Chris Neil, jam and some Penguins

- April 13th, 2014

PITTSBURGH – Pointed out to me by a friend this morning was a very interesting statistic regarding Chris Neil.
The Senators all-time penalty minutes leader has never be a single season leader in PIMs. He’s never won the NHL bad boy title. He’s been in the Top 10 nine times, and the Top 3 five times. But he has never been No. 1.
That could change today.
With one game to go, tonight at 7:30 versus the Penguins, Neil leads the league with 206 PIMs. Next in line is Vancouver’s Tom Sestito, with 203, who plays a rivalry game against the Flames at 9 p.m., and then Dallas’ Antoine Roussel, with 197, who plays against the Phoenix Coyotes also at 9 p.m.
Nobody else is close.
This is Neil’s first year as an alternate captain. He has averaged 11:47 of ice time per game, while scoring eight goals and six assists, and a minus-10 mark that is not so bad on this Senators team.
He is also seventh in the league in hits, with 249.
Neil, as always, plays the game with … what’s the word? Anyway, it’ll come to me.
Meanwhile, a few of us Ottawa media types went over to the Consol Energy Center this morning to watch the Penguins “optional” skate. Twelve players were on the ice, plus goalies Marc-Andre Fleury and Jeff Zatkoff. The start against the Senators tonight will go to Zatkoff, which means Fleury ends the season with 39 wins, second only to Colorado’s Semyon Varlamov.
Fleury wanted to get to 40, but he missed out on that chance yesterday when he gave up a very bad overtime goal to Philly’s Mark Streit.
Actually, Fleury deflected the relatively slow backhand by Streit between his own legs.
That’s what you get with The Flower. He can be very good, as the 39 wins will attest, but he can also be brutal.
I asked him if he feels as much pressure heading into the playoffs as everybody thinks. I said people believe the Penguins will go only as far into the playoffs as their goaltending will take them.
“Maybe that’s people that don’t know the game too much you know,” he said with a defensive look on his face. “I think goalies help a lot in a game, but it’s a team game and we need everybody to play well.”
Okay, but the Penguins would have more Cups now if Fleury had played better in past playoffs. Last year against the Senators, his struggles were such that he wound up on the bench as back up to Tomas Vokoun.
The Penguins are better defensively these days, and part of the credit goes to Jacques Martin, the most successful regular season coach in Senators history who is now an assistant with Pittsburgh.
Jacques hasn’t been an assistant in the NHL since he was on Colorado’s staff in 1995-96. The next year he took over the Ottawa job, and the Avalanche won the Cup.
Jacques would like to earn his first Cup ring this season with the Penguins, and he would like to become a head coach in the NHL again.
“Definitely, I’d love to get back as a head coach,” he said. “Hopefully I get an opportunity.
“This year has been a learning experience .. I think you always learn when you’re put in a different scenario, with a different organization, so I think I’d even be better prepared (to be a head coach).”
Also chatted with defenceman Brooks Orpik about playing the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round. Columbus is Pittsburgh’s closest rival, just a 3 1/2 drive away.
As I sat on the dressing room bench beside Orpik, I noticed other reporters were looking at me, chuckling. I thought they were laughing because Orpik was uncomfortable answering my questions about Jacques, like he was unsure of what to say about the impact Martin has had.
He was like, “Jacques, Jacques …” almost as if he didn’t know who I was talking about, at first.
Then I looked down at my shirt and realized that’s not what they were laughing at. Something was on me … I thought it was a bug initially. Then I realized it was …. jam!
That’s the word I was looking for to describe Neil’s game!
Funny, the same friend who pointed out Neil’s penalty minute numbers also says I’m the Chris Neil of Ottawa sports writers. He says I go hard, I’m emotional, and I wear my heart on my sleeve.
Apparently, I also wear my breakfast on my chest. I’m impressed Orpik could keep a straight face while we chatted.
…….
Senators didn’t have a morning skate today and there will be no availability with Paul MacLean until 5:30 or so, which means I can not tell you who will be starting in goal for them or any lineup changes they may make.
I can tell you that owner Eugene Melnyk sent out a message today inviting fans to ask him any questions they may have on Twitter, and he will answer them between 3-4 p.m. on Tuesday.
There’s already some pretty good ones for him. Check out @MelnykEugene.

