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  2. I like the re-seeding for this tourney for sure. If Montreal is going to win the cup, they'll have to face the gambit of the best non bye team, then each of the next best available teams all the way to the finals and then win that. I'm ok with re-seeding in the regular playoffs in the future. I am dead set against expanding the playoffs. Half the teams get in. That's enough. Adding another round for the play-in teams is one thing when everyone's been off for months, but at the end of a grueling season? The regular season has to mean something. 16 teams is more than enough IMO.
  3. Its even better than you mention: Hamilton is elite. He was just off the Norris pace offensively, and cleaned up his defense hugely leading the team at plus 30. Pesce is an elite shut down player. Necas will be elite, IMO. But I've been on Necas from the moment Francis practically ran to the podium to snag him. While Necas was a year older and as such doesn't directly compare to Svech, he put up better rookie numbers. But the point is not to compare him to Svech. Necas rookie year was on pace for 20 goals and 46 points. Personally, I think Necas has nearly ppg potential, but even if he ends up as a 65-70 point guy, that is pretty elite. While I don't see him as elite, I still have pretty high hopes for Warren Foegele. All he does is constantly get better. His projected numbers for his rookie then his sophomore yr: 11 goals, 16 points, -17 16 goals, 36 points, +9 I think he's a 20 plus goal, 45 point, plus player type guy who also does a lot of little things right. Then looking into to system, we have a couple of really nice prospects. Bean is already the reigning AHL D man of the year. Geekie has shown flashes at the NHL level. And I think Suzuki is a future NHL player as is Drury. Joey Keane is considered a pretty high end D prospect too. Then there are high end potential guys like Bokk, Rees, Puistola and on D, Honka. So the future is indeed bright with the one massive caveat that you mention at #3. We don't have a franchise goalie. That would lock it all down if we could figure that piece out. There were a lot of high hopes for Kochetkov who we picked high in the second round. He was amazing at the World Junior championships. But his year last year was just ok, and he was overshadowed by other Russian goalies, who put up better age-adjusted stats in various Russian leagues. It's still about development with goalies who can just suddenly find it, but at this moment hopes are a bit tempered for him. Ned? Maybe. But this is one position that this franchise has struggled nailing down, and it it sooo key. If everything breaks right in the draft and we end up say #14, maybe we could trade up and try to grab Askarov, who NHL.com's three mock drafters have going 10 or 11. Personally I'd do it, but then again, it's hard to move up 4-5 slots, and some mocks have him going even higher.
  4. Gotta be able to handle the dirty. I dont see any distinction in this department for the 3 teams mentioned.
  5. Today
  6. Very interesting Lake! We use the heck out of ondansetron. While I have a few publications, I've been out of doing research for a long time. But I do know that hospitals still have IRB's. That would cover any research being done in the hospital setting. Not sure about the outpatient setting. However, IRB's are more focused on hospital liability and patient safety than on the study design in many cases. And especially if the hospital is to be one of several sites. At least that was my experience. It's interesting that you worked for a huge drug company. I am not anti-drug company at all, but over the years it's become apparent that the need for profit does affect the science as well as the sales people's spin on the science. I wonder if you felt any pressure to design studies set up to give the drug maximal chances of looking effective. You don't have to answer, but I wonder. I don't really know how it's changed, but for the 30 or so years I've been reviewing and listening to reviews, there are so countless many examples of drug company sponsored studies being, uh, a bit tricky, that the reviewer always points out that the study was drug company sponsored so keep that in mind. Not saying that there were not many excellent drug company sponsored studies, because there were, but the bad examples were so bad. I used to be the medical director of my last ER in El Paso. A drug rep came in one day to try to get us to buy Xopenex, which is basically albuterol, and was brand new at the time. I'm sure many here are familiar with albuterol as the main inhaled drug for asthma and COPD. OK, I'm not a chemist, but there are these things called optical isomers. Basically each drug is made up of roughly half of a molecule and half of it's mirror image. There has been a big move over many years to isolate one or the other of these mirror images and see if it is more effective by itself. Well, Xopenex is one of the mirror images of albuterol. The company claimed(s) that it provided more effect and less side effects than the 50-50 mix of both optical isomers. Anyway, I asked the rep for some studies and data showing this. He pulled out a lap top, and went to an Excel spreadsheet of an internal study done at one small hospital with about 100 patients. It hadn't even been presented as an abstract, let alone published. How can this be their only data? They're already sell it for crying out loud. Well, since it's basically still albuterol, it was already approved. For years I thought about doing a study to show that the claims of the drug company were wrong, but it would have been for free, so nah. Well about 15 years later someone finally did it. But the stuff is still in wide use. This gets to my point about once a drug gets into wide use, further proof of it's lack of efficacy only slows it's roll. It can take years or decades for the drug to stop being used, unless it's shown to cause harm. It is said that it can take up to 19 years for a bad habit to work it's way out of medical practice. Almost need a large chunk of MD"s to retire with some things. And this plays into the Covid thing. As bad science shows a thing to seem to work or not work, it can become standard practice very quickly, and it can be hard to turn that ship around once the opposite is proven. I do think things move much more quickly in and out with Covid than anything else I've seen to date, but it's still a concern.
