August 21 2012 06:53PM
By goaliej54 [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The Bruins enter 2012-13 season with largely the same roster for the third year in a row. There have been some small tweaks here and there, replacing Tomas Kaberle with Joe Corvo and letting Tyler Seguin grow into Mark Recchi's minutes, but the core has largely remained intact.
With one notable exception.
How critical has Tim Thomas been to their recent success? What should we expect from the team going forwards?
August 21 2012 07:11AM
As the billionaires ready themselves to lock-out the millionaires over a few percentage points of total revenues, we here at Nation Radio nevertheless resolutely march on with continued hockey coverage. It may be mid-August and we may be talking about the same stuff in November because the powers-that-be are having their white collar slap fight, but what the hell...it's why we're all here right?
This week, Allan invited some tried and true guests like Corey Pronman, Jonathan Willis and Corey Graham to talk about Oilers prospects, other high-end kids and summer tournaments.
This is Nation Radio.
August 18 2012 11:20AM
The Toronto Maple Leafs aren't the worst franchise in Toronto—Toronto FC, the Argonauts, the Raptors all deserve parts of the title. I would suggest though that neither sports franchise represents the worst overall product in the city. That would be the streetcars, a totally inefficient use of city space. Streetcars confine themselves to one lane and it's in the middle of the street. During rush hour periods, the streets in downtown Toronto are an awful mess due to the city's reluctance to introduce revolutionary technology such as buses.
And, hey, poll many Torontonians, and if you asked them whether they'd keep the streetcars or the Maple Leafs, most would say the Maple Leafs.
August 17 2012 04:26PM
Some may suppose it's appropriate that the Montreal Canadiens were founded the same year they began building the Titanic. Built in the same year were the deck chairs that general manager Pierre Gauthier was shuffling around the deck as the ship began to sank. It's not that Gauthier was purposefully making moves that would ruin the Habs' chances at a playoff spot, but he made a number of questionable decisions in a bleak effort to save face and keep his job.
The butchered heads of failed managers rarely roll, and even when they do, they don't go too far. Gauthier lost his job with the Canadiens and ended up in Chicago as an assistant, while Marc Bergevin, an understudy of the successful Stan Bowman, was hired as Gauthier's replacement in Montreal to oversee hockey's Lower Canadian club.
Funnily enough, things weren't awful for le club hockey last season. Sure, they finished with an Eastern Conference-low 31 wins and 78 points, but that was partially thanks to a league-low 11 wins in 37 one-goal games they played. In games decided by three or more goals, the Habs were 14-12. So what made the difference?
August 17 2012 07:26AM
Duncan Keith had a negative Corsi Rel last year, but he's not weak competition
By Matt Boulton from Vancouver, Canada (Kane, Keith and Kopecky) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Yesterday, we published an article about evaluating quality of competition by looking at the opponents' average time on ice. The best players typically see the most ice time, so a player whose opponents get a lot of minutes is probably facing tough competition. By this metric, top-line forwards appeared to face tougher competition than is suggested by other metrics.
The reason for this became clear when we separated out the quality of forwards and defensemen that a player faced. Even the offense-first forwards who are used against mediocre competition see their opponents' best defensemen. This opened up the interesting possibility of using quality of competition to evaluate not just the strength of the competition, but the type of situations -- facing good forwards and bad defensemen might be similar in difficulty to facing bad forwards and good defensemen, but it is a very different type of usage.
We showed a couple of examples, one from a team that matched their top forwards with the opposition's top forwards, and one from a team that had an offense-first scoring line and a defensive-minded shutdown line. A number of people inquired about their favorite team, so we decided to publish plots for each of the 30 teams for 2011-12.