The breakfast

Categories: Hockey

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21 comments

  1. Bobby Goodman says:

    I wonder if we saw the last of Jason Spezza? If we did, it would/could mean we also saw the last of Hemsky? Who would be his centerman if he decided to stay with Jason traded away? It wouldn’t be Turris! We may never see Michalek wear the Sens colours again as well. What about Ryan? He, like Spezza has another year left on his contract; will the GM want him back (will Ryan really want to return). Will Melnyk fork over the bucks to keep him if they believe Stone is an adequate and far less costly replacement?

    What does the team do with Cowen? Did his hip cause him to miss these games late in the season? What about Zibanisbad; is the experiment with him in the middle over? Who has he “made better”? One of his most loyal fans says he hasn’t got even a little bit of creativity? There are other quesions as well, what does the organization do about Greening…what can they do, he does have a no-trade for two more years! What about Condra and Pageau? Are they really 4th line material (we know they can’t move up in the rotation)? When you go around the league, 4th lines usually do heavy lifting (Boston has Thornton, Campbell and company). I wouldn’t call Pageau and Condra “heavy weights”!

    What about the goaltending? Will they continue with Anderson as # 1 and Lehner #2? Will The Lehner want out if that happens?

    Smitty had a fantastic year and it was remarkable when you consider he had Neil and Greening with him most of the time. Who will Smitty play with next year? Will Hoffman be here and who will he play with, Zzzzz?

    What about the DAC and DAACs. I suspect they aren’t going anywere? Maclean is under contract for 2 more years and if some of the key players are gone next year as I suspect (making the club even worse), realistically, what could anyone do with the team in the 4th year of the 3 year rebuild?

    There is some talent in Bingo; Peumpal scored 29 goals and Prince had 20. One is 6′ – 190 and the other 5′, 11″ – 189 (Condra-like dimensions). Can they make the leap to the the Big team next year; personally, I would look to one of them over a graduating Junior from the WJHC. Most kids should spend a year in the manures to learn what professional hockey is all about! If the Sens promote one or two defencemen, will the team be better defencively (with Boro, they would certainly be tougher)?

    What about Karly? The last game of the season seamed like the right time for the network to reveal all his flaws (Brown and Potvin weren’t doing the game). Mike Johnson, one of my favouite colour guys, pointed out the good and the bad in Karlsson’s game. He called him a rover a few times. In the intermission the Panel showed many clips of Karlsson’s defiant disregard for defence (watching him stay down on the ice after getting clipped in the yap was disgusting). The Panel called him out for all the reasons some have pointed out this season: lack of effort.

    There are many questions; what will we see next year?

  2. PaV says:

    Thank god the season is over. Maybe Bobby will stop with the asinine rants.

  3. Bobby Goodman says:

    My take in the 1st round:

    East

    Pittsurgh over Columbus (Letang is back and Malkin, Crosby, Sutter and Niskanen will be playing…it will be a fun series to watch – Johansen is a dandy hockey player)

    Philly over the Rangers (the only suspect is goaltending in Philly…they need to avoid having to use Emery)

    Boston over Detroit (the Bruins aren’t fast, but very responsible defencively and they have Rask who arguably is the best goalie in the league)

    The Habions over Tampa (Bishop is hurt and it hurts Tampa’s chances)

    West

    Dallas over Anaheim (speed kills)

    LA over San Jose (the Quick factor and Gaborik resurrected Kopitar…will be a great series and could go ether way though)

    Colorado over Minni (speed kills and speed with talent is a killer)

    St Louis over Chicago (if they can get the injured back playing)

