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This Date in Hockey History Mike Modano Keeps the Stars Playoff Hopes Alive
2020.06.08 15:54 realhockeyfan33This Date in Hockey History Mike Modano Keeps the Stars Playoff Hopes Alive
2020.04.17 00:05 hockeyfranchisedraftALL TIME DRAFT ROUND F I V E
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2019.08.03 12:57 VaultViralWhich Teams Earned the Most Prize Money at the Fortnite World Cup?
Which Teams Earned the Most Prize Money at the Fortnite World Cup? Last weekend’s Fortnite World Cup was one of the largest esports competitions to date, awarding $30M USD between its Solo and Duos tournaments, along with about $3M further apiece for its Creative mode and Pro-Am tournaments. The New York City finals netted the game 14M hours watched via Twitch, with the official feed topping more than 500K concurrent viewers during the Solo finals on Sunday. It was 2019’s most notable esports event yet (although Dota 2’s The International is right around the corner), and several organizations’ players scored massive prize winnings along the way. In fact, eight teams earned more than $1M each via the Solo and Duos competitions, collectively earning a large slice of the weekend’s pie. Here’s a look at those seven-figure earners, along with a glance at how the overall team year-to-date earnings have shifted as a result. Lazarus Esports: $3.45M Lazarus Esports, formerly known as SetToDestroyX, made a big Fortnite push and reaped the rewards this past weekend. While the organization’s players didn’t win either tournament, Lazarus was the only team with two separate seven-figure prizes: $2.25M for finishing second in the Duos competition, and $1.05M for finishing fourth in Solos. Add in all other earnings for the weekend, and the Canadian organization (owned by Tiidal Gaming) claimed more than 10% of the total Solo/Duos prize pool—and made nearly 10x as much as it had previously in 2019. Cooler Esport: $3.15M European organization Cooler Esport—founded last year by professional poker player Rui Cao—struck it big by winning $3M for the Duos competition with Emil “Nyhrox” Bergquist Pedersen and David “aqua” Wang. All told, the team’s players hauled in $3.15M, which represents the entirety of the team’s winnings so far this year, according to Esports Earnings. In 2018, the team had just $10K in prize winnings. Sentinels: $3.05M Sixteen-year-old Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf was the largest single winner of the weekend, taking the $3M prize for dominating the Solo competition. The Sentinels brand hasn’t made much noise since switching from Phoenix1 last year, and had been primarily known for being the team behind the Overwatch League’sLos Angeles Gladiators. With a $3.05M total haul this weekend and also players in Apex Legends and Hearthstone, however, maybe we’ll be seeing more of Sentinels before long. 100 Thieves: $2.4M 100 Thieves won big in the Duos competition this weekend, earning $1.8M from a third-place finish and also taking half of the $900K prize for a fifth-place result, as only one member was signed to the organization. Along with a trio of $50K Solo tournament prizes, the team’s $2.4M total this past weekend significantly boosted the rising organization’s total 2019 earnings to date. NRG Esports: $2.25M NRG is another established organization that pieced together a significant haul this past weekend, as all four of its Fortnite players at the World Cup were qualified for both tournaments. Shane “EpikWhale” Cotton took $1.2M himself for a third-place Solos finish, while William “Zayt” Aubin earned half of the $1.5M fourth-place Duos prize (his partner plays for Ghost Gaming). The $2.25M weekend total pushed NRG into the top three for total prize winnings so far this year, as seen in the chart at the bottom of the page. Counter Logic Gaming: $1.8M Counter Logic Gaming’s $1.8M haul this weekend comes from a single standout performance: the runner-up Solo finish of Harrison “Psalm” Chang, a former Heroes of the Storm pro player who has now earned significantly more prize money from his latest game of choice. LeStream Esport: $1.18M French organization LeStream Esport had a huge weekend, with solo players finishing at seventh and eighth place in the Solo tournament, and the pair placing 10th together in the Duos tournament. Along with another Solo player’s back-of-the-pack finish, the team pulled together $1.18M, raising its 2019 prize earnings total to $1.3M to date. FaZe Clan: $1.16M Shooter-centric organization FaZe Clan rounds out the list of $1M+ earners, and it did so by sheer force thanks to having seven different players in action between the Solo and Duos competitions. Kyle “Mongraal” Jackson earned the most on FaZe, pulling in $150K from the Solo tournament and $225K for his share of a sixth-place Duos finish. This total also includes the $50K earned by Turner “Tfue” Tenney in the Solo tournament, although his future with the team remains uncertain given their current legal battle. Total Team Earnings in 2019 Expectedly, the Fortnite World Cup results have had a significant impact on the year-to-date winnings of the top esports organizations. We detailed the Top 10 earlier this month (via data from Esports Earnings), and while Team Liquid remains on top despite comparatively modest earnings from the World Cup, many of the slots directly beneath are now occupied by the teams listed above. Ghost Gaming nearly made the above list at $950K total, but still managed to break into the Top 10 year-to-date with that large tally. This list will see a significant shake-up in a few short weeks with The International 2019, which has a prize pool that currently sits at $31.1M and growing. Note: Esports Earnings hasn’t yet attributed all of the World Cup winning players’ earnings to their respective organizations, so we have cross-referenced their data with the results collated byLiquipediato assemble the totals and ranking above. Also, NRG’s total includes theSan Francisco Shock’swinnings from the Overwatch League this season, while Sentinels’ total includes winnings from the Los Angeles Gladiators.
2018.12.21 21:48 RA2-0An in-depth Hot Take on the current state of NHL 19 by RA2
PREFACE: I'd like to preface this post by saying that I'm not being satirical. This is 100% real feedback that I have for the NHL franchise and I'm not going to spout anything dumb without evidence to back it. Please refute or counter me if there's any points that should be addressed but I honestly believe that my observations on the game are completely valid and are potentially a detriment to the current state of the game. I have been playing the NHL hockey games for quite literally all of my life and am always intrigued by the way the game has evolved over the years. ShadowXJ and TheFlopFish, this post is more directly for you guys as an extended feedback and I'd really appreciate if some of these issues/concerns were addressed if possible. INTRO: I for sure am in the vast minority of players in the sense that I want and enjoy a "hyper-realistic" hockey game. When I think of an "NHL" video game, I see a slower paced and methodical hockey game that rewards players for "intelligent" hockey play, including slower players, higher puck friction but lower player friction, low scoring games, dumping and chasing, cycling, point to point passing and shooting, and more. However, there are many, many glaring issues that prevent the game from even being a good "simcade" experience because aspects of simulation and arcade contradict each other.
1 - Coaching and Active Strategies
EA did an awesome job with this with the old-school games like NHL 98, NHL 2004/2005, and even NHL 12/13/14 because they actively promoted real-life coaching strategies in-game. NHL 98 literally had a coaching seminar and "hand-picked strategies" from 1996 Stanley Cup winning coach Marc Crawford. NHL 2004 and 2005 promoted "seamless Open-Ice Control” with planned attacks off faceoffs and breakouts and "Bruiser Control" which supported the idea of creating open ice with speed and precision while being able to punish out of position players with strong physical play (sounds like a certain EA Sports hockey game that came out in 2018). NHL's 12/13/14 promoted the "Create Your Play" where not only could you dictate the strategies your team were going to use, but how they would attack/defend as well. This is a concept that is flat out missing from the Xbox One/PS4 line of EA Sports hockey games. Sure you have your "strategy" menu both in the selection and in-game menus, but they seem to make minimal difference in-game. Your players will rarely listen to the strategy at hand and leave open holes everywhere. This is also supplemented due to the fact that True Manual Line Changes are no longer a part of the online game. The game doesn't care if you have 99 Wayne Gretzky with that 99 Stamina, he will have to come off and he'll rarely come off at a good time.
2 - Offense That Rewards Sloppy Play and Promotes a "Boring" Style of Play
I touched on this in the intro but real-life hockey concepts like dump and chase, cycling, and point to point passing and shooting simply are not viable in NHL 19. This game actively promotes the carry style of zone entry and discourages passing due to the ease of skating, ease of pass interception on defense and how easy it is to create separation for short side shots or slot one-timer shots. I can easily weave into a zone in a 1 on 5 situation with 80 OVR Charlie Coyle and there is an extremely likely chance that the defense will fail to hit me or poke me, and the goalie will fail to stop the short-side shot. This is a problem. In the real world NHL, Coyle would get blown out of the water by players like Dustin Byfuglien, Tyler Myers, Zdeno Chara, Brent Burns, and more but Coyle can simply brush them off in game. You want to know how to counter this style of play on defense? You sit like a sack of potatoes in the slot and play extremely passive "SkillZone" defense or play active but conservative defense sparsely utilizing hitting and the Defensive Skill Stick. That's it. This is extremely boring and is the only "true" way of countering an absurdly high percentage offensive style. Think of the short-side shot and the slot one-timer as the "Wheel" route in the Madden NFL line of video games or the "Corner Cross" in the FIFA games of yesteryear. These are "Money Plays" with an absurdly high conversion rate that you would not expect to see in real life due to the failures of the AI to combat the play. This is boring hockey. This is the exact opposite of the "creativity" and "explosiveness" we wanted from EA this year.
3 - RNG Events Happen Far Too Frequently
RNG creates variability and unpredictability in a game to emulate real hockey which in my opinion works just fine in the "simcade" setting. There are real points in real life hockey games where Carey Price may bat it into the net, Mike Smith may accidentally kick the puck into the net, Cory Schneider doesn't know where the hell the puck is, haha. However I do believe that it should be lessened as it doesn't happen every game in real life. I swear that every other game there's gonna be an incident where the goalie swats the puck into his own net, an AI player pokes it in, the AI player bats it in but it gets called off like you're a referee in a Florida/St. Louis game, or you're gonna wind up Patrik Laine'ing the puck into your own net by passing in an effort to control the puck but it goes off the pad of the goalie or flat out misses the goalie and goes in. Sure it's "realistic", but it's far too frequent.
4 - Potential for "IceTilt"/Overall Manipulation
Whether or not you believe in "IceTilt"/overall manipulation (however there is valid evidence on the FIFA series tampering with overalls mid game and EvilGum posted a picture of 90 MSP D Buff being an 84 OVR in an in-game menu), you can tell when 80 overall Gold Rare Milan Lucic is hanging out with 95 speed Legend Timmy Horton on 1 on 1 breakout situation. This discourages players from wanting to grind out or shell out coins/money for "high-tier" cards. I know I do, in HUT Champions I exclusively use my 80 and Under OVR team because it's not fun to see my time and money wasted against an "inferior" set of cards. These games are influenced not only by skill but also by EA potentially attempting to "balance" the playing field based on momentum/situational events in-game. This doesn't come as a surprise to me at all because you have to remember that this dates back as far as NHL 2002 with the Hero Line and the Momentum Bar being touted as a major feature of the game.
5 - "Meta Cards" Create a Stale and Unoriginal Experience
While it's cool to see people flying around with iconic cards like the 90 MSP D Buff, 91 Thanksgiving Patrick Kane, 93 Prime Time Connor McDavid, Legends like Jeremy Roenick, Mike Gartner, Tim Horton, Joe Sakic, Mike Modano, and more, there's just too many of them floating out there and with them being the current ceiling of cards there is very little variation in teams when boatloads of unique cards were promised when the game came out.
6 - Content Is Not Frequent Enough
This may be contradictory as there were too many content releases with ICE, RUBY, EVO, and more in NHL 18 and we asked for less content but there hasn't been enough in NHL 19. We have not hit that sweet spot yet. Key players aren't getting the upgrades they deserve, the game stops to evolve after a certain point, players get bored of not seeing that cool new Alumni or Junior on the rink, and more. Oh yeah, what happened to International Ice and Outdoor Ice that was prevalent in the series between NHL 12 and NHL Legacy Edition? I understand that Outdoor Ice may be difficult to put in because that would require a full on restructure of the stadium and presentation, but International Ice is already in the game and playable in challenges.
7 - How are we supposed to take the leaderboards seriously?
To put it bluntly, the leaderboards are a joke especially in Competitive Seasons. Why is there a “Processing…” time on results when blatant IP booters still get to party in the Top 100 and reap the rewards of cards and the eventual coin that comes with it? I would happily moderate these leaderboards myself if I were given the ability to do so. Think about it this way. The coin market sells 100,000 coins for $12 USD. I am by no means endorsing the coin market nor telling you to buy coins because that’s against the T.O.S., but if Mr. 93 CS Sergei Gonchar is selling for 600,000 coins then in theory the booter could make anywhere from $60-$72 USD on the third party market in the span of 20-30 minutes with the only repercussion being an account ban. This is extremely easy to circumvent with Microsoft’s “Home Xbox” and Sony’s “Primary PS4” features allowing a user to get back online in a matter of minutes.
8 - Why is broken glass not in the game and why are dropped and broken sticks less frequent in the game nowadays?
These are two aspects that would add a ton of immersion to the game and add another level of variability and unpredictability. I remember at E3 2011 Sean Ramjagsingh announced that the new physics on the broken glass would be game changing and it looked awesome with the big hits that were in the game, but why isn’t that reflected today when the whole point of the new P.K. Subban hitting engine is the intensity of those collisions? Big shots from high overall players that go wide should also break the glass to reflect the velocity that those guys shoot the puck at in my opinion. As well, why are sticks essentially glued to players hands now and only drop them during botched skill moves or big, big hits? Broken sticks should also be more prevalent in NHL 19 especially on big shots because it makes no sense at all to me how you can stick a composite twig out for a 110MPH slapshot, completely null and void the velocity, and keep playing without a problem.
