Homer USA sugar

Atop The Sugar Pile – Olympic Preliminary Round Edition

Day off from the tournament today, so it seems like a good time to apply our semi-regular status update.

The Dizzying Highs

Phil Kessel – I haven’t watched every Olympic game, so I could be ignoring some others, but what I have seen there doesn’t seem to be a more dynamic offensive player than Kessel at this tournament. I’m one of those who turned around on Kessel. I used to laugh at him like everyone else and thought he was basically playing the game as a billionaire would if he were able to buy himself into a game, completely on his own planet. But last year and especially this one, Kessel has been mindlessly entertaining to watch. Lambert’s right, how is he getting no Hart discussion whatsoever? We’re so busy trying to point out the statistical morass that the Leafs are that I think Kessel gets washed away in the current. He shouldn’t.

Erik Karlsson – Again, from only the admittedly smaller sample size I’ve seen, but Karlsson appears to be driving a banged-up Swedish team himself and now that they’re on the opposite side of the draw from the US and Canada they “should” be playing for gold, you’d think. While he is never going to be Scott Niedermayer in his own end, Karlsson is one of the more dominating offensive defensemen in how long? He can control a game in one half of the ice, and there are only a handful of players who can say that no matter what and where they play.

Patrick Kane’s pass to Pavelski – I want to buy it roses and a swanky Italian dinner.

The Terrifying Lows

Slovakia – Woof. Thanks for making sure Hossa will get a full week off before returning to Hawks action.

Czech Republic – Other than than a brief seizure against Sweden, they’ve been the utter bore I thought they’d be, but with only a struggled-to win against Latvia to show for it. Lucky to draw their even more helpless neighbors for the right to get thwacked by the Yanks.

The Creamy Middles

Teemu Selanne – Maybe he should go higher for telling Crosby to stop diving?

Jonathan Toews – Just like last time, seems one of the few to be embracing the enormous pressure Canada is under early on before everyone else settles down.

 

 

  • Bobby Otter

    I’d add the Canadian blue liners to The Dizzying Highs. The Swiss might get three shots on goal Wednesday with the way those guys are playing. They’ve been awesome ever since that first period against Norway. And they’re not even playing with a full deck because of the idiocy of not dressing Subban.

    • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

      Why is it idiocy not to dress Subban if they’re dominating without him?

      He’s a weird one. Stupidly talented, especially offensively, but for every insanely effective game he has (like his play against Toews this year, which was flat-out perfect … minus the uncalled boarding penalty), he’ll have another game with 2 or 3 shifts where he can’t seem to figure out where to go or what to do in his own end.

      • 10thMountainFire
        • Paul the Fossil

          I agree that Seabrook should be there (ahead of say Hamhuis), but on the other hand Chico’s question regarding dressing Subban also applies here. If the Canadian defense falters in the bracket games then fine let the second-guessing begin. (And it will up north, oh yes.) But thus far they’ve been nails.

        • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

          Ahh Grapes. I saw him talk about it on Coach’s Corner back when the team was announced, ya. Best dressed and nicest sexist/borderline-racist in Canada.

          Don’t get me started about Don … my backwards allegiance to him paints me into indefensible positions.

          • 10thMountainFire

            And he dresses like a color blind four year old.

          • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

            The ladies dig it?

          • 10thMountainFire

            Which ones?

          • Bullitt315

            My understanding from mtv is it’s called “Peacocking”

          • 10thMountainFire

            I haven’t watched MTv since the Clinton administration. I’m ashamed to say I saw it then. Sounds like it’s gotten worse. Is Peacocking like Thorntoning?

          • Bullitt315

            I don’t think i’ve watched it in ten + years either.

            Peacocking means dressing for attention. Just like Peacock’s use their feathers to get a mate.

          • Z-man19

            XMF flings pooh

          • 10thMountainFire

            Sometimes I hit a target. Not today, though.

          • 10thMountainFire

            So men are… not men anymore?

          • Bullitt315

            Have you seen 4 year olds dress themselves? They don’t have to be colorblind.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Somehow it’s funnier on kids than it is on an 80-year old man. At least when it comes to wearing a tablecloth as a suit.

          • Bullitt315

            It’s cuter on kids and funnier on an 80-year old man.

      • Bullitt315

        I don’t really get it either. Who is Subban so much better than where not including him is idiotic? Canada has 2 D-men with more points who are also better at D. Do they really need another puck moving defenseman?

      • birdhead

        because Dan Hamhuis. Nobody is saying scratch Weber for Subban.

        • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

          Hamhuis is a really solid defenseman–nowhere near the offesnive skills as Subban, obviously. But I was saying above, Subban is up against Weber, Pietrangelo and Doughty. Those are the other righties, and Babcock wants his d playing their proper side. He preaches often that a single mistake puts you out of these tournaments, and it’s true … I truly want Hamhuis on my team ahead of Subban at this point in his career, and especially when you factor in that Subban would be playing on his wrong side.

      • Bobby Otter

        I’d dress Subban over Hamhuis and Bouwmeester. Would the Habs ever consider Subban for Hamhuis? Bouwmeester? I’d throw in Vlasic.

        • birdhead

          “Why is the reigning Norris winner so much better than Dan Hamhuis and Jay Bouwmeester?” IDK, who do you want on your team?

        • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

          For me, Canada has plenty of offensive punch from their blueline without Subban, and I’m not sure at this point in his career that Subban is better in his own zone, game in and game out, than Hamhuis … and he;s definitely not better in that respect than Bouwmeester, imo. In any case, they’re both lefties, and Subban is a righty, up agasint Weber, Doughty, and Pietrangelo, and no way should be in ahead of any of them.

  • bizarrohairhelmet
    • lizmcneill

      “It probably took 15-20 minutes to do the whole thing. … I remember
      there were times I was going through and stick-handling and hit a puck
      and it was 20-30 seconds in, and I would be [upset] because I hit the
      puck and would have to start over.

