Archive for the ‘Stats’ Category

Yes. I’m superstitious. All of Dallas Stars fandom (as measured by the people I personally follow on Twitter) are superstitious. Daryl “Razor” Reaugh should be, too.

This isn’t just anecdotal any more, though. Kari Lehtonen has had too many “Ryan Miller Shutouts” (as my Buffalo Sabres fan friends call it), and it’s because every time it gets down to 5 minutes left in a game where the opposition hasn’t scored, Razor will not leave it alone.

Sometimes he just flat out says the word, “shutout.” Blatantly. And then as he’s discussing how dumb ol’ superstitious people hate it when he does that, Kari lets one in. Every time.

Other times, like last night, he calls it a “clean sheet.” I was on Twitter and, at about the 5-minute mark, many of us expressed our fear by tweeting things like, “DON’T SAY IT RAZOR!” and, “Don’t JINX US RAZOR!”

Then he started talking about how Kari can’t seem to keep a clean sheet these days.

We all said, “NOOOOOOOOOO!” And then the Coyotes scored.

There is no way that goal wasn’t caused by Razor’s blatant disregard for established rules in hockey broadcasting.

In the post-game show when it was pointed out that it was his fault, he asked, innocently, “What am I supposed to call it?!”

How about you don’t mention it at all, Razor? We can all see what’s happening. You don’t have to point it out!

We are happy to wait five more minutes for your scintillating analysis of Kari’s shutout stats. The end of the game, when he actually has a shutout, is perfectly fine! WHY CAN’T YOU WAIT UNTIL THEN?!?

This is why Kari doesn’t have one yet. He knows, just as we all do, that Razor mentions it at exactly the same point in every game.

If not for the knight on a white horse that rode in to save the day (Jamie Benn, with 4 seconds left), Razor might have had to go into seclusion until the whole thing blew over. I’m telling you, Twitter was PISSED.

Razor, next time, just TRY to not mention it for FIVE MORE MINUTES, okay? You can time yourself. It’s not going to hurt your career! You’ll still win Emmys and be the toast of the hockey broadcasting world.

And maybe Kari can get a shutout, for Pete’s sake.


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We're back in it.

We're back in it.

The win against the Blue Jackets — a decisive win, I might add — has finally put us up in the top 8 in the Western Conference.

Who could believe that we were once (and for a while) last in the Conference? We were once last in the LEAGUE. Remember when I thought 12th was good?

But they turned it around. The cut out their cancer, they held on until some of the injured players returned, and then they started to believe they could do it. Marty Turco finally figured out what he was doing wrong and stopped it, and that’s been probably the biggest thing. I think Dave Tippett should get some Jack Adams consideration for coach of the year if this keeps up.

All four lines are contributing. When things are going well, they can handle it. They have been known to start out smacking a team around, then panic because there’s still half a game left to play. And when things aren’t going well, they can handle it. For a while, if they got down by 2 goals, they were destined to end up down by 5. Now, they seem to be able to imagine getting those two goals back.

During his intermission interview, Brad Richards made a good point that they were not playing that hard at first. They had a 3-0 lead, but it had been kind of easy, so in the 2nd period Columbus picked up a couple of goals and started to catch up. That woke up the Stars and they stepped on the gas the rest of the way.

The Detroit win was pretty fantastic, but this win against Columbus might have been more important. We’re never going to catch Detroit in the standings, but we have to win against the teams we’re bunched with here in the middle. On the other hand, even though we’re never going to catch Detroit, taking three of the four games against them this season does wonders for our confidence.

I think the boys think that they can beat anybody now.

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Little victories.



There was a time, not too long ago, when we were at the bottom of both these lists.

We have a long way to go, but at least we’re working in the right direction. I’m much more optimistic than I was in the first two months. I’m not predicting anything, though, and things could still turn bad again, but I’m going to enjoy it while I can.

Brad Richards is suddenly on fire. He has 13 points in the last 7 games! I have no problem at all if he does nothing but rack up assists. But he’s also scoring a few goals in there, too. He and Loui Eriksson need to never be separated.


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Let’s see what we have here.

• Dallas is in second place OVERALL.  Dallas has won 9 out of the last 10.  Dallas has only lost once since the All-Star break. Dallas is 6 points ahead of the four teams that are in third place overall.

