200 Level

Grading The 2015-16 Canes – The Forwards

by Tom Edwards •  @MrWorkrate •  Apr 27, 2016  •  2 comments

After going to my cubicle in the Section 328 World Headquarters and finding Michelle McMahon using my phone and the nameplate changed to "VISITOR", I realized maybe it has been a while since I've written anything for the site, and it's time to get off my ass and start writing about the Canes again.And, hey, what better way to do that then by dishing out some letter grades for the players, since that's simple and people seem to like it. We'll do this in three parts - I'll take the forwards and use the English/creative lit method of grading where I eyeball and use my opinion of what I like and don't like to assign a letter grade. We all know how much Cane-alytics  loves the D, so he'll grade them, I'm sure using a purely mathematical formula that involves the quadratic equation, the pythagorean theorem, and a slide rule that was made in "East Germany". Derek will handle the grading of the goaltenders in a method that's veiled in secrecy, but I'm assuming it's somewhere in-between Cane-alytics method and labeling a bunch of bananas with letter grades and seeing which one a random chimp at the zoo goes to first.So let's roll, starting with...Phil Di GiuseppeWho knew what to expect from PDG going into this season? A second round draft pick in 2012 (and the team's first pick that season), PDG had a mixed college career, and his first professional year with the Charlotte Checkers didn't exactly set the world on fire. The flashes of potential were there, but there's limited patience for a 22-year-old to convert into a prospect, especially a higher draft pick. The club would have been happy with a second season in the AHL building on what he learned in his first pro year, with an opportunity to challenge for ice time in 2016-17.What the Canes ended up getting was the player they hoped to get in 2016-17 a season early. Called up after the New Jersey-game-that-will-not-be-discussed, PDG was eased into the lineup, where he became the grinding, ass-in-front-of-the-net presence that the Canes had been lacking for several seasons. After putting up 30 points in 76 AHL games last season, PDG put up 18 in 25 AHL games this season, then added 17 more in 41 games for the Canes. PDG is a streaky scorer and will probably be the player most prone to a sophomore slump next season, but his playing style was sorely needed at this level, and was a key factor to the Canes turning it around in December.GRADE: A-

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Grading the 2015-16 Canes: Defense First

by Canealytics •  @Cane_alytics •  Apr 25, 2016  •  0 comments

Here we are again. The seventh summer where, for many, interests may veer off from hockey, or where others root and adopt other teams with a safe, short term commitment. Unlike many of the previous playoff-less Canes summers this one is different: our Hurricanes were actually fun to watch this year. They were above .500 with numerous memorable wins and had a revolving door of young, exciting talent that wasn't the questionable, perhaps AHL-level talent that call-ups may have had in the past. Oh yeah, this team also had Noah Freakin'™ Hanifin. AND Jaccob Slavin AND Brett Pesce.All photos within credited to Jamie Kellner, unless otherwise noted. Thanks!This year was the foundation year. Things are starting to be built here, and built well. The core of that foundation comes from a trio of first year pro defensemen, an Olympian, and their weird Uncle Ron. It's hard to believe that in just a year's time we've moved on from the well-liked Tim Gleason, Jay Harrison, and Brett Bellemore, who were a touch too slow for this speed-driven era of the NHL. Remarkably, looking to the future the solid defensemen options keep on coming and possibilities abound. Stud juniors defensemen Haydn Fleury and Roland McKeown are close, and there's an AHL all-star down in Charlotte with Trevor Carrick, and, although he may not have the same level of pedigree, we can't forget about Danny Biega, injured for most of the year in Charlotte, but who was solid in post-Sekera trade relief last season. It's certainly an unusual and new feeling to have so many defensive chips on the table as a Hurricanes fan, but at least we can be assured we won't be pulling Joe Corvo out of retirement anytime soon.So let's look at this past team's defensive group and see how the young core did in their formative NHL year, but first let's look at the guy who logged more minutes than anyone.Note: All data comes from Corsica.hockey. I used a minimum of 500 minutes played at 5v5 and 100 minutes on special teams when comparing the entire NHL field. Score-adjusted.The Ronster The Canes sure put some miles on Ron Hainsey this season. He logged the 14th most minutes in the NHL at 5v5 with 1451.26 minutes. The next highest Cane after Hainsey--not counting the traded Liles--is Noah Hanifin at 100th. On the penalty kill, Hainsey again played the most (218 minutes) and had nearly 83 minutes more than the next highest Canes defensemen, Jaccob Slavin. From those numbers alone the Hurricanes got significant value from Ron especially when you factor in that Hainsey played against the opponent's top six forwards for greater than 60% of his shifts.