      “It was fun. It was fun to do something like that.”

      What did he say for upset that they had to bowdlerized him? Pissed?

      • bizarrohairhelmet

        flummoxed

  • bizarrohairhelmet

    Need some new music? Beck’s new album streamed before release:

    http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=274773496&m=277030448

  • DesertHawk

    Selanne tole Crosby to stop diving?

    • MySpoonIsTooBig

      Canada’s first period PP on which they scored their lone regulation goal against Finlad was the result of Crosby being interfered with on his way to chase a puck dumped into the corner and going down very easy. There’s a good chance it’s still an interference call if he stays on his feet as it was the 1st period (hence the whistles aren’t put away yet) and it was textbook interference, but he went all out to sell the call by going down like he’d been hit with a sack of bricks. During the ensuing stoppage Selanne got up in Crosby’s grill and was yelling at him, pretty clearly pissed off, and Pierre (whom I’m assuming could hear what was being said) told Doc and Eddie in the broadcast booth that Selanne was telling Crosby to quit diving.

      • bizarrohairhelmet

        if Crosby had kept skating, I might have agreed with interference, but he loaded up for the dive.

        • BrandonPirri

          Watching it live, I didn’t think he tried to sell it. It was interference all the way.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Then he loses points for getting knocked over by a man twice his age.

          • Accipiter

            Really ?

          • 10thMountainFire

            You can stop.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Pretty sure Accip is into that Miley Cyrus stuff. Not only can he not stop, he won’t stop.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Beck stuff was good, by the way.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            I always think I should follow his stuff more than I have because it’s generally very smart and inventive. I just never do, but the new one is a good listen and I’m glad I listened to it all the way through. 1st time I’ve done that with any of his albums.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Two of my favorite lesser-knowns are ‘The Golden Age’ and ‘Lost Cause’.

          • 1benmenno

            Good stuff.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I enjoyed that album. Got it in college.

          • DesertHawk

            Really what? I’m thread lost…

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            It wasn’t Selanne who shoved him down.

          • MySpoonIsTooBig

            BS. If that “shove” is all it takes to knock Crosby on his ass then he’d have no business whatsoever playing in the NHL. He would barely be able to hack it in the ECHL if he was really that weak on his skates. Crosby folded like a lawn chair the second he was touched, that was a dive.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I’d like to see the original video to hear when the whistle blows. It also didn’t look like he made an effort to get up too quickly which is odd given that the puck was in the area.

          • Korab22

            Isn’t it more that the guy also caught his right skate? The shove wasn’t much, but his right skate and leg got caught up just as the shove was being applied. Yeah, he probably might have fought harder to stay up if the puck was laying loose in the slot, but falling down in that situation seems like the right play.

        • 10thMountainFire

          /Leadership’d

    • bizarrohairhelmet
      • 10thMountainFire

        Swearing at the Teemu? That’s a paddlin’.

      • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

        Loved that. Also, Teemu looked damn good in that game.

        • bizarrohairhelmet

          Not a fan of Crosby’s ‘Dustin Brown’ behaviors. He’s already the best player in the world. He doesn’t need to do that crap.

          • DesertHawk

            That’s why I don’t like him. He’s amazingly skilled, but does a load of douchey stuff. Don’t care how good he is, I’ll take Toews over him every day.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Were you old enough to watch Paul Kariya?

          • DesertHawk

            A teeny tiny bit but mostly just the very end of his career, why?

          • 10thMountainFire

            I agree with you on Crosby. The description you gave could have applied to Kariya as well. Very, very talented while also roundly accused of diving, etc.

          • DesertHawk

            Crosby also slashes in the face off circle and the like. And last year when they folded against Boston, Chara popped him in the jaw cause Crosby started shit. But he then acted horrified and aghast that someone would have popped him.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Kariya was known to pull some of the same stuff. Kariya had a much shorter half-life. For his health’s sake, I hope Crosby has a 20-year career. But I also hope he stops playing at the edges and lets his skill determine his reputation. The diving, slashing, and other stuff is stupid.

          • Paul the Fossil

            Fans in some other cities had, I’ve learned, much the same feeling about Roenick during his playing days.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I can see that as well.

          • birdhead

            IDK man, Andrew Shaw does a lot of the same stuff (well not the diving but certainly playing on the edge). Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. If Crosby was bad and did the stuff he does, he’s a hardworking blue-collar player gritting it out and he’d be a fan favourite (see: Bollig). But because he’s good everyone hates him for doing the same things. It’s not like Crosby slewfoots or headhunts or throws elbows like a skill player we know and love on our own team.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Is this man that I love on our team missing some teeth?

          • birdhead

            I believe eight of them.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I still love him.

          • bizarrohairhelmet
          • birdhead

            ouch that’s bad. ok fair enough.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            I don’t know how I’d act if Cap’n Serious did that, but I’d be very disappoint.

          • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

            Soooooo many centres do the slashing thing, it’s almost stranger when they don’t.

          • 10thMountainFire

            *cough* Joe Thornton *cough*

          • waylon

            You realize that anyone accusing anyone of starting shit against those goons (other than the Nucks) will eventually get the pot vs. kettle comparison?

          • lizmcneill

            If that was Toews it’s probably one of the times when he suddenly forgets how to skate and falls over his own feet. The difference is that he bounces back up, Toewsfacing indignantly and doesn’t draw a penalty.

          • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

            I wholeheartedly agree. I think his reputation for it is exaggerated, but there’s no question he’s guilty of it, and the one above was pure 100% lobby effort.

        • Z-man19

          Loved the dive or that Teemu called Sid a pooh pooh head?

          • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

            Loved Teemu talking trash to him.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Sid would probably be wise to listen.

