The Best of the Nation - 9.24.12

Jonathan Willis
September 24 2012 10:34AM

Nathan MacKinnon is the consensus pick as the best player eligible for the 2013 Draft. Who else is available? What NHL list that nobody wants to be on did Ryan Kesler just make? What kind of livestock did an NHL executive compare NHL players to? Why is Toronto slamming the “best goalie coach on the planet”? When will the NHL lockout end?

All that and more, after the jump.

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Nathan MacKinnon Dominates 2013 NHL Draft Consensus Top 30

Derek Zona
September 21 2012 02:38PM

Brian Burke 2012 Draft
Photo by Ryan Meier, all rights reserved.

The 2013 NHL Draft order might have some excitement to it, excitement that's been stripped away of the last three drafts by the Edmonton Oilers and their grip on the worst.  But with a possible season cancellation in the works, this draft might come down to the luck of a ping pong ball.  

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Assessing performance in all three zones: Zone entry data for the Wild and Flyers

Eric T.
September 18 2012 09:23AM

Flyers gain the zone against the Wild

Previously, we described how tracking zone entries for the Flyers this year at Broad Street Hockey led us to some startling conclusions. There was very strong evidence suggesting that puck possession on a zone entry is quite important, that carrying the puck in generates more than twice as much offense as dumping it in.

More surprisingly, the data also strongly suggested that shot differential was almost entirely determined in the neutral zone. Claude Giroux was more likely than Zac RInaldo to push the puck forwards into the offensive end and more likely to carry the puck in, but shockingly his carry-ins did not generate any more shots than Rinaldo's. In fact, there was no evidence that any Flyer consistently did well or poorly at generating or preventing shots in the attack zones.

While this seemed to be unequivocally true for last year's Flyers, I was hesitant to generalize beyond that for such an unexpected result. So I called for assistance, encouraging readers to try tracking their favorite teams. Several people expressed interest, and I've now received my first significant packet of data -- Bob Spencer has tracked zone entries for the first 50 games of the Wild's 2011-12 season (his analysis of the data can be found here).

In this article, we will compare the 5-on-5 data from the Wild and the Flyers. We will find the following:

  • Like for the Flyers, the Wild players show that the ability to control the neutral zone is a persistent talent.
  • Like for the Flyers, no Wild players can be identified as having an ability to get more shots per offensive zone possession.
  • Unlike for the Flyers, the data for the Wild suggests that there may be players who limit shots in the defensive zone.
  • Overall, the Wild were much less effective in the neutral zone than the Flyers, likely because of both talent and coaching.

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John Carlson's contract with the Washington Capitals likely to be a bargain

Jonathan Willis
September 17 2012 12:24PM

John Carlson (Photo: Michael Miller/Wikimedia/CC BY-SAY 3.0)

After a slow summer for hockey news, teams got busy in the twilight hours of the last collective bargaining agreement, with more than 20 players signed to new contracts in the last few days. Among those signed was Washington Capitals defenceman John Carlson, to a six-year, $23.8 million contract.

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Winners and Losers under the current CBA (Part 3)

Graphic Comments
September 17 2012 07:57AM

 

 

This is Part 3 in a series on the winners and losers under the current NHL CBA. For all the preamble see Part 1 here, and then Part 2 here.

In the previous posts, I examined how NHL revenues and player expenses have changed over the six years prior to and after the 2004-05 lockout. In Part 3, I take a look at Operating Expenses and the resulting Operating Income, over the same time period. I guess you could say this is the money shot. But you probably shouldn't.

So lets continue on this journey into the heart of darkness that is the murky world of NHL finances. But I swear, if I find a feverish and delirious Bruce McNall in a jungle compound at the end of this, I'm going to be really freaked out.

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