Â• After they failed to rise to the occasion at GM place Monday night, the Dallas Stars will be in for some significant changes in the off-season.
If they knew what was good for them, Marty Turco wouldn't be one of the players moved. Turco had a better goals-against average (2.23) in the first round than Canucks' MVP Roberto Luongo (2.29) and shut out Vancouver in all three Dallas wins.
The Stars couldn't put together any kind of offensive attack, which is why their season is over. And for that reason, I'd imagine that soon-to-be unrestricted free agent forwards Eric Lindros (pointless and a minus-two in three playoff games) and Ladislav Nagy (a goal and two points in seven games) will be looking for new hockey homes very soon.
Â• Sean Avery has said some outrageous things in his hockey career, but what he said to the New York Post Tuesday was just the sort of thing the NHL needs more of.
Â“I'm going to hurt them, I'm going to hit them, I'm going to be in their face as much as I can,Â” Avery said of the Sabres, who his Rangers will face in the second round. Â“Each check is going to be a little bit harder.Â”
Talk all you want about his bragging making for bulletin board fodder in Buffalo's dressing room, but be honest: don't you want to watch this series even more now?
Don't you want to see either (a) Avery deliver on his words, or (b) the Sabres stuff them down his gullet? And isn't that what the NHL should be all about these days Â– attracting eyeballs and stirring up talk among casual and hard-core hockey fans?
Â• Further to the Sean Hill performance-enhancing drugs situation: Has businessman Frank D'Angelo, who used disgraced sprinter Ben Johnson for this ad campaign, thought of using Hill for his next commercial?
If you would've told me that Sean Avery would have more of an impact on a team than Brendan Shanahan, I would've laughed in your face. But since that is indeed the case, and since the Rangers are playing for each other and not for their bloated contracts for a change, I know it has this Rangers fan in 7th heaven. Now if only Avery could somehow work Elisha Cuthbert into the lineup...
- Joe Willix
Hey Adam, I usually like your columns and think you are probably the brightest and most reasonable hockey writer around. I've been annoyed at your coverage of the Dallas-Vancouver series though, and your seeming inability to give Vancouver and Luongo any credit - last night was a great and gritty effort by the Canucks, but you again air your obsession with Turco and your "dark horse" Stars. And in spite of the fact that Lunongo ultimately out-tended Turco (cf. save on Barnes, goal by Linden for comparison of clutch performances), you still point out (inaccurately - your GAA stats are wrong) Turco's slight numerical edge in the series. Give your head a shake! Otherwise, great work though - keep up the anti-Cherry, anti-fighting campaing.
- Sean McAlister
Don't you think you're being a little hypocritical here Adam? You're basically promoting Sean Avery's violent comments, and we've all heard your anti-violence lecture. Why should you encourage a guy who says he's going to hurt opposing players? It doesn't really fit into your normal stance.
- Jacob Gallant
Adam, I am normally a fan of your comments, but as a statistics fanatic sometimes your use of them frightens me. Using GAA to compare goalies is both useless and misleading. Dominik Hasek: 1.57 GAA Mikka Kiprusoff: 2.28 GAA Was Hasik better in the series? Didn't think so. So why don't you let your statistics dictate your opinion, instead of using your opinion to pick and choose statistics?
Not sure what stats Sean is talking about, but NHL.com reports Turco .952 and Luongo .950 on save percentage, Turco 1.30 and Luongo 1.41 on GAA. Both goalies were stellar throughout the series - it was the Stars' ability to come up MIA in parts of the series - especially the beginning parts - that led to a Canucks overall win. The teams were very evenly matched, but Dallas had more depth and could've - should've put the series away long before it hit game 7. If it weren't for their "let's wait until our backs are to the wall" mentality, I'd be anticipating a Dallas-Detroit series right now...
While Turco does have a slight numerical advantage in goals against average (He let in 11 goals for the series while Luongo let in 12) GAA is a more team based stat because if the defense hangs a goalie out to dry it counts the same as if the same goalie whiffs at a shot from center ice. Probably the most accurate guide to a goalies performance would be goals per scoring chance, which would eliminate the whiffs and focus on the other teams quality shots which is when a goalie has to be at his best. Alas, the NHL teams (or perhaps the league not sure who tallies this) doesn't make this information available (Hey Adam, think you could have a word with your inner verbal legbreakers and have them contact Bettman for us?) . As for the whiffs tallying those versus shots on goal and coming up with a percentage woul d be another interesting stat to get a hold of (which, egads, is also not supplied by the team/league. Sometimes I wish I were a baseball fan). In lieu of that the next best available measuring stick is save percentage which measures goals against shots on goal. In this case Turco's was .952 and Luongo's was .950. In laymans terms. If each goalie faced 1000 shots, Turco would stop 952 of them and Luongo 950. In practice using this stat, there was nothing to choose from between the two. Conclusion, if you only use this stat (which, unfortunately is all we have): Goaltending did not decide this series. On that front, it was a sawoff.
- Stephen J. Holodinsky