October 09 2012 04:48PM
2011-12 was a great season for the New York Rangers, possibly their best season since winning the Stanley Cup in 1994. They went to the third round of the playoffs for the first time since 1997, recorded more points than they have in a year since 1994, and put up a plus-39 goal differential, their best since the lockout. They showed themselves a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.
Will they rise or fall from their current position?
October 09 2012 09:30AM
Save percentages have been increasing sharply in recent years. Some of this is because there have been fewer penalties called, but even just at even strength we see a clear increase in save percentage.
How do we explain this?
October 08 2012 09:46AM
By somegeekintn [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
When it came to the top of teams who “lucked their way to success” last season, the topic that was most scrutinized by the hockey stats community was the Minnesota Wild’s hot start. However, there was another team who probably fit that category a little better and that team was the Nashville Predators.
October 07 2012 09:13AM
After the jump: why the 2012-13 season won't be cancelled, looking at the possibility of replacement players, trying to identify players that raise their game in the post-season, and a lot more.
October 06 2012 05:28PM
Goalies are obviously important in hockey. They're the last line of defense to an otherwise huge target. They, like catchers in baseball, get unique equipment tailored to the unique job they do . The unique role they play doesn't necessarily make each goalie unique. Over the past few years the idea that there isn't much difference between most of the leagues starting goalies has grown legs. Goalie performance has high variance, and LeafsNation czar Cam Charron's observation about the recent playoff goalies puts the issue in context:
Los Angeles, Florida, Detroit, Washington, Phoenix, all these teams got competent-to-great goaltending for pennies on the dollar and all made the playoffs. Last season, the Tampa Bay Lightning spent more on their combination of Dwayne Roloson, Sebastien Caron and Mathieu Garon than any of those teams and never found the right guy.
NHL teams largely participate in a crapshoot to find capable goaltending. Fantasy GMs do too, but they might actually have a more difficult job finding capable goalies given the standard set up of fantasy leagues. Four of the ten standard scoring categories in Yahoo leagues are attributed to netminders. Each of a team's two starting goalies then accounts for 20% of that team's scoring potential in a head to head league. This obviously forces GMs to key in on "elite" goaltending talent earlier than they otherwise would.