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    Posted by japanstats on 2008 March 20日 Thursday


    つい先日トロントのToskala が、なんと相手ゴールラインからのクリアシュートをトンネル(?)してしまう。NHL史上最長のゴール?

    これもまた今月、ワシントンのスーパールーキーBackstrom がゴール前のパックをクリアミスしてオウンゴールしてしまう(ホッケーもオウンゴール制度を取り入れればいいのに、スコア上はこっちの方が正確なんだから)。

    11月にはかのJeremy Roenick が通算500ゴール目を決めた。これがまた凄いw


    エドモントンがアルバータ州のライバルにプレーオフで負けた原因となったSteve Smith の絶対やってはいけない攻めだし…



    Posted in 01_日本語, hockey, International, NHL, random | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    KHL: The Russian answer to the NHL

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 March 14日 Friday

    A good roundup on Eurohockey.net about the KHL (Kontinental Hockey League) that will replace the Russian Super League in Russia. The league aims to expand beyond Russia, and already have a Kazakhstani club Barys Astana join the league, and there are rumours about Jokerit Helsinki of Finland as well. The league will operate with 24 teams, but only have 22 teams committed so far. It will be interesting to see who the other 2 teams will be.

    I’m not quite keen on the division idea that will have ever changing divisions according to team strength (like in the soccer World Cup, teams are put into a pool, and drawn out of a hat, lottery style to determine the divisions). At least locking in the divisions for 3-5 years would create some consistency since the divisions are not geographical anyways.

    The salary cap of approximately $24 million per team will be enough to retain and regain some (marginal) Russian talent from the NHL. The salary power balance is reminiscent of the balance between MLB and NPB. Unless the KHL really takes off and can bring salary levels up to near-NHL levels (though it’s already pretty impressive at nearly half), it won’t be a truly competitive league (like in soccer with the English, Spanish, and Italian leagues). But it’s a good start, let’s hope the league has a financially viable business model.

    Incorporating drafts and player exchange trades into Europe will be a really interesting sports business experiment.

    Posted in 02_English, hockey, information, International, NHL, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    2008 AL semifinals result and finals preview

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 March 11日 Tuesday

    Games 3 and 4 of the 2008 Asia League Ice Hockey semifinals were played last week.

    2008.3.5 Oji 4 – 1 High1

    (Oji wins series 3-0)

    2008.3.5 Cranes 7 – 2 Seibu

    2008.3.6 Cranes 2 – 1 Seibu

    (Cranes win series 3-1)

    Oji handily swept the 2nd place team in the regular season High1, outscoring them by an aggregate of 17-8 in the 3 games. High1 seems to have gone down without much of a fight (except for game 2), the team’s definitely got potential, so I’m hoping for a better playoff performance from them next season. Oji makes its first ever AL final (it has been Cranes – Seibu (Kokudo) every season in this league’s brief existence). For this once glorious team that won numerous Japan League and Japanese Championship titles, this could be a return to glory (though, getting to avoid Seibu and the Cranes leading up to the finals was probably the biggest blessing). Oji’s last Japan League title came in 1994, so they’ll be gunning for the trophy for sure.

    Cranes vs Seibu, this has been the staple of Asial League championship every season (and in Japan League championships leading upto the creation of the Asia League in 2003). Yet again, the Cranes won a playoff series on the back of their new goalie Jamie McLennan. Though the Cranes demolished Seibu 7-2 in game 3, McLennan won game 4 all by himself making 36 saves in the 2-1 win to seal the series at home while in Kushiro, Hokkaido. He has been absolutely stellar throughout the playoffs posting 93.75% save percentage in round 1 against Halla, and a 92.8% save percentage against the most explosive offense in the league in Seibu in the semifinals. Other than getting involved in some rough stuff in game 2 and taking some penalties that led to Seibu power play goals, Jamie has been just amazing. If he keeps his cool, the Cranes can take the Hokkaido derby final and defend their AL title. Oji’s best bet to dethrone the champions may be to get under McLennan’s skin. After all, a goalie fresh out of the NHL (he was a backup only last season) is well above the level of play in this league (AL is probably a similar in level to a less physical ECHL).

    Semifinals games 1 and 2 review.

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, NHL, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »


    Posted by japanstats on 2008 February 29日 Friday

    ホッケーの試合のインターミッション中(ピリオド間)によくある、遠くからゴールを決めたら景品を貰えるコンテストの映像です。普通はゴールを板で隠して、その板の小さな穴に入れれば勝てる(日本でもやってるよね)んだけど、それだとさすがに誰も勝てない出来レースw なのか、最近コンテストの方式が変わって、遠いブルーラインから限られた時間内にターゲット数のゴールを決めれば勝てるようなコンテストもやってるそうで、これはその一つです。景品はなんと最近流行りのハイブリッド車と100万ドル!(今カナダ$は米$より高価なんで、これは軽く1億円超。)100万ドルの為の最終コンテストはというと、相手ブルーラインから24秒間内に20シュートのうち15本決めれば勝ち、結果は映像をどうぞ:

