Monthly Archives: January 2013

30/01/2013: NHL TOP PERFORMERS OF THE NIGHT

Niklas Backstrom of the Minnesota Wild battles Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks in the shootout.

Niklas Backstrom of the Minnesota Wild battles Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks in the shootout.

Here are the results from last night’s games:

  • MONTREAL 1 – 5 OTTAWA
  • CHICAGO 2 – 3 MINNESOTA (SO)
  • EDMONTON 2 – 1 PHOENIX (OT)
  • COLORADO 0 – 3 VANCOUVER

Apologies for the lack of Top Performers recently, work commitments and technical difficulties (my keyboard wouldn’t work!) got in the way.  However, I’m back in the game now and good to go, so let’s take a look at last night’s best players.

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TEAM GB HOCKEY NEWS: ESPN to broadcast Olympic Qualifiers, Team GB aim to make first Olympic appearance since 1948

Brilliant news for British ice hockey fans: the IIHF has announced that ESPN will be broadcasting Team GB’s attempts to reach the Olympic finals.  Here is the press release:

Ice Hockey UK (IHUK) are thrilled to announce that Great Britain’s matches at the Olympic final qualifiers in Riga, Latvia will be shown on ESPN television in the UK and Ireland.

The winners of the Group E tournament will progress through to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.  Great Britain begins with a match against hosts Latvia on Thursday 7th February 2013 (17:30 UK time). They will then face France on Friday 8th February (13:30). Both matches will be shown live.  Their final match with Kazakhstan on Sunday, 10th February will be shown either live or on delay. Viewers should check listings for details.

“The board of Ice Hockey UK are absolutely thrilled to be able to announce this deal,” said Ice Hockey UK general secretary Andy French. “GB Men are on the verge of something historic and this is reflected by the media interest in the trip to Latvia. We would like to thank ESPN for working with us for live coverage in the UK and Ireland.”

Commentary in Latvia will come from Aaron Murphy and David Simms.

Make a date for next Thursday, folks – it should be a great game with Team GB aiming to reach the Olympics for the first time since 1948!!!!!!

NHL NEWS: PK Subban re-signs with Montreal, 2 years at $2.875m per year

pk subban1

 

As per TSN, the Montreal Canadiens have finally re-signed young star defender PK Subban to a  year deal, worth a bargain$2.875m per year.  Subban is one of the top young defenders in the league – although he has his detractors who believe him to vastly overrated.  Let’s briefly go over his stats.

In terms of basic boxcar stats, Subban scored 7 goals and 29 assists for 36 points, and was a +9, leading all defenceman in those categories except for plus/minus, where he was 2nd behind Josh Gorges.  In the eyes of many, he didn’t take the big step forward many expected after he put up 14 goals and 38 points the previous year.  However, we must keep in mind that Montreal was an awful, awful club last year.  Subban did a great job on a struggling team.

Last season, Subban was third on the team (for players who appeared in 50+ games) for Relative Corsi, meaning that he moved the puck in the right direction (i.e. towards the opposition net a lot more often than not).  He was top on the team amongst defenders in that category, and the only defender to have a positive CorsiRel.

We can also look at his PDO.  PDO is basically the sum of on-ice shooting percentage and on-ice save percentage, and is useful for seeing who is playing with bad luck and who is playing with good luck.  When the sum of those two is over 1000, a player is generally thought to be playing in good luck, and when it’s under 1000, they are playing in bad luck.  Since these sorts of stats almost always revert to the mean over time (in this case, 1000), someone with a PDO of under 1000 should see their luck improve and someone with a PDO of over 1000 should see their luck drop.  It’s useful for being an indicator of true performance, or whether someone just got hot for a little while.  Subban had a PDO last year of 1018, which indicates he was playing in good luck, but not massively so, and as such his performance was largely true to form.  Remember though, that form will get better – PK is still only 23 years old.

Montreal Canadien Player Chart

Looking at Robert Vollman’s Player Usage Charts, it is also possible to see that Subban played amongst the toughest competition on the team, whilst receiving sub-50% offensive zone starts, yet dominated the shot differentials.

