Sorry about the lack of post game article last night folks. The truth is, with the end of the season looming and the games mattering less and less, it’s becoming harder and harder to muster the fortitude it takes to write about them. For those interested though, here’s an overview:
Despite a lackluster line-up, the Flames kept pace for the first half of the game and were even leading 2-1 thanks to a beauty snipe from Brodie and break-away marker from Cervenka. The Predators took over the game after that, though and ended up outchancing the Flames at almost a 2-1 margin overall. The Flames nevertheless made it close via Cervenka’s 2nd goal (a tipped point shot) and a last minute flurry with Kipper pulled.
Sven Baertschi had another two assists, moving his point streak to six games.
– Also, the scoring chances:
(Flames in Blue)
– TJ Brodie +8, -5 despite playing all night. Not sure how he does it. Also Ben Street , Blair Jones and Ben Hanowski’s numbers are surprising. Akim Aliu, on the other hand, took two penalties and was outchanced +2 to -8 in just 12 minutes of ice time. Yeesh.
– Last night was a good one for scoreboard watchers. New Jersey, Buffalo and Philadelphia won, pushing them four and three points ahead of Calgary respectively, while Nasvhille and Carolina both won, putting them just one point back of the Flames.
Colorado, on the other hand, lost to St. Louis which was a kind of double-edged sword for Calgary – the two points guatantees the Blues a playoff spot and therefore another first rounder for the Flames in June. On the other hand, that means the Avs can’t possibly catch the Flames even if they win out. As a result, the lowest Calgary can drop in the standings is now 28th.
The range of outcomes is rapidly starting to narrow at both ends. If PHX, NJD, or BUF get just one more point in their remaining contests, the Flames can’t possibly catch any of them. Likely, the real "battle" for draft positioning is between Calgary (42 points), Nashville (41), Edmonton (41) and Carolina (41) with Tampa Bay (38) and Philadelphia (45) at the margins, which equates to a probable range of 27th-24th overall (draft picks 4-7). Edmonton has the most games left of those teams listed (3) so are technically in a better position to finish higher, but let’s not underestimate their ability to fail their way to yet another high draft pick.
– On a more general note, Jesse Spector of the Sporting News had an interesting article on Jim Corsi yesterday, the Buffalo goalie coach who created the "corsi" stat. The article also discusses a bit how corsi came to be used by people like myself as a measure of skater performance.
– Related, Cam Charron gave a detailed explanation of the "PDO" stat back in January, which I think it perhaps the most important (and least intuitive) "advanced stat" in hockey today. If you’re a gambler or a fantasy hockey player, PDO is all you’d really need to follow and understand to make money.
– Double related: thanks to the talk about corsi and PDO, some folks dug through some old blog archives where these things initially came to be and were discussed. For example, here’s where corsi made its appearance. The author in question, Vic Ferrari, is kind of the Bill James of the advanced stats movement in hockey. Some of you will likely recognize some names in the comments, including my old online pseudonym. The first comment is also by "PDO", the guy who initially conceived of the "luck stat", which was later named after him as a result.
– Many people ask why most of hockey’s new stats have such odd names. The nomenclature kind of arose out of on-going discussions between a number of folks in isolated corners on the internet more or less out of convenience. No one was thinking about the future "marketability" or accessiblity of the names at the time, because, frankly, none of us thought it would be anything more than just that – an interesting discussion.
At one point I may be tempted to go back and chart the history and growth of adavanced analysis in the blog world, as well as how I came to be involved and my own minor contributions.
– Tyler Dellow, one of the significant early pioneers and adopters of advanced stats, had a note on why the de-centralized, bottom-up model of stats discovery and experimentation is successful versus isolated "expert" models here:
I think it’s fair to say that many academics take a dim view of what goes on online and from non-academic experts. As a result, I think a lot of them aren’t involved in the internet discussion about these topics and don’t even follow it. They just do their thing their academic way.
His reference is a THoR player evaluation model presented at the Sloan Analytics conference that was hopelessly confounded by issues that have been well known in online stats circles for years: playing-to-score effects and rink biases. The paper was presented by a company that provides consulting services for NHL teams.
– Skipping back to the Blues for a second: the win means Jay Bouwmeester will, for the first time in his long career, make the post-season. I imagine he was tempted to skate off the bench and celebrate like he’d already won the cup when the buzzer went last night (assuming Jay Bouwmeester actually feels anything at all).
– A little teaser for something we’ll be announcing soon:
Testing out the new playoff game. This thing is gonna be siiiiiiiiick #streakcred
— Wanye (@WanyeGretz) April 23, 2013
The game we’ve come up with is a fun one and we have some big, big media names who are going to take part. And the prizes are not only awesome, but open to be won by anyone in the world.
– Finally, on a completely personal note, I was recently hired by Mosaic Studios here in Calgary to help them with new business development and digital strategizing (that’s a word, right?). Mosaic is an established, full service marketing/communications shop that can do everything from websites and mail-outs to branding, campaigns, event management, etc.
So if any of you out there are looking for marketing services for your business or company and you’d like to work with me outside of the narrow world of hockey fandom, drop me a line sometime via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Linkedin.
Of course, this doesn’t mean I’m leaving FN or the Nations. It just means I really hate having free time, apparently.