9 - Silly Minor Quality of Life Things
Now this may sound like cherry picking for details, but I think that this is a valid point that should be considered as well. There are minor Quality of Life details in NHL 19 that go overlooked and are not considered at all. An example of this is the Jofa helmet. The Jofa helmet is NHL 19 is the Jofa 235 VM which is awesome for time-relevant players like Wayne Gretzky and Jari Kurri because they repped that lid in real life. However, legends like Teemu Selanne, Peter Forsberg, Mario Lemieux, Mats Sundin and Theoren Fleury actually wore the Jofa 397 during the primes of their careers which looks very different from the original 235 VM and detracts from the players otherwise accurate and excellent depiction. I understand that it's probably difficult to make, expensive, and introduces compatibility issues with a brand new helmet in-game for a helmet that's not been used since Teemu Selanne but even 2K Sports' NHL 2K10 gave Selanne a Jofa 366 with the option of an Oakley visor when players had finished shifting over to BaueCCM/Reebok/Easton lids. Another minor Quality of Life detail is the HUT cards themselves. I know that it's difficult/impossible to find player headshots that are relevant to the time era of the card and in good quality but it irks me when I see a player like Nick Kypreos in a bulky Rangers jersey and his card is labeled as "Hartford Whalers Alumni". I know it probably wouldn't fit the theme of the release but come on, please make it a "New York Rangers Alumni" card. Even celebrations are minor Quality of Life things, like I appreciate seeing D Buff being able to dab now but what if a player repeatedly does a celebration in real life that already has an animation utilized for someone else or in EASHL? That should be reflected. You fail to hit the hardcore market (I’d consider most players seeking out and buying Alumni or Legends as “hardcore”) and lose immersion and nostalgia as a result.
10 - NHL 19 Fails To Provide a Good Balance Between "Simulation" and "Arcade"
In almost every aspect NHL 19 fails to provide a satisfactory balance that appeals to both "Simulation" and "Arcade" players. It's honestly silly to see such an excellent presentation of the real world NHL put into video game form with "strategies" and "realistic RNG" but then couple it with a boring style of game as a result of the shortcomings of overalls and tuner adjustments. When you try to appeal to everyone you appeal to no one and I attribute that to the dwindling player base of the EA Sports NHL video game series. COUNTERPOINT: "But RA2, the game's not supposed to be realistic! You have 103 year old hockey players running around with Connor McDavid! This is fantasy!" ANSWER: You do realize that even if a game is set in a fantasy universe where you build an "Ultimate Team", if the game is built on the NHL on NBC presentation and wants to take itself seriously it should be a little more realistic, right? Even Online Versus which is utilized for the NHL Gaming World Championships suffers from the same issues gameplay wise. It doesn't boil down to who has more hockey IQ. It boils down to whoever can outcheese the opponent. Conclusion/TL;DR: NHL 19 does not have an identity anymore. EA wants the game to be "Simcade" and it fails to do a good job with both its "Sim" and "Cade" aspects. The game deviates so far from the simulation style of yesteryear like NHL 98, 2004/2005, 14, and more that it doesn't appeal to that market anymore and the arcadey aspects are so annoying and frustrating that it's unappealing to the casual player. IceTilt/Momentum/Overall Manipulation is potentially a real thing and it soils the games credibility to be a real competitive "E-Sports" title because it's silly that both skill and the computer dictate how a game can and will go. In HUT there is such a lack of content in stark contrast to NHL 18's abundance of content that the game is stale and there are "Meta Teams" that fail to make the game exciting or fresh. The leaderboard is such a joke that it rewards players for not playing the game. As well, tiny Quality of Life details like a lack of broken glass, equipment, celebrations, and card designs remove immersion from the overall experience. I want to continue supporting EA in making the NHL games because I'd rather it not become an obsolete series due to interest like the MVP Baseball, Rugby, Cricket, FIFA Manager, Arena Football, Grand Slam Tennis, NFL Street, FIFA Street franchises but at the same time they make it very hard to do so when glaring issues are so widespread throughout NHL 19. Thank you so much for reading, I hope my feedback has been valuable to you in some way.
2018.08.06 23:54 TheHomie123Time to Live the Day as a Minnesota Wild Fan (TheHomie123's Series)
The General Perspective:
The Minnesota Wild, a team that has been relatively successful, but has never had the team to go far enough to win a Stanley Cup. This is a team that needed to showcase Minnesota as a hockey city after the North Stars left in 1993. This is the state of hockey and if they don't have a team, that would be embarrassing. These are what the fans of the Minnesota Wild must be thinking. I am going to take you in as a Minnesota Wild fan for the duration of this post and the Wild fans on this subreddit can chime in if some of these experiences are true and if there are any differences, but lets get talking. To learn how Minnesota Wild fans feel, we need to show how fans were created in the state of Minnesota, through the first franchise that existed in Minnesota. Its time to take a look at the Minnesota North Stars.
How the Minnesota North Stars brought fans to Minnesota:
The Minnesota North Stars had been in the NHL from 1967 to 1993 until the franchise was moved over to Dallas which is now known as the Dallas Stars. The North Stars had been apart of the first expansion in the NHL from 6 teams to 12 teams and it was created through a partnership of 9 men who were led by Walter Brush, Jr and John Driscoll. It costed the ownership group $2 million dollars to buy this franchise as it did the other 5 teams that were expanding in Oakland, California, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis. The reason this team was called the North Stars was because of the states motto that all of the citizens followed in L'Étoile du Nord", which is French for "The Star of the North". The North Stars needed a new arena to be built for the 1967-1968 season, so the ownership group spent $7 million dollars (Translates to $52.8 million in 2018) to build the Metropolitan Sports Arena. Metropolitan Sports Arena The First season was finally ready to begin and it was time for Minnesota fans to finally let the Hockey world learn who they are as Minnesota faces St Louis on the road in their first ever game. The game ended in a 2-2 tie and Bill Masterton was the first player ever to score a goal in the NHL for the Minnesota franchise, for Masterton, this would only be the beginning. Minnesota then played their first home game on October 21st 1967 against the California Seals where they won 3-1 and there were 12,961 at the Metropolitan Sports Arena as there arena was able to hold 15,000. North Stars Player Lon Nanne had this to say about the arena during the inaugural season "The Met Center, at the time that we were in the League, was the finest hockey building in the country, in the world, in our estimation," Nanne said. "The sight lines were absolutely spectacular. It was clean, it was colorful. The ice was the best in the world." Then, this is a funny story that the first ever North Stars goaltender Cam Wetzel told reporters about the first ever home game. What Wetzel really remembers about that night was a break from tradition. Instead of dropping the puck right after lineups and the national anthem, which was customary at the time, stadium announcer Bob Utecht had something else in mind. "I remember we were standing there, and Bob Utecht is in the penalty box ... and he says, 'Let's play hockey!'" Wetzel said. "We all looked at each other, 'Hmm… what are we getting into here in Minnesota?'" The North Stars were playing fanastic hockey during the season and fans were becoming engaged in this team that was in first place in the West division halfway through their inaugural season, but the tragedy broke. On January 13th 1968, Bill Masteron suffered a fatal hit during a game against the Seals which would drastically cause for sadness to be felt across the State of Minnesota and all of the Hockey community. Masterton had been skating towards the Seals zone across the blue line, Masterton fell backwards, hitting the back of his head on the ice and went unconscious. On January 15th, 1968, Bill Masterton passed away at the age of 29 as a result from a. "massive head injury". To this date, this remains the only death to a player as a result of an injury during a game in NHL history. The North Stars would retire his jersey and at the end of the season, the NHL established the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy which would be given annually to a player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. Bill Masteron trophy The North Stars had suffered a huge loss in this dressing room, but they all knew they had to play for Bill and it was their mission to make the playoffs as the entire state of Minnesota is behind this team. The North Stars would accomplish their goal finishing 27-32-15 and qualifying for the playoffs. During the 1968 playoffs, the North Stars played the Los Angeles Kings and defeated them in game 7 to win their first ever NHL playoff series. Minnesota absolutely walloped Los Angeles in the series-decider, however, by a final score of 9-4. They would then go on to face the St Louis Blues where they would lose in a game 7. This was just the start for hockey in Minnesota. The team was led in the early years by the goaltending duo Lorne "Gump" Worsley and Cesare Maniago. Defenseman Ted Harris was the North Stars' captain. The first Stars team also included high-scoring winger Bill Goldsworthy and other quality players such as Barry Gibbs, Jude Drouin, J. P. Parise, Danny Grant, Lou Nanne, Tom Reid and Dennis Hextall. In 1972 however, this is where the North Stars would gain competition from their own city as the WHA began play with a franchise based in St Paul called the Minnesota Fighting Saints. The competition for a hockey dollar was fierce and it created a rivalry between the fans of the Minnesota North Stars and the Fighting Saints. The Fighting Saints only survived three-and-a-half seasons before a lack of money forced them to fold. A second incarnation of the Fighting Saints only lasted half of one season before folding as well. The logo for the Minnesota Fighting Saints
How the North Stars nearly folded in 1978:
By 1978, the North Stars had failed to qualify for the playoffs in 5 of its 6 previous seasons and attendance was begins to decrease rapidly across all of the games which was spreading a negative vibe through the state of Minnesota and the NHL. With fear that the franchise was going to have to fold, Cleveland Barons Co-owners Gordan and George Gund III had stepped in and merged the two teams into one. The North Stars kept all of their qualities and nothing had changed, except now the Grunds would become the majority owners of the ownership group. the North Stars moved from the then-five team Smythe Divisionto assume the Barons' place in the Adams Division (which would otherwise have been left with only three teams) for the 1978–79 season. The recently retired Nanne was named general manager, and a number of the Barons players – notably goaltender Gilles Meloche and forwards Al MacAdam and Mike Fidler – bolstered the Minnesota lineup. Furthermore, Minnesota had drafted Bobby Smith, who would go on to win the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL's top rookie that year, and Steve Payne, who himself would go on to record 42 goals in his second campaign in 1979–80. Gordan and George Gund III
The Best Years for Minnesota Hockey Fans:
The Minnesota North Stars had sold out their arena for the first time with all 15,962 seats being filled which was the largest crowd to ever witness a hockey game in Minnesota to that time, and would remain the highest total in all 26 seasons of the North Stars franchise. They were playing the Broadstreet bullies in the Philadelphia Flyers. The North Stars used this energy they were gaining from their hometown crowd and defeated the best team in the NHL at the time 7-1 and things were beginning to look up. The North Stars that year complete surprised the hockey world as they would upset the four time defending Stanley Cup champion Montreal Canadians in seven games before losing to Philadelphia in the next round. With the addition of new players such as Minnesota native and ex-1980 Olympian Neal Broten and sniper Dino Ciccarelli, the North Stars had five straight winning seasons starting in 1979–80, which included back-to-back trips to the Stanley Cup semifinals, first against the Flyers in 1980 and then against the Calgary Flames in 1981. By defeating the Flames in 1981, the North Stars reached their first Stanley Cup Final, only to lose in five games to the heavily favored New York Islanders. The North Stars were in winning mode and had constructed a roster that was made to win. Minnesota fans couldn't contain their excitement. Just look at this clip below. Minnesota North Stars vs New York Islanders Game 3 Introduction The North Stars sadly could never do it during their quest for a Stanley Cup as they ran into the Chicago Blackhawks during the 1981-1982 and then in the 1982-1983 season, Brian Bellows would score 35 goals in his rookie season and help the team to finish with 40 wins and 96 regular season points – both the most ever recorded in the 26 years the franchise was based in Minnesota. However, the Chicago Blackhawks would stand in their way again as they eliminated the North Stars in the second round. The North Stars began loading up their roster to chase a Stanley Cup. Beginning in 1983–84, the team was determined to erase the failures of the previous two campaigns and came close to doing so. This was a season of change for the North Stars and their fans, as Bill Mahoney, a defensive-minded teacher of the game, took over as coach. Very early in the season, a major trade shook the organization, all of Minnesota, and the NHL. The popular Bobby Smith was shipped off to the Montreal Canadiens for a pair of defense-minded forwards, Keith Acton and Mark Napier. The team would go on to post the second-highest victory total in its history with 39, and win its second Norris Division crown in three years. Luckily for the North Stars, the Norris Division was very weak that year; they were the only team in the division to have a winning record that season. The playoffs had arrived again and Minnesota fans needed to see their team find success as they would be going up against the Chicago Blackhawks once again and the North Stars had finally done it. Minnesota won the series 3 games to 2, they got past the St Louis Blues in 7 games. Only one team remained between the North Stars' second Stanley Cup Final appearance in four seasons: Wayne Gretzky's Edmonton Oilers. It was a tough, high-scoring series, but Edmonton's star-studded lineup proved too much for the North Stars, and the Oilers swept Minnesota in four games en route to their first Stanley Cup championship. Captain Wayne Gretzky receiving the Stanley Cup after defeating the Minnesota North Stars in 4 games
The Downfall of Hockey in Minnesota:
After 1984, the franchise would only have one more winning season in Minnesota, in 1985–86. Seemingly, the franchise hit bottom in 1987–88, when it won only 19 games, still the second-fewest wins in franchise history. However, the Norris Division was so weak that year (only the Red Wings finished with a winning record) that the North Stars and Toronto Maple Leafs were fighting it out for the last playoff spot from the division on the last day of the season despite having the two worst records in the league. In those days, the four top teams in each division made the playoffs, regardless of record. A loss to the Calgary Flames not only kept the North Stars out of the playoffs, but assured them of the worst record in the league. While the late 1980s saw the franchise draft what would turn out to be their greatest player, forward Mike Modano. Chronic attendance problems spurred the owners to threaten to move the club to the San Francisco Bay Area, against the league's wishes. Loyal Minnesota fans were worried for their team, but there just wasn't enough of them to make their voices heard.
