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Monday, February 24, 2014

OT: The NHL is finally back thread, part 2

Now that the Olympics are over it’s time for the important Hockey to restart.

odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: February 24, 2014 at 05:54 PM | 985 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hockey, nhl, off topic, only thing canada is good at

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   301. vagab0nd (no longer an outl13r) Posted: April 28, 2014 at 10:14 PM (#4696308)
Pittsburgh is comically bad in their own end. I hope they keep Bylsma forever.


I hope they keep Fleury forever. He makes everything more exciting.

Columbus has a great crowd.


I thought we were loud. Glad it translated to the TVs.
   302. zack Posted: April 28, 2014 at 10:32 PM (#4696315)
and Letang's influence poisons everyone

Do you really believe this? I think your feelings on Letang might have gone a little past the rational.
   303. vagab0nd (no longer an outl13r) Posted: April 28, 2014 at 10:57 PM (#4696325)
and Letang's influence poisons everyone


I've got a slightly used James Wisneiewski I'll give ya for Letang. Straight up.
   304. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: April 28, 2014 at 11:07 PM (#4696329)
Nah, I'm not that emotionally invested. Ten years ago I would have been.

I believe that for better or worse, the guys that make the most money are looked to by the players as the locker room leaders and role models--and I especially think that's true in more teamwork-oriented sports (hockey, basketball). Players will look to the guys on their team with the big contracts and assume, consciously or unconsciously, that to make it big in this league I need to do what they do.

This is why I think Letang's contract is so destructive. Balancing the positive with the negative, Letang is, near as I can tell, an average-ish defenseman (albeit one who's hurt all the time). But he sets an EXTREMELY bad example with his incessant and unapologetic habits of (1) abandoning his assignment to try to jump into an offensive play or cherry-pick a stray puck and (2) attempting risky cross-ice passes from his own end instead of mechanical breakouts up the boards, despite the obvious fact that for every scoring opportunity he generates for his team this way he generates two or three for his opponents.

And now that he is one of the NHL's highest paid defensemen, there are two major problems: (1) He can't be coached out of these bad habits anymore, can't be benched, can't be traded, can't be disciplined in any meaningful way, and (2) Giving him that enormous contract despite the fact he's had these bad habits since day one sends the message loud and clear to everyone else on the team that the Penguins don't care about things like responsible defense and high-percentage breakout passes.

(Letang also has no sense at all for what's going on outside his line of sight on the ice, which is another reason he's terrible in his own end--when he goes behind his own net and has to turn his back to the ice, he's clueless and frequently zips the puck right onto an opponent's stick. But this is a simple lack of skill on his part, and more forgiveable than the above two problems, which are the results of his willful choices. His style of play suggests he learned how to play hockey from playing video games.)

I am convinced the "follow the leader" effect is real and substantial--it's why Ovechkin is never going to get his hands on the Cup unless it's at the very end of his career, after his star has faded, for instance, and thus why his three Hart Trophies are a hideous joke--and as such I am convinced that Letang's presence on the Penguins actively makes the team worse. I believe the team would be better over the next eight years if they released him and just ate the $7.5 million a year in dead cap space. (This wouldn't be necessary, of course; some team out there would certainly be willing to at least take on $2-3 million a year of it if the Penguins didn't ask for anything back.)

In conclusion, blaming Letang directly for how godawful the Penguins play in their own end isn't quite correct. Letang is what he is. The front office bears the blame for rewarding Letang despite his very bad habits and, in so doing, broadcasting to the rest of the team that playing sound positional hockey in your own end doesn't matter to the Penguins.
   305. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: April 28, 2014 at 11:08 PM (#4696331)
I've got a slightly used James Wisneiewski I'll give ya for Letang. Straight up.


Done. Are you crazy? Wisniewski costs $2 million a year less and is only signed for four more years to Letang's eight. Wisniewski could much more easily be released tomorrow, if it came to it.
   306. vagab0nd (no longer an outl13r) Posted: April 28, 2014 at 11:45 PM (#4696344)
Done. Are you crazy? Wisniewski costs $2 million a year less and is only signed for four more years to Letang's eight. Wisniewski could much more easily be released tomorrow, if it came to it.


Firstly, I saw Letang's contract as 3.5/yr. I'm much less excited aboot this fake deal now that I see the extension that has yet to kick in.

Middly, the Pens aren't my team. From what I have watched of them, I would much rather have Letang than Wiz - he plays better when I've watched (especially this series) and is 3 years younger. I don't really care aboot contract length, when one ends at age 33 (Wiz is only on the books for 3 more) and the other ends at age 35.

Lastly, if that makes me crazy, then so be it.

PS Screw Jeff Carter Go Sharks!
   307. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: April 28, 2014 at 11:51 PM (#4696348)
Yeah, "are you crazy?" was out of line. I apologize. "Are you aware just how big Letang's contract is?" would have been a more productive question.

Don't be fooled by Letang if you don't see him play much--catch him on a good night, when as many of his crazy pass attempts succeed as fail and he gets a couple highlight-reel points, and you'd come away thinking "wow, this guy is awesome!" But if you watch him more closely you realize he takes at least as much off the table as he puts on it. And when luck turns against him and he strings together an extended stretch of failures, well..... if you saw the Boston-Pittsburgh series last year, that's what you get.

I don't understand your comment that you don't care about contract length. $7.5 million is a BIG chunk of cap space to have tied up for the rest of Crosby and Malkin's effective careers. If it was only four more years it wouldn't be nearly as bad (and would be a lot more tradeable).
   308. SteveF Posted: April 28, 2014 at 11:56 PM (#4696351)
This is going to be an interesting 3rd period. I imagine fans of both teams will be nervous wrecks.
   309. zack Posted: April 29, 2014 at 12:01 AM (#4696353)
I don't understand your comment that you don't care about contract length.

outlier's view of contracts for defensemen might be colored by the fact that his team is tied to Wisnewski and Jack Johnson for 3 and 4 years more, respectively. Hooooo doggy.

Between those two, 7 more years of Horton and a lot of their depth reaching free agency in the next 2 years (Dubs, Foligno, Letestu, Nikitin - Johansen and Bob are RFAs), they are in a really tenuous position for a team that should be on the rise.

I like Letang from what I've seen of him, I just don't think he works well with the current Pens team. And not for anything near $7 for 8.

