Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Analysis: Introducing the Evil Index

It seems that the current trendy thing to do is to release a set of Power Rankings. Everyone and their mother seems to be doing their own lists based either on scientific formulas, W-L records, GF-GA, and/or picking names out of their asses.

Well, the Hockey Rants Research & Development Department is always looking at better ways to approach analysis in the hockey world and we wondered: How can we provide you with a real ranking system that is relevant for predicting true success?

So, we asked ourselves, what are the fundamental truths in life? What elements will remain constant?

  • We will die
  • We will pay taxes
  • Good triumphs over Evil

    Since death and taxes don't have a huge effect on on-ice results, we decided to focus on Good vs. Evil. Why? Because 'Good' teams should ultimately triumph over 'Evil' teams, at least in theory.

    In the old NHL, evil always triumphed in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Rangers over the Canucks, The Devils over anyone, the Stars over the Sabres, the Lightning over the Flames, the Avalanche over the Panthers, the Red Wings over the Hurricanes, etc etc etc... it was like the NHL had The Empire Strikes Back on constant rerun mode.

    BUT!!!! This is the New NHL(tm), and the tables might finally turn and we may finally get Return of the Jedi. Will good triumph over evil at least?

    Therefore, we decided to apply some hard science and measure the GOODness/EVILness factor of every single NHL team. Applying our strict standards of measurement, Hockey Rants can bring you a solid measure of how evil, neutral, or good a team is.

    Each NHL player is assigned a + (Good), 0 (neutral), or - (Evil!) rating of some degree. We add up each individual player on each roster and you get an overall team mark (Since hockey is truly a team game). In order not to unduly bias the rankings, the location and management of the team did not factor into this equation. While Toronto and Detroit might be a truly evil cities, we cannot accurately measure the effect this would have on the ice.

    A roster heavily tilted with GOOD players (Slovaks, and most Czechs and Canadians) will get a + rating while teams tilted with EVIL players (Russians, Swedes, most Americans, and guys like Sean Avery) will get a - rating. Using this system, we can determine who is most likely to win the Stanley Cup.

    Presenting...The Hockey Rants EVIL Index.

    Evil Index

    It's probably no surprise to many people that Detroit, Philly, and Toronto are at the bottom of the list.

    Vancouver? Well the roster is full of Swedes and Todd Bertuzzi.
    Columbus? I was generous enough to measure them with Jaroslav Balastik (since demoted) and Gilbert Brule (injured) listed on the roster. If you subtract these two players, they would rank below Florida and Montreal for sure)

    The GOODest team happens to be the Atlanta Thrashers, surprise surprise. The Rangers also surprise by appearing at +2. Jettisoning Bobby Holik, Brian Leetch, and Mark Messier really helped their ranking this year. With the addition of GOOD players, is it any wonder the Rangers are actually doing fairly well this year?

    When the Cup Finals roll around, the smart money would be on the teams with the forces of GOOD on their side. If Philly makes the finals, they won't win...and it has nothing to do with their crappy goaltending ;)

  • Comments:
    How did having Holik (a Czech) and Messier (a Canadian) hurt the Rangers before? Do they both fall into the minorities of their countrymen who are evil?

    Who are the other outliers who don't fit their national stereotypes?

    The people need to know.
    Immediately after posting the comment I remembered (duh) that Holik is an American citizen. Does that make him neutral (being Czech and American)?
    Well, I keep the research under tight wraps :)

    Bobby Holik is definitely evil. He is a traitor who turned American (which is naturally evil) and he's juice up like a WWE wrestler.

    Messier...oh don't get me started...

    other 'evil' players who would otherwise be good or neutral include

    Sean Avery
    Tie Domi
    Todd Bertuzzi
    Eric Lindros
    Martin "the Brat" Havlat
    Petr Nedved
    This has to be the funniest thing I have read all day! As long as Detroit and Philadelphia suck at something than that is aok with me.
    The Furnace
    The 'Canes are on the Evil side of the equation cos of me, right? Cos I'm like, part Evil err Swedish and all?
    AQ, don't be so hard on yourself.
    This has to be scientific or nobody will take it seriously ;). If we took the fans of each team into account, the Leafs, Wings, and Flyers would be even more EVIL than everyone else. Colorado would certainly take a huge plunge and St. Louis would rise to near the top ;)
    Theoretically speaking (as it cannot possibly happen), what effect would signing an Australian hockey player represent? (Or other non-traditional hockey countries) There is ice here, in spots, it's not totally unbelievable.

