The View From Wisconsin
Just a random set of rants from a Sports Fan from Wisconsin.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
This is one reason why the Democratic Party has painted itself into corners numerous times: when someone in the GOP comes up with a plan, it generally is something that would benefit a large number of people. The Democrats, because they believe that "anything the Republicans come up with is bad and evil," will automatically oppose it - even if it's the most ridiculous thing to oppose.
This pretty much explains why they absolutely hated the Contract with America from 1994. And, it explains why we've had a Republican in the White House for all but eight years in the last 25. Clinton's ability to try to sell himself as a man who's got ideas that will benefit a lot of people got people on his side in '92 and '96; however, no one on his own "side" believed a word of what he was saying. (In retrospect, they were right.)
I honestly don't believe that Hillary would be able to win the White House if she runs in '08, mostly because too many people that aren't Democrats don't trust her. That's another thing about the conservative side of the issue: with the exception of Iraq, there really isn't anything that the people in general don't trust W and compnay about.
In fact, that is the primary reason why we've had any Democrat in the Oval Office since Kennedy/LBJ: the people didn't trust the conservatives in office, and voted them out. That would be the tack the Dems could use in '08, but the problem is trying to convince people that they're trustworthy at the same time. Bubba did it, but that was because he was a bald-face liar. I don't think there's anyone in this crowd (so far) who could do it.
Just a thought for an early Thursday morning.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Anyways, I haven't been blogging much because I've been a bit busy over at the Preds message boards, righting wrongs, wronging rights and generally getting my post count back towards where it should be.
I am also still in mourning over the sudden loss of Kyle Schultz over the weekend. I still haven't heard anything, but from the sounds of it, he had some sort of cardiac or stroke-like episode on his way home from a pickup game, and his car crashed because he was dead behind the wheel. My heart goes out to his wife and kids; here he finally was doing what he had always dreamed of doing, and now he's gone. Call 'em from up there, buddy.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
For some reason, she was licking/biting the fur off of her forelegs and toes, and we had no idea why. The vet treated it as if it was an allergic reaction to something, and we got her a soft Elizabethan collar for her to wear so she'd stop the biting.
It looked like she was getting better for a while, and about the third follow-up visit to the vet indicated that maybe we should consider limited time without the collar on. I was worried that she would start having psychological problems with the collar, so Sarah and I decided to let her have free reign over the weekend.
Unfortunately, she started biting her fur again. It was driving us crazy, and we really didn't want to have to go through an allergy test for her.
Last night, though, the secret as to why she was biting was revealed. We had first noticed that she had the fur loss after sneaking into our back bedroom, which we use as a storeroom. We kept her from going in there, but last night she managed to get in to the room and snuck into the closet. I found her in the closet, laying on an old pillow we had sitting in there.
The pillow no longer had the cover on it - it was that old - and she had essentially "nested" herself in to the pillow. It was apparently chewed up and scratched up, with all the fibers from the filling out and exposed. When I found her, she had her paws buried under the loose fibers - right up to the edge where her fur had been chewed up.
Care to guess what was causing her to bite her fur? Bingo - the fibers were itching her legs, and she was doing what a cat does when she's itching. She licked and bit off her fur because it itched. Hopefully, after maybe another month or so with the collar on, she'll get her fur back. The pillow, obviously, is gone and garbage.
I'm feeling a lot better, now that I know what happened. I don't like having my little kitten feeling miserable, especially now that she's nine and a half.
Friday, October 21, 2005
I happened to be reading a back issue of the New Yorker magazine (Sept. 19, 2005 issue) at work the other day when I came across something that surprised me a bit.
Now, normally I don't read the New Yorker, as its contents tend to be a bit too New York-centric, and their opinions tend towards the left-leaning. An example of this would be the "commentary" on how Hurricane Katrina is a symptom of America's consumption of "fossil fuels."
Anyways, it was a photo in the Art Museums and Galleries listing that caught my attention. The photo, a daugerreotype portrait of two men who appear to be hunters or cowboys with their dogs, was apparently one of the photographic works of a man named Disfarmer. The caption, however, blew me away:
An untitled portrait by Disfarmer, on view at Houk. Another show of Disfarmer's vintage prints is at Kasher.