          • Z-man19

            By the way, that wasn’t a lobbying effort, Sid might as well just wrote a check to the ref right there on the ice

          • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

            Oh I agree. Did it come across like I was defending the thing? Didn’t intend to. A clear dive … just meant he was lobbying the ref for the call by falling.

          • Z-man19

            No, just thought the diving effort deserved more emphasis

  • BestPredsForward

    American Hero Phil Kessel!. Finally, a win for the socially awkward! :D

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yusSgJnaIUM

  • bizarrohairhelmet

    for birdie (damage control): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPxwsT13sXo

    • birdhead

      oh no, does this mean they’re scratching Sharpy? Dammit Canada

      • bizarrohairhelmet

        no. just thought I help with the whole “diaper-gate” disappointment

        • birdhead

          The dog is cute enough (but he named his dog after himself? SHARPY)

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            yeah, that’s a bit off, but Shooter is a pretty good name for a basset.

          • Bullitt315

            <—- Bassets are cute and friendly but man are they stubborn.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Have had German Shepherds my entire life. I’m considering getting one soon again, though time at home is going to make me pause.

          • Bullitt315

            Dogs are great but they are a lot of work especially as pups. My roommate just got an 8 week old mut that I get to help with (I did offer) and they’re very needy.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Having an apartment and not a house, I think it would be a bit selfish of me at this point. As much as I really would like a dog that size, it’s just self-serving. I’m hopeful to have a window of opportunity in a few years.

          • Bullitt315

            Yeah. You can’t get a full size dog in an apartment unless you have tons of time to walk them.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Yeah, it’s patently unfair with my schedule. That’s a shame. Shepherds are the best.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Well, that’s not fair. Dogs are, pound for pound, the most efficient love-generating entities known to man. In fact, it’s been proven that they consistently produce more love in return than the amount of love initially introduced by the human into the relationship. They do require some grass/dirt/snow/ice/run time, so hopefully you get a chance to modify your schedule in the near future.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I miss having a dog around, especially a Shepherd because I grew up with them. They liven up a life. It’s impossible to be down when you’re around a good dog.

          • Bullitt315

            “It’s not until you’re an adult you appreciate how awesome a dog is. Your dreams start dyin, somebody cheats on ya, bankers fuck up your 401k, ya know? Then ya come home and that dog’s looking at you and he’s like, ‘Dude, you’re awesome!’ It’s like No, dude you…You are fuckin awesome!”
            Bill Burr

          • 10thMountainFire

            God created humans as a companion for dogs. I’m starting to lean towards that assessment. Dogs are in the lead.

          • 1benmenno

            They’re using dogs to reduce stress at Ryerson University in Toronto. Also vets in the Canadian Armed Forces who suffer PTSD are given canine companions.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Same down here. They have programs now where vets can adopt dogs with a lot of combat under their tails. Good for the vet and the dog.

          • Bullitt315

            Yeah, they’re on my list for “next dog” Trying to convince my dad to get one when he retires. My mom wants more of a toy dog (well, she doesn’t want one at all)

  • http://www.our-founding.com/ Toews makes funny faces

    Okay, this is a very serious question, even more serious than how QoS is a major factor in SH% and SV%. I have had this question since Canaydia’s G1. Who the Fuck let somebody take Tazer’s number for Team Canuckland? I mean WTF, it is Toews, nobody shits on our Captain!!!!

    • BodomSlayer

      I was wondering the same thing and could only assume Bouwmeester is a ‘veteran’ over Toews and thus gets first choice.

      • Z-man19

        Whoa, from out of nowhere, Bodom is back

        • BodomSlayer

          Yea it’s been a weird year for me. I mostly open at work and am up at 5:30 everyday and in bed by 9. Kind of sad.

          • Z-man19

            Good to see you around, clearly you need to learn to slack at work more

          • BodomSlayer

            I work in retail, I’m not allowed that option sadly. One day a more relaxed job will be mine!

          • 10thMountainFire

            Get in line for that dream.

          • BodomSlayer

            I’m sure if I just applied myself lol. The hard part is finding where my skills translate into a ‘real’ job.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            You’re young and got your health. What you want a job for?

          • BodomSlayer

            Stupid money!

          • 10thMountainFire

            Does the Pope wear a funny hat?

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            No. Unless round is funny.

          • 10thMountainFire

            And this here’s the TV. Two hours a day, either educational or football, so you don’t ruin your appreciation of the finer things.

      • M7

        I’m guessing that since Toews wore #16 in 2010 Olympics, and enjoyed success, he elected to stay with the same number (in 2010 Joe Thornton defintely would’ve had first crack at #19 for Canada). These hockey players are pretty superstitious!

    • 10thMountainFire

      You misspelled ‘Canada’. Twice.

      • http://www.our-founding.com/ Toews makes funny faces

        You are obviously just seeing things.

        • 10thMountainFire

          Darn it. I thought this was O’Doul’s.

      • bizarrohairhelmet

        I don’t think so…

    • laaarmer

      Bobby Hull wore #16. It’ll be OK. I doubt Toews cares.

  • laaarmer

    Thoughts on Bode?
    You think Dale would trade us for him?

    • 10thMountainFire

      Dude, I have an apartment lease. I can’t move to Florida.

      • laaarmer

        OK?
        Hey I’ve got 9 inches of fresh snow on the driveway. It’s exactly what I wanted. It’s awesome. I can’t get enough snow.

        • bizarrohairhelmet

          sounds like a dream

          • Z-man19

            Go milk a bull

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Again? Can I wait until bedtime like usual?

        • Z-man19

          Who is Bode?

          Chico will be there shortly to take care of your drive

          • laaarmer

            He’s the Alpine skier that was badgered by the reporter, or so they say.

            fucking chico. you cannot rely on him for anything. I have to go pick up the kid from baseball practice and I hate the fucking snow tracks that turn to ice. DAMNIT!

