blank'/> THE PUCK REPORT: 2013

Monday, July 22, 2013

2013-2014 NHL Regular Season Mileage

Have you ever wondered how many miles each team will travel during the 2013-14 NHL Regular Season? Once again statistical wizard Dirk Hoag has calculated the mileage for all 30 NHL teams this season.  His figures are presented below by conference and division.

                                    WESTERN CONFERENCE
Pacific 2013-14     Central 2013-14
San Jose Sharks 57,612     Colorado Avalanche 49,007
Phoenix Coyotes 52,633      Dallas Stars 46,660
Calgary Flames 48,970 Winnipeg Jets 46,477
Anaheim Ducks 48,568 Minnesota Wild 44,273
Vancouver Canucks       48,510 Nashville Predators 39,810
Los Angeles Kings 48,432 St. Louis Blues 39,328
Edmonton Oilers 45,192 Chicago Blackhawks     38,680
Average 49,988 Average 43,462

                                    EASTERN CONFERENCE
Atlantic 2013-14     Metropolitan 2013-14
Florida Panthers 45,136 Carolina Hurricanes 38,879
Tampa Bay Lightning   43,102 Pittsburgh Penguins 37,061
Boston Bruins 42,389 Columbus Blue Jackets   36,597
Montreal Canadiens 39,327 Washington Capitals 36,250
Toronto Maple Leafs 35,975 Philadelphia Flyers 34,929
Detroit Red Wings 35,324 New Jersey Devils 33,151
Ottawa Senators 34,850 New York Islanders 29,933
Buffalo Sabres 34,812 New York Rangers 29,839
Average 38,864 Average 34,580

With an eye towards reduced travel and pairing teams with their time zone neighbors, this season's NHL realignment has resulted in the reshuffling of teams from six divisions in to four divisions, including the disappearance of the Northeast, Southeast and Northwest, addition of the Metropolitan, and retooling of the Pacific, Central and Atlantic.

This year the most traveled team (San Jose Sharks) nearly doubles the mileage of the least traveled team (New York Rangers), with the average Western team logging 46,725 miles to the Eastern's 36,722 miles for a NHL average of 41,387 miles.  Breaking it down by division, the Pacific leads all others averaging 49,988 miles, followed by the Central (43,462), Atlantic (38,864) and Metropolitan (34,580).

The chart below sorts teams by most mileage to least for 2013-14 showing their total travel for the last 82 game season (2011-12) and the differential between miles traveled before and after realignment.

                                                 SUMMARY
Team Division 2013-14    2011-12   
+/-
Sharks Pacific 57,617         43,994        +13,623
Coyotes Pacific 52,633 49,192 +3,441
Avalanche Central 49,007 48,945 +62
Flames Pacific 48,970 49,104 -134
Ducks Pacific 48,568 50,296 -1,728
CanucksPacific48,51046,826
+1,684
Kings Pacific 48,432 55,591 -7,159
Stars Central 46,660 49,622 -2,962
Jets Central 46,477 44,627 -1,850
Oilers Pacific 45,192 50,006 -4,814
Panthers Atlantic 45,136 52,751 -7,615
Wild Central 44,273 42,860 +1,413
Lightning Atlantic 43,102 43,717 -615
Bruins Atlantic 42,389 33,770 +8,619
Predators Central 39,810 39,534 +276
Blues Central 39,328 38,781 +547
Canadiens Atlantic 39,327 39,174 +152
Hurricanes Metropolitan 38,879 38,114 +765
Blackhawks   Central 38,680 39,288 -608
Penguins Metropolitan    37,061 33,439 +3,622
Blue Jackets      Metropolitan      36,597 42,831 -6,234
Capitals Metropolitan 36,250 37,969 -1,719
Maple Leafs Atlantic 35,975 32,239 -3,736
Red Wings Atlantic 35,234 42,865 -7,631
Flyers Metropolitan 34,929 34,193 +736
Senators Atlantic 34,850 33,915 +935
Sabres Atlantic 34,812 35,911 -1,099
Devils Metropolitan 33,151 28,597 -4,554
Islanders Metropolitan 29,933 32,410 -2,477
Rangers Metropolitan 29,839 36,385
-6,546
Average 41,387 41,565
-178

