June 27 2012 07:50AM
Photo taken from Wikimedia Commons
Aside from Zach Parise and maybe Ryan Suter, no player has been talked about more this off-season than Columbus Blue Jackets star winger Rick Nash. With the Blue Jackets running a sinking ship for almost a year now, it's been no secret that Nash has wanted out of Columbus and GM Scott Howson is looking to deal him. Howson reportedly tried to trade him at the deadline but couldn't get a deal done because none of the offers were up to his standard.
June 18 2012 07:17AM
Photo by Bachrach44, via Wikimedia Commons
After defeating the New Jersey Devils in six games in this year's Stanley Cup Final, the Los Angeles Kings became the first eight-seeded team to win the Stanley Cup since the new playoff format was introduced in 1994. At first glance, this sounds like a huge upset but it really isn't if you have been paying attention to the playoffs and the run the Kings have been on. They got through the first three rounds in only 14 games and steamrolled over the Phoenix Coyotes in the Western Conference Finals.
June 14 2012 02:05PM
Photo by Michael Miller, via Wikimedia Commons
Zone exits are a new development in hockey analytics (or at least they are on the blogosphere) and they are meant to study how effectvie certain players are at moving the puck forward. Most hockey metrics are based on puck possession and driving the play forward. Most plays begin from the breakout game in the defensive zone, and tracking zone exits can give us a better idea of which players are contributing more to pushing the play forward. This is still a work in progress so the method I am using isn't perfect but as of right now, I look for a few different things for when I track zone exits:
Puck Touches: Number of times a player touched the puck in the defensive zone in an attempt to move the puck out of the zone.
Carries: Number of times a player successfully carried the puck into the neutral zone.
Passes: Number of times a player successfully passed the puck into the neutral zone, from the defensive zone.
Other: Number of times that a player successfully moved the puck into the neutral zone without carrying the puck or passing it to another player.
Turnovers: Number of times that a player turned the puck over to the opposing time while still in the defensive zone.
Icing: Number of times the player iced the puck from the defensive zone.
Success Percentage: (Carries + Passes + Other ) / Puck Touches
This is largely based on the method Jonathan Willis used to track zone exits for the Oilers earlier in the season. This is all five on five data.
June 08 2012 01:57PM
As we get closer to the NHL Draft, you will see even more bloggers and media pundits continue to breakdown prospects and determine which player is the right fit for each team. They will look at stats, game tape and video packages to get the full lowdown on the players they are targeting, but asset that seems to be valued more than others is how big a player is at draft time.
Size and “big body presence” are things that are praised by a lot of hockey observers, especially around draft time. The idea is that it will take more effort to keep the puck away from bigger forwards and that they can provide room for their linemates by adding a physical edge. Being concerned about size makes sense when looking at defensemen because they are expected to be involved physically if they play big minutes. What about forwards, though?
There have been bigger forwards such as Rick Nash, Alex Ovechkin and Ilya Kovalchuk who have gone on to be top-tier players in the NHL, but just how big of a factor is size if you plan on drafting a forward? Let’s say that you are an NHL general manager and your first round pick comes down to two forwards with similar numbers. One player is 5-10 and 190 lbs. and the other is 6-3 210 lbs. but has slightly worse numbers than the first forward. Which player should you take and how much of a role should size play in your decision?
To see how big of a role size plays in success at the NHL level, I looked at every forward drafted in the top 100 since the 2000 Draft and examined how successful they were based on their point-per-game total.
June 03 2012 07:03AM
By Resolute, via Wikimedia Commons
Most people who watched this game will probably tell you that the Devils were the better team even though they lost in overtime. That statement was true for most of the game where the Devils had a 19-14 advantage in scoring chances....and then overtime happened. The Kings were a bit lackluster overall but they just took the game over during overtime and now have themselves a 2-0 series lead. This definitely wasn't LA's best performance and they did get lucky a few times tonight, but that's what generally happens in the playoffs. Sometimes you need to have a few bounces go your way and that includes a team as good as the Kings.