Monthly Archives: February 2015

The Problem With Pascal Dupuis

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After reading Pascal Dupuis’s piece in The Players’ Tribune I am very grateful not to know him.

Despite knowing he was putting his life in real jeopardy, Dupuis nonetheless played hockey, and traveled, and hid a painful and dangerous blood clot from all those who he knew would have stopped him for the sake of his own safety.

That apparently strikes many people as tough or brave or inspirational, but I can’t see it as anything but selfish.

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Hockey at Dawn – A Mad Tea-Party

My eyes are glazing over and lids drooping with fatigue. Outside, the world is dark – well, as dark as a city night can be with the flickering illumination of street lamps – and the odd fox scampers stealthily across the estate.

Neighbours sleep soundly on either side of the silent house, its other occupants lost in dreams and unmoved by a casual obsession.

Obsession used with a touch of irony of course, because we all need an excuse when faced with accusatory stares into bloodshot eyes the following morning. Each of their glances agonising “Was it really worth it?”

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Nathan Beaulieu – A Revelation On The Back End

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by Gareth Davies

A first round pick in any hockey market in the NHL faces intense scrutiny from fans and the media. However, insert Montreal as the hockey market and the scrutiny increases tenfold. Expectation is increasingly high, even within the organisation, which often is substantially empowering on players who wear the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge jerseys.

This was shown with the 18th overall pick in 2009, Louis Leblanc, who was moved to the Anaheim Ducks for a conditional 5th round pick in 2015, showing the major decrease in trade value for a former 1st rounder. Montreal’s roster is littered with successful first rounders – Max Pacioretty [22nd 2007] and Carey Price [5th 2005] are the most notable first round picks which have proved to be diamonds for the Canadiens’ organization.

This considerable weight of expectation also falls upon the shoulders of Nathan Beaulieu.

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NHL Announces Partnership with SAP, Introduces Newly Innovated Stats Page

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Today, the NHL announced its partnership with SAP and introduced its new and improved stats page on NHL.com in a press conference held by former NHLer and current play-by-play Chicago Blackhawks and NBCSN color analyst Eddie Olczyk.

The high-tech company has been known this season for its recent partnership with the San Jose Sharks organization, leading to the Sharks’ home arena to be renamed to SAP Center.

Hockey is extremely fast-paced with very little stoppage in play, which results in many aspects of the game failing to show up in the box score. In partnering with SAP and using its best-in-class SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud service, we are now able to capture data points like never before and present existing and new statistics in a visually appealing way. The new NHL stats platform goes beyond data to offer insights that will help avid fans go deeper and help casual fans understand the game better. There are also unlimited storytelling opportunities to provide our fans with a personalized and interactive experience.

 

 

 

– John Collins, NHL Chief Operating Officer on the new NHL.com Stats page powered by SAP.

The new redesign of the NHL.com/Stats will be split up into four phases, which are as follows.

Phase one of the NHL.com/Stats redesign includes the League’s presentation of enhances stats, which include shot attempts (SAT), unblocked shot attempts, (USAT) and shooting plus save percentage (SPSV%), along with the introduction of more than 30 new extended stats (first and second assists, goals by time, penalties [taken and drawn] by time, etc).

Come the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, phase two of the NHL.com/Stats redesign will feature analysis for every Stanley Cup Playoffs game and series. Based on a team’s recent performance, each series will be examined based on an algorithm that incorporates 37 variables, such as road record, goals against, special teams stats, and much more. NHL.com/Stats will also feature advanced filtering to enable game, season and career comparisons between players, teams and games, delivered in dynamic line graphs.

Shortly before the start of the 2015-16 season, phase three of the NHL.com/Stats redesign will incorporate additional new features that could include new metrics, innovative visualizations, active player comparison tools, player performance prediction tools, NHL pre-season rankings and NHL team power indexes.

In 2016, to coincide with the launch of the NHL’s Centennial Celebration, phase four of the NHL.com/Stats redesign will feature the entire official stats history of the NHL, including every box score dating back to the NHL’s inaugural 1917-18 season. Once the complete archives of the NHL’s stats are fully integrated, new tools and functionality of NHL.com/Stats, including advanced filtering and visualization, will be applied to the entire history of the League. For the first time ever, fans will be able to compare players and teams spanning all generations.

Our partnership with the NHL will allow fans to gain deeper insights from the game and tell stories about hockey and its players. With the new NHL stats platform, we are going to deliver real-time insight at the player and team level that has never been seen before in hockey. Together with the NHL, we will continue to look for new opportunities to help innovate and improve the game, as the next generation of hockey begins.

 

 

– Quentin Clark, Chief Technology Officer of SAP

 

In addition to implementing the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud service, the NHL will utilize various SAP solutions and technologies, including potentially deploying the SAP Cloud for Customer solution, the SAP InfiniteInsight solution, and more.

It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out. There’ve been a lot of talks about teams starting to use analytics for hockey, but while these aren’t exactly analytics I honestly think the new in-depth stats border line it. Regardless it’s going to be fun for all of us, hopefully not too complicated for those who are currently learning the sport, and very, very useful.

We’d love to hear what you think about these new changes, so leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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EIHL – Fight to the Finish

The signing deadline has now passed and the EIHL season is hitting its last 10 games.  The Challenge Cup has reached the first round of the Semi Finals this week.  The teams left in contention are pushing for a big finish, and there are no real stand-out favourites.

This time last season, Belfast Giants ended the title race early.  This year it may be a two-team race between Sheffield Steelers and current league leaders Braehead Clan, both teams having qualified already for the Playoffs.  At time of writing, one point separates Braehead from Sheffield, although the Steelers have a game in hand.  That’s not to say the Devils, Panthers or Giants will let them fight it out just between the two of them.

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