Friday, November 21, 2008


Friday Baseball Standings

**As much as they are not owed one and don't deserve one, the Stars have probably caught a bit of a break. The only thing their hilariously poor start has cost them is a shot at the Pacific, and the way the Sharks look so far, that was probably never in the cards anyway. 2 games out of a playoff spot is nothing at this point; lots of teams to pass, but really, one solid 10- or 12-game run and they're right back in the mix.

**Count me as a Bruins believer. Say whatever mean things you want about Claude Julien, but they have a lot of good hockey players on that team -- their success seems pretty real, to me.

**I expect the top 5 teams in the East there -- plus possibly Buffalo -- to continue to separate from the pack for most of the season. I don't look at any team below the line right now and think anything like what a shock they're not in a playoff spot... they're due for a great run... etc. Though TB is a bit intriguing on account of the new coach and the fact that they have (A) gone to the OT/SO so many times, and (B) pretty much lost every time.

**I still think Minnesota is a bit of a cipher. They've played a ton vs. the East so far, and very little vs. the NW. I expected them to have really good goaltending and defensive numbers, but maybe not quite as good as they have at the moment. Their EV numbers are kinda meh.

**Kings in the playoffs? Playoffs? I think it's distinctly possible. I haven't been impressed with Nashville or Phoenix (or, uh, Colorado). Not sure why Columbus can't translate their obvious improvement into Ws and Points. Not sure what the hell is up with the Oilers, though they may surge when they start getting all their home games back. But the Kings look good; by numbers, and by eye.

Have a great weekend. Go Flames.


The B's are running on percentages - #3 shooting% (10.3%) and #1 save% (.943). Give them league average shooting and the ridiculous .930 sv% they had last year and their 5vs5 goal differential drops from +18 to +5. They're better than last year, but they're not this good.

I can't believe your youngest is two now. I remember two years ago thinking, "That's #3?? Oh well, I'm going to miss Matt's posts." You should do time management seminars.

Thanks for mentioning the Oil, Matt. I was beginning to think nobody cared about them around these parts any more :)

I've got a fun post in the hopper (just waiting for the first quarter to end) looking at what Vic refers to as the PDO number (ES SV% plus ES S%). The idea is that it's an awfully luck drenched number. It's pretty astounding - we've got PDO numbers from 2003-04 on. It's like a stone cold lock that the terrible teams will get much better and the awesome teams will get worse.

B's are at 104.1% right now, which is one of the top 3 or 4 first quarter PDO numbers. Avs are at 97.9%, which is pretty bad.

I am worried for the flames. AM 960 says they are 4W 9L vs teams that are 500 or better.

Not sure what the hell is up with the Oilers

Is anyone?

Ah ... Minnesota. The Wild can be counted on to win their first 10 games or so every year and lead the NW at the quarter turn.

And then be running hard at the end to make the playoffs.

I expect that story will play out as usual and they will be right back in the middle/bottom half of the pack by Christmas.

(Yes, I know they won the division last year, but that was a pretty close race right to the end and they were about 5 games clear at Halloween).

Kings in the playoffs? Playoffs? I think it's distinctly possible.

Then you're dreaming, Matt. They've played 13 of 18 at home (72%), and once they get into road-heavy stretches, they'll disappear.

There defense will be the reason they collapse, and somebody's going to get a good deal on Labarbera this summer. Or at least, that's how I see it.

what would LaBarbera be worth?

Anon: With his current stats, 1M/yr or less. My prediction is that some decent team will pick him up as a backup (ala Boucher in San Jose or Conklin in Detroit) and he'll look great, and everyone will be surprised.

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