August 03 2012 11:41AM
Will Pavelec earn his new contract?
photo by Michael Miller, via Wikimedia Commons
The Winnipeg Jets enter 2012-13 in a good place for an organization born from the Atlanta Thrashers' scrapheap. Still one of the youngest teams in the league, the Jets have a number of their best young players already contributing at a major-league level (Evander Kane, Zach Bogosian, Alexander Burmistrov). Bolstered by the eager reception of Winnipeg crowds in their first season, now the team should be able to get a better sense of the market abilities of the organization this year...there have already been whispers of an internal cap, no surprise in a location like the 'Peg. It already seems pretty clear that GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is focused on making the signings he needs to make (resigning Tobias Enstrom and very likely Evander Kane) rather than the ones he might dream of making (a la the Minnesota Wild).
The fact of the matter is that the 2012-13 Jets are very similar to last year's Jets, with at least one big addition and a few more fresh faces. This should be great news for Jets fans, as the 2011-12 Jets were a solid team (11th in the NHL in Fenwick Close, AKA their percentage of shots, explained here) and, as a young team, only stand to improve. Let's have a look at a few of the more important aspects of the team.
June 08 2012 09:12AM
You might remember a little while ago I took a look at goaltenders who had a bit heavier burden in terms of team quality and situations than other goaltenders. Even though this had little bearing on the goaltender's performance numbers (namely, even-strength save percentage), it does call attention to the varying difficulties at the position. Rather than just isolating this study in the most recent season, I decided to expand the research to all seasons in the Desjardins Era (beginning in 2007-08 to the present). Focusing on single seasons this time, let's have a look at some of the toughest (and easiest) team situations in NHL goaltending the past five seasons.
May 28 2012 01:40PM
Anybody who has played goaltender (anywhere, ice hockey, ball hockey, rod hockey) will tell you: it blows to play behind a crappy team. They'll also tell you it sucks to play behind a team that takes too many penalties, pretty much guaranteeing you see more puck than a goaltender for Mongolia.
We spend a lot of time slicing and dicing goaltending statistics, trying to isolate variables and determine talent, but we don't always look at what kind of team is playing in front of them. There's a reason for that; lest I be guilty of bearing the lede, Fenwick Close had zero correlation with 5v5 save percentage this last year, and in fact has had a slight negative correlation with 5v5 save percentage over the last five seasons.
May 25 2012 09:34AM
I'm going to admit my bias: I don't like experts. I mean "experts," really, the people who posit themselves as the go-to person for hockey advice. There are a lot of intelligent and/or informed people out there who can provide equally apt insight into the game and its machinations (and sometimes, its psyche), but I guess it makes for some pretty milquetoast TV to just poll them all the time when you want to make a statement.