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Bertrand Raymond Article: Realistic or Typical Habs Bashing?

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Old
06-17-2011, 08:01 PM
  #101
Lafleurs Guy
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Our top defensive pairing was Subban-Gill by the end of the season. Whatever problems it may have had, size wasn't one of them.
Neither of these guys are top six forwards.
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Swap Gill for Yemelin, and while it becomes smaller I don't think size is an issue there either. And if you view the top pairing as Markov-Subban, well, they're frankly too skilled for size to become a problem. Rather like Lidstrom-Rafalski, no one would dream of worrying about their size. Markov-Gorges (a likely first pairing actually) is on the small side but, again, they're good enough for it not to become a factor, and they'll be backed by Subban and Gill/Yemelin.
Assuming the best possible scenario... Subban becomes a star, Markov is healthy, we sign Wiz. That's a great blueline from an offensive point of view. Defensively though... it's far from stellar and there's not a whole lot of toughness there. Hal Gill is a big tall tree but he's about as intimidating as an old man sending back soup at a deli.
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Size in the top-6 is the only real issue, and frankly I think it's completely overblown.
Or maybe the lack of size is what accounts for the disconnect between your Corsi numbers and goal totals. Maybe, just maybe it's part of the reason that we've been so inept at scoring for the last 15 years.

You say Gomez's Corsi numbers prove he's effective yet he doesn't produce. Maybe it's because he's not interested in paying the price and getting dirty. Maybe it's because he can't wait to get a pass off before being hit...

Something doesn't line up here. If he's so good, why doesn't he score?
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I think they're useful tools. I just don't view them as an end of themselves and I don't view them as strictly necessary.
You don't like them because they're difficult to quantify. Couldn't they possibly explain why we're not great at putting pucks in the net though? Isn't that a possibility?
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Originally Posted by Miller Time View Post
it amazes me that people can't see the connection...

I've been adamant at times about the preference of skill over size, on an individual basis, but how can anyone watch the playoffs, especially the finals, and not see how much of an advantage it is to be physically bigger/more aggressive...

and it's the same every year.

refs put away the whistles, and unless you have enough size/toughness sprinkled throughout your roster to at least stand-up for yourself (let alone impose on the other team), you get pushed around, and the small skilled guys have less room to work with and less "motivation" to get into the "dirty" areas.

Chara owned that series, b/c after every single whistle he was putting the hurt on anyone within his massive reach... by game 6 and 7 you could feel the hesitancy on the part of the nucks forwards.

for all those quick to bach the Sedin's, I'd love to see how resiliant they'd be after 7 games of Chara pounding on them. enough to make anyone play "small".

until the habs "beef" up in their top nine, and add some players that can at least stand in there and take the beatings, we will have a very hard time surviving 4 rounds of playoff hockey.
I agree completely.

We don't have to be the biggest team in the league but we need a heck of a lot more size and toughness than we have now. Esp at forward in the top six.
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Intimidation and hitting are the two least important benefits of size. The biggest benefits of size are strength (so you can muscle people off the puck and move them out of the slot), mass (so you yourself are hard to move around), and reach (so you cover more ground with your stick).

If the Habs are going to get bigger, let it at least be for the right reasons.
How so? What are the important benefits of size then? Is there any benefit to it? Why aren't there more five foot eight guys in the league?

Seriously man, do you play hockey? Have you ever played the game? Why do you think the Sedins were so ineffective in that series?

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06-17-2011, 08:29 PM
  #102
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Intimidation and hitting are the two least important benefits of size. The biggest benefits of size are strength (so you can muscle people off the puck and move them out of the slot), mass (so you yourself are hard to move around), and reach (so you cover more ground with your stick).

If the Habs are going to get bigger, let it at least be for the right reasons.
I'm sorry MM, but I have to agree with LG on this one... Only someone who has never competed at a high level of contact sport OR fails to see the game beyond the highlight/stat package could make a comment like that.

Case in point, Peca's comments about JBO this year... I've experienced that myself, matching up against big guys who don't impose physically is far easier.

"gentle giants" have to be twice as skilled as guys who play "hard", at the same size, to be anywhere near as effective.

And this becomes so much more important in the playoffs, it's the same every year. "softish" players, at any size, struggle far more than even less skilled tougher players.
Physically punishing the opponent is a very effective tool in gaining an advantage, and big guys have the obvious edge in accessing it.

Habs will never admit it, but the lack of net crashing and net clearing on our part was clearly an intimidation thing, and winning ground in those to areas, the trenches if you will, is fundamentally important to generating scoring chances...

Otherwise, your stuck relying entirely on transition and pp(which is also impacted by crease pressure), and become a one-dimensional offense that can't score (despite a top-9 filled with players whose best asset is supposed to b point production)

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06-17-2011, 08:46 PM
  #103
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Anyone else find it pretty funny that both Boston and Vancouver narrowly beat their biggest rivals in the first round game 7 OT?

Neither of these teams are very deserving of the cup the more deserving team being Boston.

I know at least San Jose and Chicago would have likely given Boston fits by comparison to Vancouver, and who honestly knows what Nashville could have done.

But I should have known Luo would choke it's really no shock. Bruins hoist the cup tonight, book it.
I fail to see how this statement is relevant or even accurate. Every team faces some form of adversity in order to excel. How does that make them any less deserving on a cup? Boston struggled against us initially yet turned it around near the end. We drove them to a game seven but just as we can argue Markov being in the lineup would have given us an edge. They can argue if a variety of things had gone differently, they would have ousted us earlier; the most prominent of the list being if Savard could play.

Who was more "deserving"? Chicago was a game away from being swept before the Torres hit on Seabrook. San Jose was in danger of allowing a 3-0 series lead slip away and were thoroughly dominated against Vancouver. Tampa Bay was almost dropped by a Crosby and Malkin-less Pittsburgh roster and Pittsburgh itself was humiliated with a eight goal blow out loss.

Vancouver and Boston may have looked relatively poor out the gate, likely due to the mental psyche of facing their respective nemesis but were easily the better team in every series thereafter and even against said nemesis at times. This only changed when they faced each other, where Vancouver looked awful overall.

