Mailbag: Vote Goligoski/Campbell — Defense You Can Believe In

Well friends, we’re out but not down. (Of the playoffs, that is.) We hope you’ve enjoyed the Bearded Ladies branching out to cover more of the hockey world in the post season, but here we are returning to our Stars roots with this week’s mailbag!

@komnumep asks: @beardiestladies coaching changes – do you foresee any? Think any are necessary? Will/should Lindy stay? there seem to be several available coaches atm and I’ve seen some fans suggest Lindy isn’t the best fit

C: I think there are a lot of fans super upset we missed the playoffs and demanding blood. I highly doubt that Lindy will be fired (even if Babcock becomes available) because after December, his philosophy did really start to take hold. The Stars were one of the hardest teams to beat throughout March, and our biggest issue, the defense, became a huge asset. I’m not saying that any of these other coaches can’t also do a good job with this team – maybe even better – but based on Lindy’s performance this year, I highly doubt that he’s going to be out of a job come summer.

M: Plus, even if Babcock becomes available, there’s absolutely no guarantee the Stars would be able to pay his asking price (which is reportedly going to be ridiculous) (by normal person standards, I mean). Lindy’s in his second year and he actually got this team into the playoffs last year. This year they had a better record, actually, but unfortunately the rest of the West did too. Can’t blame bad goaltending on him, and he was correctly able to identify problem spots and make adjustments. He’s a good coach, I don’t think changes are necessary. The GOALIE coach, however, should definitely go. I know we defended him on an earlier podcast this year, but that was before either of us realized he’s also the goalie SCOUT, and a lot of blame for our backup woes can be placed firmly on his doorstep.

C: And with some excellent goalie coaches (Jeff Reese) out of work, that’s one change that is very likely.

M: So long, Mike Valley. Miss you never.

@jrho_jrho asks: @beardiestladies how can we convince the team to take wet, shirtless videos again this summer?

M: I mean. If you can think of a cause to raise awareness for, all we need is someone famous to call them out. Obviously I’m 100% down for shirtless videos.

C: Maybe like some sort of charity thing where they throw a pool party and sell tickets? Then it would be so much more than just 20 seconds of video.

M: How can we convince them to just make a calendar. That’s what I want. A poolside calendar. A different shirtless Star for every month of the year.

C: Motion seconded.

M: All in favor, reply “aye.”

Anonymous said: for the next mailbag/podcast: can you describe me how Fantasy Hockey works? 😀 Where I can find it etc.

M: Carolyn runs my league, so I’ll let her explain it for reals. I just threatened everyone in my league that I wouldn’t participate unless I got to draft Jamie Benn. I drafted based on how much I liked a person and steered clear of teams I hate during the draft, and that was a terrible decision. It doesn’t matter how much you loathe the Flyers when Brayden Schenn has a super positive +/-.

C: There are actually a couple different ways to play fantasy hockey? Our league is hosted on Yahoo Fantasy, and we play a style called “Rotisserie” which means we all earn points in different categories, and then the person with the most points win. The other main way is called “head-to-head” where you try to beat a single person every week by accumulating points, like they do in the show The League (which is about fantasy football).

I’m a huge fantasy nerd because it involves doing a bunch of stats to make sure you get excellent pick ups when your players get injured. I haven’t tried convincing Merrin yet, but I wanna do like a whole Fantasy podcast or a series of posts or something.

So…you know, throwing that one out there, co-podcaster.

M: I mean, I’m down, co-podcaster.

keriarentikai said: Dare I ask your thoughts on slash-gate [clarification: Subban’s slash on Stone]? Alternately, what conference final match-ups do you want to see the most?

M: I mean. I meeeeean. It was pretty egregious. It was definitely a penalty. Should he have gotten a game misconduct for it? Probably. I’m kind of annoyed because in the conference finals in 2013, Keith slashed Jeff Carter and got two games of that series for it. Granted, that was Carter’s face, but the precedent had been set. Why did Subban not get any supplemental? I don’t know. But I guess Player Safety decided he didn’t need it.

C: My problem with Player Safety is how much they go based on “history between people” (which honestly makes it stranger that Subban didn’t get suspended for at least one game given Ottawa/Montreal’s history). There’s actually a really good article about the inner workings of Player Safety and how they make these decisions here. I like Subban, but I would’ve probably been happier if he had gotten suspended, because it would’ve been more consistent with rulings in the past, like Merrin said.

M: RE: Conference final matchups . . . in the west I hate to say ANYTHING because I feel like I’m gonna regret it re: the Hawks. But coming out of the first round, I had Jets over Ducks (fuck the Ducks) and, because I believe in their PDO, Flames over Canucks. It looks like I’m gonna get the Flames bit right, but they’re going to take on the Ducks. I’m not sure HOW this is gonna play out, but I wouldn’t mind seeing a Ducks/Hawks Conference Final, if only because it fits with my absolute loathing of the Ducks (which I’m so quiet about) and I think the Hawks can beat them.

