WHEN THE MOON IS IN THE SEVENTH HOUSE

The Oilers have so many weapons up front, they can wheel  like madmen when the stars align. Credit to Montreal, they’re a talented team but were hellbent on losing that game last night. And they did! Oilers are 4-7-0 and perhaps got some of the good vibrations from the two previous losses. Well done! Now, beat Calgary!

A SHOCK OF BLUE

oil d oc 29This is sorted by EV TOI because I wanted to draw your attention to the two rookies in the top five! Wow. When Todd McLellan goes full doghouse he really goes full doghouse. Thrilled for Darnell Nurse, he was effective last night, and yes there were moments but this is a guy who may well be able to hold on to an NHL job for a time. Music! Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, lots of track left and we’re two games in, but this is a strong, fast, talented and intelligent hockey player. Getting him up here was the right call, they shouldn’t hesitate to send him back if he falters—that’s what happens most often—but my goodness he’s a talented young player at a position of extreme weakness.

I liked Andrej Sekera too, he seems to be less tentative and forced his way into several moments when the puck was in doubt. Remember, this is a veteran coming off an injury but we’re seeing improvement here. Oscar Klefbom was poor in the first period and part of the second but imo improved when the team caught fire and was there helping when the good times began to roll. They have to watch this player though, hope they get him with established help before the season gets too old. Brandon Davidson came through on a night when Edmonton badly needed a Melker Karlsson.

Not much to say about the others. Eric Gryba can defend but that involves chasing the puck a lot because he never has it and when he does dumb things happen—that’s no way to play in the modern NHL. Andrew Ference was a good NHL defenseman (honest) and it was heartening to see some people see him good last night, but I did not beyond a couple of moments (including tape-to-tape to The One). Mark Fayne is gone by Christmas, he is housed with the jackals already.

CENTER PIECE

oil c oc 29ni

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is the hill I die on. If we’re honest, the Oilers big problem is the leather, or rather players who bring offensive and defensive acumen. The Nuge is such a player. On a team with so much youth and so many one dimensional types, why trade the center with a 200-foot brain? Heretics may try to trade him, but the smart man keeps the complete player and sends away the one-trick pony or the injured sort.

Connor McDavid. If he hadn’t come along the hockey Gods would have had to invent him. The assist on Pouliot’s goal will live in the nightmares of defensemen for a time, until he does his next trick. The Prime Mover leads all rookies and is threatening the top of the overall charts.

Mark Letestu appears to be a FO specialist these days but his line had a few useful shifts in the game’s second half. I think he may be taking Anton Lander’s job soon. Speaking of, he’s not quite at Fayne-level outhouse, but he can smell the odor of the biffy from where he stands. I think the Oilers may turn over half their centers by next summer, but am convinced it won’t be Nuge. Your mileage may vary.

FLYING WINGS

OIL W OC 29

Taylor Hall is in one of those zones where he’s dangerous every minute, starting at the anthem. Skated miles, impacted the game and pushed the river like he can. Sublime talent, I don’t care (really I don’t) if he falls down 10 times a night, what he does while flying more than makes up for the crashes. Leon Draisaitl was always going to make it tough on the Oilers because he’s a good hockey player who has a unique skill set on this team. I think his numbers reflect the fact we’re not looking at Optimus Drai, but you can see him from here and it’s another beautiful thing. Good lord this team has talent.

Nail Yakupov is so much fun to watch I sometimes get giddy. McLellan is getting what he needs from him (as my Dad used to say “make yourself useful as well as ornamental”) as a shooter and the passing skills are also returning in a marked way. Little things, like going to the net for the screen on the Davidson goal, or the nifty pass to begin the Pouliot goal, I am so heartened that we’re seeing this Yak in Oilers colors as opposed to New Jersey’s. Benoit Pouliot had a couple of weird moments (silly penalty, damn near tipped in a GA) but he also scored a vital goal and pissed off the Habs something fierce (that counts double because it’s the Pollocks).

Iiro Pakarinen and Anton Slepyshev had some interesting moments and did good work in depth roles. I don’t really know what the hell is going to happen with either player (Edmonton is set at skill W until the Eberle contract is up and I still maintain the cap room, offer sheet possibilities and draft picks mean they won’t trade any part of the Hall cluster next summer) but Chicago finds a way to bring these guys along, maybe the new Oilers can, too.

Teddy Purcell is a smart player but stands out as a house on the side of the road with this bunch. Lordy. The only place for him in the NHL at this point might be Boston Garden, but they don’t play there anymore. A tough season for a man at a crossroads.

TOP SCORERS 2015-16

leading scorers

Connor McDavid is No. 5 (tie) in scoring, and he’s rivaling what Hall did in 2013-14 already. The professional writers are going to have a helluva time using Ovechkin to keep this kid from the awards ceremony in Vegas.

So happy for Leon, he earned this opportunity. Good luck sending him back to Bakersfield!! Which brings me to unicorns, legs to the sky, free love and the perfect rye. CAN this team boast three scoring lines? Yes. !!!! They would need the Letestu line to face Boyd Gordon’s Everest in ZS’s and probably ask the Nuge line to take on some of those chores too.

  • Hall—Nuge—Eberle
  • Pouliot—McDavid—Yakupov
  • Draisaitl—Lander—Hendricks
  • Korpikoski—Letestu—Klinkhammer

I’d switch Hendricks and Korpikoski but so far the Finn hasn’t been able to find the range as a two-way player. The 3line has enough skill to at least compete and you could move in a more promising offensive type (Slepy, Pakarinen) if the moon is in the seventh house.

