Ryan Lambert

  • What We Learned: NHL Draft report cards (and Boston's near failure)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 10 hrs ago

    The first thing you have to say about what the Bruins have done this offseason is that it's all an overreaction.

    Were they an elite team to the level they had been from, say, 2010-2014? No, obviously not. Many of the bad habits they picked up during that time — trading very useful or even great players, overpaying depth, believing that their “identity” was what made them effective, etc. — festered and eventually infected the organizational brain.

    But luck was certainly a factor in what has driven more or less every decision in this bizarre summer. Last season, they went 4-10 in the shootout. That's a luck problem, because you're supposed to go about .500, because you're supposed to shoot about 30-33 percent; the Bruins shot 15 percent, second-worst in the league behind only — you guessed it — unlucky Los Angeles.

    Tuukka Rask also posted the worst save percentage he's seen in four seasons. And while .922 is still in the upper echelon of the league (and you really can't legitimately ask for better than .922 from anyone), that also played a role.

    Or, rather, was.

    But this, whatever this is, shows a lack of direction and, perhaps, understanding.

    Gold Star Award

  • Measuring the real impact of NHL’s new 3-on-3 overtime (Trending Topics)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 3 days ago

    Earlier this week, the NHL announced that its five minutes of 4-on-4 overtime would, instead, be replaced by five minutes of 3-on-3 for the coming season as a means of reducing the number of shootouts. 

    This is a good idea because the shootout is bad, and it stands to reason that more goals will be scored at 3-on-3 than 4-on-4. Remember, the AHL went to a sort of hybrid format for this past season: three minutes of 4-on-4 before another four of 3-on-3, then the shootout if nothing was decided.

    And with that system — which the NHL did not fully adopt — 75 percent of overtime games were decided before the shootout became an option. That was more than double the previous season. So effectively, that shows how effective this can be in getting rid of the shootout which, again, is stupid and bad.

    If you're wondering, that means that only about 74 games out of the league's 1,230 next season would go to a shootout. You'd much rather have that than the current 158 or so.

    But basically, the takeaway here is that the NHL currently sees a shootout once in every 7.5 games (13 percent). The new format will reduce that number to a little less than once per nine games (11.7 percent).

  • Best and worst (but mostly worst) of the 2015 NHL Awards Show

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 4 days ago

    The Oscars, the Emmys, the Grammys, the Tonys, the Golden Globes the BAFTAs, the SAG Awards, the Directors Guild Awards, the Independent Spirit Awards, the Writers Guild Awards, the MTV Movie Awards, the MTV Video Music Awards, the Peabody Awards, the Teen Choice Awards, the People's Choice, the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, the ESPYs, the Webbys, the CMAs, the AMAs, the Billboard Awards, the iHeartRadio Music Awards, the Daytime Emmys, the Cable Ace awards.

    This is an incomplete list of all the awards shows that are 100 percent guaranteed to be more interesting and entertaining than the NHL Awards, and you can say that even with the full understanding that they haven't awarded a Cable Ace Award since 1997 (shout out to Kel Mitchell for somehow beating out the entire leading cast of "The Larry Sanders Show" for best actor in a comedy series). This, like every year, was drudgery of the worst kind. Bland, boring, bad.

    Here's the thing: Almost no other sport does a show like this.

    Not one.

    The Best

    5. Erik Karlsson won the Norris

    Didn't see that one coming but boy is that great.  

    4. Brent Burns

    3. Carey Price won everything

    2. Jiri Hudler

    The Worst

  • Puck Daddy Power Rankings: World Cup Young Stars roster; NHL Draft; trading block

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 5 days ago

    [Author's note: Power rankings are usually three things: Bad, wrong, and boring. You typically know just as well as the authors which teams won what games against who and what it all means, so our moving the Red Wings up four spots or whatever really doesn't tell you anything you didn't know. Who's hot, who's not, who cares? For this reason, we're doing a power ranking of things that are usually not teams. You'll see what I mean.]  

     

    7. The free agent crop

    Well we're about a week away from July 1 and while there's a lot of stuff to talk about in the next seven days, the fact that a lot of places are leading their “Here are what we consider the top free agent forwards” list with Matt freakin' Beleskey should tell you everything you need to know about what a snoozefest the Free Agent Frenzy [sic] is going to be on July 1.

    6. World Cup of Hockey GMs

    Wow, so exciting. Doug Armstrong is running Canada, and Dean Lombardi helms the U.S.

    Yawn.

    Dougie Hamilton - Aaron Ekblad Jacob Trouba - Seth Jones Ryan Murray - Morgan Rielly Extra: Matt Dumba

    John Gibson Connor Hellebuyck Extra: Malcolm Subban

    5. Evgeni Malkin's attitude

    4. The NHL awards

  • How will Sharks GM Doug Wilson try to save his job now? (Trending Topics)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 6 days ago

    Things have not been good in San Jose for the last two seasons. First they infamously drop a 3-0 series lead to eventual Cup champions Los Angeles, then they wholly fail to qualify for the playoffs. The one begets the other. 

