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  • Sea Bright Budget Proposal Increases Slightly For 2012

    first_imgTHE BOROUGH OF Sea Bright held a special meeting on Monday to discuss the town’s 2012 budget proposal. By Alison Bitterly He addressed several of the budget’s goals, such as fiscal responsibility, health programs, local infrastructure, and stabilizing the tax rate. While the town’s overall fiscal situation remains stable, Bascom notes that there have been some changes to the budget due to limited funds. “There’s where we want to be, and then there’s what we can afford,” he said Monday. “In the end, you still have a strong budget and a town that will continue to provide the same services you have today.” Nevertheless, Sea Bright’s property taxes will only be affected slightly going into 2012, with an increase of 2.5 cents per $100 of assessed value. The average amount of property taxes paid by a home in Sea Bright is $6,739, compared to an average of $7,754 statewide and $8,040 countywide.  In short, Sea Bright has managing relatively well in light of New Jersey’s ongoing economic obstacles. Bascom’s presentation also illuminated the ongoing effect of dwindling State Aid. He acknowledged that “[while] inflation continues to grow… State Aid continues to decline, leaving more and more of the burden on the local property taxpayer”.  In 2012, State Aid will make up 3.02% of operating revenue, with property taxes at 74.41 percent of revenue—a distribution that has been more balanced in the past.center_img Sea Bright’s Chief Financial Officer, Michael Bascom, provided council members with information and statistics on the new budget. After months of editing and revision, the budget currently stands at $5,333,649.24—up from $5,200,440.81 from 2011, but still slightly lower than $5,344,631 in 2010. Overall, Sea Bright projects that its budget will remain stable, with the exception of items outside of local control, such as state aid. The town’s borough council continues to focus on balancing a stable tax rate with a functioning local infrastructure. In these uncertain economic times, that often requires caution. “Something little in a small town can change things quickly, so we have to be careful,” Bascom said, acknowledging the need for fiscal vigilance. “We want to communicate a stable budget for the long-t Even so, certain changes will be made to compensate for Sea Bright’s limited funds. While police hourly wages are slightly up, police and public employment pensions have decreased somewhat. There has also been a minor increase in spending on health programs. Most other areas of the budget, including beach and sewer utility, remain stationary—despite the borough council’s desire to increase spending on beach improvements.last_img read more


    first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (April 3, 2016)–Santa Anita Park and the Sheikh Mansoor Festival presented a check for $100,000 to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF) Saturday in a Winner’s Circle ceremony prior to the $100,000 HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Darley Award Stakes at Santa Anita.In addition to promoting the Arabian breed throughout the world, the Sheikh Mansoor Festival is dedicated to celebrating jockeys as some of the finest professional athletes in any sport.“Santa Anita Park is delighted to partner with the Sheikh Mansoor Festival in making this donation to such a worthy cause,” said Keith Brackpool, Chairman, Santa Anita Park. “We’re hopeful this is the beginning of a relationship that will help to bring international focus to Santa Anita and to benefit the world class athletes that make our sport unlike any other.”Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens accepted the check with a number of Santa Anita jockeys looking on, from Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the Sheikh Mansoor Festival and Santa Anita Chairman Keith Brackpool on behalf of the PDJF.   Founded in 2006, the PDJF currently provides financial assistance to 60 former jockeys who are permanently disabled as a result of on-track injuries. Since its founding, the PDJF has disbursed over $7 million to disabled riders.“This is a huge development for us,” said Stevens. “Everybody knows how much risk we take every day and to get a $100,000 check is fantastic. We’re just so appreciative to Santa Anita and everyone involved with the Sheikh Monsoor Festival for making this happen.” HALL OF FAME JOCKEY GARY STEVENS ACCEPTS CHECK ON BEHALF OF PDJFlast_img read more

