A Quick And Dirty Look at the Value of a Goal, Or Alternately: Luck Matters

Jonathan Willis
May 11 2009 07:53PM

Bowman and Babcock

Scotty Bowman said something more than thirty years ago that occasionally seems to be at odds with conventional wisdom, but meshes well – even obviously – with reality.

“I believe when you get down to the short series of a playoff or the last game for the Stanley Cup, breaks are going to play a big part and you have to be lucky to win. If you are the best you should win , but from one season to the next intangibles will enter into it and you will not always win. An injury here, a lucky shot there.”

Bowman said that in 1976; it’s something that should be obvious based on how hockey games have unfolded over the years, but all too often it seems that the role of injuries, bounces, refereeing and all other manner of luck is ignored.

Luck is reduced in the regular season, because of the large number of games played, but it isn’t entirely eliminated. Consider goalposts as an example. Last season in November, the Rangers had hit 8 more goal posts than their opposition. Meanwhile, the Oilers had seen their opposition hit 12 more goalposts than they did. Imagine what an effect switching those numbers would have had on each team’s season – that’s a 20 goal swing, by November! Checking in again in February, we have an expected outcome – the margin has increased, albeit at a slower rate. Now the Rangers have hit 14 more goalposts than their opposition, while the Oilers have seen their opponents hit 16 more than they’ve hit themselves – a 30 goal swing. That’s a 6% impact on the outcome of the season at the extremes right there; the difference between making the playoffs and missing them, or the difference between making the playoffs and winning the division. Of course most teams fall into the middle of the spread, so this effect is minimized, but in certain rare instances could result in massive swings with precisely the same amount of talent and level of opposition.

In any case, those are groups of goals, and a single lucky goal has virtually no impact on the regular season. The average NHL team this year saw 478 goals scored for and against, meaning that a single goal on average had a .2% impact on the outcome of a season.

Now, consider a playoff round – it’s a completely different story. Here are the playoff series from the first round, with total goals scored for and against in each of them:

  • Boston over Montreal (17-6)
  • Washington over New York (19-11)
  • Carolina over New Jersey (17-15)
  • Pittsburgh over Philadelphia (18-16)
  • Anaheim over San Jose (18-10)
  • Detroit over Columbus (18-7)
  • Vancouver over St. Louis (11-5)
  • Chicago over Calgary (21-16)

In each series, on average, a total of 28 goals were scored. That means that a single lucky goal, or a bad call leading to a goal, or a goal post, or whatever would have roughly a 3.6% effect on every series. It would only take three good bounces to have a greater than 10% sway on the outcome of each series, on average.

All of this tells me that what Scotty Bowman had figured out more than thirty years ago is absolutely correct – luck has a huge outcome on the result of a single playoff series. Since it requires four series to win the Stanley Cup, that level of luck is compounded. The best team should win, but with a couple of bounces one way or the other a team that should have won the Stanley Cup can end up ousted in the first round.

I’d even argue that there’s no such thing as a “team of destiny” any more; every year there are a half-dozen good teams with legitimate shots at the Stanley Cup, and with a little bit of luck any of them could win it all.  These aren't the days of the Original Six.

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
Avatar
#1 canucklehead
May 11 2009, 08:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Jonathan:

Where are you pulling the "a goal has .2% impact on the regular season" and "3.6% effect on a playoff series" figures from?

Avatar
#2 Jonathan Willis
May 11 2009, 08:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

canucklehead wrote:

Jonathan: Where are you pulling the “a goal has .2% impact on the regular season” and “3.6% effect on a playoff series” figures from?

1/478 = 0.2% 1/28 = 3.6%

Avatar
#3 canucklehead
May 11 2009, 08:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Jonathan Willis: Heh, and here I was looking for something a lot more complex than that.

Avatar
#4 Cory Dakin
May 11 2009, 08:24PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Is it just me or are the playoffs this year probably the most entertaining in years? (Since '06 anyway).. Whether it's lucky breaks or the good teams winning, either way, hockey fans are definitely winning this year.

Avatar
#5 Jonathan Willis
May 11 2009, 08:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Cory Dakin:

Yeah, I'm enjoying them (particularly the Pittsburgh/Washington series). Lots of really good storylines.