  4. Chris says:

    This team needs an overhall. The Spezza experiment is over for me, as a Sens fan i don’t know if i can watch another year with him in the lineup and after his shootout goal on sunday his trade stock may never be better. And if you think that thats a glimse of what to come don’t fall for it, he has always shown up in the games that don’t count and not in the games that do. Lehner has to be the goalie going forward the team seems to play more inspired hockey with him in the net and his attitude can be a positive influence on this lackluster team if channeled properly. trade Ander son and bring in a veteran to give guidence.Guy’s like Greening, condra,michlek need fresh starts some where else Kids like Lazar,Puemple,Classen and Borowiecki need a chance to make this team. Trade needs are a top 4 defenceman and a top 6 forward with skill and grit and a fourth liner with some skill and a bit of nastiness. and lastly bring in a defensive coach who has played in the league,who can teach and gets the respect of his players, remember how good the defence was with Richardson back there. and lastly give Maclean one more year, hopefully he has learned from this year and it makes him better going forward. Good luck Sens. P.S. Get Alfie back for one last year.

  5. Bobby Goodman says:

    The season is only over for people like you Pav. You may find it hard to believe, but there are some who like to watch hockey, no matter if the Senators are playing or not.

  6. Mike8888 says:

    You’re right Pav. Every cloud has a silver lining.

  7. Visitor - Pierre D. says:

    Don, I found one of your recent blurbs interesting. You mentioned Dion Phaneuf led the league in minors and called that poor leadership, yet here you are pumping Neil’s tires as if taking penalties was somehow a positive. Why? Neil brings very little to this team. He takes selfish penalties, can barely maneuver the puck to Smith or Greening and is slow as all getout. With fighting being legislated out of existence what’s the use for Neil? Or Kassian for that matter? Sure, the valey boy yokel segment loves him, but Neil (like the general manager who keeps hiring him) is very much a relic. I’d be shocked if we saw more than one or two fights per playoff round as too much is at stake.

    If I were in charge (and Don you would hate it if I were) Neil and Kassian would be gone, replaced by Hoffman or Stone. Gryba would be replaced by Wiercioch and Phillips replaced by a younger, speeder d-man. The Senators would be speedy and skilled and would skate miles around their opponents. They would not be leading the league in minor penalties, that’s for sure. Karlsson would take care of his end or be used only on the powerplay.

    Shanahan looks like a pretty good hire for the Leafs. He’s caught on to the analytics movement (simply, it maintains that possession and shot attempts are what win hockey games) and is on good enough terms with other general managers that he might be able to implement change quickly and efficiently.

    Bobby, you know what series I’m most looking forward to? Colorado – Minnesota. Minny plays anti-hockey, they try to stifle you and get a lucky bounce here and there while Colorado plays hockey as it SHOULD be played, with young bucks skating their arses off and scoring goals and punishing others in their own end. You know, kinda like how the local team used to play before you know who took charge of the team and turned them into a slow, boring, talent-deprived bunch of sods.

    Spezza looks like he’s gone. Hemsky looks like he’s gone. Murray is going throw the DAC under the bus and now we need to hope Ryan wants to stay in this circus of a team. If Murray cans ANOTHER coach will the magnifying glass FINALLY be put on him? To paraphrase Anika “Probably not.”

    Oh Melnyk wants to field questions on twitter. Everyone wants to know if he’ll keep being cheap…

  8. Bobby Goodman says:

    Always love to get your insight Mikey and again, you didn’t disapoint.

    I do get a kick out the “leadership” discussion. No one is willing to define it here. Weren’t there a few leaders on the Senators this year: Methot, The Big Rig, The Big Show and of course the Captain! MacArthur spoke out. Just how many leaders are needed? I would offer that no amount of leaders whould help if a Coach isn’t willing to do what is necessary! Is that fair to say?