  • England’s Stones calls Colombia ‘dirtiest team’ he’s faced

    first_imgPalace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs Putin’s, Xi’s ruler-for-life moves pose challenges to West Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Trump assembles a made-for-TV impeachment defense team Pella stuns Cilic at Wimbledon; Djokovic, Nadal advance Colombia’s Radamel Falcao, center, lies on the pitch after challenging for the ball with England’s John Stones, left, during the round of 16 match between Colombia and England at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium, in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, July 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)REPINO, Russia — England defender John Stones described Colombia as the “dirtiest team I’ve ever come up against” and said his team’s ability to rise above the provocation is a sign of its growing maturity at the World Cup.England won a penalty shootout Tuesday after a feisty, physical round-of-16 game finished 1-1 following extra time and with eight yellow cards handed out by the referee — tying for the most issued in any game in the tournament. Colombia’s players received six of them.ADVERTISEMENT Report: Disney dropping the ‘Fox’ from movie studio names England’s national team has often been accused of not being streetwise enough in major tournaments but it passed this test against Colombia, with players killing time at free kicks, for example.“We kept playing our own football and that’s a great sign for a team to have,” Stones said, “to make sure we have that quality of tunnel vision to get out of the game. It was a difficult situation to be in and we can look back on it and be very proud of it.”A grueling game has taken its toll on England, with striker Jamie Vardy missing training on Thursday because of a groin injury and battling to be fit for the quarterfinal match against Sweden in Samara on Saturday.Expectation levels were generally considered to be low among England fans coming into the tournament but they are rising now, particularly since the team is in the half of the draw with the supposedly weaker teams.Beat Sweden, and England has a game against Croatia or host nation Russia to reach a first World Cup final since 1966.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES MOST READ ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ “I’ve never seen a game like this before and how they behaved,” said Stones, who has played five years in the Premier League and four years for England. “There were things that we’ve never experienced before.”Among them, said Stones, was Colombia’s players surrounding and pushing the referee, head-butting Jordan Henderson and scuffing the penalty spot before Harry Kane’s second-half spot kick. Stones also highlighted a member of Colombia’s technical staff barging into Raheem Sterling as the players came off for halftime.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’“It’s obviously their image and how they’ve represented their country,” Stones said Thursday. “We stuck to our game plan and never got involved in the brawl that they wanted. At the end of the day, they are on the plane back home.”England’s players weren’t completely innocent, however, with Henderson getting booked and appearing to use his head to barge into an opponent. Argentina great Diego Maradona criticized American referee Mark Geiger and said the outcome of the game was a “monumental theft,” comments he apologized for Thursday after FIFA rebuked him. Stones isn’t looking too far ahead, though, not with England having won only two of its last 15 meetings with the Swedes.“I think if you say it’s an easy game in a quarterfinal of a World Cup, then you are pretty stupid to say that,” the Manchester City defender said. “They play very structured from the back, sit quite deep from what we’ve seen and we know what we’re up against.“Sometimes they can throw you these teams, they can go kind of under the radar, but there is no question they are a good team.”___Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

  • Korkoya Weeps at Supreme Court

    first_imgNEC chairman Korkoya and Dr. Togba-Nah Tipoteh, who seeks Korkoya’s removal By Abednego DavisNational Elections Commission (NEC) chairman Jerome G. Korkoya challenged political parties, individuals, and organizations demanding to know if he ever took American citizenship to take him to court, but when what he had requested took place yesterday at the Supreme Court, he broke down in tears.The drama unfolded when Korkoya went to court to defend himself against one of several lawsuits filed against him alleging that he holds dual citizenship while serving as NEC chairman.In tears, Cllr. Korkoya declared: “This is a dangerous game against me.”He said that the lawsuit against him “is a clever attempt by politicians to take away my Liberian citizenship and to make me stateless, which decision I do not want for this court to be a part of.”The lawsuit was filed by Dr. Togba-Nah Tipoteh, a presidential hopeful in the upcoming elections.Tipoteh’s lawsuit seeks the intervention of the Supreme Court to prohibit Korkoya, as NEC chairman, from conducting the October elections, because he is a citizen of the United States by his alleged possession of that country’s passport and for voting in US elections.Meanwhile, judgment on whether or not Korkoya cannot continue to serve as chairman of the NEC was yesterday reserved by Associate Justice Philip A.Z. Banks.Further to his argument, Korkoya said Dr. Tipoteh lacks the legal capacity to determine whether or not he is a citizen. “It is the Attorney General and the Minister of Justice that have the right under the law to take away anyone’s citizenship and not any individual. Nowhere in the world can an ordinary person ask for another citizen to lose his or her citizenship. It is the government that has the right to do so.”He added, “If Tipoteh has any issue with my citizenship let him take it up with the government and leave me alone.”Korkoya argued that if the Supreme Court agrees with Tipoteh’s lawsuit, they would be setting a “bad precedent” for anyone to challenge another person’s citizenship.He pleaded with the Supreme Court saying, “Do not allow Tipoteh to succeed in this lawsuit.” Despite Korkoya’s plea, he was unwilling to provide an answer to the issue at stake: do you hold an American passport or not?Beside Tipoteh’s lawsuit, Korkoya has another case pending at the Civil Law Court in Monrovia, for which a ruling is expected to be delivered this week.The lawsuit at the Civil Law Court was filed against Korkoya by the National Democratic Coalition (NDC), an opposition political party, and Madam Miatta Fahnbulleh, executive director for Concerned Citizens to Protect the Constitution.The lawsuits against Korkoya were filed by Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe (on behalf of Tipoteh, NDC, and Fahnbulleh.) In Tipoteh’s lawsuit, he contends that Korkoya cannot continue to serve as chairman of the NEC because he is a citizen of the United States.Cllr. Gongloe argued that in order for the results of the national elections to be considered credible, the legal capacity of persons conducting the elections, especially its chairman, who speaks for the Board of Commissioners and presides over its meetings, must not in any respect be in doubt.“NEC requires that all candidates and voters participating in the 2017 presidential and representative elections to comply with the Election Laws of Liberia and for the Commission to have the moral authority to rigorously enforce all provisions of said law, the Commission and its members must obey, abide by and comply with every provision of the Election Laws of Liberia,” Gongloe further argued.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