He might not yet have put up elite scoring numbers, but PK Subban is a massive difference maker for the Canadiens.  If they’d have traded him to another team or lost him to an offer sheet, it would have been a huge mistake on their part.  Instead, they signed him to a bargain deal for 2 years, and are a much better team for it.

24/01/2013: NHL TOP PERFORMERS OF THE NIGHT

Nail Yakupov celebrates scoring the game-tying goal with 4.7 seconds left in regulation.

Nail Yakupov celebrates scoring the game-tying goal with 4.7 seconds left in regulation.

Here are the results from last night’s games:

  • NY ISLANDERS 7 – 4 TORONTO
  • NY RANGERS 1 – 2 PHILADELPHIA
  • MONTREAL 4 – 1 WASHINGTON
  • BUFFALO 3 – 6 CAROLINA
  • OTTAWA 3 – 1 FLORIDA
  • NASHVILLE 0 – 3 ST LOUIS
  • CHICAGO 3 – 2 DALLAS (OT)
  • COLUMBUS 0 – 4 COLORADO
  • LA KINGS 1 – 2 EDMONTON (OT)
  • PHOENIX 3 – 5 SAN JOSE

Wow.  Simply wow.  If any of you want to see some exciting hockey, just watch last night’s highlights.  Of course, my attention is particularly towards the Edmonton vs LA game – but then so is most of the hockey world’s at this time, given rookie phenom Nail Yakupov’s game-tying goal with less than 5 seconds to go, and his subsequently amazing celebration.  Some people will say it’s over the top, I say don’t be so boring – hockey needs more people who have that much passion, exuberance and excitement!  Check out him and the other players of note from last night’s action.

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23/01/2013: NHL TOP PERFORMERS OF THE NIGHT

Steve Sullivan of the Phoenix Coyotes battles goaltender Steve Mason of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Steve Sullivan of the Phoenix Coyotes battles goaltender Steve Mason of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Here are the results from last night’s games:

  • TORONTO 5 – 2 PITTSBURGH
  • BOSTON 3 – 4 NY RANGERS (OT)
  • CALGARY 2 – 3 VANCOUVER (SHOOTOUT)
  • COLUMBUS 1 – 5 PHOENIX

A couple of hat-tricks along the way last night, and some other fine individual performances worth mentioning; continue reading to see who stood out on the night.

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22/01/2013: NHL TOP PERFORMERS OF THE NIGHT

Nail Yakupov of the Edmonton Oilers celebrates in glorious fashion as he scores his first NHL goal.

Nail Yakupov of the Edmonton Oilers celebrates in glorious fashion as he scores his first NHL goal.

Here are the results from last night’s games:

  • WINNIPEG 4 – 2 WASHINGTON
  • TAMPA BAY 4 – 1 CAROLINA
  • FLORIDA 1 – 4 MONTREAL
  • PHILADELPHIA 0 – 3 NEW JERSEY
  • DALLAS 2 – 1 DETROIT
  • NASHVILLE 3 – 1 MINNESOTA
  • ST LOUIS 2 – 3 CHICAGO
  • LOS ANGELES 1 – 3 COLORADO
  • SAN JOSE 6 – 3 EDMONTON

With the exception of the Edmonton Oilers – thanks, boys – it looks like the rust is starting to shake off for the players, with last night’s games being slightly lower in scoring overall.  As usual, some performances well worth noting, particularly the goalies; continue reading to check it out.

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NHL NEWS: Flames trade Karlsson to Blackhawks

As per TSN, the Calgary Flames have traded backup goalie Henrik Karlsson to the Chicago Blackhawks for a 7th Round Draft Pick in the 2013 Draft.  Karlsson was below average as a Flame, managing a 2.79 GAA and a .905 SV% in 26 NHL games and only winning 5 games.  It probably didn’t help that with star goalie Miikka Kiprusoff on the team, he didn’t exactly get much chance to get settled in net.  Nonetheless, he’s not a complete disaster, has some NHL experience, and will be playing behind a much better team in Chicago, and it doesn’t hurt Chicago to have depth at the position – I imagine he’ll be behind Corey Crawford and Ray Emery, and may even find himself playing in the minors for a while.

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