Friday, February 22, 2013

Franzen: Detroit's MVP?

Every team needs a scapegoat. When a team plays sloppy or lackadaisical explanations are warranted, and those explanations frequently come in the form of accusations from the fanbase that so-and-so was mailing it in and didn't come to play. Sometimes those accusations are lobbied against a scapemule, not a scapegoat. 

Johan Franzen has been Detroit's resident if-only-he-could-tap-into-that-talent-and-stop-being-lazy (feel free to use that label in your own writing) forward for the past eight seasons. But is he really as lazy as people accuse him of being? Does he deserve the ire that he typically draws from the fanbase? In a word, no.

I tried to dig a little deeper into this subject last season and it seems like now is the right time to re-post what I found. My post delves into the mumbo-jumbo voodoo of advanced statistics that some people loathe and others love, so if you think stats are for dorks you might not want to read on. One thing worth noting; I didn't see a reason to update the post for this season because there simply isn't enough data to draw conclusions yet. 

Lazy Mule or Workhorse: Inside Franzen's Numbers

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Damien Brunner, Red vs. White, and Shameless Self-Promotion

Tonight's Red vs. White game provided a much-needed dose of hockey-like activities to a famished Hockeytown. Other sites have gone into depth about what happened, and though I'd love to screen cap all of the goals and do a GBGA I can't because, quite frankly, my Masters program and other hockey writing obligations are killing me at the moment. Instead, I'll direct your attention to some things I think are worth taking a look at.

Excellent Options for Filling Your Free Time

First, in the "OMG PANIC oh wait the headline is scarier than the story" category we have this article from the  Detroit News' Ted Kulfan about Pavel Datsyuk's desire to play in Russia.

George has everything you could ever want about both the announcement of Zetterberg as captain (congrats,  Z) and the scrimmage over at his blog. Go there now because he is awesome and whatnot.

The Detroit News has a great photo gallery that recaps the Zetterberg press conference and scrimmage.

The Part of the Post Where I Shamelessly (Shamefully?) Self Promote

Damien Brunner looked great in tonight's game, further cementing the feeling that I had when he signed that Detroit had found yet another diamond in the rough. Technically I guess he was more of a free agent in Europe, but you get the idea. In all seriousness he looks like the perfect complement to Dats and Z. I can't wait to see the Euro Triplets rolled out in game action.

I wrote a post about Brunner when he signed that's turned out to be one of my most popular and now seems like as good a time as any to link to it again. Check it out here.

My most recent piece for Hockey's Future is a mid-season update on all prospects in the AHL and ECHL. You can give it a read here, and I very much appreciate if you do. My article for this month will be about how prospects from the 2008 draft have fared, and the article for February will be an updated Top 20 prospects list.

I had an idea for a megapost about how points and ice time correlate between the AHL and NHL, but the AHL doesn't keep ice time stats. Boooooo AHL stats. Anyways, I'll be writing/doing my beloved GBGAs as frequently as time allows. Thanks for sticking with me.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

It's Back, and So Am I

You know the old saying "the more things change, the more they stay the same"? Yeah, that's not really true. Between the last time the Detroit Red Wings took the ice in an official NHL game and now I got married, got a puppy, got a job where someone actually pays me to write (about hockey!), and started down a new career path. It's been a good few months.

At the same time, it hasn't been a good few months for the NHL and those associated with it. As you can tell from my post dates, I decided that I wouldn't write on this blog again until after the lockout. I consider myself about as fervent a fan as there is, and I'll admit that I felt the most apathetic towards the league that I've ever felt. Was my groom's cake a winged wheel? Yep. Did my wife get me cuff links made from game used pucks? Yep. Did I get a bunch of Wings books for Christmas? Yep. Did I feel strange, like the passion I had for this franchise had slipped away, lost among a never-ending barrage of on-the-table off-the-table proposals and marathon bargaining session? Yep.

Consider that apathy cancelled. I'm excited again about Detroit Red Wings hockey, excited to see my favorite players compete at the highest level against the best players in the world. Hockey never really left, but today it sure feels like hockey's back.

Remember that puppy I mentioned earlier? This is Pasha. Yep, he's named after that Pasha. He's a Border Collie/German Shepherd mix and I swear I'm gonna teach him how to dangle dangle. I think he's already half way there, because when we're playing with his tennis ball and he's cornered he throws the ball through my legs, runs around me, and grabs it from behind me.

These are the cuff links that my wife got me as a wedding gift. For a game used equipment junkie like myself these are pretty awesome.

And this awesome awesomeness was my groom's cake. Red Wings logo outside, carrot cake inside. 

As a side note, you can check out my work at Hockey's Future here (a new article of mine should be up in the next day or two) and my work at here

Like it? Hate it? Let me know (and follow me) on Twitter @TOGBlog1 or by email at