I’ve been caught up in the WJC recently, listening to the insistent shouting of Pierre McGuire (who has expanded his repetoire beyond screaming about Dion Phaneuf; I swear he just responded to a shot of a building in Vancouver “That is not a disco!! That is an art gallery!! I drive a Dodge Stratus!!”) and I’m about to drop off the internet for the weekend, so I’ve done a quick update of the stats. Everything on the stats page has been updated.
The anti-Americanism at the WJC from the fans has really been amazing. I’m not sure quite what it is-Gord Miller just suggested that it might have to do with softwood lumber which I think is a bit of a reach-but it’s a pretty tired act if it’s just the usual “I hate the USA…” nonsense. The Americans have been a pretty resilient team to watch at this tourney-the really withstood a storm from the Czechs and played in the best game of the tournament against Canada. It’s tough to blame them for the loss to the Russians tonight-the format is not really such as to give the team entering from the quarterfinal much of a shot. If anyone from the US was aware that this tournament was taking place, this might be a minor international incident. As it is, it’s just kind of boorish.
Stat du jour: Ty Conklin has a much better ES sv% this year than does Jussi. Interesting to note though that he’s done it against much easier competition-the xSV% for the shots that Jussi has faced is .915 as opposed to a .926 for Conklin. Conklin’s had easier overall games to play in as well, with 1.95 xGA/60 in his games while Jussi’s had 2.44 xGA/60. I’d still prefer to see Markkanen playing-I’m confident that his save percentage will rise if only because he seems to have had worse luck this year than any goalie I’ve seen (Huselius bank shot etc.) Jussi’s also obviously done much better against the opponent’s PP as well. He’s the guy that the Oilers should be playing, as opposed to feeding Conklin starts in a desperate hope that he’ll suddenly find his game.
On a more satisfying note, Conklin has pulled in front of Martin Brodeur in terms of ES SV%, albeit Brodeur has been seeing tougher shots, playing in an environment with an xSV% of .916. While Broduer continues to have a vastly superior save percentage compared to Conklin, this is mostly due to his a) having a very high save percentage against the PP and b) the fact that he sees a disproportionate amount of shots at ES as has been the historical tendency for Devils goalies. Over time, goalies tend to move towards a save percentage against the PP of about .050 lower than their ES SV%-Brodeur will likely continue to slide. I look forward to the day he hits UFA and we get to see someone make an immense mistake by signing him.
EDIT: I wrote the paragraph about the treatment of Team USA about 30 minutes prior to Bob McKenzie going on SportsCentre and said essentially the same thing. It’s time for the Vancouver fans to shut this down.