Thursday, April 9, 2015

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

S̶o̶m̶e̶t̶i̶m̶e̶s̶ ̶n̶u̶m̶b̶e̶r̶s̶ ̶l̶i̶e̶.̶ ̶W̶e̶l̶l̶,̶ ̶m̶a̶y̶b̶e̶ ̶i̶t̶'̶s̶ ̶p̶e̶o̶p̶l̶e̶'̶s̶ ̶i̶n̶t̶e̶r̶p̶r̶e̶t̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶n̶u̶m̶b̶e̶r̶s̶.̶ ̶A̶n̶d̶ ̶I̶ ̶g̶u̶e̶s̶s̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶y̶'̶r̶e̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶ ̶l̶y̶i̶n̶g̶,̶ ̶p̶e̶r̶ ̶s̶e̶,̶ ̶i̶f̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶y̶ ̶a̶c̶t̶u̶a̶l̶l̶y̶ ̶b̶e̶l̶i̶e̶v̶e̶ ̶w̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶y̶ ̶s̶a̶y̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶b̶e̶ ̶t̶r̶u̶e̶,̶ ̶r̶i̶g̶h̶t̶?̶ ̶M̶a̶y̶b̶e̶ ̶p̶e̶o̶p̶l̶e̶ ̶a̶r̶e̶ ̶j̶u̶s̶t̶ ̶d̶u̶m̶b̶.̶ Sometimes people are dumb.

Recently, some very intelligent people have talked about Patrik Elias's historic night, recording his 1,000th career point. According to Puck Daddy, it was good enough to earn him 1st star of the night honors. I know what you're thinking: Who the fuck gives a shit? The answer? Pretty much nobody. Including me, really. But I like to make fun of people anonymously over the internet from the safety of my mom and dad's basement. It makes me feel like a manman. So, lucky you Puck Daddy!

Ok. So, Elias had a goal and two assists last night. That's a nice game. Filled the stat sheet pretty well. On some nights, that'd be worthy of 1st star of the night honors. But other things also happened last night. First, Semyon Varlamov recorded a 54 save shutout, something that Mr. Daddy even mentioned was an NHL record for a visiting goaltender. Then, David Backes went and scored four unanswered goals against Arizona. 

To put things into perspective, here are some frequency charts of the above events.

Since 1987-88(When the NHL started tracking individual game performances) there have been twenty instances in which a goaltender has recorded 54+ saves in a regular season game. Three of those were shutouts. Bob Mason, congratulations. You were involved in a 7-7 tie against the North Stars in 1988, in which you stopped 56 of 63 shots. Man. The 80's. 

Since 2005-06(When the NHL started taking themselves seriously), we've seen a four goal game twenty-nine times. Why not since 1987-88, you say? Because. Man. The 80's.

Since 2005-06, we've seen an individual game of at least one goal and at least two assists two thousand eight hundred and thirty-four times, plus however many times that happened tonight. 

I understand why he was listed as the first star of the night, but we're not referring to career statistics here. If we wanted to find out the "first star of active career tonight", we could've done that. And it would've been Jaromir Jagr. And then Jarome Iginla. Then Sergei Gonchar. 

I wouldn't even care, at all, if it weren't for the fact that two people accomplished legitimately impressive feats last night. Obviously Varlamov has no control over how many shots he faces, so really we should be congratulating Colorado's terrible defence. But it doesn't change the fact that the dude had a 54 save shutout. And we all remember what happened last year when Tomas Hertl had himself a "four goal night".

Whatever. I'm dumb. Blogs are dumb. Sven is a biker in Road Rash II. Man, I clubbed that guy off his bike so many times.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Numbers Never Lie.

Patrik Elias had a big night tonight, netting a goal and adding "two apples" in a 4-1 Devils victory. His 2nd assist, an empty net goal by Mike Cammalleri, pushed Elias's career point total to 1,000. He became the 82nd player in the history of the league to reach that special mark. So that got me wondering...where does he rank all-time in points? After a bit of digging, I came across this list. Holy crap! he's 82nd? THE NUMEROLOGY!!!

I'm dumb, blogs are dumb. Marbles are round.

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Greg Popovich of the NHL

Gregg Popovich, a man quoted repeatedly as saying "f*** the fans, I win rings," might be one of the best coaches in any professional sports leagues. Coach Popovich, hereinafter known as Pop-Pop, is known for sticking to fans, the league, whoever he wants in an effort to win games. This often includes benching players, often times when facing big-draw opponents. However you feel about it, he gets results.

