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  • InsideEdge

    Is the Central Division Really that Good?

    By InsideEdge

    Rink Report - brad Burud   Welcome --- First post in a new section that I will be doing weekly this season.  I am Brad Burud the owner of Inside Edge Hockey News.  Many call me the NHL opinionist…. well that is what this section is all about.  I will throw at you my thoughts, opinions, or my gripes every week.  Some are controversial, some are common sense, and some might frustrate you.  I am open to all of your thoughts and comments.  Fire away in the comment section below.  I love talking hockey with fellow hockey fans.   Is it just me or is the Central Division getting way too much hype heading into this season. Really, are they as strong as they used to be… I don’t think so.  Winnipeg, probably the best team in the NHL, and I am not arguing with Nashville either. As for the rest, are they really that good?  Minnesota, well they seem to make the playoffs every year, but this year I think that will end.  Colorado, who knows with this team.  They shocked the hockey world last season but there is lots of questions this year, the first being between the pipes.  St. Louis to me looks like a better team on paper but seem to falter.  I do think they will be good this season.  Dallas, will the real Dallas team please stand up.  Your guess is as good as mine.  They honestly could be a top three team in the league or miss the playoffs (they proved that last year.  Chicago’s golden days are gone..they will be golfing early.   I am tired of the Erik Karlsson saga, how much longer can this go on.  I think we all need to stop talking about this…he is not going to Vancouver (or Canada for that matter).  I think he is only worried about $$$$$, and that bothers me to say that because any interaction I have had with him has been more than positive.  I think Vegas is the frontrunner, but the list of teams lined up is very long.  I think Karlsson will start the year in Ottawa and will be the talk of deadline day.  I also predict that he struggles this year.  Yes – that is bold, considering the fact that I think he is one of the best defensemen in the league.   I have been plugging the Winnipeg Jets for three years now. This team is for real, I honestly feel that they have more top end talent than any other team in the NHL.  I guess The Hockey News thinks so too... four Jets players in the top 50 players list.             9. Mark Scheifele C             15. Blake Wheeler RW             19. Patrik Laine RW             22. Connor Hellebuyck G That is some real firepower… big things on the prairie this winter….
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  • InsideEdge

    Vancouver Young Talent Shines

    By InsideEdge

    Vancouver Young Talent Shines The preseason could not be going any better if you are a Canucks fan.  Preseason is a showcase for young prospects, and in Vancouver the young prospects look amazing………Olli Juolevi is staking claim that he will be a solid NHL player, but then there is the man…Elias Pettersson!  Wow is this guy impressive.  He is doing everything…  He is flashy, he is exciting, and more importantly he is making players around him look like superstars – right Sven Baertschi.   Leafs Tire Pumping The Maple Leafs will be good, but back the wagons up Leafs fans.  The season has not started.  I know..I know… Tavares has two goal in his first game…  I think there is a lot more ahead for this team.  They will be good, but relax Leafs fans… You’re not cup contenders… and honestly, I hope you prove me wrong.   Domi Disgrace The first preseason game that new Montreal Canadiens center was in turned out to be a disaster.  Domi tried baiting Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad into a fight. Ekblad would not give Domi the satisfaction of the fight – in return Domi sucker punched him in the face.  Not the showing the Habs fans expected or wanted. Well maybe it was not too bad. Below is a press release from the NHL: NHL PRESS RELEASE Montreal Canadiens forward Max Domi has been suspended for the remainder of the preseason for roughing Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad during NHL Preseason Game No. 29 in Montreal on Wednesday, Sept. 19, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today. The incident occurred at 0:56 of the third period. Domi was assessed a match penalty as well as a minor penalty for roughing. For a full explanation of the decision, complete with video, please click on the following link: https://www.nhl.com/video/t-277440360/c-61189703. The suspension shocked me and frustrates me.  I ask the NHL, is it really a penalty to punish a guy with preseason games.  No regular season games, none.  So Domi gets to practice and relax and prepare for the regular season without having to worry about in significant pre-season games. Look out NHL, you quickly set the suspension bar for the season, and it is low.
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  • oilfieldhockey

