Tuesday Grab Bag

I’ve just got random flotsam and jetsam passing around my skull today, so I’m just going to spit it all out in random fashion.

-Though I worry this might kick off a whole thing here, I really wasn’t comfortable with the Patrick Kane’s grandfather’s passing after last night’s game. I guess it’s news or something you have to mention. But to me, that’s Kane’s private matter to deal with. If he wants to share with the press and public, that’s fine. But it just felt like there was a slightly gleeful… exploitation of that angle? Maybe that’s a bit strong.

Kane’s not the first, or even this season. There was Thomas Tartar scoring in the very same building a day after his father died. And I wasn’t really comfortable with that either. That’s his matter, his grief, his process, and we’re not entitled to know about it. Again, if Tartar was willingly sharing that’s ok. But when I hear on the radio about whether Kane will attend the funeral or not or miss games, that’s too personal for me. I feel like the Hawks could have easily said, “Patrick has a family emergency” or something.

I feel like events like this are shaped and used to make players seem more heroic or determined or something that they can play through grief. But you know, a lot of us use work to get through a hard time or after a loss of someone close. It’s a distraction, gives us something else to focus on for a short time instead of the pain. I don’t feel like athletes are any more remarkable in that way than anyone else. I know I have done this. And those who don’t play, or don’t work, they’re no less worthy of praise for taking the time they need.

It just isn’t any of our business. The information is fine, but the glorification of it, the exploitation for an easy narrative, it just makes me itchy. That’s Kaner’s personal business, not ours.

-I saw a bit of a debate in McClure’s wrap about how the Kings are one of the better possession teams in the league in Corsi and Fenwick but couldn’t score in a brothel with a roll of 100s and a pound of coke. I thought it needs a little flushing out, and it’s a great illustration of how “hockey sabermetrics” can’t tell you the whole story in the way they can in baseball, say. They tell us a lot, but not everything.

The Kings always have great possession numbers because they are a great defensive team, even with their recent struggles. They rarely allow teams to carry the puck into the zone, and once the other team dumps it in they’re usually really good at recovering it. Few teams can match the speed of the Hawks to beat the Kings to those loose pucks. They smother everything.

They also are volume shooters. They try a lot of point shots that create a lot of rebounds which create more shots. But in that, the Kings are so blunt that these positive shot attempt comparisons are empty. They don’t create off the rush, or hardly ever do. They don’t try and create within the zone, just shovel the puck toward the net and dive. And their power play has always been awful. It’s why they never score.

It’s not that the Kings necessarily “have the puck” more than the other team. They just attempt more shots, if you can understand the difference.

-It’s the same story with Brent Seabrook, who actually has been decent the past few games. There’s no number we can point to to back up our assertions that he’s been erratic for most of the year. Because he’s always on the ice with Duncan Keith, who was and might still be playing the best hockey of his career. It inflates Seabrook’s +/-, his points, his Extra Skater numbers, everything. You can’t separate the two.

I’m sure it’s the lack of these backing stats, or at least partly, that causes some to disagree with us. Which is why we’re probably a little too anxious to highlight a play here and there to make our point. Because we can’t point to any overriding number. Look at Seabrook’s stats would make it seem like he’s having a good year. But the eye test says he isn’t. More fun with stats vs. eyes, and that’ll never go away.

-Back to the Kings, they used to be my main fear in the West. Not any more. And I don’t know what move they can make that would make them so again. Thomas Vanek is just more of what they already have, though at the top of the chain. He doesn’t create his own shot but slots home the opportunities that he’s given. Sam Gagner? Too light in the ass I think. Matt Moulson? See Vanek. Same with Callahan. The long-rumored Ales Hemsky? Might be a start but not all the answer.

-Remember to join Killion and yours truly at The Globe tomorrow night for the Hawks and Ducks. It’s at 1934 w. Irving, right off the brown line. I’ll keep my promise this time and be in the Vermont Sharp jersey so I’m easily identified.