A Glimpse of Hope was Arising:
The NHL instituted a compromise for the 1990–91 season whereby the Gund brothers were awarded an expansion team in the Bay Area, the San Jose Sharks, that would receive players via a dispersal draft with the North Stars. A new group that was wanting to buy a team in the Bay Area as well purchased the North Stars from the Gunds, led by Howard Baldwin and Morris Belzberg. These two had purchased the North Stars for $38.1 million dollars. Norman Green, the last minute, joined the group and was able to purchase 51% share of the North Stars while Baldwin and Belzberg shared the other 49%. In that 1991 season, despite a losing record in the regular season, the North Stars embarked on a Cinderella run to the Stanley Cup Finals. They knocked off the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues (the top two teams in the NHL during the regular season) in six games each and the defending Stanley Cup Champion Edmonton Oilers in five games, making it to the finals for the second time in franchise history. The team fought hard against the eventual champion Pittsburgh Penguins, led by Mario Lemieux. They won two out of the first three contests before being obliterated 8-0 in Game 6 of the best-of-seven series. Following the 1991 run to the finals, the North Stars adopted a new logo that said "STARS" in italicized gold capitals over a green star with a gold outline; the gold now a more metallic shade than the previous yellowish shade. The team also adopted black as their primary color for their road uniforms, and eliminated gold from the uniform, except for the logo. Even before the logo change, it had been speculated that the North Stars would adopt a new logo following the 1990–91 season, as the future primary logo was first painted on the Met Center ice prior to the aforementioned season, albeit in a reverse color scheme than its upcoming incarnation. Game Worn Mike Modano Jersey that showcases the new North Stars Jersey for the 1991-1992 season The North Stars made the 1992 playoffs with their new look, and took a 3-2 series lead into Game 6 at the Met Center against the Norris Division champion Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings won, 1-0, in overtime after a video referee review confirmed that Sergei Fedorov had scored a goal. This was the first use of video replay in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Wings won the seventh game at home, 5-2. The curse was still surrounding this franchise that just couldn't take the next step into winning a championship.
Hockey says goodbye to Minnesota for a while:
By 1992, Norm Green was arranging a deal to turn the team into the L.A. Stars, playing at a new arena (which is now the Honda Center) under construction in Anaheim, California. The league instead asked Green to let Disney create the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim while the North Stars would get a relocation approval to wherever Green wanted. In January 1993, Green chose Dallas as the new home of the franchise, and the decision was formally announced on March 10. Several reasons were cited for the relocation, including poor attendance during a string of losing seasons, the failure to reach deals for a new arena in either Minneapolis or Saint Paul, and a sexual harassment lawsuit against Green that resulted in his wife threatening to leave him unless he moved the team. The subsequent decision to relocate the franchise to Texas made Green much reviled in Minnesota, where he derisively came to be known as "Norm Greed" Minnesota fans were devastated to see hockey vanish from their sight as they had gone from having multiple teams play in their city to none at all and the worst is, the North Stars could never win a championship in front of their city, which makes Minnesota fans put their heads down just thinking about how much the North Stars had to go through. Minnesota North Stars Announcement that the franchise has moved to Dallas
Preparing for a new Franchise in Minnesota:
After the North Stars left, the state of Minnesota was without an NHL team for 7 seasons. During that time, Mayor Norm Coleman began a campaign to either recruit the relocation of an existing franchise to Saint Paul or the award of an expansion franchise to a Minnesota-based ownership group. Fans in Minnesota were excited at the idea of their being another chance to show the world that hockey can be successful in their city and they were behind their mayor. These efforts came close to success in the mid-1990s when Minnesota interests purchased the original Winnipeg Jets with the intention of relocating the franchise to Minnesota; however, arena negotiations fell through and the Jets instead relocated to Phoenix, Arizona. Which is still questionably to this day as to why the decisions were made as they were. The NHL announced its intention to expand from 26 to 30 teams. Bob Naegele, Jr. became the lead investor for an application to the NHL for an expansion franchise and ultimately the first majority owner. On June 25, 1997, the National Hockey League announced that Minnesota had been awarded an expansion franchise, to begin play in the 2000–01 season. The six finalist team names for the new NHL franchise (Blue Ox, Freeze, Northern Lights, Voyageurs, White Bears, and Wild), were announced on November 20, 1997. Jac Sperling was named chief executive officer of the Minnesota team,Doug Risebrough was named general manager, Tod Leiweke was named President, and Martha Fuller was named chief financial officer. The team was officially named the Minnesota Wild on January 22nd 1998 and the unveiling occurring at Aldrich Arena in the suburb of Maplewood The first ever jersey of the Minnesota Wild during the 2000-2001 Season
The Early Years of the Minnesota Wild:
Minnesota had made some big additions to their coaching staff and their roster before the season begun as the Wild hired Jacques Lemaire as their first-ever head coach and the team picked Marian Gaborik third overall in the first round of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. The Wild would play their first ever game on October 6th against the Anaheim Ducks and it ended in a 3-1 lose for the Wild. Gaborik scored the first ever home goal for the Minnesota Wild. Minnesota native Darby Hendrickson as the Wild tie the game with the Flyers, 3-3. The team was not very successful on the ice, but showed promise for future seasons. However, the most notable game of the year was the first visit of the Dallas Stars, who had formerly played in Minnesota as the Minnesota North Stars, as you should know by now from reading this. The Wild rode an emotional sellout crowd of over 18,000 to a 6–0 shutout in Dallas' first regular season game in Minnesota since a neutral-site game in 1993. The season ended with Scott Pellerin as the leading scorer with 39 points while Wes Walz, Darby Hendrickson, and Gaborik paced the team with 18 goals each. The Wild would get off to a strong start in the 2001–02 season by earning at least one point in their first seven games. However, the Wild would finish in last place again with a record of 26–35–12–6. En route, there were signs the Wild were improving, as second-year speedster Gaborik had a solid sophomore season with 30 goals, including an invite to the NHL YoungStars Game, and Andrew Brunette led the team in scoring with 69 points. Gaborik spent much of the 2002–03 season vying for the league scoring crown before slumping in the second half, and the Wild, in their first ever playoff appearance, made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals before being swept 4–0 by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Previously, the Wild had beaten the favored and third-seeded Colorado Avalanche in the first round in seven games, coming back from a 3–1 series deficit and winning both Game 6 and 7 in overtime. Brunette scored the series clinching goal, the last ever on Patrick Roy. In the Western Conference semi-finals, the Wild beat the fourth-seeded Vancouver Canucks, again in seven games, and again after being down 3–1 in a series. In the process, the Wild became the first team in playoff history to capture a seven-game series twice after facing elimination during Game 5. When the 2003–04 season started, the Wild were short-handed with both Pascal Dupuis and Gaborik holding out. After struggling in the first month, the Wild finally got their two young star left-wingers signed, but both struggled to get back into game shape as the Wild struggled through much of November. In a deep hole, the Wild could not climb back into the playoffs, despite finishing the season strong, with wins in five of their last six games as they finished last in the competitive Northwest Division with a record of 30–29–20–3. Along the way, the Wild began to gear up for the future, trading away several of their older players who were a part of the franchise from the beginning, including Brad Bombardir and Jim Dowd. The 2004–05 season was canceled due to an NHL lockout. Former Wild player Sergei Zholtok died from a heart condition during a game in Europe. Zholtok died in the arms of Minnesotan and former Wild player Darby Hendrickson. The State of Minnisota had suffered another loss to their team and even though Zholtok had been stopped playing for the team, he was remembered by the Wild in the following years to come as they had more to play for. The team was ready to come out of the lockout and show that hockey can be successful in the state of Minnesota Remembering Sergei Zholtok
Post Lockout for the Minnesota Wild :
Minnesota finished in fifth and last place in the Northwest Division, eight points behind fourth-placed Vancouver Canucks. En route, Gaborik set a new franchise record for goals in a season at 38, and Brian Rolston set a new highest point total by a Wild player in a season at 79. The goaltender controversy between Manny Fernandez and Dwayne Roloson ended when Roloson was traded to the Edmonton Oilers for a first round pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. The Wild signed a few veteran free agents to try and show that their an NHL calibre team in Kim Johnsson, Mark Parrish, Branko Radivojevic and Keith Carney. The Wild traded the 17th overall pick and prospect Patrick O'Sullivan to the Los Angeles Kings for veteran Slovak Pavol Demitra. The Wild were beginning to look like they could be competitive. The Wild were backstopped by Niklas Backstrom into the playoffs for the second time in team history only to lose to the Stanley Cup Champion Anaheim Might Ducks in the opening round. The Wild would break numerous franchise records during the 2007–08 season, including most goals and points (Marian Gaborik – 42 goals and 83 points). Also, Jacques Lemaire recorded his 500th career coaching win as the Wild clinched their first ever Northwest Division title in a 3–1 victory over the Calgary Flames on April 3, 2008. They again faced the Colorado Avalanche in the first round as sixth and third seed (as in the 2003 playoffs), but this time the roles were reversed, and the Wild held home-ice advantage. However, Minnesota came up short, being ousted in six games by the Avalanche. By 2008-2009, the Wild had fallen into ninth place in the Western Conference and had missed the playoffs. It was time for change to be made as Minnesota fans were sick of the inconsistently that was being displayed from this franchise. That change started with the hiring of Chuck Fletcher. Chuck Fletcher hired as General Manager of the Minnesota Wild in 2009
The Chuck Fletcher Era:
Now we are getting into the modern times of the Minnesota Wild as the last nine years have been a string of mediocre playoff runs that never have saw the team reach the Conference Finals. Lets take a look at how it started for Chuck Fletchers team. In the 2009 off-season, Marian Gaborik signed with the New York Rangers during the summer as a free agent. Later that summer, Fletcher selected Todd Richards as head coach. Martin Havlat was signed via free agency after playing the previous three seasons for the Chicago Blackhawks in order to lessen the blow of Gaborik's departure. During the first month of the 2009–10 season, the team announced their first ever full-time captain, Mikko Koivu. In 2009, Leipold named Matt Majka as chief operating officer of the team. The Wild had made bold moves to their team, but they were ready to set their culture for their future. The 2009–10 and the 2010–11 seasons ended in disappointment for the Wild as they missed the playoffs both seasons. In the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, the Wild held the ninth overall pick and used it to select Finnish forward Mikael Granlund. The Wild opened the 2010–11 season with two games at the Hartwall Areena in Helsinki against the Carolina Hurricanes. Following the 2010–11 season, the team fired head coach Todd Richards due to the team failing to reach the playoffs in his two seasons as head coach with a 77–71–16 record. Mike Yeo, was named the new head coach. The club also created a stir when they traded star defenseman Brent Burns and a 2012 second round pick to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for Devin Setoguchi, Charlie Coyle and the 28th overall pick in the 2011 draft, which they used to select Zack Phillips. Wild fans today look at this trade today seeing that they got a good player in Coyle, but for what Brent Burns has become, that could of been an excellent defensemen to keep on your team. Later in the off-season, the Wild traded Martin Havlat for Dany Heatley in another blockbuster trade with the Sharks. In November, the team set a franchise record for most wins in one month with 11. Despite a hot start to the season that saw them sitting atop the league standings in early December, multiple injuries to key players for extended periods effectively eliminated the team from playoff contention for the fourth consecutive year. By 2012, Minnesota was desperate as their fans were beginning to think this team was even worse then what the North Stars were and Chuck Fletcher felt pressure to make a Huge splash. Oh boy, did he ever! The Wild signed Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to identical 13-year, $98 million contracts. Zach Parise and Ryan Suter on signing identical contracts on July 1st 2012 The lockout had finally been resolved and Hockey was ready to be played heading into the shortened 2012-2013 season. The team reached the post-season for the fourth time in franchise history after a 3–1 win over the Colorado Avalanche on April 27, 2013. Finishing eighth place in the Western Conference, the Wild lost to the eventual champions, the Chicago Blackhawks, in the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs in five games. . in 2013, the NHL collapsed its six divisions into four and dissolved the Northwest Division. Consequently, the Wild moved into the Central Division along with the Jets and Avalanche; the Canadian teams from the Northwest moved back to the Pacific Division. The Wild now share their division with not only the Blackhawks but also the Dallas Stars, the Wild's predecessors in Minnesota, and the St. Louis Blues, another major rival of the North Stars during the Norris Division era. Thus, the 2013 Blackhawks–Wild playoff series was seen as the rebirth of the old Chicago–Minnesota rivalry in the NHL. It wasn't good news that the Wild would be playing the Blackhwaks more often as for the next several years, the Wild coudn't get past the Blackhawks in the playoffs from 2013-2015 and it was cemented when they were swept by the Hawks in the second round and its always bad when Matt Cooke has to talk for your team as he stated "Our expectations inside this room were a lot higher than a second round series." Minnesota Wild lose Game 6 in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs to the Chicago Blackhawks In 2016, the Wild set a franchise record with the best win record in the first 41 games of the season. Immediately afterward, they went into a skid, losing the next 13 of 14 games, culminating in the firing of head coach Mike Yeo. Under new interim head coach John Torchetti, the team snapped the losing streak but remained streaky throughout the rest of the season, managing to barely make the playoffs with a total of 87 points, the worst record of any playoff team in the shootout era (since 2005–06). In the first round, the Wild fell to the Central Division champion Dallas Stars in six games. During the 2016 off-season, the Wild signed free agent Eric Staal to a three-year contract. The Wild also hired Bruce Boudreau as their new head coach, replacing interim head coach John Torchetti. The Wild now were expected to take the next step with their new coach because they were beginning to look like a decent team on paper and it looked like they were ready to stop the Minnesota Curse of not being able to win. In 2017, the Wild set their new franchise record for points (106), wins (49) and goals for (266). The Wild set a franchise record 12 game win streak, that was snapped on New Year's Eve 2016 by the Columbus Blue Jackets, a team also on a franchise record win streak at the time. Nevertheless, Minnesota failed to win more than a game in the playoffs, losing in five games to St. Louis. Mikael Granlund led the team in points with 69, while new addition Eric Staal led the team in goals with 28. Mikko Koivu was a finalist for the Selke Trophy for best defensive forward, while Granlund was a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy. A lot of roster changes were made heading into the 2017-2018 season again due to the Expansion draft and the Wild wanting to make changes in their locker room to try once again to go far in the playoffs. Erik Haula was lost to the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft (along with prospect Alex Tuch). Winger Jason Pominville and defenseman Marco Scandella were traded to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for forwards Tyler Ennis and Marcus Foligno. Minnesota native Matt Cullen was signed as a free agent and returned to the Wild to shore up the fourth line (Cullen had previously played in Minnesota from 2010–2013). Captain Mikko Koivu signed a two-year extension, ensuring he will remain with the Wild through the 2019–20 season. Following another 100-point regular season, the Wild matched up with Central Division rival, the Winnipeg Jets, in the First Round of the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs. The Jets defeated the Wild in five games, making it three straight seasons in which the Wild failed to advance past the first round. On April 23, shortly following the Wild's exit from the playoffs, owner Leipold announced that he had fired general manager Fletcher after nine seasons with the team.[Under Fletcher's leadership, the Wild qualified for the playoffs six consecutive years, but failed to advance beyond the second round. The Minnesota Wild have solidified themselves as a mediocre team and it appears it will only get worse for Wild fans, but I have some questions to ask.
