I’m trying to dig up info on the percentage of teams winning a series after winning Game Three when the series opened 1-1, but I can’t seem to find any credible sources. The only one I can dig up is an NBA one, which has the team winning Game Three with a 77 percent chance of winning the series.

 

It appears that overall in the NHL teams winning game 3 to go up 2-1 in the series go on to win the series 69% of the time. More specifically, teams at home for game 1 and winning game 3 to go up 2-1 win the series 76% of the time. In looking at just conference finals historically, for the above situations, it is 79% winning the series overall and 83% for playing game 1 at home. 

 

Thanks - Ziggy!

 

I didn’t get a chance to catch the game live due to the time difference, but it sounded like an exciting game from what I read in the game summary reports. I’m still watching bits and chunks of it on replay.

 

Henrik Lundqvist sounded like he was superhuman stopping anything and everything in the shutout victory. He now has two shutouts this series, which has been the huge difference maker between the battle of the pipes.

 

With that said Martin Brodeur hasn’t lost in back-to-back contests so far this post-season, so I would bank on him looking to one-up Lundy in Game Four. Tonight’s loss was also the first time that he’s lost at the Prudential Center this post-season.

 

If you were to make a list of the most important blue-liners to their team’s success, surely you would have your Zdeno Chara, Nick Lidstrom, Kris Letang, Shea Weber, Keith Yandle, Brian Campbell, Duncan Keith and Dan Boyle at the very top of the list. However, you would probably be dumbfounded if anyone slotted Dan Girardi as a candidate, but would it really be that ridiculous?

   

Sure you can make an argument that he’ll never be a 50-point blue-liner and you need offense in order to win. But I would counter that argument, that the Rangers top offensive blue-liner this season was Michael Del Zotto and he only tallied 41 points. So you can’t tell me that the key in having a highly successful team is possession of a true highly offensive number one PP QB. New Jersey is another example, as no one on their blue-line (in their uniform), tallied more than 18 points, yet they’re in the conference finals. LA fits the bill as well, with Drew Doughty tallying only 36 and they potentially could win the cup.

 

Back to Girardi, these are the ice-times that he’s posted in the last five contests. 27:23, 25:20, 25:11, 25:29 and 27:45 for an average of 26:13 per contest! You take that type of stability out of the Rangers’ line up and they’d be toast in a sweep. So once again I ask, would you still leave Girardi off of the list of most impactful defenseman to their respective squads?

 

What’s my point? Here’s what irks me.

 

Name

GP

G

A

Points

+/-

SOG

TOI Per Contest

Cap-Hit

Suter

542

38

200

238

43

826

22:37

?

Girardi

442

29

111

140

11

642

22:26

$3.325 mil

 

If you look at the career stats of both of the above players, the numbers are fairly comparable. Yet Suter will head into the off-season with numbers of $7.5 mil bandied about as his potential annual salary, yet Girardi is likely to make half as much while providing equivalent stats. So smart money management by Glen Sather or the overpricing of Suter due to market stupidity?

 

If a rival team offers Suter say $8 mil a year, does a fiscally restricted team like the Preds match? They’ve always been good at looking at plan B and finding alternatives, but do they fall in a trap that could potentially cripple them from a financial standpoint?

 

The Kings are 11-1 during these playoffs, which is starting to threaten the 1988 Oiler’s record of 16-2. Wow!

 

Look who’s drawing and taking the most penalties during the playoffs? Puck Daddy takes a look.

 

Not a lot of love for the firing of Tom Renney. John McKinnon chimes in and Dave Staples follows along a similar line of thought.

 

I’m a bit indifferent at the moment. On one hand, I think that he deserves to at least reap some fruit as a reward, but on the other has he maximized as much as he could out with the group of players that he had?

