OGA’s Christmas List

We’ve partnered with the fine folks over at On Goal Analysis to provide quality NHL content throughout the season. Here’s an excerpt from a post by Michael Pryor.

It’s my turn in line and I would like to think I have been pretty good this year. So I thought I’d ask for three things this Christmas to help grow my favorite sport.

First, please restructure the NHL schedule. This is a specific request, so here’s what I mean:

1. Go to 84 regular-season games.

2. Each year, give us an inter-Conference home-and-home set so we can see every team in our building at least once. (That’s 30 games.)

3. Give us three games each of inter-Divisional play in our conference scheduled any way you want to make the season’s scheduling problems easier. (Our total is now 60 games.)

4. And give us six, intra-Divisional games in three-games-in-one-week sets. Do one set in the NOV/DEC timeframe to give us weekly rivalries (like a Red Wings’ “Blackhawk Week,” or an Islanders’ “Rangers Week”) in the Thanksgiving/Christmas period to build NHL excitement going into the Winter Classic(s). Then end the season with the other set of rivalry weeks so everyone feels like they have played some playoff series regardless of whether or not they get to compete for the Stanley Cup. (And that makes 84 games.)

This present gives us all of the stars in our building every year and two stretches in the regular season feeling like playoffs. (We will love our Hockey even more and come to games even more often!)

Read the rest of the post over at the OGA blog.

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Who is the most productive NHL player?

We’ve partnered with the fine folks at On Goal Analysis to provide our readers with some good NHL content this season. Here’s the intro to a recent post by Michael Pryor:

What is the measure of a hockey skater’s contribution to his team? Plenty of statistics define goaltenders and their contributions. But what about the players who skate in front of them? While highly knowledgeable Hockey fans will say such enlightened comments as ‘it depends on their position and how they play it,’ many others will tell you it’s how many points they rack up.

At On Goal Analysis, we have a tradition of looking at things with a different twist. While we like to key on points, sometimes they are misleading because theoretically speaking the leading point scorer in the NHL still might play on a team that does not even make the Playoffs. And yet, maybe points themselves just need a slightly different emphasis to make their true significance understood.

That’s why we are recommending for your consideration Points Per Shift – PPS – as a new statistic to use when analyzing who is the most productive player on the ice. PPS analyzes how many Points Per Game (PPG) each player provides divided by the average number of shifts he takes in order to tell you what he brings to the Great Game each and every time he goes over the boards. It also makes Shifts Per Game (SPG) more relevant to the average fan of the game.

Read the rest after the jump…

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Are the NY Rangers a one-trick pony?

In a word, YES. One third of the way through the season, the New York Rangers find themselves 10th in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 13-13-1. They’re scoring a respectable 2.89 goals/game (tied with Edmonton for 13th in the NHL), but giving up a disturbing 3.11 goals/game (24th). The Blueshirts’ bloated GAA can be traced in part to backup goalie Stephen Valiquette, who has a save pct. of .852 and a GAA of 3.74 in six appearances this season. Valiquette was waived Wednesday, and will try to rediscover his game in Hartford if he clears waivers. New York’s biggest problem, however, lies at the other end of the ice.

Off-season acquisition Marian Gaborik has been both outstanding and (mostly) healthy so far this season, and he’s the reason the Rangers are at .500 today. Gaby has 21-16-37 in 25 games. How huge is that? Without Gaborik’s 21 goals, the Rangers would be averaging a pitiful 2.19 G/gm – good for 29th in the league (and just .01 ahead of Carolina). Gaborik is not the problem: Almost every other Ranger forward is.

Read the rest of this post at On Goal Analysis…

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A Testament to Parity in the NHL

Submitted by Mike Pryor of On Goal Analysis.

Tuesday night, 6 October has been my favorite night of the new NHL season so far.

That’s because NHL night number six serves as a testament to NHL parity. We say this because of seven games: two were decided by one goal; two won in OT; two more went to a SO; and the last game was a two-goal, see-saw decision. What may be causing this parity, you ask? We can only respond with ‘…Several things.’

Parity Reason #1 (P.R.1) – New Coaches and Coaching Staff

Some of this is inevitably due to the fact many teams are playing under a new coach and system and it takes time and game situation knowledge to make the adjustments more ‘normal’ to players on the ice. On 6 October, seven of the 14 teams playing were doing so under a new coach and staff.

Click here to read the rest of this post at the On Goal Analysis Blog.

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