  7. The only things i see is holding the team back is Solid consistent goal tending which can be fixed with either better goalie coach or just getting a better goalie or perhaps both . and lastly Team chemistry . I noticed over the last couple of years that the canes would have moments where they play like superstars out there and in other moments get fatigued and lose focus on working as a team and do things in their own way . These things are correctable but are also deeply psychological as well . Nino last year when he came to the canes was thought of a brilliant move from Waddell but shortly after the playoffs come and that flash in the pan just dried up and died and all year long nino was not producing like he once was , Could be a lot of things really but maybe it's something a lot more psychological that stopped his scoring . Im sure Brind'Amour is aware of that but might not be able to help nino address that issue to get him back on pace . Take that first game Svech , Aho and Turbo were playing with each other against the predators this season ? omg that line was scary as hell . But then they played against some other teams and the scoring just all of a sudden went streaky . Things like that which are intangible , we can see them but not quite understand them is what i have seen all year long actually . It could just be something easy to fix and then no need to worry . Or it could be something deeper im not sure of . I know im not the best person to say all of this and wish i could find someone else who is but , it's just something i have taken into account over the last couple of years .
  8. I think the NHL is using this season as a let’s try everything new. I like the re-seeding idea. If everyone higher wins we would still get the Caps. if one of the 1-5 bows out we could be looking at the Pens or Flyers. While both are good teams, it would be less dirty.
  9. BTW, this whole issue of someone getting the virus is complicated by the fact of the apparently long asymptomatic period. You can take the player out, but he probably infected his team, or other teams. (You CANNOT social distance Face Offs!) And you can't bubble wrap them. We've bubble wrapped care homes, and they still get it by the service workers -- many asymptomatic -- coming through. This can all happen even with frequent testing (every few days). *maybe* daily testing will prevent it. *maybe*.
  10. Well, the Penguins have dealt with a virus rampaging through their team before in the fairly recent past. Arguably the league‘s best player at the time, Sydney Crosby, even came down with the virus. This was a highly infectious virus but it had a very effective vaccine and Crosby had been vaccinated, but still got the virus anyway. Will the initial COVID-19 vaccine be anywhere near as effective as the mumps vaccine? Unlikely, so even when there is a vaccine, figuring out the risk levels and those ‘what if’ contingency plans when someone gets sick will be on-going by the league planners perhaps for years...
  11. This is The Big Issue, and I haven't seen a good answer from any league on this except Korean Baseball where they pledge to pause the league for weeks should a positive occur. Bundesliga has started and is tip toeing around the issue. Their equivalent minor league has a team on lockdown right now. Competition suffers. But it isn't playoffs, so some missing minor league games don't matter. Meanwhile the big league looks like the are just praying. For the Stanley cup playoffs, games can't go missing. So... More praying??