Interestingly, NHL realignment has yielded an average savings of 178 miles per team, for a total league-wide savings of 5,340 miles. The San Jose Sharks (+13,623) and the Boston Bruins (+8,619) lead their respective conferences in terms of increased travel as against their pre-realignment 2011-12 mileage. Ten teams (1/3) have been impacted by less than 1,000 miles as compared to their 2011-12 mileage.

The NHL's new season structure calls for each team in each rink every year. Thus, the mileage savings achieved through pairing teams by proximity have been spent to afford improvements in the schedule. While most teams are now aligned with their geographic neighbors, there are still some peculiarities. Most notably, the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning have been paired with six teams in the northeast under the ambiguous Metropolitan namesake.

In addition to counting clicks, Hoag's Schedule tallies each team's number of back-to-back games showing an average of 15 such occurrences per club, the New Jersey Devils (22) leading all others and the Colorado Avalanche, San Jose Sharks and Winnipeg Jets playing the least (10).
NHL life is indeed a highway, flying thousands of miles all season long.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

2013 NHL Individual Awards Winners

When it comes to the NHL Awards, a handful are earned on statistical achievement while the rest are won through votes cast by various organizations depending on the award. The chart below shows the award winners for the 2013 NHL season.

NHL Award              Winner 
Conn Smythe Trophy                              Patrick Kane
Art Ross Trophy Martin St. Louis
Maurice Richard Trophy Alex Ovechkin
Plus-Minus Award Pascal Dupuis
Hart Trophy Alex Ovechkin
Ted Lindsay Award Sidney Crosby
Selke Trophy Jonathan Toews
Norris Trophy P.K. Subban
Vezina Trophy Sergei Bobrovsky
Jennings Trophy Corey Crawford/Ray Emery
Roger Crozier Award Craig Anderson
Calder Trophy Jonathan Huberdeau
Jack Adams Award Paul MacLean
GM of the Year Ray Shero
Bill Masterton Trophy                        Josh Harding
Lady Byng Trophy Martin St. Louis
King Clancy Trophy Patrice Bergeron
Foundation Award Henrik Zetterberg
Messier Award Daniel Alfredsson

2013 NHL First All-Star Team honors went to Bobrovsky (G), Subban (D), Suter (D), Crosby (C), Ovechkin (RW) and Kunitz (LW). The 2013 NHL Second All-Star Team roster was Lundqvist (G), Beauchemin (D), Letang (D), Toews (C), St. Louis (RW) and Ovechkin (LW).  

Confusion during the voting process resulted in the Professional Hockey Writers' Association inadvertently naming Ovechkin to both All-Star Teams, snubbing Taylor Hall who otherwise would have captured the left wing slot on the Second All-Star Team and a bonus for the accolade.

The 2013 NHL All-Rookie Team was comprised of newcomers Jake Allen (G), Jonas Brodin (D), Justin Schultz (D), Jonathan Huberdeau (C), Brendan Gallagher (RW) and Brandon Saad (LW).

* See also 2015 NHL Individual Awards Winners.
* See also 2014 NHL Individual Awards Winners.
* See also 2012 NHL Individual Awards Winners.
* See also 2011 NHL Individual Awards Winners.
* See also 2010 NHL Individual Awards Winners.
* See also 2009 NHL Individual Awards Winners.

Monday, July 1, 2013

2013 NHL Individual Statistical Leaders

With only five NHL trophies awarded for statistical achievement alone (Art Ross, Rocket Richard, Plus-Minus, Jennings, Crozier), plenty of regular season accomplishments escape recognition at the NHL Awards.  The individual statistical leaders for the 2013 NHL regular season are shown below.