To answer the topic. Do I believe Montreal would have gone further after? Sure, they could have. Do I believe they would have? Simply put, no. I predicted a loss to Washington in six. I was surprised we were able to push Boston to seven to be frank. That is not to insinuate I do not have faith in the team going forward, just this was not liable to be our year for a repeat conference final.


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Old
06-17-2011, 09:39 PM
  #104
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I say we do whatever we have to to get Jamie Oleksiak, because one it will prevent the boston bruins from getting him, and 2, he is a BEAST. 6'7, 240 pounds.
Does he own an axe? Because that will come in handy.

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06-17-2011, 10:50 PM
  #105
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Does he own an axe? Because that will come in handy.
lol, i'm not sure i understand your comment, but find it humorous nonetheless.

edit: wait now, where you making a reference to paul bunyan, that would be clever

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06-18-2011, 01:04 PM
  #106
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Neither of these guys are top six forwards.
You mentioned "our top defensive pairing".

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Assuming the best possible scenario... Subban becomes a star, Markov is healthy, we sign Wiz. That's a great blueline from an offensive point of view. Defensively though... it's far from stellar and there's not a whole lot of toughness there. Hal Gill is a big tall tree but he's about as intimidating as an old man sending back soup at a deli.
Forget about Wiz; there's really no room left for him. Just go Markov-Subban-Gorges-Yemelin-Spacek-Gill. That is probably the best blueline in the East, or very close to it. And it's not small either.

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You say Gomez's Corsi numbers prove he's effective yet he doesn't produce. Maybe it's because he's not interested in paying the price and getting dirty. Maybe it's because he can't wait to get a pass off before being hit...

Something doesn't line up here. If he's so good, why doesn't he score?
He's usually good for a very respectable 40 even-strength points. What we saw this year is a fluke. Of course, we don't like fluke so we absolutely must have some explanation, even though these flukes happen all the time and never stick around...

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You don't like them because they're difficult to quantify. Couldn't they possibly explain why we're not great at putting pucks in the net though? Isn't that a possibility?
No, it's not. Unless the Bruins, who were in our situation last year, somehow didn't have these traits last year and gained them this year.

See, I think the problem is that you haven't seen the data or the research, so you aren't aware that swings in shooting percentage are common and transient. You therefore think that the Habs are doing, or not doing, something special that's keeping them from putting the pucks in. Just about every year there are a handful of teams that shoot unusually high and shoot unusually low, and just about every year, those teams go back to normal (and occasionally even swing in the opposite direction, like Boston did).

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06-18-2011, 01:21 PM
  #107
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You mentioned "our top defensive pairing".
Mentioned it yes but my main point was that our forwards (esp the top six) are too small. I mentioned the D only because as a group they aren't particularly intimidating either to help make up for this.

There's not enough balance on our team and we need a whole lot more sandpaper. We don't have to be the Flyers or Bruins, but we do need enough size and toughness to at least stand up to them better than we do now.
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Forget about Wiz; there's really no room left for him. Just go Markov-Subban-Gorges-Yemelin-Spacek-Gill. That is probably the best blueline in the East, or very close to it. And it's not small either.
I'd take Wiz over Markov for sure. He's younger and Markov is coming off two major injuries to the same knee. We won't win a cup this year so we might as well keep the guy who will be around longer and is far more likely to play a full season with us. If it comes down to choosing between those two, I'll take Wiz. Besides what do we do when Markov blows out his knee on game three again this year? We lived and died by our power play last year and Wiz was fantastic for us. I don't know where we'd have been without him.

I don't see why we can't keep both though.

Then again, I suggested that we should've traded Markov long ago for JVRD and prospects or picks like Giroux and everyone freaked out so... I guess it's not a surprise that people still figure he's going to win the Norris for us next year.
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He's usually good for a very respectable 40 even-strength points. What we saw this year is a fluke. Of course, we don't like fluke so we absolutely must have some explanation, even though these flukes happen all the time and never stick around...
Tell me, has his Corsi decreased over the past few years? His points have. There's no way it's a fluke that he hasn't produced so what do your other stats tell you? Have they declined too because I don't care what kind of statistical spin you try to use he sucked this year.

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No, it's not. Unless the Bruins, who were in our situation last year, somehow didn't have these traits last year and gained them this year.

See, I think the problem is that you haven't seen the data or the research, so you aren't aware that swings in shooting percentage are common and transient. You therefore think that the Habs are doing, or not doing, something special that's keeping them from putting the pucks in. Just about every year there are a handful of teams that shoot unusually high and shoot unusually low, and just about every year, those teams go back to normal (and occasionally even swing in the opposite direction, like Boston did).
You've shown us the stats. We get it, sometimes teams have good or bad or lucky years like Colorado. However, we've been consistently poor at offense while putting together the same kinds of teams.

The pucks HAVE NOT gone in for us for years. And it's not surprising why. We've had no elite forwards playing for us and we've had no size up front. If Corsi or shooting percentage or whatever stat you want doesn't show that we've been bad then there's a problems with the stats you're using to measure us. I couldn't care less about shooting percentage or Corsi if we're consistently finishing in the bottom half of the league for scoring goals. If Corsi doesn't capture this, then it's not a useful stat.

And here's something that you and your stat friends may want to do. These Corsi numbers that you're using... I'm assuming it's a average of a bunch of combined stats... Why not add in GF or GA? Then it might actually give a more accurate picture of how effective a team actually is at getting or preventing goals.

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06-18-2011, 01:47 PM
  #108
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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
I'd take Wiz over Markov for sure. He's younger and Markov is coming off two major injuries to the same knee. We won't win a cup this year so we might as well keep the guy who will be around longer and is far more likely to play a full season with us.
I don't think the org thinks like you. I think the org plans on being competitive next year. And I agree with them.

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I don't see why we can't keep both though.
Salary and roster space. Need to move some coin to the forwards. And you don't want to land Spacek or Gill in the pressbox either.

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Then again, I suggested that we should've traded Markov long ago for JVRD and prospects or picks like Giroux and everyone freaked out so...
You're always suggesting to trade established NHLers for picks and prospects. It's your very own personal warhorse.

