MCLELLAN’S OILERS ARE COMING INTO VIEW

Despite all of the talent on this roster, the Edmonton Oilers don’t really have a personality. What do they want to be known for? What will their strength be? The roster makeup dictates what they will not be (the LAK have more muscle between their ears than the Oilers have full stop) a physically intimidating team but their forwards are highly creative and some of them can push the river while others are stealth and deft at turning the tide.

  • Todd McLellan: “I watched great, young talent play hard in Detroit without the ‘enforcer’ game after game. Team toughness, team grit and doing the things they needed to do won them a Stanley Cup. It can be done, it’s a mindset and it’s everybody contributing… everybody has to pull on the rope.” Source

Music! Now, my first reaction to this is ‘why is Leon in California?’ but let’s see how this turns out. If Edmonton can play hard, like those Detroit teams, perhaps the (perceived) need for an enforcer will fly away like yesterday’s papers.

  • Todd McLellan“It’s not about one, it’s about the group… Luke (Gazdic) is obviously a physical player and competes hard, and guys feel comfortable when he’s involved. But if he’s not in the game, I don’t expect our team to disappear and shrivel up.” Source

I have to say that’s a better answer than anticipated. It tells me that Gazdic’s position on the roster isn’t an automatic and we may well be seeing the end of the enforcer. That said, McLellan employed more than one in San Jose so we’ll see. I think a hard-nosed winger like Benoit Pouliot or a rugged player like Curtis Glencross would be the better plan, and certainly believe Leon Draisaitl was more worthy of that roster spot. When do the actions match the words? We wait.

ference common

FOUR A’S

Andrew Ference is no longer captain of the Edmonton Oilers. I thought he served the team well in this area, no idea really but that’s the guess from here. As I’ve mentioned in the past, my view of Ference includes some good times in Boston and for me this is a person to be respected even as his body begins to betray him on the ice.

The New Originals are the kids—Hall, Nuge, Eberle—from the 2010 re-boot and I imagine the Nuge will be captain next season (and McDavid at some point down the line). Well done, Oilers. In the pre-Chiarelli years, I imagine we would have seen a media avail announcing Ference remaining at captain with the GM saying something along the lines “we need to get these kids straightened out before they take leadership roles” or something similar. Make the call, include the Hall cluster, have a media avail that is light, tight and brief—while being respectful—and then board the plane to St. Louis.

That’s the way you do it.

THE ROSTER

reinhart tc1 capture

The Oilers are rolling a bunch of youth onto the roster this season and that’s the first sign we’re not looking at a team completely devoted to making the playoffs. Don’t get me wrong, if they start off well and need reinforcements, I bet we see some help coming (as long as it doesn’t sacrifice too much of the future). This season is about developing as a team and finding a cluster to place around Connor McDavid.

OILERS OC 5

We know these lines are the ones run in Leduc today and we know Cam Talbot is the starter tomorrow night in St. Louis. It’s not perfect, but we’re here. This is us. Sleep well. Tomorrow, the long march north begins. Finally.

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165 Responses to "MCLELLAN’S OILERS ARE COMING INTO VIEW"

  1. Snowman says:

    Why do you think Nuge will be captain?

    I mean he’s my pick from afar but I don’t see it happening. I think it’s more likely that they run As until McDavid is deemed ready and then they hand it over to him.

  2. Younger Oil says:

    Happy with the Assistant Captain choices, but would have loved to see them throw Lander a bone. Captain of the AHL team, with seemingly great leadership qualities from all sources who have reported on it.

    Would have been nice to have a person not a Canadian drafted in the first round appointed as a primary assistant captain (aside from Ference on the first round part of course). Pretty much the only non-first round draft choice who has made it through three different GMs as well.

  3. Clay says:

    Man, I wish I could believe the march North has begun. I’ve gotten my hopes up too many times – that and the very uninspiring d lineup and unproven goalies make it impossible for me to be as excited as I should be.

    All I want is meaningful January hockey.

  4. kinger_OIL says:

    – Hey LT: you’ve alluded to the both sides of the coin and this article does the same: “my first reaction to this is ‘why is Leon in California?” vs further on: “The Oilers are rolling a bunch of youth onto the roster this season and that’s the first sign we’re not looking at a team completely devoted to making the playoffs”

    – Can’t have it both ways!

    – When Eberle is back, you demote Sleppy and the only rookie on the F crew is McDavid: been years since we’ve had a F corps with only rookie

    – On D you dress only one of Davidson or Griff any night: only one rookie then

    – Progress for sure!

  5. RexLibris says:

    Matt Henderson Retweeted
    Marc Majeau ‏@MarcMajeau 5m5 minutes ago

    The Maple Leafs have officially been eliminated from playoff contention.

  6. RexLibris says:

    Jonathan Willis Retweeted
    Rob Schremp ‏@RobSchremp 5m5 minutes ago

    Extremely excited to make it official with @PortlandPirates..#giddyup

  7. Lowetide says:

    kinger_OIL:
    – Hey LT: you’ve alluded to the both sides of the coin and this article does the same:“my first reaction to this is ‘why is Leon in California?” vs further on: “The Oilers are rolling a bunch of youth onto the roster this season and that’s the first sign we’re not looking at a team completely devoted to making the playoffs”

    – Can’t have it both ways!

    – When Eberle is back, you demote Sleppy and the only rookie on the F crew is McDavid: been years since we’ve had a F corps with only rookie

    – On D you dress only one of Davidson or Griff any night: only one rookie then

    – Progress for sure!

    If the kids are better than the vets, that’s what you do.

  8. JDï™ says:

    Bohologo: Can’t decide which team to hate more.

    The one with the fewest former Oiler defenders?

    Looks like Arco didn’t make it into the lineup tonight.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DbNNRREXIU

  9. RexLibris says:

    Remember when Wanye started that rumour that Gagner was going to be the next captain?

    Man those were some wacky days, amIwrite?!

  10. Ducey says:

    Glencross?

    Holy.

    8 pts in 28 games with the Caps last year. Scratched from a few playoff games.

    Cut from 2 PTO’s this week, including the Leaves.

    No upside, only downside.

  11. Lowetide says:

    Bohologo:
    I am pleased hockey has begun.

    I am vexed that it’s Habs vs. Buds.

    Can’t decide which team to hate more.

    Exactly how I feel. I spent the first half hour swearing at their damnable intro (making the late game start unlikely for television). Calgary-Van so who cares, but still.

  12. Ducey says:

    Lowetide: If the kids are better than the vets, that’s what you do.

    Unless the kids need time to develop.

  13. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: If the kids are better than the vets, that’s what you do.

    Respectfully disagree.

    The kids may be better than the vets, but that’s what got us five years of Gagner with no improvement.

    He was the best C they had coming out of camp his rookie year.

    What they didn’t take into account was that the team was still a damned mess and sending him back to junior was a better plan that trying to use his rookie year as kindling for a fruitless playoff push.

    How I see it is this: the NHL squad has the adults who have to muddle along as best they can. The younger guys, like Nurse and Draisaitl, who have a higher ceiling and may be able to cut it now but still need work, can go off and to just that while the responsibility to try and achieve something in the here and now rests with the veterans.

    For too long it seemed like it was the kids who were expected to come in and fix the problems when that ought to have been the GM, Coach and veterans, respectively.

  14. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: Exactly how I feel. I spent the first half hour swearing at their damnable intro (making the late game start unlikely for television). Calgary-Van so who cares, but still.

    Well, I’ve got some Montreal affiliations so that one is easy.

    The other game, I gotta go with Vancouver.

    It’s harder to hear their boasts what with the mountains blocking out a lot of the noise.

  15. Woodguy says:

    I have to say that’s a better answer than anticipated. It tells me that Gazdic’s position on the roster isn’t an automatic and we may well be seeing the end of the enforcer. That said, McLellan employed more than one in San Jose so we’ll see. I think a hard-nosed winger like Benoit Pouliot or a rugged player like Curtis Glencross would be the better plan, and certainly believe Leon Draisaitl was more worthy of that roster spot. When do the actions match the words? We wait.

