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Drunk or sober during a championship, how to know and trust?

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Most of you have heard or maybe even know more deeply about hockey players who have been partying before and after the games so much that they could hardly manage themselves.  Or have been trashing hotels, restaurants or whatever has come in their way.

So have I also, too many times sadly and I don’t think it is cool at all.

And, I haven’t heard only about hockey players, but certainly also about renowned football players who have smelled like a brewery when they entered the pitch and had difficulties hitting the ball.

Probably this has also been a thing that has been seen as normal in many other sports, or where there has been no reflection at all about the use of alcohol and the conduct that follows.

When the former player Jere Karalahti pretty much brags for the Finnish media Ilta-Sanomat, the link to the article https://www.is.fi/mmkiekko/art-2000005397544.html, about how he and some others during the World championship in St. Petersburg painted the town red and drank all the time, I don’t know what to believe anymore.

My first spontaneous thought was that he and those who drank ruined the Finnish chances totally to achieve a possible gold medal.

Finland won the bronze medal after all, after defeating Canada, but that’s not the point that they did achieve a medal.

My following thought:

>>>How the hell was it possible at that time when most players were full-professional, not amateurs, that they could keep drinking that much during a significant tournament?

The head coach Hannu Aravirta had to lie to the media about why Jere Karalahti was out of the games, but in the article, he reveals that the main cause was that he had partied.

When team Finland went home from St. Petersburg by bus, Jere Karalahti said that he bought Vodka and beer for him and his teammates, and they all basically trashed the bus totally.

First of all, we are all grown-ups and can make our own choices, but Jere Karalahti’s choice to drink and celebrate during the whole tournament was nothing else but a pure childish act.

No thought about the team at all, not for a second, or the goals the team aimed for, only an act of self-interest.

I did some asking around a year ago among eminent hockey writers about what they have heard about nowadays when I wrote about Marko Jantunen http://sportsrants.com/nhl-hockey/deep-talk-young-prospects-drugs/ but all the answers I got were that they haven’t heard anything basically about the use of alcohol or drugs.

But, we shall not be too naïve either and think that this issue doesn’t exist.

Another thought that followed after reading, beyond the little eureka moment that occurred in my mind about why Finland didn’t achieve a gold that St. Petersburg tournament:

How can we really trust that the players are sober enough to give themselves and the fans justice on the ice without thinking that they might, after all, be drunk or at least be suffering from a harsh hangover?

Especially when a team that was supposed to be a bit better has big issues to beat the other team.

Moreover, it is weak leadership as well to not be able to make clear the rules of how to behave during a tournament, and it is definitely immature by the players if they can’t stay away from drinking during 2-3 weeks.

And, if they just can’t do that, then they have actually far bigger issues than just losing the games because they were drunk, and should call for aid before it is too late.

In general, I think that this is a subject that we have to bring to the light as often as possible, because we apparently have problems with alcohol and drugs in the society as a whole, and hockey players or any other athletes are unfortunately no exceptions from that problem as we’ve seen.

However, we all must be brave enough to take the step and talk about this, even for those who don’t want to hear or/and discount it as “nothing”, “boys will be boys”, “blah, blah, blah”.

I have now come to the end of the road with this text, but I end with a great quotation from a music star most of us know very well, that might describe Karalahti and many other players who do not care a bit about their teammates because they choose to drink instead before and after the games:

There’s not an alcoholic in the world who wants to be told what to do. Alcoholics are sometimes described as egomaniacs with inferiority complexes. Or, to be cruder, a piece of shit that the universe revolves around.

-Anthony Kiedis

 

Notable:

Another source from the Finnish Media where the coach Aravirta confess that the alcohol had a too big role in the tournament in St. Petersburg 2000. The source is in Finnish, therefore I recommend you to use the rough google translation

https://www.mtv.fi/sport/jaakiekko/leijonat/artikkeli/hannu-aravirta-pietarin-mm-kisoissa-alkoholi-oli-liian-isossa-roolissa/4935072#gs.fL4F31M

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arto Palovaara, Sunday Chronicler for Sports Rants Europe. Previously, he contributed for the betting company Betsafe, Svenska fans, Get real hockey and Ice nation UK. He is also an educated archaeologist and life coach who loves literature and history. Not to forget: probably he is the only sportswriter that plays the banjo.

Calgary Flames

Flames Fire Bill Peters Following Racist Epithet Scandal

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Bill Peters

The Calgary Flames have fired head coach Bill Peters four days after a former player came forward and claimed that the Peters directed racial epithets toward him while they were in the minors 10 years ago, according to ESPN’s Emily Kaplan.

Akim Aliu, who played for Peters in 2009-2010 for the Chicago Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate Rockford Ice Hogs, tweeted on Monday night that Peters “dropped the N bomb several times towards me in the dressing room in my rookie year because he didn’t like my choice of music.”

Peters, who was hired by the Flames this past offseason, penned a letter of apology for the incident to general manager Brad Treliving, saying that the comments were made “moment of frustration.”

“Although it was an isolated and immediately regrettable incident, I take responsibility for what I said,” Peters, 53, wrote.

Aliu says that he found Peters’ letter of apology to the Flames “misleading, insincere and concerning”, adding that he won’t comment further on the matter until he met with the NHL as part of their investigation into the incident.

“This investigation we’re doing, I know everyone wants this done immediately and the world we live in is immediate,” Treliving said. “I hope you can appreciate we’re trying to do everything we possibly can to make sure we get it right and get all the information that needs to be gotten.’

Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour, who was an assistant on Peters’s staff when the incident happened, said earlier this week that the incident “for sure happened.”

