May 9th, 2013, 5:04 pm
Incredibly, the Sharks sweep the Canucks in the first round, with Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, and Logan Couture leading the charge. Mike and Doug try to determine whether it was the Sharks winning the series or the Vancouver losing it, then move on to other 1st round matchups, and who the Sharks might face in the second round (rhymes with snackhawks).
Podcast: Play in new window
April 30th, 2012, 8:39 pm
After more than a week to reflect, Mike and Doug don’t have the raw emotion anymore, but the initial reaction still stands. The Dudes talk about the coaching staff, T-Mac, the inevitable Patrick Marleau bashing, and other changes that might take place.
Podcast: Play in new window
May 10th, 2011, 3:20 pm
The Marleau Years Have Been Kind When Up Three Games
Something to chew on before Game Six. Here is a record of San Jose Sharks teams with Patrick Marleau on them in playoff series they have lead going into Game Six.
1999-2000 vs. St. Louis – SERIES WIN 4-3.
Sharks are the eight seed here and were leading this series 3-1 going into Game Five. They dropped Games Five and Six and it appeared the heavily favored Blues would win, but the Sharks won Game Seven in St. Louis 3-1. Marleau didn’t play a factor in this series.
2001-02 vs. Colorado – SERIES LOSS 4-3
Sharks take a series lead with a win on the road in Game Five, but drop the final two games to lose the series to the favored Avalanche. Marleau had zero points in both the final two games after notching 11 points in the previous ten playoff games.
2003-04 vs. Colorado – SERIES WIN 4-2
This scenario should feel the most familiar and give us a degree of hope tonight. The Avalanche were huge bullies on the block and chock full of superstars and the Sharks ran out to a 3-0 series lead. The Sharks then then lost Game Four 2-1 in OT and Game Five 2-1 in OT at the Tank, sending the Avs home to Colorado believing they could win the series and causing Sharks fans to see deja vu. The Sharks went to the Pepsi Center and won Game Six 3-1 with a huge second period.
2007-08 vs. Calgary – SERIES WIN 4-3
The Sharks broke the series deadlock with a win at home in Game Five, but dropped Game Six in Calgary 2-0. We all remember the Game Seven win at the Tank and JR’s explosion of four points in the win.
2009-10 vs. Colorado – SERIES WIN 4-2
The exorcism of Dan Boyle and the Craig Anderson Lifetime movie finally ended in Game Six after the Sharks woke up and spanked the Baby Avs the final two games of the series. They won, on the road, in Game Six to close this **** out.
2010-11 vs. Los Angeles – SERIES WIN 4-2
Our memories aren’t this short are they? The Sharks had the chance to close out LA at home in Game Five and could not do it. In fact, they got embarrassed by Kyle Clifford, no less. The boys finished the job in OT in Game Six…and here we are…
2010-11 vs. Detroit – UNKNOWN
The track record from The Marleau Years is there. In this situation, the Sharks have won five out of six series historically, beating two damn good teams in St. Louis and the 2003-04 Avalanche in the process. I know, different roster means different results and Marleau is the only guy still around from that Colorado series, but the core of this team has been here twice before in the last 12 months – and won both times when they were up three games.
Keep the faith.
March 31st, 2011, 10:13 am
It’s been a while since I wrote a stats-related post, and I figured I’d write one to piggyback on an interesting post on the Behind the Net blog (not to be confused with Behind the Net, the numbers site). A while back I did a purge on the RSS feeds I read, and for some stupid reason, this blog was amongst the casualties. I really must have been in a slash-and-burn mood that day, because it’s really one of the best hockey blogs out there if you are statistically inclined. What I want to do today is highlight some of the stats talked about in the linked post, and who on the Sharks are the best at those categories.
First of all, some real quick and dirty explanations of some of the stats referenced there. I would recommend reading more about them, but not everyone can spend hours reading about advanced hockey metrics. And as Doug would say, why would you want to?
- GVT – Goals Versus Threshold. A complicated stat that tries to create one number for the value of a player, measured in goals in a season versus the value of a replacement-level player. Similar to VORP in baseball.
