Karlsson

Blow Up The Outside World – C.I.’s Preview Of The Rest Of The NHL: The Northe….The Atla…..Oh Whatever

We’ve been looking inward for a bit now, and you know what happens when you look inward for too long. You start thinking you have complexes and shortcomings that aren’t there, and deciding this or that is the reason you can’t love or can only get off by being spanked with a cricket bat and then you dump all your money to some therapist before you end up sitting on the floor in your apartment with a bucket of chicken wearing nothing more than your underwear as you smear the grease on your chest and….oh, wait, this was just my Saturday night. Ok then…

But sometimes, it’s best to look at everyone else and point out their faults. Well, maybe not best but it sure is a hell of a lot more fun. And it’s easier to blame others for your problems than yourself (unless you’re Catholic). So let’s start that process today by examining what should be the Adams Division or maybe the Northeast except for that thing where the two Florida teams are involved because Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa fans love to go to Florida in the winter if they don’t live there already. Seriously, have you been to that stretch between Ft. Lauderdale and Miami in January? It’s lousy with French-Canadians. They’re everywhere, interspersed with the old Jewish men who constantly looked bewildered. Probably because they are. Oh, and Scum. Because Detroit is so far Northeast.

Boston Bruins – The Vanquished: Ah, the silver medalists. Bit more of an adventurous offseason for them. The B’s opted to kind of erode their center depth, the strength of their team, by shipping off Rich Peverley and Tyler Seguin. While Seguin may never have blossomed in Boston, you just feel like giving up on gifted 21-year-old centers is never a good idea. Yes, he never regularly played in the middle for Boston, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t at all and was very good there at times. If he lights up Dallas….
Peverley was a good soldier who just didn’t do a lot wrong and those get to be harder to replace than you first think.

Incoming are Loui Eriksson, who now can only torch the Hawks twice a year instead of the five or six had he remained a big, bright, shining Star. He’ll slot in nicely with Lucic clearing the track (assuming he cares) and Krejci setting him up. That leaves Jarome Iginla to flank Bergeron and Marchand. They won’t play at quite the pace the Penguins did that Iggy just couldn’t keep up with, and Marchand just may be the winger that Iggy needs these days to do some of, if not all, his puck-pursuing for him. We’ll see.

The defense has been somewhat eroded as well, with Andrew Ference off to EdMo. While the Hawks exposed him at times, few are the teams that can and there was no more serviceable second pairing guy than Ference. They’re selling that Adam McQuaid can pick up the slack, but I’m not buying that. Torey Krug, who reeks of a playoff flash in the pan, and Dougie Hamilton are going to vie to make up the 3rd pairing.

The big questions are how the advancing years wear on Chara and Seidenberg, though we know they won’t be bad. The B’s will miss being so strong down the middle, but they’re obviously in the discussion for the division.

Buffalo: They’re going to suck. I don’t know how else to put this. The whole season revolves around where Vanek or Miller will be traded. Cody Hodgson is basically the #1 center. It’s going to be a long year in Buffalo, but then again every year in Buffalo is a long year. It’s fucking Buffalo.

Scum – The Former Enemy: Maybe they still are. I don’t know. I also don’t know what to make of them. Are they the team that huffed and puffed through last season or the one that was able to benefit from Babcock being such a better coach than the ones on the other bench in the first two rounds of the playoffs?

The defense is still a mud puddle unless you’re a huge believer in Danny Dekeyser. Kronwall is still Sonic the Hedgehog, and Jimmy Howard is good but not great, which is good enough.

Up front, it’s still the Dats and Z show. They’ll keep trying to tell themselves that Johan Franzen is a premier power forward while he continues to fart his way through games against any quality opposition. They’ve replaced Valttieri Filppula with Stephen Weiss, which everyone thinks his a huge upgrade but I’m really not so sure. They’ve been heralded for bringing in Daniel Alfredsson, who might just be a 20-goal guy now (though maybe his numbers were hurt by not having Spezza all last year). Brunner is gone, and it’s another year about the budding stars Nyquist and Tartar will be, which will be the 27th in a row we’ve heard this.

A playoff team for sure, but sudden Eastern power? Yeah, not so convinced.

