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So last night on twitter, @duckgirlie responded to a comment I made about how the West is currently owning the East, at least in terms of overall standings points.

Conversation here

I should point out that I don't know Zoe, but I adore following her on twitter, and that this response contained Exactly the right amount of snark that I think underlines all the best sports exchanges.

But anyway. It got me thinking: does the West lead the East in points standings because they're getting more "extra" points?


As of this morning teams from the East had accumulated 38 Extra points.
And the West... 38 extra points.

Huh, okay, but maybe the West is disproportionally scoring those extra points against teams from the West? (West on West OT action = 3 points stay in the conference; West on East OT action = only 1 point stays in the conference, yes?)

Against the East, the East has scored 19 extra points.
Against the East, the West has scored 14 extra points.

Against the West, the East has scored 19 extra points.
Against the West, the West has scored 24 extra points.

Oh, that is interesting.

Okay. So now say you take away all the extra points that the West has gained against the West?

You start with the standings looking like this:

Then if you subtract the extra points from the total points, you end up like this:

ooh, I like this

We'll leave the other extra points alone because they were more or less evenly distributed. But anyway, this means that instead of being in the 8th place, your #1 seed Bruins are now in fifth place. Additionally, Tampa Bay would eek into the top 10.

So rest easy, Eastern Conference. It could be worse.
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Who's hot, who's not, and when they got here. I'll be here all night, folks. Try the fish

1. 1993, adjusted 2006
2. 1972, skipped town 1995 because Gary Bettman hates Canada (loves money).
3. 1991 (let's ignore that Golden Seal nonsense, yes?)
4. 1972, skipped town 1996 because Gary Bettman hates Canada (loves the sun belt), moved to Seattle in 2016
5. 1967
6. 1926 (elitist fuckers)
7. 1970 (because the PCHL is not a thing, you can't fool me)
8. 2000, but technically 1997 because apparently it takes awhile for the Land of 10,000 Lakes to get its shit together
9. 1967
10. 1992, because Phil Esposito, that's why.
11. 1917 (elitist Canadian fuckers)
12. 1926, and have been irritating everyone since (elitist fuckers)
13. 1967-1988 "Pre-Wayne"; 1988-present "Post-Wayne"
14. 1924 (elitist massholes)
15. 1909, aka Les elitist fuckers
16. 1998 (could have been worse, Nashville, could have been the Devils)
17. 1974
18. 1967, skipped town in 1993 (did you know they dropped the "north" from their name two seasons before leaving? How ominous would that have been as a fan?
19. 1972, skipped down the island 2015
20. 1972, skipped town in 1980 because (and I know this is going to shock you) turns out people in Atlanta are not that into hockey
21. 1992 (but 1883 if you ask anybody in Ottawa)
22. First draft? 1972. Version 2.0? 1999, skipped town in 2011 because (and I know this will shock you) turns out people in Atlanta are still not that into hockey.
23. 1972 - and Long May Their Memory Reign, O Most Beloved of Franchises, O Shelter Our Broken Hearts From Your Loss. (pale and sad imitation: 1997)

(can we just take a time out here so I can remind everyone who played for the Whalers? Gordie Howe. Bobby Hull. Paul Coffey. Ron Francis. Chris Pronger. John Stevens* Right? RIGHT??**)

* Okay, yes, I totally know he doesn't belong on this list, but look at him - he's right there at your upper right. The man cuddles kittens. The man was a grinder. The man coaches a mean PK (uh, let's ignore the last game). How could you not love this man?

** Before you get all, wow, you know SO MUCH about the Hartford Whalers. You are SO COOL, you should know I played on a team in college with this incredibly hot blonde girl who was the world's biggest (saddest) Whalers fan. She hate the Hurricanes with a fiery, fiery passion, and basically everything I know about the Whalers I learned in an attempt to get into her pants (it didn't work)

24. 1926 (can we still call America's Most Blue Collar Team elitist fucks?)
25. 2000
26. 1974, by way of Kansas City (until 1976) and Colorado (until 1982) although no one ever remembers that.
27. 1993
28. 1972-1988 ("Wayne"); 1988-present ("No Wayne")
29. 1967 (pretending nothing's changed since 1975)
30. 1970-2013, RIP
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Who's Hot, Who's Not And Why! News at Seven.

