Dec 202007
 

I am happy to announce that the guys over at Shaved Ice have decided to move their blog to sharks.hockeyanalysis.com. Shaved Ice is both a fun and informative blog about all things Sharks related and will be a valuable addition to hockeyanalysis.com and I look forward to working with them to make their blog and this site a prime destination for sharks fans and hockey fans.

I hope to have more team blogs up and running soon but I wouldn’t necessarily expect anything until the new year now. If you are interested in contributing to a team blog drop me an e-mail.

Dec 182007
 

With so much parity in the league there is still a lot of movement in the rankings depite the season being ~40% complete. Detroit and Ottawa are fairly solidly in first and second spot but after those two teams it gets tight. The San Jose Sharks and Montreal Canadiens made big jumps this past week moving into 3rd and 4th spots from 8th and 10th respectively while Minnesota remains 5th to round out the top 5. Dropping in the standings, St. Louis fell from 3rd to 8th, Chicago fell from 6th to 13th, Nashville from 9th to 14th and the Rangers from 15th to 21st.

Rank 7 Days
Ago
Team AdjWinP SchedStr Power
Rank
1 1 Detroit 0.712 0.500 0.681
2 2 Ottawa 0.710 0.484 0.674
3 8 San Jose 0.594 0.497 0.583
4 10 Montreal 0.531 0.517 0.580
5 5 Minnesota 0.594 0.499 0.571
6 4 Vancouver 0.576 0.498 0.556
7 7 Columbus 0.500 0.531 0.554
8 12 Boston 0.562 0.494 0.553
9 3 St. Louis 0.533 0.517 0.550
10 11 Colorado 0.545 0.510 0.545
11 13 Calgary 0.485 0.524 0.525
12 23 Buffalo 0.516 0.503 0.525
13 6 Chicago 0.469 0.534 0.525
14 9 Nashville 0.467 0.531 0.518
15 14 Philadelphia 0.533 0.479 0.508
16 17 Dallas 0.530 0.492 0.506
17 16 Toronto 0.470 0.514 0.501
18 19 New Jersey 0.545 0.462 0.487
19 20 Carolina 0.515 0.475 0.480
20 18 NY Islanders 0.484 0.482 0.470
21 15 NY Rangers 0.484 0.477 0.465
22 21 Pittsburgh 0.453 0.499 0.464
23 22 Phoenix 0.468 0.496 0.458
24 24 Anaheim 0.429 0.507 0.430
25 28 Florida 0.424 0.481 0.407
26 29 Edmonton 0.338 0.533 0.383
27 25 Los Angeles 0.353 0.520 0.381
28 26 Atlanta 0.406 0.471 0.378
29 27 Tampa Bay 0.394 0.474 0.370
30 30 Washington 0.412 0.464 0.370

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

Dec 152007
 

The Puck Stops Here has written numerous articles about how many Russians are returning to Russia to play hockey partly because of the lack of a transfer agreement with Russia, CBA related issues and because the Russian league can offer many of them equal or greater salaries. In a recent article about a Canadian leaving to play for Russia I wrote a comment about the impact of all these players returning to Russia might have on the Russian league. I wondered if with all these players returning to Russia if the Russian league is seeing growth in the fan base as well as revenue. I also wondered if any such success may enourage them to expand beyond the Russian borders and create a European Super League. This seems even more possible when you consider that the other European countries recently voted to end the current IIHF transfer agreement with the NHL and renegotiate a better one.

Well just four days after I wondered if a European super league may get started TSN and the Toronto Star are reporting that a Russian Tycoon has hired former NHLPA executive Bob Goodenow to help create a new professional European hockey league which could start as soon as September 2008. This is bad news for Bettman and the NHL as we have heard whispers that a European division of the NHL was a goal of theirs. If this league takes off and a significant number of European players return to Europe or remain in Europe what impact will that have on the quality of the on ice product in which many people already feel is sub-par because of diluted level of talent. Mass mediocrity and a general lack of high quality teams rules the roost in the NHL today if even 20% of europeans leave the NHL it could be disaster for the on ice product. If you thought scoring was low in the NHL now, imagine what it will be with 20% fewer skilled Europeans.

James Mirtle has a related story on the reduction of Europeans in the NHL.

Dec 132007
 

I don’t know how many of you have been following the Therma Blade story but it smacks me as yet another stupid thing done by the NHL. A Therma Blade is a hockey skate with a heated blade which in theory melts the ice allowing the blade to cut through the ice easier and thus allowing the player to skate faster and possibly give the player enhanced endurance. We can all argue whether making this really big really fast players even faster and whether that is a wise thing for the game or for the number of serious injuries it may or may not cause but my problem is with how the NHL is going about testing them.

In the past when the NHL wanted to test stuff, particularly rule changes, it worked with the AHL and tested them there first. Most of the major rule changes that have occurred in the NHL were tested in the AHL first. It seems like it makes perfect sense to me because it doesn’t make sense to make the best league in the world a testing ground. But when it comes to Therma Blades testiing in the NHL is perfectly fine.