Lastly, go Wild! I think that Roy's early pulling of the goalie is really smart, but it HAD to bite them in the ass eventually.
   310. SteveF Posted: April 29, 2014 at 12:29 AM (#4696366)
I imagine it must be tough to be a Sharks fan.

Buckle up for liberal use of the 'c' word over the next 48 hours Sharks fans.
   311. Shredder Posted: April 29, 2014 at 12:54 AM (#4696374)
Drew Remenda and Randy Hahn are good announcers during the regular season. They have kicked into homer overdrive in the last couple games. You never go the full Harrelson. I mean Remenda was just terrible. Intent to blow the whistle only comes into play when, ya know, the ref actually blows the whistle!

You would have thought the San Jose brain trust were on to something when they named their team after one of the only animals without a neck. But once again, here we are.
   312. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: April 29, 2014 at 01:22 AM (#4696378)
I very much like hearing doc and eddie on nbc. They keepnit exciting and dont seem to pick a side to cheer for other than for just good hockey. Then again eddie is the hawks regular announcer so maybe I see it differently
   313. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: April 29, 2014 at 02:35 AM (#4696384)
Semi related to a post in another thread. But does anyone else love how few commrcial breaks they have in nhl games.
   314. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: April 29, 2014 at 02:55 AM (#4696385)
On to Game 7! Kopi was awesome tonight, even Dustin Brown has shown some life lately. Tanner Pearson has been a revelation. I can't believe we had to watch Jordan Nolan suck all year when they had this guy around.

Despite the late goals, I thought that Sharks goalie was good tonight. I imagine they will stay with him.

Edit:
"We got cheated. Simple as that," McLellan said. "I was told you could see the puck laying behind his feet the whole time. That is why the whistle didn't go. It's pretty clear when you look at it after [it wasn't]. That was obviously the turning point. Got to move on and overcome it again."

Waaaaa. You could obviously see the puck was free, that's why the Sharks guy tried to get his stick on it. Never a good sign when you let your team off the hook by blaming the refs.
   315. Shredder Posted: April 29, 2014 at 03:11 AM (#4696386)
Yeah, the refs really killed the Sharks. Two minutes to Doughty for letting Marleau grab his stick and ram it into his face. Two minutes to Pearson for "stopping". Nothing to Marleau for diving on top of Quick.

Seriously, that call on Pearson was brutal. If that's a penalty, then next time, if I'm Tanner Pearson, I drive right through Stalock and send him into next week. It's apparently a penalty either way.
   316. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: April 29, 2014 at 04:17 AM (#4696390)
Seriously, that call on Pearson was brutal. If that's a penalty, then next time, if I'm Tanner Pearson, I drive right through Stalock and send him into next week. It's apparently a penalty either way.
so, i have had very similar thoughts watching various flyers games over the years and i've come to the realization that if anyone actually played hockey the way i think they should, the sport would officially be rollerball.


   317. zack Posted: April 29, 2014 at 09:20 AM (#4696465)
The Sharks can't possibly Shark up another one, can they? I think anyone would rightly be pissed about that second goal (not that it matters). The puck was 3/4 under Stalock for a good few seconds, and even if the call is technically right, that'd usually be blown dead.

You Kings fans are mighty happy for two people who quit on the series :).

I've always thought Remenda had way too much homer in him, even if I like their broadcast otherwise.

Will Vlasic be back in this series?
   318. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: April 29, 2014 at 09:30 AM (#4696474)
Sure they can. They're the Sharks.

I cited Alex Ovechkin in my novella in #304 as an example of a superstar who will never win the Cup because his lazy and selfish attitude infects the entire team, but Joe Thornton would be example 1A. Thornton is a very unselfish player and a brilliant passer, and that makes the Sharks a very fun team to watch (as long as you're not rooting for them in the playoffs, that is...) but Thornton is passive as hell and not willing to work his ass off and fight and bleed for the Cup. And so his team isn't, either.
   319. Shredder Posted: April 29, 2014 at 09:52 AM (#4696490)
The puck was 3/4 under Stalock for a good few seconds, and even if the call is technically right, that'd usually be blown dead.
The puck was behind Stalock, in his skates, right in front of the referee, who could see it the whole time. The ref doesn't blow the whistle if the puck is loose and the ref can still see it. The ref did the right thing to keep from blowing the whistle, and there's nothing in the rule book that would allow the refs to wash out that goal.
You Kings fans are mighty happy for two people who quit on the series :).
I think the Kings were absolutely terrible for two games, but I wouldn't say I gave up, any more than anyone gives up on a team down 3-0. I still think the Sharks have the upper hand, and if they can settle themselves down they're going to be really tough to beat. But based on they way they reacted in the last eight minutes last night and in McLellan's presser afterward, they have a lot of work to do.
   320. Random Transaction Generator Posted: April 29, 2014 at 10:04 AM (#4696502)
The West might be the better conference, but the East has a chance to produce easily the best 2nd round matchups.

Montreal vs Boston - History, baby. H-I-S-T-O-R-Y
Pittsburgh vs Philadelphia/New York - Lots of bad blood for the Pennsylvania rivalry, and Crosby vs New York is an NHL dream.

What does the West bring?
Colorado/Minnesota vs Chicago - Colorado is young and exciting (Hello, Mr. McKinnon. Please try on your 2018 Canadian Olympic jersey.), but there isn't any real heat for Chicago with either matchup
San Jose/Los Angeles vs Anaheim - I guess the Battle for LA might be interesting. Do those teams dislike each other?
   321. zack Posted: April 29, 2014 at 10:18 AM (#4696505)
I think the Kings were absolutely terrible for two games, but I wouldn't say I gave up

I guess I misread the "I'm actually rooting for the Ducks now". On the goal, I just think it was covered enough that it usually gets blown, but was a quirk that it happened to be only visible by the one guy that matters. There's also the issue that the puck only crossed the line because the goalie was pushed into the net and took the puck with him. Just a weird goal that anyone would be upset to allow, but was technically the correct call.
The West might be the better conference, but the East has a chance to produce easily the best 2nd round matchups.

The West absolutely is the better conference, but the seeding was all messed up because of the new playoff format and the Ducks and Avs being ridiculously fortunate. The 4 best teams in the conference (and 4 of the 5 best teams period, with the Bruins) had to play each other in the first round.
   322. Shredder Posted: April 29, 2014 at 10:18 AM (#4696506)
Do those teams dislike each other?
Kings and Ducks pretty much don't like each other at all, but they've never faced each other in the playoffs. The Sharks hate is really strong right now because this is the third year in the last four that they've met in the playoffs, and they've all gone deep (one six game, two seven gamers). But it could really be a war between the Kings and the Ducks if they meet in the next round. We've been waiting 20 years for that series.

