Random Thoughts - Toughness And Monahan

Kent Wilson
September 16 2013 10:55AM

 

 

Usually my random thoughts missives feature a number of items, but this one is on just two that have cropped up recently: the value of toughness or "grit" in hockey and whether or not Sean Monahan should spend the year with the Flames.

First we'll take on toughness. This issue was brought to my attention by frequent commenter (and antagonist of mine) Clyde when he said this after a Michael Ferland fight during the young stars tournament:

But, you can't measure the impact Ferland's grit made so it isn't useful. Lol

Two things, but I'll be particular first - attributing the Flames resurgence in the Canucks prospect game specifically to the Ferland fight is post hoc ergo propter hoc, or "after this therefore because of this". It's tempting to applaud fights when good things happen after them, but to be honest one should keep a tab of how often that actually happens in order to derive a true effect from fisticuffs.

This has been looked at - from a number of angles - and overall the effect is not quite nothing for winning a fight, but it's as close as nothing as to be generally unimportant.

Which is the reason that most fights in hockey occur when the score is out of reach. To be sure, if fighting guaranteed a significant swing in shots and scoring chances, goons would be some of the most valuable players on any given club, rather than minimum wage, 4th line guys.

Secondly, and more generally, my position in regard to grit overall isn't that it's worthless, but rather, that it's grossly overvalued and weighted incorrectly in traditional hockey terms. Like any other physical tool, grit is a boon if it leads to positive outcomes for the player and team on the ice, but not terribly useful otherwise. Just like skating, shooting and hockey sense, grit is potentially a means to and end but not an end unto itself.

Unfortunately, toughness seems to be the lone ability that can keep a guy in the show, absent any other NHL level qualities. You'll usually see highly skilled but defensively disinterested forwards smeared as "one dimensional", but the truly one dimensional creatures in this league are the guys who are only around to crash and bang or chuck fists; the guys who are gross liabilities under almost any circumstance, who bleed shots and goals against and take more penalties than they draw, because the only NHL level skill they have is to absorb and dish out pain. As a result, they are eaten for breakfast by the actual NHLers they face each and every shift.

There are plenty of good hockey payers who count grit or toughness as a primary tool: Dustin Brown, David Backes, Milan Lucic, etc., etc. And there's not doubt that every potential NHLer needs a certain threshold of "toughness" to make it into the show given the size, strength of the players and the inherent violence in the game. But grit as a stand-alone asset - toughness for toughness sake - is an inherently self-defeating strategy. The point of the game is to score more goals than the other guys, not merely prove you have the biggest balls.

It's interesting to see how this misconception plays out across the league, particularly on bad teams whom convince themselves that at least some portion of their struggles can be attributed to not being gritty enough. This idea has afflicted the Oilers for years during their rebuild, resulting in the fruitless churn of relatively useless players through their bottom-6 rotation (Zack Stortini, Steve MacIntyre, Ben Eager, Darcy Hordichuk, Mike Brown), ironically making their club worse and extending their stay at the bottom of the league.

A metaphor for that style of management, I think, is making a stew and then adding rocks for texture: while it might be entirely true that your stew is rather mushy and that rocks are indeed "crunchy", the addition does nothing to actually improve the meal.

Send Monahan Back to Junior

As of this writing Sean Monahan has had a strong training camp, which means the number of fans agitating for him to stay with the parent club all season has increased. I've gone on record before about this topic, but it bears repeating: burning a year of Monahan's ELC at this point would be a mistake.

Firstly, because the chances of Monahan actually helping the Flames do anything meaningful this year is almost zero. The kid is too young and the team is too far away from competing for that to be realistic. Since the lock-out, only 29 forwards between the ages of 18-19 have played 65 games or more in their rookie season. Only 10 of them scored more than 50 points.

Secondly, as mentioned, it would be a poor allocation of a precious, limited resource. Entry level contracts are artificially capped by the league and the best potential value deals a team has. Most kids aren't good enough during their first 3 pro years for that to matter much, but when potential stars come along, it makes sense to horde their 3 ELC seasons as long as possible - or least try to position them closer to a time when the team will be competitive in order to leverage those deals as much as possible.