The NHL saw some similar tactics by the GM of the Flyers, Ron Hextall. The NHL's CBA does not allow for team activity, including travel, from Dec 24-26. The Flyers played Nashville on Dec 27, meaning the team would have to travel on game-day. Ron-Ron, much like Pop-Pop told ESPN, "F*** it. I'm going to a honkey-tonk." He went on to add,  "The players came to me weeks ago. They wanted to travel the day before as opposed to the day of the game. I talked to them, they said everybody was on board," he said. "Once I went through the whole thought process -- we pay guys a lot of money, we're in the hunt for a playoff spot, we want to give our team every chance to win." Pop-Pop would be proud, except...

They lost 4-1 that night in Nashville, are 13th in the East and Ron-Ron is the GM.

Whatever, I'm dumb. This is dumb, blogs are dumb. Here is this.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Edmonton Oilers make changes, change nothing.

The Oilers made a high profile move today, acquiring Derek Roy from the Nashville Predators in exchange for Mark Arcobello. I assume the main goal was to bring in some veteran leadership to help push those young kids along.

I understand Arcobello isn't a major prospect, and an undersized forward isn't something you build your team around, but it's not like he's a total slouch.  A defensively responsible forward, he can handle minutes on the power play and penalty kill.  Plus, he's only in his second season and he's shown some signs of success in the NHL so far. And his 28 points in 15 AHL games while the NHL was locked out show his potential could actually be pretty high. Small Sample Size, I know...minor league, I know. This isn't the basis of my argument. Still, two points per game over double digit games is impressive, and it's not like this was in junior hockey when stats like those are more common. He was playing against professional hockey players.

Edmonton is full of young players, but that's exactly what a rebuilding team needs.  Just because it hasn't worked so far doesn't mean the solution is to get rid of young, cost controlled players for aging veterans(who are also undersized).  Arcobello is an RFA after this season and I can't imagine he'll demand a high cap hit. When your team already has $22 million locked away for Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Benoit Pouliot(!!!) for the next four plus seasons, a guy like Arcobello is exactly what they need, especially considering they'll need to worry about a Draisaitl contract extension in a couple years(and the Yakupov contract that expires this season). That's not even including the David Perron, Teddy Purcell, and to a lesser extent, Boyd Gordon contracts all expiring after next season.  They're going to be in some trouble financially pretty soon. Because there's only so much money you can devote to a group of forwards, especially when it's obvious their main problem is defence. just finished clearing waivers. Like...JUST finished clearing waivers. If Edmonton wanted him, they could've just...had him. Without giving up anyone in the process.

Josh Cooper from Puck Daddy has a different opinion. He thinks the move was good for both teams(he was half right).  Using an Oilers Nation quote, he writes this:

Wait … but if Roy was on waivers, why did Oilers GM Craig MacTavish trade for him?
There is actually solid reasoning behind this says Oilers Nation:
 Arcobello is on a cheap, one-year contract worth $600,000; Roy is on a cheap, one-year contract worth $1.0 million. Arcobello has 12 points in 36 games; Roy has 10 points in 26 games ...
 ... For one thing, this reduces the dollars the team is taking on significantly
The team SIGNIFICANTLY reduces the amount of dollars it's taking on? The difference between $600,000 prorated and $1,000,000 prorated is going to be like $200,000. How is that significant? I know I mentioned earlier that the Oilers might be in trouble financially, but not this season. And if the difference between $200,000 is make-or-break, that's some kind of financial trouble.
and for another it doesn't add a contract to the 50-man list.
Ok, well that part makes sense, I guess...
And ...
They get a player who has been a more effective scorer at even-strength this season.
They get a veteran with 692 games of NHL experience rather than a sophomore who has yet to reach 82 games
When you put it that way it sounds like Edmonton got what it needed in this case.
Ok. I get it. Right now, Derek Roy might be a little bit better than Mark Arcobello. But your team is 7-22-7. You're ten points behind Buffalo. The Buffalo Sabres that are last place in shots per game AND shots allowed per game. BUFFALO. Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.  The BUFFALO!!!! SABRES!!!!!!!! RIVET!!!!!!

This seems like the kind of move a contender would make to bolster their roster before their playoff run. It's not going to do anything for Edmonton. First of all, it's been five years since Roy has had any sort of legitimate success in the NHL, and now that he's on the wrong side of 30, I can't imagine this will help resurrect his career. But more importantly, he signed a one year contract in the summer. I doubt very highly he's going to re-sign with Edmonton if he could potentially spend his twilight years on a contending team.