 

  • Mike

    I tuned in after Kane had already scored (Not hard, it was a quick one) so I must have missed some intro stuff… Because I didn’t feel like it was glorified at all for the rest of the game really.

    If anything, for sports figures in the public eye, it was a reminder that they’re just humans too who have to pick their shit up and play/work through big loss. He didn’t seem to keep it private, he’s even got a pretty lengthy quote on the NHL website. He could have just said “No comment” if he didn’t want to share, right?

    • 334Rules

      Yeah, I was only kind of half listening to the pre-game, but I don’t recall hearing mention of his grandfather, which is why I thought it was really weird when Kane said “love you, Gramps” at the end of his interview with Edzo, who replied “love you too.”

      • Mike

        Haha! Man, I missed that interview too. Oh, Edzo.

      • activestick

        Yea that was weird.Kane pointing to heaven and giving kisses on first goal. Then the interview with Kane, Edzo said “Love you too pal”. Then they looked into it and figured it out. Then Foley in his usual asshole at the bar blowhard way makes it squirrelly..

    • mad-hatter

      No one in the Hawks organization knew about Kane’s grandfather
      passing away until after the second period. Kane had gotten the call
      before the game, didn’t tell anyone and went out and played like normal. Probably the PR people did some digging after seeing his celebration as well as the mention in the first intermission broadcast, and then Kane told Q later.

      After the game Kane was available for the media to get some quotes, naturally they asked him about his grandfather (and they also asked Q and Hossa, which is kinda gross), and now all of the recaps have put Kane’s play in light of his grandfather’s death.

      • lizmcneill

        I don’t agree with Sam putting it on the Hawks org though. From what Kaner said he didn’t tell anyone until the first intermission (hence Edzo’s confusion), by which point both his own actions and I think one of his sisters tweeting something had already got the word out – there was never any point when the Hawks PR machine had control of the situation and could shut it down to a ‘family emergency’ like they did with Hossa.
        That’s characteristic Kaner though, heart on his sleeve. I’m not about to go judgey on his greiving or his choices. You have to think that he chose to do the media scrum as well, that he wanted to say that piece about his grandpa, and at least Myers got the questions back to hockey before he flat-out started sobbing which looked like a possibility at one point.
        The fact that it’s now all over every rag in Chicago, NHL.com, ESPN, Puck Daddy and fucking Deadspin is gross but inevitable. It’s narrative, which drives page clicks. And he’s been there before, he knows how it works, so I guess him putting it out there was him having his say?

        • mad-hatter

          There’s nothing for the organization to control though. It’s no one’s business, even with the celly and intermission mention. Until Foley announced anything I’m pretty sure only the more curious tumblr/twitter fans were aware of what happened. Foley and Eddie had the option to not say anything on the broadcast and Q could have evaded any questions the media might have had, like he does with injuries or roster decisions.

          • lizmcneill

            people were already tweeting at the beats asking for confirmation by that point, so the news had bypassed the Hawks altogether. And yeah, Q could have been his evasive self even in the face of the blatantly obvious, but if Kaner was talking to the media himself it’s moot. I mean, you could argue the degree to which Kaner grasps the whole concept of having a private life, but…

            Myers is good people as usual – says no need for him to give a quote but was appreciated, handled the interview well and is now ignoring the pleas for Moore details from gapers.

          • Guest

            Bullshit, he pointed to the sky! Anyone who’s watched the hawks knows how Kane celebrates his goals. He did it twice.

          • Mike

            You’re right, and it’s ultimately his business whether he wants to elaborate on his celebration after scoring, or answer press questions on it.

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

          Fuck Deadspin and every one of the slimes that write for that piece of shit “sports gawker” (I won’t give it the credit of calling it a publication).

          • 10thMountainFire

            They seemed to be obsessed with Kane for a while. It’s like The National Enquirer for sports.