Of course, I'd enjoy them more if Edmonton were involved.

Avatar
#6 kingsblade
May 11 2009, 08:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Those goalpost numbers don't reflect luck, they correspond quite nicely to shots on goal.

Avatar
#7 marconius E
May 11 2009, 08:41PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I was having some trouble digesting your article and after some thought I finally figured out why. You're assuming that goalposts are a signifier of luck, no? Do you really believe this to be the case? Wouldn't better teams be simply better at tucking pucks inside the posts?

Avatar
#8 Cory Dakin
May 11 2009, 08:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I'm not sure what I'm more surprised by..

Vancouver repeatedly snatching defeat from the jaws of victory with Luongo behind them...

Or, Crosby tied with Ovechkin in goals, but trailing him in assists.

Avatar
#9 Zdeno Ciger
May 11 2009, 08:45PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Hitting a goalpost isn't bad luck. It's missing the net. Should we chalk a shot that misses the post by 1 cm as "bad luck" too? What about 2 cm? 3 cm? 1 foot?

With that said, I still agree with your post 100%. Luck definitely plays a part. But things tend to even out usually, thankfully.

Avatar
#10 Cory Dakin
May 11 2009, 08:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

If you ask any goaltender, I guarantee you they will tell you that hitting the goal post has nothing to do with luck. It's all about cutting down the angles, that's just quality goaltending!

Avatar
#11 Jonathan Willis
May 11 2009, 08:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

marconius E wrote:

I was having some trouble digesting your article and after some thought I finally figured out why. You’re assuming that goalposts are a signifier of luck, no? Do you really believe this to be the case? Wouldn’t better teams be simply better at tucking pucks inside the posts?

The 2007-08 Edmonton Oilers hit 7 goal posts and had their opposition hit 19. Even assuming that they were incredibly good at making their shots (which I don't buy), why was their opposition so bad? Did they have the easiest schedule in the league? Was the Dwayne Roloson/Mathieu Garon tandem that good?

I think luck is the more obvious explanation.

Avatar
#12 Jonathan Willis
May 11 2009, 08:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Cory Dakin wrote:

If you ask any goaltender, I guarantee you they will tell you that hitting the goal post has nothing to do with luck. It’s all about cutting down the angles, that’s just quality goaltending!

Of course, than you're relying on the judgement of someone who has chosen to stand in front of pucks for a living ;)

Avatar
#13 Jonathan Willis
May 11 2009, 08:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

kingsblade wrote:

Those goalpost numbers don’t reflect luck, they correspond quite nicely to shots on goal.

To some degree, yes, but there's still quite a bit of variation from the shooting/outshooting curve. As examples, in 2007-08 Washington was getting a ton of help from this metric (despite being an outshooting team, IIRC) while Phoenix was on the unpleasant side of things (despite being not so good).

There's too much variation to be explained away by outshooting, I think, although you're absolutely right that it plays a significant role.

Avatar
#14 Jonathan Willis
May 11 2009, 08:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

canucklehead wrote:

@ Jonathan Willis: Heh, and here I was looking for something a lot more complex than that.

Quick and dirty ;)

Avatar
#15 RossCreek
May 11 2009, 09:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Jonathan "Be-bop-bop-baddup-bop I'M A STAT MAN!" Willis

Avatar
#16 cm
May 11 2009, 09:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

wow speaking of lucky bounces...this vancouver game is full of them...

Avatar
#17 West Coast Oil
May 11 2009, 09:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I personally would say that success in the play offs is based on the team who has the hottest 3rd and 4th lines. The 06 Oilers and this years Blackhawks being just 2 examples

Avatar
#18 West Coast Oil
May 11 2009, 09:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Well it looks like the Canucks broke the streak of Canadian teams making the finals. Is it just me or was Luongo very ordinary, perhaps he is as over rated as Kipper

Avatar
#19 RossCreek
May 11 2009, 09:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

~There's not enough goals man. They should make the nets bigger.~ Go Hawks Go!

