YAK BUSTS A MOVE

In his last 17 games, Nail Yakupov is 7-8-15 for the Edmonton Oilers. In those 17 games, he has 49 shots on goal, or close to three a game. Most Oilers fans want to discuss Todd Nelson’s impact on the young Russian but I think it’s important to acknowledge the player—our Nail has turned a corner.

  • Craig MacTavish: “He was rarely making a real positive decision with the puck, and now he very rarely makes a negative decision with the puck. He’s got confidence. He’s making more plays with the puck. He’s doing things that he didn’t do at the junior level, like getting pucks in deep when he needs to. He’s getting to the forecheck. He’s turning pucks over in the forecheck. He’s hitting. And he’s got a lot of confidence in his offensive game. The coach has trust in him and it’s easy to have that trust and build that trust when you’re seeing the type of execution he’s delivering. So you give him the opportunity that he wasn’t frankly deserving of before. He is now.” Source

 NAIL’S SPLITS (WAR-ON-ICE)

PLAYER 5X5/60 5×4/60 5x5CORSI FOR% 5×5 CF REL
YAK OCT-DEC 0.8 2.4 47.6 -2.9%
YAK JAN-MAR 1.7 5.5 44.1 -4.0%

He’s 45.9 since February 1 but there’s zero doubt based on the numbers that Nail is:

  • Going the wrong way in the shot differential battle
  • Scoring at double (or more) the rate since the new year

I don’t have the answers (beyond his shooting percentage being 14.3 in the last 17 games) but at some point we’ll have to re-visit the Corgi’s and find out why they won’t bark for Nail. David Staples’ scoring chances from last night suggests Nail is helping contribute to scoring chances but gives up a lot going the other way too, which is completely reasonable based on what we’re seeing. More chances for are cashing, folks, and it’s a long road without the puck. Same as it ever was.

For now, honestly, I’m just enjoying the fact this young man is having success. A lot of people misunderstand Nail’s relationship with the fanbase: We love the kid, have from the start. It may have something to do with being protective about a young man so badly misunderstood.

I think Nail Yakupov is a man of integrity, who was thrilled to play with ‘my captain’ and has devoted himself to getting better and contributing to the Edmonton Oilers. What do I think of Nail Yakupov? Wish the Oilers had 10 more just like him.

THE NEW MATH!

standings mar 19 The Coyotes committed to the lottery in the instant Dubnyk was traded and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see them lose 12 in a row at the end of the year. Of all the teams in the lottery window, Arizona has the fewest points from the last 10 games (3) and Buffalo the second-most (8). It may be first, third or fourth as selection options for Edmonton at this point.

LOWETIDE TOP 10, 2015 DRAFT

        1. (1)C Connor McDavid, Erie Otters (OHL) Has anyone produced like this as a 17-year old? Ever????
        2. (2)C Jack Eichel, Boston U (NCAA) Franchise center caught in a generational draft.
        3. (3)R Mitch Marner, London Knights (OHL) There’s just too much, folks. Big offense.
        4. (5)D Noah Hanifin, Boston College (NCAA) Best of a deep crop of two-way defenders.
        5. (4)C Dylan Strome, Erie Otters (OHL) Big center, crazy skill. What an outstanding draft.
        6. (6) D Ivan Provorov, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) Incredible offense but he can also defend.
        7. (7) D Zach Werenski, Michigan (NCAA) Another fine two-way teenager. Lordy.
        8. (8) C Mathew Barzal, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) Exceptional talent, may end up top 5 on final list.
        9. (8) D Oliver Kylington, Farjestad (SHL). Complete defenseman, someone is going to get a major talent.
        10. (11) C Nick Merkley, Kelowna Rockets (WHL) Wonderful play-making center. Size an issue.

If the draft goes McDavid (New Jersey), Eichel (Buffalo) and Marner (Arizona) one suspects Edmonton selects Hanifin. It might be interesting to cast about and see what is available for that selection, though. It’s also possible the Oilers attempt to trade up to the top two overall but I can’t imagine anyone saying yes to dealing away McEichel. There’s bad PR and there’s ‘something you’ll be remembered for until 100 years after you’re dead’ and trading out of the top two this year seems like a strong candidate for the latter. miller ferguson 14-155 Andrew Miller made his NHL debut last night, looked good to me. Damn near scored in his first shift, showed good speed and some chem with Lander and certainly earned another game. We’re at a point now where the speed of Ryan Hamilton and Matt Fraser is a legit concern, so Miller really stood out last night. He’s a smaller guy and there were times when vapor lock overpowered him but that’s going to be true of anyone in their first NHL game. I like him, would like to see him in more games.

Joey Legs has a chance has a chance. I don’t think he’ll win (Eichel) but the fact he’s in the top 10 from college players this year suggests Edmonton did a dynamite drafting job him in the fifth round in 2012. I known the Oilers scouting department is responsible for everything bad ever, from the current state of the Oilers to the trouble in Ukraine, but would like to point out that there are successes from the 2009-2013 drafts. Anton Lander, Martin Marincin, Oscar Klefbom, Tobias Rieder, Yakupov, Laleggia and a lot of the 2013 draft are showing well. Bob Green being added to the group is a fine thing in my opinion but it’ll also be interesting to see how these MacGregor drafts turn out. There’s a lot of talent there, some of it will find its way to the NHL. We wait.

kelly

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

10 this morning, TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Dennis King, Oilogosphere Icon. Nail The Great, Bettman’s league, bet on Gonzaga?
  • Jeff Krushell, Krush Performance. The worry over head injuries is having an impact on major league sports. Is it just the beginning?
  • Matt Henderson, Oilers Nation and Hockeybuzz. What to do with Hall when he returns, what to do with Nikitin now that he’s returned?

The rest of the list is a moving target, we’ll talk football and March madness if other guests come through. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. Go Zags!

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173 Responses to "YAK BUSTS A MOVE"

  1. MenovOil says:

    Dallas Eakins truly was a special coach. That he was able to turn so many wonderful talents into absolute shit boggles the mind!

  2. Lowetide says:

    MenovOil:
    Dallas Eakins truly was a special coach. That he was able to turn so many wonderful talents into absolute shit boggles the mind!

    I know that’s the prevailing wisdom but for me Eakins had the shot differential figured out and was sewered by goaltending. Now, that isn’t the entire story and these kids ARE performing better under Nelson. I don’t buy that Eakins was the devil, though. Many of the problems Nelson’s team is encountering are the reasons behind losses piling up long after Eakins left.

    Roster remains the number one problem, no matter the coach.

  3. Ben says:

    Would you do Draisaitl and this year’s #3 for Eichel? Would ARI/BUF?

  4. jake70 says:

    If Eakins had Derek Roy (did he have him at all for any games?), from Day 1, how would things look? Anyhoo, it seems the players like playing for Nelson better, must positively translate somehow one would think.

  5. jake70 says:

    Also, with Yak scoring, my concern is it will turn the screws tighter on the Oilers for next contract.

  6. MenovOil says:

    “Roster remains the number one problem, no matter the coach.”

    Yes and no.

    Is this a SC contender? Course not.

    Playoff contender? Not even close.

    Bottom of the barrel alongside the likes of Buffalo or Arizona, teams who have rosters built to finish DFL? Absolutely not, but this is where the team was stuck with Eakins on board.

  7. HBomb says:

    Geez, LT, if you’re going to be an ass and talk about McDavid going to New Jersey after they win the lottery, why not just write how that would mean it’s a lead-pipe cinch the Oilers pass on Hanifin and Strome at 4OV to take Lawson F’ing Crouse????

  8. Lowetide says:

    MenovOil:
    “Roster remains the number one problem, no matter the coach.”

    Yes and no.

    Is this a SC contender? Course not.

    Playoff contender? Not even close.

    Bottom of the barrel alongside the likes of Buffalo or Arizona, teams who have rosters built to finish DFL? Absolutely not, but this is where the team was stuck with Eakins on board.

    Yeah, I’m going to need more specifics here. What, exactly is your issue with Eakins?

  9. flyfish1168 says:

    i have commented before what i feel constitutes as a good coach. Dallas does not fall into that catagory period, full stop, end of story.

    1) does not recognize each player’s qualities or ability.
    2) putting a player into a position to succeed
    3) how to handle a player when he fail or make a mistake
    4) getting his message across
    5) Accountability

    This i believe has hurt Lander, and Yak

    Even Hall, RNH and Eberle regressed with dallas
    dallas I believe has good ideas about fitness and ideas on analytics of hockey, but his ideas are lost in translation and his ability to work with players are lacking. JMHO

  10. HiddenDarts says:

    Ben:
    Would you do Draisaitl and this year’s #3 for Eichel?Would ARI/BUF?

    No. Oilers need depth. I don’t see anyone making that trade, anyway.

  11. sliderule says:

    I think the story in the papers about Yak and homeless people kind of shows his character.

    The Edmonton media guys at WJC jumped on a kid with limited english ability and used their grade school group bullying tactics to knock him.

    I will say that these same media types in recent times have given him a chance as he has gone though tough times.

    I think the shot metrics are affected by playing with two weak defensive centres.Yak has a ways to go on defence but those two didn’t help.

  12. PhrankLee says:

    Lowetide: Roster remains the number one problem, no matter the coach.

    This by a country mile.

    Being smart is about taking proper account of the odds when you place a bet.

    I think the proof is there to indicate that too many bets were made this year on dubious evidence. It points to hunch playing on the part of management.

    Problem with hunches is they regress to the meat, always.

    Balance between hockey gut and measurable KPIs is the grail, I think. But I am moving away from “hockey gut” all the time.

    Kale Kessy and Greg Chase are my snowballs in hell. Cause I like the story they create.

  13. Lois Lowe says:

    I am still not willing to admit that there’s more to the Nelson Oilers than a regression to the meat. The powerplay is better, but the team was also working on the 1-3-1 aside from the fact that Ramsay was in charge of the powerplay this season.

  14. HiddenDarts says:

    flyfish1168,

    I keep reading “rumour blogs” where Eakins’ name is mentioned as a candidate for head coach of the Leafs.

    Gord how amazing that would be. I’d be willing to bet how those first 130 games would go…

  15. flyfish1168 says:

    sliderule:
    I think the story in the papers about Yak and homeless people kind of shows his character.

    The Edmonton media guys at WJC jumped on a kid with limited english ability and used their grade school group bullying tactics to knock him.

    I will say that these same media types in recent timeshave given him a chance as he has gone though tough times.

    I think the shot metrics are affected by playing with two weak defensive centres.Yak has a ways to go on defence but those two didn’t help.

    grapes is another person that is so full of himself. states never picks on someone when they are down. Well he sure picked on Yak. i would love to see him comment on Yak helping the homeless. we all know that is not coming.

  16. Ducey says:

    MenovOil:
    Dallas Eakins truly was a special coach. That he was able to turn so many wonderful talents into absolute shit boggles the mind!

    Maybe Yak is performing well now BECAUSE he got a kick in the pants from Eakins. Wouldn’t be the first person on, or off, the ice that needed some tough love to sort themselves out.

    Yak still drives me nuts with his defensive play. He often stops skating. Last night on the first goal he back checked very well, got in good position, and then just stood there while the CLB player backed off him and made a nice pass for a goal. I know it wasn’t all on Yak but Yak has to stay on his player so that he has less time to look around a find the trailer. He does this all the time on the forecheck. Aaarrgg!