The Colorado series could be good because you just know Roy is going to do something really stupid in these playoffs, and he hasn't really gone off yet.
   323. Shredder Posted: April 29, 2014 at 10:39 AM (#4696525)
On the goal, I just think it was covered enough that it usually gets blown,
Except that it wasn't covered at all. Granted, it looked like it was on TV with the angle they had, but sometimes refs blow the whistle when everyone watching on TV can see that the puck is still loose. Basically you're arguing that the ref got it right, but they often get that wrong, so you think they should have gotten it wrong this time as well.
the puck only crossed the line because the goalie was pushed into the net and took the puck with him
This is just simply not true. Stalock was never pushed into the net. If he had been, he would have ended up in the net, instead of outside the net. He never even crossed the goal line, let alone "together with the puck". Rule 69.6:
In the event that a goalkeeper has been pushed into the net together with the puck by an attacking player after making a stop, the goal will be disallowed. If applicable, appropriate penalties will be assessed.
.He was never pushed into the net, and he was not pushed into the net with the puck. The puck entered the net on its own, not with the goaltender (who again, was never pushed into the net, unless "toward" and "into" have the exact same meaning). You're missing both of those elements. You can't shove the goaltenders pads over the line when he has the puck covered, but that never happened.
   324. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: April 29, 2014 at 10:41 AM (#4696529)
The puck was behind Stalock, in his skates, right in front of the referee, who could see it the whole time. The ref doesn't blow the whistle if the puck is loose and the ref can still see it. The ref did the right thing to keep from blowing the whistle, and there's nothing in the rule book that would allow the refs to wash out that goal.

I'm not making this argument, but Mooney is:

Rule 69.6 of the NHL rulebook strictly prohibits scoring goals this way: "In the event that a goalkeeper has been pushed into the net together with the puck by an attacking player after making a stop, the goal will be disallowed. If applicable, appropriate penalties will be assessed."

The counterargument from the league could be that Stalock wasn't pushed into the net, just towards it. But then you have the counter-counter argument, which the league used to disallow that Ryan Callahan goal on Carey Price from the Canadiens-Lightning series.

Recall rule 69.3, which states that, "if an attacking player initiates contact with a goalkeeper, incidental or otherwise, while the goalkeeper is in his goal crease, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed." Considering the generous way the rule was applied for Price, you wonder how Stalock is allowed to be shoved into the goal.


I think the Kings were absolutely terrible for two games, but I wouldn't say I gave up, any more than anyone gives up on a team down 3-0.

Maybe, but we could read it that way:

161. Shredder Posted: April 21, 2014 at 12:38 AM (#4690019)
Jonathan Quick with a GAA of 2.40..... Per period. Holy crap, this Kings team is awful. I'm actually rooting for the Ducks now. Anyone but San Jose would be fine with me.


That was after game 2. After game 3:
Shredder Posted: April 23, 2014 at 01:27 AM (#4691688)
And the Sharks win on possibly the luckiest goal anyone has ever seen. this Kings team sucks. I can only hope the Kings make the Sharks pay an extremely heavy physical price for moving on Thursday. I'm rooting for any team that doesn't wear teal. I hate the Sharks more than any team in professional sports (still hate U$C more).
   325. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: April 29, 2014 at 10:43 AM (#4696532)
Sorry, I hadn't refreshed to see the last post. Not trying to pile on or rehash anything there.
   326. Shredder Posted: April 29, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4696538)
Maybe, but we could read it that way:
Heat of the moment. Giving up would imply I stopped watching. But fair enough. Though my girlfriend would look at you funny if you told her I'd given up on the series.
I'm not making this argument, but Mooney is:
Mooney is flat out wrong if he's hanging his hat on 69.6. He's simply refusing to read the "pushed into the net together with the puck" language in the rule. 69.3 is the better argument the way the rule is written, but the difference in this case is that a player is allowed to go into the crease after the puck when the puck is already loose in the crease, which this puck clearly was. But to argue that the goal should be disallowed under 69.3, you have to completely ignore the first paragraph of 69.6:
69.6 Rebounds and Loose Pucks - In a rebound situation, or where a goalkeeper and attacking player(s) are simultaneously attempting to play a loose puck, whether inside or outside the crease, incidental contact with the goalkeeper will be permitted, and any goal that is scored as a result thereof will be allowed.
I guess you could argue that neither player was trying to play the puck, but there was no way for Williams to get to the puck without going through Stalock.

I just don't see any way to disallow that goal the way the rules are written. It looks bad, and it looks like something the rules should address, but they don't address it.
   327. zack Posted: April 29, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4696551)
I'm not actually arguing that the goal shouldn't count, I'm just saying that it's quite understandable why a team might be livid about the way it went down.

Of course, a properly managed team shouldn't lose their #### about it and then give away the rest of the game. Say what you will about Q, but if it had been the 'hawks in that situation they would have been fighting for a goal not being petulant.
   328. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: April 29, 2014 at 11:10 AM (#4696553)
I guess you could argue that neither player was trying to play the puck, but there was no way for Williams to get to the puck without going through Stalock.

I guess if I were a Sharks fan, I would be a little pissed. The boxscore says Justin Williams (4) Wrist shot, did Williams ever touch the puck? It should says Justin Williams (4) Momentum. All he did was push the goalie and provide the momentum for the puck to get in the net.

Either way, the Sharks have had more than their share of BS multiple deflection goals in this series, and there is no excuse for them basically quitting last night.
   329. Shredder Posted: April 29, 2014 at 11:51 AM (#4696596)
The boxscore says Justin Williams (4) Wrist shot, did Williams ever touch the puck?
It was his deflection that put it behind Stalock in the first place. I would have listed it as tip in or something.
   330. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: April 29, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4696602)
Yeah, you are right.

It's funny, the Sharks knowingly made that offense for defense trade, and who's standing there not checking Justin Williams? Martin Havlat.
   331. ursus arctos Posted: April 29, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4696720)
Kerry Fraser thinks it shouldn't have counted.

The L.A. Kings' 'greasy' second goal should have been disallowed by referee Chris Lee as per rule 69.6 when Justin Williams used his stick to push Alex Stalock, set in a statuesque pose, that resulted in both the puck and the toe of Stalock's left skate to cross the goal line into the net.

