Small Sample Sizes and the Rangers

by Ryan

The headline says it all, really.

Well okay, maybe that girl’s eyes say it a lot more than the headline. Seriously Todd, hit up dem digets. She’s digging the man-beard and your violent tendencies.

Anyway, that gist of that story is that Todd Bertuzzi was worth the risk his almost $2 million contract is for. That’s quite a statement just three games in, especially about a player who was a complete bust for two teams (Florida and Detroit), and only a moderate success for Anaheim. Sure, three goals in three games is pretty good (better than some superstars, at least), but how much can you really say about one team in 180 minutes of hockey, let alone one player?

It is this kind of instant history that the beginning of the season creates. I don’t blame NHL.com for doing it, it’s sort of their job to make something out of nothing. However, the important thing for us to do is not get caught up into that hype. Sure, Vanek has three goals in two games as well, but no one is saying his play is going to stay that way. He will taper off, his game will lag at times, and like the rookie batting .800 through four five trips to the plate, so too will a hockey player’s numbers even out.

This small sample size is why fantasy teams shouldn’t be torn apart after the first week, and why coaches deal with struggling players in tough stretches. Just because a player isn’t slumping to start the year doesn’t mean that rough patch won’t come, and patience is necessary for bad starts just as much as it is necessary for good ones.

With that in mind we turn our attention to the Rangers, who by all accounts are having a very good start. I think it is important to note that two wins are against a consensus “bad team” (Tampa), two “struggling teams”(Flyers and Blackhawks), and one perennial playoff team (Devils). No easy stretch for sure, but just something to note. That doesn’t mean they haven’t been tested, as traveling across the country to start a season isn’t exactly a positive thing.

It will be an interesting game to be sure, but I don’t know how much we can add to the discussion by speculating this early on. The Rangers right now are considered the best team in hockey, and I don’t doubt that. However, as many question marks that have been offered about the Sabres have thus far been answered soundly. Yet another small sample size, but a positive outcome for sure.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that no matter what we think we know, the truth is that the only thing we know is that we don’t know much. All we can do is get excited about the match up, look for positive signs, and hope for the best.

The Rangers are undefeated. So are the Sharks, Wild, Canadians, and Sabres. So is Phoenix. Then again, Ottawa had the best start anyone alive had ever seen last year, and they were the victims come postseason. We all know what became of the Sabres’ 10-0 start. Right now there are too many questions going around and not enough answers.

I’m pretty excited about finding those answers, though.

6 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Not to get all math geek on you, but I don’t think you can bat .800 with only 4 plate appearances.

  2. Jonathan Grant Keller

    Can I reserve for matthew ellis in the Most Irrelevant Sabre – 2013 edition?

    Unless you think the Ellis Trellis will replace the Goose’s Roost…but I’m not one to argue.

  3. Ryan

    Anon,

    Right you are. You would think based on the other posts I’ve done I would double check that. Thank you.

    Keller,

    Indeed you can. We will be up and running with a new series shortly, so keep that vote handy.

  4. Jonathan Grant Keller

    Here’s hoping to a gang of hot chicks setting up The Ellis Trellis next to the Roost.

  5. dani

    Well okay, maybe that girl’s eyes say it a lot more than the headline. Seriously Todd, hit up dem digets. She’s digging the man-beard and your violent tendencies.

    You mean the one in the upper right that’s crying?

  6. Ryan

    I was thinking middle left. Upper right is just crying because she gave birth to that