Let's put it this way - would a season of cheap Sean Monahan be more useful to the Flames now? Or to the Flames in 2016-17, which would be the last year of his ELC if Calgary were to send him back to junior this season? Because that's the trade-off you make if Monahan sticks as an 18-19 year old.

It's true that rebuilding clubs have a habit of keeping their recent high draft picks around even as teens, and sometimes it might be warranted on merit, but mostly it seems to be a PR and marketing tool used to mollify a fanbase eager for something to cheer about. And although I'm personally excited to see Monahan strut his stuff in the NHL, it strikes me as short-sighted at best to toss him head first into year 1 of the Flames probably lengthy rebuild effort.

I'm in this for the long haul, the bigger payoff, so I'm willing to suppress the wish for instant gratification so the team has a better chance of winning later.

39d8109299a9795cb3b41a4e9b49d501
Former Nations Overlord. Current Fn contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#51 Jeff Lebowski
September 16 2013, 03:16PM
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Parallex wrote:

"it matters not if you win a fight, it matters that you are willing to compete that way"

Which means that in terms of comparative value it's worthless because in order for a fight to happen you require two participants. Meaning that any effect (however marginal or otherwise) gleaned is shared equally (if winning doesn't matter).

If people like the sideshow (are entertained by it) I'm happy for them but there is all sorts of evidence to suggest that there is little to be gained by it.

Why would the effect be shared equally? The impact is observed after the event. The point was how the fight makes other players play their games better by injecting 'willingness'.

I've never implied this distribution of willingness will be symmetrical and you would be hard pressed to show that it is.

Entertainment has nothing to do with it in my view.

A fight is like a PED for some. It may not show up in the winslosses but it's felt/observed.

Temporal effects etc etc.

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#52 Parallex
September 16 2013, 03:26PM
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@Jeff Lebowski

Because... "it matters not if you win a fight, it matters that you are willing to compete that way"... if willingness to compete that way is all that's required then by the nature of two participants in the fight would imply that both teams get "what matters".

Regardless, the actual effect is pretty meaningless...

http://www.puckprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=222

... if people want to be entertained by a couple of guys beating on each other in skates more power to them. Lot's of people like fights, the popularity of Boxing and the UFC (not to mention the circle that surrounds a schoolyard brawl) is testiment to that. But facts bare out that any actual benefit in hockey terms is incredably marginal at best (and probably negative after you weed out the opportunity cost of keeping a goon on roster/ice). I have no doubt that guys on the ice/bench do feel different after a fight... I'm sure watching got their adenaline going but the other side get's the same rush so I imagine in terms of "value" it's a wash.

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#53 Parallex
September 16 2013, 03:41PM
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@DoubleDIon

5 Minutes a night I figure. 4th liners of Jackman's ilk play 8-9 minutes a night and 3rd liners 13-14.

In the CHL he'll be playing probably 20-25M in all situations. He'll probably be served developmentally just as well if not better by playing in the CHL as he would the NHL.

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#54 Parallex
September 16 2013, 03:49PM
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T&A4Flames wrote:

Kent, I think you're leaving the psychological side out of this. If players, including prospects, are told reward by meritocracy, and they, by all accounts earn the right to play, but are not rewarded with a roster spot, what does that do to the long term psyche of a player? Especially a young kid? Do thoughts of no faith creep in?

Don't get me wrong, I would rather see Monahan returned to junior for 1 more year. I really want to see him at the WJC. I would like to see the Flames retain that year on his ELC. But I think you have to consider his long term psyche as well as the possible affect on his progress.

Who are the accounts that determined "earned"?

What if Monahan & Knight & Horak think they earned the right to continue playing? There's a limited number of spots you can't put everyone that thinks they should have a spot on the team because most likely they all think they earned a spot.

Someone/s going to end up playing for a team they think they shouldn't be playing on and ultimately they'll be fine with it because they all know they have to pay their dues on the way up.

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#55 SeanCharles
September 16 2013, 03:59PM
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Fighting is like a goal to get within one, like a bit hit, like a huge penalty kill, like a PP goal when you need it most.

Its something that shifts momentum in a game.

It most certainly injects emotion into teammates and in turn has on ice effects.

Fighting, and grit in general is a useful tool in hockey..

Grit doesnt mean we gotta have a bunch of guys who cant play the game. There are gritty superstars and gritty top 6 forwards and top 4 dman in the league.

