Kukla's Korner

Afternoon Line- Neil Greenberg On The Analytical Side Of Pens/Caps

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

...Pittsburgh has been outshot 144 to 136 in the series, with high-danger scoring chances — those that originate in the slot or crease — also in Washington’s favor (51 to 42). According to Emmanuel Perry, after adjusting for shot location and volume, the Capitals should be outscoring the Penguins 12 to 11, and be tied in the series after four games. Instead, it’s the Penguins who have the lead on the scoreboard thanks in part to potting goals that have low probabilities of success in the first place.

-Neil Greenberg of Fancy Stats at the Washington Post where you can read more from the analytical side of this series.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Arizona Coyotes Hire GM John Chayka

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The Arizona Coyotes have limited financial assets.  Their future in Arizona isn't certain and hasn't been certain for seasons.  In order to survive in their situation they are being forced to do things differently.  They will fail if they try to go down the same path the other teams are on without the assets to succeed.  They are changing their general manager position in order to try something new.  In April Arizona fired their general manager Don Maloney.  He had been a successful GM in a no win situation.  There isn't a financial backing for the team capable to build a winning team.  They have hired a new GM.  He is 26 year old John Chayka.

Chayka had served as an assistant GM in Arizona for about a year.  His background is in analytics.  At age 19 he founded the company Stathletes.  Here is their website.  The company has been successful in hiring several people so it must have a revenue stream.  They must be selling their product to some hockey teams.  Without paying them money it isn't clear exactly what they offer but I can make educated guesses.  They are into video analysis.  Most of their employees are involved in watching hockey games.  From their video analysis they gather a large database of events from which they can dig into to try to understand the games.  The problem is turing a large database of events into useful knowledge.  The idea behind analytics is to understand the game of hockey on a deeper level.  There are likely some significant relationships between certain numbers and winning hockey which are relatively simple but unclear at this point.  There are likely some widely held misconceptions in the management of hockey teams.  We have some ideas about these relationships and misconceptions but they are not fully understood.  Hockey is unlike baseball in that it is much harder to break it down into one on one quantifiable battles.  Thus hockey has been a much harder problem for analytics than baseball. I am suspicious of an analytics expert being a good GM when there is little evidence of such a person succeeding in significant runs as assistant GMs or as head scouts.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Grand Rapids Griffins-Lake Erie Monsters Game 1 Game-Day Preview video

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Here's Bob Kaser with the Grand Rapids Griffins' Game-Day Preview video setting up tonight's game against the Lake Erie Monsters (7 PM on The AHL Live and ESPN 96.1 FM):

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Arizona Coyotes Officially Name John Chayka As General Manager

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- Arizona Coyotes President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc announced today that John Chayka (SHUY-ka) has been named as the Coyotes’ new General Manager. As per Club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed. Chayka becomes the eighth general manager in franchise history.

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Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+chayka

All About Pierre McGuire

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Alex Prewitt of Sports Illustrated,

​Indeed, to spend a day with McGuire is to get swept into his world of unbridled enthusiasm for the sport. Old stories are told with widened eyes and preceded by a tap on the knee, as though signaling that it’s time to listen up. On the production truck, his NBC Sports colleagues will often hear his voice piped through the speakers, offering rah-rah words of encouragement in the middle of broadcasts. Get after it! That was a great package! That’s why NBC is the best! Even his steady drumbeat of players' hometowns and junior teams serves a purpose in McGuire’s mind. “I think it’s the journey, the journey for all these guys,” he says. “That’s what matters to me the most.”...

A Sports Emmy winner who at last check has worked 21 postseason games in 22 days, pausing only because no NHL teams played on April 26, McGuire, 54, is a former college and NHL coach, scout and assistant GM (and, in the interest of full disclosure, occasional contributor to Sports Illustrated magazine). He wears his love of hockey on his sleeve, his wedding band on one hand and, on the other, one of the two Stanley Cup rings he won as an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991 and '92.

more

Filed in: NHL Media, , | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pierre+mcguire

St. James on Sproul

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Free Press's Helene St. James profiled Martin Frk yesterday, and today, she discusses Ryan Sproul:

Sproul, [Xavier] Ouellet and Nick Jensen are waiver-exempt starting next season, putting onus on the Wings to decide whether they are part of the future in Detroit or worth risking on waivers. Where Jensen, who will be 26 in September, is viewed more as a potential depth guy, Sproul entices with his stature (he's listed as 6-feet-4 by the NHL, 6-feet-3 by the Griffins) and offensive talent. He picked up three assists in Grand Rapids' three-game first-round series, after finishing the regular season with a career-best 12 goals and 35 points.

The Griffins next take on Lake Erie tonight. Wings brass plans to be on hand to watch.

"He was one of the most improved players from last year to this year," assistant general manager Ryan Martin told the Free Press. "He has an absolute rocket from the blue line. He's got enough going his way that we need to find out where he fits on our depth chart."

