Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, October 29, 2021

specialty
Following up from last week’s rankings, here’s the NHL Special Teams Index through yesterday’s slate of games. Click through to last week’s post to compare and contrast movement on the list.

STI Rank Team PP % (Rank) PK % (Rank) STI Number
1 Montreal Canadiens 24.0 (3) 90.6 (3) 114.6
2 San Jose Sharks 26.4 (1) 87.9 (9) 114.3
3 Minnesota Wild 18.0 (12) 94.0 (1) 112.0
4 Buffalo Sabres 20.9 (5) 90.2 (5) 111.1
5 Anaheim Ducks 20.4 (7) 90.3 (4) 110.7
6 Atlanta Thrashers 20.6 (6) 88.4 (8) 109.0
7 Pittsburgh Penguins 23.1 (4) 85.2 (12) 108.3
8 Edmonton Oilers 17.4 (13) 88.5 (7) 105.9
9 Florida Panthers 24.6 (2) 81.2 (21) 105.8
10 Dallas Stars 16.0 (16) 88.9 (6) 104.9
11 Ottawa Senators 10.3 (28) 92.3 (2) 102.6
12 Colorado Avalanche 18.8 (10) 82.4 (19) 101.2
13 New York Rangers 19.6 (8) 81.0 (22) 100.6
14 Carolina Hurricanes 17.4 (14) 82.4 (18) 99.8
15 Vancouver Canucks 12.7 (21) 86.7 (10) 99.4
16 St. Louis Blues 14.3 (20) 85.0 (13) 99.3
17 New Jersey Devils 14.3 (19) 84.6 (15) 98.9
18 Columbus Blue Jackets 15.9 (17) 82.5 (17) 98.4
19 Chicago Blackhawks 18.5 (11) 79.0 (24) 97.5
20 Washington Capitals 16.7 (15) 80.3 (23) 97.0
21 Toronto Maple Leafs 12.7 (22) 83.6 (16) 96.3
22 New York Islanders 18.9 (9) 77.3 (25) 96.2
23 Los Angeles Kings 10.1 (29) 85.3 (11) 95.4
24 Philadelphia Flyers 9.4 (30) 84.6 (14) 94.0
25 Calgary Flames 12.3 (23) 81.4 (20) 93.7
26 Nashville Predators 15.8 (18) 75.5 (29) 91.3
27 Tampa Bay Lightning 12.3 (24) 76.1 (28) 88.4
28 Detroit Red Wings 10.5 (27) 76.8 (26) 87.3
29 Phoenix Coyotes 10.5 (26) 76.4 (27) 86.9
30 Boston Bruins 12.0 (25) 74.5 (30) 86.5
by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/29/2006 07:33:39 PM
Category: Hockey
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meets the eye
The mantra of the “new” National Hockey League is more uptempo play, which should lead to more scoring. Which, presumably, should lead to more TV eyeballs, and thus more cha-ching.

So the commissioner’s office probably will be groaning over a scientific study which uncovers how goalies can improve their hand-eye coordination to improve their save percentages.

The basic findings? Keep your eye on the puck:

The researchers discovered these elite goalies focused directly on the puck nearly a full second before the shot was released nearly three-quarters of the time. They also concentrated on the ice in front of the stick when it came to a quarter of all shots. Their gaze was only on the body of the shooter 2 percent of the time.

“Looking at the puck seems fairly obvious,” [University of Calgary graduate student Derek] Panchuk said, “until you look at the eye movements of novice goaltenders, who scatter their gaze all over the place and have a much lower save percentage than the elite goalies.”

“This research is exciting because it’s new information that can be immediately incorporated into a goalie’s game with the proper training,” [University of Calgary researcher Joan] Vickers said. “Our previous experience tells us that if athletes incorporate what we’ve learned in ‘quiet eye’ studies, they can improve in their sport, even if they are already at an elite level.”

