Was Weston Goodman Robbed of MCHC Defensive Player of the Month?
NEW YORK, NEW YORK—
On October 29th the Metropolitan Collegiate Hockey Conference (MCHC) released their Offensive and Defensive players of the month. With 31 points in 6 games, Columbia Forward Andy Dunn was the obvious choice for the Offensive award. However, your attention should be directed to the Defensive award. St. Thomas Aquinas College Goaltender Carl Lorenz was honoured with the award after posting a 3-0 record and a .915sv% across 4 games according to the MCHC website. With all due respect to Lorenz, the following will be an investigative look on whether the MCHC failed to recognize the obvious advanced analytics in favor of Columbia Defenceman Weston Goodman.
When the press release came out from the MCHC regarding October’s players of the month, I received so many texts, calls, and Twitter notifications regarding the matter that I had to keep my phone on Do Not Disturb for the entire day. Hundreds and hundreds of die-hard MCHC and Columbia fans were all wondering the same thing: why not Weston Goodman? A strong question. An even stronger one, in fact, when one takes a shallow dive into his sabermetrics.
To begin simply, it’s important to note that Goodman is third in the entire MCHC in points. Not just among defencemen, but among everyone. He has 9 goals and 10 assists for 19 points in 6 games, and trails only his teammates Ben Vermette and Andy Dunn for scoring. He leads all defencemen in goals, assists, and points, but the numbers go much, much deeper than that.
Through 6 games, Weston Goodman has posted—and I know this pointing out the obvious—the highest Impact Zone Rating (IZR) (97.910) in the history of the MCHC. In fact, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, it is the 3rd highest Impact Zone Rating in the history of American collegiate hockey since the statistic was invented in 1977. Only Cale Makar of UMass-Amherst in 2018-2019 (101.091) and Brain Leetch of Boston College in 1986-1987 (99.010) have ever posted higher IZR through 6 games of a season. Goodman’s ludicrous advanced sabermetrics don’t end there. Here is a list of all the readily available and easily accessible analytical statistics that Weston Goodman leads the MCHC in among Defencemen, courtesy of Columbia Hockey’s Head Sabermetrician Jeremy “Quant” Coste.
· Corsi For % at Even Strength: 92.15%
· Fenwick For % at Even Strength: 93.37%
· Relative Defensive Rating per 60 Minutes: 88.12
· Offensive Zone Start %: 95.87%
· Pennyson Ratio: 8:1
· Adjusted Pennyson Ratio: 2.3
· Pinpoint Skater Factor per 60 Minutes: 110.75
· Expected Shot Share per 60 Minutes: 33.35
· Adjusted Passing Percentage: 89.32%
· Fenwick For %: 79.12%
· Jorgenson Coefficient: 2.6176
It remains unclear why the MCHC chose to ignore these stats when making their decision. To go along with goals, assists, and points, Goodman leads the MCHC among defencemen in 11 analytical categories, which is the most through 6 games in the history of American collegiate hockey.
We may never know why Weston Goodman was not named the MCHC Defensive Player of the Month for October, but one thing can be sure: Weston Goodman is having—and is on pace to have—one of the greatest seasons by a defenceman in the history of American collegiate hockey. After running 100,000 simulations through the Jeremy Coste Quantitative Model of Hockey Defence, Goodman came away with the award at a 99.0000297% rate. To make matters worse, the MCHC, lingering archaically in old-time hockey decision-making, refused to consider Goodman’s O-Zone Density Matrix as it pertains to the special derivation of Gauss’s Law (shown below):
Weston Goodman is walking amongst greatness through 6 games according to virtually every number you can possibly concoct about hockey; his Coste Model Rating was 1007.99 after 100,000 simulations.
Should there be an investigation into why he was not honoured for the month of October? Or will the first year defenceman just continue about his business, posting numbers that we have never seen in the history of the MCHC? I asked a source familiar with the situation what they had to say about the controversy, “I’ve been watching MCHC hockey for as long as I can remember and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a dman play like [Goodman]. He has poise, he has gusto, he has awareness in all situations in every zone of the ice. It’s f****d what this guy can do on the ice. Even if he wasn’t given the award, I don’t think there is anyone denying that he’s the best defenceman in this league. I love watching him play. Carl Lorenz is a damn good hockey player, but Goodman is a whole new deal when it comes to defence.”
Numbers, along with anecdotal evidence, never lie.
Zack Marcil is the Senior Reporter for the Columbia University Men’s Hockey Team, and a Senior Insider covering Ivy League Athletics. You can find him on Twitter @longshadowjr