Archive for the ‘10 Thoughts’ Category

New York Rangers v Buffalo Sabres

Thoughts on Thoughts” is a feature that looks at Elliotte Friedman’s terrific weekly post “30 Thoughts.” Justin Bourne selects his 10 favourite tidbits, and elaborates.

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Last edition (that I followed through on)Penguins desperate for inspiration (My 10 thoughts)

Friedman’s column, June 26th: NHL buyouts no sure thing

Opening:

Elliotte’s opening point:

During a phone conversation two weeks ago, one NHL general manager predicted there would be fewer player buyouts than we think. Why?

“Imagine asking your owner to write a big cheque, then seeing that player succeed somewhere else for less money,” he said. “That’s going to get you fired.”

Pretty good argument there.

So maybe less dominoes fall than some of us expect.

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5. Vigneault said he hopes to use his lines the same way he did in Vancouver, deploying the best scorers for offensive-zone draws (Henrik and Daniel Sedin) and the best defenders (Manny Malhotra, Ryan Kesler) to take faceoffs front of your net. “I prefer it that way,” Vigneault said. “It’s a great way to maximize the strength and potential of your lineup.” During interviews, he said he was told the Rangers were built to do that, although he will withhold final judgement until getting behind the bench.

I included this quote as the final punctuation mark in my quest to rid the advanced stat community of the word “sheltered,” because it’s never been “boy, this guy is terrible defensively, let’s hide him in the O-zone,” it’s always been “we signed this guy to provide offense, so lets give him a chance to utilize his tools.” Read the rest of this entry »

Boston Bruins v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game One

Thoughts on Thoughts” is a feature that looks at Elliotte Friedman’s terrific weekly post “30 Thoughts.” Justin Bourne selects his 10 favourite tidbits, and elaborates.

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Last edition (that I followed through on): NHL Awards Picks (Friedman’s original)

Friedman’s column, June 4th: Penguins desperate for inspiration

Opening:

Elliotte breaks down the plight of the Penguin, as it may be. It’s not quite as dramatic as the March of the Penguins, but it might take a comparable effort to the real flightless birds, only in hockey terms.

Friedman goes through the steps he would take if he were Dan Bylsma in some detail, but the main bullets are:

* Positive reinforcement – possibly showing positive game clips from the previous round to balance the negativity all around them

* Stop trying to prove things – as in “toughness,” which I would like to co-sign

* Be realistic about the problem – there’s almost too many to pin down, but reality is healthy

And finally…

* Make them aware of the consequences – as in, half the league wants to play for Pittsburgh right now, and if given a chance, they would. Which also means some would take less money to do it. Which makes some people expendable. Which means MAYBE DON’T FLY-BY A LOOSE PUCK IN THE NEUTRAL ZONE TONIGHT IF YOU LIKE YOUR JOB. I also like this idea of Elliotte’s.

It’s all almost too much to address for Pitt, so if I’m Bylsma, I narrow the focus. “Be better everywhere,” while necessary, isn’t going to help. That’s going to happen naturally because a team that talented can’t be worse. So I focus on a few very specific things for my team to think about. Puck support, puck protection, and discipline might be good places to start. Read the rest of this entry »

A stunningly large amount of Jonathan Toews pictures on Getty Images are him celebrating goals. None of them are all that cool, but still - there's a ton.

A stunningly large amount of Jonathan Toews pictures on Getty Images are him celebrating goals. None of them are all that cool, but still – there’s a ton.

Thoughts on Thoughts” is a feature that looks at Elliotte Friedman’s terrific weekly post “30 Thoughts.” Justin Bourne selects his 10 favourite tidbits, and elaborates.

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Last editionCanucks discover winning ugly is a beautiful thing  (Full Friedman edition here.)

Friedman’s column, May 1st: NHL awards picks and 30 Thoughts

Opening:

Elliotte Friedman shared his NHL awards ballot, which reads as such, in sum:

Hart: Jonathan Toews (Crosby didn’t play enough games)
Norris: Ryan Suter
Calder: Jonas Brodin
Lady Byng: Patrick Kane
Selke: Jonathan Toews
All Star Teams: to come in 30 Thoughts
And a couple of the best concurrent paragraphs ever:

Every year, I try to remind people that just because I didn’t vote for your favourite player on your favourite team, it’s not negative. It just means someone is a little better. Of course, that never works, so it’s time for a new tactic: if you’re unhappy with these selections, yes, it is because I hate your player, your team and you too.

Enjoy!

If you missed my own awards votes, you can check them out here.

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1. NHL All-Star Team selections: Toews, Crosby, Tavares at centre; Ovechkin, Kane, St. Louis at right wing; Rick Nash, Henrik Zetterberg and Kunitz at left wing; Suter, Subban, Doughty, Beauchemin, Chara and Keith on defence; Bobrovsky, Henrik Lundqvist and Antti Niemi in goal.

Read the rest of this entry »

Anaheim Ducks v Vancouver Canucks

Thoughts on Thoughts” is a feature that looks at Elliotte Friedman’s terrific weekly post “30 Thoughts.” Justin Bourne selects his 10 favourite tidbits, and elaborates.

Last editionCraig MacTavish poised to shake up Oilers (Full Friedman edition here.)

