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Rush to the Stanley Cup Playoffs with Vince Masi from ESPN’s Stats & Info Group

The Stanley Cup Final returns to ABC this June, and with the Stanley Cup Playoffs just two weeks away, the Stats & Info Group (SIG) is honing in on the 16 teams most statistically likely to contend for the most difficult trophy to win in sports.

Since NHL rights returned to ESPN, Vince Masi and his team of stats experts regularly research data and produce statistical insights to support storytelling and offer deeper perspectives – all to better serve the fans.

How would you describe what you and the SIG team do at ESPN and in what ways does your work appear across ESPN’s live events and platforms?

We strive to hit the goals of our mission statement: to produce world-class data, insights and storytelling to ensure sports fans trust ESPN for depth and perspective.

Our team writes packets 24-48 hours ahead of games filled with team and player-based information. Graphics producers use that to build information panels that go on the side of the screen or in the lower-third portion, while scorebug producers can display the information on the screen at any time. Game producers will use the information to help build pregame analyst packages or video elements. Our play-by-play voices will mix that into their broadcast game boards to supplement their commentary and in between whistles.

What are some of the unique aspects of your job as both a researcher and a fan?

We have so many ways to tell insightful stories. We work with Stathletes — a data & analytics company — to help go beyond goals, assists and points, showing fans who the most effective shooters, passers and defenders are.

We’ll use the technology from NHL EDGE, the league’s player and puck tracking system, to provide information on the fastest skaters, the hardest shooters and the goalies who can stop the hardest shots. Combined with our internal databases,  we have a comprehensive look at the NHL.

Masi working the 2022 Stanley Cup Final

What do you enjoy most about your job and who is your favorite NHL team?

Masi (L) on-site for the 2024 NHL All-Star weekend. He provided stats & info in real-time in studio with a rotating set of guests like Connor McDavid (R) of the Edmonton Oilers and ESPN commentators Ray Ferraro (R) and Steve Levy (R). (ESPN Images/Phil Ellsworth)

I enjoy finding unique information that sets our broadcasts and platforms apart. It could be a historical note or on-ice information that goes beyond goals, assists and points. When that work comes to life on screen or through our commentators, that’s when it’s most rewarding.

Developing relationships with our talent and producers is vital. We build trust to provide accurate information so that when a goal is scored, we’re ready to react in seconds. When a trend develops, we make talent and producers aware.

I am a Devils fan and it’s not looking good this year.

If the playoffs started today, what does that 16-team lineup look like?

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Stanley Cup Final returns to ABC this June. For more information, visit ESPN PressRoom.

Video produced by Spencer Jackson Graphic created by Andrea DiCristoforo

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