TSN 1290 Posts

Green Shots & Red Shots: How Steve Valiquette is discovering which plays are most likely to score

“Get pucks on net and things will happen” is a phrase many hockey coaches have shouted at players since the game was invented. Former NHL Goalie Steve Valiquette, is currently working on an ambitious project to challenge that theory and show that certain types of plays are more likely to score than others.

Valiquette (@Vallys_View), an analyst for the MSG Network joined Rick Ralph on the Rona Roundtable on TSN 1290 Winnipeg on Thursday and explained that the goal of the project is to show that save percentage, along with goals against average is a team stat, rather than a stat belonging to the individual goalie.

What makes one shot more likely to go in than others? Valiquette continued:

“It’s really about giving the goaltender about half of a second of clean sight before the release vs. not having half a second of clean sight before a release. If you give a goalie half a second, there’s a very little chance of scoring, about three percent chance.”

To beat a goalie now you have to move the puck across the middle of the ice. Thirty percent of the goals that have been scored this year are (off of) passes that go across the middle of the ice.

What I’ve done is I’ve created a line that separates the ice in two equal parts. That line runs from the middle of the net all the way down the length of the ice to the other goal.”

Valiquette refers to that line described above as the “Royal Road” he listed different types of criteria that can lead to a goal.

The Royal Road shown in thick red down the middle of the ice

The Royal Road shown in thick red down the middle of the ice

Operating on the basis that not all shots are equal, he has categorized shots as green or red. Green shots go in the net 76% of the time, red shots make up the other 24% of goals.

Different types of green shots are as follows:

  • Passes across the “Royal Road”
  • Players carrying the puck across the “Royal Road”
  • One timers on the same side of the “Royal Road” (either side, left or right)
  • Screens
  • Deflections
  • Broken plays

The 37-year old summarized:

“Those sequences are all qualified by the fact the goalie has less than half of a second of sight before the puck releases from the shooters stick.”

The following types of shots are when a goalie has more than half a second of clean sight of the puck. They are categorized as red shots. They are:

  • Wrap arounds
  • A player walking from the corner jamming the puck to the net
  • Net crashes
  • A player coming off the rush, where a goalie sees the puck and there’s no screen,

“The real hook, is that teams, including (the Winnipeg) Jets are taking about three times as many red shots, or bad shots, than green shots.”

While this was all very interesting, Valiquette offered a few hints that could explain reasons for the Winnipeg Jets success this season.

“Paul Maurice has done an incredible job at coaching this hockey club, they are giving up fewer green shots, probably fewer than just about anybody in the league, comparatively speaking to anybody from last season.”

In a simpler form: according to Valiquettes criteria, the Winnipeg Jets are giving up fewer high-percentage scoring chances than last season and dating back to last season they are the most improved team in the NHL at this metric.

This could explain part of the variance between Ondrej Pavelec’s save percentage this season (.914) compared to his career average of (.906).

It was certainly one of the more interesting interviews I’ve heard about a new analytical approach to measure the strength of goaltenders and am definitely looking forward to hearing more of the results.

For more insight into the project, check out the full interview at TSN1290.ca

Winnipeg Jets, NBA Preview & World Series on The Super Lube Warmup

I joined Darrin Bauming on the Super Lube Warmup on TSN 1290 Winnipeg today.

-We recapped the Winnipeg Jets 4-3 victory over the New York Islanders

-Previewed the 2014-15 NBA Season with Duane Watson of TSN 1050

-Discussed the Carolina Panthers with David Newton of ESPN.com  ahead of their Thursday Night Football game vs. New Orleans

-Talked with Andrew “Hustler” Paterson who is in Kansas City for Game 7 of the World Series

Listen to the show at TSN1290.ca

Duguay: Today’s players have to be careful when it comes to partying

Ron Duguay played 864 games in the NHL for the Rangers, Red Wings, Penguins and Kings. In addition to being a professional hockey player, he was known for his long flowing hair, appearing in New York Gossip columns, clothing ads and dancing at Studio 54. He played 864 career NHL games and scored 620 points, he played with some of the greatest players of all time including Phil Esposito, Steve Yzerman, Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky.

Duguay was actually drafted in 1976 to the Winnipeg Jets in the first round of the WHA draft, but he never made it to Winnipeg.

He appeared on the Rona Roundtable with Rick Ralph on TSN 1290 Winnipeg earlier this week and wondered what his life would be like if he had gone to Winnipeg instead of New York.

“Just to think what my life would have been if I had chosen Winnipeg instead of New York…no tall buildings, no Studio 54. It would have kept me out of trouble, my career would have lasted a lot longer if I would have played in Winnipeg”

On the ice, Duguay had some successful seasons with the Rangers. In 1981-82 he scored 40 goals as a 24 year old. As much as his name was showing up on the scoresheet, it was also showing up in the tabloids. Duguay was romantically linked to Cher, Bianca Jagger, Cheryl Tiegs, Farrah Fawcett and Patty Lupone.