    MacLean’s decision the last few games to put The Big Show on the second PP unit with Spezza was…..interesting. Am I the only one? Why didn’t he put TBS on with Turris on the PP. Why not use Smitty or Wierchoch. Why not have Michalek who is bigger than Neil and has proven to he can score goals?

    If we were to read between the lines in the papers today you have to believe both Jason and Ales are outttahere. Will Spezza go back to Annaheim to regain the 1st draft choice traded away? Wouldn’t that be funny. Ananaheim seems like a good fit; right now they are a one line team. Stop Getzlaf and Perry and the half the battle is won! Ales wants to play with the best center he has ever played with and with the Spez gone, so will he.

    Whether I am old, an idiot, egomaniacal, senile or whatever, I have to assumne that most would agree there needs to be a cultural shift in this organization. I would really like to see “accuntability”. It’s great that the DAC talks about tightening up the defence now that the season is over…but the words are hollow! It’s great to hear player say he is coming back from Sweden in September with a different attitude. We will see (if he doesn’t will the Coach, whoever it may be, hold him to it).

    Yes the hockey in Ottawa isn’t played any more but there is plenty of hockey and it will go on until next September. I don’t want Lazar on the hockey club next year. There are kids in Bingo who have a year under their belt as a professional (although Prince says he wants out). The Wings are successful becasue they have a Classy Organization, they have the best GM, the best coach and scouts (for years is was Howe and Verbeek). They allow their kids to grow in the American league! There is no mystery here. Yzerman, Nill and now Shanny have all described the Wings in this way.

    The Team, work ethic and sacrifice should be job 1.

    It was fascinating to watch the Paccioretti interview last nigth on TSN. The GM, Bergervin managed to hire a team of mostly ex-NHLers around him who bought into and delvivered a singluar message: “the Team comes first”. Their Organization wreeks of class and most of all, consistency in the way they play and manage personel. It is the ONLY way. Owners should be in the background. GMs need to avoid controvesy and Coaches…really should be coaches. I know Pav wants MacLean back “but on a short leash”. Typically, he has his feet parked safely on both sides of the issue. I wonder when the short leash would be realled in?

  9. PaV says:

    Mike8888 / OD – we should have a end of season and end of Bobby rant beer.

    Bobby – the season is over. Go get some fresh air. If I remember correctly you are a huge golfer – go enjoy the sun. Give you head a shake. Keep your cell phone on in case you get the call for the GM job of Ottawa.

  10. Bobby Goodman says:

    I ask when the short leash would be yanked because I don’t have high exectations for the team in 2014-2015. Who would?

    If it is safe to assume that Spezza, Hemsky and Michalek are gone who would pick up the slack? I22 points would be gone (more if you factored Hemsky playing a full season)!. What would be the impact on Karlsson’s production (he spends 12+ minutes evergame with Spezza on the ice)? What would be the impact on the Turris line; teams could narrow their focus on defending only one line! Turris and his linemates have said Spezza makes life easier for them.

    What would their departure do to the Power Play? Karlsson would have to look to someone else to give it to most of the time. Who would replace Spezza’s 687 points in 686 games and plus 54. Staal and his -41? Nash and his -45? Would they try to get Kovalev from the KHL -116.

    No, hockey is not being played but there is lots of hockey going on. In spite of what one may claim, the 2007 Sens were not old; as Donny points out the team was full of promise with only one player over 30! What happened? Murray happened. I think having just 3 fans at the air port to great the team is a sign that change is needed, don’t you?

    I don’t buy this Identity crap. It can change from line to line! The only identity a team should have is unity, the Team comes first, no single player is bigger than the team and effort is non-negotiable! The great teams have players who can police themselves in that regard (as well as the Coach and Captain). That doesn’t happen in Ottawa! It’s now safe to say the team doesn’t defend its own zone? The Coach was more demanding? Did we see it? Exactly how did he show it? Can someone/anyone tell me what “System” they played? It is referenced incessantly! If it can’t even be definded, how the hell can it be tweaked? What about the other word “structure”?