Question for Minnesota Wild Fans:
Do you prefer the North Stars or the Wild? How have you taken all of these playoff lose's? What years did you guys truly believe you were going to win the Stanley Cup? Who is your all time favourite player to ever play in the city of Minnesota? What advice would you give other teams who think they are struggling?
Thank you for reading this! It took a lot of time and Ill try to do this occasionally to add a different perspective. I greatly appreciate Hockey fans from Minnesota fans after reading about all you've went through with these teams. I hope one day, luck goes your way!
2017.01.18 21:00 DeadlyDing0Help! New Leafs Fan Hoping for Some Guidance on Where the Team Stands Right Now.
Hi all! I apologize in advance for the long post. I'm hoping someone could point me to a resource or give a little recap on the Toronto Maple Leafs recent history and where the team is at right now. A little background on myself: I'm a former Dallas Stars fan who was turned off of the team for a number of reasons. I followed them extremely closely as a kid, but as I got older, places to play hockey got shut down (I do indeed live in Dallas), fellow fans became sparse, the remaining fans became a bit unfriendly, and the team was sold as well as my favorite player, Mike Modano, leaving the team for his final season. I never could find myself able to really "like" the team after feeling the new owners didn't really care for the fans. Since then I found it discouraging to keep up with the team and the sport in general, though I do love the sport. Now in my mid-20's and having dated a great Canadian girl for a few years, I found the Leafs a team I could put my support behind through the thick and thin and get back into the sport I loved so much as a kid. And having grown closer to my girlfriend's family, I finally have some people to cheer with. My issue is this; while I've done a bit of homework so far along with watching their games through NHL.TV, I'm still unsure where exactly the team stands as a whole over the past few seasons aside from just looking at their record. This leaves me with a few questions that I feel will help me in my venture into becoming a true Leafs fan: Who are the players to watch? I'm aware of Matthews (hell of a player from what I've seen so far), of course, but who are the veteran players who are close to the heart of the fanbase? Who is the future of the team? It seems the team has been in a state of rebuilding and looks to their rookies a lot as I hear over and over that this is a young team. Does the fanbase in general seem to trust the front office of the team? Where is the team strong / weak? What are our needs and where do we shine and / or take pride in? I'm just trying to get a better understanding of the state of the team in a season to season point of view and hope it's not too much of a bother for someone to help guide me to where I might find answers to these questions and more. I visited Toronto for the first time a couple of weeks ago and found it really encouraging how many people I saw wearing jerseys and jackets for the team, something we just don't have in Dallas for the Stars. And the few fans I got to talk to were extremely friendly which are the kind of fans I'd prefer to join alongside. And honestly, that's my main motivation for getting back into the sport. I can't express how great it felt to see so many awesome fans in such a beautiful country I plan to someday move to. I hadn't been looking for a team or expecting to get back into hockey, but seeing so many fans rally around this team made me want to be a part. So cheers to you all! Thanks in advance for any light anyone could shed on the Leafs. tl;dr: I'm a new fan of the Leafs trying to get a grasp on there the team stands post-lockout season. EDIT: Wow. Thanks so much for everyone's insight and help! It was seeing first hand when visiting Toronto the pride so many had in this team (which I had been told was terrible but had dedicated fans regardless) that made me want to get in on it. And all the helpful replies have made me glad I decided to get back into this game with what I'm finding out is a young team with a lot of potential. Win or lose I'm excited for the ride with you all. Thank you all so much and Go Leafs!
2016.10.17 07:53 sumthinbruinMy top 5 heroes and top 3 legends
Caveats: D3, about a 50-30 record. Tried all heroes for at least a handful of games except ... Mellanby, Brunette, Smyth and Nystrom. Goalies ... only Turco to any significant extent (my favorite Hero G to date. Play style: more of a score off the rush as opposed to heavy cycle guy, work the point shots, wristers, one-T's when there. Rely on positioning on D, but like to lay the big hit when there. Rankings: Heroes:
Blake - Big, fast, bomb for a slap shot, excellent wrist shot. Hits like a truck and a good stick. Only downside is ok hands and dekes.
Linden - Do everything center. Great faceoffs and better than average everywhere across the board. Can really hit. Fast for a big guy and a lot of power behind his shots. Excellent defensively. Only downside is he is not a game in, game out gamebreaker offensively.
Shanahan - Best shot in the game. Wrister and slap shot are just rockets ... with great accuracy. Hits very hard. Good on D. With TW activated, is plenty fast enough. Downside is his dekes seem a bit slow and don't know if he'd feel slowish without TW on.
Amonte - Dynamic. Can really skate. Great shot. Great one-t. Always in the right spot. Think 93 Bure, but a bit better. Haven't found many downsides, but not the most physical.
Hawerchuk- when WW and RF are on (with my TW, CG and B), he is ridiculously fast and accelerates in an instant. Good hands and excellent wrist shot. Playing him with Amonte and Brett Hull right now and they are something.
Honorable Mention: Murphy, Tkachuk, LaFontaine, Bucyk, Macinnis (would round out a top 10). Legends:
Lidstrom - Does everything and does everything really well. Just so solid. Have not found a weakness. Thought hitting might be it, but with his HH activated, he can hit.
Bourque - Shot is money. Accuracy is top notch. Mobile. Very good stick check. Downside is he's only a so-so hitter.
MS Lindros - Big, strong, great faceoffs. Heavy slapper. An absolute tank. Downside. Little loss of Agility and dekes from some of the other cards.
Honorable mention: Brett Hull, Bobby Hull, Roenick, MS Modano, WCOH Gilmour.
2016.10.04 16:04 AciearlHUT17 Deep Dive Part III: All Upgrades Are NOT Created Equally (Very Long)
As with other Deep Dives, this is a very long post. Be advised.
My biggest frustration with NHL 15 and 16 was the inability to see the complete stats of special cards. We were left to assume that all attributes got a +1 when a card got a +1 overall, and the database sites helped drive that point home by putting those cards as a +1 to all on their site, even though it was just a guess. On the flip side, with MOVs, there would seem to be a certain upgrade that really jumped the card – the 94 Weber comes to mind – where suddenly the differences were hugely notable. So I was very glad to see that in 17, we’re able to see all of the stats of every card – and for a data guy like me, it gave me an opportunity to dive deeper into the statistical attributes that drive how a card plays in the game. Now that we have had many upgraded cards entered, a few things have come to light:
All attributes are not +1 on a card that is upgraded +1 overall. All stats are not +2 for a card that is +2 overall
How a card is upgraded is (largely) driven by the synergies given to that special card
Brad Marchand – as the first base card to get two upgrades – tells us a lot of what to expect going forward
Cards that get a major upgrade, like Bure or the DC cards, are handled differently
There are a few implications of how cards are upgraded that discerning players should be aware of – especially when looking forward a few months
I’ll go into detail about the points above. Again, a disclaimer – the most important thing is how a card plays for you. If you don’t care about attributes, or synergies, or understanding some of the statistical underpinnings of the game, then this post isn’t for you. So…
By now, everyone has seen that an upgraded card will often have different synergies than the previous version of the card. So, for example, Weber’s TOTW doesn’t go from B1 to B2 – instead, he gets a DR1 and IS1. This will make team building both interesting (as it forces you to try different cards) and frustrating (if you’re using Weber for B, you can’t upgrade to the TOTW version). Others have kept the same synergy or have one added – Bergeron from DR to DR and WW, or Duchene from DD to DD and NP, or Ales Hemsky from PP1 to PP2. Again, I think most players have noticed this – when each TOTW or special card comes out, the synergies have become almost as, if not more, important than the player that gets the card. However, there’s more to the upgrade than just a +1 all and a different synergy. Here’s the rub: Each upgraded card has five attributes that get a +2 instead of a +1 I’ve gone through virtually every upgrade so far this year, and in every case for a GOLD player, there are five attributes that get a +2 (when the upgrade is a +1 OVR), or a +3 (when the upgrade is a +2 OVR). Here’s an example: Bergeron’s base was a DR. His upgraded card is DR and WW. His TOTW gets a +1 to all attributes, except WSA/WSP/DISC/OAW/Stick Check gets a +2. Huh.
Here’s another: Kopitar’s base was OJ, but his TOTW is a PP2. Kopitar’s TOTW gets a +1 to all attributes, except these five get a +2: PASS/ENDURANCE/POISE/FO/DUR. Interesting, right?
Here’s a third: Pietrangelo’s base was a T. His TOTW is a B2. The five attributes that get a +2 for him are SSA/SSP/OAW/BAL/POISE.
Last one: Here’s Andrej Sustr, who received a +2 Overall from his TOTW (79 to 81) with a synergy of WW and IS. All his attributes got a +2, except WSA/WSP/DAW/DURA/Shot Block, which got a +3. If you notice, the extra attribute boosts mostly align with the synergies on the upgraded card. For example, WW synergy gives a boost to WSA and WSP when activated, while IS gives a boost to DAW, DURA, and Shot blocking. Looking at Sustr above, those are the exact attributes that got the extra boost for him. Now these boosts aren’t perfect, nor are they the same in every case. There’s definitely some manual intervention here. Let’s look at two players who both got a TOTW with WW2 as their synergy. You’ll see that the extra five attributes are different:
Malkin: +1 all, with +2 WSA/WSP/DISC/POISE/AGGR Frans Nielsen: +1 all, with +2 WSA/WSP/BAL/END/OAW
So both got a WW2 synergy, but their extra boosts were different. Here’s another example: Couture: DTT - +1 all, +2 PASS/BAL/DAW/SBLOCK/POISE Vlasic: DTT - +1 All, +2 PASS/BAL/DAW/SBLOCK/BCHK
Slightly different – Couture gets Poise while Vlasic gets Body Check but still get some boosts from TT (Passing) and DR (BAL/DAW/SB) in both cases. Maybe it’s due to position, but there are very few special cards that have gotten the same synergy on their upgraded card to date. And no gold skaters have gotten either S or TW on their upgrades.
A few others of note:
Backstrom (NP and OJ) - +2 SSA/SSP/END/AGGSTR
Gaudreau (PP and OJ) - +2 HandEye/Passing/SSP/POISE/STR (like the STR for JH here)
Eichel (NP and RF) – +2 ACC/SPD/OAW/BAL/AGGR (!!!)
