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Messages - ontariojames

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1
General NHL News & Views / Re: 2012-2013 NHL Thread
« on: August 22, 2013, 11:53:56 PM »
You never see a player who isn't recognized as a good player in their own right who is supposedly having their point totals greatly inflated by a linemate have almost the exact same number of points as the player who is supposedly inflating their point totals. Moulson had to be a good player in his own right this season to have 44 pts in 47 games when JT himself only had 47 points.

Like I said, I don't think the general perception is that they aren't good players but that when compared to the guys who Tavares was battling for the scoring lead like Ovechkin and Stamkos that they're a step down from the players the competition had riding shotgun.

  Furthermore, I decided to actually watch all of his goals on nhl.com and I can tell you he had a lot of help from his linemates. Boyes and Moulson were directly responsible for setting up a good scoring chance for JT on 19 of his goals.

I think that can be a tough thing to tell from highlight packages(I'm assuming, I don't know how much of the goals NHL.com shows) because who starts a play can be as important as who finishes it. Regardless, as I said I don't think that the perception of Tavares' value came from who his line mates but from his goal totals.

That said, I fully acknowledge that your subjective analysis differs from someone who would say that Tavares didn't do most of it single handedly.
I wouldn't argue that Matt Moulson is Marty St. Louis, I'm taking exception with the idea that Tavares had very little support. Based on how many people I've heard or read talk about how he was able to do what he did without much help this season I think people are overrating him.

The video clips on nhl.com show enough of the play before the goal that you can see how the goal developed.

2
General NHL News & Views / Re: 2012-2013 NHL Thread
« on: August 22, 2013, 11:21:08 PM »
This is random but this has been bugging me since the end of the season, where does the idea that John Tavares had no one to play with this year come from? People talk about how amazing his year was because he had to do it all by himself and he was obviously nominated for the Hart Trophy with that line of thinking but he actually played with pretty good wingers, Moulson had 44 pts in 47 games and Boyes had 35pts in 48 games. Compare that to Kessel who played with Bozak who had 28 pts in 48 games and JVR who had 32pts in 48 games and the Leafs as a team weren't much better than the Islanders finishing only two points ahead and Kessel ended up with five more points than JT. Yet, people don't seem to talk about Kessel in the same way that they do of JT.

I suppose it comes from subjective analysis from people who watched Islanders games and who determined how much of that line's offense was generated by Tavares. Likewise people probably factor in the defensemen both guys would have played with on the PP as well.

Regardless, I never got the sense that the acclaim for Tavares' season came in the form of "he had no one to play with" and more about his goal totals.
You never see a player who isn't recognized as a good player in their own right who is supposedly having their point totals greatly inflated by a linemate have almost the exact same number of points as the player who is supposedly inflating their point totals. Moulson had to be a good player in his own right this season to have 44 pts in 47 games when JT himself only had 47 points.  Furthermore, I decided to actually watch all of his goals on nhl.com and I can tell you he had a lot of help from his linemates. Boyes and Moulson were directly responsible for setting up a good scoring chance for JT on 19 of his goals.

3
General NHL News & Views / Re: 2012-2013 NHL Thread
« on: August 22, 2013, 10:24:34 PM »
This is random but this has been bugging me since the end of the season, where does the idea that John Tavares had no one to play with this year come from? People talk about how amazing his year was because he had to do it all by himself and he was obviously nominated for the Hart Trophy with that line of thinking but he actually played with pretty good wingers, Moulson had 44 pts in 47 games and Boyes had 35pts in 48 games. Compare that to Kessel who played with Bozak who had 28 pts in 48 games and JVR who had 32pts in 48 games and the Leafs as a team weren't much better than the Islanders finishing only two points ahead and Kessel ended up with five more points than JT. Yet, people don't seem to talk about Kessel in the same way that they do of JT.


4
Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: David Clarkson - Signs with Maple Leafs
« on: July 05, 2013, 05:49:10 PM »
I am reduced to hoping for this.  If the cap goes back to $70 million next year and $80 million a few years after that, I'll be ok.