Florida – Cat Scratch Fever: I want the Panthers to be good, and the pieces might soon all be there. But they’re not going to be ready yet. Bjugstad, Huberdeau, Barkov, Howden, Gudbranson, and Kulikov is a nice base, but it’s not enough yet. Won’t sniff much here.

Montreal – Confusion: The Habs always felt like a bit of a fluke last year, and I’m not sure the correction doesn’t come this year. Carey Price has the ability to keep the relevant for a whole season, but could also torpedo them. You can’t help but love the top pairing of Subban and Gorges, but Andrei Markov is made of magic beans and will go pop any minute. The forwards are a lot of gnats and triers, and adding Briere only gives them more of the same. If Gallagher, Eller (assuming he reattaches his face)  and Galchenyuk (The Canadien with the Russian name who’s American) take huge steps forward and Pacioretty and Plekanec continue to be awesome, they’ll be all right. But I’m expecting a bit of a step back and scrapping for a playoff spot.

Ottawa – People’s Champ?: I think I’m going to watch a lot of Sens hockey this year. While he’s probably an asshole, Bobby Ryan can be so much fun to watch. And now that he’s unshackled by being blamed for everything wrong with the Ducks, you sense he could pot 45 this year (if Spezza stays healthy, which is like saying “If the weather in Chicago stays nice…”). There’s a bevy of young, fast, supporting forwards behind that top line as well. The defense is solid, and Karlsson might be the most exciting player to watch in the league at both ends — which isn’t always a good thing. The goaltending is superb. Paul MacLean is the rare export off the Red Wings tree that’s worth the rep. A lot of noise is coming out of Kanata this year.

Tampa: Steve Yzerman is such a genius! He traded for one unproven, young goalie who was backing up and when that went south, he did it again! He decided to pay Matt Carle, who looked bad on the Flyers blue line. I like Filppula, but at $5 million a year? And what if Jonathan Drouin takes his #2 center spot? What are you paying for then? And this team still looks a lot like Stamkos, St. Louis, and barf. It’s all so funny.

Toronto – The Best Sitcom Anywhere: The Leafs have a chance to make me laugh more than that fucking talking camel. And he makes me laugh every single damn time. They’ve decide to completely misdiagnose what makes them or any team successful and empower Randy Carlyle’s moronic way of coaching a team. They’ve ridiculously paid David Clarkson. They’re expecting far too much out of Dave Bolland. They bounced Mikail Grabovski, who they probably need. They still won’t play Nazem Kadri enough. They haven’t signed Cody Franson yet. The defense is ok but still counts on Dion Phaneuf. They’ve completely cocked up their goaltending situation, and it might be a total mess. Don Cherry is going to throw up during Coach’s Corner one night. I can’t wait.

 

  • Why

    This starts putting 2C and replacing bottom six guys from a Stanley Cup Champion in perspective.

    • MattC86

      This, this, a million times this.

  • 334Rules

    . . . .if Spezza stays healthy, which is like saying “If the weather in Chicago stays nice…” — or “if the starting pitching stays healthy.”

    • 10thMountainFire

      The starting pitching stayed healthy on the South Side and we’re still all headed to therapy after this season…

      • 334Rules

        Man, ain’t that the truth, XMF.

        • Joe Banks

          Hey, they set a lot of records this year!

      • Z-man19

        You actually watched that shit show this year? I bailed in March

  • putmeinthemadhouse

    Filpulla was only successful offensively on the wing in detroit

  • lizmcneill

    Looks like Boston are putting Eriksson with Bergy and Iggy with Lucic and Krejci in camp. Either way those top 2 lines are going to be nasty to play against.
    Have to think their offseason moves were driven mainly by the cap (supplemented by Seguin’s off-ice shenanigans, but I don’t think that alone would have made them move him if they thought they were getting value on his contract). They were overpaying Pevs and Kelly by 0.5 or 1M each, and they gave Segs a money-and-term contract on the basis of one good season when everyone else was starting to give their kids bridge deals coming off their ELCs.