    I think you’re framing the issue a bit too much here LT.

    Both Chia and McLellan were pretty clear that DrySaddle is a NHL player when it comes to offence, but needs to learn how to play without the puck more before getting a regular shift.

    3LW or 2RW requires a player that doesn’t need cover.

    Slappy shown he was a pro without the puck along with his offensive chops and got the 2RW job

    Saddle had a tough 2 games vs Van to finish the preseason and he lost his spot , so they pushed Korpse up to it.

    None of this has a thing to do with Gazdic.

    The response might be: “If Gazdic wasn’t the 13F, then Klink would be 13F and Saddle would be 3LW”

    My response is: “But when the coach and GM are singing the same tune about an exceptionally gifted player who they obviously want to play, it behooves us to listen”

    We might be jaded Oiler fans would were smart to not believe MacT or Eakins when they were talking about a player, but this is different.

    I think both Chia and McLellan would have loved to start the season with DrySaddle there but knew it wasn’t the right call.

    We’ve had 3 coaches pull their hair out about the lack of play away from the puck and the cheating for offence from this team.

    Now that smart people are trying to nip that in the bud from our latest 19 year old to come to the NHL we should be happy about it.

  16. RexLibris says:

    Rob Vollman ‏@robvollmanNHL 5m5 minutes ago

    Of 78 sets of published predictions, the most common choice for last in the division: Arizona (76/78), Colorado (62/78), Toronto (50/78)
    2 retweets 1 favorite
    Rob Vollman ‏@robvollmanNHL 6m6 minutes ago

    Of 78 sets of published predictions, the most common choice for divisional champ: TB (65 of 78), Anaheim (58 of 78), no one else over half.

  17. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris: Respectfully disagree.

    The kids may be better than the vets, but that’s what got us five years of Gagner with no improvement.

    He was the best C they had coming out of camp his rookie year.

    What they didn’t take into account was that the team was still a damned mess and sending him back to junior was a better plan that trying to use his rookie year as kindling for a fruitless playoff push.

    How I see it is this: the NHL squad has the adults who have to muddle along as best they can. The younger guys, like Nurse and Draisaitl, who have a higher ceiling and may be able to cut it now but still need work, can go off and to just that while the responsibility to try and achieve something in the here and now rests with the veterans.

    For too long it seemed like it was the kids who were expected to come in and fix the problems when that ought to have been the GM, Coach and veterans, respectively.

    Leon turns 20 on the 27th of October, no real comparison imo to Gagner who was a deer in the headlights.

  18. RexLibris says:

    Bohologo: I lived in Montreal for a couple of years, and Habs fans make Yankees fans seem as humble as monks.

    Insufferable.

    Which I can well understand.

    For me, the Canadiens have a romanticized background that isn’t fouled by their fan base.

    Plus they beat the Flames at least once in the Cup finals, so there is that.

  19. G Money says:

    Clay:
    Man, I wish I could believe the march North has begun.I’ve gotten my hopes up too many times – that and the very uninspiring d lineup and unproven goalies make it impossible for me to be as excited as I should be.

    All I want is meaningful January hockey.

    I think you’ll know if it’s going to be a better season likely by the fifth game or so.

    Here’s how:

    – If Talbot starts and has a solid-to-brilliant game, the path for this year is immediately better than it was last year

    – If Talbot struggles for more than a couple of games, hopefully we’ll see Nilsson. If Nilsson provides average NHL goaltending, the path for this year will be immediately better than it was last year, because the team will be able to address the confidence problems caused by bad goaltending early enough to make a difference

    If at least one of the two gives us decent goaltending, then the team has something to build on. And this *is* a better roster with better coaching than last year – and that team actually mostly held their own play-wise early, until they buckled under.

    Get decent goaltending early, and the scene is set for a significantly better year than last year. And regardless of the record (I published a recent NerdAlert assessing the rather brutal early schedule), I think we’ll know that by game 5.

    If both goalies struggle, my guess is that the call to Scrivens will go out – and hopefully he’ll rebound as much as I expect him to, and provide sturdy goaltending. The catch is – by the time that happens, it might be too late.

    Throw away 15 or 20 games to bad goalering early, and this team just isn’t good enough to recover from that.

    That’s my sample size. Five games.

  20. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: Leon turns 20 on the 27th of October, no real comparison imo to Gagner who was a deer in the headlights.

    I’m speaking more in terms of organizational approach.

    I want Draisaitl to become a more well-rounded player, and while McLellan can help him become this, I think there’s still a little foundational work to be done in the AHL.

    You have him at 40-odd games this season, that sounds reasonable and proper.

  21. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: If the kids are better than the vets, that’s what you do.

    The kids create more, the vet(s) give up less.

    The NHL coach and GM took the conservative route.

  22. RexLibris says:

    G Money: That’s my sample size. Five games.

    http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3ox7di

    Been sitting on that for months now just waiting.

    I knew you wouldn’t disappoint!

    🙂

  23. speeds says:

    Woodguy: The kids create more, the vet(s) give up less.

    The NHL coach and GM took the conservative route.

    I asked LT this via twitter on his show today (and it’s a question for all, not just WG), but if the plan is to send Draisaitl down for 20 games, it would not be too hard to imagine that EDM looks at things and says “Hey, if we leave him in the AHL until day ??? of the season, we save a UFA year. We’re not that far away, let’s just ride it out.”

    Is that something you’d look at if you were in charge?

  24. RexLibris says:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 1m1 minute ago

    Minors Minute w/ @TheChrisWescott –> @Condors update & #Oilers prospect Marino | VIDEO > http://ow.ly/T9aPV

    And we thought Nugent-Hopkins looked young!

    He looks like he’s the kid Gaudreau babysits!

  25. RexLibris says:

    speeds: I asked LT this via twitter on his show today (and it’s a question for all, not just WG), but if the plan is to send Draisaitl down for 20 games, it would not be too hard to imagine that EDM looks at things and says “Hey, if we leave him in the AHL until day ??? of the season, we save a UFA year.We’re not that far away, let’s just ride it out.”

    Is that something you’d look at if you were in charge?

    I think it is a consideration, but it has to be on the level.

    If the player thinks you are doing it intentionally just to screw with his RFA/UFA status, well he’s going to remember that when it comes time for the 2nd contract.

  26. Woodguy says:

    speeds: I asked LT this via twitter on his show today (and it’s a question for all, not just WG), but if the plan is to send Draisaitl down for 20 games, it would not be too hard to imagine that EDM looks at things and says “Hey, if we leave him in the AHL until day ??? of the season, we save a UFA year.We’re not that far away, let’s just ride it out.”

    Is that something you’d look at if you were in charge?

    If he gets to game 25 or so of the NHL season and he’s still in AHL they might consider it.

    If I had to guess where that situation sits in their top 10 reasons not to call up Saddle I’d guess it might not make the list.

  27. G Money says:

    This Petry character seems to be a player. I hear he was slated to be a UFA this summer – did the Oilers ever have a shot at getting him?

  28. RexLibris says:

    G Money:
    This Petry character seems to be a player.I hear we was slated to be a UFA this summer – did the Oilers ever have a shot at getting him?

    As the Quebec license plate so sardonically puts it “Je Me Souviens”.

    MacTavish did quite a few things during his tenure, but around these parts, that one will stand for a long, long time. And rightfully so.

  29. RexLibris says:

    Is it strange that I’m disappointed the Habs aren’t up by more than 1 at the end of the 1st period?

    #rebuildfail

  30. G Money says:

    If I squint hard, I can see some of the puck pressure from the Leafs that I saw from the Oilers for most of the game against Van. The Babcock Tree.

  31. Centre of attention says:

    Snowman,

    Unless McDavid takes ownership of this team sooner rather then later [ not likely] here are some reasons for Nuge to be Captain:

    1. He gives 110% every shift.
    2. Most complete player on roster.
    3. Intelligent, Humble.
    4. Extremely Talented.
    5. Knows and understands the game, can give advice and lead by example
    6. Innocent by nature, none of the apparent “Character Issues” plaguing some of the other options.
    7. Impact player who lead all roster forwards [2nd in NHL] in ice time as a 21 year old?