Just because management wants to get grittier doesnt mean more fourth line players will be on the team.

Players like Galiardi, Cundari, Kanzig, Sieloff, Porier, Ferland, Agostino, Glencross and Gio are players that have grit in their game and they are good upside youngsters or our core vets.

Teams like LA, NYR, PHI, BOS, CHI all have gritty players up and down the lineup. They are some of the better teams in the league also.

Managements mandate to get bigger and grittier doeesnt mean they will compromise skill just to acheive it.

Skill and Grit are not two totally remote attributes in hockey. Players can have both..

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#56 Parallex
September 16 2013, 04:06PM
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@SeanCharles

But it doesn't (shift momentum in a game). League wide scoring rates in the aftermath of a fight don't vary to a significant degree.

Think about it... if a fight could change the momentum of a game (beyond some measure of random variation) why would the member of the team that already had momentum agree to engage in one? It doesn't make any sense for him to do that.

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#57 Clyde
September 16 2013, 04:08PM
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SeanCharles wrote:

Fighting is like a goal to get within one, like a bit hit, like a huge penalty kill, like a PP goal when you need it most.

Its something that shifts momentum in a game.

It most certainly injects emotion into teammates and in turn has on ice effects.

Fighting, and grit in general is a useful tool in hockey..

Grit doesnt mean we gotta have a bunch of guys who cant play the game. There are gritty superstars and gritty top 6 forwards and top 4 dman in the league.

Just because management wants to get grittier doesnt mean more fourth line players will be on the team.

Players like Galiardi, Cundari, Kanzig, Sieloff, Porier, Ferland, Agostino, Glencross and Gio are players that have grit in their game and they are good upside youngsters or our core vets.

Teams like LA, NYR, PHI, BOS, CHI all have gritty players up and down the lineup. They are some of the better teams in the league also.

Managements mandate to get bigger and grittier doeesnt mean they will compromise skill just to acheive it.

Skill and Grit are not two totally remote attributes in hockey. Players can have both..

Well said. Verbeek, Simpson, holmstrom, tocchet etc were great goal scorers because they went to the hard areas to get the goals. That is grit. I hope Ferland develops into that type of player. We need guys in those greasy areas battling as it will make our skill players that much more effective

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#58 Kevin R
September 16 2013, 04:11PM
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Keep seeing this argument that I think is totally pointless but seems to be brought up all the time. "Grit"! Well maybe if everyone in the Hockey World can agree to the true definition of "grit" we might one day come up with a consensus & the bean counters at Flames Nation can find a way to incorporate a value for it in their player analyses. Good luck with that.A Flames player who "Grit" was his middle name Ole Stefan Yelle. He didn't fight, he won faceoffs, he checked opposing players to the ground, he went into the dirty areas & he scored some pretty greasey goals. Now I remember another Flames player that one could categorize as "One Dimensional" Huselius, we used to call him pussylius. He was strictly an offensive player but like Don Cherry would say, he can walk into the corner with eggs in his uniform & come without breaking an egg.

I'm tired of people calling McGratten a Grit player. He's one dimensional, he pounds faces, he plays maybe 5 minutes a game & he's paid accordingly. Most NHL teams have this kind of player/component to their game. Lucic, is the bar of "grit", he's a beast. He'll fight a Mgratten & maybe win & he'll play powerplay & chances are he'll be in your top 4-5 scoring leaders. Just saying we need to move on with this debate & maybe define it better so most agree.

Monohan, I am in the camp if the kid plays well, contributes & carry's himself well, let him play. ELC's should have no bearing on that decision. So Carolina shouldn't have let Skinner stay when he was 19 & win the Calder trophy 2-3 years ago? Who can judge whether a kid is going to be elite or not if you don't let him play at the pro level. If Monohan were to be a Calder finalist, would that be such a bad thing? Is that bad for his development? Like Jerry Doucette would say, if he proves himself, well "Mamma Let Him Play"

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#59 SeanCharles
September 16 2013, 04:18PM
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On Monahan:

If he is good enough to play 3rd line mins in the NHL and succeed then he deserves to be here.

What kind of message does that send to the prospects?

From the start of the 'rebuild' they have said opportunity is there for unestablished guys to earn spots.

