Ryan Lambert

  • Bad penalty kill sinking Sharks at home (Trending Topics)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 14 hrs ago

    Home ice advantage matters a great deal in the NHL.

    This shouldn't come as any sort of great shock, of course, but the ability to get in the last change, place your stick second on faceoffs, play in a familiar setting, etc. all adds up to a fairly significant statistical advantage that, of course, leads to plenty more wins than losses.

    Since the 2007-08 season, nearly 10,100 regular-season games have been played, and the home team in those games carries a marginal score-adjusted possession advantage of 50.2 percent, high-danger chance edge of 50.9 percent, draws 51.1 percent of penalties, wins 51.6 percent of draws, and perhaps most important a 52.3 percent goals-for advantage. These may seem to be only slightly above average and that is true, but that's lumping in really bad teams — we're talking late-2000s Atlanta Thrashers, recent Buffalo Sabres teams, and all other lottery picks — in with mega-dominant clubs like the late-2000s Detroit Red Wings, and Los Angeles Kings and Boston Bruins and so on.  

    Aren't you?

    Yup, San Jose is better at everything 5-on-5, and pretty well running the show against their opponents regardless of venue.


  • Huge If True: Byfuglien to Los Angeles? Ladd to Florida?

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    [HUGE IF TRUE breaks down the plausibility of the week's biggest rumor.]

    The Rumor

    The big quote in the world of trade rumors over the last week came last Friday at the All-Star Weekend media day, when Dustin Byfuglien said of the likelihood that he re-signs with the Jets, “I don’t mind Winnipeg at all.”

    Headlines! Tweets! Radio segments!

    What does that even mean, Dustin? Six words that sound very damning indeed.

    But this is one of the problems with print: Not a lot of room for tone. People acted as though Byfuglien said it with the same enthusiasm as a child coming home from a bad day at school and saying it was, “Fine.”

    Which is of course a far cry from basically saying Winnipeg is fine but also he's almost certainly looking to leave.

    Here's how Byfuglien seems to have left it:

    “I just told my agent, ‘Don’t talk to be me about it. When things get close, let me know and we’ll have a quick chat about it.’ He’s got a job to do. I’ve got a job to do.”

    Who's Going Where?

    The Implications

    This Is So Huge, If True: Is It True?


  • So long and thanks for all the fists (Puck Daddy Countdown)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    (Ed. Note: The column formerly known as the Puck Daddy Power Rankings. Ryan Lambert takes a look at some of the biggest issues and stories in the NHL, and counts them down.)

    2,452,456. The NHL

    No one could have handled the John Scott thing, from front to back, worse than this league did. But as they've so often found out in the past, some things are just screwup-proof. Everyone loving John Scott specifically because of how the league tried to twist him at every turn was inevitable.

    If this league was run competently, I'd almost believe it was a wrestling angle from the start. But Gary Bettman is no Vince McMahon, so this was just then “I Didn't Do It'-ing their way into the best thing the league has done in years.




    3. The Skills Competition

    It was good.

    2. Going 3-on-3

    It was also good.

    1. So long, and thanks for all the fists

    There was only one thing in hockey to talk about at any sort of length this week, and that's the storybook capper to a bizarre NHL career.

    So in a lot of ways, this was a send-off for John Scott.

    But in another way, this was a send-off for what John Scott was.

    (Not ranked this week: Pekka Rinne.

  • NCAA Hockey 101: Beanpot that might have actually mattered

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 3 days ago

    BOSTON — On Feb. 14, 1993, Harvard won the Beanpot for the 10th and final time.

    On that date, exactly seven players in this year's iteration of the Beanpot were actually alive.  

    Not one of them was out of diapers. The oldest of them, Boston University's Mike Moran, had just rounded the bend into his Terrible Twos the previous September. For Northeastern and Harvard, the title droughts are now well into their Terrible Twenties. In recent years, the problem has really begun to weigh heavily on both the psyche of those two programs, and the attendance figures at TD Garden.

    This was the last chance for the last of a literal generation of hockey players for Northeastern or Harvard to make a dent in a four-team tournament dominated by just two teams. From 1994 to present, Boston College and Boston University have won nine and 13 Beanpots, respectively, and only lost to either Northeastern or Harvard a combined five times in elimination games.

    BU enters on a four-game unbeaten streak (3-0-1) and has lost just once since Dec. 12, dropping a road game at, well, Boston College. They were 14-7-4 on the year coming in.

    Take a wild guess.

    1. Quinnipiac (won at Dartmouth)


  • What We Learned: Who is the NHL’s king of 3-on-3 OT?

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 4 days ago

    (Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.)

    The Calgary Flames have only been to overtime once since Dec. 17, and they ended up losing that game in a shootout.

    Prior to that, though, there was no team in the NHL that should have been more feared in the extra period of 3-on-3, because their success rate was mind-boggling. They've won eight of their 12 overtimes, lost once, and gone 1-2 in the three that lasted into the shootout. Any time you outscore your opponents 8-1 in any situation, even if it's only in a combined total of 32:48, you're in a good place.

    And moreover, when that scoring differential wins you eight more points in the standings, it's a major advantage.

    But as to the shooting percentage, well, there's plenty of reason to believe that can be kept up for quite a while to come, and it's all thanks to one man: Johnny Gaudreau.

    Except: It's the other way around.