    Prediction Donny, without Spezza, there is no way Karly with get 90 points because there wont be enough offensive threats! Turris and company will gett their points, but not as many. Will Zzz emerge as a scoring threat? Where will all the goals come from? And, for Karly to get 90 points, he would have to spend even more time with the wingers inside the other teams blueline which again would leave the goalie, D partner and team out to dry! What exactly does Karly mean when he talks about consistency? TSN exposed his “inconsistencies” the other night on TV and it wasn’t pretty. They described it as lack of effort.

    Much like Backstrom in Washington playing alongside the minus 35 Ovechkin, Spezza alongside Michalkek -24 (and every other negative player including Zzzz -15, Greening -15) Smitty can be as defencive as he wants, but unless the is allowed to play with others (TBS -12, Android -15) it will be impossible for him to be a plus player! Regardless, he had an outstanding season.

    If “the future looked bright in ’07″, but dark in ’14, do you have faith in the GM, Donny?

  11. PaV says:

    Chris – beware! Don’t come on here and knock Spez. As I am typing this you are going to see a huge insane rant on how you are silly and don’t understand the game and how Spez is the best player on the ice in every game. If a goal is scored on the SENS and Spez is on the ice, it something that EK did to cause the goal!!!! EVEN if EK wasn’t on the ice. Oh no another faux pas where you are going to be NAILED on. Don’t ask for Alfie (aka immature nickname Annika) to come back – you are about to get an earful about that comment.

  12. PaV says:

    Ah there we go. Bobby ignoring the fact that he is a blow hard.

    Bobby Goodman says:April 14, 2014 at 12:50 pm: The season is only over for people like you Pav. You may find it hard to believe, but there are some who like to watch hockey, no matter if the Senators are playing or not.

    My comment is in reference to the rants Bobby. Here ill spell it out for you. Like OD pointed out you seem to have some MAJOR comprehension issues: Now that the Ottawa Senators Season is over, maybe Bobby (that’s you) will stop with the asinine rants about the Ottawa Senators. – Clear enough for you? Or do you need me to explain it further?!

  13. Bobby Goodman says:

    Is it “classy” for an Owner to say there are many “idiots” who spend to the Cap? It might be OK for Melnyk to think it, but to voice it publicly is just plain wrong. Someone needs to coach this “idiot”.

    It looks like the nonsense has already begone and will continue. The DAC was “too tough” this year and needs to be “softer and more gentle”. Is there anyone here who buys that BS? Isn’t it interesting that there wasn’t a player mentioned who migh have said it? Zibanisbad is best playing center with skilled wingers!? Oh really; and when did he prove it? Hoffman needs to learn how to finish (maybe…if he played with someone who could actually make a good play and get him the puck…he had to do it primarily on his own). Spezza is one of the 2 on the team least concerned about defence (what about Michalek?…could you say the same about Backstrom in Washington?). It is now safe (and it wasn’t just me and my “hate”) to speak of Karlsson’s defiant disregard for defence. Why now when the season is over? Be careful Donny, stating fact like Karlsson is more concerned with racking up points will brand you a hater!

    The DAC will be forgiven for a bad year!? Could it have something to do with him being under contract for 3 more years? The organization needs “leadership, attitiude and work ethic”….really? Didn’t Methot call out Karly for his casual play before the season even began? How can any Captain (any leader on the team) lead if the Coach is unwilling to hold players accountable for things they do on and off the ice!!!!!?????? Work ethic??? Did we hear any of that from the DAC and his staff, no but we did hear it from some of the players! As I asked months ago, who could they have been referring to?

    JGP is now a bonafide NHLer, so is Stone and Lazar who hasn’t played a game as a professional yet (I would make the kid play in Bingo for a year). It is now safe to say that the team doesn’t need a one-dimensional tough guy (shocking). Murray says he hates losing! He must have a lot of hate in him! He’s missed the post season 3 of the last 6 years!

