Fun With Stats

In the last while, a good chunk of the hockey blogosphere has gotten quite into advanced stats. There’s been a little drama with some stats guys being a little snarky about people that prefer to watch hockey without looking at advanced stats. And some people that prefer to watch hockey without looking at advanced stats being a little snarky about the stats guys. But for the most part I think it’s been a pretty fun addition(see what I did there? Everyone loves a good math pun ;) to hockey watching.

I think I fall somewhere in the middle. I’m naturally prone to being against stats because well…if there’s a phobia about being afraid of math, I have that. But, I do find if I come to one of my smart stats inclined hockey friends with an open mind and I ask them a stats related question, they are super nice about explaining it and it ends up making sense. I enjoy it once I understand it and it’s a fun way to enjoy my hockey fandom in a new way. I have always been a proponent of watching hockey in whichever way makes you happy (Basically don’t turn your kids into Canucks fans), so with that in mind I decided to think up my own hockey “statistics”.

Tra la la feeling bits/60. This stat is pretty simple. It’s how often throughout a 60 minute game, a player you love makes you say things like “OH MAN YOU’RE JUST THE GREATEST!” or “THAT GOAL YOU SCORED WAS SO PRETTY I WANT TO RUB MY FACE ON IT” or “LET’S TAKE THAT DEFENSIVE STICK CHECK OF YOURS BEHIND THE BARN”. I think you get the picture. I like to think of this stat as out of a hundred. So like a 90 is an A+ in tra la la feeling bits.

I will pee on everything you love or IWPOEYL. Think of this one as the reverse of tra la la feeling bits/60. This statistic involves any opposition player doing something so heinous to your team that you simply must yell at your television like the opposition player can totally hear you “I WILL PEE ON EVERYTHING YOU LOVE.” If a player causes you to yell this more than once during a game, well, his IWPOEYL reaches horrible negative numbers.

Relative rate of needing a fainting couch. This is closely linked with tra la la feeling bits but it is connected to purely physical actions. So for example, when Chris Higgins flashes his abs on the bench. Or when Keith Ballard hip checks someone. The physical action causes you do declare “GET ME TO A FAINTING COUCH! MY STARS!”

On couch needing a drink while watching percentage. Now I think this one is pretty self explanatory. What percentage over a season your team forces you to drink alcoholic beverages to cope with being a fan of them. This one could be graphed with huge surges during playoff season and if you’re a Leafs fan during free agency with Dave Nonis as a GM. You would also reach high percentages if you’re a fan of the Canucks and logical, competent management of goalies.

Do you have personal stats that suit your team in particular? Let me know!

The 12 Days of Re – Wooing Luongo – Mas

So, wow. The Canucks goalie situation went from like a 10 on the bonkers scale to a 10 million on the bonkers scale. But, well, here we are. Back in hockey bed with Roberto Luongo who was, to put it mildly, not exactly treated like a King by Vancouver for the last 2 years or so. Basically, a completely Vancouver Canucks thing to happen when you think about it. Now the Canucks are red faced and have to convince a scorned Luongo that no they really DO love him! They were just confused, baby. Lost in a Cup-less world, searching for answers. They’ve come to their senses! Or they had money issues and no other choice! But mostly the latter!

Now Mike Gillis and the Aquilinis and Torts are flying down to Florida to woo Luongo back and it’s all terribly awkward and embarrassing. But here is how I see it going down…

On the first day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

On the second day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…two Lamborghinis and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

On the third day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…three poker tables, two Lamborghinis, and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

On the fourth day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…four man dates with Grant Fuhr, three poker tables, two Lamborghinis, and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

On the fifth day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…five dart boards with Alain Vigneault’s face, four man dates with Grant Fuhr, three poker tables, two Lamborghinis, and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

On the sixth day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…six box sets of The Jersey Shore, five dart boards with Alain Vigneault’s face, four man dates with Grant Fuhr, three poker tables, two Lamborghinis, and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

