Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Flames Game Day: Meet the new Sharks

So, good Christmas holidays? Me too. One of the highlights was a 3-day jaunt to Las Vegas with Mrs. Matt, where we partook in numerous $6 beers/$14 martinis, AND where for a larf I headed into the LV Hilton's massive sportsbook to waste 2 x $20 on a couple of NHL Futures bets. They were:
Calgary Flames to Win Stanley Cup, +2500 and
Columbus Blue Jackets to Win Stanley Cup, +10000

The day before we were just wandering around, and the LA Kings were listed at 200-1, so I was planning to pick them (rather than the 100-1 BJs) along with the Flames (using the impeccable logic of, "A trip to collect $4000 would be even more fun than one to collect $2000!"), but when we finally went to the window they were back at 100-1 with C-Bus, so I put my money on the guys I was at least fairly sure would make the playoffs.

Anyhoo, tonight San Jose is in Calgary to play the Flames (8PM MT, RSN West). I just spent 15-20 clicking around on SJ's underlying numbers, and the overarching impression I got? This is a pretty similar team to the one I squinted at before Round 1 in April.

Which is certainly not an insult. They're very good. EV, PP, PK, the works. But there's not much mystery behind it. They have one of the very best forwards in the league, and when #19 is not on the ice, they are a EV minus team (slightly: -0.15/60). When Jarome Iginla is not on the ice for the Flames, they are slightly minus as well (-0.05/60). Thornton off, Sharks score 2.03/EV60. Iginla off, Flames score 2.60/EV60. In other words, the Sharks do not have a depth advantage at forward.

That said, there's one guy I clumped together with the pack in the spring who (IMO) has separated himself with the quality of his play, and it's Pavelski. To wit:
And all that for a guy who's only in his 2nd full season, with a cap hit of $1.64M this season and next and is still an RFA thereafter. He's nearly Shawn Horcoff already.

Your Moment of Hockey Zen: the audio clip of Iginla on the radio this morning blew me away. Did he really say something that true? I paraphrase:
"Every team goes on good runs during the season, and they say, Man, why can't we do that all the time? But some teams just aren't as good as other teams, and that's the difference."

Amen, Jarome. As for tonight's game, I actually like the boys' chances.

Calgary 4 (Lombardi x2, Phaneuf, Cammalleri)
San Jose 3 (Pavelski, Setoguchi, Blake-i)

Go Flames.


Interesting comparison on forward depth with Iginla vs. Thornton.

Do you think the great difference in +/- per 60 could skew it though? Thornton is +2.15/60, Iginla only +0.2/60. I suppose one could say that the Sharks need to score less and prevent less when Thornton is off the ice, but I may just be rationalizing here.

Joe Thornton has been better this season than Jarome, and I don't mean to imply otherwise. The Sharks are also better defensively so far, period. But the Flames score more without their main man on the ice than the Sharks do, i.e. the numbers say they have better scoring depth.

The deep meaning of this? [shrug] Jumbo Joe probably still doesn't get enough credit for driving the Sharks bus. Mike Grier would make most teams in the league better, but he's Mike Grier and is three leagues below Thornton as a difference maker. Same with Michalek, Goc, etc.

Is Jarome Iginla hockey's Joe Morgan? In ten years is he going to be on Hockey Night in Canada telling us that a team which scores early in the period is more likely to have a multi-goal period?

I suppose this means my Loonie on Black-23 didn't bust the casino.

And by, "Sarah", I of course meant "sacamano".

Jesus. I can't even post comments without a struggle anymore

Oh yeah, forgot to tell you. I put your buck on 33, no dice. Then the wheel hit 33 two spins later.

The Oilers were 50-1, but honestly, I think 33 was the better value bet.

You're inserting little digs at Capt. Heterochromatic? I guess you have no lingering shame about that pre-season "I would NEVER trade Gaborik for Horcoff" business.

Ex-squeeze me?

Firstly, that wasn't a dig at Horcoff, that was a compliment to Pavelski. Entirely. I guess I should have thrown a few links in there, but the guy is a terrific player who the Sharks clearly lean on and need.

Second, no: I have no inclination to retract or apologize for this:

"...though Horcoff is widely underappreciated (present company excepted), Gaborik is one guy you would absolutely trade him for. Contract situations notwithstanding."

Although I dare you to brag that Horcoff is an Iron Man...

Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?