JOHANSSON

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy show this morning at 10, TSN1260. Hopefully Mark Arcobello finds a home. Scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, Big Mouth Sports. World Series, Toronto’s battle for the sports page, what’s shaking with the Leafs?
  • Antony Bent, FC Edmonton. Soccer around the globe, we’ll end up calling out Klopp I’m sure.
  • Travis Yost, TSN. He called it on the Gryba, I want to know his opinion of these Oilers and specifically Darnell Nurse. We’ll also chat about Ottawa’s incredible Cowen—Borowiecki pairing.
  • Paul Almeida, SSE. Leon, Connor, Mickey, Willie and the Duke.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide twitter. Friday!!!

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186 Responses to "WHEN THE MOON IS IN THE SEVENTH HOUSE"

  1. Water Fire says:

    Didn’t that game remind one of the olden days. Chia said after 20 all bets are off. They are playing for their jobs in Edmonton, I imagine the suits know who they want already.

    I have supported leaving guys down, but if the vets aren’t going to help, may as well gets the at bats in for at least Nurse. I’m loving the tough love from McLellan after so many years of warped.

  2. schmed says:

    If Pouliot can get his stick sighted in, he could be scoring 3 everynight!

  3. zatch says:

    Nurse looked like a Golden Retreiver half way between a puppy and a full grown dog. Lad can move, still looked a little clumsy. He has some work to put in, and he’ll yet cost Edmonton a game I bet, but Jaysus, he’s going to he a destroyer of hopes and dreams. At work (It’s Ottawa, so you get all types of fans out here) I tell people he’s the kind of player every other team will despise playing against and opposing fans will outright hate in a year or two. I can hardly wait.

  4. TheGreatMcMutato says:

    I’m still giddy about that McDavid play on Subban to set up the Pouliot goal. Subban is a great player and he had a look on his face which suggested that even he had no idea how that puck got past him.

    CFMD, gentlemen!

    This is going to be a lot of fun for a long, long time. The wins will come, eventually – in the meantime, enjoy the process =)

  5. cc says:

    Draisaitl—Lander—Hendricks
    Korpikoski—Letestu—Klinkhammer

    I’d switch Hendricks and Korpikoski but so far the Finn hasn’t been able to find the range as a two-way player. The 3line has enough skill to at least compete and you could move in a more promising offensive type (Slepy, Pakarinen) if the moon is in the seventh house.

    ————————–

    I wonder if they would switch Hendricks & Letestu. A third line of Drai-Lander-Letestu could score and play in all situations. The way that MacLellan currently employs the 4th line it only sees 5 – 8 minutes a night.

    5- 8 Minutes (Hendricks-Klinkhammer-Purcell-Gazdic-Korpikoski) and throwing in a double shift by the centers McDavid, Nuge, Drai, Letestu, Lander as needed.

  6. Woodguy says:

    New post at Because Oilers:

    Unicorns, kids and constructing a roster.

    http://becauseoilers.blogspot.ca/2015/10/unicorns-kids-and-how-many-good-nhl.html

    Thanks for letting me link here LT.

  7. su_dhillon says:

    I watched the game late and missed all the fun here and on twitter but after the game I was left with this weird feeling that seems impossible but was Connor McDavid undersold?

    I honestly am stunned at how much better 97 is than I thought he was. I would have never imagined that he was basically Datsyuk at chasing guys down and stripping pucks, or that in today’s NHL he can basically generate a chance on every shift. Its crazy.

    It’s the start of year 3 of Anthony Davis in the NBA and we are already hearing whispers of will he be the greatest player of all time. I wonder where we are in year 3 with McDavid. Just stunning.

    Nurse and Sekera looked very good, well as good as Oilers D can look, Sekera easily looked like their best RD option. I don’t see anyway Nurse is not one of the best 4 options the Oilers have on D and with McLellans willingness to sit vets making real money, he’s not going back.

    Brilliant play by Nuge on the winner. That was fun.

  8. stephen sheps says:

    LT from the thread:

    Hall—Nuge—Eberle
    Pouliot—McDavid—Yakupov
    Draisaitl—Lander—Hendricks
    Korpikoski—Letestu—Klinkhammer

    I wrote and erased a post on the last thread with pretty much those same line cominations, but subbing Sleppy/Pak into the 3RW spot, mostly because I forgot about Korpikoski. Is this what depth looks like? It’s not balance yet, especially on D (my kingdom for Ryan Ellis – it’s a very small kingdom, mind you, but I’m willing to sacrifice it), but depth. Hmm. I’m not used to this.

    It’s amazing to me how many posters seemed to want to break up Hall-Nuge-Eberle before Eberle even comes back. To me that’s crazy talk. Those top two lines create serious match-up problems both at home and particularly on the road – (using LAK as a divisional example) who gets fed a steady diet of Doughty, who lines up against Muzzin pairing? It becomes a pick your poison situation for opposition coaches. Having Draisaitl and Lander together is ideal; they developed some good chemistry in TC and Lander provides D zone shelter. The only trouble is that since Lander’s TC hatty, he’s reverted to Bad Lander. I’m not sure if it’s him or if his wingers are reminding him of the Petrell/Eager days or both, but I hope he breaks out of his slump quickly.

    EDIT: What Woodguy, said on his blog.

    Nicely done as always, Darcy… Before I even started reading your post, I was thinking about Lander-Drai-Sleppy/Pak as the new “kid line” circa 1990. I loved that line. 87 was the first cup I remember; 1990 was the cup that truly made me love the game.