 

If you look at the historical “tank your way to a championship” data, the Hawks and Pens did a similar thing. The “development years” in Chicago saw Trent Yawney and Denis Savard combine for a 98-121-31 record, the team “changed direction” and saw Joel Quenneville lead the Hawks to their first championship in 49 years. The “development years” in Pittsburgh saw Ed Olcyzk and Michel Therrien combine for a 166-169-50 record only to see the team “change direction” and saw Dan Bylsma take them to a Stanley Cup championship. So is it necessarily a bad thing if the Oilers followed suit?

 

If the next coach takes them to a cup in two years’ time, do you think anyone is going to care about the way they dismissed Renney? I don’t think so.

       

Milan Hejduk re-signs a one-year contract at $2 mil with the Avs. Adrian Dater chimes in.

 

Yeah, I’m a little concerned about where/what Hejduk’s role might be. I mean, it’s a little worrisome to think he’ll be relied upon perhaps as a top-six forward. And yet, would he really be effective on a third or fourth line? Those are questions Joe Sacco will have to grapple with next season.


The Avs management team will be extremely busy this off-season as they have a ton of RFAs (Matt Duchene, Peter Mueller, Steve Downie, Ryan O’Reilly, Jamie McGinn, Erik Johnson, Ryan Wilson, Kevin Porter and Mark Olver) to re-sign, but most will probably stay Avs property.

 

They have well over $40 mil in cap space, so there shouldn’t be very many cap issues. I still think they have enough room make a “huge splash” by going after/landing a “big named” UFA.

 

Me playing Greg Sherman/Joe Sacco:

 

Duchene – Stastny - Hejduk

Downie - O’Reilly – Landeskog

Mueller – ? - McGinn

Kobasew – Porter - Olver

 

Hejda – Johnson

O’Byrne – Elliott

Wilson – Barrie

 

Varlamov

Giguere

 

Now if they land a Zach Parise or Alex Semin, then boom suddenly their top-nine doesn’t look too shabby at all. I can certainly picture Semin signing there. First, there’s the Varlamov connection plus he also gets to go to a team where he gets the chance to be the “go-to” guy. With that said, Sacco is a tough-nut coach and I could potentially see a few blues between Semin and Sacco in the future.

 

Then you also have to consider the youngsters heading into camp looking for spots. Joey Hishon should be back from post-concussion symptoms (Junior star), Micheal Sgarbossa (led the OHL in scoring this campaign), and Mike Connolly could be a dark horse candidates to crack the Avs line up sometime during the year. Duncan Siemens and Cameron Gaunce could both challenge for spots on the blue-line as well. Also keep Jonas Holos in the mix as he’s had a great WC tournament with team Norway.

 

Varlamov has also had a great WC (1.74 GAA and .940 SP). If he can carry that momentum into the regular season, the Avs would be my pick to make a “Panthers-like” splash next campaign.

 

A classic case of trying to throw money to prolong a problem. I can understand the city trying to protect their asset. Paying a potential buyer $17 mil a season to cover “operating costs” makes more sense than letting a $200 mil asset rot with no tenants and generating zero income, but at the end of the day smart business owners won’t make silly mistakes by investing in a dead enterprise. Even with the Coyotes success this season, they are struggling to churn out large attendance numbers. It took a third-round series against a division opponent in order to fill Jobing.com Arena to capacity, so something is definitely wrong and unsustainable. If a team still struggles despite the success they have had this season, imagine what would happen if they were losing. It’s only a matter of time before the success of the Yotes wear out and then what happens? Can it even be possible for this problem to be solved where both parties would be happy?

 

A picture of Jobing.com arena during a regular season matchup.

 

 

      

Would a situation like this ever happen in a Canadian city? What about potential “hockey hotbeds” like a Seattle, Kansas City, Indianapolis or Portland?

 

In WC news, Evgeni Malkin recorded his second hat-trick of the tournament and now has 18 points in 10 contests during the tournament as Russia meets the surprising Slovaks in the gold medal tilt later today. Anyone out there that still thinks he needs Sidney Crosby in order to generate offense?