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Tell me, has his Corsi decreased over the past few years? His points have.
His ES points have not. He's been 40 like clockwork for 3 straight years before this year. And Corsi measures even strength.

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You've shown us the stats. We get it, sometimes teams have good or bad or lucky years like Colorado. However, we've been consistently poor at offense while putting together the same kinds of teams.

The pucks HAVE NOT gone in for us for years.
And this is the part that's not getting in your head. The pucks HAVE been going in before; the Habs just haven't been generating the chances. They were bad. This year, they've had the chances, the pucks haven't gone in.

It is a huge difference. And you've completely refused to acknowledge it as meaningful.

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And here's something that you and your stat friends may want to do. These Corsi numbers that you're using... I'm assuming it's a average of a bunch of combined stats... Why not add in GF or GA? Then it might actually give a more accurate picture of how effective a team actually is at getting or preventing goals.
Corsi is a measure of all shot attempts, so they already include both GF and GA. It's a very simple calculation that is a measure for puck possession.

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06-18-2011, 02:22 PM
  #109
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I don't think the org thinks like you. I think the org plans on being competitive next year. And I agree with them.
We can be competitive with Wiz instead of Markov. He'll be less of an injury risk, is younger and at this point might even be the better player.
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Salary and roster space. Need to move some coin to the forwards. And you don't want to land Spacek or Gill in the pressbox either.
Spacek can go away for all I care.
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You're always suggesting to trade established NHLers for picks and prospects. It's your very own personal warhorse.
So then you figure we'd be better off now with Markov instead of JVRD and Giroux? I guess you feel the same about us keeping Koivu instead of dealing for Bobby Ryan too.
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His ES points have not. He's been 40 like clockwork for 3 straight years before this year. And Corsi measures even strength.
Four years ago, he was playing with Jaromir Jagr. In the last three years his ES goals have dropped from 12 to 7 to 4. I know you don't really value goals but it doesn't surprise me in the least that he's showing this kind of decline.
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And this is the part that's not getting in your head. The pucks HAVE been going in before; the Habs just haven't been generating the chances. They were bad. This year, they've had the chances, the pucks haven't gone in.

It is a huge difference. And you've completely refused to acknowledge it as meaningful.
Okay.

So where do you figure we'll be next year in terms of offense? Top 5? Top 10? Tell us.

And you figure that Gomez is a 70 point guy next year too?
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Corsi is a measure of all shot attempts, so they already include both GF and GA. It's a very simple calculation that is a measure for puck possession.
I realize that all shots are factored in. What I'm asking is if GA and GF are measured as a separate number giving it more weight? If not, then maybe they should create a new stat that includes it.

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06-18-2011, 03:10 PM
  #110
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We can be competitive with Wiz instead of Markov. He'll be less of an injury risk, is younger and at this point might even be the better player.
Wiz, much as I like him and like players of his type, is not going to be as good as Markov and is never going to be. But I think you underestimate Markov. He is in the Pronger class of #1 D-men.

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Spacek can go away for all I care.
Spacek gets a bad rap that he doesn't really deserve.

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So then you figure we'd be better off now with Markov instead of JVRD and Giroux? I guess you feel the same about us keeping Koivu instead of dealing for Bobby Ryan too.
Koivu was not as good as Markov. I think #1 D-men like Markov are more impactful than top forwards unless you get to the Crosby level. A guy like Markov is the kind of D-men teams trade the farm to get, and only noncompetitive teams give them away if they can help it. The Habs are not noncompetitive.

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In the last three years his ES goals have dropped from 12 to 7 to 4. I know you don't really value goals but it doesn't surprise me in the least that he's showing this kind of decline.
The point of Gomez is not him personally scoring goals.

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So where do you figure we'll be next year in terms of offense? Top 5? Top 10? Tell us.
Barring exceptional circumstances (Plekanec lost for the season, that sort of thing), and of course assuming the team maintains its current level of puck possession (which I expect them to) and has a strong PP again (which I also expect them to)... I think we can reasonably expect the Habs to be top-third in offense, which would mean top-10. They certainly generated enough scoring chances this year that they should have been there.

Who knows, they may even get lucky and end up with a fluke 'up' year.

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And you figure that Gomez is a 70 point guy next year too?
Gomez should normally get his 40ish points at even strength, plus whatever he gets on the power play. Call it in the 55-60 range, depending on how much PP time the Habs get and whether he ends up on the first wave or not. Frankly, I couldn't care less about what he gets individually on the PP so long as the team as a whole is effective there. Gomez is there as a catalyst for 5-on-5 play.

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I realize that all shots are factored in. What I'm asking is if GA and GF are measured as a separate number giving it more weight?
No, and that would be silly. The stat is intended to measure puck possession; if you counted it in seconds, you wouldn't give a 10-second bonus for a goal for and a 10-second penalty for a goal against, now, would you?

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If not, then maybe they should create a new stat that includes it.
And what would "they" be trying to measure by doing that?

There are holistic stats that try to measure the overall contribution of players -- look up GVT for an example, or anything by Alan Ryder. The problem is that they avowedly do not distinguish between luck and skill, and also do not factor in context such as ice time, strength of competition, or strength of teammates.

The problem with including goals-for and goals-against in calculations is the relative rarity of goals, and the importance of other factors (notably, goaltending) in them.

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06-18-2011, 07:33 PM
  #111
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Wiz, much as I like him and like players of his type, is not going to be as good as Markov and is never going to be.
I don't think he'll be as good as Larry Robinson either, but right now I'd take Wiz over Larry wouldn't you?
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But I think you underestimate Markov. He is in the Pronger class of #1 D-men.
No. He's great offensively but he's not nearly as complete as Pronger is. Pronger didn't get to the finals by chance and the teams he played on don't get there without him. He's not perfect either but he's much more complete than Markov is and has had a much better career.

Again, you completely avoided my questions above about size... Yes, size and grit does matter in the game of hockey.
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Spacek gets a bad rap that he doesn't really deserve.
"Spacek shoots... and misses the net". That's pretty much all I hear when he's on the ice. Not sure if shooting accuracy and putting it on the net affects Corsi but without looking at my calculator, I'd say Spacek sucks.