    The Nuge is a certifiable #boss and he will only get better, and more assertive as time goes by. He might not be the guy to make that fiery pre-game speech, but he is the guy who will make the right play at the right time and get the job done on the ice. He is also an amazing play maker and can work directly with the coach on strategy, dictating to his teammates where he wants his guys on the PP and PK etc etc, because he will be a huge part of both special teams.

    My 2 cents.

  32. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris:
    Is it strange that I’m disappointed the Habs aren’t up by more than 1 at the end of the 1st period?

    #rebuildfail

    No, I was thinking the same thing. Coaching can really improve a team’s look.

  33. jp says:

    Bohologo: I lived in Montreal for a couple of years, and Habs fans make Yankees fans seem as humble as monks.

    Insufferable.

    I lived there too. 100% true.

    That booing noise they make is as infuriating as it is distinct.

  34. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: No, I was thinking the same thing. Coaching can really improve a team’s look.

    Twitter had a great shot of Babcock in his typical behind the bench posture with his hand over his mouth.

    Beneath was the caption “what have I done? what have I done?”

    Perfect.

  35. Centre of attention says:

    What would be hilarious, is if the Leafs over-achieve by accident and finish with a higher pick then they would like. Some teams will be actually trying to lose and if Babcock even gets his guys to give half a rats ass about winning Toronto might be picking outside the top 5, believe it or not. That is unless Shanny goes full #TankNation and trades both Riemer AND Bernier, because with those 2 goalies they might win too many games. I’ve always thought the Oilers should trade for Riemer or Bernier, both Goalies put up respectable numbers for being shelled night-in night-out.

    I can see Arizona, Carolina, Philly and Buffalo to a lesser extent all in a dog fight for Auston Matthews, with Toronto on the outside looking in.

  36. RexLibris says:

    G Money:
    If I squint hard, I can see some of the puck pressure from the Leafs that I saw from the Oilers for most of the game against Van.The Babcock Tree.

    Not watching the game, so I’ll take your word for it.

    But it is something I’m wondering about with all the predictions coming out this year.

    Here’s what I find really interesting.

    Most predictions have the Flames ahead of the Oilers, some by a wide margin.

    Based on past performance, I can understand underestimating the Oilers – it’s a fair bet.

    But the Flames overachieved last year only and previously had been a team losing ground in the standings.

    The Flames retained their coach, a Jack Adams winner mind you, and added two impact players.

    The Oilers changed a greater number of their roster notably on defense, and added an experienced coach as well as a generational talent at an impact position.

    Yet, when people predict outcomes they seem to choose the view that the Flames will improve upon last year when virtually every statistical model suggests otherwise and is supported by the non-quantifiable aspects such as same coaching, goaltending, and management.

    I don’t think the Flames will crash and burn, but 100+ points or 2nd in the Pacific division? If proponents of this argument could give me some detailed, numerically-backed arguments I’m willing to be open-minded. Until then…

  37. Магия 10 says:

    RexLibris: The Flames retained their coach, a Jack Adams winner mind you,

    Isn’t that one of those automatic awards? Coach that inspires the highest shooting percentage increase.

  38. RexLibris says:

    Магия 10: Isn’t that one of those automatic awards? Coach that inspires the highest shooting percentage increase.

    I always thought Ron Lowe deserved the Jack Daniels’ Coach of the Year Award.

  39. SkatinginSand says:

    that’s the first sign we’re not looking at a team completely devoted to making the playoffs.

    I actually thought that the first sign was the lack of summer buyouts because the cap space will be infinitely more valuable next year. An Al Gore sage once mentioned something about keeping powder dry…

  40. Lowetide says:

    Petry!

  41. Centre of attention says:

    Jeff Petry with the 3rd goal overall of the season. *edit* first coaches challenge, goal taken back pretty sure

  42. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide:
    Petry!

    *cries a little*

  43. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris: Not watching the game, so I’ll take your word for it.

    But it is something I’m wondering about with all the predictions coming out this year.

    Here’s what I find really interesting.

    Most predictions have the Flames ahead of the Oilers, some by a wide margin.

    Based on past performance, I can understand underestimating the Oilers – it’s a fair bet.

    But the Flames overachieved last year only and previously had been a team losing ground in the standings.

    The Flames retained their coach, a Jack Adams winner mind you, and added two impact players.

    The Oilers changed a greater number of their roster notably on defense, and added an experienced coach as well as a generational talent at an impact position.

    Yet, when people predict outcomes they seem to choose the view that the Flames will improve upon last year when virtually every statistical model suggests otherwise and is supported by the non-quantifiable aspects such as same coaching, goaltending, and management.

    I don’t think the Flames will crash and burn, but 100+ points or 2nd in the Pacific division? If proponents of this argument could give me some detailed, numerically-backed arguments I’m willing to be open-minded. Until then…

    I picked them to finish No. 8 in the conference because of the changes over the summer. Although there’s no way to factor everything in, the addition of Hamilton on the blue gives them (I believe) the opportunity to ice two quality NHL pairs. Frolik helps up front and their goaltending may have more robbery in them (I may understand luck incorrectly, but if the dice have no memory we can’t assume enormous bad luck will follow enormous good luck).

  44. Centre of attention says:

    RexLibris: *cries a little*

    Don’t worry, the goal was taken back! Plekanec throat-jabbed Leaf goalie with his stick

  45. hunter1909 says:

    Arcobello, Lupul, Petry…

  46. Centre of attention says:

    hunter1909:
    Arcobello, Lupul, Petry…

    Forgetting Marincin

  47. JDï™ says:

    I’ve switched to the NY-CHI game, but I see that Babs won his first coach’s challenge – the first challenge in NHL history.

  48. hunter1909 says:

    G Money:
    This Petry character seems to be a player.I hear he was slated to be a UFA this summer – did the Oilers ever have a shot at getting him?

    Not with those negative fans they didn’t.

  49. G Money says:

    RexLibris: I don’t think the Flames will crash and burn, but 100+ points or 2nd in the Pacific division? If proponents of this argument could give me some detailed, numerically-backed arguments I’m willing to be open-minded. Until then…

    Most of the standings models, as far as I can tell, do not adjust for much in the way of offseason changes. So they look at last year, run some combination of shot statistics and actual results, and by that method, you always end up with the Flames high. Because the results last year are assumed to have some carryover.

    Then the ones that do adjust for offseason results look at Hamilton, Frolik, Bennett and say “well, if anything, that moves them up even more.” And so you get some numbskulls predicting the Flames *higher* than last year. One guy at SportsNet has them picked as the Cup champions this year, FFS!

    My model – and I built it *specifically* because of the massive changes the Oilers underwent – weights off-season changes quite heavily. It also weights previous years capabilities on the basis of the repeatability studies which I’ve done, which means that SCF% and PK/PP shot rates get rated heavily, but the weighting is very modest on points.

    I actually was going to ignore them altogether, but I did that primarily to account for goaltending and coaching effects.

    So teams with unsustainable numbers like the Flames only get a little credit for their standings results.

    My results look like this (I never sent this to Rob Vollman, though I suppose its possible somebody pointed him at my article):

    NSH 1
    STL 2
    ANA 3
    DET 4
    NYI 5
    T.B 6
    MIN 7
    CHI 8
    DAL 9
    L.A 10
    WSH 10
    NYR 12
    PIT 13
    WPG 14
    BOS 15
    OTT 16
    MTL 17
    VAN 18
    PHI 18
    S.J 20
    FLA 21
    EDM 22
    CAR 22
    CGY 24
    CBJ 25
    N.J 26
    TOR 27
    COL 28
    BUF 29
    ARI 30

    For my ‘tough schedule’ calculations, I basically took into account aging effects (+ for the Oil, – for Van) and swapped the two teams. That’s my optimistic 82-point hat.

  50. Water Fire says:

    speeds: I asked LT this via twitter on his show today (and it’s a question for all, not just WG), but if the plan is to send Draisaitl down for 20 games, it would not be too hard to imagine that EDM looks at things and says “Hey, if we leave him in the AHL until day ??? of the season, we save a UFA year.We’re not that far away, let’s just ride it out.”

