Archive | December, 2012

Making the decision to pull your goalkeeper. #2013WJC #Moneypuck.

27 Dec

As I was tweeting about the USA vs. Germany World Junior Championship games earlier, I incorrectly tweeted that John Gibson was the netminder for the complete game shutout today.  After going over the stat sheets, Phil Housley made the decision to put in Jon Gilles for the final period of play.  Gibson played well, saving 19 of 19 shots in 40 minutes of action.  However, how will missing the final 20 minutes of play affect Gibson in future games?

Being an NFL fan, when teams make the playoffs with regular season games remaining, teams often don’t play some of their starters in order to let the player rest or to prevent injury.  I can think of two instances, Manning with the Colts and Brady with the Patriots, where both were rested after strong regular seasons and they came up short in the playoffs.  Football is played once a week though, maybe twice, so a layoff could lead to three weeks or more without being on the field.  Here, we are talking about missing 1/3 of a game and then playing again the next day.  Maybe the turnaround will keep players fresh…maybe not….

I thought about this issue after watching the Olympic prequalification in Budapest this year.  Team Hungary and Team Holland massacred Team Lithuania and Team Croatia in their first two games.  Hungary pulled their starting keeper because of big leads in both of the games; the Netherlands pulled their keeper part way through the Croatia matchup.  The result: a 7-6 finale between the two teams where each netminder was torched by the other teams.

So, I realize that there isn’t a lot of statistical evidence that the reason for the higher scoring output was because of goalies being rested.  Scores of international games tend to be a little higher then we are used to in professional leagues.  This could be because of a lack of defense, more open play as we see during all-star games – there are many reasons why the keepers let in more goals than usual.

First though, let’s take a step back and look at why starting keepers are pulled.  In order of occurrence (guessing), I would say the following are the reasons:

  1. One team has a slight lead over the other and there is less than 2 minutes left.  Keeper pulled for the extra skater;
  2. Injury replacement;
  3. Bad play…hoping the change creates a spark or saves the keeper from further embarrassment/psychological issues (gun shy);
  4. Lead is so high, that starter is pulled to provide rest and/or prevent injury.

This list could be wrong, but I would say reason 4 is definitely the last reason a keeper is pulled.  I think this odd reason that could lead to some problems.  Keepers may not be as sharp the next game because they didn’t play an entire 60 minutes and probably weren’t tested much during the limited minutes they played.  Goalies tend to be pretty superstitious…being pulled for an uncommon reason could mess up their mojo.

Now let’s predict the future instead of playing “I told you so down the road”.  Only two goalies have been pulled so far in the tournament.  Latvia pulled their keeper against Switzerland today after falling behind 5 to 2 after two periods.  This was after a loss the previous day with the same keeper playing a full game.  Saturday’s starter and subsequent play against Sweden Saturday could be telling.  The guess should be that if the same keeper starts, he would play no worse or else pulling them didn’t do any good.  If the a different keeper starts, then the guess would be he is outplaying his counterpart.

The U.S. pulled their keeper after going up 6-0 over Germany.  Gibson’s first major test will be tomorrow.  Russia was well contested by Slovakia, pulling off an overtime victory with 10 seconds remaining.  Valsilevski saved 32 of 34 shots in nearly 65 minutes of play.  Gibson for the U.S. saved 19 shots in 40 minutes of play.  Shawn Reznik from calls Valsilevski the tourney’s “Best Goalie“.  The U.S. has the groups only shutout in two days.

Tomorrow will be interesting …with a strong offensive and defensive outing by the U.S. and a understated showing by the Russians, if Gibson let’s in a few soft goals, it will make us wonder a bit about Housley’s decision to not let Gibson see the final 7 shots.




A long overdue Sunday shoutout!

23 Dec

A few Sunday shoutouts.  Only new Twitter followers over the past two weeks.  Here they are.  Share some love and I will reciprocate.

I’m from winnipeg manitoba aka peg city aka swagvill

Let’s Get Weird

Fully equipt Gym and Over 23 weekly classes, Indoor Football & Netball leagues for all stadards, Plus Function rooms and Large marquees for upto 1000 guests,

Works with

Zprostředkování kvalitních řemeslníků za předem známé ceny v Praze a okolí formou e-shopu.  (English via Google translate: Mediation quality craftsmen to known prices in Prague and its surroundings in the form of e-shop.)

Back in the saddle. the blog is back!

19 Dec

After a couple week hiatus because of final exams, I will be blogging again on a regular basis over the holidays and into the New Year.  This will be a nice return to something enjoyable after a ton of studying over the past few weeks.

Fortunately and unfortunately, there is not a lot going on right now.  The league I work with is on break until after Christmas.  It is nice to have a break doing nothing, but it can also be a bit boring.

Anyway, lot’s of job hunting for summer internships on the horizon.  I think I applied for about ten yesterday in Europe and back in the U.S.  I already missed one summer deadline, by a day….which is crazy that the World Bank requires applications for summer internships to be completed six months in advance.

This Sunday will begin some of the regular posts too:  Sunday shoutouts, Monday thoughts and the Wednesday MoneyPuck stuff.  Some cool stats came out yesterday at comparing a bunch of different stats from the top European hockey leagues that will be interesting to dig through.

Next semester will also be sneaking up quick too, with an exam retake 😦 and a comprehensive exam in one month.  So I guess there is a lot to do after all.   Nevertheless, I’m glad to be back…I hope you enjoy all the posts leading into the New Year.


