Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Does the Draper match the Cleary?

Our friend in Motown has spoken again and made some valid points. He calls our beloved Sharks "The Team We Don't Speak Of". A clear sign of fear, admiration and, dare I say, jealousy. Let's break down this series, shall we?

PLAYOFF EXPERIENCE
Detroit fans can recite this mantra until they are blue....I mean red....I mean blue in the face. "We have Cup experience. We have players who know how to win. We have delicious hot spiced apple cider." These may all be true, but the Sharks have been a team on the rise for three straight years now. They have won four playoff series from 2003-2007 with this core group of players in comparision to the Wings who have won two playoff series. "BUT WE WON THE CUP" you Puckheads will say. Yes, yes you did. But those players aren't there anymore. Hull and Luc are drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon on a moose farm with Paul Coffey. The old farts you still have are a shell of their former selves. Hasek is one split away from another groin tear....more on this painful sack strain later.

THE BATTLE OF THE BLUE LINES
The Sharks have better defensive defensemen. This is a fact. Hannan is a shutdown blueliner who will get most of the time against the Wings top line. McLaren, Rivet and wonder-kid Vlasic are beyond steady. The Wings have the two best offensive defensemen in the league. I admire them, I really do. Chelios is still functioning, god knows how. After that, I am not afraid. "BUT YOU CLEARLY HAVEN'T WATCHED THE WINGS PLAY. THEY ARE GOOD. THEY ARE GOOD" you Puckheads will say. Um...I have. I wasn't impressed with how Calgary played offensively. They made the Wings look good with the fact that they are completely "Corky" on the road. Playfair should be fired, by the way. I think I saw Sutter vomit in his mouth.

THUNDER JOE - MVP
The Wings will be unable to stop Thunder Joe. They will be unable to deal with the size of the 220 pound ++ Sharks forwards. Joe will dominate but the difference in this series will be the line of Bernier/Clowe/Goc. Remember those names, Puckheads. They are going to make your life miserable the next two weeks. I don't need to fill you in on who these babies are....you will know them soon enough.

Now for my three predictions.

1) Hasek will injure himself sometime in the first three games and not return for the rest of the series. He will later be arrested for betting on the World Championships with Rick Tocchet.

2) The Sharks power play (#2 in the NHL) will find its groove again versus the Wings. The Sharks struggled against the Preds (the #3 PK team), but it just didn't matter...did it? We whipped their ass anyways, power play be damned. There's no way the leagues second best PP can be on ice forever.

3) The Sharks will win in six. Sharks/Ducks live out the movie California Dreamin: Ron Wilson's Revenge. All you Puckheads will be crying in your Eastern time zone beers, talking about the glory days and how San Jose hasn't won any Cups. The end.

Excuse me....I have a girl scout meeting. Anyone want to buy some cookies?

9 comments:

Paul said...

""BUT WE WON THE CUP" you Puckheads will say. Yes, yes you did. But those players aren't there anymore."

You don't seem to understand. It's not about the team that is assembled today having won Cups together. It's about each player having the experience of winning the Cup, whether they did it on this team or another.

The Wings have, what 33 or 34 Stanley Cup rings in the locker room. That's impressive any way you slice it, and is valuable experience.

BTW, as for the "winning it together" thing....

Chelios, Datsyuk, Draper, Hasek, Holmstrom, Lidstrom, Maltby, Osgood...all won a Stanley Cup TOGETHER. and that's teh core of the team. so stop with this "the core hasn't won it TOGETHER" nonsense. it simply is not true.

Draper, Maltby, Lidstrom and Holmstrom have won THREE together.

Paul said...

"The Sharks have better defensive defensemen. This is a fact."

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHsnortHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Count the Norris trophies.

Oh, and count up the +/-.

Lidstrom +40
Markov +25
Lebda +16
Schneider +12
Chelios +11
Lilja +6


Vlasic +13 (that's #1 on your team, LOL)
McLaren +10
Carle +9
Ehrhoff +8

and in the first round...