It appeared that the referee was purely focused on the puck that became partially visible under the left skate of Alex Stalock after the goalie made the initial save. If referee Lee taken had taken into account the action of Justin Williams pushing Stalock from the front of the goal crease with his hockey stick or subsequently had the opportunity to utilize video review I would hope that a different decision on the play would have been rendered.
   332. Shredder Posted: April 29, 2014 at 01:49 PM (#4696728)
Kerry Fraser thinks it shouldn't have counted.
He said that last night. He's still wrong. Hell, Williams got cleared out and was falling backward when he reached for the puck. I do love the focus on the toe of the goalie's skate though, of course after the puck had independently entered the net.
   333. vagab0nd (no longer an outl13r) Posted: April 29, 2014 at 03:14 PM (#4696825)
outlier's view of contracts for defensemen might be colored by the fact that his team is tied to Wisnewski and Jack Johnson for 3 and 4 years more, respectively. Hooooo doggy.

Between those two, 7 more years of Horton and a lot of their depth reaching free agency in the next 2 years (Dubs, Foligno, Letestu, Nikitin - Johansen and Bob are RFAs), they are in a really tenuous position for a team that should be on the rise.


Must you pour salt in my wounds so soon after the CBJs season ended?

My comment about contract length is more about "how old are they when the contract ends" than "how long is the contract". From my limited knowledge of hockey, good players age much better than in other sports.

Yeah, "are you crazy?" was out of line. I apologize.


It's the interwebs. Things are said from time to time, no biggy. Apology accepted. I look forward to watching the kids grow up some more - hopefully next year (and the year after and the year after) the CBJs will be more than just a pesky little brother to teams like the Pens.
   334. Langer Monk Posted: April 29, 2014 at 10:15 PM (#4697174)
Should make for an interesting Game 7 tomorrow between the Rags and Flyers. Lot of fighting would be fun.
   335. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: April 29, 2014 at 11:18 PM (#4697197)
Should make for an interesting Game 7 tomorrow between the Rags and Flyers. Lot of fighting would be fun.
i'd settle for just winning, but i agree that it'd be fun to win AND get some ranger blood on the ice.

   336. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: April 30, 2014 at 01:21 AM (#4697268)
It seems like really poor planning to have all three Game 7s on the same night. It would kill them to push the Rangers-Flyers to Thursday? It's not like the Knicks are using the building.
   337. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: April 30, 2014 at 01:50 AM (#4697274)
I dont know why they were onlyp laying game 6 tonight too many off days or a way to late start to it. When do the first games of the second round start?
   338. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: April 30, 2014 at 07:31 AM (#4697288)
As a Penguins fan I'm torn between my deep loathing of all things New York and my desire to not have to watch the Penguins get the living #### beat out of them over four or five games by the Flyers.
   339. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: April 30, 2014 at 09:31 AM (#4697320)
I dont know why they were onlyp laying game 6 tonight too many off days or a way to late start to it. When do the first games of the second round start?

Just how the schedule worked out. Hawks/Blues game 7 would have been last night. I'm sure if the Bos/Det or TB/Mon series had gone longer they would have had games too.

Considering nothing has been announced/scheduled, Friday is probably the earliest any series could start. I can't think of a reason whey they couldn't have already scheduled the Bruins/Habs series to start tomorrow.
   340. zack Posted: April 30, 2014 at 10:08 AM (#4697337)
Yeah, I think Friday is definitely the start of the next round. Was Rags/Flyers the only series with a back-to-back? They didn't even start late, that was the Det/Bos series. Other than that I don't see the problem with 3 games in one night, they had 4 in one on many days this round.

Another reason to root for the Wild: #### mountain time.
   341. zack Posted: April 30, 2014 at 10:19 AM (#4697347)
And I'm an idjit:

In case you’re wondering, the NHL announced that Game 1 of this series will kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday in Boston.
   342. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: April 30, 2014 at 10:30 AM (#4697362)
When was that announced? What took so damn long?
   343. zack Posted: April 30, 2014 at 10:49 AM (#4697382)
I don't know, I just caught it at the bottom of a PHT article.
   344. Squash Posted: April 30, 2014 at 11:47 AM (#4697435)
Sure they can. They're the Sharks.

I cited Alex Ovechkin in my novella in #304 as an example of a superstar who will never win the Cup because his lazy and selfish attitude infects the entire team, but Joe Thornton would be example 1A. Thornton is a very unselfish player and a brilliant passer, and that makes the Sharks a very fun team to watch (as long as you're not rooting for them in the playoffs, that is...) but Thornton is passive as hell and not willing to work his ass off and fight and bleed for the Cup.


As we have seen in this series, it would be a grave mistake to underestimate the Sharks' ability to destroy any kind of advantage.

Re: the second paragraph admittedly I haven't watched much of the playoffs this year, but the guy who bugs me isn't Thornton but Marleau. Thornton just kind of plays the way he plays, and the way he plays is always going to be at a disadvantage in the playoffs because space gets tighter. Marleau is the guy whose effort level seems vary wildly. He'll have a two or three game stretch (such as that series a few years ago with Chicago) where he looks like the best player in the world, scores goals, always near the net, lots of movement, and you're asking yourself why this guy isn't a superstar and the second or third best guy in his conference. Then he'll show you why by completely disappearing for the next six games as if he didn't even dress. I've always said the day the Sharks will win the Cup is the day Marleau decides he's going to be Good Marleau for an entire 20-game playoff stretch. Until then they'll be the team that plays a series or two and then gets bounced because they don't have the effort level to go anywhere in the playoffs.
   345. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: April 30, 2014 at 12:06 PM (#4697453)
Jaromir Jagr is another example--he won two Cups the first two years of his career, went to two more conference finals as Mario Lemieux's sidekick, and reached the Cup Finals last year as a power play guy on the Bruins. No team whose star was Jaromir Jagr ever got even as far as the conference finals, despite Jagr being second to absolutely no one besides Gretzky and Lemieux in offensive brilliance. This is not an accident. Lemieux wasn't known for his work ethic, but Jagr took "don't really give a #### about anything but the Art Ross" to new levels.

