September 01 2016 01:00PM
Perry Nelson: USA Today Sports
We're at a point in the off-season where what you see is what you get with most NHL rosters. That includes the Vancouver Canucks, who in spite of their best efforts have yet to pry that elusive middle six winger from the trade market and don't seem likely to at any point before the season.
That means we can start to get a sense of how the lineup will shake out and make predictions about individual player production. Now, I haven't the analytical savvy to come to any sort of conclusions myself, but publications invested in fantasy hockey along with Dom Luszczyszyn are more than capable. And I'm going to lean on their expertise for the purpose of this article and take a gander at what we might expect from the Canucks production wise going into next season.
September 01 2016 01:00PM
The Olympics definitely have their downsides and detractors, as we've discussed in some detail over the past few days. But there are a lot of people that have a sentimental attachment to the games, as the 1988 Olympics were huge for Calgary stepping into global prominence. And while the Olympics of the modern era may in fact be a device for wealth transfer, throwing a bunch of shiny baubles into a tiny geographic area, holding some sporting events and then asking the governments of the day to pay for it afterwards, is it possible for that model to work in Calgary's favour?
September 01 2016 11:00AM
Image: USA Today Sports
For fans who are every bit as interested in following the decisions that form their favourite team's roster as they are the team itself, August is somewhat of a dry spell annually. There's just not an awful lot of movement leaguewide.
I consider myself one such fan, which is why I always consider September to be when hockey is back on. That's when the professional try-outs are handed out, and familiar faces find new places in the constant shuffle of the NHL machine. Usually it's fringe NHL'ers or players trying to save themselves from falling victim to that distinction, but every now and again someone who doesn't fit either mould slips through the cracks.
According to a report by Elliotte Friedman, Peter Mueller is that player for this season. The former eighth overall pick and NHL journeyman is looking to make an NHL comeback after a tour in Sweden and sounds serious about it, too. Which, naturally, raises the question of whether the Canucks should have any interest.
September 01 2016 10:55AM
Today, a debate formed on Hockey Twitter regarding moves made by Dave Nonis. Specifically, which was the worst. TLN's own Drag Like Pull had this as his entry:
Probably Bozak, especially when you consider they chose him over Grabovski. https://t.co/WfvFkaM2jl— Draglikepull (@draglikepull) August 28, 2016
And, former TLN blogger and current member of The Blogger's Tribune, Tom Hunter, had this as a response:
For the last couple years Bozak at $4.2m is far better than Grabo at$5.5m. If you don't see that, you're dealing with some pretty sever bias— Tom Hunter (@PuckDontLie) August 28, 2016
This is clearly a tired debate. It happened 3 years ago, and I think it formed out of yearning for hockey to finally start. Nonetheless, I'd like to dig into it a bit and present why I think Grabovski is still a better hockey player than Bozak. And as follows, that the better move would have been to let Bozak walk and keep Grabovski, instead using a compliance buyout on him.
August 31 2016 03:49PM
Luck is part of our everyday life. When you go to the store and there is no beer left of your favorite brand, you feel unlucky. When you go to the mall and out of the blue meet Maria Sharapova, you feel lucky (I can confirm that one).
As we also know, luck is also omnipresent in hockey. Injuries are probably one the biggest luck factors involved in the success or failure of NHL teams, and man-games lost has become a popular statistic to explain the W-L-OTL columns at the end of the season.
In recent years, shooting and save percentages have also been showed to be somewhat related to luck, given that a high difference with the average is generally not sustainable season-over-season. A new advanced statistic, PDO, has been developed from these considerations and is now a key statistic to consider when evaluating a player. Goalposts, the difficulty of the schedule and questionable decisions by the referees are other factors that are lumped in this luck factor.
So, we know that luck is part of hockey. However, what we don’t know is, how big a part is it? For instance, can we quantify how many points obtained during a season can be attributed to luck? It turns out that we can get a pretty good idea using what we call time-series models.