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Wherein I lose my marbles and start tearing my hair out

June 29, 2011
  • BAH

    Dear Bruins fans. 100% of Habs fans did not call 911 over the Chara-Pacioretty hit. Thank you.

  • Also, just because you cheer for the one team out of sixteen that came out on top does not mean you suddenly know so much more about hockey than you did on June 14th. Your smug opinions about my and 28 other teams are best kept to yourself or told to your cat. Thank you.
  • Dear Leafs fans. “Paul Holmgren wanted Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn more than he wanted Nikolai Kulemin and Nazem Khadri” is NOT  “Brian Burke missed an opportunity to acquire Mike Richards.” Stop crying about something that was always a long shot.
  • Also, who did you expect him to land at the draft that makes you this disappointed in the way it turned out?
  • Dear Canucks fans. Stop hating on Jonathan Toews because he brings a better package than every player your team has at every position. Kindly use the space below to show me evidence that he doesn’t if you’re so sure, but do it with the expectation that I’m going to link the comments for all to see and possibly poke fun at.
  • Also, whining about Pavel Bure when the rest of us are pissed about Pat Burns being snubbed yet again just makes you look like a bunch of assholes.
  • Dear Lightning fans. Steve Yzerman is not stupid. Thank you.
  • And finally, dear Habs fans. If I hear ONE more of you say that the Jaroslav Halak trade should have brought more return, I’m going to put you in goal against Shea Weber myself. The Stanley Cup winning netminder was allowed to walk because his team felt $2.75-million was too much (Halak makes $3.75). THEY CHOSE MARTY TURCO OVER HIM. And for Koivu’s sake, the Habs got a roster player (a large, skilled, young, center) and a Bulldog for the rights to negotiate with Halak. How much more did you want? I hope a Lars Eller shot hits you in the larynx one day.
  • Dear All Of The Above. Did you see what Paul Holmgren just did? I would like to point out that Philadelphia Flyers fans have looked like the sanest fanbase out of all of us in the last week. Just sayin’…

Sigh. I feel better now.

34 Comments leave one →
  1. June 29, 2011 9:41 am

    A thousand thank yous. I think I’m going to get in to the noose making business and sell them real cheap to all the hockey yahoos out there. Did people voluntarily kick their sanity to the curb, or have they suffered one too many headshots themselves?

  2. June 29, 2011 9:50 am

    Calm down. Have some tea.

  3. June 29, 2011 11:21 am

    Until I see a pic of you overturning a police car you just set on fire, I refuse to believe that you’re this rational and a Habs fan.

  4. June 29, 2011 11:53 am

    So, as a Leafs fan, I’m not at all surprised nor concerned that Burke couldn’t pry away Carter or Richards. If he can’t land a centre in free agency, I have a tough time seeing them trade for one. He just can’t put together as attractive a package of players as other teams can.

    Also, fuck Pavel Bure. Canucks are still holding out for Old Man Babych to maybe make the Hall. The truth is that they’ve never had an induction-worthy player in their team’s history. Ever.

  5. June 29, 2011 1:00 pm

    I’m not a Canucks fan. However I really think Kesler offers a better, more complete hockey package than Toews, and I’d take him on the Habs first. It’s very close but Kesler is just flat out better, in my opinion. I will say that I’d take Toews over any other Canuck without skipping a beat.

  6. June 29, 2011 3:08 pm

    Can we please add those complaining about Wisniewski’s rights being traded to the Shea Weber firing squad? It seemed pretty clear that The Wiz wasn’t going to be kept when the team opted to give Markov a new contract.

  7. June 29, 2011 3:45 pm

    “Stop hating on Jonathan Toews because he brings a better package than every player your team has at every position. Kindly use the space below to show me evidence that he doesn’t if you’re so sure, but do it with the expectation that I’m going to link the comments for all to see and possibly poke fun at.”

    This is enticing.

    Let’s first look at defense. Three numbers that matter defensively are shots against, goals against and misses against at EV strength. These are all events that tie into the negative portion of the ‘Fenwick’ number and are easily obtainable at Behind The Net on a “per 60 minutes” ratio:

    Kesler – 1.95 GA + 24.9 SA + 9.8 MA = 36.35
    Toews – 2.27 GA + 24.4 SA + 9.4 MA = 36.07

    So, right now you may be asking yourself, “Cam, why the hell did you bring these numbers up if they’re so close and when Toews actually has fewer of these magical ‘Fenwicks’ against him?”

