Skip to main content


Got any good books to recommend?

Greatest Hits from Working the Net:

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

Pekka Rinne, the 2008-9 Forechecker's Forecast

Today's projection should be an easy one. Coming into training camp Pekka Rinne has 3 career games of NHL service, so normally one might wonder if there's much history to leverage in terms of predicting future performance. But with the Predators, we have a very clear guideline to follow. Each of the last two seasons have seen Nashville's backup goaltender steal the spotlight with a performance among the very best in the NHL. After all, Chris Mason's 2006-7 season was, by some measures, tops in the league that year, and Dan Ellis led all goaltenders in both regular season and playoff save percentage in 2007-8.

What then, to expect of young Mr. Rinne, who, after salutary duty in Milwaukee the last three years (including an AHL All-Star appearance last season), has been anointed the #2 man in the Predators goal? First, expect a very different profile in net; Rinne stands 6'5", a fair bit taller than Ellis (6'0") or previous #1 Chris Mason (also 6'0"). It will be interesting to see how the team adapts to having him in goal as a changeup from the nimble, puckhandling Ellis; there were times last year when there seemed to be confusion between the defense corps and goaltender when Ellis or Mason would get pulled in the middle of a game. For instance, a defenseman would swoop behind the net to pick up a loose puck only to find Ellis already there playing it ahead, a stark difference from Mason, who would let his blueliners handle it more often.

I would guess that Rinne will get a decent workload, due largely to a couple reasons why Ellis's workload needs to be relieved. This will be his first season as a designated top starter, so right there one wouldn't figure Ellis for a Nabokov-like 77 games. In addition, he faced some issues maintaining his playing weight down the stretch and into the playoffs last spring, so over the course of the long NHL season, it makes sense to manage his playing time somewhat, if only to ensure he's fresh for a playoff run. Rinne might play something like 25-30 games, depending on how Ellis's weight management program goes.

So, for the official Forechecker's Forecast...

Forechecker's Forecast, 2008-9 NHL Regular Season
PlayerGPWLGAASave Pct.
Pekka Rinne2813122.70.905

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…

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…

Where are my tickets, Mr. Holland?

While working on a piece about the 10th anniversary of the great Colorado/Detroit game at Joe Louis Arena, I caught myself reflecting on some of the great games I've had the fortune of seeing in Detroit during the 1990's, through a variety of means. Then another thing came to mind - when I'm in attendance, the Red Wings win. I'm on a huge personal winning streak here, so perhaps the Red Wings front office would want to bolster their chances during the upcoming playoffs and make sure I'm in the house for those critical games? I can make myself available...

June 4, 1995: Detroit takes Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals from Chicago, 3-2 (although the Hawks put one of the goalpost as the final horn sounds). Wow, has it been that long since the Blackhawks achieved anything? Ticket courtesy of a college buddy who had a spare.

October 13, 1995: The Wings pummel the Edmonton Oilers in their home opener, 9-0. After the painful Finals sweep against New Jersey the…