          • Z-man19

            He had a nice tweet telling everyone to lay off the interviewer.

            Damn Chico, the slacker

          • laaarmer

            I watched the interview. She should be fired. These reporters….just shut the fuck up. How do you feel about your brother dying? I can’t take these stupid fuckers. The guy did his best and came up just short and you’re going to ask about his brother that died? Why not ask how he feels about how he performed and how the other guy performed.
            Alright gotta go do the fucking snow.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            You know, I think Kane did enough overt demonstrations that justified asking about what was going on, but if she just up and asked him out of nowhere, that’s just sensationalism.

          • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

            Incidentally, my neighbour saw me laboring yesterday afternoon and came over and offered to plow my driveway with his pick-up’s attachment thingy (my words, not his). Zip zip. Buying him a case of beer. He can’t possibly know how happy he made me.

          • Z-man19

            If you offered the youth in your area booze for shoveling your drive, you’d have the cleanest drive in Canada

          • 10thMountainFire

            Not Chico*

          • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

            See above … if a shovel counts as a carry-on, I might be able to help you with half. But that’s it. And Wednesday at best.

          • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

            God damn elbow still, man, I can just barely handle my own snow. And I have a golf vacation lined up for mid-March, I’m getting scared!

        • Bullitt315

          I shoveled my driveway at lunch just so I wouldn’t have to do the extra thick stuff when I get home. I’m sick of snow. I’m going drunk sledding later.

  • http://www.our-founding.com/ Toews makes funny faces

    It appears in Soviet Russia, the reason they lost has nothing to do with the rules on what is a goal, or the replay officials seeing it, it has everything to do with the ref on the ice was American. While protesting outside the US Embassy some in the crowd state a desire “to make soap out of the ref”.

    http://espn.go.com/espnw/news-commentary/olympics/article/10471083/russian-hockey-fans-protest-disallowed-goal-united-states

    Almost sound like they can pass for River SCUM fans.

    • VanDorp’sMullet

      Maybe I should have scrolled down a bit before my own post. Whoops.

      • 10thMountainFire

        I still love you.

        • VanDorp’sMullet

          Love you more!

          • 10thMountainFire

            Soap and cheese graters.

    • Bullitt315

      You have to understand Russia has a bit different experience with corruption than we do. To them it’s perfectly reasonable.

      • http://www.our-founding.com/ Toews makes funny faces

        Kinda hard to figure they are so used to corrupt officials. They want to cheese grate soap made of man for sports for Christ’s sake. You figure Politicians would shit themselves for even being thought of being corrupt if it affected something important!

  • CozBullsFan

    You’re an awfully chatty bunch tonight.

    • Z-man19

      Coz

      • CozBullsFan

        Z.

        • Z-man19

          Still cold down there?

          • CozBullsFan

            Not today. Had some friends visiting from Playa. They are there for a wedding. They’re glad to be here and not Chicago.

          • Z-man19

            I bet they are. Might be in the high 40′s on Thursday. I may wear shorte

    • 10thMountainFire

      Coz.

      • CozBullsFan

        XMF

    • VanDorp’sMullet

      Coz.

      • CozBullsFan

        Van

        • VanDorp’sMullet

          Como estas?

          • CozBullsFan

            Bien. Usted?

          • VanDorp’sMullet

            Pura vida. I miss hockey though.

          • CozBullsFan

            Igualmente Van.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Would it be wrong if I just watched Hossa’s OT goal in Game 5, Kane’s Cup winner, Kane’s Kings beater, Seabrook’s game winner v Scum, and 17 seconds of glory again? Because I did.

  • VanDorp’sMullet

    Stay classy, Russia.

    http://espn.go.com/chicago/story/_/id/10471083/russian-hockey-fans-protest-disallowed-goal-united-states

    The best part was in the comments section where someone actually said something clever, “I thought Russians were known for their vodka and not for their whine.”

    • 10thMountainFire

      Soap and cheese graters. Soap and cheese graters. Soap.

  • http://www.our-founding.com/ Toews makes funny faces

    So in other news, Water is still wet, Fire is still Hot, the Sun rises in the East and Trolls are Machiavellianist-narcissist-psychopathic-sadists.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/climate_desk/2014/02/internet_troll_personality_study_machiavellianism_narcissism_psychopathy.html

    • 10thMountainFire

      /Bolland’d

    • Bullitt315

      Apparently I’m part psychopath as I like to partake in the occasional trolling. Usually just in the playoffs.

  • birdhead

    PK Subban, risk, and some moderately fancy stats (this one’s for you Chico): http://canucksarmy.com/2014/2/17/the-reports-of-p-k-subban-s-demise-have-been-greatly-exaggerated (warning: they trash Duncs)

    • 10thMountainFire

      As an American, I encourage this Canucks fancy stat assertion of Subban over Keith.

      In fact, if you really want to supplant Keith with Subban… feel free to have it ‘Bronzed’.

      • Bullitt315

        PK Subban is pretty good at hockey (personally can’t stand the guy) but no way do I take him over Duncs talent wise.

        • 10thMountainFire

          Concur. Not a chance in Hell. And I should know because that’s where I’m headed.

          • Bullitt315

            Fancy stats say shea weber isn’t any good too (well, this year). I don’t trust stats that say shea weber isn’t good.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I like how that was mentioned and then left alone in the article.

          • birdhead

            Well look at Weber’s usage, and look at the effect he has on Fenwick. I think they specifically picked Keith because the numbers they got for him – offensively talented, allows too many chances against, is sheltered – tell the story that people are usually telling about Subban.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I’d like to see them identify the disparity in Weber’s numbers since Suter’s departure. You could do the same for the Olympics for Keith without Seabrook in Sochi 2014 v Vancouver 2010.