Giving a big contract to an all offense/no defense/low effort winger (guys like Jagr, Dany Heatley, Ilya Kovalchuk, Marian Gaborik, Ovechkin--by the way, did you notice how many of these guys are Russians?) is a blunder that all but guarantees your team won't be a serious contender for years.
   346. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: April 30, 2014 at 12:49 PM (#4697483)
I think you mean Masterson Trophy finalist Jaromir Jagr, Zeth.
   347. Pooty Lederhosen Posted: April 30, 2014 at 01:09 PM (#4697503)
Considering nothing has been announced/scheduled, Friday is probably the earliest any series could start. I can't think of a reason whey they couldn't have already scheduled the Bruins/Habs series to start tomorrow.


I think the league wants at least a day off between Game 7s and the next round's first game. That would have had Boston/Montreal starting Friday, but scheduling conflicts didn't allow it. Northeastern's commencement is Friday, and the TD Garden floor couldn't be taken up in time for a Friday night game.
   348. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: April 30, 2014 at 01:15 PM (#4697510)
I've been thinking about the likelihood of a no-holds-barred beatdown at the hands of the Flyers provoking a regime change in Pittsburgh, but unfortunately I think the most likely result is that Bylsma, who isn't really the problem, gets fired while Shero, who is the problem, stays.

The Penguins ought to be circumspect about firing a coach who has won more games than any coach in history at his experience level. Is it not possible that Bylsma has, particularly in the past two years, been quite successful with a very weak roster at lineup spots 3 through 19? Can another coach, even an established excellent coach, be expected to do much better with the Penguins' roster? Is such a coach even available to hire, if they choose to can Bylsma?

That the roster (and cap situation) is this ###### up is the GM's fault.

Then again, supposedly Bylsma told the brass "if Fleury goes, I go" and if true I'd consider that a fireable offense by itself. So.

My inclination about Bylsma is that it's more likely his replacement will be a worse coach than better, but I won't cry over his firing because it is probably true that at some point you have to fire the coach just to send the message to the team that the way it's currently playing isn't acceptable. But the Penguins' current situation is mostly Shero's fault, not Bylsma's, and allowing Shero to scapegoat Bylsma for it will be counterproductive.

EDIT: One more thought. If the narrative that the Penguins are underachieving chokers weren't already established, Bylsma would easily be getting Coach of the Year this year for the team's resounding regular-season success despite a preposterous wave of injuries. If they were to fire Bylsma this offseason, I expect he will be unemployed for about ten minutes.
   349. Esmailyn Gonzalez Sr. Posted: April 30, 2014 at 03:49 PM (#4697714)
Jagr, Dany Heatley, Ilya Kovalchuk, Marian Gaborik, Ovechkin--by the way, did you notice how many of these guys are Russians?

2
   350. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: April 30, 2014 at 05:59 PM (#4697844)
Giving a big contract to an all offense/no defense/low effort winger (guys like Jagr, Dany Heatley, Ilya Kovalchuk, Marian Gaborik, Ovechkin--by the way, did you notice how many of these guys are Russians?) is a blunder that all but guarantees your team won't be a serious contender for years.


Your comments leaves a lot open to interpretation (what's a big contract?) but the Hawks built their team around two such players (Sharp, Kane) and it's worked out fine.
   351. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: April 30, 2014 at 06:11 PM (#4697851)
Esmailyn: I left off Pavel Bure and Alexander Semin, just off the top of my head.

Mark Edward: Sharp and Kane are nowhere near that level of indifference when they don't have the puck, plus Toews is the team's superstar. Sharp, Kane and (the perennially underrated) Marian Hossa are extremely good pieces, but pieces; the Blackhawks are built around Toews and Keith.
   352. Langer Monk Posted: April 30, 2014 at 08:48 PM (#4697925)
Rangers may regret not cashing in late there to go up 3.
   353. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: April 30, 2014 at 10:36 PM (#4697985)
Kane is one of the hawks superstats thrre is no doubt about it.
   354. zack Posted: April 30, 2014 at 11:12 PM (#4698000)
Sharp, Kane and (the perennially underrated) Marian Hossa are extremely good pieces, but pieces; the Blackhawks are built around Toews and Keith.

Other way around, it's Keith and Toews. But I often go back and forth on whether Kane or Toews is the more important cog. Toews plays great in all situations, but Kane is more likely to do something incredible. Hossa in his prime would be right up there.

Having real trouble deciding which game to watch now. Muzzin just sold two calls in a row to get a 5v3. And they convert it.
   355. Langer Monk Posted: April 30, 2014 at 11:36 PM (#4698015)
Watching split screen - both games are becoming run and gun.
   356. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: April 30, 2014 at 11:44 PM (#4698018)
At a bar with both games on tv side by side hard to choose which to watch. But avs wild wins because hawks play the winner.
   357. zack Posted: April 30, 2014 at 11:45 PM (#4698020)
Heh, goals on both at the same time. I had the sound on the Wild game, but that was a beautiful goal by Kopitar.
   358. Langer Monk Posted: April 30, 2014 at 11:46 PM (#4698022)
Wild tie it seconds before the Kings go up.
   359. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: April 30, 2014 at 11:47 PM (#4698023)
For the nhl cap do they average the totalomey and years or a rolling average? I only ask because of hossa's contract
   360. zack Posted: April 30, 2014 at 11:54 PM (#4698027)
Kuemper makes a huge save on a breakaway, saves the rebound...and then lets in a wrister from the blue line.

Meatwad: I don't really understand your question, but the cap hit is just total money / total years, except for guys like Hossa where cap recapture comes into play if they retire early.
   361. Langer Monk Posted: April 30, 2014 at 11:55 PM (#4698028)
Hossa's cap hit is 5.275M a year according to capgeek

Two great saves, and then a whiff from Kuemper
   362. zack Posted: April 30, 2014 at 11:58 PM (#4698029)
And here comes Bryz.
   363. Langer Monk Posted: May 01, 2014 at 12:05 AM (#4698031)
TSN's saying Tortorella's going to get fired tomorrow.
   364. zack Posted: May 01, 2014 at 12:09 AM (#4698033)
That is a humungous beeg goal.
   365. Langer Monk Posted: May 01, 2014 at 12:37 AM (#4698036)
Wow.
   366. zack Posted: May 01, 2014 at 12:37 AM (#4698037)
Finally, the horseshoe drops out of Roy's ass. Congrats to the better team, and now we won't have to hear about that first goal all day tomorrow.
   367. Langer Monk Posted: May 01, 2014 at 12:45 AM (#4698039)
San Jose making history.
   368. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: May 01, 2014 at 12:48 AM (#4698040)
Shredder if zi recall from a fb bet you still need to sponser Jose Macias bref page for me from last year.
   369. Shredder Posted: May 01, 2014 at 01:12 AM (#4698044)
I don't think you ever chose someone. But as we're this late, we could see if they meet again and go double or nothing.
   370. Shredder Posted: May 01, 2014 at 01:16 AM (#4698046)
I gotta think the Sharks win it all next year. They've reached the mountaintop of choke. They simply cannot out choke themselves. The only place to go from here is to win it all. What were they in the PP, 0-6? And they moved the puck really well too.