    ちなみにとあるアメリカ南部のNHL の試合で似たようなコンテストをやった時には、7本のシュートのうち4本決めれば勝ちだったそうで、さすがにカナダだけあって難易度上げてましたねww

    Posted in hockey, NHL, random | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    NBA trades

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 February 22日 Friday

    I don’t follow basketball or NBA, but this was just too good to pass up. The “soft cap” system NBA has just makes many of their trades stranger than fiction. Here’s something from Slate:

    After all the foolishness that went into making this trade happen, it’s easy to forget that Jason Kidd is going to Dallas to try to win a championship. The big winner here, though, is Keith Van Horn. Once he goes through the motions of practicing with the Nets, he’ll likely by waived and sent back home. For his trouble, he will be paid $4.3 million. The crowning irony here is that a retired player is getting a fat load of free money because of the NBA’s strict rules to control how much gets spent on salaries. Sure, that makes absolutely no sense—but this is the NBA, where backward logic rules. Now, I wonder who the Lakers could get for Karl Malone …

    If NPB or MLB is ever going to implement a salary cap system, make sure to model it after the NFL or NHL systems and not the NBA absurdity (though, the NFL one produces massive multiyear deals that never materialize, could the NHL possibly have the most sensible salary cap amongst the major sports?)

    Posted in 02_English, NFL, NHL, opinion, random | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Jamie McLennan and Tyson Nash with the Nippon Paper Cranes

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 February 15日 Friday

    So, ex-NHLers Jamie McLennan and Tyson Nash, who are good friends, joined the Nippon Paper Cranes of the AL. For Jamie to finish off his career in an interesting land halfway around the world, for both of them to experience Japan and East Asia, for the different culture and hockey style and hopefully bring back the AL championship trophy to Kushiro again.

    McLennan has been very solid in the regular season since joining the team halfway through the season. Posting 92.05 Save % (good enough for 1st in the league among goalies who faced over 100 shots) and 2.50 GAA in 14 games (it’s a 30 game regular season, but there’s also an open FA Cup style knockoff championship, and national team players compete in international tournaments during IIHF international breaks. And of course, there’s the playoffs too, so the season’s longer than 30 games, much longer for some players, though nowhere near the unnecessarily grueling 100 game NHL schedule if you count the playoffs.) Tyson Nash injured his knee right away, so he only got into 5 games and scored 1 goal and 16 PIM while still getting accustomed to the less physical play of the league.



    These two are a definite improvement upon the cheap imports that the Cranes started the season with (perhaps being perennial champions or finalists made them overconfident?) and can definitely be a force in the upcoming playoffs which follow the disappointing regular season by the Cranes.

    What I didn’t know was that both Jamie and Tyson have online presence (I guess this shouldn’t be such a surprise these days) and are chronicling their journey through Japan and Asian hockey. These two guys seem easy going, if not a little too rambunctious for the ordinarily reserved Japanese (when not drunk), but it looks like they’re fully enjoying their life in countryside Hokkaido. And this provides a nice contrast to the infamous Ballads of Jason Johnson, a pro baseball player. Perhaps “hockey players are the most down to earth big money pro athletes” isn’t just Canadian propaganda 😛 After all, McLennan, Nash, and Johnson were never star players in the big leagues.

    Some interesting snippets of Jamie’s blog (some to The Hockey News no less) and other articles.

    From his first article to THN:

    I was going to retire this summer and pursue other interests in hockey when I received offers in Europe and Russia. I took an offer in Russia and was there for six weeks when I decided that it wasn’t for me and we parted ways (another long story but not for this article).

    Taking some time off was what I was doing when I was approached by my best buddy from growing up, Joel Dyck, who has been playing in Japan for 14 years and he told me I should come and play with him on his team to have a little fun and finish our careers together.

    So, Jamie was in Russia but things didn’t work out for him there (can’t find his Russian stats at eurohockey.net).

    And he’s long time friends with Japan and Asia League veteran and erstwhile Japanese national team player Joel Oshiro Dyck (he’s part Japanese descent who obtained Japanese passport a while back) from their junior days in Alberta. So, this was why McLennan and Nash came over as midseason replacement imports to the Cranes. Imports that come to play in Asia always arrive via the Asian-North American or Asian-European hockey pipelines.

    From an Ottawa Citizen article via tysonnash.com:

    “Five minutes before the games, the entire building is dead silent. No one says a word. Then we come on the ice and they go crazy. There are no anthems. We just bow to each side of the stands, then, after the game, we do it again. But the fans seem to really love the game.”

    McLennan says the level of hockey is surprisingly good, somewhere between the East Coast Hockey League and the American Hockey League. He doesn’t want to say what he’s getting paid, but I’m told it is in the neighborhood of $200,000 a year, and the team takes care of all his expenses.

    Anthems aren’t played for domestic matches, but that’s just a minor detail. Interesting that he notices this though.

    The comment about the level of play is valuable, as it is a good measuring stick (along with statistics). Though, AL probably shares the same lack of depth problem as NPB. The top players may be near AHL level (many Japanese players have succeeded in the ECHL), but the third and fourth line guys probably won’t even make an ECHL roster. The money’s interesting too, as it’s not public information. I heard somewhere that Prpic is getting about $300,000. This is better than what these players can earn in most of Europe (maybe except for Russia, and Switzerland?).

