2008-04-30

News Flash

The PP is just fine and not at all to blame for being down 2-1 in this series.



Applying the regular season rates to the PP icetime in round 1, they should have scored eight goals, not three. If you figure in a 20% drop in PP rates for the playoffs, they still should have scored seven. No question, the lack of PP production nearly cost them the series.

That attitude seems to have carried over into the 2nd round. It's not justified. They've scored four goals. Applying the regular season rates to the round 2 TOI, they should have scored... four goals. Only three if you figure in a 20% drop for the playoffs. The 2:00 5 on 3 gave us all a bad impression, but they made up for it in 5 on 4 situations. It's all in the bounces.

If you want to find a culprit for this series, blame the goalposts. The official count (in the nhl.com play by plays) is 4-1, although none were recorded in game 2 I swear I counted at least one.

The skaters are not to blame - they've played well enough to be up 2-1 but just haven't had the puck luck. And the difference in goaltending hasn't helped. If they dominate the play in game 4 like they did in games 2 & 3 *and* the Flyers don't dominate on bounces again, the series will be tied.

~

Bad news: Knuble should be back tonight. If he's 100% (can you really recover from a muscle tear in 10 days), he will be a substantial upgrade over Thoreson on the Richards line and a big PP threat.

5 Comments:

Blogger sgt.turmeric said...

This terribly lopsided puck luck has been absolutely killing me. Especially the posts in period 1 and the bouncer on the PP (Kovalev to Higgins?) in game 3. What animal do we have to sacrifice to which god in order to get one of those bounces to go our way.

I'm not sure what is going on with Price, either. The guy looks solid and relaxed; he's not moving erratically or flopping all over the place. He hasn't made any big blunders playing the puck while outside the crease lately that I can recall.

No word yet on who's starting in goal tonight.

4/30/2008 1:14 PM  
Anonymous olibou said...

A contrarian stance (PP is fine!) again! While I disagreed with the whole Ryder thing, I too believe the PP is fine.

What I'd like to see is an *attempted* graphical shot charts, with SOG, Missed Shots and Blocked Shots. The shot sharts ESPN and CBS currently give are ok, but not informative enough. is it possible to build such a beast from the play by play data?

I think ther habs drew iron at least twice in game 2, but I may be mixing up with game 1. Oh well.

4/30/2008 1:38 PM  
Anonymous Olibou said...

but that 2 minutes of socreless (and in fact offense-less) 5 on 3 did hurt...

4/30/2008 4:03 PM  
Blogger Phoff said...

Those numbers are interesting and telling. Yet, as was the case with your Ryder post, I don't think the numbers can ever tell us the whole story.

The numbers, as basic as they are, don't take into account the quality of chances that a team gets on those PP opportunities.

For example:

Team A can be firing on all cylinders on the PP and be thwarted by great goaltending and/or great penalty killing.

On the other hand, Team B can simply make poor pass choices and horribly planned dump ins and also be shut out.

In theory, it is possible for those teams to have the same success ratio.

The Habs are clearly Team B.

Now, over the course of an entire regular seasons, things would most likely even out. In the playoffs, however, there are few games and even fewer PP opportunities.

I really don't think anyone watching this Habs PP can look at it and say that everything is fine.

4/30/2008 11:02 PM  
Blogger Jeff J said...

What animal do we have to sacrifice to which god in order to get one of those bounces to go our way.

Good question. I nominate Hatcher for the animal. You can pick the god. :)


is it possible to build such a beast from the play by play data?

I don't think so. The pbp tables only have a distance. As I understand it, the statisticians who log the shot data touch a screen to place shots. The distance to the goal is calculated from that position. It's something that the NHL could provide raw data for, but don't. CBS and ESPN (didn't know they published charts) have some proprietary agreement in place.

I'm guessing it's possible to publish missed/blocked shot locations because they have distances in the pbp files, which suggests a similar recording techniuque as SOG.


I really don't think anyone watching this Habs PP can look at it and say that everything is fine.

Of course they have to go and lay an egg on the PP tonight to make me look stupid.

I try to compartmentalize my subjective/objective thoughts on the game. Objectively, I don't care how they *look* on the PP. Objectively, if a PP based on gaining the blue line followed by perimeter passing results in one 100% accurate shot every five opportunities, it's just as effective as a dump & chase, shot-heavy PP that produces five 4% accurate shots on every PP opportunity. My eyes fool me. Sometimes what looks terrible works and what looks good doesn't work.

Like everyone else, I have subjective opinions too. For example, it seems like aggressive PKs work well against the Habs PP and I swear it has been this way since the beginning of time. Or at least since the late 80s. I can't fathom how the coaching staff can see this but still instruct the Montreal PK to be so damn passive. Like they were on the 3-2 goal tonight. JEEBUS. And on the PP in the 2nd period when the PKer covering Markov lost his stick, Andrei kept passing it off. There he was, dangling his gloves down low and Markov wouldn't shoot, wouldn't work the puck around him, nothing. The guy isn't going to block it and take off for a breakaway because he doesn't have a stick. If Markov skates right at him he can't do anything but take a penalty. I couldn't believe it.

5/01/2008 12:11 AM  

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