          • lizmcneill

            Olympics is too small of a sample size, but Weber’s definitely not getting as good results without Suter. Either Suter was driving the bus or it was both of them (Suter’s #s are bad in Minny but it’s hard to compare across teams)

          • Bobby Otter

            Just as Keith isn’t as good without Seabrook at the top of his game (and really I think that’s what’s going on here, Keith without an outstanding Seabrook isn’t as effective for a number of reasons).

            If Keith is as good as most of us think he is, he should be destroying the competition this year since he’s seeing the 2nd and 3rd best that teams have to offer. He’s racking up the points to say “yes this is the case” but the flip side is that Keith/Seabrook are allowing a lot of shots. This isn’t to say these two are ‘bad’ but probably not as good as we think they are (and Hjalmarsson is actually better than we think he is). And the question should be: “Why are Keith and Seabrook allowing more shots this year, especially considering the competition?”

    • birdhead

      the nutshell is: of Canadian defensemen in the Olympics, over the last three seasons, PK Subban has had a higher proportion of D-Zone starts than most of them (“tougher minutes”, especially because his team is not very good); compared to the rest of his team he has not only had a significant improvement on fenwick differential (i.e. the Canadiens get more of the fenwick events for) but also on fenwick against (i.e. in absolute terms the Canadiens allow much fewer fenwick chances against when Subban is on the ice). In a nutshell, the idea that Subban is a riskier player than most of the Canadian blueline is not supported by #fancystats.

      I think what’s probably going on with the Duncs numbers is that the Hawks are generally such a good possession team that differential makes everyone look bad but his raw Fenwick against numbers aren’t too impressive when they’re stacked up against this team, which is kind of fun and funny.

      • 10thMountainFire

        Is this a burgeoning ‘Blame Keith’ campaign starting in Anarchostan?

        • birdhead

          Not unless you read like a crazy person.

          • 10thMountainFire

            We’re all nuts here.

        • Why

          It’s kind of an insane use of stats. If you can’t watch Subban play and see that he takes a lot of risks in his own zone, you really do need to get your eyes checked. And you have to completely redefine the word defence to change it to mean “How much offence a player generates.” When the other team has the puck, Subban is good but nowhere near the level of Keith. And yes, being only +20 at this point in his career should be something that people should look at.

          • birdhead

            you think every use of stats is insane. what makes this one so special?

          • Why

            I think most times the word Fenwick or Corsi are brought up I’m about to hear something that isn’t particularly well thought out. But defining “defence” to mean “offence” is pretty special. Knowing that teams have different shooting percentages on the powerplay, it’s also even more useless than normal to just shot count. And the guy’s an elite scoring defenceman who has pretty average plus minus numbers.

          • birdhead

            Comparing the number of shots against while two different players are on the ice is defining defense as offense? I’m sorry, you’ll have to unpack that one for me, since it doesn’t really make sense to me.

      • bizarrohairhelmet

        also that the Hawks suffered when Keith was put into the most dire situations and that the Hawks improved once Eb & Ech took over, ergo Keith is not as good.

        • 10thMountainFire

          Yes. Not that Hammer is better than advertised. But Keith sucks.

          So now we know that Keith AND Seabrook suck.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            So what’s supporting the outstanding numbers and results of Marlboro 72? Must be the aether…

          • 10thMountainFire

            Or they’re smoking ether.

          • birdhead

            Jonathan Toews?

          • lizmcneill

            It’s Seabrook. Obviously.

          • Bullitt315

            Keith and Seabs have some of the best fancy stats and they both suck! Both relying on the other guys talents! (I feel there may be a flaw in that logic)

          • 10thMountainFire

            I love this part:

            ‘Interestingly, the Chicago Blackhawks have yielded a ton more shots against with Duncan Keith on the ice.’

            Odd-man rushes because Keith pinches because… he’s capable of keeping up with lightning-quick Hawks forwards?

            No in-depth explanation of it… just the numbers. Which is why numbers, ladies and gentlemen, do in fact lie on occasion.

          • birdhead

            I’m curious as to what in-depth explanation you could come up with to explain Duncan Keith allowing a ton more shots against that doesn’t involve describing Duncs as a risk-taking offensive defenseman.

          • 10thMountainFire

            You’re asking about facts. This is Vancouver we’re discussing. Get on board, bird.

          • birdhead

            Look I know, I know, I know what people are getting at with the eyetest and stuff but brains are dumb. Brains are really really dumb. Brains are much more likely to remember that one time that thing went wrong than all the time it went right. That’s why I remember a Patrick Kane turnover at the blueline more than I remember all the shots that Patrick Kane has generated because he carried the puck into the zone rather than dumped it. So you have to try to get around that bit of your brain. So when the bit of your brain is saying “PK Subban is too risky a player” – how might we measure that to see if it’s true? Aren’t shots and Fenwick events and scoring chances against at least an okay measure? And PK Subban doesn’t just generate a lot of those at the other end – he generates a lot of those at the other end *and he allows very few in his own end*. He allows much fewer *than Duncan Keith*. So why are we pushing this story around PK Subban?

          • 10thMountainFire

            Vancouver spittle-infused hatred of Duncan Keith? It’s almost as if the entire article was written in order to take Keith down a peg or three. Otherwise, why is the Shea Weber angle not analyzed beyond one sentence?

          • birdhead

            Weber’s numbers look nothing like Duncs’ on any of those charts except PK shots against.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Right. Shots against. They mention it but then go right back to the theme of Subban over Keith.

          • birdhead

            Shea Weber plays for a terrible team and has incredibly rough zone starts. He also (unlike Keith this year) is facing top competition and playing enormous minutes.

