Friday, September 21, 2007

OOPS I blogged

Welcome but excuse me as I burp a lot

Well one thing is for sure when I mess up I do not make small messes because you are reading this 4 months early. I am taking a journalism class via UMass online which is supposed to help me learn how to blog.

I did not intend to be out here among you until the New Year but since I am then there is no turning back so please bare with me when I screw up (and I know I will do plenty of it in the coming days as I tweak this place). Help me if you can with feedback and ideas to make this place better.

If you are here for the first time then here is what I hope you will find here which is news about the future Ranger players, their prospects. If you want to stay current on today's team then I really suggest you go over to the Blueshirt Bulletin and have Dubi break it down better than anyone else does anywhere.

See when I am not here at this blog, I am very proud to be a small part of the Blueshirt Bulletin's team of writers who bring you the best Ranger coverage anywhere on or off line. I cover Ranger prospects and I tell anyone who listens that I have the best job at the Blueshirt Bulletin.

I get to bring Ranger fans the stories of tomorrow's players, I help kind of introduce both prospect and fans to each other. What is cooler than to be able to help my fellow Ranger fans get to know prospects like Brandon Dubinsky, Micheal Sauer, and more.

That is not to say I will not speak my mind about the current team because like you I too am a Ranger (going on year 49 since I came out of momma's womb wearing Broadway Blue) and I want another cup to party with.

I promise to bring you the best coverage of Ranger prospects anywhere. In the meantime enough with the intros let us get busy as we got a lot of stuff to cover.

Prospect Action

Bobby Sanguinetti (D 2006 1st) wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as he returned to the Brampton Battalion of the OHL but it was in a losing effort. Sanguinetti netted his first goal (2:36 3rd PPG) of the season in the 3rd period as the Battalion lost their season (and home) opener 2-1 to the Ottawa 67's 2-1.

Sanguinetti was "even" with 2 PIMs but no other stats were available at press time. Sanguinetti also was one of the Battalion's assistant captains for tonight's game but I am unsure if this is permanent.

David Skokan (Forward 2007 7th) also scored his first goal of the season but his Rimouski Oceanic lost a wild 7-6 game to the Baie-Comeau Drakkar. Now if you look only at the numbers then Skokan had a rather mixed evening as while he was 12-8 on faceoffs (up from 5-13 on Tues) with 2 solid hits, Skokan also was a -4.

However the truth is that Rimouski dug themselves an 4-1 hole after just 8:24 (Oceanic's starting goalie gave up 4 goals on 4 shots) but actually outplayed the Drakkar over the remaining 51 minutes outscoring them 6-3. Now when I tell people to judge efforts not numbers tonight is exactly why because Skokan did not play badly.

Antoine Lafleur (Goalie 2007 2nd) had the night off as his Prince Edward Island Rocket whipped the Saint Johns Fog Devils 6-1.

Being Fair to the Prospects (2)

Nat said this in the comments: You'll have till mid-season to show us your rankings reform proposal. How do you rank a prospect?

No need to wait because the first thing I do is get rid of Fall Prospect Rankings. As I said they do not have any reality behind them since they lack game exposure to paint an accurate picture of how the prospect has developed. Let us wait until mid-season to take the first rankings as so many factors can lead to a misleading ranking as I will show later.

I would also put the prospects in their own groups. I would rank those in the system (Rangers, Hartford or Charlotte) in one group since they have access to not only Ranger coaching and training staff but they have access all the time.

For those unsigned prospects I would place those who play in the 3 CHL leagues in one group, college and USHL players in another and the Europeans in their own. Each group represents a different style of play with so many major differences we would be here for quite a while.

Needless to say the biggest difference which winds up being in my eyes also the most important has to be games played each season. As I explained with where Hugh Jessiman would have greatly benefited from leaving Dartmouth for a CHL team just by getting to double the number of games in one season.

How many times do we keep hearing that young players need as much playing time as possible? So if a kid gets to play say all the way to the Memorial Cup he could play as many as 108 games. The college kid who might get 45, the USHL 70 but at a lower level of competition. The Europeans play a totally different brand of hockey with bigger arenas and fewer games which is why you always hear about their needing to have adjustment periods when they first come to North America.

So how should we rank the prospects then?

There will never be a perfect system BUT here are 4 key areas that I use when I rank Ranger prospects for the season in review.

1) Toss out which round he was drafted: We expect 1st rounders to be better than 7th rounders. Ask any NHL scout and they will tell you that drafting is the biggest gamble as you do not know how you really did until several years after the draft. If anything because of the hype picking first rounders is actually the toughest round to judge and the expectations are too high at times. Take out what round and the expectations disappear allowing for a fair evaluation.

2) How does the prospect do against his peers in his own group: Last season it was Tom Pyatt against Ryan Russell for Prospect of the Year. Pyatt (43-38-81) and Russell (30-46-76) both had great numbers, both were close in just about every area (including game winners) but it was down to the gold medal that Pyatt won that decided it. Pyatt went against his age groups best while Russell did not make Team Canada due to injury.

3) What kind of forward progress has the prospect made over the previous season:
Let us use Brodie Dupont here as he went 30-23-53 120 PIMs in 2005-06 then in 2006-07, Dupont was 37-33-70 90 PIMs. Here is how I broke it down, goals up (+7), assists up (+10). PIMs down (-30) so I took it as Dupont improved by 17 points but also helped his team by staying out of the penalty box.

4) What kind of situation is a prospect playing under: Michael Sauer started last season with one of the worst teams in all of the CHL the Portland Winterhawks and it showed in his game as Sauer was 4-8-12 46 PIMs but also a -8 in 33 games. Trade Sauer to eventual WHL Champion Medicine Hat and he goes 1-10-11 29 PIMs and +9. Instead of trying to carry the Winterhawks on his back, Sauer got paired with Kris Russell (2007 CHL defenseman of the year). Watch Bobby Sanguinetti and Ryan Hillier as they play on top CHL teams this season.

