Congratulations to Michael Parkatti!

Copper & Blue contributor Michael Parkatti has won the Oilers Hackathon 2.0!

Today is quite a special day for us here at Copper & Blue.

One of our contributors, the ever-brilliant Michael Parkatti has been named the winner of the Edmonton Oilers' "Hackathon 2.0" contest.

From the article linked to above:

"We were extremely excited about all the thoughtful submissions we received from everyone who entered the Hackathon," said Nick Wilson, a member of the Oilers Analytics Working Group and Chair of the Hackathon 2.0.

"Michael's entry was particularly unique. The amount of time and dedication he put into his methodology was outstanding. He went above and beyond. His entry was robust, thought-provoking and highly creative."

Broken down to the bare essentials, Parkatti's submission measures the effect of coaching strategy on standing points, which looks at three main points of study concerning line matching, zone starts and line composition.

Michael's submission, much like some of his analysis done both here and at his own site boysonthebus.com used analytics to help find correlations between certain choices made by coaches during the game and the effect of those decisions on the team's placement in the standings. A more detailed explanation, also from the article on the team's website:

Broken down to the bare essentials, Parkatti's submission measures the effect of coaching strategy on standing points, which looks at three main points of study concerning line matching, zone starts and line composition.

"I've always been interested in coaching strategies, so my goal heading in was to see if there was a number that I could come up with to compare various strategies between coaches across the NHL and see if it had any effect winning games," he said.

Parkatti posted the problem by combining three metrics to determine how a coach is composing his lines, where their shift is starting and who they're deployed against.

1. Opposition Line Matching - Corsi Relative Quality of Competition (QoC): This measures the shot attempt differential (per 60 minutes) of opposing players relative to their own team that a certain player faces. It's a proxy for ‘how good' the competition a certain player plays against is.

2. Zone Starting - Offensive Zone Start %: This shows what percentage of a certain player's shifts started in the offensive zone.

3. Internal Line Composition - Corsi Relative Quality of Team (QoT): This measures the shot attempt differential (per 60 minutes of ice time) of the teammates a certain player plays with.

"Basically, the analysis looks at the variance in the forward core," said Parkatti. "If there's a low variance in when a line starts in the offensive zone, that would suggest that the coach isn't really differentiating his strategy there. If there's a low variance, it would show that there's a lot of differentiation of who a coach has thought about playing in the offensive and defensive zone.

"The idea is to combine all those different ideas to create the Coaching Activity Index (CAI), which, ultimately, is an average of the three other criteria."

Parkatti calculated the Coaching Activity Index for all 30 teams over the past four seasons in order get a sense of which teams employed a line-matching strategy. His hypothesis was that a higher CAI score correlates positively with a team's standings points.

"I was looking for statistical significance and a relationship between the two," he said. "By the end of the (2012-13) season, it was pretty clear that this year, like every other year I calculated, showed fairly high statistical significance between the metric I created and how teams placed in the standings."

Apologies for the lengthy quote there, but we thought it best to let Michael describe his work in his own words.

As a result of his win in this contest, Michael will now be given the opportunity to join the team's Analytics Working Group in some capacity. I imagine Michael will share whatever information he is able to about what exactly that means for him, Copper & Blue and the Oilers once all of those details are sorted out, but for now, on behalf of all of the writers here at Copper & Blue, we would like to offer our most sincere congratularions to Michael for this outstanding achievement.

We could not be more proud of what you have accomplished. The Oilers are a better franchise today for adding someone of your knowledge, creativity, and intelligence to their organization.

Please join us in celebrating Michael's achievement...

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