    “It has been a wild experience,” McLennan says from his hotel room in Sapporo, where he has just made 26 saves in a 5-1 Paper Cranes victory against the Oji Ice Hockey Team (That’s their real nickname by the way: “Ice Hockey Team.” Did they hold a “Name the Team” contest to come up with that? Why not the Oji Whiz? The Oji Simpsons? The Oji Wan-kenobis? Work with me, people.)

    Everyone seems to get this wrong, but “Nippon Paper” is the company and the team name is the “Cranes”. Though, the paper cranes wordplay may have been involved when deciding on the nickname. And Oji really needs to be called the Eagles. Heck, one of their uniforms already features the eagle mascot (their other more traditional uni is a Habs tribute bleu, blanc, et rouge).



    From Jamie’s blog entry about the China road trip:

    Joel was a master of negotiation when it came to the market and we sat back and let him work his magic. By the end of the day, the locals were none too happy with us [mostly him] as we held out for bargain basement prices and were able to come away with a few souvenirs for ridiculously cheap prices.

    Hahaha, I never knew Joel was a shrewd negotiator. In fact, he’s one of the more quiet Japanese-Canadian guys on and off the ice, from what I can tell by going to games and his (lack of) media exposure.

    When it came to the games we won the first one and completely stunk the joint out the second one, I think the guys just took them too lightly the second game, but needless to say we lost the second game in the last minute. I did not play in either game because I hurt my hip flexor in the previous game, so I unfortunately just watched and toured the city. Overall though, a great experience.

    The Cranes only took 16 skaters to Beijing and McLennan was resting, so it’s obvious that the team took the Sharks way too lightly. I guess this could be one promising thing about the disastrous Sharks season, they’re not complete roll overs (even with just 3 wins in 30 games this season).

    Anyways, here’s the totally non-pimped up ride that Nash picked up for the two of them to drive around Kushiro. From McLennan’s blog entries, it seems like Nash is the rather pragmatic one in a foreign land.


    Good luck in the playoffs Jamie and Tyson! (Though they face Halla, and Korean teams advancing further in the playoffs makes Asian hockey as a whole more interesting too…)

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »


    Posted by japanstats on 2008 February 3日 Sunday

    先日のオールスター祭@アトランタにて、NHL のマスコットの集合写真!


    NHL mascots

    Posted in 01_日本語, hockey, NHL | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    2008-09 NHL 欧州開幕

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 January 28日 Monday

    来季のNHL の欧州開幕がほぼ決定したそうです(NHLPAの承認待ち)。


    この開幕に向けて4チームは欧州でトレーニングキャンプを仕上げます。オタワはスウェーデンで最終調整を行いFrolunda相手に、ペンギンズは暫定でフィンランドでキャンプをはる予定。タンパはベルリンでドイツリーグのEisbaren 相手に仕上げる予定で、レンジャーズは欧州王者のMetallurg Magnitogorsk とSC Bern を相手に、IIHFによって新設されたVictoria Cupを開幕直前に争って準備をします。レンジャーズがどれだけ真剣にビクトリア杯を扱うかは謎ですが、開幕直前とだけあってそれほど手抜きはしないかと…(^^;


    Posted in 01_日本語, hockey, information, International, NHL, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »


    Posted by japanstats on 2008 January 11日 Friday

    数々の記録と記憶に残るプレーを残してきた偉大な選手マリオ・ルミューですが、意外と忘れられているのがThe Lemieux Cycle (動画) です。マリオ最高の1988-89 シーズン(85G + 114A = 199P) の大晦日に、通常の5対5状態でのゴール、PPゴール、SHゴール、PSゴール、そしてついでにENゴールまで決めました。NHLの1試合で5ゴールだけでも凄い記録なのに、全て違う種別のゴールでした。マリオの前にこれを記録した選手はいないはず(だからルミュー・サイクルなのでしょう)。2003年にカルガリーのIginla 選手がPSゴール以外の4種類のゴールを決めてリーチしましたが、それ以外この記録に近づいた事は無いそうです、あのGreat One ことグレツキーでさえ。


    Mario in the ugliest Pens jersey ever seen

    Mario Lemieux card

    Lemieux hoists the Cup

    Posted in 01_日本語, hockey, information, NHL | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Fukufuji in a goalie fight!

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 January 10日 Thursday

    Former Asia Leaguer with Kokudo, and the first Japanese born and trained NHL player (though he was called up by the Kings last season because LaBarbera who dominated the AHL would not have cleared waivers under the new CBA when getting called back up) Yutaka Fukufuji got into a goalie fight (probably had no choice what with everyone on the ice going at it) in an ECHL game where he plays for the Bakersfield Condors. He seemed to have fared poorly, not being used to hockey fights at all. But upon closer inspection, he does land the final right and takes down the other goalie. He also hams it up for the crowd for good measure 🙂

    Yutaka Fukufuji in a Kings game last season

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, ECHL, hockey, NHL, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »