Ties Suck, Go For The Win

It’s like kissing your sister. This is usually how someone describes a game ending in a tie. To some people not losing is winning, to a coach it’s everything. You can breakdown the positives and negatives about someone based on “watching the tape” or “because he’s got a head for the game”, but in the end we’ll still be hearing about numbers. Wins and losses are the two sexy numbers that get thrown around, and with good reason. Lets face it at the end of the day a win is exactly that, a win. The last time I checked the teams that win the most games tend to get into the playoffs. I throw the words “tend to” because the NHL isn’t as simple as winning and losing, that’s where a kiss from your sister comes into play.

A game can’t end in a tie, because then you would be sending the wrong message, mainly that it’s okay to kiss your sister. When the score is tied at the end of regulation the NHL decided that and extra period of hockey is needed. Now, prior to lockout II in 2005 (side note: once you hit three it’s fine to use Roman Numerals) the league played five minutes of extra time, if no one scored then the two teams that night were considered equal and they split the game with a point each in the standings. Then the league stopped everyone from coming to work for a year and when everything was sorted out they decided that the game needed a bit more, well for lack of a better word, Pizazz.

iggy

Look at all the Pizazz on my face! You know where they appreciate Pizazz? Boston, no Pittsburgh. Wait, I meant Boston

This is how the shootout was introduced to the game. The fans loved it because it was new and exciting. The league loved it because the fans watched it…and the definitive winner thing too. The players loved it because it took a 65 minute game and boiled it down to who can score on a penalty shot. Okay, maybe the players didn’t love it, but you can’t argue with the fact that games now had a definitive winner. There was just one problem, the NHL was too nice (please note this is a rarity).

When a game goes to an additional period, the teams involved would get a point. If a team won they would earn an additional point. This upset the balance of the game from a mathematical perspective (damn you, Math). A game that was normally worth two points magically became a three point game once you entered the extra frame. The league being the nice guys that they are determined that if you played three periods and didn’t lose, then how can you not be rewarded? Hence the extra point. Although they were nice the NHL wasn’t the smartest group because now they told everyone “if you beat somebody in overtime or a skills competition, then you will be credited the same amount of points as if you won the game in regulation, they way it’s supposed to be won”.

What the hell does this have to do with coaches and win-loss records? Well, lets just say that overtime gives you an out for losing. If you have to decide between winning in regulation or winning in overtime it doesn’t matter unless the team your playing is in division or if you’re chasing them in the standings. Even then it only weighs on a team when the playoff picture begins to take shape. In a tie game with under five to go in the third, a coach can play for the tie and guarantee a point for the club and then try to win it in overtime, thus obtaining the same amount of points as winning in regulation. The only difference is that if he tries to win it in regulation and gives up a goal, taking a loss the club get zero. One is better than none. It’s a safer play to go to overtime when you have the chance then it is to play for a regulation win. On top of that teams then think that they have a better chance at winning in a shootout so they play OT in survival mode and not as a hunter looking for a kill. This is why there have been an increase in overtime and shootouts over the years. There’s just no real benefit to win a game in regulation.

This is why the NHL needs to go to a 3-point game value. It’s a very simple concept, and it’s not new by any means. International hockey does it. Hell, even soccer, the globalist of sports uses it. The way it works is that if you win the game in regulation then you get three points. you win it in overtime you only get two and if you lose in overtime you get one. HOW HARD IS THAT!?!?! First off, a game has the same amount of points awarded no matter what the outcome, Math is happy. Secondly, it encourages a team to win in the three period time frame. Where one is better than none, three is better than two is better than one is better than none. It’s so simple. I know what your wondering, would this point system affect the league standings if we were to use it as of today? Good news, I did that leg work so you don’t have to, behold.

