The Coaching Carousel Stops at the Break

I'm sure this gag has never been done before...
Ah, the NHL All-Star game.  Is there anything more exciting?

Don't you remember last year when those guys scored and everyone was really excited.  I sure do.  Or how about two years ago, when we were blessed with the Olympics and the NHL took a month hiatus.  That was weird, but damn it was fun and much better than the All-Star game.

Look, the All-Star game is great, really.  Heck, it's the lead in for the Pro Bowl.  That's saying something. But, I'm sure you didn't come here to debate the validity of the ASG.  You came for the hardcore spreadsheet action!

At the break, with approximately thirty games remaining for all teams, seven, count 'em SEVEN, NHL coaches have been fired.  The most recent being the Blue Jackets now former bench boss Scott Arniel.  What follows are the superficial stats of each team, comparisons and contrasts of the hired and fired coaches, and pointless observations that will not help you to understand why sports happen the way that they do. 

What does this have to do with Kansas City hockey?  Nothing.  Continue after the jump.

*Remember that you are more than welcome to click to embiggen.  You might have to open the individual Excel sheets in another window.  It makes sight easier.  Semi-important details have been highlighted for your convenience.

*--* means interim

*--# means division leader

St. Louis Blues

The Blues are the most surprising and successful teams with a new coach.  They are in second in the Central Division behind Detroit, but in front of surging Chicago and talented Nashville.  Obviously, they aren't losing anymore, but only six games in 36 under Hitchcock ri-dick-ulous (see what I did there?).  The goal differential is another important number in seeing their turnaround, and for justifying Brian Elliot's ASG invitation (how is that Halak deal working out?).  Many of those goals, or at least more of those goals, are coming from Hitch's powerplay.

Car-Chair Analysis: The Blues have learned how to play offense while having some outstanding goaltending to push them to lose less.  That is all.  No need to look farther into it.

Washington Capitals

The Caps are one team that has not seen incredible improvement since Bruce Boudreau's firing, but they win games.  In fact, the only major differences that these stats show are the decrease in GF/G and GA/G under Hunter.  But, 2.81 goals per game for a team with Ovechkin does not sound like a team with Ovechkin, if that makes any sense.  Damn you, Dale Hunter!  Damn you!

Car-Chair Analysis: Eighth in the East, to as low as ninth, then back to division leaders.  Maybe the coach really has no bearing on how this team plays.  Maybe Ovi could just be a player-coach.  Maybe the Caps will move to KC.  Maybe...

Carolina Hurricanes

Ugh, talk about a team that has not improved.  Well, the powerplay has gotten slightly better while the PK has gotten slightly worse.  But really, an improved powerplay can only do so much drive down the goal differential.  Did you know Eric Staal is a -23.  Holy crap!

Car-Chair Analysis: Dead last in the Eastern Conference.  No, this coaching change did not work.

Anaheim Ducks 

What an odd team.  They are terrible, but they really aren't that terrible.  At this point, Boudreau has coached as many games as Carlyle had when he was fired.  Boudreau has won four more games, lost three less, and tied one less.  His team has given up eight less, but the special teams have not changed too much.  The biggest difference comes in the goals for department; a 17 goal and .71 goals for average improvement.

Car-Chair Analysis: Yeah, Anaheim is better, but will they continue to respond to Boudreau?  Eh, sure, why not.

Los Angeles Kings

Kings fans hate to see it, but this team still isn't scoring under Sutter.  Of course, they aren't giving up goals either.  Only four regulation losses since dumping Murray translates into points, which I guess is the point.  But, fewer points is not the point, if you get the point.

Car-Chair Analysis: Down with Murray!  Long live Sutter!

Montreal Canadiens

Another blah team.  It's hard to say what, if anything, they are doing differently under Cunneyworth.  He does appear to be gaining traction over the course of the past month.  I mean, if he's heureux au jeu, malheureux en amour, then I guess he will be able to get to his car unharmed after each game, right?

Car-Chair Analysis:  Cunneyworth can't speak French.  Failure.

Columbus Blue Jackets


Car-Chair Analysis: Yeah, they don't win a lot.

What do you see as the most surprising/intriguing/foreshadowing thing from these stats?  Give your opinion in the comments.

