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I'm Saving Hockey: A BTN February 6th Recap

Apparently he blocks sticks with his face, too...blrrggggg HEART HEART HEART
Apparently he blocks sticks with his face, too...blrrggggg HEART HEART HEART

I'm proud of you guys. You got the poll right last week! Too bad I had to rig it like an election in Zaire.

Now I need to really get down to business here, because a good soldier like Daniel Paille went down this week to the count of 4 games and I need to say something about this headshot issue. You see, the biggest problem today is the size of the pads; if they had tiny shoulders like they did in the 1980s this would never happen. Back in my day, we played in the nude, with different colored bowties to denote the team (yup, that's where the idea came from). We used to make fun of the Frenchies because they wore friction tape on their berries to avoid frostbite. Zero headshots in those days.

We need to stop baby-proofing the players. They have no danger in their lives, no sense of repercussion, so they fly around like bubble-wrapped kamikazes without a care in the world. I'm talking about Marc Savard, Paul Kariya, Raymond Sawada...these guys need to get those heads up, then they would be so high up in the air they wouldn't get brained. Which leads me to my next point: minimum height restrictions for players. Bettman needs to go to each locker room and weed them out like the Hamburglar at a ball-pit. Bye-bye Mats Zuccarello, and stop asking for the nearest "lutefisk joint"; we might as well boot the Buffalo Sabres out of the league.

So you want to learn a little bit about heart? I'm not sure you're ready for it, but what the hell...

You have to understand that a common misconception is that the bigger the body, the bigger the heart. Let me forewarn you, if you cite science around here my heart's going to kick your ass. In reality, the size of the player in proportion to the willingness to fight is key; there's no place in this league for some 6'4", 235 lb. patsy who doesn't want to fight. You also have to include minor penalties, and the reasoning is quite obvious: minor penalties are the result of a player with so much heart it bursts out in fits of rage. This is why the Lady Byng Trophy is for losers and weaklings. Take slashing, for example; normally, the player might stick-check their opponent to try to knock them off the puck. But if you truly, passionately love the game, you'll really want that puck and really want to knock that player off of it. Watch here as Teemu Selanne's heart takes control.

I measure heart by adding together five simple metrics: adjusted height in dekameters (adjusted to Chara at zero and Nathan Gerbe at 4.09 if I still allow him to be in my league), adjusted weight in hectograms (adjusted to Derek Boogaard at zero and Tyler Ennis at 4.90 if I still allow get the idea), PIM per 20 minutes, goals per 20 minutes (because goals are really just well-directed heart), and country rating. Country rating is a difficult concept, but let me just give you an idea: Europeans inherently have less heart than Americans, and Canadians slightly less than American Americans because they lack the double-dose of heart that is American Americanism and are prone to wearing visors. Let me break down the country rating for you:

Country ---------- Country Rating -- Explanation

USA ---------------------- 1.0 ----------- I think my reasoning is fairly clear.

Canada ----------------- 0.5 ----------- Ditto.

Brunei ------------------- 0.0 ----------- I have no freaking clue what Brunei is. I thought it was a carpet color.

Brazil -------------------- 0.0 ----------- Soccer almost sank you, Brazil, but Gisele saves.

Slovenia --------------- -0.5 ----------- Former Communist stronghold under not-the-good-Tito.

Austria ----------------- -0.5 ----------- I always think The Sound of Music happened here. Potential Nazis.

Norway ----------------- -0.5 ---------- Anybody who skis this much cannot be trusted.

Sweden ---------------- -0.5 ---------- European, plus they were neutral on the Nazis. The Nazis!

Czech Republic ------ -0.5 ---------- Prague Spring? Try Pinko Spring.

Slovakia ---------------- -0.5 ---------- See Czech Republic.

Finland ----------------- -0.5 ---------- There really were closet-Nazis up there. Plus the skiing.

Denmark --------------- -0.5 ---------- European, and the only Danish I like are edible.

Switzerland ------------ -0.5 ---------- I like their knives, but The Sound of Music and Heidi?

Italy ---------------------- -0.5 ---------- I was bullied by Chef Boyardee in grade school.

Germany --------------- -0.75 -------- Blasted me out of my mother's birth canal. Nazis.

Japan ------------------- -0.75 -------- Not so much for WWII as for the fact their food gives me raging diarrhea.

Soviet Union ---------- -0.75 -------- You know who you are.

Poland ----------------- -0.75 --------- Communists and're lucky I don't put you at -1.0.

Ryan Johnson ------- 100.0 -------- He blocks a grapezillion shots and my oddly-passionate emails.

Statistically speaking, this is probably the only metric you need to analyze players. In a way, it's a very positive metric: nobody in the league is completely without heart (what I like to call "absolute Gabe"). Your leaders this year:

Rank -- Player --------------------- Heart (measures in Grapes)

1st ----- Ryan Johnson ---------- 105.05 Grapes (Gp)

2nd ---- Trevor Gillies ------------ 18.06 Gp

3rd ----- Cam Janssen ---------- 14.29 Gp

4th ----- Colton Orr ---------------- 12.58 Gp

5th ----- Jared Boll ---------------- 11.87 Gp

Now that's a lot of heart. For the heartless:

590th -- Jan Hejda --------------- 2.49 Gp

591st -- Douglas Murray ------- 2.31 Gp

592nd - Pavel Kubina ----------- 2.03 Gp

593rd -- Nik Antropov ------------ 1.89 Gp

594th -- Zdeno Chara ----------- 0.73 Gp

You make me sick. Hit somebody. This week's articles:

Monday: How Ridiculous is the NHL All-Star Game?

Grandpa's Analysis: If you want to see shining stars, go to a strip club.

Tuesday: The "Hot Hand" and Coaches as Goalie Evaluators

GA: Wait, you guys give goalies breaks these days?

Wednesday: One-Goal Games

GA: I see your "suppress through defense" and raise you a Gordie Howe, an Alex Delvecchio, and two Richards.

Thursday: The DiPietro-Johnson Fight, Set to Quotes from an Anonymous M. Night Shyamalan Film

GA: I have no idea who this Shamalama is, but I will say that that was an awesome fight and it was real aces that Rick DiPietro inspired his team. I also like his mask, even if it is baby-proof.

Thursday: Expected Zone Shift, 2007-08 to 2010-11

GA: In my day, we started all our shifts in the defensive zone and if we needed a break we just went down and scored a goal. So what's the problem?

Friday: Prime Example of Not Getting It

GA: I don't get it.

Saturday: Zone Starts, Zone Finishes, and Zone Shift - Forwards v. Defensemen 2007-08 to 2010-11

GA: Blah blah blah in pictures. I used to read him books like this back when he was pooping his pants and scared of the Commie in his closet. I guess some things never leave you.

Saturday: Because You Asked for It...New feature

GA: Where does he get those wonderful toys?

The more I think about it, the less I think you people appreciate how important heart is for this game. You take those top 5 players and put them on the ice and they will obliterate the opposition. Alexei Zhamnov and his Vityaz Chekhov team is doing just that in the KHL and let me tell you, they are hearting the hell out of that league. Not that I pay attention to Russia...

Let's change the subject. Can we?