Friday, January 04, 2002

Game Misconduct: The Worlds Is Not Enough?: Tony Bryson of Hockey's Future looks at the Canadian roster for the WJC and sees many hopes and dreams, some flailing but some flying.
Rethinking magic numbers for sports leagues: Whether their team is going to top the league is something every sports fan wants to know. But according to mathematicians, the traditional "magic number" calculation is not accurate. Now two computer scientists at the University of California, Davis, have come up with a new way to work out "magic numbers." The same method can apply to other sports leagues such as hockey and European soccer.

Working out the "magic" or elimination number (the number of games a team has to win to avoid elimination) is a classic problem taught to computer science students, said Dan Gusfield, chair of computer science at UC Davis.

Sports fans usually make a simple calculation of the number of games their team has left to play, compared to the win-loss difference with their nearest rival, to come up with the number of wins needed to top the league. This calculation is too simple, said Gusfield. It does not take into account that if the other team loses a game to a third team, the third team gains points.

"You have to look at all the teams and all the possible future games, and work out a scenario for the team you're interested in," Gusfield said. UC Berkeley computer scientists run a Web site that calculates these numbers and provides examples.

Thursday, January 03, 2002

Canada to Face Russia: After beating Switzerland 4-0 yesterday, the Canadian World Junior team will meet Russia (which defeated Finland 2-1 in overtime in the other semi-final) in the Final on Friday.

How to fix Olympic hockey:
Why should tie games involving NHL players be determined by shootouts, that bizarre, decidedly Euro way of looking at sport adopted from soccer? Why should a team game be decided by individuals? You can see a pro league using shootouts during their regular season to provide entertainment for their season ticket holders and regular TV viewers. But determining the world champion with such a concept is goofy. Players may as well sit down at centre ice and play a rousing game of dominoes for all the relevance a shootout has to hockey. As well as all the economic considerations, the NHL should link its participation in future Olympics to changing the tie-breaking formula. If they decide to play in Europe in the future, fair enough. The tie-breaking system should remain Euro. But, when the games come to North America and NHL players are going to be playing the high profile games, the tie-breaking formula should be North American. And let the record show this was scribbled before Canada or the U.S. loses anything in next month's games. (Vancouver Province)

Turning to youth: Some general managers and coaches in the NHL would rather be dragged around a rink by a Zamboni than give a rookie or young player a regular lineup spot. Hawks general manager Mike Smith isn't one of them. "It mystifies me why some teams are hesitant to bring young players onto their team," Smith said. "They bring enthusiasm and they excite the fans." ... As much as the career years being enjoyed by Eric Daze and Alex Zhamnov and the addition of Jon Klemm have helped return the Hawks to respectability, so has the play of rookie Mark Bell and fellow youngster Kyle Calder. (Chicago Tribune)

Canadian help in the war on terrorism: The Canadians are finally going to help America with the war on terrorism!

They have pledged 2 of their biggest battleships, 600 ground troops and 6 fighter jets.

After the American exchange rate we ended up with 2 mounties, 1 canoe and a flying squirrel.

Jury to hear sports rage death case: A hockey dad faces 20 years in prison if convicted of beating another man to death in a Massachusetts sports-rage case that drew national attention as a symbol of parents who are overly emotional about organized youth sports. (UPI)

Wednesday, January 02, 2002

Sutherby, Ott pound to the net: Steve Ott broke away, drove the net, and Sutherby potted the rebound to give Team Canada a three goal lead! (Did I mention I was listening to this game on the Fan590?)
Cam-cam! Mike Camalleri scores to make it 2-0 in the first period for Canada in the semi-final game against Switzerland. Huzzah!