OILERS AT AVALANCHE, G76 2014-15

Time goes drifting by so quickly, we don’t notice day to day things. The carefree days of youth give way to a more mature look and we settle in without even knowing it has happened. Before you know it, we pass ‘prime time’ and enter ‘grizzled veteran’ before passing through ‘still productive’ and ‘nearing the end’ and fin. It is so fleeting, for all of us. The young cluster, the department of youth, the heart of the order, are men.

 

The Edmonton Oilers are on the home stretch and are neither too hot nor too cold; no sir, their bed is just right for missing out completely on McEichel! I kid. Edmonton was very unlikely to pace with Buffalo who have a roster filled with Londoners at the time of the plague at this time. If the Oil win the lottery, we’ll know the hockey Gods really do love us, if Buffalo wins it, well they bought and paid for it with a ragtag group that’ll live in infamy (“we wouldn’t have McDavid with Ludlow!”).

LOWETIDE 2015 TOP 10

  1. (1)C Connor McDavid, Erie Otters (OHL) 47GP, 44-76-120 (2.55)
  2. (2)C Jack Eichel, Boston U (NCAA) 37GP, 24-43-67 (1.81)
  3. (3)R Mitch Marner, London Knights (OHL) 63GP, 44-82-126  (2.00)
  4. (5)C Dylan Strome, Erie Otters (OHL) 68GP, 45-84-129 (1.90)
  5. (4)D Noah Hanifin, Boston College (NCAA) 36GP, 5-18-23 (.639)
  6. (6) D Ivan Provorov, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) 60GP, 15-46-61 (1.02)
  7. (8) D Zach Werenski, Michigan (NCAA) 35GP, 9-16-25 (.714)
  8. (10) R Evgeni Svechnikov, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (QMJHL) 55GP, 32-46-78 (1.42)
  9. (11) D Oliver Kylington, Farjestad (SHL). 18GP, 2-3-5 (.278)
  10. (7) C Mathew Barzal, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) 44GP, 12-45-57 (1.30)

If there’s one thing this weekend taught me, it’s that Oilers fans (in this part of the Al Gore) want Noah Hanifin. The college defender has a terrific resume, we’ll see in mid-April where the Oilers pick and perhaps MacT will give us some clues (he did mention Hanifin and Strome as being strong options recently). I would absolutely love Hanifin to be Chris Pronger in five years, or even Drew Doughty but for me there are enough question marks to suggest he falls shy of that comparison. Consider this from Craig Button, who answered a question about the player he would take at No. 3 overall:

  • Button: I would select Dylan Strome hands down. Number 1 centers are just about impossible to obtain unless you draft them. I don’t see Noah Hanifin as an elite defenseman but as a very good one, a la Jay Bouwmeester. Dylan can do it all making plays, scoring, key areas and I see him at same stage as similar to Ryan Johansen but I think he plays a style of game like Kopitar and Toews and I’m not saying he’s those guys but plays a similar type of game. Can’t win in NHL without top centers. Source

A tough night for the skill defender Laleggia. He scored to tie the game (NCAA playoff for a trip to the frozen four) but was ejected from the game late and Denver lost in OT to end his college career. I imagine we’ll hear about his signing in the next few days and he could see OKC time before season’s end. Hell, give him a lash in the NHL! We won’t find out about Matt O’Connor until down the line though, his team advanced to the frozen four.

SOLVING PROBLEMS

One area Edmonton may have made progress this season is in addressing needs internally. Todd Nelson’s arrival as coach of the Oilers coincided with a spike in Anton Lander’s performance and that one thing improves the center depth chart for next season.

      • Lander“I’ve been playing under Nelly for four years now and I know the system very well. He believes in me, he’s put me in situations where he feels he can trust me on the ice. You gain confidence from that too. I like that, playing on special teams and whatever the situation is. It feels good to see Nelly behind the bench.” Source

 

  I’m not going to suggest that Nelson saved the world here, Lander’s progress could have come under Dallas Eakins and the entire Nelson-Lander story could be coincidence. The real lesson here is that a team with multiple problems (I’ll say five) on their roster can only do so much via trade and free agency in the summer. An example: Edmonton have five issues (starting goalie, top-pairing defenseman, second-pairing defenseman, second-line center, two-way W) facing them this summer. If the Oilers, with Todd Nelson as coach, could solve two of those problems internally, the issues become far less and chances of success far greater:

      • Starting Goalie: External (Michal Neuvirth, Martin Jones, etc)
      • Top-Pairing Defenseman: External (Ryan McDonagh, Brent Seabrook)
      • Second-Pairing Defenseman: Internal (Martin Marincin)
      • Second-Line Center: Internal (Derek Roy and Leon Draisaitl, with Anton Lander helping depth)
      • Two-way W: External (Justin Williams)

 The problem Craig MacTavish has this summer (and he created 40% of it when trading David Perron and Jeff Petry) is five holes is several too many. Internal solutions, and they have come to the surface under Todd Nelson (and I do understand the possession numbers are worse under the new coach), are more bona fide than they were in the fall. A young man like Martin Marincin has to do a lot of work to prove he belongs in the NHL but the opportunity is more obvious this morning compared to the fall. I don’t think we can overlook that fact.

That will change as the No. 1 overalls and the cluster ages but it does put into perspective just how much Edmonton has been giving up to other teams in terms of experience. Interesting also is that the teams around them are more successful, for me two reasons (Edmonton cut to the bone for the rebuild and was unable to attract top quality free agents during the building back period) for it have really come into view. There are others of course (astute trading would have helped, 2007 draft, 2008 draft ravaged due to offer sheet) but the Edmonton Oilers remain a team at the losing end owing a great deal to the exits of significant talent for less than 100 cents on the dollar.

Oilers losing that battle to the Flames would just about put the cherry on top of a stunning season in Calgary. Good for them, the fans there have suffered too.

hepburn

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A very busy Monday morning, we start at 10 on TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Scott Burnside, ESPN. We’ll talk about the incredible season in Calgary and try to figure out the favorite in the Eastern Conference.
  • Corey Graham, Oil Kings PBP. Edmonton won the first game and now they’re in a big time struggle with a junior monster from Brandon. We’ll talk about it.
  • Andrew Bucholtz, 55-yard Line. Some record breaking numbers at the CFL combine, we’ll discuss the players who improved their draft stock.
  • Dennis King, Oilogosphere Icon. The Oilers are winning, is it “real” as Dennis likes to say? We’ll find out.
  • Antony Bent, Soccer Sunday. We hit the air this Sunday at 11 with a brand new show, Antony and I will preview it this morning.

10-1260 text @Lowetide_ on twitter. Talk soon!

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434 Responses to "OILERS AT AVALANCHE, G76 2014-15"

« Older Comments
  1. G Money says:

    wheatnoil,

    Yes, you have good points. In fact, earlier part of the reason I said “give me a definition” is that lots of folks have tried, and its really tough! There’s always someone that breaks the definition.

    In the past, I’ve eventually just gone with all TOI > 23 and then manually filter for obvious busts.

  2. Numenius says:

    G Money,

    Some of those guys are so good they’re on there twice or three times.

  3. G Money says:

    For example, here’s a list (with some duplicates, single seasons, a few other minor edits made) based on ALLTOI > 23. I think this is actually a better list:

    Alex.Goligoski
    Alex.Pietrangelo
    Alexander.Edler
    Andrei.Markov
    Andrej.Sekera
    Andrew.Greene
    Brent.Burns
    Brent.Seabrook
    Brian.Campbell
    Cam.Fowler
    Christian.Ehrhoff
    Dan.Boyle
    Dan.Hamhuis
    Daniel.Girardi
    Dennis.Seidenberg
    Dion.Phaneuf
    Drew.Doughty
    Duncan.Keith
    Dustin.Byfuglien
    Eric.Brewer
    Erik.Johnson
    Erik.Karlsson
    Fedor.Tyutin
    Francois.Beauchemin
    Jack.Johnson
    Jason.Garrison
    Jay.Bouwmeester
    John.Carlson
    Jonas.Brodin
    Justin.Faulk
    Justin.Schultz
    Keith.Yandle
    Kevin.Bieksa
    Kris.Letang
    Mark.Giordano
    Mark.Streit
    Mike.Green
    Nicklas.Lidstrom
    Niklas.Kronwall
    Oliver.Ekman-Larsson
    P.K..Subban
    Paul.Martin
    Roman.Josi
    Ryan.McDonagh
    Ryan.Suter
    Shea.Weber
    T.J..Brodie
    Tobias.Enstrom
    Travis.Hamonic
    Trevor.Daley
    Victor.Hedman
    Zdeno.Chara

  4. G Money says:

    Numenius:

    Some of those guys are so good they’re on there twice or three times.

