Star or no star?


This is something I’ve touched upon in the past, but having just scanned the comments section and seen the ongoing debate about why certain players get stars and other players don’t, I thought I’d refresh everyone’s memory on the process.

The basics: at home games the Rangers writers — myself included — are asked to vote on the three stars of the game. I’d love to tell you that it’s an arduous process, involving pages of research, review of game tape, and a background check on a player’s charitable donations.

Instead it merely involves us being handed a sheet at the start of the third period, and then being asked for it back a little more than a halfway through. As many of you know, it is the rare Rangers game that is not hanging in the balance at that point, so usually I at least am too engrossed in the action to give it much thought. In other words, it is a decidedly flawed system.

My votes the other night were for Jagr, Shanahan, and I believe Chris Drury since all of those players had multiple points. Should I have voted for Nigel Dawes? Maybe, maybe not. He did score a goal and drew an important penalty late. But the other part to consider is his goal was somewhat negated when Vincent Lecavalier scored his. Either way, the reasoning I just gave now is about three times the amount of thought I gave when I actually voted.

As for conspiracy theories about certain players being pumped up while others are suppressed, a part of me wishes that were true. At least then I wouldn’t have to think at all. Sadly, though, that’s not the case.

More from practice….

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  1. Doodie Machetto on

    Thanks for weighing in on the subject Sam.

    Looking forward to your report from the skate, especially on Avery.

  2. I heard Dawes and Girardi were walking around Grand Central last night dressed like pepper and salt. I guess there were other rookies in costume too. Anyone got any pictures?

  3. When I intered in the ECHL, the same system was applied to select the 3 stars. I would have to pass out sheets and collect them with about 5 minutes left in the period. Then I’d tally them up (5 pts for a 1st star vote, 3 for a 2nd, and 1 for a 3rd). That was basically the extent of it. Sometimes, if something dramatic happened, I would have to change the first star on a whim.

    Sidenote, I would love to see Rooks in costume haha.

  4. Another consideration is that Lecavalier’s penalty shot goal, off-setting Dawes’ opening goal, made Dawes’ goal even more important and significant. Sam, maybe you have access to the information – I have seen that the team which scores the game’s first goal goes on to win the game, much higher than 50% of the time. Dawes gave that edge to the Rangers, Lecavalier’s goal did not give that edge to TB. And, think about it, when a team scores the game’s first goal, if it SPLITS the scoring on the next two goals, it leads 2-1. Not scoring the game’s first goal puts a team in a position of needing the next TWO goals to take the lead. Lecavalier scoring put added importance on the Dawes goal.

    As regards players being upgraded in the three stars balloting “for scoring more points,” I definitely have a problem with this. The National Hockey League awards one point to a player for scoring a goal, be it even-strength, 5 on 4, 4 on 3, or that abomination, 5 on 3. The National Hockey League also awards a point to a player getting a first assist, on the above, and frequently awards a point to a player getting a second assist, on the above. A second assist for one point on a 5 on 3 goal = there you go! The National Hockey League also credits a goal and therefore a point, to a player scoring an empty net goal. The National Hockey League also awards a point to a player assisting on an empty net goal. The National Hockey League also awards a point to a player for a “second assist” on an empty net goal, on occasion. The National Hockey league also awards one point for a goal, coming at even-strength, which is the game’s first goal. The National Hockey League also awards one point for a second assist on a power play goal which ups the score from 5-1 to 6-1. Given the above it should be apparent that not all goals and all points allocated are equal, despite the fact that the National Hockey League wants us to think that way. We can do better, rather than blindly accepting that “a point scored is a point scored, and all points are equal.” Game opening goal at even-strength vs. second assist on a 5 on 3 PP goal, making the score 6-1 = both worth one point to a player. That is NUTS!

    So that it should be apparent to the most casual observer, that the NHL points award system is desperately flawed. Therefore, to rubber stamp players as game stars “for scoring more points in a game” above others being considered, can be construed as the short-cut, lazy way to getting back quickly to the Long Island Expressway, or whatever.

