Jan 272007
 

Here are the game predictions for todays games.

Home Team Fair
HTOdds
Road Team Fair
RTOdds
Predicted Winner Confidence
Philadelphia 127 NY Rangers -137 NY Rangers Some
Toronto -106 Montreal 105 Montreal Some
Ottawa -138 Boston 127 Ottawa Some
NY Islanders 114 Buffalo -117 Buffalo Some
Washington -102 Carolina 101 Carolina Some
Columbus 101 Minnesota -101 Minnesota Some
Florida -131 New Jersey 123 Florida Good
St. Louis 114 Nashville -116 Nashville Good
Phoenix -135 Pittsburgh 126 Phoenix Some
Edmonton -167 Los Angeles 140 Edmonton Good
Jan 262007
 

After a lengthy all-star break the real NHL is back and is back with a full slate of 11 games. Unfortunately not a lot of them are great games but there are a couple of good ones. In particular the Calgary-Minnesota is of great importance to both teams in that tight northwest division race and the Edmonton-San Jose game should be a great game too.

Home Team Fair
HTOdds
Road Team Fair
RTOdds
Predicted Winner Confidence
Carolina -141 Washington 129 Carolina Some
Columbus 111 Buffalo -112 Buffalo Some
Atlanta -139 NY Islanders 128 Atlanta Some
Tampa Bay -101 New Jersey 101 New Jersey Some
St. Louis 120 Detroit -125 Detroit Good
Minnesota -104 Calgary 104 Calgary Some
Chicago 120 Nashville -125 Nashville Good
Dallas -168 Pittsburgh 140 Dallas Good
Colorado -134 Phoenix 125 Colorado Some
Edmonton -102 San Jose 102 San Jose Some
Vancouver -195 Los Angeles 148 Vancouver Strong
Jan 252007
 

Today James Mirtle hs pointed out an article by Stephen Brunt basically defending Gary Bettman saying the reason for not having a new schedule is because of the owners and not Bettman.

And Bettman couldn’t change their minds. As he acknowledged this week, he is not a caster of lightning bolts from on high. He works at the pleasure of his employers, the club owners, and when push comes to shove, they call the shots.

I say hogwash. Sure, the owners may call the shots but it is Bettman’s job to educated the owners on league wide issues and not let the owners focus on team-only issues. It is Bettman who has to sell the owenrs on the idea that a new schedule will generate new interest for the league as a whole. It is Bettman that must present the owners the results of fan polls that show that most fans hate the current schedule. It is Bettman’s job to sell the merits of a new schedule to the owners. There has been no indication from Bettman that he has done any of that and Oilers governor Cal Nichols called Bettman out for not doing so.

Nichols said this is where Bettman has to take charge.

“Encouraging those to do the right thing for the game,” said Nichols. “I don’t know about individual conversations with others, but obviously they occur and I guess (Bettman’s) decision to just sort of allow it to happen amongst ourselves is another frustrating thing. We voted for change and then we got into all these (different options). That shouldn’t matter. We already said we wanted change. We should just pick the best one and go ahead. If there’s disagreement, you’ve got to talk to people and convince them. It doesn’t always work, but most of the time it does.”

Stephen Brunt then goes on to say that Bettman doesn’t have the influence on the owners that the commissioner of the NFL does because the NHL doesn’t have a lot of money coming through the league central office (i.e. national TV contract, etc.).

More cash flow from head office equals more influence. Less cash flow equals less central power and, by extension, less concern for the collective.

Again, I say hogwash. All the revenue that comes into the other leagues central offices via TV contracts and other marketing rights is not the commissioners to do with as he pleases, it is the owners to do with as they please. Those other commissioners just give reccommendations to the owners on how to run the league. The difference is in my opinion is that Bettman is incompetent. Either he isn’t doing a very good job at developing and selling a ‘league’ plan or that the owners have lost trust in him because his league plan of the mid-1990’s failed miserably. His plan in the mid-1990’s was to expand into several new American markets expecting that the result of that would be more exposure in the U.S. which would result in a big U.S. national television deal. That didn’t happen. Instead the owners spent all the expansion money driving up salaries beyond what most teams could afford but no big national television deal came of it. People like to blame the big market teams on the rising pre-lockout salaries but the small market teams were just as much to blame spending their expansion dollars in stupid ways. Who gave Yashin that crazy deal? Who gave Jagr that crazy deal? Who offered Federov that big restricted free agent offer? It wasn’t Toronto or Detroit or the Rangers or Philadelphia. But when the expansion money dried up and no TV contracts came from it those small market teams could no longer maintain the big salaries that they helped to create and we know what happened next.

So maybe it is the case that Bettman is nothing more than a mouthpiece and a glorified administrative assistant to arrange and run meetings for the NHL owners or maybe he is just incompetent and not doing his job by adequitely developing and selling his league plan to the owners or maybe the owners have no trust in him because his plan in the mid-1990’s failed miserably. I suspect it is some combination of the latter two and because of that, Bettman must go. Until he does and gets replaced with a competent commissioner the owners trust the NHL is going to be nothing more than a bunch of individuals looking out for themselves.

