Monday, March 7, 2011

Salmagundi

Grab yourself a big bowl on the Monday...

LOUBARDIAS IS A HACK

This tool needs to go. He proved it last night. Proved it beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Jarome Iginla is sitting a goal away from scoring his 30th of the season. If he gets that goal, that would mean Jarome Iginla has scored 30 goals in 10 consecutive seasons, something only 9 other human beings in the history of the NHL have ever done. That would place it in the 'Historic Moment' category of dope shit.

You know who was prepared for the moment? The Hall Of Famer, Pope of the Flamesdom, Peter Maher. You know why Peter Maher was prepared? Because he isn't a stupid moloch; because he isn't a hack. Peter Maher didn't get into the Hall of Fame because he shows up to games unprepared, or because he isn't able to read the moment.

Peter Loubardias can't carry Peter Mahers enormous jock strap. Loubardias will never be even considered for the Hall of Fame, and his hack act was fully exposed last night. Jarome Iginla gets a penalty shot, and if he scores, it's number 30 and History. On top of that pressure is the pressure on Jarome normally, and then on top of that is the fact that Jarome has low rate of success on penalty shots (shoot outs). Tension is in the air.

Of course, Jarome has caught the zombie-itus just like every other member of the Flames, now laughs at the face of death and failure, calmly picks the puck up at centre and delivers it to the back of the net. Number 30, Greatness, Elation.

You know how Peter Maher called it? He dropped his patented and gold plated "Yeah Baby!"

It was fucking Epic with a capital E. You know what Peter Loubardias managed to pig squeal out?

"There it is!"

'There it is'? Are you fucking kidding me with that shit? 'There it is'? Are you fucking sleepwalking through one of the great moments in a great players career?

It's getting to be embarrassing. We know Loubardias has tried to dig his tentacles into the Calgary media scene, and has a lot of friends in that scene. We don't care. He is an amateur who should be calling Heat games on the local access station in Abbotsford. Send him to call some Junior team where calls like 'There it is!' can pass some muster. But to continue to pretend that the man has the chops to cut it in the big leagues is very disingenuous.

Loubardias is suppose to 'paint a picture'. He, by virtue of his position, helps establish the narrative of a game. But how can he do that when he has no sense of the moment? He can't. Last night he proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he cannot be trusted to call Flames games. He had a chance at a signature moment and he exposed himself and his lack of ability by missing it. This isn't Red Deer. This is Calgary, a world class city, with a major league hockey team. It's high time we got someone in the booth who was able to rise to the challenge, and not sink broadcasts down to mediocrity.

If there is any justice in the world, Loubardias would have fired himself last night. Because Sportsnet has a monopoly, we are forced to simply hold our breaths.
...

Matt Stajan, Scientist

While everyone was going gaga over Jaromes accomplishment, we were actually much more impressed with the neat new trick Matt Stajan learned. That's right, Matt Stajan has learned how to control the pigment of his skin, and oddly, the inorganic material that makes up his jersey as well, so as to limit how much light he reflects. Matt Stajan has learned how to turn himself invisible.

Which is awesome. Now that Matt Stajan has mastered this feat, it is only a matter of time before he decides to quit hockey for good and start a new and lucrative career in the defence industry, manufacturing Predator like suits for the good guy to wear overseas.

And Matt, if the only thing holding your retirement from hockey back is the need for some venture capital, drop us an email and we will have a group of investors together faster than it takes to pig squeal 'There it is'.
...

Stat Guy Is Out Of Control

Don't want to make this into some sort of war, because in their hearts Stat Guy is simply trying to advance the debate. Advanced metrics are always handy, provided they provide real value in evaluation. Because hockey is not baseball, that is, the game isn't static, we always view these advance stats, particularly when they come to individuals, with a grain of salt. They are not gospel, in other words.

But they are nice. We go to BehindTheNet, and find that it does provide insight. But recently we have discovered that the erstwhile people behind the site, and therefore we are assuming Stat Guy in general, do not believe in the concept of 'high percentage shot'.

With all due respect, that is insane.

Maybe we read it wrong, but to us, when you say you don't believe in the 'high percentage shot', what you are saying is that all shots on goal are of equal value. And that is patently false, and you don't need to crunch any numbers to come to that conclusion.

Nobody is on the ice except you and the goalie. Stand in front of the goalie, in the slot. What do you see? You see holes at the corners, and the five hole. There are areas that are open to score on because a goalie in that position cannot cover all the holes. Now move. Lets take the puck to the extreme side, left or right, doesn't matter greatly (side you shoot from will have some effect on chance, obviously). What do you see? You see the post, and you see the goalie tucked up against the post. You can sneak the puck through space that exists between the goalie and the post, if any such space exists. If you skate in close enough and manage not to get poke checked, you may be able to reach around the goalie to score as well. From a numbers perspective, you have narrowed your choices of empty space of the net considerably from the extreme left or right angles. This will of course have an effect on the chance of success of the shot. Let's get even more extreme. Take the puck behind the net. You can now score on wraparounds only. If you skate the puck out from behind the net to get a shot on goal, you have moved into the slot.

