Nation Radio – May 12, 2012



The hot topic this week was the launch of the Nation Network’s newest project NHLNumbers blog. Derek Zona, Kent Wilson and others stopped by to talk about how the new site came to be as well as what readers can expect from it down the road. In addition, Ben Massey called in to talk the Oilers and Edmonton FC while Kent Simpson updates us on the Oil Kings playoff march.

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This is Nation Radio.

Segment 1

First up is Cam Charron of Canucks Army and Backhand Shelf. Cam and Allan discuss NHLNumbers, advanced stats and the potential fate of Roberto Luongo.

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Segment 2

Derek Zona of Copper ‘n Blue and NHLNumbers shares his vision for the new project as well as his recent 2012 mock draft article and a defense of Sam gagner.

Segment 3

It’s a double dose of Canucks writers, with guest number two being Canucks Army managing editor Thom Drance. Vigneault, Luongo and stats are the main topics.

Segment 4

Next, Nation Overlord Kent Wilson looks at the NHLNumbers launch in detail. He also compares Nail Yakupv to Taylor Hall.

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Segment 5

Benjamin Massey of Copper ‘n Blue joins to discuss Tom Renney, the NHL draft as well as Edmonton’s football club.

Segment 6

Finally, we end with regular guest Kent Simpson, color commentator of the Edmonton Oil Kings. He and LT go over the Kings great season, Oilers prospect Martin Gernat and 20 year old players.


The whole show.

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  • Lowetide

    Nabokov was great during the S.Burke playoff duel, but sucked ever since. I guess it is tough when you have three close-aged goalies. Nb, Kipper, Toskala. Biron, Noronen, Miller. Varlamov, Neuvirth, Holtby. I think Caps played it right with Varlamov weak glove and good #15 pick from Colorado. Yeah, physical coaches are bad with WHC penalty calls. Either goon it up all the way as Crosby payback or not at all. Beautiful fans but oh god the whistles and lack of ice sounds.

    Buff on D is interesting. More ice time and big slapper. A slow FW can be an asset, ask C.Pronger and whoever Vancouver matched up against him in 2010. On D is always a minus player, like J.Johnson. Your passing has to be good to be a slow D. At the same time Jets PP missed Buff when injured. I guess in playoffs, premium for power forwards. Signing D.Penner would be good if a one year contract. If everyone knows next draft is strong, and we want playoffs next year, it might be good to trade 2013 1st rounder for help. Backfires if Kane hurt or Pavelec regresses. Don’t care too much about Pavelec contract but be prepared to bench him or minors. Toronto trading for 4 yr $10M Raycroft wasn’t bad (obviously don’t trade Rask away for non-proven starer), but needed to bench him or minors when sucked. They were good with Joseph and Belfour, bad when settled for unproven Toskala (okay if willing to bench) over 2005 gold medal winner Vokoun.
    I feel bad for Toronto, they suck so bad. Luongo to T.O. Kadri and Reimer to Jets. Wheeler to Vancouver. Frees up UFA money and we don’t have Centres to utilize Kane and Wheeler.

  • Lowetide

    Even with the lead I could see Canada in trouble. They double teamed Chara at the point while Chara on PP. If Slovaks collapsed to net it would’ve been 4 on 2. An Ward came out to challenge on the tying goal. He made the save and then looked for puck instead of retreating to net for chance at acrobatic save.
    They identified Chara but not Tatar. Tatar should’ve been shadowed. Ladd amybe but not greatest hands. I’d venture to say slow young but quick-handed Tavares might have been the best shadow. With young WHC teams next few years, need good coaching. Everyone but Canada and USA should be doing nothing but developing goalies. Their teams are a crap-shoot every year.
    Some countries don’t pick their best. Canada known for picking favs. D.Graham ahead of Yzerman. 1st overall Bouwmeester ahead of Phaneuf (who eliminated Ovechkin in World Jrs). Russia stole Khabby’s medal. Americans went with Chelios over Mara. I’d venture the smaller EU countries hold their own because of better management. It is looking like Chi blew their dynasty by signing Sharp over either Campbell (in retrospect Campbell is reason Jets didn’t make playoffs), or Versteeg and someone.
    With Tatar, I like Wings to win Cup even though Howard playoff disappearing act. Wings never needed goalies.

  • Lowetide

    Yep, Russian fans over our ugly French English heritage. Russia knocked us out in 2006 as soon as Gagne hurt. They have a good young D crop in 2014, but will be inexperienced. Probably a fast FW team can capitalize on them. Americans with Yandle and goalies might be only other opposition. Americans usually pick the wrong goalie for gold. 1996 and 2005 the only times they did it right.
    What 2006 taught me, with Ovechkin playing like Selke winner, is we should have had Crosby playing on checking line rather than 3 goal Draper. Gotta be nimble. Phaneuf’s best year was rookie year: 2006 olympics.
    Blackahwks didn’t expect Brunette and Olesz to both suck. Olesz is a lesson against my garage sale strategy of picking lots of young 4th liners.