            The best case for its garbage-ocity came when none other than Dan Bernstein claimed it was ‘now a legitimate news source’ after the Manti Teo thing last year.

          • lizmcneill

            They were blatantly making shit up once he stopped providing them with drunk photos. Even the scummy commenters were assuming everything was fake by the summer.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I feel slimy just reading through the comments on that site.

      • Mike

        He pointed to the rafters after both goals. The first one was in the very beginning of the game. Sorry man, but it wasn’t a private thing he was trying to keep to himself. I ain’t budging.

  • Joe DeTolve

    I’m a creature of habit and for some reason I still check ESPN.Com every morning and what did I see? The first Hawks or really hockey headline I have seen in months on the front page said “Grieving Kane Leads Hawks”

    • Mike

      He’s obviously grieving (Publicly too). And he lead in points and goals. I guess they write the truth huh? Haha

  • Paul the Fossil

    “And their power play has always been awful.” — I dunno about ‘always”: last season they ranked a close 10th in the league in PP% (only .003 short of being 7th). For 2011-12 they were just a bit below average (17th). The last time their PP was really bad like it is now was three season ago.

    “They also are volume shooters….the Kings are so blunt that these positive shot attempt comparisons are empty.” That is what this season’s numbers reflect: 9th in shots per game but 29th in goals per game. And for 2011-2012 the same was true (11th in shots, 29th in goals). But in between is a big twist: last season their shots per game (12th) tracked almost perfectly with their goals per game (10th)! The coach was the same obviously, so…? Their lineup seems to be largely the same across those three seasons. Could such a dramatic fluctuation be simply random?

    “It’s not that the Kings necessarily “have the puck” more than the other team. They just attempt more shots”. They don’t really attempt that many more shots though. Somewhat so, they tend to rank above average leaguewide (9th to 12th out of 30 teams), but are never close to leading the league in shots per game. Whereas they do keep leading the league or close to it in Fenwick%…what that really seems to describe would be: “It’s not that the Kings necessarily “have the puck” more than the other team. They’re just really good at keeping the other team from getting enough space to even attempt shots.”

    • M7

      I don’t know… when I watch the Kings, I see a team that is very good defensively and one that goes on offensive binges, for minutes at a time, where they throwing everything (including the kitchen sink) at the net. Then they dry up. And then they go on a binge again. To me, their offensive approach is predicated by a certain level of havoc. Get the puck deep, forecheck the puck loose, cycle quickly out of the corner to a point man and start blasting and crashing the net. It can be effective, but against teams that actually possess the puck they don’t end up with enough opportunities to induce the havoc their style requires.

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

        Not only that, it can be more effectively countered by defensive placed matchups. A team like the Hawks/Blues/Ducks can forego getting the ideal Offensive matchup and matchup defensively to limit LAK chances even more and rely on depth for scoring enough goals to overcome the Kings.

        • M7

          Yeah that’s a good obersvation as well. Executing at high speed and having solid depth will keep you ultra competitive in the NHL.

  • 334Rules

    Props to The Globe! Wish it wasn’t a late game or I’d be there with hair.

  • Paul the Fossil

    “Because he’s always on the ice with Duncan Keith, who was and might still be playing the best hockey of his career.” Sigh.

    If a team has two D-men who are nearly always paired with each other, and one of them is producing the better results by literally _every_ systematic measure (Corsi, Fenwick, iCorsi, iFenwick, relative, QoC, you name it) (not to mention plus-minus if you’re into that)…what is the logic for the idea that the guy with the _better_ results is the one riding coattails? Did we conclude that it was Glenn Anderson who was carrying Gretzky to those record point totals and scoring streaks?

    Come on guys that makes no sense. And whether it makes sense or not it is the direct opposite of the analytical approach which TCI applies and has applied to every other Blackhawk for years now. Seriously what is the real deal on this, did Seabrook spit on a TCI vendor on his way in for a game or something?