    If the Sharks win one of the four games they lost to the Kings, we're not sitting here having a conversation about, “What's wrong with the Sharks?” because it's wholly likely nothing is wrong with the Sharks. As has happened so many times in the past, a team suffered a miserable defeat and panicked. That's all. Doug Wilson saw his team blow a 3-0 series lead to a lower-seeded team that also happened to be a division rival, and determined that what went wrong was not “The Kings are just so good that it was unavoidable,” or “That was some terrible luck for our very-good-to-great team,” or a combination of the two. He determined that what went wrong was he hadn't acquired enough players like John Scott, Mike Brown, and Scott Hannan.

    These are not mutually exclusive ideas.

    And here's Wilson on that issue:

    Ryan Lambert is a Puck Daddy columnist. His email is here and his Twitter is here .

  • What We Learned: What is Cam Talbot actually worth?

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 7 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 New York Rangers have made it quite clear that, due in large part to their current cap crunch, the bidding is open on backup goaltender Cam Talbot.

    At first blush, it seems like acquiring Talbot would be a good move, and the rumors are flying that as many as six or seven teams have an interest in acquiring his services. Certainly, his only two seasons at the NHL level — playing as a backup/injury fill-in for Henrik Lundqvist — seem to portend that he's capable of being an NHL starter, but that comes with the caveat that we have very little information about what Talbot can actually do at the NHL level (he has only faced a little fewer than 3,350 shots) over 57 career games.

    But the numbers wouldn't have predicted that this would end up being the case; in fact, what he's done over his entire career actually puts Talbot to shame:

    But basically, it's a good time to be in the market for a potential starting goalie.

    What We Learned

    Wow.

  • Let's talk about offer sheets (Trending Topics)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 10 days ago

    With the salary cap either barely rising, holding steady, or maybe even falling a bit, the buzzards are already circling.

    Several teams — successful teams — are facing cap issues, and all of them have restricted free agents to re-sign. As such, fans of many cash-strapped teams and pundits alike are wringing their hands in glee over the possibility of weaker teams acquiring young, tantalizing talent for the price of the money on the deal and a few draft picks. It's the same every summer, of course, because you always have a wish list on hand and it's a sexy, swashbuckling idea.

    “You just swoop in and get the guy you want.”

    But we all say that every summer knowing that these offer sheets are rare. In the salary cap era, only eight have actually been signed (we don't know if, say, P.K. Subban was advanced one but didn't sign it, because that kind of thing doesn't get publicized) and only three of those have come since 2010. The reason it seems we're getting so worked up about it now is the quality of guys who look like they could be available.

    MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY:

  • Puck Daddy Power Rankings: Corey Crawford truthers, Glendale, NHL Awards

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 12 days ago

    [Author's note: Power rankings are usually three things: Bad, wrong, and boring. You typically know just as well as the authors which teams won what games against who and what it all means, so our moving the Red Wings up four spots or whatever really doesn't tell you anything you didn't know. Who's hot, who's not, who cares? For this reason, we're doing a power ranking of things that are usually not teams. You'll see what I mean.]

    8. Ben Bishop's injury (again)

    Turns out he tore his groin in Game 2 and played on anyway. He had a .939 save percentage in Games 4-6.

    So here's a question: Do groins actually matter? I'll hang up and take your answer off-air.

    7. Corey Crawford truthers

    Can we please can it with the Chris Osgood comparisons for this guy? Osgood was basically always a poor goaltender who happened to be on one of the greatest pre-salary cap assemblages of talent ever, and he actively hurt them even if it wasn't apparent. Put another way, the Red Wings probably would have won more Cups if they'd employed anyone but Chris Osgood. For his entire career, his save percentage is a point or two below league-average.

    6. Glendale

  • Why clutch players are a complete illusion (Trending Topics)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 13 days ago

    At this point, the Chicago dynasty has proven time and again that it simply Knows How To Win .

    This is a team that is battle-tested and always comes out on top no matter how good the opponent. When chips are down, you can count on Chicago to win.

    (Except when they don't, like 2014, 2012 and 2011.) 

    There's a lot of hero-making that goes on this time of year, and no wonder. Guys lift up a big, shiny trophy three times in six years in the cap era — or hell, any era — and you say, “There go some Real Winners.” That's why so many second-pairing defensemen from those great Montreal teams are in the Hall of Fame. That's why Chris Osgood has any semblance of a chance at making it there too, and next year he won't be going up against Dominik Hasek. Win a Cup and you're a Winner, and that's something that follows you for the rest of your career and beyond.

    That's right: A roster full of mega-talents.

    And yet, there's more to winning than having the talent to do it. (Ask the Sharks.) They also have to be deployed expertly by their coach, and again, that's where Joel Quenneville really earns his paycheck.

    MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY

     

  • What We Learned: Best Stanley Cup Final in recent memory?

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 14 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.)  

    There is a lot of reason to praise the level of hockey seen over the five games of this year’s Stanley Cup Final. That’s mainly because there’s so little separating the two teams.

    And this comes after two very good Conference Finals as well, which themselves were preceded by terminally boring opening rounds. Whattaya know: When good teams play each other, the results are entertaining. (Unless they’re playing deeply negative hockey.)

    But more than that, we’ve seen little besides ugly Stanley Cup Finals over the last few years. Lopsided affairs like Rangers/Kings last season, and both of the previous two only went six games as well. (It’s hard to have any patience for people who allege a given six-game series was close; in such a series, the losing team won two games out of six, and that would be reason for panic in the regular season.) Even Bruins/Canucks in 2011, which was decided seven games, featured blowouts of 8-1, 4-0, 5-2, and 4-0 again.