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Sharks Gameday: Introducing the SONA Index

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I'm a big fan of advanced statistics, even though I don't always understand them. I think it's really cool that enterprising hockey fans have taken the time to develop measurements that didn't previously exist. In this spirit I have developed my own advanced statistic: the SONA index.

SONA, of course, stands for Sex Offenders Near Arena.

By using the Family Wachdog website I have ranked NHL teams based on how many sex offenders live or work within a 1.5 square mile radius of the team's home arena.

Further explanation of my methodology and a complete list of teams by SONA can be found after the jump - but before you look at it you should probably guess which team you think will have the highest SONA, because that's fun.

Methodology: I used the address of each team's arena as the center point for a search on Family Watchdog. Then I zoomed the map until I was looking at an approximately 1.5 square mile range around the arena.

Unfortunately, Canada doesn't care enough about its citizens to release its sex offender list to the public. Apparently no one but the Mounties is authorized to see the list - probably because the list is made up of 50% Mounties. So for Canadian teams I have created a separate Canadian SONA index or CSONA, ranking the teams based on the rate of reported sexual assaults in their home cities compared to the national average.

Here's the list:

1 Nashville 458
2 St. Louis 424
3 Detroit 128
4 Washington 124
5 NY Rangers 123
6 Pittsburgh 105
7 Los Angeles 99
8 Phoenix 84
9 Dallas 82
10 Boston 76
11 Buffalo 66
12 Columbus 51
13 Chicago 49
14 Colorado 38
15 San Jose 26
16 New Jersey 19
17 Minnesota 10
18 Florida 7
19 Tampa Bay 7
20 Anaheim 3
21 Philadelphia 1
22 NY Islanders 1
23 Carolina 0

And now the Canadian rankings:

Winnipeg 1st
Edmonton 2nd
Vancouver 3rd
Montreal 4th
Toronto 5th
Calgary 6th
Ottawa 7th

And now on to the analysis:

1) Clearly something weird is going on with Nashville and St. Louis. Both of these cities have several hundred "un-mappable" sex offenders within a very small area around their arena. Nearly every arena has some of these "un-mappables" nearby, but Nashville and St. Louis are by far outliers. According to the Family Watchdog website these people are all real sex offenders, "un-mappable" just means that the map program can't pinpoint their address exactly - but they are still within the viewed map range. There is probably more going on here than I understand, but for now I'm keeping Nashville and St. Louis as the two best (worst?) SONA teams in the league.

2) Assuming we throw out our two outliers, Detroit is the SONA champion, which fits with my prediction before I started gathering this information.

3) The fact that the team with the highest SONA in the league is named the "Predators" is very amusing.

4) Some of these arenas are near parks, rivers, lakes, or other places where no one can live or work, so that significantly hurts their SONA.

5) Even though the Ducks only have three sex offenders within 1.5 square miles of their arena I'll bet that's still higher than the number of hockey fans within the same range.

6) Winnipeg is an awful place. Ilya Bryzgalov should mention CSONA the next time he's talking smack about the city.

7) I suspect that for places like Philadelphia where the SONA seems surprisingly low, this is more of an indication of poor sex offender tracking in certain cities rather than a real dearth of creepy dudes in the area. I can't prove this though.

8) Are their connections between SONA and other statistics? Is SONA a good predictor of team success? These are questions I'll have to return to at another time - this post has already taken me three hours.

Next Game

Florida Panthers
@ San Jose Sharks

Saturday, Dec 3, 2011, 7:30 PM PST
HP Pavilion

Complete Coverage >

Tonight the Sharks (15th ranked SONA) face the Panthers (18th in SONA). The Sharks are coming off an inspirational come-from-behind win against the Canadiens on Thursday. The game featured a reunited second line of Clowe, Couture, and Havlat coming alive and contributing key goals. The Panthers lost against the Kings on Thursday but they did manage to hurt Mike Richards. In the spirit of my previous gameday post, let's take a peek at what a commenter on Litter Box Cats thinks of the Bergenheim hit on Richards:

Richards is an Ahole !

Talk about getting what you deserve !!! That POS Richards has given out many many much more serious cheap shots than that. His look of disbelief was priceless … loved it !!
BTW Mickey …. it was a clean check all the way. If BS gives a suspension for that …. after letting the Joslin hit go …. then he should be fired immediately !

So there's that.

Prediction: Sharks win 26 to 7.