Just Avery?

 David Johnson, NHL  Comments Off
Nov 122005
 

Apparently Los Angeles King forward Sean Avery has been fined for diving in a game vs the Phoneix Coyote’s on November 3rd. I say, why just Avery? I’ve seen people diving left, right and center from Jason Spezza to Sydney Crosby. I’ve commented on this before. I wonder if the NHL will have the guts to fine, and eventually suspend, the stars in the league. I suspect not preferring to suspend someone that fans at best don’t care about and at worst totally despise for his off-ice comments.

The NHL really needs to clean up the diving and embellishing. It happenes in pretty much every gane I watch. But the NHL also needs to clean up the over-zealous penalty calling I see in some games too. I’ve seen penalties called several times on instances where a guy lost an edge and fell down but no infraction was made. Would someone in the NHL please tell the referees that just because someone falls to the ice does not mean he was hooked or tripped and a penalty must be given to the closest opposing player. I saw Derian Hatcher get a penalty for not even touching anyone. I am all for calling legitimate hooks and trips but some games are refereed to the extreme and in the end hurts the flow and entertainment value of the game which seems counter productive to me.

So congrats to the NHL for fining Sean Avery $1,000 but lets be as serious about diving as you are about hooking, holding and tripping.

Nov 122005
 

Here are todays NHL game predictions. Several interesting games being played today but the most interesting is probably the historic rivalry between the Leafs and Canadiens. In the two pick-em games I’d pick the two homes teams, the Flames and Sharks.

Home Team Road Team Predicted Winner Confidence
New Jersey Washington New Jersey Some
Montreal Toronto Montreal Good
Ottawa Buffalo Ottawa Strong
NY Islanders Boston NY Islanders Good
Philadelphia Florida Philadelphia Strong
Carolina Atlanta Carolina Strong
Pittsburgh NY Rangers NY Rangers Some
Nashville St. Louis Nashville Strong
Phoenix Anaheim Phoenix Some
Calgary Colorado Pick N/A
San Jose Dallas Pick N/A
Nov 112005
 

Here are tonights game predictions. I can’t say there are any real notable games to get real excited about watching tonight but some of the games should be interesting, particularly the two identified as too close to call. In the Atlanta-Tampa Bay game I’m picking Atlanta to win. They are at home and they have been showing some life (and decent goaltending) lately while Tampa just hasn’t gotten in the groove yet. The other pick-em game is an interesting division battle between the Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres. Toronto has had some ups and downs this year but Buffalo who got off to a great start is on a 4 game losing streak and have lost 6 of 7. That’s a hard track record to bet against so Toronto is my pick to win this game.

Nov 102005
 

Here are tonights game predictions. Nothing really too surprising in the picks. In the two pick-em games, I say go with Tampa at home and Dallas because I just think Dallas is playing better at the moment.

Home Team Road Team Predicted Winner Confidence
Boston Ottawa Ottawa Strong
Philadelphia NY Islanders Philadelphia Strong
Pittsburgh Montreal Montreal Strong
Tampa Bay NY Rangers Pick N/A
St. Louis Chicago Chicago Some
Nashville Dallas Pick N/A
Phoenix Calgary Phoenix Some
Vancouver Colorado Vancouver Some
Nov 092005
 

They’ve done it. For the first time this season the Pittsburgh Penguins have climbed out of last spot in the Power Rankings. The last spot is not in the posession of the St. Louis Blues which might be where it stays for quite a long time. Before the season started I thought the Blues were the worst team in the NHL and now they are proving just that. Montreal and Carolina both moved up 2 spots while Philadelphia moved up four spots while Detoit and Los Angeles dropped 3 spots each. The Nashville Predators are falling quickly as well dropping to 11th from 7th last week. Going in the opposite direction is Dallas who jumped from 12th to 7th.

Rank Team Win-Loss Power Rank
1 Ottawa 11- 2 15.0
2 Montreal 12- 4 13.4
3 Carolina 10- 3 12.9
4 Philadelphia 9- 4 12.6
5 Detroit 13- 3 12.6
6 Los Angeles 10- 5 12.5
7 Dallas 9- 6 11.9
8 Colorado 8- 6 11.9
9 Toronto 8- 8 11.5
10 Vancouver 10- 6 11.3
11 Nashville 9- 5 10.8
12 Buffalo 7- 7 10.2
13 NY Rangers 8- 8 10.0
14 Edmonton 8- 9 9.7
15 Calgary 8- 9 9.7
16 NY Islanders 7- 8 9.6
17 Phoenix 8-10 9.6
18 San Jose 8- 8 9.4
19 Minnesota 8- 9 9.2
20 Anaheim 7- 9 9.0
21 Tampa Bay 7- 9 8.8
22 Boston 7-10 8.8
23 Washington 6- 9 8.4
24 New Jersey 6- 9 8.3
25 Florida 6- 9 8.3
26 Chicago 5-10 8.0
27 Columbus 4-11 7.4
28 Atlanta 4-10 6.8
29 Pittsburgh 4-11 6.7
30 St. Louis 2-12 6.5
Nov 092005
 

Here are the game predictions for tonights game. The game to watch tonight is Los Angeles at Detroit. These two teams are among the best in the western conference and this should be a statement game for both teams. The Atlanta-Pittsburgh game could also be fun to watch since these two teams both have a bunch of highly talented players and weak defense and goaltending should mean lots of goals. In the pick-em game take the Rangers over Florida.

