Thursday, April 03, 2008


Northwest Division Game Day

Flames @ Wild, 6PM MT; Oilers @ Canucks, 830PM MT; both RSN West.

Ohhh, the possibilities. The Wild could clinch their first title of any kind, and have a banner to hang up there next to the one proclaiming their fans "#1" [retch]. The Canucks could be eliminated with a loss and a Predators win. A Flames win would keep the NW title within reach, as well as go a long way towards avoiding the Wings or Sharks in Round 1.

Roloson gets the start for the Oil. Whether he's a superior option to Deslauriers at this point is a rather open question, but it's nevertheless a signal from MacT that he expects results from the team tonight, not just a spirited effort. Hemsky and Brodziak are both out, so Mathieu Roy will dress as a 7th Dman and Geoff Sanderson will play what is likely his final career NHL game.

As for the Flames... not too much to say here, it's simply time to watch and see what happens. Call it reverse jinx, but I don't expect Iginla to get his 50th tonight or Saturday. (That's good news for the Ovechkin-for-Hart crowd; I think whatever small chance Iginla has of edging him out for that trophy rests on #50 and passing the Wild for the NW crown.)

Further to my Tuesday meanderings on Eric Godard... Vic at IOF had a post last week about difference makers. It got me ruminating... surely if there are players (Crosby, Thornton, etc.) who drive positive results nearly regardless of circumstance, there must also be players who drive negative results. Most of them will never have an NHL career (or it will be awfully short), but some will continue to be played for whatever reasons. One of these reasons is that somewhere between one and two-thirds of the NHL hockey world feel that it's important to have a heavyweight fighter in the lineup, regardless of what else that player has to offer.

[Sidebar: I want to be clear about something -- just because I don't agree with it, understand it, or know of any good evidence bolstering it does not mean I think every coach who still dresses a heavyweight is a moron. The fact that so many veteran coaches with long records of success do just that is strong evidence that I'm missing something.]

At any rate... I checked the Flames' Corsi numbers with Godard in (72 games) and out (8 games) of the lineup, and noted them in Vic's comments.


Calgary 2 (Langkow, Tanguay) Minnesota 1 (Koivu)
Edmonton 2 (Pisani, Fatty) Vancouver 0 (Roli!)
Nashville 5 (Arnott x3, Bonk x2) St. Louise 0 (The absolute funniest NHL highlight of the year, bar none, was the camera on John Davidson when McKee's go-ahead goal got bogusly waved off for goaltender interference. I had no idea an essentially bald man could comb his hair so furiously.)

Go Flames.


Matt, there is exactly such a statistic as you describe ... it is the Neifi Index, which exists in baseball. It is the invention of very good sportswriter King Kaufmann who writes an online sports column for Salon ( If you don't read it, you should.

Anyway, one season King set out to find the MLB player who is most effective when he sits. It turned out to be Neifi Perez. So, if your team has a win-loss record better without you than with you, you have a high neifi Index.

I suppose you could call it a Goddard Index in hockey. Or the Horcoff Index.

The fact that so many veteran coaches with long records of success do just that is strong evidence that I'm missing something

The only other reason I've heard that can't be captured in numbers per se, is that the presence of a heavyweight makes other players "feel better", meaning more secure in their aggressions and less susceptible to the aggressions of others (especially other heavyweights).

Assuming this is true, the question is: does this psychological "boost" translate to real results, ie: better performance/more wins? In my mind, that's a big stretch, particularly considering all the things players like Godard cost their teams in terms of on-ice performance.

I can't say too much on Godard, but when it comes to Parros and his on-ice results, he's actually not too bad. Crummy GF, but a pretty darn good GA (playing against other scrubs, of course).

My take on it is that Parros generally negates chances either way by dropping the gloves before either side can capitalize on much.

I dunno, though. There's definitely better options than Parros, but I've found there's a lot worse out there, too. For better or worse, Moustache is a fighter first, which actually keeps him from being too much of a liability.

Plus for whatever reasons, the crowd loves him, maybe second to Selanne. It's not fully rational, but I support a Parros lineup. It's not too bad on results, and if the crowd is fired up, so much the better.

(Of course Parros didn't dress last cup finals, but I think he's improved to a degree. He's dressable now, though he'd still see 20 minutes of pine in a tight 3rd period.)

Hey, every player is a unique case. I wouldn't want to imply that I'm lumping together every 4th line, 225lb+ player in the league (or, for that matter, say that the goon-types are unable to improve).

And yeah, Parros is a better player than Godard.

Some interesting officiating so far. Hey, did the instigator penalty get removed, "unofficially"? I don't remember the last time I saw it called, and it's certainly not enforced in a way that jibes with (a) English, or (b) the rulebook:

An instigator of an altercation shall be a player or
goalkeeper who by his actions or demeanor demonstrates any/some
of the following criteria: [...]
conduct in retaliation to a prior game (or season) incident; obvious
retribution for a previous incident in the game or season.

To me, that means that 'going to the rescue' of a teammate that just got blasted and starting a fight with the opponent who did it gets an instigator penalty. But whatever... if nobody wants it, they should take it out of the rulebook, and if it's never called, we should all stop pretending that it's an issue in the slightest.

The instigator penalty is a joke. It's tool to be used against goons and fighters near the end of periods and little else. Actual instigating is rarely called as you note.

Uh-oh! Gaborik!

"What about a breakfast nook?"'s DET or SJS...if they make it all. In short - NOT GOOD.

At this point, I'm going to be surprised if they can make it. There's just so little...try.


I'm forced to listen to this game on the radio. Sounds like the refs have it in for the Oil. Cmon, boys. Cmon.


I've been watching the game and the refs have been brutal.

And just as I type that Stoll scores to make it Edmonton 2, Refs 0.

Maybe that concussion Stoll suffered earlier in the game knocked his game back into him?

And I really like Pitkanen's game tonight. Oh f#ck off, that was a penalty!?!


I hate not being able to watch this. GOILERS!!!

I like to think of myself as a nook person.


Works. You rule. Thank you, sir.

No problem.

Ender, can I find baseball games like this?

Uber-commenter Bruce, in LT's thread, talking about the Oil's final game of '04:

I hope every Oiler who played in that game remembers that experience tonight and shoves it right up Vancouver's ass.

Indeed, and well said. 20 minutes left.

Ender, can I find baseball games like this?

I wish. To be honest, I just ran across a link on Lowetide's site. Looks like someone has a Slingbox or something set up to stream the games. So, if you wanted to pick up a slingbox, and set the channel before you leave the house and watch the game, that should work. I think one of the models even lets you change the channel remotely.

At least that's my theory to what this is. I could be completely wrong.


Calgary Flames fans, you are welcome.


It does feel good to knock the Canuckles out (would have preferred Lames but hey, take what you can)!!!

On behalf of Preds Nation, thanks OIL!!!

Fine, no nook!

Just wanted to add...Eric Godard: 3 shifts, 1:05 of ice.

Most important game of the year and this guy is in the line-up...why again?

Actually you can find a bunch of baseball games up on Sopcast; just peruse the site.

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