It’s Friday! Time for some thoughts...
- Mike Hoffman is heating up. Everyone was excited to see what he could do with a big fan as his coach, and he was kind of disappointment to start the season. It took him eight games to get his first goal, and only had three in 16. But four goals this week has him up to eight on the season. It puts him on pace for 30, but with the hope that he can do more.
- As Hoffman has heated up, so has the Sens’ powerplay. They have powerplay goals in three games in a row. It didn’t quite make sense that a powerplay with so much talent was struggling for so long. It’s no coincidence that the powerplay surge has coincided with both Hoffman and Mark Stone surging too.
- Sean McIndoe (aka Down Goes Brown) has had a few thoughts on parity, and once again it came up yesterday.
Theory: The NHL has the loser point solely because it inflates records and creates the illusion of parity, but they can't say that out loud.— Down Goes Brown (@DownGoesBrown) December 1, 2016
@DownGoesBrown You're absolutely right. Last year, 22/30 teams finished at or above ".500"— Ross (@Sheer_Rossyness) December 1, 2016
The thing is, a lot of people didn’t seem to get it. So many replies said something about how the loser point makes playoff races more exciting. But the thing is, it doesn’t really. Last year we knew all the playoff teams in the West and their seeding with two weeks left in the season. The main purpose of the loser point is to make teams’ records look better than they are. If you’re a GM arguing to keep your job, it’s nice to point to a winning record. If you’re an owner trying to encourage fans, it’s great to say your team has a winning record. The problem is that a “winning record” means very little if a third of your losses won’t count as losses in your record.
All this to say, if your argument for the loser point is that it makes playoff races more exciting, you’re deceiving yourself.
4. Ugh, NHL.com. Recapping is so hard now, because it takes 10 minutes just to find the three pieces of information you want from NHL.com. Not to mention that there is no way to get the complete box score anymore, because it runs along the side of the recap, but the scrolling is wrong so you can’t scroll all the way to the bottom. How is it that a multi-billion-dollar business can’t hire someone that makes a functional website?
5. So how does the schedule look in December? Not great. The California road trip happens, and because that isn’t quite enough, they’ll play the Sharks again at home right after the trip. They also take on the Penguins, Blackhawks, and Rangers, which means that out of 12 remaining games, three are against teams ahead of them in the standings, and 10 are against teams within four points of them. The only real soft spot seems to be the Islanders, who seem to be rallying a bit. At least by the end of this month, we’ll have a good idea of how “for real” this Sens team is.