Fancy Stat Summer School – WOWY

What is a WOWY?

A WOWY is a statistic designed to separate out linemate talent from player evaluation. For once, this statistic is an acronym, as it stands for “With Or Without You”. You can use a variety of statistics to create a WOWY, but the most common is Corsi; because it encompasses the most events possible and is the most reliable in small sample sizes, and goals; because they’re the most intuitive and can show the biggest difference. As the name implies, a WOWY separates a player’s statistics out into two categories, while they’re playing with the player you’re separating him from, and while they’re not playing with that player.

Obviously WOWYs apply only to individual players and not to teams.

Practical example

There aren’t any formulas to look at with this statistic, it just separates a player’s ice time and statistics, but here’s how it will look (this sample is over three seasons):

 Player A’s Corsi% with Player B Player A’s Corsi% without Player B Player B’s Corsi% without Player A 54.1% 58.2% 48.5%

 Player A’s TOI with Player B Player A’s TOI without Player B Player B’s TOI without Player A 1131:50 846:41 822:57

From this you can see that the two players are very effective when together, but it appears that Player A is carrying the load.

What does a WOWY tell us?

As previously stated, the WOWY statistic is designed to show what players are driving possession and offense on lines or defense pairings, and which players are passengers, it’s really as simple as that.

What are the limitations of using a WOWY?

The main limitation on WOWYs is ice time. When using a single season’s worth of data, if the lines of a team are fairly consistent, you can get a small sample with the players away from each other, which leads to unreliable data.

Criticisms

Sometimes the limitations and criticisms go hand in hand, and that’s the case here. Another weakness is that the WOWY itself does not show the type of minutes the players in question are playing together, nor when they’re apart. When a line is separated, one of the two players is almost guaranteed to be playing a different role than they were playing before, and this impacts the results.

Where can you find WOWY numbers?

The best place to find WOWYs is a site called Hockey Analysis. From the main page, click on the Player tab, then search for the player you want. You can then choose the timeframe you want to look at, and the site will load WOWYs for every linemate that player had during that timeframe.