- Rating – a BTN stat that is the difference between your team’s +/- per 60 minutes when you are on the ice versus when you are off the ice. Unlike the regular +/- stat, it helps level the playing field for those on bad teams.
- QualComp – quality of competition. The weighted average of the Rating of the players you face on the ice.
- Corsi – a +/- stat that counts shots instead of goals. Actually, it counts all pucks directed towards the net, including missed and blocked shots. Unfortunately, it’s similar to the +/- stat in that players on good teams generally have better ones. Of the 28 players that have played a game for the Sharks this season, only 10 have negative Corsi, and most (Moore, Mashinter, Desjardins, McLaren, Wingells) aren’t regulars.
- Corsi Rel – The difference in your Corsi when you’re on the ice versus off.
- Corsi Rel QoC – Quality of Competition calculated not by +/- per 60, but Corsi Rel.
- Zone Starts – the percentage of shift-starting faceoffs being in the offensive zone.
If you’re still reading, pat yourself on the back, because that’s a load of math. Let’s highlight the different Sharks players leading the categories in the stats that the LOES highlighted, in the order that I think is most important. The following is all 5v5 stats, and I’m not including anyone that’s played fewer than 10 games.
Corsi Rel – Kyle Wellwood – 14.6
It’s surprising, and doubtless related to a red-hot Joe Pavelski and clicking third line since he arrived. Still, Wellwood leads the team in a stat I believe is miles better than +/-. One downside to Corsi Rel is that time-on-ice isn’t factored in, and it should be noted Wellwood has averaged only 13.07 minutes of even-strength ice time per game, good enough for 15th on the Sharks. For this reason, it’s worth mentioning the second place player, Ryane Clowe (14.1), who’s averaging more than two minutes more 5v5 ice time, and who I might argue is the team’s MVP. Top Corsi Rel among defensemen? Jason Demers (8.6).
QualComp – Patrick Marleau – 0.101
Marleau is way out in front on this stat, with the second place Joe Thornton at 0.087. Despite the fact that Marleau tends to play the wing more now, traditionally not as defensively important as center, he’s the go-to guy when the other team’s top line is on the ice. Top defenseman – Dan Boyle (0.062).
Corsi Rel QoC – Patrick Marleau – 0.885
I’m not sure why the LOES like Corsi so much yet mention QualComp instead CorsiRel QoC. If Corsi is better than +/-, then Corsi Rel QoC is better than QualComp. Maybe that’s what they meant. Anyway, unsurprisingly, Mareau leads again, but there’s a bit of shifting under him. Jumbo drops to 5th on the team, and Joe Pavelski (0.747) moves up to 2nd. Boyle moves up to 3rd.
Zone Starts – Scott Nichol – 39.4
This means when Nichol took a faceoff to start a shift, 60% of the time it was in the defensive zone. That’s a lot of trust from the coaching staff, and certainly related to the fact that Nichol is the best faceoff guy on the team. Like the last stat, it’s a way of measuring how sheltered a guy is. It’s been calculated that you give up about 0.25 shots every time you take a faceoff in the defensive zone, so this is why Nichol’s Corsi isn’t so good. With that in mind, it’s unsurprising that Marc-Edouard Vlasic (46.8) has the lowest zone start percentage among defensemen.
Time on Ice – Dan Boyle – 19.13
No doubt Boyle is the workhorse, and even strength is no exception. He also plays the most PP and ES time. Contrast this to the Ducks (for instance), with Vish leading the category, but if you look for #2, you see that Toni Lydman and Cam Fowler play about the same amount. However, Fowler plays almost no PK, and three and a half minutes per game on the PP. Lydman is the opposite, almost no PP time, but is way out in front of PK time. Certainly important when trying to evaluate a player.
I didn’t include GVT here because there isn’t a day-by-day calculation of GVT that I know of, and to be honest, GVT makes a lot of assumptions about the weights of various measures that I don’t necessarily agree with. I won’t go so far as to say the attempt to create one stat that measures everything is a fool’s errand, but I feel like I get a better picture of a player when I look at several stats, and not just one.
