• CBC After Dark

    by  • October 6, 2013 • Hockey • 29 Comments

    I’m not a huge fan of the HNIC broadcast. There are parts of it that I like – I think Hotstove has potential this year now that it appears it will mostly be two guys, Glenn Healy and Elliotte Friedman, who are good on breaking news and knowing things from around the league about business and such. There are parts that I don’t like but that I understand – I’m not really a big fan of Don Cherry’s act at this point, although I think he provides a valuable service whenever he does an obituary for a solider who has died, given that Canada tends to fight wars that are easy for people here to forget about. It’s been pointed out to me that the show has to draw people from 7 to 70, so I get that there’s a market that likes Grapes and wants to hear what he has to say. Even if it’s dated nonsense.

    Then there are things that I despise and that I don’t really know how they can defend. The intermissions of the late game are used as a sort of Leafs post-game show which I doubt even makes any sense from a ratings perspective. I get why the Leafs play the 7PM Saturday game, even if they’re terrible. I have serious doubts that CBC holds viewers for the late game because they want to hear what Grapes and the Studio 42 Crew have to say about the Leafs game an hour later.

    The best thing that the late game has going for it though is the hour post-game, which might be the most rollicking and entertaining hour in Canadian TV. Scott Oake asks people questions that are borderline uncomfortable, like this to one of the Sedins (paraphrasing) “So do you ever think about how you could be part of an elite group with Olympic gold, World Championship gold and a Stanley Cup if you hadn’t blown the 2011 Stanley Cup finals?” Glenn Healy engages in pissy exchanges with coaches by way of intermediaries. It’s fun.

    Except that sometimes, sometimes…the analysis is just horrific. I actually transcribed a piece of tonight’s segment because I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The panel quotes are in italics.

    Healy: (Dubnyk’s) body language wasn’t there tonight. He was behind the puck, chasing the play and as a coach, you look at it and you say: “Gotta make a change.” When you look at the stats, every stat was in Edmonton’s favour. Faceoffs, they were better in faceoffs, They were better in hits. They had more blocked shots. But they weren’t even in the game. New Morning Sun was Jim Cuddy’s song to start the show? They can’t wait for the morning sun because they need a fresh start.

    Edmonton got outshot 44-23. 44. 23. They were outshot 27-18 at 5v5. Is this a stat in Edmonton’s favour? I think Healy’s point was intended to be that Edmonton won the stats war because they hit more (not a predictor of victory) and won more faceoffs but the most fundamental stat of the game, outside of goals, the Oilers got crushed.

    Screen Shot 2013-10-06 at 4.22.59 AM

    The table at left is the Oiler Corsi% at the point that Dan Hamhuis launched that shot at Dubnyk. To me, it looks like the Arcobello/Perron/Eberle group was doing pretty well, the fourth line was doing ok and the Hall and Gordon lines were getting absolutely slaughtered. The team Corsi% to that point in time was 32%. That’s horrible. You don’t win much getting outshot 68-32. Eventually, the puck ends up in your net.

    PJ: Can they win with Dubnyk?

    Healy: No, I don’t think he’s their guy. I think they have to go outside and find a guy who they can count on. When you watch goals go in from 55 feet, it devastates your team.

    I’d love some sort of data on soft goals. I don’t know if it exists or not, in the sense that I’m not at all sure that some guys let in disproportionate numbers of soft goals relative to other goalies with the same save percentage. There seems to be a school of thought that a .920 save percentage that includes 15 soft goals on 2000 shots over the course of a season is somehow better than a .920 save percentage on 2000 shots that includes 30 soft goals, all other things being equal. The flip side of this, of course, is that the guy who let in more soft goals stopped more shots that could have been goals than the guy who posted the .920 with fewer soft goals.