    Hypothetical: what if bridge deals had been a thing back when Toews and Kane were getting their RFA deals? Better or worse cap situation? My thought is Capocalypse would have been delayed a couple of years but would have hit in 2013 instead so all the current bbHawks would have been playing last year and almost certainly no Cup.

    • putmeinthemadhouse

      Toews and kane, imo, had nothing more to prove after their elcs so I don’t think they would have been offered a bridge. Makes sense to lock that type of talent up right away

      • lizmcneill

        After their sophomore season but before the 2010 Cup tho? (I do like having to qualify that). They’d also have been RFAs coming into the 3rd contract so no fear of them escaping to Buffapeg, but they would be getting all of the dollars forever right now so IDK if you could even afford a roster this year.

        • Joe Banks

          Buffapeg… now THERE’s a place I wouldn’t want to go camping!

  • 10thMountainFire

    Is David Bolland Jesse Pinkman?

    • Joe Banks

      Wow. I never watched that show, but the resemblance is uncanny. Hilarious.
      Maybe Toronto needs a stunt double?

  • birdhead

    Who is it who’s obsessed with the idea that Corsi/Fenwick aren’t good proxies for actual possession? Is it Why? Really great article here: http://www.pensionplanpuppets.com/2013/9/16/4727746/leafs-attack-time-at-the-halfway-mark looking at the Leafs’ “time on attack” (possession of the puck in the attacking zone) and how that compares to their Corsi and Fenwick percentages over the same time. My favourite bit is this graph: http://cdn0.sbnation.com/assets/3225203/TOA_vs._Corsi_medium.png

    • birdhead

      Also for stats nerds like me more of Broad Street Hockey’s zone entry stuff: http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2013/9/16/4733706/philadelphia-flyers-zone-entry-data-oh-the-humanity Someone needs to start tracking this for the Hawks imo.

      • lizmcneill

        Did anyone volunteer for that this year for the Hawks? (Hypothesis: Kane and Toews will be very, very good at it….)

        • birdhead

          I don’t know that they posted a list but I don’t think so. I’d be willing to do some games but don’t have time to do them all … also I’m not sure I’d be very good at it.

        • Toews still makes funny faces!

          So, you are saying water is still at least somewhat damp right?

          • lizmcneill

            Also Pope is still Catholic, bears shit in woods.

          • Joe Banks

            But how far does a Bear go into the woods?

          • mightymikeD

            Just as far as wherever Martellus Bennet is..

          • Z-man19

            Do you have visual evidence bears shit in the woods?

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            If a deaf bear that is completely alone shits in the woods, does it make a sound? What is the sound of one bear shitting?

          • Z-man19

            There’s lots of ants in the woods, I’m sure they make a sound when a bear shits

          • 10thMountainFire

            Ok, first of all, evolution is a lie!

            Also, the Pope shits in the woods but bears are not Catholic.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            But bears do wear funny hats.

    • Why

      I’m the one that keeps telling you that Corsi and Fenwick measure shots and not actual possession. That’s because it’s true.

      Let’s start on what happened in this relatively informal study. A guy charted Time of Attack for one team in 24 games. That’s not nothing and it’s interesting to see the results. If you think that’s conclusive proof that Corsi and Fenwick are proxies for possession stats though, I’m pretty surprised. You’ll also notice that Fenwick (in the study) correlated more closely with TOA then Corsi did (probably surprising to the people that say that Corsi) matters.

      And your chart? For just this one particular team, over a 24 game stretch that uses three game weighted averages (not sure why it’s not a game by game percentage, but fair enough), we saw Corsi and TOA diverge by (what looks to me eye) about 10%. Now think of how large 10% is as a difference to the people that generally measure Corsi and Fenwick on the same percentage basis (i.e. a team that has a 55% Fenwick Tied Percentage vs a team that has a 45% Fenwick tied percentage).

      • 10thMountainFire

        I fucking hate stats guys. You’re all so… numbers-y.

        • Joe Banks

          THIS

      • birdhead

        After 24 games, the Leafs’ 5v5 score tied TOA was 42.2%. Their 5v5 score tied Fenwick number after 24 games? 42.6%

        Not 10%. 0.4%. (Yes, I see where you’re getting 10% from in the graph I linked to. But what the graph is looking at is correlation – do these go up and down at the same time. If Corsi is up, is actual zone time possession likely to be up. If Corsi is down, zone time possession is also probably down. If you don’t see a big, shiny correlation there, you’re being wilfully obtuse.)

