asked: or, if you could order around a bunch of fancy stats people/observers to build a data set, is there anything you'd particularly like to investigate in particular?
(She actually asked two questions, but the other one has a longer answer and will come at a later date.)
I have ...several answers for this!
1. First, I'd like to see the on-going zone entry/exit stuff expanded - more teams! more years! centralized database! (i suspect a proper bit of crowd sourcing could make this happen - claim a game via tick box, upload the standard excel sheet when you're done, allow for multiple people to claim the same game and cross-validate their answers, and then run this whole thing into a queryable database a la extraskater.) as best i know, no one does this for the hawks currently. someone needs to kidnap shutdownline, basically.
2. tracking change of possession. it's related to zone entries in that frequently zone entries become a turn-over, but i'd be also interested in how often turnovers come from bad rebounds, hits, datsyukian takeaways, etc, etc. (unlike many people, i LOVE interrogating hits. i keep thinking that with enough data, people will notice they're* meaningless.)
*technically i think there are several kinds of hits, and only MOST of them are meaningless - so i'd love to be able to distinguish between a hit that takes you out of position vs one that forces a turnover.
3. better show data. more accurate, more granular, plus whatever whoever at SN is doing trying to meaningfully understand shot quality.
4. realtime tracking of every player on both teams at all times plus the location of the puck.
granted, that last one is probably less 'stats folks' and more 'GMs', but, seriously, think about it: we could QUANTIFY how often that backdoor PP play doesn't work.