Ryan Lambert

  • Puck Daddy Power Rankings: 42 thoughts about the NHL trade deadline

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 13 hrs ago

    42. Michael Sgarbossa to Anaheim for Mat Clark

    Literally who cares about this trade at all? The Sgarbossa and Clark families, and that's got to be about it.

    41. Jordan Leopold to Minnesota for Justin Falk and a 5th

    Just the fact that this is what facilitated that cloying letter from Leopold's daughter getting out to the public makes me furious that it happened. Yuck.

    40. Sven Baertschi to Vancouver for a 2nd

    This is classic Flames asset management. Baertschi was a first-round pick, and highly regarded prospect out of junior, with stats that suggested he might have been a value pick even a few spots higher. So the Flames of course rushed him up to the NHL too early and put a lot of pressure on him. He struggled a little bit, so Brian Burke ripped him in the media, and they've spent the last two seasons sending him and up down regardless of his actual performance, and then trade him to a division rival for a second-round pick.

    Wouldn't be surprised at all to see him become a very useful second-line wing in Vancouver.

    39. Adam Cracknell to St. Louis for future considerations

    You never know, that future consideration could end up being Ryan Johansen!!!


  • NCAA Hockey 101: Reasons to be skeptical of North Dakota's quality

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    One thing we've heard all year long is that the NCHC is the best and deepest conference in the country. In a lot of ways, this is certainly true.

    Perhaps the biggest, and the one that's best buoyed the conference's astonishing five teams in the top eight Pairwise spots right now, is the fact that everyone has a really great strength of schedule. North Dakota's schedule is the eighth-hardest, Minnesota Duluth's is first, Omaha's is third, Miami's is fifth, Denver's is fourth. And St. Cloud, which as of now is now out of contention for the NCAA tournament because it's below .500, is second. For an eight-team conference, this is pretty incredible. Only Western Michigan (27th in the PWR but seventh in strength of schedule) and Colorado College (49th, sixth) sit outside even remote contention.

    The playoffs begin

    Meanwhile, out East, the three conferences largely based there are starting their conference tournaments this coming weekend, and boy if none of them are even a little bit interesting.

    1. North Dakota (swept St. Cloud)

    2. Miami (split with Denver)

    6. Denver (split with Miami)

  • What We Learned: Are NHL trade prices really 'too high'?

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    Today is the trade deadline and there's probably not a lot that's going to happen. Most of the big names are already off the board, and the price to acquire those remaining might be so prohibitive that contending teams largely avoid getting involved in bidding for them.

    But one thing you're going to hear a lot today, and have heard for much of the last week, is that, “The price for [Player X] is too high.” Which is something I wonder about a lot. What constitutes “too high?”

    Here's a quick example from the weekend: Saturday night it was announced that the Blackhawks traded for Antoine Vermette, giving up up their first-round pick this year and D prospect Klas Dahlbeck to do it.

    Dahlbeck seems like a decent enough defensive prospect, but he's 23 years old and has basically been an AHL player his entire career. He could improve, and maybe if Chicago's blue line weren't so full-up with NHL deals he might have won a more permanent role with the big club. But he hasn't improved yet, and it is full of actual NHL defensemen, and so Dahlbeck proves rather expendable.

    Play of the Weekend

    Gold Star Award

    Minus of the Weekend

    Jonathan Bernier + Nazem Kadri For

  • Los Angeles Kings find groove at their normal pace (Trending Topics)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 5 days ago

    The Los Angeles Kings seem to do this all the time.

    Every year, they seem to only be an okay team for basically the entire first half of the season, and then around game 60 or so, they take off like a coiled spring. Like clockwork, really  

    Since Darryl Sutter took over the club in 2011, the Kings have won two Cups, and gone to a Western Conference Final (in the lockout-shortened season, when things got very weird). This, clearly, illustrates that they are a juggernaut come playoff time. And, as we know more anecdotally, their annual run to deep in the playoffs tends to start pretty early.

      Put another way, in three full, 82-game seasons they've gotten to Game 60 looking decidedly average, or even poor. Last night was Game No. 60 for Los Angeles and they lost to the Senators (a bit of a surprise), and held steady at 70 points for the year, sitting eighth in the conference. Even after this huge recent winning streak, they're still only on about a 96-point pace.

    And then again last year, Quick went from a tough January in comparison with Tuukka Rask to an excellent March and April once again (though here Rask was better, and starting from a higher baseline).


  • Puck Daddy Power Rankings: Hockey baby names, Vegas tickets, Mike Milbury

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 7 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. Jared Cowen, and his thinking abilities

    Over the weekend Jared Cowen really creamed Jussi Jokinen about an hour after he got rid of the puck, and he wound up getting suspended — rightly — for three games. This hit was just like any of the other predatory headshots that the league has been trying to get out of the sport for the last few years. No excuse for it, and frankly the fact that he only got three games was the Department of Player Safety doing him a favor he in no way earned, especially because he's a repeat offender.