  • Guyanese cops best Hero CPL Groundsman Award

    first_img– to spend 3 weeks in New Zealand improving craftGuyanese curator Wazim Habib will have a first-hand look at how pitches are made in New Zealand, after being named Best Groundsman of the 2018 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL).Wazim HabibThe National Stadium at Providence has been regarded as one of the best venues among all the venues in the Caribbean in terms of drainage and irrigation. Under the craftsmanship of Habib, the venue has now been transformed from a sluggish 140-score track to a belter that has been producing consistent scores of 170 or more.The highest total was achieved the other night when the Jamaica Tallawahs and the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots clashed in a spot for Sunday’s final. Batting first, the Tallawahs posted a record score of 191, only to have it overtaken shortly after when the Patriots posted 193 to win the encounter by two wickets. Such scores are a credit to the curator’s dedication to ensuring the pitch has been vastly improved ahead of the tournament.As his reward, the man from Enterprise, East Coast Demerara, with some 21 years of experience in his craft, will wing out to New Zealand for further training, where he will spend time in Christchurch and Auckland and see first-hand how pitches are prepared from an international perspective.Habib will spend time with world renowned pitch expert Mark Perham as he looks to further improve his skill and craft as a ground curator.The Busta Sports Club groundsman has been the head pitch man at Providence for the past four years, and has been instrumental in the works since 2016, when the pitches first underwent rehabilitation.last_img read more

  • Temperatures rise to 104, seeds fall in tennis’ Australia Open

    first_imgMELBOURNE, Australia >> On a day when shade was a valuable commodity in the searing heat at Melbourne Park, Roger Federer played it cool at the Australian Open.Six-time champion Novak Djokovic, however, complained about the brutal conditions during his second-round win over Gael Monfils, when the temperature peaked at 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).Djokovic urged tennis organizers to be more flexible about the rules for drink breaks, time between points and suspension of play …last_img read more

  • CEU Scorpions ‘overachieved’ despite loss to Cignal in finals

    first_imgJK Casiño. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netFor Centro Escolar University coach Yong Garcia, there’s no shame in losing to Cignal HD in the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Finals.After all, even he did not expect his side to make it this far in his first conference at the helm.ADVERTISEMENT WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Read Next “I think we overachieved,” he said, after the Hawkeyes dealt the Scorpions a 79-69 Game 2 defeat.“I’m so proud of my players because they always gave their best and that’s the reason why we made it in this stage.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutWith the decks stacked against them, CEU shocked top-seed Flying V in the semifinals to arrange the date against Cignal behind the heroics of Rod Ebondo and the troika of guards in JK Casiño, Aaron Jeruta, and Orlan Wamar.Unfortunately, that dream run didn’t get a happy ending as the Hawkeyes swept CEU in the best-of-three championship series, 2-0. MOST READ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Gamescenter_img Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Though Garcia rued the missed chance, the youthful mentor shared that he’s hopeful that the Scorpions picked up valuable lessons through the course of the campaign.“I just told them that every time we’re given these kinds of opportunities, we have to grab it. We can’t be content and we have to continue giving our best to make it to the next level,” he said.Garcia will now prepare CEU for its title retention bid in the UCBL.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief SEA Games: Centeno, Amit on course for 9-ball gold medal battlelast_img read more