    NHL STANDINGS PREDICTIONS FOR 2018/19 SEASON: ATLANTIC DIVISION

    By oilfieldhockey

    #1 TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING There isn’t a team with as much top end talent backed with great depth as much as the Lightning. Their forwards are fast, skilled and very opportunistic, especially with Kucherov and Stamkos leading the way up front. They were first in scoring with 296 goals last season. That was the highest amount of goals recorded in a regular season since the Washington Capitals filled 318 pucks in the net during the 09-10 season. Their defense is filled with workhorses as Hedman, Sergachev and newly acquired McDonagh are in for a full season. They can each run the powerplay and cover their man in the defensive end very well. Most teams are lucky to have just one of those guys as good as they are. Tampa has three. That will be very scary for opponents to deal with. Great goaltending from Vasilevskiy will once again vault this team over the top. He was outstanding for the Lightning last season and is likely going to do work his magic again this year. Overall Tampa will be one of the best teams in the league with a very dangerous team up and down the roster. Their weakness is the penalty kill as they just averaged 76% last season and was a direct result as to why they lost the very few games they did lose last season. Other than that, they’ll be a deadly team all season long.   #2 TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS Fans have been gushing over the John Tavares signing in early July of this year. Why not? This is a great times to be a Leafs fan. The turn around of the team started with great management as Brendan Shanahan, Lou Lamoriello and Head Coach Mike Babcock turned water into wine with their consulting, drafting and signings they’ve made in the last three seasons. Rookie GM Kyle Dubas made a great first impression by landing the big fish in John Tavares. Dubas hasn’t even been GM for a month and he already signed him for 8 seasons on contract to play for the Buds. Toronto is a team that boasts a great top 6 forward cast with Matthews, Tavares, Nylander, Marner, Kadri and Marleau as the main scoring weapons up front. With a group like that, you’ll have a solid chance of getting 3+ goals per game average and score one out of every four powerplays (25%) which will most likely make you a top 3 scoring team in the league. On paper, their defense doesn’t have a bonafide powerplay quarterback or even a defensive stalwart but they’re still alright as they averaged over 80% on the penalty kill. They were slightly above average in goals allowed (232 GA, 12th in league) which is still good considering the weapons they boast up front. Having a goaltender like Frederick Anderson saving your butt combined with Mike Babcock’s excellent coaching will boost the team’s defensive prowess too. Overall, you’ll see the Leafs in high scoring games, they’ll be fun to watch, but they will need an additional defenseman at the trade deadline. They will get their man next Spring if they want to push for a deep playoff run. #3 FLORIDA PANTHERS Ok, so this a gamble and some of you will say I’m crazy for writing this but there is a lot to like about the Florida Panthers being a playoff team this year. My reasoning is that the Panthers young nucleus of Ekblad, Barkov, Dadonov, Huberdeau and Bjugstad still have the best years ahead of them. I wouldn’t be surprised if Huberdeau, Barkov and Trochek all had 80 point seasons and they are talented enough to make it happen. They made a terrific late season push last year and were just one point away from making the playoffs. Florida doesn’t have a ton of depth but they do have Borgstrom and Tippett on the verge of making the team and if they do, they’ll have a chance to make a great impression on the checking line and even special teams as well. Goaltending is a bit uncertain as Luongo is getting up there in age and James Reimer still needs to post better numbers to be a solid #1 goaltender. It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out. The Panthers are not known to be strong starters but they tend to play better late in the season. That’s the best time to watch them play. #4 BOSTON BRUINS There is no doubt that everything worked out for Boston last season. They were scoring, defended well, plus they were converting powerplays and killing penalties at a high-caliber rate. Sometimes, I wonder about Boston because they’ve had some great seasons with the same core of players. Sometimes, they’ve had some mediocre years where they’ve finished 9th in the conference two years in a row. Finishing 9th is really bad because it not only means you’re not in the playoffs, you don’t get a high draft pick either. Boston is still a really good team and they definitely do have talent but I think they over-achieved last season. We might see a correction in their stats. Marchand is a slippery player and hard to play against but it wouldn’t amaze me if he drops 10-15 points. Same goes with Pastranak and Chara. I can see the team trending sideways or even down because of how much better teams like Florida is getting plus with division rivals Tampa Bay and Toronto making strides in the off-season. Boston will be at least be a wild card team but their path to the playoffs will be inconsistent especially if Rask has a few off games but overall, it shouldn’t be anything to worry about. #5 BUFFALO SABRES The Sabres will not focus on making the playoffs this year, they will focus on development. What’s positive about the Sabres is that unlike the other teams not making the playoffs in the Atlantic Division, they’re trending up, not down. Buffalo boasts the best prospect pool in the league with Rasmus Dahlen, Casey Mittelstadt, Alex Nylander and Brendan Guhle all projecting to make the team next season. The Sabres already have Eichel, Reinhart and Ristolainen on the team showing great play and excitement but the issue will be how they will gel playing with new players making the cut. I believe they’ll have a great nucleus in the future. They might surprise with a couple winning streaks this year, especially once the kids find their way playing in the NHL. They’ll show a huge improvement between now and April of 2019 but they’ll be golfing after that time. #6 OTTAWA SENATORS Let’s not talk about last season. That’s a topic for another day. This prediction is made assuming Erik Karlsson is finally out and it was a sad ending for him in Ottawa. They still have some good players in Stone, Duchene plus up-and-comer Chabot but the atmosphere in the locker room needs to be addressed. There are still controversies and issues that haven’t been settled since last season and that can affect the team this season. Some more moves on the roster will have to be made in order to clear the air to start fresh and no team needs it more than the Sens. Despite their shortcomings on the current roster, Ottawa does have a few good prospects. Brady Tkachuk is their top gun that can make camp this year as well as Logan Brown. There are spots available so look for them to make an impression right out of the gate. The Sens might be in for another fiasco if the garden hose is still kinked but I think it’ll be a little bit more stable this season, but just a little. #7 DETROIT RED WINGS If there was a word that would describe Detroit right now, it would be ‘underwhelming’. Nobody on Detroit was an impact player last season. Forwards like Larkin and Mantha are good, but they are better suited for secondary scoring roles, not top line duties. If this team gets one or two studs that can plug and play into the lineup(most likely won’t happen), the whole dynamics of this team will change for the better but it’s wise to go for the rebuilding strategy since Detroit is excellent at drafting. They got Pavel Zadina at the draft this Summer. He’s a pure goal-scorer who can make the team but he won’t a impact right away. Michael Rasmussen is very intriguing as well. He will most likely make the team with a great impression but overall the Wings won’t be taken seriously this season. They don’t have any established elite players at this point in time. Give it another year for Detroit be a much better team who can quietly make a massive leap forward if the development of Zadina and Rasmussen goes well. #8 MONTREAL CANADIENS I wish I could say that the Habs have something going for them but I’m afraid they don’t have much at this point, at least for now. The team on paper looks like it’s rebuilding especially with Pacioretty recently traded to Vegas for Nick Suzuki, Tatar and a 2nd round pick. Looks like a type of trade for a rebuild to start but GM Bergevin says otherwise. He still wants to keep Weber and Price on the club despite the club going on a downward trend. Drouin and Gallagher still had good seasons despite how poorly the team performed but they need a wealth of support around them if they want to improve their numbers. If the Habs want to trend upward, they have to focus on developing their current prospects. They have a long list of centers that are in development and that’s an area where they need top get much better at. They do have Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Ryan Poehling aa their top center prospects but they won’t be ready for awhile yet. Now that they have Suzuki, it should be interesting where he slots in if he makes the club. Nikita Scherbak is talented and will challenge for a wing position as well. Victor Mete and Noah Juulsen saw some action last season and made an impression to the coaching staff. They’ll have an advantage in training camp because of the experience. The Habs have a much better prospect pool than what most people think and they still have decent pieces in place to make a good team down the road but their locker room is filled with distraction. The media always puts a spin on the team’s affairs which makes it difficult to focus on playing hockey. Because of that, they’ll have a rocky season ahead of them.   For more articles, predictions and more... go to https://oilfieldjerseys.com/
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  • oilfieldhockey