    My guess is that Yak’s poorer Corsi is attributable somewhat to Leon vs Roy. Leon CF% 52.1 (tops on the team), Roy 48.4 (~15th). I would guess zone starts also had something to do with it. Leon also had the easiest zone starts.

  17. Woodguy says:

    I tweeted this yesterday during the game:

    Woodguy @Woodguy55 · 10h 10 hours ago
    Yak has 15pts in his last 17 games. Suck it Dave Hodge. Jackass.

    Also,

    This is Yak with Roy.

    While Roy is a good player in the ozone, He’s not elite anymore.

    Imagine what he’s going to do with DrySaddle or McEichel in 2 or so years.

  18. flyfish1168 says:

    HiddenDarts:
    flyfish1168,

    I keep reading “rumour blogs” where Eakins’ name is mentioned as a candidate for head coach of the Leafs.

    Gord how amazing that would be. I’d be willing to bet how those first 130 games would go…

    he was planted here by Burke to sabotage our rebuild and then go back to TO

  19. PunjabiOil says:

    Key takeaways from the article:

    – This line was a bit revealing on next year’s plans. Don’t expect an aggressive summer or a swing for the fences.

    “”I think it’ll turn quickly once we get maybe another year of development under our belt with some of the guys like [Darnell] Nurse and [Leon] Draisaitl and [Oscar] Klefbom.”

    – Almost feel those comments on Yakupov were a bit defensive on Eakins. As in “it wasn’t on Eakins”

    – Visually, seems like they cut down on the odd man rushes considerably, Eakins figuring out the shot-differential be damned.

    – Special teams matter. Eakins was near the bottom consistently, and that is not acceptable given the personnel he had.

    – It’s becoming clear players didn’t like Eakins. Petry, Yakupov. Even Eberle taking veiled shots. Perron. Coupled with Rishaug’s report that Eakins got off on the wrong foot with some of the players by giving them fitness modules to follow in the summer before he was hired, the battle with Hall in that they had differences on how summer training should be, the ban of donuts from reporters, the removal of 80’s pictures in the locker room; you ended up with a disruptive team chemistry.

    These things accumulate and matter.

    They just do.

  20. thejonrmcleod says:

    Lois Lowe:
    I am still not willing to admit that there’s more to the Nelson Oilers than a regression to the meat. The powerplay is better, but the team was also working on the 1-3-1 aside from the fact that Ramsay was in charge of the powerplay this season.

    “Regression to the meat.” The challenge that every vegetarian faces.

  21. Ducey says:

    Lois Lowe,

    I am still not willing to admit that there’s more to the Nelson Oilers than a regression to the meat.

    It is hard to stay on a vegetarian diet.

  22. Doomoil says:

    MenovOil:
    “Roster remains the number one problem, no matter the coach.”

    Yes and no.

    Is this a SC contender? Course not.

    Playoff contender? Not even close.

    Bottom of the barrel alongside the likes of Buffalo or Arizona, teams who have rosters built to finish DFL? Absolutely not, but this is where the team was stuck with Eakins on board.

    The Edmonton Nelson Oilers have lost 7 of the last 8.

  23. commonfan14 says:

    Lowetide: for me Eakins had the shot differential figured out

    Did we ever figure out how exactly he figured that out?

    I mean, can anyone say specifically what they were doing better under Eakins that they’re doing worse now?

    Why were they able to be an okay shot differential team with no 2C and a horrible defence?

    I don’t know that I’ve seen anyone really attempt an explanation.

  24. boneshj says:

    MenovOil,

    You see everyone is so used to how bad they are with Eakins that this looks like gold to us, but the reality is that even this improved version of the Oilers is really, really bad.

    Since the day the Oilers sent Craig MacTavish upstairs and turned the reins over to Nelson 100%, the Oilers are 27th for points earned, 27th for points earned per game, 27th for goal differential, 27th for regulation or overtime wins. This is over a 35 game stretch so almost a half season. The power play is now awesome, but the overall results are still bottom of the barrel. And this is all despite the 28th, 29th and 30th place teams doing a very intentional tank job, meaning they have the worst record of any of the teams that actually are trying to win.

    Granted, people will say “depleted lineup”. Well yeah we haven’t seen many games with both Pouliot and Hall in the lineup, but are we fool enough to believe one forward, when the real problem lately is GA, is enough to bump them up into the high 20s for league rank. Otherwise, this team has been relatively healthy compared to any other team in the league as the only other real lengthy injuries are Nikitin who again doesn’t help much with GA for the little bit of offense he has and Pitlick is basically an AHLer.

  25. stush18 says:

    I gotta think dallas is regretting not grabbing a job in the nhl as an assistant. Tried to rocket up the coaching ranks into stardom, but his tail fin came off early and he tried to pilot away, but ended up over circling and crashing straight into our playoff chances.

    I think he would make an excellent assistant coach. He clearly has a knowledge of the advanced statistics of the game and there importance.

    Spending time working under a communicating head coach would do wonders for his coaching ability. Learn how to send a message, how to motivate players.

  26. judgedrude says:

    I’ve seen a lot on goalie SV% being different for high/medium/low scoring areas. Maybe the same should be done for a skater’s shooting percentage.

    Maybe Yak’s improvement in shooting percentage is a function of him getting in better scoring position, like the goal last night. Something like that would show a improvement in “thinking the game”, no?

  27. Jesse says:

    If we could refer to the time when both MacT and Nelson were on the bench as Half Nelson and the time since as Full Nelson that would be great.

  28. Woodguy says:

    Joey Legs has a chance has a chance.

    Awesome.

  29. Lois Lowe says:

    thejonrmcleod: “Regression to the meat.” The challenge that every vegetarian faces.

    I was a vegetarian for 11 years before I returned to the dark arts of meat eating.

    stush18:
    I gotta think dallas is regretting not grabbing a job in the nhl as an assistant. Tried to rocket up the coaching ranks into stardom, but his tail fin came off early and he tried to pilot away, but ended up over circling and crashing straight into our playoff chances.

    I think he would make an excellent assistant coach. He clearly has a knowledge of the advanced statistics of the game and there importance.

    Spending time working under a communicating head coach would do wonders for his coaching ability. Learn how to send a message, how to motivate players.

    Eakins was an assistant coach in the NHL prior to being a head coach in the AHL.

  30. Hammers says:

    If we fall to 4th pick I would seriously consider trading for Seabrook plus a 2nd and better still same player for our 1st & Pitlick for Seabrook and there 1st rd pick in 2016 . I would also consider Marincin and Ottawa’s 3rd for Marchant and Bostons 2nd from Boychuck . Both of those teams will have to be considering trades with a cap of 71 mill.

  31. Hammers says:

    jake70:
    Also, with Yak scoring, my concern is it will turn the screws tighter on the Oilers for next contract.

    Hell if he can get us 75 points a year I would give him the 6-7 year deal .

  32. El Duderino says:

    When it was revealed Achins redecorated including removing the ping pong table and putting up that ridonkulous Chop Wood Carry Water sign, I thought there was a big ego problem. Then we heard he had not looked at any video of the team, he installed the swarm, and spoke in terms of them and not us, plus all the Marlie connections, well Oh Boy, and what did MacT see in this guy. Very quirky. So MacT sold him a bill of goods, did he?

  33. Jon K says:

    Ben:
    Would you do Draisaitl and this year’s #3 for Eichel?Would ARI/BUF?

    The Oilers would. Not a chance Buffalo or Arizona would.

    I imagine you’d have to put together a package like: Hall, Klefbom/Nurse, the #3/4 to get the conversation rolling. The price would be steep, but probably still worth it.

    As LT notes, the top two picks are going to be about PR. The package in return would need to : 1) be monumental to sell to fans, and 2) put Buffalo or Arizona ahead in terms of their rebuild, meaning players that are ready to help win and sell tickets right now.

  34. Woodguy says:

    HBomb:
    Geez, LT, if you’re going to be an ass and talk about McDavid going to New Jersey after they win the lottery, why not just write how that would mean it’s a lead-pipe cinch the Oilers pass on Hanifin and Strome at 4OV to take Lawson F’ing Crouse????

    Ha!

    Nice to see you post Hbomb.

    Do it more.

    LT is just telling the truth.

    Lou is the The Devil.

    I think Gary owes Ed Snider more though.

    “The Philadelphia Flyers are proud to select from the Erie Otters……”

  35. thejonrmcleod says:

    Woodguy,

    I wonder if the Oilers did win the lottery…

    Would the Flyers offer the Oilers a deal like they did with Quebec for Lindros?

  36. El Duderino says:

    Plus a day or two ago, Eberle basically said Achins had them playing for a better Corgi rather than trying to score. So sure Achins knows anal itics and I say BS. The object is to win.

  37. elpolodiablo says:

    Lowetide,

    Lowetide: I know that’s the prevailing wisdom but for me Eakins had the shot differential figured out and was sewered by goaltending. Now, that isn’t the entire story and these kids ARE performing better under Nelson. I don’t buy that Eakins was the devil, though. Many of the problems Nelson’s team is encountering are the reasons behind losses piling up long after Eakins left.

    Roster remains the number one problem, no matter the coach.

    You’re being incredibly stubborn, it’s obvious Eakins was horrible it was obvious from the first game nelson took over. Mactavish made a horrible decision hiring him. He shouldn’t be the GM anymore because of it.

  38. Hammers says:

    Your round table discussion yesterday had all of you agreeing the main problem is the roster and I don’t disagree but only to a point . What would Niemi or Anderson in goal , a Seabrook + Green on “D” and adding a Marchant as a forward give you . McT isn’t far away if he could add that 1 decent goalie , 2 good “D” and 1 more forward . . GOAL Anderson & Scrivens ; “D” Klefbom Schultz Seabrook Green Fayne Marincin & Ference ; RNH Hall Ebs ; Roy Yak Marchant ; Lander Pouliot Purcell ; Gordon Klink Hendricks ; Leon Gazdic Pakirinin Nurse (2 back to AHL for 40 ) Its called near yet far away as those added 4 players are all NHL proven .

  39. letmycamerongo says:

    This might sound stupid, but does Yak need to be a player that has the corgi’s barking? Kessel in TO has never been known to be a strong possession player, but he’s put up 30+ goal seasons 6 years in a row. His main problem is that he’s their top line guy, playing with non-top line linemates and so more is expected of him.

    Yak doesn’t have that issue. He isn’t playing in a top line role, and if he were to be, he’d be playing with Nuge who can handle the toughs.

    I also remember a lot being made of wingers ability to really affect a lot of defensive zone chances against, it’s mostly a centreman concern. If he’s producing CF in the offensive end, and capitalizing I don’t necessarily need to see his CF% above 45% or so.

    Call me an idiot, I might be. Just saying

  40. PhrankLee says:

    Hammers: McT isn’t far away if he could add that 1 decent goalie , 2 good “D” and 1 more forward . .

    One could argue these mystery players you hope for could be construed as the ‘core members’ of any NHL team.

    This is a HUGE ask in 2 off seasons. He is not close by any means.

  41. Hammers says:

    elpolodiablo:
    Lowetide,

    You’re being incredibly stubborn, it’s obvious Eakins was horrible it was obvious from the first game nelson took over. Mactavish made a horrible decision hiring him. He shouldn’t be the GM anymore because of it.

    You mean like Lowe’s decision to hire Tambellini . McT spent his first 6 months clearing out deadwood .McT still deserves another full year .