  9. Doug McLachlan says:

    Hi LT,

    Won’t lie, said bad words when I saw we were down 3-0 but the sheer joy of watching Leon pot the winner with a bullet felt so good.

    I am hunting for unicorns and think with Eberle’s return it’s possible but I would take your line-up here:

    Hall—Nuge—Eberle
    Pouliot—McDavid—Yakupov
    Draisaitl—Lander—Hendricks
    Korpikoski—Letestu—Klinkhammer

    and make one change. Put Chance with Lander and Hendricks. Hall still pushes the river and right now Lander needs the push just as Drai needs the vets. He is so creative that he benefits disproportionately from being paired with skill that you get, IMO, more from setting the lines like this:

    Draisaitl—Nuge—Eberle
    Pouliot—McDavid—Yakupov
    Hall—Lander—Hendricks
    Korpikoski—Letestu—Klinkhammer

    Music!

  10. khildahl says:

    We all knew coming in that McDavid was fast, but his ability to overpower people and come away with the puck is incredible.

    I’ve seen a few plays now where he tries to go around a defender, the guy reads it and stays with him, and then he adjusts on the fly, maintains control, rides the D while rolling around him, and then takes off and leaves him behind.

    I’m reminded of the dinner scene in Boys on the Bus where Gretzky says something akin to “Get your own puck. This one’s mine.”

  11. mattwatt says:

    Sorry to burst the bubble on Nurse a bit (just a small bit) but he still needs a bit of seasoning. There were times last where his skating ability actually put him out of position, because he can cover so much ice. He just needs to have a bit better radar of when to push and when to layoff.

    I for one just hope that his seasoning continues to occur at the NHL level because holy hell can he play! Range + athleticism + skating ability + toughness makes a great combination for any player, and Nurse has all of those items in spades. The guy is a tank who can skate miles. I was consistently amazed by him last night. Man is he good.

    So Lowetide, why did you want to keep Nurse in the minors for half the season again? 😉

  12. Woodguy says:

    As discussed in my new post I think the optimal lines are:

    Hall—Nuge—Eberle
    Pouliot—McDavid—Yakupov
    Slepyshev—Lander—DrySaddle
    Hendricks—Letestu—Klinkhammer/Korpse/Pakarinen/Gazdic

    You cannot run Hall with Lander on the 3rd line because there isn’t enough TOI to go around.

    You want Hall-RNH-Nuge-McDavid-Pouliot-Yakupov playing at or near 20min per night.

    You just can’t do that with Hall with Lander.

    Its better to have Slappy and Saddle there.

    If they are going, give some ice time, if not, you aren’t benching good players.

    If someone on the top lines isn’t going or gets dinged mid-game then McLellan can channel his inner Bowman and swap out players during the game.

    Its the ideal way to deal with it and get your unicorns going.

  13. Caramel Obvious says:

    There is something screwy in the data, either the Corsi numbers or GMoney’s high danger Fenwick.

    Using lowetide’s post as the source, apparently Fayne played nine minutes and only had 3 Corsi events against but somehow 4 of these were dangerous Fenwick events against (9*27.2/60). That’s one magic loogie.

    Or Ference, play 12 minutes, 7 Corsi events against, nine of them dangerous.

    So one or the other data is off.

  14. Visually better says:

    Woodguy,

    couldn’t agree more, those would be the lines i would run as well.

    There’s a good a decent chance that Drai and Sleppy and Lander could work together given time. Slepy finds that soft ice and can get the puck off his stick with a pass from Drai. Lander (when playing good, and with good players) can do the dirty work

  15. khildahl says:

    Woodguy,

    Agree with you completely. The added bonus to that approach is that it occupies the other team’s best defenders for over half the game and makes life easier for the bottom six at both ends of the ice.

  16. GCW_69 says:

    Davidson played well. There is a lesson for Schultz in how Davidson plays. Watch what Davidson does after Price stops his second howitzer. He hustles back to his position.

  17. frjohnk says:

    Woodguy:
    New post at Because Oilers:

    Unicorns, kids and constructing a roster.

    http://becauseoilers.blogspot.ca/2015/10/unicorns-kids-and-how-many-good-nhl.html

    Thanks for letting me link here LT.

    Good post.
    A healthy Hall-RNH-Eberle line is better than most other number 1 lines in the NHL.

    The McDavid line might be better than the Hall-RNH-Eberle line.

    If Lander can get out of his funk and play as an actual 3rd line center, him centering Sleppy and Draisaitl will allow this team to make another step.

    Letustu centering Hendricks and the leftovers is a decent checking line.

    So we have.
    A number 1 line
    A number 1 line
    A number 3 line
    A checking line.

    Those first two lines put this line up in the “SWEET FUCKING UNICORNS”

    Now about that D…..

  18. TheGreatMcMutato says:

    Woodguy,

    Has your ideal set of unicorns involved trading UnsteadyTeddy? Another one of WearsGlasses’ orphaned children?

  19. stephen sheps says:

    TheGreatMcMutato:
    Woodguy,

    Has your ideal set of unicorns involved trading UnsteadyTeddy? Another one of WearsGlasses’ orphaned children?

    Not to speak for Woodguy here (I won’t pretend to even be capable of such a thing) but I think that with Purcell’s pending UFA status, no matter what happens he’s gone by the deadline – ideally before that. Purcell’s not a bad player and he still thinks the game reasonably well, but his lack of speed makes him a very poor fit for the ideal make-up of the roster. Slow defenders are one thing, but speedy forwards can help to overcome some of the back-end mobility issues on breakouts. Teddy doesn’t fit that template at all. Hopefully he ends up on an Eastern Conference team with potential to make the playoffs that has a use for a smart veteran with good hands and slow feet.