On the seventh day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…seven pizzas from Italy, six box sets of The Jersey Shore, five dart boards with Alain Vigneault’s face, four man dates with Grant Fuhr, three poker tables, two Lamborghinis, and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

On the eighth day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…eight front row seats to a taping of The Bachelor, seven pizzas from Italy, six box sets of The Jersey Shore, five dart boards with Alain Vigneault’s face, four man dates with Grant Fuhr, three poker tables, two Lamborghinis, and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

On the ninth day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…nine puppies, eight front row seats to a taping of The Bachelor, seven pizzas from Italy, six box sets of The Jersey Shore, five dart boards with Alain Vigneault’s face, four man dates with Grant Fuhr, three poker tables, two Lamborghinis, and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

On the tenth day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…ten tubes of high end hair product, nine puppies, eight front row seats to a taping of The Bachelor, seven pizzas from Italy, six box sets of The Jersey Shore, five dart boards with Alain Vigneault’s face, four man dates with Grant Fuhr, three poker tables, two Lamborghinis, and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

On the eleventh day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…eleven backup goaltenders who only want to play a few games, ten tubes of high end hair product, nine puppies, eight front row seats to a taping of The Bachelor, seven pizzas from Italy, six box sets of The Jersey Shore, five dart boards with Alain Vigneault’s face, four man dates with Grant Fuhr, three poker tables, two Lamborghinis, and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie.

On the twelfth day of Re-wooing Luongo-mas my Gillis and Aquilini gave to me…twelve disguises to avoid the media, eleven backup goaltenders who only want to play a few games, ten tubes of high end hair product, nine puppies, eight front row seats to a taping of The Bachelor, seven pizzas from Italy, six box sets of The Jersey Shore, five dart boards with Alain Vigneault’s face, four man dates with Grant Fuhr, three poker tables, two Lamborghinis, and one all inclusive trip to Hawaii with James Duthie

Wherein My Team Makes Me All Gushy About Sports

I spend a lot of time thinking about sports, and more specifically, why watching sports matters. Seriously, a lot of time. I’m sure I’m weird, but it keeps me up at night sometimes. A lot of nasty things happen that tend to be centered around sports. It’s easy to start wondering why you bother supporting something so strongly that can have such a dark edge.

Then, if you fall in love with a team like the Canucks who always manage to lose it all in the most hulk smash of your heart way possible, you really start to wonder why you bother watching sports. But, sports do matter.

They matter for me because they connect me to people. They make me feel a part of something. Sometimes life isn’t going how you imagined it is supposed to. Sometimes all that’s getting you through a day is knowing you can turn on your TV at night and watch some Swedish twins score a beautiful goal. Other times, you are shuffling along in a fabulous mood, and hockey is just an excuse to energetically cheer and clap and put a voice to your fabulous mood.

The Canucks have shown me twice this week that sports matter. This article from the team website about a transgender goalie named Cory and his meeting with Cory Schneider is amazing. The Canucks have been one of the pioneers for LGBT support in sports and it continues to be one of my favourite things about them.

How wonderful that in a society that is so often ignorant or insulting to transgender individuals, Cory Schneider and the Canucks are saying you’re important and we support you.

The Canucks also announced an initiative with the other Canadian teams in the NHL called Hockey Talks to encourage people to speak out about mental illness.

Here’s an article from The Province about Rick Rypien’s story and more details about Hockey Talks. This issue is especially meaningful to me, and I couldn’t be happier the Canucks are spearheading it.

It’s really incredible to hear your team vocally support such important and valuable issues. Sports do matter.

My Response To The Rangers Girls Guide To Hockey

Here’s the thing, okay? When I watch hockey I like to talk about players butts. I can also present a workshop on the finer points of Hank Sedin’s playmaking or Sami Salo’s defensive stick checks. The point is, I watch hockey how I like to. So should you. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re less of a fan. No one needs a condescending guide for watching hockey whether they’re man, woman, or giraffe. Okay, maybe the giraffe should be told “Down in front” politely if he or she is sitting at ice level.

dealwithit

A Letter To Some People On The Internet

Dear some people on the Internet,

There are some things I would like to address for you. Well there are four things, actually.

