Where Do The Lightning Go From Here?

With the first round over, let’s take a second to recap one of the biggest upsets shall we?  According to NHL.com’s playoff predictions, 48% of the brackets had the Tampa Bay Lightning winning the Stanley Cup, and just under 2% of people had Columbus beating the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round. The playoffs have been such a surprise that only one bracket had the New York Islanders sweeping the Penguins and Blue Jackets beating the Lightning. The user; who goes by “lolwat” actually noted that he only made such drastic picks to annoy his friend. With that being said, what does the future look like for the Tampa Bay Lightning?

The team at Not Your Average Hockey Blog isn’t very excited for the 2019-2020 Tampa Bay Lightning. We recently did an episode focused on this exact topic, and you can check it out here. Our analysis suggests that the Lightning will be in for a cap crunch soon. We expect players such as Killorn will have to be traded soon to make space for the big RFA elephant in the room; Brayden Point. Our team had a difference in opinion how much we expect Brayden Point to earn, but one thing is for sure; it will be expensive. Capfriendly currently projects the Lightning to have just over $6.3M in cap space, and we all know that just won’t cut it! So who do we expect the cap casualty to be, and what is the price the Lightning will have to pay? Unlike the past there is no longer the cap dump team that teams could just unload their bad contracts on (we’re looking at you Arizona.). If the Lightning do want to package a pick or prospect with Killorn to clear some space, the Lightning are in good shape. They have their upcoming 1st round pick, 3rd round pick, 4th round pick, two 6th round picks and a 7th round pick. Will they have to trade it away as part of a package for a salary dump? If not, what options are there in terms of prospects?

The Lightning’s secret weapon over the last few years has been their scouting. Tyler Johnson was undrafted, Ondrej Palat was a 7th round pick, and Nikita Kucherov was a 2nd round pick. Their cupboards remain stocked with NHL ready prospects such as Carter Verhaeghe, Taylor Raddysh, and Cal Foote. Could it be possible that they can be a cheap replacement for departing players?

Maybe the team here at Not Your Average Hockey Blog is wrong. Maybe the odds are in the favour of the Lightning. According to SBD, the odds for Tampa Bay winning the President’s trophy were about +150 or a 40% chance, but had identical odds of +150 of being eliminated in the first round of the 2020 playoffs. That’s drastically difference in comparison to this year, when they entered the postseason as -375 favorites (~79% chance) to advance past the Blue Jackets. Given how similar the roster is going to look next year, anyone willing to bet on Tampa Bay to win in the first round now is likely getting a better payout than those who wait until the 2020 playoffs actually commence.

Now that you’ve heard both sides, what do you think? Should you consider waiting before placing a bet, or are you in the camp of higher risk, higher reward. Let us know what you think below!

Episode 7: Lucky – Bag of Pucks Podcast

In this episode of the Bag of Pucks Podcast, the guys talk luck. They place way too much weighting on PDO and other fancy stats, while Alson learns how bad his idea of stats are. Is Patrick Laine unlucky, or are teams starting to figure him out? Is Ryan Getzlaf elite anymore? How does Alson know so much about slot machines but doesn’t gamble? How does Geoffrey know so little about slot machines?
The guys finish up the podcast with their playoff predictions and Draft Lottery Predictions, and spoiler alert: Alson doesn’t want the Kings to win the lottery.

Check out the podcast on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/show/2ib3yq4quqK62RAC6465es

Check out the podcast on iTunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/bag-of-pucks/id1454580877?mt=2

Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/bag-of-pucks/support

Episode 4: Is Pierre Dorion A Wizard?

In Episode 4, Alson delivers some hot takes, with a questionable idea about the Ottawa Senators and their draft picks. Is Pierre Dorion such a genius we don’t understand him? Geoffrey has no idea how to say a name so he calls him Mr. P for an episode.

Finally, we find out that Alson is actually terrible with Trivia.

Check us out on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/bop_pod
Check us out on iTunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/bag-of-pucks/id1454580877?mt=2
Check us out on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/show/2ib3yq4quqK62RAC6465es

Maybe Pierre Dorion Was Right?

Change My Mind

At Not Your Average Hockey Blog, we’ve always tried to change it up a bit. I love considering the what-ifs in various storylines in the NHL. One of the biggest storylines in the NHL currently, is how the Ottawa Senators chose to convey this year’s first round draft choice to Joe Sakic and the Colorado Avalanche instead of last year’s. The Senators fan base have not forgotten this trade at all. According to the fine folks over at Senspicktracker, the Senators’ pick have a 18.5% chance of being the 1st overall pick, 16.5% chance of being the 2nd overall pick, 14.4% chance of being the 3rd pick, and a 50.6% chance of being the 4th pick. With a weighted average, the Senators likely pick is 2.971 rounded up to the 3rd overall pick. The pick that the Senators could have conveyed last year was the 4th overall pick.