        Your sample size/single team questions are fine as far as they go. it would be great to be able to do this for more teams. But I don’t notice you or anyone else questioning the validity of shot-based possession stats volunteering to actually do the work. To actually sit around and watch games with a couple of stopwatches and back up your assertion. It seems to me that you don’t want to actually provide an improved possession metric; you just want to be able to ignore other people’s work, work that uses the best current possession-proxy stat, because it doesn’t fit your personal beliefs about how hockey works.

        • lizmcneill

          Every time people have gone though games with a stopwatch they’ve found that whatever they’re measuring as an improved possession stat has a strong enough correlation to shot-based stats that it’s not worth the effort to manually track them.

          If the league started tracking and publishing actual possession stats, or had microchipped pucks or overhead cameras (one day), then, yup, no one would bother with the stat metrics but at the minute they’re good enough.

          • birdhead

            Every time people have gone though games with a stopwatch they’ve found
            that whatever they’re measuring as an improve possession stat has a
            strong enough correlation to shot-based stats that it’s not worth the
            effort to manual track them.

            Exactly.

          • lizmcneill

            lol you got both my typos!

          • birdhead

            lol sorry, too fast. there we go, I fixed them. My least favourite thing about Disqus: how it includes hard-coded linebreaks when you copy & paste. So weird.

          • Why

            This is what I don’t understand about this argument. Fenwick and Corsi are shot metrics. They provide different data than possession numbers would, although during some games they would be different.

            I would just prefer if people would admit what they are measuring, rather than calling PDO “puck luck” and calling Corsi a “possession” metric. Neither of those things are true.

          • amontesawesome

            This is utter non-sense.

            You just admitted that there is a “general correlation” between time on attack and Corsi/Fenwick. What is time on attack if not possession?

            There is a general correlation between Corsi/Fen and time on attack. Having more time on attack than the other team is very good. So it follows that there is a “general correlation” between good Corsi/Fenwick and very good things happening for a hockey team.

          • Why

            You’ve heard the phrase “correlation is not causation” before. If you have any idea how numbers work, I’m sure you’ll be able to figure out why correlation does not equal equivalence.

          • amontesawesome

            Who said anything about causation? You admitted correlation. If possessing the puck and being good at hockey and having high Corsi/Fenwick are correlated, measuring the latter will give you an idea about the former.

            Causation doesn’t even have to enter into it.

          • Why

            Please read second sentence.

        • Why

          Things prove what they prove. I notice that you’re not volunteering either. I read the data, but I don’t believe that a 24 game sample size of one team definitively proves what you think it proves.

          And if Corsi and Time on Attack (which is what I’ll assume stat heads mean when they say “meaningful possession”) can differ by around ten percent over a 3 game stretch, that should tell you that Corsi has some pretty major flaws as a proxy for possession.

          • birdhead

            I notice that you’re not volunteering either.

            I just did volunteer, above, to track zone entries. Why would I volunteer to track something that I don’t think is necessary?

            Anything can differ over a three-game stretch. You can get outshot 60-6 over a three-game stretch and still win if your goalie gets on a shutout streak. I don’t get how you can criticise this work for having an insufficient sample size, and then point out that the two measures are not identical in even smaller samples and suggest that that means that the clear correlation there is meaningless.

          • Why

            Yes but you are proving my point. I would never say shots are a proxy for goals for the precise reason you just outlined. I’ve also never stated that there isn’t a general correlation between “time on attack” and shot statistics. What I’ve said that is that people are tracking shot statistics because that’s what they are doing.

          • mad-hatter

            “I’ve also never stated that there isn’t a general correlation between “time on attack” and shot statistics.”

            But that’s all anyone’s ever argued about Corsi and Fenwick: they are only correlated to possession and generally the better team in those two categories over a 60 minute game usually has the better possession. No one’s saying that they win games, but it’s a lot easier to do so when your team has the puck more.

