Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I said 4th in the division, right?

I prematurely eulogized Joe Sakic once before, so I don't want to do it again (and that isn't really what this post is about anyway), but the Avalanche look like a one-line team. Stastny-Moolay-Hedjuk is a terrific line, mind you, maybe one of the best in the league, but they had virtually every one of the Avs' scoring chances tonight.

Every other line of theirs got pounded this evening. David Moss absolutely demolished everyone he played against. Glencross, Boyd, Conroy, Bourque were all dominant in varying degrees. Primeau, Prust, and Nystrom faded after a strong start, but still a bunch of shifts against 19/Tucker/whoever and played that line to at least a draw.

As always, if the bounces had been a bit different, the 2 points could have gone the other way, but; when it comes to the Avs vaunted forward corps, I'm not real sure what the proverbial emperor is wearing.

(Or maybe it's just Tony Granato's fault.)



I remember prematurely eulogizing Joe Sakic in a NW preview from 2006 that I forgot to post. Good thing, too, 'cause the bugger got 100 points that year.

poor Sakic having to drag Tucker around the ice with him, what a way to go out.

They lost a game, on the road, to a decent divisional rival, after peeling off 5 straight victories.

It is still October, right?

I had the urge to write sometihng similar after the Oilers took 4 points from the Flames in two nights. Now I see how stupid I would have looked;)

Plus, my word verficiation is cobstain.

So true.

Sakic's not getting results at all though slipper, not at evens. And absolutely nobody is matching their best against him this year, or most of last year either, unless he had either Smyth or Forsberg on his line.

With Forsberg out in the playoffs last year, Babcock pointed all his big guns at the Smyth/Stastny/Hejduk line. With Forsberg in, everything rolls out differently for sure, hell Q can probably drop Hejduk or Smyth onto a 3rd line than can do some damage against DET's depth.

But nobody seems to worry about Joe + two-merely-decent-linemates
any more.

Now nobody is likely to look good playing with Tucker at this point, and Wolski can't quite seem to turn the corner. And for all we know Sakic is playing hurt. Still, he looks to be on the slippery downslope of his career right now.

Yeah Slipper, I gather you're disagreeing with me, but that's not totally clear from your comment.

I think that the Avs' talent up front, past 26 & 94, is overrated. Even with an acceptable year by Budaj, I think they'll struggle to make the playoffs, and I like their D (Hannan excepted).

I also said as much before the season started, so this wasn't entirely a one-game impression, it also confirmed a lot of what I thought.

"..nobody seems to worry about Joe + two-merely-decent-linemates
any more" is true, and with good reason it would appear.

Meh. It's early and I'm a pretty patient guy.

I wouldn't argue that he's still numero uno at this stage of his career. Statsny is the real deal in Colorado these days. But considering his age, his recent injury status (44 games last season), and his waffling on returning for this campaign- he's probably playing himself into shape for the first time in his career.

October is the first month of the season. 9 games is just 9 games.

Sakic's still a favorite, but I can see it coming already.

He's getting the Yzerman treatment next year when it comes to the Olympic team: he will be selected as the 13th forward, but will know that it's best for him to decline and let someone else take on that role.

Poor bugger having to drag that sack of shit Tucker around with him....that truly is the suck.

Matt. Between your team and this Colorado team, one regulation loss seperates them.

And your team isn't the one starting either Peter Budaj or Andrew Raycroft.

Vic: Quenville is in Chicago now. It took me awhile to believe that the Avs decided to go with Granato again myself.

The Avs have all but dominated teams on their home ice this year. They have been dominated in 3 of 5 of their road games. Interestingly enough, they won two of those (DAL, LAK).

Perhaps it is Tony Granato.


Yeah, I know, but it was Q coaching against DET in the playoffs last year. That's what I was referencing.

I'm pretty sure that Granato doesn't match lines at all, or at least not very aggressively. Though whoever he has running his D is hell bent on getting Foote/Clark out against star players, at home or away.

OK Slipper, so you are explicitly disagreeing then. That's fine, we'll see how things wash out. I don't mind being wrong, it's certainly happened before, but I'm not about to apologize for stating an opinion, which is what this post is.