Chelios +5
Schneider +3
Lebda +3
Lidstrom +2
everyone else +1

Ehrhoff/Hannan +3
Vlasic/Carle +2
McLaren +1
Rivet -3

Yikes. Minus 3? Isn't he supposed to be some sort of diamond in the rough for you guys?

you should look up stats before you make statements that have no basis in fact.

Can'tStoptheGrier said...

Chelios won his last Norris in 1996. I'd say he isn't the same player. So give it a rest. As for Lidstrom, he is dominant, no discussion here. The point I'm making is a Norris trophy doesn't make you a good defensive defensemen. I think Paul Coffey won three, didn't he?

Again, the +/- is misleading since you played 24 games against three god awful teams. And, we actually score on the powerplay....and that doesn't count on plus/minus you dolt! BUT LOS ANGELES AND PHOENIX ARE BAD TOO, you say. Well, I can tell you if the Kings were in your division, they would have finished in third. At least they have a future, unlike St. Louis, Chicago and Columbus who just plain reek. Phoenix is horrid, no contest.

So count the rings and trophies tonight after we beat you on your own ice. It will help soak up the tears.

Mike said...

If you think Norris trophies are given to the best defensive defenseman, you're even more deluded than I thought.

Stevens, none. Redden, none. Chara, none. Rafalski, none. And how's one for your own backyard? Konstantinov, none.

And the plus minus thing is a red herring. #1 this year? Tomas Vanek of the Sabres. Their PP%? 17.4%, just a hair better than the Wings at 17.0%, and far behind the Sharks at 22.4%.

Look at the plus minus leaders, it's dominated by players on teams without a good power play. One exception, Marek Malik on NYR, and they're only 18.5%. Again, a far cry from the Sharks' conversion rate.

The fact that +/- correlates so well with a middling-to-bad power play indicates it's not a effective indicator of defensive prowess.

Paul said...

"Chelios won his last Norris in 1996. I'd say he isn't the same player. So give it a rest."

Is he the same player? No, of course not. Of course, he led the Wings in +/- in the first round at +5.

"The point I'm making is a Norris trophy doesn't make you a good defensive defensemen. I think Paul Coffey won three, didn't he?"

No, it makes you the BEST defenseman. Trying to poo poo Norris Trophies. I love it.

"Again, the +/- is misleading since you played 24 games against three god awful teams."

And you played 16 games against two, plus some other godawful teams in the rest of the West.

"And, we actually score on the powerplay...."

6% in the first round. Yikes.


So count the rings and trophies tonight after we beat you on your own ice. It will help soak up the tears.

"The fact that +/- correlates so well with a middling-to-bad power play indicates it's not a effective indicator of defensive prowess."

Um, you do know that NO players on the ice during a power play goal receive either a + or a -, right? It's about 5-on-5 play.

"If you think Norris trophies are given to the best defensive defenseman, you're even more deluded than I thought. "

They're certainly not given to defensemen who are poor defensively.

"The James Norris Memorial Trophy is an annual award given to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position."

It's fun watching you guys try to dismiss the proven talent on the Wings.

Does it mean the Wings will win? No, that's why they play the games. I suppose it goes more to the point that the Sharks might make it past the Wings, but won't win the Stanley Cup because they haven't learned how yet.

Mike said...

No, it makes you the BEST defenseman. Trying to poo poo Norris Trophies. I love it.

You can't be this dense. The Norris, especially in the 80s and 90s, has rewarded offensive ability more than defensive. You can see my previous post for counterexamples.

Um, you do know that NO players on the ice during a power play goal receive either a + or a -, right? It's about 5-on-5 play.

Thanks for the lesson. Here's one- teams that score on the power play score fewer goals 5-on-5 than the teams that don't. Thus, teams that don't score on the power play that often are rewarded with a + on more goals. Thus explaining the correlation I mentioned.

