July 05 2012 07:39AM
The Minnesota Wild were not a good team last year. They were 29th in goal differential and 30th in shot differential. They had two more points than the New York Islanders, one more than the Toronto Maple Leafs and three less than the Winnipeg Jets. And this is hardly a new state of affairs: they missed the playoffs the last four seasons, averaging just 85 points in that time.
But that's all over, right?
July 04 2012 04:30PM
Imagine, if you will, a professional hockey league where every season, one of the league's leading scorers came available as a free agent, looking for two-year contract at $2M per year, and could make your team 3-4 wins better. Also imagine that every year, some of the league's other leading scorers got locked up to long contracts and proceeded to turn in net negative seasons despite not being injured. Unthinkable? Well, this describes the NHL goaltending market!
July 04 2012 12:18PM
A day or two after Olli Jokinen signed with the Winnipeg Jets, I saw a lot of chatter about this last 15-games or so amongst fans and pundits on twitter. The big Fin had something of a comeback season last year, scoring 61-points (second on the team) but there's no question he had a dreadful final quarter - starting March 13, he managed just three points in the last 13 games and was a cumulative -14.
That being the Flames "stretch drive" for the playoffs, there was a lot of speculation about Jokinen's health and character to explain his horrible downturn in results. The truth is, however, one doesn't need to turn to health or character issues to sort things out - Jokinen merely hit a dry patch.
July 03 2012 12:18PM
Last week, I delved into the always-controversial realm of shot quality, looking at how tight the link between scoring chances and shot differential is. In the comments there and in some subsequent conversations, I was reminded that the current understanding of shot quality is often oversimplified and misrepresented.
July 02 2012 09:39AM
'Twas the night before a frenzy and all through the league, every pundit was prepping for long weekend fatigue...
The big day turned out to be rather uneventful, with only a few notable names finding homes. That said, it was a good weekend for the Edmonton Oilers - they won the Schultz sweepstakes and retained the still very effective Ryan Smyth on an extremely reasonable deal. Those additions and others across the Nation were set-up and discussed yesterday by LT and a wide range of guests, including Terry Jones, Tom Lynn and Bruce McCurdy.
This is Nation Radio.