 

Patrick Thoresen, a one-time prospect for the Oilers and Flyers, also has 18 points. He finished with 41 points in 45 contests (tied for 13th in league scoring) while suiting up for SKA of the KHL. In the last three seasons in the KHL, he has recorded 165 points in 155 contests. During the same span Alex Radulov has posted 206 in 158 to put it into perspective. There still might be a few NHL teams willing to offer him a contract given his great play at the WC.

 

As mentioned last week, a couple of goalies to really keep an eye on, Jan Laco of Slovakia and Jakub Kovar of Czech Republic could draw some NHL attention this season.

 

The World rankings are out, which has determined the pools for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.

  1. 1)Russia
  2. 2)Finland
  3. 3)Czech Republic
  4. 4)Sweden
  5. 5)Canada
  6. 6)Slovakia
  7. 7)USA
  8. 8)Norway
  9. 9)Switzerland

Pool A: Russia, Slovakia, USA and qualifier 3

Pool B: Finland, Canada, Norway and qualifier 2

Pool C: Czech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland and qualifier 1

 

Canada being in the same pool as Finland could bring on a few potential problems. Since the 1994 Olympics, no men’s ice hockey team has garnered more medals than Finland, which makes Canada finishing top of Pool B much more difficult. Finishing second could mean a qualifying round matchup against a Czech Republic, Sweden or USA which could result in an early disappointing exit much like in Torino.

 

If Canada would have made it through to the medal round in this year’s WC, they could have secured third place with the Czechs in fourth, which would have made winning a pool much easier and left Sweden and Finland to duke it out amongst themselves.

    

Suddenly, these tournaments which “nobody cares about” matter very much.

 

How much money would Hockey Canada lose if Team Canada gets ousted early from the tournament? How much marketing power would they lose?

 

The gold medal game of the last Olympics garnered 16.6 million viewers with some 80 percent of Canadians watching part of the game. The NBC broadcast drew 27.6 million viewers in the US.

 

Now don’t get me wrong, I think what our boys did at the tournament this year is commendable. It’s very easy for me to just armchair coach something that I have zero personal experience in. But I’m sorry the team that we iced for this tournament is nowhere near as competitive as the team that we iced in Vancouver. We were outworked and outplayed, which isn’t surprising why we got pasted. If we even had half of the “star power” that we had in Vancouver for this tournament, we would have won it convincingly. The question that runs in my head is why? Why would our professional athletes bend over backwards to make an Olympic team, but couldn’t care less for the WC? Do they not understand that if we continue to drop these tournaments "that don’t matter", it just makes it tougher down the road? Should we not do everything in our power to try making it “easier” for ourselves later on?

 

Now I have a novel idea, what if we treated this situation much like a “corporation protecting their assets”. What if we offered a cash incentive of say a million bucks for the 23 players that would represent Team Canada at the WC? Would our best players opt out of representing their country because they are too “tired” and needed a rest? Would a seven figure cheque for a two and a half week tournament be enticing enough to lure the "best of the best" to represent a country that places so much pride in themselves in the sport of ice hockey?

 

From a fiscal standpoint, surely Hockey Canada would make more money dishing out $46 mil to top players for a couple of appearances at the WC to ensure a high ranking (and easier path to victory) for the Olympics than to see Canada get ousted in the early rounds of the tournament and lose out on all that marketing potential. Just something to chew on.

 

Last week I brought you the Lingerie Hockey League, this week I bring you the Jamaican Ice Hockey Team. What will I dig up next?

       

Should you be so inclined, follow me on Twitter if you think that my article/tweets are useful.

 


Head hunting by the Rangers? 

 

 

Malkin's Hatty.

 


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Comments (12)add comment

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
... Definitely Rollie I get your point.