    NHL STANDINGS PREDICTIONS FOR THE 2018/19 SEASON: METRO DIVISION

    By oilfieldhockey

    #1 PITTSBURGH PENGUINS The perennial offensive powerhouse is back and ready to attack once again for another exciting season coming our way! It was a relatively quiet off-season for the Pens but they didn’t need to make many moves. They signed Jack Johnson to a multi-year deal to shore up the blueline which is one of the team’s weak spots. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Pens make it to another Stanley Cup Final and what’s different this year compared to the last couple of seasons is that they’re on the outside looking in. They were eliminated by the eventual Stanley Cup winners, the Washington Capitals, in 6 games of the Eastern conference semi-finals. The Pens will be fresher because of the extra rest compared to years before when they won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017. There’s no doubt Crosby, Malkin, Kessel and company will still be at the top of their game to cement another great season in the best era of Penguins history. They have the deadliest powerplay as they were ranked #1 in that department last year plus they were #5 on offense. There’s no reason why that won’t change as of right now. Look for some exciting, high-flying games by them, especially against the Flyers and the Capitals. Mark it on your calendar when they play! #2 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS This might come as a surprise to some but I think the Flyers have a team that is a force to be reckoned with. Giroux, Voracek and Couturier had outstanding seasons last year. With Nolan Patrick on the verge of a breakout plus the signing of James van Riemsdyk, they now have a very scary offense that has great mix of skill, physicality and speed. On the back end, Ivan Provorov has established himself as a solid two-defender for years to come and Gostibehere (aka Ghost Bear) had a terrific season as well. Ghost Bear’s numbers might see a dip but he’ll still put up big numbers from the back. The Flyers aren’t as deep as the top contending teams but from what they lack in depth they make up for in prospects. Carter Hart is arguably the top goaltending prospect in the league and he’ll get a shot at training camp. Defenseman, Phillipe Myers has a great shot at making the team as well as centerman, Morgan Frost, a very explosive skater. Penalty Killing and goaltending are Philly’s weak spots but with an improved roster from within, they will get better in those departments. Their offense should make up for those deficiencies. #3 WASHINGTON CAPITALS The 2018 Stanley Cup champions had a year to remember! After many disappointments and early playoff exits, they finally made their mark in history and Alex Ovechkin got his Stanley Cup; he hasn’t let the cup out of his sights or been sober ever since, haha. The Caps earned their first Stanley Cup by having the presence of two elite centers in Kuznetsov and Backstrom. In the past, the Caps didn’t have this luxury, which is why they too often eliminated early in the playoffs. Their rivals, the Penguins, always stacked themselves down the middle with Malkin and Crosby. That’s why the Penguins have 3 cups since 2009. The Caps still have their main core intact and they’ve signed D John Carlson to an extension this summer. They’ll be gunning for a second straight cup and their odds are terrific. #4 CAROLINA HURRICANES It was a down year in Carolina and another missed opportunity to make the playoffs. That has been the case for the last 8 season ever since they made the Eastern Conference finals against the Penguins in 2009. But that was a long time ago and none of the guys that were on that team are here today. There was no distinguished strengths of that team as they ranked in the mid 20’s in goals for, goals against, powerplay and penalty killing against other teams in the league. What they did have right was their shots for/ shots against ratio. They peppered 2780 shots on goal while having 2367 shots against. Do you realize how good that is? They had 413 more shots on goal than against. That’s huge! The problem is that they couldn’t finish opportunities and Scott Darling did not play well for the Canes last season. They easily would of been a playoff team if Cam Ward simply played more games. Now that Ward is gone, Darling will get a second chance to see if he is worth the starter’s job. We’ll see how it goes but I think he’ll improve. I believe in second chances for opportunities like what Darling has, except for getting back together with your ex. I don’t believe in that at all. Carolina’s strength by far is their defensive core from #1 to #6. They just got Dougie Hamilton who is very gifted offensive from the backend. Jaccob Slavin is a defensive stalwart plus Faulk, Pesce and van Riemsdyk round out a pretty solid backend. The Canes lack star power and they’ve especially missed it last year. Now with Svechnikov in the picture, he’ll most likely make the team. He’s the Cane’s main weapon for the future and he’ll get his feet wet this season. If he turns out to be any good, he’ll make the Canes a better team immediately. This team is closer to being better than what a lot of people think and it won’t be surprising if they contend for a wild card spot in April of 2019. #5 COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS If it wasn’t for Panarin (aka Pan Bread) or Bobrovsky (aka Boobtitsky) the Jackets wouldn’t have a chance to make the playoffs. Consistent scoring was a struggle for them last season despite Seth Jones had an outstanding year from the backend. A lot of players experienced big drop offs including Cam Atkinson and Nick Foligno. Luckily Pierre-Luc Dubois had a nice rookie season for them and played really well with Pan Bread late in the season. Ever since Tortorella has taken over the head coaching job in 2016, he turned this team around and established an identity by getting his team to play a gritty, hard-nosed, in-your-face brand of hockey. Although they have depth and character, they lack someone who can score all season long. Only Pan Bread can do it and the rest of the team has streaky scoring. Although I like this team on paper, they are one distraction or injury away from having a bad losing streak faltering their chances on missing the playoffs. Speaking of distractions, Panarin needs a contract and he won’t likely stay with the club. They’ll miss the playoffs, but just barely. #6 NEW JERSEY DEVILS The Devils made a terrific run in the season to make the last wild card seed in the Eastern Conference. That’s how Taylor Hall won the MVP trophy this season as he shouldered this team to the playoffs. Much like Columbus, Hall is the reason why the Devils made the playoffs just like how Panarin was the reason the Jackets were successful. The depth chart falls immediately after Hall. Nico Hishier is good and will be an elite center in a couple of seasons but he isn’t at his prime yet. The defensive core is probably the most average in the league. Will Buthcer had a great rookie season but he may have been over-acheiving just a bit. He could drop a few points but that’s ok, he’s still a lte round steal for the Devils. Vatanen looked good for the Devils last season but he won’t be carrying this club from the backend. The Devils were probably the luckiest team when it came to their goaltending situation. As Cory Schneider struggled, Keith Kinkaid bailed him out and played way above expectations earning himself the starter job. Much like the stock market when things go much better than expected, a course correction is in Order for the Devils. #7 NEW YORK RANGERS In a letter published in a local newspaper to Rangers fans from Glen Sather and Jeff Gorton on February 8th, 2018, they basically told fans that they’re rebuilding from the ground up and that marked a significant change in the Ranger’s destiny for the coming years on that day. Rick Nash, Ryan McDonagh, J.T Miller and Michael Grabner were shipped out at the trade deadline for prospects and future considerations. The full rebuild is in effect at the Big Apple. They were loaded with 10 picks at the 2018 NHL Draft in Dallas, Texas including three first round draft picks. They selected forward Vitali Kravtsov with the 9th overall pick, defenseman K’Andre Miller with the 22nd overall pick, and defenseman Nils Lundkvist with the 28th overall pick. With those picks, they’ll have the deepest pool of prospects in a couple of years. As of now, the Rangers are in transition. Henrik Lundqvist needs an opportunity to play for the Stanley Cup and they’ll most likely have him shipped out somewhere by the trade deadline in 2019. The Rangers won’t be good but they now a have a direction and that will bode well for their future. #8 NEW YORK ISLANDERS I’m not going to hold back on this one. The Islanders had a wasted season that could of been completely avoided. The Isles needed to chooses a path for the club while they still had a shot at the playoffs. They either had to buy or sell. Instead, they didn’t make a single move. The Isles were in desperate need of goaltending near the trade deadline. They easily could of snagged Cam Ward. He was available. A defensive stalwart would of made a difference as well. Their penalty kill was horrible as they ranked dead last in the league. Ryan McDonagh would of been terrific in fixing that problem. He was available. Islanders were even better off to sell than to do nothing. They didn’t even trade Tavares away while they still could of got some value from him and now he’s moved on with the Maple Leafs for nothing in return for the Isles. The team had these problems because of colossal mismanagement from Garth Snow and now he’s fired. Thankfully, Lou Lamiorello took over the General Manger role. Even with him at charge of operations, the Isles won’t recover from what happened last season. Now they have to suffer a painful season trying to figure how they can get back to being a playoff contender. Time to get to work.   For more articles, predictions and more... check out https://oilfieldjerseys.com/ 
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  • oilfieldhockey

    NHL STANDINGS PREDICTIONS FOR THE 2018/19 SEASON: CENTRAL DIVISION

    By oilfieldhockey

    #1 WINNIPEG JETS It wasn’t a matter of how, it was a matter of when. When the Jets will finally play as a great hockey team. Many years of building a prospect pipeline is finally paying dividends and they are ready to contend for a Stanley Cup for years to come. In the most competitive division of the NHL, the Jets have what it takes to be #1 in the Central. Their offense is oozing with speed and skill. They play an aggressive up-tempo game and they have size to win key puck battles in the corners. The X-factor for the Jets will be goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, who had an amazing 17/18 season. He had a really good playoff showing as well. Not many goaltenders make the conference finals in their first full season and there isn’t a reason why he can’t do it again. The Jets are poised to be a Stanley Cup contender this season and as long as distractions or the injury bug keep away, they’ll have a great chance to go the distance. #2 NASHVILLE PREDATORS Arguably the most well structured team in the league, the Preds had a disappointing playoff exit against the Jets in the Western conference semi-finals last season. They’ll look to bounce back and if they want to go anywhere in the post season, they’ll most likely have to go through the Jets again. They have the team to do it but they do have to keep themselves in check and make sure they’re prepared to match the up-tempo game the Jets like to play. Nashville’s strength by far is their blueline. They have the best defensive core in the entire NHL with Josi, Subban, Ekholm and Ellis rounding their top 4. They all play sound defensive hockey. With Rinne as their goaltender backing the defense, it’s very difficult to score 3 goals in a game against them. Their offense is really good but it’s not at the same caliber as their defense and that’ll be their weakness if they start scoring in streaks. Forsberg, Turris, Arvidsson and Johansen are solid contributors offensively but they are not at the same level as the Penguins, Capitals, Leafs, Lightning and Jets when it comes to fire power up-front. The Preds will most likely be a playoff team and maybe a Stanley Cup contender if their scoring gets hot at the right time but it’ll be a wait-and-see approach from here on in. #3 ST. LOUIS BLUES It was a disappointing season for the Blues as they missed the playoffs for the first time since 2011. It’s the Central we’re talking about so it’s tough for every team to get an advantage over their divisional rival. Blues management knows how hard it is to play in the Central so that’s why GM Doug Armstrong acquired Ryan O’Reilly, Tyler Bozak and David Perron in the off-season. That’s a nice score for any team in an off-season, but it’s extra sweet for the Blues because those players play Blues style hockey; a blue-collar, chip-and-chase brand that’s very aggressive on the forecheck. The Blues aren’t very good on the powerplay as they ranked 30th in that department last season. That’ll still be a concern when the season starts on October 3rd and will be their biggest weakness. None of the guys they acquired in the off-season are true powerplay specialists but their 5-on-5 game will be a huge plus. They’ll be much better even-strength. With a nice rest in the off-season, they’ll have a fresh start to what looks to be a promising campaign for the Blues in the 18/19 NHL season. #4 DALLAS STARS The Stars are an interesting case to look at because what you think the Stars are known for, their offensive talent, wasn’t their strength last season. The Stars were remarkably ranked 6th in goals allowed last season and that wasn’t expected from them whatsoever, but that was with Ken Hitchcock as coach. He’s retired now so Jim Montgemery will takeover. He’ll have an improved team to coach because Valeri Nichushkin is back with the team and they could have talented defensive prospect Miro Heskanen making an impact right away. Ben Bishop was a great goaltender with his first season with the Stars last season but injuries limited him to just 53 starts in 17/18. If he has a full season, he can push the Stars to the playoffs and that’s very achievable. The Stars will compete for a wild card spot next season and if their off-season acquisitions can improve their depth, they’ll make some noise this season. #5 COLORADO AVALANCHE Besides Vegas, the Avs had the best Cinderella story of last season. Mackinnon was a beast and Rantanen played his role as shotgun perfectly for Mackinnon. The Avs had the best comeback season in recent memory after having a dreadful season in 16/17. The Avs established themselves as playing very explosive hockey and Mackinnon thrived in that environment. He carried this team to it’s first playoff birth since 2014 and although they were defeated by Nashville, they show promise for the future. Tyson Jost is primed for a breakout season and they’ve added defenceman Ian Cole to shore up their blueline. The Avs are in a very good situation with how they are growing and they still have an elite prospect with defenceman Cale Makar primed for the future. As for this season, they’ll build off their success they had last year and will compete for another playoff spot this year.
        #6 MINNESOTA WILD   The Wild had a good season last year. They made the playoffs and were contending to advance once again. The problem is more teams in the Central have improved are in the toughest division in the league because of it. The Wild have a good team and have got the most out of Eric Staal and Devan Dubnyk, who performed way above expectations. Good for them but the team didn’t improve at all in the off-season while other teams were making moves. That’ll hurt the Wild this season. The Wild aren’t great at any particular part of their game but they’re not terrible either. What’s bad is that they are average in special teams and 5 on 5 play. While that may have worked in the past, it won’t cut it this season. Will a rebuild be in order after next season? Let’s hope for the Wild, that’s not the case. #7 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS The main core of the team is still in tact as Kane and Toews still play good hockey. Seabrook and Keith had seasons they want to forget but their play was severely hampered because of the lack of depth they used to when they were on top of the hockey world with 3 Stanley Cups in 5 seasons. The depth drops off very fast from their first line and had to use their 2nd, 3rd and 4th lines as a season long tryout camp for their prospects, with most of them not ready to make the leap. Alex DeBrincat was a diamond in the rough and was the only bit of good news the Hawks had all year. He led the Hawks in goals in his rookie season and is looking to build off that. If the Hawks want to make an impact this season, Corey Crawford needs to overcome vertigo plus Kane, Toews, Seabrook and Keith need to have monster seasons. In a division like the Central, it isn’t likely.   For more articles, predictions and more... go to https://oilfieldjerseys.com/
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NHL Expansion, Division Alignment

