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The curious case of Rasmus Ristolainen: ?


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#1 hockeyhound

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 09:24 AM

I read an article entitled "The curious case of Rasmus Ristolainen" on SabreSpace under The Sabres Report - August 12, 2017.

 

Who is Dom Luszczyszyn? Hockey News?

 

Is this guy serious, or is he just trying to draw attention to himself?

 

I would be interested to know if this article was created as a result of a fair and adequate investigation of all the facts as they relate to Rasmus Ristolainen or if the writer just compiled a stack of analytical data, and shotgunned the rest. 

 

Mr. Luszczyszyn said in his recent article titled, The curious case of Rasmus Ristolainen: "I think that might be one of the big reasons those that watch Ristolainen are enamoured by his play"   Please Dom, don't think, and certainly don't presume to know the minds of the masses.

 

Mr. Luszczyszyn also has come to the conclusion that, "Rasmus Ristolainen is one of the most divisive players in hockey."

 

Wow, Ristolainen is 22 years old, I'm sorry but at 22 years old many young people are just starting to manage the responsibilities of adulthood. I am amazed and applaud Ristolainen for his courage and commitment while representing the Buffalo Sabres Organization. I can only imagine the pressures Rasmus faces day in and day out on his journey as a professional hockey player. Managing expectations, wow. Sometimes there is fine line between success and failure as young people attempt to establish themselves among their senior contemporaries.

 

Finally, Mr. Luszczyszyn finishes his opinion piece by representing Rasmus Ristolainen as the reason for the Buffalo Sabres failure as a team. 

 

"Split the difference and that puts him (Rasmus Ristolainen) probably around the second pairing. By Game Score that’s exactly where he is, too. He’s Buffalo’s top D-man, but on a good team he wouldn’t be and that’s a big reason why Buffalo isn’t a good team."

 

After reading the Hockey News article, I couldn't help but think that Mr. Luszczyszyn article was borderline misrepresentation of Rasmus Ristolainen and his body of work as a young professional hockey player.

 

I hope you have a great season Risto, good luck.

 

Let's Go Buffalo!


Edited by hockeyhound, 12 August 2017 - 09:27 AM.


#2 Eleven

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 09:41 AM

I just read the same piece.  It was a bunch of inconclusive nonsense.



#3 inkman

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 11:09 AM

I'm not going to read the piece but Risto's fancy stats do lead one to ponder. Is there something wrong with the analysis or the player?

#4 SHAAAUGHT!!!

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 11:20 AM

I'm not going to read the piece but Risto's fancy stats do lead one to ponder. Is there something wrong with the analysis or the player?

 

My sentiment exactly, hockey isn't baseball so the moneyball analytics only go so far.  I read the article, and what I took out of the stats is that even though Risto had good individual season, his ceiling is a lot higher on a better team (duh).  I think this article was a fluff piece for diehards by seasoned reporter, or a really good article by an intern.  Either way, it's hockey news in the summertime so I'll take it...



#5 Randall Flagg

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 12:04 PM

I'm not going to read the piece but Risto's fancy stats do lead one to ponder. Is there something wrong with the analysis or the player?

I think it's a little of both - clearly Risto can't handle being a #1D, but also you should spend more time watching the games than looking at the stats, and if you only look at the stats, you shouldn't boldly state your opinions if you don't want to be bitched out.

#6 Doohickie

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 12:27 PM

And it can be argued that Rasmus has yet to play in a real, modern, NHL defensive system.



#7 mudberry

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 01:50 PM

I was under the impression that defensemen hit their prime later than offensemen. If that is the case isn't it a little early to be making judgments on a player who has played 3 full seasons in the league and is 22 years old? It seems that most of the top defensemen in the league are 25 or older with Ekblad being one of the big exceptions. Rasmus seems to be playing good now and has the potential to be very good, 



#8 North Buffalo

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 02:34 PM

Agree it is both him getting used to all those minutes as a relatively young guy. Played in a horrible system and had a few hiccups. I think he plays a few less minutes, gets to use his offensive skills more and has more support. Expect a big step forward. IMO they guy is a talented beast who has only touched the surface of what he can be.