Stats are as of 1/25/12 at 11:00pm CT

Best Available Coaches:
Terry Murray
Randy Carlyle
Jacques Martin
Davis Payne
Paul Maurice
Craig MacTavish
Bob Hartley
Andy Murray (blog fave)
Pierre Maguire
Scott Gordon
Tony Granato
Scott Arniel
Senator Jacques Demers
Marc Crawford

Coaches on the Chopping Block:
Jack Capuano - NYI (still maybe)

Game by game stats

Mizzou vs Kansas Club Hockey Photo and Video Diary Part Deux: Electric Blowout-aloo

The lowly life of the backup goalie of a winless team.  Hold your head up, big guy.  At least you are on an organized team.  

You saw part one, now it's time for the thrilling conclusion of the Mizzou-Kansas Border War photo and video journal.  Will Kansas regroup in the third period, staging an amazing comeback, and avenging the 2007 Border War football game?  Will Mizzou pull a Philadelphia and bleed the entire period skating around in their own end?  How many players will get kicked out for fighting?  The answers to these questions and more can be found after the jump.

By this point in the game, it was getting hard to tell whether or not either team was called getting for a penalty during stoppages of play.  Four KU players on the ice became the norm at this time.

The third period fight, the icing on the fight cake, resulted in six game misconducts.    

The resulting confusion after the fight.  Twenty minutes later they resumed play.

Continued confusion.  Ilya Kovalchuk is not pleased.

Jus' chillin.

"Hey, uh, no one will blame you if you want to get out of here.  Follow me to freedom."

The Kansas bench after the misconducts.  There are four guys on the ice, two goalies, and eight guys on the bench.

The Missouri bench by comparison.

Midway through the third period.  Not everyone seems to have the same focus as the two players taking the faceoff.

Your final score.  Mizzou wins the Border War, 14-3.  The game, mercifully, comes to an end.

Mizzou celebration.

Mizzou skate-ebration.

Team photo with the odd trophy in the background.  Truman didn't break this one, apparently.

Photo with the trophy.  Quick question: who are these photographers and where are their photos?

Coaching staff with the trophy
Thus concludes another hockey night in the Kansas City metro.  I would say that the IEC was about 70% full.  That may be a little generous, but that's still about 4,000+ people for an arena that holds about 5,800.  It wasn't a great game (14-3 final and very chippy throughout), but it's still hockey nonetheless.  And honestly, isn't that what really matters?  Thirty-three Mavs games plus games like this each year make Kansas City a hockey town of sorts, even though it's not on the same level as a Winnipeg, or Seattle, or even St. Louis.  Still fun, though.

Mizzou vs Kansas Club Hockey Photo and Video Diary Part 1

Sergei Federov Russian jersey

If you didn't make it out to the IEC Friday night, you missed a lot of fights, a lot of penalty minutes, and a lot of goals.  Mike Genet at the Examiner has the only write up I have seen so far, so check that out.

Without further ado, here is the Lost City of Bettman official grainy photo and video diary of the 2012 Mizzou-Kansas hockey Border War.

There are, in fact, family restrooms located throughout the arena. 
Pre-game festivities.  Props to all of you people who shelled out the extra cash to sit behind the benches.  And props to the IEC and club hockey programs for selling the cheaper tickets throughout the arena.  Not like that dumb thing back in the day at the Outlaws games where most of the arena was $18, but the first three rows were $40.  That was dumb.
This guy is an usher, but he reminds me of someone...wait, is it this guy?  Maybe that's a stretch.
Missouri and their damn product placement!
Score after the end of the first period.  Mizzou 3.  Kansas 0.  Mizzou scored two goals in the first two minutes.  And the route was on...
Everyone just kind of standing around, probably following the fifteen or so game misconducts.  Oh!  That reminds me.

Yeah, so that was one of two very real fights that resulted in (I think) six total misconducts.
Ah, the innocence of the intermission.  I really hate to say this, but is "Linus and Lucy" (also known as the Peanut theme) just really getting old when the mites play in between periods? 

Zamboni-mania returns!
I'm not lying when I say there were many misconducts.  Oh, and it's sad, but this is the only goal I captured throughout the duration of the entire game.  But, the more important issue is the health of the PA announcer.  Lozenges work wonders, but let's hope he doesn't have some lung problems.

So, this game got out of hand.  Mizzou scored something like four goals during their odd, unannounced powerplay.  We were not told the whole story after the penalties, I fear.

Here's a crowd shot.

The score at the end of the second period.  Mizzou 12.  Kansas 2.