  42. AZOIL says:

    letmycamerongo:
    This might sound stupid, but does Yak need to be a player that has the corgi’s barking? Kessel in TO has never been known to be a strong possession player, but he’s put up 30+ goal seasons 6 years in a row. His main problem is that he’s their top line guy, playing with non-top line linemates and so more is expected of him.

    Yak doesn’t have that issue. He isn’t playing in a top line role, and if he were to be, he’d be playing with Nuge who can handle the toughs.

    I also remember a lot being made of wingers ability to really affect a lot of defensive zone chances against, it’s mostly a centreman concern. If he’s producing CF in the offensive end, and capitalizing I don’t necessarily need to see his CF% above 45% or so.

    Call me an idiot, I might be. Just saying

    Well, if you say so? Idiot! 🙂

  43. Hammers says:

    PhrankLee: One could argue these mystery players you hope for could be construed as the ‘core members’ of any NHL team.

    This is a HUGE ask in 2 off seasons. He is not close by any means.

    Not so sure of that but this years pick if not in the top 2 could be traded for a player on a cap strapped team and there will be better picks for a Goalie . My question then is would a Chicago or New York give up a top “D” + to get say Hanifin and get under the cap . Yes we need those 4 core players but it is possible . At least 3 this year if not all 4 .

  44. elpolodiablo says:

    Hammers,
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B-intQGCEAA2noa.png:large

    When I saw this quote from Larionov I thought Mactavish and Eakins should be gone

  45. frjohnk says:

    Hammers:
    Your round table discussion yesterday had all of you agreeing the main problem is the roster and I don’t disagree but only to a point . What would Niemi or Anderson in goal , a Seabrook + Green on “D” and adding a Marchant as a forward give you . McT isn’t far away if he could add that 1 decent goalie , 2 good “D” and 1 more forward . . GOALAnderson & Scrivens; “D” Klefbom Schultz Seabrook GreenFayneMarincin & Ference; RNH Hall Ebs ; Roy Yak Marchant ; Lander Pouliot Purcell ; Gordon Klink Hendricks ; Leon Gazdic Pakirinin Nurse (2 back to AHL for 40 )Its called near yet far away as those added 4 players are all NHL proven .

    Plugging Schneiders numbers with the Oilers team defence, takes the goal differential from -76 to -22.

    Yes, an extreme example as I believe Schneider is a top 5 goalie, but a number 1 goalie putting up number 1 goalie stats for us next year will be the biggest dial mover for us. We still need more moving parts, but number 1 goalie is number 1 need.

  46. Eh Team says:

    boneshj: You see everyone is so used to how bad they are with Eakins that this looks like gold to us, but the reality is that even this improved version of the Oilers is really, really bad.

    We are still really getting killed by our goaltending. I like Scrivens personally but there is no way you can win in the NHL with sub .900 goaltending. Plus we are now typically rolling with 4-5 skaters per game who are ‘ok’ AHL players- the Ryan Hamiltons, Gazdics, etc.

  47. boneshj says:

    Hammers,

    Are the things you mentioned not roster issues?

  48. Showerhead says:

    Man, it’s hilarious what some people will say to feel right instead of be helpful.

    Here is my take:

    On any given night, Edmonton plays roughly 1/3 of its roster over its head, many of these players a full league over its head.

    Edmonton is getting caved in slightly worse at even strength by possession metrics than before.
    Edmonton’s special teams are wildly better under Nelson than Eakins.
    Edmonton is winning slightly more occasionally than before.
    Edmonton is collecting Bettman points quite often these days.
    Eakins comes off as arrogant and a bit of a jerk. Nelson projects as much more people friendly.

    And as those points pile up (by Oiler standards), people are getting worse and worse at seeing anything but black and white.

    Meanwhile, Yak City continues to rise. If I may make a similar list of opinion-statements for Yak, it would be this:
    Yakupov is scoring more at even strength and on the powerplay than before.
    Yakupov’s shooting percentage is a little higher than normal now and was a fair bit lower than normal before.
    Yakupov is shooting much more frequently in the last month or so. (This is the best news.)
    Yakupov is still getting caved in by shot metrics.

    Again, this is what we know. If you want to feel “right”, find a way to fit the facts into one of your preexisting opinions. If you want to be helpful, let’s talk about why these things are happening and be open to constructive criticism as the conversation continues.

    My own take on Yak: the key, as always, is to outscore the opposition. If he can maintain these shot rates and bury his chances at these types of rates, Edmonton could outscore its opposition (relative to context!) with Yak on the ice. That’s all that matters. That said, even when you acknowledge the low level of teammates and the terrible goaltending, Yakupov has a ways to go in terms of improving things: d-zone coverage, sure, but also he needs to add more options to his o-zone entries and more options to his game once he has possession in the o-zone. These will help.

    If Yak continues to shoot more and if his % stays decent and if he adds a little more dynamic to his offensive zone game and if he can tidy up his d-game, he will be an absolutely formidable player. I’d be content with 2/4 though and happy with 3/4.

  49. prairieschooner says:

    Lots of comments on Eakins and his coaching deficiencies
    In the same way, it was not the dirty Russians fault that management offered him a huge contract which he accepted.
    It was Mr Bold Moves who while looking for an assistant to help Ralph K offered the head job to Eakins

  50. PhrankLee says:

    frjohnk: but number 1 goalie is number 1 need.

    I believe this with my entire heart.

  51. edwards_daddy says:

    HBomb:
    Geez, LT, if you’re going to be an ass and talk about McDavid going to New Jersey after they win the lottery, why not just write how that would mean it’s a lead-pipe cinch the Oilers pass on Hanifin and Strome at 4OV to take Lawson F’ing Crouse????

    Crouse smells awfully like a Hugh Jessiman

  52. Henry says:

    commonfan14: Did we ever figure out how exactly he figured that out?

    I mean, can anyone say specifically what they were doing better under Eakins that they’re doing worse now?

    Why were they able to be an okay shot differential team with no 2C and a horrible defence?

    I don’t know that I’ve seen anyone really attempt an explanation.

    I’d like an answer to this too. My hypothesis is that Eakins didn’t have his guys as ready to play as the opposition to start darn near every game. Once is was 2-0, the Oilers had the rest of the game to be better with Corsi while the other team lagged.

    I haven’t crunched the numbers to test the hypothesis that Eakins group had more time behind in the score than Nelson’s and that is why the poor Corsi of a bad roster is reflected more on Nelson, but I’ll see what I can do this weekend.

  53. JustWatt says:

    Ben,

    I would do that deal in heartbeat. MacT must feel that he is set up front since he’s got two legit LWs, two legit RWs (with Yak turning the corner), and one legit C. If you make the trade you upgrade from Leon to Eichel and you are set for 5+ years up front with the best/strongest combos. But neither Buf/Ari will take the deal. So because we are so set on the wings and with Leon coming up soon to fill the 2C spot and D being an area of glaring weakness, they will take Hanifin. He fills the need and will mature a little quicker than Nurse. I bet anything that management is thinking Klef/Nurse/Hanifin in a couple of years. Book it.

  54. Vaclav says:

    PhrankLee: I believe this with my entire heart.

    With the emergence of Talbot this season is there any chance the Rangers consider trading Lundqvist? They haven’t missed a beat with Talbot in net and clearing $8.5M in cap space eliminates any $$$ crunch for next season.

    Of course with a NMC King Henrik would likely have to be enticed by the Oilers to join them. Perhaps a gift basket with 80’s Betamax tapes showing the glory years?

  55. Woodguy says:

    thejonrmcleod:
    Woodguy,

    I wonder if the Oilers did win the lottery…

    Would the Flyers offer the Oilers a deal like they did with Quebec for Lindros?

    Almost no chance.

    McDavid is on record saying “it would be an honor to be dratted by the Oilers (interview from Bob’s show)

    No reason to trade him.

    Lindros wouldn’t sign, which is the only reason the Nords traded him.

  56. Showerhead says:

    Woodguy: Almost no chance.

    McDavid is on record saying “it would be an honor to be dratted by the Oilers (interview from Bob’s show)

    No reason to trade him.

    Lindros wouldn’t sign, which is the only reason the Nords traded him.

    Agreed.

    Someone comes up with this scenario every year. With MacDavid being such a generational talent, we are probably the closest to it being relevant that we have ever been.

    But not only is he not an entitled prick (therefore precluding the need to come up with a wild and wonderful trade scenario)… but pretty much everyone who has followed the NHL in the last 25 years knows how how Quebec built its dynasty off of that trade and the cautious moral that comes with it.

    Not going to happen.

  57. wheatnoil says:

    Nail Yakupov’s WOWY-zone start adjusted for this season:

    Player – Minutes with Yak – Corsi % with Yak – Corsi % without Yak

    Roy – 329 min – 44.6% – 49.2%
    Schultz – 266 min – 46.9% – 50.3%
    Ference – 252 min – 40.0% – 46.1%
    Petry – 240 min – 45.5% – 49.8%
    Fayne – 232 min – 42.2% – 47.3%
    Purcell – 221 min – 47.3% – 50.0%
    Klefbom – 177 min – 48.7% – 50.3%
    Arcobello – 163 min – 45.8% – 52.5%
    Draisaitl – 160 min – 47.5% – 53.2%
    Pouliot – 151 min – 42.9% – 53.8%
    Nikitin – 115 min – 42.7% – 49.8%
    Marincin – 105 min – 43.8% – 49.8%
    Eberle – 99 min – 46.8% – 50.8%

    Summary: That’s every player (13 in total) who have played at least 100 min with Yakupov this year. Every single of one of them has a better corsi (adjusted for zone starts, but not quality of competition) without Yak and with him. The mean of the difference is just over 5% corsi (don’t read too much into that, because I didn’t correct that average for time on ice with him).

    I really like Yak and I do want the Oilers to keep him. He’s an incredibly fun player to watch. However, when every single player you’ve played with during the year is posting better zone-adjusted possession numbers without you… that’s a problem.

    Again, I really like Yak. I heart him. But my brain is concerned by these numbers. I wonder if Yak can go on a tear to end this year, if his trade value would improve enough that they could get value for him in a trade?

    (stats from stats.hockeyanalysis.com)

  58. thejonrmcleod says:

    Woodguy,

    Yeah, I wasn’t thinking that McDavid would spurn the Oilers or that the Oilers would consider trading him. Just wondering if the Flyers would offer that kind of deal again.

  59. Woodguy says:

    flyfish1168,

    2) putting a player into a position to succeed

    That’s crap.

    He sheltered Drysaddle, Yak, and Schultz as much as he could.

    Yak and DrySaddle has 70%+OZS – Schultz was over 65%

    How is that not putting players in a position to succeed?

  60. vinotintazo says:

    Im getting worried that Roy’s FO% is around 40%… thats just really bad for a centerman 🙁

  61. VOR says:

    Jessiman was a giant 6 foot, 225 pound college player with known skating issues. He plays a far more passive game than Dustin Penner. Crouse is 6 foot 3 inches tall and weighs 205 pounds, plays in the OHL, has NHL speed, hits anything that moves, and has a far better NHLE than Jessiman. There is actually very little similarity. Jessiman was seen as a bit of a gamble at the time. Crouse may be rated too high but there is a consensus that he will be an NHLer.

  62. G Money says:

    Henry: Once is was 2-0, the Oilers had the rest of the game to be better with Corsi while the other team lagged.
    I haven’t crunched the numbers to test the hypothesis that Eakins group had more time behind in the score than Nelson’s and that is why the poor Corsi of a bad roster is reflected more on Nelson, but I’ll see what I can do this weekend.