            I mean, is it at least in part a hit piece on Keith? Sure. But that’s to Keith’s credit – his name is a byword for reliable two-way defenseman. If they can show that Subban’s numbers are as good or better than Keith’s, that should be convincing that Subban is very good, shouldn’t it? If you think Duncan Keith is very good, which I do.

          • 10thMountainFire

            From what I have read in recent days, Doughty is the new Keith.

            I don’t doubt Subban’s skill. Dude’s a player. No doubt top 10 in the league. Is he Keith? No. Is he Doughty? No. He’s a very, very, very good defenseman. Pair him with Weber in Nashville, put him in Colorado with the speed they have up front, or in Detroit? He’s got 10-15 good years and probably 2-3 Norris Trophies.

          • birdhead

            Subban-Weber sounds like an amazing pairing doesn’t it?

          • 10thMountainFire

            Not for Hawks fans.

          • Bobby Otter

            That said, I think Hawk fans would LOVE Subban.

          • M7

            A lot of brains are dumb, but many are not. Look… I know that Subban is a riskier player because I’ve watched him, shortsightedly, jump into rushes that had little chance to get beyond the redline. I’ve also seen Subban’s propensity to carry the puck up-ice on his off-wing side (his stick toward the middle of the ice) which means that he’s leaving his defensive side of the ice’s coverage blown if he loses the puck (unless his defense partner and a the last forward back key into his march up the ice).

            Give me fancy stats that show this.

          • birdhead

            I’m not talking individual stupid people or stupidities, which we all have. I’m talking systematic brain problems, things which every brain is bad at, like overestimating narratives and underestimating chance.

            I would imagine that if Subban is consistently jumping into pointless rushes and blowing his defensive coverage he would be allowing a lot more shots and chances and goals against than other players on his team. Does he?

          • M7

            I believe he does give up more high quality chances on his own net because of the ill-timed decisions he makes when leaving his own end. The total number of shots don’t really matter if the ones given up are golden.

            I’m playing a bit of a devil’s advocate in this arguement because you are pretty long in terms of valid arguements in Subban’s favour. With offense from the back end, you inherently inherit (whoa) more risk with that player. This is a given and there really isn’t an effective way to consistenly attack at a high level without leaving the defensive end wanting a bit. For coaches, the job focuses on your ability to mitigate that risk via offensive/defensive strategies and personnel. Subban is dynamic going forward and, even when he does make mistakes/poor judgements, he is also dynamic in getting back in the play which is a credit to his talent. You can live with more risk if that’s your #1 d-man on a club team because over the balance of a game, as players get into the flow of playing large minutes and whatnot, they tend to level out. Having said that, Subban’s game is still riskier than it needs to be IMHO.
            At the international level, where he’s only getting 10-12 minutes, I think you import more backend risk than you need to. This team doesn’t need to take risks from their backend to drive the offense. They need consistency in their ability to retrieve the puck, make a first pass and defend. If offense opens up in the final 3rd – take it, but don’t force it. Other than Doughty’s goal on the 4-on-4 OT, the other 5 Canadian goals from defensmen where generated off of the cycle. Take what’s there. These are the best forwards in the game so get the puck in their hands and get out of the way. Subban’s game isn’t attuned to that approach although I’m sure it will as he matures over the next few years.

          • birdhead

            I’m not sure you’ve convinced me but this is good stuff.

          • M7

            Maybe Duncs’ slot coverage and positioning (body and stick) are so good that he prevents opponents from getting into the middle of the ice. By doing this teams concede that their best option against his defensive posture/positioning is to throw a volume of shots on net from outside, and outwide, in the hopes that they create 50/50 puck-battles off of rebounds in a, potentially, more favourable position for themselves. I mean… Keith isn’t the most physically imposing defender on the goalline or at the top of the crease. Big forwards should, theoretically, have their only real advantage over Keith in these types of situations.

            It’s just an idea, but it’s what I’d do if i was playing against Keith.

          • birdhead

            That’s plausible.

          • Bullitt315

            This is why I’m more of an eye test guy. I like stats to a degree because I can’t watch every single hockey game and they’re a nice “check your calculations” but in a spot as complicated as hockey, they miss a lot.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Which explains Seabrook. I’d love to see them address the ‘problems’ on Team Canada’s blue line by examining the missing piece from 2010… #7 in red.

          • Why

            Odd man rushes don’t generally create extra shots. They create higher quality shots.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            probably both. an even man rush has less likelihood to generate a shot because of more defense in the way.

        • birdhead

          That is sort of what the numbers seem to suggest.

          Look. Nobody here has watched every single game played by every one of these Canadian defensemen. I just won’t believe you if you tell me that you’ve watched as many games PK Subban has played as you have Duncan Keith – or even Pietrangelo, who at least plays the Blackhawks all the time. The point of statistical analysis is simply to get past the eyetest because your eyetest for Duncan Keith might be very good, but an eyetest based on a couple of highlight reels and the, what, three games the Hawks have played against the Habs in Subban’s career? Why would you trust that?

          • 10thMountainFire

            Sample size. The next frontier.

          • Bullitt315

            Subban plays in the east. the east sucks.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            So then why don’t professional teams just rely on statistics since it would be practically impossible for a single person to watch every game by every possible player you’d want to compare and then generate a comprehensive analysis of every performance observed?

            Edit: changed player to person

          • 10thMountainFire

            Because Ozzie Guillen would be out of a job.

            Wait.

          • birdhead

            Well, a: they do: http://www.sbnation.com/nhl/2013/10/21/4857618/nhl-stats-advanced-analytics-teams and b: they’re stupid? and c: I’m not saying advanced stats can tell you everything because I know that they can’t, but I’m saying let’s at least look at them *together with* what we’re saying about players we see in context twice a year if that.

            Also, I do trust a scout a bit more than I trust Jacky Fan and I assume a scout sees players he’s looking at more often than twice a year.