I'm just venting... The problem is most Canadians treat the WC as a "doesn't really matter" tournament. The players do, the media does, and we do... I guess what irks me is for a country that lives and breathes hockey as much as we do how can we just stand here and say bah who cares, nobody else does. Then when it comes to Olympic time, we think we should automatically deserve top seeding or being gifted the tournament because we're Canada.

I can definitely see the exact same situation of Torino happening in Sochi.

In 2006, we got grouped with Finland, Switzerland, Czech, Germany and Italy. We lost to Finland then Swiss and finished 3rd in our group. We then had to face Russia in the opening rounds of qualifying and we lost, thus a 7th place finish...

In 2010, we finished 2nd to the States, and had to face a qualifying round vs Germany to move onto the next round, where we were lucky enough to beat Russia and the rest is history. With that said we did have the luxury of home ice advantage. I dunno if we can go over to Russia and expect the same outcome...

If you win a group you have a much easier tournament than if you finish 2nd... if we don't do well at these WC we get stuck into tougher groups, which makes it even more difficult to win a group. How can we expect to win WCs when our best decide they don't want to participate?

I'm just a bit frustrated because it seems like Hockey Canada is willing to let all these tournaments slip, then when it comes to selection time for the Olympics, they don't care who's sweated blood and tears for them in the past, they only care about icing the "best" players...

If I were running Hockey Canada, I'd look at guys like Perry, Getzlaf, Benn, Eberle, Burrows and make a point that they've earned their way on Team Canada for Sochi through their past contributions.

I would feel ultimately shafted if the selection committee selects say a Heatley, Nash, Staal, Brendan Morrow over a Benn, Eberle or Burrows.

For me winning the Olympics and establishing ourselves as a powerhouse in hockey is a 4-year process. It's not rocking up to the Olympics, play well for 2 weeks, then be rewarded. Prior to Salt Lake we didn't win gold for 50 years with the Russians dominating, if we keep continuing down this trend, we might live and breathe hockey much like the English live and breathe soccer, but we're going to be relegated behind Russia, Finland and Sweden fairly soon.
May 21, 2012
Votes: +0

Rollie1967 said:

Rollie1967
olympics.. @Ryan, when the Olympics rolls around in 2014 the players you listed will be (or turning within the calendar year): Nash-30, Iginla-37,Marleau and Thornton-35. Nash might be on the team- but the other 3 i highly doubt. Crosby (injury free) will be as well, but its no surprise he didnt go to the WC this year, Im not convinced he didnt suffer another concussion when Malkin ran him over- something was up with him after that.
On the flip side- I would expect Perry,Getzlaf,Benn and Eberle to make the team, Burrows possibly- he showed well and would fit well on the 4th line. Kane would have to be considered as well. Im not surprised its easier for the Euro countries to get there players to participate in the WC, but if Canada wins gold again at the Olympics then using the WC as stepping stone to the Olympics is fine by me.
May 21, 2012
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
Jones Jones is up for UFA, so they don't own his rights after July 1... It's up to the Avs if they want to offer him a renewal of his contract or let him walk. He would have zero trade value...

For me I don't think he's played consistently enough to warrant a contract renewal. If you look at the current top-9 they don't need him especially with all the young guns they have lurking in the wings. I'd much rather spend say $7.5 mil on high-end talent like Semin/Parise than to spend $3 to keep an inconsistent Jones...
May 20, 2012
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
Paying players for WC I dunno, I'm just trying to think of alternatives to get our best quality players involved, because if we continue down this path, we're going to fall behind as a "world power" of hockey. With Russians, Czech, Finnish, Swedes, Slovaks taking over the dominant roles in ice hockey.

We're going to end up like the English in terms of soccer, where we're handed a silver spoon in our mouths, and expect to be given everything but not having to earn it...

I see a massive problem in the current system. These players would give up absolutely anything and everything to represent Canada at the Vancouver Olympics and take so much pride in representing Canada at the Olympics.