    Just use War-On-Ice’s date range function (cutover date being Dec 16) and the comparison is pretty quick to do.

    The answer by the way: yes, score effects (the Oilers Corsi looking worse because they are ahead more often) do explain part of the difference – but only part of it.

    There is still a marked worsening of all even strength offensive and defensive measures (whether you use, from broadest to narrowest, Corsi, Fenwick, shots, or scoring chances) even after adjusting for score effects.

  63. thejonrmcleod says:

    I’m not sure trading Draisaitl and the #3 pick for the #2 is such an easy decision. If Draisaitl, Hanifin, and Eichel reach their full potential, what do they become? Eichel a Malkin-type? Draisaitl a top-20 scorer? Hanifin a number one defenseman? Would you trade a top-20 scorer and a number one defenseman for Malkin?

  64. G Money says:

    wheatnoil,

    Nice work.

    I’m in that camp as well.

    Huge fan of Yak, love the fact that his offense is coming back – but in the medium term, that possession game needs to improve significantly for him to be a true impact player.

    But hey … let him get his confidence in his offensive game back to 100%, then let him work on the defensive game in that context. Better late than never.

  65. Ca$h-Money! says:

    VOR:
    Jessiman was a giant 6 foot, 225 pound college player with known skating issues. He plays a far more passive game than Dustin Penner. Crouse is 6 foot 3 inches tall and weighs 205 pounds, plays in the OHL, has NHL speed, hits anything that moves, and has a far better NHLE than Jessiman. There is actually very little similarity. Jessiman was seen as a bit of a gamble at the time. Crouse may be rated too high but there is a consensus that he will be an NHLer.

    The Crouse hyperbole has gotten out of hand. Yes, it would be a mistake to pick him in the top 5. But at the same time, this is a player who is a very legitimate pick at 15th overall in a very deep draft. Almost guaranteed to play in the NHL at least as a depth option, with reasonable top 6 upside assuming decent development.

    If we get Crouse with the Pittsburgh pick we should be pretty happy. We have 0 reason to believe we will pick him at #3. None.

  66. letmycamerongo says:

    Woodguy,

    but yak was playing with Leon. That’s not putting either player in a position to succeed, no matter where they are playing or who against.

    I remember watching a game this season, I think it was Gazdics first game of the season, where our “3rd line” was Gazdic, Leon and Yak. The sportscaster used Gazdics line mates as an example of a coach helping a player out by giving him a chance to succeed with talented line mates. I thought, great give Luke a chance to look good and give the other two real prospects another anchor to cripple them.

  67. justDOit says:

    Hour one from LT’s show yesterday hasn’t been posted yet?

    http://www.tsn.ca/radio/edmonton-1260/shows/the-lowdown-with-lowetide-1.53052

  68. 719 says:

    I think Staal or McDonagh along with Talbot are on the trade block this offseason. Both Staal and McDonagh play a similar game and have high cap hits. With Conor Allen looking like he is ready to burst through to the NHL, one of them could be traded for cap reasons. This would save the Rangers 4 to 5 million in cap space depending who they trade for and what Allen’s cap number would be.

    Talbot would be traded because Mackenzie Shapski looks like he is a capable backup. This would save the Rangers approximately 900k in cap money.

    If the Oilers could pick up both McDonagh and Talbot, along with re-signing Petry the defence and goaltending look a lot better. The team would still need a veteran goaltender and a capable 2 way center.

  69. sliderule says:

    wheatnoil,

    I am curious as to whether WOWY’s are adjusted for minutes.

    If Roy plays one minute with Nuge and Hall would that be a fair comparison for time away from Yakupov ?

  70. thejonrmcleod says:

    Yak busts a move after MacT had contemplated moving a bust.

  71. frjohnk says:

    letmycamerongo:
    Woodguy,

    but yak was playing with Leon. That’s not putting either player in a position to succeed, no matter where they are playing or who against.

    I remember watching a game this season, I think it was Gazdics first game of the season, where our “3rd line” was Gazdic, Leon and Yak. The sportscaster used Gazdics line mates as an example of a coach helping a player out by giving him a chance to succeed with talented line mates. I thought, great give Luke a chance to look good and give the other two real prospects another anchor to cripple them.

    Those 3 have played 1:51 together this year.
    Yak has played 6:44 with Gazdic.

    You must be thinking of someone else.

  72. G Money says:

    The single biggest indictment of Eakins may be that he managed to give off a vibe such that large swaths of people give him absolutely no credit for doing anything well at all, regardless of evidence to the contrary.

    Conversely, people are going to the ends of the earth to defend Nelson as a massive improvement in every way, again ignoring any and all evidence to the contrary.

    Not sure if that’s a testament to Nelson’s likeability or Eakins’ dislikeability, but an interesting look at bias in action.

  73. blainer says:

    Nelson is doing exactly what I was hoping for with Yak when we new the season was done. Play the man to see exactly what we have. Lots of PP time and EV mins. He has pleasantly surprised me by his play offensively. Still lots of work to do in the Dzone though. I think Hall’s injury was a blessing for Yak as he has stepped up in Hall’s absence. Depending on who we draft we may see him traded if he finishes out well this year. I will be OK if he is here next year based on his play lately but worry for him if there is a new coach.

    As for Eakins or Nelson, Hitchcock , Scotty Bowman ,or even Babcock… GOALTENDERS are coach killers or coach keepers.. Doesn’t matter who is coaching with the goaltending we have had these past ten years. MacT go get an experienced No. 1 goalie and your job and the coach’s should be safe..

  74. blainer says:

    G Money:
    wheatnoil,

    Nice work.

    I’m in that camp as well.

    Huge fan of Yak, love the fact that his offense is coming back – but in the medium term, that possession game needs to improve significantly for him to be a true impact player.

    But hey … let him get his confidence in his offensive game back to 100%, then let him work on the defensive game in that context.Better late than never.

    Well said.. it’s much easier to deal with other parts of his game as long as he is producing offensively. I would still like to see him with a good possession center and faceoff expert like Sobotka as I think that would really help the Corgi’s…

  75. commonfan14 says:

    Showerhead: but pretty much everyone who has followed the NHL in the last 25 years knows how how Quebec built its dynasty off of that trade

    Mario Tremblay had a pretty significant hand it that too.

  76. letmycamerongo says:

    frjohnk,

    Nope, Nov 25th vs Dallas

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/11/25/gdb-22-0-be-competitive

    Looks like Gazdic only played about 3 mins that night though, while the other 2 played around 11:00.

  77. Lois Lowe says:

    G Money:
    The single biggest indictment of Eakins may be that he managed to give off a vibe such that large swaths of people give him absolutely no credit for doing anything well at all, regardless of evidence to the contrary.

    Conversely, people are going to the ends of the earth to defend Nelson as a massive improvement in every way, again ignoring any and all evidence to the contrary.

    Not sure if that’s a testament to Nelson’s likeability or Eakins’ dislikeability, but an interesting look at bias in action.

    It’s anti-intellectualism pure and simple.

  78. frjohnk says:

    letmycamerongo:
    frjohnk,

    Nope, Nov 25th vs Dallas

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/11/25/gdb-22-0-be-competitive

    Looks like Gazdic only played about 3 mins that night though, while the other 2 played around 11:00.

    nope, http://www.puckalytics.com/superwowy.html

    plug in Yak, Draisaitl and Gazdic.

    Those three have played 1:51 together this year. ( 5 on 5)
    Yak has played 6:44 with Gazdic
    Draisaitl played 22:37 with Gazdic.

    EDIT: Sorry, just realised you were just relaying what the announcer was saying before the game.

    But in the end, they have barely played together.

  79. letmycamerongo says:

    frjohnk,

    ya, my point was putting Leon and Yak together regardless of how easy you play them is putting neither player in a position to succeed. Not saying they were saddled with Gazdic for long periods of time, just using the anecdote.

  80. Jon K says:

    Lois Lowe: It’s anti-intellectualism pure and simple.

    “Let’s make litter out of these literati!”

    “That’s too clever, you’re one of them!

  81. thejonrmcleod says:

    Lois Lowe,

    If a coach isn’t a likeable person, that’s a leadership problem.

  82. flyfish1168 says:

    Woodguy:
    flyfish1168,

    2) putting a player into a position to succeed

    That’s crap.

    He sheltered Drysaddle, Yak, and Schultz as much as he could.

    Yak and DrySaddle has 70%+OZS – Schultz was over 65%

    How is that not putting players in a position to succeed?

    In that respect he tried.

    Another part of helping someone succeed is to point out the good and unfortunately eakins lost Yak by the time eakins learnt this. The local and national media was having a field day on Yak due to eakins incompetent remarks
    I believe if eakins was ready to be a head coach he would have known better how to handle all kinds of personalities and type of players.
    This is also a part of putting a player in a position to succeed. Understanding how the media will use your comments about the player. We all have our options. this is JMHO like it or not

  83. Lois Lowe says:

    thejonrmcleod,

    So Daryll Sutter and John Tortorella won their cups in spite of their leadership problems I presume?

  84. blainer says:

    A question for all… Does everyone think Yak has done enough lately to get the call for Russia at the world championship?

  85. G Money says:

    Lois Lowe: It’s anti-intellectualism pure and simple.

    No question, that’s a big part of it. No question Eakins tried to do some ‘smart’ things that go against the accepted grain, and that does set people on edge.

    But a lot of it also reflects the level of discourse we see in other arenas these days, a polarization to false dichotomies.

    In this case, it seems like Eakins and Nelson must be classified as either a great coach who did everything well or a terrible coach who did nothing well.

    Therefore, any discussion of what Eakins did better is seen as a push to “Eakins the great” vs “Nelson the terrible”, which of course runs counter to the prevailing “wisdom” of “Nelson the great” and “Eakins the terrible.”

    Hell, at least one of the purveyors of this polarized nonsense has declared him/herself to be a “prophet”!

  86. Lois Lowe says:

    G Money,

    I know I’m treading on verboten subject matter here but I think that polarization matches the kind of wedge politics and discourse that’s unfortunatly become the standard in North America.

  87. Zack says:

    Ben:
    Would you do Draisaitl and this year’s #3 for Eichel?Would ARI/BUF?

    Yes but I don’t think ARZ/BUF would do this deal.

  88. sliderule says:

    The nhl enhanced sat difference shows
    Yak-136
    OReilly -136
    Johnny hockey -139
    Monahan-203
    Van reimsdyk -223
    Duchene -247
    Ennis -401
    Myers –476

    What am I missing as I have heard yearning for some of these players on this blog.

  89. HiddenDarts says:

    justDOit,

    I’m seeing that LT’s show tends to be inconsistently posted across both tsn.ca AND soundcloud.com.

    Do a search for LowdownwithLowetide on soundcloud, and at least 70% of shows tend to show up there.

  90. Rational Zealot says:

    G Money:
    The single biggest indictment of Eakins may be that he managed to give off a vibe such that large swaths of people give him absolutely no credit for doing anything well at all, regardless of evidence to the contrary.

    Conversely, people are going to the ends of the earth to defend Nelson as a massive improvement in every way, again ignoring any and all evidence to the contrary.

    Not sure if that’s a testament to Nelson’s likeability or Eakins’ dislikeability, but an interesting look at bias in action.

    This is absolutely the story and more should be said about it.

    Part of it is absolutely the tacit anti-intellectualism of the hockey world and of Edmontonians.

    Part of it is the power of the media to shape public opinion.