It's good to see about 1/8 of Mizzou's pep band showed up for the game.  Actually, it would have been cool to see Kansas's band as well.  If anything, they would have helped out the arena music guy from playing "Blitzkreig Bop" one hundred times.

College Hockey This Friday at IEC

Just a reminder that this Friday, January 20th, the University of Missouri and University of Kansas club hockey teams are holding their annual Independence Events Center Border War game at 7:05.  You can get tickets here.

According to the Mid-America Collegiate Hockey Association website, Mizzou hockey is 9-2-1 so far this season, while Kansas hockey is 0-14.  So, come on out and see if Kansas wins their first game of the season...or see how badly Mizzou beats the Jayhawks into submission.  The choice is yours, really.  Just GO!  (Plus, if you are into fights, hhhoooooooo boy let me tell you, these teams fight!  It's all in good fun though, so just sit back and enjoy the carnage.  You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll learn something about yourself.)

Speaking of collegiate hockey, as explained by pucKChaser, tickets to the October 12th-13th IceBreaker Tournament are ON SALE NOW.  I think he explains the fun and importance of the tournament in KC better than I could, so just click on that hotlink at the top of this paragraph.  You can also learn more about the tourney and get your tickets here.

Also, just a personal note, I am humbled to be mentioned by two KC hockey blogs that have been at it for a long time and have done and continue to do awesome jobs.  Aaron Stilley at the NHL in Kansas City and pucKChaser's blog ("blogger" sounds so formal) both know their KC hockey history and understand the current climate of not only NHL hockey, but local hockey too.  Please read these folks if you have not already.  Read their archives, read any other stuff they do.  They know what they are talking about.  It's like I'm Charlie Brown and they are two different "little red-haired girls" that just noticed, not saying that they are little red-haired girls or anything, err, nor does that imply they are two-dimensional cartoon characters... umm...yeah, disregard that last comment.

But, really, it is a thrill to be a part of the volatile but hopeful Kansas City hockey online community.  Please, if you have opinions, comments, suggestions, etc. please do not hesitate to post them here.  All suggestions are welcome.

Here is a picture of Craig Anderson looking at ice girls as a thanks for your patronage:

2012 Champions: Stat-Nerding the Second Quarter of the Season

Mavs President and GM Brent Thiessen won the Commitment Cup! Whatever that is...

Welcome to the CHL All-Star break!  Your Missouri Mavericks are currently fifth in the seven-team Turner Conference with 35 points.  They are 16-13-3 overall, and are 8-8-1 with 17 points over the course of the second quarter of the season.  The Mavs are technically still a playoff team with this record.  They have 96 GF and 103 GA. 

2010-11 season, after 32 games:
39 pts
103 GF
90 GA

-7 GF and -13(!) GA from one season ago.  Where has everything gone so terribly wrong?

*C-Bass Thinel is still the team leader in points (9+30=39).  He has slipped into a tie for seventh in the league in this category.  There are no Mavs among league point leaders in the top twenty.  Thinel is tied for second in the league in assists, seven behind the leader.  Dale Mahovsky’s 30 points is second on the team (13+17=30).  The league leader has 48 points.

*The Mavs are ninth of fourteen teams in the league in goals for.  They are eighth in goals against.  That is very middle of the road-y.  Not good for a team that started the season with much of the same defense as last year, and brought in A LOT of offensive help.

*48 goals in the first fifteen games of the season (3.2 avg.), 48 goals over the course of the past 17 (2.82 avg.).

*In 2010-11, the Mavs had 103 total goals in their first thirty-two games (3.22 avg.), and 62 goals between Games #16-#32 (3.65 avg.).

*During this seventeen game stretch:
--15 goals over the first six games
--15 goals over the next four games
--The next game was the only time the Mavs have been shutout all season
--18 goals over the last six games

*Ah, but how about goals against?  The Mavs gave up 43 over the first fifteen games (2.87 avg.), but they have given up 60 over the past seventeen games (3.53 avg.).  During the seventeen game stretch:
--30 goals in the first eight games
--30 goals in the last nine games, including one shutout.

*In 2010-11, the Mavs gave up 90 total goals in their first thirty-two games (2.81 avg.), and 47 goals between Games #16-#32 (2.76).

*Speaking of defense, there have been eleven different defenders on this team over the course of thirty-two games.  Last season, the Mavs only used 8 defenders.  In fairness, J.P. Testwuide and Dustin Friesen are with the Chicago Wolves. 

