The Miracle on Ice 35 Years Ago

February 19, 2015 // 0 Comments

Thirty-five years ago, the U.S. hockey team faced off against the Soviet Union in the medal round of the Lake Placid Olympics. Few expected the untested American squad to challenge the defending champion Russians, but during a match played in the shadow of the Cold War, they made three successive comebacks and pulled off an astonishing 4-3 victory. Led by coach Herb Brooks, the underdog Americans went on to triumph in their final game, sealing one of the most unlikely gold medal runs in Olympic history. By February 22, 1980, the U.S. hockey team had already become the surprise story of the Lake Placid Olympics. They had blazed their way through the early stages of the competition, tying with a highly touted Swedish team before scoring four straight wins. Coach Herb Brooks’ squad was the youngest Olympic team ever fielded by the United States—nearly all the players were still in college—yet against all odds, they had advanced to the medal round and a showdown with the Soviet [...]

Corsi PDO and Fenwick: 3 hockey stats you need to know

February 8, 2015 // 0 Comments

By Adam Gretz NHL Expert Hockey has a lot of numbers, and some are much better than others when it comes to evaluating the play on the ice. We already discussed four statistics that you should probably forget about, so now it’s time to move on to the numbers you should know, all of which could be considered hockey’s version “advanced” statistics. But don’t let that name fool you, there is a reason the quotations are there — hockey’s advanced statistics really aren’t all that advanced. They’re not only quite simple and easy to track, but if you can grasp the concept behind plus/minus (and every hockey fan can) then you’ve already nailed the basic concept behind Corsi and Fenwick. Corsi What it is: It’s just like plus/minus, only instead of counting goals for and against it counts total shot attempts for and against. Goals, saves, shots that miss the net, and shots that are blocked. Like most of [...]

Advanced Luck Are NHL’s PDO Leaders Poised for a Fall?

December 11, 2014 // 0 Comments

By James Conley NHL Expert Hockey’s book of acronyms is getting thicker, thanks to a rapidly-growing interest in the use and application of advanced statistics. Popular among that list of alphanumeric madness is PDO, a pretty simple calculation that attempts to identify a maddeningly complicated notion — how lucky or unlucky can a team be over the course of a season, and is there really a way to capture the idea of fortune? Named after the online handle of its creator, PDO is the addition of a team’s shooting percentage and save percentage at even strength. The mean PDO is 100 — a save percentage equal to one’s shooting percentage. Given a great enough sample size, the disparity between a team’s shooting and save percentages become a pretty accurate indicator of how good, or lucky, that team is. So what separates good luck from good hockey? Caption:NASHVILLE, TN – MARCH 04: Goaltender Pekka Rinne #35 of the Nashville Predators protects the [...]

Winter Olympics vs World Cup of Hockey Which Best Suits the NHL?

December 9, 2014 // 0 Comments

By James Conley NHL Expert   :SOCHI, RUSSIA – FEBRUARY 18: National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks during a press conference on day eleven of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics on February 18, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images).   Since 1998, the Winter Olympics have been hockey’s premier international event, with NHL players joining the rest of the world to compete in the tentpole event of the Games. The next Winter Games are set to take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018. Less than a year removed from the last Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, there is already discussion about the NHL’s return to the event. And while it wouldn’t go over very well with a lot of hockey fans and a whole lot of international players, it seems like the NHL is crafting its escape plan from the 2018 Games. For every good reason fans and players have for attending the next version of the winter games, NHL owners and executives [...]

Parity in the NHL Standings Who’s Going to Last at the Top?

December 7, 2014 // 0 Comments

By James Conley NHL Expert   Caption:UNIONDALE, NY – NOVEMBER 22: Jaroslav Halak #41 of the New York Islanders celebrates a victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on November 22, 2014 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Penguins 4-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images).   An interesting nugget from Grantland’s Down Goes Brown in his Monday column, in which we find that the NHL standings are about as crowded as can be. A look at the top of the overall league standings today reveals an odd quirk: a six-way tie for first place overall, with three of the four divisions featuring a pair of 34-point teams. … Add it all up and you’ve got nine teams — 30 percent of the league — within a point of first place overall. If you’re a fan of parity, you love the look of the standings right now. Those teams near the top of the standings won’t be there all year long. Rarely does the President’s [...]