Archive for the ‘Statistics’ category

Is Parity Sustainable in a 30 Team NHL? and The NHL NEEDS to Fix the Point System

April 19, 2010

The NHL playoffs are underway and there have been multiple ‘upsets’ and some tight and exciting games in this year’s opening round.   I think it shows just how much parity there is in the league.  Yes, the Eastern Conference had a 33 point spread between the first and last placed playoff teams (an 18 point spread in the West) but the playoffs are showing that when the Cup is on the line, a 33 point spread might not mean all that much.   

In some ways, we should expect this.  With salary caps and a league that holds 30 teams, it makes sense that concentrated talent on a team, like that which was on the Edmonton Oilers of old,  is something that will be hard to build.  Add to that the AHL, from which NHL quality players (NHL quality for a 30 team league) are shuffled back and forth at will and the talent pool that the NHL utilizes is deep and broad.

This means that teams, even if they are injury riddled, can stay competitive and pickup points, until playoff time.  Then if they can stay healthy through the playoffs, expect them to make some noise, even if they don’t have the horses to make it to the Cup finals.

Is this good or bad?  In some ways it’s great for hockey but it also means that the NHL/AHL network, broad as it is, probably isn’t as Elite as we’d like to think it is.  Sure, great athletes are in the mix, but in general, it’s the teamwork that makes the teams, and teamwork doesn’t sign contracts for millions of dollars -dollars that have to be made somewhere, usually in rising ticket prices.

So, in a weird twist, even with salary caps, this huge league network may have the seeds of  becoming unsustainable because the distinguishing element of the league is not tied directly to team income.

Bizarre, isn’t it?

Speaking of bizarre (more…)

New Hockey Point Proposal and AHL Goal Video Review

December 1, 2009

Let me first say, I actually like shootouts.  Yeah, I know, it’s not the best way to end the game, but it’s exciting and I like it- though I actually like the AHL’s version better with 5 shooters vs. 3.

Having said that, I don’t like the fact that losing teams come away with a point in shootout games.  Why?

Because it actually rewards a team’s lack of finishing ability. 

Let me explain.  What do you usually hear when games end regulation in a tie?

“Each team earned a point.”

Fine.  They then play 5 more minutes and each team still comes away with a point.  Therein lies the problem.

The purpose of overtime is for the team with the most guts and gumption to put away the other team.  If a team can’t do it, they don’t deserve to be rewarded with a point, especially if they lose in the pseudo-chaotic arena of the shootout (which, as I said before, I actually like).

So this is my solution: If you make it out of regulation with a tie, fine, you get a point.  But if you don’t win in OT,  both teams lose the point.  The MOST a team can then get for the game is one point.  So the breakdown is as follows:

Win in Regulation- 2 points

Tie at end of regulation – 1 point each team

Win in OT – two points total for winner, one for loser.

Tied at end of OT – Teams lose the one point they earned during regulation. Zero points for either team

Winner of Shootout – One total point for winner, none for loser.

So what do you think?  Would it make OT more exciting and make teams want to win?  Heck, teams might pull goalies in OT to get two points instead of one.

Oh, and the AHL still not video reviewing goals? A college game on tv had video review and the AHL can’t do it?  What gives?

Wolves With Another Lackluster Loss…

February 8, 2009


How To Get Scored Upon

How To Get Scored Upon

They just came off a win against the Division leading Milwaukee Admirals.
As my wife and I drove back from the environs of Madison, Wisconsin, on less than 5 hours sleep, we were psyched to see a great game.
Apparently we were the only psyched ones at the rink because the Wolves put on a clinic on how to blow assignments as they got trounced 6-3 by the Houston Aeros.
Study the play chart above. It pretty much shows what the Wolves did and didn’t do tonight as they continued their inconsistent, uppy-downy, play.
If someone’s got some time, I’d love to see the Wolves’ record when they fight in a game and when they don’t fight. My gut tells me they have a winning record with fights in the game…
It was nice to see them using the two-ref system of the NHL for a change.

We Need a New Statistic

November 30, 2008

As I was watching a particularly lackluster 1-0 loss of the Chicago Wolves to the Grand Rapids Griffins, I began contemplating the need for a statistic that would be a good indicator of how physically and inspired a team is playing.  I know that there already exists the stat for how many hits are made during a game, but that’s static and can be misleading.  It would have been very misleading in the Wolves game and looked as if the Wolves played a spirited game tonight-they didn’t.

Then it hit me like a Boris Valabik check.  The RATE of hits.  Hits per minute.  It’ll show if there are lulls, and how bad those lulls are.  More so it’ll be a great indicator of how much a team is truly in the game and playing with some giddyup.

This could realy look cool in graphical form as the hits per minute would change in a squiggle graph… this could be cool…the possibilities are endless!!