    LOL, yeah, I think I pasted the list twice. Correct list is:

    Alex.Pietrangelo
    Brent.Seabrook
    Brian.Campbell
    Christian.Ehrhoff
    Dion.Phaneuf
    Drew.Doughty
    Duncan.Keith
    Dustin.Byfuglien
    Erik.Karlsson
    Francois.Beauchemin
    Jonas.Brodin
    Justin.Faulk
    Justin.Schultz
    Keith.Yandle
    Marc-Edouard.Vlasic
    Marco.Scandella
    Mike.Green
    Oscar.Klefbom
    P.K..Subban
    Ryan.McDonagh
    Ryan.Suter
    Shea.Weber
    T.J..Brodie
    Tobias.Enstrom
    Travis.Hamonic
    Zdeno.Chara

  5. Lowetide says:

    G Money: LOL, yeah, I think I pasted the list twice.Correct list is:

    Alex.Pietrangelo
    Brent.Seabrook
    Brian.Campbell
    Christian.Ehrhoff
    Dion.Phaneuf
    Drew.Doughty
    Duncan.Keith
    Dustin.Byfuglien
    Erik.Karlsson
    Francois.Beauchemin
    Jonas.Brodin
    Justin.Faulk
    Justin.Schultz
    Keith.Yandle
    Marc-Edouard.Vlasic
    Marco.Scandella
    Mike.Green
    Oscar.Klefbom
    P.K..Subban
    Ryan.McDonagh
    Ryan.Suter
    Shea.Weber
    T.J..Brodie
    Tobias.Enstrom
    Travis.Hamonic
    Zdeno.Chara

    Oscar!

  6. dangilitis says:

    Clay:
    Miller with 6 points in 6 NHL games.

    Eddie Hockey?

    33% of his production came in 1 minute on EN goals.

    I truly hope he’s the next Gaudreau, though – if any team deserves some luck with a well planned college signing, it’s the Oilers…

  7. Tire Fire says:

    Just finished watching. So nice (and a little weird) to see a watchable game.

    Lots of stuff to like in this one. 7 shots for the Spanish-looking Swede, and beautiful game by the Swedish-looking Swede.

  8. Hammers says:

    Kmart99:
    When you really suck, you tend to get lots of practice at shot blocking.Being horrible is a great way to master the art of the shot block.

    I’m sour ok? Flames are going to make the playoffs and i effing hate it.

    Problem is so are the Nucks , just as bad .

  9. G Money says:

    Lowetide: Oscar!

    Yes! It was quite impressive that he made the list, even after sorting for QoC.

    He’s 21!

  10. Hammers says:

    Don’t think anyone else mentioned Schultz on the wing . Would Sather switch him ??? . After that move tonight I would consider it .

  11. G Money says:

    So to finally answer Ryan’s questions, if we take the TOI list as equivalent to “roughly Top 2 D”, what we find is:

    52 players
    Average draft position (treat undrafted as 210): 75 (i.e. mid third round)
    Undrafted players: 5 (9.6%)
    Drafted in Top 3: 3 (5.8%)
    Drafted in Top 10: 10 (19.2%)
    Drafted in First Round: 20 (38.5%)

    Super sweet spot: 53 to 56 (Hamonic, Lidstrom, Chara)

    Full list with draft spot:
    Alex.Goligoski 61
    Alex.Pietrangelo 4
    Alexander.Edler 91
    Andrei.Markov 162
    Andrej.Sekera 71
    Andrew.Greene
    Brent.Burns 20
    Brent.Seabrook 14
    Brian.Campbell 156
    Cam.Fowler 12
    Christian.Ehrhoff 106
    Dan.Boyle
    Dan.Hamhuis 12
    Daniel.Girardi
    Dennis.Seidenberg 172
    Dion.Phaneuf 9
    Drew.Doughty 2
    Duncan.Keith 54
    Dustin.Byfuglien 245
    Eric.Brewer 5
    Erik.Johnson 1
    Erik.Karlsson 15
    Fedor.Tyutin 40
    Francois.Beauchemin 75
    Jack.Johnson 3
    Jason.Garrison
    Jay.Bouwmeester 3
    John.Carlson 27
    Jonas.Brodin 10
    Justin.Faulk 37
    Justin.Schultz 43
    Keith.Yandle 105
    Kevin.Bieksa 151
    Kris.Letang 62
    Mark.Giordano
    Mark.Streit 262
    Mike.Green 29
    Nicklas.Lidstrom 53
    Niklas.Kronwall 29
    Oliver.Ekman-Larsson 6
    P.K..Subban 43
    Paul.Martin 62
    Roman.Josi 38
    Ryan.McDonagh 12
    Ryan.Suter 7
    Shea.Weber 49
    T.J..Brodie 114
    Tobias.Enstrom 239
    Travis.Hamonic 53
    Trevor.Daley 43
    Victor.Hedman 2
    Zdeno.Chara 56