Obviously, I was unaware that there was an art gallery in New York with my name on it. I searched on through the listings, trying to find some other reference to this place in the listings. I found it under the "Galleries – Uptown" portion, under "Short List":
DISFARMER: Houk, 745 Fifth Ave., 212-750-7070. Through Oct. 15.
As soon as I got home, I googled the address and found out that this was the Edwynn Houk Gallery. The artist in question is Mike Disfarmer, and his work is generally in older portraits. The opening reception for the latest Exhibition, Lynn Davis - Water, was last night.
I was impressed by the site, but not enough where I'd want to go to NYC and visit. However, if I ever find myself in the neighborhood...
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
As to the rest of the universe:
- A blocked punt in the end zone for a touchdown, and the Axe is still in Wisconsin. That's gotta be the strangest play in the history of Badger football. And, Bucky is still in the hunt for the Big Ten title, thanks to bad things in Happy Valley.
- The Angels lost the ALCS due to mental lapses. When that happens, it's debatable as to whether or not they deserve to win. Pierzynski will be hated forever in SoCal.
- Ah, the Astros. The most star-crossed franchise in baseball history, this side of the Brooklyn Dodgers. One strike away, and that little **** David Eckstein lines a base hit to left, takes second on indifference, and Lidge suddenly forgets how to pitch. Walk to Edmonds, and here comes the big guy, Pujols. Albert Pujols, the son of former Astro Luis Pujols... and he nearly knocks it out onto Crawford Street.
- OLN really has to get this black-flashing-screen issue taken care of before the end of this month. The network's official explanation is that they are switching the signal to a different converter code, so they can enforce NHL blackout policy. Only problem is, they're doing it during the game - and it's causing the picture to flash in-and-out at odd times. There are other minor technical problems with their broadcasts, but they'll go away with time.
- I actually went back and checked: the first icing call on opening night was 8:32 into the third period... that means that we went 48:32 without either team team shooting the puck down the ice for a stoppage. Amazing. Welcome to the New NHL.
- Since I'm no longer able to buy ringtones from my cell provider, I went and bought a converter cable from Cell Phone Shop that will plug into my Nokia, and I can add tones from my computer. And, I can finally put some Preators wallpaper on my cell, too... :)
- On the plus side, at least the Admirals only have six games on the schedule this month. Too bad they've already lost three of them. :(
- I've put in my "It's Your Choice" request to change my insurance to Humana from Compcare Blue. The state didn't give me much choice; Compcare dropped down from a Tier 1 plan to Tier 2 - which would double my monthly premium. However, there were two plusses to the switch: not only do I get to keep my doctor for the same price, but I also get visits to my dentist covered as well. This is a big deal, mostly because of my wife - who is deathly afraid of dentists. She has been seeing her dentist in Racine since she was a kid, and now I don't have to keep supplementary insurance just so she can see him.
- With the latest round of players in the NHL that have gotten hit with a puck in the face, I have to wonder if now may be the time to make visors mandatory. Maybe the NHLPA needs to look at it from a revenue standpoint: make ITECH the "official visor" of the NHL, and get the extra money towards the cap limit.
- I can't cut Culpepper from the Bulls of the NQRFPTFL. I don't know why Yahoo went with this "can't cut" list, especially when we didn't have a physical draft. The man can't do anything right at the moment, and the Viqueens are headed down the tubes faster than a toilet flush.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
This was born out of a comment made in passing by a fellow hockey fan friend, about wanting to do something different than the shootout to determine the winner of a tie game.
Many of the "purists" that follow the game of hockey absolutely abhor the shootout as a means to break a tied game after 65 minutes of play.
The main complaint is that the shootout is too much of an individual contest, and throws the "team" concept out the window.
However, few people have tried to come up with a better way to break a tie game in regular season play.
A simple way to get around the "individual contest" problem would be to have an exchange of power plays instead of penalty shots.
