July 19 2013 07:49AM
Usually when you come face-to-face with a glare like that, it means you done goofed, or you play for Ottawa. Now it could be because you’re training with him and Steven Stamkos.
Wait what?!?! Oh, you heard me.
Gary Roberts as in the man-beast who terrorized the league for parts of three decade. Steven Stamkos as in the guy who sniped 60 goals in a season. You could be hanging out with these guys. Well, not really “hanging out,” per se. Allow me to explain…
The offseason is getting shorter and shorter. You can’t just let your fitness go to crap in the summer, because once the season fires up again, you’ll look like a pylon out there.
Enter: the last team standing
The Nike Hockey Facebook experience at www.lastteamstanding.ca lets players create a team with their friends and show how they’re dedicating the summer to training. The page has training videos designed by Gary Roberts, and Toronto’s strength and conditioning coach from 2002-2009, Matt Nichol. Obviously, these two guys know their stuff.
But Steve, what’s in it for me? I’ll tell you, whatever your name is!
July 16 2013 10:31AM
Regardless of what you call them, there are going to be a lot of people that simply don't want to adopt certain statistics. There's a small push to rename the stats we have now—Corsi, PDO, Fenwick, whatever—to more user-friendly acronyms that explain better what the statistic details.
I don't think that's a particularly wise thing to do. There are already thousands of people that read #fancystats articles and don't keep up with the day-to-day backroom arguing between hockey's online group of statistical analysts, that mostly play out on Twitter. I think "Corsi" will be more intuitive the more it's used and the first time that a smart network host or personality decides to make use of it on-air.
July 15 2013 01:42PM
A while ago, I looked at whether skaters (or goalies) had any ability to generate (or avoid allowing) rebounds. With only one year of data, I concluded that "there definitely seems to be an individual goaltender skill in avoiding rebounds, but whether that skill matters is up for debate." This is an updated and improved version of that study, focusing just on goaltenders.
July 12 2013 11:56AM
Some discussion on Twitter early Friday afternoon after Ilya Kovalchuk's Hall of Fame candidacy in the wake of his surprise retirement from the National Hockey League. It's worth noting that Kovalchuk's career is not quite over yet: he's still 30 years old and has a few real good productive years left in Russia and probably a couple of Olympic games left in him as a real key contributor. Without the NHL playoffs to restrict him, I can see him being a very key figure in Russia's World Championship bids each year as the European leagues are intelligent enough to end their seasons beach weather hits and players are freed up to go to the Worlds each year.
I'm a proponent "for" Kovalchuk. I think that his international resume, including two World Championship golds, and what's to come, will more than make up for his lack of playoff success at the NHL stage. Really, he's played just 32 playoff games, because he spent most of his North American career toiling away in Atlanta.
July 10 2013 09:57AM
When one thinks of the 90s and NHL drafting it usually draws up images of a draft wasteland, devoid of the flash and skill we enjoyed in the 80s and centered on the occasions like the one above. There were two catastrophic draft years in the 90s, both of them near the tail end. The decade of NHL drafting from 1990 to 1999 was something of a paradox where the overall numbers of NHL players actually stabilized remarkably, but simultaneously delivered few elite-level talents to the league.