          • Why

            Sorry man, that’s flat out wrong, at least as far as this board is concerned. If you need examples, I’ll go back and look for them but I’m positive I can find numerous instances of people saying that Corsi is a measure of a possession. As you’ll note from the chart, particularly over short sample sizes, that’s simply not true.

          • mad-hatter

            Corsi is the best indicator of possession until, as liz said, the NHL actually finds a method to track it. And how is it not true? When Corsi rises, so does the TOA, and vice versa for one one declines, except for a minor divergence. It seems you’re arguing over the semantics of the stat, whether they’re exact

          • Why

            A potential for 10% divergence on a game by game basis (at least) is a lot bigger than not exact, especially when the league leaders in team Fenwick and Corsi never seem to go above 60%.

            EDIT: And it’s a very small sample size, but the data above indicates that Fenwick was actually a better measure of possession than Corsi was over the 24 games the guy counted.

          • mad-hatter

            The 10% divergence only occurs in a single instance, and it’s the largest difference between the two stats, and in other instances they nearly overlap. Considering the final difference at the end of 24 games is .4% that 10% seems more like a minor anomaly instead of something that debunks the whole theory. Perhaps the problem is that this has only been studied on the Leafs and not all 30 teams.

          • Why

            Watch closely. There are plenty of people that will claim single game Corsi is indicative of “possession” during a particular game. On that chart, we see Corsi shift from approximately -10% to approximately +5%. Over three game stretches, Corsi can be well off actual possession metrics and we won’t know the direction just by looking at the stats.

          • birdhead

            So your entire problem is people using the word “measure” rather than using the word “proxy”? Or giving a specific definition of Corsi every time they use it? Why don’t you just … how can I put it. Get over it?

            A .86 correlation at the single-game level is good enough for me. More to the point, it’s the only thing there is right now. I don’t honestly understand why you involve yourself in stats conversations if you think the most influential metric is so useless (you certainly spend way more time talking about the fact that you don’t like it than you do using it or proposing any other statistical measure).

          • Why

            I dislike influence based on dishonesty (and make no mistake, pretending things that aren’t true are true just because they are close to true is a form of dishonesty).

            I don’t propose things that would make me just as dishonest.

          • lizmcneill

            “the idea that Corsi/Fenwick aren’t good proxies for actual possession”
            They’re called possession stats because they’re the closest thing we have to actual possession stats and “possession proxy statistics” gets long.

          • lizmcneill

            Note that Toronto are a team who have stated they are *trying* for quality/meaningful possession and even so they can’t get it to diverge from the shot metrics over anything but a few games.

          • Why

            Depends on how you quantify “meaningful possession”. Over a 48 game season, they sure scored a lot of goals for a team that didn’t have much “meaningful possession”. If 24 is an appropriate sample size, I’d assume that 48 would be, as well.

          • lizmcneill

            The Leafs’ story is “we’re not taking a lot of shots because we’re looking for ‘quality possession’ and only shooting when it’s a good scoring chance’”. This would tend to indicate that they aren’t taking a lot of shots because they aren’t in the o-zone a lot of the time. As for goals, the highest team sh% for any season since the 2005 lockout will help a lot with that.

          • Why

            All true. And the actual possession numbers in the O-zone work that the guy did at the link shows that point. But I don’t think there high shooting percentage last year was luck. It may not be repeatable and it may have been one of the factors, but I’d bet they did create more scoring chances per shot (or per minute in the offensive zone) then the average team.

          • birdhead

            It may not be repeatable</blockquote<

            If it's not repeatable it's hard for me to see it as a skill.

          • Why

            Guys get older. Teams are never the same year to year.

            Or, for another example, note that Corsi correlation year to year (based on the last link I saw) is only 40%.

          • amontesawesome

            Toronto’s 12-13 sh%- 10.56%

            NHL BEST 11-12- 9.73%
            10-11- 8.76%
            09-10- 10.39%
            08-09- 9.76%
            07-08- 9.03%

            Sure, maybe Toronto was the best offensive team of the last half decade. Or maybe they got lucky over 48 games.

          • birdhead

            but shooting percentage can’t possibly be luck-driven because shot quality

          • Why

            Some degree of luck is probably true. To attribute it all to luck seems like sloppy reasoning. Particularly after they went seven games with a much better “possession” team.