So what does this move do? Marginally improve the team now while hurting their future? Cool. Nice job. I mean, at this point the season's a total wash, so what's the upside to a slight roster improvement? Best case scenario with this deal is they move from 30th in the league to 29th or 28th, and then their odds at McDavid/Eichel go down.
But acquiring Roy wasn't all Edmonton did. No, no, no. They also acquired Matt Fraser from Boston in a waiver deal. Wow! Matt Fraser!  You might remember him as the centerpiece of the deal that sent Tyler Seguin to Dallas. Or, maybe not. Anyway, here's a picture of Matt Fraser whiffing on a slap shot and breaking his stick.

Nice form.

Apparently this is the only thing he's ever done, otherwise I assume they would've found a better picture of him.
A quick recap of what out buddy Matt brings to the table:
51 NHL games. 6 goals, 2 assists, 8 points. 17PIM, 65 hits 10:27ATOI, 25 career seconds short-handed, 13:22 career powerplay. So, a 4th liner who doesn't contribute on special teams, doesn't provide offence, and isn't overly physical.  Nice. A good depth move, says Oilers Nation. Hey, at least he's not undersized!
The only problem I see with this is that he adds a contract to the 50-man list.......
and for another it doesn't add a contract to the 50-man list.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Looking forward to watching some All-Stars? Montreal, Riga, Chicago, and Pittsburgh are.

Ladies and Gentlemen, your 2015 NHL all star team! The Chicago Blackhawks/Montreal Canadiens/Pittsburgh Penguins!

Now, your starting lineup, based on leading votes per position in each conference.

In the Western Conference:

Starting Goaltender, from the Chicago Blackhawks, Corey Crawford!
At Defence, from the Chicago Blackhawks, Duncan Keith! And from the Chicago Blackhawks, Brent Seabrook!
At Centre, from the Chicago Blackhawks, Jonathan Toews!
At Left Wing, from the Chicago Blackhawks, Patrick Sharp!
And starting at Right Wing, from the Chicago Blackhawks, Patrick Kane!

Now, for the Eastern Conference:

Starting goaltender, from the Montreal Canadiens, Carey Price!
On Defence, from the Montreal Canadiens, P.K. Subban! And from the Pittsburgh Penguins, Kris Letang!
At Centre, from the Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby!
Starting Left Wing, best player in the NHL, most certainly better than Nicklas Backstrom...Zemgus Girgensons!
And starting Right Wing, from the Pittsburgh Penguins, Evgeni Malkin!

I wonder who's going to win the Phil Kessel award at this year's mid-winter classic?

Friday, November 28, 2014

Rick Nash, no longer a physical player.

Rick Nash is a changed man. Long forgotten are last season's woes, and he's moved on to greener pastures.  The former goal scoring guru is back to his old ways this year, with 16 goals so far through the first 22 games of the season, good for 2nd in the NHL. After a short-handed tally this afternoon, Mike Emrick asked Eddie Olczyk what surprised him more: his struggles last season, or his bounce back so far this year. Ed's response:

I was more surprised, Doc, with how physical he was last year. I thought he was an effective player, I mean he had chances, he didn't have as many chances, but I think he was just trying to do everything. He was trying to get in on the forecheck, he was trying to hit players ... I would say probably more last year, Doc with the way that he played, or he was trying to be a really physical player, which, you gotta be a physical player in this league, but the way he was playing, I think, was more surprising. 

Rick Nash, hit totals by season, since 2007-08:

2007-08: 80GP, 67 Hits
2008-09: 78GP, 71 Hits
2009-10: 76GP, 121 Hits
2010-11: 75GP, 91 Hits
2011-12: 82GP, 104 Hits
2012-13: 44GP, 46 Hits
2013-14: 65GP, 11 Hits
2014-15: 22GP, 21 Hits

Does anything stick out here? I'm noticing something about Nash's level of physical play last season.  Eddie might have have accidentally stumbled onto something. Sometimes you can properly address a problem, even with all the wrong information.  Another thing worth noting though might be his opportunity. After averaging around 19-20 minutes/game for his entire career, his level dropped to 17:01 last season.  The shot totals were there, and realistically, so were the goals. 26 goals in 65 games isn't so bad, it's just, ya know...expectations and stuff.  That, and the 13 assists last season.

The boring truth, though, is probably that he's just been lucky this year, after being unlucky last season. With a career 12.7 shot percentage, that number dropped to 10.1% last year, the second lowest mark of his career. So far this year, 20% of his shots are going in the net. Eventually this is going to regress, and Eddie will blame the slump on lack of discipline in the defensive zone, or something of that ilk.