Just a note for tonight- Jamie Benn and Alex Gologoski lead the Stars in Corsi Rel, so watch out for those guys.
Tags: Dallas Stars
, Dan Boyle
, Jason Demers
, Joe Pavelski
, Joe Thornton
, Marc-Edouard Vlasic
, Patrick Marleau
, Ryane Clowe
, San Jose Sharks
, Scott Nichol
August 5th, 2010, 9:52 am
After a few days of rumors, TSN is now reporting the finalization of a deal between the Sharks and Jamal Mayers. Mayers, a big forward who has played most of his career with the Blues, is clearly meant to be a physical presence on the fourth line, probably with Scott Nichol. For $600k, this is an upgrade over Brad Staubitz. Mayers hasn’t played an AHL game since 1999, so those that would want to paint this guy as a marginal NHLer aren’t being accurate. His best year points wise was only two years ago with St. Louis, 12 goals and 15 assists. And he has traditionally played quite a bit of PK time, not much this past season, but 1:46/game with the Leafs in 08-09, and 3rd on the team in SH ice time with the Blues in 07-08.
I don’t have any problem with Mayers as a player, and we could use some toughness with Staubitz gone. But what about Frazer McLaren? I’m still a big booster of this guy, and desperately hope that this signing doesn’t relegate McLaren to the AHL again this year. McLaren did have 6 points in 23 games for the big club last year (a slightly better scoring rate than Mayers) and had 15 points in 52 games for the Worchester Sharks, with some PK time as well. It might not be the move I would make for this team, but it certainly fits Doug Wilson’s pattern of signing character veterans. Either that or he’s going for the All-NHL Eyebrow team, and McLaren just doesn’t cut it.
DW's secret strategy
June 24th, 2010, 9:02 am
I never know to express the action of signing again. If I don’t hyphenate, it looks like they are resigning, like Nixon. But is re-sign really correct English? And why am I writing about this when the two major Sharks free agents have, uh, accepted new contracts?
Now, per Bob McKenzie’s twitter, we see that Marleau has signed a new contract worth $6.9M per year for four years, and Pavelski’s is good for $4M per year for the same duration. First of all, I’m surprised that Marleau’s number was so high, but I guess it makes sense after a 44-goal season. Like others have mentioned, I thought it was somewhat likely Marleau would get a ‘lifetime’ contract, for 7 or more years, with a more manageable cap hit. Given that Marleau’s wife is from the Bay Area, and he certainly has roots in the community, it would seem a long-term deal would be right up his alley. But for a player who’s main asset is his speed, I can see the logic in only paying him until he’s 34.
Pavelski’s deal, however, could be a little on the low side. During a podcast discussion we figured his salary range would be between $4M and $5M (between Kesler and Staal, in line with Plekanec’s production), and we just made it. $4M for a good two-way second-line center that may be named the captain in two months? Sounds like a good deal to me. I’m not going to go into the whole cap situation just yet, but this should enable the Sharks to sign Devin Setoguchi to a new contract as well. $3M sounds like the right number, given he only had 19 goals last year.
In other (good) news, Pollak reports the Sharks did a minor deal with Atlanta that greased the skids for Chicago sending Dustin Byfuglien there. That’s Doug Wilson, always the facilitator. Because of a certain maximum number of contracts that could be held per the CBA, ATL was up against the limit, and the Sharks were the white knight. DW took a couple of low level prospects (and a seventh round pick) off of Don Waddell’s hands so the Thrashers could accept Byfuglien, Ben Eager, Brent Sopel, and Akim Aliu’s contracts. I like that deal for Atlanta, and I like that deal for the Sharks. Get the big lug out of the West. It does give the Hawks some cap relief, but it cost them a top 6 forward and a great prospect in Aliu. Atlanta, for once, seems to have this trade solidly in the win column.
All this, and we haven’t even made it to the draft yet. Go Sharks.
