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  • SharkCircle 7:00 pm on July 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: advanced stats errors, , , , , NHL, , , , , Should the Sharks trade Thornton and Marleau?   

    My Thoughts On Thornton, Marleau, and The Sharks Future (DR, Part Three) 

    Follow me @SharkCircle

    Here is the third and final part in the blog-series Diverging Realities. You can read Part One here, and Part Two here. Please enjoy part three!

    After the first two parts of Diverging Realities where I talked about the all the divides and contradictions among fans in terms of what other people believe, some of you reading may have had the thought, WELL WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IN, EXACTLY! WHO ARE YOU! DO YOU EVEN BELIEVE IN ANYTHING AT ALL?

    So to answer that thought, well… Hi, I’m Shark Circle. And I believe in marmalade on a hot summer’s day.

    Oh, you meant when it comes to hockey? And in this case, analyzing the Sharks? How about, I believe in… noticing what happens in the moment, and then what that moment turns into the past, I believe in remembering what I noticed. Because, you see, memories in sports can be fickle. Especially complex sports like hockey. There are hundreds of “events” every game (thousands, really), so most people don’t remember the details of a playoff series that happened five years ago. It’s not like football where you can just point to a couple of plays that decided the Superbowl or a playoff game. But for all the “fancy” stats available today, I remember some “simple” stats, not to mention performances, from past playoff-years that have colored my opinions on Joe Thornton and Patrick Marlaeu as much as anything else. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING FULL POST!

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  • SharkCircle 9:08 pm on July 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Joe Thornton trade analysis, NHL, , , Patrick Marleau trade analysis,   

    Diverging Realities Part Two: The Sharks Fan Base, Jumbo And Patty, And Why The Playoffs Matter (Really! They do!) 

    Follow me @SharkCircle

    Hey, Shark Circle here. Part One of this blog-series focused on what I mean by Diverging Realities, what caused them, and how the phenomenon has divided the hockey world at large. Here is Part Two, which will focus on the effect within the Sharks fan base, in particular the debates surrounding Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, and the question of whether players are responsible for their performances in the playoffs. If you haven’t read Part One yet, I recommend you start with it first, otherwise Part Two will be very difficult to understand. Please enjoy!

    I spent the last blog detailing how realities have diverged among fans across the NHL, but that doesn’t mean the phenomenon isn’t at its worst, or close to it, in San Jose. Nowhere have I noticed the divide between the people who try to understand as much of reality as they can, and the people who inadvertently create their own through mathematical miscalculations and manipulation**, more than within the Sharks fan base. Specifically, the debate surrounding Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau’s playoff history. The advanced stats community (aka #fancystats on twitter) has always discounted the entire idea of “performance” and self-determinism in the playoffs, so it’s no wonder that a discussion surrounding great regular-season performancers who decline in the playoffs completely confounds them. And for the first time since these fans have risen to prominence arrogance within the Sharks community, they are greatly displeased with the way things are going, what with Sharks GM Doug Wilson saying he’s moving towards major decisions they don’t agree with. And as we all know, it’s not until adversity hits that you necessarily see all of people’s true colors. And this group of fans has turned on Doug Wilson very aggressively since he stated his intention to change the direction he takes this franchise in.
    CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING FULL …POST!

     
  • SharkCircle 5:29 pm on July 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , NHL, , San Jose Sharks rebuild, , Tom Gilbert advanced stats   

    Diverging Realities Part One: The Great Divide From Sharks Fans To All Of Hockey 

    Follow me @SharkCircle

    Hey, Shark Circle here. Just wanted to pad the length here by putting up a “note” explaining this next series of blogs, Diverging Realities. In contrast to the more specific, ne’er continued series Beware of Advanced Stats In The Hands Of Less-Advanced Statisticians, Diverging Realities is going to take a more general look at the consequences that false statistics, biased “studies,” and the advanced stats community’s inability to acknowledge anything they can’t calculate are having on the hockey world.