    If you’re a coach, it seems to me that the challenge is to convince your skaters that the guy with a good save percentage who lets in the odd soft goal must, by definition, be making it up somewhere else. They don’t see it because it’s not really something you can detect but 15 times a year, he stops a goal when it would have been acceptable, from an optics perspective, to let it in. I don’t find this proposition that difficult to accept. Maybe, if this is a real phenomenon, some undergrad philosophy courses would help?

    (Aside: I’d bet the Canucks told their players to not be afraid to gun it at Dubnyk from the blue line. I’d bet he knows that. That’s probably a lousy feeling because it’s an implicit “You suck.”)

    Friedman: You know…

    Weekes: And you’re a young team and you go off the trolley quick.

    I’ll say this. They need to play better defensively, not tonight, but just overall, their approach as a team. Tons of talent up front, I love the weapons they have up front, tons of talent, the envy of a lot of teams. But they don’t play a solid defensive game to give themselves a chance to exploit their skill offensively. To your point, Dubnyk wasn’t very good tonight.

    Friedman: …The one thing about Dubnyk though that I find really hard…if you look at just his numbers, a .921 save percentage last year, which is really good, and Edmonton gives up a lot of good chances as evidenced tonight. I think, honestly, Glenn and guys, that’s the toughest thing for me to evaluate on this guy because he’s never played in front of a solid defensive team and I find it very hard, with his numbers, if you think if the team was better defensively, he’d look a lot better too but he has not looked great at the start of the year.

    No idea what Weekes was intending to convey. Just bland hockey flavoured words. Friedman makes the point that I made during the second intermission.

    To me, Dubnyk letting in the bad goal isn’t really the story. This goes to Friedman’s point a little bit about the volume of shots that he sees. The more times you spin the wheel (and every time a puck is launched towards the net, it’s a spin of the wheel) the more times you’re going to get unlucky. You court the risk of a bad goal (and in all honesty, the puck was tipped and it wasn’t an easy save) every time the puck comes into your end. The same is true, in a different way, of Hall making a dumb pass on the third goal. The more time you spend in your end, the more time you have to make a mistake. Why were the Oilers getting hammered in 5v5 shot attempts?

    That’s the story to me. It wasn’t, as Healy seemed to suggest, that a team playing well was deflated by a stinker. The Oilers kept letting the Canucks spin the wheel. Why was Vancouver getting so much of the puck? Who knows. Would have been interesting to hear some insight into that.

    Email Tyler Dellow at tyler@mc79hockey.com


    29 Responses to CBC After Dark

    1. Mark Spearman
      October 6, 2013 at

      No sense trying to dig into anything Healy says about goaltending. Read any Leafs blog and you’ll see he engages in the same ‘hack job’ analysis of Leafs goaltending all the time. Almost verbatim. His entire schtick seems to be one of seething bitterness (I.e the ‘pissy exchanges’ you noted) which, for me, gets tired pretty quickly.

    2. Jason Stevenson
      October 6, 2013 at

      HNIC is a dead concept. Ron is the only one I would keep and get rid of the rest, Freidman, maybe, PJ Stockton, Weeks (name says it all) make me turn the station or mute. As for Cherry, (the main reason I record and wait the broadcast) I just don’t watch when he is on. Yeah, Yeah, he broadcasts soldiers who die in service and I respect that, but I tuned in to watch hockey. If we are not hearing about the sacrifice, our soldiers have made, I’ll contact my MP. As for the Oilers, this has to be the year of a cull. The shots of Mac.T and Katz said it all. The look said “WTF are we doing and what do we have to change.” I believe that one of the first overalls is going to be on the block, and based on the contract it may be Yakupov and potentially J. Schultz base only on their contracts. What do you think?

    3. FastOil
      October 6, 2013 at

      I think Eakins summed it up pretty well. Effort and winning puck battles. No system works if you don’t have that. This is the root of the problem. The NHL is a hard place to make a living. They are also playing as individuals too often.

      Eakins also mentioned getting pushed around. There are some Oilers that are too mild mannered. It is why they are losing their battles. I am not advocating thugs. Perron is a good example for me – skilled and edgy. Gordon as well – he isn’t edgy but engages hard and isn’t afraid to go where he wants to.