This is where the Power Play Overtime would come in.
THE POWER-PLAY OVERTIME PERIOD
The Power-Play Overtime (PPOT) would be divided into three parts: the visiting team's half-period, the home team's half-period, and the sudden-death period(s).
Here is how it would work:
· If the game remains tied after the five minute four-on-four overtime period, the two teams advance to the Power Play Overtime.
· Each team shall get one two-minute power-play opportunity with a five-on-four man-advantage, called a "half-period".
· The first half-period begins with the visiting team is on the power play. Each half-period in the PPOT begins with a face-off at center ice.
· When the visitor's half-period expires, the home team shall begin their power-play attempt on the five-on-four man advantage.
· A team's half-period power-play attempt ends under one of the following situations:
o When the team with the man advantage scores a goal.
o When time expires on the man advantage.
o When one team is called for a penalty, or a penalty is called that would leave one team short-handed.
· If one team scores, and the other team does not, after both half-periods end, the game is over and the team scoring the goal wins the game.
· If both teams score, or both teams fail to score in their power play attempts, the two teams advance to a sudden-death power-play overtime period.
THE SUDDEN-DEATH POWER-PLAY OVERTIME PERIOD
The sudden-death power play overtime differs from the first in that the first team that scores a goal wins the game. Other differences between the two PPOT's:
· The power play in the sudden-death PPOT period shall be a two-man advantage (five on three) for each team.
· The two teams shall continue to exchange two-man advantages until one team scores.
PENALTIES IN THE POWER-PLAY OVERTIME
Penalties shall be called on teams and players in the PPOT as they would during the rest of the game. However, the results of a penalty in the PPOT are different than in regulation, as they depend on what team commits the penalty, and when it is committed.
· If the visiting team commits a penalty while on the power play in the PPOT, the half-period ends and the home team begins their half-period.
o If the home team scores a power-play goal in their half-period, they win the game.
o If the visiting team scores short-handed during the home team's man-advantage, the home team must score a goal to send the game to the sudden-death PPOT. If they do so, they shall get the first five-on-three power play in the sudden death PPOT. If they don't, the visiting team wins the game.
o If neither team scores a goal, the home team gets the first five-on-three power play in the sudden-death PPOT.
· If the home team commits a penalty while on the power play, the first PPOT is over.
o If the visiting team scored a goal in their half-period, they win the game.
o If the home team scored a short-handed goal in the visitors' half-period, the visiting team will be given a two-minute, five-on-three power play to tie the game. If they fail to score a goal (or the home team scores a short-handed goal), the home team wins the game. If the visitors score a goal, they shall get another two-minute, five-on-three power play in the sudden death PPOT.
o If neither team scored a goal, the visiting team gets the first five-on-three power play in the sudden-death PPOT.
· If the home team commits a penalty while short-handed in the first PPOT, the following occurs:
o The half-period ends;
o They forfeit their half-period in the first OT; and
o The visiting team gets the first five-on-three power play in the sudden-death PPOT.
· If the visiting team commits a penalty while short-handed in the first PPOT, the following occurs:
o The half-period ends,
o If the visiting team scored a goal, either while on the power play or while short-handed, prior to the penalty, the home team will be given a two-minute, five-on-three power play to tie the game. If they do not score a goal to tie the game, the visiting team wins the game. If they score a goal and tie the game, they shall get another two-minute, five-on-three power play in the sudden death PPOT.
o If the visiting team did not score a goal prior to the penalty, the home team gets the first five-on-three power play in the sudden-death PPOT.
PENALTIES IN SUDDEN-DEATH POWER-PLAY OVERTIME
Penalties in the sudden-death PPOT are simpler than the first PPOT period:
· If the team that is on the power-play commits a penalty in the sudden death PPOT period, their half-period ends, and the other team begins their half-period two-man-advantage.
· If the team that is short-handed commits a penalty in the sudden death PPOT period, the captain of the team on the power play may choose one player from his team to take a penalty shot against the opposing goaltender. If the player scores, the game is over and the scorer's team wins. If he doesn't score, the power-play period continues as normal.