    See if you can follow the logic there.

    6. Malkin Crosby Long

    5. That ticket drive

    4. The Canucks' chances

    2. Delusion

  • NCAA Hockey 101: Jack Eichel and the Hobey Baker Watch; Quinnipiac, Yale battle

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 8 days ago

    This weekend was the second-to-last in a number of conferences' regular seasons, and Hobey Baker Award lobbying is really starting to pick up. The only campaign that matters, though, got under way in earnest, as Boston University unveiled its “I Like Eich” buttons and campaign, which are fun and nice.

    For his part, Jack Eichel didn't have a great weekend, though, as Notre Dame took three of four crucial league points from BU, and he could only muster an assist in each game, and BU scored just four goals total. But even still, Eichel is up to 50 points in 30 games, as an underage freshman, and has a six-point lead on the player who's second in the nation in points. That player — Evan Rodrigues — is his linemate. The other guy in the mix, one point back of those two, is Union's Daniel Ciampini, who has been very good for a middling team.

    Eichel is also tops in the nation in points per game, but his grip there isn't as firm. His 1.67 per game  exceeds that of Harvard's Jimmy Vesey (1.52) and Michigan's Zach Hyman (1.54).



  • What We Learned: New NHL stats site has failures at launch

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 9 days ago

    There have been a few dozen things written about the NHL's new “enhanced” stats site launching, and one feels safe in assuming the thrust of many of them are, “Uhh, what the hell?”

    So: Uhh, what the hell?

    The NHL entered the advanced stats era fully and officially on Friday, launching its own engine to give fans more immediate access to the data that has been cultivated for years on the websites of nerds who are truly and thoroughly fans of this sport and wanted to understand the game on a deeper level. Views in that community were a bit mixed; on the one hand, there was trepidation that the whole thing might get screwed up, given how much we know about the NHL's ability to do a Peter Sellers-level job of inadvertently throwing itself down a flight of stairs while trying to show off.

    But on the other there was a welcoming feeling because this was validation for the years of hard work in a way. By launching this site, the league was essentially saying, “What you have worked on for years has value;” and indeed, the league did an excellent job of reaching out to many people in the analytics community and working with them to see what they'd like to see on the Official Site.

  • What are the Flyers doing? (Trending Topics)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 12 days ago

    Let's get one thing straight right off the bat here: “Making the playoffs” is an unreasonable goal for the Philadelphia Flyers. Yeah, they're on a nice little run here, with points from 11 of their last 13 games, but the way they're doing it is basically the textbook definition of unsustainable.

    Of those 13 games, six have gone to overtime or a shootout, and it's tough to rely on getting that kind of thing over the course of any considerable length of time. They're also winning despite giving up a whole lot of goals — 34 over that stretch — despite the fact that this portion of their schedule hasn't been all that difficult (Buffalo thrice, Columbus twice, Arizona and Toronto once each, etc.).

    They're just, y'know, not that good. Slightly below average in the Eastern Conference, which in turn is a little more than slightly below the league average. We all knew that, though. If we were being honest with ourselves.  

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


  • Puck Daddy Power Rankings: 'Embarrassing' Ovechkin, KHL concerns and Jaromir Jagr

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 14 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.] 

    5. Embarrassing the game!!!!!

    So let's say you want to, like, really really really easily get on a lazy hockey writer's good side. It's a two-step process:

    1) Find a player who the hockey establishment already dislikes for nebulous reasons (think “high-profile European” or “black guy”).

    2) Say he is disgracing the sport.

    That's it. You're done.

    So Ryan Getzlaf comes out and says Alex Ovechkin's diving “all over the [f-wording] ice.” (Hockey writers also like it when you use heck-words.)

    Oh and by the way, dawg, this was like two frickin months ago, you ding dong:

  • NCAA Hockey 101: Big 10 turmoil for Michigan, Penn State

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 15 days ago

    This past weekend was a pretty important one in the Big 10. Minnesota was taking on Michigan, and Penn State and Michigan State were facing off. 

    The Wolverines and Nittany Lions sat Nos. 1 and 2 in the conference, but if things went just right for their opponents, that wouldn't necessarily be the case much longer.

    And things went just right for their opponents.

    In both cases, the conference leaders traveled to their opponents and found themselves roundly battered in two straight games. Michigan State swept 3-0 and 3-2, while Minnesota went 6-2 and 2-0. And now the top of the conference standings look like this: Minnesota and Michigan tied with 24 points, and Penn State and Michigan State tied with 22.

    This changes everything.

    There are now four weekends left in the Big Ten schedule, and given the fact that there are just six teams in the conference, there really isn't a lot of wiggle room any more. Minnesota travels to Penn State, hosts Michigan State, travels to Ohio State, and hosts Penn State.

    Michigan plays that series, plus visits Ohio State, hosts Wisconsin, and hosts Michigan State.

    Also, the tightening Hockey East race

    This was a nice goal