    What We Learned  

    Play of the Weekend

    Gold Star Award

    John Scott forever.

    Minus of the Weekend

  • We watched NHL All-Star Friday Night because you didn’t

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 6 days ago

    God bless PK Subban.

    About halfway through the third segment of “NHL All-Star Friday Night: Live in Music City” on NBCSN and Sportsnet — somehow, the title wasn't the clunkiest thing about this show — he felt the wave of absolute boredom getting up to his neck and tried like hell to save it. Roman Josi, like Preds teammates Pekka Rinne and Shea Weber in the first segment, was giving poor Kathryn Tappen absolutely zero. 

    Weber, by my count, said all of two sentences. Thanks for coming out, enjoy the Aaron Lewis song. Or at least try to pretend you enjoy it.

    “It's a fun city and it's a real hockey city and we have great fans and it's a big honor to be an All-Star in my hometown,” blah blah blah. Hard to come up with a new answer to literally the same question, I understand, but hooooo boy. So the same question goes to Subban, and he gives approximately the same answer. Of course then there's one about his suit, and he's trying to make something work.

    And to paraphrase the followup: “You're a defenseman in a 3-on-3 All-Star Game, so do you feel any pressure to play actual defense?”


  • Why the Anaheim Ducks got hot (Trending Topics)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 7 days ago

    You wouldn't know it these days, with Anaheim sitting at 10-3-1 in its last 14, but this team was awful not so long ago. 

    The Ducks started the year 12-15-6, and as of Dec. 22, right before the Christmas break, they were dead last in the Pacific, tied with the Columbus Blue Jackets for the lowest point total in the entire NHL. Since then they've added 21 points in 14 games — a pace for 123 points — after amassing 29 in the first 32.

    They enter they All-Star break two points out of a playoff spot with two games in hand on the Arizona Coyotes.

    Remember, this was the team picked by almost everyone to walk away with a Presidents' Trophy this season, given the high-quality roster that was actually upgraded over the summer, the brilliant coach, and the easy division. There was little doubt that this club and the Washington Capitals were the most likely to be setting themselves up for a Stanley Cup showdown.

    And then this:

    But more than that, the scoring almost doesn't matter because the Ducks have just locked everything down to an hilarious extent since Christmas.

    It won't, of course. But it really, really should.


  • Huge if True: Calgary Flames looking to make deals

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 8 days ago

    [Breaking down the plausibility of the week's biggest rumor.]

    The Rumor

    The Calgary Flames, sitting eight points out of a playoff spot in the Pacific after Tuesday night's games, are almost certainly not going to make the postseason this year. They join the Winnipeg Jets and Edmonton Oilers as the only two teams in the West that are well and truly out of it barring some sort of miracle late-season run. As a result, and like those other teams, people are now starting to think about what Calgary GM Brad Treliving will reasonably have to do with the crop of pending UFAs the team has on the roster.

    On Insider Trading this week, Bob McKenzie reported that the Flames are starting to get calls from other clubs about the availability of Jiri Hudler, who's in a down year, just turned 32, and will be looking for a new contract from somebody this summer.

    Who's Going Where?

    Hudler, of course, hasn't done the Flames any favors with his no-good season, but you'd imagine he'd still be worth a decent prospect or pick (or combination thereof) if Calgary got the urge to sell.

  • Steven Stamkos, Sergei Bobrovsky and hockey puppies (Puck Daddy Countdown)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 9 days ago

    8. Telling your kids you'll get them a puppy if an NHL player scores a goal

    So this is a thing now?

    Parents got sick of forcing their small children to cry when a moderately popular local player was traded in a cloying and transparent attempt to get a signed jersey they will probably put on eBay within the week. So this is the new thing to get their kid on the news or a local broadcast for a second.

    “We're gonna name a puppy after Taylor Fedun if he scores tonight.”

    Yeah okay. Parents who do this stuff to their kids should be in jail.

    7. Sergei Bobrovsky's groin

    The thing with counting on any sort of rebound for the Columbus Blue Jackets any time soon is not so much that they don't have talent in the pipeline. They have plenty of promising players up front, and a defense led by Zach Werenski and Seth Jones for the next decade will probably look pretty good. It might get to the point where even John Tortorella couldn't screw up this team's path to success.

    Except they really need to draft a replacement groin for Sergei Bobrovsky.

    For his sake, and that of this currently hopeless team, you'd really hope so.

    6. Friday night's All-Star “festivities”

  • NCAA Hockey 101: Are Jerry York's 1,000 wins an unmatchable feat?

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 10 days ago

    For a few years now, Boston College head coach Jerry York has been the winningest college hockey coach in history. He passed Ron Mason, the long-time Michigan State coach (at 924) and kept right on rolling.

    Now he's up to an even 1,000, having demolished UMass 8-0 on the road Friday night, and tied UConn on Saturday. This is a staggering number. No one else is even close. Michigan's Red Berenson is 176 back as the active No. 2 — albeit in almost 400 fewer games — but he's also six years' York's senior, so the odds Berenson even closes the gap marginally over the remainder of their careers are basically non-existent.

    York will coach as long as he likes and probably also continue to be one of the better coaches in college hockey. Boston College can attract a level of player few others can, and his support staff has done an excellent job in recent years to buttress his leadership. His players love him despite his kindly disciplinarian streak and so does just about anyone who's dealt with him professionally.