Whenever that guy is on the ice, I know bad things are going to happen and he's totally expendable as far as I'm concerned.
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Koivu was not as good as Markov. I think #1 D-men like Markov are more impactful than top forwards unless you get to the Crosby level. A guy like Markov is the kind of D-men teams trade the farm to get, and only noncompetitive teams give them away if they can help it. The Habs are not noncompetitive.
Some cup winners are stronger up front, some are stronger at the blueline and some are led by goalies. Almost all of them are well balanced teams that skew one way or another. If Saku Koivu is your best forward, you aren't going to win a cup unless maybe if you have Chris Chelios and Patrick Roy on the backend and even then it's a big stretch to think that you'll be able to pull it off.

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The point of Gomez is not him personally scoring goals.
I don't see why not. If he's sitting there collecting secondary assists off a sniper like Cammy, then those points don't mean much. And his lack of goalscoring ability strongly contributed to the pathetic season he's coming off of.

I know, you don't want me to look at other stats because you don't think they count...
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Barring exceptional circumstances (Plekanec lost for the season, that sort of thing), and of course assuming the team maintains its current level of puck possession (which I expect them to) and has a strong PP again (which I also expect them to)... I think we can reasonably expect the Habs to be top-third in offense, which would mean top-10. They certainly generated enough scoring chances this year that they should have been there.

Who knows, they may even get lucky and end up with a fluke 'up' year.
What do you think they'll do? And "if healthy" is a loaded term. If you're assuming for example that Markov is healthy, I'd say you're providing a built in excuse for yourself when this doesn't happen.

I think they'll be at best middle of the pack if everything goes well. I think it's far more likely to see them at 20th or below in 5 on 5 scoring again this year.
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Gomez should normally get his 40ish points at even strength, plus whatever he gets on the power play. Call it in the 55-60 range, depending on how much PP time the Habs get and whether he ends up on the first wave or not. Frankly, I couldn't care less about what he gets individually on the PP so long as the team as a whole is effective there. Gomez is there as a catalyst for 5-on-5 play.
I thought you said you were expecting 70 points out of him. I think he'll be at the 55 point level.

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No, and that would be silly. The stat is intended to measure puck possession; if you counted it in seconds, you wouldn't give a 10-second bonus for a goal for and a 10-second penalty for a goal against, now, would you?
Why would it be silly?

Why not factor in the results of the shots taken? Shouldn't the amount of times the puck goes in the net be useful here? Again, you can still have Corsi, just create a new category that has the same formula but actually includes goals.
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And what would "they" be trying to measure by doing that?
Perhaps it would provide a more accurate representation of how effective a player actually is. I'm no statistician though and that's why I asked the question.
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There are holistic stats that try to measure the overall contribution of players -- look up GVT for an example, or anything by Alan Ryder. The problem is that they avowedly do not distinguish between luck and skill, and also do not factor in context such as ice time, strength of competition, or strength of teammates.
All the more reason to create a new stat that does take this into account.
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The problem with including goals-for and goals-against in calculations is the relative rarity of goals, and the importance of other factors (notably, goaltending) in them.
I think if you include goals, you get a more accurate picture of how effective a player actually is. As you say, it may vary year to year but my guess is that you'll have the same players coming out on top most of the time.

I suspect that more stats will be developed by the stat geeks in the coming years and those stats will provide more accurate depictions of who the best players are. Nothing I've seen yet though convinces me that these stats are anywhere near as accurate as Bill James has developed for baseball and I think a big reason for this is that hockey is much, much harder to quantify on Microsoft Excel.

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06-18-2011, 07:53 PM
  #112
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I don't think he'll be as good as Larry Robinson either, but right now I'd take Wiz over Larry wouldn't you?
Right. But Larry just turned 60 a couple weeks ago, while Markov is almost half his age at 32.
He and Wiz both have had just about the same amount of knee surgeries, and Wiz only has one season over 30pts.
I can't believe you would actually take him over Markov...
I've said it more than once, I think a lot of people forgot just how great Markov is.

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No. He's great offensively but he's not nearly as complete as Pronger is. Pronger didn't get to the finals by chance and the teams he played on don't get there without him. He's not perfect either but he's much more complete than Markov is and has had a much better career.
I think you just proved MM's point that you underestimate Markov.

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I don't see why not. If he's sitting there collecting secondary assists off a sniper like Cammy, then those points don't mean much. And his lack of goalscoring ability strongly contributed to the pathetic season he's coming off of.
For the same reason that you won't be pissed if Gill doesn't contribute his fair share amount of points for a Dman, it's simply not what's expected of him.

Gomez should score about 12-13goals. He had a poor season last year (career low) and scored only 7. If you want to criticize him about his assists go for it, but whining that he didn't score 5 extra goals is pretty useless.
His job is to create plays with his skating and passing, not to score 20 goals.

But everybody knows he just had his worst career year. Expecting back to back career lows isn't quite realistic, especially when he hasn't suffered any type of injury that would lead one to believe otherwise.

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I think they'll be at best middle of the pack if everything goes well. I think it's far more likely to see them at 20th or below in 5 on 5 scoring again this year.
Why is that? Why would they not improve?
Cammy and Gionta each had worst career years since breaking out. Gomez had his worst career year. Plekanec was clearly overworked due to that and only tallied up 57pts, not to mention being completed by Halpern (or other scrappers) half the time. We didn't have a top 6 for most of the year again.
I know you don't think Gomez will have another low year seeing as you said you expect him to be around the 55pt mark. So wouldn't you agree that Gionta and Cammy could very well see their numbers go up as well? (Gionta maybe more so than Cammy)
I think it would be very pessimistic to expect not improvements there.

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I thought you said you were expecting 70 points out of him. I think he'll be at the 55 point level.
40 ES pts is usually the norm for Gomez. The rest will be decided on the PP. I believe everybody agrees a fair expectation is 55pts.

