Saturday night in Edmonton, Vancouver went down 4-0 early on. At no point did Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault call a timeout. After the second goal, on the second shot of the game, he pulled starter Cory Schneider and replaced him with journeyman backup Roberto Luongo. After the fourth goal, the game was again paused to clean up hats on the ice.
So it got me thinking… when is the best time to use a timeout? If you looked at it at a macro level, I’m quite sure that using a timeout after giving up a couple of goals in quick succession means pretty little in the long run. Mike Babcock called one when the Red Wings went down 3-0 on Sunday, a game they went on to lose 7-1. I think even more notably, Barry Trotz called a timeout 3:42 into Thursday’s game against Phoenix, after which, this happened:
But in Canada, particularly out West, we’ve been watching Jarome Iginla on national TV since the days there were two national games a week on Hockey Night and not much else. If Jarome Iginla has a defining year of his career, it wasn’t 2004 when he and Mikka Kiprusoff dragged a team with Oleg Saprykin and Chris Simon in the top six to the seventh game of the Stanley Cup Finals. It was moreso in 2002, when Iginla, still virtually anonymous in everywhere but Western Canada, Iginla scored 52 goals and 96 points to win the both goal- and point-scoring titles, and would have won the Hart Trophy if Calgary had made the playoffs.
There’s an awful lot of odd similarities between Jarome Iginla and Brenden Morrow, but on the surface is the spelling error in each of their first names. The common spelling of either’s name has misplaced a vowel found in the other player’s, which has resulted in a large number of “no matching results” returns when either is punched into HockeyDB or Hockey Reference.
One big surface distinction between Morrow and Iginla—both were good goal scorers whose best years are behind them. Both were on the Canadian Olympic team although Iginla had a much more prominent role, and a much more prominent career. He scored more goals and recorded more points. He captained a team to the Stanley Cup Finals while Morrow made it there as a rookie. Still, there’s a premium cost for each player due to their reputations as grinders and leaders.
I’ve talked about that sort of thing before, and I’ll get into it a bit later, but in essence, unless the Penguins are working with significantly different metrics than I am, they paid for something more than Morrow’s actual cost when they traded defensive prospect Joe Morrow for the Stars power forward yesterday. Not only did they tip 50% on the meal, but they accidentally-on-purpose forgot a money clip leaving the restaurant.
Alexei Emelin isn’t a free agent this upcoming summer, but he’s an unrestricted free agent next summer, so he’s a bit of a scientific experiment to me.
I’m looking at his defensive partner Andrei Markov, who has never gotten his due thanks to an abundance of injuries throughout his career. He’s played a single 82-game season, back in 2008, which happened to be the year the Montreal Canadiens came out of nowhere to win the Eastern Conference in the regular season.
Of course, correlation doesn’t imply causation, but one major difference about the Habs this year as opposed to the Habs last year is a healthy Andrei Markov. The 34-year-old has played just 65 games over the last three seasons and 20 games in the last two and a lot of folk writing off the Habs were probably writing off Markov’s health. There he is, leading Habs’ blue liners in minutes, alongside Emelin.
This is the same Mikhail Grabovski who has shown these sorts of hands in the past:
The underuse of Grabovski is puzzling, particularly since at even strength. Carlyle’s main complaint about Grabovski is that he doesn’t produce much, telling reporters last week that “We’d like to see the Grabovski-[Nikolai] Kulemin line score more” and admitting that “there is a little leeway given them” due to the fact that those two forwards play some of the toughest competition in the NHL, mostly in a defensive role.
If you keep your eye on the Corsi numbers, you notice that Lennart Petrell is posting a spectacularly bad number – his Corsi% is currently 32%. Last year, he was at 39.6%. This got me interested in something: what happens to sub-40% Corsi guys? Looking at seasons of 300 minutes or more, there are 29 of these guys in the BTN era, which started in 2007-08.
17 of these guys are no longer active in the NHL. For eight of them (Jeff Cowan, Jim Dowd, Jeff Giuliano, Byron Ritchie, Scott Thornton, Dan Hinote, Todd Marchant and Jon Sim), a sub 40% Corsi season was the end of the line.
Eventually, “Corsi” is going to have to take on a different name. “Corsi” had a good run, but in the end, it’s difficult to carve widespread acceptance of statistical concepts named for the person that created it. Often, I’ll see somebody write out CORSI as if it were an acronym for something.
“Corsi” isn’t really particularly complicated. It’s the number of shot attempts for, minus the number of shot attempts against. It can be used for both a team or an individual. For the team, “Corsi” would count up all the shot attempts a team took in even strength situations and subtract them by the ones their opponent fired against their net. For an individual, you just look at the time he was on the ice.
It’s not a real difficult concept, nor is it difficult to understand what it means. “Corsi” doesn’t assume that every single shot taken on goal is of equal value. All “Corsi” does is approximate zone time. If Pittsburgh takes 5 shots at the New York Islanders’ net and the Islanders take 1 shot at the Penguins net, the logical assumption is that the puck spent more time in Pittsburgh’s offensive end. It doesn’t mean anything more than that. Heck, the one Islander shot could be a breakaway from Michael Grabner or Frans Nielsen. It doesn’t change that the majority of the game was spent with the puck on the stick of a Penguin player.