Well that was fun, wasn't it? If not heart attack inducing. So before we move on from genus Orcinus to superorder Selachimorpha (sweaters, not sushi), let's take some time to digest what we've had so far.
Mmmmm... barbeque sauce!
If you've been following my FanPosts, you should be familiar with my Mutual +/- statistic for tracking line/pairing chemistry:
Of course, we all know how often our lines have been shuffled by Evil Genius Q, and perhaps this time for the better. We got a bonafide
chicken checking line that shut down the Sedins to go along with the emergence of Buff McNugget as Vancouver fans now must be having nightmares about.
Without further ado...
Round 2 Mutual +/-
For your enjoyment, this time I've provided a "Mutual TOI" chart if you're obsessed with this enough to care about how much time the players spent on the ice together (you can actually see the lines pretty well with this).
- Brent Seabrook really does bring out the Norris qualities of Duncan Keith, doesn't he? But Biscuit had a monster series in his own right.
- Niklas Hjalmarsson experienced a little reversion to the mean this time around. But don't blame Soupy for it.
- In his limited time, it would appear Troy Brouwer fit well on the Sharpie-Panda line and not so much with Daydream Nation.
- Speaking of which, getting united with the Captain and 20 Cent was the best thing that could've happened to Dustin Byfuglien.
- Despite all the good things that happened to Dave Bolland, it didn't show up on this sheet... this statistic is horrible for assessing checking lines.*
- Notice all the zeros? This is a sign that Coach Q actually stuck with his lines, for the most part.**
- Also, I know I left out Cristobal Huet. The only goal that was scored while he was in net was a power play goal (!) so he would've been zeros all the way across.
* One thing I noticed recently (and much too late) was that Behind the Net has a fantastic piece on plus-minus that addresses deficiencies like this... and how to adjust by the quality of opposition and the quality of teammates (the "BtN rating" is +/- adjusted by the rest of the team). Hawerchuk suggests adjusting by what I called Mutual TOI, and the spirit of what he did is similar to what I'm doing, but on a bigger scale -- and it's probably more meaningful.
** The sample size is still small and comparing Rounds 1 and 2 may not be hugely meaningful... but for the curious, I added up the charts for both rounds to get Rounds 1 & 2 Mutual +/-.
Round 3 Cross-Mutual +/-
The question came up on one of the game threads -- which of the Blackhawks lines is going to match up with the Sharks lines, in particularly those belonging to Big and Little Joe?
I promised I'd try to adapt my statistic and mightily morph it into what I'm calling Cross-Mutual +/-, a measure of +/- for each 'Hawk when facing each Shark. I made this from the 'Hawks point of view, so a plus for one of our guys is a minus for one of theirs; here's what I came up with (click to see full names for the Sharks):
...and a Cross-Mutual TOI chart for this, too.
(keep in mind that the 'Hawks took the season series 3-1-0 and outscored the Sharks 17-11 in the process; the playoff version of these numbers are unlikely to end up looking like this)
- Based solely on these numbers, we should be matching Toews-Brouwer-Ladd with the Sharks top line. Interesting how it kind of works with the "size" argument that's been thrown around.
- That said, our top line numbers seem to be coming from the DDN+Brouwer line doing well as a whole and Patrick Kane being his usual lazy self.
- If we throw our second line at them instead, Patrick Sharp has been a minus player against that top line this season. Might not mean much, but keep that in mind (also remember he was filling for Weapon centering the second line back then, too).
- As for D men against "HTML" (geek alert! must be a Bay Area thing... oh wait.), you can't go wrong with Marlboro 72, but Brian Campbell has done well against the "team he was with for half a season." His ability to move the puck up is going to be real helpful if we try to fight fire with fire and not get bogged down in the corners (as people on Fear the Fin have said would be the way to play us).
- This all came before Bolland came back, but Bolland-Ladd-Versteeg may be worth trying.
- Watch out for Joe Pavelski. Nobody on our roster stands out as having really shut him down.
- Dan Boyle and Douglas Murray haven't fared well against the 'Hawks. It's no secret that the Sharks blue line, are one of the keys to the series.
- Of course, they also haven't faced Antti Niemi before, so how
they handle himhe handles them could be very interesting.
- With only four games, this sample size is small... hence why doing a "Mutual Corsi" would be nice (but alas, a lot more work). So take this chart, and whatever you glean from it, with a grain of salt.
That's not all. But the rest is up to you guys -- I hope this post provides some good discussion points far beyond what my newbie hockey eye test can tell me. So, to the comments section! (I'll try my best to update the chart if the lines need to be rearranged)
Free Food... courtesy of the the City of Vancouver
I know that some of you show up to these geekfests just for the food, so lucky for you, Mayor Daley made that bet with Mayor Gregor Robinson of Vancouver at the start of the series.
Correction: What I have here is last year's bet... I put up a new FanPost (Another Mayoral Hockey Bet!) for this year's (and the one with San Jose's mayor), but you guys can chow down on this stuff as your reward for making it through this post.
A similar bet was made last year, and as promised, payment was made:
What was included:
- beer (Molson's, Granville Island Brewery and Storm Brewing)
- smoked salmon (Musqueam First Nations)
- dried morel mushrooms (Pacific Rim Mushrooms)
- chocolates (Bad Girl and Purdy’s)
- hand-cut organic tortilla chips (Que Pasa)
- vegetarian blueberry sauce (Thai Princess)
- fruit juice (Happy Planet)
Since our Vancouver fan friends so largely exceeded our expectations for classiness, I thought I'd include links in case, as their mayor said, we end up giving them "a bit of a beachhead there for local products." Not to mention with how healthy this stuff is, it might be just what our stressed hearts, stomachs, and livers need right now:
(Quick Plug: If you're in the New York metro area on Sunday, I'm trying to get a meetup going... check it out)