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06-18-2011, 07:58 PM
  #113
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"Spacek shoots... and misses the net". That's pretty much all I hear when he's on the ice. Not sure if shooting accuracy and putting it on the net affects Corsi but without looking at my calculator, I'd say Spacek sucks.
2010-11 missed shots for Habs dmen min 41GP:

PK Subban: 1.01 MsS/GP (77GP, 78 MsS) 28%
Roman Hamrlik: 0.76 MsS/GP (79GP 60MsS) 31%
Yannick Weber: 1.02 MsS/GP (41GP 42MsS) 40%
Jaroslav Spacek: 0.62 MsS/GP (59GP 37 MsS) 36%
James Wisniewski 0.77 MsS/GP (43GP 33MsS) 28%
Hal Gill: 0.38 MsS/GP (75GP 29MsS) 32%
Alexandre Picard: 0.53 MsS/GP (43GP 23MsS) 32%


I've also included the percentage of missed shots out of shots + missed shots. Spacek does run higher on a percentage basis than Subban, hamrlik, and Wiz but he has 2:40/game less PP time than Wiz, 1:40/game less than Subban and 1:10/game less than Hamrlik where you have more time to get your shot off and one less guy taking up shooting lanes.

If NHL.com had Evens/PP/PK splits for their real-time stats it wouldn't surprise me to see the Habs' dmen all within 5 percentage points of each other in terms of the percentage of missed shots. There's only a 12% spread as it is right now.

Not to mention that missed shots, at least for forwards, isn't a big deal on the aggregate That may not extend to defensemen but Spacek isn't particularly bad at missing the net. I think you're seeing things that aren't there (like others seeing Gomez taking too many "bad" penalties when he's one of the most disciplined Habs)


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06-18-2011, 08:47 PM
  #114
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Right. But Larry just turned 60 a couple weeks ago, while Markov is almost half his age at 32.
Yeah... I know.
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He and Wiz both have had just about the same amount of knee surgeries, and Wiz only has one season over 30pts.
I can't believe you would actually take him over Markov...
I've said it more than once, I think a lot of people forgot just how great Markov is.
Nobody has forgotten this. It's not about how good he was. It's about how healthy he'll be in the future and if he's lost a step. Nobody is saying that Wiz will be as good as Markov was. That's why I mentioned Robinson as an exteme example to make my point.

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I think you just proved MM's point that you underestimate Markov.
Pronger is a HOF first ballot player. Markov will never sniff the Hall. Either you are too much of a homer to see this or you don't understand the game. Eiher way, Pronger has all kinds of hardware to back him up.

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For the same reason that you won't be pissed if Gill doesn't contribute his fair share amount of points for a Dman, it's simply not what's expected of him.

Gomez should score about 12-13goals. He had a poor season last year (career low) and scored only 7. If you want to criticize him about his assists go for it, but whining that he didn't score 5 extra goals is pretty useless.
His job is to create plays with his skating and passing, not to score 20 goals.

But everybody knows he just had his worst career year. Expecting back to back career lows isn't quite realistic, especially when he hasn't suffered any type of injury that would lead one to believe otherwise.
Actually, I don't mind Gill at all. He does what he does well.

As for Gomez, I think he'll score about 50-55 points which is in line with what Mathman was saying.


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Why is that? Why would they not improve?
Cammy and Gionta each had worst career years since breaking out. Gomez had his worst career year. Plekanec was clearly overworked due to that and only tallied up 57pts, not to mention being completed by Halpern (or other scrappers) half the time. We didn't have a top 6 for most of the year again.
I know you don't think Gomez will have another low year seeing as you said you expect him to be around the 55pt mark. So wouldn't you agree that Gionta and Cammy could very well see their numbers go up as well? (Gionta maybe more so than Cammy)
I think it would be very pessimistic to expect not improvements there.
I didn't say we wouldn't improve. I expect we probably will. But I don't see us being great at scoring and I don't think we're contenders because we're too small.

We're not terrible and we have great goaltending, but we're not great either.

I'm also surprised that a guy like yourself who writes in those fitness threads can't see the benefit of size and strength on the ice.
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40 ES pts is usually the norm for Gomez. The rest will be decided on the PP. I believe everybody agrees a fair expectation is 55pts.
Yes.
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Originally Posted by Roke View Post
2010-11 missed shots for Habs dmen min 41GP:

PK Subban: 1.01 MsS/GP (77GP, 78 MsS) 28%
Roman Hamrlik: 0.76 MsS/GP (79GP 60MsS) 31%
Yannick Weber: 1.02 MsS/GP (41GP 42MsS) 40%
Jaroslav Spacek: 0.62 MsS/GP (59GP 37 MsS) 36%
James Wisniewski 0.77 MsS/GP (43GP 33MsS) 28%
Hal Gill: 0.38 MsS/GP (75GP 29MsS) 32%
Alexandre Picard: 0.53 MsS/GP (43GP 23MsS) 32%


I've also included the percentage of missed shots out of shots + missed shots. Spacek does run higher on a percentage basis than Subban, hamrlik, and Wiz but he has 2:40/game less PP time than Wiz, 1:40/game less than Subban and 1:10/game less than Hamrlik where you have more time to get your shot off and one less guy taking up shooting lanes.

If NHL.com had Evens/PP/PK splits for their real-time stats it wouldn't surprise me to see the Habs' dmen all within 5 percentage points of each other in terms of the percentage of missed shots. There's only a 12% spread as it is right now.

Not to mention that missed shots, at least for forwards, isn't a big deal on the aggregate That may not extend to defensemen but Spacek isn't particularly bad at missing the net. I think you're seeing things that aren't there (like others seeing Gomez taking too many "bad" penalties when he's one of the most disciplined Habs)
Is that missed shots per games played? Or is that missed shots per attempts? Big difference between the two.

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06-18-2011, 08:54 PM
  #115
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Is that missed shots per games played? Or is that missed shots per attempts? Big difference between the two.
The % spread I was referring to the missed shots/(missed shots +shots). The rate stat is the first statistic there where Subban was 1.01 Missed shots/game played.

My intuition on the powerplay could be wrong now that i take a second to think about it again. If you take more attempts at goal you might miss a greater proportion because you aren't being selective... without the splits I really can't say.

