First Star, Worst Star: January 25th, 2015

jeanshorts
January 25 2015 02:08PM

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First Star. Worst Star. All-Star. All-Star Weekend. It's the All-Star Weekend Edition of First Star, Worst Star! 

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How big is each All-Star team's cap hit?

Cam Lewis
January 24 2015 09:00AM


Here you go, just what you wanted — some cold hard facts regarding the NHL All-Star game. I know, you probably never would have guessed, but neither Team Foligno or Team Toews is cap compliant. Team Foligno seemed to go nuts with their spending money, as they came in with a cap hit of $118.227, while Team Toews was much more frugal, icing a team that would cost $114.785.

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Toronto: a tale of two teams

Cam Lewis
January 23 2015 08:00AM

It’s been a tale of two teams in Toronto this season. On one hand, you have the Leafs who seemed to be legitimate playoff contenders in mid-December, but on the other, you have the team who has fallen off a cliff by the All-Star break. The Leafs have lost their last six games and fans appear to be draft watching at this point, a far cry from where they were just two months ago when they were in the midst of a six game winning streak. 

When things were riding high for the Leafs, they had a stretch between Nov. 20 and Dec. 16 where they went 10-1-1, improving their record from 9-8-2 to 19-9-3. Since Dec. 18, which was the end of their six game winning streak, the Leafs have gone 3-14-0. Over that time, their record has fallen from a very respectable 19-9-3 all the way to 22-23-3. 

So which of these two versions of the Toronto Maple Leafs is legitimate? Are they as good as they seemed to be back in early December when times were good, or are they as bad as they are right now in the thick of their longest losing streak of the season? Let’s break down each streak and see.

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The Roundup

Nation World HQ
January 23 2015 07:30AM

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The loser point, Leafs piling up losses, David Clarkson, Flames buying or selling, Jeff Petry, an Oilers cartoon, skill players fighting and more in this week's Roundup.

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The NHL Draft: Maybe Size Does Matter

money puck
January 22 2015 11:30AM

Based on his 6'3 frame and elite scoring rate, Dylan Strome is a virtual lock to be a future NHLer.

Frequent readers of CanucksArmy will know that one of the shared passions that authors on our site have is trying to find a way to improve the Canucks drafting, which has historically been abysmal

Much of the discussion from the fancy stats crowd when it comes to draft evaluation has centered around picking the player with higher point totals in junior, as we have found there to be a strong correlation between a prospect’s draft-year points-per-game, and NHL games player (pearson’s r =.41 indicating strong positive relationship), which tends to be a moderately better indicator of future NHL success than NHL's Central Scouting final rankings.

Other than the statistical argument, the holistic argument for this is compelling: in order for a prospect to succeed at the NHL level they should not just be good junior players, they should dominate at the junior level.

Critics of this school of thought have always had one major concern: scoring against kids in junior doesn't mean it will translate to scoring against men in the NHL. You need to be bigger, faster, and stronger to make it in the big league. This is why many, including scouts, tend to gravitate towards bigger players, whose stats may not sparkle as much as their smaller peers.

This sentiment has been scoffed at by the analytics types (myself included) who tend to rally around the prospects with the gaudy numbers, over the big “meat and potatoes” types. But is there something to this school of thought that bigger is better?

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