June 13 2013 01:01PM
If you've been reading me for a couple years, you'd know by now that I have a lot of respect for David Poile and Don Maloney, two general managers who had consecutive playoff appearances despite playing in small markets without big-name stars. Those teams are the Nashville Predators and Phoenix Coyotes, respectively, but you could probably add in Doug Armstrong of the St. Louis Blues and Garth Snow of the New York Islanders. The Blues were a floor team this season, won 29 games (4th in the NHL) after a year they won 49 games (also 4th in the NHL). They'll probably have a higher salary cap this season, because they have four of their stars needing new contracts, but they drafted and developed possibly better than any team in the league, finding lots of hidden gems in the later parts of the first round.
May 29 2013 03:38PM
It's not that blocked shots aren't important, it's that the team with the most blocked shots isn't necessarily the best team at shot blocking—the team with the most blocked shots is often the one trying to clear the puck out of its own end. Like in that PK above. It's an excellent shift from Tyler Carroll, but I'd bet that Guelph would rather not be down 3-on-5 in that situation.
So a new statistic has popped up: "Percentage of shots blocked" and it's a little dicey as well. Generally speaking, it's just not good to block a lot of shots or to be in situations where you have to block a lot of shots. "Percentage of shots blocked" has been kicking around but I've seen no evidence that it's a repeatable statistic that correlates with winning.
May 21 2013 09:28PM
I thought this was real cool. At the start of the second period between the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks, Chris Cuthbert threw it down to reporter Ryan Rishaug for a quick hit where he actually gave some pretty good info as a result of a mid-game interview:
Chris, I spoke with Kings' assistant Bill Ranford at the break I asked 'which part of the stats page makes you the most upset?' He said 'their number of attempts and our lack thereof'. If you consider that San Jose had 15 shots on net, they missed the net eight times and had 14 blocked. That's 37 attempts on net. The Kings had just seven.
There you see the zone time, not even close. Los Angeles with half the offensive zone time that San Jose had. Ranford says 'we are losing every battle in our own end and we are not competing'.
I've screencapped the accompanying graphic, which is some real hipster stuff because you can't find "zone time" anywhere online. It has to be manually tracked. We use Corsi, basically shot attempt differential, as a proxy for zone time, but only because the zone time numbers aren't available. TSN did a great job at showcasing the Sharks' advantage in the first period.
Kudos to Rishaug and TSN there.
April 21 2013 04:34PM
I'm hearing it everywhere this season, well, mostly on Coach's Corner and on the comment section of my website. "The Leafs are winning because they're tougher and fighting more."
In fact, the New York Rangers lost their fighter Brandon Prust in the offseason. They've gone from 1st in the league in fighting majors to 24th (through Saturday, according to HockeyFights.net) and have gone from Presidents' Trophy contenders to bubble team.
Prust went from New York to Montreal in the offseason. Montreal went from 22nd in fighting majors last season to seventh, and have since gone from a lottery team to a team competing for the title in the tough Northeast Division with the likes of the Boston Bruins! The other team in that division, Toronto, lead the league in fights and are going to make the playoffs for the first time in nine years!
Clearly, fighting means something right?