March 26 2013 11:03AM
On Sunday I drove out to Mississauga to cover game three of the first round playoff series between the Ontario Hockey League's Mississauga Steelheads and the Belleville Bulls. As you probably well know, Oilers prospect Daniil Zharkov plays for the Belleville Bulls and I chatted with him post game. I figured I'd share some of my game notes and some of Zharkov's post game comments with you, or at least with those of you willing to read my work after I took that massive run at your sacred cows a couple of months back.
October 06 2011 01:32PM
You all know Elliotte Friedman – he’s the Hockey Night in Canada Broadcaster who happens to write the best English language hockey column in the world. His 30 Thoughts go up every Monday (they’re rarely delayed, but when they are, Twitter has a panic-attack). No one captures chatter from the rink quite like Friedman does every Monday. It’s those insightful tidbits that make his 30 Thoughts columns indispensible to NHL fans. When 30 Thoughts returned from its summer hiatus this year, I noticed that Friedman was talking about zone-starts and hockey analytics in a way he previously hadn’t done. I thought perhaps there had been a change in his thinking over the summer in regards to fancy-stats, so I decided to e-mail him and see if he’d talk “moneypuck” with me. Elliotte agreed, and while I had my Wayne Campbell meeting Alice Cooper moment, we set the date of the interview for this past Tuesday. On Tuesday, Elliotte’s wife gave birth to the couples first son – but Elliotte e-mailed me the next day and was still interested in talking about hockey-stats. On behalf of the Nation Network, I’d like to extend my gratitude to Elliotte for his candor and class, and our congratulations to him and his wife on the birth of their son. What follows is the conversation we had:
Thom Drance: Elliotte, one of the main reasons I wanted to speak with you was the appearance of advanced metrics in your regular 30 thoughts column beginning last month, I'm curious, how would you describe your interest in these number?
Elliotte Friedman: I've always been interested in statistical analysis and what it can mean. I think that, in this day and age if you're not open-minded to something – it's a bad thing. You have to be open minded to all ideas and theories to see if they really make sense, and can help you judge players, teams or whatever. For me it was just a matter of having the time to figure out what they were trying to do, and if they made any sense.
September 07 2011 12:25PM
Devan Dubnyk has the raw skills to be great. He comes in second on our rankings.
Image courtesy Brendan Hoare.
Earlier this summer, I asked independent goalie scout and hockey writer Justin Goldman (AKA The Goalie Guild) for his take on who was likely to have the best career among James Reimer, Devan Dubnyk and Cory Schneider. He told me he liked all of them, but that at gunpoint he’d go with Cory Schneider. As a Canucks fan I was happy to hear that, but I was unsatisfied by the 140 character limit answer – I needed to know why. So I e-mailed him, and asked if he’d be interested in discussing the matter further with me. What follows is the elaborate answer I was looking for. In part I of the series, we profiled James Reimer over at LeafsNation, today: Devan Dubnyk.
Devan Dubnyk; what does he do well? What does he need to work on?
What I like most about Dubnyk is his raw skill, in terms of his ability to read, react, and use his size to his advantage. Maybe three of four years ago, when we'd talk about a big goalie, “Using his size to his advantage” we’d expect that goalie to play higher up in his crease to make himself even bigger. But over the past few years, the way a big goalie plays has changed. Now they’re sitting back in their crease and allowing their size to be relied upon even more.