      Nice pick ups by MacT.

    4. Bruce McCurdy
      October 6, 2013 at

      re: data on bad goals, that is one thing I’m monitoring in my Goal Indexing prject this season. Oilers games only, but at both ends of the rink, meaning Dubnyk vs. league average goalies. So far it’s 1 for and 4 against, but I’d be stunned to see such a ratio continue.

      • Sapp Mac
        October 7, 2013 at

        great idea Bruce. And again, regardless of how many ‘softies’ compared to ‘league average softies,’ all I really care about is you stop the largest PERCENTAGE of shots or shot attempts.

        Unfortunately, I predict you will not silence the critics, and next year you will be doing a ‘bad goal at inopportune time’ index. Which, if it exists (and I am very skeptical), again seems irrelevant.

      • Gregan
        October 7, 2013 at

        How do you classify/determine a softie? Which of the goals on Dubnyk were soft? I caution you on this front and push you to review the goals with a goalie coach or similar type person or goalie. What many classify as a soft goal aren’t viewing things from a goalies perspective.

    5. Tyler Dellow
      October 6, 2013 at

      Which was the bad goal for Bruce? Petry last night?

      • Bruce McCurdy
        October 6, 2013 at

        Yup. Bad angle, went right thru Lu.

      • Bruce McCurdy
        October 6, 2013 at

        I share your interest in quantifying the “bad goal”. I am so sick of hearing the “bad goal at key times” argument that I want some data instead of anecdotal “seen him bad” observations. They’ll be judgment calls, of course, but as an old goalie I have some sympathy for the devil as well as expectations of what he “should” be able to handle.

        Of the 4 I’ve charged Dubnyk with so far, they’ve been seeing eye shots through traffic &/or gruesome deflections. He hasn’t had much luck, but I’m dinging him anyway for not closing down the holes as much as anything. But the way the puck has been finding said holes to this point has been uncanny.

        Eventually when the data base gets big enough, I’ll also examine the “key times” aspect of the bad goals, to see if they are distributed in anything other than a random manner.

        • Tyler Dellow
          October 6, 2013 at

          I’m with you in that I think it’s luck and how our brains perceive information. The goalie at the other end of the ice is a different guy every night. If he lets in a sloppy one, well, he probably wasn’t the last guy they scored a sloppy one against.

          Will be interested to see how this pans out.

        • Arvind
          October 6, 2013 at

          I’d love to see this information about Reimer too. So many Leafs fans say he lets in ‘soft’ goals despite his excellent SV%. That’s part of the reason some prefer Bernier.

        • Saj
          October 6, 2013 at

          Agree with you 100%, Bruce. I’m afraid though that the “bad goal at key times” argument will not die no matter what you find with data, because it is made by people for whom data means little.

          As an aside, that Hamhuis goal looked really wicked on one particular slow-mo angle. Not only is it rising after hitting Petry’s stick, but by the time it reaches Dubnyk it appears to be falling at a rather steep rate! But looks like a horrible goal because of where the shot was taken from.

          • Gregan
            October 7, 2013 at

            +1… One key thing to look for on this goal is how the puck is no longer flying like a saucer, rather end over end. When pucks move like that they have dramatic elevation changes that are unpredictable making them challenging to stop.

    6. Curtis
      October 6, 2013 at

      As a player that has played a high level of hockey I’m going to agree with Healy.

      Not sure if Friedman has or you have Tyler but if the answer is no maybe that’s where the big disconnect his here?

      • Tyler Dellow
        October 6, 2013 at

        You’ve played a high level of hockey? Like what are we talking here? NHL?

        What part of what Healy said do you agree with?

        • Curtis
          October 6, 2013 at

          That Dubnyk didn’t cut it early on, the team picks up on it. A stinker goal is the worst kind against. Their is a huge difference, even though your trying to prove that wrong. Which is why I ask because you use Freid to try and prove your point if either have played a high level of hockey?