May 26th, 2010, 8:55 pm
Mike and Doug continue the discussion they began on ChompTalk last Sunday, speaking of the Sharks demise at the hands (wings?) of the Hawks, and Philadelphia’s chances to triumph in the finals. But most importantly, the Dudes start the important due diligence of examining each of the actors that may not be back next year, starting with Doug Wilson, Todd McLellan, Patrick Marleau, and Evgeni Nabokov
Podcast: Play in new window
May 5th, 2010, 8:24 am
My playoff beard is better than Mike's! And Doug's, but that goes without saying.
If you asked me the chances of the Sharks taking a 3-0 lead on the Red Wings in this series, I would have put the chances of that well south of 5%. The Wings are healthy, seasoned, and contain some of the best talent the league has to offer. But for some reason, the ultimate chokers, the San Jose Sharks, have managed to come from behind in every single game and win. I feel like I’m delirious. Who put this lovely mixture of crank, LSD, and OxyContin into my breakfast cereal? It’s FAN-tastic.
Last night was a come-from-behind to trump all others, because the Sharks were down by two goals this time, and in the third period to boot. If you go back to our conference semis preview where Doug and I were trying to convince each other the Sharks could win, one of the things I said was “Jimmy Howard can be beat.” If I were to pick one major problem with the Wings game, it would be that. Yeah, there’s been some low turnovers by the Wings that have led to extended cycles and scoring chances. But that Logan Couture goal last night, while heads-up and tricky, should not have gone in the net. We’ve seen Nabby give up that goal before, and rightly excoriated him. Howard, while certainly not the only reason why the Wings are in a unbelievable 3-0 hole, is not exactly baling water as fast as the others.
I do want to talk about the OT goal for a minute, because it does seem to illustrate two problems the Wings have had. One is Howard (series SV% = 0.886). It’s very surprising to me that he was that far out of position when Marleau received Joe’s All-World pass. And it was all-world: perfect timing, perfect speed for Marleau to shoot it on net, right on the tape. Just a thing of beauty, and every bit as good as that spin-around backhand pass to Marleau that has made all of those highlight reels. The second is the defense. Every defensemen knows that on a 2-on-1 you keep your stick in the passing lane. Brian Rafalski, for reasons unknown, seemed to be directing traffic, conducting a tiny invisible symphony, or maybe just trying to scratch an itch on his calf. The blade of his stick was nowhere near the lane to Marleau.
It also perfectly illustrates something good for the Sharks – JOE THORNTON IS SHOOTING. Sakes alive, what a wonderful world we live in! You think Rafalski would even consider taking the shooting lane if Joe hadn’t scored earlier, and hadn’t picked up his shot rate in the series? Joe averaged well under 2 shots per game in the regular season, and is over 3 shots per game in this series. Even though he was only credited for one shot last night, which happened to be the goal, his willingness to direct the puck at the net (he took 6 shots in game two, and missed 5) is yet another reason why the Sharks are winning.
Even with all of these good things, the Sharks are still not done. Not by a long shot. Let’s say they take a game off, lose game 4, come home, and Detroit wins a squeaker. That could easily happen, in which case my ass will be in full production of masonry products. In my head, I estimated the chances of the Sharks winning the series after game two a little better than 50%. Now, I put their chances at around 75-80%. It ain’t over folks. But the best thing about it is, we know the Sharks don’t think it’s over either.
New podcast will be posted tonight.
April 30th, 2010, 9:45 am
Guess that fish stew from the taco cart was a bad idea
With Marleau being literally a last-minute scratch (he participated in the pre-game skate), it looks as if the ghost of Ed Belfour had made a comeback, despite our masterful exorcism. I’ll pass on a bit of a rumor, because it’s harmless- we heard it was food poisoning. That’s from only one source, but it does jive with the official report: that it’s an “illness” and not an “injury”.
