Kukla's Korner

Forecasting Analytics

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Travis Yost of TSN,

One of the big reasons hockey analytics have really exploded in recent years is their ability to forecast mean reversion well in advance of the rest of the industry.

The two most prominent examples of that were the 2011-12 Los Angeles Kings and the 2012-13 Toronto Maple Leafs. That Kings team was marked as a sleeping giant by many who were paying attention to their underlying numbers, arguing that their middling performance in the standings wasn’t quite indicative of their true team talent. On the other side, you had the 2012-13 Maple Leafs – a team marked as unfathomably lucky and bound for long-term failure. 

Simple understanding of what is and isn’t repeatable talent can go a long way in forecasting future success/failure, and it’s one of the big reasons why so much attention is paid to stats like Corsi%. Controlling possession at even-strength correlates well with winning long-term and, most importantly, is a repeatable skill. Scoring on a high percentage of shots also correlates well with winning, but it’s prone to major fluctuations and exhibits very little repeatability over long samples.

Alternatively: a team with great Corsi% can bank on having a great Corsi% in a follow-up year.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Informal practice Tweets: Zetterberg makes an appearance

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings and their Michigan-based NHL friends took to the ice around 10:30 this morning, and here's a breakdown of the Tweets related to today's informal practice--with the Tweets being a little lighter due to the start of college football season tonight:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Is Marian Hossa A Future Hall Of Famer?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Powers of ESPN,

The Case For

On the one hand, Hossa's offensive numbers are almost good enough to get him in. He's produced 486 goals and 570 assists for 1,056 points in 1,172 career regular-season games. He's had 13 seasons of 25-plus goals. In the playoffs, he’s had another 144 points in 194 career games. But Hossa is much more than just an offensive player. What makes him special is his defensive game. He’s one of the game’s premier two-ways forwards and is especially respected for his backchecking ability. He’s been in the top 10 in takeways six times since the 2005-06 season and was 11th this past season. On top of that, he’s a winner. He’s won three Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks.

The Case Against

One of the arguments against Hossa is he's deemed a good player, but not exactly a great one. He’s been in the discussion for awards, especially the Selke, but he has never won one.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+hossa

Morning news: An outlook for Brendan Smith and a pair of Tweets of note

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. The Free Press's Helene St. James has posited an outlook for Brendan Smith:

Looking ahead: Smith should be highly motivated to come to training camp and battle for a lineup spot, because newcomer Mike Green has pushed Kyle Quincey into the third pair, leaving Smith and Jakub Kindl to fight for a regular role. There also are prospects knocking on the door, making it feasible that Smith ends up being traded. Smith would do well to keep his game simple and not try to do the risky things he got away with in college and the minors.

2. And on Twitter:

(this one comes via Winging It in Motown's SlapShotgoal)

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Details For World Cup Of Hockey Will Be Announced Next Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

WHO: Gary Bettman/NHL Commissioner; Don Fehr/NHLPA Executive Director; Zdeno Chara/Boston Bruins; Sidney Crosby/Pittsburgh Penguins; Anze Kopitar/Los Angeles Kings; Henrik Lundqvist/New York Rangers; Ryan McDonagh/New York Rangers; Evgeni Malkin/Pittsburgh Penguins; David Pastrnak/Boston Bruins; Tuukka Rask/Boston Bruins; Brandon Saad/Columbus Blue Jackets; Steven Stamkos/Tampa Bay Lightning; James van Riemsdyk/Toronto Maple Leafs.

WHEN: Wednesday, September 9, 2015, 1:00 p.m. ET

WHERE: Air Canada Centre

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

Brad Treliving Excited For The Season To Start

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kristen Odland of the Calgary Herald,

“Let’s get going here,” the Calgary Flames general manager was saying on Wednesday at The Hamptons Golf Club. “We’re ready. I think when that calendar turns over to September, these last few days seem to creep by. But we’re ready to go. We’re eager to get going....

“You can definitely sense an excitement in town,” said Treliving who is entering his second season as the Flames’ GM. “But I don’t think it changes anything for us.”

Well, one thing has changed.

