Nov

17

VNI often find that without the privilege of talking to the Secretary of the Interior every day, I have to look for other fields to attempt to stay even with the fray. I always find it easier to learn about how not to lose than how to win, so I like to study how the Knicks and Jets, two of New York's worst teams, manage to lose so often. It's easy with the Knicks. They have no foundation to their game. Their men are overextended, their shots are random from 100 feet out, there's no percentage. Sort of like the man who has leverage of 10 to 1 near the close, and is waiting for the other side to stop him out. That's easy. Near the end of a season, a game, a fray, the other team, which has a foundation, can overrun them at will. But for the Jets, one has to delve deeper, as sometimes they win. It was with pleasure therefore that in looking at the results of their Nov 15 loss, I learned a few things about how to lose. The Jets were up 22-21 with a minute to go. The Jags on the Jets 14 yard line. The Jets coach Ryan tells the Jets to let them score. But Jones-Drew refused to score stopping at the 1 yard line to set up a field goal with 2 seconds left. they made the field goal and won 24-22. Okay, both coaches used second and third level deception. First the Jets trying to let the Jaguars score, and then the Jaguars refusing to score the touchdown. There has to be a market situation. Let's take all the times very near the end of the day when the market is down just a hair compared to the times the market is up just a hair. Which is better? As you guessed, the coaches had it right. With the market down a hair, I find a 0.05% rise in the last x minutes before the close with a z of 1. With the market up a hair, I find a very different situation with a z of -2… The situation calls for further study.

 Steve Ellison comments:

Turnovers are a good way to lose. The San Jose Sharks turned the puck over in the defensive zone last night in overtime, and within two seconds the Chicago Black Hawks put the puck in the goal to end the game. Roy Longstreet's 1967 book, Viewpoints of a Commodity Trader, which I have quoted here before, has a chapter on how many games the Bart Starr-era Green Bay Packers won simply by making fewer mistakes than their opponents. There are numerous unforced errors a trader may make that are analogous to turnovers. For example, deviating from my trading strategy and entering impulsive trades have cost me money nearly 100% of the time.

 Ryan Carlson responds:

I'm fortunate to have Blackhawks season tickets and spend many nights deriving speculative analogies from watching such games. Last night in particular was fruitful because the Sharks are the best team in hockey so the margin for error was particularly slim for the Hawks although they were able to win.

Some other insights from last nights game was the Sharks scored their second and third goals 45 seconds apart to pull ahead 3-1. Quite often, it's easy to get down after a bad trade and be unfocused like the Hawks were after each of the three unanswered goals and that lead to getting them further in the hole.

Another potential Sharks goal was later considered "inconclusive" by video review and that kept the Hawks from getting buried further with a three goal deficit. Using the break they were given, the Hawks came out flying for the rest of the game and finished hard for the win. Sometimes, the market lets a guy out and when that happens, it has to be used to it's full advantage.

The Blackhawks have a great team to watch and one of the best to observe different combinations of risk and reward in their entire group of Defenseman. Some of the defensive corps is paid to strictly move the puck up ice to the forwards with high risk/reward but they are paired w/more steady and defensive players who cover for the risk. No matter which defenseman hangs back, they always ensure that they never leave their goalie exposed no matter how enticing an offensive opportunity is.This year my best insights have come from watching 21 year old Patrick Kane who is only 5'10" and 178 lbs. Granted he has amazing hands to stick handle and shoot with but that along with his instincts were all honed to survive as a small player. Since he doesn't have the size to compete for the puck, Kane has developed an amazing sense of where to be or not to be. Similarly, I've found that a good trading niche for me is to focus on where not to be and work on staying flexible to handle quick opportunities as they arise.Recently I read a book about another smaller player, 5'6" 180lbs Theo Fleury where he noted that the reason why 6'5" 244 lbs Eric Lindros suffered so many concussions was that he could skate w/his head down and get away with it in junior hockey as others would just bounce off him. Once Lindros got to the NHL and played against guys his size or bigger, he was unable to break that habit and those concussions ended his career and his brother's as well who played a similar style. Fleury noted in Playing With Fire that if he himself played that way, he would've gotten killed.Last nights Sharks/Blackhawks game was fittingly Jeremy Roenick night so we were treating to lots of video showcasing the dedication, passion and perseverance that it takes to become a impact player like Roenick. Looking back on his sacrifice and dedication, it was clear in Jeremy's eyes that it was all worth it when he met the crowd.

Somewhat relatedly, an interesting article linked below came out on the Blackhawks and the superstitions of each player. I personally rub the cornucopia of a statue outside the office and won't touch anything on my way in each morning with that hand, not too bizarre I don't think.

Steve Ellison responds:

The Sharks' TV announcers commented that they had not seen any team persist in attacking Sharks' defenseman Douglas Murray the way the Black Hawks did. Douglas Murray is a very tough player who, when he sees an opponent about to check him, likes to brace himself and move his upper body explosively in the direction of the opposing player, sometimes leaving the would-be checker sprawled on the ice.

On Mon, Nov 16, 2009 at 1:41 PM, Ryan Carlson <racarlson@yahoo.com> wrote: I'm fortunate to have Blackhawks season tickets and spend many nights deriving speculative analogies from watching such games. Last night in particular was fruitful because the Sharks are the best team in hockey so the margin for error was particularly slim for the Hawks although they were able to win.


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  1. Paul Marino on November 17, 2009 9:39 pm

    Today is the anniversary of the infamous Jets’s Heidi Game. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heidi_Game

    I’m 36 so a few years young to see it live. I would say I am not surprised that few things have changed.

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