As the NCAA season progresses, I’m going to publish weekly rankings in conjunction with the USCHO poll. These rankings will be entirely statistics based with the explanation as to how those stats are developed here. As I prefer to do when compiling rankings, a team’s final ranking will be determined by a summation of their rankings in various statistical categories:
- Overall winning percentage (pct)
- Percentage of shots taken (S%) – (Editor’s Note – This is essentially the best imitator of Corsi %. I’m told that shot attempts (Shots on goal plus missed shots plus shots taken that get blocked) are recorded but that data is not available anywhere.)
- Percentage of shots taken relative to Opponents’ S% (Rel S%)
- S% versus teams with an S% of 50% or more
- Rel S% versus teams with an S% of 50 or more
- Shooting Percentage (Sht%)
- Save Percentage (Sv%)
Some of you may know that I am an alumnus of Clarkson University, whose Division I Women’s Hockey team are the defending National Champions. I watched both the Men’s and the Women’s games when I was there (2004-2008), but as the Women’s team had more compelling players and was generally better, I went to more of their games.
Women’s hockey remains an under-covered sport with information on USCHO.com pretty lacking and I thought I could learn a lot if I dug into the stats a little bit.
Once again this list proves to be stunningly accurate. I don’t know why we even keep track of any other stats. Top Compete Guys? Of course it’s Mike Weber, Nicolas Deslauriers, and Marcus Foligno.
Was there any question Cody Hodgson would end up on the bottom along with Brian Flynn. Brian Flynn has 0 penalty minutes! Does Brian Flynn care at all or is he thinking about ponies and pudding while he’s on the ice?
I’m kind of surprised Torrey Mitchell is so low. Maybe if he spent less time reading before bed like some kind of nerd and more time eating glass he’d be a little higher on this list.
Similarly Drew Stafford is surprisingly high, but then again we’re watching Contract Year: The Drew Staffording. It’ll be great when he leads the team with 31 points and Darcy signs him to a $5M per deal in Phoenix.
In honor of this season’s putrid Buffalo Sabres effort in which they are on pace to break a handful of 82 game and Post-05 Lockout Era records, I thought I would take a look at some of the worst NHL teams of all time.*
*All time in this case meaning expansion era. No one gives a shit what happened prior to 1967.
How did I do it? I took each team’s worst season in their history (based on points), sent the very worst to the “playoffs” and smashed them against one another until I had a winner. And yes, I said worst team, so Quebec Nordiques, Hartford Whalers, Atlanta Flames, Cleveland Barons, Atlanta Thrashers, Winnipeg Jets 1.0, Minnesota North Stars, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Scouts, and California Golden Seals? You do not escape my wrath. I threw the defunct teams into the current divisions haphazardly and adjusted the points for varying number of games played. Playoff format is the same as it is now.
The Sabres playoff push was delivered a near critical blow as Thursday’s 3-1 loss to the Blue Jackets puts them in last place in the NHL. The crowd seemed at times disinterested, perhaps unaware that the Sabres entered the game tied for fifth place in the NHL and third in the division. Sabres players certainly noticed.
“Why the fuck did 18,100 fans show up to root for us to be terrible?” questioned returning WNY hero and Sabres captain Brian Gionta.
“How can this season be any fun at all when the fans and half the media are openly hoping that we fail?” added noted Not Maple Leaf Josh Gorges.
GM Tim Murray broke his vow of silence to weigh in: “If this team is as bad as it was last year, fans should be very concerned,” he said with a dour glare. “Because that means that our young guys have made no growth, and no amount of Connor McDavids is going to make up for that.” He then briefly walked away before returning and grabbing the mic once more. “You fucking idiots.”
In other news, our Compete Level stat gets a makeover. It will be Hits + Blocked Shots + PIM + (Takeaways – Giveaways) per game. We will also be unveiling a Compete per dollar component once the team has played a few more games.
Competitors of the Night:
Tyler Myers – 2 hits, 3 blocked shots, 2 PIM, 3 takeaways, 1 giveaway.
Nick Deslauriers – 6 hits in 6:55 of ice time.
Enigmatic Euros of the Night:
Matt Moulson – No hits, blocked shots, PIM, or takeaways. For some reason played less than 15 minutes, because Nolan.
I was going to write something satirical about Sabres fans’ (and I use that term loosely) openly hoping this team loses, but Justin wrote The Cowards in the Crow’s Nest and nailed it before I woke up this morning. There’s also little point in satirizing a group of people that do such great work by themselves. Honestly, this season is shaping up to be one giant Onion Sports headline.
He’s @Jetios on Twitter, and he has a particular distaste for the “81 games away from having a better team” crowd:
These people, who hold next year’s draft in higher regard than this year’s roster, define the Sabres’ identity in the NHL — a culture of losing. These same people celebrate the start of next season on the very same day that a new season began, as if 2014–2015 is but another preseason to trudge through. They pull Sabres sweaters over their heads, but they have zero respect for those who wear the jersey on the ice today.
The logo on the chest rings hollow. They are not fans.
Earlier today Bill Hoppe reported on how Ted Nolan called Trottier as a reference for another candidate which led to Nolan bringing on Trottier himself. This article terrifies me, for two reasons.
“It’s like riding a bike,” he [Nolan] said. “I don’t care if Bryan didn’t coach for 50 years. He still knows how to hop onto that bike and ride and win.”
It’s asinine to think that someone will “always know how to coach” just because they did it once and were successful. Things change in the NHL and coaching styles must change with them. Ask Ken Hitchcock how that works.
“When Bryan Trottier walks into a room, all the players are going to listen,” Nolan said. “His experience about how to win (is terrific). People can talk to you about how they think they could win is one thing. Hearing from a person that actually won and knowing how to do it is a lot different.”
What the goddamn hell is Trottier going to tell players about how to win? “Jhonas…if you can stop a wrench, you can stop a puck.”
“How to win” is complete bullshit. This team doesn’t need a coach that “knows how to win,” it needs a smart coach that is going to use the players to the best of their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. Successful teams don’t know “how to win,” they put their players in the best possible position to succeed and hope they execute. The best coaches are able to find the lineup and the matchups that make success as easy as possible. (And, you know, they also have good players.)