    Part of it is results. Eakins could have overcome this, at least for a while, if he had had better results.

    But all of it is interesting. I can’t recall a case in which the narrative swamps the facts so consistently as this.

    That said, I’m ready to move on. I like Nelson and want him to succeed and he has two real things to point to (as opposed to all the nonsense).

    1) The powerplay is better.
    2) Yakupov is getting more shots/game. That’s good.

    As to the rest, well I’m not very hopeful. I really wish Eakins had been a better powerplay coach. A few more goals early in the season to ride out the goaltending would have helped a great deal.

    I remain convinced that the way the team opened the season the last two years was the best this team has played and can play. Do you remember the Leafs game last year when they blew the lead in the last minute. That was exciting hockey sewered by dumb mistakes and bad goaltending. And both times it was sunk by goaltending which caused everyone to doubt their conviction.

  91. G Money says:

    thejonrmcleod:
    If a coach isn’t a likeable person, that’s a leadership problem.

    There’s a ton of research out there on leadership which suggests that there is no universally successful (or unsuccesful) approach.

    There are tyrannical leaders with track records of success. There are “people friendly” leaders with horrendous track records.

    And vice versa.

    I was quite surprised when I studied that material, which was part of my “Strategic HR” course during my MBA. I had the same idea, that ‘inspired and inspiring people-first’ leadership (something I model my own management style on) was the new model, and that the top-down military style was old-fashioned, antiquated, ineffective, etc.

    It (like so much of reality) turns out to be more nuanced than that. What works actually depends on the time, the place, the situation, the company, the vertical, and the people.

    There are certainly themes (e.g. turns out strong arm leaders have a better track record at turning around struggling once-successful businesses) … but no absolutes.

    If someone were to assert that part of Eakins’ issue is that he wasn’t the right leader for this time and this young roster, and likeability was part of that issue, I have no problem buying that.

    But there is lots of evidence out there (Lois having given some examples) showing that you don’t have to be likeable to be successful as a coach in hockey.

  92. thejonrmcleod says:

    Lois Lowe,

    Do Sutton’s players not like him? Anyway, I said a leadership problem, not a winning problem. I believe there’s a difference.

  93. justDOit says:

    HiddenDarts,

    Thx. I thought they were only posting on tsn.ca these days – didn’t think of checking soundcloud.

  94. G Money says:

    Rational Zealot: That said, I’m ready to move on. I like Nelson and want him to succeed and he has two real things to point to (as opposed to all the nonsense).
    1) The powerplay is better.
    2) Yakupov is getting more shots/game. That’s good.

    Yes. My only remaining interest in the Eakins/Nelson split is understanding the whys of the performance of the teams, for my own benefit if no one elses!

    I would add to your two things a couple of others that are supported concretely:

    3) The verbal from the players indicates a level of trust and communication with this coach that they didn’t have with Eakins. This to my mind is an improvement (and a distinct shortcoming in Eakins).

    4) There is a change in the forecheck, with the F3 staying higher, which provides better cover when the D pinch. This seems to have changed two things: subjectively it appears the D pinch more aggressively (with more confidence), and the team looks to be giving up fewer odd man rushes against. I wish we had concrete data to support the latter, though observationally it ain’t rocket statistics.

    On point 1, the powerplay isn’t just getting better results (which can be an ephemeral sh% result), but actually now has an elite level of shot rates i.e. them PP Corgi’s are running like hell. That’s evidence of a fundamental and enduring improvement. The question is … is that Nelson’s doing, or is it that Nelson has taken some sort of coaching leash off Ramsay?

    Either way, it is unabashedly a good thing.

  95. Pouzar says:

    G Money: There’s a ton of research out there on leadership which suggests that there is no universally successful (or unsuccesful) approach.

    There are tyrannical leaders with track records of success.There are “people friendly” leaders with horrendous track records.

    And vice versa.

    I was quite surprised when I studied that material, which was part of my “Strategic HR” course during my MBA.I had the same idea, that ‘inspired and inspiring people-first’ leadership (something I model my own management style on) was the new model, and that the top-down military style was old-fashioned, antiquated, ineffective, etc.

    It (like so much of reality) turns out to be more nuanced than that.What works actually depends on the time, the place, the situation, the company, the vertical, and the people.

    There are certainly themes (e.g. turns out strong arm leaders have a better track record at turning around struggling once-successful businesses) … but no absolutes.

    If someone were to assert that part of Eakins’ issue is that he wasn’t the right leader for this time and this young roster, and likeability was part of that issue, I have no problem buying that.

    But there is lots of evidence out there (Lois having given some examples) showing that you don’t have to be likeable to be successful as a coach in hockey.

    I was reading this and was going to respond but you did it for me in that 2nd last paragraph.
    Excellent post as always.

  96. russ99 says:

    Woodguy:
    flyfish1168,

    2) putting a player into a position to succeed

    That’s crap.

    He sheltered Drysaddle, Yak, and Schultz as much as he could.

    Yak and DrySaddle has 70%+OZS – Schultz was over 65%

    How is that not putting players in a position to succeed?

    And he made all of them dump the puck in and try and get it back on the side wall against bigger, more experienced and more crafty opposition.

    Which is a vast waste of their collective offensive talents…

    I find it telling that the only thing used to prop up Eakins anymore is possession numbers.

    IMO you’re all picking the wrong hill to die on with Eakins as the example on how better possession metrics = more goals/more wins.

  97. rickithebear says:

    blainer:

    As for Eakins or Nelson, Hitchcock , Scotty Bowman ,or even Babcock… GOALTENDERS are coach killers or coach keepers.. Doesn’t matter who is coaching with the goaltending we have had these past ten years. MacT go get an experienced No. 1 goalie and your job and the coach’s should be safe..

    Low open hole Shots – D
    Good rebound & open hole Save% – goalie.

    A goalie in position in elevation in the net.
    will make a read and stay elevated or drop to pads.
    2 open hole patterns.
    Overlay the paterns.
    The areas of the net open in both positions,
    is the optimal open hole area.(strike zone)
    Only you do not want to pitch outside.
    You want to be in the strike zone and on the edges.

    You want the goal scorers who are able to move the mound cloer to the net!

    You want d that move the mound away!

  98. wheatnoil says:

    sliderule:
    wheatnoil,

    I am curious as towhetherWOWY’s are adjusted for minutes.

    If Roy plays one minute with Nuge and Hall wouldthat be a fair comparison for time away from Yakupov ?

    Thanks for bringing that up! It made me look back at the data and I found a pretty big flaw in using Roy’s numbers.

    Firstly, for sure, there’s flaws in WOWY analysis. I fully admit that doing WOWY analysis is a really broad swipe at this. It’s by no means conclusive and there’s a lot of confounding factors. It’s just a worrisome trend when everyone does better without him.

    Secondly, and more specifically to Roy, I was looking up your specific point and realized there’s a huge flaw in my post with Roy. I’m pretty sure Roy’s “without Yak” numbers includes minutes played not on Edmonton. I didn’t realize that when I posted that comment. He’s played the same amount of minutes with Yak and without Yak… the only way that could be true is if they included his numbers from Nashville. That’s a really unfair comparison. When I have time, I’ll try and look at the WOWY numbers with date ranges (I think there’s a site that does that… but I can’t remember off the top of my head). That would allow us to see how Roy did away from Yak while on Edmonton.

    So, we should ignore Roy’s with or without you numbers that I posted above. It’s apples and oranges and not a fair comparison.

  99. G Money says:

    russ99: And he made all of them dump the puck in and try and get it back on the side wall against bigger, more experienced and more crafty opposition.
    Which is a vast waste of their collective offensive talents…

    Again – this is just an attempt to explain post facto why the team is doing better, without any actual evidence.

    How much was Eakins’ team scoring at even strength? 1.8 goals per 60.

    How much is Nelson’s team scoring at even strength? 1.8 goals per 60.

    How much was Eakins’ team giving up at even strength? 2.8 goals per 60.

    How much is Nelson’s team giving up at even strength? 2.9 goals per 60.

    ALL of the supposed improvement, not possession but actual goals, from Eakins to Nelson is on the powerplay.

    All of it.

    How does this jive with your ‘dump and chase’ theory?

  100. Ducey says:

    Ca$h-Money!: The Crouse hyperbole has gotten out of hand.Yes, it would be a mistake to pick him in the top 5.But at the same time, this is a player who is a very legitimate pick at 15th overall in a very deep draft.Almost guaranteed to play in the NHL at least as a depth option, with reasonable top 6 upside assuming decent development.

    If we get Crouse with the Pittsburgh pick we should be pretty happy.We have 0 reason to believe we will pick him at #3.None.

    Crouse seems similar to Boone Jenner who went 37 and Brandon Saad who went 43rd in 2011. A lot of chief scouts (including that Bastard in these parts) are probably kicking themselves over those misses as both look like they should have gone in the top 15 – 20.

  101. Chris says:

    I think we could all agree that securing a goaltender who could post a .915 save percentage at minimum would go a long way towards making this team appear at the very least mediocre.

    Secondly I think it’s wrong to consider the dislike if Eakins to be “anti-intellectual”. Spect it’s hate on for Mc79 aside I’ve seen little evidence of that. Eakins had a very abrasive personality in all his interactions that were publicized. He did nothing to prepare himself during the summer watching no film, then wandered into training camp and complained about his players not knowing any system. Further he made bizarre and essentially indefensible personnel designs. On top of that the team was unfailingly dreadful under his tenor. Both his immediate predecessor and successor achieved more. Now Eakins had a dreadful record, was unprepared and did weird things. He combined all of the above with a high handed and arrogant demeanour. Generally speaking people will tolerate such eccentricities if you produce results. However, if you are a dick whiling failing they will simply damn you all the more harshly.

    Consequently I think the notion that Eakins somehow offended Edmonton’s blue collar sensibilities with all his big words is a distortion of what actually occurred.

  102. rickithebear says:

    A pitch count of 80 from a mound 86ft; 66ft; 46 ft are not the same.
    the reaction time for the hitter (golaie) are not the same!

  103. Woodguy says:

    PunjabiOil:
    Key takeaways from the article:

    – This line was a bit revealing on next year’s plans.Don’t expect an aggressive summer or a swing for the fences.

    “”I think it’ll turn quickly once we get maybe another year of development under our belt with some of the guys like [Darnell] Nurse and [Leon] Draisaitl and [Oscar] Klefbom.”

    – Almost feel those comments on Yakupov were a bit defensive on Eakins.As in “it wasn’t on Eakins”

    – Visually, seems like they cut down on the odd man rushes considerably, Eakins figuring out the shot-differential be damned.

    – Special teams matter. Eakins was near the bottom consistently, and that is not acceptable given the personnel he had.

    – It’s becoming clear players didn’t like Eakins.Petry, Yakupov.Even Eberle taking veiled shots.Perron.Coupled with Rishaug’s report that Eakins got off on the wrong foot with some of the players by giving them fitness modules to follow in the summer before he was hired, the battle with Hall in that they had differences on how summer training should be, the ban of donuts from reporters, the removal of 80’s pictures in the locker room; you ended up with a disruptive team chemistry.

    These things accumulate and matter.

    They just do.

    Good post PJO.

    I’m a defender of Eakin’s 5v5 CF% results and deployment this year, but there is no question that on the personal level there were many badly managed relationships.

    A veteran coach with a track record can afford to be dislike by his players (see: Babcock), but I’m not sure a rookie coach can.