  12. So I have been watching replays of a few games last season. Here's what I have to say. 1. We have 3 elite players in Svech, Aho, and Turbo. Any one of these guys can be our all star for the next 10 years or so. 2. Our D as a collective is elite. Slavin is the only elite player but as a group they are elite and deep. Losing 2 of the top six did not hurt as much as it would any other team. 3. The goalies are solid but not great. Both Mragic and Riems had moments this year where they were great but also really bad. 4. This team has what it takes to bring home a cup in The next 5 years and contend for one every year ut doesnt
  13. Yesterday
  14. That is typical of any draft. At the same time guys from 18-40 are all over the place for rankings. Then 40-70 gets even wilder. Teams are going to have their favorite that they are willing to move up for. In typical cases when a team in front of them wants them too. I can easily see us sliding back in the 2nd round to get another one or more next season. Picks are going to be our bartering chip with Francis and Seattle next season. Neighbors I have seen as high as 21 but as low as 37. Lapierre is anywhere from 13th to 33rd. Granted his is injury related.
  15. That raises an issue which I've been pondering, for all sports really, not just ours. But what happens if these playoffs get rolling, everyone is swimmingly certified as "virus free", then 1 of the daily tests we're told they will be performing comes back positive? Wonder what contingencies they have for that? Shut that player, his contacts or the entire team down, both teams competing, all teams in that one venue or what? Then, what if it's one of the support staff, or alternately one of the coaches? This could get real interesting?
  16. Interesting, though if he's recovered it seems like a non-issue
  17. Rem, I'm actually pretty familiar with the principles relating to good clinical trials. I worked for Glaxo (before all the mergers) and was one of the primary statisticians for the first ondansetron NDA. Part of my job was reviewing study protocols for exactly the type of flaws you're pointing out. I've been out of the field for quite a while now, and it's a bit surprising and very disconcerting that the science has apparently ended up where it's at. Aren't reputable publications supposed to be peer reviewed? Don't protocols for new drug studies still need to go through an IRB (institutional review board for those unfamiliar)? At the places I worked, part of the role of the statistician was to serve as a "check" on the clinicians, who often were so invested in a drug (emotionally, not financially) that subconscious bias could be viewed as understandable. When I first started in the field (early '80s) the FDA had a huge presence. It was significantly reduced in, what, maybe the early 90s? I wonder if the apparent degradation in standards might be linked to that? Over regulation can be a big problem. But regulation can serve a valuable purpose. Like many things, I wonder if the proper balance might have been lost? As an aside, the regulation thing could be viewed as one example of what I perceive as perhaps the biggest challenge our society now faces, and that's extreme polarization. Black or white, all or nothing. Only in an environment like that could a phrase like "alternative facts" could be viewed with anything but complete ridicule.
  18. I've heard that the pool goes at least into the early second round. In my own research there are likely to be high upside picks available all the way down into the early twenties, and high upside higher risk into the upper second round. It really does come down to scouting and frankly luck. I stopped posting potential first round picks here since the draft ended up not being now, and because, given the way they are doing the draft order we could literally pick just about anywhere or not at all, and we no longer "know" we're picking #19. I will say that I'm happy with the way they are doing it. If we get bounced in the first round, it will be arguably unfair since we had a better than 50-50 chance of making the playoffs pre covid. At least our pick has a good chance of going higher. If both we and Toronto go deep (if I have it right, we could face off in the ECF, which would push our pick to down to the bottom around #28-29). But also, we have a chance at a rare, but beautiful thing in drafting: both going deep and picking "high". OK, we can't get a lottery pick this year, but we can pick as high as #12 and win the cup. Yes, that would require Pittsburgh, NYI, Edmonton, and Toronto to all lose, oh, and we would need to win the cup. So, yeah, not likely. But you're saying there's a chance! Really, IMO the most important thing that could happen would be for Toronto to lose in the play in round. True, if Toronto wins the lottery we'd be without a pick this year, and their pick next year not likely to be great, but it's a long shot at a top 3 pick, with a much bigger chance that we'd pick from #12 to #15, which is substantially higher than where we were likely to pick before this system. Yes, theoretically we could lose and win the lottery, which would be the best thing short of winning the cup, but the odds are slim.