The Wings played almost exactly as expected. Dazzling puckhandling, good defensive movement, great speed. And luckily for us, mediocre goaltending. The Sharks lost the even strength battle 3-2, but won the special teams battle 2-0, and that was enough to win game 1. I wouldn’t bank on that plan for future games. Good parts of the game had Doug and I biting our nails, wringing our hands, and puckering our… well, you get it. It was nerve wracking.
All of this will make for a great series. A series that I desperately want to enjoy, but will have extreme difficulty doing so. This is great hockey, people. Two great teams battling it out, with quite different styles. The Sharks crash and bang, go deep in the corners, Big Joe or Clowe extract it, blast from the point and sit in Howard’s lap. Detroit will have five guys on the ice at all times that can dangle, with behind the back passes, one-handed dekes, and open ice being created out of thin air. It would be so great to watch if I didn’t have an ulcer.
Marleau will hopefully avoid all Sizzlers, Red Lobsters, and the Hometown Buffet, and the Sharks will get their 44 goal scorer back for game two. One thing I mentioned to Doug as we were walking back, is the Wings have the capacity to lay a big turd in a game now and again. The Wings were up in the series 3-2, at home, and just forgot how to play in game six. They were down 5-1 in the third before a late goal made it a slightly more respectable 5-2. The Sharks’ worst game of the playoffs so far was the 6-5 shootout in game two vs the Avs, which they won. We certainly can’t count on a lapse from Detroit, but it makes me feel a little better that it’s possible.
In other news, Doug and I have entered into a wager with WingsFanInSharksLand, who happens to be a friend of ours, and despite his obvious character flaw, is actually a really good guy. I don’t want to give away the stakes, but let’s just say either way the series turns out, it will provide some entertainment for you all.
April 21st, 2010, 10:07 am
Last night, the prominent emotion I felt after Pavs scored was relief, and not elation. The Sharks are seemingly back on track for the moment, tying the series, again putting up more scoring chances than the opposition, but this time they won. I got the idea for today’s post by reading this, and to a lesser extent, tweeting this last night. Marleau, for some reason, looks largely disinterested in this series, and outside of a couple of speedy drives to the net, has seemingly avoided the Flying Body Show that this series has been so far. The difference in his play from Seto’s, for instance, could not be more stark. Seto is hitting everything that moves, grinding it out, and Marleau is trying the shifty thing, neither taking nor issuing hits. But judging a guy on how he ‘looks’ is awfully subjective, and prone to bias. How can we judge their effectiveness?
One way is Corsi number. This is a number that Randy Hahn and Drew Remenda talked about on the telecast many times, though they call it “shots directed at net”. That is, shots + missed shots + blocked shots. Corsi is merely that, but you also subtract the opponent’s number from yours. At that point, you have something kind of a like a shot +/-. The events are much more common than goals, so you have a much larger sample size and thus less variation. Corsi (or Hardwick, which is the same as Corsi but doesn’t include blocked shots) can also be calculated for each individual player. Here are the season numbers for San Jose. I believe this is normalized for ice time, otherwise we wouldn’t have fractional numbers. But as we can see, we have Boyle #1, and Marleau #2 (I don’t count Ferriero really). Thanks to timeonice.com, let’s look at playoff numbers through four games (not normalized for ice time).
First thing to notice is that all of these numbers are positive, which is really remarkable. That’s just another way of saying the Sharks have vastly out-chanced and out-shot the Avs in the series. Also, we can see Marleau is currently 5th among forwards, and behind Kent Huskins, who was barely positive in the regular season. Thornton and Heatley did not have good games 1 or 4 (and Heatley even missed game 3), and that accounts for their low numbers. As one would expect, the numbers for the top line are all more or less in line for each of the games- low single digits for games 1 and 2, around 10 for game 3, and back down for game four. The main reason why Marleau is above the other two is because of game 4, where he was +8, where Thornton was +1 and Heatley -1. So my observation that Marleau was doing particularly bad was almost completely backwards. Still, all in all, this chart confirms with hard numbers what we already thought- the top line is not performing. Not even close. If we can get those guys rolling, we can expect the Sharks to roll better too.