Please check out the full article at Below the Goal Line. Thanks for reading!   As I’m sure you are all aware, the NHL is most likely going to expand to Seattle in the next several years. Seattle has always been on the NHL wish list, and they finally have a plan to renovate their arena for hockey and basketball.   The investment group has already filed for an expansion team with the NHL, and their season ticket drive to gather investment capital and gauge the interest in the team was a complete success. The Seattle group made their ticket sales goal in a matter of minutes, which was not as fast as anyone expected.   So with the talk that Seattle will be joining the league sometime in the next couple of years, I want to talk a little about what they are going to look like when they come into the league. The NHL has stated that Seattle will have very similar Expansion Draft opportunities to what the Vegas Golden Knights did in 2017. The current NHL teams will be able to protect certain players from Seattle, but Seattle will have a very good chance to pick up some quality players from the rest of the league.   But don’t expect Seattle to have the instant success that Vegas is having right now. NHL teams have learned just how strong their hands were tied in certain cases, and they will take a better look at what they can do to protect the players they value most. Maybe we will see a team like the Columbus Blue Jackets hold on to a player like William Karlsson, who is currently leading the Golden Knights in goals.   Vegas also had the perfect combination of players and coaching. I’m not sure that Seattle is going to be able to get the same level of coaching as the Golden Knights are getting from Gerard Gallant. Vegas certainly picked up players that fit the way Gallant wanted the team to play, and they have been unprecedentedly successful this year. I would expect some natural regression from Vegas next season, but time will tell just how far they will regress, if at all. Seattle will probably struggle a little bit more coming out of the gates, but don’t expect them to not be competitive. I would image the ceiling for that team should be set at a Wild Card level, even though Vegas is going to win the Pacific Division in its first year. We are not going to see Seattle struggle like the 2016-17 version of the Colorado Avalanche.   So, what is this going to mean for the alignment of teams in the NHL. The natural fit would be to stick them into the Pacific Division, but that would put that division at nine team, while the Central only have seven. I think splitting the league up into two conferences and eight divisions makes the most sense. Think about the NFL’s division system, and you get the idea. This system would allow for more regionally-based divisions. Let’s take a look at the East:   Eastern Conference   Division #1: Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, and Washington Capitals. Division #2: Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, and New York Islanders. Division #3: Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Ottawa Senators, and Montreal Canadiens. Division #4: Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Pittsburgh Penguins.   The first two divisions are easy to put together. You can use the geography to put Division 1 together, and you maintain the rivalry of Tampa/Florida. The second division also makes sense, since all of those teams are basically right on top of each other.   It gets a little trickier after that, but in keeping a “northeast/west” theme here would make sense. You can lump the Sabres and Bruins together, as well as the Jackets and Wings. So then it’s about putting the other four teams in good spots, but those could easily be flipped around a bit.   What about the West?   Western Conference   Division #1: Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, Arizona Coyotes, and Dallas Stars. Division #2: San Jose Sharks, Seattle, Vancouver Canucks, and Vegas Golden Knights. Division #3: Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, and Winnipeg Jets. Division #4: Minnesota Wild, Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, and Nashville Predators.   Obviously, the West doesn’t have that natural geography like the East, but that is due to the teams being so spread out compared to the East. I tried to keep a geographical theme here, but there a few different ways to do it. Honestly, the hardest part is determining where the California teams go, because the Sharks just fit in a couple different spots.   The point, though, is that I think the best way to line things up would be a eight division breakdown of teams, as opposed to the four division format we have now. If we stick with four divisions, you are going to be moving the Golden Knights to the Central, which wouldn’t be the end of the world, but wouldn’t be my favorite thing. Time will tell us what we can expect for NHL re-alignment, but that’s my pitch for the eight division. Stay tuned for a comment about the NHL playoff format, as that is a very hot topic around the hockey world right now.
 

A Fresh Start

Good morning boys and girls! This is my inaugural Below the Goal Line post on HockeyForums.net. I have partnered with HockeyForums to bring you exclusive updates from around the hockey world. I host my own site, Below the Goal Line, where I keep you up-to-date with the latest game info, trades, and other important topics from the NHL and beyond. Please join me as we take a deeper look into the world of hockey.   Here's how we are going to work this who blog business. I am going to publish my posts on my site. I will then post select articles from my site on here, so that you guys have an avenue to stay informed about the latest hockey news. Don't forget to check out Below the Goal Line for exclusive content regarding the NHL and other hockey leagues. I am not going to backlog my posts, but I will start publishing new posts on here shortly. For those who would like to see what I have posted so far (including a three-part look into the CHL before their playoffs start and other posts), please visit www.belowthegoalline.com. Thanks for your support, and please let me know if there is any topic you are interested in hearing about. I'll see you guys on the ice!
 