  104. John Chambers says:

    Woodguy:
    I tweeted this yesterday during the game:

    Woodguy @Woodguy55·10h 10 hours ago
    Yak has 15pts in his last 17 games. Suck it Dave Hodge. Jackass.

    Also,

    This is Yak with Roy.

    While Roy is a good player in the ozone, He’s not elite anymore.

    Imagine what he’s going to do with DrySaddle or McEichel in 2 or so years.

    I think here in lies the answer to Yak’s offensive success juxtaposed to his poorer Corsi showings. It all boils down to Derek Roy.

    While Roy is a top-6 caliber player in terms of offensive instincts, he is well below average in the defensive zone. As a result Yak is putting up the points while getting buried in the Corsi battle.

    I think we can all be grateful for both Nelson and Roy’s impact on Yakupov’s development, his confidence, and the maturity of his game. Insofar as the current year the young man’s Corsi is secondary in importance to him finding his game at the NHL level.

    My feeling is exact to yours – find him a legitimate 2-way centre and you’ll get both scoring and a Corsi near or above 50%.

  105. spoiler says:

    Personally, I think of Eakins as more of a baritone.

  106. G Money says:

    wheatnoil,

    John Chambers,

    I tried to do a quick look, just at an individual player level, not entire lines or defensemen, to separate out the NSH effect in Roy’s number.

    Only a few forwards pop up, but here they are (5×5 CF%):

    w Yak 44.9%
    w Purcell 48.3%
    w Poo 44.3%
    w R Hamilton 41.5%
    w Fraser 40.5%

    So, yeah, it turns out that Roy does better with a reasonably wily vet in Purcell, but otherwise meshes with Yak better than with Poo or any of the third liners.

    So leaving Poo with RNH and Eberle and giving the river pusher Hall (hopefully back to full speed) a shot with Roy and Yak and see how that changes things would be a worthwhile experiment.

  107. spoiler says:

    Woodguy: A veteran coach with a track record can afford to be dislike by his players (see: Babcock), but I’m not sure a rookie coach can.

    You can be sure they can be. After all, those coaches were all rookie coaches once too.

  108. John Chambers says:

    sliderule:
    The nhl enhanced sat difference shows
    Yak-136
    OReilly -136
    Johnny hockey -139
    Monahan-203
    Van reimsdyk -223
    Duchene -247
    Ennis -401
    Myers –476

    What am I missing as I have heard yearning for some of these players on this blog.

    I think this suggests that an individual player’s “advanced stats” are highly correlated to the quality of the team that plays around them.

    If the 8 players you mention formed two offensive lines along with Myers and three average NHL defensemen, my guess is that they come out ahead of the “advanced stats” metric against a group of average NHL players.

    High-skill players drive Corsi events and have the skill to prevent Corsi events against, but when hamstrung by inexperienced linemates, overmatched coaches, and Andrew Ference, Nikita Nikitin, and Justin Schultz, your advanced stats will suffer.

    Good players on bad teams will continue to be the target of savvy GM’s whose philosophy is to buy low. Take a bow, Marc Bergevin.

  109. spoiler says:

    G Money:
    wheatnoil,

    John Chambers,

    I tried to do a quick look, just at an individual player level, not entire lines or defensemen, to separate out the NSH effect in Roy’s number.

    Only a few forwards pop up, but here they are (5×5 CF%):

    w Yak 44.9%
    w Purcell 48.3%
    w Poo 44.3%
    w R Hamilton 41.5%
    w Fraser 40.5%

    So, yeah, it turns out that Roy does better with a reasonably wily vet in Purcell, but otherwise meshes with Yak better than with Poo or any of the third liners.

    So leaving Poo with RNH and Eberle and giving the river pusher Hall (hopefully back to full speed) a shot with Roy and Yak and see how that changes things would be a worthwhile experiment.

    Does that Pouliot stat have enough TOI behind it to give it more than a modicum of credibility?

  110. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    Joey Legs has a chance has a chance.

    Awesome.

    Stolen from you!

  111. G Money says:

    This may be the most damning statistic of all time:

    Roy most common D partners:

    w Ference 38.9% (I mean … holy fuck … and not in a good way)

    w Schultz 51.7%

    w K Bomb 55.0% (I mean … holy fuck … in a good way)

    w Fayne 45.0%

    It gets back to the fact that we may be completely unable to get a real bead on what the true possession ability of ANY of our forwards really is until and unless the tire fire of the defense is addressed.

  112. Lowetide says:

    G Money:
    This may be the most damning statistic of all time:

    Roy most common D partners:

    w Ference 38.9%(I mean … holy fuck … and not in a good way)

    w Schultz 51.7%

    w K Bomb 55.0% (I mean … holy fuck … in a good way)

    w Fayne 45.0%

    It gets back to the fact that we may be completely unable to get a real bead on what the true possession ability of ANY of our forwards really is until and unless the tire fire of the defense is addressed.

    This. All day.

  113. John Chambers says:

    G Money,
    Yep. I love the Poo-RNH-Eberle connection. Hope we can pen it in to begin next season.

    Also love Hall and Yak together. If you recall Yak’s run at the end of 2013 came mostly as a RW on Hall’s line.

    For now Roy is a mature veteran who has been (in relative terms) a goddamn rainbow to the season with regard to his mentorship of Yakupov. I would be delighted to have him as our 5th centre to substibute in next season.

    As WG has mentioned, either a developed McEichel or Draisaitl will eventually anchor the league’s best “2nd line”, but I’m hoping an interim solution is in place to start the ’15-’16 season.

  114. G Money says:

    spoiler: Does that Pouliot stat have enough TOI behind it to give it any sort of credibility?

    119:24. If you assume 16-18 mins a game, that equates to about 6 to 8 games. Not enough to be definitive, but enough to get a sense.

  115. LoDog says:

    Rational Zealot: This is absolutely the story and more should be said about it.

    Part of it is absolutely the tacit anti-intellectualism of the hockey world and of Edmontonians.

    I could let sports writers pass but to lump the whole of Edmonton into it is ridiculous. Does the whole of this blog think that the people that call into radio shows are at all representative of the population? I don’t know anyone who calls in or posts a comment at CoH or cares the slightest what the people that do, think.

    Blogs and radio shows tend to bring out a vocal minority. Might as well peg the people that call into Rush Limbaugh an accurate portrayal of Americans.

    Sure, as is often the case, some people will hold onto ideas and not let them go despite all evidence to the contrary. Lets not make sweeping statements based on the loud and obnoxious.

  116. Woodguy says:

    wheatnoil,

    I really like Yak and I do want the Oilers to keep him. He’s an incredibly fun player to watch. However, when every single player you’ve played with during the year is posting better zone-adjusted possession numbers without you… that’s a problem.

    Again, I really like Yak. I heart him. But my brain is concerned by these numbers. I wonder if Yak can go on a tear to end this year, if his trade value would improve enough that they could get value for him in a trade?

    I mentioned this on LT’s show yesterday and I will mention it here because its pertinent. (and to flesh it out a bit)

    I think that driving CF% and the ability to score or help score are two different skill sets.

    1) Drive CF% – cause turn overs, make the good first pass – don’t turn it over yourself – drive puck to the ozone
    2) Drive GF% – ability to put the puck in the net in the ozone and/or help other do it

    The players who excel at both are the elite of the NHL. – Hossa, Hall, Toews, Crosby, Tavares etc.

    The players who are good at #2 are like Kessel, Gaborik, Ovechkin, Eberle, Kane, etc.

    The players that are good at #1, but not not #2 are also needed and very under rated. Examples Petry, Stralman, Brodie etc.

    To be able to survive in the NHL while having bigger dollop of 2 and less of 1, you need to be a killer with puck.

    That’s how I see Yak.

    He can be a useful NHLer with being a great driver of CF% if he continues to produce elite offence.

    He’s young so you know he can grow on the CF, but he can still be very useful without being a great possession guy.

    You can’t have too many of those guys on your team though.

    The opposite side of the coin has been LAK recently.

    They dominate puck possession and are very hard to get it back from.

    They don’t have many really high end scorers and they can struggle to score.

    When they don’t struggle to score, they win Cups, just like CHI who dominated possession and scoring.

    Kane is agreed to as one of the elite players in the NHL, but his possession history is spotty and has been meh-shitty in some spots.

    Quenville knows this and uses him properly.

    When he didn’t have him with a C who could drive possession he got seriously cherry OZS and match ups.

    If Yak can produce, he can be given the same kind of ice.

    He’s gotta produce though.

    15pts in 17gms is a nice start.

  117. Hockeyman 99 says:

    G Money,

    I would suggest in this day and age Coaches and teams do not have enough control over a players career to use tyranny as a method of getting the best out of players. In the AHL where he had success its a different story and I think Eakins may have been a successful coach 30 years ago in the NHL.

    There is a difference in a player doing something because he has too vs he wants too. Players seem to want to do what is asked of them by Nelson because of respect and trust earned vs Eakins who I will bet Doughnuts to Old Pictures was dictating from day one with little respect/trust earned or given.

  118. spoiler says:

    G Money: On point 1, the powerplay isn’t just getting better results (which can be an ephemeral sh% result), but actually now has an elite level of shot rates i.e. them PP Corgi’s are running like hell. That’s evidence of a fundamental and enduring improvement. The question is … is that Nelson’s doing, or is it that Nelson has taken some sort of coaching leash off Ramsay?

    The biggest change to the powerplay was moving Nuge. The 1-3-1 started under Eakins’ baritone but Nuge was in the bumper role. Under Nelly’s tenor, Nuge has been moved to the half wall and the entire chorus is now singing Glory, Hallelujah!

    Was this Ramsay’s error and correction? Was it one or both of the head coaches? No one knows (well other than our resident prophet of course), but it’s working now.

  119. Pouzar says:

    G Money:
    This may be the most damning statistic of all time:

    Roy most common D partners:

    w Ference 38.9%(I mean … holy fuck … and not in a good way)

    w Schultz 51.7%

    w K Bomb 55.0% (I mean … holy fuck … in a good way)

    w Fayne 45.0%

    It gets back to the fact that we may be completely unable to get a real bead on what the true possession ability of ANY of our forwards really is until and unless the tire fire of the defense is addressed.

    Again. This all day.

    Please gord get some NHL d-men here next year to replace FN.

  120. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Stolen from you!

    That;s why its awesome.

  121. Woodguy says:

    spoiler: You can be sure they can be. After all, those coaches were all rookie coaches once too.

    But were they hard asses then?

  122. RexLibris says:

    Lois Lowe: Anti-intellectualism

    From the grandpappy of the internets – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yBCNHqKyVU

  123. Woodguy says:

    russ99,

    I find it telling that the only thing used to prop up Eakins anymore is possession numbers.

    IMO you’re all picking the wrong hill to die on with Eakins as the example on how better possession metrics = more goals/more wins.

    IMO you really don’t understand the discussion.

  124. spoiler says:

    Woodguy: But were they hard asses then?

    So they became hardasses?

    People generally soften as they go, don’t they? Hartley, Keenan, Hitchcock.

  125. G Money says:

    Hockeyman 99,

    That’s fair.

    Then again, using the word ‘tyranny’ is probably unfair. I doubt any of the coaches are really like that (Torts possibly excepted). And being stern is not the same as being a tyrant.

    A better categorization might be ‘old school’ vs ‘players coach’.

    We know that there are ‘old school’ coaches that are still having success today (by my estimation, I’d call Hitchcock, Ruff, Trotz, Sutter as both old school and reasonably successful).