(Edit: Bruce Garrioch agrees)

I put a challenge out to my readers to come up with one good thing that has happend to the NHL (from a fans perspective) in the time that Gary Bettman has been commissioner. I can’t think of any.

——-
Changing topics slightly, the NHL loses credibility amongst hockey fans when they do stupid things. Even minor things that are just plain stupid. Things like selecting Yanic Perreault to the all-star game as Kostya Kennedy points out.

So, the first Western Conference goal of the 55th All-Star Game was potted by Yanic Perreault. Not Gilbert Perreault, the Hall of Fame forward who at 56 could still score in an All-Star Game, but Yanic Perreault — the journeyman forward who was unemployed the first month of this season before hooking on with Phoenix. Yanic’s a good guy who’s a nice year, but he got picked for the All-Star Game (his first, at age 36) because he’s the best face-off guy on the planet. He wins 62 percent and some Einstein on the All-Star selection committee said to himself, now THAT’S what the fans want to see in a showcase like this — a great face-off guy!

Guys like Paul Kariya, 4th in points for western conference players, were left off this team for Yanic Perreault. Evgeni Malkin and his 24 goals, 52 points in 42 games and a future star of this league was left off the NHL all-star team so guys like Jason Blake and Justin Williams can go. Nothing against Blake, Williams and Perreault but they are not all-star calibre players.

Jan 232007
 

Here are your all-star break power rankings. Take a look at all the big U.S. cities in the bottom 6 of the power rankings. The NHL will never make it in the U.S. with teams in Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago (you can add in St. Louis as well) sucking so bad.

Rank Last Week Team AdjWinP SchedStr Power Rank
1 2 San Jose 0.667 0.514 0.670
2 3 Detroit 0.633 0.526 0.659
3 1 Anaheim 0.640 0.518 0.644
4 5 Nashville 0.663 0.504 0.636
5 4 Calgary 0.574 0.546 0.631
6 6 Vancouver 0.552 0.545 0.626
7 7 Buffalo 0.622 0.468 0.583
8 8 Dallas 0.562 0.526 0.581
9 11 Edmonton 0.490 0.555 0.565
10 9 Minnesota 0.469 0.551 0.542
11 10 New Jersey 0.604 0.454 0.531
12 13 Montreal 0.551 0.476 0.527
13 12 Ottawa 0.550 0.476 0.525
14 16 Colorado 0.479 0.539 0.514
15 14 Carolina 0.540 0.466 0.501
16 15 Phoenix 0.427 0.534 0.466
17 18 Atlanta 0.510 0.457 0.463
18 17 Boston 0.457 0.485 0.461
19 19 Toronto 0.469 0.484 0.459
20 20 Tampa Bay 0.480 0.465 0.443
21 21 Washington 0.469 0.470 0.432
22 29 St. Louis 0.396 0.531 0.430
23 28 Columbus 0.396 0.533 0.425
24 27 Pittsburgh 0.500 0.445 0.421
25 25 Chicago 0.396 0.529 0.417
26 26 Florida 0.420 0.475 0.407
27 23 NY Rangers 0.438 0.463 0.406
28 24 NY Islanders 0.447 0.457 0.403
29 22 Los Angeles 0.330 0.556 0.390
30 30 Philadelphia 0.255 0.467 0.242

AdjWinP is a teams winning percentage when shootouts are considered ties and there are no points awarded for overtime losses
SchedStr is an indication of a teams relative difficulty of schedule
Power Rank is the teams expected winning percentage if team played all .500 teams

Jan 202007
 

Last day of games before the all-star break. The premier games on the day are Boston-Ottawa, Montreal-Buffalo, Minnesota-Dallas, and Edmonton-Calgary.

Home Team Fair
HTOdds
Road Team Fair
RTOdds
Predicted Winner Confidence
New Jersey -278 Philadelphia 164 New Jersey Strong
NY Rangers -109 Atlanta 108 NY Rangers Some
Washington -133 Florida 125 Washington Some
Boston -108 Ottawa 108 Ottawa Some
Montreal -150 Buffalo 133 Montreal Good
Pittsburgh -106 Toronto 105 Toronto Some
Nashville -261 Chicago 161 Nashville Strong
Minnesota 121 Dallas -127 Dallas Good
Carolina -137 Tampa Bay 127 Carolina Some
Colorado -127 Detroit 121 Colorado Some
Edmonton -157 Calgary 136 Edmonton Good
Los Angeles -104 Phoenix 104 Phoenix Some
San Jose -200 St. Louis 150 San Jose Strong
Jan 192007
 

Short on time this morning but here are the game predictions for tonights game. Vancouver-Buffalo and Anaheim-Calgary games should be good.

Home Team Fair
HTOdds
Road Team Fair
RTOdds
Predicted Winner Confidence
Columbus 150 Detroit -200 Detroit Strong
Buffalo -164 Vancouver 139 Buffalo Good
Chicago 103 Minnesota -103 Minnesota Some
Calgary -161 Anaheim 138 Calgary Good
Jan 182007
 

As usual for a Thursday we have a heavy schedule with 11 games being played. The game to watch tonight I think is Ottawa-Vancouver as this sees the hottest team in the west facing the hottest team in the east. The west has also been significantly better for most of the year and this will be a test to see how a top team in the east can compete with a top team in the west. Should be interesting.

