pls send to AP

Damned Lies and Statistics: #MNWild Jason “Bad Mother” Zucker is a better goal scorer than Ovi, Tavares!?

I strongly believe you don’t need to throw out a lot of numbers to understand a data set. That’s why I like visualizations so much…the better ones are on some level simply intuitive when you look at them, like the decreasingly popular player usage charts–they present a lot of data but they aren’t straining to look at.

Well, wouldn’t you know it if a cool new viz popped up on the interwebs today! It was developed by a guy named Domenic Galamini, a teenager from Ontario who has done some really cool other visualizations lately. Basically, all he did was grab some data from two of the big stat databases, war-on-ice and puckalytics, and throw them into Tableau. Continue reading

sharks at wild 1-6-15 corsi

#MNWild Game Notes 1-6-15 vs Sharks plus individual fancy stats

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before…Wild start strong, fall apart and fail to adapt down the stretch. Sound familiar? Starting to get real hard not to look for a scapegoat. Jason Zucker played great tonight, and for parts of the game it seemed as though Minnesota could outplay the Sharks even without Zach Parise, who is with his ailing father…but alas, Mister Darcy lets in the game winner in overtime.

Continue reading

brodziak nino

Hashtag Hockey Fights Domestic Violence – My Pledge!

Well, I dragged my feet a bit but I finally have my Hockey Fights DV pledge for this season! If you’re not familiar with the cause, check out the official tumblr page, and give a listen to my most recent podcast. In short, people are pledging money to domestic violence shelters and organizations based on NHL players/teams performance. Here’s mine:

Minnesota Wild

Mikael Granlund assists = $0.75 each

Nino Niederreiter goals = $1.00 each

Kyle Brodziak points = $2.00 each

I’m still looking for the right organization to which I can donate, so I’ll have to make an update when I’ve found the right one.

If you haven’t made your pledge, head on over to and sign up, it’s a great cause!

Wild Game Notes 12-16-14 vs Blackhawks: Minnesota Fails to Regain the Belt

The Wild got off to an extremely slow start to this game, before Vanek found the back of the net to give the team an improbable lead after the first period. Then, they just got dominated in the second period, to the tune of three unanswered goals and a nasty possession deficit (68% corsi events against in the second period for the Wild.)

Nino Niederreiter acted as a spark plug, streaking to the net on a nice stretch pass before getting hauled to the ice by Hossa. His penalty shot goal was one of the sickest goals I’ve seen in a long time. He deked to his left TWICE before pulling the puck to his backhand and absolutely roofing one. It was gorgeous. Continue reading

Hashtag Hockey Podcast ep. 37 – The difference between silence and listening: Hockey Fights Domestic Violence

Bob is joined by Heather Lynn (@wraparoundcurl), Alexandra  Edwards (@nonmodernist), and Chanelle Berlin (@chanelleberlin @thxbud) for a discussion on the #hockeyfightsdv campaign, including:

  • How it all got started
  • How can people get involved
  • Considerations for choosing a charity
  • Most interesting pledges
  • The NHL marketing its #brand to women
  • The silence is the worst part
  • New media revolution in hockey
  • Bob confuses the CWHL with the WCHA
  • Commonalities between Hockey in social media and other subcultures
  • The difference between silence and listening
  • Educate yourself –> Interrupt hurtful behavior –> Interrupt and educate someone else –> Actively work to end the problem
  • How a patriarchy hurts both men and women

Show URL:

Hashtag Hockey Podcast episode 36 – Minnesota Nice Trash Talk

Bob and Dan chat about Minnesota Nice Trash Talk, before discussing topics of:

  • Hockey Birthdays
  • First Name Game
  • Players you love to hate
  • All Star Voting dominated by Latvians
  • What it’s actually like to live in Latvia
  • Foo Fighters Sonic Highways
  • 1907s Cosmos vs 2014 Cosmos



Hashtag Hockey Podcast ep. 35 – Leopore, Dater, and Booing the Home Team

Bob and Dan discuss engagement problems before commenting on the Steve Leopore and Adrian Dater firings. Then, they get themselves on tangents on tangents on tangents, including:

  • Drunk history
  • Human centipede
  • Brau Brothers Brewery Leuken, MN
  • Blue Moon Cinnamon Horchata Season Ale
  • Johnnie Walker Red Label
  • Elijah Craig 12-year

QotD: Do good fans throw jerseys and boo their own teams? Is it our obligation as fans or just bad behavior? What would it take for a Wild fan to throw their jersey on the ice?