    • SamFels

      This is a line of thought I’m growing weary of. Never did I say this was universally true. In just Seabrook’s case this year. You come here to read what we see, and we see Seabrook struggling. Step slow, passing off, positioning wonky at times. That’s what we see. And yet every time you come here to tell me I’m wrong. I’m trying to point out that the only thing I can point to is the eye-test for my theory, and now that’s wrong. Just agree to disagree with me and let’s all move on.

      • Paul the Fossil

        Well sure that sort of disagreement is easy to move on from. (Easier even since I’ve never actually been particularly a Seabrook fan, have been a big critic of his play at times, and am frankly surprised that he’s now having what appears to be a career year.)

        What’s really troubling is actually different: TCI disagreeing with itself.

        Most often both here and in TCI you argue, often forcefully and eloquently, for judging a player based on his actual results. How much is he actually helping the team win as opposed to impressions of how he looks out there. That has always been a huge strength of TCI, something that set it apart from the mainstream mediots let alone the talk-radio-station meatheads, and a big reason I’ve been a huge fan and a longterm subscriber. You insisted for example that Campbell’s play should be judged based on how well he contributed to winning games rather than the meathead assumption that an NHL defenseman who wasn’t running people over couldn’t be really doing the job. A dozen other examples are easy to recall. You’ve been making the same point regarding Bickell, asking the excellent question of whether his actual recent results on the ice justified his being benched.

        So the puzzling thing here, the question that if you have any patience left it would be great if you could try to answer, is: what makes judging this player follow the opposite philosophy? Why in his particular case do impressions or appearances (“step slow, passing off,” etc) strike you as paramount rather than objective measurement of his actual contribution to the winning of Hawk games?

        • Bobby Otter

          IMO, to the eye test, Seabrook hasn’t been as good as he has been in prior seasons. Would you agree or disagree with that statement?

          • Paul the Fossil

            Disagree because my eye test in past seasons didn’t rate him all that high. I never used to view him as a legit top-pair guy.

            What’s changed for me is that I’ve been persuaded — and TCI has been a major influence on this change — that the eye test is a very shaky way to form conclusions about the effectiveness of NHL regulars.

            In the first place impressions are just that, impressions, and we human beans are not computers. (Also the plural of anecdotes is not data, “evidence” is not the plural form of “example”, etc.)

            In the second place when watching the Hawks play I do not stay focused on any particular player when the play has gone away from him, because I am a Hawk fan and enjoy watching the game as it plays out. I’m not sitting there tracking Seabrook every second he’s out there even when at the games in person (and of course it’s not even possible when watching on TV). Anyone who’s played the game a lot knows that half of what determines how well a defenseman prevents scoring chances or helps create them is what he does when the puck is _not_ in his area. How well or often does he anticipate the play and move himself to where the chances are best that he can then make a play?

            There’s no way to get a sense for that answer unless you watch the guy every second that he’s on the ice, and as a fan I don’t. There are however nowadays objective tools with which we can see how good a player’s results are, how well he helps the team win. So in terms of judging how effective a Hawk regular is, for me, the eye test is largely irrelevant.

            [What the eye test does tell me is the aesthetics of a player's game, how much I enjoy watching the guy play the beautiful game; that's something on which Seabrook for me personally ranks pretty low. Of course that's completely subjective, every fan's mileage will vary.]

        • bizarrohairhelmet

          They’re human. Everyone makes mistakes.

          • 1benmenno

            I don’t

          • Z-man19

            Oh really?

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            ‘Cause your lying to me was you first mistake. Your trusting in me was your major mistake.

          • Accipiter

            So Seabrook is good after all ?

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            He’s no Jeremy Pivens

        • fromheretoinfirmary

          Maybe it’s a little of both. IMO, the criticisms here have been correct, but the reactions to Seabs’ perceived shortcomings, like trade him, or bench him, or demote him, have been overly harsh. Yes, I’ve seen him getting beat to the outside, caught flat-footed, and missing easy passes quite a bit too, but more times than not the good outweighs the bad. Maybe Keith having a stellar year makes up for those differences enough for the numbers to look the way they look.