  12. G Money says:

    Summary of above results, including modestly formatted tables, archived here.

  13. Where are elite D drafted? – Oilers Nerd Alert says:

    […] question posed by Ryan over at Lowetide … where are elite D drafted?  Is it really as low as everyone […]

  14. G Money says:

    That’s kinda weird, wonder why it does that?

  15. Lowetide says:

    G Money:
    That’s kinda weird, wonder why it does that?

    It backtracks.

  16. pocession charge says:

    RexLibris:
    Miller padding his stats now.

    The emergence of Miller has made Marner redundant!

  17. Kmart99 says:

    G Money,

    Those results just make Hanifin look like more of a gamble than a sure thing. Sure the majority of scouting reports have had him at #3, but we all know that drafting d men really high is a bigger gamble than drafting a centre or wing.

    I’d like to know what % of top 10 D draft picks made your list. I see 11. Out of how many? 30 maybe? There’s usually around 3 (guessing)D picked in the top ten(except 2013 when there were 8). So of the roughly 45-50 top ten drafted d men over the last 15 years how many are on that list? Very few are even playing 15+ mins in the NHL.

  18. 719 says:

    Oilers 3-0 since Ference got hurt.

  19. jake70 says:

    Hammers:
    Don’t think anyone else mentioned Schultz on the wing . Would Sather switch him ??? . After that move tonight I would consider it .

    Didn’t see the live goal but on the replay, first thing I thought of was giving him some wing time. I had to do a double take on who scored that goal, muscling his way around the D like that. Nice goal for sure.

  20. PhrankLee says:

    Oilers need to run the table the rest of the season for my Hunter 1909 Sweepstakes to pan out. (They’d finish with 71. I called 72.)

    And I knew I was being generous.

    Miller reminded me of Cogliano last night with that speed.

    Cogs still hasn’t missed an NHL game. He is only 27. Just like Petry. Weird, that.

    It seems like an entire lifetime ago that we had him.

  21. sliderule says:

    G money

    I counted 10 D players drafted in top 3.

    So, by the odds you have 30 percent chance of getting a top D if you draft Hanifin

    My guess is that it is probably about the same for picking top 10.

  22. striker says:

    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/121367/video-first-nhl-goal-davidson-makes-it-a-hat-trick-of-firsts-for-the-oilers/

    Marincin, Miller, Davidson

    Rookie scorers in 3 consecutive games.

    First time for the Oilers since 1979 when a similar streak involved Lowe, Messier and Gretzky.

  23. Ryan says:

    G Money,

    Not a bad list. Still a fair amount of noise.

    What if we separate the list into those 30 or younger vs those older? Or maybe 20-25, 25-30, >30?

    I’m curious…presumably scouting is getting better and better… Is there any evidence to suggest that it’s getting harder to find the late round gems?

  24. PhrankLee says:

    G Money: Summary of above results, including modestly formatted tables, archived here.
      (Quote)  (Reply)

    This is very cool. Great job.

  25. GCW_69 says:

    719:
    Oilers 3-0 since Ference got hurt.

    We need out captain back or we will pass the Leafs!

  26. Yeti says:

    PhrankLee: It seems like an entire lifetime ago that we had him.

    Who knew the original kid line was going to melt away into a false dawn followed by a decade scorched earth and fumbled recoveries.