Trivia: Which Minnesota-born player holds the record for three assists in a period for the Wild?

Howarts in the Snow (LR)

Minnesota Wild Sorting Hat

It’s been a difficult week on Twitter, but one of the bright spots of the week was a fun discussion about NHL players and which Hogwarts house they would be sorted into. There were some very strong opinions! I though it would be fun to start a Minnesota Wild Sorting Hat where people can put players into the four houses. I’ll collect the data and post the results, along with the correct answers (mine, obviously.) Click through to begin the survey! Continue reading

wild vs canadiens 12-3-14

Wild Game Notes: 12-3-14 vs Canadiens

On a night where the Wild scored 0:19 into the game, and thoroughly dominated possession for the first two periods–Montreal was held to less than 20 corsi events for the first 40 minutes, which is pretty astounding–they sure made it interesting at the end of the game. Let’s jump straight to the possession chart: Continue reading

blues at wild 11-29-14

#MNWild lose Conference III Title Belt but show signs for optimism

It’s a rainy morning in Orange County, a perfect time to sit down and do some writing. Exciting couple of games over the holiday weekend for the Minnesota Wild, with a ridiculous game against the Stars that went to overtime and a hard fought game versus the Blues that ended in a shootout as Vladimir Tarasenko single-handedly walked away with the Conference III title belt.

The game against the Stars was the third time in this young season that Minnesota coughed up a three-goal lead. It was a brutal second period for Darcy Kuemper…as he looked really good in the first and third periods, but as the Stars turned up the pressure in the second, that three minute stretch was just agonizing. If it was me, I think I would have given him the hook, but that would have been the second time in two games, so credit Mike Yeo for giving him the chance to go out and redeem himself.

min at dal 11-28-14

Thomas Vanek played the hero in the title defense on Friday, scoring a late goal to tie the contest before assisting on the Scandella game-winner.

It was a 6-on-5 goal off an offensive zone faceoff win by Mikko Koivu, Suter got the first assist and Parise the second, tough to see exactly who was the one to dig it out of the corner, but Vanek doesn’t hesitate and he roofs the puck from the dot. Great short side shot, a sniper’s shot to be sure. I wonder if this game was held three or four weeks ago…would Vanek have hesitated for that split second, or looked to make a pass instead of rifling off a muscle memory wrist shot? I really think he’s turning the corner…he’s gotten over that hump and it seems like he’s trusting his instincts. I think this might be your last chance to buy low in fantasy hockey if his owner is frustrated by the first twenty games.

Here’s the overtime winner, and we see Vanek again with a strong play to get this tic-tac-toe goal started. Kind of a rocket pass to Parise, but credit him for one-touching it softly to Scandella, who was crashing the net–as he is wont to do this year. And wouldn’t you know it if Marco got himself rewarded with a nice $20 million contract the very next day. It’s a pretty good deal for both sides, but I want to be optimistic that Scandella continues to mature and grow his game. With Spurgeon signed through 15-16, the Wild top four of Suter-Brodin//Scandella-Spurgeon looks pretty good, particularly with the added production from the second pair.

However, what does this mean for Matt Dumba? Is he destined to be a third pair defender who specializes on the power play? I thought he made some small steps forward in his time at the NHL level this year, but he’s got a lot of work ahead of him to develop into a good two-way player.