As bad as our drafting was in the past, some of the problem was we never gave our prospects enough ample opportunity to make the big club.

This year we have spots available and I think young players who are NHL ready should not be denied the opportunity to showcase their talents.

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#60 FireOnIce
September 16 2013, 04:22PM
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Question:

Where does Monahan rate on the #gritchart? I only care if he's truculent, and able to take PIMs.

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#61 jai kiran
September 16 2013, 04:24PM
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Parallex wrote:

But it doesn't (shift momentum in a game). League wide scoring rates in the aftermath of a fight don't vary to a significant degree.

Think about it... if a fight could change the momentum of a game (beyond some measure of random variation) why would the member of the team that already had momentum agree to engage in one? It doesn't make any sense for him to do that.

Why? Because he's been goaded into it. Because he thinks he'll look gutless if he doesn't. Because he's right into the moment and not thinking about logic and consequence.

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#62 ChinookArch
September 16 2013, 04:25PM
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@thymebalm

"Can you name 4 better centers playing for the Flames? I can name two."

I expect Corbin Knight will be better if not the same.

Fighting for 3rd or 4th line minutes will not do him any good, playing will. In my view, many young players are ruined by clubs rushing them into the NHL.

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#63 Tenbrucelees
September 16 2013, 04:28PM
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Instead of thinking about a player who has grit and doesn't offer much else, consider the reverse when a player and the collective team do not have the ability to respond to physical play.

Remember the little ball of hate punching Daniel Sedin. For me that wasn't only a turning point in the game, it was arguably when the Canucks lost the cup. The entire team were humiliated by their lack of response. By their lack of grit if you will.

Therefore while I fully agree that grit, toughness or whatever you wish to call 'it' is a slippery and difficult element to quantify, ignoring it can have very profound effects, especially when looked at in a team wide context. .

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#64 Parallex
September 16 2013, 04:29PM
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@SeanCharles

What if we have three guys (not including Backlund and Stajan) who are good enough to play 3rd line mins in the NHL?

Say Horak, Knight, and Monahan all meet that bar, what then?

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#65 Parallex
September 16 2013, 04:31PM
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jai kiran wrote:

Why? Because he's been goaded into it. Because he thinks he'll look gutless if he doesn't. Because he's right into the moment and not thinking about logic and consequence.

So in other words he'll do it because he's an idiot?

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#66 ChinookArch
September 16 2013, 04:34PM
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@Kevin R

Skinner earned and played top 6 minutes all season long, in his rookie year. Monahan will be a 4th liner behind Backlund, Stajan and Knight. Calgary isn't winning anything but a lottery pick this year. Let him develop with more playing time.

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#67 thymebalm
September 16 2013, 04:39PM
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ChinookArch wrote:

"Can you name 4 better centers playing for the Flames? I can name two."

I expect Corbin Knight will be better if not the same.

Fighting for 3rd or 4th line minutes will not do him any good, playing will. In my view, many young players are ruined by clubs rushing them into the NHL.

Is it rushing him if that's where he fits? I don't think so. Corbin Knight has not been better this preseason. Jooris and Knight have looked like they could be on the 4th line, but that's about it.

This whole concept that if an awesome young kid plays in the NHL it will ruin him is dramatic and I don't believe that it's true. Where is the list of top 10 picks ruined by playing as a teenager?

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#68 SeanCharles
September 16 2013, 04:41PM
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Parallex wrote:

But it doesn't (shift momentum in a game). League wide scoring rates in the aftermath of a fight don't vary to a significant degree.

Think about it... if a fight could change the momentum of a game (beyond some measure of random variation) why would the member of the team that already had momentum agree to engage in one? It doesn't make any sense for him to do that.

Ive watched enough hockey to know it has an effect on players compete level. Im not saying every fight results in a huge sway in momentum and thus goals. But sometimes it definately does sway this.

A spirited fight, along with abig hit, can spark the fans and manufacture an emotional boost within teamates.

Hockey is a competative game and sometimes in the heat of the moment players fight even though it might not be in the best interest of the team.

Im sure in close, physical, scrappy games when the game is on the line the coach has instructed players to under no circumstance fight.

You can see in some games losing teams try to manufacture a fight but to no avail. Usually in blow out games. Thus sometimes teams choose not to fight because they know it can change the complexion of the game.

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#69 DoubleDIon
September 16 2013, 04:43PM
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@Parallex

Our 4th liners last year played 7:30 a game. Our third line center played 15+ or 17+ a night depending on whether you considered Stajan or Backlund the 3rd line center. So more than double the ice time. It's significant, not minor. He could probably play 40 minutes a game in Junior B, so really it come down to which league is he going to get better coaching, ice time and competition in. I think two of those elements are obvious wins at the NHL level. If he's good enough to play 15-17 minutes a night then I want his development to continue at the NHL level. If he's not, send him down to junior.

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#70 The Last Big Bear
September 16 2013, 04:49PM
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@Jeff Lebowski

" (he makes people better - perhaps in more ways than shots)"

Woah, woah, woah. Slow down, cowboy.

Are you new here or something? If it doesn't show up in shot differential, it doesn't exist. Period.

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#71 jai kiran
September 16 2013, 04:55PM
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Parallex wrote:

So in other words he'll do it because he's an idiot?

Well, he's definitely making a mistake: but, you know, athletes make mistakes. Like SeanCharles says "Hockey is a competitive game and sometimes in the heat of the moment players fight even though it might not be in the best interest of the team."

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#72 Parallex
September 16 2013, 04:55PM
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@DoubleDIon

...and the year before they played 9:30ish and in 08-09 Glencross played 14:40 almost exclusively on the third line. Like everything it varies year to year.

I'm still waiting to hear what people think ought to happen if all three of Knight, Horak, and Monahan all play well enough to credable hold the 3C spot.

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#73 SeanCharles
September 16 2013, 05:00PM
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Parallex wrote:

What if we have three guys (not including Backlund and Stajan) who are good enough to play 3rd line mins in the NHL?

Say Horak, Knight, and Monahan all meet that bar, what then?

Well I would say there are a couple centre spots open and Knight wouldnt be hurt by playing 4th line mins. Throwing Horak into the mix makes it more difficult.

Well your not gonna keep Monahan as an extra forward so either make room for him and Horak or send him back.

I dont see him playing in the NHL this season as a waste so long he gets playing time(If he is indeed ready).

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#74 Parallex
September 16 2013, 05:03PM
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@jai kiran

I don't buy it.

If it were that meaningful hockey front offices would have weeded out the "mistake making" fighters (they'd replace the fighter who fights at the wrong time with one that elects to fight at the right time). There would be no "momentum changing" fights because eventually fighting would only be able to exist in a momuntum neutral environment

Strikes me as hokum.

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#75 Jeff Lebowski
September 16 2013, 05:07PM
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Because... "it matters not if you win a fight, it matters that you are willing to compete that way"... if willingness to compete that way is all that's required then by the nature of two participants in the fight would imply that both teams get "what matters".

Sure. But if I'm understanding you correctly, it means both teams get it 50/50. What about 60/40 (or any other unsymmetrical ratio) ? If you can accept that then is it fair to say there can be an advantage gained?

Why would an opponent give you the opportunity to gain an advantage? They don't always do (guys turn down fights all the time) and it's an emotional and intense game.

I understand that in terms of the outcomes of games, something more predictive would be goals so therefore shots. Once a goal is scored it's put on the board and never comes off. The effect is felt throughout the entire game after.

Fights and importantly the after effects, are felt for short moments in indirect areas. Take for example, beating out an icing after a fight that you wouldn't have if the fight never happened. You changed the outcome because of that willingness advantage or injection. After beating out the icing you need to make a bunch of other plays to get a shot and goal. What do you track to explain why the goal happened, the shot or the beating the icing (after effect of fight)?

I think it's difficult to 'see' in the data because of how temporal the effects are in order to make enough successive plays to change momentum. It doesn't change momentum on it's own always but it can if a team capitalizes on the advantage. You then look less at the fight after effects and more on what gets capitalized (ultimately shots). You don't always score so it never gets immortalized on the scoreboard.

Retrospectively the new context the fight produced is lost. You don't remember the beat icing (and all the other plays), you remember the shot.

The other team wants to win too so there are constant battles for momentum that can completely destroy any advantage gained from a fight. However saying a fight is always a wash is not understanding the nuance of what unfolds in a game. I very humbly state this because I am not an expert and could very well be wrong but to me stats don't describe the moment to moment nuance, they describe aggregates over time.

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#76 Parallex
September 16 2013, 05:09PM
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SeanCharles wrote:

Well I would say there are a couple centre spots open and Knight wouldnt be hurt by playing 4th line mins. Throwing Horak into the mix makes it more difficult.

Well your not gonna keep Monahan as an extra forward so either make room for him and Horak or send him back.

I dont see him playing in the NHL this season as a waste so long he gets playing time(If he is indeed ready).

So Monahan would be hurt playing fourth line but nobody else would?

Uh huh, If this arbitrary "#3C or higher" bar applies to Monahan then I don't see why it shouldn't apply to Knight and Horak. Neither of them are muckers (they actually both have the same basic profile as Monahan... 2-way north/south Centers) neither of them strike me as finished products.

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#77 Danger
September 16 2013, 05:11PM
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Parallex wrote:

...and the year before they played 9:30ish and in 08-09 Glencross played 14:40 almost exclusively on the third line. Like everything it varies year to year.

I'm still waiting to hear what people think ought to happen if all three of Knight, Horak, and Monahan all play well enough to credable hold the 3C spot.

Interesting question (what if all three play well enough to stick). I think the likely result in that scenario, all else being equal, is Knight and Horak take turns playing 3C with the other guy playing on the wing in Calgary or 1C in Abby, and Monahan goes down. I think this is likely because Monahan is the youngest and furthest away from free agency.

As for what ought to happen, I think the best player should stick, regardless of who that turns out to be.

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#78 Parallex
September 16 2013, 05:18PM
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I just think that if we're going to adapt a model I'd rather ours resemble Detroit (ripen and over-ripen prospects) over Edmonton (eat'um green).

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#79 Danger
September 16 2013, 05:22PM
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@Jeff Lebowski

Great post. Now I finally get your point, wasn't quite following you before. So you're saying that fighting has an effect but it's a smaller effect - we'd need much more fine-grained statistics to be able to observe it. I don't know if your theory is right, but is interesting and it sounds like the sort of thing that could be tested (at least in principle).

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#80 chillout
September 16 2013, 05:28PM
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@Parallex

The difference is we're using a "meritocracy" so if Monahan earns the spot that means he will be playing 3rd line or better. They've been preaching the meritocracy big time so they better follow through.

I've competed at the highest levels of sport myself and also coached so I've seen and experienced it that when you're physically and mentally ready you are better served to step into a challenge rather than mess around with something easy. wasting a year on easy hockey I think would hurt him more than being forced to elevate his game. a thinker like him will see whole new ways to play and improve.

If he earns it he stays! Besides his bridge contract as a younger guy will be cheaper than the bigger payday if he was a year or two older.

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#81 piscera.infada
September 16 2013, 05:28PM
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@Parallex

"Who are the accounts that determined "earned"?"

This would be the management and coaching staff - not the fans, not the player 'feeling' he's ready. I really think this is fairly cut and dry. Management and the coaches know what's at stake here, likewise they've spent much more time around the likes of Monahan, Knight, and Horak - one could almost say they would know their games intimately well. As such, I don't think it's right to question their decision either way simply on the business aspect of the game (ie. ELC years)*.

I would like to see him go back to junior (assuming he is "ready") only because of the WJHC. That said, I have a hard time believing Monahan would get to stay with the big club as a bench-warmer - seeing as how we've heard all offseason that the management group sees that scenario as extremely counter-intuitive.

*[Read: simply on the business aspect. If, in fact, there are maturity, physical, emotional, etc. issues, and they choose to keep any of them up, by all means question.]

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#82 jai kiran
September 16 2013, 05:32PM
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Parallex wrote:

So Monahan would be hurt playing fourth line but nobody else would?

Uh huh, If this arbitrary "#3C or higher" bar applies to Monahan then I don't see why it shouldn't apply to Knight and Horak. Neither of them are muckers (they actually both have the same basic profile as Monahan... 2-way north/south Centers) neither of them strike me as finished products.

Yeah, there's a difference between the way you develop a 6th overall pick and the way you develop two 5th rounders.