The NHL is currently allowing four unnamed players to use Therma Blades as a test. It may sound like I am nitpicking but since Therma Blades are essentially supposed to enhance performance doesn’t allowing some players to use them and others not to harm the integrity of the league by giving certain players/teams an unfair advantage? I will accept that the advantage is probably small but an advantage is an advantage and this is yet another sign that the NHL cares very little about the integrity of the game.

When the NHL brought in the overtime loss extra point it harmed the integrity of the game since the fact that some games are worth three points and others are worth two points is just plain stupid. When the NHL brought in the four on four hockey it hurt the integity of the game because it gives an edge to teams that might be better at four on four hockey but in the playoffs four on four hockey is not used so in theory you may not get the best teams making the playoffs. The same thing, though with a much more significant impact, can be said about the shootout. The Tampa Bay Lightning are a perfect example. They are a weak team that solely made the playoffs because they were really good in the shootout (and at participating in OT games) which allowed them to garnet a significant number of extra non-hockey points allowing them to make the playoffs. But since they were very weak regular play team they looked completely out of place in the first round in each of the past two playoffs. This is not good for hockey nor is it good for the integrity of the game.

But when it comes to the Therma Blades this harms the integrity of the game in a whole new way becaues the NHL is admitting that they are knowingly giving certain players, and thus teams, an unfair advantage. It really doesn’t matter to me how large or small that advantage is, or even if in reality it is an advantage. The belief is that it is an advantage and the NHL should be ashamed of itself for taking the best hockey league in the world and making it a testing ground for products all while harming the integrity of the game in the process. Again, it may seem minor but if the big wigs running the NHL don’t believe that the NHL is too good to be a product testing league then what else are those big wigs going to do to harm the league.

Oh yeah, there was also that whole new jersey fiasco as well where the NHL imposed subpar Jerseys on the players solely for the purpose of extracting more money from Rebok and from the fans (yes those sub-par Jersey’s cost more). Until the NHL puts the quality and integrity of the game ahead of being a corporate product testing ground/marketing system and ahead of gouging every last penny out of their fans they are doomed to failure.

Dec 112007
 

The big movers up this week are Colorado (16th to 11th) and Calgary (21st to 13th) while the biggest drop has been Buffalo who fell from 13th to 23.

Rank 7 Days
Ago
Team AdjWinP SchedStr Power
Rank
1 2 Detroit 0.717 0.521 0.721
2 3 Ottawa 0.679 0.478 0.643
3 1 St. Louis 0.574 0.534 0.612
4 6 Vancouver 0.583 0.514 0.590
5 5 Minnesota 0.586 0.518 0.587
6 4 Chicago 0.483 0.559 0.571
7 8 Columbus 0.500 0.545 0.564
8 11 San Jose 0.589 0.496 0.563
9 7 Nashville 0.500 0.542 0.562
10 10 Montreal 0.500 0.502 0.531
11 16 Colorado 0.517 0.520 0.525
12 9 Boston 0.552 0.479 0.521
13 21 Calgary 0.433 0.555 0.506
14 15 Philadelphia 0.558 0.464 0.505
15 14 NY Rangers 0.517 0.472 0.498
16 20 Toronto 0.468 0.507 0.493
17 19 Dallas 0.500 0.497 0.486
18 12 NY Islanders 0.500 0.470 0.478
19 17 New Jersey 0.533 0.453 0.474
20 18 Carolina 0.550 0.450 0.473
21 22 Pittsburgh 0.466 0.490 0.464
22 23 Phoenix 0.446 0.515 0.464
23 13 Buffalo 0.464 0.489 0.462
24 24 Anaheim 0.453 0.506 0.438
25 26 Los Angeles 0.400 0.517 0.419
26 25 Atlanta 0.448 0.452 0.394
27 28 Tampa Bay 0.417 0.462 0.385
28 29 Florida 0.397 0.463 0.370
29 27 Edmonton 0.323 0.541 0.363
30 30 Washington 0.383 0.455 0.341

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

Dec 102007
 

The first month or so of this NHL season included a number of somewhat unexpected happenings but all seems to be returning to normal in the NHL.

1. After a 7-3-1 start to the season Columbus has gone a much more expected 6-8-4 in their last 18 games.

2. After a solid 10-7-1 start the Chicago Blackhawks have gone 4-6-2 in their last 12 games and are currently on a 4 game losing streak.

3. After starting the season a dismal 3-6-1 the New York Rangers have gone on an exceptional 13-6-1 run.

4. Having started the season a phenominal 9-3-3 the Montreal Canadiens once again appear to be the average team everyone expected them to be having gone 5-7-2 since.

5. The relatively untalented Islanders surprised many by starting the seaosn 9-4 but have gone a more expected 5-8-2 since.