        • laaarmer

          What is the agenda, eh?

  • Bobby Otter

    Re: Kings… that is spot on. Using Extra Skater, even strength all situations… The Kings aren’t that bad at getting shots on net at 0.76 standard deviations above the mean on total shots (Hawks are best in the league at 2.54 standard deviations above here granted this is unweighted, so games played throws this off a bit). But you have to figure at some point that they are a bit unlucky, shooting only 6.2%, which puts them pretty much at the bottom of the league. If they shot league average (~7.8%); they’d add 23 even strength goals right there.

    However, previous years have them shooting poorly (5.9% in 11-12 and 7.5% last year). This year they’ve been pretty good at getting shots on net (and obviously great in the Corsi/Fenwick world)… but they’re not going in. Probably because as you said, they lack creativity and odd rushes the other way. Sure they’ve been unlucky, but it does seem like a lot of it is bad offensive design/lack of creativity.

    And totally agree about not being as scared of the Kings now… the Hawks can just flat out skate circles around them.

    BTW, if you only look at the top ten teams in total shots (which the Kings fall in); only the Kings and Rangers are shooting extremely poorly (the Sharks at 7% isn’t great but that Scrivens might account for a fair bit of that). [fwiw the Hawks and Ducks are shooting extremely well which might also be explained by their pretty good forward talent. And the Blues and Avs (and Jackets) really should be worried. Their not that good at getting shots on net but are shooting insanely high rate. So in my junior analysis I sort of buy the Ducks, but not the Blues and Avs].

  • birdhead

    So what were the Kings doing differently last year, when they shot basically league-average?

    • birdhead

      Also, spot-on about the grandfather thing. I don’t mind that much it coming up in a story but headlines drawing on it/the entire narrative of the game being based around it is fairly uncomfortable.

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

      League adjustments, altering the O-Zone play, zone entry, being too aggressive with hits on the forecheck, it can be any number and/or a combination of things that lead to SAN.

  • waylon

    Didn’t watch the game, but your general point about the sentimentality in sports is valid, I think. It’s always been there but ESPN and NBC’s Olympics coverage put it on steroids. I remember something about Brett Favre’s mother (?) passing away before a critical game and it was so over the top it was egregious. There is no line now between the personal and the public.

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

      It was his father, but I think the reason it went over the top is Favre IIRC threw 5 TD’s that game a like a bazillion yards. If he had a crappy game, I doubt it is NEARLLY as big as a story as it was.

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    Last night was game 58. Two years ago game 58 marked the end of the nine game losing streak. Last year game 58 marked the beginning of the comeback against Detroit. Should get better from here on out.

    • 10thMountainFire

      Tomorrow is the most important game of the year.

      • Fleshrifle

        And if they don’t win tomorrow, then they will surely lose.

        • 10thMountainFire

          And then the most important game of the year will be Friday.

          • VanDorp’sMullet

            And today is always the most important day of the year.

          • Z-man19

            Unless it’s raining

          • HawksFanInScumLand

            It never rains in Southern California.

          • 1benmenno

            It pours

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

    My bit on the Kaner thing. I cannot but imagine Kane and family was okay PRIOR to a team announcement of any type. The reason I think it is because I can recall both Sharp and Hossa leaving the team for “family matters” with no amplifying information from the team (maybe other sources, but not the Hawks). Because of the Hawks positive history, I am sure Kane and family agreed to disclose more.
    Now for it being exploited in any manner, wrong IMO plain and simple. Stating, however, that he may use it as a personnel inspiration, I see no issue with that since it could very well be true. If he did not want it to be known, I refer back to the “Family matters” and I think nobody knows what happened last night and what is going through Kane’s head.

