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10-12-2012, 02:43 AM
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Originally Posted by garret9 View Post
1) Every player believes that, at the very least, 58 mins of the game anything can happen. Every goal counts and is as important to that player and that team, even when the game is heavily tipped. In fact, landslide games tend to happen because the other team gets desperate and works even harder to score when the game is tipped. Look at the famous flying W play against the Florida. The Panthers were over pinching trying to get back in a heavily one-sided game and it cost them a goal due to their desperation as every goal counted. So we can determine that, for most of the time, every goal matters and that the point of the game is to get more goals than the other. If you look at how often there are one-sided games, and then subtract from those games the time where they could make a comeback even if its a small chance, then I'm sure there are VERY few goals that "don't matter" to that team/individual. So, therefore, pts/toi would be a good determination of results, especially with the large sample size available.

2) For a player to be "clutch" they have to elevate their play relative to every other player. For that to happen either a) everyone else chokes or b) they were drifting throughout the reg season. a) is too rididculous to consider true. if b) were true, I'd want to avoid those players anyways because I'd rather have someone who tries throughout the full season and post-season. What Paradise said about the better fit is a strong possibility, but you'd still see results of certain individuals doing better/worse than normal, in that case.

3) For a player to be clutch, their results would have to improve when it counts. Yet no matter if you divide it by time, games played or when it is in the game, time-and-time-again, there has been no indications of more players getting better than their average results than there is in similar sample sizes of the regular season. If someone is going to be better in big game situations than they'd have to be better in big game situations. The only difference that's seen is that in big games, the top players get more oppertunities/icetime as they are the top players.

4) You have even displayed with your own examples, how people can falsely identify particular players as clutch/fallers/whatever, due to a particular reputation that is completely untrue. It's no coincidence that these misnomers so common in hockey tend to coincide with ethnicity too (not saying yours are lol, just saying general sense). Look at comparing Antropov and Wellwood, one was touted as consistent and the other was not although they scored at the same rate, got primary assists at the same rate, and had similar # and length of droughts. The same went for comparisons of consistency between Jokinen and Parise in the UFA season (yes there are other reasons why Parise>>Jokinen). The eye test is important because without it you can misinterpet stats, but stats are important because without them you can rely on memorable moments as you will not be able to remember everything and every-moment.
*Ladd's when-the-game-counts penalties
*Wheeler sucking in the begining of the season
*Pavelec being an above average goalie on a below average defensive team
*GST being the best 3rd line in the NHL
*Antropov being worse for 5v5 then most of the players on our rotating 4th line
*Hainsey being worse than Stuart
*Team being better without Enstrom
*Particular players disapearing, being clutch, whatever
These all happen because of small strong memorable moments that didn't properly represent what actually happened

In summary, all indications is that the difference in regular season to playoffs is: time allocation to particular players, tighter checking = less goals in total, less penalties... but there are no substantial indications that more players elevate/fall-off their games than what you would expect with normal hot/cold streaks and that given enough "big games" all players fall into almost direct line of what you would expect for regular season production.

Given all this, Scheifele's overall developement in his skills are a stronger foundation on comparing his abilities/progress than looking at production levels in small sampled "big games" like last and this years WJC or the AHL playoffs. It is a good opertunity to see him play against a higher level of QoC but it has to be kept in mind the sample size.
If there is no such thing as "clutch" players in sports, explain to me how Peyton Manning has a record of 143-70 in the reg season. But only a record of 9-10 in the playoffs?

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