INSIDE EDGE HOCKEY NEWS – RADIO SHOW | EPISODE 7 Flames Fallout, New Taylor Hall, and Season Ticket Drives

INSIDE EDGE HOCKEY NEWS – RADIO SHOW | EPISODE 7 Flames Fallout, New Taylor Hall, and Season Ticket Drives   The Inside Edge Hockey News Brad Burud discusses the struggles this year in Calgary. Will the Flames make big off-season moves if they fail to make the playoffs. Why is Taylor Hall thriving in New Jersey? How would Regina do with a season ticket drive?   PODCAST LISTEN    

InsideEdge

InsideEdge

 

THE DEBATE - Hockey Podcast - Episode 20 - Carolina Chaos, NHL Player Poll, and No Playoff Surge

THE DEBATE – Hockey Podcast | Episode 20 Carolina Chaos, NHL Player Poll, and No Playoff Surge     Debate 1 | Carolina removes Ron Francis at General Manager Debate 2 | NHL Player Poll – Who are the players favorites Debate 3 | What teams are playing themselves out of the playoffs. Brad Burud and Blake Friars are ready to debate. What is going on in Carolina and will the removal of Ron Francis change this team dynamic. Who do the players think is the best. Analysis on the recent NHL players poll. Teams are stumbling down the playoff stretch, who will find themselves on the outside of the Stanley Cup Playoffs?   PODCAST - LISTEN

InsideEdge

InsideEdge

 

The Instigator - Bench Doors Closed

The Instigator |Episode 10 Bench Doors Closed In the wake of young superstar Brock Boeser going down with an injury he suffered as he crashed into an open bench door. We ask the question, should there be a rule implemented that only allows bench doors to be open during stoppages in play?   LISTEN NOW  

InsideEdge

InsideEdge

 

THE DEBATE - Hockey Podcast - Episode 19 - Flameout in Calgary, Canadian Media, and Panthers Alive and Well

THE DEBATE – Hockey Podcast | Episode 19 Flameout in Calgary, Canadian Media, and Panthers Alive and Well   PODCAST     Debate 1 | The Calgary Flameout Debate 2 | Canadian Media Criticism Debate 3 | Florida Panthers Alive and Well Brad Burud and Blake Friars breakdown the Calgary Flames struggles and discuss the multitude of reasons for their drop in the standings. They will also dive into Canadian media and their treatment and pressure they put on Canadian professional hockey teams. The Florida Panthers are back in the playoff race. Why is this and will they continue this success and make the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

InsideEdge

InsideEdge

 

THE DEBATE – Hockey Podcast | Episode 18 2018 NHL Trade Deadline Trade Recap and Winners/Losers

THE DEBATE – Hockey Podcast | Episode 18 2018 NHL Trade Deadline Trade Recap and Winners/Losers Debate 1 | NHL Trade Deadline trade recap and analysis. Debate 2 |Winners and Losers of NHL Trade Deadline. Debate 3 |3 Deadline Questions. The 2018 NHL Trade Deadline has come and gone. Brad Burud and Blake Friars breakdown all the deadline trades. Deadline day is a very exciting day for the fans and a very stressful day for the players and general managers. Who were this years winners and losers. Opinions fly on this episode of THE DEBATE – Hockey Podcast. LISTEN - PODCAST

InsideEdge

InsideEdge

 

Website A Page - A Day, Part VI - Warm Welcome

Website A Page - A Day, Part VI - Warm Welcome   Original post
Prologue
Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V

With nothing else to do for about half an hour, why not to resume the series?

Have you wondered if it is your team, or your goalie, who always has the first career goal scored against them? Now you can check if your feeling is right. On the page 'Warm Welcome' of the League section on the website we present a look at the first goals scored against different teams and goalies.

With the two left items in the top menu you can select the span over which you want to see the statistics. Want one season only? Select the same season for the start and for the end. Then you can toggle the view by the team or the goalie the first goal is scored against.

For example, for the 2016/17 season, team view:
  # Team Goals Allowed 1 Dallas Stars 7 2 Carolina Hurricanes 7 3 New Jersey Devils 7 4 Tampa Bay Lightning 6 5 Ottawa Senators 6 6 Detroit Red Wings 5 7 Pittsburgh Penguins 5 8 New York Rangers 5 9 San Jose Sharks 5 10 Vancouver Canucks 5 11 Colorado Avalanche 5 12 Nashville Predators 4 13 Boston Bruins 4 14 Buffalo Sabres 4 15 Winnipeg Jets 4 16 Arizona Coyotes 3 17 Columbus Blue Jackets 3 18 Edmonton Oilers 3 19 Montreal Canadiens 3 20 Anaheim Ducks 3 21 St. Louis Blues 3 22 Los Angeles Kings 2 23 Washington Capitals 2 24 Calgary Flames 2 25 Minnesota Wild 2 26 New York Islanders 2 27 Toronto Maple Leafs 2 28 Chicago Blackhawks 2 29 Florida Panthers 2 30 Philadelphia Flyers 0
Take a look. You might be surprised. Or not.
 

THE DEBATE – Hockey Podcast | Episode 17 2018 NHL Trade Deadline Preview

THE DEBATE – Hockey Podcast | Episode 17 2018 NHL Trade Deadline Preview Debate 1 | Trade Reviews – A breakdown of all trades that have taken place leading up to NHL Trade Deadline. Debate 2 | Trade Targets – What players will be on the move, and what teams will they end up on. The NHL Trade Deadline is one day away. Brad Burud and Blake Friars breakdown all the trades that have taken place leading up to deadline day. They also discuss what will happen on NHL Trade Deadline day by breaking down where all the top trade candidates will end up. Trade deadline day is so exciting for the fans.   LISTEN - EPISODE 17

InsideEdge

InsideEdge

 

INSIDE EDGE HOCKEY NEWS – RADIO SHOW | EPISODE 6 Trade Bait, Deadline Silence, and Marner for McDonagh

INSIDE EDGE HOCKEY NEWS – RADIO SHOW | EPISODE 6 Trade Bait, Deadline Silence, and Marner for McDonagh Brad Burud discusses the NHL Trade Deadline. What players are top trade bait, and what teams want them. He also breakdowns what teams should not do anything at trade deadline. The question of the show is a trade scenario, Mitch Marner of the Toronto Maple Leafs for New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh. Is it a posibility, and would this trade work for both teams. All this on another action packed podcast.   PODCAST LISTEN

InsideEdge

InsideEdge

 

THE DEBATE – Hockey Podcast | Episode 16 Mrazek Rescues Flyers, The Untouchables, and Trade Deadline Update

THE DEBATE – Hockey Podcast | Episode 16 Mrazek Rescues Flyers, The Untouchables, and Trade Deadline Update Debate 1 | Mrazek traded to Philadelphia to rescue them from injuries. Debate 2 | Who are the NHL Untouchables? Debate 3 | NHL Trade Deadline update and predictions. Petr Mrazek was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers from the Detroit Red Wings when both of the Flyers goalies went down with injuries. Will Mrazek rescue the Flyers and lead them to the playoffs? Who are the untouchables in the NHL. What players will never be moved, and how many is their? NHL Trade Deadline is drawing near. Brad Burud and Blake Friars breakdown all speculation and projections for trade deadline. LISTEN - PODCAST

InsideEdge

InsideEdge

 

THE INSTIGATOR - Clean Hit = Fight

Why in todays hockey does a big/clean hit often result in a instant retaliation fight? Last week Chicago Blackhawks Ryan Hartman laid out Jakub Silfverberg on a clean shoulder to shoulder hit. Silfverberg had his head down, and it was a clean hit, but three Anaheim Ducks attacked Hartman. Why, it was a legal hit!   THE INSTIGATOR - EPISODE 9 -

InsideEdge

InsideEdge

 