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

    BTW, ToS, there is a comment in the “Heavy is the Head” article that you may want to address.

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

    Don’t look now, but VAN is getting beat again! lol

    • Z-man19

      that is terrible

    • roadhog

      Still trying to win game 7 in Boston. Classic. Boston 3-1 late in the 2nd.

  • Z-man19

    So my question regarding Seabs is just how bad is it? Is he no longer top 4? If he were RFA next summer, would you sign him and for how much?

    I’ve seen some of the things you are referring to and he could be better, but what level of bad are you talking about? If he’s not playing with Duncs, is he average, a little better than average or trade him now while you can?

    • roadhog

      He’s absolutely top 4. I’d resign him, not sure for how much, probably not as much as some looney GMs might offer him elsewhere. The eye test carries undue weight methinks. Does he occasionally look out of position? Yes. Does he look slow? Yes (although my eye tells me he’s been bringing a bit more hustle here recently.) Seabs is our most physical Dman below the line and it’s rarely poster quality stuff, it’s locking a guy up, and grinding the puck away from him. Yes, he loves some stretch pass, THEY ALL DO. Duncs may have the assists, but I like Seabs shot at the top of the circle way better than Duncs ankle brakers. All Dmen get caught flat footed, but you add the eye test and it leaves you to believe Seabs has a really chronic problem. In that regard playing next to Duncs is a blessing (stats) and a curse (eye test.) Oh, and game 7.

      • Z-man19

        So I’m not sure what you are saying. He’s absolutely top 4, but ‘All Dmen get caught flat footed, but you add the eye test and it leaves you to believe Seabs has a really chronic problem’. Can he be top 4 and have a chronic ‘slow’ problem?

        I guess I compare this a little bit to what Bollig is. Seabs stats say he’s pretty good, but some people don’t like what they are seeing from him. So are his stats inflated because he plays with Duncs and top line F’s or is he contributing to their success? Same thing with Bollig. The 4th line has been pretty good, but is that Kruger, Smith, and the Dmen overcoming Bollig, or is he solidly contributing? From where I sit, Seabs contributes far more than Bollig does, but how do I know for sure when neither has played enough outside of their current role to get a separate set of stats to look at?

        I think there is some truth to what the ToS has been saying about Seabs, I’m just not sure how bad they really think he is or what the reality of his play is.

        • Preacher

          Seabs just looks like he’s not skating as hard as he used to. Or, he did for a chunk of this season. The last several games I’ve been watching him a lot, to the point where I’m not following the puck when he’s out there. He’s not standing around as much as he had been. He seems to be hustling more. And he’s not pointing to the puck (as in, “You take it, Dunc, I’ll stay over here and not have to skate as far.”).

    • VerStig

      Of course he’s top 4. I mean take out Duncs and Hjammer and you have to pick 2 out of the rest to round out your top 4: Leddy, Oduya, Roszival, Brookbank, Kostka, Seabrook.

      One of these is not like the others.

      • Z-man19

        That would be interesting to see, pair Hammer and Duncs, then what? Leddy/Seabs and Ody/Rozs?

        • Preacher

          Didn’t they have Hammer/Duncs last postseason, before putting them back together again with their usual partners? (Or whenever it happened. I can’t seem to recall very well right now. Should probably get more sleep.) I seem to remember it being considered a big deal that Dunc and Seabs were back together.

          • Z-man19

            Seabs had a season low 12 min in game 4 vs Scum, I believe he was reunited with Duncs in game 5

  • 1benmenno

    Blues and Sens tied with a minute to go in reg

    • birdhead

      Sens were leading with 10 to go in the first and I really got my hopes up for a reg loss. :(

      • 1benmenno

        with 10 to go in the third? Yeah, they scored a flurry of goals in a couple of minutes

        • birdhead

          THIRD. yes. that’s what I meant.

          • 1benmenno

            Sens win in SO!