  • Ifakara Health Institute

    first_imgPosted on October 22, 2010November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The following is part of a series of project updates from the Ifakara Health Institute (IHI). MHTF is supporting their project, Using Cell Phones for Obstetric Emergencies. More information on MHTF supported projects can be found here.Written by: IHIThe Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) will seek to improve emergency care for pregnant women and newborns in Tanzania by providing free mobile phones and business-related service for mid-level health care providers, to allow better communication with senior medical staff at district headquarters. Cooperating with district councils and the ZAIN mobile telephone company, IHI will evaluate the cost, feasibility and implementation issues that arise if health workers at the district level have better access to long-distance counseling, faster referrals and resupply service and emergency clinical support.A baseline assessment will help to guide the development of the system. It includes health facility visits; interviews with health workers, TBAs, and village and district officials; focus group discussions in communities and case studies with women who have experienced a complication in the last year.Negotiations with the phone company ZAIN that began as project-specific opened a dialogue between Ifakara Health Institute and the company which resulted in a broad agreement that will also reduce the costs of communications for IHI staff.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

  • Notre Dame Is Less OneDimensional Than It Was Last Year

    Notre Dame star Arike Ogunbowale is a big part of that, though she’s by no means alone. The whole team had to pitch in to guard Texas A&M star Chennedy Carter in the Sweet 16 on Saturday, and while Carter did manage to score 35 points, this number is deceiving: It took Carter 34 shots to do it. Ogunbowale scored 34 in the game but did so on just 25 shots.“I think we got stops when it mattered,” Ogunbowale said after the Texas A&M game. “Fourth quarter we held [Carter], we got stops. And like I say, we got stops when it mattered. So that’s all that matters.”This has been the case for much of the season. Notre Dame is allowing 0.73 points per possession this season overall, per Synergy Sports. But after timeouts, that number drops to 0.59, good for sixth in the country. So when McGraw and company have a chance to set up their defense, the Irish essentially become as effective as anyone, with that number besting everyone else still left in the NCAA field.So how do they do it? A combination of forcing turnovers, closing out on perimeter shooters and an elevated dose of protecting the rim.The Notre Dame steal percentage is up from last season, 12.0 percent this year from 11.1 percent a year ago. Much of that improvement comes from Ogunbowale herself, whose steal rate jumped from 2.3 to 3.2 percent. All five starters, however, have steal rates north of 2 percent, reflecting an ability to get into passing lanes, and those live-ball turnovers are immensely valuable for a Notre Dame team that scores at a rate of 1.12 points per possession in transition.The biggest change, though, is the element of rim protection provided by Brianna Turner after the Notre Dame center missed last season with an injury. No Notre Dame starter last season topped Jessica Shepard’s 2.3 block percentage. But this year, Turner checks in at 9.2 percent, and as a team, Notre Dame is at 11.5 percent. That’s 38th in the country, up from 225th in Division I last year.But while most attention goes to Turner’s blocks — a particular aesthetic favorite of McGraw when she watches her team — there are improvements by other players that have made a difference as well.Take Shepard’s ability to end possessions by simply anchoring herself in the right spot off of misses by opponents. Her improved strength and agility this season has led to a significant jump in her defensive rebounding percentage, from 17.1 percent last year to 20.5 percent this season.