    The Owner says “we know where we are now and only need one or two more players”. They didn’t know where they were before after the 3 year rebuild? The team only needs one or two players to do what…make the post season, win the Stanley Cup…what?

    The Sens need a leader like Annika who led them to 11 first round exits. ELEVEN. The team needed a leader like Annika who led them to the first round loss to NYR and the embarrassing loss to the Pens last year. They need a leader who says the team doesn’t have a chance in a playoff game! And I thought Joe Mufferaw was the stuff of myth and legend.

    There isn’t very much that makes a whole lot of sense here. The owner and GM can’t even get their stories straight (never could). There will be a major trickle effect when Spezza leaves. Will others want to as well. Fans can be happy, the DAC and Philips are staying!

  14. Bobby Goodman says:

    Isn’t it fascinating that we never get anything from the usual suspects but objections. They object because some of us want more, want better. From the start of the year there are a few of us who pointed out what we thought would be the flaws; for that were were branded “haters”. Now, after the miserable season is over, the media (all of them) feel it safe to say what was we have been saying for many months may have been right!

    The DAC was awful
    - players didn’t like the line combinations
    - he and the DAACs never could get the team to play the mythical system that needs to be tweaked
    - he was too hard on players (rewarding some for no effort at all)
    - he had bizzarre combinations
    - was lost and confused

    Karlssson
    - only cared about accumulating points and never gave a damn about defending his own zone
    - didn’t show up

    Cowen and the rest of the D
    - slow, imobile, panicky, liability

    Wiercoch sholld have played more

    Kassian
    - one dimensional dinasaur the team didn’t need

    Haven’t some being saying this since October of last year? What solutions did Pav ever offer, what about Dave or Mikey. They defended Karlsson’s lazy play all year. Some defended the DAC and the DAACs. What do they think the team will do well next year (4th year of the 3 year rebuild)? Didn’t they think the team would do well this year? Is missing the post season 3 times in 6 years a good thing? Is Davey “really excited to get people like Da Costa in the lineup”?

    Didn’t a few of us say Anderson should be traded and the team should have kept Bishop (and we’re just angry, hateful, idiotic old men wating to die). Didn’t we say that Anderson was peaking and would have garnered a great player or draft pick? Didn’t we want Wiercoch playing more instead of The Big Rig. Didn’t we think having TBR on the PP was D U M B! Didn’t we think re-signing TBR for 2 additional years was D U M B (Davey-boy loves it). Didn’t we think have The Big Show on the PP was retarded? Davey-boy and company loved it!

    What do the Davey-boy, Mikey and the Puck-bunny think about the team this year and what do they expect next year? There is no right or wrong answer but damnit have a take! What do they think about what the DAC, GM and the Owner said yesterday? Who do they think will fill in for all the points lost should Spezza go (and Hemsky of course). Why is it OK now, when the season is over, to reveal that Karlsson never made an effort in his own end. Why wasn’t OK to say it during the season? Was it heresy to tell the truth?

    It is ineresting that Neil, “the heart and soul” of the Sens is celebrated while Phaneuf is called out for silly penalties. I don’t give a damn if The Big Show accumulates the most penalties…I want the team to win games and entertain (it doesn’t matter to some here).

    Pierre, I love watching Colorado but not Minni for the reasons you stated. I never bought into the Suter or Parise hype. What’s your call on the first…

  15. KevinF says:

    Pierre it’s true that the so called analytics and new stats at its most basic is just he who has the puck most wins and that’s just common sense. I’ve been reading and listening to a lot on the subject and have slowly coming to a realization that there is a lot to be gained from paying attention to the numbers especially when it can be broken down into the minutiae of where players are in relation to minutes played,against whom and where they start from visa vie face offs,. I don’t grasp the whole thing yet but I’m getting there. The guys that know about this stuff reaffirm my belief that plus minus means next to nothing as a individual stat. It sure doesn’t hurt to take every bit of data available into account.