  19. Oh yes. As I pointed out above science studies are a messy business. My arm's length relationship with just accepting a thing because an expert said it, is borne of 30 years of watching them fail over and over. One boiled down description of science is a method of attempting to remove all bias from observing the world. But there are so many types of bias it's astounding. There are studies on just different types of bias. Listening to Jerry Hoffman and others for years has been pretty eye-opening. It is very common for especially drug companies to set things up in their favor. Hoffman was surprised since this was apparently a government study, but the government has bias too (like finding a treatment fast). EM Rap is an outstanding product. It actually grew out of a product called Emergency Medical Abstracts where for years Jerry Hoffman and his partner reviewed about 20+ articles per month from a huge spread of journals and answered letters. Not only informing of what seemed promising or even "proven" but what we were likely to be sold as proven that at best needed better studies. EM Rap was initially a separate product started by Mel Herbert, (the Australian guy that leads these updates). He had his own product that provided deep dives into important areas. When Jerry and his partner retired, they sold their business to Mel and he put it all together along with some other products into one hugely deep data base of EM continuing education. Anyways, EM Rap (which includes EMA) costs about $500/year, but they've made the covid stuff free. Way back at the start of this thread I included one or two of their earliest updates. They continue to put these out free, just search EM RAP Covid on You tube. I get notifications of new ones coming up, I'll try to put it on here if I do.
  20. RCT is Randomized Clinical Trial. It's a stand in for prospective double blind, placebo controlled trial in most cases. The rest of this if for those who want to read some of my take on aspects of medical research that aren't necessarily in the field: One of the problems with many many medical studies is the use of "surrogate markers" in place of clinically significant outcomes. The more ineffective the treatment the more these surrogate markers are used. For those not familiar, say that the most important thing that a treatment could do is prevent death. Then say disability. But if a treatment can't affect those at all, maybe it can affect length of stay, or admissions to the hospital. If not that, maybe a pain scale or lowering the white blood cell count. It can be a slippery slope to rather insignificant things being measured. Another major related problem is studying many different possible outcomes. Statistics are applied in large part a way to predict how likely an effect is random rather than due to the treatment. Generally we accept about a 5% chance of a thing being random as the lowest bar. That's 1/20. If I study 15 different outcomes there's a pretty good chance that one or two will look positive just due to randomness. I can then pick those two after the study is completed, and focus my written article on that positive effect. I can stress it in title and the abstract. Especially if I'm a drug company. I've read many studies where the title and abstract and conclusion (the part most people skip to) say one thing, but the body of the study says the opposite. An example of surrogate marker use is a study for a drug called Atrovent. It is cheap and safe and added to some albuterol treatments for asthma or COPD. Studies showed that it increased a person's ability to forcefully exhale after treatment, called peak flow. Most experts used peak flows a lot because, well because we love numbers and that gives you a number. Never mind that it's pretty unreliable since patient effort varies. Anyways, experts mostly recommended adding it, and a company even came up with a treatment that had both albuterol and atrovent in it. But that same study showed that adding atrovent to the treatment did not improve any meaningful outcomes: no change in death, no change in admission rates, no change in length of symptoms, no change in needing intubation, etc etc. And further, if you looked closer at the study (the way Jerry Hoffman looks at that table in the remdesivir study) you'd see that the authors of the atrovent study used substandard doses of the albuterol they were adding to, which is an unfair comparison (and another common study flaw, or trick depending on your point of view). That study is years old, but Atrovent, and the combined treatment with albuterol are still in wide spread use. It's cheap, its safe, it maybe adds a touch, so why not? But it's only been "proven" for that surrogate marker of peak flow, if that. So if a study picks a bunch of surrogate markers and then goes in and picks one or two that seemed to work after the fact, that's bad science. What's supposed to happen is that they use those seemingly effective markers as the basis for a new prospective study and try to actually prove the concept. But there's little motivation for a drug company to go out and disprove their own drug now touted by experts (often on their payroll). Medical and other science is so messy already, with all kinds of bias baked in. And that's before the turbo charger of bias that is politics gets in there.