Two years after scoring 40 goals, the Sudbury, Ontario native was traded to the Red Wings. It was the first time in his career he had to change teams. To some, being traded would come as a surprise but the forward was not as his lifestyle clashed with expectations set by Head Coach Herb Brooks.

“I wasn’t surprised because Herb Brooks was the coach at the time and he didn’t appreciate my lifestyle. I had just come off scoring 40 goals in my first season playing him. You would think that the year after he would like me as a player. I think he did, but he didn’t like reading about my social life (in the tabloids). It was a gradual thing where I ended up on the 3rd line in that second year with him. That summer he found a way to trade me. I don’t think he disliked me personally, he just didn’t like who I was.

I sensed that might happen so I wasn’t shocked. I was just shocked that I was going to Detroit. From New York to Detroit, that’s a big difference. A part of me felt like I need to stay focused and be a hockey player. That kept me in a different place where I would go to Detroit and there was an opportunity to play on the top line with Steve Yzerman and John Ogrodnick. I felt like I’ve had some fun in New York, let’s just be a player. And for three years I became a pretty good player in Detroit.”

While Duguay lived the life in the 70s and 80s, it is much different for players today. He says NHLers right now have to be very careful in every way they act.

“You have a lot of eyes on you; you have to be very very careful in what you do. Because it is big business now, it’s just not acceptable anymore for Coaches, Managers and Owners and guys to be out partying. Back then the whole league did it, we all did it. The Coaches did it, the Managers did it. Everyone was out, we were on the road and we partied. It was all acceptable.

Now, it’s big business, there’s a lot of money involved and you just can’t get caught partying. You may do some, but you have to be so careful. You can’t do what we used to do at all.”

Listen to the full interview at TSN1290.ca

Hnidy: Adam Lowry has earned a spot on the Jets roster

Coming into training camp Adam Lowry was a player that had to impress in training camp to make a roster spot. Drafted in the 3rd round in the 2011 NHL Draft; Lowry spent last year (his first full season as a pro) with the St. John’s IceCaps where he put up 33 points in 64 games.


TSN Winnipeg Jets Analyst Shane Hnidy joined Rick Ralph on the Rona Roundtable for his daily segment at 12:15pm CT and said that Lowry has done enough to start the season with the Winnipeg Jets.

“Training camp is about trying to make the team. You have to go out and do something that is going to get you noticed to get there. Adam Lowry has done exactly that. He’s been on centre, been on left wing, played every position and every situation they put him in he’s made the most of it. In my eyes this is a guy who starts with the Winnipeg Jets.”

Listed at 6 foot 5, Lowry is one of the bigger players in the NHL and has shown this preseason that he can use his size to his advantage.

“The thing about Adam Lowry is he has the size, but also the way he uses it. He uses his size to his advantage. Last night (vs. Edmonton) was a perfect example the way he shielded and protected the puck. This was against the top pairing of Mark Fayne and Nikita Nikitin, both guys are 6 foot 4 with big bodies. He was able to handle them by shielding the puck, protecting the puck, and (he) was real strong in the corners and along the boards.”

Now 21, Lowry has improved his game since being drafted as an 18 year old in 2011.

“Adam Lowry has taken a lot of steps (forward), I’ve been able to watch him (since he was drafted in 2011); his skating has come along and he’s such a smart hockey player. Lowry has played his way onto the team, and that is what you want to see from a young player. That they have worked their way (through the AHL up to the NHL), made the most of the opportunity and he has certainly done that. Lowry will be a good fit (on the Jets roster) as he is versatile, he’ll probably start on the wing but eventually you can see him being a big centremen.”

One element that sets the young Jet apart from his peers is his ability to play on the Penalty Kill.

“He’s a good penalty killer because of that reach that he has. Being 6 foot 5, he’s easily able to get his stick in the passing lane, poke pucks free, be strong on the boards. Lowry doesn’t have to move as much because he covers so much space on the penalty kill, gets in the right position and angles guys into the boards. The ability to play a big role on the penalty kill is one detail of his game that gives him an advantage (over other players vying for a roster spot.

The Winnipeg Jets season gets underway on October 9th in Phoenix at 9pm CT, listen to the game on TSN 1290 or watch it on TSN 3.

Top excuses for testing positive for PEDs

Major League Baseball suspended San Diego Padres outfielder Cameron Maybin today for testing positive for amphetamines . He quickly issued a statement apologizing for use of the banned substance and said that “he had neglected to follow all the rules” when trying to get clearance to take medication for his ADD.

I joined Andrew “Hustler” Paterson on The Super Lube Warmup on TSN 1290 Winnipeg to discuss the best sports excuses given by athletes after testing positive for PEDs.

The Warmup – Top excuses for testing positive for PEDs