    Part One will touch on the Sharks, but focus mostly on explaining what I mean by “Diverging Realities” and what caused the phenomenon, and how it has divided the hockey world. Then Part Two will really dig into how this phenomenon has attached itself to the debate around Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau in SJ and made the Sharks into a polestar for this divide.

    Not For nothing, it’s been the most difficult blog I’ve written here, even more involved than the Beware blog, or the blog advocating for more skill in the NHL-game, and bigger ice. Or even the ill-conceived Scout With Almost No Footage one. But as someone who likes to be part of the ongoing, evolving conversation that is NHL-hockey, I feel this is one of the most important subjects I’ve written about. Because the way we all experience, analyze, and understand the game is very important to the way we discuss it, and I’ve been disappointed the last few years to see hockey discourse become almost as partisan as political discourse. And that’s what I felt needed addressing, so I hope you enjoy the slog blog!

    “Some men cannot be reasoned with.”

    If you’ve listened to Sharks’ GM Doug Wilson speak frankly this offseason, then you know that’s probably a pretty good approximation of what he’s been thinking to himself about Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau lately, as it now appears he’s finally come to realize what most NHL fans have believed for years: that there is something going on with those two as leaders of the Sharks that has hindered the team’s ability to succeed in the playoffs relative to what was expected of them (internally and externally).
    CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING FULL POST!

     
  • SharkCircle 5:48 am on December 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 2014 Sochi Olympics Hockey, Canadian Olympic Rosters, James Neal Team Canada, NHL, Olympic Hockey, Team Canada, Team Canada Top Line   

    My Olympic Rosters: Team Canada Forward Line 1 

    Watching some of the projections by people in the know, like Darren Dreger and Bob Mckenzie, of what the Olympic rosters will look like, I have been absolutely stunned. For instance, apparently James Neal isn’t even being considered for the Team Canada, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic is actually on the team, ahead of Dan Boyle (and like twenty other better defenseman).

    I thought the idea of Vlasic playing for Canada at the Olympics was just your typical Drew Remenda homer-fantasy. On drugs. But according to the likes of Darren Dreger, it’s reality. So I’ve decided to draw up my own roster of what an actual sane person’s Olympic rosters should look like, starting with Canada. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING FULL POST

     
  • SharkCircle 11:43 am on October 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Capitals Flyers Hurricanes Blue Jackets Devils Islanders Rangers Penguins Season Preview and Predictions, , Columbus Blue Jackets, Metropolitan Division Preview and Predictions, , New York Islanders, , NHL, , , , ,   

    Shark Circle’s Metropolitan Division Preview and Standings Predictions 

    I’m continuing my season preview with the Metropolitan division. To see my Atlantic Division Preview, click here. I must repeat the disclaimer that I’ve only looked at the roster page for each team, and that’s it. No advanced stats, not even the power-play and penalty kill percentages for each team last year. Just my memory and intuition.

     

    METROPOLITANLOL

    1. Pittsburgh Penguins: CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING FULL POST

     
  • SharkCircle 3:46 pm on April 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alex Ovechkin playoff prediction, Anaheim Ducks vs Detroit Red Wings predictions, Blackhawks vs. Wild predictions, New York Rangers playoff prediction Ovechkin, NHL, NHL Playoffs predictions, , St. Lous Blues vs Los Angeles Kings series preview, Toronto Maple Leafs playoff preview predictions, Vancouver Canucks vs. San Jose Sharks analysis   

    My 2013 Round One NHL Playoffs Previews and Predictions: 

    Hopefully I didn’t give it away with the title, but this is where I’ll predict winners for the eight first-round playoff series in the NHL.