--------------------SKATERS

Statistic       Leader
Points St. Louis (60)
Points/Game Crosby (1.56)
Points - Even Strength E. Staal (43)
Points - Powerplay Ovechkin, Ribeiro (27)
Points - Shorthanded Stepan, Stempniak, Kovalchuk (4)
Goals Ovechkin (32)
Goals/Game Ovechkin (.67)
Goals - Even Strength Stamkos, Toews, Tavares, Tlusty (19)
Goals - Powerplay Ovechkin (16)
Goals - Shorthanded Kovalchuk (4)
Goals - Game Winning Carter (8)
Goals - Empty Net Wheeler, Tlusty (4)
Assists St. Louis (43)
Assists/Game Crosby (1.14)
Shots Ovechkin (220)
Shots Missed Ovechkin (98)
Plus/Minus Dupuis (31)
Penalty - Minutes Orr (155)
Penalty - Minor Burrows, Neil (27)
Penalty - Major Crombeen (14)
Penalty - Game Misconduct   Clowe, Zolnierczyk (2)
Time On Ice (TOI)          Suter (1,309:25)
TOI/Game Suter (27:16)
TOI/Shift Letang, Green (1:00)
Shifts Doughty (1,544)
Shifts/Game Pietrangelo (32.4)
Faceoff % Bergeron (62.1)
Giveaways Phaneuf (53)
Takeaways Datsyuk, Toews (56)
Blocked Shots Girardi (125)
Hits Martin (234)

--------------------GOALIES
Statistic       Leader
Wins Lundqvist, Niemi, Backstrom (24)
Losses Varlamov (21)
Shots Faced Miller (1,270)
Saves Miller (1,162)
Goals Against Pavelec (119
Goals Against Average           Anderson (1.69)
Save Percentage Anderson (.941)
Shutouts Howard, Rask, Schneider, Rinne, Smith (5)
Time On Ice Niemi (2,580:46)

Perhaps one day the NHL will expand their annual awards selection to recognize more leaders of these statistical categories. Until then, we'll leave it up to the voters to determine who's ripe for recognition.

Monday, June 24, 2013

2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Handshake Lines

The time-honored tradition of NHL playoff combatants shaking hands upon the conclusion of a series is among the greatest displays of sportsmanship in professional team sports today. Seconds after the horn sounds on the end of a series, players and coaches from both teams convene at center ice to celebrate each other's efforts.

The videos below capture the final minute of play in each series-ending game to date in the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs along with the ensuing traditional team handshake line, sorted by round and series end date.

FIRST ROUND

The Sharks eliminated the Canucks in Game 4 on May 7, 2013.


The Senators eliminated the Canadiens in Game 5 on May 9, 2013.


The Blackhawks eliminated the Wild in Game 5 on May 9, 2013.


The Kings eliminated the Blues in Game 6 on May 10, 2013.


The Penguins eliminated the Islanders in Game 6 on May 11, 2013.


The Red Wings eliminated the Ducks in Game 7 on May 12, 2013.


The Rangers eliminated the Capitals in Game 7 on May 13, 2013.


The Bruins eliminated the Leafs in Game 7 on May 13, 2013.


SECOND ROUND

The Penguins eliminated the Senators in Game 5 on May 24, 2013.

The Bruins eliminated the Rangers in Game 5 on May 25, 2013.

The Kings eliminated the Sharks in Game 7 on May 28, 2013.

The Blackhawks eliminated the Red Wings in Game 7 on May 29, 2013.

THIRD ROUND

The Bruins eliminated the Penguins in Game 4 on June 7, 2013.

The Blackhawks eliminated the Kings in Game 5 on June 8, 2013.

STANLEY CUP FINAL

The Blackhawks eliminated the Bruins in Game 6 on June 24, 2013.
In an age of results reigning over respect, it's encouraging to see such sportsmanship in professional sport, albeit after the score is settled. Cultures grow on the vine of tradition and ours could use more of this.