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Numbers for Next Year

by Canealytics •  @Cane_alytics •  Apr 4, 2016  •  4 comments

This season was much needed. From the seemingly never-ending string of talented young hockey players who have made an immediate impact on this season, to the stellar seasons many of our newly drafted prospects have enjoyed, this season has been a breath of fresh air for many Carolina hockey fans. As we all know, and all have probably said at least once, the future is bright. And that feels damn good.So we look forward to next year's Carolina Hurricanes with anticipation, a glimmer of playoff hope, and, maybe for the first time in a while, a strong sense of pride in our boys. There's still work to be done, sophomore slumps to be avoided, and I'd expect some Draft Day / Free Agency Day deals to be made.But as it stands now, what should we look at within this group? Where can things improve to get this team into playoff hockey? Here are 5 fancy stats from this season that I believe are important in this team's identity and to their success going forward. -6.21 Justin Faulk's 5v5 Goals For % Relative to TeamThis statistic describes the effect Justin Faulk has on the Canes Goals For %. When Faulk is on the ice the Canes score 44.19% of the goals that occur, dropping from 50.4% when he is not out there.

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Defense First: The Surprising, Suppressing 2016 Hurricanes

by Canealytics •  @Cane_alytics •  Jan 20, 2016  •  3 comments

You know every late-April or May when you miss the Canes, but have to watch playoff hockey because it's, ya know, playoff hockey. You've got your bracket filled out and want to check in on hopeful bragging rights. You inevitably watch some Eastern match-up, maybe it's the annual Rangers/Capitals seven game series, or maybe the latest Pittsburgh collapse. We all do. We all soak in these series that only get 3-5 goals a game and it's thrilling, nerve-wracking, and intensly fun. Although Pittsburgh media often blames the death of exciting hockey on whoever knocks them out of the playoffs, they're wrong. Playoff hockey is the best of all sports. We all know this. It is known.The Canes have been floating around hockey .500 lately and compiling a winning record more oft than not. There are whisperings of the playoffs, of a chance to actually watch OUR team in them. Whether or not we make the playoffs, this season is a success that rests on the back of a wonderfully talented young defense with an uncanny ability to suppress the opponent's shot attempts, shots on goal, and scoring chances. We've got a long road ahead, but for us in North Carolina, it's late April now.Super suppression bros.What I'm getting at here is that the Hurricanes are quietly learning how to play playoff hockey. Limiting the opponent is the way to grinding out playoff series wins. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we're ready. We need more finish, consistent goaltending, some luck, and some dynamic offensive talent wouldn't hurt. But our guys have got the suppression thing down and it's beautiful.

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Looking at the Lines

by Canealytics •  @Cane_alytics •  Jan 11, 2016  •  1 comment

Through December the Carolina Hurricanes started to score, and then they started to string some wins together, and no, the world didn't end in a fiery apocalypse of wrongness. The Canes went into Pittsburgh and won, they went into Chicago and beat the defending champions, and then, on New Year's Eve, they beat the best team in the league (at that time): Washington. Fans started to see that oft spoke of bright future up close, and had nice warm feels about their team that they might not have had in a while. Hell, even Eric looked like he was having fun and giving a damn.It's no coincidence that this past December of Canes hockey had this season's longest period of stability among the forward lines. And if it weren't for this weekend's games against the lowly Blue Jackets, January looked like it was off to a typical Canes start with Phil Di Giuseppe's injury throwing a wrench into our newly found stability, and low scoring losses quickly followed. The speed of Di Giuseppe's recovery could be oddly vital to Canes' dreary playoff hopes, and if he can't get back to games soon will Bill Peters continue to fill round holes with Chris Terry shaped plugs?I thought that instead of grading the forwards individually for their midseason performances it would be more interesting to look at their performances together as lines. The stable, "Huh-the-Canes-might-actually-be-decent?" lines. The lines that were working, leading to wins, and that made Bill Peters' Line-o-matic stop trying to saddle our actually talented playmakers with not-so-talented ones. The lines that made Cane-alytics not want to drown his sorrows with the hardest of hard liquors EVERY FREAKIN- well you get the point.