So when you see a new special card, in addition to the synergy boosts you’d get by lighting up that player’s synergy (for individual synergies), you are getting another boost to that area. A special card with WW synergy isn’t just getting +3 WSA/WSP – it’s really +4 WSA/WSP with the bonus points. The synergy will, generally, lead you in that direction. It got to a point as I was going through these that I could see which attributes were given the extra boost and I could predict the synergy, and vice versa – the synergy told me which attributes were most likely to be given the extra boost. Why Brad Marchand tells us everything we need to know Well, not everything, obviously. But Marchand is the first gold card to get two upgrades, thanks to his stellar play in the WCOH where he got ripped off for player of the tournament because hockey continues to feed the Sidney Crosby marketing machine. But I digress… Marchand’s first upgrade was a TOTW with NP2 synergy. His five extra attributes were somewhat aligned with NP: HEYE/BAL/OAW/POISE/AGGR. Interestingly, he didn’t get an extra boost to STR (which NP provides), and got POISE and OAW instead. Again, indicating that it’s not just some formula. Here’s where it gets interesting: his WCOH POTG card (thanks to his brilliant tournament winning goal) gets a boost off of his TOTW. His POTG – with a WW2 synergy - is +1 to all attributes off of his TOTW, plus +2 to WSA/WSP/OAW/END/DISC. So now Marchand, with a +2 to his overall, has +2 to all attributes except a +4 to his OAW, and +3 to HEYE/BAL/POISE/AGGWSA/WSP/DISC and END. In other words, these extra boosts stack. Marchand’s second upgrade has added 10 extra attribute points above and beyond the +2 to all attributes. Why does this matter? Well, let’s stretch it out a few upgrades. Let’s say Marchand gets a hat trick and an assist in the opener, and gets a POTG. That card will now be +15 attribute points above the +3 all. If, for example, EA gives him a B2 for his next upgrade, and we use the Pietrangelo card as a guide, he would now be +6 (instead of +3) for his OAW and +5 for BAL and POISE (instead of +3), along with +4 for HEYE/AGGWSA/WSP/DISC/SSA/SSP and END. Or, if they gave him a S and RF double synergy, like Tatar just got, he would now be +5 (instead of +3) to AGGOAW/POISE/BAL, and a +4 to the others listed above, plus Agility and Speed. Again, every upgrade is different, so he may get different boosts for S and RF than Tatar got, but I think you get the idea here. Then, let’s say he gets on a TOTW and makes the ASG. By then, with 5 upgrades, he would have an extra 25 attribute points over and above the +5 across the board increase we have come to expect.
I haven’t been able to fully crack the formulas for how EA calcs the 5 stat categories on the front of the card, but I think it’s safe to say that in that case, Marchand’s true OVERALL wouldn’t be just a +5 – those extra attribute boosts would add up to easily a +6, if not a +7. But if EA makes every upgrade a +1 to each of the five categories, and thus the OVERALL, a 92 Marchand is really a 93 or a 94. With OVERALL driving the price of the card more than anything, this is something we can exploit. Now, we don’t know if EA will keep adding those 5 extra attribute points to each upgrade as they go. Maybe once they hit a certain overall, or a certain number of upgrades, they will stop doing that. Or maybe after they read this, they’ll change their methodology /s. But with the information we have to date, this looks like the methodology they’d use. Implications of the Extra Boosts The biggest implication of these extra boosts is that a card that receives multiple upgrades will be a much better overall card, statistically, than a base card with the same overall. For example, let’s take a look at Zdeno Chara. Probably by three quarters of the way through the regular season, unless there’s an injury or something weird happens, Chara will have received three milestones – he needs 3 assists for 400, 25 GP for 1300, and 25 points for 600. At that point, barring any other upgrades along the way, that MS Chara will be an 89. If the method above holds, Chara will have +3 to all attributes, plus another 15 attribute points scattered throughout. From a statistical standpoint, let’s look at the 23 attributes, minus faceoffs and fighting since they don’t factor into overall, and see how an 89 Chara compares against other 89s by looking at the total attribute points of 89 players: • Subban: 2032 total attribute points • Keith: 2033 total attribute points • Letang: 2024 total attribute points Now Chara, with +3 added to the 23 attributes, is now at 2029 attribute points, in line with Subban, Keith, and Letang (other 89 defensemen). However, with the additional 15 bonus points, Chara is now at 2044, well above the three 89s, and lines up like this:
So…Chara with 3 upgrades is really closer to a 91 than an 89. If a 91 Chara was released in the marketplace, how much more valuable would he be than an 89 Chara? The reality is, the 89 Chara is really a 91 Chara. Let’s do the same with Marchand. He’s now an 89, which with just a +2 to all attributes, puts him at a 2029 for attribute points. With the 10 bonus points, he’s now at 2039. To put it in perspective:
An 89 Marchand is really a 90, if not better, when looking at total attribute points.
Now I will be the first to say that total points aren’t the best way to look at it, as certain attributes are far more important than others (OAW vs. Discipline, for example). But, this view of it gives a sense of how much those bonus points are really worth when compared to other players of similar overall. When comparing two players with the same overall, if one of them is a multiple upgrade special card, they have a lot more points than the base card. Something to consider for sure.
Where this really gets crazy is when someone goes on a real run, like Weber or Karlsson last year, and get a ton of upgrades. Weber got a 94 TOTW card prior to the ASG, +5 from his base. If you apply to this year, his 88 base has 2031 attribute points, with a +5 to all that goes to 2145 (one less because SSP was maxed out at 99). With another 25 bonus points, we get:
In other words, the 93 Weber is really a 96 or 97. Without driving the point home too much – Movember cards with players that will get multiple upgrades (Milestones are the easiest to count on) should be that much more valuable.
In addition, the synergy history can really shape a card in different ways. For example, if Marchand gets 3 more cards and the synergies are OJ2, B2, and PP2, he’d end up with 5 bonus points on his OAW above and beyond the 5 points added from the +1s. He’d have a 99 OAW, instead of the 94 he’d have by going +5 to his base.
The players, as they upgrade, leave behind a trail of the synergies they had on previous special cards – the selection of those synergies going forward will really shape what kind of player that card becomes. There would be a wide range of how a card will end up with three upgrades – one that gets PP, TT, and 1T would be very different than one who gets B, OJ, and WW which would be different than one who gets IS, SB, and DR. The synergies for special cards are more important than just what ties together in your lineup.
“Sculpted” Special Cards Let me define “Sculpted” – what I mean by that are cards that, despite being above 85 overall, have a card that is 2 or more points above their previous card. The obvious current one is the Bure card, but it also applies to the Draft Champion rewards cards – Malhotra and Grossman (I’m not doing goalies). These cards, thus far, have not followed the formula above with the extra bonus points, nor have they followed the perceived +X all for each attribute. For these purposes, let’s just look at the Bure. So the 96 Bure is +3 OVERALL compared to the 93 Bure. So, one would expect that all attributes on the WCOH card are +3 to the Legend card. But…not even close. With only one synergy point added (from OJ2 S2 for the legend to OJ3 S2 for the WCOH) Bure’s changes are all over the place: • +10 Fighting (?!?!?!) • +8 Discipline • +7 Faceoffs • +6 Body Checking, Passing, Durability, DAW • +5 SSA, SSP, Shot Blocking • +4 AGGR • +3 POISE, STRENGTH, BAL • +2 ACC, Agility, Endurance, Deking, Hand-eye, OAW, Stick Checking • +1 Speed, WSA, WSP, Puck Control So this card was what I would call “Sculpted” – with manual intervention. The 96 Bure isn’t 3 points faster, and his wrister isn’t 3 points better, but he’s much sturdier (BCH/BAL) and much better defensively, along with being a much better passer. If you like math, a +3 to each attribute would be +75 attribute points. In the Marchand example above, a +3 Marchand would actually have +90 attribute points (with 15 bonus points). The 96 Bure is actually +95 attribute points over the 93 Bure, with a caveat – 11 of those points are in the Fighting and Faceoff attributes – basically, who really cares. I guess with 80 faceoffs, Bure could be a center now, but no sane person would play him anywhere but on the wing. So those are really “empty” improvements. Overall, the 96 Bure is slightly less than +3 over the Legend Bure. Now, I’m not saying the 96 Bure isn’t a HUGE improvement over the legend. I am saying that in years past, we’d assume he was +3 speed – he’s not. We’d assume he has a wrister that’s 3 points better – it’s not. His 96 card is manually crafted to be a sturdier, more defensively apt, better passing (and better fighting) Bure – which, in my opinion, makes him even more valuable. The proof is playing with him – I don’t have either Bure – but maybe those who have played both could comment if the notice him being sturdier and better defensively. Modano and Kurri are the only Hero upgrades thus far. They follow a different methodology – Modano is just +1 to every attribute, while Kurri is +1 except for SSA, DAW, and CHK (all stay the same) and SSP (+2). Kind of bizarre actually. Grossman and Malhotra have some weird things going on with their 92s vs. their 88s – they’re sculpted a lot differently. I won’t take up space on them, but take a look if you’re interested.
First, again, a card is only as good as it plays for YOU. But, with EA now showing us full attributes on the card, we can see some inefficiencies in the marketplace that we can exploit. So:
Each upgrade gets 5 extra points, closely aligned with the synergy of that card. To fully understand the impact of the upgrade, it’s important to understand where the bonus points lie, especially with multiple upgrades.
These upgrades stack (at least Marchand’s did), so the effect is exponential
Cards with multiple upgrades are statistically superior to their base counterparts (or cards with fewer upgrades) – they should be valued accordingly, and Movembers should follow suit
Special release cards don’t follow the same pattern thus far, though the “sculpted” attributes upgraded are important to understanding the style of the new card. Make sure you look closely at the attributes when they’re released to understand where the improvement really is
Reviews of Special Cards will be critical this year, as we’re now better informed. Hopefully we can step up as a community and do a lot of these.
It will be worth watching going forward – as each special card is released, I’ll be looking for those bonus attribute boosts. Hopefully EA doesn’t read this and change their methodology /s. Lastly, a shoutout to u/sreid and HutDB. FYI, HutDB has the correct ratings for the special cards, with the 5 bonus points. HutPlaza just adds one to every attribute, so it’s not correct for special cards. In fact, there’s a lot wrong there if you ask me. As always, any criticisms or discussion is helpful. Thanks for reading.
2016.09.20 17:32 AciearlHUT17 Deep Dive Part II: Heroes and Market Inefficiency
OK, another long, long post from me on HUT this year. If you don't like long posts, a TL;DR: Heroes are undervalued. If you like arcane, deep thoughts on a fake hockey game, then please read on :).
Consider two centers for comparison. Without listing all the stats, I will just list the stats where one player is higher rated than the other by 2 points or more.
Player A: +2 WSP over player B, +6 Aggression, +2 Speed Player B: +3 SSA over Player A, +2 SSP, +2 Agility, +3 Balance, +4 Endurance, +6 Discipline, +4 Poise, + 10 Faceoffs, +2 Body Check, +14 Durability, +3 Strength
Player A is Sidney Crosby. Player B is Pat LaFontaine.
Two more centers: Player A: Discipline +9, Poise +5 Player B: +2 WSP, +8 Balance, +6 Endurance, +4 DAW, +7 Faceoffs, +7 SCH, +11 Aggression, +8 Body Check, +9 Strength
Player A is Steven Stamkos. Player B is Darryl Sittler.
Or how about two defensemen: Player A: +3 Deking Player B: +2 Pass, +7 SSA, +2 SSP, +7 WSA, +2 WSP, +10 Balance (!), +5 Endurance, +5 Discipline, +2 OAW, +5 Poise, +4 DAW, +8 Aggression, +11 Body Check (!), +10 Durability, +11 Strength (!), Speed is identical.
Player A is Erik Karlsson. Player B is Larry Murphy.
Or how about two wingers: Player A: +4 Deking, +2 Discipline Player B: +2 Pass, +2 Puck Control, +4 Endurance, +5 Poise, +9 DAW, +6 Stick Check, +6 Aggression, +4 Body Check, +2 Strength, +3 Speed (And +1 SSP/WSA/WSP) Player A is Alex Ovechkin. Player B is Brendan Shanahan.
Last one: two more defensemen. Player A: +5 Aggression Player B: +3 Speed, +4 Pass, +2 Puck Control, +10 SSA (!), +3 SSP, +9 WSA (!), +3 WSP, +3 Acceleration, +4 Agility, +6 Balance, +3 Endurance, +6 Discipline, +2 DAW, +4 SCH, +6 BCH, +6 Strength
Player A is Drew Doughty. Player B is Doug Wilson.
In every case, it’s not that we should be surprised that two equivalent players are being valued differently - in some cases, the Hero is priced above the base player I selected. It’s more that Player B in every case is SIGNIFICANTLY better statistically than the counterpart I chose (and there are others – Stamkos v. Sittler, or Benn v. Graves, or Subban v. Redden for example). And that’s without even factoring in that Heroes have 4 or 5 synergy points across two synergies, while base players have just one point for one.
Now I’m not naïve enough to know that there aren’t other differences between the players I mentioned above, size and weight in some cases, and name recognition/star power of the players in question. Ovi will always be the highest valued card, with good reason. And I’m not speaking to how the cards actually play – just that they should be better based on the numbers.
But my basic thought is that Heroes are not being valued appropriately in the marketplace relative to other players, and I’ll explain the factors that I think are causing that to happen.