#9 jad1

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 03:11 PM

And it can be argued that Rasmus has yet to play in a real, modern, NHL defensive system.


I think this is it. The article points out that Risto is poor at defending zone entries and making zone exits. It doesn't correlate this to the system the Sabres played last season, but it is in line with much of the analysis posted on the board last season about Bylsma's system.

Edited by jad1, 12 August 2017 - 03:11 PM.


#10 BRAWNDO

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 03:12 PM

It has been mentioned that Risto was told by DD to surrender the blue line on opposing team zone entries, which would explain these numbers. That should change under Housley.

Interestingly Ekholm was one slot below Risto on zone entries, while Ellis was slotted much higher on the chart.

#11 ShadowLiger

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 03:21 PM

When I talk about coaching like a loser, this is one of the things I mean. Bylsma was such garbage.

#12 TrueBlueGED

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 04:06 PM

Risto's metrics at even strength are garbage. I believe there are reasons for this beyond "he's among the worst defensemen in the NHL." There, is however, validity to concerns over where he ultimately slots in on a good team that stem from these numbers. I'd like to think there's a happy medium between "he's garbage" and "he's great, whatch the game losers."

I think most of us are in agreement that he is not a franchise defenseman. His usage, defense partners, and system have also been problematic. All of this contributes to his poor metrics...but that doesn't mean the poor metrics should be dismissed out of hand because we watch him play.

#13 Pokey Jones

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 08:14 PM

Totally agree, especially with North Buffalo. Guy was way too young to have to log the kind of minutes they made him play. Housley will turn him into a superstar, I am sure of it.  



#14 inkman

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 08:45 PM

Risto's metrics at even strength are garbage. I believe there are reasons for this beyond "he's among the worst defensemen in the NHL." There, is however, validity to concerns over where he ultimately slots in on a good team that stem from these numbers. I'd like to think there's a happy medium between "he's garbage" and "he's great, whatch the game losers."

I think most of us are in agreement that he is not a franchise defenseman. His usage, defense partners, and system have also been problematic. All of this contributes to his poor metrics...but that doesn't mean the poor metrics should be dismissed out of hand because we watch him play.

I'm not completely on board with assuming he'd not a franchise D. I want to see him with competent coaching and put in positions to succeed rather than the exact opposite which is all he's received up to this point.

#15 rakish

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 07:38 AM

It will be interesting to see how Risto is used this year. It would be great to have him on the second pair, but who then plays against Crosby or McDavid? At the least he should get less minutes, which would be good. I'm pretty much with ink on this one, I think he'll get better.

 

As for the article, it's terrible. Nashville and Buffalo play different styles, the article has the same problem as the arguments that Lehner is really good because his save percentage is really good, you got to look at some context as to the difficulty of the shots.



#16 Huckleberry

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 08:58 AM

Not to take anything away from McCabe, but I for one am excited to see what a Ristolainen - Scandella pairing can do.

McCabe I felt sometimes was in over his head on the #1 pairing.   I think with Scandella , Ristolainen will get the best partner he has ever had.



#17 Sabres Fan In NS

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 11:05 AM

Not to take anything away from McCabe, but I for one am excited to see what a Ristolainen - Scandella pairing can do.

McCabe I felt sometimes was in over his head on the #1 pairing.   I think with Scandella , Ristolainen will get the best partner he has ever had.

 

I tend to agree with this.  McCabe will be an excellent #3, I believe.

 

And Risto and Scandel are a very good 1A and 1B.  Neither may be a traditional #1, but I believe they will compliment each other nicely.



#18 pi2000

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 12:11 PM

In their current form, Risto and Scandella are a very nice NHL level 2A 2B pairing. IMO the 1A/B pairing isn't on the roster yet. Maybe they grow into 1A/B caliber under Housley's tutelage, but that's a big maybe.

#19 Randall Flagg

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 12:40 PM

In their current form, Risto and Scandella are a very nice NHL level 2A 2B pairing. IMO the 1A/B pairing isn't on the roster yet. Maybe they grow into 1A/B caliber under Housley's tutelage, but that's a big maybe.