In the East, I had the Lightning and the Rangers in the Conference finals, because a) I believed in TBL over Detroit (which can still happen, I’m just feeling very doom and gloom about Ben Bishop right now) and b) it’s like an intrasquad scrimmage. You’ve got former Bolt Martin St Louis on one end, and like half the old Rangers roster on the other, and that matchup has to be interesting for both fanbases, no?

C: Conference finals – I wanna see the Hawks over everyone, but I’d rather the Flames than the Ducks because that would be hilarious. In the East – I don’t care…I like Ovechkin and want good things for him so I think Caps/Lightning would be fun.

M: Mirtle’s head would explode if the Flames made it to the conference finals. Worth it on that alone.

Anonymous said: Okay, so, who (on the Dallas Stars roster) would you bake cupcakes for, who wouldn’t you want to be stuck with in a long car ride with, who you’d cry to if things fell apart,who would you fall in love with, and who would you vote for president?

M: I would bake cupcakes for BRBR, because he’d probably appreciate them the most. I wouldn’t want to be stuck in a long car ride with Seguin, because he’d probably get bored and whiny. I’d cry to hot dad Jason Spezza if things fell apart. I’d fall in love with YOU KNOW WHO and I would vote . . . Goligoski? He’s American. I’d vote for him for president.

C: I would bake cupcakes for basically any of them? I bake a lot of cupcakes as a rule. I think Klingberg is the skinniest, so probably him most of all.

I also think Seguin would be the worst roadtrip partner, because he needs a lot of attention at all times, and when I drive I like to zone out a bit, especially if it’s a really long haul.

I think Daley is probably the best at comforting people.

I could fall in love with Demers, probably. He’s a total dork, and that’s adorable.

Isn’t Goligoski the only American on the team now that Cole’s gone? I think that makes him the default for voting for president.

M: He is the only American, yes. Wins by default. Idk who his running mate could be. JACK CAMPBELL. I just checked wiki. Jack Campbell is also American, and I know him more than the other two Americans on the Texas Stars.

C: Jack Campbell has already represented his country once, so I think that’s an excellent choice for VP.

@GlennGiangrande asks: @beardiestladies My mailbag question: Is Jamie Benn Illuminati?

M: True story: my coworker got an email from someone claiming to be associated with the Illuminati. She had to answer an email survey and based on her answers, they’d send her the next thing. They must not have liked her answers because she never heard back. (Or so she says.) Short answer re: Jamie Benn, if he is, we’d never know it.

C: Does she still have this survey? I WANT TO KNOW WHAT THEY ASK.

M: You can sign up for their mailing list. She doesn’t remember what the questions were. Maybe they mind erased them.

Anon asked: Hi! For your next mailbag installment, I’m wondering about a statement Heika made in his last chat. His exact quote was: “Would Tyler Seguin have won the Art Ross if he was healthy all year and Jamie Benn missed 10 games with an injury? … I don’t think he would have.”

Kind of surprising, as I thought the consensus was that both players benefited more or less equally from the opportunity to play together. There’s probably a better way to look at this, but I just looked at how often Benn and Seguin teamed up on goals. Admittedly, there are some facts that make a one-for-one comparison difficult (like Seguin’s insanely low number of secondary assists). But, it looks to me like Seguin (this year at least) was marginally more impactful in helping Benn to score than vice versa. Benn had 1As on 32 percent of Seguin’s goals, while Seguin had 1As on 37 percent of Benn’s goals. That’s a lot, especially when you consider that Seguin wasn’t even in the lineup for 7-8 of Benn’s goals and likely wouldn’t be a factor on Benn’s SH goals — when they are together, it seems that Seguin feeds Been more than the other way around. Of course, they’re clearly both capable of scoring without the other assisting at all, Seguin a bit more than Benn.

So, what do you think? Is there a way to examine these sorts of linemate dynamics? tl;dr version: what’s Heika’s ish?

C: First, I’m super curious where you got the percent of assists info, because I would love to look at that data myself. Can you shoot me a note?

Second, you’re right – I don’t think anyone is going to say Jamie Benn could win the Art Ross if Tyler Seguin was out for a full season, or god forbid, still in Boston. He’s a great player by himself (obviously), but together they’re something special. As for Tyler – I don’t know? He’s not the same kind of leader that Jamie is. Our captain shouldered most of the scoring burden while Tyler was out, though the same could be said for Tyler at the beginning of the season when it felt like no one else was putting points on the board. So let’s do some speculative math.

If we’re going to talk about Art Ross, we’ll need to talk about all points, not just assists.

To level set: If Tyler had played at his 71 game point pace for all 82 games, he would’ve hit 89 points, and been the Art Ross winner (Benn had 87, Tavares 86). For this exercise, we’ll use Tavares as the man to beat, since Jamie will be “injured” for 10 games, like Tyler was.