DELAYED PENALTIES IN THE POWER-PLAY OVERTIME
· On a delayed penalty call, if the team that was fouled scores a goal, play shall continue as if the goal had been scored under circumstances listed previously.
· The only time which a team may pull its goaltender and not risk losing the extra point in the standings for forcing overtime is when there is a delayed penalty call. Any other time, the team pulling its goaltender shall lose its point in the standings should they lose the game.
· On a delayed penalty call, the team committing the penalty may not be credited with a goal unless the fouled team intentionally knocks the puck into their own net.
SERVING PENALTIES IN THE POWER-PLAY OVERTIME
· A player who commits a penalty in the PPOT is given an automatic game disqualification, except for the goaltender.
· If a goaltender receives a minor penalty, the captain or alternate of the penalized team may choose any other eligible ("dressed") player to serve the game disqualification for the goaltender.
· The team of any player who is given a double-minor, major or misconduct penalty (except when said penalty is coincidental) shall lose their point in the standings for a regulation tie, if they lose the game.
· Coincidental penalties shall not result in the termination of a half-period, unless a player from one team is given a "larger" penalty (i.e., a major instead of a minor) than the other team.
· If one team runs out of eligible players due to the game disqualification process, the other team may choose to send its remaining players out on the ice, one at a time, to take penalty shots at the opposing goaltender until one player scores.
SHORT-HANDED GOALS IN THE POWER-PLAY OVERTIME
Short-handed goals are treated differently than power-play goals in the overtime period.
· A half-period does not stop if a short-handed goal is scored, unless:
o The team scoring the short-handed goal has already scored a goal in the first PPOT period; or
o The goal is scored in the sudden-death PPOT period.
· In either of these cases, the game is over, and the team scoring the short-handed goal wins the game. Otherwise, play shall continue as prescribed above.
NOTES ABOUT THE POWER-PLAY OVERTIME PERIODS
· All goals, shots, ice time, penalties and other statistics shall all be credited to the individual players and teams.
· Penalties shall be credited as normal for player statistics (i.e., a minor will be 2 minutes, a major 5, a misconduct 10).
· Teams that win in the PPOT will receive two points in the standings, while the losing team will receive one point, unless they had a major penalty called against them or they pulled their goaltender in a non-delayed-penalty situation.
· Goaltenders shall be credited with the win or an OT loss in the PPOT.
· Time of goals and penalties shall be scored from the beginning of the overtime period in question. (e.g., a goal scored one minute into the first half-period shall be given a time of goal of 1:00; a penalty registered 20 seconds later in the second half-period shall be given a time of penalty of 1:20.) The clock shall continue to run until each two-minute half-period is complete.
· The timekeeper shall keep track of the two-minute half-periods by way of the penalty timer.
"Feel free to post your thoughts on this in the comments section..."
Thursday, October 13, 2005
You'd been going along for all of your life, and knew you were missing something, but you weren't quite sure what.
Then, suddenly, one day, you meet this person - and your life is changed forever.
All of a sudden, everything starts going right for you. No matter what you do, you can't help but succeed.
And it's all because this person made you better than your were before - better all around.
That, my friends, is what Paul Kariya means to the Predators.
He makes everyone else on the team... better.
Which is scary, because the guys on this roster were pretty darn good to begin with.
But think about it: without Paul Kariya, the Predators would be skating into Phoenix tonight possibly staring down a very dismal 0-3 start.
And yet, for a simple game-tying goal last Wednesday, a brilliant move in the shootout on Saturday, and a goal with two assists last night - the Predators are 3-0 at the start of a season for the first time in franchise history.
This team refuses to lose.
And it all starts with him.
I don't think the Predators front office, the coaching staff, or anyone else in the franchise thought that Paul was the "one thing" they were missing.
A new attitude.
And a great start in the "new NHL."
Those prognosticators that said the Predators might be able to contend for the Central Division title?
They might be wrong. They might have underestimated us.
We've got what's missing now.
