November 09 2011 11:05PM
Shot quality is a hot-button issue among people who spend time trying to learn about the game of hockey through statistical analysis.
Intuitively, we all know that shot quality exists. A quick blast from center ice immediately prior to a line change is far less likely to score than a superstar taking a shot on a breakaway. The question, then, isn’t whether shot quality exists – we know it does – but whether teams can use it to help them win games.
Nation World HQ
November 09 2011 08:49PM
TAMPA, Fla. -- On paper, the Tampa Bay Lightning have one of the most exciting teams in hockey. Even with Ryan Malone and Victor Hedman injured, the Lightning can still boast Vincent Lecavalier, Martrin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos and Teddy Purcell. It's a team that shouldn't have trouble scoring. It's also a team that one would suspect plays "old-fashioned fire-wagon hockey."
But when the Lightning come to Winnipeg on Monday night, Jets fans are going to see a team that loves to trap -- a team that only seems to think about mounting an offense when it has the power-play, or when it falls behind. After all, when the Lightning beat the Jets 1-0 on Oct. 29, it was one of the few times this season the Lightning had scored the first goal of the hockey game. Even with that, Tampa took only 27 shots at Ondrej Pavelec while the Jets managed 28 on Dwayne Roloson.
On Wednesday night here at the St. Pete Times Forum, Philadelphia head coach Peter Laviolette appeared determined to show the hockey world that the Lightning are as boring as the outcome of their games this season would suggest.
November 09 2011 07:28AM
Not only did Bryan Little finally bulge the twine or Ondrej Pavelec collect his first shutout, but the Winnipeg Jets were able to have a winning record on the road trip (3-2-2) and collect eight out of a possible 14 points.
Another positive from the Jets two week road trip are the emergence of Mark Flood as he fills in for the indefinitely injured Tobias Enstrom.
It seems that once Ron Hainsey, Derek Meech, and Randy Jones are back and healthy, Flood may become the seventh defensemen, if the Jets decide to continue with seven with Enstrom on the shelf.
Nation World HQ
November 08 2011 08:57PM
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- You just gotta love the Winnipeg Jets, Even if you live in Chicago or Edmonton or L.A., if you like watching hockey, you just have to love watching the Jets. After all, whenever the Jets step on the ice, anything can happen. And I'm not being hyperbolic.
There is no team in the National Hockey League that is as inconsistent in its play as the Jets.
Tuesday night at the HSBC Arena, the Jets took a quick 2-0 lead, then watched that evaporate. Then they took 3-2, 4-3 and 5-4 leads and gave up all of them. In the end, Tomas Vanek's second goal of the night, a power-play tally at 4:35 of overtime, gave the Sabres a 6-5 win. Buffalo never had the lead until Vanek scored the game winner.
November 08 2011 01:31PM
Over the last five games or so, Ondrej Pavelec has been the best Jet, stealing a couple of wins in Florida and on Long Island and has really impressed casual on-lookers with his style of save-making.
If you haven't listened to our own Scott Taylor discuss Pavelec on Nation Radio this week, please, take the time to do so, because he has some good remarks about Pavelec's style. Not quite classic butterfly, to paraphrase, and more of a hybrid style like Martin Brodeur.