First, please see WRT's programming note on tonight's Wild/Blues game.
*Sean Avery...ho-boy. I had a couple thoughts about him, but then I ran out of care. He's on "ignore."
*Sticking with the Stars - ex-Avery - little in hockey pleases this recovering North Stars fan more than seeing them struggle this season. While I'd have to admit that the thought of them winning the Tavares/Hedman sweepstakes is a tad galling, I'd still rather have them have to suffer first. Now all we have to do is to get the league to rescind their ill-gotten Cup for our vengeance to be complete...
*Wanna do a shot? Denis Potvin was on NHL Home Ice radio this morning talking about Todd McLellan and his success with the Sharks so far. Denis mentioned that one of the things he has noticed is how the Sharks and Red Wings (Coach McLellan's former team) are one-two in the league in shots-for. Being the stats junkie that I am, this intrigued me. Upon further analysis, however, the argument that more shots = more success was muted when I noticed that the team with the third-most shots-for per game is the Toronto Maple Leafs (the Rangers and Devils rounded out the top five.) Looking at those five teams, again, ranked 1-5 in the league in shots-for per game, through the filter of shooting percentage rank you get:
San Jose 1st (3.80%)
Detroit 2nd (3.42%)
Toronto 8th (3.00%)
NY Rangers 28th (2.44%)
New Jersey 16th (2.82%)
So now you can't really say that more shots equals more goals. But what about more shots equaling more wins - regardless of how many find twine?
Here's those five teams by league overall standing:
San Jose 1st
NY Rangers 4th
New Jersey 13th
Obviously it doesn't hurt to shoot more. But I think it's clear that it's not just shooting more than counts. It's who is shooting, when they're shooting it and, maybe more importantly, who is crashing the net looking for rebounds. I think Denis' point is interesting, but I think it's really more a function of McLellan being a good coach of a good team.
*The Hurricanes have fired Peter Laviolette and brought back Paul Maurice, according to TSN.
*On a personal note, I am proud to report that I am a new correspondent over at Hockeyprimetime.com. I'll be primarily covering the Wild. You can see my first entry here. You may also be hearing more from me via HPT (not to be confused with HTP) in the near future.