Analysis by TSN has shown that statistically speaking, the 3rd overall pick will be a top six forward, with a basic guarantee that they will play 100 games in the NHL. The 4th overall pick will statistically be a top nine forward with a 84% chance of being playing 100 games in the NHL, and a 24% chance of being a 4th line player or worse. The analysis shows one thing clearly, there is a statistical benefit of picking third vs picking fourth. With that being said, the analysis does not take into account the strength of the draft class. The 2019 draft is expected to be deep, but not very top heavy. The 2018 draft on the other hand, was not very deep, but rather top heavy. The first fourth picks in the 2018 NHL draft are all regulars in the NHL, with the fifth pick Barrett Hayton; being returned to the OHL after being scratched for his first two NHL games. The Ottawa Senators may not have their first pick, but they will have Columbus Blue Jackets’ first round pick; which is expected to be in the teens. Of course a top four pick is much more valuable than a mid-round pick, but what if the trade balance is the 4th overall pick plus the 15th overall pick for the 3rd overall pick and a replacement level player? Suddenly, it isn’t as bad as it looks!

The next step is to consider the value of the players involved. According to hockeyprospect.com, ISS Hockey, Future Considerations, McKeen’s Hockey, and TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Russian winger Vasili Podkolzin is the projected third overall pick. The comparison with the Ottawa Senators draft pick Brady Tkachuk will have it’s strengths and weaknesses. It is beneficial that they are both wingers, and play similar games, but they play in different leagues and Podkolzin has a relatively small sample size of 29 games this season. Using NHLe as a way to normalize point values, Podkolzin has an NHLe score of 20.97. (For our readers unaware of NHLe, a quick guide is available here.) Looking at Brady Tkachuk’s Hockey East stats in his draft year, he has an NHLe score of 23.5135. What the statistics show us, is that offensively, Brady Tkachuk had a stronger offensive year in his draft year than Podkolzin has had this year. However, as previously mentioned, there are factors that NHLe has not taken into account into it’s formula, such as the few games that Podkolzkin has played this year, and the instability that Podkolzin has had this year, with him playing in three teams this season alone.

My argument here isn’t that the Ottawa Senators are amazingly run, and they have a competent owner. If you have a few minutes, check out Episode 2 of our Bag of Pucks podcast. I spend forty minutes calling out the Ottawa Senators. However, my argument here is that maybe the option to convey the fourth pick instead of possibly the expected third overall pick is not as big of a deal as it sounds. What do you think? We would love to hear from you! Comment below, or tweet me directly here.

Episode 1: Trade Deadline/What Are We Doing? – Bag of Pucks

Not a fan of reading? Well the folks here at Not Your Average Hockey Blog have got a treat for you. We’ve created a new podcast, where we banter about hockey, have some hot takes, and make uneducated comments. The first episode is about the Trade Deadline and a little background of us. We hope that if you enjoy it, we would love if you share it, comment, and follow us on Twitter: @hkyblogger and @bop_pod.

We will try to keep future episodes at 30 minutes, but the first one is a little longer.

People Like Don Cherry Are Why The NHL Lacks Popularity Compared To The Big 4 Leagues.

Don Cherry isn’t a fan of the Hurricanes celebrating post game. Yesterday on Coach’s Corner, he blasted the hurricanes about the celebrations stating ” There guys, to me, are jerks ” followed by ” They better not do this in the playoffs….This is a joke. ”

It’s not just Don Cherry. Many senior executives in the league and senior media have ripped the Hurricanes for their post win celebrations. The same media that if the Hurricanes had an arena with only 8,000 fans would rip the city for not deserving a team and to relocate. The celebrations keep fans staying in their seats post game, give the fans a chance to interact and join the team in celebrating a victory.

Earlier this season, Brian Burke went on record to rip the Hurricanes too, calling the celebrations ” Pee wee garbage stuff ” followed by saying ” I don’t think it belongs in our league. ”  The grandpa’s in the NHL definitely need to step away when it comes to PR in the game and it’s something that definitely hurts the NHL when it comes to popularity compared to other leagues.

Another person in the league that has a lot of outdated dumb rules, Lou Lamoriello. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Lamoriello and his resume speaks for itself, but he’s a very boring leader. He doesn’t like his players wearing numbers over 30. He doesn’t like his players having beards. Why? he sees it as flashy. Kyle Dubas took over the general manager duties for the leafs and encouraged his team to grow out their beards and show their personality. Soon after Lamoriello resigned, Matthews was posing for GQ, and it makes me wonder if that would have happened sooner had Lamoriello not been GM.

Lamoriello took over for the Islanders and John Tavares left on July 1st, a little over a month after Lamoriello’s hiring. Did Lamiorello tell Tavares he couldn’t wear number 91 anymore? Or that he couldn’t keep a stubble? I mean, he did make Barzal go see a barber after he got hired. However, with all that being said and him not wanting the team to have much fun, it’s worked for the Islanders as they sit 1st in their division and 2nd in the Eastern Conference just behind Tampa Bay.

Basically, All I want to get across is old people around the league don’t like it when the young guys have fun. Ovechkin celebrating his goals, the way the Capitals celebrated their Stanley Cup victory, Evander Kane having fun in Vegas or even that blown out of proportion media scramble about Kane’s tracksuit in Winnipeg. The league needs faces that have personality and charisma in order to gain popularity to the level that the NBA and NFL has. In the 80’s, Gretzky, the face of the league for 2 decades, was on cereal boxes, TV shows, late night talk shows. He was vocal, engaged with fans and was recognized by even non hockey fans. Crosby and McDavid need to get out there and show some energy, show some character. We have it all, fast speed, fighting, flashy dangles, the league just needs to do a better job getting it showcased on social media, and that starts with its star players. It’s doing just fine in Canada, But the U.S. can use some work.