* See also 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Handshake Lines.
* See also 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Handshake Lines.
* See also 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Handshake Lines.
* See also 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Handshake Lines.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

2013 Stanley Cup Rings On The Roster

While exceptional goaltending, team play, good health and some puck luck typically wins Stanley Cups, a few rings on the roster provides the immeasurable attribute of experience, instilling a culture of confidence and calm as teams venture deep into the playoff abyss.

The remaining four teams in the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs have postseason experience in spades as each was a Stanley Cup champion in the past four years (Los Angeles 2012, Boston 2011, Chicago 2010, Pittsburgh 2009). Only once before in NHL history (1945) has this occurred (Boston 1941, Toronto 1942, Detroit 1943, Montreal 1944).


The chart below shows the number of Stanley Cup rings on each team's 2013 postseason roster and the names of each winner.

Team: Stanley Cup Rings
Los Angeles Kings: 24
Bernier, Brown, Carter, Clifford, Doughty, Fraser (2), Greene, King, Kopitar, Lewis, Martinez, Nolan, Penner (2), Quick, Richards, Richardson, Scuderi (2), Stoll, Voynov, Williams (2)


Boston Bruins: 22
Bergeron, Boychuk, Campbell, Chara, Ference, Horton, Jagr (2), Kelly, Krejci, Lucic, Marchand, McQuaid, Paille, Pandolfo (2), Peverly, Rask, Seguin, Seidenberg, Thornton (2)


Pittsburgh Penguins: 13
Adams (2), Cooke, Crosby, Dupuis, Eaton, Fleury, Kennedy, Kunitz (2), Letang, Malkin, Orpik


Chicago Blackhawks: 9
Bickell, Bolland, Hjalmarsson, Hossa, Kane, Keith, Seabrook, Sharp, Toews


While Cup rings are the preferred currency, postseason experience can also be measured in playoff games played.  The chart below shows career playoff games per roster, listing all players with more than 50 games.

Team: Playoff Games
Boston Bruins: 1503
Jagr (192), Pandolfo (131), Chara (119), Ference (110), Redden (106), Kelly (80), Thornton (79), Lucic (74), Bergeron (73), Krejci (71), Seidenberg (59), Paille (58), Boychuk (57)

Pittsburgh Penguins: 1368
Kunitz (95), Cooke (93), Dupuis (93), Adams (89), Morrow (88), Orpik (83), Fleury (79), Malkin (79), Crosby (78), Letang (76), Kennedy (74), Murray (68), Eaton (67), Iginla (65), Martin (63)

Chicago Blackhawks: 1122
Hossa (142), Handzus (86), Sharp (76), Hjalmarsson (64), Keith (64), Rozsival (64), Toews (64), Kane (63), Mayers (63), Seabrook (62), Bolland (56)

Los Angeles Kings: 1056
Richards (96), Scuderi (94), Williams (84), Carter (80), Penner (73), Stoll (62), Greene (54), Regehr (54)


The Kings wear the most rings (24) despite playing the fewest playoff games (1056).  The Bruins trail the Kings by two rings (22) yet possess 50% more career playoff games (1503) on their roster. The Penguins (13 rings, 1368 games) and Blackhawks (9 rings, 1122 games) are relatively light on jewelry but boast more games than the defending champions.  In terms of 50+ postseason game players, the Penguins lead the group (15), followed by the Bruins (13), Blackhawks (11) and Kings (8).

Of the goalies, three have Stanley Cup rings (Fleury, Quick, Rask) and two have no playoff experience 
(Bernier, Khudobin).  With respect to career playoff games, the Penguins lead (97), followed by the Blackhawks (62), Kings (45) and Bruins (25).  The chart below shows goaltender playoff experience by goalie, team and postseason games played.

Goalie (Team): Playoff Games
Fleury (PIT): 79
Quick (LAK): 45
Emery (CHI): 36
Crawford (CHI): 26
Rask (BOS): 25
Vokoun (PIT): 18
Bernier (LAK): 0
Khudobin (BOS): 0


Each remaining head coach wears one career Stanley Cup ring, collected with their current club (BylsmaJulienQuennevilleSutter).

