The Silly Debate
My wife was watching 'Moneyball' on TV a couple weeks back. I love that flick and loved the book. And, to be honest, I was just happy she wasn't watching a show about little people, amish, chefs or fat southerners.
But it just so happened that I noticed it was on during the amazing scene with Billy Beane (Pitt) and the make believe Paul DePodesta character (Jonah Hill) sitting in the meeting room with the scouts explaining to them the importance of - yes, this was not that long ago - "getting on base". OBP, on-base percentage. It's so funny to watch that scene now that OBP is so mainstream and a large part of all MLB analysis.
This same thing will - hell, IS happening with hockey. In fact, that scene takes place every day on twitter and on the radio. It's an around-the-clock argument that shouldn't even exist.
Any time a collection of data is offering you a way to further your analysis - especially if, say, you're paid to "analyze" - then said data should prove invaluable to allowing yourself to provide more of an in-depth look into a player/team/organization.
Or, in short, said data should make you better at your job.
Instead, it's ridiculed. Well, those who don't "believe" in "advanced" stats are either not very smart, stubborn or both. They are not the be all end all but they are incredibly valuable and I promise you many of your favorite teams are using them and just not telling you.
I blame the names for the hatred. Corsi, Fenwick, PDO etc. If, for example, Corsi was called what it actually is, total shots attempted differential, and tracked on NHL.com, like it should be, then EVERYONE would be referencing it. You just can't argue with the correlation between these numbers and actual performance of teams over the long haul.
Back to those who are paid to analyze. I'll just point to one person. Elliotte Friedman. The best hockey journalist out there, uses these "advanced" statistics shouldn't you too? (also, they're not advanced any more than +/- is advanced, it's a simple calculation)
Other so-called "advanced" analysis like Zone Starts and Quality of Competition/Linemates are already leaking into the mainstream and this is only going to continue until suddenly it's actually mainstream and then the MSM can come out of hiding without having to be afraid they're letting down their collective industry.
I don't consider these things advanced and I wouldn't consider myself a guru on the subject or anything like that. But, I'm able to look at it objectively and see a collection of data that can help me develop better thoughts and provide better analysis. To me, it's common sense. There's nothing to "believe" in. Just a series of numbers that help tell the tale.
So, all you "non-believers"... Just watch Moneyball. Watch the scene I referenced. haha look how foolish those SCOUTS look! Isn't that funny! And, Hans Zimmer just nails the score doesn't he? Really sets the mood. Isn't that just a lovable scene :) ...
So, enough with the debate. There isn't one.
The Regression of the Chosen One
Sean Monahan, ever so predictably, has fallen to a pace much more telling of his skill set and expected production given that he's a 19 year old rookie.
Fantastic prospect. Number 1 prospect in the system. All of this remains true.
But, what also remains true is that he should have been sent back to Junior - or, at the very least, sent to the WJC and then to Junior.
He started blistering hot. 9 pts in 9 GP. 6 goals. Playing lots of minutes, holding his own. Two of the games he was even well-above water in terms of "total shot attempt differential".
Since then. Well, he's been more of the rookie that we all expect, toiling away on a lottery team.
4G, 7PTS in 19GP. And, he's getting killed in terms of possession. In the first 9 games, he was one of the team's leaders in even strength RelCorsi (sorry I don't have a sarcastic name for that) but now, appears near the bottom of the list. He's going down, down, down. This is with the most advantageous deployment of all the forwards, save for maybe Sven Baertschi.
I'm a big fan of Sean Monahan and yes, I'd much rather see him in the lineup than Blair Jones or Paul Byron or Ben Street but in terms of his development I still believe the Flames did, and continue to, make a mistake with him. Admit it and prepare for next year. Last year when I watched Monahan at all of the Red/White WJ tryouts he was way behind the curve and looked completely out of place. Am I to believe that he went from that to a regular NHL top 6 forward in a year? It's possible but unlikely. I'm not even sure at this point that he's making the Flames a completely better team and certainly not to the point that it's worth him staying in Calgary with Bob Hartley.
But, again, at least his ice time seems to be staying steadily above 14 minutes per night, so there's that.
Just continue to adjust your expectations for the young lad. He's a big part of this team's FUTURE.