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?
2011-12 winner Max Pacioretty demonstrates how to be awesome
The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy is voted on annually by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association and awarded to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. The writers have their work cut out for them this year, since all three finalists are unquestionably worthy of the award.
Crosby’s beautiful smile just got a little less beautiful.
There’s something particularly horrifying about dental injuries. Maybe it’s the thought of what your own mouth would look like minus a few teeth, or the sheer in-your-face nature of the injuries. You can’t see a torn ACL, but you can see a pool of blood littered with teeth. Sidney Crosby, a habitual mouthguard-wearer and owner of a (formerly) beautiful smile horrified a nation Saturday when he took a puck in the mouth at the expense of several teeth and his jaw. This week we’ll have a quick refresher on how jaw injuries are treated, and explore the options for hockey teeth.
Breaking news out of Pittsburgh today, as the team announced that captain Sidney Crosby will be out indefinitely with a broken jaw. Crosby was hit in the face by a puck in the first period of the game Saturday against the New York Islanders.
Pittsburgh forward Tyler Kennedy was credited with the Penguins first goal of the game, but on second look, he should be thanking ex-Maple Leafs defenseman Luke Schenn, who deflected the puck by goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.
In reading about Gary Bettman, it’s clear that many of the things the NHL has demanded from its Players’ Association are lifted from work previously done with the National Basketball Association.
Forgotten is in how much trouble the NBA was when Bettman was hired by that league in 1981. The league had expanded to 23 teams, but arenas were half-full and the games were only televised late at night on tape-delay.
It’s almost a parallel to the NHL in the mid-2000s. The league switched over to a soft salary cap tied to league revenue, the first of its kind, and a modest new TV deal along with the arrival of a star player helped grow the game to fantastic heights.
Michael Jordan and Sidney Crosby are different people who appeal to different audiences and had different modicums of success upon entreating the league. Crosby was a phenom since his early teenage years, Jordan wasn’t even the No. 1 overall pick. His rookie success got him a Sports Illustrated cover and a major draw in opposing rinks.
Crosby only visit 19 road rinks in his rookie season; The second biggest failing of the NHL coming out of the last lockout was the emphasis on divisional regular season games that prevented star players from playing in every arena. He couldn’t be marketed the same way as Jordan, even though hockey is a lot like basketball in the way its season is structured. What remains though, is that him and a select few other NHLers generate a buzz when they’re in town. As such, they ought to be scheduled to play in every single rink.