For forwards at least, missed % wasn't a big deal as it wasn't a sustainable "skill" (well, un-skill in this case), as the post in that blog i linked to showed.

Getting away from the spreadsheets, I think Spacek is a very capable #4 or 5 defenseman if he plays on the left-side. If the Habs hadn't signed Gill (another 4/5 left-sided defenseman) I would have been very happy with Spacek in the lineup. With both of them I'm not all that comfortable if Markov or Gorges get injured again.

I was taking a look at some of the microstat measures for last season, and Spacek and Hamrlik looked neck-in-neck to me which was surprising since I rate Hamrlik higher. They did spend a fair amount of time together though which explains at least some of that, but there are a few measures where Spacek was actually superior by a bit. Surprising, though i rate Spacek fairly well.


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06-18-2011, 09:43 PM
  #116
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I don't think he'll be as good as Larry Robinson either, but right now I'd take Wiz over Larry wouldn't you?
Larry isn't under 35 either. Markov is just not going to fall off a cliff.

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No. He's great offensively but he's not nearly as complete as Pronger is. Pronger didn't get to the finals by chance and the teams he played on don't get there without him. He's not perfect either but he's much more complete than Markov is and has had a much better career.
You're really underestimating Markov's defense. He's cerebral and positional, which isn't flashy, but it's still darned effective. You don't need to be big and hitty to be effective defensively, even if that gets you noticed more. In fact, I think hittiness can detract if you're not careful.

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Again, you completely avoided my questions above about size... Yes, size and grit does matter in the game of hockey.
Less than people think and, again, the key benefits of size are strength, reach and mass -- not necessarily physicality.

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"Spacek shoots... and misses the net". That's pretty much all I hear when he's on the ice. Not sure if shooting accuracy and putting it on the net affects Corsi but without looking at my calculator, I'd say Spacek sucks.
Spacek gets a bad rap because he tries to move the puck and occasionally turns it over. Which is what all puck-movers do to some extent; if you're Hal Gill and never pass the puck, you'll never get caught making a bad pass.

He is, however, capable of playing against top opposition and being effective in that role. People often forget he and Hamrlik held the fort together as the first pairing when Markov went down. The big problem he has is that when he's effective it's not showy and when he occasionally screws up, it's blatant, and because he always plays top opposition, every mistake he makes gets more . A common malady among defensemen who play top opposition. Atlanta fans think Bogosian is terrible for much the same reason.

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I don't see why not. If he's sitting there collecting secondary assists off a sniper like Cammy, then those points don't mean much. And his lack of goalscoring ability strongly contributed to the pathetic season he's coming off of.
The point of Scott Gomez is having the puck on your guys' sticks in the opposing zone, rather than in your zone on the other guys' sticks. I don't think it's stretching ones' imagination to suggest this may result in more goals for than against.

Whether he personally gets points or not for it, I could care less. He could be the uncounted third assist on every one of Cammy's goals for all I care. His job is to get his team to generate scoring chances and prevent chances against.

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What do you think they'll do?
If they shoot 9.5%, they may well end up being the highest-scoring team in the league. Just like 2007-2008. I insist on stressing that I see this as highly unlikely, however.

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And "if healthy" is a loaded term. If you're assuming for example that Markov is healthy, I'd say you're providing a built in excuse for yourself when this doesn't happen.
The point is, injuries can derail any team. Surely if Datsyuk and Zetterberg got injured, you wouldn't expect the Red Wings to be as good offensively, right?

That said, the Habs have had enough chances to be a top-third offensive club without Markov this year anyway, so they do have a fair amount of depth.

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I thought you said you were expecting 70 points out of him.
I don't think I ever did. I see this as the high end for him. It would require more PP scoring than he usually has.

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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Why would it be silly?

Why not factor in the results of the shots taken? Shouldn't the amount of times the puck goes in the net be useful here? Again, you can still have Corsi, just create a new category that has the same formula but actually includes goals.
It already includes goals. You want to give goals extra weight. But the point of Corsi is to measure puck possession, and eliminate the other factors that may or may not lead to a goal, many of which lie outside the player's control (goaltending foremost among them).

What you suggest would be like measuring puck possession in time, but giving a 10-second bonus for a goal for and a 10-second penalty for a goal against. It wouldn't be a puck possession measure anymore.

Or it's like measuring shots on goals, but giving a 10-shot bonus for goals. What would be the point of that?

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I think if you include goals, you get a more accurate picture of how effective a player actually is. As you say, it may vary year to year but my guess is that you'll have the same players coming out on top most of the time.
GVT is probably more like what you're looking for here. As you like to point out, hockey is more complex than baseball, so a wins-over-replacement stat, while it would pretty much be the holy grail, is much harder to determine. GVT is an early attempt, but it doesn't factor in context (strength-of-opposition, strength-of-teammates) and it doesn't differentiate between sustainable performance elements and transient ones.

That's why a lot of the research focuses on things like puck possession -- that, and it's generally acknowledged that puck possession is a key sustainable skill for winning hockey teams.

Counting scoring chances is probably the most accurate measure we have -- but there's just not enough people available to watch all the games and painstakingly count them for all teams. And there's a high correlation between scoring chances counts and puck possession at the macro level.

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I suspect that more stats will be developed by the stat geeks in the coming years and those stats will provide more accurate depictions of who the best players are. Nothing I've seen yet though convinces me that these stats are anywhere near as accurate as Bill James has developed for baseball and I think a big reason for this is that hockey is much, much harder to quantify on Microsoft Excel.
I really suggest that you read Gabe Desjardins's blog at behindthenethockey.com if the subject interests you. He's one of the foremost guys and he routinely links to other sites that do research.

EDIT: Thanks for the research Roke.

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06-18-2011, 09:59 PM
  #117
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Lafleurs Guy, here's a link to the GVT (goals-versus-threshold) stat that MathMan was mentioning though it hasn't had an update since March 7th for some reason. There's also a primer about what it is and how it is calculated[/url] (clicking next column at the bottom of the article will bring you to parts II and then III). If you have some spare time and want to check it out that would be a decent start.