I think our best hope at this point is to shoot for the five or six 2nd pairing defenseman model, sorta like we had in 05-06 (I'm not too familiar with the value of those players though, maybe some were 1st pairing level).

 

Scandella and Risto will safely be 2nd pair,  I believe that McCabe's ceiling is a #3, Guhle has a shot at developing there, there's a wildcard in Antipin. Still need to acquire a couple more. 



#20 Sakman

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 01:27 PM

I read an article entitled "The curious case of Rasmus Ristolainen" on SabreSpace under The Sabres Report - August 12, 2017.

 

Who is Dom Luszczyszyn? Hockey News?

 

Is this guy serious, or is he just trying to draw attention to himself?

 

I would be interested to know if this article was created as a result of a fair and adequate investigation of all the facts as they relate to Rasmus Ristolainen or if the writer just compiled a stack of analytical data, and shotgunned the rest. 

 

Mr. Luszczyszyn said in his recent article titled, The curious case of Rasmus Ristolainen: "I think that might be one of the big reasons those that watch Ristolainen are enamoured by his play"   Please Dom, don't think, and certainly don't presume to know the minds of the masses.

 

Mr. Luszczyszyn also has come to the conclusion that, "Rasmus Ristolainen is one of the most divisive players in hockey."

 

Wow, Ristolainen is 22 years old, I'm sorry but at 22 years old many young people are just starting to manage the responsibilities of adulthood. I am amazed and applaud Ristolainen for his courage and commitment while representing the Buffalo Sabres Organization. I can only imagine the pressures Rasmus faces day in and day out on his journey as a professional hockey player. Managing expectations, wow. Sometimes there is fine line between success and failure as young people attempt to establish themselves among their senior contemporaries.

 

Finally, Mr. Luszczyszyn finishes his opinion piece by representing Rasmus Ristolainen as the reason for the Buffalo Sabres failure as a team. 

 

"Split the difference and that puts him (Rasmus Ristolainen) probably around the second pairing. By Game Score that’s exactly where he is, too. He’s Buffalo’s top D-man, but on a good team he wouldn’t be and that’s a big reason why Buffalo isn’t a good team."

 

After reading the Hockey News article, I couldn't help but think that Mr. Luszczyszyn article was borderline misrepresentation of Rasmus Ristolainen and his body of work as a young professional hockey player.

 

I hope you have a great season Risto, good luck.

 

Let's Go Buffalo!

I thought it was a very factually based article, looking at various possible explanations for Risto's poor analytics vs. the eye test which says he's better than that. The author states up front that usually those two view points align. However in this case, they diverge quite significantly. It's interesting to dig around and try to discern why this is the case. It got me thinking, anyway. 

 

Risto is only 22 but has 3.5 seasons of full-time NHL playing experience. It's not unreasonable to assess his performance to date and start to draw conclusions about where he'll end up. The author acknowledges he has room to grow but it's not like we are talking about an 18 or 19 year old who hasn't played in the NHL yet. 

 

In terms of the "borderline misrepresentation" comment, I read it quite differently. If you accept the premise that Risto is a 2nd line D-man playing extreme 1st pairing minutes because he's the best the Sabres have, then in fact that is one of the primary reasons the Sabres were bad last year. It's not a shot at Risto, simply an acknowledgement of the weak talent on the blue line and to some extent how they were coached. I think most people on this board accept that viewpoint so some degree or another so this is not new news. 

 

I want to see how he plays with about 2 minutes less per game and please God no Josh Gorges out there with him. 



#21 pi2000

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 03:17 PM

I thought it was a very factually based article, looking at various possible explanations for Risto's poor analytics vs. the eye test which says he's better than that. The author states up front that usually those two view points align. However in this case, they diverge quite significantly. It's interesting to dig around and try to discern why this is the case. It got me thinking, anyway. 

 

Risto is only 22 but has 3.5 seasons of full-time NHL playing experience. It's not unreasonable to assess his performance to date and start to draw conclusions about where he'll end up. The author acknowledges he has room to grow but it's not like we are talking about an 18 or 19 year old who hasn't played in the NHL yet. 

