Joffrey Lupul is one of the NHL’s more articulate players, but his tongue was fully tied Thursday by a question the Maple Leafs left winger didn’t expect.
For many decades, the comparison of great NHLers has primarily been in the hands of storytellers, a case of trophies, or a rudimentary set of statistics. The concerted efforts of a community of researchers, The Hockey Summary Project, has helped open us up to much finer details of these players’ careers, and granted us the opportunity to create new points of comparison.
One big area of comparison, that transcends things like era scoring effects and rink counting bias, is looking at the proportions of shots and assists taken in the games the player participated (% of Team Shots and % of Team Assists – or %TSh and %TA, respectively). Quantifying contribution this way gets us a lot closer to how important a player can be to a team’s possession performance. Why shots and assists rather than goals? For one, the idea is to better capture how a player contributed to possessing the puck; going beyond goals (which are still counted as shots) gives us more evidence the player was an important part of the team’s puck movement. Read more
If it were up to Chris Chelios, he never would have left the Chicago Blackhawks.
In his new book, titled Made In America, Chelios goes into detail about the trade that sent him from his hometown Blackhawks to the rival Detroit Red Wings. With former stars Ed Belfour and Jeremy Roenick gone, it was the Blackhawks struggles of 1998-99 that rumors about Chelios began. Read more
After a post-goal thrown catfish celebration on Tuesday night, the Nashville Predators have been asked by the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals to stop the practice.
The thrown catfish, a long-standing tradition of sorts in Nashville, came after Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis blasted home a point shot to tie the game at two apiece. You can watch the goal and the subsequent celebration here: Read more
ESPN.com’s Craig Custance recently listed his top-20 NHL unrestricted free agents for 2015. What’s notable about Custance’s list, apart from the lack of genuine superstar talent in next summer’s UFA market, is that it’s dominated by defensemen.
The notables include Anaheim’s Francois Beauchemin, Boston’s Adam McQuaid, Carolina’s Andrej Sekera, Chicago’s Johnny Oduya, Pittsburgh’s Christian Ehrhoff and Paul Martin, Toronto’s Cody Franson,Washington’s Mike Green, the Rangers’ Marc Staal and the Islanders’ Johnny Boychuk. Read more
For those who like to portray junior hockey as a string of Mom and Pop operations that struggle to make ends meet in the face of mounting efforts to unionize the players, today could not have been a good-news day.
According to multiple reports, the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec League have been sold to media giant Quebecor. (Which, in the interest of full disclosure, recently negotiated the purchase of 15 magazines from Transcontinental Media, one of which is The Hockey News.) Read more
When Nick Bjugstad scored for the Florida Panthers on Wednesday night, everyone was thinking it: that goal was great, but I wish there were an over-the-top Spanish goal call for it.
Well, search no more. ESPN Desportes Arley Londono leant his voice to yet another Panthers broadcast and his call of Bjugstad’s early goal – one that would stand as the game-winner – was absolutely incredible: Read more
The San Jose Sharks lost their fourth straight game Wednesday – this one, a feeble 2-0 defeat at home to the Flames – which meant the heat on San Jose head coach Todd McLellan is only going to increase. And with the franchise falling back in the pack in the Western Conference (their 10-10-4 record has them fifth in the Pacific Division and 10th in the West), McLellan’s six-year tenure behind the Sharks bench could be at an end.
San Jose’s players had already spoken out in support of McLellan prior to Wednesday’s loss, yet in spite of that and Sharks GM Doug Wilson’s well-earned reputation as a man who doesn’t make rash decisions, he may have little choice but to fire his coach and continue the process of remaking this team in a newer, more playoff-productive mold. McLellan is a highly-respected coach whose services likely would be snapped up in short order, but his current team has dropped seven of its past nine games and its most recent five losses haven’t come at the hands of a murderer’s row of opponents (Columbus, Buffalo, Florida, Arizona and the Flames). Wilson denied contacting former Penguins coach Dan Bylsma, but if he’s intent on underscoring his off-season message of the necessity of change, pulling the trigger on McLellan will be a good beginning.
That said, de-employing McLellan isn’t going to be a cure-all for what ails them. Read more