(Norris trophies)They're certainly not given to defensemen who are poor defensively.

Way to move the goal posts. First you imply the Norris winners are the best on D. Now you're saying their given to guys who aren't 'poor' defensively.

The whole point is that Norris trophies, especially in recent years, have rewarded points output more than D. Again, Paul Coffey. No one is maligning your precious Lidstrom.

Don't you remember the discussion just a few years back in favor of creating a new trophy for defensive defensemen? Mostly because of my boy, Scott Stevens, who never won a Norris. and is a first ballot Hall of Famer, same as Lidstrom.

The fact is, defensive ability is hard to measure. It's much easier to give the Norris to the blueliner who is near the top of the leader board in points than really try to do a detailed analysis, because as I've said, no generally-accepted statistics currently do the job.

Paul said...

"You can't be this dense. The Norris, especially in the 80s and 90s, has rewarded offensive ability more than defensive. You can see my previous post for counterexamples."

Is this the 80s or 90s? No. The Norris Trophy rewards offensive ability because in order to be the best OVERALL defenseman you have offensive ability. But you ALSO have to have defensive ability. Hence, ALL AROUND. Talk about dense.

"Here's one- teams that score on the power play score fewer goals 5-on-5 than the teams that don't. "

Feel free to back this up with actual stats. There is, of course, no direct correlation to the two.

"Way to move the goal posts. First you imply the Norris winners are the best on D. Now you're saying their given to guys who aren't 'poor' defensively."

Ugh. The point was that they don't give it to a defenseman who is only offensive. He also has to be great defensively. He has to be great at BOTH. It's quite simple, really.

I just enjoy how you keep dragging this out trying to somehow minimze the experience and Stanley Cups and individual trophies that abound on the Red Wings.

"The fact is, defensive ability is hard to measure. It's much easier to give the Norris to the blueliner who is near the top of the leader board in points than really try to do a detailed analysis, because as I've said, no generally-accepted statistics currently do the job."

The trophy isn't based on stats. It's based on the opinion of those who vote for the trophy recipient - and those people are experts who understand stats aren't everything, and know the players.

Mike said...

Feel free to back this up with actual stats. There is, of course, no direct correlation to the two.

Ask and ye shall receive. In the NHL regular season this year, there is a -.61 correlation between power play conversion rate and even strength percentage of goals scored. Correlations greater than abs(.5) are considered 'strong'. That is, the lower your PP% is, the higher percentage of your goals scored are even strength goals. You can't compare number of ES goals directly to PP%, because one's a rate and the other is a number, skewing the results towards teams that score more.

If you want to make it a pure Wings-San Jose comparison, how's this. The Wings scored 175 ES and SH goals, the Sharks 158, even though the Sharks scored more goals overall. that means the Wings were awarded around 70-80 more plusses than the Sharks were.

Now lets look at the goals against side. Counting SH goals, but not empty net goals, the Wings had 134 'minus' events, that is, ES and SH goals against. The Sharks had 135.

Is this the 80s or 90s? No. The Norris Trophy rewards offensive ability because in order to be the best OVERALL defenseman you have offensive ability. But you ALSO have to have defensive ability. Hence, ALL AROUND. Talk about dense.

Again, moving the goal posts. We were talking about defensive defensemen.

I just enjoy how you keep dragging this out trying to somehow minimze the experience and Stanley Cups and individual trophies that abound on the Red Wings.

Minimize would be denying that they exist. I'm not. I'm denying that they give the Wings a significant advantage to win the series. Now's my turn to ask for stats to back this up.

Paul said...

"Now's my turn to ask for stats to back this up."

I already gave them to you. 33 (or is it 34) Stanley Cup rings in the Wings locker room.

Common sense, and any sort of life wisdom, tell you that experience is a benefit.

As for your statistics on ES vs PP goals, you can calculate the relationships betweeen the numbers, but that doesn't make the relationship meaningful or causal. That was my point.