Home Team Road Team Predicted Winner Confidence
Buffalo Carolina Carolina Some
Atlanta Pittsburgh Atlanta Some
Florida NY Rangers Pick N/A
Columbus St. Louis Columbus Good
Detroit Los Angeles Detroit Some
Nov 082005
 

Here are tonights game predictions.

Home Team Road Team Predicted Winner Confidence
Philadelphia Boston Philadelphia Strong
Toronto Washington Toronto Good
Montreal Tampa Bay Montreal Strong
New Jersey NY Islanders Pick N/A
Nashville Edmonton Nashville Some
Minnesota Phoenix Minnesota Some
Colorado San Jose Colorado Good
Nov 072005
 

Just three games tonight but all should be entertaining games, especially Vancouver-Calgary. That one should be another tight battle like Saturday’s game.

Home Team Road Team Predicted Winner Confidence
NY Rangers Pittsburgh NY Rangers Strong
Dallas Edmonton Dallas Good
Calgary Vancouver Vancouver Some
Nov 062005
 

Here are the game predictions for todays NHL games. A shocker is the Washington-Toronto game being a pick-em game. I may be biased but I think Toronto should win this one. In the other pick-em game I’ll choose Chicago over Phoenix.

Home Team Road Team Predicted Winner Confidence
Washington Toronto Pick N/A
Chicago Phoenix Pick N/A
St. Louis Detroit Detroit Good
Anaheim Minnesota Anaheim Some
Nov 052005
 

Have you ever wondered who the most entertaining team in the NHL is? Is it Ottawa? What about Stanley Cup defending Lightning? Or what about those dreaded Maple Leafs or the high flying Red Wings. Do you have NHL Center Ice and are wondering what the best hockey game to watch might be? By doing a little bit of number crunching we can find out.

Before I get into the details of how one could determing the most entertaining hockey team I must say that this is purely for fun and not to be taken too serious if you find out your favourite team doesn’t rank that highly.

The first thing we need to do when determining who the most entertaining hockey team is, is to determine what is entertaining. I personally believe that the most entertaining hockey games are 1) close games, 2) have plenty of offense, and 3) have plenty of hitting and physical play. With this in mind I gave every game through Friday November 4th an entertainment factor score. The score is calculated in the following manner:

+6 points for every goal scored (i.e. a 5-3 game would get (5+3)*6=48 points)
+1 point for every hit recorded
+10 points if game is a 1 goal game (i.e. 5-4 final score)
+ 5 points if game is a 2 goal game (i.e. 5-3 final score)
0 points if a game is a 3 goal game
-5 points if a game is a 4 goal game
-10 points if a game is a 5 goal game
-15 points if a game is a 6 goal game
-20 points if a game is a 7 goal game
-25 points if a game is a 8 goal game
-30 points if a game is a 9 goal game
-10 points for games with 5+ goal differential (since channel surfing is likely more interesting)
+5 points for a game ending in overtime or a shoot out.

When you add it all up, here are the top 5 most entertaining games.

1. Toronto 5 at Ottawa 6 (shootout) – October 10
2. San Jose 7 at St. Louis 6 – October 8
3. Philadelphia 6 at Carolina 8 – October 28
4. Los Angeles 4 at Dallas 5 – October 5
5. Boston 7 at Pittsburgh 6 (overtime) – October 8

And the three least entertining games were:

1. Colorado 7 at Edmonton 1, October 21
2. San Jose 1 at Minnesota 6, October 19
3. Detroit 6 at Columbus 0, October 22

Next I averaged all the game entertainment factor scores for all games that a team participated in to get a team entertainment factor. Here is the list of teams sorted by most entertaining to least entertaining.

Rank Team Entertainment Factor
1 Toronto 90.4
2 Montreal 87.1
3 Dallas 85.5
4 Philadelphia 85.1
5 Ottawa 82.2
6 NY Islanders 81.4
7 Boston 79.8
8 Los Angeles 79.8
9 Chicago 79.4
10 St. Louis 79.0
11 Colorado 78.3
12 Phoenix 76.8
13 Pittsburgh 75.8
14 San Jose 75.0
15 Carolina 74.9
16 Vancouver 74.1
17 Calgary 73.1
18 Detroit 71.0
19 Buffalo 69.8
20 New Jersey 69.0
21 Nashville 67.8
22 NY Rangers 67.7
23 Anaheim 67.6
24 Washington 67.5
25 Atlanta 65.4
26 Edmonton 64.9
27 Florida 63.9
28 Columbus 61.2
29 Tampa Bay 60.7
30 Minnesota 59.7

For somewhat of an adhoc algorithm it seems to have done a decent job of identifying the teams I would enjoy watching from those I wouldn’t. Tampa Bay being second from the bottom of the list is a bit surprising but that is largely due to the fact that they are the least physical team in the NHL. Florida, Columbus and Minnesota are probably well deserving of being in the bottom 4 though.

One thing that I might include in a future entertainment factor calculation is shots on goal since a 2-1 game in which two goaltenders stand on their heads saving almsost everything shot at them is just as, if not more, entertaining than a 6-5 game.