Some Words on Zone Starts

As a more analytical mindset pervades discussions about the great game of hockey it’s become increasingly common to defend some players poor possession numbers because they play tough minutes.  “Tough minutes” are frequently defined as either playing against better competition (as measured by the average time on ice for the opposing skaters), because of a greater frequency of starting in the defensive zone, or a combination of the two.  While I’d agree that playing against the other teams better players is definitely a component of playing tough minutes, there are reasons to consider the emphasis on zone starts dubious.   Continue reading “Some Words on Zone Starts”

Tim Murray is Right, Hockey Journalists/Pundits Don’t Get It

Dear Hockey Journalists and Pundits,

Can we stop equating goal-scoring with good, exciting hockey?  I’m serious.  When I read a section of an article titled “Inside the Numbers” and it says this:

It’s been more than four years since an NHL team scored 10 or more goals in one game, according to STATS. St. Louis was the last to do it in a 10-3 win at Detroit on March 30, 2011.

As for the last time NHL teams combined for 14 or more goals in one game? That would be Winnipeg’s 9-8 win over Philadelphia on Oct. 27, 2011.

I just get mad.  I really don’t understand the obsession with goal-scoring from the hockey media.  Well I think I do, but when I think of the reasons they may be so obsessed it just makes me madder. Continue reading “Tim Murray is Right, Hockey Journalists/Pundits Don’t Get It”

My Thoughts Were So Loud

Honestly, I’m not entirely sure what I want this blog/site to be.  Of course, I have some general idea, but it’s not entirely clear.   The name, Puck Theories, just seems cool, it was available, and in a rough sense I think it will capture what this site ultimately becomes.  Broadly, I guess I want this to be a place where the game of hockey is analyzed and discussed critically, using all resources available.  I’m aware that I’m not writing anything new when I make note of a growing divide over the use of newer statistics or analytics to evaluate team and player performance.  However, this divide and the point about using all the resources we have to inform our analysis and discussion of the great game of hockey, is where I will begin.   Continue reading “My Thoughts Were So Loud”