• joined Mar 08, 2010
  • last login Apr 17, 2012
  • posts 74
  • comments 505

My name is Ryan Popilchak.

I have an addiction to the NHL, NFL and European soccer. I follow all three religiously and share opinions via twitter (@sprtopinionated)

I currently write for Matchsticks & Gasoline and Arctic Ice Hockey here on SBN. As an author at Hockey Prospectus, I publish league-wide work there and ESPN Insider. As a podcaster, I co-host Pink Shirt Wise Guys: Italian Soccer podcast.

I love to debate sports, especially stats, strategies, tactics, and personnel moves. I'm stubborn as hell, but like being proven wrong too. Please send me an email or reply to my comments if there is more to discuss, I'll always do my best to reply.

A Fan Of...

  • NFL Indianapolis Colts
  • NCAAF Michigan Wolverines
  • NHL Calgary Flames
  • MMA George St. Pierre
  • Soccer AC Milan
  • FIFA Italy
User Blog

Shoot-outs Aren't Rocket Science - Use Your Best Shooters


Brent Sutter defied all statistical evidence when selecting his shootout lineup against the Minnesota Wild.

Picking up Blake Comeau is Planning for the Summer


The Flames waiver claim of Blake Comeau is a low-risk move to help manage the cap this summer.

Puck Battles: Blake Wheeler is about to "Break Out"


Blake Wheeler isn't slumping, he's just a victim of some bad luck. Also, the Oilers should trade Khabibulin.

Puck Battles: The Pekka Rinne Deal is a Rare David Poile Mistake


Pekka Rinne's deal is way out of line for the goalie market and Linus Omark needs a shot in the NHL.

The Maple Street Press Winnipeg Jets Annual


The First Edition of the Maple Street Press Winnipeg Jets Annual hits newsstands on September 13th!

In Defense of Jay Bouwmeester


Jay Bouwmeester takes a lot of heat for his high contract, but is he as bad as people think?

Puck Battles: Hockey Teams Aren't Charities


The voters in Nassau County got it right. Rich owners don't need charity handouts from fans and their tax money.

Hot Coals: We Have the Best Role Players


Hot Coals: Flames Role Players tops in the NHL

Friday's Hot Coals: A New Era?


Friday's Hot Coals

Havlat-Heatley - do stats tell the whole story?


Some interesting debate about stats in hockey in respect to the Havlat-Heatley trade. Definitely worth the read, no matter which side you believe.

Like stats debates - come on over?


Some interesting debate about stats in hockey in respect to the Havlat-Heatley trade. Definitely worth the read, no matter which side you believe.

THN Doesn't Like the Jets Offseason


Can't say I agree with the premise of the article. Spending money for the sake of spending is ridiculous. Winnipeg was smart to stay out of the initial contract frenzy. This team is far from playoff bound and will benefit from smart, value signings while the young kids mature. Also, Dudley and Ramsey were far from making this team a playoff contender, so keeping them just for their NHL experience is a little odd. Dudley might have been well respected, but his experience as a GM amounted to 1 NHL season - which kind of contradicts the author's argument. Ramsay was a head coach for a total of 131 NHL games, again not exactly what I would call vastly experienced when compared to Noel. So far I like what Chevy has done as GM, but I'll take the wait-and-see approach with Noel. But if we think that NHL experience was all that mattered, Guy Boucher proved a few people wrong in Tampa. And by the way, saying all the best free agents have been picked off may be relatively true in regards of talent, but it's categorically untrue in regards to value. Many of those signings were to extremely high dollar values, which makes absolutely no sense to a fringe playoff team looking to add long-term value to it's roster.

Hot Coals: Who wants Semin?


Caps might need to move Semin, the decline of Heatley, views on the Panthers in free agency and Commodore 64.

Some Free Agent Targets for the Jets


The Best UFA Targets for Winnipeg - who to target?

Hot Coals: Pre-draft Deals, Will the Flames Participate


Yesterday melted my hockey brain.  When I first saw that Reggie was on the block, I scrambled to read what I could about potential prospects coming the other way. Luke Adam had a good year in the...

Climbing the NHL Ladd-er, It Starts With Inking the Captain


Why does Winnipeg need to get a deal done with Andrew Ladd? Because he's a well-rounded player who can face the best players in the NHL, and he actually wants to be in Winnipeg.

Hot Coals: Time to Move On


Great, the playoffs are done and Vancouver can now move past make out pictures during acts of idiocy.  Then again, maybe they don't want to move past it, because they'll have to figure out what the...

Questions for Feaster: Can you improve the draft record?


Profiling the Flames miserable draft history, while offering some statistically-backed suggestions for trading into a better draft order.

Hot Coals: Value of Passing


Links to articles showing statistical developments measuring passing in the NHL and soccer.

Looking at Shot Accuracy vs Possession to predict Goal Rates


Just wondering what the rest of you think. My thoughts are that the third chart showing FenSh% vs FenF20 gives a clear advantage to shot rate vs shot % although the author doesn't seem to acknowledge it. I really didn't understand the slant on the article given that the data seemed to indicate otherwise. I did, however, find it interesting to see the minimal correlation of Fenwick events against to goals against. Insight?

Interesting Trade Idea - for the Oilers


I'm not sure which team would blink first on this one, but at the very least it's a well thought out idea. There's something in it for both teams and there would definitely be remorse on both sides parting with a good player. Personally, I think the Penguins would probably rather move Malkin out to Staal's wing and put Neal with Crosby and leave it at that.

Darryl Sutter's Summer Moves Made the Flames a Playoff Team


While many are piling on Darryl Sutter's absence as the reason for success in Calgary, in reality it was the shrewd moves he made this past summer.

Flames Get Modin for a 7th rounder


I guess we're just looking for a bit more depth. The guy is old but has been decent in the past. At least he's a UFA after this year.

Is It Luck Or Shots Driving the Flames Hot Streak?


A quick look at the Flames shooting ratio's before and after the current hot streak.

Feaster Says Flames Could be a Buyer at Trade Deadline


It looks like the recent climb into respectability is going to Feaster's head a little. That's fair, it's made me look at the team a little differently too. At least he mentions that any move won't be made if it sacrifices the future.

Free Agent Finds & Fumbles


A post I wrote for HP about the free agents who have outperformed or underperformed their past results. There's a Flame near the top and the bottom.

Flames Lacking a Top Matchup Line


While the Flames have a pretty solid 4th line, what they really lack is a group of top matchup forwards.


The Heavy Lifter Index

As a way to measure which players in the NHL are carrying the heaviest loads and outperforming their competition, I created the Heavy Lifter Index on Hockey Prospectus. The idea was largely...

Why are the Flames sending Backlund to Abbotsford?


The Flames are stunting the development and hurting the team's future by sending Mikael Backlund down to the AHL again.

Showing 1 - 30 of 57 Older
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