“Jessica is such a phenomenal player inside and out,” Turner said of her teammate when talking to reporters in Chicago on Sunday. “She’s the strongest player I’ve ever played against or with, so that just speaks for itself. Her ability to like chase down rebounds and just offensively, as well, just her strength is really one of her great assets.”Then there’s Marina Mabrey, known primarily for shooting threes and taking over at point guard last season out of necessity. But the versatile Mabrey is also a standout on defense. Already strong last season at 0.676 points per possession allowed, per Synergy, she’s dropped that number all the way to 0.625 in 2018-19, 45th in the country among 713 eligible Division I players with a minimum of 200 possessions. This stems from her ability to defend spot-up shooters. Her allowed points per possessions on these plays is down to .587 from 0.855 a year ago. The result is a Notre Dame team that allowed opponents to shoot 34.5 percent from three last year, 302nd in the nation, but now is giving up just 28.6 percent to opponents beyond the arc this year, 33rd best in the country.To be sure, there are still gaps in the Notre Dame defense. As McGraw noted last weekend, the team’s offense is what holds the key to its defense, an inside-out formulation compared with most teams.“We do like to run,” McGraw said. “We’re a transition-type team. I think our offense feeds our defense, which is kind of the opposite of the way it’s supposed to go.”It’s true: While the Irish are among the nation’s leaders in offensive efficiency both in the halfcourt and in transition, they have a far more effective defense in the halfcourt set (55th in the nation, per Synergy) than in transition (197th). Put simply, the best way for Notre Dame to defend is to make baskets and keep opponents from running.And while Notre Dame has every chance to repeat, don’t think of this 2018-19 Irish team as a clone of last year’s champion. Notre Dame’s defense has made big stridesHow the Final Four teams have changed from a year ago in terms of their efficiency on offense and defense Muffet McGraw has been worried all season about Notre Dame’s defense. When the Fighting Irish beat Bethune-Cookman in the first round of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament, McGraw said in postgame interviews that her team had “a long way to go to be a good defensive team.” This was after Notre Dame conceded only 50 points and won the game by 42.Fast-forward a couple of weeks, and McGraw’s team has now reached the Final Four for a ninth time. Next up is a bitter rival — and the most decorated team in the sport’s history — in the Connecticut Huskies. It’s safe to assume which aspect of Notre Dame’s game concerns McGraw the most ahead of this epic rematch of last year’s semifinal.After all, Notre Dame is a juggernaut on offense. The Irish are first in the nation in points per game and third in offensive efficiency, according to HerHoopStats.com — trailing only Oregon and Mississippi State. Both stats are on par with what the team posted last season en route to the national title.But despite McGraw’s concerns, Notre Dame has come a long way toward becoming a good defensive team. It’s just not on the same level as the impeccable execution Notre Dame displays on the offensive side of the ball. Last season, Notre Dame ranked 150th in defensive efficiency. For comparison with recent champions, South Carolina finished 18th in 2016-17, while UConn’s 2015-16 team finished first — in fact, the Huskies finished first in all four of Breanna Stewart’s title-winning seasons. (Not a coincidence.)Typically, championship teams play far more effective defense than the Irish did last season. So far in 2018-19, though, they’ve bridged that gap significantly. Though they are allowing 64.2 points per game, 153rd in the country, that number fails to account for Notre Dame’s pace. In defensive efficiency, they are up to 52nd in the country. Check out our latest March Madness predictions. Notre Dame114.2117.5+3.391.886.1+5.7 Team2017-182018-19Diff.2017-182018-19Diff. Baylor117.4113.1-4.377.276.4+0.8 UConn122.2116.8-5.473.779.6-5.9 Points Per 100 PossessionsOpp. Points Per 100 Possessions Source: Her Hoop Stats Oregon117.8121.9+ read more