First, some stipulations: • These comparisons only look at players “on paper”, not how they actually perform for you or the community as a whole. We don’t have a track record to know how well the players live up to their numbers • I am aware that there are many factors that go into pricing – this is not a perfect economy that values statistics only. It’s more of a coup emotionally to own Steve Stamkos than Darryl Sittler for most of us. Crosby and Ovi are always going to be the highest price due to who they are. Etc. • It’s still only week one of full release, so the coin supply in the market is still building exponentially • Comparing the 17 economy to 15 or 16 is apples to oranges, as this is a radical change to how the market operates. But that’s all we have to go on – there’s a great unknown of the future regarding more sets, more heroes, etc. But we can only go on what we know now.
Second, the main factors that I think are contributing to this inefficiency in the marketplace are: • Name recognition and star power of the Heroes • Timing of their release, and the fact that they were released simultaneously • The method in which these cards come into the game, and the implications on perceived rarity • Players still applying some key 15 and 16 economic principles around base cards to the HUT17 market • The 30 Heroes are all new players, and no one has any long term experience playing with them • The newness of the synergy concept in this game, and the general public’s lack of a track record in leveraging synergies
I’ll touch on each of these points below.
Name Recognition and Star Power
I think EA made a very conscious decision in their selection of the Hero for each team – they didn’t pull out the big guns and other than fans of that particular team, there really aren’t any Heroes that stand out much more than the others. Sure, Shanahan is a bigger name than Klesla, but for the most part, the players are pretty tightly bunched in terms of star power. Instead of varying the overalls, EA decided to make them equal, and, in my opinion, have done a good job in making the cost of acquiring each hero roughly equivalent (with the use of the collectibles).
But what would have happened if Boston’s Hero was a 94 Bobby Orr instead of Johnny Bucyk? Or if the Rangers was a 94 Messier instead of a 94 Graves? Or even if the Canadiens was Maurice Richard instead of Kirk Muller? There would have been a huge disparity in pricing for the Heroes, something with just a couple of exceptions on the low end that we just haven’t seen (yet). So by creating a somewhat level playing field in terms of star power, the Heroes aren’t differentiated nearly as much as they would be if some of the all-timers were involved.
The Newness of the Players Prior to this year, no one has played with Shanahan, or Graves, or Murphy, or any of these guys, at least not on new gen with the new game physics. Compare that to legends, where a couple years of experience have resulted in a wide range of value – guys like Robitaille and Gilmour on the low end, with Bure and Lindros and others higher up. While the game mechanics change, we’re familiar with these players – I’d bet virtually everyone who has played 15, 16, and now 17 has played with Eric Lindros and Mike Modano at some point, and knows what to expect. Not so with these guys. It’s all new.
Timing and Simultaneous Release
This is really unprecedented, and the scale of it is mind boggling. Think about this: in 16, there were a total of 127 non-goalie cards released at 94 or better (I’m taking out Movembers because that would double count those players who have a MOV Card). However, 26 of those were for TOTY, 16 were Stanley Cup Playoff Cards, and 19 were Awards cards. (there were 12 94 goalies released, and 6 were either TOTY or AWD). So prior to SCP cards coming out, there were only 66 cards of 94 or better released (and maybe a few FB cards like Dats but I’m not sure of release date) – and one of them is the 99 John Scott. We’ve had 30 of them released day 1.
To drive that point home even further, 20 of those 66 came from 4 players – Kane, Ovi, Crosby, and Datsyuk. Add in Karlsson, Malkin, and Toews, and you have 28 of the 66 cards. These guys are always priced very high, so the availability of a 94 rated card to an average guy is very limited.
Even moreso, if you take the 10 players who received 3 or more 94 rated cards prior to the SCP (Kane, Ovi, Crosby, Dats, Karlsson, Perry, Getzlaf, Burns, Weber, Thornton), they represented 41 out of the 66 94+ cards released prior to the playoffs.
Releasing 30 94 players simultaneously has driven down the price of Heroes, as there just isn’t enough coin to go around yet. It’s too early in the game’s release to appropriately price all of those heroes in the market.
Just think about it – it would take Doughty two TOTWs and a POTG to get close to an equivalent of Wilson. By that time, with many more coins in the market, perhaps Wilson would be valued differently
Method of Release and Perceived Rarity
The set concept has somewhat confused the marketplace, IMO. You’ll see lots of posts about whether it’s better to complete the set or buy the hero, or calculations of cost to get the set vs. buying on the market. We’ve never had to consider a “cost plus” method of pricing – that is, looking at the price of materials needed to produce a product and then adding a “profit” on top. This is a new mechanic in the game.
A more informed, experienced, and rational market would value these players as we have in the past – that is, in comparison to similar players or in comparison to the market as a whole. Now again, there are mitigating factors – the star power, the rarity (see: Pronger or LeCavalier FBs last year), and of course how they play (though we have at best a limited idea of that as of now). But overall, a card’s value should be relative to how it stacks up against other cards. For right now at least, the Hero market is disjointed for that way of thinking.
The primary reason for this is that a big majority of the Heroes being unlocked are the guys cranking them all out – planning on the Hero collectibles being very valuable down the road. For those guys, if the Ottawa collection is the cheapest to produce, then Redden should be the cheapest Hero, as an example of one line of thinking I’ve seen on this. They’re looking at short term, what did it cost me to unlock that Redden – they only need to sell for a small profit to break even, and unlock that collectible.
But Wayne Redden is a 94 overall. The only other 94s are Lidstrom and Heroes. But if you compare Redden against the top LD TWD – Duncan Keith – you’ll see this:
Redden’s price is dropping towards Keith. Again, without playing them I can’t properly compare the two, but on paper, Redden should be considerably more valuable than Keith. And that’s not even factoring in that Keith is just a 1TT, while Redden is 2DR and 2SB. But the market is not pricing Redden that way.
Last point on this – from a rarity standpoint, this would make more sense if there were far more Reddens on the market than Keith’s – but that’s not the case. It’s really not the case for any of the Heroes until you get up to the very high echelon of base cards – there’s more Lafontaines on the market than Crosbys, typically. But this isn’t a rational supply and demand intersection at work – it’s more of a case of perceived rarity. That is, because ostensibly any of us can obtain one of these Heroes at any time – we just need to do the set. That’s a misplaced emotional reaction instead of a practical one.
Now come February, maybe there are a ton more Heroes on the market than the equivalent base cards I’ve mentioned. Or maybe not, if there is a Hero trade in for better Heroes later. But for now, the pricing of these cards is not a supply v. demand calculation – it’s an uninformed marketplace calculation.
I’m well aware that something is worth whatever someone will pay for it – the market is pricing these cards based on who buys them at what price. But in terms of relative value against the other cards in the marketplace, this is an inefficiency – the Hero crankers are underpricing these Heroes because they need their funds quickly to move on to the next one.
HUT15 and HUT16 base card principles being applied (incorrectly) to HUT17
There were a couple of key economic conditions in 15 and 16 that naturally led to some pricing and value conditions in the economy.
First, the presence of collections kept high end base cards valuable all year. Some of these cards – Ovi, Crosby, Stamkos, Toews/Kane – actually were money makers for those players who lent them out for a fee. And even for those players who bought and then sold these guys – and, to a lesser degree, the Keiths, Subbans, Webers, Seguins, and Benns among others – there was always demand and thus transaction volume for these cards. With collections gone, the value and utility of these base cards will be naturally reduced over time. So users who expect Stamkos to rise above 225-250k, or Crosby and Ovi base cards to stay as high as they are a month from now – are applying the previous HUTs economic principles to an entirely new economy.
A corollary to that is synergy – Crosby’s new card has two synergies. If you’re a high coin stack player, once you really wake up to the synergy concept, that Crosby is going to look a lot more valuable. Same with all of the other high end guys. Top tier players won’t have as much of an incentive to buy the base cards anymore, and that will provide negative pressure on price for those cards. That principle will continue lower down the market, right to the 89 demarcation line.
Second, the twin radical changes of 1) lower quicksell price and 2) moving the rare line up to 85 plus and populating packs with 86s and 87s more readily creates a different kind of price pressure in the market. That’s why you see someone like a Weber going for less than 30k right now, when last year he was far more expensive. These base cards aren’t going to hold their value. What will hold up? Heroes with twin synergies with 4 or 5 points that are 94 overall players.
Newness of the Synergy Concept
Now if you notice, despite my earlier opus on synergies, you’ll see that I really haven’t mentioned synergies yet. Really, on paper the heroes should be valued higher than the base cards without the extra synergies. But with 4 or 5 synergy points, with some heroes affecting the Team Synergies greatly like Linden with TW or Sullivan with 1T, the value of these cards is even greater.
To drive that point home, let’s go back to Larry Murphy. I listed his comparison to Erik Karlsson above. Both he and Karlsson have an OJ synergy, so with that powered on, they’re equal in terms of boost (plus whatever team synergy you have lit up). But Murphy also has a DR3. Very valuable, because now, with Murphy in the lineup, I can put Bergy in and activate DR, something very difficult to do with just forwards. So Bergy gets even better defensive attributes, while Murphy now has 95 Stick Check, 93 Body Check, 95 DAW, and 98 Balance, without even adding in the Team Synergies or the OJ.
We don’t know yet (we will Wednesday) if all special cards will get two synergies – based on the POTG cards yesterday, it certainly appears that will be the case. Will silver TOTWs get two synergies? We don’t know when cards will get 3 or 4 or 5 synergy points. But what we do know is that Heroes have 4 or 5 synergy points across two synergies right now.
End (Finally) Yes, another opus. Unlike my post on synergies, there’s a lot of opinion and considered thinking here – in no way do I think I can accurately predict the future in a brand new economy. But I had some thoughts I thought I’d share. Would love discussion on this.
2016.03.18 22:23 steampunk85Question about Morrow's retirement
So I have a question thats been bothering me since I saw this yesterday. I love my Stars, but i havent kept up to date on their happenings since I moved to Florida. So from what i can see, Morrow was traded to the Penguins in 2012-13 and played with them, the Blues, and the Lightning before "re-signing" with the Stars so he could retire a Star. Why was this not done for Mike Modano? Were the conditions of both players leaving the Stars different? (like did Modano leave on bad terms, and Morrow on good terms?) I always thought it was a bit of a slap in the face that they traded/got rid of Modano in his last season after moving across the country with them and basically staying with them his whole career. Am I missing a part of the story? Thanks in advanced guys!
2015.03.06 18:46 RuuTyutinStrangest Game I've Played...
DISCLAIMER- bit of a rant about a tough shootout loss
I held this guy to zero shots in the first period. Had a few good blocks but he spent the bulk of his time skating in circles. I cashed in early, so I was up 1-0 after the 1st. Second period, 8 minutes in, and what do you know. He scores on shot numero uno. I mean, it was a solid goal, but sucked that it was on his first shot nearly halfway through the game. Less than a minute to go, he got his second shot of the game - a soft wrister from the blue line, no problem on the save. So the stats after two On to the third, and holy shit was I getting frustrated. A 1-1 game where I surrendered TWO SHOTS through 67% of the game. On we went, and what do ya know. Shot number three of the game is JUST FUCKING DANDY and he takes a 2-1 lead. I guess Kopitar might've been a part of the contact, but there's no way that should've counted... I did manage to tie it up on the PP with about 8 minutes to go, and even though he managed a few more shots in this period, but I still had a hefty 19-9 lead in shots headed to extra time. Overtime came and went, and what do ya know.. Another period without a shot on goal.. on to the shootout... I came out with Oshie - Modano - Zetterberg in the shootout, but it wasn't enough to beat Crosby - Ovi - Geno, so I lost the game 3-2 in the shootout. It was a great game all in all, but definitely the most odd game I've played to date. TL;DR - held my opponent to two shots through two periods, missed goalie interference on him, and I lost in the shootout
Tonight's referees are Dan O'Rourke(9) and Rob Martell(26) and the linesmen are Tony Sericolo(84) and Derek Nansen(70)
This is the 233rd game of this NHL season.
The Rangers lead the all-time series between the two teams, 35-31-7-5 (21-12-4-2 at home, 14-19-3-3 on the road) Includes games against the Quebec Nordiques from 1979-80 - 1994-95
Tonight's game is the first of two contests between the Rangers and Avalanche this season, and the only matchup between the two teams at Madison Square Garden. Following tonight's game, the Rangers and Avalanche will face off again on the following date: Feb. 12 (at Colorado).
The Rangers posted a 1-0-1 record (1-0-0 at home, 0-0-1 on the road) against Colorado in 2013-14.
Carl Hagelin - 1 game away from 200 in his NHL career.
Nathan MacKinnon needs one game to reach 100 NHL contests.
Max Talbot needs two assists to reach 100 career helpers.
Jarome Iginla scored his 561st and 562nd career goals on Oct. 24, passing Guy Lafleur (560) and Mike Modano (561) for 23rd place on the NHL's all-time goals list. He is now two shy of tying Mats Sundin and Joe Nieuwendyk for 21st.
Henrik Lundqvist - 7 GP, 2-3-2, 2.42 GAA, .918 SV% - Lundqvist has allowed two goals or fewer in each of his last three games against the Avalanche (1-1-1 record, 1.63 GAA, .940 SV% over the span) and has posted a 2-2-0 record, along with a 1.77 GAA and a .933 SV% in four career appearances against Colorado at MSG.