“Management handled it directly and never heard of it again and never saw anything else after that,” Brind’Amour said. “So it was definitely dealt with, in my opinion, correctly … We’ve definitely moved past that.”

A report from TSN’s Frank Seravalli, that dropped on Tuesday, included Aliu’s Rockford teammates — Simon Pepin and Peter MacArthur, who both corroborated Aliu’s account.

Aliu says that he was in charge of the music in the locker room for the morning skate and when Peters walked in he said:”I’m sick of hearing this n—–s f—ing other n—–s in the a– stuff.”

“He then walked out like nothing ever happened,” Aliu told TSN. “You could hear a pin drop in the room, everything went dead silent. I just sat down in my stall, didn’t say a word.”

“This isn’t me being bitter. I sat on this a really, really long time. It broke my heart, I think it made my career go downhill before it started,” Aliu said. “This isn’t to the degree of Kaepernick by any means, but if you play the race card, it’s most likely the end of your career.”

“What am I going to say? I was 20 years old and a first-year pro. I was too scared to speak up,” Aliu said. “I beat myself up every day over it.”

 

 

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NEWS

Finding Clues in Hockey Stats – How to Successfully Bet on the NHL

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sidney crosby

The advancement of hockey is pretty impressive. Players used to come from Minnesota and Detroit. Now, it’s a completely different story. Hockey players are recruited from all over and they’re respected for their game and wisdom. Those who are willing to put some effort into handicapping the NHL are rewarded big time. Indeed, NHL betting will never reach the same level as other important sports, like basketball, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth wagering on the games. Advanced stats can make you more successful when betting on hockey. Keep on reading to discover the most valuable stats for bettors. 

Fenwick 

This advanced stat is used to measure the overall number of shots while playing at even strength. Approximately 75% of shots taken throughout an NHL season are at even strength, so it doesn’t come as a surprise. Fenwick is the same as Corsi, the only difference being that it doesn’t take into consideration blocked shots. Why? Simply because blocking shots is a skill, not a string of random events. As a rule, a hockey team’s CF% and FF% are close. If you’re curious to know what’s with the weird name, find out that Fenwick is named after Matt Fenwick, a blogger for the Calgary Flames. Mr. Fenwick can be found on Twitter. 

Expected goals 

According to the experts at ATS, expected goals is a relatively new metric in data analysis. This advanced metric allows you to get a better understanding of the goal scoring opportunities that are created. A team that is trailing, say, 3-0 will obviously up its game and score more goals. Expected goals is particularly helpful when it comes to predicting future scoring because it focuses on shot attempts. You can use 2 metrics, namely Corsi and xG, to evaluate teams and players. Fenwick and Corsi consider shot attempts, they don’t consider the quality of the shots. xG takes into account shot location and uses league-wide averages. 

PDO 

PDO is a shooting percentage, combined with a save percentage. You can use it with Corsi or Fenwick to handicap team strength. To get the number you need, add the team’s 5v5 SH% and 5v5 SV%, and then multiply the result by 10. You can use the advanced stat for individual players, but keep in mind that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. It’s not uncommon to see PDO regression drive results in the NHL. Most teams regress to the mean. 

Corsi 

Corsi refers to the value of the entire team and it counts for the total number of shots at the net and against at even strength. It’s an indirect measure for offensive zone position. If the team directs the puck towards the net, it’s a Corsi For. If the other team does that, it’s a Corsi Against. It’s important not to overestimate the value of Corsi. You’ll have a shortsighted view of the game or worse, underestimate the factors that lead to wins and losses. Numerous things in a hockey game are worth your attention, so it’s difficult to know on which one to focus on first. Anyway, Corsi isn’t a fancy stat. It’s a number that helps you approximate puck possession and, implicitly, forecast future success. 

 

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Anaheim Ducks

Capitals’ Garnet Hathaway Ejected After Spitting on Ducks’ Erik Gudbranson

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Washington Capitals forward Garnet Hathaway was tossed from Wednesday’s game against the Anaheim Ducks for spitting on Ducks’ defenseman Erik Gudbranson during a brawl that took place during the second period.

“That’s about as low as you dig a pit, really,” Gudbranson said (h/t ESPN). “It’s a bad thing to do. It’s something you just don’t do in a game, and he did it.”

When discussing the incident after the game, Hathaway expressed remorse for his actions.

“Unfortunately, spit came out of my mouth after I got sucker-punched, and it went onto him,” Hathaway said. “It has no place. It was an emotional play by me. You don’t plan any of that stuff in your head, and it was a quick reaction and unfortunately the wrong one for me to a sucker punch.”

The brawl was brewing for most of the chippy game, and things boiled over with 33.4 seconds left in the second period when Capitals forward Brendan Leipsic leveled Ducks’ Derek Grant behind the net, which set off a series of fights between the team’s fourth lines, and eventually involved all 10 players on the ice.

“It just escalated,” Ducks’ defenseman Brendan Guhle said. “It for sure was in the works. There were scrums all night. Guys were going after each other. That’s how it goes sometimes.”

“These games can get physical, and they can get nasty,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “These guys’ll throw down, drop their gloves. That stuff goes on in the game, but what I saw there I haven’t seen; I think I’ve been in pro hockey 30 years, maybe, and I’ve never seen that before. It’s just something you don’t see in the game.”

The loss of Hathaway to suspension will be a devastating blow to the Caps’ roster moving forward.

“It seems like it’s been a constant equation for us the last little while here,” Capitals’ head coach Todd Reirden said. “[We’ll] see where we’re at in terms of injured players and [the] potential situation here with whatever the league does. It’s out of my hands now.”

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