Another One Bites the Dust
Word this morning that Corey Sznajder, the 23 year old Staszi who has been tracking zone exits and entires for all 1,230 NHL games played last season, has been hired by an NHL team and his long running blog Shutdown Line is about to go dark.
Most probably saw this coming, but I was hired by an NHL team a few days ago and will have to go “dark” on most hockey-related things for next season. This won’t interfere with my current project at all because I’m still allowed to finish it & will have it released very soon. However, my By the Numbers recaps, weekly prospect updates and analytical posts on this blog will be MIA for the next year.
The good news here is that the massive zone exit/entry project he’s been working on over the summer will see the light of day…something I’ve been looking forward to since I believe it will provide much, much more value than the crude “proxies” provided by Corsi and Fenwick.
Thanks to Corey, we’re about to find out who actually drives the bus on NHL teams…I, for one, can’t wait.
The WC Arms Race
The Dallas Stars…my “team to watch” this season…unveiled a lethal weapon last night in their game against the Florida Panthers.
The “Super Power Play” featured all of Jamie Benn, Tyler, Seguin, Jason Spezza, Ales Hemsky and the luckiest guy in the rink, Trevor Daley.
“It’s those five guys reading off each other,” Ruff said. “It’s not so much laying it on a map and saying, ‘You’re going to be here and you’re going to be there.’ It’s reading what’s open and giving them different looks. I know that (coach) Curt (Fraser) gave them a different look on the second one with the down-low play and it worked. They were concerned about Benn in the slot, which opened up a seam for Tyler on the back door. As long as the work ethic stays strong, the way they move the puck around…that’s going to be a tough unit to deal with.”
Seguin finished with three goals and an assist. Spezza had a goal and two assists. Read More
I expect career years from Seguin and Benn especially now that they have Spezza and Hemsky to share the toughest competition. Watch out.
10 to Watch
The Hockey News has an article up this morning revealing their list of the 10 players to watch this upcoming season.
While the aforementioned Tyler Seguin is on the list, the one that also caught my attention is Nathan Mackinnon. MacKinnon scored 25 goals and 63 points as a rookie (+20).
His P/60 5V5 was 17th among centres in the league last season (60+ GP) at 2.27 which was well clear of any other young centre in the league not named Tyler Seguin (2.84) or Matt Duchene (2.82)
Other young centres who are in the conversation include:
Ryan Johansen (2.22)
Jaden Schwartz (2.21)
Ryan O’Reilly (2.00)
Jeff Skinner (1.98)
Mikael Granlund (1.96)
Nick Bjugstad (1.96)
Considering MacKinnon is the youngest player on the list and just turned 19 a couple of weeks ago, he’ll be well worth keeping an eye on.