A Lemma Research - Penalty Box and TOI - Part II

Original post.   Part I   After completing the first part of the lemma research - penalty box - the second part was shorter, easier, but just as useful. I decided to find out the share of time teams spend on average while at even strength, on power play/shorthanded and with empty net. Then given this number, and the number of goals scored in each such situation, I was able to calculate the frequency of EVG/PPG/SHG/ENG or the reverse of it which I called the difficult of such goal.   I scanned the database of all games between the 1999/00 season and today, and all the goals extracted from these games. Penalty shot goals were ignored, regardless if during the game itself, or in post-game shootout. The EN time was calculated as total game time minus goaltender TOI. PP/SH time was deducted from the recorded PP TOI of the players. The EV time would naturally become the total game time minus EN minus PP of both teams.   Then I calculated the difficulty of scoring a goal in each of these situations through the following formula:   DiffTYPE = ( GOALSEV /  GOALSTYPE ) x ( TOITYPE / TOIEV )   where the difficulty of the EV goal is considered "1". Here are the combined results of the difficulties in a table: Season EV PP SH EN 1999 1.000 0.502 3.506 0.162 2000 1.000 0.473 3.387 0.146 2001 1.000 0.492 3.635 0.153 2002 1.000 0.468 3.585 0.167 2003 1.000 0.445 3.127 0.221 2005 1.000 0.535 4.247 0.272 2006 1.000 0.506 4.000 0.228 2007 1.000 0.458 3.597 0.187 2008 1.000 0.438 3.745 0.183 2009 1.000 0.456 4.044 0.192 2010 1.000 0.450 3.517 0.177 2011 1.000 0.460 3.568 0.169 2012 1.000 0.430 3.890 0.169 2013 1.000 0.453 3.209 0.198 2014 1.000 0.427 3.564 0.171 2015 1.000 0.415 3.284 0.158 2016 1.000 0.419 3.252 0.178 2017 1.000 0.427 3.052 0.168
If you divide 1 by these values you can get the relative frequency of goals scored in each situation.   The dataset containing this data is available on the website, on the Request Analysis page.   So why did I need these two lemmas? That blog post won't be ready any time soon, and I better resume the "Page A Day series'.
 

A Lemma Research - Penalty Box and TOI

Original post   Nothing derails from the regular blogging like a research that you've been so eager to start, but were putting off to finish simpler and more materialistic stuff, but then you couldn't hold it off any longer.

But then, I realized that in order to do that research I need to perform a lemma research. Just like its mathematical namesake, a lemma research is one that is done for the sake of a bigger one, yet producing a useful result by itself.

So I noticed that I needed the penalty box data. Who was in the penalty box during a power play goal? More specifically, who was responsible for that goal, i.e. who left the penalty box as the result (or had a non-matched 5-minute major penalty during it). Once there was a feed that had penalty box data, but it was only since 2010 or so, and it seems to have become discontinued. Therefore I gathered the game data I already had and just went through the power play goals from 1987/88 through now, and tried to match them with penalties, while weeding out all the cancelling and all the irrelevant (e.g. misconduct) ones.

I am glad to tell that I was able to create a consistent, at least at first look, dataset. But before that I had to go in and correct penalty box entries for about 160 goals manually. About 35 of them were just forced to enter the penalty data manually, because any algorithm assigning the player in the box to the goal would be ambiguous. However I also discovered about 125 goals (120 pre 1999/00, when extra reports were introduced, and only five since) that should not even be marked as power play goals. There was no matching penalty. Of course, the mistake can be on the penalty data in the NHL report: the time of the penalty may be reported wrongly. But until further notice, these goals should not be considered PPG:
  GameID P Time Scorer Team 198720125 3 9:19 BOB SWEENEY Boston Bruins 198720134 3 18:58 RICK TOCCHET Philadelphia Flyers 198720239 1 1:23 STEPHANE RICHER Montreal Canadiens 198720367 1 4:51 DALE HAWERCHUK Winnipeg Jets 198720388 1 17:46 TROY MURRAY Chicago Blackhawks 198720389 3 3:55 PAUL MACLEAN Winnipeg Jets 198720431 2 6:56 PETER TAGLIANETTI Winnipeg Jets 198720449 2 12:34 MIKKO MAKELA New York Islanders 198720471 3 10:51 ANTON STASTNY Quebec Nordiques 198720484 2 13:38 MARIO LEMIEUX Pittsburgh Penguins 198720528 1 6:32 CHARLIE SIMMER Pittsburgh Penguins 198720610 3 3:08 LAURIE BOSCHMAN Winnipeg Jets 198720735 3 8:10 MIKE FOLIGNO Buffalo Sabres 198720755 1 3:06 GARRY GALLEY Washington Capitals 198720755 2 0:29 GERALD DIDUCK New York Islanders 198720787 1 17:02 AARON BROTEN New Jersey Devils 198720799 2 0:49 JIMMY CARSON Los Angeles Kings 198720802 2 3:24 MIKE FOLIGNO Buffalo Sabres 198720804 1 18:03 PAT VERBEEK New Jersey Devils 198730134 1 7:52 BRUCE DRIVER New Jersey Devils 198730223 3 9:47 MARK JOHNSON New Jersey Devils 198730314 2 12:31 CAM NEELY Boston Bruins 198820088 2 6:17 RANDY MOLLER Quebec Nordiques 198820088 2 7:11 ANTON STASTNY Quebec Nordiques 198820147 1 15:58 JOHN CULLEN Pittsburgh Penguins 198820150 2 2:29 KEVIN DINEEN Hartford Whalers 198820203 3 12:45 JOE MULLEN Calgary Flames 198820241 2 18:53 DAN QUINN Pittsburgh Penguins 198820307 3 10:12 MARIO LEMIEUX Pittsburgh Penguins 198820318 2 5:24 GAETAN DUCHESNE Quebec Nordiques 198820331 3 7:36 PAUL GAGNE Toronto Maple Leafs 198820489 1 16:20 DALE HUNTER Washington Capitals 198820542 1 18:13 DOUG EVANS St. Louis Blues 198820727 3 7:49 PAUL MACLEAN Detroit Red Wings 198820803 2 6:58 DOUG SMITH Vancouver Canucks 198820821 3 17:43 BRENT FEDYK Detroit Red Wings 198920146 1 5:14 KEVIN DINEEN Hartford Whalers 198920158 1 5:26 TROY MURRAY Chicago Blackhawks 198920220 2 15:53 NEAL BROTEN Minnesota North Stars 198920238 1 2:39 GREG PASLAWSKI Winnipeg Jets 198920303 2 4:55 PAT ELYNUIK Winnipeg Jets 198920475 3 8:25 BRIAN MULLEN New York Rangers 198920543 3 18:46 AL MACINNIS Calgary Flames 198920667 1 3:04 JEREMY ROENICK Chicago Blackhawks 198920749 1 8:18 CRAIG JANNEY Boston Bruins 198920818 2 1:25 JOHN OGRODNICK New York Rangers 198930231 2 13:43 TRENT YAWNEY Chicago Blackhawks 198930322 2 18:01 JARI KURRI Edmonton Oilers 199020005 3 19:54 RAY SHEPPARD New York Rangers 199020056 1 15:44 DAVE TAYLOR Los Angeles Kings 199020262 2 11:20 BOBBY HOLIK Hartford Whalers 199020612 3 7:18 JOHN CHABOT Detroit Red Wings 199020636 1 15:02 BRIAN LEETCH New York Rangers 199020647 2 9:16 KENNETH JR HODGE Boston Bruins 199020704 2 12:47 KELLY KISIO New York Rangers 199020716 3 0:34 JOE SAKIC Quebec Nordiques 199020762 2 5:16 MARK RECCHI Pittsburgh Penguins 199020815 2 19:28 KEVIN STEVENS Pittsburgh Penguins 199030222 3 2:17 DINO CICCARELLI Washington Capitals 199030235 3 14:04 BRIAN PROPP Minnesota North Stars 199120059 3 2:20 DOUG GILMOUR Calgary Flames 199120070 2 10:26 DAVE GAGNER Minnesota North Stars 199120093 3 18:48 DARREN TURCOTTE New York Rangers 199120238 3 0:18 PAUL RANHEIM Calgary Flames 199120313 3 11:52 JEREMY ROENICK Chicago Blackhawks 199120407 1 10:39 BOBBY CARPENTER Boston Bruins 199120504 2 18:42 JIMMY CARSON Detroit Red Wings 199120617 2 16:43 MARTY MCSORLEY Los Angeles Kings 199120625 3 18:17 TODD ELIK Minnesota North Stars 199120638 1 13:15 GREG ADAMS Vancouver Canucks 199120755 3 10:48 DOUG GILMOUR Toronto Maple Leafs 199130143 3 13:57 AL IAFRATE Washington Capitals 199220002 2 5:17 SCOTT STEVENS New Jersey Devils 199220013 1 12:08 RICK TOCCHET Pittsburgh Penguins 199220023 2 17:32 MARIO LEMIEUX Pittsburgh Penguins 199220068 2 17:22 MIKE GARTNER New York Rangers 199220091 3 19:34 JOE JUNEAU Boston Bruins 199220121 1 6:14 MIKE GARTNER New York Rangers 199220149 2 18:44 CHRIS KONTOS Tampa Bay Lightning 199220181 3 6:21 ULF DAHLEN Minnesota North Stars 199220287 1 16:56 CHRIS KONTOS Tampa Bay Lightning 199220337 2 5:42 ALEXANDER MOGILNY Buffalo Sabres 199220388 1 15:45 GREG HAWGOOD Edmonton Oilers 199220401 2 12:48 JEFF NORTON New York Islanders 199220562 3 9:19 CHRIS KONTOS Tampa Bay Lightning 199220563 1 9:25 TEPPO NUMMINEN Winnipeg Jets 199220589 3 9:18 ROD BRIND'AMOUR Philadelphia Flyers 199220595 1 7:20 CRAIG JANNEY St. Louis Blues 199220908 2 16:28 VALERI KAMENSKY Quebec Nordiques 199220986 1 15:44 JIRI SLEGR Vancouver Canucks 199320065 1 15:37 DENIS SAVARD Tampa Bay Lightning 199320092 3 11:22 SERGEI FEDOROV Detroit Red Wings 199320636 1 16:40 TIM SWEENEY Mighty Ducks Of Anaheim 199320643 3 16:50 MARTIN LAPOINTE Detroit Red Wings 199320740 2 7:53 KEITH TKACHUK Winnipeg Jets 199320840 1 17:17 SERGEI ZUBOV New York Rangers 199320905 3 18:16 KEVIN STEVENS Pittsburgh Penguins 199420025 2 1:32 KELLY BUCHBERGER Edmonton Oilers 199420072 2 7:27 STEVE THOMAS New York Islanders 199420087 1 9:52 KEITH TKACHUK Winnipeg Jets 199420332 2 2:35 GRANT LEDYARD Dallas Stars 199420332 2 7:11 RAY SHEPPARD Detroit Red Wings 199520189 2 15:41 LUC ROBITAILLE New York Rangers 199520226 3 17:34 CHRIS GRATTON Tampa Bay Lightning 199520490 2 9:41 TODD BERTUZZI New York Islanders 199520539 3 13:25 MARK MESSIER New York Rangers 199520560 1 9:03 VYACHESLAV KOZLOV Detroit Red Wings 199520694 3 15:43 RON FRANCIS Pittsburgh Penguins 199520744 2 6:41 SCOTT MELLANBY Florida Panthers 199520750 2 9:05 NICKLAS LIDSTROM Detroit Red Wings 199520766 1 16:00 BENOIT HOGUE Dallas Stars 199520776 2 5:53 MARIO LEMIEUX Pittsburgh Penguins 199520809 1 12:47 ADAM GRAVES New York Rangers 199520847 2 16:40 KEITH PRIMEAU Detroit Red Wings 199620127 3 12:03 ALEXEI ZHAMNOV Chicago Blackhawks 199620211 2 13:08 GREG ADAMS Dallas Stars 199620466 3 14:50 JOZEF STUMPEL Boston Bruins 199620792 1 11:50 BRENDAN SHANAHAN Detroit Red Wings 199621058 2 1:41 MARTIN GELINAS Vancouver Canucks 199720028 2 18:01 TREVOR LINDEN Vancouver Canucks 199720067 3 16:29 TERRY YAKE St. Louis Blues 199920756 1 6:46 JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER Dallas Stars 200520486 1 17:28 ROB COLLINS New York Islanders 200620150 1 7:59 NATHAN HORTON Florida Panthers 200620627 1 5:00 RYANE CLOWE San Jose Sharks 200821010 1 16:44 MIKAEL SAMUELSSON Detroit Red Wings 201620276 2 12:03 JOHAN LARSSON Buffalo Sabres
The resulting penalty box data is available on our website, in the Request Analysis section.
Hopefully, tomorrow, I'll blog about another useful dataset the lemma research has produced.
 

