HTH podcast ep. 43: You don’t pay Mario Lemieux to not score goals

There’s a lot of depressing shit going on in the world today, so Bob and Dan decide to have a lighter-hearted episode this week. They tried a new twist on the name game, as Bob quizzes Dan on, “Pokemon or Big Data” and Dan quizzes Bob on pairs of brothers playing in the NHL.

Then, the guys showcase a handful of classic examples of NHL players doing car commercials–either dealerships or rentals. Evgeni Malkin, Adam Graves, Alex Ovechkin, Max Talbot, Mario Lemieux, and Wayne Gretzky are all featured. Finally, Dan gives Bob some advice on getting engagement photos taken.

HTH game recap 12-11-15 at Arizona: Heartbreak in the Desert

Hockey in the desert! Minnesota traveled to Arizona to face the slumping Coyotes tonight, and there was no question that the desert dogs would be severely over-matched against the Wild, who had not allowed more than one goal in regulation in the four games previous to tonight’s game.

Minnesota came out like gangbusters, with a dominant first two periods, though they only managed one goal for their trouble. The Wild absolutely dominated the possession game for the bulk of this game, but as always, the possession chart does contain some secrets. Let’s take a look. Continue reading HTH game recap 12-11-15 at Arizona: Heartbreak in the Desert

HTH game recap 12-7-15 at Colorado: Mister Darcy’s time to shine

I suppose it was too much to ask for the Wild to continue their fire wagon ways from just two days ago in Denver tonight. The Avalanche just really looked disinterested in playing proper defense that game, but tonight (after Sakic, Forsberg, and the greats did a pregame ceramony for the 20th anniversary) you had to think they’d come out and play better. And really, they didn’t improve their offense either, just limited Minnesota better. Take a look at the possession chart–both teams had a slow start but Colorado continued the pace into the second, while the Wild were able to at least put some rubber on net. That long stretch at the end of the second period though, no bueno. Both teams regrouped a bit in the third period, with Parise’s tenacious equalizer earning Minnesota a point for their trouble.

min col shot attempts 12715

Minnesota’s Power Play looked just dreadful tonight. As Russo pointed out a couple of times during the game, Vanek just wasn’t looking right, yet there he was right in front of the net, trying to make something happen.

 

Minnesota managed three shots on goal over two power plays, just over 4:00 on the man advantage and they can only get three SOG–seven shot attempts total. Obviously, it’s about quality not quantity, but this team isn’t getting either right now. It’s just not coming together, yet the team does not shake things up. I’m scratching my head over here.

The War on Ice pages are having some hiccups, so the other charts are unavailable. Let me say that I thought Kuemper looked good tonight, and despite not facing a high volume of shots, he stopped most of the ones that he faced. The first goal by Colorado was just a complete breakdown at the end of a shift, Nino goes for a change when he shouldn’t, and about three guys just stand around and watch Tyson Barrie walk in for a great give-and-go tap in. They executed well, but the Wild just got caught.

Overall, this wasn’t necessarily a pretty match–there was a lot of physical stuff that didn’t get called…Iginla was just throwing haymakers and didn’t get penalized for it. Lots of rough stuff, which I don’t really think Minnesota handled well. But then again, they played good defense against a bad offensive team, so that aspect is good. This team isn’t looking fantastic right now, but they’re staying competitive in the division, and that’s about all you can ask at this time of year.

The rest of the month is looking a little dicey, with tough matchups against some Pacific teams, some eastern conference teams, and of course, a couple Conference III teams in for good measure. We’ll ahve to see if Vanek is alright, and if he’s not, no need to ship him out there to stand around.

Thanks for reading, and make sure to follow @HTHpod and @BobaFenwick on Twitter!

HTH game recap 12-3-15 vs Toronto: Baby Duuuuuuubs Edition

Tonight, the Wild got off to a blazing start, with something like 7 shots on goal in the first 5 minutes of the game. Toronto stabilized in the second, and the game was close into the third period, and while the Leafs managed to put the biscuit behind Devan Dubnyk once, it was called back as being offside. The replay was razor close but it was the right call.

Sometimes the possession chart lies, sometimes it does not. Tonight, the chart tells the story of the game quite well, as you can really see how Minnesota jumped down their throats in the first but by the end of the third it was all tied up.

tor min sat count 12315 Continue reading HTH game recap 12-3-15 vs Toronto: Baby Duuuuuuubs Edition

Music We Love – Edition 1

On a recent episode of the Hashtag Hockey Podcast, we talked about some new albums that we have been really enjoying. So, Dan decided to jot down some information about some of the bands and albums we discussed. Enjoy!

Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (August 2015, Stax Records)

Two parts Rock & Roll, one part Gospel, one part Folk, topped with a healthy dose of brass and Blues is the ideal recipe for the cocktail to which we might just drink our lives away.  Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats have created an album that is joyful, honest, and just a lot of fun to listen to.  While the song “S.O.B.” may not be the truest representation of what Rateliff does (it was written as a joke), it is a great example of how this group can do no wrong.  The song is undeniably catchy, and is brilliant in the way that the central joke, “If I can’t get clean, I’m going to drink my life away,” blurs the line between absurdity and reality.  This self-titled album will keep you warm during some of the cold Winter nights ahead.  Well, maybe this and a bottle of bourbon.  Enjoy responsibly! Continue reading Music We Love – Edition 1

HTH game recap 12-1-15 at Chicago: Suter talks the talk, walks the walk

Sure feels nice to end a slump against the Blackhawks, particularly in their barn. The Wild eked out a win tonight against a talented team on the road, and they sure benefited from getting their skaters back from injury–Parise, Fontaine, and Scandella all laced ’em up tonight. I couldn’t watch the first period due to some damn technical difficulties, but the Wild came out of the gates hot in this one.

min chi corsi chart 12115

The green columns there represent Wild power plays…which is why the lines are flat on the chart here because it’s 5v5 but let’s be honest, “flat” is a great adjective to describe the man advantage for this team. They look slow, they look lost, without a plan. They have a formation they set up but beyond that, there’s no creativity, no risk-taking. It’s ugly out there. And the PK isn’t much better. Miss you Brodziak!

min chi player corsi events 12115

Quick reminder on how to read the above chart–the x-axis (horizontal) is the total number of Corsi events while a player was on the ice at 5v5, the y-axis (vertical) is the differential, so the top half is positive, bottom half negative. I’ve taken the liberty of highlighting Suter’s dominance in this game. Not only was he out there for a lot of the action, he helped direct a great deal of rubber toward the Hawks’ net while preventing shots on goal in his defensive zone. Specifically, he finished the night on the ice for 26 Corsi for, 13 against (+13 overall.) And this was largely against the Kane line too.

min chi shot attempt map

We see that the Wild did a good job of getting shots from all over the ice, and their goals both came from waaaaaay down low. Also, before you tweet me, the x-axis coordinates look flipped here…Suter and Pommer both scored from the right side. Might be a NHL problem, might be a WOI problem. I’ll try to update if it gets fixed. In any case, Minnesota is getting shots on goal from beyond the faceoff circles, which is great to see. Their defense has been contributing more this year it seems, though lately they have sputtered. Glad to have Scandella back, that’s for sure. Chicago seems to have been very clearly trying to get to the “home plate” area, and while there are certainly some high danger shots there, I thought overall they did a good job of limiting the Hawks chances.

It feels great to get this win, but Minnesota is still fifth place in their division. They need to keep grinding and rack up those points if they want to avoid yet another midseason slump. The playoffs are still very much in play, but this team needs to pull it together a little more to really be considered to have a chance against the upper teams in the West.

Up next, Toronto comes to town on Thursday…the Leafs have played alright lately, but another two points are definitely in play. Thanks for reading, and make sure to check out the most recent podcast, and make sure to follow @HTHpod and @BobaFenwick on Twitter!

Daily Affirmation – Minnesota Wild

Yesterday, after dropping the third game in a row, Mike Yeo had some tough words for his club…


Well I’m here to try to erase that negativity with today’s daily affirmation. So say it with me,

“I deserve good things.

I am entitled to my share of happiness.

I refuse to beat myself up.

I am an attractive person

I am fun to be with.

I am going to have a terrific game today,

because I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and people like me!”

Hashtag Hockey Podcast ep 42 – The finer things

Dan tries to focus on recording a podcast while playing daily fantasy, then talks about still being new to Twitter and getting told to RTFB!

Then, the guys discuss Thanksgiving traditions, and changing traditions as families grow and change. Bob wonders if a vegan pumpkin pie is something to bring to the family dinner.

Feature segment this week: Music! How do people discover music, and does that affect how much they like it. Should music be consumed as albums or as songs? What makes “good music” and how can we apply that to “good hockey”?

These topics and more. Make sure to follow @HTHpod on Twitter!

Hashtag Hockey Podcast episode 41: Dapper Cal Clutterbuck

This week’s topics:

This American Life 20th anniversary. The guys share recent favorites of the acclaimed radio series.

Hockey Birthdays — Bob tries to stump Dan by providing a player’s last name for him to guess the first name.

Player Spotlight: Cal Clutterbuck! We recorded on his birthday, so it only seemed right to talk about him this week. Plus, a few Clutterbuck-related trivia questions.

Additional topics include the new format for the NHL All Star Game, and new video games the guys are playing.

HTH game recap 11-19-15 at Boston: Subterranean Homesick Blues

The Wild continued their road woes tonight, as they tried their best to skate with the Bruins at TD Garden–but a combination of general sloppy play and disorganized attacks handed them a loss on the last game of a long road trip. I listened to the first half of the game on the radio driving home from work, but this just looks like a team depleted. Pominville and Zucker were banged up in this game as well, which just feels like adding injury to insult. Continue reading HTH game recap 11-19-15 at Boston: Subterranean Homesick Blues