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!
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).
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