  20. RMGS says:

    Woodguy:
    New post at Because Oilers:

    Unicorns, kids and constructing a roster.

    http://becauseoilers.blogspot.ca/2015/10/unicorns-kids-and-how-many-good-nhl.html

    Thanks for letting me link here LT.

    Why do you hate Eberle, Woodguy?

  21. TheGreatMcMutato says:

    su_dhillon,

    Media narratives convinced us that Eichel vs. McDavid was a real thing. And that Eichel was more NHL ready (because media).

    In reality, Eichel is easily a first overall pick any other year – but last year, it wasn’t even close. That’s how damned good CFMD is. And I get the feeling that we haven’t seen anything yet.

    edit: WOOOOOOOOT!

  22. Bag of Pucks says:

    Ok, so you’re a ‘heretic’ if you speculate on trading Nuge. Good to know : )

    Weird. We’ve always said Nuge IS the witch. Turns out it’s the fans who will get burned at the stake if/when he gets traded.

    Here’s the key to RNH earning his $ and staying long-term. He’s got to make hay in a big way when Connor starts eating the tough comps.

    I’m sure he will, especially when Eberle returns from filming commercials with Giordano (traitor!), but make no mistake – Gretzky and Messier don’t hoist cups if both aren’t producing goals. The same standard should apply to McDavid and Nuge.

  23. lucky says:

    Emotional rollercoaster last night, fun game to be a fan. Proud of the Oiler fans, they drowned out the go-habs-go chants and thank Gord we didn’t have to listen to them sing Na Na Na Hey Hey. Absolutely love watching Nurse play hockey, that alone is worth the price of admission, He does go walkabout, but has speed to get back, and he certainly has predisposition to ensure opposition don’t enjoy the time they spend down low. Just love watching him dole out bonus punishment and Cripes! he can hit the puck hard. He may not be (or may become?) the Rake v.2.0, but he’s not that dissimilar. Makes me very happy.

  24. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy:
    As discussed in my new post I think the optimal lines are:

    Hall—Nuge—Eberle
    Pouliot—McDavid—Yakupov
    Slepyshev—Lander—DrySaddle
    Hendricks—Letestu—Klinkhammer/Korpse/Pakarinen/Gazdic

    You cannot run Hall with Lander on the 3rd line because there isn’t enough TOI to go around.

    You want Hall-RNH-Nuge-McDavid-Pouliot-Yakupov playing at or near 20min per night.

    You just can’t do that with Hall with Lander.

    Its better to have Slappy and Saddle there.

    If they are going, give some ice time, if not, you aren’t benching good players.

    If someone on the top lines isn’t going or gets dinged mid-game then McLellan can channel his inner Bowman and swap out players during the game.

    Its the ideal way to deal with it and get your unicorns going.

    I worry about the lack of footspeed with a Lander/Drai line.

    Not saying it can’t work. Just a factor to consider.

    Becoming fairly obvious this season that ‘speed kills’ is the prime mantra of the NHL atm.

  25. Ducey says:

    I remember way back when the Oilers had some kid lines, most recently Nilsson – Gagner – Cogs.

    I am not saying. I am just saying that young players can get hot offensively and obscure the fact that they are not learning to be complete players.

    Leon got two goals, but one was off the back of the goalie and the other was into a wide open net.

    Save your unicorns for next year, because he likely needs some more time in the minors this year.

  26. J-Bo says:

    Woodguy,

    You nailed it here! Reason and logic win the day! Get this information to the Oilers offices immediately!!

  27. Visually better says:

    When is the RE up for Scarlett Jo btw?

  28. frjohnk says:

    Ducey:
    I remember way back when the Oilers had some kid lines, most recently Nilsson – Gagner – Cogs.

    I am not saying.I am just saying that young players can get hot offensively and obscure the fact that they are not learning to be complete players.

    Leon got two goals, but one was off the back of the goalie and the other was into a wide open net.

    Save your unicorns for next year, because he likely needs some more time in the minors this year.

    I think that Draisaitl does get send back down when Eberle/Hendricks/Klinkhammer all come back. I think Sleppy goes down as well once everybody is healthy.

    Chia will still want to stick to his plan of getting Draisaitl the reps as a center in the AHL.

    Draisiatl will probably be here for good once Chia gets rid of a couple of veterans closer to the trade deadline.

  29. dustrock says:

    I have a million things to say, but I’ll limit it to 5:

    (1) We really needed that. The team needed that. I didn’t get to sleep until 1;30 a.m.!

    (2) Pretty sure I said Draisaitl could help this team right now. 😉 He was up at 3 a.m. but managed to score 2 goals by going to the net. Great job Leon! Like Nurse, he might struggle going forward, but he thinks the game at a high level.

    (3) Let’s talk all day about how amazing RNH was on the play to Draisaitl. That was something you’d see from Datsyuk or Thornton.

    (4) I too have been blown away by McDavid, and I think it’s because junior didn’t show us how smart he was. He would just blow by everybody and it didn’t matter. I asked late last night when was the last time you saw an 18 year old this smart, and someone (godot?) said Doughty. Fair enough. But for a forward? Some of the high-speed thinking he shows a Gretzky-like grasp of the game. Subban is physically stronger than McDavid, but CM97 outthought him by about 1 second to get position, and that’s all that was needed. That was an all-world play and I’m really happy everybody picked up on that.