Avatar
#20 RossCreek
May 11 2009, 09:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Which Canadian team was in the finals last year? @ WCO

Avatar
#21 West Coast Oil
May 11 2009, 10:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@RC damn did I miss a year? Perhaps Im just looking for more crap I can pile onto the Canucks :) Penguins should be considered a Canadian team

Avatar
#22 Jason Gregor
May 11 2009, 10:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Jonathan Willis wrote:

The 2007-08 Edmonton Oilers hit 7 goal posts and had their opposition hit 19. Even assuming that they were incredibly good at making their shots (which I don’t buy), why was their opposition so bad? Did they have the easiest schedule in the league? Was the Dwayne Roloson/Mathieu Garon tandem that good? I think luck is the more obvious explanation.

Hitting the post doesn't count as a shot on goal.

And why is it luck when a shot hits the post, compared to a shot that hits the outer edge of a pad. A shot that hits the outer edge of the post is still close to two inches from going in.

So when a player scores is that luck or is the goalie unlucky?

Many would argue you have to work hard to get the bounces.

Lucky to be good, good to be lucky.

Avatar
#23 home care supplies
May 11 2009, 10:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Thank you very much for taking the time to post this. Everyone should know about these things. I enjoy learning new things so I subscribe to blogs like yours. Craig

Avatar
#24 kingsblade
May 11 2009, 11:15PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Jonathan Willis:

Jason Gregor wrote:

Many would argue you have to work hard to get the bounces.

Exactly.

JW you may be right that there is the odd case where a team hits an unusual number of posts, I haven't really looked at the numbers. However the number of posts hit will correspond, in the vast majority of situations, to the number of shots taken.

That would suggest that looking at goalposts as a luck factor is really only useful in situations where the numbers are contradictory.

In general I'm with you on the luck proposition, but it's difficult to buy goalposts hit as part of that equation except in some very unusual circumstances.

I wonder how often a teams goalpost ration doesn't correlate with their total corsi. Almost enough to look into it, but probably not quite.

Avatar
#25 Jonathan Willis
May 12 2009, 12:27AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ kingsblade:

All of the numbers data is here. It's ugly to sort through, but the goal posts don't match up with outshooting/getting outshot much at all.

I was browsing through some of Vic's articles and I'm sold that the goalposts have a lot of luck attached to them. I have however had enough beer not to try and work through the math again tonight ;)

Avatar
#26 Jonathan Willis
May 12 2009, 12:33AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Jason Gregor wrote:

Many would argue you have to work hard to get the bounces.

That's a fun argument, and of course from a professional viewpoint I firmly believe that I make my own luck - I can't allow myself to believe anything else for fear of making excuses.

That said, looking at something where my performance isn't on the line, the bounces matter and aren't controlled by hard work. When Lidstrom blew the puck by Cloutier in that Detroit/Vancouver series ages ago, that was a big helping of luck; nothing more. Cloutier should have had it, yes, but he would have anyway if not for a fluke bounce and it had nothing at all to do with exceptional hard work on Lidstrom's part.

There's countless examples in every single game; and instead of them evening out over the course of the year you get a distribution, with some teams at one end of the curve, some in the middle and others at the far end. That's how life works; I'm sure you remember looking at Bell curves in school and while the average is comforting and it's nice to pretend that we're all getting the same chances, all grouped along the middle, it simply isn't the case because some of us fall at one end of the scale and some of us fall on the other end, randomly.

Avatar
#27 Jonathan Willis
May 12 2009, 12:38AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Jonathan Willis wrote:

That’s a fun argument, and of course from a professional viewpoint I firmly believe that I make my own luck - I can’t allow myself to believe anything else for fear of making excuses.

I've explained this badly, but I'll try one more time here.

A professional athlete, given the choice between taking responsibility and offering up a (legitimate) excuse, should always take responsibility. It's irrational, but it also pushes towards excellence.

A general manager, watching his team struggle, has to strike a balance in his public comments; taking responsibility and pushing people to be their best while at the same time allowing for all of the flukey things (injuries, posts, bad refs) that actually occur in the games.

In private though, that G.M. needs to be rational - needs to take into account the fact that Player X was hurt or that he hit four posts in a seven-game series, or simply for the fact that performance varies and sometimes you roll ones. He needs to be as detached as possible and try to give fair value - no more, no less - to the luck that plays a part in sports.