1. Pacific
2. Patrick Roy is Magic
3. Pacific
4. Jon Bernier's team
5. Team Hangover
6 Pacific
7 Has A Couple Guys Who Are Pretty Good At Hockey
8 Pacific
9 Pacific
10 Still Has A Chip On Their Shoulder About LA
11 Stamkos, Maybe You've Heard Of Him?
12 PK "Get On My Back And Watch Me Work It" Subban and Carey "I Still Sneak Low-5s In" Price's Team
14 Gotta Spend Money to Make Money, Yo
15 Look, We Totally Don't Care. Didn't You Hear Us, I Said We Didn't Care? Wait - What's His Point Total?
16 It is totally, eminently reasonable to plan an entire season around grooming America's Next Top Defenseman, shut it
17 Selling Hope. And Sean Monahan jerseys, lots of those suckers.
18 Tick, tick, tick, Noel.
19 One Pretty Amazing Top Line, One Pretty Amazing Goalie, One Pedigreed Coach, And A Whole Lotta Nothing Else
20 Force of Habit.
21 Don't worry, Moulson left a three ring binder full of instructions for the care and feeding of John Tavares in Vanek's hotel room.
22 Scrappy Underdog Power. Also, good with table saws.
23 Not Gods, People - give them a break
24 Well, as long as Ovie doesn't get hurt, they should be fine.
25 Well, as long as Schneider doesn't get hurt, they have a shot
26 Well, as long as Nash, Callahan, Sauer, Drury, Hagelin, and Lundqvist don't all get hurt, they should... wait, what's that? You're kidding.
27 Remember that time they beat the Pens? God That Was Satisfying.
28 Sound Bites and Carrot Sticks Apparently Only Get You So Far, Who Knew?
29 Cursed. Only explanation.
30 Two Year Tank Plan #BeAGonerForConnor #TankBidForMcDavid
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Well, this morning we learned that we can't drink like we used to, get up and go to work in the morning and be at all productive, so...


Aside from asking, "Why did I drink that much?" "Why do I have a new number in my phone with the only contact info listed as WIND FARMS?" and "Why the fuck does Tampa Bay have to have a hockey team, anyway?" we are left with so many other questions, for example:

Would it be possible to healthy scratch Regher, Martinez, Greener, Mitchell, and Voynov?

Answer: No, this would be not be possible, but god - wouldn't it be satisfying? Especially given their sort of aimless meandering through the first period yesterday? Mitchell, one specially cannot healthy scratch because he has a chronic physical ailment called, "being 36 years old and having no cartilage left in his knee". Any scratching of him will be of the unhealthy variety. No one else can get scratched because it is not yet legal to just put stationary orange cones on the ice in place of D-men, although those would have been equally effective.

Do you remember when we were an excellent defensive team, who couldn't score goals?

Answer: Yes! In hindsight, wasn't that fun?

What the shit happened?

Answer: Well, Mitchell's not what he used to be, we lost Scuds to his homeland, Voynov is regressing, and - oh, you meant specifically last night?

Fuck if I know, they all played like shit.

I was perusing (like you do, when trying to make sense of the world) and I was struck by Voynov's (who through much of the game, looked absolutely terrible) numbers, which, without boring you, were quite positive. And I'm struck by a sense memory of what it was like to have Jake Muzzin on the ice:

Exciting, but also petrifying. Because sure, we generate more shots when he's on the ice, but as soon as we lose possession, there might as well be wet tissue paper between the other team and the goal. That's how Slava was playing. Which. Slava, seriously - you are too old and too good to be that irresponsible.

Martinez and Greener were... themselves. Which is to say meh, and Greener only took one (?) stupid penalty, so, you know. That seems fine.

The upside, is that the D part of D men seems to be the slowest aspect of their game to develop, and the slowest to come back once the season starts. Other than that, I've got nothing.

C'mon, now. Say something nice.

Answer: I actually have alot of nice things to say about this game - aside from the clusterfuck of a first period, we had really nice puck possession, good flow, decent entries. We got a lot of opportunities, and spent a lot of time in the O zone.

13-22-21 are continuing to make me the happiest person in all the land; Stoll looks like he's contributing something on the fourth line, and there were shifts where Kopitar and Richards both looked like the elite talent that they actually are. Kopi's zone entries? Be still my heart. The shift leading up to the no-goal from Carter? Watching all the work Richards did for that, going back for a second and third chance? Never giving up on it.


But that was totally a goal, right? That was a bullshit call?

Answer: Oh, yeah, totally. Fuck that ref.

And then the third period happened?

Answer: Yeah, although the Kings had legit given up by that point. Also I was drunk.
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Dearest New Yuletide Friend/Writer Assigned To Me/Author Person:

Read more... )

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1. Don't get cocky. Turnovers can and will cause your team to give up three unanswered goals and blow a 3-goal lead.