    (5) Small sample size this season, but if you look at the “danger chances” against on the d-men, we’re seeing Nurse, Reinhart and Klefbom ahead of everyone else, and significantly ahead of Ference and Gryba. Is this talent/defensive awareness? Something else? We also saw Letestu and Lander barely play in the 3rd in a lineup that was ALREADY MISSING at least 3 veteran forwards. And it worked.

    I’ve been a Sharks fan for a long time, and I can tell you McLellan didn’t exactly have the rep of throwing kids out there to sink or swim. This is either a talent assessment by McLellan, or a push by Chiarelli to get a real good assessment of the young players who will get the honour of playing with Connor McDavid.

  30. dustrock says:

    Ducey: I remember way back when the Oilers had some kid lines, most recently Nilsson – Gagner – Cogs.I am not saying. I am just saying that young players can get hot offensively and obscure the fact that they are not learning to be complete players.Leon got two goals, but one was off the back of the goalie and the other was into a wide open net.Save your unicorns for next year, because he likely needs some more time in the minors this year.

    He woke up at 3 a.m. and had to play against the team with the best record in the league. He scored 2 goals by going to the net.

    You’re completely correct, and Draisaitl will be very lucky to have 20 goals all season long I think, but it was a great performance.

  31. russ99 says:

    If Draisaitl continues to improve and stays up when Eberle comes back, we really need to find a two-way Pouliot at RW for his line.

    Both Chiarelli and McLellan has said the bottom six hasn’t been working with a Lander + rookies line, and that Hendricks and Klink are giving them expected performance on the 4th.

    I’d think we’d do something in the bottom six like:

    Draisaitl – Letestu – X
    Hendricks – Lander – Korpikowski/Klinkhammer/Gazdic

  32. JDï™ says:

    That game was definitely jig-worthy. And sponge-worthy.

    Edit: And everyone thought Stamkos was kidding…

  33. dustrock says:

    Woodguy: New post at Because Oilers:Unicorns, kids and constructing a roster.http://becauseoilers.blogspot.ca/2015/10/unicorns-kids-and-how-many-good-nhl.htmlThanks for letting me link here LT.

    Love the article and love the idea of 3 scoring lines.

    Remind me again how the D corps were assembled for the other teams and the ’90 Oilers. 🙂

  34. slopitch says:

    I dont see how Drai scores 2 goals and gets sent home. There are 3-5 passengers on this team and Drai is not one of them. If he starts to struggle, sure send him back but I dont see it happening.

    I have tickets for Saturday. Pumped. Hopefully the Shames and Habs beat each other senseless tonight.

    I’ve watched the highlights 3 times already today. Im sure 5 by noon.

    PS LT have you ever just considered having multiple authors on your blog? Or is it your baby? Id think guys like GMoney and Woodguy would get more eyes by attaching to your brand.

  35. Pouzar says:

    I love Klefbom. Let me say that first.

    But he had more “moments” than Nurse. The puck was a grenade on his stick for 2 periods.
    I hope the coaching staff and wannabe scouts don’t jettison Nurse to Bakersfield when the inevitable gaff or 2 happens. Nurse is an NHLer.

  36. Pouzar says:

    •Draisaitl—Lander—Hendricks

    Oh, and I would switch Drai and Hendricks. Hendricks is a natural LWer and I love Drai on his backhand side.

  37. leadfarmer says:

    Sorry, but if Lander and Letestu are two of your centers you can’t have three scoring lines period. You can have two scoring lines a tough zone start line and a mix bag line but not enough scoring to be a scoring line.

  38. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy: Hall—Nuge—Eberle
    Pouliot—McDavid—Yakupov
    Slepyshev—Lander—DrySaddle
    Hendricks—Letestu—Klinkhammer/Korpse/Pakarinen/Gazdic

    Music!

  39. tapper says:

    I loved the RNH play as much as anyone else, but it’s important to recognize who it was against. Not the same as separating a Seabrook or Weber or Edler from the puck.

  40. admiralmark says:

    Oh no we lost Schultz!! How will this team replace his toolbox(muffin from the point, lack of effort, poor passing, zero physicality.. etc It’s a beautiful toolbox, just no tools on the inside)? Anyways, back to my point how can we replace such a valuable D man? Well we will bring up an AHL dman and give the existing Davidson more icetime… Hmm that’s not gonna work.

    Addition by subtraction on display. Chia I hope you’re paying attention. MacT shut up.

  41. Pouzar says:

    JDï™: Edit: And everyone thought Stamkos was kidding…

    I didn’t. I just thought he was “unstable”.

  42. SudburyOil says:

    Yesterday, a number of my students who are Habs fans were talking trash. Can’t wait for next class. “F’s” all around!

  43. Pouzar says:

    leadfarmer:
    Sorry, but if Lander and Letestu are two of your centers you can’t have three scoring lines period.You can have two scoring lines a tough zone start line and a mix bag line but not enough scoring to be a scoring line.

    Lander has played 90% of the time with Purcell and Korpse.
    That’s all I need to say about that.

  44. Sugar Reijo says:

    I think more than any other player on the roster not named McDavid, this team’s northward turn hinges on Nurse’s development. Based on these last two games you can’t not be excited about his potential. Still a long ways to go, but…

    So far so good.

  45. russ99 says:

    admiralmark:
    Oh no we lost Schultz!! How will this team replace his toolbox(muffin from the point, lack of effort, poor passing, zero physicality.. etc It’s a beautiful toolbox, just no tools on the inside)? Anyways, back to my point how can we replace such a valuable D man? Well we will bring up an AHL dman and give the existing Davidson more icetime… Hmm that’s not gonna work.

