November 06 2012 07:12AM
There are a lot of things that can happen to a team over the course of an NHL season that will result in really poor results. As a fan of the Edmonton Oilers, I know that injuries and ineffectiveness can really cripple a team. Every now and again you might end up with Jeff Deslauriers as your regular starting goaltender, Sebastien Bisaillon taking a turn on defense straight out of junior, or Ryan Potulny among your team's leading scorers. There's no doubt some bad luck mixed in when this kind of thing happens, but in some cases, it's probably also bad planning. Over the next several days, I'm going to take a look at how many players NHL teams have used at each position in a given season in order to provide a more concrete idea for what's reasonable as far as adversity. I begin today by checking on goaltender usage.
November 05 2012 04:06PM
By Wendy (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Last week, I looked at undrafted NCAA players and discussed how they can be a resource to teams looking for cheap organizational depth. I also looked at what schools these players came from and pointed out that there wasn’t one school superior at producing talent in that area, as the top school, Boston College, produced a total of six UDFA’s who blossomed into NHL players. However, something I did notice was that most of the UDFA players from the NCAA were coming from the WCHA conference and most of those who turned into NHL players came from either there or the CCHA.
What about NHL players in general, though? Is there one school (or group of schools) that is superior at generating NHL talent compared to their peers? One would assume so because there are more kids playing hockey in states such as Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, so we would expect there to be more draft picks and NHL talent generated from schools in those states. That assumption can be very misleading, though as there are many successful hockey programs out east that have also produced NHL talent.
To see which schools have produced the most NHL-ers, I looked at every NCAA player who was either drafted by an NHL team (entry & supplemental) or signed as a free agent out of college.
November 05 2012 02:18PM
Flames fans are probably happy to hear that their team's 23-year old center Mikael Backlund is tearing the cover off the ball in the Allsvenskan so far this season (10GP, 8 goals, 19 points, 1.9 PPG). The significant caveat being, of course, that the Allsvenskan (or SWE-1) league doesn't appear to be all that good. As Graham Wiswell put it on twitter after viewing a few highlights:
@kent_wilson Good for Backlund, but uh... That level of hockey looks like a minor step up from beer league— Graham (@WiswellMRU)
November 05 2012 01:41PM
This new, regular feature on NHLNumbers will share interesting stats-related posts from around the web almost every day.
Welcome to edition number eight of the rebooted Number Chains. In this space you will be able to find the best analytical hockey writing from around the internet on a close-to-daily basis. Subject matter will include statistical evaluation, financial analysis, contractual issues, and (sometimes) closely-related tangential works. If you have something you would like to submit for a future edition (your writing or that of someone else) feel free to send it to me via Twitter @JoshL1220 or leave a comment.
Welcome to another hockey-less week. That may not be the most original introduction to a post, and I have little doubt that reading it several times is annoying, grating, and tiresome. But, such is the lockout in general. Speaking of the lockout, "news" broke this weekend. On Saturday the NHLPA and NHL met for several hours. I'll let Bill Daly and Steve Fehr expound:
"We had a series of meetings yesterday (Saturday) and exchanged views on the most important issues separating us," wrote Daly in an email to TSN on Sunday morning."We plan to meet again sometime early this week.''
Fehr sent out a release later Sunday morning saying that he agreed with how Daly summed up the session.
"Hopefully we can continue the dialogue, expand the group, and make steady progress," said Fehr.
The secret meeting in the secret location supposedly went well, and both sides will be meeting again tomorrow. Whether or not any actual progress was made is anyone's guess, but at this point it's foolish to get your hopes up one way or the other. The emotion swings aren't justified at this point.
After the jump, Larry Brooks gets emotional (angry?) about the owners role in the lockout, JW muses about Anton Lander, and a few other tasty treats.
November 05 2012 07:26AM
Little known fact: Manny Malhotra personally funds 60% of the research into zone start adjustments
Photo by Matt Boulton
Note: In conjunction with the NHL Numbers reference library, we will occasionally be publishing review articles aimed at establishing the contemporary understanding of an area and highlighting opportunities for additional research.
Today is the five-year anniversary of what I believe is the first published list of how often players took offensive or defensive zone faceoffs, and with it in the comments came the question of how zone starts might affect their on-ice shot differential.
There have been a lot of attempts to answer that question over the last five years. In this review article, we will touch on some of them and then make our own recommendation.