Decisions 

It’s been a while since I have written anything here. There’s a lot of reasons for that, most involved with my offline life, which has been incredibly stressful since last April or so. 

But in reality, I simply haven’t wanted to write. Not here, where things are so personal for me. There’s too much swirling around in my head for me to be able to make sense of things. 

The truth is that depression, that old thief, is coming back for me, this time trying to take the life I’ve built around this game. I refuse to let the bastard win, but I am having trouble figuring out how to fight this fight. The details, I mean.

I need to increase the things that I want in my life and decrease the things that I don’t want. 

I need to eat better, sleep more, and generally take better care of myself physically. I need to take care of my family. I need to remind myself how much I really do accomplish every day. 

And I need to eliminate as much as possible the the things that are anchors on my spirit. 

That last one is directed, partly, at social media. I’ve already stopped the Facebook thing. Now it’s Twitter’s turn.

Today is January 22. I will be staying off twitter until at least Januray 31, after the NHL All Star Game. If you need to get in touch with me, I will check DMs, but that’s all. Generally speaking, a total media blackout.

My hope is to actually write something and to make some decisions about my next steps. 

As always, take care of each other. We’re all we’ve got. 

Be blessed.

Why Women Should Matter to the NHL 

This post was written by Robyn Pennington (@robyn_jftc) as a guest contribution for Puckology. It represents both how deeply the NHL’s attitude towards women is hurting their customers and how personal the choice is to remain engaged with the league.  Welcome, Robyn.

Content warning: Domestic violence, sexual assault.

Why Women Should Matter to the NHL

I wrote this piece partly inspired by Sarah Connor’s amazing article at Stanley Cup of Chowder and partly in light of the NHL’s and Blackhawks’ lack of response to the Patrick Kane case.

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On the Other Hand…

[Content warning: This talks about SA/DV. Please know your limits before proceeding.]
I’m sitting here trying to figure out something very important in my life. What do I do now? How, given the shitshow that the NHL has become (or more accurately been revealed to be), does my relationship with the league change? Continue reading

Confession

I confess. I do not like math or statistics. This is why it’s a little uncomfortable to me that I have in any way become considered part of the “stats crowd.”

I don’t enjoy statistics. I don’t enjoy doing it and I don’t enjoy reading about it. I don’t enjoy thinking about it. This is not my bailiwick. I’d rather be learning something else. It is very hard to be creative in a field you find a chore. Continue reading

The Thing About Stamkos

The Boltosphere is all in a tizzy these days because Steven Stamkos, who’s in the final year of his last RFA contract, hasn’t signed an extension.

This is not the first time this has happened, of course. We all bear the scars of the last #Stammergeddon in 2011. When he signed in July. It is now the latter part of August. So it’s getting a little antsy in here.

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On Women, Sportwriting, and “Just Keep Writing”

People like to give advice. People who have become successful at something love to share their wisdom about how to end up where they are. It’s a kind of humble brag: I did this (I’m special and worth listening to) and you can, too! (but not too special.) It’s also a way of saying that the actions a person took are more important than the context in which they took them.

Recently, a successful hockey writer gave some (as far as I know unsolicited) advice to women and people of color who wanted to become successful at–and get paid for–writing about hockey. It was well-meant but naive and more than a little arrogant. If you don’t like the rules at one site, start your own. Create great content and people will find you. Just do it. That kind of thing. Continue reading

Oh, Captain! What a Day This Could Have Been

Marty St. Louis retired yesterday. It ends not with a bang, but with a whimper, to use a cliche. Everyone knew it was coming. He’d become something of a liability on the ice recently and no offers appeared to materialize on July 1. So the next day, he retired.

When I first heard the news, I simply stopped. I didn’t know what to think or what I really felt. Sadness? Nostalgia? A little bit of schadenfreude–some “serves you right!” ? How about regret? Continue reading

Observations on Drafting Goaltenders

Over the past few years, I’ve been spending my summers immersed in NHL goaltending draft data. In light of the upcoming draft I’ve pulled together some general observations that fans of drafting teams might find interesting. All of this has been published before, mostly at Raw Charge or here at Puckology, although in one instance it was published in Justin Goldman’s latest book, Between Two Worlds. Links are provided below. Continue reading

The Montreal Canadiens Really Are the Underdogs. But….

I find it fascinating how winning changes people’s perceptions of a team’s actual strengths. Take the 2014-15 Montreal Canadiens, for instance. They won 50 games, the Atlantic Division title, and a first-round series. And somehow, it gets forgotten that they have been, at least over the long haul, not very good as a team.

You’d think they were good, looking at their roster. They should be good. And yet, there is virtually no measure by which the Montreal Canadiens are actually a better team than the Tampa Bay Lightning. In every single measure of process, they are worse. [All data and graphs are from War On Ice and are 5v5 Score-Adjusted, including playoffs.]

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