The Maple Leafs were the poster boys for the anti-fancy stats movement. Flying high through the lockout-shortened 2013 season, and then continuing where they left off this season. And then a couple months ago it finally caught up to them and it looked like balance was being restored. Only, six games ago they started winning again. And haven't stopped.
The Stars are on the opposite end of that fancy stats argument, having been a much better team Corsi- and Fenwick-wise than their record, or goals-for/goals-against totals, would suggest. And then a couple of months ago Dallas finally seemed to turn a corner, putting together an impressive series of wins while continuing to play a fast possession game. And then 2014 happened and the wheels came off.
To break all those stats claims down, Dallas are ranked 7th in the entire league in close-game 5v5 possession metrics, with a 52.2% Corsi, and 52.8% Fenwick score. Wait! If you're bored to death by fancy stats, all I'm saying is Dallas would appear to control the puck 52% even-strength play when the score is within one, and yet score only 50.4% of the goals in those situations, good for 14th in the league.
Meanwhile the Maple Leafs sit at 29th in the league in possession numbers, holding the puck for only about 42% of the time in close-game 5v5 situations. Their goals percentage though? 50.4%. Yep. The Leafs slide in one spot ahead of the Stars in the goals scored department.
All this to say that, if one considers that possession of the puck should ultimately translate to goals scored, then regression for these two teams means very different things.
Tonight though? Expect the Stars to outshoot the Maple Leafs. After that it's anyone's guess.
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For those of you who have completely written off the Stars after the recent slump, don't read this article. It's going to have far too positive an outlook for you. [On the Radar]
This one is here just to save kevinkinsler the task of finding it. [Sports Day DFW]
After the long stretch of performances that had everyone losing confidence in the Stars, Tuesday night sure was nice. Here's hoping it restored the players' confidence as well as our own. [Stars Inside Edge]
The adjustments of Valeri Nichushkin. He's back in the lineup after a couple of healthy scratches, but is still a work in progress. [Bleacher Report]
I'm still not sure what to think about that Richard Sherman post-game interview. But damn it, why did he have to bring hockey into it?! [Puck Daddy]
So one of Kevin Klein's final actions as a Nashville Predator will be that fight against Antoine Roussel. He's been traded to the New York Rangers for Michael del Zotto. Other teams trading defensemen? Hmm... [NHL.com]
If anybody out there has the slightest interest in the goings on of the rest of the league, you can always try this article. [Over the Boards]
And lastly, there aren't enough hockey hugs in the world. Or at least not enough captioned by Harrison Mooney. [Puck Daddy]