This post is a bit of long and winding road but indulge me a bit, there is a pay off.

Computers and the internet impress me as one big wow. What IT is as a technological advance and what it offers in terms of enhancing the human experience is simply overwhelming. That why I call it the big wow. To Retired Hockey Mom I must sound like a 60’s flower child on drugs because I’m always going, “Oh wow.”

Yesterday I was wowed to discover that certain search words and phrases can propel a little blog like this one to the top of google. We’re talking the gabillion results in .12 seconds kind of top of google. Holy jumpin’ no wonder net neutrality is such a hot issue. Now I get it.

I won’t go into the issue except to say the intelligent, creative little guy will always develop a “work-around” regardless of what the big boys do. It’s why Dino Ciccarelli is in the Hall of Fame today.

Earlier in the week I was equally wowed to read a post that proved one of my rules to live by. You know, those little red flags that excite the needle on the old whack job meter.  You’ve probably heard this rule before, a little knowledge is dangerous.

Some whack job learned the phrase, “measuring stick teams” and went out into the world without his V-chip. He misused the phrase and buried the needle on my whack job meter. That stick was last seen slapping Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell’s face. Trust a Kings fan to establish a new category in whack job detector testing.

But he did set me to thinkin’. Where exactly do those Western Conference teams and our Pacific Division rivals reside on our Ducks measuring stick team detector tester? Good question, no?

Every team is a measuring stick. HELLO!!! Sport is competitive. Results are measured. It’s why we participate. Duh.

Over on the left of our measuring stick team meter, perhaps appropriately for right wingers, are the teams our Ducks should beat. Teams we should beat are teams that we should have a .600 or better P% against. As you’ll see this has less to do with a competitor’s current standing in the conference and division and more to do with how we match up.

Teams we should beat: If our Ducks can’t go .600 or better against these teams the job of winning enough points to make the playoffs gets a whole lot more difficult.

Edmonton Oilers, 0-1-0 P% .o: Yes it was only one game blah, blah ,blah. Which reduces our margin for error to zero. The Oilers are fast, talented, fun to watch but they are also a very incomplete team. The Oilers are stew without salt and pepper. No excuse.

Minnesota Wild 0-0-1 P% .500: Acceptable given the Wild appeared on the schedule as the third game in four nights after logging some 3000 air miles. A record of 2-0-1 in the next three head to head is certainly achievable.

Nashville Predators 1-1-0 P% .500: Okay the Preds are a Barry Trotz coached team. They trap and counter attack. Preds collapse the box down low. They bend but don’t break. They also have Shea Weber and Pekka Rinne. Trotz coached teams challenge your will to win. We need to do better.

Calgary Flames 0-0-0 P% .0: Probably the most mirror image of our Ducks in the conference. Flames are big, tough and somewhat of an under-achieving group these past few years. Guys like Iginla and Regher always make you pay a price for winning. But the Flames are missing come key parts. anything less than 2-1-1 is just unacceptable.

Dallas Stars 2-1-0 P% .666: Right on target. True Dallas is among the surprise teams in the NHL right now but…I’m not sold, yet. Brad Richards, Brenden Morrow and Kari Lethonen are great hockey players. Stars also have 3-4 dangerous hockey players who you have to respect. But a good team? IMO they’re playing over their heads right now and well within the realm of standard deviation. Let’s revisit the Stars in March, after 60 games.

Teams we must beat: Beat is defined as going .500 or better. This group is rated in terms of degree of difficulty, easy to hard.

St. Louis Blues 0-1-0 P% .0: These guys just seem to eat us for lunch. Yes, the Blues are good but we make them look like world beaters. It won’t be easy. The Blues are inside our heads now. If you know any hockey god pleasing rituals, try it before our next game against St. Louis. Jeez Louise we have to figure out a way to take four of the six remaining points from those guys.

Colorado Avalanche 0-0-0 P% .0: We get the Avs twice in February, during the dog days of the season and twice in March after the trade deadline. The Avs are the Oilers with better goaltending and some sandpaper. No reason we can’t play them even though.