    Is that something you’d look at if you were in charge?

    Absolutely. It’s context. This Oiler year why not save it? To help keep the group together. Avoiding good decisions like this can lead to cap issues. Context.

  51. Магия 10 says:

    Lowetide: I may understand luck incorrectly, but if the dice have no memory we can’t assume enormous bad luck will follow enormous good luck).

    Yes. Regression to the meat is more likely than high or low.

  52. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: I picked them to finish No. 8 in the conference because of the changes over the summer. Although there’s no way to factor everything in, the addition of Hamilton on the blue gives them (I believe) the opportunity to ice two quality NHL pairs. Frolik helps up front and their goaltending may have more robbery in them (I may understand luck incorrectly, but if the dice have no memory we can’t assume enormous bad luck will follow enormous good luck).

    I’d guessed just outside the playoffs, by 6 points or thereabouts.

    The thing we need to remember is they either re-sign Ramo/Hiller, or move one (or heck, even both!) at the deadline. That means running Ortio as the backup and I’m not sure he’s that capable just yet.

    He’s had games, but what little of the stats I was able to pull up on him don’t reflect all that well. *voodoo caveat

    The defense is key. It contributed a phenomenal amount of their overall scoring last year, and while I expect that to continue as a percentage basis, it remains to be seen how it will be in real numbers.

    But here’s the kicker. What I’ve read most often is “with a full year from Giordano and the progression of young stars Monahan and Gaudreau…”

    Now, tell me, does that sentence sound AWFULLY familiar? So why is it applicable to the Flames when Giordano has never managed a full season and the young stars had, by all appearances, career years in sh% and pts?

  53. Woodguy says:

    RexLibris: Not watching the game, so I’ll take your word for it.

    But it is something I’m wondering about with all the predictions coming out this year.

    Here’s what I find really interesting.

    Most predictions have the Flames ahead of the Oilers, some by a wide margin.

    Based on past performance, I can understand underestimating the Oilers – it’s a fair bet.

    But the Flames overachieved last year only and previously had been a team losing ground in the standings.

    The Flames retained their coach, a Jack Adams winner mind you, and added two impact players.

    The Oilers changed a greater number of their roster notably on defense, and added an experienced coach as well as a generational talent at an impact position.

    Yet, when people predict outcomes they seem to choose the view that the Flames will improve upon last year when virtually every statistical model suggests otherwise and is supported by the non-quantifiable aspects such as same coaching, goaltending, and management.

    I don’t think the Flames will crash and burn, but 100+ points or 2nd in the Pacific division? If proponents of this argument could give me some detailed, numerically-backed arguments I’m willing to be open-minded. Until then…

    Same people picked COL to repeat their 100pt+ season when math said it was a long shot. Math got that one right.

    That being said Flames have 3 of the top 20 D via my little QC and positive rel cor thing I posted this morning and that will help.

    Monahan is good as is Backlund. So 1/2 C isn’t a problem.

    100pts? No, but 90 isn’t far fetch I think.

    Goaltending is the wild card as always.

    They seem to dislike their best goalie, so that’s nice.

  54. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris: I’d guessed just outside the playoffs, by 6 points or thereabouts.

    The thing we need to remember is they either re-sign Ramo/Hiller, or move one (or heck, even both!) at the deadline. That means running Ortio as the backup and I’m not sure he’s that capable just yet.

    He’s had games, but what little of the stats I was able to pull up on him don’t reflect all that well. *voodoo caveat

    The defense is key. It contributed a phenomenal amount of their overall scoring last year, and while I expect that to continue as a percentage basis, it remains to be seen how it will be in real numbers.

    But here’s the kicker. What I’ve read most often is “with a full year from Giordano and the progression of young stars Monahan and Gaudreau…”

    Now, tell me, does that sentence sound AWFULLY familiar? So why is it applicable to the Flames when Giordano has never managed a full season and the young stars had, by all appearances, career years in sh% and pts?

    Well I have them just outside, doesn’t sound like we disagree that much.

  55. geowal says:

    While Drasaitl can be argued to belong on merit, one of the issues the oilers face is their ability to teach on the fly. If this was a veteran group, no problem. But as it stands there are 5 rookies and there is only so much time available from coaches and veterans to teach. Couple this with players like Yakupov et al, and new systems to implement, and they may have felt there simply wasn’t enough teaching time to go around. Rather than risk he be underdeveloped, Drai can go down for 20 games or whatever it will be, learn better defense etc, while the nhl coaches work in who’s still up.

    He’ll come up when the issue is forced and they feel they have established the system play with the group.

  56. Snowman says:

    Centre of attention,

    I agree with all of those things. That’s why I said I would pick Nuge.

    I followed that up with I don’t think that’s what happens. I think all the As are just seatwarmers for Mcdavid.

  57. Unwashed Oilfan says:

    Centre of attention: Forgetting Marincin

    Gilbert

  58. jp says:

    G Money:
    This Petry character seems to be a player.I hear he was slated to be a UFA this summer – did the Oilers ever have a shot at getting him?

    I still can’t believe they actually healthy scratched him last year. Just mind blowing stuff.

  59. oilswell says:

    RexLibris: Respectfully disagree.

    The kids may be better than the vets, but that’s what got us five years of Gagner with no improvement.

    He was the best C they had coming out of camp his rookie year.

    What they didn’t take into account was that the team was still a damned mess and sending him back to junior was a better plan that trying to use his rookie year as kindling for a fruitless playoff push.

    How I see it is this: the NHL squad has the adults who have to muddle along as best they can. The younger guys, like Nurse and Draisaitl, who have a higher ceiling and may be able to cut it now but still need work, can go off and to just that while the responsibility to try and achieve something in the here and now rests with the veterans.

    For too long it seemed like it was the kids who were expected to come in and fix the problems when that ought to have been the GM, Coach and veterans, respectively.

    How confident are you that Gagner would be any different going back to the same junior environment that produced him? And Schremp. While a year older yet and needing to play D even less to succeed.

  60. Centre of attention says:

    If the Flames make the playoffs [spits] they will probably end up getting the Kings/Sharks. Thats when things come crashing back down to earth. They will be crushed. Then we’ll have to hear “yeah but blah blah we made it at least blah blah”, forgetting that their team might be doomed to mediocrity on the bubble, especially if they can’t figure out a long term solution for goal tending.

    Meanwhile, I’m hedging my bets the next playoff appearance the Oilers make will take them all the way to the Conference Final. If Chiarelli gets the defense good enough to even make the playoffs in the first place, I fear for the other teams of the league.

    Once this train here in Edmonton gets going it’ll be hard to stop. Problem is, its been parked abandoned with its wheels missing for like half a decade. Going to take a season or so to work the rust out.

  61. böök¡je says:

    I predict that the Flames finish with Brian Burke getting arrested for biting off part of Mark Giordano’s ear in a dressing room brawl that results in the majority of the team being arrested or suspended and Calgary forfeiting their last seven games.

    I may be a bit optimistic.

  62. speeds says:

    oilswell: How confident are you that Gagner would be any different going back to the same junior environment that produced him? And Schremp. While a year older yet and needing to play D even less to succeed.

    In Gagner’s case, his linemates Kane and S.Kostitsyn both would have been gone, it would have been a reasonably different environment.

  63. G Money says:

    Lowetide: and their goaltending may have more robbery in them (I may understand luck incorrectly, but if the dice have no memory we can’t assume enormous bad luck will follow enormous good luck).

    If a particular variable shows little repeatability year to year (as both sh% and sv% do), then you are correct, you don’t assume bad luck follows good luck.

    The correct approach is to regress the variable back to the mean, meaning you move it most but not all of the way back if the correlation year to year is not zero (if it is zero, the best guess is the mean).

    I calculated the year to year correlation for sh% as being 0.31, and a corresponding regression equation of y = 0.245x + 5.8 (ignore what this means for the moment).