That one thing that's the difference between a playoff contender...
and a you-know-what contender.
Yeah, yeah, I know, I know - it's October. You don't win the Cup in October.
Every journey starts somewhere, though - and this one is off to a really great start.
And it's all because we've found the one thing we were missing.
He's missing no more.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
On the plus side, Invision and the BB Code software is a lot better than the somewhat simplistic methods used under DiscusWare; however, there are some issues with the wide number of threads that can be created over the entire board.
I've already been accused of post-padding, but my argument is this: Is it so wrong to talk about something you love?
For years upon years, there has been one Predators fan that I have been absolutely dying to meet.
She's the lady I had a crush on as a teenager, and I've always enjoyed her music.
That person is Amy Grant.
During the game, the Predators occasionally put celebrities up on the jumbotron, and they did that with her husband, Vince Gill.
Right as he was put up on the screen, she planted a big juicy one on him, to the roar of the crowd.
Well, after the game, we're waiting to head downstairs to the autograph area, and who should come waltzing around to head down to their cars but Amy and Vince.
So, what witty thing do I say to her, the first time I get a chance?
"Nice kiss, Amy."
She had that smile on her face when I said it, but she was more concerned about getting back to their car.
I did take the opportunity to get her autograph – kids, that one will be more treasured than the PK signature.
Once again, it was time to make the annual pilgrimage down to Nashville - not for Fan Fair, not to go see the Upper Room museum, but for hockey. Nashville Predators hockey.
Eriks and I made the usual drive down I-65 through Indiana to the Music City, and it was only semi-eventful. About 12 miles north of Louisville on I-65, we ran over what one of our trucker pals calls a "gator" – a loose tread from a semi that's been blown off. Hit Eriks' car on the right-front rocker panel, did some damage to his fog lamp and the front air dam under the fender. It tore away the air dam and it got lodged on the axle. Fortunately, after the Indiana State Trooper came by and helped us out, it flapped off and we managed to limp to a gas station in Sellersburg to get the fog lamp back on.
We got in to our hotel just in time to get some of the continental breakfast. We weren't working on a whole lot of sleep, but we managed to get some catnaps in.
We went to Eddie's Sports Bar, in the Hilton right across from the GEC, for our pregame meet and greet.
We went to Eddie's Sports Bar, in the Hilton right across from the GEC, for our pregame meet and greet.Eddie's is a nice place, but it was a bit spread out for my liking. It was great to see some of our board regulars out there. BC, Volsh, Hockous, 9-inch, and company – and, of course, our lovely hostess Adzy. (Thanks for the gifts, by the way). A big thanks to JB for helping us with the cameras once we were inside.
Boy, I missed being in the GEC. I was floating most of the night – that is, when I wasn't yelling my fool head off. That mini "dog dish/pool ornament" looks great on my desk. I see that the on-rink
the on-rinkadvertising has reached a new point… on the blue and red lines, the RBK logo was firmly ensconced on the side boards. I couldn't quite tell what the patch was that the Preds wore, but anticipate that the location where it was may be filled by advertising in the near future.
The Preds came out with fire in the first period, but committed the cardinal sin of hockey: allowing your opponent to score in the final minute of play of the period. That goal changed the flow of the game to where they were on their heels most of the second period – and it showed.
It's really true that you can't play "sloppy defense" like you did back in the "old days" anymore. Your D-men have to be fast, rugged and ready to play back at any time. We learned that the hard way when the Sharks took the 2-1 lead in the second.
I don't think we'll have to worry about our World-Class Goaltender (Tomas Vokoun) and his new pads. They looked just fine for him, and it was only a few minor problems that gave San Jose their two goals.
And about "the penalty" – I'm going to admit something here. I saw a whole bunch of games last year in the AHL. I heard Kyle Shultz call a bunch of games on the radio. I have never, ever, EVER seen any goaltender get called for delay of game like that. I was always under the impression that it wasn't where the puck was, it was where the goaltender's feet were. I saw the puck go into the crook of the little corner of the "trapezoid", and that was where TV played it. However, Tomas' entire body was standing in front of the line, and he was not in the no-touch zone at all. I hope the two idiots on the ice understand that rule, because I sure as heck don't.I'd like to know where everyone who was going to boo Walker was when he came out? Everyone must have forgotten when he scored the first goal of the season.