 Team Conference Division  GP Reg W Total W OTW  L  OTL 2 point win 3 point win
1 BOSTON EASTERN ATLANTIC 67 39 45 6 17 5 95 134
2 MONTREAL EASTERN ATLANTIC 69 26 37 11 25 7 81 107
3 TAMPA BAY EASTERN ATLANTIC 67 25 36 11 24 7 79 104
 Team Conference Division  GP Reg W Total W OTW  L  OTL 2 point win 3 point win
1 PITTSBURGH EASTERN METRO 67 36 44 8 19 4 92 128
2 NY RANGERS EASTERN METRO 69 31 36 5 29 4 76 107
3 PHILADELPHIA EASTERN METRO 67 30 35 5 25 7 77 107
1 COLUMBUS EASTERN METRO 67 29 35 6 26 6 76 105
2 TORONTO EASTERN ATLANTIC 69 23 36 13 25 8 80 103
3 DETROIT EASTERN ATLANTIC 67 22 30 8 24 13 73 95
4 WASHINGTON EASTERN METRO 69 20 32 12 27 10 74 94
5 OTTAWA EASTERN ATLANTIC 67 22 28 6 26 13 69 91
6 NEW JERSEY EASTERN METRO 68 21 29 8 26 13 71 92
7 CAROLINA EASTERN METRO 68 24 29 5 30 9 67 91
8 NY ISLANDERS EASTERN METRO 69 16 26 10 34 9 61 77
9 FLORIDA EASTERN ATLANTIC 68 18 25 7 35 8 58 76
10 BUFFALO EASTERN ATLANTIC 68 10 19 9 41 8 46 56
 Team Conference Division  GP Reg W Total W OTW  L  OTL 2 point win 3 point win
1 ST LOUIS WESTERN CENTRAL 67 35 46 11 14 7 99 134
5 COLORADO WESTERN CENTRAL 68 33 44 11 19 5 93 126
7 CHICAGO WESTERN CENTRAL 68 34 39 5 15 14 92 126
 Team Conference Division  GP Reg W Total W OTW  L  OTL 2 point win 3 point win
2 ANAHEIM WESTERN PACIFIC 68 38 45 7 16 7 97 135
3 SAN JOSE WESTERN PACIFIC 69 31 45 14 17 7 97 128
8 LOS ANGELES WESTERN PACIFIC 68 28 38 10 24 6 82 110
13 MINNESOTA WESTERN CENTRAL 67 26 35 9 22 10 80 106
16 DALLAS WESTERN CENTRAL 67 27 32 5 24 11 75 102
17 PHOENIX WESTERN PACIFIC 68 24 32 8 25 11 75 99
23 NASHVILLE WESTERN CENTRAL 68 25 29 4 29 10 68 93
20 WINNIPEG WESTERN CENTRAL 69 21 31 10 29 9 71 92
19 VANCOUVER WESTERN PACIFIC 70 20 31 11 29 10 72 92
26 CALGARY WESTERN PACIFIC 68 15 27 12 34 7 61 76
29 EDMONTON WESTERN PACIFIC 69 17 24 7 36 9 57 74

2 point win = current system                              3 point win = new system

What does this all mean? Well, if you take a look at the current standings you see that the actual playoff teams wouldn’t change. The eight teams from each conference would stay the same just the seeding would be altered. The biggest change would be in the favour of the Rangers seeing how they don’t go to overtime a lot. Instead of being a wild card team they jump into their divisional berth. The bad news is that for the Jets they would be a worse team. Instead of being four points (2 wins) back of eighth they would be 10 (3+ wins).

We don’t know how the league would be different if there was more incentive to win in regulation. Yet you would find it hard to bet against more games ending in three periods than four. And isn’t that the point, to get more points?

 

 

On the Road Again

Congratulations Winnipeg, you just finished a gruelling 10 game stretch. From a betting perspective you were only the favourite in three of those games (Nashville, Philly and Calgary) and walked away with a very average 5-4-1 record. That’s not bad. But the reality of it all is that even with those eleven points you’re still the last place team in the Central (losing three games and a helmet to Chicago really didn’t help that). It could be worse, we could be at the bottom of west – checks standings – oh, thank god everyone in Alberta sucks. Currently sitting nine points back of the final playoff spot in the West the Jets have a huge mountain to climb and they aren’t getting any help with the next block of games. After this afternoons tilt against the Wild (side thought – is it possible to sing the American anthem n Spanish or is that too far?) the Jets hit the road for six games in 13 days because the Olympic Curling Trials are in town.

curling_f

If those pants could talk…

Does anyone remember when the old curlers from the 80′s and 90′s used to look like – well curlers. You’d tune into the Brier and see a bunch of old, overweight guys who let out audible groans as they got into the hack. Apparently that’s not the norm any more, do a quick look at all the teams in the Trials and they are all in shape. It’s like someone woke up one day and said ” wait a minute, we’re athletes, kinda”. But I digress, let’s look at the games.