When I started reading about microstats it was the easiest stat for me to understand and it factors in offensive and defensive value to a degree making it somewhat holistic. It's main weak points are it doesn't account for quality of opposition where on the ice a player starts their shifts but it's a good first stat.

I wouldn't be comparing the value of goaltenders to the value of skaters in using it though - goaltenders tend to be rated highly across the board and it's the marginal difference between them that is more important.

It's a good stepping stone into the hockey microstat world though if you're inclined to want to read up more about it.

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06-18-2011, 10:04 PM
  #118
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When I started reading about microstats it was the easiest stat for me to understand and it factors in offensive and defensive value to a degree making it somewhat holistic. It's main weak points are it doesn't account for quality of opposition where on the ice a player starts their shifts but it's a good first stat.
I also don't think it does a very good job with distinguishing transient versus sustainable contribution (aka luck vs. skill). I wonder if VUKOTA (the projection scheme based on GVT) takes that into account?

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06-18-2011, 10:12 PM
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I also don't think it does a very good job with distinguishing transient versus sustainable contribution (aka luck vs. skill). I wonder if VUKOTA (the projection scheme based on GVT) takes that into account?
There's that too. I'm not sure about VUKOTA (though it does remind me of Mick Vukota. Anybody else remember him?). It should at this point with all the research that has been done about shooting percentage but I don't know.

Hockey Prospectus isn't exactly on my regular reading because of the subscription content. When Desjardins links to a free article I take a look but other than that I don't read the website.

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06-18-2011, 11:45 PM
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Hockey Prospectus isn't exactly on my regular reading because of the subscription content. When Desjardins links to a free article I take a look but other than that I don't read the website.
I read Hockey Prospectus's free stuff, but they haven't convinced me to buy a subscription yet. My very personal opinion is that some of their writers over-rely on GVT at the expense of everything else, and this isn't helping convince me to spend the money to read their subscription content. I see some of it via ESPN tho.

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06-19-2011, 12:26 AM
  #121
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Larry isn't under 35 either. Markov is just not going to fall off a cliff.
I don't think he'll fall off a cliff but if that knee gets hurt like it has again... he's done. Nobody knows how good he'll be or how durable that knee will be, he's not getting any younger and we aren't contenders this year anyway. Wiz makes more sense.

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You're really underestimating Markov's defense. He's cerebral and positional, which isn't flashy, but it's still darned effective. You don't need to be big and hitty to be effective defensively, even if that gets you noticed more. In fact, I think hittiness can detract if you're not careful.
Lidstrom isn't big and hitty but he's fantastic defensively. Markov isn't. He's adequate defensively but he's one dimensional. He's just really good with the puck. He's a stellar offensive defenseman and that's about it. He's not Chris Pronger either, sorry.

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Less than people think and, again, the key benefits of size are strength, reach and mass -- not necessarily physicality.
Right... we'll just have to disagree man. If you think that clearing the net or getting traffic in front of it has nothing to do with strength or toughness, I don't know what to say to you. Then again, you don't seem to value those traits anyway.

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Spacek gets a bad rap because he tries to move the puck and occasionally turns it over. Which is what all puck-movers do to some extent; if you're Hal Gill and never pass the puck, you'll never get caught making a bad pass.

He is, however, capable of playing against top opposition and being effective in that role. People often forget he and Hamrlik held the fort together as the first pairing when Markov went down. The big problem he has is that when he's effective it's not showy and when he occasionally screws up, it's blatant, and because he always plays top opposition, every mistake he makes gets more . A common malady among defensemen who play top opposition. Atlanta fans think Bogosian is terrible for much the same reason.
Sorry, but whenever I've see Spacek, I have not been impressed. I'd be very happy to dump him. He's definitely a guy we could replace with somebody with sandpaper.

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The point of Scott Gomez is having the puck on your guys' sticks in the opposing zone, rather than in your zone on the other guys' sticks. I don't think it's stretching ones' imagination to suggest this may result in more goals for than against.

Whether he personally gets points or not for it, I could care less. He could be the uncounted third assist on every one of Cammy's goals for all I care. His job is to get his team to generate scoring chances and prevent chances against.



If they shoot 9.5%, they may well end up being the highest-scoring team in the league. Just like 2007-2008. I insist on stressing that I see this as highly unlikely, however.



The point is, injuries can derail any team. Surely if Datsyuk and Zetterberg got injured, you wouldn't expect the Red Wings to be as good offensively, right?

That said, the Habs have had enough chances to be a top-third offensive club without Markov this year anyway, so they do have a fair amount of depth.



I don't think I ever did. I see this as the high end for him. It would require more PP scoring than he usually has.



It already includes goals. You want to give goals extra weight. But the point of Corsi is to measure puck possession, and eliminate the other factors that may or may not lead to a goal, many of which lie outside the player's control (goaltending foremost among them).

What you suggest would be like measuring puck possession in time, but giving a 10-second bonus for a goal for and a 10-second penalty for a goal against. It wouldn't be a puck possession measure anymore.

Or it's like measuring shots on goals, but giving a 10-shot bonus for goals. What would be the point of that?
I'm not going to address this anymore. In the other thread I said I'd leave this be and let you have the last word on things so I won't debate any further on this here.


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GVT is probably more like what you're looking for here. As you like to point out, hockey is more complex than baseball, so a wins-over-replacement stat, while it would pretty much be the holy grail, is much harder to determine. GVT is an early attempt, but it doesn't factor in context (strength-of-opposition, strength-of-teammates) and it doesn't differentiate between sustainable performance elements and transient ones.

That's why a lot of the research focuses on things like puck possession -- that, and it's generally acknowledged that puck possession is a key sustainable skill for winning hockey teams.

Counting scoring chances is probably the most accurate measure we have -- but there's just not enough people available to watch all the games and painstakingly count them for all teams. And there's a high correlation between scoring chances counts and puck possession at the macro level.



I really suggest that you read Gabe Desjardins's blog at behindthenethockey.com if the subject interests you. He's one of the foremost guys and he routinely links to other sites that do research.

