Skip to main content

Endorsements

Got any good books to recommend?

Greatest Hits from Working the Net:

Harlow Salon - one of the very best hair salons in Nashville TN.

Red Wings vs. Ducks, WCF Preview

The battle for the Clarence Campbell Bowl has come down to the top two seeds in the West, Detroit and Anaheim. I've cranked out the numbers, so let's see who will make it to the Stanley Cup Finals...

How the Red Wings can score: The story with Detroit, as always, is a reliable shooting advantage - the projection is for them to outshoot the Ducks by roughly seven shots per game. Unlike many other matchups, however, these extra shots are coming from close range, medium range, and long range; they're not just taking harmless tosses at the net and hoping for the best. They'll need every shot they get, as J.S. Giguere has been his usual solid self during these playoffs, with a .952 save percentage entering the series, alongside his net-mate Ilja Bryzgalov's .929 mark.

How the Ducks can score: The projections here show that Anaheim's shooting percentage from various ranges is very close to Detroit's, and unless that changes, overcoming the gap in total number of shots would seem to be a daunting task. Note the "Sht % Factor" row in Anaheim's chart, and you'll see that Dominik Hasek has been clamping down on close and midrange shots to a slightly greater degree than even Anaheim's goaltending. Combine that with the limited number of shots that Detroit's allowing (see the "Shots Factor" row), and the Ducks will clearly need to maximize the opportunities that do come their way.

Summary: Toss these two teams together, and you get a gap of 0.40 Goals Per Game in favor of Detroit (2.08 - 1.68).

Outside The Numbers: There are two major factors at play here - the most obvious being the recent injury knocking Red Wings defenseman Mathieu Schneider out of the playoffs. Presumably that's going to impact Detroit's performance at both ends of the ice. The other factor is that Anaheim has outperformed these predictions in each of the first two rounds - against Minnesota in the first, my offensive assessment was on the mark, but their defense shut down the Wild more than expected, and against Vancouver in the conference semifinal, they outscored projections, and clamped down on the Canucks offense at the same time. Whether that's due to their numbers being hampered by that unusual stretch when Giguere, Pronger, and Beauchemin were injured at the same time and they went into a temporary tailspin, or whether the Ducks' playing style just adapts better to playoff hockey, I'm not sure. But I'm likely to give them more credit here than this gap would normally indicate.



Prediction: Even with Schneider out, Detroit's blueline out-Norris's Anaheim's with seven trophies to two. I think Chelios plays a solid series picking up some marginal playing time, the goaltenders at both ends play very well, but Detroit's power play makes the difference. Red Wings in 7 games.
-----------
Table Key:
Shots For = average of shots per game by that team, from the range specified.
Shots Factor = a factor representing how many shots the opposing defense yields in that range (1.24 = 24% more than average, 0.89 = 11% less than average).
Exp. Shots = "Shots For" times "Shots Factor", how many shots are expected to occur within each range.
Sht % = The fraction of shots from within that range result in goals.
Sht % Factor = a measure reflecting how the opposing goaltender handles shots from a given range (0.74 = 26% fewer goals than average, 1.53 = 53% more than average)
Exp. Sht % = "Sht %" times "Sht % Factor", the expected shooting percentage for this matchup.
Exp. Goals = "Exp. Shots" times "Exp. Sht %", the number of goals per game expected from each range.
Values indicative of significantly higher goal-scoring are shaded green, values for lower goal-scoring shaded pink.
All figures represent exponential moving averages, giving greater weight to recent performance. Empty-net goals are excluded.

Popular posts from this blog

How I'm Trying To Make Money Sports Blogging

To kick off this series of articles general sports-blogging articles here at OTF Classic, I think it's best to start with a comment that Brad left here last week, after I shared my goals for 2012, which include specific revenue targets:
I considered diving into the world of internet marketing myself, but I felt that my friends would hate me for bugging them about stuff. I mean, it's pretty low-risk high-reward, so it's tempting. I wouldn't mind reading about tips on how to maximize impact of blogging in general to make it a legitimate income source. Trying to make money at sports blogging can be a very touchy subject - for the vast majority of us, this is an activity we pursue to both exercise our creativity and share our love of the game, whether it's hockey, football, badminton, whatever, with fellow fans. Mixing that personal conversation with a commercial message can turn people off, especially if it becomes too intrusive for the reader.

It's not unreasonabl…

Canadian Baloney, starring James Mirtle

A tireless refrain from the Canadian media is that Nashville is an absolute failure as a hockey market, and failing to move the team north of the border is an exercise in folly by the NHL.

Our latest exhibit comes from James Mirtle, usually one of the more thoughtful hockey bloggers extant:
But Nashville, quite simply, has proven it cannot sustain an NHL hockey team. Even with the lowest ticket prices in the entire league (I know: I've looked into flying there for a game or two) and a ridiculously forgiving arena lease, the team has had attendance issues despite having one of the best records in the league.

It's not a matter of Canadians not wanting teams in the southern U.S.; I've argued time and again in favour of teams like Dallas and Tampa Bay that have supported their teams and really brought something to the table in terms of bringing news fans and new energy to the game. That's a good thing.

The Predators, however, are not that, not in the beginning and certainly no…

Get Your NHL Super Schedule 2008-9 Right Here!

Click here for the 2009-10 NHL Super Schedule, at my new site, www.ontheforecheck.com!


The NHL announced the 2008-9 Regular Season schedule today, so of course, it's time right here to publish my very own NHL Super Schedule 2008-9 as well.

For those unfamiliar with what I did last year, the NHL Super Schedule is a spreadsheet that I put together and make publicly available via Google Documents*. It includes an entry for each game in each team's 82-game regular season schedule, with additional information such as how far that team has had to travel since its last game, how many days have passed since that previous game, and various statistics relative to the opponent that evening, such as 2007-8 Winning Percentage, Goals Per Game, Goals Against Per Game, etc. For example, you can total the distance that each team will travel during the upcoming season, or find who plays the most back-to-back games. Check out which team faces the toughest opposing offenses, or which power plays…