Or you could hope that Clarkson plays really well and is worth the cap hit.

Sure. But more likely it'll go like this: those who liked Grabbo's production at $5.5m will love Clarkson's $5.25m.

He'll hit more people though.

And whenever I think of that as an inherent virtue, I find myself flashing back to Tucker laying out Sami Kapanen...
First off, I'm thrilled to have my health back to a point where I have the energy/enthusiasm to post on the internet again, because it's very fun discussing these things on here with you guys.

In his two seasons prior to this awful season, Grabbo was a high 20's goal scorer and high 50's point producer. Clarkson's offense is incredibly one dimensional, he can't pass worth a damn, only 46 points last year despite 30 goals, and only 9 assists this year.

Grabbo was also a terrific two way player, was in the top two on the team in Corsi three years in a row prior to his season, and in those three years he lead the team in +-, was third on the team in +- but second among forwards, and fifth on the team in +_ among players not counting a couple of call ups that played a few games.  He also put up those numbers while often playing against the other teams top lines. Now those kind of stats don't always mean a lot, but when you are putting up those corsi numbers and +- numbers three years in a row it's clearly not a coincidence.

5
Big difference between probably and extremely likely.

Not when it's entirely invented with no basis.

Well, if you want to make that argument then go ahead and tell me how the US forwards as a group were so much more well rounded that it made it for how many more elite point producers Canada had.

Well, you might have noticed that it was Team USA celebrating after the game and not Team Canada. That's a start.

Yes, there are always going to be players who end up being better than their draft position indicates, but Canada clearly still had much more individual talent when you consider how many top 10's they had compared to the US.

You keep saying that, I keep saying it's irrelevant. But heck, I can do it a few more times if you like.

The US has been a gold medal threat since the early 2000's,  a few years after the National Team Development Program started, them winning the gold twice in the last few years doesn't mean that they have started producing a lot more good players recently.

They've won medals in three of the last four years, including two golds. Those three medals in four years equal their medal count from their previous 12 tournaments before that and only 2 medals less than they'd won in the previous 20. Denying there's an upswing is ridiculous.

Most importantly though, I never said they weren't producing more good players, I said the difference wasn't big, and they are still so far behind Canada that making comments like "they're catching up Canada," is just pointless. That's the reason I was so surprised when I saw just how big the difference still was.

Except the methodology by which you arrived at that conclusion, basing it on players draft position as opposed to results in international hockey, is fundamentally flawed.
Now you're clearly just being ridiculous trying to win an argument. Are you seriously trying to argue that with Canada's 1st round numbers compared to the US's, the chances of Canada's group of 1st rounders in that time frame not yielding significantly better results than the US's is extremely small, which they clearly are?

You have no basis to say it's irrelevant. I've already shown how Canada's huge number of top 10 picks has produced way more star or on the verge star players in the NHL than the US has in the last five years. It's very likely that down the road Canada's team produces significantly more good NHL players than the US' team.

the US is on a four year trend, considering how cyclical these things are, it doesn't prove anything. Canada didn't suddenly become much worse at producing players when they went from winning five straight to going on a long dry spell, and then suddenly become great at it again when they went on another streak. The US has had many teams starting in the early 2000's that were gold medal favourites or co favourites that didn't live up to their potential for whatever reason.


6
Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: Burke Fired
« on: January 09, 2013, 02:11:53 PM »
I don't like Burke's personality at all and I'm glad that he's gone, but in his defence If Komisarek and Beauchemin played like the solid top 4 defensive Dmen most, if not everyone, thought they were before TO signed them then Burke would probably still have a job. Considering they didn't miss the playoffs by much the year before and that their biggest problem was defence, adding two solid top 4 defensive Dmen should have given them a good chance to make the playoffs, and on top of that the draft pick would've ended up outside of the top 10 and Burke wouldn't have the Kessel deal hanging over his head.

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It wasn't probably, it was extremely high likelihood of being true.

You bought fine razors to split that hair.

Obviously I'm not trying to say talent doesn't matter at all, my point was that whoever wins hasn't proven they have the MOST talent.

