• Fact of the Day

    by  • June 9, 2011 • Post, Uncategorized • 13 Comments

    One of the things that I loathe about hockey journalists in general is that, despite being entrusted with the responsibility of preparing the first draft of history, they seem to generally have zero sense of history except to the extent that they can shoehorn something awkwardly into a piece of narrative. If you follow Terry Jones on Twitter, you’ll know that 80% of overtime games, he references Petr Klima and whoever’s been sitting on the bench that night.

    With the Canucks having blown a 2-0 lead in the series along with various synapses in Nathan Horton’s brain, they return to Vancouver as a team in trouble. The Bruins are in their head. Boston’s hitting has started to wear them down. The Rome hit on Horton woke up Boston, who were otherwise ambivalent about winning. Roberto Luongo can’t win the big game again, despite nearly shutting down Chicago in a massively pressurized game in G7 of the first round and winning Olympic gold last year.

    It’s probably worth mentioning at this point that teams that win the first two at home and then get hammered on the road have done OK in the rest of the series since expansion. Eight teams in that situation have lost games 3 and 4 by a combined 6 goals or more; 5 of them have gone on to win the series. In 1975, Buffalo went to Montreal, leading their series 2-0. They got spanked 7-0 and 8-2 to head back to Buffalo tied. The Sabres won the series in six games.

    Does any of what went on in Boston matter in terms of understanding this series? It might if you’re trying to spin a story. If you’re trying to understand what it means in the context of who might win the series though, you’re probably best served paying attention to the people who are backing up their opinions with money. According to Betfair, they think that there’s a 61% chance that the Canucks win the series.

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    13 Responses to Fact of the Day

    1. June 9, 2011 at

      I would caution against using betting sites (and their odds listings) as predictors. Their motivation is to create betting action, not predict winners. Otherwise, those are good points.

    2. June 9, 2011 at

      I’m not sure you’re getting how this works, Tyler.

      Boston couldn’t skate with Vancouver, but then Horton got knocked out, and that changed the dynamic of the series. Boston rallied around their fallen comrade, learned what it took to win, and now have confidence and momentum heading into Game Five. AND YOU CAN’T BEAT CONFIDENCE AND MOMENTUM. CONFIDENCE + MOMENTUM = WIN.

      Or, uh, I guess you could say the series is 2-2. But that’d be crazy.

    3. June 9, 2011 at

      AND YOU CAN’T BEAT CONFIDENCE AND MOMENTUM.

      And so it goes. Of course, the same could have been said about VAN heading into Boston.

      I don’t even begrudge the natural tendency to create narratives and myths in sports commentary and analysis. What bugs me is how obviously contradictory most of it is upon a moment’s reflection.

    4. robinrussia
      June 10, 2011 at

      after game 5 the headlines will read

      dominates in game 5

      It’s a random event, as is each each act in a game. Sometimes, you can increase your success rate…Skill, confidence, momentum can’t be measured, so can’t really affect a random event, without being countered by the opposing teams random, unmeasurable factor. At this level all things are equal and anyone can win.

      but who’s gonna read “the series is 2-2″… that wouldn’t be crazy…it’d be boring.

      Next one to 2 wins the cup!

    5. mclea
      June 10, 2011 at

      “Skill, confidence, momentum can’t be measured, so can’t really affect a random event”

      Wrong.

    6. Showerhead
      June 10, 2011 at

      CONFIDENCE + MOMENTUM = WIN.

      Well, darn. If I’m a Canuck, this statement makes me lose confidence.

      *looks out window wistfully*

      Also, along with various synapses in Nathan Horton’s brain is a gem of a line.

    7. John s
      June 10, 2011 at

      The reason why I think Boston will win the series now.

      1. Kesler is not 100%

      2. Hamhuis is injured

      3. Luongo has a history of being inconsistent when there pressure.

    8. Showerhead
      June 10, 2011 at

      I’m still thinking Vancouver.

      1) Shot differential

      2) Scoring chance differential

      3) I thought that 2 of Boston’s goals the other night were of the shit happens bounce-wise variety and that the other 2 were from god-awful defensive coverage. Bounces even out and I don’t think Vancouver will continue to break down so terribly. I also think that RL will keep his shit together.

      It does look like between the Sedins and Kesler there’s an awful lot of injury and Hamhuis is a big loss but still I lean Vancouver.

    9. John s
      June 10, 2011 at

      I’m really not looking at the scores in the last 2 games. Personally Vancouver looked better in the 8-1 loss then the 4-0 loss.

      I do think these 2 games gave Boston some confidence, now they believe they can score.

      Great teams can turn it on and off. Vancouver with it’s injuries are not a great team. The fact that they really did not show up in game #4 is troublesome.

      The facts in this article do not speak to me. Injuries are the facts

    10. BRIdub
      June 10, 2011 at

      I think the fact most betting sites have it somewhere in the 60% range is more of a reflection of the home ice advantage vancouver still has. 2/3 games or roughly 66%. Admittedly though I don’t know what percentage they weigh home ice advantage in hockey, I know it is very significant in the NFL but may be less so in hockey.

    11. beingbobbyorr
      June 10, 2011 at

      … despite being entrusted with the responsibility of preparing the first draft of history, they seem to generally have zero sense of history … understand what it means in the context of …

      Tyler Dellow, meet George Trow:

      http://www.amazon.com/Within-Context-George-W-Trow/dp/0871136740

      http://www.slate.com/id/2155103/

      http://www.nytimes.com/books/97/04/06/reviews/970406.6irv.html

      http://www.insidehighered.com/views/mclemee/mclemee161

    12. dawgbone
      June 10, 2011 at

      Bounces even out

      Eventually, thought not always in a 7 game series.

    13. Saj
      June 12, 2011 at

      Absolutely correct, Tyler. Well said

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