November 05 2015 11:45AM
What happened to Connor McDavid in Tuesday night's game against the Flyers was a real punch to the gut. And that's coming from someone who has doesn't have anything resembling any ties or allegiances to the Edmonton Oilers franchise. Purely as a fan of hockey, it's nothing short of regrettable that we're going to be deprived of seeing and enjoying someone who has instantly become one of the most fun players in the league to watch for at least a couple of months.
November 04 2015 10:42AM
There has been quite a bit of deliberation amongst the hockey community over the past few years as to whether the likes of Brent Burns and Dustin Byfuglien are better suited up front as forwards or on the blueline as defencemen. The fact that there’s even a worthwhile discussion to be had is a testament to how freakishly gifted and unique those two players are, that they can be effective in both circumstances.
While I think there’s little to no doubt at this point that the latter is a far more valuable weapon on the back-end, Burns’ most optimal deployment is a slightly less cut-and-dried situation.
November 03 2015 12:52PM
Though the season is still in its infancy stage, based on the first month of play it appears we're headed towards another slight dip in goal scoring all across the league. Whether it's the rules, the groupthink resulting in conservative approaches by most teams, or a testament to the level of goaltending floating around, the trend is very much real.
In a world with a suppressed number of events and fewer goals being scored in general, the importance of finding hidden value to get a slight leg up on the competition is heightened even further. As the hockey community has progressed and developed with advancements in puck possession metrics and the such in recent years, its only getting trickier to identify and exploit these market inefficiencies.
One that isn't necessarily new by any means, but still doesn't have the type of traction that it likely should is penalty differential. Given that teams continue to convert on somewhere around 18% of their power play opportunities on average, the value of a player that can serve those chances up on a silver platter remains immense.
November 02 2015 08:30AM
The 2015-16 Anaheim Ducks season has been nothing short of a complete disaster. Nobody saw it coming. Last year, they breezed through Winnipeg and Calgary in the playoffs and came within one win of making it to the Stanley Cup Finals before being taken down in seven games by the Blackhawks. Heading into the season, a lot of people had the Ducks pegged as one of the elite teams in the Western Conference who could easily challenge for the Stanley Cup, and I’m fairly certain that everybody had them penciled in as a playoff team.
Now, it’s the beginning of November and they’ve just managed to earn their second win of the season.What’s going on here? Are the Ducks actually this bad? Do they have any chance at making the playoffs, or has this season become a write off already?
October 30 2015 01:57PM
We're now 10 or 11 games into the season for just about everyone in the league at this point, and already some of the wheat in the "Calder Consideration" pool is starting to separate from the chaff.