September 24 2016 11:09PM
Photo Credit: Kevin Souza/USA TODAY SPORTS
Canada vs. Russia on a Saturday night. Can anything top that? Well, one could argue that a lot of things could in 2016. While the two giants comprised what used to be hockey's greatest international rivalry, today's game didn't carry that vibe. In fact, it didn't really carry much of a vibe; while the lead had a changeover that gave the illusion of competitiveness, Canada maintained a staggeringly lopsided level of control in a 5-3 win that felt even bigger.
September 24 2016 11:45AM
If we are honest, the idea of North America versus Canada had so much appeal that it took a day to get behind the idea of Canada versus Russia. Fortunately, the two nations have a lot of history on the ice that allows both sides to build up a good lather. Add to that the built-in Sidney Crosby—Alex Ovechkin rivalry, the fact Mike Babcock will want to announce his presence with authority to Russian coach Oleg Znarok (seriously, that is his name) and assistant Harijs Vitolins (really). It's tuques versus ushankas for the right to play Sweden or the Seven Nation Army.
September 23 2016 12:25PM
Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY SPORTS
The round robin of the World Cup is over and the playoff stage is about to kick off. What does that mean for the Leafs? Well, it's the playoffs so it means they don't get to play anymore. A little joke, but it's actually true as Nikita Zaitsev is the last Leaf standing. Perhaps he hasn't learned that part of Leafs culture yet.
That makes now the perfect time for some quick analysis of how the Leafs fared during the very short tournament. Many readers were up in arms when site overlord Jeff Veillette did something similar after the pre-tournament games which I thought was a little unfair since it wasn't meant to be a predictive exercise, just a descriptive one.
This one will be much the same, with all the caveats that small sample size randomness brings to the table. To reiterate, this is just a quick analysis of how each player performed, and not how they will perform as a Leaf.
September 23 2016 11:00AM
A few weeks ago, I completed an exercise using pGPS to look at the UFA prospects then Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis signed during his tenure at the time of their signings.
Seeing the have and have nots in terms of NHL potential proved an interesting endeavour. Unsurprisingly, Chris Tanev checked out as one of the better-rated prospects of the group when viewed through the lens of pGPS (Prospect Graduation Probabilities System) at the time of his signing.
In the comment section, and on Twitter, there were requests to do all of Mike Gillis's draft classes. Well, ask and you shall receive. This past week was a week-long series reviewing the 2008-13 draft classes with pGPS.
September 23 2016 09:16AM
A few years ago, I started looking at the impact of goalie performance on success in the playoffs.
One of the first things I noticed was that the league average Sv% tends to be significantly higher in the playoffs than in the regular season. Here are the averages going back to 83-84 (the first year Sv% was recorded):