–Marc Brassard writes about Stephane Da Costa and the most interesting comment comes from Paul MacLean:
I think he [Da Costa] is in better shape … His strength and his skating is good, while his vision of the game has never been questioned. It is stronger and consequently faster, so it can ‘compete ‘ at a higher level . He is very close [to being an NHL player].
Which reminds me of one of my favourite comments about Da Costa when he was in the NCAA:
he looks like McLovin’ with his shirt off
If his conditioning is actually where it should be I expect him to have a big year in Binghamton.
–Travis Yost talks about Paul MacLean favouring pairs of players on lines with a rotating third. It was pointed out to Travis is that the 80s Oilers and 70s Canadiens did the same thing, so the idea goes back to Scotty Bowman, but seems to be firmly attached to talented lineups.
–ESPN offers its Ultimate Team Rankings by:
[surveying] 1,011 sports fans across North America in the spring to determine what they want most in return for the emotion, money and time they invest in their favorite clubs. Our poll covered 25 topics, from “has likable players” to “provides an avenue for fans to give feedback to the franchise.” Next, through ESPN.com and NetReflector, a Seattle opinion research company, we asked fans to rate their favorite teams online in each category. (Thanks to the 59,298 of you who responded!) We grouped the grades into seven of the eight subjects you see at right. For the remaining category, bang for the buck, we relied on calculations we’ve developed with researchers at the University of Oregon’s Warsaw Sports Marketing Center to figure out how efficiently teams convert revenues from fans into performance on the field (including postseason victories). Finally, we combined each team’s score across all eight categories into a weighted average, based on the results of our national poll. Since fans said affordability was about 40 percent more important than stadium experience, for example, our formula reflects that.
The Sens were 9th overall (3rd best among NHL teams–Pittsburgh was first; Ottawa was 82nd last year). Full details are here; the stadium experience was the lowest ranked, while coaching was highest. The lovely Leafs appeared as the worst team (in all leagues) for both affordability and bang for the buck–congrats!
–Mark Parisi offers his ups and downs for the pre-season and my favourite comment is this:
Michael Sdao: This kid is all over the place. Shooting, fighting, hitting… he needs some coaching to help settle him down. Like the potential, though.
Mark brings up a good point–the last thing the Sens need Sdao doing is shooting, fighting, and hitting. The coach probably wants to get Chris Neil and Zack Smith to cut out that crap too. Shooting seems like a particular problem the team should avoid.
–Jeremy Milks offers his thoughts on the Sens-Leafs pre-season game, but I’m less interested in his comments than him calling Jean-Gabriel Pageau a “kid”–no doubt channelling his inner (outer?) Don Cherry.
–Greg Wyshynski looks at the purpose of captains in the NHL and concludes:
It tells you where a franchise is headed, or where it wants to go. It gives you a psych evaluation of the roster. It reveals who the leaders are, and who’s along for the ride.
This is an interesting theory, but Greg doesn’t justify the statement. I think what he’s trying to say is that (for example) if a star player is awarded the captaincy it’s based on the hope that the player will justify the move by providing leadership, whereas a non-star is given the C in the hopes that their work ethic/intangibles will spur on imitation. It seems like a reasonable enough conclusion, although I’d be more interested in seeing someone trying to discern how effective it really is.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)