2016-17 Midseason Rainbow Charts

As the title says, these are the midseason “Rainbow Charts” I released on twitter back in mid-January. Yes, I am putting them up on the blog just now, mid-February. I’ve been busy, yo.

Anyway, much like the original rainbow charts, these charts compare players against the results of their peers who have similar TOI. So a second pairing defender is being compared against the historical average of all second pairing defenders, not against his teammates.

By using standard deviations, the idea is to provide some context around usage, as often we get hung up on decimal places. Especially when looking at relative zone starts, the deviations are quite large, so it takes a lot to move a player outside of the “average” zone (the middle square).

Weighted Corsi is a combination of CF60, CA60 and Relative CF% standard deviations, weighted.

Click “Read More” to get to the charts. Ctrl+F will get you directly to your team if you don’t want to scroll through everything.

Read More »

11.1.16 Mailbag (The Podcast Overflow One)

Well friends, we put out a call for podcast questions yesterday and got a truly overwhelming number of responses. Which, by the way, is a GREAT problem to have. These are the questions that we felt worked better in written form, or we just weren’t prepared to answer last night.

Read More »

2015-16 Rainbow Chart Masterpost (M-W)

Ok guys, get ready for an absolute crap-ton of charts coming your way. This isn’t an explainer, merely just a data dump.

The best way to find your team is to hit Ctrl+F and use the team name. Otherwise, everyone’s in alphabetical order.

Feel free to save and use. Consider this blanket permission to use in blogs or other posts as long as it links back to here or my twitter, @Classlicity.

Click this link for Part 1: A-L 

Read More »

2015-16 Rainbow Chart Masterpost (A-L)

Ok guys, get ready for an absolute crap-ton of charts coming your way. This isn’t an explainer, merely just a data dump.

The best way to find your team is to hit Ctrl+F and use the team name. Otherwise, everyone’s in alphabetical order.

Feel free to save and use. Consider this blanket permission to use in blogs or other posts as long as it links back to here or my twitter, @Classlicity.

Click here to go to Part 2: M-W

Read More »

Eat Like a Star…On a Budget

On Friday, Jonathan Toews did his best convince the world he’s not a robot, and of course, failed dramatically.

He also revealed that he, like most athletes, have zero concept of how real people stay healthy. After all, most of us don’t make $10.5 million a year, and budgeting is a concern of ours.

While it’s obvious that this was a sponsored post, one enterprising hockey fan added up how much it would cost to make Toews’ ideal breakfast.

That said, eating healthy is important. Food fuels us, and while I always scoff at fads like “paleo” or diets like “Atkins” there are some pretty easy ways to up your nutrition, cut empty calories, and not have to pay $17 for fancy nut butter.

Of course, diets and budgets are extremely personal, so make sure you’re following a plan that is best for your situation.

Still, here are a few tips and strategies that have helped me eat healthier without breaking the bank. Most of these are extremely common sense, so you may have heard them before, but I hope this is helpful to a few people.

Read More »

3.10.16 Rolling Average Charts

Under the cut you’ll find all the Rolling average charts I tweeted this weekend. They include all games up through 3/10/16.

These show a teams’ 5v5 score adjusted Scoring Chances For per 60 (SCF/60), Scoring Chances Against per 60 (SCA/60) and PDO as a 10 game rolling average for the 2015-16 season. They’re expressed as standard deviations from the NHL Average. Basically that means very little, other than the fact that positive is good, and negative is bad.

They also include a rolling average of the win/loss record of each team. In these averages, I’ve devalued OT and Shootout wins, as these are far more unpredictable (read as: up to chance) than regulation wins.

The intent of these charts are to show the biggest influences on winning, and why one metric never tells the whole story. (Heck, they don’t even include special teams play!)

Anyway, they’re alphabetical by city, so if you’re interested in one team in particular use Ctrl+F to find them. They’re all watermarked, so feel free to take and share. A tag back to here, or my twitter @Classlicity would be much appreciated.

Read More »

This Is Why I Watch

I wasn’t raised a sports fan. As a kid, my rooting interests were casual at best.

I’m a third generation Jayhawk, so March Madness has always been in my blood. I could throw a baseball pretty well because my dad was (still is) a die-hard Mets fan. I tried to get into America’s pastime, but we lived in Royals country, and well, it was all downhill from the moment I turned one.