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#83 Parallex
September 16 2013, 05:39PM
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Y'know what I'd like... I'd like a new agreement between the NHL, NHLPA, AHL and CHL that allows one 18 or 19yo player per AHL team to play in the AHL under a Special Player Contract (with the AHL club) that won't burn a year off their ELC.

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#84 piscera.infada
September 16 2013, 05:40PM
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jai kiran wrote:

Yeah, there's a difference between the way you develop a 6th overall pick and the way you develop two 5th rounders.

I don't really agree with this. If Knight and/or Horak beat Monahan out for 3C and Monahan is "ready", but not "as ready", you send Monahan back. The point is that we're trying to properly develop as many prospects as possible - not one at the behest of all the others.

Oh, and Parallex, the opportunity to send Monahan to the AHL would be music to my ears.

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#85 Parallex
September 16 2013, 05:41PM
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@jai kiran

Balderdash. Once a players in your system where they were drafted is irrevelant. Also: What piscera.infada said above. Monahan shouldn't get any special treatment at the expense of other prospects.

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#86 jai kiran
September 16 2013, 05:53PM
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Parallex wrote:

Balderdash. Once a players in your system where they were drafted is irrevelant. Also: What piscera.infada said above. Monahan shouldn't get any special treatment at the expense of other prospects.

No. You develop the player according to what the players potential is. You may believe that Horak and Knight have the same potential as Monahan, but you would be close to alone in this.

If either Horak or Knight plays as 4th line center this year, plays 5 or 7 minutes a night every night then that helps them develop into regular useful bottom 6 NHL players. Because if those guys can eventually fill that role that's a win for the Flames.

If Monahan isn't playing significant minutes, you're damaging his ability to grow into a top 6 forward: which is the only role he can eventually fill that's a win for the Flames.

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#87 exsanguinator
September 16 2013, 06:04PM
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Parallex wrote:

5 Minutes a night I figure. 4th liners of Jackman's ilk play 8-9 minutes a night and 3rd liners 13-14.

In the CHL he'll be playing probably 20-25M in all situations. He'll probably be served developmentally just as well if not better by playing in the CHL as he would the NHL.

If he's playing 13-14 minutes a night on a third line that is deployed as defensibly responsible and drives play he's going to develop a lot better than playing 20-25 minutes against opponents that he's going to run roughshod over.

I think that the more time spent at a higher level with the expectation of being a competent 2 way center will do a lot more for his development than the CHL would.

At the very least give him an AHL contract. Troy Ward will work wonders with this kid.

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#88 Pizzaman
September 16 2013, 06:07PM
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WOW Dropping Latin phrases into a discussion of grit followed by distinctions and clarification of the definition of grit (does not only equal fighting). If UofC wants to save their Philosophy program they should start at Flamesnation! Let me complicate by adding individual grit versus Team grit. Being tough to play against means skill, desire, speed And grit. My only Latin phrase is "Semper ubi sub ubi" which I believe is "non-sequitur".

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#89 piscera.infada
September 16 2013, 06:08PM
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@exsanguinator

They can't give him an AHL contract. It's CHL or NHL for the kid. Thus, the issue (if he could play in the AHL we probably wouldn't be having this conversation).

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#90 kittensandcookies
September 16 2013, 07:05PM
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I'm just happy we have some prospects that actually seem to have some real potential so that questions about them playing in the NHL aren't just fantasy.

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#91 Kevin R
September 16 2013, 07:31PM
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ChinookArch wrote:

Skinner earned and played top 6 minutes all season long, in his rookie year. Monahan will be a 4th liner behind Backlund, Stajan and Knight. Calgary isn't winning anything but a lottery pick this year. Let him develop with more playing time.

Well if his play is that, that garners 4th line, I totally agree & send him down. I don't think Knight has been playing better than him & I would rather put him on the #2 line & Stajan on the 3rd line. But only if he plays better than Knight, Horak or Reinhart. I'm not advocating keeping him up just because, he needs to play well enough. Skinner did earned & played top 6 minutes that year, why couldn't Monahan do the same?

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#92 chillout
September 16 2013, 07:39PM
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@jai kiran

boy am I glad you are not in charge of developing players for any sport anywhere....well at least I sure hope you're not.....politics anyone??