*Remember when only one active defenseman had a negative plus/minus one quarter through the season?  Only Mike Wakita, Zach Carriveau, and David Simoes are in the positive (all with a +3; Carriveau is no longer with the team).

*There are no Mavs among the league leaders in plus/minus.  Wichita has four players in the top five, all with a combined +67.  Andrew Martens, former Wichita Thunder-er and current OKC Baron, has/had a +20.  The top three Mavs plus/minus are a combined +19.  Five current Mavs are positive.  Carlyle Lewis and JS Dickson have the worst plus/minus with -6 each.

*Vern Cooper played in 11 games, had 6 points (2+4=6), was a +5, took 26 shots, and recorded a .077 shooting percentage.  Now he is off to pursue his academic career.  Best of luck to him.
*Ryan Jardine, through twenty-seven games, has 8 goals, 10 assists, and 18 points.  After missing five games in the first quarter of the season, he has played every game in the second quarter of the season.  So, that’s encouraging.

*Did I mention the Mavs are not very good on the powerplay?

*The league leader in powerplay percentage is Fort Wayne with 25.45%.  They also have the least amount of opportunities in the league with 110, scoring 28 times.

*The Mavs are ninth in PP% (17.24%) with 116 opportunities and 20 goals.  Only Texas has had fewer PP goals (15).  Laredo also has 20, but only has scored 14.29% of the time.

*Record when the Mavs scored a PPG in the last seventeen games: 4-1-1

*Record when the Mavs failed to score on the powerplay in the last seventeen games:  4-7

*JS Dickson has 14 goals, and 5 of those have come on the PP.  He is tied for sixth in the league in PPG.  The league leader, Brandon Marino of Quad City, has 9.

*Thinel has 11 powerplay assists, which is tied for sixth in the league.  The leader is Todd Robinson of Evansville with 19.

*The Mavs have 3 shorthanded goals, thanks mostly to defenders (Pszenyczny and Kaunisto - before he was traded).  Rapid City, the league leader in this category, has 12.  Oddly enough, three of their top four goal scorers (Les Reaney, league points leader Jesse Schultz, and Shawn Limpright) are all in the top five of this category.

*The Mavs were fourth on the penalty kill at 82.6% with 12 goals against after the first fifteen games.

*They are now tenth at 80.49%, having given up twelve goals on the PK in the past seventeen games.  The league best is Allen at 85.42%.  The league worst is Dayton at 71.43%.

*12 of 43 goals against were on the PK over the first fifteen games, while 12 of 60 goals against were on the PK over the last seventeen games.  Something is wrong, but not just on the PK.

*The Mavs have given up 24 PPGA, which is three less than the league leader, Evansville, with 21 PPGA.  But, the Mavs seventh place standing looks amazing compared to Dayton’s league worst 44 PPGA.

*The Mavs have been shorthanded the third least of any team, 123 times.

*They are now ninth in PIM with 544 minutes, after being fifth for the first quarter of the season with 305.  They have recorded 239 minutes in the last seventeen games.

*No longer do the Mavs have any players in the league’s top fifteen most penalty minutes.  Carlyle Lewis is sixteenth with 78, and Pszenyczny is twentieth with 70.

*Gerry Festa’s stats before being traded:
--8 GP
--24 GA
--3.00 GAA
--.904 SV%

*New Mav, and former Arizona Sundog, Levente Szuper’s stats this season (one game with Mavs):
--16 GP
--43 GA (t-last)
--3.16 GAA (19th)
--.919 SV% (t-4th)

*Charlie Effinger is back with the Mavs, and is seventh in the league in SV % (.917).  Szuper is tied for fourth with .919%.  The leader is the backup in Dayton, Larry Sterling, with .928%.

*Effinger has started nine games over the course of the last seventeen games, and is 5-4 with 30 GA and one shutout.

*Effinger is fourteenth in the league in GAA with 2.94.  Szuper is nineteenth with 3.16.  The leader is Mark Guggenberger for Texas with 2.29 GAA.

*Just as an example of how injuries have caused turmoil for this team, the Mavs had fifteen players dressed, plus one goalie (Festa) for their game on December 20th, 2011.

*The Mavs are 6-7-1 at home.  They have gone 5-4 since the first quarter of the season.

