Babych Please - June 11th, 2015

Grainne Downey
June 11 2015 09:00AM

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This week, for once, the Canucks were not the team with the most goaltending drama. Despite being outshone by Ben Bishop's mysterious body and Andrei Vasilevskiy, the Canucks and their fans had fun this week, with dogs, dancing, and a prosthetic leg! For real!

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Utica Comets Calder Cup Postgame: Comets Continue Strong, Finally Get Rewarded

Rhys Jessop
June 10 2015 09:22PM

After a strong performance on Sunday in which the Comets simply couldn't solve Manchester Monarchs keeper Jean-Francois Berube, Utica continued to look like an elite team on Wednesday evening and were rewarded for their efforts with a 3-2 win to pull the series to two games to one.

Much like Sunday's game, the Comets were very strong early before tailing off late, but this time they were able to give Jacob Markstrom enough goal support to secure the win. The game wasn't the only thing the Monarchs lost however, as Utica's physical play may have cost them two key players. Read past the jump to see what went down.

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Draft Theory: Re-Defining the Roles of Scouts and Stats

Rhys Jessop
June 10 2015 02:30PM

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Numbers and scouts would seem to be at odds over Pavel Zacha. But are they really?

I don't know precisely why this is, but I think I have a pretty good idea. Whenever we talk about looking at prospects through the lens of statistics and quantitative analysis, the discussion almost inevitably turns to "stats vs. scouts." Often times, people like myself are as guilty of going here as anybody. "Can you believe those idiots ranked Lawson Crouse ahead of Mitch Marner," I'll begin. "Don't they know that the numbers say this is insane?"

The thing is, going down the stats-against-scouts road is missing the point entirely. This isn't a pissing contest to see who's right more often. It's a continuous journey towards consistently identifying the best talent that has the highest chance of contributing at a significant level in the NHL. Numbers and watchers-of-the-games shouldn't be at odds with one another, since our end goal is the same - to identify the junior-aged players that project to be the best future NHLers.

As such, although the Twitter snark is fun, the actual debate when we're trying to advance our knowledge shouldn't be centred on who's right and who's wrong. Instead, we should be trying to leverage the strengths of every angle we can look at talent identification from to build a drafting and scouting approach that is as accurate, precise, and predictive as we can possibly make it. We want to use numbers to get the most out of our scouts, and we want to use scouts to get the most out of our numbers.

So how should we go about constructing a talent identification system that is grounded in quantitative analysis and also takes advantage of a rigorous qualitative approach? Let's explore after the jump.

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Playoff Beards ARE The Playoffs, And They're Going Nowhere

Always90four
June 10 2015 11:00AM

NBC Sports has really enjoyed their little toy poodle, the NHL, since signing their monster deal back in 2011. It has been great filler for the NFL offseason and has brought ratings that have steadily climbed. On Tuesday, an article came out about head NBC Sports big wig Mark Lazarus, and how he wants to see the playoff beard abolished.

This guy has watched hockey before, right?

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Canucks Year in Review: Shawn Matthias

J.D. Burke
June 10 2015 10:00AM

We may be three games deep into the Stanley Cup Final - with the Calder Cup also in full gear - but the wound that is this last season as a Vancouver Canucks fan is still relatively fresh. There's plenty of meat left on these bones and with just less than a month before reinforcements are brought in via the draft and free agency, it's time we got cookin'. 

The process starts with a series of player-by-player reviews for the season that was. Today's will be centered on the Canucks most powerful of forwards: Shawn Matthias. 

Let's break it all down on the other side of the jump.

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