NCHC shot results


Watching UNO hockey get manhandled for two consecutive games in St. Cloud this weekend, I couldn’t help but notice how few quality scoring chances the team was able to put together. On the flip side, the Huskies seemed to have a high-probability chance every minute or so. Both teams have played difficult schedules, yet the Mavericks have won many more games that St. Cloud. Meanwhile, on the stat sheet, UNO has much higher season shot and save percentages than St. Cloud, although SCSU’s possession is clearly better than UNO.

So… what’s going on? Is it just luck? Is UNO slumping and SCSU streaking? Is youth finally catching up to UNO and experience paying off for SCSU?

To answer these questions, I took a look at all shots taken this season by every NCHC team. Thanks to College Hockey News, I can now do that for multiple situations (5v5 and power play), and I can also see results of each shot.

There are some interesting observations to be made from looking at shot results. The chart below lists each team’s shot results as a percentage of the total shots they take:

 Shot results – All Shots

Team Blocked Wide Hit Post Saved Goal Total % on Goal
St. Cloud 19.6% (315) 23.2% (372) 1.0% (16) 50.9% (817) 5.2% (84) 1604 56.2%
Colorado College 24.1% (335) 19.4% (270) 0.9% (12) 47.8% (715) 4.1% (57) 1389 55.6%
Miami 22.9% (417) 21.1% (384) 1.3% (24) 50.1% (912) 4.6% (83) 1820 54.7%
North Dakota 24.5% (442) 20.0% (362) 1.2% (21) 48.7% (880) 5.7% (103) 1808 54.4%
Minnesota-Duluth 22.6% (435) 22.5% (434) 1.2% (23) 48.9% (943) 4.8% (93) 1928 53.7%
Western Michigan 23.4% (357) 22.4% (342) 0.6% (9) 48.5% (742) 5.2% (79) 1529 53.7%
Denver 23.7% (400) 21.8% (368) 1.4% (24) 47.8% (807) 5.3% (89) 1688 53.1%
Omaha 24.7% (372) 22.5% (339) 1.2% (18) 46.0% (693) 5.7% (86) 1508 51.7%

First, some minor details. More of Omaha’s shots get blocked than any other NCHC team. Meanwhile, St. Cloud has the fewest amount of shots blocked. However, UNO and North Dakota lead the league in percentage of shots that result in goals. The problem for Omaha is that they take fewer shots than anyone in the league save for Colorado College. And, if you add goals plus shots saved, to count all shots that make it on net, UNO is dead last with 51.7%. Who’s first? St. Cloud, with 56.2%. Even the hapless Colorado College Tigers get 55.6% of their shots on net.

So, let’s isolate even strength vs. power play situations.

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NCHC Fridays and Saturdays


Denver has thrived on Friday nights this season. North Dakota likes Saturdays. 

A couple of weeks ago I looked at home vs. away performance for the eight NCHC teams. With four weekends left, each team has two home and two away series (with the exception of Denver and Colorado College, who have a home-and-home). So before the action starts, let’s take a look at the other piece of the puzzle – Friday vs. Saturday night.

I didn’t expect as big a Friday-Saturday difference in performance as we saw in home-away performance, but as it turns out, a few teams really do seem to have a preference.

Let’s dive in, shall we? I’ll update the home/away and add the Friday/Saturday, all stats as of February 12:

hlogo-CC  Colorado College

Situation Goals For Goals A. Shots For Shots A. Shot% Save% Poss% Points Remaining
Home 10 33 183 220 5.46% 85.00% 45.4% 0.0 5
Away 11 36 203 320 5.42% 88.75% 38.8% 0.3 3
Friday 12 35 229 295 5.24% 88.14% 43.7% 1.1 4
Saturday 9 34 157 245 5.73% 86.12% 39.1% 0.0 4

Whatever advantage the Tigers looked like they might have from a 6-game home stretch was quickly deflated by three straight losses with a combined score of 2-18. Not to pile on, but neither Friday nor Saturday nights look particularly good for CC either.

The predictive model suggest CC might see a sliver of luck Friday nights on the road. Do they have any of those left? Oh yeah, they do – against Omaha, the only NCHC team they’ve beat this season. So watch out, Omaha.


hlogo_DEN  Denver 

Situation Goals For Goals A. Shots For Shots A. Shot% Save% Poss% Points Remaining
Home 33 23 297 258 11.11% 91.09% 53.5% 24.8  3
Away 15 18 193 221 7.77% 91.86% 46.6% 14.3  5
Friday 36 16 265 257 13.58% 93.77% 50.8% 32.8 4
Saturday 12 25 225 222 5.33% 88.74% 50.3% 6.1 4

When we last looked, Denver was showing signs of stronger performance at home. That’s still true, and that’s bad news for Denver, because they only have three home games left. They’ve played well but haven’t exactly lit the world on fire, so the odds are still stacked against them in getting home ice. For some reason their possession drops a ton on the road – bad news for anyone.