          • Why

            a: They don’t. You can read your own link and see that some of them are using stats but they don’t exclusively rely on them. Hiring a guy to run some spread sheets isn’t a moneyball approach.

            b: We don’t have good fancy stats in hockey. The teams aren’t stupid, they’re just smart enough not to fall for a statistical revolution that’s currently more cult than substance.

          • birdhead

            bhh did not use the word exclusively, nor did I. you could read what I actually wrote and respond to it but I am already beyond familiar with what you think and vice versa so I’m not sure there’s any need unless you really think you’ve come up with something new.

          • Why

            So then why don’t professional teams just rely on statistics[.]

          • birdhead

            I’m not saying advanced stats can tell you everything because I know that they can’t, but I’m saying let’s at least look at them *together with* what we’re saying about players we see in context twice a year if that.

            Also, I do trust a scout a bit more than I trust Jacky Fan and I assume a scout sees players he’s looking at more often than twice a year.

          • Why

            Do you at least agree that it was pretty clear that bbh was asking why teams don’t use those stats exclusively? And does it make sense to write an article comparing Subban and Keith that exclusively uses fancy stats?

          • birdhead

            Only if you agree that it is clear that I conceded both that no team relies exclusively on stats and that stats do not create a complete picture of a player.

            It makes about as much sense to write an article comparing Subban and Keith that exclusively uses fancystats as it does to write a comment comparing Subban and Keith that exclusively uses “My experiences watching Keith in 82 games a season and Subban three times in the last three years.” No single article can be anything to everyone. I already know that you think statistical analysis is a pointless waste of time, you already know that, I’m not sure why you persist. Do you imagine everyone is suddenly going to have a revelation that you are correct or something?

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Teams use a system of scouts (glorified eye-tests) for the final selection decisions and it appears that teams are using more of a statistical analysis to show them where to focus their attention, but 1 or even 2 stats guys aren’t a large part of the scouting procedure or, one would assume, the decision-making process. The Hawks have 1 stats guy in their 28-man scouting crew, so I’d guess the 3.5% has about 3.5% impact on the selection process or probably less if you consider salaries as the market determinant of how valuable the position is.

            The problem with stats are that they come with a lot of noise (e.g. the debate about corsi and if it actually correlates to possession) and removing noise from stats is tedious. It can be done to some extent, but the process isn’t good enough (quick? reliable? meaningful?) at the moment to be as valuable as eye-test scouting. I have no doubt that future statistic gathering improvements will lead to greater relevance of stats, but for now, the eye-test network rules the roost by a large margin.

            The funny thing is that the “eye-test” and statistical analysis are really the exact same process. The human brain just happens to be an incredibly powerful computer capable of defining and eliminating multiple kinds of noise instantly. Of course, brains also tend to gloss over statistical nuance in the process, due to their limited and non-networkable calculating power, which is why advanced statisticians labor over increasingly elegant statistical definitions to dig out meaningful results. Very recursive to the industrial revolution.

          • Why

            In general, the “eye test” and stats are the same thing. But if the stats specifically ignore parts of the game, they’re not the same thing.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Right. Stat collection is too primitive at this stage for many aspects of the game so why try to describe something with no meaningful data for support (Shot Quality, anyone)?

          • birdhead

            Human brains are incredibly powerful and incredibly dumb. They are incredibly good at finding patterns, to the point that they identify patterns that don’t exist, finding meaning in randomness and story in coincidence. They are incredibly good at worrying about risk, to the extent that they way over-emphasise risks versus positives. They are incredibly good at sorting out noise – in order to hear other human voices, or find faces that they know. What they are really, incredibly, truly awful at is objectivity. You can skew a human brain so easily that you can get a woman to fail a math test she would otherwise have passed by telling her that girls are bad at geometry. You can get someone to react differently to pictures of black people by getting them to read a lot about inspirational black people. If you tell a guy a lot of rape jokes, and you tell another guy a lot of regular jokes, the guy you told the rape jokes to is more likely to agree with the statement that women are obliged to have sex with a guy who bought them dinner. You can get people, groups of people, to swear blind that they saw something they couldn’t possibly have seen. And I absolutely bet that you can convince people that a player is a risk-taker by putting Pat Foley on the television and getting him to talk about it. Don’t tell me about how wonderful our brains are. They’re amazing, they’re miraculous, but the thing they are not remotely is *objective*.

          • ChicagoNativeSon

            Anyone who disagrees with the above should watch the show “Brain Games” on the National Geographic Channel (NGEO).

            Here’s a primer:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PN1NAiM55hU

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            If the brain has no ability to be objective, how did it create the rules for objectivity? More importantly, why would it? Furthermore, your examples of what I assume are extreme fallacies of subjectivity, are themselves based on subjective outcomes, which is pretty much a “duh” statement since all qualitative expressions are results of subjectivity (and we won’t even get into how objectivity is by necessity a subset of subjectivity). That the human brain can be tricked is no more an argument against subjectivity as it is an argument supporting objectivity.

            But frankly, I’ve lost what you are even trying to argue. Are you trying to say that the subjective compilation of a few stats by a Canucks-biased hockey blog are better at determining defensive players for team Canada than the subjective experience of Babcock and the team of hockey minds he employs? Babcock’s experience is pretty well known. What other examples has this hockey blog deployed? What is the outcome of their efforts? There are literally billions of dollars at stake in this effort and if a systematic use of statistical analysis is able to build a better hockey team than a team of experienced humans, the greedy blood suckers at the top of these teams would use it. Think of the millions in salary savings alone.

          • birdhead

            No, I was just trying to say that suggesting that the eye test and statistical analysis are the same thing doesn’t strike me as wise. The brain can do a lot of things in really incredible ways but it didn’t evolve to evaluate sporting talent and it’s not particularly good at it. (I also don’t think the examples I gave are particularly extreme. They happen on a minute-by-minute basis.)