  • Vegas Has The Best Expansion Team In The History Of Pro Sports

    The Vegas Golden Knights are only halfway through their inaugural season, and they’ve already redefined what anyone thought was possible for an NHL expansion franchise. Against all odds, the Knights are currently 29-10-3 with 61 points, good for the best record in the Western Conference — and only 4 points shy of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the best record in the entire league. It’s enough to make the Knights hockey’s greatest debut team ever, hands down.But that’s not all: Vegas is also lapping the field of expansion teams across every major pro sport. Even after adjusting for the way records are distributed in other sports, no other brand-new club in modern history came close to doing what the Knights have done so far. Expansion teams just aren’t supposed to have this kind of success this early.Constructed as a Frankenstein’s monster of unwanted parts from the rest of the league, a new club is usually very bad indeed. In a franchise’s first season, merely being “competitive” — code for losing but keeping things close most nights — is an admirable goal. And going into this season, there were plenty of people who had trouble seeing the Knights even reaching that modest level of success. Most outlets picked Vegas to finish either last or next-to-last in the Pacific Division.That was a reasonable expectation based on the past performance of first-year clubs. Our own analysis found that Vegas had dredged more talent out of the expansion-draft pool than normal — but that was just supposed to mean the Knights would exceed historical expectations. It didn’t mean we thought they’d make the playoffs, much less that they’d contend for the Stanley Cup.So far this season, however, Vegas has picked up 73 percent of the maximum number of points in its games and outscored its opponents by 0.7 goals per game. To compare those marks across NHL seasons, we converted them to z-scores, or the number of standard deviations they sat above or below league average. (This helps us account for changes in the league’s spread of talent over time and allows us to make comparisons between different sports — which will come in handy later.) In both categories, Vegas’s z-scores are easily the top marks for an NHL expansion team since the league blew up the Original Six and added six new teams in 1967-68:1Excluding the four World Hockey Association teams (the Edmonton Oilers, New England Whalers, Quebec Nordiques and Winnipeg Jets) that merged into the NHL in 1979. Although those teams held an expansion draft, they were also able to keep some of their existing players, and they had existed in the WHA since its founding, making them different from brand-new franchises starting from scratch. 1967Chicago Bulls-3.7-0.740.7-0.5 2018Vegas Golden Knights+0.7+1.372.6%+1.7 21994Florida Panthers49.4-0.06 1961Los Angeles Angels-0.3-0.343.5-0.7 Point percentage 61968Minnesota North Stars46.6-0.40 2018Vegas Golden Knights+0.7+1.372.6%+1.7 YEARTEAMPOINT %–Z-SCORE Goal differential 1969Milwaukee Bucks-5.1-1.132.9-1.1 41968Los Angeles Kings48.7-0.16 31968Philadelphia Flyers49.3-0.08 101994Mighty Ducks of Anaheim42.3-0.76 12018Vegas Golden Knights+0.7+1.28 81968Los Angeles Kings-0.3-0.62 51968St. Louis Blues47.3-0.32 YearTeamValueZ-ScoreValueZ-Score 1968Seattle SuperSonics-6.5-1.328.0-1.3 41968St. Louis Blues-0.2-0.36 12018Vegas Golden Knights72.6%+1.73 61968Pittsburgh Penguins-0.3-0.54 1961Minnesota Vikings-8.7-0.921.4-1.3 Vegas beats other sports’ expansion teams, tooHow the Vegas Golden Knights stack up against top expansion teams in each league by z-score* of winning percentage, 1961-2018 1993Colorado Rockies-1.3-2.141.4-1.2 *Z-score is the number of standard deviations above/below average, relative to the overall league that season.Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, Pro-Football-Reference.com 1969Seattle Pilots-1.0-1.339.5-1.1 The Florida Panthers used to be the model for a successful NHL expansion team. Florida was more than merely competitive in 1993-94 — it finished one win shy of a .500 record and scored exactly as many goals as it allowed. Then, with the good core of talent they had picked up in the expansion draft, the Panthers made the Stanley Cup final three seasons into the franchise’s existence. Before Vegas came along, that was the gold standard for brand-new clubs: solid in the first year, outright good within a couple seasons. But the Knights’ debut has flipped those expectations on their head.