San Jose Sharks 12-13 Preview: Still One Of The Best Teams In The League

Hawerchuk
August 13 2012 12:30PM

Patrick Marleau
If it wasn't for bad luck, Marleau would have no luck at all
Photo by Kittenwaffles
via Wikimedia Commons

Let’s start with a counterfactual: had the San Jose Sharks won the 2010 or 2011 Stanley Cup, would they be considered the best post-lockout team? After all, San Jose has the second-best record since the lockout, averaging 106 points per season, four points behind the Detroit Red Wings, and they’ve won more playoff games and series than all but Detroit and the Pittsburgh Penguins.Had they won one of those cups – more recently than Detroit and Pittsburgh – would they not indeed be viewed as a dynasty as opposed to a team that has never been able to crack the NHL’s upper echelon?

The irony is that this counterfactual had something like a 25% chance of happening.In the 2009-10 and 2010-11 Western Conference Finals, the Vegas lines expected San Jose to win 46% of their games; they won 11%.On average, the Sharks should have won one of these series, and they would have then had a 50-50 shot at winning the Stanley Cup. (As bad as events have unfolded lately, Sharks fans should be happier than Flyers fans, who have lost their last six straight Stanley Cup Finals.)

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Minnesota Wild spend $200M to remain below-average

Hawerchuk
July 05 2012 07:39AM

The Minnesota Wild were not a good team last year.  They were 29th in goal differential and 30th in shot differential.  They had two more points than the New York Islanders, one more than the Toronto Maple Leafs and three less than the Winnipeg Jets.  And this is hardly a new state of affairs: they missed the playoffs the last four seasons, averaging just 85 points in that time.

But that's all over, right?

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How Efficient is the NHL Goaltending Market?

Hawerchuk
July 04 2012 04:30PM

 

 

Imagine, if you will, a professional hockey league where every season, one of the league's leading scorers came available as a free agent, looking for two-year contract at $2M per year, and could make your team 3-4 wins better.  Also imagine that every year, some of the league's other leading scorers got locked up to long contracts and proceeded to turn in net negative seasons despite not being injured.  Unthinkable?  Well, this describes the NHL goaltending market!

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