Sunday shout outs – the early Monday morning edition

3 Dec

Sorry for the late shout outs everybody.  Exam week stinks.  Thank you to everyone on Twitter and elsewhere following my voyage.  To those of you Twitter people who don’t like my incessant live game updates and unfollow me, I still love you…but NO SHOUT OUTS for you.

Tell your friends about me!  Follow me on Twitter @bourciertm, keep checking this out and read my hockey articles at the Articles link.  Shout out time!

Thanks new blog followers!  Good reads here…check them out for yourself!


New Twitter peeps.  Some fan sites, some hockey product people and a hockey fan from Canada that does deep earth drilling.  See what these ones are up to.

We safely and efficiently provide many types of surface drilling – coring, environmental, geotechnical, geothermal and water-wells.

You can have more ice time! Rethink The Rink is an initiative for more affordable, green and safe @SuperGlideNorth hockey rinks across Canada.

Nadszedł czas na nową wizję!  (Author’s note: this reads “time for a new visions” in Polish)

We tweet all of the breaking news stories about Mike Ribeiro from around the web. We are not affiliated with Mike Ribeiro. We are just huge fans !!

Unoffical fans twitter account of Cleveland Cavaliers

I seek out jobs for anyone wanting to work in the Ice Hockey industry. If you’re a player or a non player you can work in the exciting world of Ice Hockey.

Magazine, apps and social media. Your hockey lifestyle source for innovative products, services and information.


My friend Elena is now following me via email from London.  We miss her Bulgarian-self here in Budapest.  Thanks Petco!

Two MAJOR games in #MOL Liga #hockey action tonight

2 Dec

Two games on the evening’s schedule:

HSC Csikszereda vs. Ferencvaros TC from Romania

Ferencvaros is hanging by a string.  In sixth place, they are 8 games out of a playoff spot with 23 games left to play.  Time is running out for the south Budapest side.  Csikszereda on the other hand has struggled with consistency, but somehow has moved into third place.  After Friday’s shootout victory over Miskolc, last year’s table winners sit one game out of second place (behind Miskolc).  Lots of credit to Vaclav Novak and Lubomir Hurtaj, the third and sixth league scorers, keeping them in the running for a home playoff spot.

A Ferencvaros loss would almost surely put an end to any playoff hopes.  An upset over Csikszereda could be the start of a run for FTC and would also give some added hope to ASC Corona Brasov to sneak in to the playoffs.

ASC Corona Brasov vs. Miskolc Jegesmedvek

Brasov is on a three game win streak as they sit three games out of the final playoff spot.  Miskolc went on a run in November and ended up in second place with strong play from the league’s top leading scorers, Martin Saluga and Gergo Nagy.

After a messy game against Ujpest two weeks back, Brasov has come alive.  Patrik Polc has allowed only two goals in three games and the Romanian side has gotten back to an all-around team strategy.  With Novy Zamky in fourth place having the night off, a Brasov places them two games out of the playoffs.  This could also lead to Miskolc sliding into third place – which is the difference between playing one or two games in Romania come playoff time.  A Miskolc win will help them keep second place and a Csikszereda loss would give them some extra space.

I will be live updating games on Twitter.  Check me out @bourciertm or on the right side of my blog, though it is slightly delayed.  Enjoy your Sunday!  Sunday Shout Outs to come later.


Getting my hands dirty….

2 Dec

I am the type of person who likes to engage in things and “get my hands dirty”.  That has been the nice thing about this blog.  I have to force myself to do things and experience life in the sports world so I have something to write about.

Over the past few weeks, I have been helping the team I work with put together a marketing plan, with two talented, young energetic people trying to make their way…much like me.  We have two tracks: 1) market the team to businesses as a good way to advertise, and 2) market the team to fans as a good “product”.  As a former urban planner, I have it in my system to make plans…to plan things.  However, nothing really beats getting out there and talking to people.  Execution!  You really have to go door-to-door sometimes and put yourself out there.  The same with getting fans in the doors, I think.  Advertising may have some effect, but at the end of the day you have to make fans feel like they are part of something.  That requires getting involved with people.

On the other hand, I have had an odd experience with live updating games through Twitter.  I started doing this just to see how it works and it had become a bit addictive.  It is nice though, because you really end up getting involved in the games, watching the players, seeing trends, etc. I started doing this while being at games; first at the Olympic pre-qualifier tournament and then at Ujpest league games.  When you’re at the game, it is more difficult because you are missing the live action while you’re typing in your phone (ok-maybe I should use a computer).  Yet, sometimes when I am live updating, I am not at the games.  Some of this is just a product of having three games at the same time in one night…can’t be everywhere at once.  So, I end up watching live updates from the internet and when there is a change in the action I tweet it.  I guess most people would never know I’m not actually at the games, but it is an interesting experience for me because I am not involved in the actual action – a situation where I am not getting my hands dirty, but it may be more beneficial for what I am trying to accomplish.

Anyway, just an odd thought of the day about getting things done – even something as simple as live tweeting games – when you don’t have you full resources (actually being live at the game).  Also, that sometimes when you go against your natural inclinations you find there is a better way of doing things, even if it isn’t your way.  However, at the end of the day, in most situations you get the best results by just going out in the world and trying to make things happen.

On that note, I will be live tweeting all of the MOL Liga action today, live and direct from the Economics PhD lab at Central European University.  You could check it yourself if you’re interested, but then why would you need me?