    Dawes scored the game’s opening goal at even-strength; logged a dramatic, big hit; and drew a clutch penalty giving the home team a man-advantage at crunch time in the game. Were his name “Avery,” or “Shanahan,” he walks off with first or second star. Period!

  5. longtimerangersfan on

    Just scanned through the comments from the last post and there were quite a few “heated” comments from some posters…aren’t we all supposed to be loyal Ranger fans? Do we really NEED to demean each other? Everyone has their own opinions and we need to accept that.

  6. longtimerangersfan on

    Robby, I agree with you and posted that point a while back that the secondary assist, for the most part, is a worthless stat.

  7. Bonfire – it is not so cut and dried. if a guy gets 2 pts in the last 5 minutes of a 5 goal game the ballots would be done already. the guys who scored the most important goals / assists will get the most recognition. and people who vote take into consideration a by the way 2nd assist vs the perfect set up pass type assist. you will go to any lengths to get as many youngsters in the lineup as possible. after the team cuts the dead weight vets you still want more get rid of the core vets. and when a guy gets in a lineup you still want more give him pp time just because he’s young (ie Dubinsky with how many points now deserves pp time in your mind). why don’t you petition the NHL to award the cup to the youngest team. there are plenty of young teams not translating to good teams. Pittsburgh being an obvious exception and as you know we can’t compare the talent of their youngsters vs ours.

  8. longtimerangersfan on

    I’ll go one step farther and say that a goal that goes in off a defensive player shouldn’t be awarded to the closest offensive player.

  9. I am all for getting along. I like difference in opinion. It is what makes the world go around. It is all about how you difference your opinion though.

  10. “Not scoring the game’s first goal puts a team in a position of needing the next TWO goals to take the lead.”


    thank god we have at least one brilliant hockey mind here to help explain the finer points of the game to the rest of us.

  11. “longtimerangersfan October 31st, 2007 at 11:11 am
    I’ll go one step farther and say that a goal that goes in off a defensive player shouldn’t be awarded to the closest offensive player.”

    That’s not how it works. If the puck goes in off of a defensive player, the goal is awarded to the last offensive player to touch the puck.

  12. Worst argument ever. Just cause Dawes scored first does not mean his goal was offset by Vincent. If it was not for Dawes goal it would have been 1-0 Tampa than and a whole different game. Just own up same, you should have voted for Dawes over Drury and you know it!

  13. I think Drury’s assists were a little more crucial than Dawes goal. One was off of a key draw in the offensive zone on the PP, the other was on a pin-point pass to seal a game that was very much still up for grabs.

    This doesn’t mean Dawes had a bad game or anything else, just my opinion.

  14. I think on any given night there can be more than 3 players to affect the outcome of the game.
    There have been many instances of late where stars of the game could have gone to Girardi or Tyutin, for breaking up a play that might very well have resulted in a goal had they not been there.

  15. It’s the 3 stars of the game! It means less even than plus/minus (the NHL one or anyone else’s)!

  16. Folks, we have won 2 of the last 3 games and we are spending way too much time on the 3 stars of the game. Who cares about the 3 stars? Honestly? Does a player at the end of the year win an award for the most stars of a game? I don’t care how we win the game or who the stars are. This team needs to continue to play smart defensive hockey and win. Bottom line.

  17. Sam, what happened to the Home White Jerseys? I know it started as an expirement a few years ago but it seems to have stuck. Are they ever going back?

  18. Thanks for elaborating for us that “Dawes really didn’t have a bad game,” Peter. What next, “Mark Messier really didn’t have a bad career?”

  19. Apparently a lot of people care about the 3 stars, thus the continuing thread. Sam also felt the need to address it in a blog. IF you don’t want to comment on it, then don’t, but don’t tell others that they’re wasting their time on it. Who are you to judge?

  20. Robby – Why don’t you go back to your formulas and figure out who’s points are worth more. Then take that info and drop it into the NHL suggestion box. I’m sure they’ll be looking forward to your opinion.

    The point was that Dawes not getting a star didn’t mean he played poorly.

    But if you insist on being a jerkoff your whole life, I’ll treat you like one.

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