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Cane-alytics’ Canes Holiday Report Card: The Defense

by Canealytics •  @Cane_alytics •  Dec 21, 2015  •  0 comments

Since the short NHL Christmas break is fast approaching I thought it would be fun to check out the Canes roster and dole out grades based on how our guys are doing in terms of hockey's analytical metrics. Grades are weighted more on the analytical side of things, but not entirely so, and the data used come from war-on-ice.com and puckalytics.com.First we'll look at the defense and then we'll hit up the goalies and forwards after Christmas. For confusion about acronyms check out glossaries here and here.The Defense - (All data at Even Strength)#5 - Noah HanifinNoah's intelligence, poise with the puck, and hockey sense show more and more as the season goes on. The Power Play just flat out looks better since he was put on it, and now he's pretty much quarterbacking it.Notable Stats:53.7% CF  - 9th on Canes 5.23 Corsi For Relative to Teammates / 60 mins (CF60 RelTM) - 4th on CanesWhen Noah is on the ice we tend to generate more than when he isn't.2.56 Goals For / 60 (GF/60) - 2nd on Canes 2.69 Goal Against / 60 (GA/60) - 6th on Canes 59.48 Corsi For / 60 (CF/60) - 6th on Canes 51.27 Corsi Against / 60 (CA/60) - 14th on CanesNoah is high event. Goals and Corsis happen when he's on the ice.13.21 High Danger Scoring Chances For / 60 (HSCF/60) - First on the Canes +15 High Danger Scoring Chances +/-  | 6th on CanesThe first one is pretty spiffy and a good signal that his time on the Power Play is well spent. He helps his team generate up close chances at a faster rate than any other Cane.He's also only 18.Cane-alytics Grade: A-

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Hey, that Liles. He’s Pretty Alright. A Statistical Spotlight on JML.

by Canealytics •  @Cane_alytics •  Nov 9, 2015  •  0 comments

I’ve always liked defensemen. My first favorite player as a kid was Rangers d-man, Jeff Beukeboom. Partly, let’s be honest, because of the name, but also because he was a hulking bruiser that routinely destroyed players with his bulk. Since then, other favorites have come and gone: Curtis Leschyshyn, Mattias Nordstrom, Janne Niinimaa, Glen Wesley (of course), and Big Time Timmy Tim Gleason just to name a few. The unsung hero aspect of the defensive defenseman, quietly doing his job while the flashier guys got all the press, just appealed to me. It’s a chop wood, carry water kind of thing, I guess. Do the work, quietly and diligently, day-in and day-out, and success will follow.More recently, I loved me some Andrej “Reggie” Sekera. Post-Whalers, he was the first player autograph I'd gotten, and it was huge moment getting to ask him how he scored that insane puck-carrying goal during a rout against us in Anaheim. He simply smiled shyly and said “I don’t know”. I occasionally craft homemade Rej-wiches and quietly mourn the loss our oddly, kind-of-unexpectedly goofy Slovakian-who’s-fond-of-pink-shorts workhorse defensemen.

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What the Hell is HD SV% and Should I Wait for Ultra HD 4K?: A Simple Guide for Caniacs Made by a Simpleton. Part 3 of #VALUE!

by Canealytics •  @Cane_alytics •  Nov 2, 2015  •  0 comments

Last week we covered Fenwick and that you should contact your doctor immediately if score effects last for longer than 4 hours. This week we’ll take a look at those lovable, freaks of nature that are goaltenders and look at all the new ways to make people angry on twitter with goalie analytics!Specifically, we’ll take a spicy look at the different ‘danger’ classifications on the ice and how a goalie’s true value comes from their ability to make those up-close, high danger saves.Looks like Mr. Wardo doesn't like his taco sauce en fuego!Finally, let me preface this column by saying I am not a Cam hater in any form or fashion. I don’t really hate any NHLer. There are definitely some rat-faced fucktards I could do without (see: Marchand), and I think Semin is infuriating because of what could have been. Anyway, I love what Cam has done for this franchise and as of writing this column the dude has put together a VERY solid set of games with numerous SporpsCenter Top-10 worthy saves.However, I do think stats speak for themselves and while there are certainly unfortunate effects to playing on poor teams with porous sets of pylons as d-men, stats are stats, and he’s had a couple rough seasons. His number will be hanging in PNC’s rafters someday and no amount of frustrated, late-night hockey tweets will affect that in any-freakin'-way. He was also the better of two options last year, and again this year, although it’s early going.

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