But, again, nobody is framing this in the context of the United States having surpassed Canada, simply that the gap is narrowing and the fact that the US junior team has gone from an afterthought to consistently capable of beating Canada is evidence of that.

What about the US's roster at the last Olympics where they almost beat us for gold? Canada had 7 players in the top 20 scoring that year, US had 3, Canada had 12 in the top 40, US had 5, Canada had 4 of the top 5 Dmen in scoring, US only had 1 in the entire top 20 and he was right at 20. Not to mention all of the individual trophies Canada had on that team compared to the US roster. A few Art Ross', a few Norris', a few Conn Smythe's, a few Rocket Richards, a few Harts.

Well, leaving aside the fact that where players rank on scoring lists isn't always the best way to determine how good they are in the NHL I think it particularly exposes the flaw in your main point re: draft position. Things like stay at home defensemen, goaltending, third line forwards...those are huge components in what makes for winning hockey teams and those are things that are consistently shown to be the hardest for NHL scouts to judge. John Gibson was a second round pick. Does that mean he doesn't count in your world when we're looking at the quality of players the United States is developing? That's nonsense.

Again, the point in international hockey is to win tournaments, not to assemble the most talented squad on paper. Winning tournaments is proof positive of a country's ability at developing players regardless of where those players are then drafted.

No, it's not the point of this discussion because that's not what I wrote this thread on, when I hear people talking about how good the US has become at developing players they aren't going into the specifics about resources, interest and what not. They mean in general, how many good players the US is developing.

But, again, that's just true. The US is developing a lot of good players. That number is increasing. They're doing better in international tournaments. What people are saying about the increasing quality of the US development program is true. Are you upset that they're not being specific enough in their stating the truth? They aren't attaching an appropriate number to it

The US is getting better. They are producing players in more states. Denying that is raging at the tides.
Big difference between probably and extremely likely.

Well, if you want to make that argument then go ahead and tell me how the US forwards as a group were so much more well rounded that it made it for how many more elite point producers Canada had.

Yes, there are always going to be players who end up being better than their draft position indicates, but Canada clearly still had much more individual talent when you consider how many top 10's they had compared to the US.

The US has been a gold medal threat since the early 2000's,  a few years after the National Team Development Program started, them winning the gold twice in the last few years doesn't mean that they have started producing a lot more good players recently.

Most importantly though, I never said they weren't producing more good players, I said the difference wasn't big, and they are still so far behind Canada that making comments like "they're catching up Canada," is just pointless. That's the reason I was so surprised when I saw just how big the difference still was. If I was a hockey analyst on TV and I was aware of how big the difference was I wouldn't bother making that comment. My issue isn't with anyone saying that the US is getting better at producing players, it's that I think it's getting overblown by some people.

8
No, it's your surprising inability to realize how incredibly unlikely it would be for Canada's 31 top 10's to not produce more very good NHL players than the US's 4, I mean I seriously can't believe you can't see how ridiculous your position on this is.

I just like facts better than "probably" if we're using it as the basis for an argument.

In terms of what country produces the best hockey players, international competitions are pointless, because no  matter what team wins, the argument cannot be made that any country produces better players than Canada.  There are many factors that go into who wins short, one game elimination tournaments, such as:

And talent. Talent is probably 80-90% of it and the rest is what you list. It's why Kazakhstan doesn't win every now and again, regardless of how good their chemistry is. It's why no coach has figured out how to get Denmark into the mix. It's why Canada won so often for goodness sake.

Talent is the major factor and that's why results matter.

No, you had no point about development vs production, that's never what the issue was,

Of course it is. You're confusing what the whole point of international hockey is. The US developmental program doesn't exist to improve kids draft stock. It's to make better players out of the material they have so that they have better results in international competition. They're getting better at that. To deny that is to deny the basic and fundamental reason for international hockey to exist which is for teams to play each other and, you know, care about who scores the most goals in a given game. If USA hockey doesn't have a single player chosen in the draft but they win the WJC they are better at developing players than anyone else.
It wasn't probably, it was extremely high likelihood of being true.