          Like I said maybe that’s there the disconnect is.

          • Tyler Dellow
            October 6, 2013 at

            Dubnyk kept them in it for a period while they got their asses handed to them, as I showed.

            What’s a high enough level of hockey to have played to make that distinction? I don’t see a hockeydb page for you.

            • Curtis
              October 6, 2013 at

              I agree they got their asses handed to them, but I agree with Healy also that the stinkers deflate the team causing this.

              As far as high level of hockey, no pro here but played a high level till 18. Not the level your thinking. Still consider it a high level though(above average)

            • Darin
              October 6, 2013 at

              I played low level hockey and floor hockey and beer league hockey… still do. I’m 32. I’ve been on teams where we shoot from anywhere because there is a bad goalie in net at the other end.

              I watch lots of hockey games. Have NHL center ice and won my keeper league hockey pool 2 years running. Out of curiosity, where am I in the hierarchy of hockey knowledge. Does my opinion count? Why do people love the ‘you’ve never played hockey so you don’t know’ argument so much?

          • Jim
            October 9, 2013 at

            Saying you played a “high level of hockey” while on a site about NHL players seems a little unusual. If AA or AAA Midget is considered a high level hockey, then probably a quarter of people commenting played in it or better. Trying to quantify your opinion because you think you are better against simple data isn’t wise protocol for a debate.

        • gomez444
          October 7, 2013 at

          I totally agree with Healy, and it seems like a lot of other oiler fans do, dubynk is only still here because mctavish couldnt swing a deal for bernier or Schneider, he has lost the confidence of the GM, and i am sure mactavish knows that dubynk has that save percentage, This team has missed the playoffs for 7 straight years, and been the worst team overall in the last 4 and dubynk has been here all this time, i think its time for a change.

          • Doogie2K
            October 7, 2013 at

            Dubnyk was “here” for a couple of Godawful teams that mostly saw such luminaries as Late-Model Nikolai Khabibulin and Jeff “Shove It Up The Backsides of Critics” Drouin-Deslauriers tending the twine. It’s been Dubnyk’s Team for all of one lockout-shortened season; shooting him down for seasons largely manned by his predecessors (and ignoring his own adequate or better individual numbers) is rather like calling Corey Schwab a Stanley Cup-winning goaltender.

    7. Curtis
      October 6, 2013 at

      Of course Darin, everyone has a different opinion. That’s what I’m trying to say. Lots of media, bloggers, ex players have very different opinions. Im agreeing with healy that stinkers make a difference. Maybe we are both wrong?

      As far as questioning someone else knowledge of the game, that wasn’t me? Never did once. We all know Tyler has a very good knowledge for the game same as Friedman.

      All I did, was ask if different back grounds are coming up with different opinions. Also why is one opinion so much better than the other?

      • Doogie2K
        October 6, 2013 at

        Because one opinion is backed by empirical evidence and one is sports jargon mumbo-jumbo?

        • JDM
          October 6, 2013 at

          Ding ding ding, we have a winner. It’s become increasingly obvious over the past few years with the well-reasoned and well thought through commentary on blogs like this one that the hockey commentators we see on TV are basically just up there to say things that fill air time.

          “Bland hockey-flavoured words” is a perfect description for the majority of what we hear.

    8. Metaxa
      October 6, 2013 at

      Re: the Petry “bad goal” on Luongo.

      Alex Auld tweeted a photo that shows Loo got his skate hooked up on the post…hence was unable to fully get set.
      So more of an equipment malfunction goal than a “bad” goal.
      Just saying…

      • Bruce McCurdy
        October 8, 2013 at

        Huh, I’ll give it another look. Still, Lu should know where his post is, eh? It’s not like he got pushed into it.

        For sure my judgment of “bad goals” will be just that, judgment calls. There will be extenuating circumstances often, and lots of grey area.

    9. Garnet
      October 7, 2013 at
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