September 19 2016 12:07PM
In a short tournament like the World Cup of Hockey, stamina is a major X-factor. Your legs need to be moving during the game, and from game to game, and any hesitance will burn you. For team North America and Team Russia, they'll have their gas tanks put to the test tonight, as they each play their second game in as many days in hopes of grabbing some much-needed points in their group. Here's what's going down:
September 19 2016 08:45AM
(Kevin Sousa / USA Today Sports)
When the World Cup of Hockey was announced immediately there were snickers and guffaws about Team North America, and doubts about their ability to hang with international hockey's big boys. When they had a few strong outings in the pre-tournament games against Europe, the doubters loudly expressed that their success was a mirage: caused by beating an inferior opponent in games that didn't matter.
When the "real" games begin, North America's in trouble, they said.
The Under-24 squad opened the round robin with an emphatic 4-1 victory over Finland, currently ranked 3rd in the hockey world by the International Ice Hockey Federation.
September 19 2016 08:00AM
The smoke has cleared and we know a little bit more about the Calgary Flames' 2016-17 cap situation than we knew a week ago. In short, it's not great, and there are two contributing reasons as to why: entry-level performance bonuses and the reported news that Shane O'Brien's June 30, 2014 buyout was an ordinary-course buyout (and not a compliance buyout) and thus counts against the cap.
Let's take a look at the specifics in turn.
September 18 2016 12:00PM
My friends, the preliminary games are in the books and it's finally time for Team North America to get to work, and for our Nation-wide coverage to begin. The nice part about cheering for Team North America is that this team provides one of the few opportunities for Nation Network readers to come together and support the same team... well... unless you're a Canucks fan. Sorry, CanucksArmy.
September 18 2016 08:38AM
Recently, an hockey analytics conference was held at Rochester Institute of Technology (known as RITHAC). There were multiple very interesting presentations by smart and interesting people among the analytics community, nice enough to share their smart-ness with the rest of us SMRT people.
I want to focus today on the presentation made by Micah Black McCurdy on Gold Drafting, an oft-debated model for how to determine draft order. Specifically, I want to look at how it would have affected the Leafs' past drafts.
You can view the presentation slides here, but to summarize: the idea is that draft order is determined by the number of points a team earns after they've been eliminated from the playoffs. This, in theory, removes the incentive to build an intentionally bad team, as that team will get eclipsed in "gold points" by teams that are bad by circumstance and are still trying. Some may remember it was a theory proposed by Shane Doan earlier in the 2015-16 season, but the idea had been floated around hockey communities certainly before that.