THE DEBATE - Hockey Podcast - Episode 15 - Olympic Hockey, Packed Pacific Division, and Trade Deadline Predictions

THE DEBATE – Hockey Podcast | Episode 15 Olympic Hockey, Packed Pacific Division, and Trade Deadline Predictions   LISTEN - THE DEBATE - Episode 15     Debate 1 | Olympic Hockey – No NHL players just may be a pleasant surprise.                                      Debate 2 | Packed Pacific Division – 2nd through 5th separated by 2 points.     Debate 3 | Trade Deadline – Talk and Predictions as the deadline approaches. The trade deadline is drawing near, Brad Burud and Blake Friars discuss their deadline predictions. They also debate the Pacific Division and who will emerge into a playoff spot. The Olympics are on and the NHL is not present. Is it a blessing in surprise?

InsideEdge

InsideEdge

 

THE DEBATE - Hockey Podcast - Oilers Gameplan, Headshots, and Rangers Rebuild?

THE DEBATE - Hockey Podcast - Episode 14   Debate 1 | Oilers Gameplan – How will Edmonton right the ship for next season?  Debate 2 | Headshots – Is hockey trying to eliminate headshots?  Debate 3 | Rangers Rebuild – Is it time for a rebuild in the Big Apple Brad Burud and Blake Frairs are back at debating current topics in the NHL. On this episode they discuss the Edmonton Oilers and what the future game plan is for this underachieving team. Headshots keep happening and is the NHL taking this seriously, and the New York Rangers are talking rebuild. What will that entail and how long will Rangers fans have to wait to raise the Stanley Cup again?

InsideEdge

InsideEdge

 

THE INSTIGATOR - Burrows is a Coward!

PODCAST - THE INSTIGATOR - Episode 8   Alex Burrows of the Ottawa Senators jumped New Jersey Devils star forward Taylor Hall after Hall laid Burrows out with a legal check. While on top of Hall, Burrows proceeded to knee Hall in the head multiple times. It is another black eye on the league, and I am not sure why the league or its players put up with cowards like Burrows.

InsideEdge

InsideEdge

 

The Website - A Page A Day, Part V - Rink Repairs

Prologue
Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Original Post
Well, the pace didn't last long, but we're back with Part V - Rink Repair Statistics

Probably, this is the least hockey related page of the website, but hey, we can do it, and it's actually pretty easy, so why not?

The STOP events as listed in the Play-By-Play HTML summaries since the 2002/03 season on the NHL.com website contain the reason(s) for the stop. While most of them are game-based, such as ICING or OFFSIDE, one of the more rare ones caught our eye: RINK REPAIR. We decided to collect these stops and rank NHL home teams as well as NHL arenas by the amount of rink repairs that happened. We filter out the occasional venues, such as outdoor stadiums for NHL special events or the foreign arenas for the European showdown games.

Since we already parse practically all events from the Play-By-Play summaries (or PL), and classify them by types, we already have a collection of STOP events. And we also detect and catalog the reasons for the stoppages, so it is an easy Mongo query to extract all rink repairs incurred. We then aggregate them by locations and teams, and create SQL tables for easy quick display of the data.

