Thursday, November 06, 2008

Hockey Blogging

On some occasions, Bob's Blog readers will be subjected to "all hockey" days. A true internet detective would figure out that my "paying gig" at is getting in the way. Sorry. Baby needs a new pair of skates. Here is what I wrote for them this morning. We will talk the pigskin on Friday:

As we wait for the weekend to see if the Stars have gotten things figured out on the ice, I was watching a little NHL Center Ice last night and stopped down on Tampa Bay at New Jersey. Like any Stars fan, I enjoy watching the career Jamie Langenbrunner has made for himself, and to this day hate that he ever had to leave. Well, last night of course, I also was paying close attention to Mike Smith in goal for the Lightning and Jussi Jokinen. Smith made 35 saves and looked sharp. Jokinen scored twice and now has 4 goals this season. But, after 65 minutes of hockey, it was time to go to a shootout.

And we all know what that means.

Jussi is remembered for a few different things around Dallas. For me, it was the fact that after every game, he would run around the arena tunnels in shorts and a t-shirt to get a workout in after the game. When I have played sports, I usually thought I was all worked out when the game ended, but Jussi wanted more. I have seen him run the tunnels in Edmonton, Calgary, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Vancouver, Anaheim…

The other thing was his amazing ability to dominate in shootouts. Keep in mind, his first year in the NHL was the first year of the NHL Shootout. I still don’t care for the shootout, but if you are going to have it, you are going to want to score and win. Well, leave that to Jussi.

In that first year, 05-06, he dominated the league by going 10 for 13 in shootouts. And for his career, he is the very best in the NHL, now 18 for 32 after he missed his attempt last night in New Jersey.

It is altogether more amusing because he has 2 moves on the shootout. He skates to his right and swoops from the goalie’s left across the mouth of the goal. Move “A” is to wait out the goalie and shoot the puck inside the far post. And then Move “B” is the Forsberg move from the Olympics where you look like you are going far post, but you actually skate by but try to drag the puck past the goalie’s left leg on the short side with just your arm staying behind.

Here you can see the “A” and the “B”

Last night he tried the “B” move, and Kevin Weekes was ready.

Anyway, that got me to thinking about who the Stars have left on their team that can succeed when and if the Stars ever get to a shootout this year.

Here are the career totals of the Stars in the Shootout:

Brenden Morrow 2 for 2 100%
Mike Ribeiro 6 for 15 40%
Mike Modano 5 for 16 31%
Loui Eriksson 0 for 2
Brad Richards 14 for 25 56%
Sean Avery 0 for 2
Jere Lehtinen 1 for 6 17%
Sergei Zubov 13 for 29 45%

So, I would go with Richards and Zubov as automatics, and then Ribeiro or Modano as your third.

How about around the league?

Of those with 25 career shootout attempts across the NHL, here are the best of the best all time:

Jussi Jokinen 18 for 32 56.3%
Brad Richards 14 for 25 56%
Erik Christensen 15 for 27 55.6%
Slava Kozlov 18 for 33 54.5%
Pavel Datsyuk 14 for 28 50%

And if we are going to do that, we may as well break out who the toughest goalies to score against with at least 50 shootout goals attempted against:

Mathieu Garon 12 for 66 82%
Henrik Lundqvist 31 for 132 76%
Manny Fernandez 15 for 59 75%
Rick DiPietro 27 for 106 75%
Tim Thomas 26 for 102 75%

Marty is actually 8th in the NHL career listings in this category:
Marty Turco 26 for 93 72%

Since I have a feeling you will need these numbers this weekend, keep them in mind on this road trip.

Now, on to another topic: Mark Parrish

I have been bombarded with emails from people who don’t understand this signing. I will tell you that I have always admired his game. He is a physical player who scores from in tight and plays a physical style of hockey.

I should also say that a week ago, 700 players were in the NHL and he wasn’t one of them. That makes me skeptical of what he may have left at the age of 31, because you always wonder why he was in the AHL after a very impressive career. Is he healthy? Is he able?

If he is, you are going to like this signing. Best of all, he is the very rare right shot on this team. Only BJ Crombeen and Jere Lehtinen are right shots as forwards on this team, so sometimes it is difficult to get a good offensive flow going with nothing but left shots playing right wing. It can happen, but as a rule, you like to mix it up some. Well, since we are still not sure when Jere will be back, and since he is very cheap, welcome Mark Parrish to the mix.

I hate to see James Neal sent down, but he will be back, and more determined than ever.

Here is some Mark Parrish video to get you acquainted.

Mark Parrish does not have all of his original teeth

Mark Parrish the Fisherman


Jenny Z said...

Don't apologize for the hockey... be proud. ;)

I'm concerned about Parrish. If he can score, great, but don't we need DEFENSE on this team? Isn't that where we are lacking?

His lifetime +/- is -37. I don't think that's what we need right now, and I'm baffled about the decision to bring him in...

Flaco said...

All hockey days are good days, Bob.

nip nip, wiener.

Michael said...

Parrish has played on some bad, bad teams. Panthers, Isles, Kings, Mini-so-ta Wild. The Wild are a defensive team and he was +9 his two years there.

He also had point totals of 39 and 30 his two years there, and considering they are one of the lowest scoring teams in the NHL, I think we can expect so positive results.

The Stars aren't giving up anything for him anyway.

Doctor Jones said...

Bob, defensive back D. Hall of the Raiders was just released, do you think it would add insult to injury bringing him to Dallas in light of our beaten secondary? If anything just for depth?

Josh said...

[[ bracing myself for more "why did the Stars trade Smith?!" backlash ]]

As for the Stars: 3-4 points in California would be amazing this weekend. These guys gotta get going before the season passes them by ... or before fans riot.

Going to be catchin' the Stars @ Honda & Staples Center on Friday/Tuesday. Might even mix in a Mavs@Clippers game on Sunday. Not a bad week to be a Dallas sports fan in LA.