I wasn’t athletic, I preferred books – I volunteered regularly at the local library all throughout junior high and high school. And aside from several years of dance as a child (which, let me tell you, ballet is possibly more hardcore than many sports), horseback riding (I was a passable horsewoman), and a brief stint as a Junior Varsity cheerleader (let’s not talk about it), I basically paid no attention to that world growing up.

Many of my friends already know this story, but for those of you who don’t, that all changed in 2011.

2011 was the worst year of my life.

Read More »

12.26.15 Stars v Blues Game Recap (In Ur Barn, Stealin’ a Point)

Well, that was a game last night. There was a lot of good, and a lot of meh, and I came away feeling like we really held our own against another playoff bound team. That said, I was really disappointed that the game went to OT; I really wanted our boys to lock down the points in regulation.

Sorry folks, no glitter today. Loser points don’t get sparkles.

Per usual, all data is 5v5 and score adjusted and from war-on-ice.com unless otherwise noted.

 

The Good

Colton Sceviour followed up his goal against the Blackhawks with another beautiful one against the Blues. Honestly, you can’t ask for a prettier goal against a hot goalie. Once deemed the unluckiest man on the Stars (by yours truly), Scevs is starting to find the back of the net again, and that’s awesome.

Yes, I know the “goals” section is later, but I’m trying to celebrate what went “Right” about that game.

  • Side Note: I’ll reserve that for the shootout. Spezza’s goal deserves its own section.

 

The second best thing about this game was Kevin Shattenkirk’s game-saving stick. Listen, I wanted the Stars to win more than anyone, but honestly, this kind of shit is like why we watch hockey in the first place.

 

Niemi was once again fantastic, which begs the question: who starts tonight?

 

The Más o Menos

Unlike that 3-0 thrashing that happened last time these two teams met, the Stars actually stuck to their guns. The first period was some of the best defensive hockey they’ve played all year, and they did a great job on the counter attack.

  • Side Note: Overall, the Blues only hit about 38.2 Fenwick For per 60 (FF60), which is slightly under league average (38.8), and definitely under what they’ve been averaging so far this year (41.2).
  • Side Note 2: The problem is that the Stars only averaged 31.9 FF60, and they usually average 43. So that…was..a thing.
  • Side Note 3: Both teams had about the same number of high danger scoring chances per 60 (Dallas with 7.3, Blues at 6.9) which means both teams did really well at defending the crease.

 

Jamie Benn scored in the shoot out! Tyler Seguin did not! Everything is opposite!

 

The Bad

12.26 v STL Game Chart

We got CREAMED in possession numbers. A lot of this happened in the second period, when the Blues took advantage of some extended zone time to get a lot of shots off.

But if we’re honest, the most damning thing on this chart is that Seguin, Benn and Sharp had the absolute best puck possession numbers on the team, but had only 2 5v5 scoring chances between the three of them.

  • Side Note: Yes, obviously Tyler scored a goal, but it wasn’t from what’s considered a “dangerous area” and honestly Allen should’ve had that. Scoring chances are slightly more likely to become goals than shots from the perimeter, which is why teams focus on them.
  • Side Note 2: For perspective, in the game against Chicago, the trio had 5 scoring chances, and even against CBJ, where Seguin & Benn were the two worst possession players on the team, they put up 6 scoring chances. To win games against teams like the Blues, that top line can’t let themselves be pushed to the outside.

 

To top all that off, the team took FOUR penalties, giving up one power play goal, and then failed to capitalize on the only power play they received. While I wasn’t a big fan of the reffing in that game (hey Tim Peel, I see you), the Stars aren’t going to win unless their special teams are firing on all cylinders. 10 minutes of special teams gameplay is the same as half a period. It needs to be treated like half a period.

 

Giving up that goal with less than two minutes left was crushing. With how well we’d been blocking shots and getting in lanes all game it was just…RAR!!!!!!!!! I hate the Blues. I hate that we’re playing them 5 times this year. I hate that we’re playing them TONIGHT.

 

Goals on Goals – Shootout Style

 

Razorisms

 

12.22.15 Stars v Blackhawks Game Recap (The One That Made Me Cry)

Good morning friends!!! And what a sweet, sweet morning it is.

Man, I have been on vacation so long I almost forgot how to write a recap. I watched the game last night at my mom’s house, and at first she tried to shush me whenever I started yelling at the TV, but then I think she understood how emotional this game was making me.

Probably because I looked like I was about to vomit for the first two periods. And then I started crying when the game ended. Well, that’s hyperbole, but only just. I definitely teared up.

But you know what a win means! GLITTER!