    Perhaps a sportsman could swap sports in the future, such as Darren Bennett going from AFL (Aussie Football) to NFL (San Diego) & making the AllStar team.
    I can see a neckless rugby union foward making the switch one day, it would be a pure delight to see him skate ;) Boy could he tackle however.
    "The Hockey Rants EVIL Index."

    Frickin' brilliant!!!
    Brilliant? Well, let's see how the theories hold out :)


    Players from Non-traditional countries tend to be neutral
    Germany is neutral
    Austria is neutral
    Switzerland is neutral (go figure)
    Northern Ireland (Nolan) is neutral
    I considered countries like Lithuania, Latvia, and Ukraine to be neutral and Australia is our commonwealth brother but would also be neutral. The individual players could have a darkness rating of -1 or lower, but not too likely.

    I remember the Aussies had a nice baseball presence... Nilsson for Milwaukee, Prokopec (Czech name) who sucked for Toronto, the tall pitcher Grahame Lloyd... I doubt any of them were big cricketers before baseball, but I could see a guy being good at both.
    So Satan is good instead of evil I presume?

    Oh! oh! Can we submit our own lists of evil players? Mine would start off with Brett Hull, Darien Hatcher, Jan Bulis, Keith Tkachuk, Alexei Yashin, Mats Sundin, Darcy Tucker, Peter Forsberg and Vladamir Malakhov.
    Mike Keenan will eat your children one day...
    Do you capriciously assign point values to players, or are all Slovaks, Czechs and Canadians given +1, all Russians, Americans and Swedes given -1? If that's the case, the Canes should be a +3.

    I would also make a case that if it is the case that MOST Americans, rather than ALL are given a negative rating, Matt Cullen should not be in that group. Dude runs a foundation supporting kids with cancer.
    Well... now somebody has to steal this and make a Hockey Pundits/bloggers "Evil" power ranking!

    Did you take into account the NHL franchises that uncerimoniously dumped their minor league franchises and left those AHL cities with nobody to root for?

    How many evil points did you give Bertuzzi's Cannucks?

    It really looks like you used a reaaaaaly big sliding curve.

    the default rating for a typical Slovak is +1 to +3, +1 or +2 for Czechs, -1 to -2 for Swedes, -1 for Russians, and -1 for Americans.

    Again, it's a case by case basis for each and every player.
    Palffy might be a Slovak, but nobody in Slovakia likes him except his own mother. He's only a +1 Slovak :)


    Oh! oh! Can we submit our own lists of evil players? Mine would start off with Brett Hull, Darien Hatcher, Jan Bulis, Keith Tkachuk, Alexei Yashin, Mats Sundin, Darcy Tucker, Peter Forsberg and Vladamir Malakhov.

    Well, Forsberg has the -50 rating of total evil! Hull is no longer on the Coyotes so they got a bit more GOOD. Tkachuk, Ya$hin, Tucker, Sundin, and Hatcher are definitely more evil than the standard. Don't worry...we measured this all very methodically ;)

    What about the Fins? Dallas has a good group of four (Lehtinen, Miettinen, Kapanen (the GOOD one), and Jokinen) that could tilt the results if you considered the Fins as GOOD, but it seems like maybe you let Modano and Guerin ruin it for them. ;-)


    The Finns are pretty dull...they make cell phones, boring educational games, reindeer meat, and love their strongman competitions. They are pretty neutral ;)
    When did Sami Kapanen get traded to Dallas?
    How can Calgary possibly -2 with Bryan Marchment?
    Hello? How can Germans ever be considered neutral let alone good? I think the Swiss are the only german-speaking Euros who can claim that. Germans should get -15 out of the gate. I also think any Eastern Czechs should be counted as "Sudeten Germans" and given an outright -14. Slovenes, of course, are Uber-Good and should garner a +20. But I guess we'll have to wait for Kopitar to make it to the show for the impact of his Sloveness to reflect in this metric.
    Well, I'm a Canuckistani from Toronto living in the USA, so I am what?
    One thing I am not is soft, like either a 3 minute egg or Jaromir Jagr, take your pick.
    Jodi Shelley should take columbus down a notch or two. They ought to be +3 at best, and neutral in truth.
    whats your deal with sweden?? did a swedish guy beat you up and ever since then you've held a grudge?? cuz i would definitely kick the shit out of you. forsberg is a hell of player, better than any fucking slovak that touched the ice. nice try but peter forsberg could still kick any sorry slovaks ass. id have to say +50 points for him just for being so amazing.
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