    In the case of the Flames and their 10.5% 5v5 sh% (second in the league, and two standard deviations higher than the mean, the very definition of “unlikely and unsustainable”), to assume this number is going to repeat is folly. That’s what all the talking heads are doing when they assume that Hartley achieved something amazing last year – that it was skill and not random variation.

    Given the low repeatability, using the calculated regression, the ‘best guess’ you would make for the Flames this year is to regress them back to the mean using that equation, so: 10.5 x 0.245 + 5.8 = 8.4. That’s statistically the ‘best guess’ for the Flames sh% this year.

    The Flames took 2252 shots last year at EV. WIth the regressed sh% (remember: back to the mean, NOT assuming bad luck), they would have scored 189 goals instead of 236 goals.

    Think about that for a second. If the Flames had average sh% (they’ve been a below average sh% team most years), they would have had FORTY SEVEN fewer EV goals for last year.

    So the people figuring that the Flames will do just as well or even better this year have to assume that adding Hamilton, Frolik, and Bennett can make up 47 goals.

    In order to make up that difference vs average shooting luck, the Flames would have to put 2800+ EV shots on goal this year – or about a 25% improvement. (No team managed to do that this year, though CHI came closest at 2777).

    Likely?

  64. G Money says:

    jp: I still can’t believe they actually healthy scratched him last year. Just mind blowing stuff.

    And even when he wasn’t HS’d, he spent much of the year on the third pairing.

  65. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: doesn’t sound like we disagree that much.

    I disagree.

  66. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy: Same people picked COL to repeat their 100pt+ season when math said it was a long shot. Math got that one right.

    That being said Flames have 3 of the top 20 D via my little QC and positive rel cor thing I posted this morning and that will help.

    Monahan is good as is Backlund. So 1/2 C isn’t a problem.

    100pts? No, but 90 isn’t far fetch I think.

    Goaltending is the wild card as always.

    They seem to dislike their best goalie, so that’s nice.

    That D is good, but we’ll see what impact it has.

    My guess is they’ve raced back to the middle with maybe three years’ sustainability depending on goaltending.

    Then things get interesting.

  67. böök¡je says:

    RexLibris: I disagree.

    I paid for an argument

  68. Lowetide says:

    G Money:
    In order to make up that difference vs average shooting luck, the Flames would have to put 2800+ EV shots on goal this year – or about a 25% improvement.

    Likely?

    So, we’re making up the entire difference with the shooters? I understand the idea that the Flames will regress, and I hope you’re right. Still, I can’t see the wisdom in discounting the addition of a substantial talent like Hamilton, who gives Calgary two pairings (potentially) who should be able to improve the possession numbers while they’re on the ice.

    How much does that tilt the field? I don’t know. I’d be interested in your views on the matter.

  69. böök¡je says:

    G Money:
    böök¡je,

    No you didn’t.

    This isn’t an aguement, it’s just contradiction!

  70. rickithebear says:

    Strong GA defence!
    4th line scoring can outscore.
    So 4 lines of 4ths can win.

    Poor GA defence!
    18M 1st lines cannot outscore.
    72M of 1st liners cannot win.

    Which is better in cap world.
    Box protection d.
    Or
    Offensive D.

  71. rickithebear says:

    Doug Hamilton -1 per game agaist Pacific Playoff teams.

  72. G Money says:

    Lowetide,

    Good question. What I’d say is that the starting point should be last years shooting metrics, which we know have sustain year to year, rather than the sh%, which we know doesn’t have sustain.

    So if the Flames put up 2252 ev shots (third worst in the league), and they hadn’t added any of those talents, then you assume that their shots will repeat and their sh% will regress, and that’s where you get 189 goals. Without Hamilton et al, the Flames are down 47 goals given normal luck.

    So what do Ham/Fro/Ben add to that? Are the Flames 10% better?

    That would put them at 2252 x 1.1 = 2477. That’s about mid-pack in the league last year, an enormous jump. Use a regressed sh% of 8.4% (for the record, BOS with Hamilton last year was at 8.1%), that puts them at 208 EV goals.

    In other words, statistically speaking, the Flames were SO MUCH of an outlier last year that with a regressed-to-the-meat sh%, they would have put up 47 fewer goals.

    By adding Hamilton and Frolik and Bennett, we give them a huge benefit of a 10% jump in EV shot production, and that brings them up to 208. Still almost 30 goals down from last year.

    Given these wide spreads, that’s why I say – if the Flames were to somehow meet or improve on last years incredibly unlikely performance – I’ll have to think about hanging up my calculator, because the Flames will truly have broken fancystats.

  73. Lowetide says:

    G Money:
    Lowetide,

    Good question.What I’d say is that the starting point should be last years shooting metrics, which we know have sustain year to year, rather than the sh%, which we know doesn’t have sustain.

    So if the Flames put up 2252 ev shots (third worst in the league), and they hadn’t added any of those talents, then you assume that their shots will repeat and their sh% will regress, and that’s where you get 189 goals. Without Hamilton et al, the Flames are down 47 goals given normal luck.

    So what do Ham/Fro/Ben add to that?Are the Flames 10% better?

    That would put them at 2252 x 1.1 = 2477.That’s about mid-pack in the league last year, an enormous jump.Use a regressed sh% of 8.4% (for the record, BOS with Hamilton last year was at 8.1%), that puts them at 208 EV goals.

    In other words, statistically speaking, the Flames were SO MUCH of an outlier last year that with a regressed-to-the-meat sh%, they would have put up 47 fewer goals.

    By adding Hamilton and Frolik and Bennett, we give them a huge benefit of a 10% jump in EV shot production, and that brings them up to 208.Still almost 30 goals down from last year.

    Given these wide spreads, that’s why I say – if the Flames were to somehow meet or improve on last years incredibly unlikely performance – I’ll have to think about hanging up my calculator, because the Flames will truly have broken fancystats.

    Interesting. Thanks for this!

  74. jp says:

    G Money: And even when he wasn’t HS’d, he spent much of the year on the third pairing.

    Yeah. The guys responsible also made Nikita Nikitin a very rich man. Some of them at least have been (rightfully) removed from the controls. Man.

  75. G Money says:

    Lowetide,

    No prob. Half the posters here are now conflicted, having to choose between the Flames doing badly and me hanging up my calculator!

  76. jp says:

    böök¡je:
    I predict that the Flames finish with Brian Burke getting arrested for biting off part of Mark Giordano’s ear in a dressing room brawl that results in the majority of the team being arrested or suspended and Calgary forfeiting their last seven games.

    I may be a bit optimistic.

    I’m guessing the team was not playoff bound at the time of the altercation…

    Nice post 🙂

  77. Cameron says:

    Most Flames fans at FN are 50/50 on the team making the playoffs. That said there are reasons for optimism;

    – Hamilton. He’s a franchise altering defenseman, and instantly creates depth at a position where there was none outside of the top pairing.

    – The addition of Frolik (a fancy stats darling), and a full year from Bennett add juice to what was previously a punchless team outside of the top line.

    – Backlund. If he can stay healthy he’s the prototype modern ‘hard minutes’ guy, and the Flames dearly missed him when he was out – which was a lot.

    – Giordano’s last two years were wrecked by fluke injuries. A full season and he threatens for the Norris.

    – Monahan’s trajectory has been steep. From sheltered rookie to unsheltered 30 goal scorer. With some zone start help, and Backlund around to take tough assignments, he could stall in development and still improve his numbers.

    – Gaudreau, had a rough first 11 games and then took off at nearly a ppg pace the rest of the way. Any development from him in his sophmore year puts him among the elite.

    – Goaltending is on standby till one of Ortio/Gillies/MacDonald emerge to take the job (IMO it will be the monstrously sized Gillies). Remember, Calgary blew their rebuild timetable to pieces by winning last year, so the placeholders were brought back.

    I have them improving their possession game, but not getting the sorcerous luck they got last year, and with those being a sawoff, they end up sneaking in to the playoffs again. If they get 100 points I will be very pleasantly surprised.

    More interesting than making the playoffs to most Flames fans is the development of the three key forwards; Monahan, Bennett, and Gaudreau. More than anything we just want them to improve further.

  78. Магия 10 says:

    G Money:
    böök¡je,

    No you didn’t.

