The Opportunity Cost of Drafting a Goalie

Why goaltenders are approaching first-round extinction

Everyone knows you need a good goalie in order to win games. But what you may not know is that many of today’s star goaltenders weren’t always the cat’s pajamas. In fact, many of them came from relative obscurity.

In the 5-year period from 1997-2001, 14 goalies were drafted in the first round. Apparently this number satisfied some type of equilibrium, because it stayed exactly the same from 2002-2006. Then suddenly things changed. In 2007, not a single goalie was taken in the first round – the first time this had occurred since 1992. Then it happened again in 2009, and again this past year. Collectively, only 4 goalies were drafted in the first round between 2007-2011. Why? Continue reading

Blame it on the Bug

How the injury bug took a bite out of the Canucks Stanley Cup hopes

Anytime a good team loses in the playoffs, they’re hesitant to use the “I” word – injuries. The traditional hockey media has permanently associated the word “injury” with another term – “excuse”. The implication is that even when a team incurs a series of costly injuries, they’re not allowed to “use injuries as an excuse”. And I don’t fully understand why. Firstly, the only reason one would use an ‘excuse’ is when there’s some kind of positive consequence to be derived, i.e “my dog ate my homework” is supposed to keep you out of the detention you could receive for not doing your homework. When a coach, GM, or player admits that their team were suffering through some injuries, it doesn’t make any difference – they’ve already lost, and there isn’t very much to gain from making such a statement.

That’s why in this case I’d prefer to use the term explanation. Is there a good explanation for why the President’s Trophy winning team, who was dominant all season long in the league’s toughest conference, was outscored 21-4 in the last five games of the Stanley Cup Final? Continue reading