  27. kinger_OIL says:

    Nice job G: It’s pretty clear that the 1D is really likely to come from the 1st round. 2 out of 3. And if you add the undrafted: mostly college free-agent signings (who often would be 1st round drafts picks): that’s 75%. The data supports the validity of drafting a D in the 1st round, with the hope of him becoming 1D, the alternative is hoping…The median and average draft position is meaningless: of course every few years, someone who is drafted 200 makes it: but you don’t base draft strategy on the outliers…

  28. G Money says:

    sliderule: G money
    I counted 10 D players drafted in top 3.

    Doh! You found a bug in my spreadsheet. I typed less than 3 instead of less than or equals 3.

    Still don’t get 10, though, it now shows up as 5. Or did you mean 10%?

    Ryan: Not a bad list. Still a fair amount of noise.
    What if we separate the list into those 30 or younger vs those older? Or maybe 20-25, 25-30, >30?
    I’m curious…presumably scouting is getting better and better… Is there any evidence to suggest that it’s getting harder to find the late round gems?

    Whenever I do any work with draft data, it always comes back to the reality that you run into a classic filtering problem of signal vs noise.

    Set the filter too loose, and you get noise in your results.

    Set it too tight, and you filter out signal (which in this case would be dropping near-top D off the list).

    And it’s almost impossible to find the right balance, because the signal and noise are so mixed.

    My end response is to set the filter loose, and let my brain do the filtering.

    The main conclusion I read off this list: you can get good D anywhere. But you can also get good D high in the draft (e.g. Hedman, Pietrangelo, Doughty, E Johnson, Bouwmeester).

    Drafting Hanifin comes down to confidence in scouting I guess. I sure do like the Pietrangelo comparisons.

    Lastly, I think it’s a really good question to ask: is scouting of D getting better? The data is pretty thin, but if I have time, maybe I’ll see if I can put a time lens over top of it that might indicate if results are improving over time.

  29. G Money says:

    kinger_OIL,

    Yeah, I read the data to indicate that good D can come from anywhere, but it’s not necessarily a mistake to draft a D high either.

    What this chart doesn’t show, though, is comparative risk. It’s not just a matter of picking a D, remember that you are also forgoing another player, likely a F when you do that.

    That’s where the risk aspect comes in – the data (I’ve crunched numbers previously) do show that drafting F high has a higher success rate.

    So on the topic of Hanifin – not a mistake to draft him given where he’s rated and the roster issues of the Oilers, but must recognize there is some risk there.

  30. G Money says:

    Kmart99,

    Like my comment to Kinger, I sort of agree. D can come from anywhere, so you can certainly conclude that you don’t need to draft them high!

    On the other hand, some mighty good ones have been had early. I set one bar at “Top 5”, but that cuts the fact that e.g. OEL was at 6 and Suter was at 7.

    So not necessarily a mistake to draft high either.

    PhrankLee: This is very cool. Great job.

    Thanks. Always find it interesting to take a ‘quick look’ at things with supporting data. Never conclusive, but in the world of measurement science, it provides ‘a substantial reduction in uncertainty’!

  31. wheatnoil says:

    G Money,

    Thanks for that G.

    My life should be getting less busy soon. If so, I might be able to tackle the statement that comes up a lot around here: “You can’t acquire a ______ via trade, you have to draft them.” I don’t know if that’s true. I’m curious as to how the top centre, winger, and D on each team are acquired and if it’s more likely teams draft, trade, or sign one of those positions. Probably it would be best to look at how the top and the secondary options on each team are acquired. I might do it this afternoon.

    Unless you or someone else wants to do it (or has already done it). Then I’ll happily just read!

  32. slopitch says:

    I like drafting hanifan at #3. Oilers desperately need a top pairing dman.

    That being said. Toronto would likely give up a ton to get Strome. Likely a couple teams in the 4-8 range would as well. If the scouts aren’t sure who the clear #1 d is and if a team is offering a legit goalie or dman to move up, I think moving down is a real option. That or just draft Strome and spent the next 2 picks on dman. Tough to say since I don’t know the gap on Hanifan and the pack.

  33. Ryan says:

    G Money,

    Makes sense in regards to the filters.

    If someone here has time, it would be interesting to see the frequency drafted by each team. By eye, Montreal, Chicago, Nashville, Piitsburgh and St. Louis seem to stand out. The Oilers too, actually, but for the opposite reason. I’d bet there’s a pretty strong correlation between finding top pairing dmen and making the playoffs.

  34. frjohnk says:

    G Money,

    Nice work G

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