August 20 2013 10:44AM
(Illustration by Barret Chapman)
Beating the summer heat with a trip to the corner store for a taste of that magical elixir known as a “Slurpee” offered me a joyous encounter with a rack of vintage blogs known as “Magazines”. There I spied my favorite wastes of paper ever (no, not that, Perv-o’s, this is a family store): The Fantasy Hockey Guides! Was it that time of year already? “Squee!” I was giddy with anticipation for this year’s rankings. Their annual dose of wit and wisdom has never failed to lead me to mighty mediocrity in my keeper league (oh, this shoddy workman will blame the tools, people!) but, I realize, they can only provide limited insight.
August 14 2013 10:07AM
Photos by Jeffery Simpson
Introducing a new contributor to Jets Nation - Ross Smith! Today Ross finally solves the issue of who is the Greatest Player of All Time. It's what the summer is for.
As we recline here in the lazy summer days between hockey seasons, we dedicated fans fill up the puck-shaped hole in our hearts by following the draft and the free agent signings and even pretending to care about baseball or the CFL until it’s time to hit the ice again. This summer, though, offered up the 25th anniversary of an event so dramatic that it changed the NHL irrevocably: The Gretzky Trade. Its mere mention in Edmonton still yields mournful stories of lost innocence and squandered opportunity - Gretz revered and commemorated like a war hero or a precious family member. Who can blame them? He is unquestionably the best player ever to lace up a pair of skates… or is he?
This Silver Jubilee marking Peter Pocklington’s transformation from mere unsavoury entrepreneur to “Wanted by The Hague” in a single craptastic business deal is the perfect time to renew Hockeydom’s favourite debate about who, exactly, is the greatest player of all time.
August 12 2013 06:02AM
Photo brilliance by thereturn at HF Boards
One of the challenges with measuring process-based metrics like corsi - a measure of possession and territory that correlates well with scoring chances - is that we have stats at the team level and at the individual level. It's a moving target to try to put these two levels of data into the context of a 5 on 5 game when individuals switch every 40-50 seconds at the desire of a person we don't measure. We've made huge strides - and the WOWY (With or Without You) data over at Hockey Analytics is part of that.
Another part of that was offered by Travis Yost at NHL Numbers the other week - team by team corsi according to forward tiers (Eastern Conf / Western Conf). Grouping forwards into lines by EV time on ice, Travis gives us a sense of how teams are built and shows very strong evidence that to win, teams need depth.
His methodology is sound in general - using even strength time on ice to sort out the 'tiers' of forwards - but hides an important reality about how the Jets were coached. Below we'll look at his chart for the Jets and compare it to a purposeful grouping of the forwards into approximate lines.
August 11 2013 12:51PM
All this Gretzky trade talk the last week stirred up the old story machine in my head. Looking at some of the other players involved in the trade I ran across Marty McSorley's name.
August 09 2013 06:36AM
Photo by clydeorama
We bloggers can be a serious people. But it’s August. We’re all sitting in hammocks with a cold beer reading Vollman’s new Hockey Abstract on our tablets to avoid equally Screen Deprivation Anxiety and the chance of the sun reaching our pale, pale skin. It’s a time we can relax and stand to laugh at ourselves just a little.
Which is great because let’s face it, honoured readers, we bloggers sometimes pick odd players to love based on process related metrics. Just look at this great one by me on Eric Tangradi. I thought that guy might work out and felt genuine excitement about it. What a dummy.
But we’re not alone! Our professional partners in print and those of the Sound-Making Media have some hilarious ideas about how hockey works and who is good at it. Where bloggers use incredulity, the mainsteam media is using hype. And we’re all ridiculous!
I think readers can agree there’s no better way to see our foibles than holding an All-Star game. That’s right, The Kyle Wellwood’s Career Memorial All-Stars face off against The Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hawks!
So relax and have a laugh at yourself. And others. (If you have a horse in this race, it’s okay to laugh just a little harder at the others to keep the self-doubt at bay.)