  126. G Money says:

    spoiler,

    That sounds about right. I also think part of Lander’s resurgence is he’s been pretty effective on the PP in the ‘Smytty’ role.

  127. Woodguy says:

    spoiler: So they became hardasses?

    People generally soften as they go, don’t they?Hartley, Keenan, Hitchcock.

    I don’t know.

    I’ve never played for them.

  128. OilClog says:

    Eakins advanced stats don’t matter, they didn’t produce any positive results, the franchise is in another rebuild due to Eakins 20mths behind the bench.

    He killed the talents in #1 overall picks by thinking he’s the smartest man in the room, when these kids have talents that Eakins would never know of and clearly had no ability in bringing them out of his players.

    Eakins was a terrible coach, it’s just the honest truth.

    Ramsay was in charge of Eakins Powerplay doing what Eakins wanted it to do, now he’s in charge of Nelsons Powerplay, and it looks completely different. It’s clear the Headcoach decides for the assistant on how to run the Powerplay. Ramsay didn’t just change how the Powerplay operates all on his own, and if he did.. Then maybe Eakins also failed in picking his assistant. It’s just far too much of a coincidence that the Powerplay looks awfully like the one Krueger was running with great success for it to not be directed associated with the Headcoach.

  129. Alpine says:

    Woodguy,

    I think Yak’s relCorsi was actually positive last year so I’m not sure if long term he’s gonna be much of a CF drag. He was close to Hall and RNH, while seeing a similar ZS push, and not as tough competition (.390 vs .9-1.0 relCor QC), but not butter soft lines either. His usage the past two seasons has been more “two-way” than “sheltered” because while he’s getting the zone push, on average he’s seeing positive possession opposition. So give him a more defensive C (Lander?) with Roy on the LW and the Corgis probably won’t look that bad and you can have Lander complementing the outscorers in the OZ.

  130. sliderule says:

    wheatnoil,

    Thank you for the reply.

    I am trying to question and also to learn.

  131. Lois Lowe says:

    G Money,

    I was putting together a pet theory last night about Lander’s recent surgence (lame attempt at etymological humour I know), but I think he’s finally physically strong enough to play that Smytty role in the NHL. For the first time in his career he seems willing to use his body to get to the front of the net or shield the puck along the boards.

  132. DocFan says:

    Great article LT.

    What I’ve enjoyed even more – the comments. Some great arguments and debates out there. Nice to visit a blog where people have a point they can back up in some way (mostly anyway!)

  133. bendelson says:

    To date, I find watching this very poorly constructed team entertaining under coach Nelson.

    Hockey is entertainment.

    Therefore, I like coach Nelson and what he has been able to accomplish with this very poorly constructed team.

    —-

    WG: Thoughts on Anisimov against the Oilers? I thought he was very good in Columbus (playing LW) and found him to be somewhat passive/disinterested last night. Mixed results.

    IMO, he remains an excellent target for MacT this summer – though I don’t know what the OIlers offer Columbus in return anymore (I believe they have 3 2015 2nd rd picks already).

  134. Numenius says:

    wheatnoil,

    It would be nice to separate Yak’s WOWY with Nelson from with Eakins.

    That would give a clearer picture of what’s going on now.

    I don’t have time to do it myself at the moment, unfortunately.

  135. G Money says:

    Pouzar: Please gord get some NHL d-men here next year to replace FN.

    Risk: MacT reads suggestions that he needs to “replace FN” and assumes it means Fayne-Narincin!

  136. spoiler says:

    Lois Lowe:
    G Money,

    I was putting together a pet theory last night about Lander’s recent surgence (lame attempt at etymological humour I know), but I think he’s finally physically strong enough to play that Smytty role in the NHL. For the first time in his career he seems willing to use his body to get to the front of the net or shield the puck along the boards.

    I don’t have a problem with your petting. I swear to gord I posted something here back in Lander’s rookie campaign along the lines that his head knows what it wants to do, but his body isn’t capable yet of doing it.

    He could till use an extra half step of footspeed, but his upper body strength looks more developed and he’s winning more battles because of it.

  137. G Money says:

    Lois Lowe,

    This is also why I’m not yet as concerned with Nuge’s (scoring) performance (which has also been kinsurgent of late)…

    He may not be the Baby Nuge any longer, but he’s still a wisp of a boy of 21.

    I fully expect he’s going to own this league when he gets his man strength at 23.

  138. Hammers says:

    boneshj:
    Hammers,

    Are the things you mentioned not roster issues?

    Exactly but my point is this roster needs 4 players to get to the playoffs not a total change in the team .I used adds of Anderson , Seabrook , Green & Marchant . There are other combos that can be used and all I’m saying is McT isn’t that far away . I just want him to do something .

  139. Doc Savage says:

    G Money: The single biggest indictment of Eakins may be that he managed to give off a vibe such that large swaths of people give him absolutely no credit for doing anything well at all, regardless of evidence to the contrary.

    Conversely, people are going to the ends of the earth to defend Nelson as a massive improvement in every way, again ignoring any and all evidence to the contrary.

    Not sure if that’s a testament to Nelson’s likeability or Eakins’ dislikeability, but an interesting look at bias in action.

    My biggest issue with the Eakins era was the perception around the devaluation of our players to the point where people were talking about trading/dumping players like Eberle, Yakupov, and even Hall. When our players are viewed so poorly around the league, it doesn’t give you many options. It’s going to take at least another year of hard work by these players to undo the negative perception around them. This is the after effects we still feel from the Eakins days even though he’s long gone.

    That’s my main issue: perception was horrible. How much of this is on MacTavish and how much is on Eakins? It doesn’t really matter, but you can’t deny that a good part of that responsibility fell on Eakins as he had a very public role. This was not managed well and the optics got worse during his time.

  140. leadfarmer says:

    bendelson,

    If he is a target for the 3rd center position fine, If he is the target for 2C your going to be disappointed with him.

  141. Lois Lowe says:

    G Money,

    Agreed.

    Part of my heavy petting last night was focused on whether lower level offensive prospects (I was using Benoit Pouliot and MPS) need those extra years to mature into stonger CF% players while remaining middling GF% players (piggy backing off of Woodguy’s idea earlier in this thread).

  142. Woodguy says:

    Alpine:
    Woodguy,

    I think Yak’s relCorsi was actually positive last year so I’m not sure if long term he’s gonna be much of a CF drag. He was close to Hall and RNH, while seeing a similar ZS push, and not as tough competition (.390 vs .9-1.0 relCor QC), but not butter soft lines either. His usage the past two seasons has been more “two-way” than “sheltered” because while he’s getting the zone push, on average he’s seeing positive possession opposition. So give him a more defensive C (Lander?) with Roy on the LW and the Corgis probably won’t look that bad and you can have Lander complementing the outscorers in the OZ.

    Good point.

    I didn’t realize that Yak was that much better last year.

  143. Ca$h-Money! says:

    bendelson:
    To date, I find watching this very poorly constructed team entertaining under coach Nelson.

    Hockey is entertainment.

    Therefore, I like coach Nelson and what he has been able to accomplish with this very poorly constructed team.

    —-

    WG:Thoughts on Anisimov against the Oilers?I thought he was very good in Columbus (playing LW) and found him to be somewhat passive/disinterested last night.Mixed results.

    IMO, he remains an excellent target for MacT this summer – though I don’t know what the OIlers offer Columbus in return anymore (I believe they have 3 2015 2nd rd picks already).

    THANK YOU.

    Watching the Oilers was starting to feel like the final season of Dexter. I didn’t want to do it, I knew I’d be disappointed by the end, but I felt like I was pot committed at that point, so might as well have forced myself to endure the pain.

    I like reading about how Eakins made progress on the underlying numbers, and I like the stats, and I believe in the power of possession… but holy mother was I tired of watching that iteration of the team. I’ll take more Nelson please and thank you.

  144. Lowetide says:

    Wonderful story on Hakan Andersson the Red Wings scout. Michael Farber is an amazing writer. http://www.si.com/nhl/2015/03/19/hakan-andersson-detroit-red-wings-scout-sports-illustrated-feature-story

  145. bendelson says:

    Ca$h-Money!,

    YOUR WELCOME.

    leadfarmer: bendelson, If he is a target for the 3rd center position fine, If he is the target for 2C your going to be disappointed with him.

    If the Oilers centre depth next fall is: RNH, Anisimov, Lander, Gordon, Roy (whatever order to like) – then they have improved.

    Are you expecting better next fall? If so, who are you hoping they add?

  146. bendelson says:

    Ca$h-Money!,

    Whoa, let’s try that again…

    YOU’RE WELCOME.

  147. OilSafety says:

    Anisimov would be great. Should work well with yak. A real 2c. Sure it would be better if he played big too, but I would be very happy with him, depending on the cost of course.

  148. HiddenDarts says:

    Ca$h-Money!,

    Absolutely in agreement. I never passed up going to a live Oiler game in either Anaheim or LA up until Eakins. Then, I missed all but one.

    Heck, last season I maybe watched 40ish games. I thought I was gonna have to get a new hobby!

  149. thejonrmcleod says:

    bendelson:
    Ca$h-Money!,

    Whoa, let’s try that again…

    YOU’RE WELCOME.

    There is an edit button.

  150. Woodguy says:

    bendelson:
    To date, I find watching this very poorly constructed team entertaining under coach Nelson.

    Hockey is entertainment.

    Therefore, I like coach Nelson and what he has been able to accomplish with this very poorly constructed team.

    —-

    WG:Thoughts on Anisimov against the Oilers?I thought he was very good in Columbus (playing LW) and found him to be somewhat passive/disinterested last night.Mixed results.

    IMO, he remains an excellent target for MacT this summer – though I don’t know what the OIlers offer Columbus in return anymore (I believe they have 3 2015 2nd rd picks already).

    Not sure what they’d want.

    They may let him go for a AHL Dman with promise.

    Kekainen was a scout by trade so he may want to collect picks.

    Given that he has one year left on his deal I think he’s a good fit for 2C.

    Would like Sobatka in that spot too.

  151. wheatnoil says:

    Numenius:
    wheatnoil,

    It would be nice to separate Yak’s WOWY with Nelson from with Eakins.

    That would give a clearer picture of what’s going on now.

    I don’t have time to do it myself at the moment, unfortunately.

    Hmmm… my concern is sample size. That’s always the problem with WOWY analysis… you’re breaking things down into such small samples when you only take part of a season… you already have to take it with a grain of salt as it is.

    Fair question though.

    Does anyone know where I can find WOWY information for parts of a season?

    G Money,

    Excellent point on the defensemen issue. I’ll be the first to agree that Yakupov is not the Oilers primary problem.

    Sometimes I wonder if the Oilers defense is SO bad that it’s actually model-breaking when it comes to applying statistical analysis. I’m a Klefbom and Marincin fan… but when your two best defensemen spent time in the AHL, that’s got to skew any model based off of how most NHL teams run.

  152. bendelson says:

    Woodguy,

    Do you give the edge to Sobotka as a preferred choice or is it too close to call?

  153. frjohnk says:

    wheatnoil,

    I’m on my phone but go to puckanalytics.com and goto super wowy. It has a date range you can choose and compare 5 players I think.

  154. slopitch says:

    Funny you guys mention Anisimov as a target for next year. (I like him as a 3C, not sold on him as a 2C). I heard Stauffer last night comparing Yak2 to him on the Oilers post game show.

