BBG&CS: Abney & the Fall of Rome, Advanced Stats, Salary Cap going UP, Refs, Swedish Goalies, and is this IKEA or a Swedish Hockey Player?

Cameron Abney Takes on The World!!! (courtesy of the Bakersfield Condors) — For old movie buffs, Abney has always reminded me a bit of Victor Mature (in Samson and Delilah, 1949) — a man with a strong jaw, incredibly cheesy, but also impressive at times. On the other hand, this particular photo reminds me of Thomas Cole’s painting The Course of Empire: Destruction, 1836, which portrayed the destruction of the Roman Empire.

| Jonathan Willis takes us on a tour of the world of advanced stats and discusses the role of chance — “Every team’s record is a combination of true talent level and chance.”

“The best way to predict the future record is to, as much as possible, remove chance from the equation. This is what “advanced” statistics attempt to do. They provide unbiased fact, though of course there remains room for bias in interpretation. They provide better information than the outmoded numbers that too many still rely on. And, most importantly, they try to reduce the noise and isolate the true talent levels of teams and players. That’s why those numbers are important, not only for analysts but also for fans; they provide good information and can enhance understanding of the game.” — via Jonathan Willis at Bleacher Report.

| With the increase in revenue from the recent Canadian TV deals, the NHL salary cap is going UP!

“The NHL salary cap is projected to rise to more than $71 million in the 2014-15 season, TSN’s Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger reported Monday. […] The projection would be about a $7 million rise from 2013-14 level of $64.3 million. It would also be the highest salary-cap level in NHL history.” — via Sports Illustrated SI Wire. See also: Stephen Whyno, The Canadian Press.

| Here is a former NHL referee’s take on Shawn Thornton. If you have not read Paul Stewart’s blog, check it out occasionally. It’s well worth the read for a former NHL referee’s viewpoint:

“My take on this: Thornton went after the wrong guy for the wrong thing.” — via Paul Stewart, HockeyBuzz.

| James Mirtle explores the decline of Canadian goalies and visits Sweden to investigate how they are doing it better:

“Canadian goalies, long the dominant stoppers in the game, have slowly been disappearing from the NHL, losing jobs to their European and American counterparts. And with the 2014 Winter Olympics fast approaching, the country that produced such superstars as Patrick Roy, Martin Brodeur and Ed Belfour now frets over who will mind its net in Sochi.” — via James Mirtle, The Globe and Mail.

| Is this a piece of IKEA furniture, or a Swedish Hockey Player? You take the test!

“[…] many of the items I saw in [IKEA] reminded me of Swedish hockey player names…. I’ve put together the below quiz, asking you to differentiate between professional Swedish hockey players and IKEA furniture.” — via Sam Page, Extra Mustard.

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– You know that place in The Daily Oklahoman? The one between Big Game & Club Soccer? That’s where you may find some Barons coverage. For the rest of the news, check out BBG&CS every weekend. –