-Craig Anderson will get the start against the Kings. Lines seem to be: Michalek-Spezza/Da Costa-Ryan, MacArthur-Turris-Conacher, Greening-Smith-Neil, Kassian-Pageau-Condra. Da Costa will play if Spezza can’t.
-I have no idea why anyone is getting excited/anxious about Bobby Ryan and Nichols traces the concern back not to the fanbase but to the media. Fake controversies are nothing new, albeit they remain extremely annoying.
-The Sens have posted their first prospect update.
-Mark Parisi talks about the nature of groin injuries by quoting a pair of doctors at length–for those interested in the mechanics of it, it’s very thorough.
-Mika Zibanejad was interviewed by Ian Mendes and Nichols transcribes it for us–noteworthy in that Mika says all the right things.
-Speaking of Binghamton, Jeff Ulmer offers a blow-by-blow account of their game against Syracuse.
-Josh W explores how luck impacts analytics when it comes to predicting outcomes in hockey (the article assumes you are familiar with the concepts therein) and while admitting to a small sample size his conclusions are interesting.
It was interesting to see that the AHL has more parity than the NHL, my assumption would be that is because it is talent that is near the same, people who are just below NHL talent level, or younger players developing. You don’t see the superstars that the NHL would have. Also interesting is how stable the OHL is versus the QMJHL, but that could be a small sample size. Another thing that I was surprised to see, although it makes sense by inspection, that talent does not equal parity. This goes hand in hand with the NHL vs KHL. The KHL is the league closest to the NHL (at least in terms of NHL equivalency points, assuming the NHL is the top league). Leagues with much lower talent have more parity than the KHL (I.e. the ECHL). So while parity != talent, as parity is the difference between your best and worst teams, the less parity your league has the easier it is to predict the leagues. The more parity the closer the games move towards a coin flip.
-The absurd idea that Kay Whitmore can police goaltending equipment throughout the NHL does not get any bolster from Pierre LeBrun‘s brief mention:
I’ll be going around more [this year], doing more unexpected visits to rinks around the league
“More” than what? Why is it just Whitmore? One man cannot police the goaltending community and the idea that it’s working is only going to be bolstered if someone gets suspended–something that has yet to occur and I don’t expect it to happen this season.
-Lance Hornby looks at how Borje Salming opened the door to the influx of Europeans into the NHL.
-Ian C McLaren looks at hockey fandom and why there’s so much acrimony and his best point is this:
Last spring, Jeff Marek made an interesting point on the MvsW podcast that speaks to the divisive nature of sports fandom. His basic premise was that sports marketing and culture is set up to create and “us vs them” mentality, and that this is expressed most clearly in the use of “(Blank) Nation” or “(Blank) Army” or “(Blank)Fam” *barf* to describe a fan base. What this does is establish a mobilization of the fans wherein we feel as though we are actually part of the battle, so to speak.
This is absolutely the case, although I’ve always found broadcasters much more annoying than fans of opposing teams (I mean really, can we blame someone for cheering their team on in the opposing building?). I’m less fond of this chestnut McLaren poses:
For example, if Player X on Team Y commits an act that we deem to be egregious, we demand that he be suspended and label the player and the team a certain way. BUT, if Player Z on my favorite team commits a similar act, well then we spin it any which way to make it out to be not so bad, that the world is just out to get us.
Is it really that simplistic? Can we accept without discussion that people are that stupid? Has it ever been seriously studied? To my mind it’s all based on context; there’s a wide range of actions that occur on the ice and there’s a big difference between a player who chirps and commits minor fowls to rankle the opposition versus head hunters like Raffi Torres or Matt Cooke. The fact that all actions are lumped together just doesn’t pass the smell test.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)
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