Kukla's Korner

Looking back at Riley Sheahan’s 15-16 campaign

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

As has been the case on every Monday this offseason, DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose or Dana Wakiji have examined the 2015-16 campaigns of Red Wings players "by the numbers." This morning, Wakiji frames Riley Sheahan's 15-16 campaign as follows:

Sheahan played a lot of roles this season, from top-six center to defensive winger to penalty killer to net-front presence on the power play. Sheahan found more offense later in the season, scoring seven goals in his last 22 games after scoring seven in his first 59 games. Sheahan is just 24 years old and still has room to grow offensively.

"With Sheahan, he's somebody that's real accountable as well, so I think it takes some time for that," Wings coach Jeff Blashill said late in the season. "Part of it is that he hasn't spent hardly any time on the power play this year either, so that's a difficult thing, to produce points without that. He's definitely got it in him. He's got lots of offensive ability in him."

81 | Sheahan played in all but one game during the regular season. He missed the Feb. 3 game at Tampa Bay due to illness. Sheahan's roommate, Luke Glendening, and Tomas Tatar were the other two players who missed just one game. Henrik Zetterberg, Justin Abdelkader and Gustav Nyquist played in all 82.

200 | Sheahan reached the 200-game milestone on April 1 at Minnesota. He joined Glendening, Tatar, Nyquist and Brendan Smith as players who reached that mark during this past season. Sheahan finished the season with 204 regular-season games.

Wakiji continues, noting that Sheahan's late-season surge was indeed impressive...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Discussing Luke Glendening’s pluses and minuses

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From the Free Press's Helene St. James:

Looking back: After using the 2013-14 season to gain a foothold as a regular thanks to hard work and relentless defense, Glendening used 2014-15 to show he also can contribute offensively with a dozen goals among 18 points. He wasn’t quite as good last season — while his overall production did rise slightly, it took until the second half before Glendening showed the energy that makes him so effective (he did finish second on the team with 143 hits). Was hampered late in the season by a foot/ankle injury that also forced him to withdraw from competing for the U.S. at the Word Championship.

Looking ahead: The Wings locked up Glendening, 27, with a four-year extension a summer before he could have been an unrestricted free agent. Why? Because the Pittsburgh Penguins just demonstrated the importance of speed as they were first across the finish line in the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs. Glendening has it in spades, and it’s why he was such a favorite of former coach Mike Babcock. Glendening is a very capable defender because of the way he can limit an opponent’s space, and he has a pesky side, too. Just coming into his prime, so he should be able to take a step forward.

Glendening needs to take a step forward if he is to graduate from a fine fourth-line center to an ultra-reliable 3rd line match-up guy. He's been used in the latter role by the Wings' coaching staff with mixed results.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Correlation Between PDO and Corsi

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Today's sabermetrics post is written because of a comment by "The Meal" written on a post a couple days ago.

I’m not the most savvy #fancystats guy, but I’m wondering if there was ever any correlation done for PDO vs. Corsi.  I’d expect there to be a negative correlation between the two (at least on large sample population data).  Is this correct?

I suppose the logic is that Corsi is a measure of attempted shots and a team taking more shots is presumably taking more low quality shots.  The problem is for the most part that is not true.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Morning Line- Andrei Markov

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

"I wish P.K. only the best and good luck with his new team. "P.K. is a great person, a great guy, a great hockey player. He's just enjoying his life, having fun. You have to know the kind of person and player he is.

"It's not always easy playing with him, but I had lots of fun doing so. And I probably learned some new things from him."

"I don't know [Weber] personally but his numbers and the way he plays prove he's one of the top defensemen in the league, and everybody knows that. He's been a captain in the NHL for many years and he's going to bring a different style of game and leadership to our team. I'm looking forward to that.

"The changes? Who cares about my opinion? I'm going to keep it [to myself]. Management knows what they're doing. I'm 100 percent sure that they're not making any moves to hurt our team. They only want to make us better."

Andrei Markov of the Montreal Canadiens.  Read more on Markov from Dave Stubbs of NHL.com.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrei+markov

Advanced stats and ‘eyeball tests’ can live together

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

Among the Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons' notes:

This has not been the summer of analytics in hockey: This has been the summer of an escalating tug of war between old school thinkers and the numbers zealots.

There were high-profile numbers firings in the analytics departments in Edmonton and Montreal, but one NHL executive views the ongoing numbers vs eyeballs debate through his progressive ways: “If someone tells me it’s all about analytics, and some do, I have no time for that person and that view. And if an eye-ball guy tells me it’s all about what you see, I have no time for that person’s opinion either.

“The game is changing, evolving. The more information you have, the better prepared you will be. This isn’t baseball where there are closer to absolutes. This is a game with moving parts. We have to take the information we have, use it in context, trust your coaches and scouts for what they see. It has to be a collaborative effort.

“There’s no one way of doing things anymore. The principles of success remain the same as they’ve always been. There are just more ways of looking at things now.”


Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink

Praising Brad Richards

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

The New York Post's Larry Brooks spends a fair portion of his Saturday notebook discussing the purported plan for a single-team arena to be used by the New York Islanders, but he finishes with this:

Brad Richards, who announced his retirement this week, leaves a legacy as one of the most well-liked, admired and respected players of his time among his peers.

The 36-year-old’s stay with the Rangers did not quite work out as conceived by either party, but there is no question Richards’ presence elevated the club’s professionalism and credibility throughout his three years on Broadway.