          • lizmcneill

            You can win 3 games of 7 while being outshot. If that wasn’t the case the top Fenwick team would have a perfect record.
            sh% go whack all the time. Look at the deviation of a season’s worth vs the deviation of five or six years.

      • birdhead

        I’m obviously too grumpy to converse politely with you about this, but there’s some discussion in the comments on the PPP post including about some of the things you bring up here (single or three-game correlations, frex.)

    • mightymikeD

      it’s a superb piece of work by JP and really gives backing to the Corsi/Fenwick as a measure of, you know, “Having The Puck”.. which we all knew (although Leafs’ management may be struggling). Very much worth a read, especially if you’re leery of stats

      • Z-man19

        So laaarmer should read it?

        • Accipiter

          Can you read it to me ?

          • Z-man19

            You want my sweet aunt Rosie voice or drunk uncle Harold?

          • Accipiter

            Just the straight goods, Zed unplugged.

          • Z-man19

            I’ve been told I sound like Urkel, you sure you don’t want drunk Harold?

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

            That’s such a weird coincidence … I’ve been imagining a lurking Urkel ever since first reading your comments.

        • Why

          Everyone should read it, but if they’re going to read it they should read it carefully.

  • Waylon

    It’s not just that they’re expecting way too much from Bolland, it’s also that they won’t play him where he’ll be most effective. Take one look at the Versteeg Experience and there you go. Completely idiotic use of a good player.

    • lizmcneill

      stop trading dudes to Toronto, Stan. Over/under on Bolly ending up in Florida?

      • Joe Banks

        That reminds me… I saw Skille playing for the BJ’s over the weekend. Why did that make me laugh?

        • lizmcneill

          Surely with the number of horrawful goalies in the Metro he can take the puck WITH him into the net sometimes….

    • Why

      Thing I’ll never be able to prove but believe anyway: If Leafs have Bolland rather than Grabovski last year, there is no way they blow that Game 7 lead.

      • mad-hatter

        You mean Bolland sitting in the press box would have magically pushed them and not Boston to the second round?

        • Why

          If Bolland was playing, yes. See 2011 Vancouver.

          There’s nothing magical about it. Some hockey players have a tendency to make big plays at big moments.

          • mad-hatter

            Bolland was injured in the first round with a groin injury. I don’t think he could have done much even if he were playing.

          • justforkicks

            if leafs have bolland maybe the injury doesn’t happen in the first place.

          • mad-hatter

            It was a groin injury, yeah? Maybe, maybe not. But if Bolly was never injured he might still be a Hawk.

          • Why

            Fair enough, groin injury Bolland probably doesn’t get them out of the first round. But assuming Toronto makes the playoffs again at some point, I’d rather have a guy that has a proven history of finishing teams off in the playoffs.

          • mad-hatter

            As someone who loves Bolland, yeah, me too. But I don’t think any one player could have prevented that meltdown in Game 7.

          • Z-man19

            Fluffy

          • mad-hatter

            In a Bruins sweater

      • Accipiter

        If the Leafs had to play that last 2 minutes over again they don’t lose that game/series again in 99 tries.

        • Why

          Maybe. It sure would have been nice to have a clutch goal scorer who generally steps up in big moments for the one time that actually counts, though.

          • Accipiter

            They didn’t need more goals at the 2 minute mark.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Neither did Boston in the SCF

          • Accipiter

            Exactly. If the Hawks had to re-do those last 2 minutes, I doubt they come out on top again in 99 tries.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            That’s what makes it so fab.

          • Why

            Rethought this one. Hawks needed one goal to tie, then needed the next goal to win. The odds there weren’t good, but they were a hell of a lot better than 1 out of 100.

            Winning in regulation? Yep, probably won’t happen again for a long time under similar circumstances.

          • Why

            Same point, again. Boston would have loved another goal in the last two.

          • Why

            They sure could have used a backbreaker anytime in the last 10. They also could have used someone who generally shuts down top lines when it counts for the same time period.

      • birdhead

        If they have Bolland instead of Grabovski, they don’t make the playoffs in the first place.