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Knock Knock, Analyzing The Flyers Flop

May 12, 2012 Leave a comment

[Originally post for www.betonhockey.com on May 10/2012]

 There are plenty of legit reasons that could make a person believe the Philadelphia Flyers should have won the Stanley Cup this year.

At the time of their elimination at the hands of the New Jersey Devils this year, the Flyers had the leading goals (tied with teammate Briere – 8), assists, and points scorer of the playoffs on their roster (Giroux 8g, 9a, 17pts); as well as second place in playoff assists, Jakub Voracek (8), second place in playoff points (Briere — 13), two players tied for the lead in playoff powerplay goals (Giroux, Hartnell – 3), one player tied for the lead in playoff short-handed goals (Giroux – 2), and two players tied for the lead in overtime goals (Briere, Voracek – 1). And in the second round, all this firepower was being directed at a goaltender that turned 40 years old during the series. Mind you, that old goalie is a four-time Vezina Trophy winner, holder of more than 20 goaltending records, and wears the best looking blocker in the league, but I digress.

As a team, the Flyers had the number one rated power play (35.7%), scoring on 15 of 42 opportunities – that’s 6 more man-advantage goals than the second place team – and were second in goals for; only behind the Pittsburgh Penguins, who they disposed of in the first round.

With two of five games in the series being decided by one goal, another two of five being won by two goals, and even in the lopsided game 2 that New Jersey won by three, you’d think offensive numbers like these would have been more influential, and in Philadelphia’s favor.

So what in the world went wrong?

BetOnHockey_Flyers_Bryzgalov.jpgGoaltending, right? It always comes down to goaltending with the Flyers, it had to be that again, right? Well, as it turns out, yeah it kinda was.

Remember when Philadelphia allegedly cured their goaltending ailment by signing Ilya Bryzgalov to a 9-year, $51 million contract that maxed out their salary cap allowance? How’d he do? Dead last in goals against amongst goaltenders in the playoffs, with 37 on 326 shots he faced. The second worse, Braden Holtby of Washington, faced more than 100 more shots (albeit playing in two more games) and let in 9 less goals. More importantly, Martin Brodeur let in 12 less. Out of 23 goalies recording statistics in the playoffs, Bryzgalov placed 19th in GAA (3.46) and save percentage (.887%), and Philly’s backup Sergei Bobrovsky finished 23rd in GAA (8.11) and 21st in save percentage (.722%) [to be fair, Bobrovsky only appeared in one game]; meanwhile, Brodeur is currently pitching a 2.05/.920%. Bryz was so bad, he’s not even being invited to play for Russia at the IIHF World Championships — a tournament where participating national teams clamber for all the available NHL talent they can acquire in an attempt to legitimize their team and an overall watered down talent pool that is somehow allowed to influence world rankings – holding fast with Colorado’s Semyon Varlamov as their starter, and backing him up with two KHL goaltenders, despite Bryzgalov’s availability [also to be fair, much of the NHL’s top talent turns down the opportunity to play in this tournament for various reasons, and is unsubstantiated that he would have gone, even if invited].

Additionally, it didn’t help having Claude Giroux, leader of basically every offensive statistical category in the playoffs, suspended for the series-deciding game five, after a head hit he dished out in game four. Some may argue though, that while facing a 3-1 series deficit to the Devils, the series may have already been over for the Flyers. The on-ice absence of Philadelphia’s captain Chris Pronger was unquestionably missed as well.

BetOnHockey_Flyers_Eliminated.jpgSome may argue still the Flyers felt the relocation of former captain Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, who have both become substantial contributors to the success of the Los Angeles Kings, more so than the acquisition of Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn, and even Jaromir Jagr.

Whatever you want to pin it on, it’s back to the drawing board once again for the Flyers. They again bow out of the running for the Stanley Cup early, and now make it 37 years since their last Cup victory. At this point, after acquiring a highly touted goaltender and a bona fide offence, it’s got to feel like they gave all the right answers, and then someone changed the questions for that franchise. I can’t imagine it’s anything short of frustrating for all those involved. I wouldn’t blame Peter Laviolette is he felt like doing this with a real hammer. I regret having to say we’ve heard the last rendition of Mac Miller’s “Knock Knock” in the Flyers’ dressing room for another season.

The Top 10 Internet-ually Influential NHL’ers

May 4, 2012 Leave a comment

Hi folks! I had this list passed on to me from the fine folks at PeekYou.com. Interesting list! Scroll to the bottom for two of my own additions. 

-SDC

 

============================================

It’s NHL playoff season – the race to partake of the questionable sounding act of drinking from Lord Stanley’s coveted cup is upon us in earnest.

With that, PeekYouthe leading people search engine presents the PeekScore line up of the NHL’s top 10 scorers as per their respective Web presence; just in time for playoffs.

PeekScore is a rank from 1 to 10, assigned to every person. The higher someone’s score, the “more important” they are on the web. In calculating your PeekScore and updating it often, PeekYou takes into account your known presence and activity on the Internet, including but not limited to; your bloggingparticipation in social networks, the number of your friends, followers, or readers, the amount of web content you create, and your prominence in the news.

Rank

Picture

Name

Team, Goals Scored

PeekScore

1



Evgeni Malkin

Pittsburgh Penguins, 50

8.19 / 10.00

2



Alex Ovechkin

Washington Capitals, 38

8.17 / 10.00

3



Steven Stamkos

Tampa Bay Lightning, 60

8.10 / 10.00

4



James Neal

Pittsburgh Penguins, 40

8.06 / 10.00

5



Phil Kessel

Toronto Maple Leafs, 37

8.05 / 10.00

6



Marian Gaborik

New York Rangers, 41

8.04 / 10.00

7



Ilya Kovalchuk

New Jersey Devils, 37

8.04 / 10.00

8



Scott Hartnell

Philadelphia Flyers, 37

8.03 / 10.00

9



Corey Perry

Anaheim Ducks, 37

8.02 / 10.00

10



Matt Moulson

New York Islanders, 36

7.81 / 10.00

[Dave’s note: I’d like to add two names to this list as interesting NHL player Twitter follows:

1) Dustin Penner @Dustinpenner25 for his immediate hilarity as a Twitter rookie, self-deprecating Pancake humor, and odd digs at LA sniper Anze Kopitar. 

2) The substantiated but heavily speculated Twitter account of Roberto Luongo @strombone1 which has speculatively been serving as a sounding board for the goaltender that asked for a trade from the Canucks recently. Luongo has never admitted to running the account, but bloggers and TV stations alike have been hot on the trail.  ]

About PeekYou

PeekYou is a search company that is re-indexing the public web around people’s identities, and redefining what it means to look someone up online. Rather than matching together mutually relevant URLs and keywords, as Google does, PeekYou matches any given URL to the identity of the person who created it, or whom it is about. To date, PeekYou has identified over 250 million people as the authors of over 3 billion public URLs. Over 7.5 million visitors use PeekYou’s people search engine every month. As of February 13, 2012, http://www.peekyou.com was ranked the 235th most popular website in the U.S., according to Quantcast. PeekYou’s analytics products deliver enterprise-class social audience measurement solutions. The Social Analytics API provides game-changing audience insights to better target content, engage relevant consumers, and create highly converting social initiatives for your brand. More info available at: http://analytics.peekyou.com/. The company was founded in 2006 by Michael Hussey, who created the globally recognized network of “RateMy” sites such as www.ratemyteachers.comwww.ratemyprofessors.com, and more.

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