This year has been one of fantastic growth for Eyes on the Prize. Not only has the site broken a whole host readership records, but three of our most talented writers have put on pants and moved out of their parents' basements. Chris Boyle is beginning to roll out his robust Shot Quality Project for SportsNet.ca, Olivier is writing a column for NHL.com, and Bruce is working for the Saskatoon Blades. Congrats to the lads on their mainstream success!
Montreal Canadiens News and Analysis
There's a whole host of roster news to report this Thursday morning. For starters, Danny Briere, who suffered his third (official) concussion of his career on Saturday, has been placed on injured reserve. As with all concussions, Briere is out indefinitely. In the meantime, Jarred Tinordi has been sent back to Hamilton in order to take advantage of big minutes available this weekend. Hamilton plays three games and I guess we can expect Tinordi to slot into the top pairing. Greg Pateryn has swapped spots with Tinordi, joining the main club yesterday.
Meanwhile, Lars Eller has apologized for any feelings hurt by his comments on Edmonton's style of play.
Saku Koivu returns to the Bell Centre tonight for only the second time in his career. The former captain's inaugural return was extremely emotional for him and he's looking forward to a hopefully more relaxing evening. Meanwhile, Teemu Selanne makes his final trip to the Bell Centre, which is also pretty sweet. Grab your old pager, or whatever else makes you nostalgic for the 90s, and join us for a 7:30 ET puck drop.
Speaking of extreme emotions, Michel Therrien recalls being overwhelmed during Koivu's return to Bell Centre ice following cancer treatment in 2002. You're not the only one, MT.
As P.K. Subban told Pierre Lebrun, there's no place he'd rather be than the Bell Centre at puck drop. The feeling is mutual, P.K., I never want to see you play for another team. Marc Bergevin, please give this man all the money in the universe.
Georges Laraque is interested in returning to the NHL in the same way I'm interested in making out with Serena Ryder. We'd both jump at the opportunity, but realize it will never occur.
General News and Analysis
Fear the Fin's Jake Sundstrom asks the question of whether or not a goalie's game save percentage can be used to predict his shootout save percentage. In asking this question, Sundstrom uncovers some surprising facts, including Semyon Varlamov and Marc-Andre Fleury (!) ranking first and second in shootout save percentage among active goalies that have faced at least 50 shots.
Dan Saraceni of Lighthouse Hockey has a Ghostbusters-themed Radek Martinek post that is as incredible as it sounds.
Taking a page out of their brothers and sisters in the hip hop community, it seems like hockey analysts are commenting more and more about the state of hockey analysis. Arctic Ice Hockey's Garret Hohl breaks down some of the misconceptions surrounding advanced analytics.
Copper & Blue's Ryan Batty feels that the long-term salary cap benefits of delaying the start of entry-level contracts outweighs the professional experience benefit of keeping most 18-year-olds in the NHL. He expands on this opinion in response to Calgary activating the first year of Sean Monahan's ELC.
I case you didn't know, CapGeek has added an awesome suspension tracker to their website, covering supplementary discipline from 2011-2012 to today. Now everyone can reminisce about the time Jean-Francois Jacques left the bench to fight in September 2011.
Speaking of suspensions, here's a handy infographic from Back Row Sports, detailing NHL suspensions and head injuries for the 2013-2014 season.
Cam Charron gets in on the shot quality fun, trying to uncover whether or not shot quality is repeatable from game to game.