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#93 Baalzamon
September 16 2013, 07:42PM
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I'd say it's entirely reasonable to say Backlund, Stajan, and Horak are all currently better than Monahan, and it's likely that both Reinhart and Knight are more NHL-ready as well.

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#94 FireOnIce
September 16 2013, 07:48PM
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RE: the game against Ottawa tonight.

OTT just scored short-handed on Berra. Not stoked on that. The Flames just picked up from last season it seems.

Jarmoe has 2 goals for Boston tonight. He's playing with Lucic and Krug. I will be very disappointed if he ends up having a 35-40 goal season. We'll know then that he bombed it in Calgary just to be cut loose.

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#95 iggy pop
September 16 2013, 07:55PM
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FireOnIce wrote:

RE: the game against Ottawa tonight.

OTT just scored short-handed on Berra. Not stoked on that. The Flames just picked up from last season it seems.

Jarmoe has 2 goals for Boston tonight. He's playing with Lucic and Krug. I will be very disappointed if he ends up having a 35-40 goal season. We'll know then that he bombed it in Calgary just to be cut loose.

Yeah like he did with the Penguins too... All he ever wanted was to play with the Bruins right... Give up on the iggy bashing already. Done more for calgary and the flames than anyone on this board ever will... sheesh

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#96 Jeff Lebowski
September 16 2013, 08:08PM
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Danger wrote:

Great post. Now I finally get your point, wasn't quite following you before. So you're saying that fighting has an effect but it's a smaller effect - we'd need much more fine-grained statistics to be able to observe it. I don't know if your theory is right, but is interesting and it sounds like the sort of thing that could be tested (at least in principle).

Yes. So off the top of my head, teams practice battle drills. One on one board battles or other effort plays. If you tracked individual and team winning percentages ie board battle winning percentage, like with faceoffs, you could see if those change after a fight.

Moreover, it seems the analysis was to find a difference in shot rate. The analysis presumably shows no change in shot rate. The key being what constitutes a shot.

What I mean is, a team's rate or raw number might not change, say it's 15. However, the quality of the shots that make that number might be vastly different. A fight makes your team play harder, you get to the 'dirty' areas more and shoot higher percentage shots (scoring chances). Their goalie still stops those shots so it doesn't affect goals. Your shot rate is still 15 but it's composed of high percentage shots compared to low percentage shots.

So 2 identical shot rates: 15. One with high percentage or scoring chance shots and the other with low percentage. Can you say both games were played the same? You may not score, you may still lose but how you played is night and day.

A digression about fighting and an illumination about discerning nuance from aggregate stats: A memorable goal in Flames history is the Steve Smith scoring into his own net. Some player X on Calgary got credited with the goal. Looking back at the data and having no knowledge of what happened it would be rational to think player X made a great play, I mean he got credited with a shot and goal. The stats don't describe what Steve Smith did.

If that is how you are going to look for something (effect after a fight) you will never see its signal because your method is not discerning enough.

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#97 exsanguinator
September 16 2013, 08:18PM
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piscera.infada wrote:

They can't give him an AHL contract. It's CHL or NHL for the kid. Thus, the issue (if he could play in the AHL we probably wouldn't be having this conversation).

I was not aware of this. Thank you.

Is he not old enough or something?

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#98 calgaryfan
September 16 2013, 08:19PM
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Monahan should go back to junior and dominate the OHL, along with playing at the world junior tournament. Much better to grow his confidence than be a third or fouth liner with the flames. Not a fan of just having a goon on the bench that can only fight.

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#99 FireOnIce
September 16 2013, 08:58PM
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@iggy pop

Boo hoo, we get it, Iginla was your man god. Get over yourself. Don't put words in my mouth.

Are you saying that I'm not allowed to have an opinion until I make millions of dollars and give it all to the City of Calgary? How about I just do things like show up to flood-damaged areas, help people clean their houses, and donate food/clothing/other goods? Or perhaps I could list off a bunch of other volunteering I've done for various groups in the city.

I've had all sorts of praise for him and I wear my Iginla jersey proudly. He looks good playing with Lucic and Krug, and he scored 2 goals. I'm going to be disappointed if he plays awesome this season, because I would prefer him to do that on the Flames.

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#100 Baalzamon
September 16 2013, 09:20PM
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@FireOnIce

Krug is a dman... is it possible you're thinking of Krejci?

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