  16. Mike8888 says:

    I agree Kevin. If plus-minus were to be believed completely, then almost every player on a winning team would be better then almost every player on a poor team. Futhermore, often the player with the best plus-minus in the league is the 5th or 6th d-man on a winning team, mainly due to the fact that the same d man rarely sees ice time against the opposition’s 1st or 2nd lines.

  17. Dennis_w says:

    Kevin,

    If you’re interested in analytics I suggest a site like Pension Plan Puppets, for leafs stuff. They’ve been at the forefront. There are also many others.

    You’d have to be an ostrich not to realize that analytics can be part of the whole picture. And this site is full of ostriches.

    As far as the sens go, I fear that the dark days will never end as long as Melnyk is owner (our version of Ballard). I know that Visitor thinks that Murray can get him to “open his wallet” at any time and it shocks me that people following this team can still think that.

    Leaving aside all the insanity, you can draft & develop all you want, but a cap floor team cannot consistently compete for the cup.

  18. KevinF says:

    Yeah Dennis I’m aware of a lot of the main sites James Mirtle of the Globe piqued my interest in the subject. Theres a lot of good ones that he often tweets about. I find the PPP folks to be needlessly arrogant and sometimes viscous in their attack style of blogging. I welcome their arguments and criticisms of all things Leaf, their style is off putting to me.
    I use behind the net, most of all them, I find it clear and to the point explained in a way that my tired old brain can wrap around pretty easily

  19. OD99 says:

    Analytics can certainly be useful as a part of the whole but I am still a believer in the eye test as well.

    For example – Karlsson is the top Corsi and Fenwick D in the league which if my admittedly minor grasp on those stats is accurate means when he is on the ice he generates more attempts at the opposition net than any other D.

    However we all know that he is capable of allowing a fair bit of chances as well…I also think that in some cases a shot directed at the net should be classified as a turn over – some of those weak wristers just give the puck away to the goalie and we might be better off if the players were just able to cycle the puck longer.

    Bobby, you are really out of touch with most of us on here. If we don’t join your constant chorus of Karlsson is terrible and has no heart, Zibby is terrible and has no heart you simply label us mindless followers who are happy with a losing team. Again, it is impossible to have a discussion with you because when we don’t agree you just make up our opinions for us. It is actually quite frustrating because you do bring up some good points, you just appear to lack the ability to discuss them.

    Too bad.

  20. KevinF says:

    I agree with the eye test line of thinking. From what I have read even the most ardent of supporters of analytics don’t think the numbers present a definitive view of a player or a team only a strong indicator.
    I believe I saw a breakdown somewhere that a winning formula was 37% possession 37% luck and the rest goaltending special teams etc. Simplistic maybe but it makes some sense to me. When the a Leafs were winning despite being very low on the possession portion they got great goaltending and good special teams and got a very big portion of the luck. When the luck evened out,the goaltending became average and the special teams, the PK in particular, went downhill their constantly poor possession and defence led to disaster. I don’t think all the dust has settled on this analytics thing but it is becoming pretty fascinating to see where it goes and how it’s uses and misuses will be refined.

  21. OD99 says:

    No doubt teams will be forced to utilize these metrics or be left behind but I haven’t seen enough on player movement either. By design a player on a strong club will have better numbers so I am interested to see how they would fare on a weaker club. Can they maintain their positive numbers or was being insulated by a lot of good players the main reason they scored well?

    I was turned off by fancy stats when I kept hearing from that crowd how Condra is invaluable due to Corsi & Fenwick…to the point of people saying he should play with Spezza to help him defensively. That is really my only beef with followers who revert back to those stats to support their thoughts on a player.

    There are some interesting ones though…for example Karlsson 4-5 allowed the least amount of shots per 60 minutes of any D in the league. So when shorthanded the Senators gave up far less shots when he was on the ice than when he wasn’t. I never would have thought that.

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