And he would have been back for more if not for the punitive cap-recapture amendment to the CBA out of the 2012-13 lockout that was aimed squarely at No. 19 and the Rangers.

There was a Cup early with Tampa Bay (with the Conn Smythe in 2004) then another late with Chicago. That no-look pass in the 2015 clincher for the Blackhawks was a jaw-dropping work of art few could have conceived, let alone executed. It is his single-frame highlight moment.

Richards had a great career for which he was quite handsomely compensated. The league is poorer without him.


Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brad+richards, chicago+blackhawks, new+york+rangers, tampa+bay+lightning

‘Eastside Elite Hockey League’ All-Star Game goes well

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From the Macomb Daily's Adam Rickert:

There is only one way to describe Saturday afternoon’s first Eastside Elite Hockey League All Star Game at Mount Clemens Ice Arena: an overwhelming success.

“It was unbelievable to get the response and to get the kids involved,” said league founder Steve Oleksy, who won the Stanley Cup this past season with the Pittsburgh Penguins. “I had some great people working with me too. My parents helped me a lot, Matt Williams was incredible and a lot of other people helped make this run so smoothly.”

Over 400 fans attended the game to watch the EEHL’s top players square off in a fundraising event to help support the Mount Clemens Hockey Club, to which all the proceeds were donated.

“I think it’s special not only to raise money, but to draw awareness to the league and Michigan hockey in general,” Oleksy said. “Michigan is known as one of the hockey hotbeds and this shines a light on how many players actually come from Michigan.”


[Dylan] Larkin, who made a name for himself by putting together one of the greatest rookie seasons in Red Wings history last year, did not play in the EEHL but was brought in to add more excitement and star power to the event.

“Getting to know Dylan over the past couple weeks and for him to help volunteer his time just shows what kind of kid he is,” said Oleksy. “For him to take time and give back to kids and participate in this event really put it over the edge and made the event that it was.”


Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Off-Season Hockey Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Brophy of The Hockey News,

Some hockey thoughts from a scribe who wonders what the heck happened to the off-season:...

HALL OF VERY GOOD: Still trying to figure out why Rogatien Vachon was chosen to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. My recollection of him was he was a very good goalie, but not a great goalie proving once again, it’s not what you do, but who you know. The Hall of Fame is for great players; not very good players.

SHOULD-BE HALL OF FAMERS: Theoren Fleury, Steve Larmer, Rick Martin, Paul Kariya, Alexander Mogilny and (it pains me to say) Tom Barrasso

EVANDER KANE: Not saying he is guilty of anything, but when is Evander Kane going to grow up? This kid has superstar skill, but rank amateur decision making ability. He is only 24 years old so there is plenty of time to grow up, but you have to wonder how long teams will want to bother with him

YOUNG GUNS SCARING VETS: Spoke with a few veterans who will be participating in the World Cup and to a man they said they fear playing Team North America, the team made up of players 24 years old and younger. One player summed it up by saying, “We are in a no-win situation. We are supposed to beat them so if we do, it’s no big deal. If we lose it is an embarrassment.” Frankly, I wouldn’t take it that far, especially now that Matt Murray of the Penguins has served notice that he’s a legitimate NHL goalie.

more notes...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Changes In St. Louis

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

Doug Armstrong did not consider saying goodbye to David Backes and Troy Brouwer and trading Brian Elliott an enjoyable exercise.

Backes was St. Louis’s captain. Brouwer, acquired the year before from Washington for T.J. Oshie, punched in 18 goals while dressing in 82 regular-season games. Elliott posted a .930 save percentage, the best mark in the league of any goalie appearing in at least half of his team’s games.

Armstrong’s roster, however, had progressed to the threshold where difficult decisions were required. Backes is 32. Brouwer turns 31 on Aug. 17. The 31-year-old Elliott was splitting time with 25-year-old Jake Allen. The Blues have younger players improving and lining up for raises. Calgary, desperate for a starting goalie, was willing to pay the price.

So a team that hit the wall in the Western Conference finals now finds itself in a state of transition that was not only required, but one that might leave it refreshed for another dash through the Central Division minefield.

“The time that I’ve been here with David, we’ve had five really good regular seasons and four really disappointing playoffs,” Armstrong said. “Last year’s playoffs, I certainly wouldn’t call them disappointing. They weren’t the ultimate goal. But it was a move in the right direction. I thought with last year’s team, we extended that window all the way through last year. With that group, I didn’t feel we’d be able to bring everybody back, just because of the age of the players and what we were doing. That was the year, and I thought the guys took great advantage of it.”

continued plus additional hockey topics...

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Frans Nielsen’s Role With The Wings

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The Wings need a solid, veteran center to fill the void left by Datsyuk. Nielsen is good at both ends of the ice, and comes highly recommended by Wings director of pro scouting, Mark Howe, who chiefly eyeballs NHL games in the New York area. Howe described Nielsen as very consistent, adept in all situations, and willing to do what it takes to achieve success. This would be a nice change for the Wings, whose last two attempts at acquiring second-line centers (Stephen Weiss and Brad Richards) disappointed. If last year’s line of Dylan Larkin, Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader reforms, Nielsen could form a line with Gustav Nyquist and maybe Darren Helm (for his speed), or maybe Thomas Vanek (consistently scores in 20-goal range, shoots right). Nielsen is also good insurance in case of an injury to Larkin or Zetterberg. Six years is hefty term to give a 32-year-old, but that’s the cost of doing business on the free agent market.


Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

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