Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
March 09 2013 04:07PM
For the Toronto Marlies, games like today's are ones you're expected to feast on, but actually dread. Yes, the struggling Abbotsford Heat had won just 1 of 11 games leading up to today. It sounds advantageous, but stats like that lead to taking games too easily, while the struggling opponents have an extra sense in urgency. Sure enough, that was the case here tonight, as the blue and white dropped this one 4-2.
March 09 2013 02:14PM
A slight hiccup for the Toronto Maple Leafs in Boston the other night, but Toronto have still won more than they've lost over this recent stretch of games, and have won more than they've lost on the season. They currently sit 15-10-0 in the Eastern Conference, good for 5th, and presumably need 12 more wins in the next 23 games to make the playoffs. Good news, Matt Frattin is returning to the lineup tonight.
It's a tough task tonight against Pittsburgh. I hate to use this word, but the Penguins may be the most enigmatic club in the National Hockey League. Their +15 goal differential is 2nd in the conference, they're 2nd in the conference in points and have scored more goals than any team in the NHL. They also, however, have given up a tonne of goals, found themselves down 4-1 to Philadelphia on Thursday before coming back and last Saturday blew a one-goal lead and a two-goal lead in a wild 7-6 game against Montreal.
Pittsburgh is a team that looks like they could win the Stanley Cup easily one night, then come out the next night and give up six goals in a loss against Florida. Such is life for a team built on offence and shooting talent and not much else.
March 08 2013 03:52PM
Yesterday I discussed some of the entrenched misperceptions about statistical analysis in hockey and why they are misguided. Today, in a post called "Hockey's Counting Problem", Cam Charron looked at some of the significant obstacles standing in the way of effective, evidence-based analysis truly getting a foothold in the NHL's upper offices.
Two challenges he touches on that I want to discuss in greater depth are top-down vs bottom-up processes and the clash between long-term decision making and short-term incentives.
March 08 2013 10:38AM
Let's be honest here - it's the Bruins. What did you expect?
March 07 2013 09:04PM
It was a rough night for the Nazem Kadri line and I'm trying to figure exactly why. I don't think it was because Kadri was roughed up along the Bruins bench late in the first period and Brad Marchand jabbed at him, because Kadri and Clarke MacArthur connected on a pretty goal early in the next period.
Then again, it was a rough night for a whole lot of Leafs. Not in the physical sense, but just in the sense that their early pressure on the Boston Bruins' net and Anton Khudobin got unrewarded, three defensive breakdowns cost the Leafs goals against and they ended up with a 4-2 loss at the Boston Gardens, their 8th straight defeat against one of the best teams in the East.
That said, it's not as bad as the scoreboard indicated. When the Leafs went down 3-1 late in the second, I got the impression that the Leafs deserved better. Recap below.