  • Lowetide

    The ice makes hockey an art. What good is it to draw against the Americans, to hold your ground against poison gas, to smash the Hindenberg line, to advance further on DDay than anyone, to invent special forces twice and the USA’s intelligence agencies. What good is all this industrial domination if we lose beauty in the process?

  • Zamuner over R.Francis and Oates was very bad in 1998. Maybe not enough Wingers to use Oates, but Francis was versatile. It is again looking like goaltending will be Canada’s weakness in 2014. I thought the Finns Czechs and Americans had Canada beat last Olympics. Some were hyping M.Smith?! Russians look to have us beat. I’m liking Fleury, Price, Reimer and Luongo. And crappiest Reimer is the only consistent one of the lot. Yuck. Gotta pick the rest of the team perfectly.

  • Lowetide

    In non-World Cup leap years, some sort of summer round-robin games determining pools would be nice. The carrot being the ability to get a more spaced out schedule if you win? I like Snow Cross snowboarding and Men’s Ice Hockey.

  • Lowetide

    Yeah, I think you can get away building the team to beat the Russians. It doesn’t help that our weakness, goaltending, is matched against their offense. Maybe a team like the Slovaks has a good depth chart, IDK. Swedes are aging, Hedman and Backstrom would really have to show up. The Finns were Teppo and Selanne at least for gold.
    Our D will be best and Russians a little weak. Assuming they send a FW back all the time, it should give our D lots of two on twos against Russian FWs. I don’t know how to best exploit that. Good puck control would mean always getting one-timers. Their shot blocking would give temporary 5-4s. Bad pass reception would be breakways the other way.
    In 1998, matched up physically to beat 1996 Americans and could not counter Czech snipers or Hasek. I don’t know what 2006 was. Not picking Spezza Staal or Crosby and picking 9 players over a year in advance. Yzerman had a 13 game point streak that year and was most dangerous offensive wing both AB playoff series’s. I guess he thought clearing a space for Maltby was honourable: it was not. Bertuzzi could’ve spent his first season back in the AHL for conditioning instead of on Gretzky’s top line: the slowest line ever. They were all coached to go behind the goal line where they couldn’t score from.

  • Lowetide

    In 2002, I thought we were cooked that knockout game against the Finns. Selanne was playing like a thin Bobby Hull power FW clone.
    That old guard of Lemieux, Gretzky, Yzerman, Roy, Broduer was reliable. Different Canada now with D strength and Toews Stamkos snipers.

  • Lowetide

    Ooo, another goal went right through C.Ward. You could tell ‘Canes were for real late Dec ’06 when a trying hard Wings team lost to them 3-2. They’ve mastered the art of the Yo-Yo to get key draft assets and make Cup runs.

    Two “lose-lose” trades were Pouliet for Latendresse. One asset getting hurt, the other not resigned. And Gaustad for 1st rounder. Buffalo just missing the playoffs and Nashville benching their Russians.

  • Plucking Maclean and getting good value for Oduya, our roster moves are above average. Scheifele seems like a good pick but will always be compared to next pick: Couterier. The latter was the safe pick. Nearly identical, if Scheifele doesn’t have a good AHL playoffs you’d have to call the drafting average: picky a good player on a bad team is risky. With those two player ahead, trading down one pick and getting a 5th rounder might be best, assuming we’re not close to the 50 player roster limit.
    Good roster moves suggests no no-trade clauses. Sometimes they are useful: Kaberle might not have signed with leafs at all without one. Knock the comment about 5th rounder, but wings late round picks include: Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen, Lidstrom, Kronwall, Tatar…
    One Cup since Salary Cup. One game seven loss. One exit in final four via Teemu PP goal on non-existent penalty.

  • We should demand our coaches be 1/4 French-Canadian. Mtl didn’t learn from losing all the bank headquarters. The biggie is, if they aren’t acquiring French Canadian players, why make coach French? How can you get mad at a player with the higher pitch voice inflection at the end of sentence?
    If Wpg won the Cup, there wouldn’t be riots. If there is prejudice it is against WHLers. They don’t wear visors. This is good as draws blood. Boy that Que Hfx game went to game 7 OT. How come we don’t have a Junior team?

  • Lowetide

    Finn USA an intense game. Canada looked sleepwalking, just like they did after 3-0 Olympics gold medal lead. See, this is what I mean. This bad blood should trigger an addition exhibition and additional round robin game, next year.

  • Thick lines are advantage offense. The AHL did this once but need to be lightened.