    Ah hah! Well if I didn’t pay, why are you arguing??? Ah HAAAAAAHHH! Gotcha!

  79. G Money says:

    Магия 10: Ah hah! Well if I didn’t pay, why are you arguing??? Ah HAAAAAAHHH! Gotcha!

    Not necessarily. I *could* be arguing in my spare time.

  80. Магия 10 says:

    G Money: Not necessarily. I *could* be arguing in my spare time.

    Oh shut up!

  81. G Money says:

    Cameron,

    All of these things are true. I expect the Flames to be a significantly better team this year than last.

    What the numbers point out is not just that the Flames numbers-wise were an anomaly, but they were an off the charts anomaly. A Hockey Black Swan.

    Regress the numbers to something back to normal, then account for a substantial improvement from there – and you still end up quite far back from where they were last year.

    Playoffs next year will still take a large dose of luck. Perhaps not as large as last year, but large nonetheless. Especially if the Oilers goalies decide not to gift the Flames 10 easy points.

  82. Cameron says:

    G Money,

    Keep in mind that Calgary’s outsized shooting % was entirely the result of the top line. Aside from them the Flames were underwater shooting % wise. Hudler (and now Monahan) jave histories of being above average shooters. It may just be the case that they are really good at the scoring thing.

    Also keep in mind that Cgy was the least penalized team in the league last year. Getting more PP time than your opponent can mask a lot of problems 5×5.

    Last but not least, the worst possession players on the Flames last year were Bollig and Engelland. The Flames (once Brodie returns in a couple of weeks) now have enough depth to play replacement level guys ahead of them (Please Gord), making a disastous 3rd pair and 4th line much less disastrous.

  83. flyfish1168 says:

    I would love to see you guys correct about them phlegms. I have alot of catching up to do in the in your face taunting.

  84. G Money says:

    Магия 10,

    Help help I’m being repressed!

    Ooops, sorry, got carried away.

  85. Магия 10 says:

    G Money:
    Магия 10,

    Help help I’m being repressed!

    Ooops, sorry, got carried away.

    Oh no, that’s next door. It’s being-hit-on-the-head lessons in here.

    (We’re Oilers fans)

  86. G Money says:

    Cameron,

    On the last point, yes, that’s part of being a better team.

    On the first point, as I recall the defenders were also way anomalous as well. No way the Flames pulled that high a sh% based on only three guys (and if they did, that just points to them being ripe for regression).

    Penalties Drawn and Penalties Given Up were something I also looked at for repeatability. While they do have a higher repeatability than sh% or sv%, they are pretty borderline for significance (r = 0.4 or so), and quite a lot less repeatable than shot metrics.

    Certainly, it will be interesting to see this year whether those numbers can be chalked up to discipline or random variance. Numerically, I’d say it was a 40/60 blend, and that would mean the Flames won’t have those kinds of numbers that dramatically on their side this year, though at r=0.4 it would be reasonable to think they’ll still be better than average.

  87. rickithebear says:

    Petry on d.
    I do not remember the cap going to 110M. So we can win.

  88. Cameron says:

    G Money,

    I believe most of the anomalous shooting% on D was from Wideman (who went absolutely ballistic over the last 3rd of the season), but it was muted by the loss Giordano, and a lower than expected ahooting% of others. which is more an explanation than dissagreement.

  89. Bank Shot says:

    Cameron:
    G Money,

    Keep in mind that Calgary’s outsized shooting % was entirely the result of the top line. Aside from them the Flames were underwater shooting % wise. Hudler (and now Monahan) jave histories of being above average shooters. It may just be the case that they are really good at the scoring

    And Wideman, and Brode, and Bouma, and Jooris, and Stajan.

    So basically the about half the team was off the charts in shooting percentage.

    You can’t find a top six forward or a top four defense man on the Flames last season that had a poor year in regards to shooting percentage with the exception of Russell.

  90. Pouzar says:

    F6ck the Flames.

    Good night.

  91. SK Oiler Fan says:

    That D corps will smash any perceived improvements in other areas of the roster. Sigh, another wasted season. Go Oilers

  92. Unwashed Oilfan says:

    Enough about the Flames. Jesus. We are less than 24 hours from our season opener. Can we PLEASE get back to trashing MacT already

  93. Centre of attention says:

    I hope Hartly keeps running his line changes like that. All day. Every game. Gifted Hanson that goal.

  94. JDï™ says:

    Pouzar:
    F6ck the Flames.

    Good night.

    Nite, Pzr.

  95. JDï™ says:

    Missing a good game if you’re not watching this Chi/NYR game:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDD697xbZ5A

    Not much time left.

  96. Soup Fascist says:

    Centre of attention: Forgetting Marincin

    Forgetting Sarah Marincin

    FTFY. Great movie.

  97. Soup Fascist says:

    JDï™:
    Missing a good game if you’re not watching this Chi/NYR game:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDD697xbZ5A

    Not much time left.

    Free preview on Centre Ice on Shaw. 350.

  98. JDï™ says:

    Soup Fascist: Free preview on Centre Ice on Shaw. 350.

    No cablettes

    No matches

  99. Soup Fascist says:

    JDï™: No cablettes

    No matches

    Great game. Great drama.

  100. Магия 10 says:

    Maddon takes his hoodie and the lovable losers into a division series.

  101. JDï™ says:

    Soup Fascist: Great game. Great drama.

    you should really try that link. I know it says yt, but…

  102. vinotintazo says:

    So flames getting outshot and losing after the first. Cue the comeback.

  103. Soup Fascist says:

    vinotintazo:
    So flames getting outshot and losing after the first. Cue the comeback.

    We’re not in ’14-’15 anymore, Toto.

  104. Centre of attention says:

    I hope the flames get stomped, only so the Knucks fans at my work will get all cocky to start the season only to wallow in misplaced anger for the rest of it.

  105. raventalon40 says:

    Question: with his criminal troubles going on… do you think Slava Voynov would be available for a 7th round pick?!

    Yes, he’s a scumbag. But he’s a talented scumbag.

    Or does that make me a scumbag for asking?

    He is a RHD tho..

  106. Walter Gretzkys Neighbour says:

    My greatest fear for this coming year is not so much slow D, rookies, a Talbot “starters dip” although all those are real. I am most concerned that this team will never succeed until they begin to engage physically. For decades they have been a weak soft team totally averse to taking the body.

    Watching the games tonight, there’s a lot of intense physical battle and you can just sense that unless the Oilers begin to slow up other teams, take the body at every opportunity, they are going to get hammered nightly. Too much of the Oilers play depends on major errors by the other team. It seems to me as a team they never drive the play, the play is always taken to them. Oilers are always the ones that end up on their asses.

    Unless there is a culture change I can’t see this team doing much better than last year. I put down 77 points in the Death March but I’m wondering if even that is far too generous.

    I’d love to be wrong, but the NHL is fast and most teams play physically to negate the speed, something it seems the Oilers never do.

  107. JDï™ says:

    raventalon40,

    He’s already playing in the KHL, I believe.

  108. Unwashed Oilfan says:

    JDï™:
    raventalon40,

    He’s already playing in the KHL, I believe.

    JDï™:
    raventalon40,

    He’s already playing in the KHL, I believe.

    And the little fact that he probably can never enter the U.S. ever again. He was going to be deported but left voluntarily.

  109. russ99 says:

    Walter Gretzkys Neighbour:
    My greatest fear for this coming year is not so much slow D, rookies, a Talbot “starters dip” although all those are real. I am most concerned that this team will never succeed until they begin to engage physically. For decades they have been a weak soft team totally averse to taking the body.

    Watching the games tonight, there’s a lot of intense physical battle and you can just sense that unless the Oilers begin to slow up other teams, take the body at every opportunity, they are going to get hammered nightly. Too much of the Oilers play depends on major errors by the other team. It seems to me as a team they never drive the play, the play is always taken to them. Oilers are always the ones that end up on their asses.

    Unless there is a culture change I can’t see this team doing much better than last year. I put down 77 points in the Death March but I’m wondering if even that is far too generous.