I think McLellan made the right move with Niemi. Those goals weren't his fault. Kopitar's was world class, and Toffoli is a lure scorer that's not gonna miss that chance. Niemi stoned Richards over and over and kept the Sharks in the game.

I don't know who those guys in Kings jerseys were in games one and two, but they showed up over the rest of the series. We've been waiting 20 years for Kings vs. Ducks. This series could be epic. Kings may have home crowd on the road.
   371. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: May 01, 2014 at 01:23 AM (#4698048)
I picked macias but posted it here and not fb and double or nothing works for me, hell of a comeback by the kings in that series
   372. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: May 01, 2014 at 02:11 AM (#4698056)
Hawks play at 830 local time on friday.
   373. Squash Posted: May 01, 2014 at 02:48 AM (#4698063)
It's funny, I literally feel nothing at all about the Sharks losing in historic fashion. I think I've reached the ultimate in battered-fan level - there's no more emotion at all. Kind of a relief, actually.
   374. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 01, 2014 at 06:32 AM (#4698071)
The narrative on the Sharks remains the same as it's been throughout the Thornton Era: They just don't want it badly enough.

Now that we're here, I'll open the second round predictions that we can all laugh at later (after a lackluster 4-4 first round):

Bruins over Canadiens in 6
Rangers over Penguins in 6
Wild over Blackhawks in 6
Ducks over Kings in 7

I regard "pick every series to go 6 games" as a trap that people frequently fall into, but hell if I see any of these series going less than 6, unless the Penguins or Ducks melt down.

As for the semi-insane pick of Wild over Blackhawks, there's likely going to be one upset, and nobody's really going to be surprised if the Penguins lose. Pretty much everyone on earth is going to be picking the Blackhawks, so.
   375. Flynn Posted: May 01, 2014 at 07:29 AM (#4698076)
Canadiens over Bruins in 7
Rangers over Penguins in 6
Blackhawks over Wild in 6
Kings over Ducks in 7.
   376. Pooty Lederhosen Posted: May 01, 2014 at 08:07 AM (#4698083)
Bruins over Canadiens in 5
Rangers over Penguins in 7
Blackhawks over Wild in 6
Kings over Ducks in 6
   377. Langer Monk Posted: May 01, 2014 at 08:48 AM (#4698100)
Boston in 7
Pittsburgh in 7
Chicago in 5
Anaheim in 7

I think each series is going to be long and difficult, except with the Wild's sudden goalie injury issue (maybe), Chicago will be able to get through a little easier.
   378. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 01, 2014 at 08:53 AM (#4698104)
Goalies don't matter. I know Bryzgalov seems scary because he's crazy, but he's just as perfectly average as every other goaltender.
   379. Random Transaction Generator Posted: May 01, 2014 at 09:21 AM (#4698111)
It's funny, I literally feel nothing at all about the Sharks losing in historic fashion. I think I've reached the ultimate in battered-fan level - there's no more emotion at all. Kind of a relief, actually.


And now you know what it's like to be a old Maple Leafs fan like myself.
   380. Random Transaction Generator Posted: May 01, 2014 at 09:22 AM (#4698112)
Canadiens over Bruins in 5
Penguins over Rangers in 6
Blackhawks over Wild in 4
Ducks over Kings in 7
   381. zack Posted: May 01, 2014 at 09:52 AM (#4698120)
This might be old, but I thought it was pretty good.
   382. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 01, 2014 at 09:59 AM (#4698125)
Bruins in 5
Rangers in 7
Hawks in 6
Kings in 7

Really enjoyed the Wild/Avs game last night, the last two goals were amazing snipes that show just how skilled a hockey player is.
   383. zack Posted: May 01, 2014 at 10:07 AM (#4698132)
Bruins in 6 (Bruins much better, but I think the series will be a shitshow)
Rangers in 7 (Rangers better but Crosby will win a couple)
Hawks in 5 (Repeat of last year, Wild have improved but it's the 2nd round)
Kings in 5
   384. zack Posted: May 01, 2014 at 10:25 AM (#4698143)
Would you take the over or under for points for the Avs next season at 93?
   385. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: May 01, 2014 at 10:59 AM (#4698177)
Goalies don't matter. I know Bryzgalov seems scary because he's crazy, but he's just as perfectly average as every other goaltender.

This is a silly statement, IMO. But one that would have to be held by someone who's forced to root for playoff Fluery. Besides, the Hawks are better than the Wild at virtually every position - including goalie - and in total. Part of it was Avs magic, but the Wild really struggled putting away a team they thoroughly outplayed. The Wild were a below average possession team during the regular season, and only looked good at it against an even worse possession team in the playoffs; they're in huge trouble this series. My biggest fear, by far, for this series is Cooke coming back in game 4 to a desperate team and deciding to take out someone important on the Hawks.

---

Bruins in 6
Rangers in 7
Hawks in 5
Kings in 7
   386. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 01, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4698190)
Up until three years ago I used to be the guy speaking ill of Fleury, when he was getting credit for being a clutch beast and I had to point out that he's just average like every other goaltender.

The past three years I'm the guy defending Fleury, now that he gets blamed for the Penguins' failures and I have to point out that he remains exactly the same guy he always has been: average, like every other goaltender. Fleury has more day-to-day variance than most, but overall he's average. And so is almost everyone else.

Semyon Varlamov had a randomly high save percentage this year but his career numbers are--you guessed it--average and not appreciably different from Bryzgalov's.

Goalies don't matter. It doesn't take deep research to see this. Just glance at a list of goalies that have won the Cup or reached the Finals over the past 15 years. It's just a list of random guys selected from the list of 40-50 men who at any given point in time have the requisite skills to play goaltender in the NHL.