Game 1 – @ New Jersey (9-8-5)

Did I mention this is an Eastern road swing? Why is that important, well for the standings not so much but if there ever was a chance for the Jets to gain some ground here it is. See that record for the Devils at the top? That equals 23 points, and guess what the Jets also have 23 points. This is a matchup where, on paper, these teams are equal. Except for the fact that New Jersey is currently sixth in the east. Wait, that can’t be right – checks standings again – stupid crossover. Yes, on a technicality the Devils are in sixth. But if the season was ending today, they’d be in and the Jets would be out. Wow does the east suck. Side note, Marty Brodeur is 41! He’s like the Brett Favre of Goalies, minus the team switching and dong shots.

Prediction: Win or lose both these teams had Kovalchuk and then lost him. What could have been, what could have been…

Game 2 – @ New York Islanders (8-12-3)

I watched the 30 for 30 on the Islanders the other day, good film. But at the same time I found it hilarious that Bettman was kind of a dick in the way he never owned up for the NHL dropping the ball. In reality this is your league and you let a guy who didn’t have the money run a team for six months, six months! Sadly that’ll never happen again due to people “learning their lessons” and what not. Which sucks because that was probably the best shot any of us had at owning a team.

Prediction: This team sucked for the longest time, what do you get for that? A first overall pick, just saying. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

Game 3 – @ Philadelphia (9-10-2)

Remember when Philly was the dumps? It was great because you either hate the Flyers or you’re from Philadelphia. I know people try to find the one thing that changed the team. Benching a player, coaching change or a trade. These are usually the cause, for the Flyers though it was a goalie fight, not kidding. Ever since Emery darted across the ice and beat the ever loving crap out of Holtby this team turned themselves around.

Prediction: No goalie fight, frowny face. But on the off chance their is one, I like Pavelec’s chances. He foreign and therefore will use dirty tricks.

Game 4 – @New York Rangers (11-11-0)

Didn’t this team suck? Like the Flyers I can distinctly remember the Rangers getting off to a horrible start. They had a goalie retire on them mid-game, not really but kinda. Well, apparently someone told the Rangers that they are a key team in the league and need to get their act together. Which now sucks for the Jets because they’re playing a team on the upswing, with all their stars back from injury who still have one of the best goalies in the league.

Prediction: I would like to see the Jets win this in Overtime just to fill out that goose egg in the Rangers column.

Game 5 – @ Florida Panthers (6-13-5)

The old Southeast Division rivals. The Jets had the worst time trying to beat the Panthers. Why? Kris Versteeg. He ruined the Jets every time they played. The good news, he’s back in Chicago (crap!) and the Panthers look like they’ve given up on the year. Classic Florida. This should be a win, not going to disguise it but if they lose it will be a bad loss. plain and simple.

Prediction: A win, a goddamn win!

Game 6 – @ Tampa Bay Lightning (14-8-1) 

It was Stamkos, the only reason they were winning was because of Stamkos. They’re on a 4 game losing streak, now’s the time to capitalize! This is the last game, and we should be seeing a regenerated team who’s been lounging in the Florida sun. Oh, yeah nothing about that sentence screams a bad game, nothing.

Prediction: I hope I get to read “was placed on the IR due to extreme sunburn”. We can only hope.

Enjoy the games!

Oh-fer?

0-10

Is a 0-10 stretch really going to happen?

November is one of those months where magic can happen. Halloween candy magically becomes 50% off, moustaches magically disappear only to re-appear 30 days later.  Hopefully that magic can spill over to the ice where the Jets could use a little of it in the coming months. Why do you ask? If you haven’t seen the schedule, the next ten games are pretty grim. There’s a good chance that the Jets could put up a goose-egg, and we’re not even joking (not yet, most of the jokes will come later in the article).