2. All of LA* is in love with Jeff Carter. Straight men. Gay women. Children who have just entered puberty. Everyone. Because he is good at putting it in things.

3. Daniel Carcillo: say what you will about the feet, and the knees, and the hands, but he still clearly has a mouth on him. He was roughly more effective than Original Flavor Penner, but not as much fun as Playoff Penner or TyToff. Definitely above King. Unclear about Fratty.

4. Clifford - Lewis - Frattin, be still my heart.

5. I can't tell you about a big chunk in the middle, because it rained last night. And when it rains around here, everyone and everything freaks out - including the satellite. I wish I was joking.

6. Slava punched a guy! Specifically (I think) Kyle Turris! Sure, it was a little baby kitten-punch but still. Is it that someone finally told Slava that violence is not only allowed, but encouraged in hockey? Did Turris say something mean about Russia? What could he have said to upset the smiliest defensemen in the league? Did anyone else love Carcillo just a little more after he jumped in to intervene?

7. Jonathan Quick is good at hockey. Full stop.

Maybe more later.
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1. It can always be worse. Remember when we were like, "it can't possibly be worse than last year's home opener"? Well it can. We can lose, and it can be a boring game.
2. Jonathan Quick. I don't want to talk about it. I still don't want to talk about St Louis I definitely don't want to talk about this.
3. I have this theory, see, that Stanley Cups are won 45% based on your fourth line, and how your fourth line is playing. They have to way-overachieve. Everybody overachieves sometimes, you just have to have your guys firing at the right time, all together. And I further theorize, that once you have won a Stanley Cup with said Fourth Line, you tend to over-value them. When really, they aren't that good, they just over-achieved for you, right at the right time.

What I'm saying is, King, Nolan, and Fraser - despite my intense and abiding affection for them - are not that good at hockey. I want to see the kids play. You know, the ones we have frolicking around Manchester? Which I will not get to see, because Dean Lombardi hates losing guys on waivers with the fiery passion of a thousand suns.

Trust me, Dean, I get it.

I still want to see the kids play.

4. Goddammit Kyle Clifford, you're better than that. THINK OF YOUR FUTURE.

5. Man, that defense was ugly wasn't it? I mean, just, like, ugly. That first Rangers goal literally everybody fucked up except Jeff Carter. If you had told me two years ago that Jeff Carter would be playing more defensively responsibly than Richards, I would have laughed. And laughed. And laughed. I mean, I once wrote 130K dystopian epic about how not defensively responsible Jeff Carter is. No, seriously.

6. Watching Drew dive and try to bat the thing out of the air though, that was kind of fun.

7. Muzzin. Why do we all have such mixed feelings about Muzz? Is it because he scores goals at particularly opportune times? Is it because if he was the last man back between a rush and my goalie I would be literally terrified? Fucking, Muzzin.

8. At some point, we are going to have to admit to ourselves that Mike Richards peaked in 2010. But let's put that revelation off a while longer, okay? Because it's going to make that contract look awful silly. (In the Between-the-Benches interview, Richie called our play, "Sloppy" Which, granted, is totally true. But I am sorely tempted to buy him a mirror with a note attached that reads, THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU TREAT THE PRESEASON LIKE A JOKE, RICHARDS. GODDAMMIT IT. XOXOXO

9. Lots of positive self-talk happening the bar last night: This is a playoff team. They're built for series. We always start slow. Typical Kings hockey.

I love my people.

10. Man, someone must have yelled at them hard after the Jets game, though, about taking penalties. Right? AND LOOK WHAT HAPPENS.

11. But, uh, the Wild and the Jets both made this team look... what's the word for it? Ah, yes: Slow. Lumbering.


12. You know who looked really goddamn slow last night? Beloved Willie Mitchell. You know who was supposed to give an intermission interview and didn't? Beloved Willie Mitchell. You want to know how much paranoid speculation was going on that it was because he was having his knee frantically worked on?

All of it.

13. Apparently all it takes to make Brad Richards look good is the LA Kings. Who knew.

13b. Addendum: Not even the Kings could make Rick Nash look good, sorry Rangers.

Did I miss any?
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@ Wild

1. Given half an excuse, the Wild will use green smoke for anything
2. Matt Cooke should have been a soccer player
3. Even the Kings' PP gets lucky every so often
4. Ryan Suter? Good at hockey. Okay, maybe we already knew that.
5. Put on the fourth line, Kyle Clifford will do dumb, fourth-line things
6. Defensively irresponsible Jeff Carter of the 2003-2012 era? Yeah, he's still around.
7. But he'll feel bad enough about it to score you a goal.
8. I like this Frattin kid, if Scribbles can hold his own, LA officially wins the trade
9. It's still a 3-2 league.

