3 0.5 3.9 48 18 0 96 3 265
ANA 1.0 0.9 1.9 1.1 0.8 1.9 3.8 66 25 1 102 4 294
NYI 0.7 0.0 0.7 2.1 1.0 3.1 3.8 55 17 1 95 3 264
WPG 1.7 0.6 2.3 0.7 0.7 1.4 3.7 51 18 0 96 3 260
EDM 1.1 0.2 1.3 1.9 0.3 2.2 3.5 45 18 1 91 6 268
CHI 1.5 0.6 2.1 1.0 0.3 1.3 3.4 77 24 1 93 6 279
FLA 0.7 0.3 1.0 1.5 0.7 2.2 3.2 36 18 0 88 5 259
PHO 1.2 0.2 1.4 1.7 0.1 1.8 3.2 51 18 1 97 5 265
LA 1.3 0.5 1.8 0.5 0.5 1.0 2.8 59 13 3
DET 1.0 0.3 1.3 0.5 0.5 1.0 2.3 56 20 1
SJ 0.6 0.7 1.3 0.2 0.5 0.7 2.0 57 19 0
CGY 0.3 0.2 0.5 0.3 0.4 0.7 1.2 42 27 0

The FFUNTUFF is Forward a DFUNTUFF is Defense and Together is FUNTUFF.

CONCLUSIONS

1) Injuries are generally flatlined. Defensive Functional Toughness seems to have a positive effect on injury prevention. Forward Functional Toughness is mostly flatlined when it comes to injury prevention.

2) There is a slightly stronger grouping towards the top of playoff bound teams on DFUNTUFF than FFUNTUFF.

3) There is no real correlation in the limited data points we have for avoiding the type of hits that get Shanahan attention.

4) Winning doesn't necessarily require the acquiring of Functional Toughness. In fact the Blackhawks, Kings, & Red Wings have won without it. Bruins & Penguins have won with it.

With more data points I suspect that we will see this chart even out more.

The Spreadsheet I Used for this it is in Excel Formatting so doesn't translate well in googledocs. If you click on the link you can edit and change things. Feel free to go crazy.

The Copper & Blue is a fan community that allows members to post their own thoughts and opinions on the Edmonton Oilers and hockey in general. These posts do not necessarily represent the views of the staff of The Copper & Blue.

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