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The Myth of "Overachieving"

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Old
03-30-2013, 07:12 AM
  #1
Lshap
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The Myth of "Overachieving"

When a team exceeds expectations many people tag them as "Overachievers", rather than examine the very real factors that made the team good. You can 'overachieve' for a few games, sure, but after a season (even a short one) you are what the standings say you are.

The Rangers had an amazing season in 2012, but have dropped back to their previous status as a 'bubble playoff' team (another label). Does that invalidate last season? No. It just means the team went through changes from last year to this, losing Dubinsky, Prust, Stepan (sorry if I forgot someone) and altering the chemistry that made them - temporarily - a powerhouse.

What they appear to be right now doesn't change what they were then.

The obvious question: Can teams "UNDER-achieve"? Yes, because injuries/internal issues compromise a team's performance. If your best players are out you ARE better than you appear. But after enough games I don't see how anyone can legitimately argue you're WORSE than you appear.

Other examples: Montreal and Anaheim were at the bottom last year and have rebounded. So has Toronto. Are they now overachieving? No. Players change and develop, sometimes faster than we expect. New Jersey had major problems in 2011 but reached the SCF in 2012 with LA. Nobody predicted that, but that's a failure of our imagination and the ability to predict. Slapping a title of "Overachiever" on them is bad analysis, as well as being unfair and untrue.

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03-30-2013, 07:19 AM
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Of course you can overachieve... labeling everything that comes close with it is obviously bad analysis, but pretending there is a reason for everything that's happening is just as untrue, though human nature.

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03-30-2013, 07:29 AM
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LSnow
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You over- or under-achieve depending do you meet your expectations.
If you don't meet your expectations, you underachieved, and if you exceeded your expectations you overachieved.

If you are begged as a contender and then it turns out you suck ( Rangers ) they underachieve.

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03-30-2013, 07:33 AM
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OP you underachieved with that post.

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03-30-2013, 07:37 AM
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If over/under Achieving is based on expectations, it's a completely subjective comment.

Moreover, it's impossible for a team to overachieve, which implies they are playing beyond their potential, which is clearly impossible because if they're playing at that level they CLEARLY have that potential.

A better term would be a team playing to their potential. For instance, this Rangers team has far more potential than last years, but is not playing anywhere near as close to it as last year's team was.

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03-30-2013, 08:03 AM
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Last year's Rangers without a doubt over-achieved. They were extremely lucky in one goal game win percentage, and had guys like Girardi and McDonagh playing well above their means (averages). And let's not ignore the great Lundqvist playing even better than what's come to be expected from him.

This year's team is without a doubt under-achieving. Just look at Richards' and Gaborik's stats, or better, look at their play. You don't think they are capable of playing better?

Also, do you really want to tell me that this year's Ottawa team isn't over-achieving? Some would argue that they'd be over-achieving if they were in the same spot they are right now WITH Spezza/Karlsson/Anderson/Michalek/Cowen in the lineup. Without those guys? What that team is doing is amazing, and is the definition of over-achieving.

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03-30-2013, 10:16 AM
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Barry Trotz would agree. One of my favorite quotes by him is (paraphrased) "There is none such thing as overachieving. I call that living up to your potential."

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03-30-2013, 10:19 AM
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The Rangers are a 6-9 team who, last year, had everyone healthy and having career years. This year they are facing a normal amount of adversity so they are back where they have been the entire time between lockouts. The same thing happened the year Montreal finished first, a bubble team that played over its head and went back to 8th place the next year.

The problem with your Montreal and Anaheim examples about overachieving is that those two teams severaly underachieved last year and this is more the normal. Montreal is maybe a little higher than we should be as we have been very injury free with our core players (I don't watch Anaheim enough to comment on their situation) but between lockouts we have been a lot closer to where we are now than where we were last year.

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03-30-2013, 10:23 AM
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Brymas McCaberle
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I just see it as a meaningless term to disparage and marginalize any success had by teams you dislike or hate.

Or in case of analysts, to create whatever argument that sells your agenda.

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03-30-2013, 10:26 AM
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Don't really care about the issue of the label, but the Rangers didn't really convince me of being much of a "powerhouse" temporary or not. Seems like even though they made it to the conference finals, which is a great achievement, they did so barely scraping by before the Rangers put them out of their misery.

Against Ottawa, it was basically a seesaw battle before the Rangers won game six and seven.

Against Washington, they blew a three one lead before winning in game seven by one goal.

Against New Jersey, it was the same seesaw battle as in the first round only with New Jersey winning games six and seven.

Their low scoring, shot blocking, grinding game which at times seemed to completely disavow any notion of skill really didn't scream "powerhouse" at all. And those struggles have continued this season.

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03-30-2013, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prairie Habs View Post
The Rangers are a 6-9 team who, last year, had everyone healthy and having career years. This year they are facing a normal amount of adversity so they are back where they have been the entire time between lockouts. The same thing happened the year Montreal finished first, a bubble team that played over its head and went back to 8th place the next year.