 

In terms of the "borderline misrepresentation" comment, I read it quite differently. If you accept the premise that Risto is a 2nd line D-man playing extreme 1st pairing minutes because he's the best the Sabres have, then in fact that is one of the primary reasons the Sabres were bad last year. It's not a shot at Risto, simply an acknowledgement of the weak talent on the blue line and to some extent how they were coached. I think most people on this board accept that viewpoint so some degree or another so this is not new news. 

 

I want to see how he plays with about 2 minutes less per game and please God no Josh Gorges out there with him. 

 

Risto quietly logged a +7 TRpm last season, the team was a bit better than average when he was on the ice.... which is obvious, even with his defensive shortcomings, he helped the team in a positive way.    That said, the defense as a whole may be better under Housley, maybe not.... at least, maybe not initially until they learn the system.    Anyway, beating a dead horse here... how many more days until the season starts?



#22 North Buffalo

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 05:30 PM

I thought it was a very factually based article, looking at various possible explanations for Risto's poor analytics vs. the eye test which says he's better than that. The author states up front that usually those two view points align. However in this case, they diverge quite significantly. It's interesting to dig around and try to discern why this is the case. It got me thinking, anyway.

Risto is only 22 but has 3.5 seasons of full-time NHL playing experience. It's not unreasonable to assess his performance to date and start to draw conclusions about where he'll end up. The author acknowledges he has room to grow but it's not like we are talking about an 18 or 19 year old who hasn't played in the NHL yet.

In terms of the "borderline misrepresentation" comment, I read it quite differently. If you accept the premise that Risto is a 2nd line D-man playing extreme 1st pairing minutes because he's the best the Sabres have, then in fact that is one of the primary reasons the Sabres were bad last year. It's not a shot at Risto, simply an acknowledgement of the weak talent on the blue line and to some extent how they were coached. I think most people on this board accept that viewpoint so some degree or another so this is not new news.

I want to see how he plays with about 2 minutes less per game and please God no Josh Gorges out there with him.

See I dont accept the premise he is a no 2, I think he is a number 1, still inexperienced, playing too many minutes in a crap system that dictated he give up the blue line and that is the reason for the somewhat disconnect between the numbers and eye test.

Edited by North Buffalo, 13 August 2017 - 05:31 PM.


#23 Sakman

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 09:21 PM

See I dont accept the premise he is a no 2, I think he is a number 1, still inexperienced, playing too many minutes in a crap system that dictated he give up the blue line and that is the reason for the somewhat disconnect between the numbers and eye test.

Yes, my phrasing was poor as usual. I meant it's widely accepted around here that the Sabres Blue line really sucked last year as a unit. The point about whether Risto is a 1st or 2nd pairing guy is much more debatable...I was just following along with the point the author made. 

 

Hockey cannot start soon enough. 



#24 ShadowLiger

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 08:10 AM

Once I see Rasmus with a real coach, then I will let ppl know if I think he is a top paring defender. 



#25 hsif

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 08:30 AM

Hockey cannot start soon enough. 

 

Prospects Challenge September 8 - 11. 

Hey..... It's something......



#26 hockeyhound

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 08:43 AM

I thought it was a very factually based article, looking at various possible explanations for Risto's poor analytics vs. the eye test which says he's better than that. The author states up front that usually those two view points align. However in this case, they diverge quite significantly. It's interesting to dig around and try to discern why this is the case. It got me thinking, anyway. 

 

Risto is only 22 but has 3.5 seasons of full-time NHL playing experience. It's not unreasonable to assess his performance to date and start to draw conclusions about where he'll end up. The author acknowledges he has room to grow but it's not like we are talking about an 18 or 19 year old who hasn't played in the NHL yet. 

 

In terms of the "borderline misrepresentation" comment, I read it quite differently. If you accept the premise that Risto is a 2nd line D-man playing extreme 1st pairing minutes because he's the best the Sabres have, then in fact that is one of the primary reasons the Sabres were bad last year. It's not a shot at Risto, simply an acknowledgement of the weak talent on the blue line and to some extent how they were coached. I think most people on this board accept that viewpoint so some degree or another so this is not new news. 