    Addition by subtraction on display. Chia I hope you’re paying attention. MacT shut up.

    Except Schultz played better than more than half our defensemen the first 6 games, including Klefbom and Sekera, then he hurt his back.

    At some point this ridiculous generalization of our players has to stop, there’s nothing that can be gained from it. We have a new coach, a new system and a new mentality, so how about seeing what they do on the ice rather what they did under blatant mismanagement in the past. Look at Yak, for example.

  46. Rondo says:

    Would you trade Darnell Nurse for Seth Jones?

  47. Pouzar says:

    Stop slow playing Nurse too you people.
    How the F^ck is that package going to struggle? Seriously?
    If any of this stuff is based on merit he will only see Bakersfield in his dreams.

    “Nurse is gonna be good but………………………………………”

    Whatever.

  48. Dominoiler says:

    Curious, with all the excitement about the comeback and Drai, did anyone notice a hole in the lineup where they needed more Shultz? Or did the team carry on without too much difficulty?.. Would the oil have been in a better position w Shultz subbed in for one of the inept 6-7-8 dmen (even tho the coaches seem to always give #1 minutes to him)?..

    Anyways, with so much positivity, I felt like it’s a good time to troll the jultz goat..

  49. G Money says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    There is something screwy in the data, either the Corsi numbers or GMoney’s high danger Fenwick.

    Using lowetide’s post as the source, apparently Fayne played nine minutes and only had 3 Corsi events against but somehow 4 of these were dangerous Fenwick events against (9*27.2/60).That’s one magic loogie.

    Or Ference, play 12 minutes, 7 Corsi events against, nine of them dangerous.

    So one or the other data is off.

    Hi Caramel, thanks for the feedback. I definitely need to get my explanation on what Danger Adjusted Fenwick and how it is calculated posted up at NerdAlert!

    Quick explanation:

    Main thing to recognize is that Danger Adjusted Fenwick isn’t a count, it is an adjusted count. What I do is assign a ‘danger’ number to every shot based on location and shot type. (that’s generated using 5 years of shot data and a LOWESS algorithm to model/smooth the data).

    For example, the danger rating of a 10 ft slapshot is 2.35 – that is, the sh% of that shot and distance is 2.35x as high as the average shot. Covnersely, a 45 ft wrist shot is 0.334 – it is about a third as dangerous as the average shot.

    So suppose Fayne was on the ice for 2 Fenwick events – the Oilers gave up a 10 ft slapshot, but got a 45 ft wrist shot.

    The Fenwicks are going to be 50% for Fayne, 1 to 1, but the Danger Adjusted Fenwick is going to be 14.2% i.e. 0.142 = 0.334/2.35. The Danger Adjusted Number 14% (in my view) much better represents what actually happened on the ice than the 50% does – that 10 ft slapshot is way deadlier than the 45 ft wrister.

    To convert that to a ‘rate against’ number, I would take the against number (2.35) and the TOI, and just divide the two (and normalize to 60 minutes). So if Fayne gave up that slapshot in one minute, his DFA/60 rate would be 2.35*60 = 141.

    But of course, if you try and count those numbers, you can get strange results.

  50. dustrock says:

    Oh yeah, that was the last point I wanted to make.

    Does anyone think it’s a coincidence we’ve seen offensive contributions from Klefbom, Nurse and Davidson without Schultz in the lineup?

    Sample size I know, but worth considering.

  51. "Steve Smith" says:

    Dominoiler,

    The team last night would have been better with Schultz in instead of Ference or Gryba. Maybe Davidson too. Schultz isn’t good, but we’ve plenty worse.

  52. TeeVee says:

    Rondo:
    Would you trade Darnell Nurse for Seth Jones?

    No!

  53. oliveoilers says:

    Last night, the 9-1 Habs regressed to the Montreal Smoked Meat.

  54. Магия 10 says:

    Updated win loss breakdown.

    More than half their games have been against the 6 teams with no more than 2 regulation losses and no more than 3 overall losses:

    1-5-0

    Only 5 games played against the other 23 teams:

    3-1-1 (3-2-0 after video review )

  55. Water Fire says:

    Rondo:
    Would you trade Darnell Nurse for Seth Jones?

    Straight up, yes. Both are great, Jones meets a bigger need. Ideally I’d trade a winger for him and have both.

  56. Dominoiler says:

    dustrock,

    I think the vast majority of posters (and the coaching staff) noticed those blue line bombs from davidson last night.. And how strange it was to see, as an oil fan.. I think there is a serious question about the make up of the back end and that Davidson has earned more time to build on his body of work.. Shultz is a helluva skater and I would consider playing him (with the right partner), but does he bring enough to be more than a third pair type (the coaches seem to think so, yet I’m left with much doubt).. I think this team rolls along, cashing in on one less liability..

  57. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Магия 10:
    Updated win loss breakdown.

    More than half their games have been against the 6 teams with no more than 2 regulation losses and no more than 3 overall losses:

    1-5-0

    Only 5 games played against the other 23 teams:

    3-1-1

    Yup.

    This is what I’ve been shouting from the rooftops, as have many others, the whole season.

    We are what we thought we were. A decent team with some holes.

    We are beating the teams we should beat.

    We are not beating the teams we should not beat.

    We will occasionally lose to bad teams and will occasionally beat good teams, but will not expect to do so with regularity.

    We are who we thought we were.

    The Flames are also who we thought they were. REJOICE.

