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dura_mater

The Size Fallacy

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There is a lot of discussion on whom we would like the Canucks to face in the first round, specifically who would be the easiest matchup. I get very confused as to people apparently turning opinion (St Louis is the biggest baddest team) into fact.

According to some St Louis is the biggest, hardest hitting team in the West.

Has anyone bothered to look at just how “big” St Louis is? How many hits they have this season? I’m assuming hits will determine how they’re going to injure us? Or maybe it is minor and/or major penalties – cheap shots and penalised hits that will injure us?

Average height*

Kings 6’2” or 73.8”

Canucks 6’1” or 73.3”

Blue Jackets 6’1” or 73.1”

Wild 6’1” or 73.0”

Red Wings 6’1” or 72.8”

Blues 6’1” or 72.6”

Average weight*

Kings 209.9lbs

Blues 205.8lbs

Blue Jackets 204.3lbs

Canucks 202.8lbs

Wild 202.3lbs

Red Wings 201.4lbs

Major Penalties**

Blue Jackets 35

Canucks 29

Wild 25

Blues 21

Kings 19

Red Wings 15

Average hits**

Kings 1420

Blue Jackets 1160

St Louis 1108

Canucks 997

Minnesota 943

Detroit 851

I find it very interesting how so many people underestimate Vancouver’s “size”. Of the above teams, we’re the second tallest, only ½ an inch behind L.A. Major penalties – the only team that is going to “out goon us” is the Jackets if the regular season means anything. On average, each Blues player has a whopping 3lbs on us… that’s right 3 more lbs to throw into their hits – simply devastating. The Blues have 113 more hits than the Canucks or roughly 2.5 more hits per game – again, a massive advantage.

Personally, I don’t put much value into regular season numbers (especially hits). Also, seeing as the Blues have been swept in 2 of only 3 rounds of playoff hockey in the last 7+ years, I really don't understand how they are much of a threat. .

*based on rosters from team websites

**nhl.com/stats

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By averaging the size across the team, you remove the individual impact of particular players. A team could be made up of a lot of really big guys and a lot of really small guys playing in different situations, whereas another team could be made up entirely of average sized players playing in the same situations.

It would be interesting, to see the breakdown of individual players, their sizes, hits, penalties and playing time to see where the size actually makes an impact, no pun intended.

The commentators in a relatively recent game were talking about the hardest hitting team and St. Louis inevitably came up in the conversation. The commentators referred to specific players opinions on who they thought was the hardest hitter, and the overwhelming leader in that respect seemed to be Backes.

And, I believe it was during a different game, the commentators were talking about St. Louis being the team that drove to the net the hardest. I didn't catch the whole conversation, so I don't know what statistics they were using to support that claim. At the very least, the idea that St. Louis is one of the toughest, if not the toughest team spreads well beyond CDC.

My personal opinion would be that the Canucks play San Jose at this point, out of the remaining possibilities. While I think the Canucks could win a series against both the Blues and the Kings, I see both those teams as much more violent, which would likely result in coming out of the that series with more injuries.

EDIT: One more thought regarding hitting; a team playing a defensive style game is going to end up accumulating many more hits than a team that is playing an offensive or puck possession game, simply cause you can't hit when you have the puck.

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It's a reasonable point that we aren't necessarily smaller by large margins than the other teams, and that's on a roster with both Ebbett and Roy. People kept talking about size in the 2011 final as well without knowing why - we were bigger on average and had more hits that year than Boston.

People confuse or don't understand what they talk about when they talk about size more often than not. They end up falling back on the "well, they play bigger" argument, which is about as concrete as the intangibles that the Canucks may bring in response.

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It's a reasonable point that we aren't necessarily smaller by large margins than the other teams, and that's on a roster with both Ebbett and Roy. People kept talking about size in the 2011 final as well without knowing why - we were bigger on average and had more hits that year than Boston.