    Another is: most scoring chances last period gets the home team line changes. 2004 final four USA Finland is another game I haven’t yet seen that I’m sure is good.
    Lemieux was so deceptive. He seems to be lazily carrying the puck harmlessly into the zone by the boards, and then all of a sudden he shifts towards the slot and passes to two open FWs. When the team needed physical intensity it came from the old man’s body checks. Mike Vernon’s 1998 game 4 corner of the net whole body flop save. And Brodeur’s 2004 Gold Medal early flop save. I don’t see that anymore.

  • Lowetide

    You can tell who is going for a cup run if you pay attention. At my dealer’s house spring ’03, Ana had beaten wings 3-2. I told him wings prolly weren’t trying. He said no, they were. Watched a marathon game free the one sportsbook big screen that brought you free drinks: Treasure Island. These “pros” were noticing a wing stickhandling and said it must be Fedorov. I shook my head. Dunno why Bettman brought hackey to the south: it was Datsyuk. In summer 2001, the wings added Robitaille, Hull, Hasek. That was a clue. I quit the highest paying job I ever had to watch game 5.

  • …I guess the reasoning is, a good player should take his team to playoffs in Jr. Not necessarily NHL, see 1980s #2 Lemieux and Yzerman.
    In 1990, Kidd was ranked ahead of Potvin, ahead of Broduer. Brodeur had a good team, Ptvin average, and Kidd’s team sucked. And that’s the way they played in NHL.
    Russians can kick the crap out of Finns and Slovaks.

  • Lowetide

    I’d buy the aforementioned Que Hfx series if it became a box set. Never saw the Oil Kings as wasn’t impressed by roster even with record.
    Finns have a goalie. Be an NHL backup.
    Is Tereshenko on the tsn site the St. Louis pick: Tarasenko, the one who lit up Canada at Jrs on Kuznetsov’s line? Friggin russian names. Perrault or Washington’s 1st round pick should be there for the plucking. Pavelec for Vokoun and their 1st rounder.

    Looking back, the old Jets just gave away assets. Olausson for 4th rounder. He still looked mobile while winning Cup with wings. Draper for $1 when he was 23?! FWs were never deep; I don’t get that. Teemu for Tverdovsky (won a cup with NJ and traded back for futures) and Kilger. Teemu scored Stanley Cup winner against Wings. Getting Olczyk back for nohting was nice. The WHA team; the 1976 Canada Cup was B.Hull, the only dominant Canadian (play-by-play liked Potvin), against Hedberg, against Nilsson, and Stastnys and Soviets. It was pre-lockout reffing. Other teams were weaker so would’ve been better to keep 1972 penalties. I wonder if there is no parity if the reffing should be adjusted to weaker teams. Those Jets teams must have been among the strongest assembled. I like when different leagues and teams play eachother. Gives good analysis of player strengths. Hasek played 1/2 his career in Czech league. He was great with lighter-weight equipment, but was he good in 1980s? Strongest one season performances ever next to Gigiure 2003 playoffs. Hockey sucks in that 1991 Chicago couldn’t hold on to both Hasek and Belfour.
    Like have Flutie and Brees.

  • Lowetide

    Tatar gives me a reason to pay attention still. The nice thing about having 3 Hart Trophy winner on your team, is that when one of them gets hurt, you still have 2 Hart Trophy winners.
    Russsians can’t PK and Canada takes too many. IIHF weaknesses but not World Cup. I miss the fighting in World Cups. Bad stats, can’t figure out where Getzlaf took his 27 PIMs.

  • BaconWrapped

    lol. TSN before the game: M.Koivu is the best player in this tourney. After the game and hat-trick: Is there any doubt about who the best player in the world is? E.Malkin.

    If NBA had offensive fouls called and travelling, and no time outs (have three lines change on the fly), it would be watchable. It seems to have been hurt by more physical players in that there is less room for better passing. Hockey got around that with composite sticks, though as a D being able to crack someone with a wood stick might not be so bad early in a playoff round.
    Soccer could have a player immediately out-of-bounds to throw the ball in instantly (with someone on other side coming off). Killed by no replays on offsides and diving. I love car crashes, wish racing did’nt take the aggressive Earnheardt passing away. Need a green car circuit.

  • Lowetide

    Game Cube has the best controller for sports. Tiger Woods golf was the best golf game. Weakness is playing with a foursome it is impossibly lng wait for them to tee-off. No Canadian course is annoying for Cdn market.
    MLB 2005 I think, is best pitching MLB game not arcade. Base running is always a joke (often triple plays against for inadvertent steals) but good if you master it. Flaw is smoke pitchers allow easy outs.
    For NHL 1994, the gameplay against a human gets scary good. You are almost forced to dumpin and stuff to counter checks and angling hits to side. Be nice to get these games with the cheapie goals uncoded.
    Modern hockey games, the breakouts are too slow. It is like watching lacrosse or soccer, even. I never upgrade my coaches in any game: too easy.
    The International rinks are no good in any game. Less hooking and hitting.