December 21 2012 10:10AM
Well it hasn't been the merriest of Christmas seasons this year has it? Instead of squeezing present shopping around Hockey Night in Canada or Battles of Alberta, we've had to put up with histrionic lawyers at press conferences, game cancellation announcements and endless debates about which side of the labor argument is more reprehensible.
December 18 2012 09:09AM
Another day, another round of lock-out links and negotiation items. The World Junoir championships will soon arrive and with them some relief from the hockey-less-ness and legal navel gazing that has plagued us since October. For now, though, let's concentrate on the on-going rich man slap fight.
December 16 2012 11:23AM
The lockout keeps rolling on, but that doesn't mean we lacked for quality content this week. We had another entry in our "Worst to First" jerseys series, talked about the frightening salary cap situation for a bunch of teams, looked at how forward usage by NHL coaches has evolved over the last few seasons, talked about the World Juniors and buyouts, the lockout and the league's very best prospect, as well as half a dozen things I'm not even mentioning.
More after the jump!
December 13 2012 11:24PM
It took a long time, but it looks like we're now at the final table in this high stakes game of poker that is the NHL CBA negotations.
And yes, this this is and always has been a heads up game. Neither you, nor I, nor any of the
tens of thousands tens of hundreds tens out there that organized or took part in sit-ins, petitions or protests have a seat at this table, despite the fact that both sides are playing with our money.
Although, is this really any different that the real world? I mean, this pretty much describes our government institutions, and even more so the professional gamblers on the investment banking circuit that nearly blew up the house of cards that is our global financial system.
But I digress. Let's have a look at where we are heading into this final round...
December 13 2012 02:55PM
Part of what I think contributes to the success of offensive starts like Jonathan Toews and the Sedin twins is the fact that they've had very dependable third lines behind them in recent years. I recently went to Behind the Net, parsed through ice time data for offensive zone start rate and quality of competition to see if there was a league-wide trend towards adopting a system where the third liners were given a higher level of importance.
Turns out, yes, actually, even over the last three years, it's very noticeable. In the 2009-2010 season, third and fourth liners were pretty interchangeable, playing against middling competition, usually in offensive zone situations. What's happened since then is that replacement-level players and fourth liners have seen less ice time, while first liners and third liners have picked up the bulk of the difference.