May 09 2014 03:40PM
The playoffs are well under way as is the Nation Drafts playoffs pool, and it seems as though there are new names on the leaderboard every week. Either that's a sign that we're all geniuses or that the players we've chosen are choking at all world levels. You'd have to think, at this point, anyone that picked Rick Nash is about ready to punch him in the mouth, right? In the very least, Nash has more opportunity to score than my champion pick Chris Kelly! Although, Rick Nash only has 4 assists which is not too far off from Chris Kelly's broken leg production. LONG LIVE CHRIS KELLY!
May 07 2014 11:24AM
Photo by Clydeorama
It's another sunny week in beautiful Vancouver, so I hope I can be forgiven for long delays. On Friday we looked at one defender in particular, and eons ago, we examined how the Jets used their forwards. Today we'll look at the defence as a group and try to parse out who did well and why.
May 05 2014 04:31PM
Photo by Kerri Polizzi
The Avs accomplished a remarkable feat by going from the bottom of the Western Conference a year ago to the top of the Central Division with a whopping 112 points in 2013/14. The amount of change between those two seasons - behind the bench, in the front office, and in the dressing room - was massive, and confounds most simple attempts to point to a reason for the rapid change in fortune.
Early in the season I said that they were building on the Blackhawks model based on how they used their speed in defensive transition. It looked like a wholly new team with only laundry to connect them to their recent failures, and Matt Duchene agreed, noting that team was finally playing a style that fit their personnel. Apparently others saw it differently as the narrative about their success has been organized around two factors: an amazing season by Semyon Varlamov and pure luck.
On Friday, well-known pessimist Ryan Lambert wrote about the expectations of the Avs to regress. 'Varlamaov can't repeat, and their percentages can't either' goes the reasoning. They were not a strong possession team (26th in 5 on 5 corsi %), and when you give up a lot of shots and your goalie gets worse, the end of that algebra equation is obvious. We can throw circumstantial evidence around that should make us uncomfortable with such a firm position on which way the wind is blowing - Montreal was 25th in corsi %, Anaheim 17th. Toronto was dead last and for all the obscene failures of that club, they still scored the 14th most even strength goals of any team.
Ultimately, however, the failure of using a regression analysis here is more fundamental.
We found a way to quantify one way of winning hockey games, and teams are able to use that data to make efficient and insightful use of their limited funds when building a possession style club. But since when was there only one way to win a hockey game?
May 05 2014 07:24AM
On this week's episode, the guys discuss the racist remarks from Bruins fans, an non-reviewable goal on Stalock and give out our end of season awards. All that, plus a look back at our Round 1 picks, and our predictions for Round 2.
May 02 2014 02:02PM
So one week goes by and your ol' pal bm has dropped 100 spots in the playoff pool - magic genie I am not. Last week, I was talking trash about the poor suckers below me in the standings, fast forward to today and I am in the tank. I'm dropping faster than lady garments in the red light district. DAMN YOU CHRIS KELLY! I'm not sure who I would have picked had I remembered you were injured, but I am blaming you for all my pool related misfortunes. For shame, Chris Kelly.