6. The Carolina Hurricanes fooled many by looking like a Cup Contender out of the gate going 9-3-3 but have been back to their ordinary selves going 7-9-0 in their last 16 games.

7. After a very mediocre first month and a half the Pittsburgh Penguins are again looking like a team on the verge of greatness like they did the last half of last season and are 8-2-1 in their last 11 games.

8. Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo got off to very poor starts this year (Brodeur 3-6-0, 3.02gaa, .885sv% in October, Luongo 4-7-0, 2.91gaa, .903 sv%) both have returned to elite status having posted save percentages above .930 since November first.

9. Even Kiprusoff seems to be finally returning to form after getting called out by Mike Keenan having given up just 5 goals in the last 3 games facing 94 shots for a .947 save percentage.

10. The Senators are no longer on pace for a 140+ point season and they once again have goaltending issues.

11. The western conference playoff teams (when ranked by points per game) currently are Detroit, St. Louis, San Jose, Vancouver, Minnesota, Colorado, Dallas and Nashville is close to what many expected. St. Louis and Nashville may be minor surprises most thought they would contend for a playoff spot and with Kiprusoff looking like he might have turned his game around and Niedermayer set to return to Anaheim those two talented teams may be on the verge of entering the playoff picture as many expected.

12. In the east the playoff teams are Ottawa, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Boston, NY Rangers, Carolina, Pittsburgh and Montreal with the Islanders, Maple Leafs, Sabres, Thrashers and Lightning all on the doorstep. Outside of Boston and maybe how poor the Sabres have been not a lot unexpected happing in the east either with a few of very good teams, a couple of very bad teams and a whole lot of mediocrity in between.

13. Finally, it appears the west is once again the best as western conference teams are a strong 25-19-2 against the east and if it weren’t for Pittsburgh’s 7-1-0 record against the west it would be far more lopsided.

Dec 102007
 

Some of you may have noticed that a few things have changed and been added here the last week or two but I haven’t made any formal announcements until now.

1. The salary commitment charts have moved to salaries.hockeyanalysis.com.

2. I have added a rumours sections at rumours.hockeyanalysis.com where I, and maybe others, will post rumours reported by other legit media outlets.

3. I have added a forums section at forums.hockeyanalysis.com where you all can go and discuss everything hockey.

4. I have started the first team blog about the Toronto Maple Leafs. For now I, and probably Steve Burtch will be the primary posters there though others may be added in the future.

5. I have added a nice new menu system to allow easy access to the salary charts, team blogs, forums, and other hockeyanalysis.com features.

I hope to be adding a few more team blogs in the next week or so. If you are interested in becoming an owner or contributor of a team blog here at hockeyanalysis.com drop me an e-mail.

Dec 042007
 

For the first time this season the Ottawa Senators have fallen out of first place and currently sit in third spot behind St. Louis and Detroit. The big mover this week is Minnesota who jumped from 15th to 5th with wins over Phoenix, St. Louis and Vancouver. Also making a move forward is the New Jersey Devils who have moved up to 17th and are on a 7 game winning streak. PHoenix who saw a bounce after the Bryzgalov waiver pickup had a tough week with losses to Minnesota, Chicago, Detroit and Pittsburgh which resulted in them falling back to 23rd spot.

Rank 7 Days
Ago
Team AdjWinP SchedStr Power
Rank
1 2 St. Louis 0.604 0.558 0.705
2 3 Detroit 0.673 0.528 0.683
3 1 Ottawa 0.660 0.493 0.661
4 4 Chicago 0.538 0.565 0.642
5 15 Minnesota 0.615 0.514 0.597
6 10 Vancouver 0.577 0.515 0.596
7 8 Nashville 0.542 0.540 0.594
8 7 Columbus 0.519 0.550 0.589
9 5 Boston 0.560 0.486 0.538
10 6 Montreal 0.519 0.501 0.538
11 11 San Jose 0.580 0.485 0.534
12 9 NY Islanders 0.500 0.489 0.514
13 12 Buffalo 0.500 0.500 0.511
14 19 NY Rangers 0.537 0.472 0.508
15 16 Philadelphia 0.562 0.461 0.504
16 18 Colorado 0.500 0.511 0.494
17 22 New Jersey 0.538 0.456 0.479
18 17 Carolina 0.574 0.439 0.474
19 13 Dallas 0.518 0.478 0.466
20 23 Toronto 0.426 0.513 0.456
21 20 Calgary 0.389 0.552 0.454
22 24 Pittsburgh 0.442 0.492 0.452
23 14 Phoenix 0.420 0.512 0.434
24 21 Anaheim 0.411 0.495 0.388
25 27 Atlanta 0.442 0.452 0.386
26 25 Los Angeles 0.385 0.501 0.386
27 29 Edmonton 0.357 0.525 0.382
28 28 Tampa Bay 0.423 0.450 0.372
29 26 Florida 0.389 0.454 0.349
30 30 Washington 0.352 0.458 0.315

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