14 May 2007
Statistics are a good thing, a very good thing. But statistics need to be accumulated over a large sample, or they will have anomalies in them. When writer's use these anomalies to make a point that's not even close to true it really bothers me. I'm going to keep the author anonymous because he's not the only writer who does this, but here's a quote from his story:
The Ducks' power play once again laid a goose egg (sorry about the fowl confusion). They were 0-for-5, including one man-advantage opportunity in overtime, when Mikael Samuelsson shot the puck over the glass from the Wings' defensive zone. It follows an 0-for-7 performance in Game 1, which the Wings won 2-1.
Ok yes this is technically true, but anyone who watched the game last night knows that they scored as time expired on the powerplay twice last night. The player coming out of the box had no impact on the goal, so in all reality the Duks scored 2 goals with a man advantage last night.
Now what really bothers me is not that the stats show they were 0-5, but that the writer used this stat to imply that the Ducks powerplay was awful last night. This is a case of a writer manipulating statistics to make his point, and it bothers me to hell. IT also makes him sound like he didn't even watch the game.
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