Rick Nash - 34 GP, 12-12-24 - Nash has recorded a point in seven of his last 11 games against Colorado, tallying 10 points (five goals, five assists) over the span.
The Rangers tallied a power play goal and a shorthanded goal on Nov. 11 vs. Pittsburgh. The Blueshirts rank second in the NHL in games with at least one power play goal and one shorthanded goal since the start of the 2009-10 season (21), and have posted a 17-3-1 record in those contests.
Since joining the Rangers prior to the 2012-13 season, Rick Nash has tallied 27 of his 59 regular season goals in the third period (45.8%). Nash is the fifth Ranger since the start of the 1983-84 season to tally at least 12 goals in the first 15 games of the season, and the first Blueshirt to do so since Brendan Shanahan registered 12 in the first 15 games of the 2006-07 season.
The Rangers tied a season-high with five goals on Nov. 11 vs. Pittsburgh. The Blueshirts have registered at least four goals in six of their last 10 contests, tallying 31 goals over the span (3.1 goals per game). New York is tied for eighth in the NHL in games with four or more goals this season (six).
Derek Stepan has recorded three assists/points in three games since returning to the lineup, and notched his 200th career NHL point on Nov. 11 vs. Pittsburgh. The Rangers' alternate captain has registered a point in 17 of his last 26 regular season games, registering 25 points (seven goals, 18 assists) over the span. Since making his NHL debut with the Rangers on Oct. 9, 2010, Stepan leads all Blueshirts in assists (127) and points (200).
The Avs saw their streak of 29 consecutive penalty kills come to an end on Nov. 6 against Toronto. It was the club’s longest single- season streak since 1998-99, when the Avs killed off 35 straight from Oct. 31 to Nov. 17, 1998.
The Colorado Avalanche continues their four-game, East Coast road trip tonight in Manhattan against the Rangers. The Avs are 0-2 so far on this trip, losing 4-3 in Philadelphia on Saturday and 6-0 in Long Island on Tuesday. This four-game, nine-day journey will conclude with a stop in New Jersey on Saturday.
Semyon Varlamov stopped 89-of-91 shots (.978%) over a two-game stretch from Oct. 28-30, the most saves ever by an Avalanche goaltender over a two-game span. Only two goalies in franchise history, Quebec's Ron Tugnutt and Jacques Cloutier, ever stopped more shots in a two-game stretch.
2014.10.27 14:20 jmquezShow of hands! - 4th Edition of LFMU Tournament @ Camden Road - Show interest inside
UPDATE 2 Struggling to find a free date, will update once I do. UPDATE WOW loads of interest! We need 2 more and we will be able to have 4 teams of 5, there are 3 pitches so we can have a maximum of 30 players. I will try for a Thursday in November, will update y'all next week! If someone would like to volunteer to be time-keepereferee most welcome (will get a free drink later!) What is this? a 1 day 5-a-side Tournament! Have a look at previous tourneys: First Second Third Where? Catelowes Garden, Camden Road, NW5 2AP When? TBC - But historically its on a Thursday at 7:30 How much? Just £5 for 2 hours of fun What kind of footwear do I need? Its astro-turf, so no grass studs, trainers, indoor shoes or smaller plastic studs welcome! Whos welcome? EVERYBODY! check out FAQ, apart from Location etc everything else applies. How do I show interest? Post your username and I will add you to the list, if we get enough people I will post again with more details after I book the pitch.
22. 23. 24. 25. Most of us will go for drink/food afterwards in Camden Town, if you cant make the footy but would like to join, you are most welcome! we finish footy at 21:30, but you can always come earlier and watch/referee! The 5 Rules For the sake of keeping the game fluid and without interruption, we will use 11-a-side football rules, with the exceptions of:
No offside rule
Kick ins instead of throw ins
backpass to keeper is allowed
Games are 15 minutes long, except the final which will finish when we get kicked out
In case of a DRAW, penalties will be taken
General futsal video here Great in depth videos on the tactics of futsal here
- Cross Checking: The action of using the shaft of the stick between the two hands to forcefully check an opponent. - Tripping: Taking your stick and using it to pull down a player to prevent him from gaining the puck, or continuing - Hooking: Hooking is the act of using the stick in a manner that enables a player to restrain an opponent. When a player is checking another in such a way that there is only stick-to-stick contact, such action is not to be penalized as hooking. - Slashing: Slashing is the act of a player swinging his stick at an opponent, whether contact is made or not. Non-aggressive stick contact to the pant or front of the shin pads, should not be penalized as slashing. Any forceful or powerful chop with the stick on an opponent’s body, the opponent’s stick, or on or near the opponent’s hands that, in the judgment of the Referee, is not an attempt to play the puck, shall be penalized as slashing. - High Sticking: A “high stick” is one which is carried above the height of the opponent’s shoulders. A player is permitted accidental contact on an opponent if the act is committed as a normal windup or follow through of a shooting motion. A wild swing at a bouncing puck would not be considered a normal windup or follow through and any contact to an opponent above the height of the shoulders shall be penalized accordingly. It is a double minor if it "Causes an injury" (Draws blood)
- Boarding: A boarding penalty shall be imposed on any player or goalkeeper who checks or pushes a defenseless opponent in such a manner that causes the opponent to hit or impact the boards violently in the boards. The severity of the penalty, based upon the impact with the boards, shall be at the discretion of the Referee. - Roughing: Roughing is a punching motion with the hand or fist, with or without the glove on the hand, normally directed at the head or face of an opponent. Roughing is a minor altercation that is not worthy of a major penalty to either participant. - Elbowing: Elbowing shall mean the use of an extended elbow in a manner that may or may not cause injury. - Interference:Several different types Blocking other players from getting to the puck, while making no effort to do so yourself, and using your free hand to disrupt an opponent going for the puck are the most common instances. - Fighting: A fight shall be deemed to have occurred when at least one player (or goalkeeper) punches or attempts to punch an opponent repeatedly or when two players wrestle in such a manner as to make it difficult for the Linesmen to intervene and separate the combatants.
- Icing: When each team has the same amount of players (or the offending team has more), and the puck is shot down from behind the center ice red line, and without being touched by any player, crosses the goal line and is then played by a player on the defensive team. Video explanation The NHL uses hybrid icing, where play is stopped immediately if the player on the opposing team reaches the faceoff dot first, instead of skating all the way across the goal line to touch the puck. Defensive teams cannot change players after an icing, and there is no TV timeout after icings. - Offsides: If an offensive player crosses the offensive blue line before the puck, its offsides. Offsides is drawn from where your feet are (as long as one foot is touching the blue line, its onsides) Once the puck is brought into the zone, you can enter the zone. Video explanation - Any other thoughts?
A forward line consists of a Left Wing, a Center, and a Right Wing. They are the attacking part of a teams lineup for the most part, and are forward from the defenseman and the goalie.
More defensively responsible than wingers, the centers have to play a 200' game for the most part. One of the harder positions to play due to the skating, this is where you will find most of the better players, since they control the play, for the most part acting as the liaison between the defenseman and the wingers. Centers have the most ice to cover, as they branch off to both sides of the ice, as well as the center.
Can get away with being less defensively responsible, theyre there to score. Whether it be snipers wheeling down the wing and picking the corner, or power forwards crashing the net and banging home a rebound, wingers are slightly more specialized than centers.
Three Defensive pairings
How Lines are Used
UFA vs RFA
Restricted Free Agents are under team control, and are under 27 years old, and/or have less than 7 years of NHL experience (1 year being 10 games in the NHL in one season) They are generally cheaper contracts due to the minimal leverage they have. The two forms of leverage that RFA's have are Arbitration and Offer Sheets.
A restricted free agent can be offer-sheeted by a team that is not his own. When a player comes off an entry level contract, they become an RFA. Their team can give them a qualifying offer. If not, then they become an unrestricted free agent. A RFA can also reject a qualifying offer, in which case they stay an RFA. Now another team can offer-sheet them, basically giving them a contract to play for them. If the RFA accepts it, their team has the option of accepting the offer sheet and sign them under it's terms, or they can reject it, and the RFA signs with the new team. If this happens, and the player signs with the new team, then the original team gets compensated based on how much the contract is. The most they can get is 4 first round draft picks (for contracts over $8.4 million) A team cannot offer sheet someone unless they have the required draft picks to give.
If another team signs your teams RFA, and you do not match, then you are awarded compensation based on the cap hit if it is less than a 5 year deal, or the amount of the contract divided by 5 if it is a 6 or 7 year contract. The compensation is as follows:
$1,110,249 or less
$1,110,250 to $1,682,194
Third round draft pick
$1,682,194 to $3,364,391
Second round draft pick
$3,364,392 to $5,046,585
First and third round draft pick
$5,046,586 to $6,728,781
First, second, and third round draft pick
$6,728,782 to $8,410,976
Two first round picks, a second. and a third round draft pick
NHL salary arbitration is a tool available to settle some contract disputes. The player and team each propose a salary for the coming season, and argue their cases at a hearing. The arbitrator, a neutral third party, then sets the player's salary. Most players must have four years of NHL experience before they are eligible for salary arbitration (the term is reduced for those who signed their first NHL contract after the age of 20). The process is used by restricted free agents, because it is one of the few bargaining options available to them. The deadline for players to request salary arbitration is July 5, with cases heard in late July and early August. A player and team can continue to negotiate up until the date of the hearing, in hopes of agreeing on a contract and avoiding the arbitration process. Teams can also ask for salary arbitration. But a player can be taken to arbitration only once in his career, and can never receive less than 85 per-cent of his previous year's salary. There are no such restrictions on the number of times a player can ask for arbitration, or the size of the salary awarded. A decision must be made within 48 hours of the hearing. When the decision is announced, the team has the right to decline, or "walk away" from the award. If the team exercises this right, the player can declare himself an unrestricted free agent.
The evidence that can be used in arbitration cases:
The player's "overall performance" including statistics in all previous seasons.
Injuries, illnesses and the number of games played.
The player's length of service with the team and in the NHL.
The player's "overall contribution" to the team's success or failure.
The player's "special qualities of leadership or public appeal."
The performance and salary of any player alleged to be "comparable" to the player in the dispute.
Evidence that is not admissible:
The salary and performance of a "comparable" player who signed a contract as an unrestricted free agent.
Testimonials, video and media reports.
The financial state of the team.
The salary cap and the state of the team's payroll.
Waivers - in addition to the Cap, are a way of avoiding teams stock piling talent/depth, but keeping it buried in the AHL, only to be used when needed. The most common misconception:
Waivers are not determined by type of contract!
A 2 way contract does not mean that a player is waiver exempt, it simply means at the NHL level they'll receive X-amount of salary, and at the AHL level they'll receive Y-amount of salary.
There are 3 main types: Regular, Unconditional, Re-entry
This is how the CBA refers to the waivers a player must clear before being assigned from the NHL to a lower league (in this case AHL, only players on an ELC can be sent to the ECHL without permission). Definitions:
Games Played - for skaters this means games dressed (doesn't matter if they sat on the bench the entire time, it counts), for goalies this means games they actually played in net.
Both regular season and playoff games count towards games played (not pre-season though).
Age Signed - this is whatever age they will be turning during the calendar year when the contract was signed. So if they sign a contract in July, and they turn 19 in August, they are considered 19 when signing the contract.
1 Year of Exemption = 1 full season
There are 2 exemptions which apply to everyone:
If they played less than 10 games since the last time they went through waivers...they are exempt
If it's been 30 days or less since they last went through waivers...they are exempt
Specific Exemptions: These are the main rules by which waiver status is determined. A player is exempt if they've played under a certain amount of games or less than a certain amount of time has passed since they signed. Skaters
Age When Signed
Years From Signing
Age When Signed
Years From Signing
If a skater signed at 18, it's been less than 5 years since they signed, and they've played less than 160 games they are exempt.
Skater signed at: 19, it's been 5 years since they signed, but they've played under 160 games...Not exempt
Goalie signed at: 23, it's been 2 years since they signed, they've played 25 games...Exempt
If a skater is 18 or 19 when signed and plays 11 games in the NHL during their first season, their "Years From Signing" column is reduced to 3.
For goalies in the same position, "Years From Signing" is reduced to 4.
For skaters and goalies aged 20 or older, the first season they play 1 NHL game is considered their first year from signing.
Emergency Recall When a team is reduced to below 2 Goalies/6 D/12 Forwards due to illness/injury/suspension they may call up players from the AHL for the duration of time which it takes to return to having 2 Goalies/6 D/12 Forwards. The player called up during an emergency recall has to be returned immediately, and does not have to go through waivers.
It used to be when a player came up from the AHL to the NHL they would have to clear waivers. The 2013 CBA got rid of re-entry waivers
If a team wants to get rid of a player (buyout or ending a contract for one of the allowed reasons), the player must be put on waivers for 48 hours first. This allows other teams to pick up the player with their current contract before it is terminated. Ex: Wade Redden and Scott Gomez were placed on waivers for 48hrs before their contracts were allowed to be officially bought-out last season.
If more than 1 team wishes to pick up a player off waivers the order is determined by Points Percentage [(Points Team Has)/(Points Possible)]*100%. The team with the lowest P% gets the first pick of waivers. If P% is tied it goes to Win% and then to overall Points.