    WESTERN CONFERENCE

    (1)Chicago Blackhawks vs. (8)Minnesota Wild. The only advantage the Wild might have in this series is goaltending, as Nicklas Backstrom has historically been the better goaltender than Corey Crawford (who hasn’t?), but this year Crawford has actually played well, strange as that is to write. And other than that, the Wild are in trouble talent-wise because the Blackhawks have better top-end forwards in Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane compared to Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise, better forward depth, two all-star calibre defenseman in Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook to the Wild’s one in Suter, and better depth on defense, too. The Blackhawks are faster, more skilled, and deeper, and as long as their goaltending makes the easy saves, the Blackhawks will win the series. Blackhawks in 5 games. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING FULL BLOG

     
  • SharkCircle 4:04 am on April 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , NHL, , NHL Playoffs matchups, , , Vancouver Canucks playoff matchups   

    My Most Wanted NHL Playoff Series: Western Conference 

    Follow me @SharkCircle

    With the NHL playoffs approaching, I thought it would be fun to go over which playoff series I would most like to see. Well, not fun, but, you know, something to pass the time and keep me from crying any more about what happened to Tiger Woods.

    Two whole… points? Are you serious, Masters? (That’s what you call it, points, right?) How is he supposed to win his… next… Masters when you take away two points? He totally didn’t deserve that. He shot it from farther, not closer. If anything he deserves extra points for that!

    Anyway, here are my most anticipated playoff series, first for the Western Conference.

    1. Los Angeles Kings vs Chicago Blackhawks CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING FULL POST

     
  • SharkCircle 1:10 am on April 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Anaheim Ducks trade deadline, Brandon McMillan analysis, Matthew Lombardi trade analysis, NHL, NHL Trade Deadline winners, , Sharks trade deadline   

    2013 NHL Trade Deadline Winners: #8 Anaheim Ducks, #7 San Jose Sharks 

    I forgot the Anaheim Ducks and a few other teams when I wrote out all my “trade deadline winners” at once yesterday, so I don’t have my typical overly long explanation about why I consider them winners. But the short answer is because they acquired Matthew Lombardi, who I was a fan of a few seasons ago when he was basically the Phoenix Coyotes’ top center, for Brandon McMillan. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING FULL POST

     
    • SharkCircle 1:16 am on April 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      It is worth noting, however, when it comes to the Hannan trade, that if he can’t perform as well as Jason Demers or Justin Braun or whoever he might replace, but Todd Mclellan keeps playing him despite his play, that the trade could end up hurting the Sharks overall. But I’m judging the trade not based on the unknowns of how the coach will use him, but based on the fact that they got Hannan for just a 7th round pick in a market that paid two 2nd rounders for Murray, which I think is good value.

      Like

  • SharkCircle 12:54 am on April 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Derek Roy trade, Derek Roy Vancouver Canucks trade, Kevin Connauton, NHL, , , Roberto Luongo trade deadline, Trade Deadline Vancouver Canucks   

    2013 NHL Trade Deadline Winners #9: Vancouver Canucks 

    At 3:00 PM Pacific Time today, an NHL trade deadline that saw only 15 total trades (on deadline day) passed. Here, I will take a look at the deadline’s winners (including deals that were consummated leading up to the deadline), starting with #9, the Vancouver Canucks, and counting down to #1 with each blog. CONTINUE READING FULL POST

     
  • SharkCircle 10:53 am on March 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Anaheim Ducks vs Chicago Blackhawks, Brandon Saad, , , , Joel Quenneville, , NHL   

    Why Are The Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks So Much Better This Season? 

    When I watch the Chicago Blachhawks play this season, I see a much improved team as compared to last year, and in many areas of the game. And when I watch the Anaheim Ducks, I see the same thing. There’s just so much more speed on the ice than before, so much more depth, and a lot more beef on the blue-line (even if I haven’t been impressed with Bryan Allen).

    However, while no one seems at all perplexed at how the Blackhawks have been able to improve so much despite no significant offseason additions–their biggest name signing was Sheldon Brookbank, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people question the Ducks’ improvement, saying things like, “The Ducks are the exact same team this year. How are they winning so many more games? They should be just as bad!”

    Maybe it’s just because the Blackhawks are much more in the national spotlight, so casual onlookers have had a greater opportunity to see what’s changed in the Blackhawks’ team than they’ve had with the Ducks’ (who play many of their games at 10:00PM Eastern Time), but I’m surprised I haven’t heard that same question posed more about the Blackhawks, too, since the reasons for both teams’ ascensions this season are so similar. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING FULL POST

     
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