July 15 2016 09:00AM
The best and worst games played by a Leaf last season were both by Jonathan Bernier. They were played within eight days of each other. On December 29, Bernier let in six goals on 15 shots (and got pulled) against the Islanders in a 6-3 loss. On January 6th, he stopped all 39 shots he faced against the Ducks in a 4-0 Leafs win.
The first game earned a Game Score of -3.6 – one of the worst for any player all season – while the other was worth 3.9. For most of the year he was above water, but it was a roller coaster of highs and lows for Bernier. That one week was the apex.
You’re probably wondering what Game Score is at this point. It’s a stat I stole from basketball that attempts to measure a player’s performance in a single game using every basic stat we hold near and dear to our hearts: goals, assists, shots, blocks, faceoffs, penalties, and 5-on-5 on-ice differentials for Corsi and Goals. You can read more about it here.
What I wanted to do with this post was take a basic look at the Leafs 2015-16 season through the lens of this new stat, as well as look at some historic games played – well, historic in the BehindTheNet era, at least.
July 15 2016 07:00AM
The last few years have seen NHL teams make many analytics hires. Tyler Dellow, Eric Tulsky, and Darryl Metcalf to name a few. A couple days ago, the Montreal Canadiens went backwards and made an analytics firing, letting go of their recently hired analyst Matt Pfeffer
Pfeffer released a statement regarding what happened, so I won't make any speculation further than that.
Regarding the incident, NHL television analyst and former professional goaltender Corey Hirsch had this to say:
Anddd I like analytics, but telling a team who to move and who to keep is where I draw the line https://t.co/YQNjIAQVF7— Corey Hirsch (@CoreyHirsch) July 14, 2016
On a good team, everyone accepts their role. Kris draper never told the coach who should be on the #1 PP https://t.co/1kVkOc5p1x— Corey Hirsch (@CoreyHirsch) July 14, 2016
Scouts job is to give an opinion. If a scout started to give analytics, he/she is over stepping their boundaries. https://t.co/BcBP2vRXHv— Corey Hirsch (@CoreyHirsch) July 14, 2016
Here we get to see a sharp distinction between the thought process of players-turned-analysts and analysts who were more... organically grown. In the latter, I'm referring to those who are more statistics-inspired hockey people. Surely, you've heard the argument "you've never played the game, you don't know what you're talking about" or something of the like. Maybe you've even made that argument. Well, Matt Pfeffer never played the game, and yet the Canadiens, at one time, believed he did know what he was talking about.
It's wrong, but it makes sense.
Nation World HQ
July 15 2016 05:00AM
Leaf fans losing confidence in Lou, "Mandela incident" was beginning of the end for Jonathan Bernier, how do things look for Flames headed into camp, a look at Adam Larsson in Edmonton, the NHL isn't fun, finding elite talent late in the draft, how likely are goalies to "make it" and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by Violent Gentlemen.
July 14 2016 02:00PM
We're deep down in the July hockey news dregs, ladies and gentlemen. So as we all wait patiently to find out when Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau will sign with the Calgary Flames, and for what term and cap hit, let's take some time to ponder some other things that will undoubtedly factor into decision-making over the next while.
First up? The waiver wire.
July 14 2016 12:47PM
The Edmonton Oilers signed Jesse Puljujarvi to a three-year entry level contract yesterday, with a $3.425 million cap hit. His base salary is $925,000. The Oilers happily selected Jesse Puljujarvi with the fourth selection at the NHL draft in June. Many didn’t expect him to be there, but the Columbus Blue Jackets preferred Pierre-Luc Dubois and took him third.
Oilersnation erupted in celebration. Puljujarvi is 6’4” and 208 pounds. He is huge. He can skate and he was the best player at the World Junior Championships. He looks like a great bet to be a solid NHL player, but history suggests it won’t happen right away.