Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Friday, March 02, 2007

BoC Gameday—talking overtime for a game that will end in regulation

San Jose Sharks (38-24-2, t-6th in west) at Anaheim Ducks (37-17-11, 3rd in west)

Well, for the second time this week, the Sharks catch the Ducks on the favorable side of back-to-back games, this time with Billy Guerin on board. But rather than dwell on the Sharks for this (hasty) GDP, I did want to take a brief look at the Ducks and their miserable OT/SO experience, mostly in reaction to last night's OTL to the Kings. This is, of course, almost completely irrelevant to tonight’s game, as the Sharks hardly ever gets past 60 minutes (only 4 OTs through 64 games), but it’s all I’ve got for today.

Last year, the Ducks went 6-12 in the extra session (3-5 in OT, 3-7 in SO), and this year looks to be eerily similar (3-4 in OT, 3-7 in SO). Essentially, the Ducks are winning barely more than a third of OT games they participate in, not a stellar statistic by any means.

  • Similar to Matt at BoA, I don’t particularly begrudge teams for extra-session success, but I’m not sure how well that translates to postseason success. For one, there will be no 4-on-4 OT nor a shootout come postseason, so the ability (or inability) to succeed in these mini-game scenarios probably doesn’t come into play past April 8. Secondly, as I note in Matt’s comments, I’m not sure people generally understand the concept of the “extra point”—it is NOT losing in OT/SO that generates the extra point, but rather in winning the extra session that a team has its point total inflated. To quote myself: “Generally speaking, I am more afraid of teams who make the playoffs despite their OT records than the teams who make the playoffs because of their OT records.”

  • That said, the Ducks are definitely leaving points on the table, especially as it relates to OT killers like Dallas, Vancouver, and Minnesota. Then again, if we were a .500 OT team, that would mean only about 5 extra standings points over nearly 2 seasons—not a huge amount to fret over. But if you asked me about whether Anaheim has a good strategy going into OT or not, that's an easy "no", so why not try a new balls-to-the-wall approach? It’s tough to imagine a scenario where our OT record would get any worse.

  • And my main point? I don’t even think 4-on-4 OT is exciting any more, especially as it pertains to Anaheim. Consider this: the Ducks have played almost 67 minutes of OT this season. In the 60 minutes of 4-on-4 play, there have been 2 goals generated (2 goals per hour). In the 7 minutes of 4-on-3 power play, there have been 5 goals generated (44 goals per hour). In fact, 5 out of 6 penalties called in Anaheim’s extra sessions have led directly to game-winning power play goals, on average scored just 32 seconds into the infraction. Not to get all Tom Benjamin on you, but this is personally a pretty alarming trend—nothing excites me less than to see this sport become nothing but a PP contest, wherein teams don’t focus on even-strength scoring, but rather just play passively until the point when a man-advantage situation occurs. Still, the lesson is pretty clear: stay out of the fucking box in OT (I’m looking at you, Scotty), it nearly always costs you the “game”.

  • Probably the biggest irony of it all? I don’t quite understand how J.S. Giguere, the greatest playoff-overtime goalie in NHL history (zero goals against on 95 shots in 168:27 of extra play), doesn’t translate well at all to regular-season-overtime success. I guess he’s just seasonally “clutch”.
Anyway, lessons for another day, I guess, as this game probably won’t be going past 60.

Prediction: Ducks 3, Sharks 1. Pahlsson shocks us all by not scoring, but Selanne, Getzlaf, and Pronger pick up the slack.


PJ Swenson said...

Hope you don't mind me adding a photo Sleek.

If the Sharks are still without Patrick Marleau (upper body) and Scott Hannan (lower body), this will be a difficult game for them. They were also down Rivet (immigration) for the last game, so he suits up in teal for the first time tonight.

Is Giguere or Bryzgalov going to start tonight for Anaheim? Getzlaf and Penner were hammering people every shift on Monday in San Jose, but what is up with Perry? How many times did he run into someone and flop to the ice in the last 2 periods?

And Parker will no longer be able to mop the ice with Parros's mustache. Ducks fans can still look forward to playing Colorado for that.

Earl Sleek said...

Aw, I never mind an extra photo, good shot.

As for goaltending, Bryzgalov has played the last two including last night, so I'd be shocked if it wasn't J.S. tonight.

Perry, btw, is constantly falling all over the ice, and generally falls awkwardly enough that he'll bring an opponent down with him. It's just the way he operates, and I think a major reason why opponents seem to have a major dislike for the kid. He'll probably have to clean up his act at some point, especially nowadays that he's not playing with an enforcer on his line.

PJ Swenson said...

Twice I noticed it was like a piroutte when Perry fell to the ice. I thought he was trying to draw penalties, but the Ducks and Sharks were hitting each other so hard that the refs were not going to call anything like that.

A few minutes after Teemu Selanne's game winning goal, Joe Thornton mashed him to the ice with one of the biggest checks I have seen from him all season.

If the Sharks run over Anaheim today, I will take bets on how many columnists will blame Burke for not making a move at the trade deadline.

My brother had a sports book up on one of his workstations. The spread is +1½ -240 for San Jose, -1½ +200 for Anaheim. The Moneyline is +120 for San Jose, -140 for Anaheim. Total Points Over 5½ -105 for San Jose, Under 5½ -115. Team Total Points Over 2½ -125 Under 2½ -115 for San Jose, Under 3 -140 Over 3 EV for Anaheim.

I have no idea what most of that means. Betting on hockey is like going to the race track, pick at random, give them your money and hope they have a good beer special.

Earl Sleek said...

I have no idea how to read those odds, but a friend of mine used to (claim to) make decent money betting on hockey (note that this was pre-lockout).

His tip? Ignore the teams, and purely bet on spread. Basically, bet on any team that is an underdog by 1 1/2 goals or more.

One thing I do like about NHL generally is that there is no guarantee a "good" team will beat a "bad" team, and enough games end up within a goal that it seems like reasonable advice.

I don't think I'll be bagging on Burke for trade deadline inactivity, no matter the playoff result. There was enough decent rationale to stand pat, and even if it turns out to be a clearly bad strategy, the Ducks should be in a similar position next year and can take that lesson and re-apply it.

Bartcal said...

Well, it's not like Burke didn't try to get some players, it's just he was too late to the party (Montreal) or understandably unwilling to part with the young players to get an older player (St. Louis, etc.). But the Ducks already had a strong team, so standing pat should not hurt them (much).

Earl Sleek said...

Hope you don't mind me adding a photo Sleek.

Hope you don't mind me adding text.


zot said...

Sleek, although I know your predictions are more for fun than anything else, I think this is the first time your prediction was right for both teams, numbers-wise. No matter what though, I admire that Disney-esque optimism in your predictions that has the Ducks winning all the time. :P
No more Sammy goal predictions?

Earl Sleek said...

zot, it certainly is the first time I've been able to predict the score, and probably the first time I've been right about whether Sammy Pahlsson scores or not.

But fret not, I think he's got a goal coming against Nashville. :)

Objectionable Conduct said...

Every team he talked to wanted Corey Perry at the bare minimum (most would rather have had Getz). Burke promised Pears and the other young guys he wouldn't trade them. His hands were tied in that sense.