October 07 2011 11:56AM
The new season is finally upon us. The sun rises on 2011-12 and with it a new dawn for the Nations Network. We've added some new sites and new faces this summer and are currently working away in Wanye's secret hide-out on future various plans and schemes. Here's a little of what you can expect from us this season:
October 07 2011 09:33AM
Old face, new faces, different management, same coach. It's a cross-roads season for the Calgary Flames with the organization wriggling itself clear of Darryl Sutter's long shadow. Jay Feaster pruned two of the more expendable members of the former "core" in Daymond Langkow and Robyn Regehr this summer, but is still apparently set on battling it out amongst the Western Conference's middle class for a post-season berth.
The rebuild, or retool, or whatever you want to call the post-Sutter efforts is likely to be done in degrees rather than a single, purifying conflagration, so the team and we the fans will be caught between worlds this year. Here's how Flamesnation sees things as we head into the unknown:
October 06 2011 04:28PM
We've gone from one end of the Nation Network to the other, polling writers from Canucks Army on the West Coast to Leafs Nation in the East (readers of the latter site, please feel free to substitute "Universal Center" for "East" in your minds) and everywhere in between.
What we've come back with are the Nations' projected NHL standings for 2011-12.
October 06 2011 01:32PM
You all know Elliotte Friedman – he’s the Hockey Night in Canada Broadcaster who happens to write the best English language hockey column in the world. His 30 Thoughts go up every Monday (they’re rarely delayed, but when they are, Twitter has a panic-attack). No one captures chatter from the rink quite like Friedman does every Monday. It’s those insightful tidbits that make his 30 Thoughts columns indispensible to NHL fans. When 30 Thoughts returned from its summer hiatus this year, I noticed that Friedman was talking about zone-starts and hockey analytics in a way he previously hadn’t done. I thought perhaps there had been a change in his thinking over the summer in regards to fancy-stats, so I decided to e-mail him and see if he’d talk “moneypuck” with me. Elliotte agreed, and while I had my Wayne Campbell meeting Alice Cooper moment, we set the date of the interview for this past Tuesday. On Tuesday, Elliotte’s wife gave birth to the couples first son – but Elliotte e-mailed me the next day and was still interested in talking about hockey-stats. On behalf of the Nation Network, I’d like to extend my gratitude to Elliotte for his candor and class, and our congratulations to him and his wife on the birth of their son. What follows is the conversation we had:
Thom Drance: Elliotte, one of the main reasons I wanted to speak with you was the appearance of advanced metrics in your regular 30 thoughts column beginning last month, I'm curious, how would you describe your interest in these number?
Elliotte Friedman: I've always been interested in statistical analysis and what it can mean. I think that, in this day and age if you're not open-minded to something – it's a bad thing. You have to be open minded to all ideas and theories to see if they really make sense, and can help you judge players, teams or whatever. For me it was just a matter of having the time to figure out what they were trying to do, and if they made any sense.
October 06 2011 10:25AM
Every Thursday we're using the Snepsts system to project how many points each of the Flames may score this year. The Snepsts system, explained over at Hockey Prospectus, searches history for players with similar statistics (adjusted for era scoring levels) and uses their future performance as yardsticks for today's.