There's likely no end in sight to the battle between so-called "stat geeks" and self-proclaimed "traditionalists" - as long as the use of advanced stats in hockey analysis (and really analysis in any sport) not only continues to exist but thrive and evolve, there will probably always be something of a divide.
The stats crowd often throws out accusations of traditionalists being too simplistic, of basing analysis on nothing more than very basic boxcar stats and the inaccurate and limited human eye. On the flip side, traditionalists condemn proponents of advanced stats for clinging too tightly to them, to not actually watching the game and attempting to reduce the flow of hockey to a series of numbers on a page or screen that lack context.
As is the case in any situation that pits one extreme minority against the other, however, there is a large middle ground consisting of those who understand and appreciate both sides and apply both approaches to their analysis - and appreciation - of hockey. And that's where Hockey Prospectus comes in. Grounded in sabermetrics, Hockey Prospectus presents an in-depth look at the past NHL season with an eye on the season ahead, and does so in an accessible way for even the most mathematically-challenged fan.
For example, here's what they have to say about Alex Ovechkin:
And here's what they've got for the newest Cap, Mikhail Grabovski:
And what of the man in net, Braden Holtby?
...you get the idea.
Want more? Of course you do. So buy it - only $14.95 for the digital version, or if you love the feel of a book in your hands (or want to try it for the first time, for you e-young'uns out there) keep an eye on Amazon for the paper copy, available soon for $24.95. You'll be glad you did.
Full disclosure time: the good folks at Hockey Prospectus provided a complimentary copy of the book for our review... but rest assured, we wouldn't have run the above if we didn't believe every word of it.