WHKYHAC: Goal Leaders Viz


The Viz Launchpad Competition

WHKYHAC and Sportlogiq announced a visualization competition using data from the 2023 Season of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association. The entry deadline for the competition is July 2, 2023. Prior to that deadline I’ll post some “trial” data visualizations here.

Today’s Data Viz

This post has a couple of simple data visualizations about the leading goal scorers from the 2023 Regular Season. There’s nothing groundbreaking here, and these visualizations don’t take advantage of the rich play-by-play data provided by Sportlogiq. What the visualizations do is provide information about which players were the best goal scorers in the league on a “rate” basis.

Before getting to the visualizations let’s look at a list of the top goal scorers based on a simple count of the goals scored during the regular season (excluding the playoff games played March 10 - 12):

Marie-Philip Poulin11
Jamie Lee Rattray10
Rebecca Johnston9
Laura Stacey8
Kristin O’Neill8
Abby Roque7
Hannah Brandt7
Jessie Eldridge7
Blayre Turnbull7
Emily Clark6
Hayley Scamurra6
Sarah Nurse6
Kendall Coyne Schofield6
Brianne Jenner5
Ella Shelton5
Alex Carpenter5

This is a straightforward way to present goal data, and it’s what you’ll generally find if you look for official stats at a place such as the PWHPA website. The problem is that this simple list is missing important context about the opportunities each player had to score goals. That’s where “rate” stats can be helpful.

Goals / Game Played

This visualization shows the leading goal scorers on a per game basis. The length of each player’s line quickly draws attention to the players who played fewer games and therefore had fewer opportunities to score goals. Kendall Coyne Schofield and Rebecca Johnston immediately stand out in this regard.

Open the image in a new tab if you want a larger version.

The above visualization also provides information about how each player compares to the league average when it comes to goal scoring. There are two players who were more than three standard deviations above the average Goals / GP rate (which is a very good place to be, assuming it can be maintained). Those two players are Kendall Coyne Schofield and Rebecca Johnston who, as noted above, played in fewer games. This illustrates why a simple count of goals scored can potentially be misleading when discussing the top goal scorers.

Goals / 60 Minutes

Looking at Goals / GP provides additional context about goal scoring but it doesn’t take into account each player’s time-on-ice per game. The next visualization shows each player’s Goals / 60 Minutes of time-on-ice.

Open the image in a new tab if you want a larger version.

This approach shows a cluster of four players who separated themselves from the rest of the league: Kendall Coyne Schofield; Rebecca Johnston; Jamie Lee Rattray; and Marie-Philip Poulin.

The Code

I intend to share the code for my visualizations. Having said that, the code for these visualizations is pretty basic so I’ll omit the code this time.

The End

That’s it. I’ll post more visualizations in the days leading up to the July 2 deadline for the Viz Launchpad Competition.

Mark (18 Skaters)