When it comes to WC however, most of them are happy to turn their backs and say they need a "rest" or are "too tired". But you look at the Russians, Malkin played an extra playoff series and still wanted to play for Team Russia, and is leading the tournament in scoring. Rick Nash had a terrible season and the Jackets won nothing, surely could have played some extra hockey to "redeem" himself. If Malkin can play, couldn't Crosby, Thornton, Marleau?

What I'm saying is that if we keep "dropping" these tournaments "that don't matter" it's going to come back to bite us in the butt...

We're starting to become "spoiled" in terms of what we are entitled to and deserve.

Maybe paying them isn't a viable option. Maybe they do a points based system. If you've been invited to represent Canada you get awarded certain points that goes into the Olympic selection process. If you knock it back you get zero. The more points you get the higher the likelihood of team selection, so it rewards the players who do choose to represent the country consistently as a sign of good faith. Players who just want to show up for the "big show" will get the shaft...

I mean why should Eberle, Perry, Getzlaf, Burrow, Benn, Kane do all the hard yards, to see the spots taken up by Thornton, Nash, Iggy, Crosby, Marleau when it comes to Olympic selection time...
May 20, 2012
Votes: +1

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
Avs I don't think they're that far off to be honest.

They have a couple of decent goalies, what kept them out of the playoffs was a bit of inconsistency in the middle of the season. If Varly plays to his potential he could Craig Anderson his way through a season.

They have a decent defensive corp that does all the little things (HITs, BS), much like the Rangers in a way. Plus they have a few young guns, they just need a game-breaking player to push them over the edge. If they land a Parise/Semin that's the game breaker.

I wouldn't even mind seeing them take a leap on Radulov to really firm up the depth.

They're not too far away from being a true playoff contender, IMO.
May 20, 2012
Votes: +0

Gotlaid said:

Maaaasquito
Girardi I dunno... I think many people out there think because Girardi is lacking the "offensive" aspect, he won't get as much as Suter.

Plenty of people out there would speculate that Suter is worth $7+ mil a season, but if I tossed Girardi's name in the mix I don't think very many would offer a similar contract...

I get that he doesn't have as much offensive upside as Suter, but what I'm arguing is importance to the team. Girardi would be much more important than Suter IMO.
May 20, 2012
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
Thanks Always good to get the seal of approval from the big boss.
May 20, 2012
Votes: +0

mrmojorisin said:

mrmojorisin
Colorado Lineup? So do you see David Jones being traded from the AVs then? If not he certainly fits in there somewhere....
May 20, 2012
Votes: +0

His Dudeness said:

His Dudeness
Paying NHL players to represent Canada? I totally get where you are coming from in terms of the business aspects, but if it comes to paying (already) rich NHL players to incentivize them to represent their country, then we've already lost.

Great ramblings!
May 20, 2012
Votes: +0

The Hockey Hitman said:

The Hockey Hitman
Girardi and Avs If Girardi were an UFA this summer, he'd would get a whole hell of a lot more than 3.325. Its an indicator that Sather was smart to lock up Girardi when he did. 2 more seasons for everything Girardi does, and is for the Rangers...steal of a deal.

On the Avs bit, you'd think they would be selling their fanbase very short by not signing one of Parise/Semin/Suter...or even Schultz if he becomes an UFA. Avs still seem a long way from becoming a true playoff contender, even with one of those players added.
May 20, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

ziggy33200 said:

ziggy33200
... It appears that overall in the NHL teams winning game 3 to go up 2-1 in the series go on to win the series 69% of the time. More specifically, teams at home for game 1 and winning game 3 to go up 2-1 win the series 76% of the time. In looking at just conference finals historically, for the above situations, it is 79% winning the series overall and 83% for playing game 1 at home.

Reference: http://www.whowins.com/tables/up21.html
May 20, 2012
Votes: +1

Dobber said:

Dobber
wow! These ramblings are fantastic
May 20, 2012
Votes: +1
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