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.

Duck on the menu in Music City

Tonight marks the fourth in a key seven-game stretch for the Nashville Predators, wherein each night they face a team above them in the Western Conference standings.  With shootout losses against Columbus and Chicago prior to Tuesday's 3-0 win over Calgary, they've garnered four points in the first three games, and have gone 4-1-2 so far in the month of January.  With Anaheim in town, however, the Preds will be facing some stiff opposition.  Scott Niedermeyer's return from an extended vacation, err... retirement has the Ducks looking like Stanley Cup champions once again, and last week they dominated Nashville 5-2 out in California.
 
For the Predators, the story recently has been hot goaltending once again from Chris Mason (who appears to have finally shaken off the effects of the flu which hampered him last month), along with steady offensive contributions from Jason Arnott (7 goals, 10 assists in his last 15 games) and J.P. Dumont (7 goals, 7 assists in his last 9).  Shea Weber returned to action against Calgary, although since Nashville will dress 11 forwards and 7 defence again tonight, it's likely that he'll continue to be brought along slowly (think 15 minutes of ice time rather than 20-22).  No Jordin Tootoo (hip flexor) and no Darcy Hordichuk (leg) means that the Preds will focus even more on puck possession and playing their speed game, which is probably a good idea against the Ducks anyway; it's not like Nashville's going to out-muscle them even if the roster was intact.
 
The key for the Predators tonight will be to work hard away from the puck offensively, driving traffic to the front of the net and going for tips & rebounds.  They're not likely to run much of a cycling game against Anaheim's elite defense corps, so it's incumbent on them to fire away early and often with bodies in front of J.S. Giguere.  One area where I would like to see Nashville challenge them is to have the top puck handlers (Radulov & Erat) try to get by Chris Pronger.  The last time I ran the Penalty Plus/Minus numbers on January 3rd, Pronger sat at the bottom of the league with a -21 rating, and since he's such a critical part of the Ducks penalty kill, putting him in the box serves a dual purpose.
 
For the Mallard-based perspective, head over to Battle of California...

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…

Hooray for PythagenPuck

Back in November, around the quarter-mark of the NHL regular season, I wrote a piece looking at Expected Winning Percentages for each team, based on their Goals For/Goals Against ratio, using the PythagenPuck method as outlined in Alan Ryder's "Win Probabilities" article over at Hockey Analytics. Since we're approaching the end of the campaign, I thought it worth revisiting the two assertions I made back in November - that the Ottawa Senators were capable of getting back into the playoff race, and that the Boston Bruins were in danger of a freefall to the bottom of the standings.

Just to review, the basic idea behind win probability models like PythagenPuck is that over the course of a season, the Goals For and Goals Against numbers can be used to derive a team's winning percentage, within a a surprisingly narrow margin of error. For instance, if you only had GF/GA information, you could make a very good stab at projecting what the standings would look like. The w…