Friedman’s column, April 26th: Canucks discover winning ugly is a beautiful thing

Opening:

In this week’s edition of Elliotte Friedman’s always excellent 30 Thoughts, he wrote about how the Canucks have a different identity than they did when they were winning mulitple Presidents’ Trophies in the style of, as Friedge put it, “Ermenegildo Zegnas” (as in, stylishly). Things aren’t as pretty, but they’re paying attention to both ends of the ice more than they ever have.

“It’s not good enough for us to just win games,” Henrik Sedin said by telephone on Tuesday. “Fans feel it should be 5-1 or 5-2 … seeing some highlight goals. We have to win in a certain way.

“You look at Detroit, I think people judge them on what they should be instead of what they have … We are not a run-and-gun team anymore. You’ve got to be good in your own end. When healthy, I think this is as good a team as we have ever had.”

I think I get what he’s saying.

I’m not sure if this has come from a conscious effort, or if it’s just they’ve had to fight more to get wins (it would be easy to be less dominant, play in closer, uglier games, then claim it’s on purpose), but I will say: I think all this scrapping will be great for them come playoffs. And the pressure of not being the top dawg should serve them well too. If they can avoid St. Louis in the first round, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them have a great post-season run.

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3. As Karlsson prepared to return, Bryan Murray said the two things that concerned him most about his club were things the reigning Norris Trophy winner could fix. “We’re not great at breakouts,” the Senators GM said. Karlsson will singlehandedly take care of that. Also, the power play entered last night’s game at Washington five for its last 50. The Senators went 1-for-5, but the one put them into the playoffs and he assisted on it.

I had to pick this thought purely for the Bryan Murray quote “We’re not great at breakouts.” I mean, I know he was under no pressure to specify in what regard (communication? Is D2 struggling to read reverses? Do the forwards have a tendency to cheat their routes?), I just love how “fan” that quote is. “The goal-getting Dan, it’s been a major issue.”  Read the rest of this entry »

2012 NHL Entry Draft - Round One

Thoughts on Thoughts” is a feature that looks at Elliotte Friedman’s terrific weekly post “30 Thoughts.” Justin Bourne selects his 10 favourite tidbits, and elaborates.

Last editionNHL players in Sochi Olympics won’t come cheap (Full Friedman edition here.)

Friedman’s column, April 16th: Craig MacTavish poised to shake up Oilers

Opening:

Edmonton is trying a new tactic: firing the GM, with the new boss openly coming at the roster.

“I’m an impatient guy and I bring that impatience to this situation. We’re at the stage… that we have to do some bold things,” Craig MacTavish said at Monday’s news conference introducing him as the Oilers’ new GM. “We have to expose ourselves to some semblance of risk to try and move the team forward in a rapid fashion. We’ve got a lot of primary pieces here, but we’ve got to add some depth to help these young players.

Yes! I’m so excited for this. Well, I’m not excited, because I think MacTavish is a cerebral dude who’s going to make the Oilers better (and I could do without another run of successful Oilers), but I mean this part:

MacTavish, who refused to blame Krueger, sounded a lot like Brian Burke during the latter’s first media conference in Toronto. He didn’t use the word “truculent” but the message is similar: I’m impatient and we’re going to do something about it.

I thought the exact same thing when I first read that quote. New Burke, far better than New Coke.

I thought the message MacT has delivered in his early comments since being named GM have been exactly what the Oilers have needed to realize: yes, it’s neato super cool to have some good young talent, but they just don’t seem like a difficult team to play right now, and could use an injection of what I believe baseball humans call “want” from more guys than Taylor Hall and Nail Yakupov. And, I have no doubt that he’ll be able to find it at some point.

Now, just as long as he doesn’t do anything too crazy… Read the rest of this entry »

Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers

Thoughts on Thoughts” is a feature that looks at Elliotte Friedman’s terrific weekly post “30 Thoughts.” Justin Bourne selects his 10 favourite tidbits, and elaborates.

Last editionDallas is team to watch at NHL trade deadline (full Friedman edition here)

Friedman’s column, April 12th: NHL players in Sochi Olympics won’t come cheap

Opening:

In this week’s opener Friedman explains some of the financial complications that come along with the NHL and IIHF agreeing to have professionals participate in the 2014 Olympics. There are issues like travel (likely a couple million-plus to charter flights for NHLers to get to the games), and insurance (all the long-term contracts means you’re in another couple million to ensure if a player gets hurt in the games he gets his money), and yada yada yada.

Honestly, and maybe I’m naive here, but I just can’t see how a handful of millions could derail the process, let alone be more than a speedbump. Knowing the amount of money there is to be made by those involved – TV rights, jersey sales, ticket revenue and beyond – I have a hard time seeing how this doesn’t get tidied up fairly easily.

That said, that’s the most outsider-y outsiders perspective of all time, and I truly have no clue what the fine details are, so much like I was (and others were) during the lockout, I’m in full “Whatever man, just fix this” mode.

Read the rest of this entry »

Phoenix Coyotes v Dallas Stars

Thoughts on Thoughts” is a feature that looks at Elliotte Friedman’s terrific weekly post “30 Thoughts.” Justin Bourne selects his 10 favourite tidbits, and elaborates.

Last editionGetzlaf contract may impact Perry

Friedman’s column, April 2nd: Dallas is team to watch at NHL trade deadline

Opening:

Over the next 24 hours, the Dallas Stars may be the team to watch.

Friedman barely got his column out on time. His opening stressed the fact that the Dallas Stars are likely to be deadline sellers, and within hours, they had moved both Derek Roy and Jaromir Jagr. Read the rest of this entry »