          • Hawkeytalk

            Junior Scum with the blooser point. Watched the last 10 mins, douchebags abound.

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

            I am sure they were for the 55 before that too.

          • birdhead

            Shame about the Blues getting the tying point but I’LL TAKE IT!

    • Z-man19

      some chatter on twitter that Backes is being Backes

      • Accipiter

        Who else would he be ?

        • Z-man19

          Backass

        • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

          The Walrus. Koo Koo Ka Choo

      • 1benmenno

        Reaves being Reaves too

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    River Scum blows a 2 goal third period lead, loses the shoot out.

    • QCBlackhawk

      Desert Scum loses to Dallas, who get more points in the Wildcard race. Van lose 2 nights in a Row, Mountain Scum lose to the Rangers and SJS fall to Philly.

      Is it Christmas?

  • fromheretoinfirmary

    Fantastic write up. Articulating points that I try to make with my friends better than I ever could.

    First, I think the Kane situation happens around the NHL for sure, but is also very indicative of what the Blackhawks marketing team is trying to do. Its been discussed here many times. To me, the exploitation of Kane’s grandfather’s passing (Foley almost seemed more excited to SAY that Kane scored for his grandfather than Kane actually was to pot one) is in the same vein as the McDonough-machine – that I am extremely grateful for and impressed by – shoving baby Hawks down our throats. Re: the baby thing, I always wonder if there’s some sort of clause in their contracts that forces players to make their families accessible, but that may be a little cynical. Either way, the organization seems more than willing to exploit a tabloid-like story, straight out of E!, to market the team. No wonder the punk rock attitude on this blog can’t quite swallow it.

    Also, great explanation of the variance of advanced stats. When it comes to Corsi and Fenwick, I think it gets overlooked that it can be just as much of a defensive stat as an offensive one. It can mean more goals-for OR less goals-against, and make logical sense either way. It adds up that a team like the Kings – focused on forcing dump ins and either getting to the puck first or obliterating the retrieving forward, yet have no offensive flash – dominate possession but can’t score.

    I think it goes back to a past write-up in the Indian, also posted here I believe. It explained how focusing on puck possession and abandoning archaic “toughness” isn’t necessarily a one-trick pony. The Hawks do it with speed and skill, the Kings do it with defensive prowess and physicality, the Ducks do it with straight lines you can’t stop and hulking forwards. Each team has had extended streaks of dominance because of their style. Bottom line, the fact that a strong-possession team doesn’t score does not prove advanced stats wrong, but instead speaks to the variability of the concept.

    Thanks again for the great post.

    • lizmcneill

      There’s not a clause in the contacts; they all have an ELC/SPC which is basically defined in the CBA with blanks for name, club, salary and term. PR is covered with some vague boilerplate.

      • flahawkfan

        I think the reference was to the Hawks’ players’ babies, rather than to the “baby Hawks” on ELCs. I dunno, though — I read it a couple of times and that’s what I think the reference meant.

        If that’s the case, I don’t know if the Hawks are much different from other teams. We watch a lot of Canes’ broadcasts and there was much oohing and ahhing over Eric Staal’s babies when they were born. The thing that may be a bit different about the Hawks is that they have so many guys in the same age range having kids at the same time that there are simply a lot of babies at once. Still, it doesn’t seem that the McDonough machine ever misses a beat when it comes to pushing the angle of the players’ personal lives if it suits the organization’s purposes. And on that front I’m probably too cynical, but cynical I am.

        • lizmcneill

          Oh well in that case there’s definitely no clause about “PR photos of your infant child” in the contracts. And, yeah, it seems to be a hockey culture thing more than something specific to the Hawks.