Analysts should do the same, but it's much easier and much more popular to pile on guys, and if there's one thing TV personalities no how to do it's pander to the crowd. People don't want excuses, they want scapegoats, and that's a tendency that a good G.M. (or analyst) needs to try to get away from.

Avatar
#28 Chris
May 12 2009, 06:31AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

The beauty of Sport: call it luck; call it a pivitol play; but well all remember specific incidents that changed the course of Oiler franchise history. Was it bad luck when Steve Smith banked a series winning goal off Fuhr; or just poor judgement to throw a pass up the middle from behind his own net? Was it bad luck that Roli was injured in game one of the 06 SCF; or a bonehead play by MAB to push Ladd into the crease? Each individual play can be debated seperately, but the fact remains, some degree of human error is at the heart of every instance big or small. That said, the outcome can be subject to human error by the officials (Remember Mcgough?)... And to this day, every time there is a goal crease collision I marval at how often the goalie ISN'T injured... it just figures...grumble...grumble...

Avatar
#29 Smokin' Ray - NNC
May 12 2009, 07:34AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I never understood why hitting the goal post isn't considered a shot on net. I mean come on!!! You can't get any closer to a shot on goal when it actually hits the goal.

Avatar
#30 RossCreek
May 12 2009, 08:29AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Does it make sense to count it as a shot on goal if it wouldn't have gone in the net? To simplify, a shot on goal is basically defined by a shot that would otherwise go in the net if there was no goalie. Therefore a shot that hits the post is not a shot on goal.

Avatar
#31 Hemmertime
May 12 2009, 09:35AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Luck plays a part, but not so much in hockey as other sports due to long series. I think least luck amount needed would be baseball, then basketball/hockey. In a 7 game series the better team will normally win, or the harder working... but in Football 1 nervous running back with sweaty hands can cost you your season in 1 play. In hockey, you need consistent lasting luck - which rarely happens.

Avatar
#32 Hemmertime
May 12 2009, 09:43AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Jonathan Willis wrote:

That’s a fun argument, and of course from a professional viewpoint I firmly believe that I make my own luck - I can’t allow myself to believe anything else for fear of making excuses.

Try working for 3 places that shut down either whole company or Edmonton location, within 2 months of you being promoted at each of those companies. If I can't blame bad luck, Im a multi-million dollar causing failure. I could live with that, but I know I wasn't the faulty cog in the machine.

Avatar
#33 kingsblade
May 12 2009, 09:47AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

That is interesting. I'm too lazy to work it out right now, but I think I will later.

A side note on some previous threads discussing Bouwmeester...

I just now noticed on behindthenet that Bouwmeester led his team in quality of competition. Of all players mentioned as being better than him only Chara and Lidstrom led their own teams in that category. Certainly not conclusive of anything, but does add a bit to the opinion that he is a top defenseman.

There are some pretty interesting names on that list actually,(of players who led their teams) including a few I would not have guessed.

Avatar
#34 kingsblade
May 12 2009, 09:56AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Hemmertime wrote:

I think least luck amount needed would be baseball...

I would thing the opposite. The luck involved in getting a base hit vs. an out is incredible. There is certainly a lot of skill involved, but every single hit is decided by a matter of millimeters, forget even about inches. A tiny bit of dirt on the ball can change the trajectory just enough...catching the ball on the laces with your bat instead of the leather can change the results just enough...

There is a huge amount of luck in every sport though, I have to agree with that.

Avatar
#35 Archaeologuy
May 12 2009, 09:56AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Hemmertime wrote:

If I can’t blame bad luck, Im a multi-million dollar causing failure.

I wouldnt put that in your resume or cover letter if i were you. Just avoid anything that makes you look like the 4th horseman of the corporate apocalypse.

Avatar
#36 Boris
May 12 2009, 10:13AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

On a completely different point...Did anyone see the 5 questions with JFJ on the Oilers site? He puts visiting Paris and the DR ahead of winning the Stanly Cup. Does anyone else think that there may be a committment problem in our current player group?

Avatar
#37 `
May 12 2009, 10:16AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ home care supplies:

Really Craig? And I thought that you just wanted to sell some home supplied by linking to your website. Man, was i wrong!