  58. Snowman says:

    So now that we’ve seen Mcdavid just eat fantastic NHL Dmen alive for a couple weeks it really puts into perspective what a fantastic job Nurse did against him in the OHL playoffs. Extremely happy about both.

  59. frjohnk says:

    dustrock:
    Oh yeah, that was the last point I wanted to make.

    Does anyone think it’s a coincidence we’ve seen offensive contributions from Klefbom, Nurse and Davidson without Schultz in the lineup?

    Sample size I know, but worth considering.

    I’m not the biggest Schultz fan but

    1) we don’t know how long he was hurting

    2) while still chaos, he had made some strides in the defensive and grit departments.

    3) he is our best D man the blue line in. He was one of the best D man last year at generating individual chances for in the O zone last year. He just was not good at converting them. I bet McLellan helps here.

    I’m willing to see what a healthy Schultz can do with McLellan for more than 10 games.

  60. khildahl says:

    Магия 10:

    3-1-1

    I see what you did there, and I approve.

  61. G Money says:

    slopitch: PS LT have you ever just considered having multiple authors on your blog? Or is it your baby? Id think guys like GMoney and Woodguy would get more eyes by attaching to your brand.

    Hi Slopitch,

    Thanks for the support. I can’t speak for Darcy, but LT graciously allows us to spam you guys with links to our articles. He also regularly references the work in his articles, and he (actually Rex who ‘guested’ the spot with LT) even authored an “interview article” about NerdAlert. So I am extremely grateful for the level of support and exposure that LT already gives, I couldn’t ask for more.

    (THANKS LT!!!)

  62. leadfarmer says:

    Pouzar: Lander has played 90% of the time with Purcell and Korpse.
    That’s all I need to say about that.

    Both of whom have more points than Lander. And you forgot the 2 minutes 37 seconds a game of powerplay time that he’s managed to kill of. A third line center needs at least a little offense

  63. Dominoiler says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    Dominoiler,

    Schultz isn’t good, but we’ve plenty worse.

    Truth.. Alright, I’m going back under my bridge till the next opportunity arises to feast on goat flesh..

  64. cadooo says:

    I’d love to see these lines for the power play.
    McDavid-Hall-Draisatl.
    Nuge/Lander-Pouliot-Yak/Eberle.

  65. khildahl says:

    leadfarmer: Both of whom have more points than Lander.And you forgot the 2 minutes 37 seconds a game of powerplay time that he’s managed to kill of.A third line center needs at least a little offense

    Well, to be fair, the entire powerplay unit managed to kill off the same minutes. Lander’s role there is to be in front of the net; the D’s inability to get pucks into the area isn’t on him.

    That said, he absolutely deserves criticism for his play at EV.

  66. Drew says:

    Woodguy:
    As discussed in my new post I think the optimal lines are:

    Hall—Nuge—Eberle
    Pouliot—McDavid—Yakupov
    Slepyshev—Lander—DrySaddle
    Hendricks—Letestu—Klinkhammer/Korpse/Pakarinen/Gazdic

    You cannot run Hall with Lander on the 3rd line because there isn’t enough TOI to go around.

    You want Hall-RNH-Nuge-McDavid-Pouliot-Yakupov playing at or near 20min per night.

    You just can’t do that with Hall with Lander.

    Its better to have Slappy and Saddle there.

    If they are going, give some ice time, if not, you aren’t benching good players.

    If someone on the top lines isn’t going or gets dinged mid-game then McLellan can channel his inner Bowman and swap out players during the game.

    Its the ideal way to deal with it and get your unicorns going.

    This, asset management. have the third line as the training/proving ground for new gems. when if a gem appears you can move an experienced top sixer for big return and slide a gem into the role as a replacement.

  67. Dominoiler says:

    frjohnk: I’m not the biggest Schultz fan but..

    3) he is our best D man the blue line in.

    That, most definitely, was a typo..

    Which, admittedly, doesn’t negate the rest of your sentiment or “I’m willing to see what a healthy Schultz can do with McLellan for more than 10 games.”

    Hoping he recovers well, so this lingering question can be answered (contract) from more than these 10 games.

    (Hmmm, remembering the ol adage, get good players, keep good players.. Thinking it’s best to calm down on driving Shultz out till there are 6 better options in the system)

  68. jm363561 says:

    Snowman,

    Excellent point that I am sure I am not alone in overlooking. Compared with his 9 (?) NHL games at the beginning of last season DaNurse has really come on big time. Man, if he develops at the same rate he will be a killer next year.

  69. Pouzar says:

    leadfarmer: Both of whom have more points than Lander.And you forgot the 2 minutes 37 seconds a game of powerplay time that he’s managed to kill of.A third line center needs at least a little offense

    Please. Neither one of those guys are drivers of offense. Lander can compliment good offensive players while playing a responsible defensive game along with winning faceoffs. Like GoDot said yesterday, he is a more offensive Boyd Gordon for a fraction of the price.

  70. jake70 says:

    Meaningless observation:

    Hall—Nuge—Eberle
    Pouliot—McDavid—Yakupov

    Just noticing that if you add up all the draft positions of these 6 players, they total just 30 (THIRTY!).

    1,1,1,1,4,22 – insane.

  71. frjohnk says:

    Dominoiler: That, most definitely, was a typo..

    Which, admittedly, doesn’t negate the rest of your sentiment or “I’m willing to see what a healthy Schultz can do with McLellan for more than 10 games.”

    Hoping he recovers well, so this lingering question can be answered (contract) from more than these 10 games.