    Well, because you adjust for the number of times a player started in his own end versus the opposition’s end. Every extra offensive zone start is worth an extra .6 (it’s crude, but it’s what I use) of a Fenwick point. Per 60 minutes, Toews started 13.23 shifts per 60 in the defensive zone and 21.43 in the offensive zone, making him totally not a defensive forward. Kesler, on the other hand, started 20.73 in the defensive zone and 22.62 in the offensive zone. He’s not a defensive forward either (and I, as much as any, complained that Manny Malhotra should have been the Canuck nominee for the Selke. Kesler winning for this year is like Martin Scorcese winning his Oscar for The Departed instead of Goodfellas) but his ratio is much closer. When we adjust those numbers with the .6 in mind, here’s the following player’s number and his rank among the 306 forwards who played 60 or more games this season:

    Kesler – 36.65 (43rd)
    Toews – 41.17 (157th)

    Add that Kesler played 2:52 per game for the best penalty killing unit in the league (Toews played 1:28 for one that was considerably not as good) it would take a lot to convince me that Jonathan Toews is the superior defensive player.

    Offensively, Behind The Net calculates that Toews scored .99 goals per 60 at even strength while Ryan Kesler scored 1.21 goals per 60. I recently adjusted at Nucks Misconduct player’s assist ratio based on their linemates shooting percentages. In Vancouver, Kesler was said to have played on the “helicopter line” because he had no wings. We’ve adjusted his assist per 60 stat from .79 to 1.08, giving him 2.29 points per 60 minutes.

    Toews, on the other hand, got to play key offensive minutes with offensive players. His assist per 60 ratio dips from 1.39 to 1.32 with adjustments, giving him 2.31 points per 60 minutes. It’s slightly higher than Kesler’s, but, again consider the fluffy offensive starts. Kesler had to play a deeper defensive role and still managed to pull nearly even with Toews as far as offensive numbers go.

    Then, let’s consider the player’s head-to-head matchup against each other in the playoffs. In seven games, Kesler had 11 more defensive starts than offensive starts, but still managed to control possession (56% of Corsi events) and scoring chances (52% of Fenwick events) and held Toews off the scoreboard at even strength. All of this while despite Toews’ cushy zone starts. Joel Quenneville wouldn’t want to put him out in a situation in a key game where he might get scored on, since it would diminish the number of people who had a crush on him.

    The crushes of the people, who, many of them in the pressbox, somehow thought that winning a few faceoffs and getting a few takeaways is enough to give somebody the Selke Trophy. Even though he is a Good Canadian Kid™ with the personality of an obnoxious robot.

    So, this is why Ryan Kesler is better at both ends than Jonathan Toews. Let’s not even bother to bring up the Sedins, (the only other pairs of players to win scoring titles in back to back years are in the Hall of Fame, except for Jaromir Jagr, who will be in the Hall of Fame), Dan Hamhuis (who topped James Mirtle’s Rod Langway ratings for defensive defensemen), all three of whom can not only determine a positive outcome for their team game after game, but also don’t carry themselves around like your prudish friend who leaves the bar at ten because he has to get up early.

    Jonathan Toews: Overrated since February of 2010.

    • June 29, 2011 4:09 pm

      are these career numbers, or just for last season Cam…?

      • June 29, 2011 4:29 pm

        Last season. He had a shit upbringing under the Nonis/Crawford regime. He’s still young, will still be good for years ahead, is on a much better contract, and, for my money, has been the better player since February 2010, when everybody started jumping all over Toews.

        • June 29, 2011 4:41 pm

          so they’re skewed to view only Kesler’s career year, and not his career as a whole sum, because of his “shit upbringing” which would have ended with Vigneault taking over in the 06/07 season.

          Compare them from 06/07 then, and stop cherry picking.

    • Brittany permalink
      June 29, 2011 4:26 pm

      I meant to reply to your post with the one below. I’ll reiterate: Kesler has already reached his offensive maximum, while Toews has yet to reach his prime.