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

    In regards to Seabrook, as has been pointed out by the TCI and other numerous times, Seabrook is almost exclusively paired with Keith. No mater how you cut it, Seabrooks numbers are not bad. Could it possibly be not that Keith is masking Seabrooks errors, rather Keith is so far beyond Seabrook (and most everybody else) that anybody on the ice cannot compare to Keith and will appear to be behind or even just suck, when in fact compared to most of the rest of the league is actually doing very well, but is not given the chance for that comparison?
    Basically, could it be it is all relative to D2K and not objective to OA play? Could this relative comparison skew the eye test, (I still totally agree the eye test is needed to pick up things numbers do not).
    For the life of me, even in the limited samples with other D-Men, I cannot find a many glaring weaknesses in Seabrooks stats. There is movement with other pairings for both #2 and #7, but nothing that makes me go Ah-ha!!!

    • bizarrohairhelmet

      If Seabrook falls in a forest and DK isn’t around to hear him, does he make a sound?

      • Accipiter

        Of course he makes a sound. He is eating Nachos.

        • VerStig

          Nacho Seabre!

  • 10thMountainFire

    I agree with you on the exploitation of personal grief and tragedy. Whether or not a family member or Patrick Kane himself disclosed the information, the capitalization of the media on that story has a filthy feel to it. The video of Kane’s genuine emotion after the game, for me at least, reflected the immediacy and urgency of the news for him. He quickly pivoted to the team’s play after a short bit about the personal nature of his family member’s passing and he was very professional about being asked. But then again, I expect nothing less than the complete lack of sensitivity of the media on topics like this. They default to their convenient excuse of ‘just doing my job and getting the story’ but what it really amounts to is the constructing of a drama story for which they can guarantee return viewers to broadcasts and clicks/views to news sites. They aren’t going to change. They have no decency in this regard.

    • Preacher

      Don’t y’all remember when Brett Favre’s father died and Brett played in the Monday night game against the Raiders the next day? It was practically the Brett-Favre-Heroic-Personal-Tragedy-Game. It was mentioned throughout the telecast. The Raiders fans even applauded him at points.
      This is what we do. It’s called human drama. People eat it up. The Olympics will feature story after story about the personal lives of the athletes. And people will love it. Whether it’s our business or not, it is BUSINESS. It’s the way it’s always been done and will be done. It has nothing to do with decency. It is simply what people want to know about.

      • 10thMountainFire

        Got it. But that doesn’t make it right. We don’t have to accept it.

    • mazer_rackham

      I believe that Kane had the option of denying post-game interviews, so it seems like it was something he wanted to put out there. I thought the locker room reporters handled it pretty tactfully and didn’t ask him a bunch of bullshit questions after he had said his piece about his grandpa. They moved on.

  • Bannerman

    I’m not so sure that it’s a matter of Keith making Seabs look bad in comparison so much as a dangerous comfort level that he has when paired with his long time partner.
    At one point last season, Q switched the D pairings to sort of de funk the overall team defense. From the eye test, that seemed to have a positive impact on Seabrook and Leddy who were paired together. Leddy knew he that Seabs would be where he was supposed to be and Seabs had to be more aware since Keith wouldn’t be there to bail him out if he wasn’t.
    I’d be curious to see how the numbers looked during that time frame. I’m not saying that Seabs is not good or lazy but he seems to get complacent for lack of a better term.

  • Hockey

    So can Seabrook and Keith split the Norris then? :)

    • Preacher

      Yes, but Keith gets more of it.

      • Hockey

        I’m ok with that, and I’m sure Seabs would be too.

      • bizarrohairhelmet

        Whenever Seabs has the trophy, Keith has to carry Seabs.

  • berkley

    People apply narrative to sports because it’s cheap and easy: Jordan’s flu game, Favre’s dad passing away. Sports don’t have a narrative, so when one can be licked and slapped on the back of a game because they’re gooey, easy to comprehend, and lend some sort of higher meaning, a broadcast team will probably sell it for all that it’s worth.

  • Say what again

    All about SQA. In a side note: Jim Fox (Mr. Amphetamine) is un-listenable as a Kings analyst.