Of those three positions, directly in front of the goalie in the slot; on the extreme side of the goal; and from the behind the net, chances of success on a shot varies. If we give you 100 shots from all three positions, does anyone here doubt that the success rate you have shooting from the slot will be higher than the success rate from the two other positions?

Now we are highly sympathetic to the argument that a team should look to generate a high volume of shots on net. Luck does exist, and the chaotic nature of a hockey game ensures that systems break down and players and goalies get out of position. Bad shots do score. But to pretend that all shooting angles are the same, that there is no such thing as a 'high percentage shot' is simply nuts.

The above was very Descarte, admittedly, but what else can be done? We have yet to see a hockey stat that shows the position of the goalie relative to the shooter, and the position of the shooter relative to the defence. A compilation of every teams shot chart would be a good place to start, we guess.
...

Give Me Back My Leverage

The best part of Phoenix going to Winnipeg is that Murray Edwards loses a boogieman. When Edwards tries to extort public money for a private stadium, he only has a few plays. One of those plays is to threaten to take the team to another market. The thing with hockey is it isn't football. There is probably only one open market that Edwards could make more money in than here, and that is the Hamilton market. Regardless, he could have threatened to move the team Winnipeg. He can't do that now. He also can't threaten to move it to Quebec with any credibility, because the people behind the Quebec bid want to own their own team, and by 'their own team' we mean the cheap as dirt to acquire Thrashers. That leaves Hamilton, and Bettman won't let him move the team to Hamilton, because that's a market the NHL thinks it can get $500 million dollars for if someone is forced to start a new team from scratch in that market. There is no market in the States that is going to generate more revenue for Edwards than Calgary.

In short, he is stuck. In short, the city and the province have some leverage. In short, the interest rate on the loan just went up.
...

End The Lameness

Whether we believe in the Flames or not is moot. The team is winning right now and we are definitely enjoying watching it.

But winning means we are scoring, and when we score, the people at the Dome play that stupid fucking song. And it is a stupid fucking song. It's lame, it sounds stupid, and it projects an image of softness. Let us put it this way: that song would never get played by men in a real locker room.

Playing the Sesame Street song would be better, for Whalens sake.

Seriously, we have to sit through a hack play by play accompanied by boring colour, Sportsnet uses a shitty director for the Flames games, and whenever the team scores we hear this annoying and nerdy goal song. Enough. Game needs to be seriously stepped up in all directions.

Who is in charge of this stuff? Why haven't they been fired? Who do we complain too? Where are the answers?
...

The best part of Olli Jokinens resurgence is he has trade value again!

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired. 

6 comments:

  1. The issue isn't "shot quality doesn't exist". It obviously does. The issue is that "shot quality doesn't exist as a repeatable skill at the team level in the NHL". It's not merely a lawyerly distinction, either.

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  2. I'm so tired of Lebourdias's pillow-biting wailing of names every time one of the Flames touches a puck.

    And for all the bagging I do on Iginla, I was happy to see him get 30. I just wonder where he would be if he didn't take the first two months of the season off. 50?

    Sigh ... I won't apologize for expecting the best out of our $7-million guy.

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  3. I'll acknowledge that what I'm saying here is probably sacrilege but I grew so sick of the "Ya Baby!!" in 2004 that it makes me cringe to this day.

    Don't get me wrong, I love Pete (Maher not Loubardias in case there was any doubt) as a broadcaster and I think he is without a doubt one of the best in the business (starting to get a little slow on the calls but that's to be expected when you've done it as long as he has).

    At least Pete only brings out the "Yaa baby!!" for something that is a big deal but the fact that he has a catchphrase that waiting in the wings to trot out when something big happens is kind of lame.

    Just describe the moment and let the moment create the commentary that lives forever. Pete is good enough to do this without relying on a hackneyed catchphrase. That is why he used it in the first place. Loubardias cannot.

    If Loubardias had a catchphrase it would be like Steinberg's "bye-bye baseball when he did the baseball commentary on the Fan.

    /rant

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  4. Yeah, I think I see the difference now, thanks Kent.

    Angela, I know eh? At least he has been skating lately which means good stuff for the team I think

    And RT...wow brotha, sacrilege city.

    I actually largely agree to your point, but I will disagree on it as well. I'm not even going to lie, I have no idea when 'Yeah Baby' came about, I first heard it in 04, but I know the majority of fans like to hear it, and I think he has backed himself into a corner a bit. He couldn't not have said it at this point in his career, you know? People would have been like Pete what the fuck where was the 'Yeah Baby'? It's like the made man musician who doesnt want to play his famous single anymore, but he doesnt have a choice, he has to play it otherwise the crowd goes home disapointed, regardless if the hit single was garbage or not.

    Brave of you to rant on the Pope though, good stuff.

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  5. He used it waaaaay back in the day for big deals. I think the reason it irks me now is it was in hibernation for so long and then I think I heard it every single second of the spring of 2004. Rob Kerr actually did a big interview on when and why he breaks out the "yaa baby" back in '04.

    The dude has a choice. If people want to rag on him for not breaking it out he can say "I'm Peter fucking Maher and I roll the way I want to now kiss my HOF ring". He just chooses not to.

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  6. You know what, you win. 'I'm Peter fucking Maher and I roll the way I want to now kiss my HOF ring' is way better than 'Yeah, Baby', I must admit.

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