Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

(Noah Graham, Getty Images)

(Noah Graham, Getty Images)

Even as advanced statistics become more prevalent in hockey, it’s still rare to see them used in mainstream media, outside of some outliers like James Mirtle with the Globe and Mail. The doldrums of August can lead a hockey reporter off the beaten path in search of a story, however,  and Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe turned to advanced statistics for a story on Sunday, interviewing Michael Schuckers, a statistics professor who does hockey analysis.

Shinzawa clearly asked Shuckers what was the oddest or most confusing free agent signing of the off-season according to his statistical analysis, which is a reasonable question to ask when looking for a story. What was odd was the answer. Shuckers skipped right past the usual punching bags from the past few months and went with Rob Scuderi, who returned to the Pittsburgh Penguins this off-season on a four-year deal.

According to Shuckers, his signing is “the one that sticks out to me this year” as the statistics show that Scuderi is “well past his prime”  and not worth what the Penguins are paying him. But is that really the case?

Read the rest of this entry »

(Abelimages, Getty Images)

(Abelimages, Getty Images)

Early Wednesday morning, Damien Cox caused a minor stir online with a tweet about a trade offer the Maple Leafs supposedly made for Roberto Luongo at the 2012 draft that Mike Gillis turned down. It had everything Cox could want in 140 characters: two of the biggest hockey markets in Canada, one of the hottest players in the NHL in Nazem Kadri, the ongoing intrigue of the Luongo trade saga, and even a snide put down of an NHL General Manager.

There’s only one problem: none of it was true. For such a brief little story, it had a remarkable number of holes in it. It’s the Andrew Raycroft of tweets, if you will. For starters, the Canucks were never offered a package of Kadri, Bozak and a pick at the draft. The rumour at the time was that Luke Schenn was the player offered by Brian Burke and Gillis, understandably, balked.

In fact, the Leafs never offered Kadri, Bozak, and a pick; instead, that was what Gillis reportedly asked for in a trade for Luongo from the Leafs. So, at no point could the Canucks have had Kadri, Bozak, and a pick for Luongo, because Burke and Nonis said no to that offer. What actually happened is the complete opposite of what Damien Cox said.

What’s worse is that Cox knew it wasn’t true. Actually, what’s even worse is that people believed him.

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Recently here at Backhand Shelf I ran a story that shared a few of Michal Neuvirth’s quotes about his teammates Braden Holtby, Alex Ovechkin, and (ex-teammate) Alex Semin, as well as ex-coach Dale Hunter. Fortunately, I only used a handful of quotes and cited Russian Machine Never Breaks‘ original work, so I avoided their shit-list.

In the interview, Neuvirth said some not very nice things about the folks he shared a dressing room with the season before.

What happened in the wake of the translation by RMNB was utterly predictable: the quotes made Neuvirth look bad, so he claimed that things had been lost in translation, and it was all a big misunderstanding. (By the way, if I’m the agent of a European player, I remind them that the hockey world is small, and to not say anything they wouldn’t say in North America while across the pond.)

It wasn’t a big misunderstanding, it was a backpedal. Read the rest of this entry »

They can't all be Randy Moller, I suppose.

The first season I really started following hockey seriously, I craved the game. I soaked it up like a thirsty sponge, reading books, listening to every single thing the Aeros broadcast or put online about the team, and eventually ordering Center Ice and watching a ton of NHL games, too.

I was 30 years behind on hockey knowledge compared to most fans my age, and I had catching up to do. I needed expert hockey immersion if I wanted to get beyond, “Whoa. Puck fast. Butts firm. Wins good,” any time soon.

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This is actually the cover of today's Philadelphia Daily News

Well then, this series just got a bit more amusing… assuming that was possible in the first place.

Apparently the Philadelphia Daily News will be running with the above Sidney Crosby cover. This is according to Frank Seravalli of said publication who is one of the writers on the Flyers beat in Philly. He revealed the cover on twitter…

Upon seeing the tweet and corresponding cover my exact thought process was as follows:

1) That can’t be real.
2) Oh my God that’s real.
3) That doesn’t look like a Penguin at all.
4) Oh, Wizard of Oz. Gotcha.
5) Nice alliteration on Sniveling Sidney.
6) The LA Kings department of Trolling would be proud.
7) I should probably quit this linear monologue and post it already.

Regardless of what I thought, the cover seems to be in good fun. The PDN is a tabloid paper so we all know this is a ploy to get people laughing, riled up for hockey and buying papers by the bushel (can you buy papers by the bushel?).

I’m sure I could give you a well articulated rant on the double standard that web-based publications are ridiculed for this while print publications are given their free pass regardless, but this is neither the time nor the place and I don’t feel like being the buzz killer today. Wednesday usually suck as it is without me being Mr. Media Morality.

Audience participation part:

I posted this here to get your opinion on it. Love it? Hate it? Indifferent? Why?

The first person who is offended and references “class” loses the game. If you’re outraged, I’d like some creativity in the process.

If this man's word was gold, he'd have digestion issues after what took place yesterday

I absolutely love this video. I actually Laughed Out Loud.

When you work alone from home and peruse the internet, you find many a wonderful, hilarious thing. I read them, I laugh inside my head, or maybe even smile, and I move on. But sometimes something catches you, as this did.

As a writer, every opinion you spout is right there in hard copy, lasting and permanent for people to see. They can print it out and put it in a drawer if they want, or even do something strange like buy and keep a newspaper. When the Jets and Panthers finish 14th and 15th in the Eastern Conference next year, you’re all free to dial up my previous post, email it to me and type some hilarious version of the message “Seriously? Dude, SERIOUSLY?”

Well, that situation (but better) came to fruition in Alberta over the past year, where Edmonton Sun columnist Terry Jones took things next level.

After watching the Oilers get riddled with injuries during the 2009-2010 season and finish dead last in the NHL, he followed some version of this logical train of thought:

A) One team can not be on the receiving end of that much horrible injury luck in back to back years. That seems impossible.

B) We have an influx of young talent that’s going to improve this team offensively. And therefore…. Read the rest of this entry »