12.23 League Standings

As usual, all numbers in this recap are 5v5, score adjusted, and from war-on-ice.com unless otherwise noted.

The Good

What wasn’t good about last night? I’m so happy with this team I don’t even know where to start. I guess I’ll begin with Antti Niemi’s play yesterday, which was nothing short of spectacular. After playing most of the game in Minnesota the night before, getting into Dallas at 2:30am, and then playing another full sixty minutes? Oh man.

  • Side Note: I was having a discussion with some of the guys over at hockey-graphs.com about Niemi’s contract, and how it was a bad deal. And honestly, I definitely wasn’t a fan of it when Nill signed it this summer. Niemi’s over 30 and 3 years is pushing it for any player past that threshold. Combined with the $4.5m AAV, it was quite high. Had I been a GM, I wouldn’t have done it. But it’s clear that what Dallas needed wasn’t the same thing that conventional wisdom held to – I have come around. I think just with his 20 games played and 15 wins, Niemi has earned his salary for this year (at least). He’s been an absolute steal for Dallas, in ways he probably couldn’t be anywhere else.

12.22 v CHI Game Chart

With the Blackhawks as a formidable possession team, it’s SO GREAT to see this chart lopsided in the Stars’ favor. They ended the night with 59% Corsi For, which is just…ridiculous.

  • Side Note: I LOVE THIS TEAM SO GODDAMN MUCH SOMETIMES.
  • Side Note 2: Yay for depth scoring! Seguin, Sharp & Benn might have put up the best possession numbers, but honestly, it was the other three lines who were the most dangerous with the puck. Everyone was on their game, which is why we saw not only Sharp’s goal during 5v5 play, but one from Janmark and that tip in by Sceviour. Add in Spezza’s Power Play goal, and someone on every line scored last night.
  • Side Note 3: Hemsky was on FIRE last night, creating chances left and right. I know he gets a lot of flak for not burying it on breakaways like Seguin would, but there’s definitely and edge to his game this year that he didn’t have last year. Sometimes creating chances that can get rebounds or follow ups, or at the very least frustrating defenses by extending zone time is really what you need out of a forward. Hemsky is providing that in spades this year.

Can I talk about our defensive play? I’m going to talk about our defensive play. First, the ultimate test of Defense – the penalty kill. HOLY PENALTY KILL, BATMAN. The Blackhawks had two power plays right off the bat in the first period and they got a combined total of ZERO shots off. ZE-RO. Now I know how a mom feels when they watch their baby graduate.

Second, while the game was frantic and fairly evenly matched to start, the Stars did an excellent job of keeping the Blackhawks pushed to the perimeter. In all situations (including the power plays), 56% of the Hawks shot attempts were from “low danger” areas – typically you see this around 50%.

  • Side Note: And, despite that frantic first period, the Stars rallied, keeping their team FA60 (Unblocked Shots Against per 60 minutes) down at 33.6. The league average is around 39. That’s a good game defensively.
  • Side Note 2: While I’m loathe to talk about him, Patrick Kane has almost singlehandedly been the entire Blackhawks offense this year. Our very own John Klingberg was assigned Kane-wrangling, having over 9 minutes of 5v5 shared ice time with him.
  • Side Note 3: Klingberg came out of that match up with 60.87% Corsi For. He did this while mainly supporting Spezza’s line, which had 2 of 3 members below the 50% line, but you know, he’s bad at defense, so shouldn’t be considered a Norris contender.

 

The Más o Menos

I still haven’t seen Star Wars yet.

  • Side Note: I am going this afternoon with my mom. Her cat is named Yoda. I think she’ll enjoy it.

 

The Bad

NOTHING. THERE WAS NOTHING BAD ABOUT THIS GAME. IT WAS AMAZING. EVERYTHING WAS BEAUTIFUL.

No, honestly, the worst thing (best thing?) is now I’m chaffing even more at all those articles (looking at you, ESPN.com) that keep saying the Stars aren’t going to be a good playoff team. I’m sorry, bros, but like…that was a playoffs style performance.

Please, keep discounting the Stars. Please keep telling me our defense is bad. Please keep saying we can’t win with this kind of netminding. I think we work better that way.

 

Goals on Goals

Not a goal, but deserves to be in here, because SHUT OUT FOR NIEMI

Razorisms

And my Roomie (who willingly watched the game without me asking her to!!) caught this one that no one tweeted:

“This was like an advent calendar of offense.”

 

Well said Razor, well said. HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!!