Did I miss any?
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Guess what? It’s time for everyone’s favorite off-season activity – which is, “ionthesparrow obsessively re-watches and re-caps games she plans on writing about.” This time, for reasons that have a great deal to do with PUCKLING, this means re-watching the 2013 Kings-Hawks games.

motherfucker )

Pro Stars

Jul. 18th, 2013 08:53 pm
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Story time!

Many (many) moons ago - when I was just a wee child, living in the wilds of Texas (and this, mind you, predates not only the Dallas Stars, but also the Texas Stars, the Houston Aeros and the much beloved and dearly departed Austin Ice Bats (no seriously)) there was a glorious, if similarly short-lived cartoon called Pro Stars.

Aside: Surely some one out there is also jumping up and down, shouting yes! Right? Surely.

According to Wikipedia, this cartoon aired only in 1991. I remember it being much longer lasting, but then, my memory is no doubt biased.

I need you to keep in mind when you watch this, that this cartoon may in part be responsible for an epic childhood crush on Wayne Gretzky - thus kicking off a lifetime of hockey (and LA Kings) fandom. No, seriously. Circa the early '90s, my logic was: Wayne Gretzky is the best player in hockey. Wayne Gretzky plays for the LA Kings? Ipso facto I am a Kings fan.

Done and done. Sold.

Aside the second: Three childhood figures I was terribly and confusingly unsure of whether I was in love with, or whether I wanted to be them instead: Wayne Gretzky, MacGyver, Hawkeye from M*A*S*H. Make of that what you will.

Here, mind you, is the intro to that cartoon, courtesy of Youtube:

Okay. Are you back? Are you still breathing?

A List of Things That Inspired Feelings:

1) The music. Oh, god. the music. I... Oh, god. I can't.

2) The nonironic use of the word jammin' in the intro.

3) Michael's time is slam time! You know what, I'm not going to be able to quote all the lines of the lyrics that caused feelings, because I would just quote the whole thing.

4) Can we just pause on Michael Jordan for a second, though? I don't know about you guys, but Michael Jordan was probably the first contemporary black man that within my peer group it was acceptable/cool/expected to admire. Was he somehow less threatening than other 6'+ black men? Was it just that his talent was so unbelievably exceptional? Was it the broke-new-grounds-in-its-ubiquity use of him in marketing? Bottom line: MJ was the MAN

5) "Wayne's hot... slapshot" Is this meant as, "Wayne's hot. Slapshot!" Or rather, "Wayne's hot slapshot!" Because can I be honest? Both. They're both hot.

5b)But... the video clip of him scoring while that line is being "sung" is definitely not a slapshot. It is a most excellent backhand. But it's not a slapshot.

5c) Actually, if you were to make a list of Things That Wayne Gretzky is Awesome At, I think "slap shots" would be somewhere down in the double digits.

5d) Fuck it, it's still hot.

6) Wikipedia informs me that Bo Jackson was chosen for his "ability to represent both football and baseball" I mean, I guess? Was there some kind of, like, animation budget that prevented them from having four characters? What the fuck?

7) ...and I'm going to need a minute for some '90s shitty cartoon nostaligia. Sigh. Okay, now I'm good.

8) Oh, dear holy christ. They just came out of lockers. In unison. Do they live in there? Do they change in there or something? IS THERE A MAGIC PORTAL IN THERE? Are they somehow stored in stasis in there until they're needed? WHAT THE FUCK? Is this a closet metaphor? Guys, we could be stumbling onto some deep, root-of-my-fucked-up-obsessions level Freudian, subconscious shit here. No joke.

9) Who the shit are these ladies? I do not remember them AT ALL.

10) ...and Michael Jordan just rescued a little brown child off a fire escape. From a fire. Because a) all brown children live in big-ass apartment buildings? and b) Wait. Isn't the whole point of a fire escape that it HELPS YOU ESCAPE FIRES? No?

11) Buttons on shoes. Pay attention. This will be important again later.

12) Oh, god. Wayne is IN-LINE SKATING. IN A CAVE.

I repeat:



14) Still not over the hair.

15) And the... shorts. Oh, god. Why is Wayne in short-shorts? WHY?

16) MAGIC BUTTON ON THE SKATES. Again? Did the animators have some sort of button-obsession?