 

I want to see how he plays with about 2 minutes less per game and please God no Josh Gorges out there with him. 

 

 

I'd have to respectfully disagree with the assertion that the article was “very factual”.

 

Firstly, "One of the most divisive players in hockey", OK I get it, you needed a hook and an opening line; however, I'm sorry I don't buy it. Go head, and drop Risto's name into the search bar, and I'm fairly certain the only divisive rhetoric you will find as a result has been created by Mr. Luszczyszyn. Hockey fans around the world are not having polarizing arguments about Ristolainen's performance or the lack thereof. A poll of 2,999 people certainly doesn't prove that Rasmus Ristolainen is one of the most divisive players in hockey, and the comment section at the bottom of his article or posts within this topic page won't support Mr. Luszczyszyn allegations either.

 

I'm surprised what passes for factual and accurate.

 

Mr. Luszczyszyn presents a poll which he admits is biased and non-scientific, so one cannot enter that into evidence.

 

Next, there is a Corsi graph, why is it there? I don’t know. Mr. Luszczyszyn certainly didn’t take the time to explain it, so at best its there to make the article look profound or “fascinating”, as one commenter states.

 

So that leaves us with, “One of the big findings”, “The man that tracked the zone entries”. We don’t know this man’s qualifications as a statistician but, we do know that the stats presented are incomplete, and that he was back at it again. The fact that he was back at it again should count for something right.

 

So what does that leave us with?

 

Biased polling data, an undefined graph, and incomplete statistical analysis.

 

Now the question I have is, “Where’s the Beef?” In my opinion, Mr. Luszczyszyn attempted to baffle us with bullshi*, and pass his body of work off as a factual and accurate analysis of Rasmus Ristolainen’s performance as a professional hockey player.

 

My suggestion is to leave the analysis up to the professionals, and maybe try drinking beer and watching hockey with the rest of us. That’s just my opinion.

Finally, Mr. Luszczyszyn made one factual comment in his final statement, “Sabres fans may not like it…”

 

Let’s Go Buffalo!


Edited by hockeyhound, 14 August 2017 - 08:45 AM.


#27 SwampD

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 09:50 AM

I'd have to respectfully disagree with the assertion that the article was “very factual”.

 

Firstly, "One of the most divisive players in hockey", OK I get it, you needed a hook and an opening line; however, I'm sorry I don't buy it. Go head, and drop Risto's name into the search bar, and I'm fairly certain the only divisive rhetoric you will find as a result has been created by Mr. Luszczyszyn. Hockey fans around the world are not having polarizing arguments about Ristolainen's performance or the lack thereof. A poll of 2,999 people certainly doesn't prove that Rasmus Ristolainen is one of the most divisive players in hockey, and the comment section at the bottom of his article or posts within this topic page won't support Mr. Luszczyszyn allegations either.

 

I'm surprised what passes for factual and accurate.

 

Mr. Luszczyszyn presents a poll which he admits is biased and non-scientific, so one cannot enter that into evidence.

 

Next, there is a Corsi graph, why is it there? I don’t know. Mr. Luszczyszyn certainly didn’t take the time to explain it, so at best its there to make the article look profound or “fascinating”, as one commenter states.

 

So that leaves us with, “One of the big findings”, “The man that tracked the zone entries”. We don’t know this man’s qualifications as a statistician but, we do know that the stats presented are incomplete, and that he was back at it again. The fact that he was back at it again should count for something right.

 

So what does that leave us with?

 

Biased polling data, an undefined graph, and incomplete statistical analysis.

 

Now the question I have is, “Where’s the Beef?” In my opinion, Mr. Luszczyszyn attempted to baffle us with bullshi*, and pass his body of work off as a factual and accurate analysis of Rasmus Ristolainen’s performance as a professional hockey player.

 

My suggestion is to leave the analysis up to the professionals, and maybe try drinking beer and watching hockey with the rest of us. That’s just my opinion.

Finally, Mr. Luszczyszyn made one factual comment in his final statement, “Sabres fans may not like it…”

 

Let’s Go Buffalo!

