November 08 2012 08:53AM
At about the half-way mark of the 2009-10 season, you could see the writing on the wall for the Edmonton Oilers. They were going to finish dead last, and the verbal from the organization suggested that what happened by accident that season was about to happen by design in the season that followed. The Oilers aren't, of course, the only team to have used tanking as a strategy for ultimate success, and so I decided to find out how successful other teams were over the long term while using that strategy. Three seasons have come and gone since that time, so now seems like a good time to check in on how these clubs have improved.
November 07 2012 08:53AM
One of the things that I was most curious about coming into the lockout was how minor league hockey would fare with no NHL games being played. On the one hand, you know that the league will be filled with better players, and in some cases (like Oklahoma City), the team will be able to market some of the best young players in the game. On the other hand, hockey will be even more under the radar generally, and fans generally don't care much for work stoppages. So is AHL attendance up or is it down so far this season?
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.
October 26 2012 07:14AM
Over the last few days I've looked at the individual point percentage (i.e. the number of times an individual player gets either a goal or an assist compared to the number of total goals-for scored while he's on the ice) for defensemen during five-on-five play, starting with their performance in 2011-12, and then looking at their performance over the last five seasons. Defensemen, however, see a disproportionate amount of their offense generated on the power play, and so today I'll be looking at the individual point percentages for defensemen at five-on-four.
October 25 2012 07:54AM
Earlier this week, I looked at the individual point percentage for defensemen in the NHL during five-on-five play for the 2011-12 season. Today, we'll look at how defensemen performed over the last five season (2007-08 to 2011-12). But first, a quick refresher on the concept:
Individual point percentage is a calculation of the number of times an individual player gets a point (either a goal or an assist) relative to the number of total goals scored while he's on the ice. So, for example, if a player is on the ice for fifty goals-for during five-on-five play over the course of the season and he gets a point on twenty of them, his individual point percentage would be 40%.