Thursday, Oct 3, 2013, 7:00 PM PDT
HOCKEY IS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:-O!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Okay, now that I've gotten that out of my system, please allow me to be serious for a moment.
Recently, I wrote a guest piece for the Canucks blog Pass it to Bulis, in which I let Canucks fans know what they should expect as the begin their first season in California's division.
To save time, I can sum up my predictions for the Canucks in one word: pain.
Though my article was generally well-received, a certain segment of the Pass it to Bulis readership seems to subscribe to the Dallas method, which consists of the following:
1) Not understanding what jokes are or how they work.
2) Being unable to accept any criticism of their own team.
Today I will address the criticisms raised in the comments by a Mr. Chris the Curmudgeon. Chris took issue with basically everything I wrote in my post, but most specifically with the following point:
On the superstar front, the Sedins continued their steady decline in points per game from their peak in 09-10.
The link there goes to a graph I made at the end of last season:
I'll now present some selections from Chris the Curmudgeon's lengthy comments. I'll provide my responses as we go along, since in the original comments I basically just made fun of him instead of actually trying to argue with him.
Chis the Curmudgeon (CTC):
The Sedins aren’t in decline, their points per game has been remarkably consistent over the last 8 years, with the exception of 2 years playing with Christian Ehrhoff. Their even strength points were the same, but their power play points spiked dramatically accounting for almost all of the increase. Moral of the story? A power play QB is really really important (ahem*Gillis are you reading?)
CTC's argument is that the Sedins aren't actually declining, because those peak years (09-10 and 10-11) were artificially inflated by power-play numbers handed to them by the glory of Christian "Ten Time Norris Trophy Winner" Ehrhoff. He elaborates:
The Sedins have each consistently put up between 0.85 and 1.0 points per game every season since the first lockout. The exception is the two years they played with Christian Ehrhoff (who scored 94 points over 2 years with the team, almost exclusively with the twins), when those numbers spiked considerably. Since Ehrhoff has left, they are back along the same line as they were before. In other words, where you want to draw a downward sloping line through 3 or 4 data points, I want to draw a flat line through 8 data points with two outliers caused by a easily identifiable confounding variable. I’ve never tried to suggest the Sedins are still going to improve, just that the reports of their decline are somewhat overstated. Catch my drift?
Everyone else can see CTC totally trying to walk-back the argument he was making earlier, right? In his first comment he was saying "the Sedins aren't in decline" and now in this later one he's just saying that the reports of their decline are "somewhat overstated." Which is it, Chris?
Anyways, Chris is contending that we should throw out those seasons when the twins were really great and just see them as being pretty good players who score around a point a game. That's fine, and a similar point was made much more eloquently (and without the bad attitude) on Canucks Army back in November of 2012. Of course that post was written before this past season, when the Sedins scored at a lower rate than they had the year before (in other words...their production declined). Canucks Army wrote a pretty great update on the subject of The Incredible Declining Sedins during the past off-season, and that is definitely worth a look.
It's important at this point to explain that several of CTC's assertions are just plain wrong.
Their even strength points were the same,
No they weren't.
In 08-09 Daniel Sedin scored at a rate of 0.71 points/game, even strength.
In 09-10 Daniel Sedin scored at a rate of 1.02 points/game even strength.
In 10-11 Daniel Sedin scored at a rate of 0.76 points/game, even strength.
In 11-12 Daniel Sedin scored at a rate of 0.58 points/game, even strength.
Those numbers are not the same.
their power play points spiked dramatically accounting for almost all of the increase
In 08-09 Daniel Sedin scored at a rate of 0.29 points/game, powerplay.
In 09-10 Daniel Sedin scored at a rate of 0.33 points/game powerplay.
In 10-11 Daniel Sedin scored at a rate of 0.5 points/game, powerplay.
In 11-12 Daniel Sedin scored at a rate of 0.35 points/game, powerplay.
Huh. Really doesn't seem like Daniel Sedin cared too much in 11-12 when he didn't get to play with Christian "World's Greatest Powerplay Quarterback" Ehrhoff anymore. Sure he came down a bit from his 10-11 pace, but he improved on his first year with Ehrhoff soooo...it kind of sounds like you're wrong, Chris.
Maybe Chris was actually thinking about overall points, rather than points per game? That might be the case. He's still wrong though, even if that's what he was talking about. You can go look at the stats for yourself, conveniently gathered in that same Canucks Army post I linked above.
Let's move on to some of CTC's other comments, shall we?
Harrison, by any chance are they allowing you to do the same on their blogs? Hmm, didn’t think so being that the Sharks fanbase is even more full of oversensitive losers after the "dismal" playoff history their team’s experienced, and the dismal realization that for every young Logan Couture, there’s an old horse with one foot in the glue factory (see Thornton, Marleau, Havlat, Boyle, Stuart…)
The Sedin twins were born in September of 1980. Patrick Marleau is almost exactly ONE YEAR older than them. Joe Thornton is about a year and two months older.
Maybe age-related decline is something that only kicks in when you're thirty-FOUR years old, rather than thirty-three? Or maybe it only affects Sharks, and not Canucks?
Or maybe CTC's just a dummy.
I interpret trends on graphs for a living. Yours can be interpreted several ways. Say whatever you like about the Sedin twins, I would LOVE for the team you follow to underestimate them as you have.
Interpret this graph:
As long as Dr. Curmudgeon is wearing his statistician’s cap, perhaps he will also point out that Daniel Sedin’s shooting percentage, a stat that seldom declines with age but that does tend to regress towards its mean, was his worst since his sophomore season. Considering that Daniel’s goal-scoring accounts for a significant fraction of Sedin points, a regression to the mean would likely lead to an uptick in twin production. If you’re worth your salt as a so-called hockey connoisseur, you’ll at least acknowledge that.
Who called me a "hockey connoisseur"? Was it you, Chris? I'll bet it was. That sounds like the kind of pretentious dumbshit thing you would say.
Sure, Daniel Sedin's shooting percentage will probably go back up, since he had a rough year. Will that be enough to counter being another year older, playing with worthless linemates, playing against superior California competition much more often during the year, AND having a new coach who isn't going to give the twins insane offensive zone starts?
If you're worth your salt, you'll probably acknowledge that the smart money is on NO IT WON'T.
But, for the record, I sincerely doubt you ARE worth your salt!
We're almost done here, right?
California hockey teams supporting each other? I guess that’s better than seeing their baseball teams stab each other after a game. Too soon?
Yeah, we're done.
Prediction: The Sedins suck, so the Sharks will probably win. Let's say...3-2, with goals from three young guys on the Sharks and two old bastards on the Canucks.
POSSIBLY EXCITING NEWS!
During previous seasons, I've used gameday posts to count down my favorite movies and my favorite books. This season I'm going to do the same thing with my 82 favorite video games of all time. I have them roughly in order, so the final sharks gameday of the year will feature my favorite game.
The video games may or may not have anything to do with the gameday post I write on a given day, but today it worked out perfectly. My 82nd-favorite video game of all time is the Micro Machines racing game. I had it on Sega Genesis.
Micro Machines is a great fit for today's subject, since Chris the Curmudgeon almost certainly has a micro penis.