Good to see Paul Kariya get his first goal in the third. That first shift he was on the ice, every single person in the building stood up when he took the puck into the attacking zone. He scores there, game's over, kids. Speaking of the 9-10-11 line: I'm not entirely sure that's the right line for the job. It's going to take a long time for those three to gel together (KLM line?), and you could see the missed passes.PK had a lot of rust out there. He wasn't alone; Perreault looked like he didn't have a clue sometimes.
Did anyone, anyone out there think that the first "hit" of the night was going to be made by… Marek Zidlicky?
The "future" pairing on defense, along with the "Two Hobbits and an Inuk" line, just made me proud. Our boys from Milwaukee are all growed up now. (smile) Brings a tear to my eye. Vern Fiddler was great on the Penalty Kill – I think Claude may have told Barry something. And Simon is going to be a star with this team, mark my words.
Speaking of "Marks" – anyone notice the "Mark II" pairing on D? Looks like we have Timmo-Zids, Mark and Markov, and the D Of The Future line. Oh, and very queitly, you saw the first professional points by Ryan Suter last night. He earned the 20, that's for sure. Dad's gotta be proud.I was glad to see Craig Leipold and his parents at the game. I can only imagine the huge relief it must have been to get the game back on solid ground. (pause here for those who are anti-Bettman to wretch)
I was slightly disappointed that only Adam Hall came out to sign autographs post-game. You'd think they would try to get out, sign autographs and all for these fans who have gone 17-plus months without hockey. It's a minor thing, but every little bit helps.
Monday, October 03, 2005
Or at least to a particular message board: the Nashville Predators official boards.
See, the Predators re-did their website today, and along with it their message boards. On the good side, they chose to switch to Invision message board software. It has a lot of customization, and a lot of really cool side features - including, apparently, a blogging feature.
On the bad side, they didn't bother to open up registration for login names.
Guess what I'm not doing at the current time?
Just as I'm getting ready to head to Nashville, too.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
I'd always wonder how I could access the bookmarks that I use for my computer at home from remote locations. I found the answer in the latest issue of PC World magazine: Sync2It. You download their free software from www.sync2it.com, create an account, and bingo - your bookmarks are uploaded to their site.
Personal note: this is the login URL - http://www.sync2it.com/common/login.php?refer=../tree/view.php
Saturday, October 01, 2005
- Bucky's doing a number on the Hoosiers right now. I keep laughing when they say, "oh, the Badgers are having trouble running the ball." Yeah, if you're comparing it to the number of yards we had rushing against Temple...
- One win. Today preferably, tomorrow if at all possible. That's all we need in Brewerland for a winning season. And it just means more if we do it at PNC.
- I bought a second box of Upper Deck Victory hockey cards from my local sports card shop, and I am happy to say that I have completed the base set. I even managed to get a Black Parallel card of Brian Boucher.
- I'm looking forward to the home opener for the Predators on the 5th next week. It's going to be great to be back in the Music City again.
"Gotta run... it's date night tonight..."
Mind you, I've always known that the GC formula has issues in seasons prior to 1967. Two key components of the formula – power play goals and plus/minus rating – were not kept (or were kept on a spotty basis) before the NHL expanded. I knew going in that I'd have to adjust things a bit, but it wasn't until I started tackling the problem that I realized I needed to make an adjustment to the formula itself.
For those of you who haven't bothered to look back through this blog for my first post about GC (or haven't checked out my webpage explaining it), Goals Created measures three areas: goals that a player directly participates in scoring (goals and assists), goals that a player causes to be scored against his team by his actions on the ice (penalty minutes times a league constant), and goals that the player indirectly participates in scoring (plus/minus rating). The existing league constant is considered to be league power play goals, divided by league-wide penalties in minutes; however, I made the decision to change this to league goals scored per penalty minute. It was easier to figure, and it could be determined for all seasons going back to 1917 in the NHL (and in most other leagues going back to 1922).