    I’d love to be wrong, but the NHL is fast and most teams play physically to negate the speed, something it seems the Oilers never do.

    I get what you’re saying, and man is this Calgary – Vancouver game wonderfully violent.

    But there is no reason why we can’t play a physical game too, with our first wave of kids filling out and entering their prime years.

    I trust McLellan will be able to get the to compete with these heavier teams or skate them off the ice.

  110. Younger Oil says:

    Calgary only on pace to put 21 pucks on net this game.

    If this is their norm, and their shooting percentages regress to the meat, they may end up being 6th in the division.

    Definitely wouldn’t bet on it, but one can hope.

  111. RexLibris says:

    G Money:
    Lowetide,

    Good question.What I’d say is that the starting point should be last years shooting metrics, which we know have sustain year to year, rather than the sh%, which we know doesn’t have sustain.

    So if the Flames put up 2252 ev shots (third worst in the league), and they hadn’t added any of those talents, then you assume that their shots will repeat and their sh% will regress, and that’s where you get 189 goals. Without Hamilton et al, the Flames are down 47 goals given normal luck.

    So what do Ham/Fro/Ben add to that?Are the Flames 10% better?

    That would put them at 2252 x 1.1 = 2477.That’s about mid-pack in the league last year, an enormous jump.Use a regressed sh% of 8.4% (for the record, BOS with Hamilton last year was at 8.1%), that puts them at 208 EV goals.

    In other words, statistically speaking, the Flames were SO MUCH of an outlier last year that with a regressed-to-the-meat sh%, they would have put up 47 fewer goals.

    By adding Hamilton and Frolik and Bennett, we give them a huge benefit of a 10% jump in EV shot production, and that brings them up to 208.Still almost 30 goals down from last year.

    Given these wide spreads, that’s why I say – if the Flames were to somehow meet or improve on last years incredibly unlikely performance – I’ll have to think about hanging up my calculator, because the Flames will truly have broken fancystats.

    Precisely.

    These are more or less the assumptions I was working off of when I did the RE.

    I adjusted the sh%s a touch to bring them down while still giving some token respect to the idea that they *might* be able to repeat a bit of a high % in that area.

    Also mentioned that with a glut of 20-40 pt guys on the roster, a drop by one could be made up for by another.

    Very good analysis, and I would say that I agree with all your points. They are not personally motivated, they apply formulas that have strong mathematical background and therefore avoid bias.

    Thank you for detailing it here.

  112. RexLibris says:

    Interesting experiment to observe this season:

    Frolik is a possession player through his career to-date.

    Hartley appears to coach systems that eschew that approach in favour of of collapse/counter.

    What might result from the connection of these two?

    We have all assumed that Frolik would improve possession numbers for the Flames because that is the kind of player that he has been elsewhere, but this doesn’t take into account Hartley’s deployment and assignment for him as a player.

  113. RexLibris says:

    Wideman scores!

    On his own net.

    🙂

  114. Ice Sage says:

    Karma’s a Flaming B!tch, yeah

  115. Centre of attention says:

    Wow that was a stellar play by Wideman. Lovely goal!

  116. Suntory Hanzo says:

    Hamilton not having a good game. A coupla goals against.

    #bulletdodged

  117. gd says:

    Is this not a mirror image of last Thursday’s game here? I’m almost expecting to see Nikitin in red.

  118. 719 says:

    raventalon40:
    Question: with his criminal troubles going on… do you think Slava Voynov would be available for a 7th round pick?!

    Yes, he’s a scumbag. But he’s a talented scumbag.

    Or does that make me a scumbag for asking?

    He is a RHD tho..

    I believe he would not be able to get a work visa due to his criminal record.

  119. Centre of attention says:

    Ramo probably wants to pee in Widemans cornflakes tomorrow morning hahaha. Giving him the gears on the bench pretty good.

  120. RexLibris says:

    H. Sedin.

    5-1.

    Beautiful goal.

    To paraphrase Palpatine: now your misery is complete.

  121. rickithebear says:

    In that holding a toke voice.
    Dougie Hamilton is awsome.

    Exhale voice.
    Go Oilers.

    Ah junior high memories!

  122. Ice Sage says:

    Flames looking like Eakins Oilers out there – just blah

  123. HeatTreaterJoe says:

    Not a fan of the Canucks, but nice result tonight.

  124. RexLibris says:

    Rex Codex Libris ‏@CodexRex now

    Flames finish with 38.89CF% and Ramo with a 0.886sv%. One of those numbers is carried over from last season, the other is not.

  125. Lowetide says:

    Okay. Flames are beginning to convince me. We’ll talk after 20 games, all just like this. 🙂

  126. frjohnk says:

    Suntory Hanzo:
    Hamilton not havinga good game.A coupla goals against.

    #bulletdodged

    I didn’t see Hamilton good defensively.

    Only 1 game but I’m guessing if In Boston his defensive shortcomings were somewhat hidden because of Boston’s defensive system (best back pressure from forwards in the league) and top 5 goalie, his defensive shortcomings will be magnified in Calgary.

  127. G Money says:

    RexLibris:
    Rex Codex Libris ‏@CodexRex now

    Flames finish with 38.89CF% and Ramo with a0.886sv%. One of those numbers is carried over from last season, the other is not.

    That’s actually an improvement. Must be the Hamilton effect!

    Last year’s home opener for the Oilers, the Flames were at 34 CF%. They were outshot 40-26 by the Oilers (not so unlike the 44-30 shellacking tonight).

    But the Flames won 5-2 on the back of a .940 from Ramo and a well deserved .808 from Scrivens, on two point blank giveaways and a softie from the blueline. And so went the season.

    Just one game, true … but reversion sure is looking like bitch. C’mon in and stay a while!

    Now I just pray to Gord that Talbot is average or better tomorrow. That’s all I ask. Average or better. Give the team a chance to win, let them play knowing that every little mistake isn’t a goal against. Hell, last year even if they didn’t make a mistake it still went in.

    Average or better, that’s all I ask!!!

  128. RexLibris says:

    From Our Good Friend:

    @CodexRex Daniel Sedin on pace for 252 points. Did you call it?

  129. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide:
    Okay. Flames are beginning to convince me. We’ll talk after 20 games, all just like this.

    See my post above about Frolik and Hartley.

    Frolik can be whatever he wants, but as we’ve seen here with the Oilers, sometimes a coach can take a good player and completely misunderstand him.

    If Hartley continues down the “shots don’t matter, just skate like a demon and hit everything in sight” path, Frolik’s Corsi reputation won’t be worth a damn.

  130. RexLibris says:

    G Money: That’s actually an improvement.Must be the Hamilton effect!

    Last year’s home opener for the Oilers, the Flames were at 34 CF%.They were outshot 40-26 by the Oilers (not so unlike the 44-30 shellacking tonight).

    But the Flames won 5-2 on the back of a .940 from Ramo and a well deserved .808 from Scrivens, on two point blank giveaways and a softie from the blueline.And so went the season.

    Just one game, true … but reversion sure is looking like bitch.C’mon in and stay a while!

    Now I just pray to Gord that Talbot is average or better tomorrow.That’s all I ask.Average or better.Give the team a chance to win, let them play knowing that every little mistake isn’t a goal against.Hell, last year even if they didn’t make a mistake it still went in.

    Average or better, that’s all I ask!!!

    Systems and structure. That’s what I want to see tomorrow night.

  131. G Money says:

    RexLibris: Systems and structure. That’s what I want to see tomorrow night.

    Absolutely. But tbh, I expect to see that develop over the next 10 to 20 games no matter what. In TMc I trust.

    But even the best system can be sewered by bad goalering, as we oh so painfully know.

    Good goalering gives the backstop to let the team build the system and structure with confidence, and do so without watching helplessly as the playoffs disappear by Halloween.

    GOALERING! I WANTS IT!!

  132. Younger Oil says:

    Lucic gets a match penalty for intent to injure with a minute left when down 5-1.

    Hate to say this, but Gazdic may have some value to the team to keep a guy like Lucic in check.

    Have a bad feeling that Lucic may be public enemy #1 around here by the end of the season though.