*The Mavs are third in average total attendance with 5,456 people per game.  Since the first five home games, the last nine have seen a 255 person average decrease.  The Mavs are safely in fourth in total attendance with 76,388, just under 3,000 behind Rapid City who has played three more home games.

*The CHL is nearing one million total spectators for the season.  The league has failed to achieve over two million total spectators only twice since 2002-03 (2008-09, 2009-10).

*The Mavs are 10-6-2 on the road.  This is among the league leaders.  They have gone 3-4-1 since the first quarter of the season, and 4-6-2 since the 6-0 road start. 

*The Mavs have had one losing streak of three games, and one losing streak of four (0-3-1 over that stretch).

*The longest winning streak, other than the six game streak at the start of the season, is the recent four game winning streak that ended this past Sunday.

*Andrew Courtney is the Mavs only All-Star game representative.  He is fourth on the team in goals (12), fifth in assists and points (10, 22), and is a team best +7.  He was a -2 with seven shots in the ASG.

*Former Mavs Kaunisto and Carriveau played for the hosting Arizona Sundogs in the ASG.

*The Chicago Wolves are in second place in the AHL’s Midwest Division, two points behind the Charlotte Checkers.  They have 106 GF and 96 GA, and are currently on a four game win streak.  J.P. Testwuide has played ten games and is a -2.  Dustin Friesen has played in nineteen games and has three points (1+2=3).  He is a +6.  Craig MacTavish is still the coach.

So, the Mavericks have not played exceptionally well over the second quarter of the season.  They are giving up a lot more goals, but also have to deal with the instability that comes with injuries, big league call-ups, and transactions.  This team still has not lapsed into being “streak-y,” but they do tend to struggle at times.  One area that they cannot afford to struggle is on the PK, where they have been so solid in the past.
The Mavs should not be happy with the offensive output from the first half of the season after bringing in a lot of players to help that issue.  It’s tough to blame the defense for being sloppy over the past few weeks, but the offense must come around for the last thirty games or so for the Mavs to even threaten to make noise in the playoffs.

As always, you can follow your favorite CHL team at their official site and at the CHL's official site.  Also, there is info on the KC Star's site, and every now and then on the Pitch's site.  Be sure to read Mavericks Weekly on the Mavs' site for all of the weekly updates and upcoming events at the IEC.

Check Out the Shanabans Feature At the Top of the Page

  ^        Hey, you, reader, check out the
//  \\      new attempt at cataloging  
  ||        (cataloguing for our Canadian,  
  ||        British, Irish and island nations
  ||        readers) the Brendan Shanahan
  ||        "Shanaban"videos.  Just look 
  ||        up at the top of the page.
  ||        There are pretty new page  
  ||        tabs you can click on. Just
  ||        click the "Shanabananas" tab
  ||        for all of the suspension and
  ||        head shot fun!
  ||         Eventually, you will be able to
  ||        link to every video.  One day, I
  ||        may include reaction links.  Of
  ||        course, we all hope this is a finite feature,
  ||        since people getting hit in the head is bad, mmkay
           (we all know that is not the case).

Introducing the Coaching Carousel


The NHL Coaching Carousel, a new feature at Lost City of Bettman where we will take a look at the coaches fired so far this season and how the team's have done with their new coach(es).  Basically, it's a fun chart for you to look at.  Look at the colors.  Who doesn't like charts?!?!

So, on this eve of the Winter Classic, here are the five teams with new coaches and how they have fared since ridding themselves of the stank of an old head coach.

It has to be small to fit, so click to embiggen
Stats are as of 1/1/12 at 10:00pm CDT

The current coach is on the bottom, while the fired coach (or interim coach) is on top.  The Blues and Kings appear to be in the best shape as of now.

Best Available Coaches:
Terry Murray
Randy Carlyle
Jacques Martin
Davis Payne
Paul Maurice
Craig MacTavish (NSFW language in link)
Bob Hartley
Andy Murray (a fave of the blog)
Pierre Maguire
Scott Gordon
Tony Granato

Coaches on the Chopping Block:
Scott Arniel - CBJ
Jack Capuano - NYI (maybe)

Game by game stats
NHL Standings
NHL PP Stats
NHL PK Stats
My own math (erg...nerds, feel free to check my work and let me know what I screwed up)

An oversized bear.  It's funny.  It's funny because it's ah, bigger than, ah, you know, a normal bear.