Obviously I'm not trying to say talent doesn't matter at all, my point was that whoever wins hasn't proven they have the MOST talent.  You obviously have to have a certain level of talent on your team to compete for gold at these tournaments. Finland almost beat us at the last World Cup, does that mean Finland had a team with similar individual talent to Canada? Finland couldn't even fill their roster out with all NHL players and they didn't have a single legitimate star player in the NHL. Their best forward was Saku Koivu, who at the time was a fringe #1 centre, their second best forward was Jokinen who had come off a season where he had 58 points.

What about the US's roster at the last Olympics where they almost beat us for gold? Canada had 7 players in the top 20 scoring that year, US had 3, Canada had 12 in the top 40, US had 5, Canada had 4 of the top 5 Dmen in scoring, US only had 1 in the entire top 20 and he was right at 20. Not to mention all of the individual trophies Canada had on that team compared to the US roster. A few Art Ross', a few Norris', a few Conn Smythe's, a few Rocket Richards, a few Harts.

No, it's not the point of this discussion because that's not what I wrote this thread on, when I hear people talking about how good the US has become at developing players they aren't going into the specifics about resources, interest and what not. They mean in general, how many good players the US is developing.

9
Leafs Media Rumours / Re: Luongo
« on: January 07, 2013, 06:01:42 PM »
Most goalie numbers fluctuate from year to year, it all depends on how good the defence is in front of you.

The point there was to say that those fluctuations don't, especially not in Luongo's case, give all that strong an indication of decline due to age, although CF is right to point out that it also shows that Luongo is consistently good, even in his down years.

My problem with Luongo is that we had a direct comparable last year with Schneider in a big sample size and Luongo was badly outplayed. Plus, he's already 33

If Roberto Luongo were 27, coming off a season where he had a .935 save percentage and won the Vezina and the Conn Smythe then nobody could find fault with him. He also A) wouldn't be available and B) if by some miracle he were, we'd be talking about which arm and which leg we'd be sending for him.

The fact that Luongo has warts on his resume is precisely why he's available. I think everyone recognizes them. The problem is that Luongo still put up good numbers last year. He's a significant upgrade over what the Leafs have available to them. He's got fair-good playoff numbers(A career .916 SV% in the playoffs, compared to .919 for Martin Brodeur).

So when we talk about trading for him, and keep in mind I'm still probably in the leaning-no camp on that one, we do have to look at in that context. If we're not trading for Roberto Luongo because he's not Dominik Hasek in his prime, well, that seems like a pretty strange stance to take for a team that's desperate for even a hint of success.
Nothing you said here I ever disagreed with, I said he's a good goalie but I don't want to give up something significant for a 33 yr old who is just good and has a spotty playoff record. If other people think it's worth it that's fine, I don't have a problem with that, just my opinion.

10
No, but you did claim that those draft numbers on their own didn't mean much, when common sense would dictate that the chances of Canada's 1st round numbers not yielding much better results than the US's numbers is incredibly small.

Again, that's just another case of my personal foible of wanting to deal with actual facts and not "chances" and "common sense" that are being pulled out of thin air. The draft not being the ultimate determining factor in player development, I think, is a pretty solid position to take.

Better TEAM does not = better PLAYERS. Are you seriously trying to make the argument that whenever one team beats another that always means the winning team has more individual talent?

I think talent plays a heavy role in the outcome of athletic competitions yes. I think the fact that the American WJC teams of late have been far more competitive in recent years than in the past is a pretty good sign of the trend in modern hockey development. I think only a fool would take comfort in the fact that even though Team USA demolished Team Canada, the guys on Team Canada were drafted higher. Otherwise, what's even the point of international competition?

They are getting a bit better, they still aren't in the same universe as Canada far as producing elite young players, doesn't warrant people making the talking point of how good the US has become at producing young players. If you think it does, fine, I disagree.

I notice you've switched from "developing" to "producing" here which to me is a pretty good sign that my point was made and well received.
No, it's your surprising inability to realize how incredibly unlikely it would be for Canada's 31 top 10's to not produce more very good NHL players than the US's 4, I mean I seriously can't believe you can't see how ridiculous your position on this is. It's even more annoying given how you respond to people on here for similarily ridiculous positions some people take on certain things.