Los Angeles Kings 1-0-0 P% 1.000: More pretender than contender just like the older, more experienced Vancouver Canucks.  The Kings might become a good team IF a couple young guys, notably Doughty and Simmonds make hockey a higher priority in their lives. A couple of top six forwards, specifically a top 3 forward at LW and a 2nd line center. How’s that Mike Cammalleri for Colton Tuebert deal workin’ out? Watch some Kool Aid guzzling Kings fan post somewhere there’s still time, LOL!!!

Vancouver Canucks 1-0-0 P% 1.000: Hey Kings fans, notice the Nucks are rated one measuring stick length tougher? It’s what happens when a team actually wins its division a couple of times. Wins a couple of playoff rounds and has a star player who actually does win a major trophy.

Columbus Blue Jackets 0-2-0 P% .0: Scott Arniel, Bob Boughner, Brad Berry and Dan Hinote have the Jackets buying into the system. And they’re getting rewarded for it. I’m a believer, in part because Columbus proves my rule that hockey stats are overrated. Show me a Won/Lost record, P% or GF/GA differential and I’ll show you a good, mediocre or bad hockey team. The other stats are just details.

Phoenix Coyotes 2-0-0 P% 1.000: Similar to Columbus in that it’s a team that has bought into the Coaches system. They roll 4 lines and 3 sets of D for sixty minutes. This is a team with 18 guys committed to maintaining inside position, keeping the play in front of them and being strong on the puck. If they don’t make and execute that commitment, they don’t play. There’s no magic formula to Dave Tippet hockey.

The true measuring sticks: Call it what you will, “How do you like me now?” These are the teams that beating can give a whole new look to the reflection you see in the mirror.

Chicago Blackhawks 0-1-1 P% .250: Don’t look now but after a slow start Chicago is 6-3-1 in their last 10 and 4th in the Conference. Also, until somebody says different, they are the reigning Stanley Cup champions which makes them an automatic measuring stick team. Hey, our Ducks earned a point and played them even in 5 of 6 periods of hockey. I’ll take that with two games to go all day long.

San Jose Sharks 1-1-0 P% .500: The win came in OT so the Sharks P% against us our Ducks .750. Welcome to the 3 point game and why P% is worth giving some attention. Again Kings fans, the Sharks have won our Division 4 of the past 5 years and last season advanced to the WCF. Getting to the final four and actually wining things a few times is the difference between a contender and a pretender. It also helps that our Ducks and the Sharks players themselves view this as a genuine rivalry.

Detroit Red Wings 0-2-0 P% .0: as ckhokej noted, “The Wings are everybody’s measuring stick team.” What else can you say about hockey’s most successful franchise during the Niklas Lidstrom era.

Off topic but…BTW Hazy, I heard you last night. Like he reads this blog, eh.

Here’s how the all time greatest D-men conversation goes, (1) Bobby Orr (2) Niklas Lidstrom (3) Ray Bourque. Following those 3 you can start the conversation among the Neidermayer’s, Potvin’s, Pronger’s, Stevens with honorable mentions to Larry Robinson and Rod Langway. Oh and ya better include Doug Harvey and Eddie Shore or go to summer school for a hockey history lesson.

In the immortal words of Buick22 “Let the critique begin” 😉

  1. bbdux93 says:

    Everything you write gives me something new to consider and I thank you for that.

    • BackCheck says:

      hey bbdux93,

      You’re welcome 🙂

      NHL stats does a far more sophisticated team +/-:

      Compare the above to the League standings and by the end of the season they will be pretty close:

      But if you use my crude by comparison simple GF/GA goal differential, you’ll find the GD and the Standings are better than pretty close, they’re almost identical. i don’t know why. I just don’t argue with the more accurate result. I’ve been running it for a few years now, maybe ten, not real sure, but enough that it holds up.

      Pretty sure I went back and tested previous years too. It’s my own little goof on stats. Kinda like computers and women. They don’t make sense but when they work with you they’re awesome.

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