17) And he has... magic pucks that transform into boomerangs? And explode? If it's just going to explode, why does it need to transform into a boomerang? IT"S NOT COMING BACK, WAYNE. YOU DON'T WANT THAT SHIT BACK.

17b) And cartoon-Wayne is somehow also a right-handed shot? For... reasons?

17c) And wait, what the shit did he just explode? Some kind of orange robot?

17d) And, WAIT. WTF is that kid doing there? Did Wayne know the kid was there when he was chucking magic exploding pucks/boomerangs blindly down the tunnel?

18) Holy shit, Bo Jackson, that was some sick wall-walking

19) I cannot imagine that the visual juxtaposition of Bo's calves with tree trunks is a coincidence. Did you see those things?

20) Bo is... extracting some kind of environmental vengeance? How does this cartoon compare time-wise to Captain Planet? Same? Earlier?

21) There is no moral here. There is only the vague sensation of being lost. And the sickly-sweet knowledge that somehow this is responsible for being the fan of an organization that would take 40+ years to achieve a Stanley Cup.

...and then trade for Dan Carcillo
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So, I keep hearing about “cap recapture” – which is a way to discourage teams from signing players to the sort of ridiculous, long-term, back-diving contracts that were starting to appear under the old CBA. Capgeek has a nice calculator for determining how much a player will cost your team if has one of these contracts and retires, but I found it a little opaque. So I crunched some numbers to get a better idea of how recapture actually works. (the details, by the way, can be found in section 50.5 of the new CBA).

Let’s take Mike Richards contract for an example. Not that I’m biased or anything.

In 2007, in the midst of a career best year, and already wearing the ‘A’, Richards signed a 12-year contract with the Philadelphia Flyers for an epic shit ton of money. The contract ran from the 08/09 season until the 19/20 season (at which point he would be 35) and paid him this much each year:

Not bad, eh? Number yanked from CapGeek, notice they go up in the middle of the contract, and down towards the end. I guess that means this contract is not technically “front-loaded” Sean McIndoe over at Grantland calls it “middle-loaded” but, whatever. It does dive a bit towards the end.

If you add all that salary up, you get $69,000,000 – which buys a lot of boats, lake houses, and beer. If you divide 69mill by 12 (the length of the contract in years) you get $5,750,000 – the AAV or cap hit. Which is still pretty steep, but not nearly as steep as if those last three years weren’t there.

Now, if you take the amount Richards was paid each year and subtract the cap hit, you get the cap benefit for the team, and since in the summer of 2011, Richards was traded to the LA Kings, that contract (and cap benefit) is now their problem:

You’ll notice in the first two years and the last four years of the contract, the cap hit actually exceeds the salary. It’s only in the middle 6 years of the contract that the team gets any benefit of the reduced cap hit (ONLY the middle six, JFC).

If Richards were to retire this summer, meaning the 2012-2013 season was the last he played, we would calculate the cap recapture by summing benefit his team received for each year he played for them:

Philadelphia Flyers Total Benefit = 650,000 + (-150,000) + (-350,000) = $150,000

LA Kings Total Benefit = 850,000 + 2,650,000 = $3,500,000

Now, technically, Philly traded Richards before the new CBA kicked in, so they’re off the hook:

Philadelphia Flyers Total Benefit = $150,000 + LOOPHOLE = $0

Nice. The Kings, on the other hand, have to count that benefit against their cap. The sum benefit (3.5mill) is divided by the number of years remaining on the contract (7):

$3,500,000 / 7 years = $500,000

Which means they have to count $500K off their cap from 2013-2014 until 2019-2020. If instead, Mike Richards retires in any of the other years remaining on his contract (without being traded (again)) you get a breakdown that looks like this:

In conclusion, please don’t retire* Mike Richards.



Did I mess up? Is my math off? Let me know!



* Or defect. Defecting counts too. (but not dying)


Jun. 2nd, 2013 11:50 am
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I'm on twitter!

(give me a break, it took my family years to give up on betamax. This is basically like being an early-adopter for me)


Are you on twitter? Can we be twitter friends?

Hey SoCal!

Apr. 29th, 2013 09:39 am
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Are you going to the Kings Game 3? Or are you in LA 5/4?

Do you want to drink beer?

Come have a beer!
ionthesparrow: (Default)

Carry on.
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So why is this game interesting?

Read more... )
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So why is this game interesting?

Read more... )
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(uh, this got sort of long, because I find this game endlessly fascinating. Sorry about that)

What’s so interesting about this game?

Read more... )
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 Why this game is interesting?
Read more... )
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Why is this game interesting?

Read more... )
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