            As for statistical analysis and team use. I did say consistently let’s look at them *together with* what we think the eyetest is telling us and what Babcock is telling us. We know coaching isn’t perfect, even Babcock’s. We know that perceptions of risk are known for skewing the way people play (for example, the “prevent defense” tends to give the trailing team a chance to catch up rather than preventing them from doing so, but it feels riskier, so it is still popular). And we know that it took baseball, for example, a while to develop good stats and then a while to adopt them. What’s wrong with trying to get that team of experienced humans to think about statistical analysis a little bit, instead of just throwing up our hands and saying, well, they’re smarter than we are.

            In a nutshell, I’m not sure why eyetest criticisms of coaches are welcome, but statistical ones aren’t.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Of course the eye-test is a form of statistical analysis. When #19 in red skates into the zone and goes behind the net to battle for puck possession, I’m using every thing I can remember about him doing this activity as well as everyone else doing the same activity to come up with a qualitative description of his current endeavor (“Cap’n looks off tonight and isn’t holding on to the puck” or “Nobody’s getting the puck from Toews tonight. He’s a monster”). I don’t need to time him and enter the data into a spreadsheet to make a reasonably accurate assertion about his comparative skill for the current action. If I want to say definitively that he’s doing something exactly in ‘X’ way compared to all other times he’s done this, then I can look up the actual stats and say that. My mental gathering and analysis of stats I remember is no more or less reliable than picking a set of stats to make a statement about them. If my process is wrong and someone catches it, they’ll let me know by saying I’m an asshole. If the group of stats picked is refuted by other stats and someone catches it, they’ll let me know I’m an idiot and an asshole. They’re both mental processes used to describe the quality of what we have observed and equally capable of being subverted by biases.

      • lizmcneill

        Anyone’s deployment on the Hawks is going to look more sheltered than the Habs (apart from the Human Shields). And the differentials are to the very sheltered Leddy pairing and the Swedes (who would be a notch up the depth chart on most teams), whereas Subban is compared to the twitching corpse of Douglas Murray et al.

    • cliffkoroll

      Fuck my eye test then. I’ll go with Babcock’s eye test.

      • birdhead

        You’re right. Why ever talk about sports? Why ever try to discuss anything? The coaches know everything and it’s not worth even talking about. Babcock forever.

        • cliffkoroll

          Seriously, I’m willing to learn about Subban, who I don’t see much and may well be underapreciated. But I see Keith plenty- I don’t have the time or interest to refute the analysis, but the first graph alone (plotting o-zone starts on one axis and d-zone starts on another without understanding that there’s really just one dimension being measured there) tells me this guy was throwing a bunch of charts against the wall to see what sticks. Feels like an effort at takedown. There are all kinds of statistical measures, in addition to my eye test, Babcock’s eye test ,Qs eye test, that can make the case for Keith’s greatness, but haterz gonna hate.

    • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

      If I said he was riskier, that was a mistake. I meant only to imply that defensively, right now, he’s more inconsistent than other top-notch Canadian options on that side of the ice. The Canadian blue line doesn’t need his offense, I disagree with the article there, and his defensive game is inconsistent (he’s been benched at least once this season, and I think maybe twice). I see a fair number of Habs games on CBC. Subban is CLEARLY not a bad d-man, he deserves to be in Sochi, but he has very strange, terribly “off” games.

      And he’s not better than Doughty, Weber, or Pietrangelo, imo … the only d-men he’s competing against. Hamhuis, Bouwmeester, Keith and Vlasic are lefties. Babcock is skating 3 lefties and 3 righties, in large part I think because the larger ice necessitates a tight defensive game and so it’s riskier to have d-men skating their “unnatural” side.

      The only argument, then, is should Subban be getting a spot instead of Doughty, Weber, or Pietrangelo?

      • Bobby Otter

        Why aren’t we talking about the left/right-iness of the American or Swedish teams? I don’t understand how this is *only* a Canadian issue/topic. It’s at the point where I think Canada would sit Karlsson (if he were Canadian) because he’s a righty that takes too many chances.

        That said, Canada is spending way too much time trying to create a ‘perfect world’ for their team. They’re getting way too cute and have thus far been bailed out by their foolproof talent and (lack of) competition.

        • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

          Babcock has been adamant about skating a lefty and a righty in each pairing from December/January onward. I don’t know why other coaches haven’t been talking about the same thing … but I sense it’s because their positional depth isn’t comparable. I’m not being a dick saying that, it’s just there’s a lot of perfectly viable options on the Canadian squad. Babcock calls it a small details tournament where one mistake sends you home. That feels accurate to me.

          Babcock’s also been plainspoken about building strength from a defense-first perspective. I sense he’s confident that that’s where this tournament is won and lost, and that players like Crosby, et al., will score when they need to. It’s tough to fault that premise, they’ve played phenomenal defense so far, and those forwards … if they don’t score, I’d be more inclined to call it bad luck than bad coaching or trying to be too cute. If anything, they’ve stayed a bit much on the perimeter, but that’s not cute imo, it’s just feeling the game. The players talked about that in the pressers and I expect they’ll play a bit differently going forward.

      • birdhead

        Being able to dress seven defensemen and dressing Hamhuis over Subban … I don’t know, I just can’t take Hamhuis’ consistent mediocrity over Subban’s potentially game-breaking talent.

        Although I agree it’s hard to imagine how Canada could get more offensively from their defensemen than what they’re getting from Weber and Doughty right now.

        • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

          Ultimately I agree re Hamhuis/Subban. But I do get the sense–purely subjective here–that Hamhuis is the better option re: handedness; and Babcock’s sense of a player’s willingness to heed his instructions for a 7th/8th defenseman, which might be something along the lines of Go out on the ice and do nothing except make sure the puck gets out of the zone.