In terms of what country produces the best hockey players, international competitions are pointless, because no  matter what team wins, the argument cannot be made that any country produces better players than Canada.  There are many factors that go into who wins short, one game elimination tournaments, such as:

which team has the best natural chemistry among its players or what team develops chemistry fastest

which coach implements the best system for his group of players and or which team is able to become highly efficient at that system the fastest

which team's players are able to adjust to their new roles the fastest and most efficiently

which team gets a hot goalie at the right time

which team gets the lucky bounces in a game elimination

which team is the healthiest at the beginning of the tournament and which team can maintain their health

and so on...


No, you had no point about development vs production, that's never what the issue was, I only started saying production to avoid more pointless side point arguing from you about development vs production.


11
Leafs Media Rumours / Re: Luongo
« on: January 07, 2013, 05:20:48 PM »
Maybe it was my mistake misinterpreting what CF meant by saying far from being washed up, for some reason I automatically assumed he meant that he's still a great goalie, when obviously he could've mean that he's still atleast a good goalie.

I think the other error you're making is in assuming that Luongo's year last year is a clear indication of decline. I'm sure that Luongo's 2010-11 season would qualify with you as "great" in that he earned a Vezina nomination and put up undeniably top notch stats. But does his next season's drop off indicate anything in particular?

I'm not convinced it does. Here are Luongo's SV%'s year by year: .904, .920, .915, .918, .931, .914, .921, .917, .920, .913, .928, 919. As you can see, it's almost an exact up, down, up, down pattern throughout his career. No two consecutive years at .920 or higher and no three years of .919 or lower. So to say that going from .928 to .919 last year as being clear evidence of decline as brought on by age strikes me as premature at best. It seems to be the natural rhythm of his career that has been true since he was in his early 20's.
Most goalie numbers fluctuate from year to year, it all depends on how good the defence is in front of you.

My problem with Luongo is that we had a direct comparable last year with Schneider in a big sample size and Luongo was badly outplayed. Plus, he's already 33

12
Of course one player being drafted ahead of another player doesn't automatically mean they will be better in the NHL, but the chances of 75 1st rounders with 31 top 10's isn't going to yield significantly better results at the NHL level than 29 1st rounders with only 4 top tens is incredibly small. Again, common sense.

In the aggregate maybe. But, again, nobody is disputing that Canada is producing more hockey players than the USA.

The US beating Canada means very little as far as where the countries are in producing good young players, if it did, Canada would have destroyed the US, just look at the rosters on  paper. Canada was loaded with top 10 draft picks.

I don't think that follows unless you think one hockey team beating another is irrelevant to the issue of which team is better than the other. If that's the case you've got a serious issue with the bedrock concept of organized sport. As the saying goes, games aren't played on paper.

If people meant the US was good at developing players based on resources and interest and all that they would say it, that'snot what they're talking about.

No, they said that they're getting better which is, quite clearly, true.
No, but you did claim that those draft numbers on their own didn't mean much, when common sense would dictate that the chances of Canada's 1st round numbers not yielding much better results than the US's numbers is incredibly small.

Better TEAM does not = better PLAYERS. Are you seriously trying to make the argument that whenever one team beats another that always means the winning team has more individual talent?

They are getting a bit better, they still aren't in the same universe as Canada far as producing elite young players, doesn't warrant people making the talking point of how good the US has become at producing young players. If you think it does, fine, I disagree.

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Which I did, by going through all of the players to see how successful they've been, and the result was the same result anyone who has any common sense and doesn't assume all of the NHL's GM's and scouts are completely incompetent would have already known.

No, all it assumes is that the NHL draft doesn't represent the be all and end all of player development.

From 2002-1998 the US had 24 1st rounders, so they improved by a whole 5 draft picks in a five year span. If you think the U.S' marginal improvement in developing players is worthy of all the talk about how much better they've been developing players and how they're catching up Canada than I guess that;s your opinion, I think it's stupid.