With no shortage of playoff experience amongst the final four teams in this year's postseason, the healthy and lucky will likely prevail.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

2013 NHL Playoff Projections - 82 Games Played

When it comes to the NHL playoffs, a general rule of thumb is to expect the unexpected. While division winners typically hoist the Stanley Cup, top-seeded teams are no stranger to first round playoff upsets.

Acknowledging that the best predictor of future behavior is typically past performance, the chart below tracks teams over the second half of the 2013 NHL regular season examining their records over the final 10 and 20 games to measure where momentum lies heading into the postseason.


















































































































































































Team Performance Heading Into 2013 NHL Playoffs
EAST





























Final10 GP20 GP
TeamWPtsWPtsWPts

1. PIT36728161632

2. MTL2963481021

3. WAS27578171532

4. BOS286238921

5. TOR26575111126

6. NYR26567141226

7. OTT25566121122

8. NYI24556151126

WEST





























Final10 GP20 GP
TeamWPtsWPtsWPts

1. CHI36777151328

2. ANA3066511920

3. VAN26595111327

4. STL29607141326

5. LAK27595121125

6. SJS25575101327

7. DET24565131125

8. MIN2655491021

ChicagoVancouverSan Jose and St. Louis bested the West amassing 13 wins each during the final 20 games, with Chicago and St. Louis finishing strongest over the final 10 games with seven wins a piece.  Minnesota endured the poorest finish of any playoff bound team in the conference trailing its peers for both the final 20 and 10 game stretches.

In the East, Pittsburgh and Washington led all others over the final 20 and 10 game measures with the Penguins earning an extra win and the Capitals picking up an extra point.  Boston and Montreal trailed their playoff conference peers at each interval, registering the same number of points but with the Canadiens besting the Bruins by two wins.

In terms of streaksDetroit finished with four straight wins while Montreal and the New York Rangers won their final two, leading their respective conferences in the category. The New York Islanders dropped their last three games owning the coldest finish, though three others (Boston, San Jose, Vancouver) lost their last two.

In short, Washington, Pittsburgh, Chicago, St. Louis and Detroit are hot heading into the playoffs while Montreal, Boston and Minnesota are not. Of course, none of these statistical measures matter when puck drops tonight. It's a new dawn. It's a new day. It's a new life.

Let the second season begin. The real season. 16W.

Monday, April 29, 2013

2013 NHL Draft Lottery Results

Tonight Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly presented the NHL Draft lottery results on TSN, with the top overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, to be held on June 30, 2013 in Newark, being awarded to the Colorado Avalanche.
The actual lottery was conducted 30 minutes earlier at NHL Headquarters in New York City, with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman presiding and offering this detailed explanation of the process.
Designed to guard against teams purposely losing regular season games to improve their draft position, the weighted lottery system implemented prior to the 1995 NHL Entry Draft provides weaker teams with a greater chance of a higher pick without any guarantees for poor performance.

Until 2013, only the league's five worst regular season teams were eligible for the top overall pick, allowing teams to advance up to four spots and fall only one spot in the lottery. That changed this year with all non-playoff teams eligible for the top overall pick albeit with their statistical likelihood directly tied to their final regular season standing. The most a team can fall in this year's lottery position is one spot.

For the second year in a row, the top pick went to someone other than the statistical favorite with the last place Florida Panthers edged out by the lottery winning Avalanche. The win gives Colorado their first top overall pick in franchise history - fourth top overall pick if you count their prior incarnation as the pre-lottery Quebec Nordiques (1989 Mats Sundin, 1990 Owen Nolan, 1991 Eric Lindros) - and snaps the Edmonton Oilers three year lottery win streak yielding three top overall picks (2010 Taylor Hall2011 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 2012 Nail Yakupov).

Other than Florida and Colorado trading places, the remaining clubs placed as predicted by their statistical probabilities set forth below.