    • June 29, 2011 6:19 pm

      Just want to add in the initial post, I copied a few numbers wrong from Excel. Kesler had equal zone starts: 20.73 in each end for 60 minutes, keeping his adjusted negative Fenwick against at 36.65, which is what it is pre-adjustment.

      It makes little difference to the conclusion. Sorry for leading you all astray.

    • June 30, 2011 1:08 pm

      Your argument was very, very interesting right until the last couple paragraphs. And for the record, I’m not arguing that Kesler isn’t the better player, I’m convinced that he is. But the childish attacks on personality and nationality (like that changes anything to who’s the better player??) just tarnish your argument.

      Toews isn’t overrated, based precisely on the stats you so graciously culled from BTN, he’s a premier two-way forward, the guy most responsible for Chicago’s recent successes. He’s the main heavy lifter and this team would be nowhere near what they are without him. A terrific player any team in the league could use.

      Also, you seem like someone who’s pretty interested in stats so please don’t be disingenuous – no one serious about hockey stats would use a 7 game sample size in an argument, it’s just stupid. The head to head results have no meaning whatsoever, there are so few h-t-h events in a playoff series that it’s largely noise and variance.

      Lastly, blurr1974’s point is quite valid: you’re cherry picking by using Kesler’s career year instead of his larger body of work. I suspect the numbers would be closer if you were to use Toews’ 2009-2010 numbers or better yet, 3-4 years worth of data.

  8. Brittany permalink
    June 29, 2011 4:25 pm

    Toews turned 23 in April; Kesler will turn 27 in August. Assuming the peak age of a hockey player is between 24-26, (, then Kesler will most likely remain constant next season or start declining, while Toews should continue to increase his numbers. This thought is supported by comparing Kesler’s fourth season in the NHL (.720 points per game) versus Toews’ fourth, and most recent, season (.950 points per game).

    The past two seasons have seen an influx in offense for Kesler, and while he may have had a better season than Toews, I still firmly believe that Toews is a better player who has not yet reached his prime, while Kesler already has maxed out his offensive game.

    • June 29, 2011 4:33 pm

      I think he’s about to be exposed. He’s a beatable player, and opposing coaches haven’t done a good enough job of that. It’s pretty simple.

      • June 29, 2011 4:37 pm

        so simple it only too 4 seasons to figure out how he’s “beatable”

      • Brittany permalink
        June 29, 2011 4:47 pm

        If it’s so “simple”, could you explain how to beat him then?

        Because Malhotra couldn’t beat him on the boards:

        While he and Kesler may have stalemated in this year’s playoff series, Kesler definitely did not beat him. In fact, Toews had a positive scoring chance differential while Kesler had a negative one.

        I suppose it just strikes me as odd that if Toews is so easy to figure out and shut down, in four seasons it has not yet happened.

  9. Victoria permalink
    June 29, 2011 4:43 pm

    Brittany, no one can predict the future. Some players never live up to their estimated potential. Toews probably will but until it happens, you can’t say he is a better player – you can only say he MIGHT be one day. We’re talking here and now. Kesler is a better. Cam proved that six ways from sideways.

    • Brittany permalink
      June 29, 2011 4:49 pm

      If we’re comparing players, than don’t we have to compare careers? By point totals alone, Toews’ career is more impressive than Kesler’s. Which is why I said while Kesler had a better season, I still don’t believe he’s a better player.

    • June 29, 2011 4:52 pm

      Cam proved that statistically, he’s better this season. Cam has also stated that H Sedin is better than Kesler, but I’ve yet to see the Fenwick number to back that up…

      • June 29, 2011 5:06 pm

        I believe the argument was that “he brings a better package at every position” and not “hypothetically, in three or four years”.

        My last remark was paraphrasing what Toews said about the Canucks after Game Three, and, damn straight, the Blackhawks figured something out and won the series from that point on. The one factor that never came into play in the Blackhawks comeback was Toews being able to do anything against Ryan Kesler at even strength. That remained a virtual constant, and Kesler put his foot to the accelerator and played Game Seven like I haven’t seen a Canuck play since Ed Jovanovski in a game against the Avalanche back in November of 2000.