    Both are big men – Yak2 is taller and 30 lbs heavier
    Anisimov had 10 pts in his draft yeak, Yak2 had 12.
    Anisimov 2nd round, Yak2 3rd round.

    Both played draft+1 year in the AHL. Its a big adjustment year to have a new language, new ice size in a new country.

    Anisimov 43 pts in 70 games., Yak2 has 27 in 65 games but is trending nicely.

    Anisimov’s draft + 2 year was in the AHL and he shredded it. 81 pts in 80 games. Its unreasonable to suggest Yak2 will do this. But situationally he could be ready to breakout in the AHL. Definitely worth watching.

    So…. Yak2 needs to have the big year 2 in the AHL. Without it, he’s still a mammoth and the Oilers have lacked a big (capable) C for a while. Another year for Yak2 in the AHL and hopefully by 2016-17 we’ll have a useful player.

    Overall I really like the idea of acquiring Anisomov. Both as a mentor and as a guy who can open up easier minutes for other players to develop (ie Drai, Lander) or take easy minutes (ie Roy).

  155. slopitch says:

    The other nice part about having a massive C is if he can handle the minutes, you dont have to put Nuge against the Thortons, Getzlafs, Kopitars of the world. Given the size mismatch it would be good to share the burden.

  156. pts2pndr says:

    MenovOil,

    MacT continues to defend Eakins which also defies logic. Swarm defense, threw his assistant coaches under the bus early and made Yak his personal whipping boy. I can not believe he hasn’t, been offered another coaching job!!

  157. wheatnoil says:

    frjohnk:
    wheatnoil,

    I’m on my phone but go to puckanalytics.com and goto super wowy. It has a date range you can choose and compare 5 players I think.

    Awesome… got to head out for now, but I’ll look into it later. I’m not sure if it’ll show anything, but if there’s anything with the Yak factor, I’ll share.

  158. Woodguy says:

    bendelson:
    Woodguy,

    Do you give the edge to Sobotka as a preferred choice or is it too close to call?

    Anisimov has more offence, but Sobatka is better at possession.

    Sobatka is as wide as he is tall, hits like a truck and great on the forecheck. Has a motor that doesn’t quit.

    Anisimov is a tall man who uses his size and reach to his advantage.

    I think Sobatka fits EDM’s aggro forecheck better, but Anisimov would be fine, just different.

    I’ve loved me some Sobatka since he was at BOS and i’d love to see him here.

    Would be a fan favorite by game 2.

  159. Woodguy says:

    pts2pndr:
    MenovOil,

    MacT continues to defendEakins which also defies logic. Swarm defense, threw his assistant coaches under the bus early and made Yak his personal whipping boy. I can not believe he hasn’t, been offered another coaching job!!

    CATS AND DOGS LIVING TOGETHER!!

    MASS HYSTERIA!!

  160. bendelson says:

    Woodguy: Anisimov has more offence, but Sobatka is better at possession.

    Sobatka is as wide as he is tall, hits like a truck and great on the forecheck. Has a motor that doesn’t quit.

    Anisimov is a tall man who uses his size and reach to his advantage.

    I think Sobatka fits EDM’s aggro forecheck better, but Anisimov would be fine, just different.

    I’ve loved me some Sobatka since he was at BOS and i’d love to see him here.

    Would be a fan favorite by game 2.

    Sobotka is also great in the FO circle if
    I’m not mistaken…

  161. spoiler says:

    Woodguy: CATS AND DOGS LIVING TOGETHER!!

    MASS HYSTERIA!!

    It’s like the dial on the Internet today is pointing to the “Echo” setting.

  162. godot10 says:

    1) A coach who doesn’t look at one minute of video of the team that he is taking over is LAZY, not an intellectual. Ignorance and laziness is about as anti-intellectual as one can get.

    2) Eakins had LOUSY possession numbers. In his first season, the OIlers, I believe were 5th worse in score adjusted Corsi.

    3) The possession numbers improved a bit this year. But it was a small sample size (30ish games). And, like the post by someone yesterday, it was only in one game state, tied. His possession numbers were horrid in every other game state, down 2, down1, up 1, up 2. This suggests the Corsi was gamed by some tactic that was FRAGILE, because it failed to sustain once the game was ON, and the team was ahead or behind. i.e. The tactic failed once the battle was engaged. Perhaps it was that F3 cheating all the time that torqued the Corsi while tied until the first odd man rush against.

    4) The marginal improvement in Corsi in when tied, was totally unconfirmed by any other indicator, which screams FALSE POSITIVE. Plus, Corsi has never been demonstrated to be causal. It correlates to results, but many here still are confusing correlation with causatioin.

    5) Nelson’s possession metrics are better than Eakins this year in 4 of the 5 game states. Nelson’s power play is lights out better. So 5 of 6 game states. The results are marginal better, and would likely be a lot better if Hall and Petry were around (possession would be better also). And the players seem to be playing more to their potential, something almost no player did under Eakins.

    5) The players comments on the power play also demonstrate that Eakins was not much of an intellectual. He was telling them to shoot, but not when to shoot. The goals against on the PP also suggest that. All that mattered was shooting, not how and when you shoot.

  163. G Money says:

    godot10: And, like the post by someone yesterday, it was only in one game state, tied. His possession numbers were horrid in every other game state, down 2, down1, up 1, up 2.

    Wrong.

    His Corsi was positive in all tied / down states. It was only negative with the lead, and progressively so. That situation is the opposite of ‘fragile’.

  164. godot10 says:

    G Money: Wrong.

    His Corsi was positive in all tied / down states.It was only negative with the lead, and progressively so.That situation is the opposite of ‘fragile’.

    His metrics in all 4 of those game states are significant worse than the league average, and Nelson’s in those game states. i.e. Horrid relative to league average possession metrics in those game states.

    Any so-called “improvement” was isolated and fragile. Stress Eakins’s Oilers and his possession stats crumbled like a house of cards.

  165. pts2pndr says:

    JustWatt,

    If you check Edmonton has only one right shot defenseman not on their NHL roster. Nurse, Klefbom and Marincin are also left shot defenseman. Why would you draft Hanafin a left shot defenseman It would be like drafting six goalies for four spots. Why not try to trade that pick for a right shot defense man that fits into your team demographics? Buffalo has a couple that should be of interest!

  166. Lowetide says:

    pts2pndr:
    MenovOil,

    MacT continues to defendEakins which also defies logic. Swarm defense, threw his assistant coaches under the bus early and made Yak his personal whipping boy. I can not believe he hasn’t, been offered another coaching job!!

    I take MacT at his word in the reasons behind the firing. I’m also hopeful MacT genuinely believes he has ‘blood on his hands’ over the firing. Going to war with that center depth chart is textbook rookie mistake.

  167. G Money says:

    godot10,

    No.

    As I said, you are flat out wrong.

    Eakins’ shot rates are superior to Nelson’s in every game state except the PP. They were particularly better when behind – the opposite of fragile.

    The all states score adjusted Corsi is 50.9 for Eakins and 46.4 for Nelson.

    That is not a marginal difference.

    The only place that Nelson’s team is objectively improved is on the PP.

    The other place that is observed to be improved is in player morale, which can also be argued to reflect e.g. Yak.

    That’s it.

    Objectively, it is worse everywhere else on the ice. At even strength, the team gives up more goals, scoring chances, shots, and Corsi events. At even strength, the team gets the same goals, but otherwise fewer chances, shots, and Corsi events. On the PK, the team gives up more shots and more goals.

    The first two points I noted above (PP and morale/Yak) are enough for me to be comfortable that Nelson is a good replacement coach for this season.

    The huge decline in EV possession is a problem. As good as the PP has become, it will not score at this pace forever.

    The record may be improved, mostly from those extra PP goals, but otherwise, it does not point to a sustainable improvement. Whatever you think of Eakins, this should be a major concern to anyone.

    What’s the opposite of “prophetic”?

  168. edwards_daddy says:

    Jessiman was drafted at 6-5 and 200lbs – big guy, good hands, some offensive. Rangers apparently had him as high as 4th in that stacked 2003 draft.
    Crouse is 6-3 and 200lbs -.big guy, good hands. – Has less offence but more speed. Fear is that some teams have him as high as 4th in a stacked draft.

    Not so dissimilar.

  169. godot10 says:

    pts2pndr:
    JustWatt,

    If you check Edmonton has only one right shot defensemannot on their NHL roster. Nurse, Klefbom and Marincin are also left shot defenseman. Why would you draftHanafin a left shot defenseman It would be like drafting six goalies for four spots. Why not try to trade that pick for a right shot defense man that fits into your team demographics? Buffalo has a couple that should be of interest!

    Larry Robinson, left shot.
    Serge Savard, left shot.
    Guy Lapointe, left shot.
    Bill Nyrop, left shot
    Pierre Bouchard, left shot
    Don Awrey, left shot
    John van Boxmeer, right shot

    Paul Coffey, left shot
    Kevin Lowe, left shot
    Charlie Huddy, left shot
    Randy Gregg, left shot
    Craig Muni, left shot
    Steve Smith, left shot
    Reijo Ruotsaleinen, right shot

    Denis Potvin, left shot
    Mike McEwen, left shot
    Tomas Jonsson, left shot
    Ken Morrow, right shot
    Dave Langevin, left shot
    Stefan Persson, right shot

    Scott Niedermayer, left shot
    Chris Pronger, left shot
    Francis Beachemin, left shot
    Anaheim really only played three D.

    Klefbom and Nurse and Marincin all have played both sides.

    Hanifan is potentially an elite defensemen. If he is elite, he can play both LD and RD.

  170. Ryan says:

    G Money,

    What’s the sample size on Eakins’ score adjusted Corsi? (Min played)

    Iirc, the Oilers played a ton of garbage time under Eakins relative to score effects.

    I’m far from being on the Nelson bandwagon, but there’s a myriad of confounding factors at play here that you’re ignoring,

    First and foremost, the Oilers are playing out the string for a lost season under Nelson. Sending a coach in when the playoff chances are gone with no training camp isn’t exactly ideal circumstances.

    Then there are roster issues.

    – hall
    – drysaitl
    – Perron
    – Petry

    As bad as Draisaitl was this season, he has the best cf% 5v5 on the Oilers this season.

    Next, there’s the unsustainable Corsi that Gordon had under Eakins. Look back at the 4rth line Corsi numbers under Eakins. If you think that would be sustainable, you’re smoking the drapes bro. 🙂

    I personally don’t think that Nelson is the second coming of Mike Babcock, but I certainly also won’t crucify him for the declining Corsi either.

  171. GCW_69 says:

    Doomoil: The Edmonton Nelson Oilers have lost 7 of the last 8.

    No Petry. No coach could win with this defence.

  172. GCW_69 says:

    What’s the sample size on Eakins’ score adjusted Corsi? (Min played)

    Iirc, the Oilers played a ton of garbage time under Eakins relative to score effects.

    Eakins vs Nelson by situation. Looks at time on ice and corsi.

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2015/3/16/8228617/another-look-at-eakins-vs-nelson

  173. OilCanFan says:

    Lowetide,

    Issue I had with Eakins is his apparent “my way or the highway” mentality. He appears arrogant, stubborn and looked clueless on the bench which could just be the only times he is televised there. I think he made the players worry a whole lot more about making mistakes and so they started to think and not just do which is most likely what got most of them here in the first place. I think what makes a good coach is take what you have and work with it, not take what you want to do and force feed it to everyone.

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