  133. oilswell says:

    speeds: In Gagner’s case, his linemates Kane and S.Kostitsyn both would have been gone, it would have been a reasonably different environment.

    Point taken. The Knights that year were second in their division and a playoff team. Meanwhile Gagner scored 49 points on 1200 minutes of ice time against NHL defenders, likely 90% of them better than any he would have faced in junior, and while learning NHL systems from NHL coaches and linemates.

    To me it isn’t at all a slam dunk that he turned out a worse player because he wasn’t returned to junior.

  134. v4ance says:

    Younger Oil,

    I used to believe in old school “eye for an eye” but I don’t believe that type of deterrence works anymore.

    The best deterrence is to outscore them when they take stupid penalties running around trying to be goons. Score on the PP and win the game. If the Lucic’s of the NHL wanna try start something, the result will be match penalties and suspensions for them. Just see how many games Lucic and or Brown get for their antics.

  135. jm363561 says:

    Walter Gretzkys Neighbour:
    My greatest fear for this coming year is not so much slow D, rookies, a Talbot “starters dip” although all those are real. I am most concerned that this team will never succeed until they begin to engage physically. For decades they have been a weak soft team totally averse to taking the body.

    Watching the games tonight, there’s a lot of intense physical battle and you can just sense that unless the Oilers begin to slow up other teams, take the body at every opportunity, they are going to get hammered nightly. Too much of the Oilers play depends on major errors by the other team. It seems to me as a team they never drive the play, the play is always taken to them. Oilers are always the ones that end up on their asses.

    Unless there is a culture change I can’t see this team doing much better than last year. I put down 77 points in the Death March but I’m wondering if even that is far too generous.

    I’d love to be wrong, but the NHL is fast and most teams play physically to negate the speed, something it seems the Oilers never do.

    Yep, exactly my fear (too many ballerinas; not enough warriors), and exactly my point prediction. Gryba, Reinhart, Korp, Klink have to join Lander and Hendriks as guys who can win in the trenches.

  136. jimmers2 says:

    Cameron:

    – Hamilton. He’s a franchise altering defenseman, and instantly creates depth at a position where there was none outside of the top pairing.

    I’m wondering if “franchise altering defenseman” means what you think it does.

    We know a thing or two about it around here if there is any question; we will have to wish you good luck with that.

  137. SwedishPoster says:

    Saw Rangers-Hawks in full, amazing game, despite losing Hawks looks like they have a better team than last year. Panarin is elite offensively, Anisimov is better than Richard at this point in their career and while Daley was a bit of a tire fire in his own end Rundblad looked like he’s starting to figure the NHL game out, much more confident than I’ve ,seen him, had some mishaps from over-complicating things but bailed himself out most of the time. Rangers did the usual routine with Lundqvist playing great behind solid D and fantastic team speed up front, they have elite skating on every line which really pushes the pace and makes every mistake costly. Great hockey game.

  138. jp says:

    jm363561: Yep, exactly my fear (too many ballerinas; not enough warriors)

    FYI, the proper term is “Barbara Ann Scotts”, not ballerinas.

  139. böök¡je says:

    Merry October 8th everybody!

  140. böök¡je says:

    Dad, how long do we have to wait before we open our Game Day Thread.

  141. Ryan says:

    böök¡je:
    Dad, how long do we have to wait before we open our Game Day Thread.

    Isn’t it some time between 8:30 and 9?

  142. Lowetide says:

    Ryan: Isn’t it some time between 8:30 and 9?

    It’s 8:30 sharp. It isn’t done, but it will be a long one.

  143. Pouzar says:

    Cameron? Cameron? Cameron?…..Anyone? Anyone?

  144. böök¡je says:

    Maybe next year you can fill a stocking for us. We’ll leave milk and cookies.

  145. Walter Gretzkys Neighbour says:

    I used to hate Vancouver with – as someone here once said – “the heat of a thousand suns” – but you know what – I think I hate the Flames more. Maybe it’s the fans, the coach, not sure but it sure is strange to feel my internal senses feeling good about a Vancouver thrashing of Calgary.

    Sure would love to see the Flames have an Oilereque start of a run of bad luck, bad bounces and facing inexplicably hot goaltenders – and see them sit at 0-7 to start the year. We can only hope that a start like that might get that insufferable oaf Kelly Hrudey to STFU!

    Now – lets have a solid game against STL. Win or not if we can see the effort and passion, I’ll be happy (ish)…

  146. Pouzar says:

    Walter Gretzkys Neighbour: I used to hate Vancouver with – as someone here once said – “the heat of a thousand suns” – but you know what – I think I hate the Flames more.

    This.

    Now I am back.

    F^ck the Flames

  147. TheWhiskyKiwi says:

    Woo Hoo Hockey’s Back.

    I’m going for 87 point season Hunter1909

  148. frjohnk says:

    Walter Gretzkys Neighbour: I used to hate Vancouver with – as someone here once said – “the heat of a thousand suns” – but you know what – I think I hate the Flames more.

    For me the Canucks do not have Bieska, Kesler or Kassian so I hate them less.. Hated those 3.

    They looked well coached last night and fast. Sedins are still elite. Many are expecting them to crash down this year, but they could surprise.

  149. Marc says:

    frjohnk: For me the Canucks do not have Bieska, Kesler or Kassian so I hate them less..Hated those 3.

    They looked well coached last night and fast.Sedins are still elite.Many are expecting them to crash down this year, but they could surprise.

    Could be the Flames Effect though – teams looking better against the Flames than against a real hockey team.

  150. böök¡je says:

    Oh man, I’m so excited. I’m hoping I get a Calder, or maybe a Vezina. Maybe, just maybe I get playoffs this year!! I always wanted playoff like the other kids have!

  151. frjohnk says:

    I’m calling the over on 1000 comments on LT’s game day thread

  152. borisnikov says:

    jp: FYI, the proper term is “Barbara Ann Scotts”, not ballerinas.

    Also fancy Dan… Don’t forget that they can’t have too many fancy Dans.

  153. Marc says:

    böök¡je:
    Oh man, I’m so excited. I’m hoping I get a Calder, or maybe a Vezina. Maybe, just maybe I get playoffs this year!!I always wanted playoff like the other kids have!

    Santa doesn’t bring Calders to this side of town, no matter how good you’ve been this year.

  154. Pouzar says:

    frjohnk:
    I’m calling the over on 1000 comments on LT’s game day thread

    So sick that I will miss all of it.
    Can’t wait to read it though…I think……….

  155. G Money says:

    frjohnk: They looked well coached last night and fast. Sedins are still elite. Many are expecting them to crash down this year, but they could surprise.

    My model for predicted rankings puts the Canucks at 18th overall, better than the Oilers and the Flames.

    That’s based on their EV, PP, PK from last year, with some adjustments for off season moves (the Oil/Flames both went up, the Canucks went down).

    You get that result because Vancouver’s underlying numbers last year were pretty decent – their season was far less smoke and mirrors than was the Flames’.

    The only way I see a big downturn is if both their goalies shit the bed (decent chance) and both the Sedins finally show their age, either via ineffectiveness or via injury (increasingly likelihood with every year that passes, but won’t likely show until a little later into the wear and tear of the season).

    EDIT: that result bothers me less than in the past due to the moderated level of Canuck douchebaggery.

  156. jp says:

    böök¡je:
    Oh man, I’m so excited. I’m hoping I get a Calder, or maybe a Vezina. Maybe, just maybe I get playoffs this year!!I always wanted playoff like the other kids have!

    A Vezina would equal playoffs. Oh how sweet that would be!!

  157. Walter Gretzkys Neighbour says:

    When it happened I didn’t think much of the Sutter trade to Vancouver – but man you put someone with decent ability with the Sedins and they can look very dangerous.

    Also totally agree – HATED Kesler, Bieksa and Kassian and don’t forget Burrow who is still there but less irritating these days (also Hamhuis, Edler…..but at least some of that is just plain old jealousy)

  158. raventalon40 says:

    719: I believe he would not be able to get a work visa due to his criminal record.

    What a waste of talent

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