Oddly, Denver is showing a very strong preference for Friday games – they’ve only lost one this entire season. If they can continue that success rate, they might have a chance. But they’ll have to do it on the road against North Dakota starting this weekend. And according to the data, their shooting percentage drops by more than half on Saturdays. Ouch.

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The Smoke-Filled Chatroom


Journalism is dead. Why? Because old media were stubborn and did not adjust to a new world of smart phones and social media. Or so the prevailing thought goes.

Robert McChesney’s “Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy” offers another theory, though, one I believe should be discussed and dissected in every journalism school in the United States.

Those who aspire to be journalists need to know and understand the information and arguments in “Digital Disconnect,” because it gives a brutally honest description of today’s “political economy of communication,” and how the demise of good investigative reporting is contributing to a rise in economic inequality.

The book is primarily about how the promise of the Internet – open, untethered, democratic, free of advertising – has been co-opted by two groups of massive conglomerates – telecoms (Verizon, Comcast, AT&T, etc.) tussling over the right to control access, and massive new media companies (Google, Apple, Facebook, etc.) fighting over your data – all to maximize profit. As Jaron Lanier writes, those who owns the most distribution channels and data own the future.

At its heart, however, McChesney’s book tackles the death and future of American journalism. National news organizations are now almost entirely owned by one of six media corporations (who also often own telecom networks), and they design their product to get maximum pageviews or ad clicks through one of the massive social media networks. In other words, the news has fundamentally changed thanks to a squeeze for profits from both ends. The wall between ownership and newsrooms were long destroyed, and terms like “sponsored content” try to disguise the fact that most “news” is now no more than regurgitated press releases.

All of this means journalism is spending less time putting pressure on those who control resources and power in society. This includes their own ownership, actively rewriting laws and regulations to further monopoly control over public means of communication. As a result, these companies, along with the American government, now know nearly anything they want about you, while you are allowed to know as little as possible about them. Primarily, “Digital Disconnect” is an account of corporate and state collusion to increase profits and power at the expense of privacy, choice, dissent and the democratic process. And professional journalism has rolled over and played along.

The Internet has been detrimental to news media, because it has destroyed ad revenues. Journalism struggles to remain afloat. But this was always the case – real journalism has always been a thorn in the side of power, and thus always under attack. Intimidation via digital communication is just the latest tool to render reporting and investigation harmless.

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The Top 10 Cities Who Will Click On This Because I Listed Them

Which American cities are the most likely to give me pageviews because I put them on this list? You won’t believe which city is #1!

10. Kalamazoo, MI


Just enough people will click on this article to put this birthplace of kazoos in the top ten!

9. Austin, TX


Wouldn’t be clickbait without Austin – home of the Texas A&M Aggies, the Alamo, and grunge music!

8. St. Paul, MN


Suck it, Minneapolis!

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Milton Friedman’s Radical Idea


The American public policy discussion is currently abuzz about economic inequality. French economist Thomas Piketty doused gasoline on the discussion with his work Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century. Last month, President Barack Obama dared Congress to combat inequality in a forceful State of the Union Address, and his budget proposal this week walks the walk. Even conservatives like Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney have recently discussed policy solutions to shrink the gap between the ultra-wealthy and the middle class – a surprising pivot from just a few years ago.

A wide array of policy proposals claim to tackle the problem, but at its core, the solution will require that Americans get more money in the hands of those that don’t currently have it. In other words, we’ll need to ensure that everyone in the United States has a basic level of income to feed, shelter and medically care for themselves. The policy, Voxplained:

Basic income is not a radical socialist idea – it’s a solidly conservative one, designed by the intellectual architect of conservative economics and the messiah of a free-market society – Nobel-prize winning University of Chicago professor Milton Friedman. He was a proponent of school vouchers, financial deregulation, and dismantling Keynesian programs of the New Deal (which, for the record, I am not). However, he was also a proponent of social welfare.

In Capitalism and Freedom (1962), Friedman proposed a solution to the inherent threat of income inequality in capitalism. He called this solution a negative income tax – a tax-funded subsistence payment to any individual who made less than required to live in America. Here I’ve included the entire chapter on the subject, just in case you don’t believe me that this idea came from a staunch conservative:

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