1) To (some) hockey fans, if you are making the oh so original “Sedin sisters” commentary, you might want to take note of their stats against your beloved “manly” team. Because if your team gets lit up night after night by two “sisters” what exactly does that say about your team? Also, if your argument for using these remarks is, “well I have a wife/sister/friend that doesn’t care I say that!” your argument sucks.

2) Free speech. We need to talk about free speech. Free speech allows you the freedom to SAY whatever you want. It does NOT allow you a free pass on ever being criticized for what you say. I’ll give you an example in case that’s not entirely clear. If I say, “Puppies are stupid and boring”, puppies can then tell me how horrible my opinion is through barking and scratching and then maybe pooping on everything I love. You see? I’m looking at you creep-tastic men on Reddit, Brent Sopel, Paul Ryan, and Tim Thomas.

3) Can we stop saying, “Why don’t people care about insert horrible serious issue of choice here instead of the NHL lockout?!!1″ Look, I can rant about big issues I care about all day. But you know what I can also rant about during the very same day? How I don’t get to watch twins thread passes like two red-headed ice skating Picassos for two hours a night, so I can escape the sometimes horrific human experience. So yeah, I will complain about the NHL lockout. Having escapism is not shallow. Stop telling people they’re shallow.

4) If some human person complains about David Booth’s hunting techniques, it does not make them a David Booth “hater”. I love David Booth’s glorious mane of hair, his penchant for Disney movies, the fact that he could be a cowboy hat model, and that he probably says golly gee a lot. I don’t love how he calls animals he has hunted “trophies” and seems to be collecting them all like Pokemon. But that does not equal being a “hater”.

Here ends the weekly rant.

Warmish regards,

Humming Giraffe

T-Shirt Designs

Whooooo! What a great win that was. Swedish twins are the best, huh? Anyways, I’ve been wanting to get some Canucks t-shirts designed. If you were interested, I would love to get your opinion on which logo you prefer on a shirt (There’s always room for more than one if you like a few). The awesome @ryanclassic took my ideas and ran with the designs. If you have a preference please leave me a comment here or tweet me @alixiswright37. Thanks, lovelies.

 

On The Brink

I don’t particularly know what to write about this team right now. They’re perplexing and unlucky and maybe too tired after such a short off-season. Oh it’s not over yet, of course, but the fat lady is starting her song that’s for sure. This team is filled with wonderful men and they have had enough sadness in the last year with a Cup final and memorializing a fallen teammate. My heart wants happiness for them but my head says this isn’t the year.

I have more detailed thoughts and opinions on this team but they can wait. Now doesn’t seem quite right. They deserve my patience for a little while longer.

I will talk about the weak link human being that was wearing a t-shirt insulting everyone with a brain behind the bench at the game yesterday. If you haven’t seen it yet:

Sedin Sisters 2 Girls No Cup

First, my lovely friend @theactivestick has a fantastic post about this topic that is definitely worth a read.

I mean, wow. You spend a bunch of money on a playoff ticket to see your team play and you wear a t-shirt in BRUINS colours that insults the other team’s superstar players instead of cheering on your own team. I’m all for clever trash talk but that’s just embarrassing. You look like a moron.

And it’s sexist. It’s garbage. It’s pretty sad that I have to blog about this all the time. Please, hockey fans, let us dig a little deeper and find some more intelligent humour. It’s not really the point but I would love this guy to have to stand face to face with Henrik and Daniel Sedin with no glass between them wearing this shirt. See how tough and “funny” he is then.

That’s all the words I’ll spend on this doofus. But I would like to propose some “Pro” twin t-shirt slogans that people could look into wearing instead.

2 Brothers 1 Million+ Dollar Hospital Donation

2 Brothers 2 Art Ross Trophy Scoring Titles

2 Brothers 2 MVP NHL Trophies

2 Twins Teaching You How To Be A Real Man

Thoughts And Things Before Game Two

- Do you know why hockey players get labeled as boring? It’s because the SECOND they say ANYTHING funny or interesting or honest people FREAK out and jump all over them. Cory Schneider, after getting a little fed up with the constant “hated Canucks” narrative that is pedaled like girl guide cookies, said that nobody cares about Edmonton so nobody hates them. It was a snarky harmless observation about a division rival. But after seeing a bunch of grief from overly sensitive Edmonton fans Cory apologized for it today! Boooooo! The same goes for some Canucks fans getting overly annoyed with the LA Kings tweet after game one. It’s a game! It’s fun! Take a deep breath and remember to enjoy otherwise we’re just going to see “110% interviews” from hockey players and teams till the end of time. YAWN.

- I would be happy if we had a moratorium on the hand wringing over the Canucks crowd being too quiet. The upper bowl is almost always loud, the lower bowl largely isn’t. That’s a fact. But unless the Canucks are going to adjust their ticket prices there are ALWAYS going to be quiet suits there. And frankly I’m tired of going to games this year and cheering my voice box out and coming home and reading a bunch of people whining about how quiet we were on TV. The Rogers Arena crowd is never going to be loud enough for most people. So please let’s stop talking about it because it’s boring and a waste of time. Be a loud boisterous fan if that yanks your chain and move on!

- Keith Ballard is back tonight, baby! As a Ballard fan club card-carrying member I am thrilled. I just hope he relaxes and has a good game and isn’t tied to the press box for the rest of the playoffs if AV doesn’t like his defensive game. I’ll be sending out good thoughts for him tonight.

- I like Mason Raymond. More than most Canucks fans it seems. I would rather see Max Lapierre on the first line with Hank tonight though. I thought they were pretty fabulous together along with Burrows while Danny’s been out. Plus I like the mental image of Drew Doughty getting annoyed with the double the fun double the troll duo of Lapierre and Burrows on the ice at the same time.

- Ryan Kesler has a terrible secret. He’s a two face.

 

Good Ryan Kesler cannot be stopped. He hits, scores, shuts down other offensive stars, poses naked for magazines, and wins Selke trophies. Good Ryan Kesler is like a viking hero who has epic poems and manly sonnets written about him. It’s lock up your wives, lock up your daughters, hand over the key to your city time. The Canucks are pretty much unbeatable and terrifying when Good Ryan Kesler is in the house. Bad Ryan Kesler is a different story. Bad Ryan Kesler whines to the referees, and flops around like a cirque du soleil performer shot out of a cannon, and lets other teams stars score goals, and doesn’t score any himself. Bad Ryan Kesler has stupid photoshops made with him standing on a diving board by other hockey fans. With Bad Ryan Kesler showing up for game 1 I’m sure we’ll see Good Ryan Kesler in tonight’s game. Get ready to gird your loins.

- I am cheering for the Panthers and the Coyotes in the first round quite vigorously. Yay good story untraditional markets! Down with Canadian hockey snobs!

Canucks Mad Libs

Now that the Canucks are about to start the playoffs it’s time for the mainstream media to chime in with their sudden insight on how hated and disgusting the two timing President’s trophy winners are! I’ve saved you the trouble of reading countless versions of this drivel by providing you a time saving template that covers the general gist below:

Do you care about ___Canadian___ patriotism? Do you love humble, strapping young men that spring up fully formed with broad shoulders from frozen ____Prairie____ ponds? Do you find yourself agreeing with ___Don Cherry__ or ___Mike Milbury__ that the golden hockey way is bruises and punches and good ___North American boys     ? If so, the Canucks are not for you. The Canucks are filled with all those __Euros__. They’re you know, different. They may be ___Sissies     or look like ___Your Mom. The Canucks even have one of those girlie __Alien     twins as their captain.

The truth is Vancouver the city itself isn’t Canadian either. The folks there are odd. They didn’t grow up with ___Ice and Snow    in their backyard ponds. Vancouverites even like __Starbucks     over the vastly more Canadian ___Tim Hortons   . My granddaddy told me that ___Rogers Arena     was built on an ancient ___Pot Smoking    and __Hippie burial ground. These __liberal     weirdos do not deserve a winning hockey team like the people in my traditional Canadian Hamlet of ___GordieHoweBobbyOrrMooseAndSnowTopia     .

What it comes down to is the Canucks can’t win Lord Stanley’s mug because they don’t play our glorious game of hockey the ___Right     way. They ___Dive    and like to carry the puck. They don’t ___Pay The Price     by blocking shots like ___Insert My Favourite Team That Is Out Of The Playoffs Here.    If you cheer for the Canucks this round against ___Insert Canucks Opponent Here    you’re a probably an IKEA loving  __Communist_. If you look at the birthplace breakdown of each team the Canucks ___American Opponent     has more __Canadian Passport Holders    anyways.

If you join the Canucks bandwagon this spring you’re for __Biting   , and __Diving,   and really __Dirty    play even though I can’t give you any concrete examples of suspensions or fines the Canucks have had this season. Canucks fans will probably burn your _Car and draw a naughty __Sex Organ    on your most prized possession. If you cheer for the Canucks this playoff season a bunch of __Girls And Their Purses    might as well play for Lord Stanley’s Treasure. You should write a letter of apology to __Wayne Gretzky because the Canucks winning it all will be like literally __Peeing    on the Stanley Cup. Even though I live on the other side of the __Country    and never actually watch them play because I’m already __Asleep    I’m an __Expert     and I’m saying no to the Vancouver Canucks and you should too. For the good of the Canadian future. 

Pre-Game Chatter

After the game four loss, a reporter asked Luongo if he had seen the Rogers Arena crowd cheer when he was pulled and Cory Schneider replaced him(Rogers Arena was playing the away games on the big screen). Luongo said no comment but you could see in his face that he was sad and hurt. The question was snarky and mean and didn’t offer much insight into his actual game that night. I know athletes are paid to have a tough skin and it’s probably me being too sensitive but I’m glad I didn’t make it my career to ask questions like that.

Luongo has never been at the top of my favourite Canuck list but I’ve become an overprotective mother hen with him in the last two months. I just want to clutch him to my bosom every time someone insults him. Sure he could have made a save or two more recently but the defence playing like this is the first time they’ve put on skates is certainly not Luongo’s mess.

I’ve given myself a self imposed twitter ban until the finals are over and done with. It’s become such an angry endless loop of Canucks fans whining about the Bruins fans and Bruins fans whining about the Canucks fans. Then there’s the lame bite jokes and army of obnoxious fans whose teams didn’t even make the playoffs chiming in about how awful the Canucks are and how anyone supporting them has the good taste of a filthy weasel. Ahhh the internet: not a prime example of pleasantry and good cheer in the best of times. People can say whatever they want to but I can also choose to not read it. It’s a shame. I assumed a long playoff run would be more fun. There are moments I’ll never forget but everything has also been so mean spirited. Just going back to simply watching the games and avoiding commentary has certainly helped.

I hope the game is reffed differently tonight. That’s not to say I thought it was called in wide favour for the Bruins but “letting everything” go like the constant slashes and spears and cross checks favours the Bruins over the Canucks.

If the Canucks score a power play goal early in the game I think they’ll get their swagger back and start playing the game that got them here again. They’ve got duped into playing Bruins hockey and they’ve been terrible at it. Time to go back to playing Canucks hockey. AV needs to show right now he deserved that Jack Adams nom. If they do that they got this sucker locked up.

I hope the crowd at Rogers Arena blows the roof off the place. They have a reputation of being too quiet. I don’t know if it’s the laid back west coast vibe or the expensive ticket prices meaning only corporate suits can afford to go but either way they need to be bloody loud. Give our team a boost in one of the most important games in franchise history.