The problem with your Montreal and Anaheim examples about overachieving is that those two teams severaly underachieved last year and this is more the normal. Montreal is maybe a little higher than we should be as we have been very injury free with our core players (I don't watch Anaheim enough to comment on their situation) but between lockouts we have been a lot closer to where we are now than where we were last year.
Montreal is also a 6-9 team but with a good wild card like Carey Price in net, Anaheim is a bit unpredictable, since they have a ton of high end talent, but depending on how they perform, the team will sway in different ways.

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03-30-2013, 10:29 AM
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The word "overachiever" is an excellent tool, and should be in the arsenal of any true hockey team.

When another team (particularly a rival) is playing well, you can call them "overachievers." This is an acceptable way to imply that they are a garbage team that relies upon luck and (most importantly) isn't nearly as good as your favorite team.

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03-30-2013, 10:48 AM
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Why do so many people think Stepan is not with the Rangers anymore?

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03-30-2013, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paranoid Android View Post
Barry Trotz would agree. One of my favorite quotes by him is (paraphrased) "There is none such thing as overachieving. I call that living up to your potential."
I completely agree.

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03-30-2013, 11:25 AM
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Stepan is our #1 center.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
Don't really care about the issue of the label, but the Rangers didn't really convince me of being much of a "powerhouse" temporary or not. Seems like even though they made it to the conference finals, which is a great achievement, they did so barely scraping by before the Rangers put them out of their misery.

Against Ottawa, it was basically a seesaw battle before the Rangers won game six and seven.

Against Washington, they blew a three one lead before winning in game seven by one goal.

Against New Jersey, it was the same seesaw battle as in the first round only with New Jersey winning games six and seven.

Their low scoring, shot blocking, grinding game which at times seemed to completely disavow any notion of skill really didn't scream "powerhouse" at all. And those struggles have continued this season.
Rangers blew the lead against Wsh in 09. They won the odd games and Wsh won the even ones. NJ beat us in 6 not 7.

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Old
03-30-2013, 11:32 AM
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The first half of last season for Minnesota was a textbook example of overachieving - unlike this year, when their strong record is well supported.

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03-30-2013, 11:47 AM
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You're just trying to make Montreal look good.

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Old
03-30-2013, 11:53 AM
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According to OP, variance does not exist.

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03-30-2013, 01:12 PM
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Lshap
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brymas McCaberle View Post
I just see it as a meaningless term to disparage and marginalize any success had by teams you dislike or hate.

Or in case of analysts, to create whatever argument that sells your agenda.
Exactly how I see it. It's shorthand for, "They're better than I thought they'd be and better than I want them to be."

Quote:
Originally Posted by MassiveHomer View Post
The word "overachiever" is an excellent tool, and should be in the arsenal of any true hockey team.

When another team (particularly a rival) is playing well, you can call them "overachievers." This is an acceptable way to imply that they are a garbage team that relies upon luck and (most importantly) isn't nearly as good as your favorite team.
Sarcasm I agree with is always worth repeating.

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Originally Posted by GuineaPig View Post
According to OP, variance does not exist.
The opposite. Variance is ALL we have, every single year. No roster stays the same, no team's health stays the same, a team's developing youth and aging vets don't stay the same. That's why the standings and the Cup winner are never the same. There is too much in flux for any team to repeat their performance from one year to the next. Variance defines the NHL each season. The Rangers didn't overachieve last year and they're not 'back to normal' this year - they were healthier and had a different roster.

If teams 'overachieve' because of a single great season, then almost every Stanley Cup winning team in the last decade has been an 'overachiever', because almost none have come close to a Cup before or since.

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03-30-2013, 01:16 PM
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Auger
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Montreal, Toronto, and Anaheim are over achieving this year. It's a short season, after a lock out, and we won't have the opportunity to see these teams fall down a bit in the grind of a longer season. Would you say that they were just over achieving this year if next year all three teams miss the playoffs?

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Old
03-30-2013, 01:19 PM
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Lshap
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craigo View Post
The first half of last season for Minnesota was a textbook example of overachieving - unlike this year, when their strong record is well supported.
Didn't the Wild get hit with a ton of key injuries?

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Old
03-30-2013, 01:21 PM
  #22
Do Make Say Think
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2006 Carolina Hurricanes/thread

They weren't a bad team by any stretch of the imagination but that roster wasn't very strong: Ward saved the day against the Habs (and the rest of the way), Buffalo was injured to hell and back and MA Bergeron ruined any chance the Oilers had at winning the cup.

They also didn't make the playoffs the following year

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03-30-2013, 01:24 PM
  #23
Lshap
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auger View Post
Montreal, Toronto, and Anaheim are over achieving this year. It's a short season, after a lock out, and we won't have the opportunity to see these teams fall down a bit in the grind of a longer season. Would you say that they were just over achieving this year if next year all three teams miss the playoffs (next year)?
When a team drops down mid-season it usually has to do with injuries or lack of experience.

Teams don't simply drop down because of their name or their past seasons.

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Old
03-30-2013, 01:26 PM
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Lshap
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benny FTW View Post
You're just trying to make Montreal look good.
Hey man, Montreal doesn't need me to make them look good!

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Old
03-30-2013, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lshap View Post
When a team drops down mid-season it usually has to do with injuries or lack of experience.

Teams don't simply drop down because of their name or their past seasons.
Exactly, so they were over achieving prior to that point.

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