Avatar
#38 Hemmertime
May 12 2009, 10:20AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Boris: Ooo I just read that, I cant knock him for wanting a Family over the cup, but Paris? and Europe? listed above the cup! lets hope thats just written like that and not in order of priority. But hell, there is even "5 places Id like to visit" and Paris still made it as a goal in life. And someone should tell him he has the money and ample time to go right now so that he can focus on the things that matter =)

Side note: Ya, it would be hard to play in Edmonton, little Danny Tencer asks you 5 questions and you get ripped on MSG boards for the order of your answers lol

Avatar
#39 Sandra
May 12 2009, 10:25AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

The Oilers and Hawks were two teams that mirrored each other for the past 7 years in draft positions and thier goal to emulate the Wings. It looks like the Hawks beat Edmonton to it. They even got Bowman. The Oilers had a plan but the wrong person was in charge. Lowe and Company can't see talent if it bit them in the arse. Now with Tambel in charge it looks like we are back where we started 7 years ago, only in worse shape because of contracts like HORC, Penner, Pissani, etc. So I say 3 more years before we can emulate the Hawks, who are playing Oilers hockey. J.W. your a stats man. can you please compare the draft picks and postions of the Hawks and Oilers for the past 7 years? Why is K.P. still around, Lowe is the "token" of the past so he is safe as a baby in a mothers arms. Pouliout for Captain with Brodzaik and JFJ as assitants, for next year.

Avatar
#40 Archaeologuy
May 12 2009, 10:28AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Boris:

OMG it was #4 on a list of five. Winning the Cup just edged out meeting U2. Perhaps someone should have mentioned to him that he is employed by a NHL team. The guy makes half a Mill a year and he places more importance on seeing the friggin Eifel tower than he does winning the hardest championship to win in pro sports. HE HAS 4 MONTHS OFF A YEAR! I think he can go to Paris any time he wants. #1 on the list was have a family. HE IS A PRO HOCKEY PAYER IN CANADA. I cant imagine that finding willing ladies is that hard either. He might as well have put "eating a good sandwich" ahead of winning the Cup.

Avatar
#41 Boris
May 12 2009, 10:53AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Archaeologuy: Eating a good sandwich....cracks me up

Avatar
#42 MattL
May 12 2009, 10:55AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

The way I see it:

There are two types of shots, ON NET, and NOT ON NET. I don't think there is such thing as luck, only unexpected bounces off players, posts, ice, end boards, dashers, and Tommy Salo's head. Every post is just another shot not on net. In the end, no matter how it happens, good teams score more goals than bad teams. I think you're looking at a chicken and egg scenario backwards. The only way to gauge success is by results. Goals, and wins.

If you try to figure out the stats of every single angle, vector, velocity of puck movement, your head will smoke and explode like a hilarious robot.

Saying "luck" (when it comes to goal posts) has an effect on success is like saying, "putting more goals in the net correlates with winning."

Avatar
#43 Ogden Brother
May 12 2009, 11:05AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Sandra wrote:

The Oilers and Hawks were two teams that mirrored each other for the past 7 years in draft positions and thier goal to emulate the Wings. It looks like the Hawks beat Edmonton to it. They even got Bowman. The Oilers had a plan but the wrong person was in charge. Lowe and Company can’t see talent if it bit them in the arse. Now with Tambel in charge it looks like we are back where we started 7 years ago, only in worse shape because of contracts like HORC, Penner, Pissani, etc. So I say 3 more years before we can emulate the Hawks, who are playing Oilers hockey. J.W. your a stats man. can you please compare the draft picks and postions of the Hawks and Oilers for the past 7 years? Why is K.P. still around, Lowe is the “token” of the past so he is safe as a baby in a mothers arms. Pouliout for Captain with Brodzaik and JFJ as assitants, for next year.

Are you delusional? In the last 7 years the Hawks have drafted 1st overall once and 3rd overall twice.

With three, top three picks you should be walking away with 2 stars and a solid NHL...which the Hawks have.