Another example: Tuukka Rask isn't special, and Tim Thomas wasn't either. The Bruins play extraordinarily strong defense, and their goaltenders have consistently posted higher-than-normal save percentages basically since the day Zdeno Chara put on a Bruins uniform.
   387. Squash Posted: May 01, 2014 at 12:07 PM (#4698238)
Goalies don't matter. It doesn't take deep research to see this. Just glance at a list of goalies that have won the Cup or reached the Finals over the past 15 years. It's just a list of random guys selected from the list of 40-50 men who at any given point in time have the requisite skills to play goaltender in the NHL.

I'm with this to a certain degree, but I'd reframe it - goalies matter massively, but who your goalie is doesn't matter much. Just about anyone can get (and has gotten) hot for 20 games or so and taken their team to the Cup. There's been so many one and done guys over the last 15-20 years - they're all good, but there's no rhyme or reason to figuring out who it's going to be. Why is Miikka Kiprusoff or Niemi or Jonathan Quick or Vanbiesbrouk a star for one playoff season but just another guy for the rest? And who were these guys before they had their magic run? It's like baseball - anything can happen over a few games.


To get back to the Sharks, I went to Fear the Fin for the first time ever last night to see what the reaction was there. There was a big post up about Thornton and Marleau and how they didn't deserve this and were going to go down unfairly labeled as chokers. It was well written and obviously heartfelt and everything, but the premise is insane. Of course they deserve this. They specifically deserve this. Their yearly playoff disappearances are the primary reason the Sharks go home early every spring. In this way hockey isn't baseball - effort matters. A lot. Especially from your stars. And it's mostly mental, not physical. I'm sure these guys are just as fit as anyone. But it's about always driving to the net, 60 minutes of every game, always keeping your feet moving, never settling at the tops of the circles, not taking power plays off, etc. They don't do that. Which is why they don't win.

If you talk to most Sharks fans they love Marleau. They think he's a star. I think it's because the team has never had a real superstar put up a string of real superstar seasons so they don't know what a star looks like. They had Selanne for a while but he was a bad fit and didn't put up numbers. They had Heatley for a while but he was another bad fit and didn't put up numbers. They've had Thornton for a while but he isn't a goal scorer. They've had a few magic seasons (Cheechoo a few years ago, Pavelski this year) but nothing with any consistency. So they think Marleau is a star. The organization doesn't - they've been trying to put a real star on the team for forever now (Selanne, Heatley) but they keep getting the wrong guy. What they need is someone like Toews - a guy who can anchor the first line and never ever gives up. Of course every team needs someone like Toews, which is why the Sharks are unlikely get someone like that any time soon.
   388. zonk Posted: May 01, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4698247)
Eh, OK...

Hawks in 6
Bruins in 6
Penguins in 7
Ducks in 7

   389. zack Posted: May 01, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4698248)
I think all these stories about Thornton are all the traps that we make fun of people in baseball for making: blaming the best player for his teams failures and mistaking failure of results for failure of character. Yes, I get it, this has happened over and over, but winning the cup is freaking hard.

Did everyone forget that they played the last two games without their best defenseman, by far? That Niemi's save percentage the last 3 games was .808, .842 and .893, while Quick threw up a .923, 1, .962 and .975? That the Kings were the better team and should never have been behind 3-0 in the first place?

Yeah, Thornton didn't do enough for the Sharks to win, but it extremely common for top-line players to cancel each other out. Everyone's platonic ideal of a hockey ubermensch, Toews, had 2 points in the first round, and 4 in the second round last year but it didn't matter because the rest of the 'hawks are great.

The Sharks for most of his time there have been good but not great teams, propped up by excellent powerplays that are comparatively less valuable in the postseason. The last time they were a great team was 2009 and their goalie was an over-the-hill Nabokov. And this year they ran into another great team in the first round, same as the (also repeated failure) Blues, who don't get nearly as much #### for their failures. Thornton has a marked decrease in his scoring in the playoffs, and that's worthy of questioning, but my guess is because his scoring rates are propped up by that powerplay.

If you want to blame, start with McClellan.
   390. Pooty Lederhosen Posted: May 01, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4698250)
I'm with this to a certain degree, but I'd reframe it - goalies matter massively, but who your goalie is doesn't matter much. Just about anyone can get (and has gotten) hot for 20 games or so and taken their team to the Cup. There's been so many one and done guys over the last 15-20 years - they're all good, but there's no rhyme or reason to figuring out who it's going to be. Why is Miikka Kiprusoff or Niemi or Jonathan Quick or Vanbiesbrouk a star for one playoff season but just another guy for the rest? And who were these guys before they had their magic run? It's like baseball - anything can happen over a few games.

Quick thought experiment. You're going into the playoffs. Are your chances of winning better if your goalie is Ken Dryden, Martin Brodeur, Patrick Roy, or Dominik Hasek; or are your chances the same as when you've got Miikka Kiprusoff or Niemi or Jonathan Quick or Vanbiesbrouk between the pipes?

I'll phrase it another way. Is it more likely that your goalie gets hot if it's Dryden, Brodeur, et al. or is it the same as if it's Kiprusoff, Niemi et al.?

I think this article was linked in this thread recently. I think it shows Zeth to be completely wrong, but I think common sense suggests that anyway.

Anyway, you're right about hot streaks in the playoffs. The argument over whether there's conclusive evidence of certain goalies being more likely to catch that playoff lightning is much like the argument about clutch hitting. Some think that if the data doesn't show it, it doesn't exist. Some think that it may be simply an artifact of measurement limits.
   391. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: May 01, 2014 at 12:41 PM (#4698255)
Their yearly playoff disappearances are the primary reason the Sharks go home early every spring.

I thought McLellan was terrible. Couture had a crappy game last night. They need to shake things up, this group isn't going to be able to shake the sense of impending doom.

