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Essential Reading Around The Hockey World

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Size matters, at least to Steve Tambellini.  Black Dog Hates Skunks rails against the idea that size should be the only consideration when a General Manager is trying to "get bigger":

Can't say I've ever seen Marion Hossa or any of the aforementioned in a fight but playing through torn ligaments or a bad shoulder or returning to the ice after losing a goodly number of teeth, fighting through your checks and winning the puck time and time again, taking that hit to get the puck out or taking a beating in front of the net or playing thirty minutes a game rank a lot higher to me than dropping them and wrestling with Eric Godard or Donald Brashear.

He's right, of course.  It doesn't matter how many times a player can "hit somebody!" or how much sandpaper said player plays with if he can't get the puck going in the right direction.  Getting bigger and tougher to play against doesn't necessarily mean getting bigger and tougher.


Here are the rest of the links I've had sitting in Evernote:

The Contrarian Goaltender at Brodeur Is A Fraud tweaks the Goals Against formula to normalize it based on shots, rather than minutes:

I'd suggest calculating even strength goals against per 24 shots and goals against per 6 shots on the penalty kill, which reflects the typical 80/20 split between non-PK and PK shots, and then adding those two numbers together to get a special teams adjusted goals against per 30 shots number.


B.C.B. at Bringing Back The Glory breaks down the Oilers' defense and comes to an entirely too common conclusion:

The Oilers need another NHL defenseman. This cannot be the line up we enter the season with.


Ellen at The Theory Of E talks about the Jaroslav Halak / Carey Price decision for the Canadiens and kicks it off with a treatise on drafting goaltenders:

It is not wise to draft goalies. They take a long time to develop, and draft position - in other words, quality of teenage play - is not a good indicator of future success. This is not an opinion, it is a certainty. A goalie, even the best of goalies, will not make an NHL team better at 18, or 20, and probably not even at 22. The majority of them are at least 25 - that is, two years away from mandatory free agency - when they start playing in the NHL.

She sounds an awful lot like Scott in his take on NHL success in drafting goaltenders.


In case you missed it the first time, Earl Sleek over at the Battle of California took a second look at the Ryan Whitney for Lubomir Visnovsky trade after it happened.  To quote Sleek:

Edmonton is betting that in two years, Ryan Whitney will be a better value at his $4M cap hit than Lubomir Visnovsky will be at a $5.6M cap hit -- that could very well be true.  Anaheim is betting that in two years, Lubomir Visnovsky will be a better value at his $3M salary than Ryan Whitney will be at his $5.5M salary -- that also could very well be true.

It's an excellent look at cost vs. cap economics in the NHL.


Tyler at MC79Hockey has been killing the ball lately.  First, he agrees with Scott and I that Gilbert Brule probably best serves the team as a trade asset:

Brule is going to be hardpressed to crack the Oilers' top six at any point when they’re competitive, with Horcoff, Gagner, Penner, Hemsky, Hall, MPS and Eberle all probably being mentally slotted in front of him. When this team is able to compete, he’s probably a third liner at best, and one with no track record of being able to handle the competition.


Then he talked about using the draft board instead of scouts:

If the NHL as a whole barred scouting, doubled the budget of Central Scouting and forced teams to pick from the CSB list, I’m not convinced that the league would be appreciably worse at identifying players.

Follow Tyler on Twitter, @mc79hockey


Take a run at this list of NHL Stanley Cup Playoff streaks.  I missed one.


As a guy that is constantly making fun of his younger friends by calling them "hipsters", I find this in-depth statistical study by Gabriel Desjardins at Behind The Net Hockey quite fascinating, but mostly hilarious:

I went city-by-city, neighborhood-by-neighborhood, to find the greatest concentration of hipsters.  And how did I do that?  For hipsters, it was pretty easy - I typed 'hipster' into the search bar.  But how do you find non-hipsters?  Well, I'd say the establishments most contraindicated with hipsterism are sports bars.  So a city's irony factor is just the ratio of 'hipster' hits to 'sports bar' hits.

Follow Gabe on Twitter, @behindthenet


Sometimes-commenter RangerSmurf wrote an excellent FanPost over at Blueshirt Banter.  He looks into Ryan Callahan's expected performance based on coaching utilization and microstats.

So first off, we see Callahan was dumped into a highly defensive role this year.  In his first two seasons, we saw him get very favorable starting positions, and he was able to capitalize decently in that role.  With the loss of Betts and Sjostrom, Callahan (along with Drury) was forced to take more of the defensive faceoffs that our beloved 4th liners used to take.  These extra responsibilities certainly took their toll on his production.

He follows that up with another excellent post, this time on Brandon Dubinsky, endearingly called "the man, the myth, the legend":

So what conclusions do we make about Mr. Dubinsky going forward?   Well, while Callahan's production has been defined by the role the coaching staff puts him in, Dubinsky has overcome that, increasing his production no matter how often they make him start in the defensive zone, or how hard the opposition gets.  With that, his ceiling should be higher than Callahan's...

As more fans begin to understand the work that fellows like Desjardins, Dellow, and Ferrari have done, posts like these will become more common.

Follow the rest of us on Twitter @CopperandBlue, @DerekZona, @Lord_Bob, @JonathanWillis and @BruceMcCurdy