(Yes, it should be noted that the 1967-68 St. Louis Blues made the Cup final in their first season. But that was solely because the NHL dropped all six of its new teams into the same division, the winner of which had to make the final. Every team in the new West division, which housed all the expansion clubs, had a negative goal differential during the regular season, but someone had to win it — and the Blues were that team. They were also swept by the mighty Montreal Canadiens when they played for the Cup.)2In fairness to St. Louis, it was as close a sweep as you’ll see; each game was decided by a single goal.Vegas’s season becomes even more impressive when you compare its z-scores to those of the top expansion teams from other sports. No modern MLB expansion club finished a season any better than the 70-win 1961 Los Angeles Angels; no debut NBA team ever topped the 33 wins of the 1967 Chicago Bulls; no NFL expansion team could beat the 7-9 Carolina Panthers from 1995. Hockey does tend to see its teams’ records more tightly bunched than in such sports as football and basketball, but even after adjusting for that with our z-scores, the Golden Knights’ current season blows away any would-be challenger from the NFL, NBA or MLB since the early 1960s: 2018Vegas Golden Knights+0.7+1.372.6%+1.7 Vegas vs. MLB expansion teamsScore DifferentialWin percentage 21994Florida Panthers+0.00.00 YearTeamValueZ-ScoreValueZ-Score 1968Cincinnati Bengals-8.1-0.821.4-1.1 Vegas vs. NFL expansion teamsScore DifferentialWin percentage 1990Minnesota Timberwolves-4.2-0.926.8-1.3 71968Pittsburgh Penguins45.3-0.57 1962Houston Colt .45’s-0.8-1.040.0-1.0 Full-season statistics are used for all teams except Vegas.Source: Hockey-Reference.com 31968Philadelphia Flyers-0.1-0.15 YearTeamValueZ-ScoreValueZ-Score 91971Buffalo Sabres40.4-0.65 1971Portland Trail Blazers-4.5-0.935.4-1.0 1967New Orleans Saints-10.4-1.221.4-1.3 Vegas is destroying its NHL expansion competitorsBest z-scores (standard deviations relative to average) for point percentage and goals per game differential, NHL expansion teams (1968-2018) 1969Kansas City Royals-0.6-0.842.6-0.8 Vegas vs. NBA expansion teamsScore DifferentialWin percentage 81973Atlanta Flames41.7-0.57 71973Atlanta Flames-0.6-0.58 1995Carolina Panthers-2.3-0.443.8-0.4 1966Miami Dolphins-10.6-1.221.4-1.4 91971Vancouver Canucks-0.9-0.77 One thing that jumps out is that many NHL expansion teams had better z-scores than the best expansion teams in the other sports. But why is it so much easier to build a strong NHL expansion team (relative to the league) than in the other Big Four North American sports? I don’t have a great explanation.Hockey is the sport with the least reliable individual stats — while scouts’ eye tests can be swayed by recency and other biases — so it may be that the caliber of players left available in the expansion draft is higher than in other sports. Or perhaps the outsize value of goaltending means one good pick between the pipes is enough to carry a team of talent-strapped skaters to respectability. Or maybe good coaching deserves more credit than it sometimes gets around the league. Whatever the reason, expansion teams have done better on ice in general, even before Vegas started to blow the doors off the league.We know that, in the NHL, it takes a lot of games to tell who’s good and who’s bad — which is why even a hot half-season can turn cold overnight. For Vegas, the heat has been generated by MVP-candidate seasons from the likes of William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault and a near Vezina-worthy performance from Marc-Andre Fleury — all players who were considered expendable as recently as seven months ago. Peeking under the hood, the Knights’ ratio of shots taken to shots allowed at even-strength is nothing special, even after adjusting for score effects and other factors. And let’s face it: Few teams can sustain this pace for an entire season: Of the 24 teams with at least 60 points in their first 42 games since 2005-06,3Excluding the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. only one (last year’s Capitals) had a second-half point percentage as good as it did in the first half of the season.So it would be logical to assume that a second-half regression could be lurking around the corner for the Golden Knights. But the advanced stats don’t suggest that Vegas has been particularly lucky. In terms of expected goals (which measures where a team’s chances come from in addition to their volume), the Knights have the ninth-best ratio in the league.Regression or no regression, various projection systems consider the Knights all but a lock to make the playoffs, which would make Vegas the first expansion team to claim that honor since the 1968 season’s standings guaranteed that four new clubs would qualify. Even the in-town sportsbooks are paying attention to the possibility of playoff action in the desert: The Knights are currently tied for the second-best Stanley Cup odds of any team in the league.For an expansion team, all of this seemed unthinkable going into the season. New franchises aren’t supposed to be instant contenders. They’re supposed to struggle, to require years of building before achieving this kind of success. Vegas clearly doesn’t care about any of that. And now we have an entirely new yardstick with which to compare every other expansion club that comes along in the future, no matter the sport. YEARTEAMGPG DIFF.–Z-SCORE 101971Buffalo Sabres-1.0-0.85 51994Mighty Ducks of Anaheim-0.3-0.37 read more