November 28 2016 11:00AM
At this point, Rangers vs. Flyers the day after Thanksgiving has become a part of the holiday tradition (or just another hockey game if you’re Canadian). And if you watched, you saw the Rangers eke out a win in front of an exceptional performance by Henrik Lundqvist.
You may have also noticed that the Rangers didn’t play particularly well, not having the puck much but capitalizing on their scoring chances when they did. This has been the story of the Rangers for some time now, with the team miraculously pulling out wins despite poor process – the Rangers currently have a league-high 12.15% shooting percentage.
All of this leads to a very valid question: what’s going on with the New York
November 28 2016 10:56AM
The Edmonton Oilers tweeted out that defenseman Mark Fayne has been placed on waivers.
November 27 2016 08:12AM
The Toronto Maple Leafs powerplay was confounding in Mike Babcock's first season as head coach of the team. They were 3rd in the NHL in shot attempt rate at 5v4, at 103.6 attempts per 60 minutes. Even more impressive, they were 1st in scoring chance rate, at 28.7 scoring chances per 60 minutes, a good ways ahead of 2nd place San Jose, who fired 26.3 SCF/60. And yet, despite all those opportunities, the Leafs struggled to score powerplay goals. They finished 29th in the NHL in powerplay success rate and were 3rd last in S%.
This year the story is markedly different. The team has fallen to 23rd in the league in shot attempts, generating 84.5 CF/60, an 18% decrease in shot volume. Scoring chances paint a slightly rosier picture. The Leafs SC/60 at 5v4 is 11th in the league, with 24.3 SC/60 representing a drop of 15%. But the Leafs are much more successful on the powerplay this year, with a 9th ranked powerplay that's scoring on nearly 2% more of its shots.
What explains the difference between the Leafs powerplay in these two seasons?
November 26 2016 07:47PM
Calgary Flames fans were elated when Matthew Tkachuk fell to the team at number six overall in June's NHL Draft, and for good reason. Tkachuk was coming off a banner season with the OHL's London Knights, filled an organizational need for the Flames, and in his on-ice personality, brought the team something they didn't have. I thought Tkachuk had a chance to make Calgary's roster out of training camp, but by no means did I see him making the type of impact he has to this point.
November 26 2016 01:47PM
Earlier this week I wrote a piece about improvements that can be made at the margins of a hockey team. The basic premise was that fourth lines and third pairs move the needle much more than most think and based on my model, a switch from Ben Smith, Roman Polak, and Matt Hunwick to Peter Holland, Martin Marincin, and Frank Corrado is the difference between 89 and 93 points, at least by my model.
Today, David Johnson aka @hockeyanalysis on Twitter offered a different perspective to the piece, citing the Leafs defensive issues as the team's biggest problem and showing that removing the three players I pointed out as issues would be a further detriment to the team's defensive woes. That is 100 percent an argument I can get behind, after all, the role of those three is to play defence so they should be better at it.