Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could convince the world to love jumpsuits as much as he does. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.

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Posts about NHL news

Patrick Roy likes to pull his goalie early, but not usually that early

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: April 18, 2014 - 2:08 PM


Avs coach Patrick Roy turned some heads Thursday when, down 4-3, he decided to pull goalie Semyon Varlamov with 3:01 remaining. Conventional wisdom usually leads coaches to pull the goalie with about 60-90 seconds remaining in a one-goal game. Of course, conventional wisdom is wrong ... and Roy's gamble ended up paying off, though the degree to which the early pull aided a goal with 14 seconds left can be debated.


In any event, Roy is known around the league for pulling his goalie earlier than most. But Thursday's move was even earlier than usual. SB Nation has a great breakdown with a chart of all the times Roy pulled the goalie this year. The key takeaway:

In one-goal games it was typically around two minutes to play in the regular season, but as you can see on the table above his decision to pull Varlamov on Thursday with three minutes to play was by far the earliest he has done it this season in a one-goal game. Before that, the earliest he had pulled a goalie in a one-goal game was with 2:31 to play against St. Louis on March 8.

As such, if the Wild is holding a close lead late in another game this series, don't be surprised if Roy employs a similar tactic.

Monday (So, what did we miss?) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: April 14, 2014 - 9:46 AM


So, as some of you might have noticed, we haven't posted in these parts for a while. And as some of you might know, the reason is pretty simple: we had two weeks off after the March 30 birth of our first child, a daughter named Anabel.


She arrived after a somewhat lengthy process, but she did arrive right on her due date -- which also happens to be the same birthday as our wife Julie (aka the RandBall Better Half). She is healthy, sweet, and generally good-mannered (both of them are, we suppose), though Anabel did have her first rough night last night by keeping us up until about 3 a.m. with unexplained crying.

Babies are going to do baby things.

The past couple weeks have been somewhat of a blur. They also happened to be two pretty crazy weeks of sports. As such, here are very brief recaps of what we missed out on posting on, even if we barely remember a lot of it happening:

*UConn won the NCAA men's hoops title; the Gophers won the NIT title. Wisconsin lost in the Final Four. We were watching "Say Yes to the Dress" in the hospital during a couple of Elite 8 games since the person delivering the baby gets the remote, so don't come back to us for much more insight than that. (Side note: What is the point of that show? Nobody wins anything. There's not really a host. It's just basically watching people shop for a wedding dress.)

*Small sample size, but the Twins can hit but can't pitch? Is that right? As expected.

*Corey Brewer scored 51 points in a game? Also, the Wolves have defeated the Grizzlies, Heat, Spurs and Rockets while we were away, but they also lost to the Magic and Kings? Yeah, that sounds just about right for a season that makes no sense.

*Justin Holl. Seriously, one of the most amazing finishes to a game we have ever seen. No other way to describe a short-handed tie-breaking goal with 0.6 seconds left in an NCAA semifinal against a bitter rival.

*And the Wild will face ... Colorado in the playoffs? We can only hope coach Patrick Roy comes out of retirement to let in another Game 7 overtime goal.

OK, there was tons more that happened. But we need to save some of it for some longer posts on what figure to be plenty of long nights.

Friday (Justin Bieber played hockey in gold chains and skinny pants) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: February 7, 2014 - 9:50 AM

Justin Bieber plays hockey? Who knew? Does this mean the State of Hockey has to start liking him more?

He recently crashed a club hockey practice in Atlanta, Puck Daddy notes. Here is that writeup, and here is 22 seconds of Bieber kinda sorta skating and playing hockey?

Wednesday (No questioning grit of Love, Parise, Suter) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: February 5, 2014 - 8:17 AM

On one of those pleasant (and seemingly rare) nights in which the Wild and Timberwolves were both at home, and both won their games, we were reminded that the heart-and-soul players on both teams have a certain amount of admirable grit.

For the Wild, Ryan Suter logged nearly 35 minutes of ice time after Marco Scandella left the 2-1 victory over Tampa Bay with an injury. It was nothing new for Suter ,who dominates the NHL leader board in ice time, but he even went above and beyond his typical game of around 30 minutes. Zach Parise didn't score in the game, but he's coming off a week in which he was the NHL's First Star. It's safe to say he's back to being the player he was before he attempted to play on a broken foot.

For the Wolves, Kevin Love was knocked every which way in a 109-99 victory over the Lakers. It continued a recent trend for Love, who has fought through numerous bumps and twists in recent games to help carry Minnesota through a stretch without Nikola Pekovic.

This is what we primarily expect from our superstars, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be acknowledged.

Mid-day talker: Timberwolves, other Minnesota teams, lag in franchise values

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: January 22, 2014 - 12:10 PM


Forbes does valuations for teams in all four major U.S. pro sports leagues, and the figures for the NBA were released today. As we know by now, we whisked quickly through the slide show, almost all the way to the end, in order to find the Timberwolves.


That's status quo with the chief tenants at Target Center. And it's status quo with all Minnesota teams.

The Wolves rank 26th in the NBA with a value of $430 million. Maybe that will improve a little once renovations to Target Center are complete, but they will still be playing in one of the NBA's oldest buildings.

What about the rest of the Forbes rankings, all from within the past year? The Wild? That squad ranks 19th in the NHL. The Twins? 20th. The Vikings? 21st.

In other words, all four squads are below average ... and none of them eclipse our TV market size rank (15th).

There are people more qualified to discuss what this means when it comes to overall economics as well as how it correlates to winning and losing. Certainly low-value teams have won titles while large-value teams have struggled.

But we're willing to bet there is at least some connection between those low numbers and this one: 1991. That's the last year a Minnesota team even played for a championship, let alone won one.


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