Why you Should Love the Fourth Line (and other links)
Your collection of fine hockey links for the afternoon.
Greetings Friends and Viewing Public,
It is I, BobbyF/Colin Walus, EOTP's resident microstats charlatan, Tomas Plekanec fanboy, Jacques Martin apologist, and your new daily links contributor. I was going to post an introduction featuring a formal hello and some of my classic goofs and spoofs, but this post is already quite long (and late in the day) for a links post. Thus, I'll just let you know that you can contact me at email@example.com if you have any questions, suggestions, comments, or concerns. Without further ado, here are your links for the afternoon:
Habs News and Analysis
- A Winning Habit's Mathieu Roy (aka the great and powerful MathMan) explains why you should stop worrying and learn to love Montreal's fourth line.
- Christopher Boucher, from the wonderful Boucher Scouting, breaks down individual scoring chances for the 2013 season.
- lt is relatively quiet on the roster front. Rene Bourque skated on his own for the first time since his concussion. Brandon Prust suffered a first degree separation in his left shoulder last week, while Yannick Weber is still sidelined with the knee injury he sustained against Carolina. Both are expected to miss about two weeks while there's no timetable yet for Bourque.
- The folks over at NHL numbers have updated their predictive power rankings. By their model, they predict that the Habs will finish 3rd overall (2nd in the east) and face Ottawa in the first round of the playoffs.
- Speaking of playoffs, MathMan and Roke remind us, via Twitter, to make the appropriate preparations for the first round
- The Globe and Mail's Sean Gordon discusses the state of the Habs. He seems a little unfocused (he just tosses the word "regression" around without talking about shooting or save percentages), but it's still worth a gander. He enters the phrase "Plekanec is elite" (with regards to two-way play) into Canada's newspaper of record!
- CBC's Chris Iorfida breaks down total point production by defensemen at the halfway mark of the season. Montreal ranks first in goals and points per game.
- Guy Lafleur gives a two part interview with Lucas Aykroyd of IIHF.com. In part one, he comments on his relationship with Bobby Orr and gives his thoughts on Alexander Ovechkin's game. In part two, he notes that the Perreault - Gretzky - Lafleur line was the best he ever played on. As a "generation next-er," I can't even imagine this line. If any of the old timers in the crowd want to contextualize it for us, by all means.
- This might be old news, but rumors about Josh Gorges' sexuality spread throughout the blogosphere last week. Vice's Thomas Drance breaks down the situation, looking into the desire for gay sports fans to have players they can identify with.
- Jen at NHL History Girl tells the story of the only undefeated (and winless) coach in Habs history.
General NHL News and Analysis
- Daniel Wagner from Backhand Shelf thinks that analysts overuse Corsi and Fenwick.
- ProHockeyTalk's James O'Brien notes that NHL Revenue estimates for the 2013 season have declined from $2.4 to $2.1 billion USD. Players' escrow contributions will rise as a result.
- Industrial engineer Michael Parkatti, from the fantastic Boys on the Bus, uses a curious combination of science and magic to optimize NHL divisional alignment from a travel perspective. In part one, he gives his methodology and produces the optimal divisions. In part two, he introduces rivalry constraints and discusses expansion possibilities.
- The fine folks over at Canes Country break down the top lines in NHL by EV goals (as of March 10th). The Plek/Bourque/Gio line gets a shout-out while author PackPride17 settles on Tlusty/Staal/Semin, Marchand/Bergeron/Seguin, and Kunitz/Crosby/Dupuis as the three best.
- Deadspin has all the details on Don Cherry's latest goldfish tweets.
- The infamous Megalodon over at Battle of California, creator of the SONA index (possibly NSFW), traces the parallels between the San Jose Sharks and Ancient Rome.
- Vice's Jeremy Allingham pens a polemic against fighting in hockey, especially at the junior level.
Archive Material and EOTP News
- Now that I'm on board, EOTP desperately needs contributors to boost the quality of the writing on the site. If you have the free time and would like to get involved, follow the instructions in this article.
- Andrew talks to our new divisional frenemies over at "Winging it in Motown."
- In 2011, Bettman's Nightmare over at Arctic Ice Hockey introduced expected zone finishes to track zone shifts. This should complement the zone statistics in Andrew's mid-season reviews.