November 02 2011 10:41AM
"That's Hod-son. The 'G' is silent."
Given the collective amount of odd Selke Trophy nominees that have popped up over the last 33 years or so, one would think that there's no good way to gauge defensive play in the NHL. I believe my old theory on this was whether or not a guy was liked, and if he was, he was also a guy who succeeded on defense (so long as he had a positive +/- on a good defensive team).
Defense, particularly for forwards, is more than back-checking and shot-blocking, but those are the visible talents that media and fans get to see night-in and night-out. With the advent of advanced micro-statistics, however, we can, for the most part, tell who was on the ice for each on-ice event. Not just goals, as is traditional, but shots, missed shots, blocked shots, faceoffs, hits, giveaways, takeaways, penalties, and, in some cases, scoring chances.
November 01 2011 01:58PM
As you may have noticed, Thomas and I like to keep track of numbers. Some of those numbers are scoring chances. While a reader may dismiss Corsi (shot attempt differential) as not meaning much because the shot attempt doesn't tell you the quality of a shot, scoring chance does.
When a scoring chance occurs, defined by Edmonton Oilers blog Copper n Blue as:
a clear play directed toward the opposing net from a dangerous scoring area - loosely defined as the top of the circle in and inside the faceoff dots (nicknamed the Home Plate), though sometimes slightly more generous than that depending on the amount of immediately-preceding puck movement or screens in front of the net. Blocked shots are generally not included but missed shots are. A player is awarded a scoring chance anytime he is on the ice and someone from either team has a chance to score. He is awarded a "chance for" if someone on his team has a chance to score and a "chance against" if the opposing team has a chance to score.
The picture above is what's generally accepted as "the home plate area". Anyway, you may see these numbers glossed upon after games, but I've tallied a total for the month of October so we can determine the best and worst Canucks over the past month.
October 30 2011 01:03PM
Welcome to 'Don Cherry confused me', a new Sunday-morning feature that will chronicle the silly things that Don Cherry says the night before on Coach's Corner. The feature will focus on Cherry's out-dated focus on the game and attempt to get him to understand that things happen in hockey a little bit differently than he remembers them.
"Anyway, Vancouver. Everybody is after Vancouver. I mean, and I saw something on television that I couldn't believe. It had every bad headline that was in the paper from the playoffs back, it was unbelievable how bad Lalongo is. It's always Lalongo's fault, it's always the goaltender's fault."
"First of all, I don't think Vancouver's paying the price and I can prove it. When you want to win, you want to pay the price and blocking shots. Everybody else likes to score goals and have fun, even fighting, but blocking shots, you have to pay the price."
I'm not sure what game Don Cherry thinks he comments about, but to win games, you want to do the exact opposite of blocking shots, as in, make the other team block shots.
October 26 2011 02:11PM
The Vancouver Canucks play the St. Louis Blues tonight for the first of four regular season meetings. There is otherwise nothing special about this hockey game: It's a mid-week game, will be a rare Wednesday night match-up that isnt broadcast nationally, and the hype going into the game has nothing to do with the opponent.
We all remember the 7-game series that the two team's played in 1995, highlighted by Canuck captain Trevor Linden checking Jeff Norton through the glass—and punctuated by Kirk McLean's 41-save performance in Game Seven.
October 24 2011 08:49AM
Will the Canucks miss Samuelsson's leadership?
The Vancouver Canucks traded a couple of spare parts for a 26-year old goal-scorer over the weekend and the initial reaction to the trade was mixed. Mixed, as in, people's opinions on the deal ranged somewhere from "okay, now the Canucks have a pretty good second line" to "what on earth is Dale Tallon thinking?"