        If we’re considering all factors such as age and past performance, let me say that Toews is paid $1.5M more than Ryan Kesler to have accomplished at the very maximum what Kesler accomplished. Would you rather have Ryan Kesler until 2016 at his contract or Jonathan Toews until 2015 at his contract?

        • June 29, 2011 5:15 pm

          “Toews is paid $1.5M more than Ryan Kesler to have accomplished at the very maximum what Kesler accomplished.”

          I’m sure Toews will go cry into his Stanley Cup, gold medal, Conn Smythe, and best forward at the Olympics title because he hasn’t accomplished what Kesler has. Oh, wait– Kesler doesn’t have any of that, does he?

  10. June 29, 2011 5:20 pm

    I will say this, if we want to stray away from statistical discussion because I don’t really have the time to keep going, but we don’t hate on Jonathan Toews because he brings a bigger package or because he’s a good hockey player. He’s just an easy guy to dislike on a team that plays on the opposite side on what has become hockey’s fiercest rivalry in the last year or so.

    • Brittany permalink
      June 29, 2011 6:02 pm

      Don’t have an issue with the fact that you think Kesler had a better season than Toews; I think Kesler had a slightly better season. Disagree that Kesler is a better player than Toews, but I suppose we should both just be happy that the guy we consider better is on our team.

      I do have an issue that you gave a good, detailed peice initially, but then had nothing to back up your comment that it is “simple” to beat Toews. You didn’t even try to support or defend that claim.

      On a non-statistical level as well, I find it ironic that Canucks fans consider Toews an unlikable player, unlike the very likable Canucks.

      • June 29, 2011 6:16 pm

        The joke about Toews being a beatable guy, as I mentioned above, is pasting word-for-word what he said about the Canucks. Intended as nothing more than a joke.

  11. June 29, 2011 6:26 pm

    Toews is the 157th best defensive forward in the league? The mind boggles. Maybe you should go be an insurance adjustor or count votes in Florida because that kind of mathematical magic doesn’t belong in sports.

    Hockey is a team game. Kesler had the good fortune to be on the Presidents Cup winning team, whereas (relatively speaking) the Hawks struggled. I think if you compared Kesler’s stats from this season against Toews’ from 09-10 it would make for a more accurate comparison.

    And fluffy offensive starts? Yeah, you’re right, without fluffy offensive starts Toews would be nothing. Like the tying goal in the final minutes of round 1 game 7 this year. You know, the shorthanded one.

    Personally, I think you got your stats from the Hogwarts Sport Bureau, because your unexplained “adjustments” don’t make sense without a little abracadabra. 157th?!?! What is this I don’t even…

  12. June 30, 2011 12:12 am

    This argument is kind of ridiculous. You’re comparing two guys who play somewhat identical, as if one is ACTUALLY way better than the other. Also, statistics can be lame and overrated. When Kesler can win a cup (on a stacked team, with a marquee goalie), then his seasonal stats might come close to mattering. But he hasn’t, and they don’t.

  13. June 30, 2011 5:45 am

    “Also, whining about Pavel Bure when the rest of us are pissed about Pat Burns being snubbed yet again just makes you look like a bunch of assholes.”

    Is it alright to be pissed at both and at the HHOF selection process in general? Because I am.

    • theactivestick permalink*
      June 30, 2011 1:40 pm

      Yes, that’s alright. I think we all are.

  14. therangersfan permalink
    June 30, 2011 7:44 am

    Most comments on a single post?

    • theactivestick permalink*
      June 30, 2011 1:39 pm

      Not until now. The Danielle post was the frontrunner until now.

  15. theactivestick permalink*
    June 30, 2011 1:43 pm

    I just really want to say thanks to all of you guys for weighing in without resorting to calling each other or your mothers names. Some heated arguing, but nothing I had to ask you to delete. Much appreciated 🙂

  16. July 3, 2011 11:46 am

    Here’s another one:
    Around this time last season all I heard was “Pouliot got a raise?! For what?! Losing the puck then tripping over the faceoff dot?! He’s JMart’s pet!”. Now it’s “Ohhh Habs are gonna regret letting Pouliot go! He’s got so much skill and potential! JMart sucks!”



  1. Daily Pucking Grind. PantherHawks Blend. June 30th. « The Rat Trick | A Florida Panthers Blog

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