Let’s check on the individual possession and zone start numbers for the Wild for this game:

Player Position TOI FF FA FF% FF% Rel Off. Zone Start %
Jason Pominville R 17:01 25 14 64.1 30.77 64.29
Zach Parise L 18:53 22 15 59.46 22.17 58.82
Mikael Granlund C 17:40 22 15 59.46 22.17 56.25
Nate Prosser D 12:25 11 11 50 5.41 28.57
Jared Spurgeon D 23:26 21 24 46.67 1.57 69.23
Marco Scandella D 22:23 15 17 46.88 1.56 31.82
Ryan Suter D 2:12 25 30 45.45 -0.89 64.71
Jonas Brodin D 20:34 13 18 41.94 -5.76 37.5
Kyle Brodziak C 13:57 8 12 40 -7.37 45.45
Thomas Vanek L 15:33 9 14 39.13 -8.81 66.67
Mikko Koivu C 16:07 12 19 38.71 -10.52 41.67
Nino Niederreiter R 13:23 6 11 35.29 -12.81 70
Matt Dumba D 4:10 2 4 33.33 -13.33 0
Ryan Carter C 7:50 4 8 33.33 -14.29 0
Jason Zucker L 13:36 10 18 35.71 -14.29 14.29
Erik Haula C 7:57 3 7 30 -17.67 14.29
Charlie Coyle C 13:33 7 17 29.17 -22.22 14.29
Stu Bickel D 3:41 0 4 0 -47.83 0


The Stars just took over possession beginning in the second period, so most guys were sub-50% fenwick. Stark contrast in zone starts with the Koivu-Zucker-Coyle line taking on a ton of defensive zone starts. Koivu got a couple shifts with Parise, Vanek, and Nino, and those pulled his game average up.

Parise-Pominville-Granlund really drove possession, and it’s nice to see that line clicking after a few not so good games. That trio can drive play and create chances against any team, so let’s hope they keep buzzing.

blues at wild 11-29-14

I thought the Wild did a good job coming out of a back-to-back game (also three games in four nights) and fought the Blues pretty tough. They jumped out and drove possession for the first part of the game.

Coyle wins a faceoff here, and then he and Zucker get to the dirty areas, where the puck finds its way onto Koivu’s stick and he just rifles it on net. I love the last look in the above video, where you can see how he didn’t look up for a beat after his shot. Koivu is third on the Wild this year with 66 SOG, and he’s converting just 4.5% into goals. His career average shooting percent isn’t amazing, just 8.6%, but hopefully we can expect some positive regression to the mean there.

Parise fires a rocket here, and the puck was moved across the ice by Suter. Good to get a PP goal, and you will notice Vanek screening the goalie like he did against the Stars. That’s been his bread and butter for a while.

Player Position TOI FF FA FF% FF% Rel Off. Zone Start %
Mikael Granlund C 16:08 22 10 68.75 17.64 50
Zach Parise L 16:36 22 11 66.67 14.39 55.56
Jared Spurgeon D 17:48 17 9 65.38 10.48 58.33
Jason Pominville R 16:48 24 14 63.16 9.31 71.43
Justin Fontaine R 8:25 4 2 66.67 8.92 66.67
Ryan Carter C 8:13 4 2 66.67 8.92 57.14
Ryan Suter D 22:40 25 16 60.98 5.42 55.56
Jonas Brodin D 22:59 24 16 60 3.24 52.94
Thomas Vanek L 10:48 9 6 60 1.94 71.43
Charlie Coyle C 11:12 8 6 57.14 -1.59 45.45
Jason Zucker L 12:04 8 6 57.14 -1.59 45.45
Marco Scandella D 19:12 17 13 56.67 -2.91 53.85
Nino Niederreiter R 10:33 10 8 55.56 -3.77 62.5
Kyle Brodziak C 12:50 10 9 52.63 -7.71 63.64
Mikko Koivu C 13:59 12 11 52.17 -8.94 53.33
Keith Ballard D 8:19 4 5 44.44 -15.85 40
Erik Haula C 8:34 3 4 42.86 -17.14 16.67
Nate Prosser D 8:22 3 5 37.5 -23.37 50


Granlund-Parise-Pominville atop the charts again. Pommer looks like he really really wants to score a goal. He’s in a bit of a slump, and he’s just getting hungrier and hungrier for a goal. For the number of minutes Suter logs, it’s pretty astounding how high his possession numbers are. I read a couple of those “quarter-pole awards” articles over the last week, and there is a small bit of chatter about Suter as a possible Norris candidate. Might be worth a closer look.

The Hashtag Hockey Podcast will make its trimphant return this week! (hopefully.) Tune in and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter. Thanks for reading!