Playing on the more talented team meant that Sauer could play fewer overall minutes which translated into a stronger quality performance nightly. Not to mention that playing on a winner breeds winning just like playing on a loser .........

Finally Nat also said this: but way to harsh on your colleagues.

Maybe so but if it leads to coming up with a more balanced and fair ranking of the prospects then it will be worth it. See in my eyes it should not be about me or those who cover the prospects but the prospects themselves. I want to tell the story not be a part of it if that makes any sense.

Thanks Nat and I hope to answer more questions when we can.

11 comments:

Matty said...

Hi Jess!

Very interesting what you use to rank our team's prospects. So much thought and work goes into it, so I want to thank you for all that you do!

I am mainly writing to say congrats on the blog, and that I think it's great that you are even taking a class to "learn how to blog" ... It just shows how serious you are about what you are doing!

So keep up the great work!

steve said...

Hi Jess,
Talking about ranking prospects, whats your opinion on TSN "experts" ranking Steve Stamkos more highly then Tavares.
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=217783&hubname=nhl

Jess Rubenstein said...

Matty

Thank you as you have always been so supportive of me and all the jokes aside I do love you for it.

Steve

Does head scratching say anything as that is exactly what I did when I saw that. The only thing I can figure is that unless Tavares can convince the NHL to allow him to join this year's draft class that would be the only difference.

Stamkos will go number one (if he does not get hurt) in the 08 draft and he is talented but nobody is a Tavares as he is a world in himself.

Joey Dag said...

Hey Jess,
Good luck with the Blog. Most of us Ranger Fan apreciate all the work you and Dubi put into the bulletin. It is great to have such a strong community of hockey Fans to be a part of. Don't worry about screwing up, You know how patient and understanding Rangers fan are.

I am looking foward to the new season with all this great coverage. Thanks.

Joey Dag said...

Does the fantasy league have any more openings. if so I would love to Join.

Jess Rubenstein said...

Joey

Thank you as well. As for the fantasy league at this point time IF you can find someone willing to join you as well(to keep us with an even number of teams) then I will hold the door open for you.

Leave me an email address to be able to contact you with

Nat said...

Ha. those are fair explainations. I would suggest using labels/tags for all the players so down the road you can easily track back to all articles referencing say Mike Sauer.

from your dashboard, if you click template, you can "add elements" to the side bars. the site could definitely use a Ranger logo or something. you can also add links (which you have) or lists. I don't know if a prospect STATS list would properly format in the side column but that an updated stats list would be awesome.

Is there a reason you have just 1 post per page? You might just be assuming that we come here EVERY DAY, multiple times but say I miss a few days, the blog archive is hidden in the bottom right corner. I might miss a few posts.

More pictures! I'm superficial but even one picture helps. It also helps to differentiate posts. Marc Staal was yesterday, Brodie Dupont today... for example.

actual comments on content: How do you feel about "most likely to make the team" weighing in on rankings? I remember an HF user poll for rankings and I thought Jarkko Immonen was still a decent prospect but he fell far down the list because no one thought he'd make the team. I think I would have had him higher and just removed him when he didn't resign. I would qualify that the inter-league rankings was an "amateur" poll mostly for fun.

Since you don't like ranking your CHL vs European, etc prospects against each other, how about some features comparing two prospects? Cherapanov vs. Bourret! FIGHT!

Keep up the great work. I've been reading you and Dubi's stuff since the allsports days. I think that's what the site was called...

Jess Rubenstein said...

Nat

Those as excellent suggestions and while I am not making excuses as soon as I learn how to do a lot of your suggestions I was planning to put them into play.

If I can get a copy of "I wanna drive the Zamboni that would be one of my site's entrance songs.

The reason I do not have pictures NOW is that I do not know how to tag them so I can credit back the person who's work I use.

It is a rights issue and I for one want to see whoever offers me help get their proper credit (not to mention to avoid getting myself in trouble)

As for your player evaluation ideas, the rankings will go in the Blueshirt Bulletin both mid and final. I do that because this may be expanded coverage BUT I also have to have stuff for Blueshirt Bulletin subscribers.

They will get first use of those features because they pay for it.

The other idea of yours is so good I will use it on slow news days. In fact the first one has to be Marc Staal compared to Michael Sauer since I believe down the road we will be arguing a lot about which prospect is the better defender.

Thank you thank you thank you Nat for some great feedback and even better writing ideas. My biggest fear since I am so early is not having something to write about and you just gave me a huge supply of material.

Finally I am hoping to be able to put one of the sidebars as either a stat pack or link to the prospect's team website.

Jess Rubenstein said...

JOEY DAGS

If you want to play then I need an email address as I have ONE OPENING in one league for you but it will be given away on a first come first invited

Joey Dag said...

Jees, My E-Mail Is Joeydag99@yahoo.com. Let me know if you still need another to keep things even. Thanks.

Nat said...

In compose mode, if you upload a picture and have it selected, you can then click the link button, enter a URL and then when you click the image, instead of it going to a full sized version, it will go to your specified link. As such, you might want to upload your image the size you want it to appear on the page but in the end I guess it doesn't make a difference. Change the size with the thumbnail size setting when you are uploading. It can be small, medium, or large.

Staal vs. Sauer will be interesting. They seem to be pretty similar players from my uninformed POV. It's like, just how different are Wade Redden and Adam Foote? Two players I would respectively compare their upsides to. But again, I have not seen these kids play so they are total guesses from what I've read.