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What makes a team successful?

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06-05-2004, 05:18 PM
  #1
kraigus
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What makes a team successful?

In preparation for further exploring the correlation between payroll amounts and success, I started trying to figure out how we can quantify success.

At the one extreme you've got the thought that there's one goal in the NHL: to win the Stanley Cup. Therefore, nothing else matters. My post http://www.hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=80148 basically made that assumption, but I've admitted that's not complete.

At the other extreme you've got teams like the Senators: they've enjoyed vast regular season success, but just can't seem to make it past the second round of the playoffs. The Flyers and Leafs are similar examples in the East, and the Canucks and Sharks are on the same road right now.

So, is it possible to reward a team for a winning regular season, without ignoring the fact that ultimate victory is found in June (nowadays, anyway, and I'm not talking about the draft)?

I was thinking about a weighted scale for playoff victories. Something like 4 points for a first round victory, 6 for a second round, 8 for a third round, and 10 per Finals victory. These just get added right on to a team's regular season points.

Is that at all reasonable? Or is it better to separate the two?

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06-05-2004, 06:17 PM
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why? this isn't soccer. It would be really pointless. There are some things you just can't put a number to. You might as well scrap the CUP then and give it to the team with the most points at the end of year.

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06-05-2004, 10:12 PM
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In case you missed it, the point was to quantify a team's success.

The argument is it's possible to be successful without spending money. This year's finalists are being held up as examples of that.

The counterargument is that it's not possible to be consistently successful without spending money - the more the better. Cup winners from the last decade or so are being held up as examples of that.

I'm not proposing that the NHL make these changes. That's why I didn't say anything about "I think the NHL ought to do this". I'm wondering how we can decide, for the purposes of the argument above, what defines a successful team.

Now, do you feel that success can't be quantified? If so, that's fine, but I think you're likely in the vast minority on this board.

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06-05-2004, 10:55 PM
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Ask the superior Calgary Flames. They would know. Not like the inferior Oilers who don't know how to build a team that can't do somethihng as simple as make the dang playoffs.

-Darien Suttre
French GM

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06-05-2004, 11:51 PM
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s7ark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kraigus
In case you missed it, the point was to quantify a team's success.

The argument is it's possible to be successful without spending money. This year's finalists are being held up as examples of that.
Depends on your definition of successful. I don't think anyone is disagreeing that you can be successful for a season without spending big time money but the debate is whether you can be consistently successful.

Just look at the usual contenders, year in year out.

Detroit
Colorado
New Jersey
TO
Dallas
Philly

Not too many poor teams there.

Money isn't everything as the Rags continue to show; you do need to spend wisely. But you do need to spend. Teams like Ottawa and Tampa are having good success now but to keep that success up they will need to spend lots to keep those teams together.

Just my POV

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06-07-2004, 09:30 PM
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s7ark: well, again, that's what I'm trying to define - success for a season.

Is it enough to go 50-20-12 if you lose in the first round of the playoffs? Is the team that goes 42-30-10 more successful if it makes it to the second round?

Once we define what makes a successful season, we can look at how teams do over several seasons, and compare that to payrolls.

But we can't say "this team was successful whilst spending only $37m a year over 5 years, and that team failed whilst spending $32m, and so did that team spending $42m" unless we know what success is. Thus the title of the thread.

So, fine, I'll pick a measure and let you guys pick it apart later.

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06-07-2004, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kraigus
s7ark: well, again, that's what I'm trying to define - success for a season.

Is it enough to go 50-20-12 if you lose in the first round of the playoffs? Is the team that goes 42-30-10 more successful if it makes it to the second round?

Once we define what makes a successful season, we can look at how teams do over several seasons, and compare that to payrolls.

But we can't say "this team was successful whilst spending only $37m a year over 5 years, and that team failed whilst spending $32m, and so did that team spending $42m" unless we know what success is. Thus the title of the thread.

So, fine, I'll pick a measure and let you guys pick it apart later.
Well, I'll throw in an opinion for the heckuvit. A lot of it is semantics, still ...

To me a successful season is a good playoff season. Even if you just squeak into the playoffs ... then win a couple of rounds on the back of lucky bounces and hot goaltending. You may very well be an average team at best ... but that's a successful season by most anyone's standards I'd think.

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06-07-2004, 09:55 PM
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Up there with my fondness for "clusters" is my love for "windows" as in "windows of opportunity".

When the Oilers beat the Habs in that playoff shocker, they entered a window of opportunity that culminated in their first playoff win. They STAYED in that window until they traded Mark Messier a decade later. That was a huge window imo, but there are lots of windows of greater or lesser lengths.

The Senators are in the middle of an impressive window right now, a long one already and it looks like it has a second wind. The Rangers haven't had a window in years, and neither have the Oilers.

I'd say a window is something to look for, and it could be defined as a team that is competitive enough to contend each season for the Stanley, even if they don't make it ever.

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06-08-2004, 09:58 AM
  #9
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After reading LTs post ... I'd like to change my answer. I still think that the definition of a successful season is a good playoff run, and ultimately a Cup win. But I really don't think that it is the only, or even the best, measure of a team's quality.

So while, to my mind, Calgary had a more successful season than Detroit ... I can't imagine that many people consider the Flames the better team. Or expect the Flames to do better than DET next year (in either the regular season or the playoffs).

The playoffs are a bit of a crapshoot. All a GM can do is load the dice ... and he can't guarantee that his team will roll more sevens than the other guys no matter how much he weights them. Too much can happen in a seven game series IMO.

So ... for the purpose of what I think you are endeavouring to do (and its an interesting idea IMO) ... identify just how important payroll budget is to the success of a team. I think you have to look at regular season points, or even more specifically, look at the regular season goal differential of the teams [I know different teams have different sked difficulties etc, but its simple]

Easier yet, and letting someone else do the tricky math if you go to USAToday.com and look up the Sagarin Ratings for past years (I would use the PREDICTOR number) then use them as the measure of the quality of a team ... you'll be near as damnit. They won't tell you that OTT outchanced TOR in almost every period of their series this year, but that the difference in goaltending couldn't be overcome in that series ... and OTT couldn't get the bounce when they needed it. They will tell you that TOR was a very good team in 03-04 ... and that OTT was even better. And they will tell you with pretty linear numbers.

JMO.

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