1. COL: 18.8%
2. FLA: 25.0%
3. TBL: 14.2%
4. NAS: 10.7%
5. CAR: 8.1%
6. CGY: 6.2%
7. EDM: 4.7%
8. BUF: 3.6%
9. NJD: 2.7%
10. DAL: 2.1%
11. PHI: 1.5%
12. PHO: 1.1%
13. WPG: 0.8%
14. CLB: 0.5%

Remaining NHL Entry Draft positions are set after the playoffs with the Stanley Cup champion and runner-up picking 30th and 29th, respectively. Conference finalists (28th, 27th) as well as division winners and wildcard teams (26th through 15th) are then ordered among their respective subgroup based on regular season standings, positioning teams with better regular season records to pick later than their peers.

* See also 2015 NHL Draft Lottery Results.
* See also 2014 NHL Draft Lottery Results.
* See also 2012 NHL Draft Lottery Results.
* See also 2011 NHL Draft Lottery Results.
* See also 2010 NHL Draft Lottery Results.
* See also 2009 NHL Draft Lottery Results.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

2013 NHL Playoff Projections - 10 Games To Play

With 38 games banked and 10 to play, the NHL playoff picture is all but set. The chart below projects final standings based on the points-per-game pace to date.


Projected 2013 NHL Playoff Picture: 38 Game Pace
EASTWEST
TeamW Pts Pace TeamW Pts Pace
1. PIT28561.471. CHI29621.63
2. MTL25551.452. ANA25551.45
3. WAS19401.053. VAN21481.26
4. BOS25541.424. LAK22471.24
5. TOR21461.215. SJS20471.24
6. OTT19441.216. MIN22461.21
7. NYR19421.167. STL22461.21
8. NYI18401.058. DET19431.13
9. NJD15391.039. PHO17401.05
10. WPG18381.0010. DAL18391.03
11. PHI17370.9711. EDM16391.03
12. BUF15360.9512. CLB16391.03
13. CAR16340.8913. NAS15381.00
14. TBL16340.8914. CGY14320.84
15. FLA12300.7915. COL12290.76
If teams maintain their 38 game pace, the playoff points cutoff will be 50 (East) and 54 (West), respectively.  The shortened season has kept playoff races tight, with eight teams (New Jersey, Winnipeg, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Phoenix, Dallas, Edmonton, Columbus) sitting within 4 points of a postseason slot with only 10 games to play. Don't be fooled by their proximity to the playoffs, however, as neither the 38 game pace nor 10 game pace suggests any of these eight will be skating past April 27th.


Projected 2013 NHL Playoff Picture: 10 Game Pace
EASTWEST
TeamW Pts Pace TeamW Pts Pace
1. PIT36721.501. CHI35751.56
2. BOS33711.482. VAN29641.33
3. WAS26551.143. ANA29641.33
4. MTL31681.424. SJS28641.33
5. TOR27611.275. LAK28601.25
6. NYR24541.126. STL28581.21
7. OTT24541.127. MIN28581.21
8. NYI23511.068. DET25551.14
9. PHI22491.029. CLB22521.08
10. BUF20481.0010. EDM21501.04
11. NJD17460.9611. PHO21501.04
12. WPG21440.9212. DAL23491.02
13. TBL20430.9613. NAS19481.00
14. FLA17400.8314. CGY17380.79
15. CAR17360.7515. COL14340.71
Both the 38 game pace and the 10 game pace projections yield the same playoff participants in each conference. In the West, Vancouver, San Jose and St. Louis each jump a spot in the final standings if the 10 game pace prevails displacing Anaheim, Los Angeles and Minnesota, respectively.  In the East, Boston edges Montreal for the Northeast Division title, and New York leapfrogs Ottawa.  Toronto appears poised to snap their league-leading playoff drought of 7 seasons, a list Edmonton will top if they miss again this spring for the 6th consecutive season.

For 16 teams the real season begins April 30th.  The remaining 14 clubs will have five long months to reflect on what could have been.