EDIT: Thanks for the research Roke.
I will check it out.
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I also don't think it does a very good job with distinguishing transient versus sustainable contribution (aka luck vs. skill). I wonder if VUKOTA (the projection scheme based on GVT) takes that into account?
I will look at this as well.
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Lafleurs Guy, here's a link to the GVT (goals-versus-threshold) stat that MathMan was mentioning though it hasn't had an update since March 7th for some reason. There's also a primer about what it is and how it is calculated[/url] (clicking next column at the bottom of the article will bring you to parts II and then III). If you have some spare time and want to check it out that would be a decent start.

When I started reading about microstats it was the easiest stat for me to understand and it factors in offensive and defensive value to a degree making it somewhat holistic. It's main weak points are it doesn't account for quality of opposition where on the ice a player starts their shifts but it's a good first stat.

I wouldn't be comparing the value of goaltenders to the value of skaters in using it though - goaltenders tend to be rated highly across the board and it's the marginal difference between them that is more important.

It's a good stepping stone into the hockey microstat world though if you're inclined to want to read up more about it.
Okay thanks, I will check this out.

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06-19-2011, 01:52 AM
  #122
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I don't think he'll fall off a cliff but if that knee gets hurt like it has again... he's done. Nobody knows how good he'll be or how durable that knee will be, he's not getting any younger and we aren't contenders this year anyway. Wiz makes more sense.
We'll be as much contenders next year as the Bruins were last year. Probably more so. I'm quite convinced that the organization is building towards a competitiveness window starting next year, and then consistent competitiveness from then on a la Red Wings or New Jersey.

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Lidstrom isn't big and hitty but he's fantastic defensively. Markov isn't. He's adequate defensively but he's one dimensional. He's just really good with the puck. He's a stellar offensive defenseman and that's about it. He's not Chris Pronger either, sorry.
I realize you haven't seen Markov lately, but you're woefully underestimating him. He's been facing the Habs' toughest minutes very effectively, and driving his pairing in doing so alongside Komisarek who just isn't as good. He's a heck of a lot more than merely "adequate". Wiz is "adequate". Markov is way better than that.

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Right... we'll just have to disagree man. If you think that clearing the net or getting traffic in front of it has nothing to do with strength or toughness, I don't know what to say to you. Then again, you don't seem to value those traits anyway.
Clearing the net in front requires strength. It's in my list. It doesn't require hitting people, just pushing them. Gill can do that and he doesn't hit people.

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Sorry, but whenever I've see Spacek, I have not been impressed. I'd be very happy to dump him. He's definitely a guy we could replace with somebody with sandpaper.
Like I said, here's a guy who's held the Habs defense together while Subban grew into a #1 D-man, and been effective doing it. But then he gets blamed because he makes turnovers (as all PMDs do) and he misses the net (though no more than anyone else really). He's getting much more flack than he deserves.


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06-19-2011, 01:52 PM
  #123
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I didn't say we wouldn't improve. I expect we probably will. But I don't see us being great at scoring and I don't think we're contenders because we're too small.

We're not terrible and we have great goaltending, but we're not great either.
But you didn't really respond to what I was saying.
If you agree that Gomez can improve his production, matter of fact you're expecting him to, then don't you also agree that the same can be said for Gionta and Cammy? Or are you expecting them both to score less than 50points again?
Don't you think Plekanec should likely reach his 60-70 pt mark as well?
A.Kost is the only guy I don't expect much of an improvement over. 20G mark, 40-50pts is probably what we'll get.
MaxPac, more than 24pts? I think we can agree on that right?
Eller, more than 17? I certainly hope so..

So, if we can agree that our skilled players are all likely to improve their scoring, wouldn't that apply to our team? Not to mention, there's a chance we add Jagr, who's likely a safe bet for 50-60pts (but that's not done so I'm not counting it in).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
I'm also surprised that a guy like yourself who writes in those fitness threads can't see the benefit of size and strength on the ice.
I said it's overrated not that there's no benefits. I also said grit is much more important.
I do feel size on the top 6 has its importance, but I don't think it's the be all of end all. But I feel we have it in MaxPac and AK, and possibly Eller. If we add Jagr, we would add some more again.

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06-19-2011, 01:58 PM
  #124
Teufelsdreck
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I'd take my chances on Markov's recoverig reasonably well from his injury. At least his brain isn't affected. The Habs cannot afford to see him playing elsewhere. With Markov back along with Subban, and with the addition of (Y)Emelin, the Habs can dispense with Wisniewski.Besides, they still have Weber for the PP.

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06-19-2011, 02:48 PM
  #125
Ozymandias
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Lidstrom isn't big and hitty but he's fantastic defensively. Markov isn't. He's adequate defensively but he's one dimensional. He's just really good with the puck. He's a stellar offensive defenseman and that's about it. He's not Chris Pronger either, sorry.
FYI, Markov's GAA per 60 minutes over the last 6 seasons is very close to Lidstrom's. Lidstrom gets a better 5-on-5 +/- because he plays with Dats and Zets who produce a lot more than the forwards Markov had. But the goals allowed is about the same, for ES and PK and they both played top minutes, so their opposition is the same. Markov is one of the closest players to Lidstrom in defensive style of play. Markov isn't just really good with the puck, he's one the best positional dman in the league. Stop talking out of your hat. You run that mouth of yours like there's no tomorow but you have no idea how many fallacies you propagate as 'truth'. One-dimensional defensively

Go check their goals allowed stats. Next thing you'll say is that Markov has had better goalies, yet the Wings have had the best depth and talent in the league in the last 10 years. That's not what Markov had, yet their GAA is about the same.

Stop living in the cult of great men, get some perspective and put things into context, instead of always using a bygone past as the yardstick for the present. (such as yesterday's "cup winners all have 2-3-4 future HOF" I stopped reading there and understood it would be pointless to explain how ALL your comparisons are based on very different models that give much different results and can't be compared).

BTW, if you want to question my view of Lidstrom, understand that I've been a huge fan of him since 92, have seen him play A LOT, and know what he is capable of. I've been also following #79's career since he started in the NHL, and Markov isn't far off from Lidstrom.


Last edited by Ozymandias: 06-19-2011 at 02:56 PM.
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