That “quiet eye” is what Vickers describes as the critical moment of focus prior to action — i.e., when the quick-decision mechanism in sports kicks in. Further examination of this state is forthcoming, with these two researchers next looking at situational reactions for goalies against wrist shots, slapshots, and penalty shots.

It’s amusing to think that NHL goaltenders, somewhat persecuted under the revised post-lockout rules, can turn to the physiological research ranks to regain their edge. Could the dead puck era make a comeback, fueled by science?

Hopefully, someone in some lab is countering this with optimizational research into shooters’ techniques…

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/29/2006 05:56:15 PM
Category: Hockey, Science
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The hipness barometer for MySpace is dropping fast, folks. Observe: Those fickle teens who defined the online community are abandoning it, while some 30 percent of MySpacers are now between 35 and 49.

Something tells me Rupert Murdoch is going to be asking for a refund soon.

Once again, the boom-bust dynamic in social networking websites appears:

1. They launch amid much hype over attracting groups of enthusiastic, hip, pretty young things

2. They attain a critical mass of a couple hundred thousand million members

3. They start to cross-promote and sell ads like crazy, cashing in on what’s assumed to be a captive audience

4. They roll out premium add-ons for nominal fees

5. They get so large and ad-driven that they turn off the very members that flocked to them in the first place, leading to defections and a loss of cool-cache

6. They sputter on, devolving into purely affiliate-marketing/spam-generating subscriber rolls of questionable value

And so on, until a new crop of sites roll out. What I can’t figure out is why people continually buy into them, swallowing the hype about how they’re new and innovative, when they’re far from it. Maybe the average joiner goes into it knowing that it’s got a short shelf life.

This is more or less the way MySpace is going, and it shouldn’t be any surprise. What is surprising is how predictable the Web is becoming as a medium: Despite the much-vaunted user-generated factor, it’s behaving much like any other media. Which, actually, underlines just how user-responsive traditional media has always been, contrary to the usual characterization of mind-manipulating intent from newspapers, television and the rest.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/29/2006 02:50:17 PM
Category: Internet, Society
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blows
The winds are blowing like hell around the tri-state area. And, just by coincidence, the pregame report from today’s Tampa Bay at Giants game is that the hallway doors in Giants Stadium are broken, and can’t be closed.

Right.

Why exactly does the NFL allow the Giants and Jets to pull this crap? It’s no secret that the doors at the Meadowlands “break” every time a fierce windstorm comes around on gameday. Heck, the stadium was designed to achieve this wind-tunnel effect. I don’t know why the other teams don’t put up more of a fuss; sure, both squads have to deal with it, but the New York teams are better acquainted with just how the wind tricks up the airborne ball.

No, I’m not complaining just because my former hometown team is being affected today. I’m just astounded at the audacity of the Giants, that they continually pull this maneuver. I wonder which team intern is stuck with the job of “accidentally” breaking the doors late Saturday night…

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/29/2006 02:12:07 PM
Category: Football, New Yorkin'
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I’m sure many of you WordPressers are counting on me to, once again, remind you about adjusting the timestamp clock on your site to account for Daylight Saving Time.

So, um, do it. Unless you want to be an hour off on your posts and comments for the next few months, and look the clueless fool. The bright side to that: It won’t be quite as long as in years past, since starting in 2007, the spring-ahead adjustment comes on the 2nd Sunday of March.

The instructions:

- In your wp-admin backend, choose Options.

- Under the General Options tab, adjust your Date and Time settings to the appropriate variance from Greenwich Mean Time.

For me, on U.S. Eastern Standard Time, that means my magic number off Greenwich is -5. Adjust yours accordingly.

I assume this step is necessary for all versions of WP, including the just-released 2.0.5 Ronan upgrade. It’s not a glitch, but rather a necessary concession to the WordPress’ global flexibility — not all parts of the world observe DST, and so it doesn’t make sense to make it an automatic feature in the content management system’s backend. I also assume there’s a plugin or two out there that will automate this, but for people like me who are too lazy for that…

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/29/2006 01:29:04 PM
Category: Bloggin'
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