Oh, and thanks for pointing out the teams' records. Where do you get this obscure information? Link?

Matt! I used a ;)!

A ;)!!!!!

Indeed I am the cobstain, afterall.

Looking just a little further into it, there isn't a signifigant difference between Colorado and Calgary at this point in the season.

I think Dejardins site includes empty netter in the 5 on 5 scoring rates. So going by the numbers at NHL.com, Calgary is +16/-18 5v5, while Colorado
is +18/-17.

CGY has 9 5v4 goals to COL's 8. CGY has allowed 7 goals 4v5 to COL's 8.

CGY has 2 empty net goals. COL has scored one goal on the penalty shot.

Oh, and Colorado still plays with either Peter Budaj or Andrew Raycroft in net.

For some strange reason Darcy Tucker is playing the most minutes at even stength amongst AVS forwards so far this year. This was unforseen, mainly by ME, before the seaosn began. So far he hasn't been atrocious, though. +4/-5. Although he was bought out by the Leafs, there are players who were bought out by other teams who are faring far worse than Tucker at even strength this year.

Give him time slipper, give him time.

As you said it is early.

Plus he's a piece of shit.

Ewww. The underlying numbers don't favour my argument at all.



I'm just going ot blissfully ignore until they prove relevant.

Ewww indeed.

Slipper, change the first number in that link to 20050 and the last to 20120, gives you just the numbers over their 5-game winning streak. Minuses abound.

Or put another way, I think they are relevant.


(Colorado's streak that is)

Yeah, I knew they really got thumped in their small trip into the Pacific division, but won anyways.

Just as an aside, the swings can be huge from game to game. The save percentage while Tucker was on the ice through that 5 game winning streak was above .940%. Include last night's game (so through his last 6) the save percentage dips below .900%. For the season it is .865%.

Is there a way to seperate the home and away splits on Vic's site, and is there a way to exclude specific games from the end totals?

In the case of the Avalanche, I'd be interested to see how well they appear if you exclude the games against LA and Dallas.

Yeah, as much as it pains me to say it, having looked over this stuff yesterday, the underlying numbers are the harbinger of things to come. Just are.

PDO's "luck number" (EVsave% + EVshooting%) explains why a team has been successful over a short stretch, correlation r > .90 almost always, there is little room for anything else. But there is almost no repeat in it.

The first 10 games of the season can be a little wonky though, there are always a couple of teams that bust out of the gate, and a couple that struggle to grasp the type of game that they have to play to be successful. Let's hope that is the case here.

What was the luck number again, Vic? It's when the sum of those two numbers exceed 1.00 or something to that effect, right?

The gap which speaks volumes in my mind is the off-def draw differential. Colorado is minus 10 over 9 games, which isn't insurmountable by any means. But Calgary, on the other hand, is +51 over the same ammount of games.

Another saving grace for the Avs could be the shot differential. Despite being horrendous on the road, they're still holding their heads above water in term of shots on net differential. They're getting their asses kicked in terms of the shots that don't make it on net. I don't know what to make of that. It'd be nice to know from where on the ice those shots are coming from.

PDO's luck number was for players:
EVsave% while you were on the ice + EVshooting% while you were on the ice.

I bastardized it a bit by applying it to teams, but the principle remains the same.

On Colorado, yeah they just don't miss the net a lot. I remember a while ago I looked back at 2002/03, or the year before, looking at how zone-time meshed with Corsi ... and it was the same for Colorado then, the year prior as well. Almost as if it's somehow become part of the team culture, because Foote and Sakic are the only guys around from that era, even the GM has changed.

You know, looking at this stuff, guesstimating future results from a balanced but random sample ... I think that if we applied a bit of reason to it (historical ability of the forwards to finish, career EVsave% of the goalies, a wee bit of adjustment for the systems that teams play, maybe a couple of other things) Then I think we'd be able to do a tremendous job of forecasting future EV results, very nearly as well as could be done theoretically.

Hockey is a simple game, at 5v5 at least.

And my word verification is Couggica, which would be a good name for a nightclub near an airport.

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