2013 CBA pg 91 - has all the rules, some of which aren't included in this post
The salary cap is calculated by taking the Hockey Related Revenue (HRR) from the league, and then splitting it in half according to the new CBA (players used to keep 57% owners kept 43%) The 50% is then split amongst the 30 teams, and then +/-15% to calculate the cap(+) and the floor(-) So this year the HRR was $3.519 Billion, which divided in half is $1.7595 billion, divided by 30 gives you $58.65 million. Adjusting for the 15%, this brings the total to $69 million.
This is the last year for an amnesty/compliance buyout, which allows you to buyout a player without having the cap hit count against them. They follow the same rules of a regular buyout, sans having it count against the salary cap.The compliance buyout might be used for players whose cap recapture would be too much if they retired early like these players. Regular buyouts, as they count against the cap still. However, they still happen and have differing amounts and lengths based on ages and contract. If they are younger than age 26 at the time of buyout, only 1/3 the remaining value is paid and counts against the cap - over twice the remaining length of the contract. If they are age 26 or older at the time of the buyout, 2/3 the remaining value is paid, and also counts against the cap.
In order to punish teams for signing “back-diving” contracts under the terms of the 2005 CBA, the NHL implemented a “cap advantage recapture” rule in the 2013 CBA. Back-diving contracts under the 2005 CBA typically had extra years with low salaries tagged on at the end with the purpose of bringing down the contract’s annual average salary/cap hit. The theory was players would retire and never play those low-salary years, meaning the player would have received more salary than the team was actually charged against the salary cap. The cap advantage recapture rule effectively forces teams to “pay back” any “cap advantage” they received from these contracts, should the player retire or defect from the NHL before his contract expires. If the player fulfills his contract in full, there are no cap advantage recapture penalties. The 2013 CBA states that any long-term contract — defined as seven years or more — entered into on or before Sept. 15, 2012, is eligible for cap advantage recapture if a team received a “cap advantage” from it at the time the player retires or defects from the NHL.
Cap Space/Cap Hits
A players cap hit can be easily calculated - take the total amount of money in their contract (Bonuses excluded) and divide it by the length of the contract. I.E. a $16 million, 4 year contract comes with a cap hit of $4 million. In the offseason, you can go over the salary cap by 10%, but must be back under it by the first game of the season otherwise you would forfeit every game you were not cap compliant. This also happens if you are under the cap floor. Players with a $925k salary or less (and can pass through waivers) can have their salaries be buried in the AHL. If a player with more than that is sent down, then only $925k will be removed from the cap hit (if the salary was #3 mil before being sent down, there would still be a $2.075 cap hit remaining for the NHL team.
Long Term Injured Reserve - LTIR
This allows a team to be able to replace someone who is hurt. If Sidney Crosby were to get a concussion and not be able to play another game, the Penguins would be screwed with his cap hit for the next 10 or so years. However, they could place him on LTIR and be able to recover some cap space to sign a replacement player. To be placed on LTIR, the player must have injuries that make them miss at least 10 games and 24 days. Two notable players are on LTIR and have unofficially "retired" in Chris Pronger and Marc Savard. They are still getting paid, and retiring would stop that, as well as having their salaries count against the cap. There is no way they will be able to play hockey again before their contracts expire, as they are both still struggling to live a normal life. The way it is calculated is tricky, so its probably best to read this post on capgeek. Heres a quick example though:
The upper limit is $70.0M. A team has a cap payroll or Averaged Club Salary of $69.0M on the day a player with a $4.0M cap hit is placed on LTIR. The team is now eligible to spend up to a new upper limit of $73.0M ($69.0M + $4.0M). However, had the team recalled a player with a $750K cap hit prior to the LTIR designation, increasing its cap payroll or Averaged Club Salary to $69.75M, it would have been eligible to spend up to a new upper limit of $73.75M ($69.75M + $4.0M). Likewise, had the team recalled two players each with $500K cap hits prior to making the LTIR designation, increasing its cap payroll or Averaged Club Salary to exactly $70.0M, it would have been eligible to spend to a new upper limit of $74.0M ($70.0M + $4.0M).
A forecheck occurs when the puck is either up for grabs behind the goal line, or the defensive team is in possession. The varying tactics for a forecheck all basically boil down to how aggressive the team wants to be in regaining possession of the puck. This involves a simple cost-benefit analysis; the more players you send and the more aggressively you send them at the puck the more likely you are to create a turnove get possession in the offensive zone which could lead to a high quality scoring chance but also increases the amount of space the other team will have in rushing the puck down to your defensive zone if you don't gain possesion.
Most basic types of forechecks:
2 - 1 - 2
Probably the most popular and conventional forecheck in hockey. This involves sending two forwards aggressively at the puck in order to attempt to gain possession (the 1st 2). Conventionally, the first forwards job is to check the opposing defenseman who has possession of the puck while the second forward grabs possession. The team will also station one forward "high" somewhere between the faceoff dots and the blueline (the middle 1). This forward is there to receive passes from the the first two if they do manage to gain possession, cycle in to replace one of the bottom two forwards if the puck changes corners, and backcheck on defense if they don't gain possession. The last two are the defenseman who remain stationed at the blue line.
1 - 2 - 2
Slightly less agressive and geared towards taking possession from the opposing team as they attempt to exit the zone. You send one forward in who applies light pressure to the puck carrier, forcing them to pick a direction and guiding them towards one of the middle 2 forwards who are stationed at the top of the faceoff circles where the apply much more aggressive pressure and try to create a turnover.
If you move the 1 - 2 - 2 out of the offensive zone and move it into the neutral zone it becomes a neutral zone trap, which is very popular in the NHL where you can't afford to give the opposing forwards space as they exit the offensive zone. There are other varieties of the neutral zone trap but this is still the most common one.
A break out is the term given to the process of one team attempting to move the puck from their defensive zone into their attacking zone. A breakout play extends the length of the ice and is the heart and soul of a teams’ transitional game (moving from one zone to another) and is the basis for most of their offensive zone possessions. Well executed breakouts can lead to odd man rushes, prolonged offensive zone possession, scoring chances and goals. Despite the fluid positional nature of hockey, most break outs are planned out, drawn up, practiced and highly coordinated. Break-outs are tactical and difficult to execute properly a player must have his head up looking and be aware of his surroundings at all times. A good breakout requires crisp passes, seamless timing, and plenty of speed from everyone on the ice. Break-outs can be instigated in a variety of fashions, from a pass interception, a save by the goaltender or a missed shot, anything can send the defending team in the other direction. However break outs are most notable after or during a line change when teams have time to collect themselves. In this scenario you can easily identify the start of a break out when a defensemen stands behind his own net, waiting for his teammates to get into position. In fancy hockey talk this defensemen is usually referred to as D1 and his partner is D2 while, the forwards from left wing to right wing are labeled F1, F2 and F3. These labels are used to distinguish the role of specific players during a breakout. While every team has their own break-out plays and styles most follow a set of general themes and patterns.
How a typically break-out goes down
As previously stated, most break-outs begin with a defensemen (D1) holding the puck around or behind his own net. The second defensemen D2, is usually in front of the net providing support and emergency defense in case a pass is intercepted. This guy will never receive the puck. While the D are waiting the forwards are busy getting into position. Usually F1 will streak diagonally across the ice, looking for the pass from D1 all the way. Meanwhile F2 (that’s the center) curls ahead into the neutral zone, bringing the opposing teams’ defense with him to create space. And F3 waits at the hash mark for the pass if F1 can not get open Here is an animation of F3 “being used as an outlet”. After F1 receives the pass from D1 they straighten their path along the boards and head up ice into the neutral zone. At this point both defensemen begin to slowly follow the play from behind. The puck carrier is now in the neutral zone and can either pass it to F2 (who should be along the offensive zone blue line by now) or to the other winger, F3 or, he can take it on his own. If he chooses to pass the puck he will usually “follow his pass” or switch places with the person he passed the puck with. The switching motion creates a crisscross pattern that can open up lanes between the defensemen. Here is a link explaining the motion. Typically one pass happens in the neutral zone before they enter the offensive zone. Too many passes will throw off timing and someone will end up off sides. Once they enter the neutral zone, anything can happen and it usually up to the players’ judgment. Other variations of this simple drill can send F3 and F1 diagonally across the ice or it can send D2 up along the boards as a fourth forward. On occasion F2 will start in the neutral zone and curl down towards the defensive zone. Opening up room in center ice for F1 or F3 to take advantage of. This play is a good example of that strategy. Look at how wide open that FW is. These variations are used to give D1 multiple options to outlet the puck and to force the defending team to account for more players. I would be remiss if I did not denote that what I just described was a carefully planned and calculated break out. While these breakouts are nice and look good, the majority of break outs come from pass interceptions or stealing the puck in the corners. These breakouts are not planned and are usually much simpler. They rely on hockey sense and unspoken communication. This is where team chemistry and experience play just as big of factor as skill. Here is an so-so compilation of all the different ways these "other" break outs can happen. thanks to Robert_The_Tire
:-----:-----:----:------:---:-----:------:-----:-----:-----:-----:-----:-----:-----:-----:-----:----:-----:-------:------:----:----:----- 4431402444230000440340342344 Red Wings: Having experience, leadership and toughness is great. But it appears the Red Wings also have a wounded animal mentality -- they're at their most dangerous when they feel threatened. Trailing in two straight third periods, the Red Wings amped up their play in both situations. In Game 6, it was Valtteri Filppula who rose to the occasion, assisting on Henrik Zetterberg's tying goal and scoring the winner a couple minutes later off a great feed from Pavel Datsyuk. There's an air of calm around the Red Wings, and it's paid off as they've faced elimination for three straight games. Now they have to gather themselves, refocus, and do it one more time to make history. “We’ve been taking the one-game at-a-time approach since we were down 3-0 and that’s going to be our same approach for Game 7,” captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. “We’ve just got to go out there and win one game. That’s it. That’s totally our approach. We can’t relax because every game has been so tight and so close. We’re not done yet. That’s going to be the same approach for Game 7." Sharks: They didn't have Ryane Clowe (upper body) for Game 6, and it appeared to hurt them. Coach Todd McLellan was forced to shuffle his lines, and the Sharks were unable to muster any sort of sustained attack during the first two periods. They grabbed a 1-0 lead when Logan Couture scored early in the third period, but for the second straight game, were unable to hold the lead. The only reason the Sharks had a chance to win was Antti Niemi's brilliance over the first two periods. Otherwise, it was a game the Sharks could have easily lost by three or four goals. "We didn't play very good. The score should've been 5-1 or 6-1," Couture said. "Nemo gave us a chance to steal one and we let him down. So we're gonna have to move on from this. And we've got one way to save our season, to continue to play. I know no one in this room that wants to end their season next game. So we better fight a lot harder than we did tonight." Injury report: Clowe missed Game 6 and will likely be a game-time decision at best for the Sharks. He did not fly with the team to Detroit after taking a massive, clean hit from Niklas Kronwall in Game 5. Clowe did not come out of the game, and the Sharks say the hit has nothing to do with the injury. … Detroit’s Johan Franzen (ankle) gutted out his injury for five games before sitting out Tuesday night. It's possible he could come back for Game 7, but it's more likely the Red Wings will once again go with Mike Modano.
Discuss whatever you wish. You can trash talk, but keep it civil.
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:-----:-----:----:------:---:-----:------:-----:-----:-----:-----:-----:-----:-----:-----:-----:----:-----:-------:------:----:----:----- 44314024442300440330342344 Red Wings: There was never a doubt in the minds of players when they were down 3-0 in the series, and there wasn't any doubt when they were down two goals in Game 5. "There’s a calmness," second-year goalie Jimmy Howard said of Detroit's mood when falling behind 3-0 in the series. "There's a lot of experience in our dressing room and when your leaders have been through a lot, you just look to them. When you see (Lidstrom's) face and see how calm he is, it just trickles down." "That's what's got us to this point," GM Ken Holland said. "When we were down 3-0, nobody wanted to go home. We plan to be flying back for Game 7." Sharks: After taking 10-of-12 from the Red Wings, there was a notion that perhaps the Sharks were in the heads of their tormentors. But with two inspired performances with their backs to the wall, the Red Wings are showing they're not ready to go away just yet. The Sharks played two great periods in Game 5, but fell apart after taking a two-goal lead less than a minute into the third period. They now must find a way to improve, or it will come down to a Game 7 on home ice Thursday night. "I have a pretty good idea what I'm going to share with our club later on today," coach Todd McLellan said. "We'll have a meeting and we'll keep that inside the locker room. We worked hard all year to prepare for these moments. We'll make sure that we take it up a notch higher than we did last night." Injury report: Red Wings forward Johan Franzen (ankle) was in obvious pain during Game 5 and did not play at all during the third period. He will likely be a game-time decision. If he can't go, Jiri Hudler or Mike Modano could take his place. R. Clowe was also ruled out of the game with an undisclosed upper body injury. Edit: Modano has been confirmed to be taking the place of Franzen in the Detroit lineup. He will supposedly be playing on a line with Datsyuk.
Discuss whatever you wish. You can trash talk, but keep it civil.
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Alexia Marano Interview
Nick Eversman - YouTube
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