Especially after Calgary’s surprisingly impressive 82-game campaign and even more surprisingly impressive post-season.

“Last year at this time, people were questioning whether we could walk and chew gum at the same time,” Treliving said. “Last year at this time, the only belief was within the four walls (of the Flames dressing room). The expectation for us is going to be no different here.

“We also have to temper the comments outside. Regardless of what people think, you have to go out and do it. That’s the challenge for our group.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brad+treliving

From the Dub: And They’re Back

Blog: Above the Glass By Samantha

The new season is officially underway here in the WHL, where top Western Conference held training camps over the past week. In Portland, top NHL prospects Paul Bittner, Dominic Turgeon and Jack Dougherty were on display. North of us, Mathew Barzal, name-to-watch Nolan Volcan and Nick Merkley were getting it done at training camps in Seattle and Kelowna. In Everett, the big news was about a player who didn't report to training camp: Auston Matthews, who has chosen to play in Switzerland this year instead. It's just another week at the office here in the Western Hockey League, where pre-season drama and hype are just part of the major junior hockey game.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Above the Glass | Permalink

Morning Line- Sean Henry, President Of The Nashville Predators

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“Where we’re sitting right now from a hockey franchise standpoint, we’re better poised as a franchise because of the talent we have and how long they’re locked up, than we ever have been in the history of the team. When you look throughout the League, there’s probably not another team that’s set up for the next five to eight years to be as consistent as we’re going to be. Hopefully we catch the magic in that run and win the Stanley Cup, but at least compete for it year in and year out…[Predators General Manager] David [Poile] has done an incredible job, and the business side is coming around to give him those resources.”

-Sean Henry, President of the Nashville Predators.  Henry spoke at a luncheon yesterday and the Predator's website has more from him.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Why Not Just Pay Steven Stamkos?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joe Smith of Lightning Strikes at the Tampa Bay Times,

It's not that easy. First of all, the market is not nearly the same as it was last summer, not with the salary cap staying relatively flat this season (up from $69 to $71.4 million). And with the Canadian dollar dropping 23-percent since Valentine's Day in 2013 (now trading around 75 cents), there's a lot of uncertainty on what the cap will be like in coming years.

"It's really difficult right now to plan with this cap crunch," said NHL Network analyst Craig Button, a former Flames general manager.

That's the tough task ahead for Yzerman, who'd love to lock up Stamkos while also preserving the core of what he hopes will be a perennial Stanley Cup contending team. Even the Blackhawks, a model franchise with three Cups in five years, lost key players Brandon Saad, Patrick Sharp and Johnny Oduya this offseason, not being able to afford them all. And, like most strong teams, Yzerman's group will only get more expensive in coming years. Forwards Alex Killorn ($2.5 million cap hit this season) and Nikita Kucherov ($711,000) will be restricted free agents next summer. Braydon Coburn's $4.5 million hit could come off the books then, as will Mattias Ohlund, who continues to be on long-term injured reserve. But if Stamkos' cap hit, let's say, increases $3 million per year (to the Toews and Kane $10.5 million annual average), there's not a lot of wiggle room, especially with Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Victor Hedman among those needing new deals (and likely big raises) in two years.

"For the Lightning, $1 million is very significant," Button said.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steven+stamkos

This Outlook For Petr Mrazek This Season

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

2015-16 outlook: Mrazek is poised for his first full NHL season and has the inside track on the starting job, which he won from Jimmy Howard at the end of the regular season. He was strong in the playoffs, giving the Red Wings a chance to upset to the heavily favored Lightning.

He had a few bad outings the second half of the season but showed good resolve by bouncing back strong in his next start each time. He exudes confidence and has a mental toughness about him.

Mrazek's puck-moving ability is a tremendous help to his defensemen, an edge he has over Howard.

Howard will be highly motivated to win back his job but Mrazek won't give it up easily. If the competition is close, new coach Jeff Blashill might favor Mrazek, who he coached for much of the past three seasons in Grand Rapids, winning the Calder Cup in 2013.

Mrazek is in line for a significant salary bump after the season.

Key question: Will Mrazek establish himself as the No. 1 goalie and become the team's workhorse?


Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

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