People confuse or don't understand what they talk about when they talk about size more often than not. They end up falling back on the "well, they play bigger" argument, which is about as concrete as the intangibles that the Canucks may bring in response.

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Yeah you can't generalize or go to the stats. The Sedins are both 6'2"/190 but that's not their game. Jordon Tootoo on the other hand is 5'9" if you get my drift.

The thing about size is having top end players playing a certain style. For instance Kesler and Burrows play a different style to Roy or Garrison.

St L has their first line players playinga tough game, the Canucks don't. LA has a roster full of players that all play a tough in your face style, the Canucks not so much.

Interesting the St L captain is Backes and LA it's every ones favourite Brown...hey Chicago Toews is a mean player.....Vancouver Henrik. Maybe by accident the styles mirror the Captains or the coach selected Captains he wants his team to look like

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By averaging the size across the team, you remove the individual impact of particular players. A team could be made up of a lot of really big guys and a lot of really small guys playing in different situations, whereas another team could be made up entirely of average sized players playing in the same situations.

It would be interesting, to see the breakdown of individual players, their sizes, hits, penalties and playing time to see where the size actually makes an impact, no pun intended.

The commentators in a relatively recent game were talking about the hardest hitting team and St. Louis inevitably came up in the conversation. The commentators referred to specific players opinions on who they thought was the hardest hitter, and the overwhelming leader in that respect seemed to be Backes.

And, I believe it was during a different game, the commentators were talking about St. Louis being the team that drove to the net the hardest. I didn't catch the whole conversation, so I don't know what statistics they were using to support that claim. At the very least, the idea that St. Louis is one of the toughest, if not the toughest team spreads well beyond CDC.

My personal opinion would be that the Canucks play San Jose at this point, out of the remaining possibilities. While I think the Canucks could win a series against both the Blues and the Kings, I see both those teams as much more violent, which would likely result in coming out of the that series with more injuries.

EDIT: One more thought regarding hitting; a team playing a defensive style game is going to end up accumulating many more hits than a team that is playing an offensive or puck possession game, simply cause you can't hit when you have the puck.

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You can have the biggest and heaviest guys in the league but if they are p-ssies then it doesn't matter. The trick is to get big guys who have grit and pushback.

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The fallacy is in assuming any of these teams will be 'easier.'

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Yeah you can't generalize or go to the stats. The Sedins are both 6'2"/190 but that's not their game. Jordon Tootoo on the other hand is 5'9" if you get my drift.

The thing about size is having top end players playing a certain style. For instance Kesler and Burrows play a different style to Roy or Garrison.

St L has their first line players playinga tough game, the Canucks don't. LA has a roster full of players that all play a tough in your face style, the Canucks not so much.

Interesting the St L captain is Backes and LA it's every ones favourite Brown...hey Chicago Toews is a mean player.....Vancouver Henrik. Maybe by accident the styles mirror the Captains or the coach selected Captains he wants his team to look like

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The OP put a lot of thought into this thread. Now let's hope it doesn't come back to bite him in the ass.

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Its not about how big you are, it's about how big you play.

I mean, Cam Barker is 6'3 223lbs, and he's by no means as intimidating as Barrett Jackman who is 6'0 203lbs.

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Except the biggest guy in our top 6 currently is Kesler at 6'2 202.

The Sedins, Roy and Burrows all ALL under 190 pounds. Higgins is at an even 200.

Very small top 6.

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Well the Sedins are big and so is Edler, but they don't hit, besides when Edler feels like it.

Then we have Roy, Raymond, Tanev, Ebbett who are all really soft.

Then we have Ballard,Hamhuis and Bieksa who are small and physical but can't really compete with the big boys.

So... we are kind of soft, especially since Sestito doesn't really play, and neither does Kassian. :lol:

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Good stats. While these stats still show that the Blues are somewhat larger than average, they also show that there's not a huge difference between them and others.

Keep in mind, hitting power isn't necessarily related to these factors (though it often is).

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