So, let’s breakdown the next ten games and see exactly what I’m talking about.

Game 1 – vs. Chicago (8-2-3)

Whoo! Saturday afternoon hockey, which means two things. Firstly, it’s on CBC and means everyone gets to watch it (even people with a coat hanger sticking out of their TV’s)! Secondly it’s on during the Bomber game, so now you won’t feel totally guilty when you  don’t watch the Bomber game. There are a lot of other storylines and excitement to be found in this game. The defending Stanley Cup Champions, Jonathan Towes coming home (Keith and Sharp too, but not really) and lets not forget that this is a crucial in division game.

Prediction: The MTS Centre will go nuts if Towes scores a goal.

 Game 2 – vs. Detroit (7-4-2)

Two Original Six opponents back to back, if this was a struggling market that would be a sure-fire way to pack the house. But this is Winnipeg, where packing houses are THE LEAST OF CONCERNS for this franchise. If we were still in Atlanta (it would be warm) and these two games would be the marketing teams dream to attract fans. “Hey everybody, Detroit…They’re a good team and even people down here have probably heard of them”. If there’s anything to take away from this game is the Jets can see what a team that used to steam roll their current division looks like (two word hint “puck possession”).

Prediction: The IKEA off Kenaston’s sales shoot through the roof for one day. (that lingonberry drink is killer, not hockey related, just want to get that out there)

Game 3 – @ Chicago (I already wrote their record before, not doing it twice)

Winnipeg vs. Chicago 2: Electric Boogaloo “This time it’s personal”. Actually a lot of this game depends on how the first one plays out. The games are four days apart and emotions could be running high. This is the type of game where you are sending a message. If the Jets win both games that message is “Stanley What?” if they lose “Hey, two free points”. If they split the games then the Nov. 21st game is going to be a bloodbath.

Prediction: Chicago probably won’t be reciprocating the homecoming vibe for Al Montoya, jerks.

Game 4 – vs. Nashville (6-5-2)

Carter Hutton, the Jets’ kryptonite. Seriously, I had no idea who this guy was. I tried to look him up on Wikipedia (the most trusted source on the internet FYI) and almost laughed when I found that the side panel was longer then the page write up. But whatever the case may be he knows how to stop pucks and more importantly the pucks that are shot off the stick of any Winnipeg Jet. The good news is that the Jets scored 1 goal in the first game, 2 in the second so logically you could assume that they’ll get 3 in the third. The bad news in that the Preds have scored 3 in each game. So, looks like a 3-3 tie in on the horizon. Yay, a guaranteed point!

Prediction: Hutton’s Wikipedia page will double in size before the season ends.

Game 5 – vs. San Jose (10-1-2)

I once met a guy who was from San Jose and he told me how crazy the fan base is for the Sharks out there. San Jose is like the third wheel in the Bay Area behind San Francisco and Oakland. With 2 NFL teams, 2 MLB teams and an NBA team all located in the bay but not in San Jose I can understand. But having a die hard fan base doesn’t guarantee victories. I think we can all agree on that. Having a lot of talent on your team, solid veterans, proven goaltending and promising young rookies who deliver, now that’s what equals victories.

Prediction: The way I see it, if zero goals are scored through the legs on the Jets, it’s been a good night.

Game 6 – @Detroit (by this time different than the one above)

Detroit again, but unlike the Chicago game this is that last time the Jets have to see them for the rest of the regular season. You take one look at the Detroit roster and all you can think about is how old the guys are. Maybe that’s the key to it all, sign old guys. I used to do that in “be a GM” mode in NHL video games. You’d be looking to fill out your roster before the season starts and just search for the highest ranked guys and sure enough some 80 overall would show up and you’d sign him up. I feel that’s what Ken Holland does every July. Which if that’s the case he’s treating the real NHL like a video game, and that just means that Holland is on a whole other level.

Prediction: At one point the sound guy in the arena will play the song to 8 Mile. Which sucks that they get cool songs that are written about their city and we get depressing ones.

