Scott’s Thoughts “Stats” and The Avco Cup


Scott Campbell is one of the two original NHL Winnipeg Jets 1.0 and he will pop in from time to time with his thoughts on the current Jets 2.0 roster.  Scott also has stories from the old WHA and early NHL days.  If you’re feeling nostalgic and what to here a story from those days please stop by, say hello and ask Scott a question about his playing days.  Post in the comment section.     

Stats and The Avco Cup …. 

There are a boatload of “stats” out there nowadays and many of them are still being refined.  There is a lot of arguing on the application of them.

 Even among those who take passionately to them, this can get heated although they are supposedly on the same “side”.  Please note: I don’t call them “advanced” or “fancy” as I think that turns people away.

Here’s a quick story on the last year of the World Hockey Association and my participation in the WHA Winnipeg Jets winning of the last Avco Cup which was in 1979.

Coach Tom McVie

Our coach, Tom McVie, was obsessed with meetings so much so that players ended up purchasing special hats to voice our displeasure in what we hoped would be in a good way.  Tommy was grouchy by nature  around the rink anyways.   The first time we wore them into the meeting room we surprised him.  We weren’t sure how he’d react but thankfully he had a big laugh easing the tension BUT not resulting in fewer get-togethers.  😎

jetsmcviebshatjetsmcviebshat1Coach McVie was very detailed.  When we came up against the mighty Edmonton Oilers in the final led by a young but great Wayne Gretzky, we needed every edge.

 I don’t remember the actual percentages on the various things that the Oilers did extremely well but there were things that stood out.

Shutting Down “The Great One”

One of the keys was the high percentage of goals that were scored by the Oilers when Gretzky was allowed to set up shop behind our net.  While this became common knowledge in the following years, it was those stats that got my (and I’m sure others) attention at this time.

 I could go on here but basically we shut those paths off to the Great One employing a different coverage in the defensive zone going against some conventional wisdom at that time

It worked.  The details in which his stats had informed us helped us win the last Avco Cup.  It’s probably that experience that has me looking at stats today in an attempt to get an even better handle on the NHL,  its’ players and teams.  It may have been archaic compared to today but those type of stats were “state of the art” then.

I’m not all over these “new” stats.  They are still being worked on and so am I. 👿   I have seen some vicious arguments among themselves and between those dedicated to these “stats”.  In my opinion, it is a developing science and should be treated as such.

People that try to ram them down your throat are on the wrong course.  It’s valuable though and you might want to check in on it once in a while if you aren’t already. Here’s what they do for me today:

First, if they support my eye-test then the comfort factor increases. If they conflict with what my eye-test says, I make a note to watch that player/team with a more critical view.

The second thing some stats do for me is alert me to things I wasn’t aware of whether it be a player or team.  With 30 squads to follow and trying to have a life, I can’t keep up with every team b yet I like to know as much as possible.  This gives me opportunity to expand my knowledge.

Of course, there are team benefits in evaluating a group of players that play a certain way.  Stats have come a long way since the singular tracking days of the W.H.A. and well before that as I’ve read. (Russia, etc.)

My Thoughts On Josh Morrissey

There are also times when I just don’t know a player such as the first-round pick of the Jets this year, Josh Morrissey.   While stats at the Junior level are done with a huge variety of quality and quantity, a fellow Jets fan on Twitter, Garret Hohl (a talented believer in stats), sent me a stats link on Morrissey  click here ☛☛ LINK

This information confirmed what I’ve read, heard, and watched on video that Josh looks like a legit high-end prospect.  Even at pick #13, this was a deep draft so he has to be an integral part of our future.

Deep down, stats will never replace the eye-test for me but I have to go on what I’ve got and that’s some comfort with our first pick. Fellow Twitter’s probably know that I would have preferred Nikita Zadorov from my alumni the London Knights IF we were taking a defenseman.

BUT, I haven’t seen Morrissey so it was easy to listen and read all information.  I need evidence in front of me before I leap to conclusions. 

One last thought.  Our Avco Cup win had a LOT to do with a bunch of Houston Aeros learning to get along with a boatload of their hated rivals, the Jets.  We all eventually did that in spades which is a credit to the whole team.

In an upcoming blog, I will tell you of the respect factor that couldn’t possibly have been measured by stats.  The change was the BIGGEST reason for our win in my opinion.  I’m not sure how numbers could have measured that.

“Stats” (call em what you want) have helped me gain a little more perspective and knowledge.  I think it makes it a worthwhile thing to open your mind to but everyone is wired differently.

If you think I’m wired wrong, feel free to let me know in the comment section below or on Twitter @NHL_Campbell    Just remember I’m old and feeble. 🙄

    The Avco World Trophy 

         (The Avco Cup)



              WHA Champions             Finalists




New England Whalers

  Winnipeg Jets              



Houston Aeros

  Chicago Cougars



Houston Aeros

  Quebec Nordiques



Winnipeg Jets

  Houston Aeros



Quebec Nordiques

  Winnipeg Jets



Winnipeg Jets

  New England Whalers



Winnipeg Jets

  Edmonton Oilers








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