Friday, 27 January 2012

Non All-Star Game All-Star Game Post

Okay, I hate the All-Star game. But that's hardly an original sentiment. Most real hockey fans look to this weekend with chagrin, knowing that someone we must all get through four straight days where any games that actually matter, aren't played.

The All-Star game is a meaningless enterprise, except for the bank accounts of the League, which make millions off (mainly) locals for where the game is played. This year the victims are mainly from southern Ontario and Quebec, although one could argue their victim hood since they are willingly forking out hundreds if not thousands of dollars on game tickets and abhorrently ugly All-Star paraphernalia (the jersey is a design disgrace - I mean, what the hell are those squiggly line things on the forearms of the sweaters?). And don't get me started about last night's incredibly awkward and boring game draft, a process that really ought be little more than tossing sticks in the middle, but which TSN managed to string out for an agonizing 90 minutes.

Anyway, let the fools spend their money, while the rest of patiently await for this silly weekend to expire so we can get back to the business of watching real hockey.

So no more about the Sunday game. In Habs-related stuff, we had this little gem come across our desk arguing that Scott Gomez is the League's must overpaid underrated player. Yeah. I know. Heh. It's an interesting read that postulates Gomez' value based on the team's record with and without him in the lineup, and the impact he's had on the club's overall puck possession using the Fenwick Rate (with a brief halo to Corsi rankings, which I think is a better metric when tabulating possession).

Anyway, here's the stat that needs reminding. Over the past three years with Andrei Markov in the lineup, the club's record is 29-16-9. Without him, it's 63-68-19 - so it seems to me that if you want to look a win/loss impact on a team's fortunes, you begin and end with just one guy, and that's Markov.
I'll continue to post stuff over the weekend (NON ALL-STAR GAME RELATED) if it's worthy of consideration.

- The argument to resign Kostitsyn:  Provided the reports are accurate that he indicated a willingness to give the organization a discounted rate, the Habs would be crazy to not pursue an extension. After so many seasons of maddening inconsistency, in this writer's opinion Andrei has made significant progress establishing a more cohesive game and multi-dimensional winger. He's been more aggressive driving to the net, he's been quite good in winning battles along the boards, and he's certainly reduced turnovers, especially in the attacking zone. He's also developed into an effective playmaker this year, which goes beyond what was thought to be his core strength as a sniper with a tremendous wrist shot.

So if he *could* be had for less than what he's currently paid, the franchise would be making a signficant mistake if they were to either let him walk, or deal him off for a pick (which probably wouldn't be a first rounder, and even at that, I'd hesitate on pulling the trigger).

-  It's kind of hard to argue with his decision to not go to Ottawa this weekend, huh?

- Five actual reasons to watch the game on Sunday. Wow. There's that many??!

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