A beloved player gets traded or signs with another team. Fans grieve, get angry, and feel betrayed. It happens all the time, in every country, in every sport. And every time, out come the curmudgeons. “It’s just a business like any business. People leave for their own reasons. Stop blubbering about it.”
It’s not, though, just a business, and it’s certainly not a business just like any other business. Yes, sport generates huge amounts of revenue and there are certainly business aspects to it. But sport is far more than just a business.
Sport is, for fans and for the people involved in it and for society at large, a highly symbolic enterprise. Continue reading
I’ve been trying to put into words exactly what it means to me that Martin St. Louis probably asked for a trade from the Lightning. It’s a separate issue from whether or when or for what he might be dealt. It’s a separate question from what Steve Yzerman would hold out for in return. I have to cope with the idea that Martin St. Louis, who has always embodied the Lightning for me, might not do so anymore.
Save percentage is incredibly variable for a long part of a goalie’s NHL career. It doesn’t really settle into a pattern until some 4000 shots, which is at least a few years into a guy’s career. My thinking on the magnitude of this variability has always been that it’s probable that there’s something that’s not accounted for in the measure.
I think that at least some of that reason that save percentage is such a bad measure of goalie performance (and such a bad predictor of future performance) is that there’s something objective that it doesn’t capture. I don’t mean intangibles like “heart” or “mental strength” or “being clutch” here, either. I mean something measurable that’s not currently being measured. It’s like trying to predict the weather before we learned about barometric pressure.
John Fontana kindly invited me to write a little something about an incredible shining moment for a goaltender I’d been watching closely for a while. Many thanks to Raw Charge, and hope you guys enjoy it.
Kristers Gudlevskis and the magic Olympic moment – Raw Charge.
I got a tweet yesterday during a discussion about the dilemma facing women’s hockey (namely that investors won’t invest without a market but the market won’t grow without investment).
And while Mike was just doing the best he could to understand the world around him, it brought home just how much the claim that women don’t like sports is informing our ability to provide extended, even professional, opportunities for elite female athletes.
I get bored sometimes. When that happens, things like this happen:
When the Lightning resume their NHL schedule on Feb 27, Ben Bishop will have started 44 of the Lightning’s 58 games (75.8%)
He has faced 908 5v5 shots and given up 53 goals in those 44 games, for a 5v5 save percentage of .942. What would his numbers look like if his results regress over the rest of the season?
So many thing have been said about women’s hockey in the past few days. After all, we wouldn’t be hockey fans if we didn’t overthink our sport. Nonetheless, there’s a fact of life in women’s hockey: in international competition, there’s the US and Canada and then there’s everyone else. There’s simply no such thing as parity as these things go.
There are any number of reasons for that, but the biggest one is that girls face discrimination in sports. The very idea of putting resources into girls’ sports is anathema to many, even in the United States, where we’ve supposedly made more progress than the rest of the world.
If you’re a Lightning fan, you’ve probably heard by now about the drama that engulfed the Boltosphere on Friday and Saturday. We still don’t completely know what happened, but it ended with goaltending prospect Riku Helenius being suspended for breach of contract.
He’s probably headed home to Finland. Again. After having been shunted aside by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Again. [UPDATE: This afternoon, it was announced that Helenius will report to the Florida Everblades, his ECHL team, but won't play there since they have two goalies. The team will continue to try to work out a trade.]
This post isn’t really about the whys and wherefores of Helenius being replaced in net by Kristers Gudlevskis. There are reasons and reasons for that to have happened at some point this season. But as Alex Ackerman (Chairman How’s Glorious Army, Raw Charge) points out, it didn’t have to happen the way it did. Everyone made choices here about what to do and how to do it and some of those choices were bad choices and people got hurt along the way.
If Steven Stamkos is medically cleared and healthy, should he play in the Sochi Olympics?
Even if he doesn’t make it into an NHL game first?
But what about…
KNOCK IT OFF