Sproul, 23, has played one game in the NHL, appearing for the Wings in a meaningless season finale April 13, 2014, at St. Louis. He's a good skater, and his top asset is his shot. As with Wings defenseman Brendan Smith, Sproul sometimes makes errors in his own zone. But on a Wings team that has just one offensive right-handed shot in Mike Green, Sproul could be an asset on the third pairing and on power plays.

St. James continues...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

About Nyquist the Horse’s owner and ‘derby odds’

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From CNN's Motez Bashara...

Picking championship racehorses is something J. Paul Reddam is exceptionally good at, but it's well known that hockey is his true lifeblood.

So just how big a fan is he?

Well, for starters, his horse Nyquist -- the 10-3 favorite to win Saturday's Kentucky Derby -- is named after a player on his favorite team, the Detroit Red Wings.

The 60-year-old Reddam, who made his fortune launching two lending businesses, grew up in Windsor, Ontario, just across the border from Detroit where his mother, a team secretary, would bring home Red Wings tickets and apparel.

"That's how I really got hooked," Reddam tells CNN, adding that he caught 75 of the Red Wings' 82 games on TV this season. He even got to sip champagne from the Stanley Cup when Detroit won the title in 2002.

"That was almost as big a thrill as winning the Derby a few years ago," he says, referring to his 2012 Kentucky Derby winner I'll Have Another, who went on to take the Preakness, before pulling out of the Belmont Stakes a race shy of the Triple Crown.

Bashara continues, there's a video attached to teh story, and, from NHL.com:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

The St. Louis Blues And Dallas Stars Are Keeping An Eye On The Fires In Fort McMurray

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Custance of ESPN,

They were like scenes from a movie that St. Louis Blues forward Scottie Upshall never wants to see again.

There was the freeway he'd drive on into the small northern Alberta city of Fort McMurray from the airport, surrounded by leaping flames and billowing smoke.

There were old favorite restaurants he used to visit while growing up, completely wiped out by the wildfire that forced the evacuation of all 88,000 residents. The fast-moving blaze continued to engulf homes and buildings Wednesday, wiping out 18,500 acres and 1,600 buildings, including a new school, according to reports.

There were news stories of residents in tears, forced to rush out of their homes -- before they could grab personal belongings -- to avoid being trapped by the wind-whipped flames, which cost them the complete devastation of everything they owned.

"It's tough when it becomes national and global news for a city of 80,000 people," Upshall said Wednesday. "It's pretty upsetting."

continued

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

NBC Sports Group Coverage Of The World Championship

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

STAMFORD, Conn. – May 5, 2016 – NBC Sports Group will present extensive coverage of the 2016 IIHF World Hockey Championship from Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia – NBC Sports Group’s sixth consecutive year covering international hockey’s premier annual tournament.

Live coverage begins tomorrow on NBCSN at 9 a.m. ET, when Team USA faces defending champion Canada to open up pool play in the tournament. NBCSN’s Team USA coverage will be highlighted by a matchup with Finland on Monday, May 9, at 1 p.m. ET, and a showdown with Slovakia on Monday, May 16, at 5 a.m. ET, to close out pool play. Last year, Team USA earned the bronze medal at the IIHF World Championships, defeating the host country Czech Republic in the bronze medal game.

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

A Griffins-Monsters preview from a Lake Erie/Columbus perspective

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Grand Rapids Griffins have posted video and text previews setting up tonight's second-round series against the Lake Erie Monsters (7 PM EDT on The AHL Live/ESPN 96.1 FM), and today, the Columbus Dispatch's Aaron Portzline posted a definitive preview from the Monsters' perspective and the perspective of their parent team, the Columbus Blue Jackets:

In a 76-game regular-season schedule, the Lake Erie Monsters and Grand Rapids Griffins played each other 12 times, or nearly 16 percent of the American Hockey League schedule.

“We played two exhibition games before the season, too,” Monsters coach Jared Bednar said. “So, yeah, there are no secrets between us.”

The AHL affiliates of the Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings open a best-of-seven, second-round playoff series at 7 tonight in Quicken Loans Arena. If familiarity breeds contempt, this should be fun.

“We know them and they definitely know us,” said Dublin’s Trent Vogelhuber, one of the Monsters alternate captains. “We have had some real battles this season. We were talking about it earlier in the season (in the room), how playing this team in the playoffs would be a really good match-up for both of us. It’s a team we wanted to play, just because we think we match up well against them.”

The Monsters went 5-4-3 vs. Grand Rapids this season, with Lake Erie winning the first two games and last two games in the series. But it was close all the way. Aggregate score: 35-34, Grand Rapids.

“We’ve played all kinds of different games against these guys,” Bednar said. “We’ve had some really physical games against them, and then some games that turned out to be run-and-gun. By now we know how we want to play, how we feel we have to play against them to have success. I’m sure they’re feeling the same way.”

Portzline continues at significant length, discussing the large number of Blue Jackets NHL players returned to Lake Erie after Columbus' regular season ended, listing Lake Erie's lines and noting that both teams have endured a significant lay-off between series...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

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