We also know that Jamie scored 27 goals in all games with Tyler available to assist (All goals – Goals when Tyler’s injured, scratched, or scored on the PK), which is 0.38 goals per game, or if extrapolated to 10 games, 3.8 goals. Assuming your 37% assist figure is correct (thankfully Tyler’s secondary assists are basically negligible here), that means Tyler will lose 1.4 assists over 10 games from Jamie’s hypothetical injury.

So now Tyler’s at 87.6 points, still barely in the lead.

But we have to factor in the effect losing Jamie will have on Tyler’s scoring as well.

Per the puckalytics WOWY tool, the boys played 868 minutes together on the 5v5, which is 82% of Seguin’s total 5v5 ice time. Assuming the same ratio for PP time (Seguin doesn’t play on the PK, so that’s not a factor in his potential goalscoring), Seguin spent 71% of his time-on-ice (TOI) with Benn.

So over 71 games, Tyler was at a 0.52 goals per game, which is 5.2 goals over 10 games. While Benn’s actual effect on Tyler’s goals is probably much larger than 71%, we have to assume that Benn could’ve only assisted goals while he was on ice with Seguin, leaving us with 3.7 goals where Jamie was available to assist. Now again if we use your 32% primary assist figure, it’s like that 32% of those 3.7 goals will not be scored, because Jamie will not be there to assist, so Tyler loses another 1.2 points.

This puts Tyler at 86.4 points, and with rounding, he’s tied with Tavares at 86. Still, if you add 10 games of goals without Jamie, that’s another 4 goals, putting Tyler for the season at 41 goals, and therefore winning the tiebreaker.

Now, this doesn’t account for things like momentum (Tyler was having a little slump before he got injured and then roared back at the end of the season) or the effect of a less seasoned left wing (who would they use if Jamie was out?), but it does look too close to call on whether Tyler could’ve won the Art Ross without Jamie.


3 thoughts on “Mailbag: Vote Goligoski/Campbell — Defense You Can Believe In

  1. Aye! But shirtless holding puppies would be even better!

    Cupcakes – Jordie so I could giggle when he gets icing in his beard, road trip – Demers – I forsee messing with the radio and singing loudly and badly, cry to – Roussel cause he would offer to beat up the person who made me sad, fall in love – sorry I’m taken, president – Goose by default but I would choose the same if Cole was still on the team


  2. Hi, I’m the Anon that asked about the Art Ross Heika quote. I got my numbers by looking at the Game Log for this past season for each player; the logs are available on if you go to the player profile pages. Just search by player name, then click on the link to the player page. Once there, you’ll see tabs across the top; one is the Game Log. Seguin’s is here: and Benn’s is here: You then have to click on each game date (only for the games where they scored goals), and the recap will open, showing you assist details.

    There’s probably an easier way or a resource where someone has already figured this out, but this was my approach! Anyway, from the Game Log pages, I was able to list in a spreadsheet all 1As and 2As for each player’s goals. I then totaled up just the Seguin 1As (13)/2As (3) for Benn and the Benn 1As (12)/2As (6) for Seguin. After that, it was just simple percentages — Benn had 1As on 12 of Seguin’s 37 goals, or 32 percent; Seguin had 1As on 13 of Benn’s 35 goals, or 37 percent.

    Some fun facts from these pages: despite Benn’s crazy strong finish and the narrative that he was galvanized when Seguin went down with injury, he actually only scored 4 goals during that 10-game stretch (including a hat trick), and all 4 goals occurred in the first 4 of those 10 games. After that, Benn went goalless for 6 games between February 21st and March 5th (Seguin returned on March 7th). He then went 4 more games before scoring again on March 19. Considering that he also had an 11-game and a 9-game goalless streak earlier in the season, his finish was all the more remarkable. Another fun fact: beginning with that March 19th game through the end of the season (12 games total), Benn scored 12(!) goals, with Seguin playing a role in 7 of them (6 1As, 1 2A).

    Anyway, thanks for your analysis. I think it’s interesting that, mathematically at least, Seguin *could* have won the Art Ross without Benn. Yet Heika seemed pretty convinced that it absolutely couldn’t happen, and that’s with Seguin never going goalless for more than 6 games in a row this season (or more than 4 games without a point). The variables you mentioned could be a factor, but I don’t think that’s the first time he’s thrown shade at Seguin, so maybe there is something other than math going on here, LOL!


    • Wow! I figured you probably had calculated it individually, but I was hopeful there was a database already (I looked but didn’t find one). I think a lot of Benn’s “beast mode” stemmed from trying to push the other guys, too so we could make the playoffs. When he’s as intense as he was while Tyler was out, it makes everyone better.

      I really hope we never have to test my math in real life though. With all these damn injuries, I’m not willing to push my luck.

      Glad I could try to help answer that though 🙂


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