Hockey Photo of the Day

In advance of the Detroit-Colorado Stadium Series game on Saturday night, the Red Wings and Avalanche will hold an alumni game tomorrow night, an event that’s sure to stir some old passions between the former bitter Western Conference rivals.

Hockey parlor games

Found this from FiveThirtyEight:

With the Stanley Cup finals set to start tonight, I thought this would be a fun game to play, especially for hockey fans whose teams are done for the season.

For me, the picking went pretty easy, probably because there are lots of good combinations here. I went with Ken Dryden ($2); Lidstrom, my favorite player, potentially overvalued but always undervalued while he played ($5); Chelios ($1); Mr. Hockey ($5); Super Mario ($4); and John Bucyk, never of whom I have heard ($1). (I originally had Shanahan at LW before realizing I needed two defensemen, hence Cheli and Mr. Bucyk.)

FiveThirtyEight offers a team “formed from an advanced stats point of view.” In this case, that mostly means referencing Goals Versus Threshold (“GVT”), a WAR-like statistic that seeks to present “the value of a player, in goals, above what a replacement player would have contributed.” Their picks:

  • Hasek ($4) – “A steal”
  • Orr ($5) – “the difference between his production at his peak … and that of the next-best defenseman is truly massive”
  • Larry Robinson ($2) – “a higher five-year peak [in terms of GVT] than . . . Lidstrom despite” costing less than half as much as Nick
  • Gretzky ($5) – his “production was such a radical outlier that he’ll be worth the price”
  • Jarri Kurri ($1) and Bucyk ($1) – “both Hall of Famers” and “building a top-heavy team with a few stars and a bunch of lesser players is not such a bad thing.

Post your team in the comments below, and cast your predictive vote for the outcome of this year’s Stanley Cup finals right here:

Red Wings legend Nicklas Lidstrom perfect to the end (via Yahoo! Sports)

It was unfair to call Lidstrom “The Perfect Human.” Nobody’s perfect, not even him. And sometimes his spotless performance and quiet personality worked against him. He was too often taken for granted because there were no downs to illustrate the ups. He was never beloved quite like his predecessor as captain, Steve Yzerman, who transformed himself from a slick scorer into a gritty leader. Who can relate to perfection? How can you celebrate a triumph over adversity when there isn’t any?

Still, Lidstrom lived up to the label somehow. If he lacked any love or attention, he never seemed to mind. He was never rude. He always had time for everyone.He was as close to perfect as a player and person could be, the definition of consistency and class, the ultimate high-performance, low-maintenance superstar. Actually, Holland called him “no-maintenance. ”

He retires as the best defenseman of his generation and one of the three best in the history of hockey. Bobby Orr won the Norris eight times. Doug Harvey won it seven times, like Lidstrom did. Though Orr could have won it more had his knees not given out, Lidstrom could have won it more, too. He was underappreciated early in his career, a three-time Norris runner-up, and the 2004-05 lockout erased a season of his prime. … Read More

(via Yahoo! Sports)