• Detroit, when last we checked, was 15 points ahead of us.  Now they’re 8 points ahead, after a 6-game losing streak.  Catching them might be a long shot, but it’s not impossible.

• Ottawa started out the season winning their first 14 out of 15 games. They led the Eastern Conference from the beginning of the season. Now they’re tied with two other teams for the Eastern Conference lead. And also 6 points behind the Stars.

• San Jose still has 4 games in hand on the Stars, but now they’ve spent them.  They’re 9 points behind us, so even if they win all the rest of their games in hand, they’ll still be a point behind us.  This is supposedly the month when they catch up in the number of games played, so the picture should become clear very soon.

• Anaheim has no games in hand on the Stars and they’re 6 points behind us.  And they’re a bunch of thugs.  It’s not easy to tell that just from the standings, but trust me.

This is so fun.

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I’m a standings watcher.  Sane people wait until after the All-Star Game, at least, to start worrying about the standings, but I watch them from the first game of the season.

As a Stars fan, I’m pretty spoiled.  I don’t remember when we weren’t fighting for the division lead, so after the first game of the season I start getting all worked up about whether we are in the lead.  I keep my eye on the division all year and I watch our division rivals and root for them to lose.

This season we’ve been neck-and-neck with the San Jose Sharks most of the way.  The Anaheim Ducks have been kind of up and down, so they’ve been close to us and far from us.  The Los Angeles Kings, bless their hearts, have been way back.  Still, I only root for them to win when they’re playing the Sharks or the Ducks.  And the Phoenix Coyotes are sneaking up on us.  I haven’t been paying too close attention to them, because I figured they were way behind, but now I have to actively hope they lose as much as possible, too.

The Sharks currently have four games in hand on us.  It’s been as many as six.  For the casual fan, games in hand are the difference between the number of games played by two particular teams.  The Stars have played 58 games and the Sharks have played 54.  So, when you’re, say, 3 points a head of a team, but they’ve played 4 fewer games, you have to keep in mind that they have some catch-up games.  If you assume they will win their games in hand, then you’re not really ahead of them. 

We actually have a game in hand on the Ducks right now, and they’re also 4 points behind, so I feel a little farther ahead of them than I do the Sharks.

So, while I’m fretting about the Pacific Division standings, and taking every loss as if it will kick us out of playoff contention, the Stars did something interesting.

They passed the Ottawa Senators to reach second place in the entire league.


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Dallas 4, Montreal 1

Despite what Yahoo’s box score would have you believe, there were no power-play goals in this game. And no shorthanded one, either.

Cat, Caitlin, and Jen have recaps of the game that were much more timely than mine. And of course Andrew’s always has a good writeup. So, since it was so long ago, I won’t go into detail about the whole game, just this one thing that bothered me.

That being that the box score on Yahoo Sports, the Offical Game Summary from NHL.com, and the game summary on the Stars site are all incorrect.

The Yahoo boxscore still says that the Stars got four power-play goals and the Canadiens got a shorthanded goal! That’s completely incorrect. All the goals were even-strength. Andrew’s game summary is correct.

The Offical Game Summary was claiming the four PP goals at first, but it has since been changed. First, it was changed to show that only Miettinen’s goal was a power-play goal and there were four skaters and the goaltender listed as being on the ice at the time. But that has been corrected now so that it shows all five skaters plus the goaltender, but it is still counting the goal as a PP goal. Either it’s not a PP goal, or there were too many men on the ice for the shorthanded team. And what penalty was being served at that time? I am pretty sure there wasn’t one.

I haven’t re-watched the game, but I plan to, to verify that it wasn’t a power-play goal.  But even if the official summary is right about it being a PP goal, then they have listed an extra skater on the ice at the time.  

This really bothers me. I’m not even much of a stats person, but I love reading what other people do with them and I wonder how often this happens. I’d hate to get all excited about how awesome our PP is, when it’s basically just made up.  I would never have noticed it if it hadn’t been so wildly incorrect the first time. I play fantasy hockey on Yahoo and I wonder how often people get points they shouldn’t or don’t get points they should, if it’s that sloppy.

Do the teams keep separate track of this stuff? Is this common? I feel like I should tell someone in authority, but who would that be? And would they even care?

By the way, the Stars’ Penalty Kill is second in the league!  Or is it?

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