Game 7 – vs. Philadelphia (3-8-0)

Oh sweet lord, a team with a losing record. Finally! It only took until the seventh game. Winnipeg and Philly always have entertaining games against each other. Remember that thrilling 9-8 barn-burner in the first year? How about the game where Pavelec made the most incredible save ever? Voracek still has no idea what happened to that puck, the Jets did end up blowing that game in the final minutes but it was great to watch.

Prediction: The Jets are actually listed as the favourite on the betting sites. Make your Sports Select now, baby!

Game 8 – @ Minnesota (6-4-3) 

Great, another team with a winning record. Which is kind of the point that I was trying to make. These teams are the ones that are winning and the Jets aren’t. The games against the Wild are the ones that Winnipeg should be excited for. Remember in the first game against them when the guy was singing the Canadian anthem and at the True North part he stopped and held the microphone up. Everyone thought that was small win for Winnipeg, guess what it wasn’t. That guy is a professional singer (or at least in his mind he thinks he is) he doesn’t want foreigners stepping on his spotlight. What the Winnipeg fans should do is if he holds the mic up we go silent, he’ll look like an idiot holding a mic with dead air. IT WOULD BE SPECTACULAR. Bonus points if he continues singing and then we all yell True North real quickly. It’s the game within the game people.

Prediction: “…With glowing hearts we see thee rise, The *crickets*…

Game 9 – vs. Calgary (5-5-2)

As of writing this the Calgary Flames have the exact same amount of points as the Jets. Lets put this into perspective, the Jets were on the cusp of the playoffs last year and the Flames had to trade away the face of their franchise. The Flames were written off as a re-building team and they have 12 points, just like the Jets. The Flames were a team that almost tasted success but came up just short and for the years following that slowly regressed down to a team that was just a few points shy of the playoffs. They’d try to make that one addition to the team that would help them get over the hump but it wouldn’t pan out, ironically that addition was Olli Jokinen. These teams are the same in so many ways.

Prediction: It will take longer than you’d expect for someone to point out that both these teams originated in Atlanta. They failed twice!

Game 10 – vs. Chicago (Wins greater than losses)

The trilogy. It’s almost fitting that the end of this 10 game stretch begins and ends with the Blackhawks. This game could be the crown jewel on just an awful stretch. The reality of it all is that three losses to the Blackhawks would ruin your division hopes, and shows the rest of the league where you stack up in comparison to the defending champs (read: a good team). Or they win, I don’t know I’m not an expert.

Prediction: Win or lose, it’ll probably be a good game seeing how they play each other 3 times in 20 days. It’s a shame that it’ll be 2 more months until the fourth game is played between these teams.

It’s not all darkness on the horizon. The worst possible scenario is that the Jets go 0-10-0 with 0 points, but the reality is that it’s a long shot for that to happen. Overtimes, and teams playing back to back or coming off of long west coast swing increase the chances of upsets. On top of that, the team is starting to get some injured players back and some of the lines look like they are beginning to click (that is until Noel splits them up like he does pretty much every three shifts, but that’s a different article). This is an important ten games in that it will shape the season, this is the stretch that people will refer to at the end of the season. Whether or not it’s a good or bad one is yet to be seen.

Winnipeg Hockey Re-launch!!!

 

Dancin Gabe

“WinnipegHockey.com has inspired me to keep dancin” – A guy who may or may not have been associated to Gabe (looking back, I may have interviewed a homeless guy)

 

That’s right, WinnipegHockey.com is re-launching!!!

 

Check back here on November 1st to see the new and improved site. (may be slightly used)

 

What can you expect?

- Indepth analysis of some hockey? Possibly!!!

- Exclusive Interviews with Winnipeg Jets? If by interview you mean random encounters on the streets and exclusive you mean public, then hell yes!!!

-Articles that make no sense, have a bit of humour and will constantly point out the flaws in ourselves, others and anyone we feel needs a good tear down. YES, YES and YES!!!

 

How excited are people for the re-launch of this site??? Look at the picture above, they can hardly contain themselves!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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