  21. Thanks for the kind words 2ndSacker. Lake, I know you have a stats background, so such things are not really shocking to you, but I think that very few non science people are really aware of how imperfect even "good" science is. I had an academic upbringing in EM, and as such have both reviewed and listened to reviews of close to 10,000 articles combined (the vast majority listened to Jerry Hoffman and others). After a while one gets a pretty good foundation for the shortcomings of much of science. It's an enlightened place to be, but it's also a very frustrating place to be as the vast majority of providers, let alone the general public understandably rely on a combination of certain experts and the media to get their sense of what is most true. It is wrong as often as it's right. This is a study that I mention to medical students I teach pretty frequently. It is so elegantly simple. A group of researchers went back 10 years in the New England Journal of Medicine and identified all of the studies in cardiology that claimed to have proven that a specific treatment was effective. Once they were all identified by specific criteria, they went forward up to the the present to determine how many of those claimed treatments had been thoroughly disproven. It was around 44%. Nearly all of those treatments had experts touting them. But the reality is worse than that since the NEJM is one of the most prestigious journals in the world getting to pick only the best studies. There are hundreds of lesser journals publishing studies that are laughable at the outset. But it's even worse than that overall because of publication bias: the big journals want to publish the new breakthroughs far more than publishing a negative study that shows a thing doesn't work. But even the NEJM is easily corrupted by drug company studies, and even increasingly political biases. The famous line delivered to incoming medical students by the dean of the Harvard medial school is apt: "Half of what we are about to teach you is wrong. We just don't know which half". Beware of people claiming "settled science". That phrase and others have become a political tool. It's tricky out there.
  22. rem, what is this? I don't recognize the anacronym? 1st let me be upfront and state that I've not taken the time to listen thru that video as have been swamped with my own mess, and now a law firm wants to depose me on a private autopsy I performed on a sickle cell patient several years ago??? Don't they know there's more urgent things afoot? A comment on these several drugs that were hurriedly thrown into the breach so to speak, particularly remdesivir. I never read them as being curative, and perhaps I was incorrect as I AM NOT A CLINICIAN, but at the most, I understood that they could shorten the length of hospital stay, as well as possibly shorten the length of viral shedding? That to my limited mind never said they were life sparing at the height of the illness(? cytokine storm), thus not the magic bullet we anxiously await? Was this wrong? Most recently, I have been reading on several much more SARS COV-2 virocentric (not sure thats a word) approaches to an effective treatment, including a monoclonal antibody aimed a specific regions on the virion's capsid, and specifically at the now infamous "spike protein" and others, LY-CoV555. Other groups are working on "diverse antibodies", anticipating the possibility of this virus mutating like influenza. But these are being greatly rushed thru trials as I thought it was possible they might? Finally Lake, regarding your comment on this link to "thrombosis", since the COVID virus appears to hone in on ACE-2 receptor sites, and they are globally found in many organs/sites throughout the human body, the coagulopathy(namely hypercoagulation=thrombosis) being observed is predictable as endothelial cells, those lining blood vessels, are one such cell with ACE-2 receptors. Ergo the source of microthrombi (clots) in vessels.
  23. Depending on where the canes are picking Everything pass the 20th overall is not eye catching in terms of normal progression . The very best seems to me to be all in the top 15 and after that it's a huge drop off in talent . So 2nd round , 3rd rounds , and going forward will most likely make up for sphl or euro or aussie league potential . It's how im measuring it . I'd hoped there would be a deep pool but it's not . It happens some times , where some years are better in talent than others . That's what im saying here guys .
  24. As gocanes points out, and mindful of many postings on eligible players several of you have taken time to research which I've appreciated, I nevertheless believe that aside from the apparent consensus #1-#3, I think this year will be the biggest "crap shoot" ever due to the interruption of the normal methods utilized in the lead up to the draft to evaluate these players, secondary to COVID-19 restraints? Further, to me, I'd not bet on anything being off the table with about 28 of the teams. A corollary to this thought, THIS DRAFT is where scouts of every team will more than earn their money.
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