The shootout is just a lottery, Toronto is the league's luckiest team, New Jersey has the highest shot quality, and the league's most valuable goalie for the third year running is Tomas Vokoun - those are just a few of the fascinating insights explained in the 7th edition of Alan Ryder's Player Contributions annual.
Every year I eagerly anticipate the release of Alan Ryder’s analysis, and with very good reason. When most sports journalists say something - for example that Jay Bouwmeester is a great defenseman - why should we believe them? Have they played alongside Bouwmeester? Have they coached him, or professionally scouted him over several seasons and hundreds of games? Generally the answer is no, so I struggle to understand why their opinion is worth more than some random guy sitting next to me in a sweaty Oilers jersey.
By contrast, when Alan Ryder asserts that Jay Bouwmeester is the most overhyped defenseman in the NHL, even more so than Zdeno Chara, he's basing that on objective analysis. These aren't opinions, they're conclusions based on an interpretation of the facts, making his insights far more reliable. Let's take a look at what insights Ryder has found for us this year, after a quick recap of PC.
What is PC?