We are a month and a half into this #hyperseason so what better time than now to dump a few pearls (and some flecks of sand) that have gathered in ‘The Book of Razor”.
This Streak Goes To 11
Yes the Stars run of games scoring at least 3 goals came to a bunged-up end in the 5-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers, but not before Nigel Tufnel-ing it to 11. Eleven games in a row with 3 or more goals tied the Dallas Stars record set back in 2001-02 but fell well short of the NHL mark of 25 established by the (very young) Joe Nieuwendyk Calgary Flames in 1987-88. That Flames team had three runs of 23, 24, and then 25 straight games scoring 3+ goals. A 5-2 loss to PIT on Dec 9th and back to back losses (9-0 at Winnipeg and 5-1 at LA) were all that separated them from scoring at least 3 in each of the final 75 games that season. They scored 7 or more 18 times and double-digits thrice. The 80s, wow!
The Stars have been semi-lethal when lifting their goaltender in favor of a sixth skater. I have them down for 4 such goals (3 in February), which has to be a pretty high number for those types of goals scored when there is a delayed penalty or the team is trying to tie a game late in the 3rd period.
6th Attacker/Delayed Penalty Razor Proposal
What I’d like to see is this: When a team scores a goal on a delayed penalty they still go on the ‘promised’ powerplay. Think of it as a ‘Bonus Goal’, sort of like the 3-pointer in basketball. As it stands now the 6th attacker goal negates the powerplay opportunity. That’s dumb. The skater who subs for the goalie doesn’t give the team a ‘man advantage’, its still 6 on 6, so why should it wipe out the powerplay?!
Four Finns on the Bench
Jere Lehtinen (who is a ‘scout’ for Finland’s National Team) told me that the Finnish World Championship club will have four coaches on the bench and a different distribution of responsibilities. The head coach wants to act like most football head coach and oversee the entire operation while not getting bogged down having to change forwards or defense pairs. Call it the 10,000 foot view. So, GM Jari Kurri, who knows a little somethin’ about playing the forward position, will be on the bench instead of in the press box and will run the forwards end of the bench while another assistant runs the defense. The 4th coach on the bench will be the Goalie Coach. Finland was the on the leading edge of having goalie coaches for all club teams so this makes sense. They value the position. A little crowded back there though.
Opposing defensemen have scored 8 goals against the Stars over the past 5 games. Yes, a slightly alarming, sort of oxymoronic stat. Conversely, Stars defensemen have combined to score only 5 goals total in the first 21 games. (Dillon 3, Daley 1, Larsen 1)
Home Ice Advantage is a Lie
With every rink the exact same dimension, and every visiting dressing room as plush as a home room, and all travel chartered and catered, the idea that an NHL team on the road is at some weary disadvantage is a complete fallacy. The proof of this Razor-theory is in the home records (sans the Chicago Blackhawks who are a freakish aberration this season). Western Conference teams are 84-42-23 or in more reality based terms; 84x they finished the game having scored more goals than the road team while 67 times the road team scored more goals than the home side. 149 games…17 games over .500. And, if you were to take the Hawks and Ducks combined home records (17-1-1) out of the equation, the other 13 Western Conference teams are 67-42-22 or, 67-64.
In the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs this ‘theory’ was a bold-typed and underlined reality. Home teams, with all their crazed fans, thunder-sticks and towel waving were an underwhelming 39-47. The Cup Champ Kings really struggled on enemy ice going 10-1 on the road.
Home ice advantage my ‘ice’!
This Stars team has been delinquent: 107 minor penalties (Only PHI 109 has taken more). Shorthanded 98 times (7 more times than any other team in the league). Lots of undisciplined and unnecessary penalties taken, IMO. Thank goodness the penalty kill has been excellent. Lost in the conga-line parade to the sin bin has been the renaissance and reformation of captain Brenden Morrow. Last season only the Pepper Pot Steve Ott spent more time in the box than the frustrated, injury-ravaged Morrow. A nine month layoff has helped him regain his health and with that a drastic reduction in ‘can’t keep up’ fouls. (Playing on the puck possession line with Benn and Jagr hasn’t hurt either). Currently Brenden ranks 11th on this team in penalty minutes. Eleventh!
Absolute Undeniable Fact
Twenty years ago this month was March 1993
The 3-4 Defense
The 3-4 defense is the NFL’s most effective, bar none. In each of the past six seasons the #1 defense in football has been the 3-4. So the Stars are employing it on ice this year, wink wink. Yes, #3 Stephane Robidas has been paired with #4 Brenden Dillon since the fifth game of the season, forming the vaunted 3-4 defense on the team’s blueline. The pair has been the Stars best, and with the phenomenal play of rookie Dillon it is threatening to morph into the 4-3. (Hahahaha, Razor made a funny)
Jagr’s Pursuit of 50 at 41
This is a pretty amazing stat: Over his 21 years of playing professional hockey Jaromir Jagr has never finished a season scoring fewer than 50 points, and that includes the Lockout shortened 48 game 1994-95 season when he co-led the NHL with 70 points. So far this season Jagr has compiled 14 points in 20 games. That ain’t gonna do it, so pick it up ‘Jimmy”.
Free For All
A look down the Stars roster reveals a plethora of quality free agents, many of who seem plucked from thin air. All told there are a eleven guys, half the 23-man roster, and seven of them were never drafted. Nilstorp, Robidas, Dillon, Fraser, Rome, Fiddler, Garbutt, Jordie Benn, Roussel, Jagr and Whitney. Nice group work by the pro and amateur scouts, with the final say all the way up through management.
Word I Wanna Use
I think it means trickery or craftiness. As in, ‘Datsyuk is the Foreman of Phenakism” or “My wife is the high-priestess of phenakism”