Home Team Fair
HTOdds
Road Team Fair
RTOdds
Predicted Winner Confidence
Boston 104 Pittsburgh -105 Pittsburgh Some
Philadelphia 127 NY Islanders -137 NY Islanders Some
Carolina -143 Washington 130 Carolina Good
Atlanta -111 Montreal 110 Atlanta Some
Ottawa -105 Vancouver 105 Vancouver Some
New Jersey -149 Tampa Bay 133 New Jersey Good
Florida -106 Toronto 105 Toronto Some
Nashville -129 Columbus 123 Nashville Good
Edmonton 100 Anaheim -100 Anaheim Some
Los Angeles -122 St. Louis 118 Los Angeles Some
San Jose -251 Phoenix 160 San Jose Strong
Jan 172007
 

There are 4 games tonight and all 4 of them are quality games. Buffalo and Boston are a traditional rivalry and have a rematch of Monday’s game in which the Bruins won 3-2 in a shoot out. Detroit and Nashville are the two premier central division teams and two of the top tier western conference teams and they are facing each other in what should be a very good game. The third quality games is also between two quality western conference teams as Calgary is in Dallas to play the Stars. The final game of the night has Phoenix looking to continue their push to get back into the playoff race against the Avalanche who are in that group of teams fighting for the last playoff spot or two.

Home Team Fair
HTOdds
Road Team Fair
RTOdds
Predicted Winner Confidence
Buffalo -150 Boston 133 Buffalo Good
Detroit -131 Nashville 123 Detroit Some
Dallas -113 Calgary 112 Dallas Some
Colorado -119 Phoenix 116 Colorado Some
Jan 162007
 

Almost forgot to post these today but here are this weeks power rankings. Because the western conference has a phenominal 57-30-7 record vs the eastern conference, the top of the power rankings is dominated by western conference teams. The top 6 teams come from the west and 9 of the top 11 are also in the west.

Rank Last Week Team AdjWinP SchedStr Power Rank
1 1 Anaheim 0.681 0.518 0.689
2 2 San Jose 0.674 0.518 0.687
3 3 Detroit 0.652 0.524 0.674
4 8 Nashville 0.663 0.499 0.625
5 5 Calgary 0.568 0.539 0.613
6 7 Vancouver 0.533 0.541 0.596
7 4 Buffalo 0.630 0.464 0.583
8 6 Dallas 0.554 0.528 0.579
9 10 Minnesota 0.467 0.551 0.543
10 9 New Jersey 0.600 0.461 0.537
11 11 Edmonton 0.478 0.545 0.535
12 14 Ottawa 0.543 0.474 0.517
13 12 Montreal 0.543 0.471 0.512
14 13 Carolina 0.543 0.469 0.507
15 15 Phoenix 0.433 0.543 0.488
16 19 Colorado 0.456 0.529 0.476
17 16 Boston 0.477 0.481 0.470
18 17 Atlanta 0.500 0.463 0.463
19 20 Toronto 0.457 0.491 0.460
20 26 Tampa Bay 0.489 0.466 0.451
21 18 Washington 0.478 0.472 0.443
22 25 Chicago 0.422 0.517 0.428
23 23 NY Rangers 0.457 0.466 0.425
24 21 Los Angeles 0.351 0.562 0.423
25 24 NY Islanders 0.444 0.469 0.418
26 27 Florida 0.426 0.478 0.415
27 22 Pittsburgh 0.477 0.450 0.408
28 28 Columbus 0.378 0.527 0.399
29 29 St. Louis 0.356 0.532 0.391
30 30 Philadelphia 0.256 0.470 0.244

AdjWinP is a teams winning percentage when shootouts are considered ties and there are no points awarded for overtime losses
SchedStr is an indication of a teams relative difficulty of schedule
Power Rank is the teams expected winning percentage if team played all .500 teams

Jan 162007
 

I can’t believe that January is already half over but the calendar says it is the 16th so it must be. There are a lot of games tonight but not too many real quality ones as a lot of the lesser teams are playing. That said, there are a few games between teams battling for a playoff spot. Toronto-Tampa and Edmonton-Minnesota being the prime examples.

Home Team Fair
HTOdds
Road Team Fair
RTOdds
Predicted Winner Confidence
Pittsburgh -169 NY Islanders 141 Pittsburgh Strong
Atlanta -190 Los Angeles 147 Atlanta Strong
Montreal 126 Vancouver -136 Vancouver Good
Ottawa -142 Washington 129 Ottawa Good
New Jersey -153 NY Rangers 135 New Jersey Good
Tampa Bay 116 Toronto -119 Toronto Some
Florida 100 Carolina -100 Carolina Some
Minnesota -123 Edmonton 119 Minnesota Some
Chicago -130 Columbus 123 Chicago Some
Anaheim -306 St. Louis 167 Anaheim Strong