Kings-Ducks will be tough. The Ducks are real good and the Kings haven't had much for them this year. The Ducks goaltending is a little unsettled, that's the only advantage I can think of right now.
   392. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: May 01, 2014 at 12:42 PM (#4698256)
Double Post
   393. Shredder Posted: May 01, 2014 at 12:52 PM (#4698261)
To get back to the Sharks, I went to Fear the Fin for the first time ever last night to see what the reaction was there. There was a big post up about Thornton and Marleau and how they didn't deserve this and were going to go down unfairly labeled as chokers. It was well written and obviously heartfelt and everything, but the premise is insane. Of course they deserve this. They specifically deserve this. Their yearly playoff disappearances are the primary reason the Sharks go home early every spring.
When you look at the last few games of this series, the difference was that the guys the Kings rely on most, Kopitar, Doughty, and Quick, were the best players on the ice. Kopitar and Doughty were the best players on the ice every single time they were on the ice. Marleau is an amazing talent and a phenomenal skater, but he just completely disappears at times. Thornton is the one I don't get. He still looked like he controlled the play at times, and I don't blame him for not finishing since he's not a goal scorer. I can't recall if he wears a letter, and I don't watch the Sharks enough to know if this is a bad idea, but I'd think about Brent Burns in a leadership role. He's the guy on the Sharks who really scares me with his shot and his physical play, and he seems like the type of guy who will go through a wall if asked, but that's just my perception. They seem like they need a different identity, and maybe he could help provide it. The perception is that they're a talented, yet soft team, and soft teams don't win in the playoffs very often.
Did everyone forget that they played the last two games without their best defenseman, by far?
I hear you on this, but the fact of the matter is that Vlasic is not an offensive player. The Sharks scored two goals in the final three games of the series, and one was by the guy who replaced Vlasic! It's not the defense that killed the Sharks. If I'm reading the numbers right, Vlasic had one point on the power play all season long. I'm not sure he would have made much of a difference there. The overall lack of scoring and especially the repeated failures on the power play are what did the Sharks in.

In the end, I'd call this karma for continuing to employ Raffi Torres.
   394. zack Posted: May 01, 2014 at 12:56 PM (#4698264)
In the end, I'd call this karma for continuing to employ Raffi Torres.

Now that's something everyone can agree on.
   395. zack Posted: May 01, 2014 at 02:12 PM (#4698311)
Also, since no one went in on my Avs question, how far do the Sharks get in the east?
   396. Shredder Posted: May 01, 2014 at 02:19 PM (#4698318)
Also, since no one went in on my Avs question, how far do the Sharks get in the east?
I would take the over on the Avs. It's the easy choice, but I think McKinnon is going to be a force next year. As for the Sharks, depends on the matchup I guess, but I think their style fits the East a little better. Second round for sure, and after that, who knows.
   397. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 01, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4698331)
Quick thought experiment. You're going into the playoffs. Are your chances of winning better if your goalie is Ken Dryden, Martin Brodeur, Patrick Roy, or Dominik Hasek; or are your chances the same as when you've got Miikka Kiprusoff or Niemi or Jonathan Quick or Vanbiesbrouk between the pipes?


Your chances of winning are slightly better with Hasek. Brodeur, Roy, Kiprusoff, Niemi and Quick are all about the same. Dryden is too far back to be able to usefully compare him to modern goaltenders.

I'm with this to a certain degree, but I'd reframe it - goalies matter massively, but who your goalie is doesn't matter much. Just about anyone can get (and has gotten) hot for 20 games or so and taken their team to the Cup.


Yes, and this gets to the heart of why the importance of NHL goaltenders is drastically overestimated. It's exactly the same as running back in the NFL. It's an enormously important position, and at every level short of the highest level it shows--in junior leagues an NHL-caliber goaltender stands out starkly against the sea of lesser goaltenders, and has a tremendous impact on his team's fortunes relative to the mere mortals. The effect is even starker at the U.S. college or high school level.

But at the highest level, the NHL level, the difference in skill between the world's best goaltender and 50th-best goaltender is slight. Only a very small number of goaltenders--one or two a generation--consistently post a save percentage higher than league average. Everyone else goes up and down year to year and month to month but stop about the same percentage of shots as everyone else. Ryan Miller's career save percentage is .916; Marc-Andre Fleury's is .910. The difference is about 10 goals a year. That's noticeable, but nowhere near worth paying a premium of your cap space for.

The position is extremely important, as you'll quickly find out if you try to put a J. Random Division II college goaltender in an NHL net. But among the 50 or so people qualified to be NHL goaltenders, which one is in your net makes little difference, unless it's Dominik Hasek.

Paine suggests most goalies are right around the league average save percentage because no one quite knows how to identify talent differences between most goalies. I admit that even after reading the article, I must not be smart enough to understand his line of thought. It seems obvious to me that most goalies are right around the league average save percentage because there is no significant talent difference between them.

Martin Brodeur is a legend not because of his skill level, but because of his amazing consistency and durability. His career save percentage is .912; Fleury's is .910. Obviously they have taken extremely different paths there, and Fleury will likely have been retired for years when he turns 40.
   398. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 01, 2014 at 02:48 PM (#4698335)
I think all these stories about Thornton are all the traps that we make fun of people in baseball for making: blaming the best player for his teams failures and mistaking failure of results for failure of character. Yes, I get it, this has happened over and over, but winning the cup is freaking hard.


A fair point, but I think it's also a fair point that in hockey and (especially) basketball a team's best player has more impact, both direct and indirect, on his team's fortunes than he does in baseball. Not only do those sports require more teamwork, but they're contact sports and imposing your will upon your opponents is an important element of winning.

In baseball, if two guys are fighting for the ball, they're teammates and one or both of them royally ###### up. In hockey fighting for the puck is central to the sport.
   399. Greg K Posted: May 01, 2014 at 04:02 PM (#4698384)
Jagr, Dany Heatley, Ilya Kovalchuk, Marian Gaborik, Ovechkin--by the way, did you notice how many of these guys are Russians?

I'm seeing two Czechs, two Russians, and a Canadian.

EDIT: Whoops, Gaborik's a Slovak.
   400. SteveF Posted: May 01, 2014 at 04:05 PM (#4698386)
There's also a fundamental difference between playoff hockey and regular season hockey. Players simply empty the tank in the playoffs in a way they don't (and shouldn't) in the regular season. There is less space and more puck battles, so certain kinds of skills are rewarded more in the playoffs.

As for evaluating goaltenders, I don't think it can be done to the precision needed until the puck and every player on the ice is tracked. Assuming quality of shots allowed more or less evens out isn't an acceptable assumption when you are looking for such small differences in skill.

All of which is to say I probably agree with Zeth:
The difference is about 10 goals a year. That's noticeable, but nowhere near worth paying a premium of your cap space for.

---
I suppose I'll make some picks...

Bruins in 7
Penguins in 7
Hawks in 5
Kings in 6

From most to least confident -> Hawks, Kings, Bruins, Penguins. Chicago-LA would be a great series to watch given the contrast in styles.
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