Plus/minus rating, however, wasn't as easy. I somewhat hoped that I could go back to a certain point where teams began to use more than six to eight players on their rosters, but I realized it was impossible to do that. So, I replaced plus/minus in pre-1967 seasons with "figured goal differential". I took the goals scored by the player's team, multiplied that by the number of games the player played for that team, and divided that total by the total number of games played by the team. It did result in some large goal differential numbers, but it also adjusts for the fewer games played overall in past seasons. For example, Joe Malone's stellar 1917-18 season was 56.2 goals created – a pretty good number, even by today's standards.
However, I still wanted to try and adjust the numbers so you could attempt to judge players across eras – like whether or not Rocket Richard was as good as Gretzky or Lemieux. So, I crunched numbers and decided to try to change the GC totals by multiplying them by the league goals per game total for each season, and then divide that total by a constant factor – 3.21 goals per game, the average over the entirety of organized major professional hockey from 1909 to 1924. Let's just say that this adjustment didn't leave me satisfied, though. My thinking was this: I'm essentially penalizing a guy for scoring a lot of goals in a season where goals were fast and frequent, while rewarding someone in an era where goaltenders were stopping everything who managed to eke out a few points.
I then had a revelation: how about using the GC total as the numerator in the Pythagorean Wins formula? Or, better, yet, Goals Created per game? Then, you could use league goals per game as the denominator, and figure the player's winning percentage, based on his goals created. Better still, you could multiply the winning percentage by the number of games he played, and get a win total. At first, I thought to call this resulting formula "offensive wins", but when I plugged in the numbers, I though elsewise. I mean, is it really appropriate to call something "offensive" when the person who holds the best single-season mark in major league history is a defenseman?
That was what sold me on the name "Win Shares." It means, to a certain extent, that the given player's performance contributed to a given number of shares of wins, among his teammates. Maurice Richard had 28.0 win shares in 1955-56, while his brother Henri had 21.2 – both for the Canadiens. It's not much wonder why that team won so many games in the NHL that season. Phil Esposito had 32.7 win shares for the Bruins in 1970-71 – a total that would be considered astronomical during any time period – but was overshadowed by Bobby Orr's record-setting 38.8 win shares. Either way, Boston's dispatching of the Blues in the finals that year was far from surprising.
When I totalled up Win Shares from 2003-04, and compared them with actual points in the standings, they correlated very well – somewhere at the .93 level, which is a nearly direct relationship. It also proved out that you could almost gauge a player's performance, over an 80-game season, based on his Win Shares total. 10 to 14 win shares would be a solid season over 80 games. 15-19 would be all-star worthy; and a definite Norris candidacy for a defenseman. 20-24 win shares would start to get you some nods for the Hart Trophy; 25-29 would make you a serious Hart candidate. 30-plus seasons are rare; those are the years other teams just throw up their hands in surrender after they play against this guy. As far as I know, no one has ever achieved a 40 win share season.
By the bye: Win Shares says that the best player in hockey history is (surprise surprise) Gordie Howe, who amassed 385.7 win shares in his career. Gretzky is the only other player with more than 300 win shares, totalling out at 356.6 in his career. The next highest total surprised me, in a way; but after consideration it made sense: Jean Beliveau, with 280.4 win shares. Other 200-plus win share totals are Bobby Hull (268.9), Phil Esposito (232.7), Henri Richard (220.7) and Mario Lemieux (214.8). Guy Lafleur (198.7) and Rocket Richard (195.1) just barely miss the 200 mark.
Another thing with Win Shares: it appears that a player becomes a qualified Hall of Fame candidate when he hits the 100-win share mark. Jarome Iginla, through 2004, has a career 48.1 win share total, while Paul Kariya has 92.7 win shares. Mark Messier's total is 159.0, though he only topped 10 or more win shares six times during his career (four times with Edmonton, twice with the Rangers).