You left out the next line, though. "At least, among those two groups from above [the numbers vs. the eye test folk]." I don't think out of line. Whenever he is being discussed on either NHLN or NBCSN, the first thing an analyst brings up is how his numbers don't match the eye.

 

I have no problem with the article. I personally don't think most defenders become who they are until about 25 or 26 anyway.



#28 ShadowLiger

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 10:16 AM

I can't figure out why Risto doesn't pass the numbers test but does the eye test. He is like reverse Pysyk. My only conclusion is that he is good in a bunch of situations but in a few others utterly bad. I also think that his playing good has been hampered by system and teammates. Last year we really only had 2 good lines. He's going to be 22 this season, I think it is the season to see what he really is. A really good 2nd pairing guy or a mediocre 1st pairing guy. All I know is he is better than every other defender in his draft class not named Jones.


Edited by ShadowLiger, 14 August 2017 - 10:17 AM.


#29 Sakman

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 01:18 PM

 

Next, there is a Corsi graph, why is it there? I don’t know. Mr. Luszczyszyn certainly didn’t take the time to explain it

 

 

 

I think the Corsi graph is the crux of the discussion. The author mistakenly assumes that his readers understand it and it's implications. Knowledge is contextual. In this case, apparently, you don't get it. Hence I can understand why you don't like the article. 



#30 Lanny

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 01:44 PM

I can't figure out why Risto doesn't pass the numbers test but does the eye test. He is like reverse Pysyk. My only conclusion is that he is good in a bunch of situations but in a few others utterly bad. I also think that his playing good has been hampered by system and teammates. Last year we really only had 2 good lines. He's going to be 22 this season, I think it is the season to see what he really is. A really good 2nd pairing guy or a mediocre 1st pairing guy. All I know is he is better than every other defender in his draft class not named Jones.

I think usage is his issue, he plays the most minutes against the toughest competition with the lowest offensive zone deployment on the team. 



#31 Thorny

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 04:13 PM

I remember when the Hockey News was a credible source for hockey info. Those were the days.

#32 SabresFanInRochester

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 09:12 PM

I'm not completely on board with assuming he'd not a franchise D. I want to see him with competent coaching and put in positions to succeed rather than the exact opposite which is all he's received up to this point.

 

 

See I dont accept the premise he is a no 2, I think he is a number 1, still inexperienced, playing too many minutes in a crap system that dictated he give up the blue line and that is the reason for the somewhat disconnect between the numbers and eye test.

 

Count me in, too. I am excited to see how he steps up this year under a new coach, and how much defensive pressure is taken off of him by (what I will call) more competent defensemen compared to last season.



#33 hockeyhound

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 10:23 PM

I think the Corsi graph is the crux of the discussion. The author mistakenly assumes that his readers understand it and it's implications. Knowledge is contextual. In this case, apparently, you don't get it. Hence I can understand why you don't like the article. 

 

As I so stated before, Mr. Luszczyszyn said at the end of his article, “Sabres fans may not like it…”

 

Is it to much to ask a writer who represents a well known periodical to try a little harder especially if he/she is going to boldly state his/her opinions.

 

Understanding Advanced Hockey Statistics  e.g. Corsi or Fenwick Numbers: I'm sure some of the more dedicated fans can take the raw data and make observations that are directly related to the hypothesis they're considering; however, in my opinion, there is something to be said about the accuracy and efficiency of data interpretation, especially for those who publish their findings, and are seeking to attract a more diverse audience. 

 

There is ability and luck, how do measure luck, sophomore slumps, poor coaching, and long term lingering injuries into the stats? So many variables. If Rasmus Ristolainen is to be judged, how can you truly judge him if you don't have all the facts? 

 

Recently I had the opportunity to see the movie "Trouble with a Curve" starring Clint Eastwood who plays an aging baseball scout. Eastwood's character Gus has disdain for computer scouting while the protagonists lives and dies by computer statistics and thinks first-hand observation is a relic of the past. Great Flix

 

Let's Go Buffalo!



#34 Doohickie

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 04:37 PM

I don't care if he's the 123rd ranked Dman in the NHL statistically, as long as the Sabres win.