Hockey is a fluid and complicated game. Sabermetrics’ VORP and OPS and WAR seem to fit baseball well, if a bit coldly. Hockey doesn’t lend itself to discrete analysis the same way baseball does — for baseball, at its core, is a very individual sport when compared to hockey’s constant interaction between players on the ice (not to mention 18 players on each team changing lines on the fly).
Still, observational and emotional analysis can benefit from a reexamination; stats aren’t the end-all of analysis, but sometimes delving into the numbers can shed a different light on a debate. I will try to avoid, as Andrew Lang once wrote, using statistics “as a drunken man uses lampposts — for support rather than for illumination.”