No, I think the case for it is that they wiped the floor with Team Canada a couple days ago but, more to the point, at this point you're just arguing semantics. Catching up is catching up.

What are you going on about now? I don't care about why each country develops as many good players as they do and this was never about that, all I'm talking about is how many they develop, not why.

There is a difference between development and production. Fairly straightforward concept.

Of course one player being drafted ahead of another player doesn't automatically mean they will be better in the NHL, but the chances of 75 1st rounders with 31 top 10's isn't going to yield significantly better results at the NHL level than 29 1st rounders with only 4 top tens is incredibly small. Again, common sense.

The US beating Canada means very little as far as where the countries are in producing good young players, if it did, Canada would have destroyed the US, just look at the rosters on  paper. Canada was loaded with top 10 draft picks.

If people meant the US was good at developing players based on resources and interest and all that they would say it, that'snot what they're talking about.


14
What are the odds that those 75 players, including 31 top ten players, aren't going be much more successful in general in the NHL than the 29 players, with only 4 top ten players? It's just common sense.

Well, leaving aside that conclusions are better drawn from actual facts as opposed to "common sense", you still seem to be missing the point. The Americans have had 20 or so 1st round draft picks in the last three years. That still trails Canada, sure, but it's certainly a sign that they're improving. As is, undeniably, their improved showings at the WJC.

Secondly, if people are going to make it a point to talk about how the US is catching up to Canada, I would expect it to be closer than it is, not the complete landslide it still is. When there's still that huge of a difference, I don't see the point in making that comment.

Catching up really just means making progress and I think it's pretty clear that they are.

More to the point though, I don't really know that anything you've shown highlights either countries strength at development as opposed to just reflecting the relative popularity of the game in the two countries. Canada is essentially unique in the world in that hockey is the unquestioned #1 sport in terms of popularity, which gives it the most players and makes it the biggest draw for the country's best athletes. All of the European countries probably have at least an even split with soccer and hockey, in the States, is probably 5th or 6th down the list. Saying that Canada has produced many more first round draft picks doesn't really, to my mind, reflect that players in this country are particularly well developed(And Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers makes a pretty convincing argument that they're not) but rather that Canada has the most hockey players and most entrenched/traditional model by which players are developed.

So when people praise the way USA hockey is developing hockey players they may mean it to be less in an outcome driven sense and more in a procedural sense, wherein the number of top tier young players the USA is producing is very good considering what they have to work with in terms of their player pool in the first place.
Which I did, by going through all of the players to see how successful they've been, and the result was the same result anyone who has any common sense and doesn't assume all of the NHL's GM's and scouts are completely incompetent would have already known.

From 2002-1998 the US had 24 1st rounders, so they improved by a whole 5 draft picks in a five year span. If you think the U.S' marginal improvement in developing players is worthy of all the talk about how much better they've been developing players and how they're catching up Canada than I guess that;s your opinion, I think it's stupid.

I highly doubt that's what they're talking about, if it was I think they'd make that clear.

15
Leafs Media Rumours / Re: Luongo
« on: January 06, 2013, 08:12:40 PM »
I don't want to give up something significant for a goalie who's just good and is already 33 and looks like he might be regressing already and has a history of mediocre playoffs.

Yep, Lord knows I want no part of a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup final...
  A lot of Nucks fans think they got that far in spite of Luongo, not because of him, and a lot of Nucks fans think he's the reason they didn't win the cup. The only reason the Nashville series was as close as it was was because of how many bad goals from behind the net and from the goal line Luongo let in at bad times. He was also very mediocre in three of the finals games. Regardless, even if he actually was great in last years playoffs, that doesn't change the fact that he has had a history of mediocre playoffs. Does the fact that Brodeur made it to game 6 of the finals last year change the fact that ever since the last lockout he has been mediocre in every single playoffs except maybe two?

It is possible for a team to be good enough to get to the finals without great goaltending, you don't think Osgoode and Legace all of a sudden turned into legit great #1 goalies once they joined Detroit, do you?

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