And so we were able to assemble a nice set of tables displaying the level of maintenance in the rinks around the league. Here's a look at the 2016/17 season:
  Arena Repairs BARCLAYS CENTER 8 XCEL ENERGY CENTER 3 CANADIAN TIRE CENTRE 2 VERIZON CENTER 2 PEPSI CENTER 2 FIRST NIAGARA CENTER 2 NATIONWIDE ARENA 2 CENTRE BELL 2 WELLS FARGO CENTER 1 SCOTTRADE CENTER 1 ROGERS ARENA 1 REXALL PLACE 1 PRUDENTIAL CENTER 1 CONSOL ENERGY CENTER 1 BB&T CENTER 1 JOE LOUIS ARENA 1 HONDA CENTER 1   So the claims that the Islanders' current home has the worst ice has been substantial. For the last three years, actually, Barclays Center ranks among highest. Naturally, the old arenas like Canadian Tire Centre or Rexall Palace also seemed to get a lot of rink repairs during the games.   You can switch the year of the display or the mode between 'By Team' and 'By Arena'.   As with all the displayed tables on our site, there are links below it to see it in a pristine form, the direct link to the page for the selected season, and buttons to share it on Twitter and Facebook.   Once again, it doesn't seem like a highly meaningful piece of work, but we consider it fun, and it took about quarter an hour to implement altogether.   TODO: Aggregate show by a period rather than a single season Include arena ages (requires manual input of construction years)
 

THE DEBATE - Hockey Podcast - Goaltender Interference, Seattle Expansion, and Coaches Poll

THE DEBATE – Hockey Podcast | Episode 13 Goaltender Interference, Seattle Expansion, and Coaches Poll Brad Burud and Blake Friars breakdown and debate the recent goaltender interference epidemic. They have solutions… Seattle expansion is discussed and potential nicknames are debated. Then they dive into TSN’s Bob McKenzies coaches poll. Who are the leagues best?     Debate 1 | Goaltender Interference Debate 2 | Seattle Expansion and Nicknames Debate 3 | TSN Coaches Poll   LISTEN THE DEBATE - Hockey Podcast - Episode 13 Photo Credit - USAToday Sports Images

InsideEdge

InsideEdge

 

The Website - A Page A Day, Part IV - West vs. East

Prologue
Part I
Part II
Part III

And now we're putting two in a row with West vs. East.

PART IV

This page shows the results of games between Eastern and Western Conference teams. The data is available from the year 1993, when Western and Eastern Conference were formed, from the Boxscore files.

Shown from left to right:  Regular West wins OT/SO West wins Ties(up to year 2005) OT/SO East wins Regular East wins Stanley Cup Winning Conference A total tally is available as well. As of the date of this post the standings are:
WEST 2802 Reg. W - 595 OTW - 444 T - 541 Reg. W - 2570 Reg. W EAST
West holds a formidable lead which eroded a bit in the 2015/16 and 2016/17 seasons. Before that the last time East won the count was back in 1998/99! The 2009/10 was the most lopsided season with the final score of 155-115 in West's favor.
West won 14 times, East - 6. Once, in 2011/12 there was a tie with 134 wins apiece.

The Stanley Cup winners are divided more evenly, however, with West holding the edge 13-10.

There is no data for seasons 1994/95, 2004/05 and 2012/13 because of full or or partial season lockout. Also, the win-loss count from the Finals are not included.

WE NEED YOUR HELP!
If you are an experienced Webmaster, especially with Javascript and CSS we would greatly appreciate the potential tidy-up and enrichment you could provide to these graphs. Your work will be credited for future reference! Write to us, or get in touch with us on Twitter. Thanks!

Possible future additions: Season aggregation More compact design Your ideas are welcome!
 

The Website - A Page A Day, Part III - NHL's Yearly Tendencies

Despite all the delays we move on to League's Yearly Tendencies.

PART III

This view shows stacked bars of various event counts per season in the NHL.All the stats are presented per game, since the amount of games played varied every season. 

For the first time we encounter the stat selection menu, on top of the graphs. On this page it features the following options:
  Category of the stats Stage of the games (Regular or Playoff)
Available stats are:  Shots Goals (available since 1987, from Boxscore reports) Shots on Goal (available since 1987, from Boxscore reports) Misses (available since 2005, from PBP reports) Blocks (avaliable since 2005, from PBP reports) Icings (available since 2002, from PBP reports) Margin of victory (available since 1987, from Boxscore reports) Penalties Minor Major Fighting Misconduct Match Penalty Goals per Game The stats are available for regular season, playoffs and both stages combined.

The PBP reports from the NHL dating before 2005 are wildly inconsistent, thus we didn't use them for MISSES and BLOCKS.

We are using the wonderful d3js library for producing these graphs.

WE NEED YOUR HELP!
If you are an experienced Webmaster, especially with Javascript and CSS we would greatly appreciate the potential tidy-up and enrichment you could provide to these graphs. Your work will be credited for future reference! Write to us, or get in touch with us on Twitter. Thanks!

Possible future additions: PowerPlay success Minor penalty breakdown Aggregations and overlays Mouse graph manipulations Your ideas are welcome!
 

A suggestion for the All-Star Game

Original post.   While the series "Website - A Page A Day" is being delayed by all kinds of things, here comes a short post on a different topic.

Last year, in my opinion, the accuracy shooting competition which included shooting the pack from the goal line into a small hole was, in my opinion a total failure. Mike Smith's spectacular score across the rink did the injustice and provided a false impression this skill contest was any good. Otherwise, the competition was not exciting to say the least.

Therefore, here's a suggestion to replace it: reverse shootouts.

Let the goaltenders shed their equipment for once, and let the skaters don it instead. Let's have a competition where the goaltenders skate and attempt to score in shootout, while the skaters try to stop them. I am sure that somewhere in the back of their minds that would fulfill a little dream both parties would have!    
 

The Website - A Page A Day, Part I - Home Page

Original post   The main page of the website shows the summary of all its features.

The site menu features the main statistical sections:
  League - league-wide statistics Teams - team-based statistics Players - personal statistics Coaches - statistics for the NHL coaches Drafts - statistics for currently drafted players and the historical performance by draft Fantasy - tools to help the fantasy player
On the top we have a ticker of the scores, as predicted by the model. The ticker is always scrolled to the current date, however you can navigate it back and forth using the two arrows at the edges. The away team is on the top, and the home team is on the bottom. The predicted score is in the Prdct column. The actual score is in the Act column. The projected winner is displayed in bold. If the prediction failed, the displayed teams will be painted red. We never adjust our predictions backwards. Only the scores for the current season are featured.

Then, on the top right we have three very important links that would help you with understanding the pages:
  Learn More - about the methodology of the Website Glossary - about the terms used in the pages Blog - link to this blog which, as you see, also takes time to elaborate on the site. We also display our latest addition to the website and the latest blog entry.   Then we have three random snippets in the columns. The snippets represent excerpts from the tables published elsewhere on the site and may change after each publication, which happens overnight. The snippets currently (hopefully they would become more diverse) are: Team data snippets: Buchholz/Berger-Sonneborn coefficients Empty Net Statistics (probably our most popular page) Teams Elo Ratings and predicted standings, per division Strikebacks Player data snippets: Goaltender elo ratings Deadly pairs of the NHL (goals+primary assist tandems) Clutch players excelling scoring lead-changing goals Reverse stats (players being hit, drawing penalty, etc.) Coach data snippets: Face to face coaching records Coach challenge statistics Only current season data is displayed in the snippets. Below the random snippets we feature a permanent snippet that shows the best projected picks for the daily fantasy competitions. We provide a model-based evaluation of the expected score for players in the three most popular Daily Fantasy websites - Yahoo, FanDuel and DraftKings.   Below each snippet there is a link to the page with the full data.   At the bottom we have a collection of information links. Make sure you visit the Glossary and the About pages. The Links page has an ever-growing collection of hockey-related links. The Forum link leads to hockeyforums.net, the site we're partnering with - this blog is broadcast there as well. The Data section shows the software and the data sources this website is built with.

About HF.net

 We are an enthusiastic community of HockeyFans who enjoy discussing the NHL and more in our Forums.  Our members may also write their own blogs, converse in chat, post pics in our gallery, join our fantasy hockey leagues and more.  If you are looking for a friendly community to discuss hockey then register today and begin your conversation in our NET.

 

 

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