Avatar
#44 Ogden Brother
May 12 2009, 11:12AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Archaeologuy wrote:

@ Boris: OMG it was #4 on a list of five. Winning the Cup just edged out meeting U2. Perhaps someone should have mentioned to him that he is employed by a NHL team. The guy makes half a Mill a year and he places more importance on seeing the friggin Eifel tower than he does winning the hardest championship to win in pro sports. HE HAS 4 MONTHS OFF A YEAR! I think he can go to Paris any time he wants. #1 on the list was have a family. HE IS A PRO HOCKEY PAYER IN CANADA. I cant imagine that finding willing ladies is that hard either. He might as well have put “eating a good sandwich” ahead of winning the Cup.

I'd be willing to bet his mindset isn't that uncommon. "Work" isn't top priority for most people.

Avatar
#45 Archaeologuy
May 12 2009, 11:13AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Ogden Brother: If a rookie in the NHL isnt enthused about playing at the highest level of the game then he shouldnt be there.

Avatar
#46 Jonathan Willis
May 12 2009, 11:18AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

MattL wrote:

The only way to gauge success is by results. Goals, and wins.

True, the only way to gauge success is results. On the other hand, you're assuming a 100% correlation between success and ability, which simply doesn't happen.

Avatar
#47 Jonathan Willis
May 12 2009, 11:27AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Sandra wrote:

The Oilers and Hawks were two teams that mirrored each other for the past 7 years in draft positions and thier goal to emulate the Wings.

I'm not going to defend Lowe (who has made his share of blunders) but that statement is wrong. Here are the first round picks of each team over the last seven years

Edmonton: 13th, 15th, 22nd, 14th, 25th, 25th, 6th, 22nd Totals: 8 picks, 18th overall average

Chicago: 9th, 29th, 21st, 14th, 3rd, 7th, 3rd, 1st, 11th Totals: 9 picks, 11th overall average

Chicago had 5 top-10 picks over that span; Edmonton had one (and he's turned out pretty well). The two aren't remotely comparable.

And as for emulating the Wings, Chicago hasn't even been close to doing it. For one example, compare Chicago's money spent on goalies with Detroit; it isn't even close, because Detroit builds a good team and saves money in net, while Chicago went after Khabibulin with money and term and then after Huet when that didn't work.

Avatar
#48 MattL
May 12 2009, 11:38AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Jonathan Willis:

I absolutely agree, but what does "ability" have to do with the price of rice when the Stanley Cup is handed out?

Is there anything that links (posts vs. shots) and wins? Do the teams who hit an abnormally high or low number of goal posts compared to total shots over the season have a related increase or decrease in wins?

I think what I'm trying to say is that goal posts are part of a backwards correlation, a result, not something that can predict future events. It's just a missed shot on net, remarkable for the sweet, sweet noise it makes, and nothing more.

To quote my favourite philosophical zen moment from the Mighty Ducks, "Two inches the other way, and you would have missed completely."

Avatar
#49 Ogden Brother
May 12 2009, 11:42AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Archaeologuy wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: If a rookie in the NHL isnt enthused about playing at the highest level of the game then he shouldnt be there.

I agree, but I'd still bet alot of fans take the wins and losses harder then some of the players.

Avatar
#50 Ogden Brother
May 12 2009, 11:59AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Jonathan Willis wrote:

Sandra wrote: The Oilers and Hawks were two teams that mirrored each other for the past 7 years in draft positions and thier goal to emulate the Wings. I’m not going to defend Lowe (who has made his share of blunders) but that statement is wrong. Here are the first round picks of each team over the last seven years Edmonton: 13th, 15th, 22nd, 14th, 25th, 25th, 6th, 22nd Totals: 8 picks, 18th overall average Chicago: 9th, 29th, 21st, 14th, 3rd, 7th, 3rd, 1st, 11th Totals: 9 picks, 11th overall average Chicago had 5 top-10 picks over that span; Edmonton had one (and he’s turned out pretty well). The two aren’t remotely comparable. And as for emulating the Wings, Chicago hasn’t even been close to doing it. For one example, compare Chicago’s money spent on goalies with Detroit; it isn’t even close, because Detroit builds a good team and saves money in net, while Chicago went after Khabibulin with money and term and then after Huet when that didn’t work.

Also, I'd add that top 3 picks are FAR superior to 8th/12th/19th ... or whatever picks (ie so the average position probably isn't that relavant)

Comments are closed for this article.