    (Hmmm, remembering the ol adage, get good players, keep good players.. Thinking it’s best to calm down on driving Shultz out till there are 6 better options in the system)

    Offensively he is our best D man from the blue line in.
    He was second in creating individual high scoring chances for in the league last year behind Buff. ( 5 on 5)
    He just did not cash in on many of them. With McDavid and McLellan, I think Schultz will cash in more of them

    The problem is that he is playing top pairing minutes when he is probably best suited for 3rd pairing with PP time.

  72. admiralmark says:

    russ99: Except Schultz played better than more than half our defensemen the first 6 games, including Klefbom and Sekera, then he hurt his back.

    At some point this ridiculous generalization of our players has to stop, there’s nothing that can be gained from it. We have a new coach, a new system and a new mentality, so how about seeing what they do on the ice rather what they did under blatant mismanagement in the past. Look at Yak, for example.

    Generalization? You wanna know what’s a generality I hear about Schultz? He has an amazing toolbox of skills… Where? I’m not seein it. How bout watching him play every single minute of every single game. Not good enough for top 4 D. Better then Gryba, Ference? Of course. That isnt a compliment by any means. Schultz is a big problem in the top 4. Not a solution by any means.

    What we need to stop doing is saying he “will” be good. It’s only mismanagement. I’ve watched this guy play til day 1. Including a few of the AHL games. I’m not generalizing. I’m going on watching him. So yah it’s by my eye ive come to this conclusion. BTW loved Petry. He showed 10x more. So it’s not about the lack of physicality. I’ve tried very hard to look and see how he brings more positives then negatives… And 9 games out of 10 I don’t see it.

  73. McSorley33 says:

    Good or Bad?

    Both Brandon Davidson and Darnell Nurse looked infinitely better than Fayne, Gryba and Ference?

    I think Mark Fayne has lost all his confidence…

    I can live with Gryba as a 7th d-man.

    Reinhart / Davidson as a 3rd pairing for me….

    Nurse, Sekera, Klefbom and Schultz in the top 4….

    Realizing there will be growing pains with the young guys…but at lease they can get to the puck.

    * As others have correctly pointed out ( heresy alert ) Oscar has been making some terrible decisions with the puck lately. ( a part of the learning process )

  74. maudite says:

    I think McDavid should have the nickname “golden grahams”. He’s not just good hes golden.

  75. delooper says:

    It is a new day my friends. The Oilers can play “we’re losing 3-0 rope-a-dope” against really good teams. Wow. The last time I remember that was a playoff game against Dallas and that was super magic. I thought that magic had left us forever.

  76. godot10 says:

    Pouzar: Please. Neither one of those guys are drivers of offense. Lander can compliment good offensive players while playing a responsible defensive game along with winning faceoffs. Like GoDot said yesterday, he is a more offensive Boyd Gordon for a fraction of the price.

    McLellan is not Hitchcock or Babcock or Tippett and has less appreciation of the Boyd-Gordon-type.

    Lander was given harder match-ups with worse zone starts this year. Starting in the D-zone without a puck transporter on his line really kills his offense, which is a “half-court” offense.

    It is hard to see Lander as a long term Oiler in McLellan’s scheme of roster construction. Nugent-Hopkins and McDavid and Letestu can kill penalties. Frees up the #3C for Draisaitl soon for Woodguy’s youthful development line. And Khaira basically duplicates Lander’s skill set with a better tool kit to play wing.

  77. Truth says:

    jake70,

    How about last night:

    Hall—Nuge—Draisaitl
    Pouliot—McDavid—Yakupov

    1,1,1,1,3,4 = 11!

  78. Water Fire says:

    The game was great and all, but let’s not get carried away with Montreal. They are in first, but riding a hot goalie and PDO. They aren’t an eilte team and have some issues with possession and getting outshot.

    They may not have collapsed if it wasn’t a scheduled loss night, but they also might have without Price being a brick wall.

    Good end to the game for the good guys, but it wasn’t like coming back on the Blues or Kings, basically a solid team.

    I’m glad McLellan is addressing the major breakdowns with loss of ice time. It has been the achilles heel of this team for a few years at least – play a solid game and hand out a few gimmes and lose.

  79. russ99 says:

    Drew: This, asset management. have the third line as the training/proving ground for new gems. when if a gem appears you can move an experienced top sixer for big return and slide a gem into the role as a replacement.

    Except Chiarelli is expecting more from the bottom six that what we’ve been getting, and that means both sides of the ice.

    Lander and Slepyshev’s deficiencies aren’t going to be fixed by slapping Drai on that line. I get that people want an exciting young line to follow (unicorns), but I’d rather us a better chance to win than have a primarily one-way third line putting up some points but causing problems on the other side of the ice.

  80. Adam Wu says:

    admiralmark: Generalization? You wanna know what’s a generality I hear about Schultz? He has an amazing toolbox of skills… Where? I’m not seein it. How bout watching him play every single minute of every single game. Not good enough for top 4 D. Better then Gryba, Ference? Of course. That isnt a compliment by any means. Schultz is a big problem in the top 4. Not a solution by any means.

    If Shultz is better than Gryba and Ference, and Gryba is your 5D, then Shultz, by definition, is NOT the “big problem” in the top 4 D. His place in that top 4 D is only a symptom of the actual big problem, and in no way shape or form could his loss to injury be ever considered “addition by subtraction”

    This year Shultz has in fact been better than not only Gryba and Ference. He has been better than Klefbom and Davidson, and Fayne, and not infrequently even Sekera. Unlike last season, he has been in the top 4 because he EARNED THAT SPOT. If that is a problem the problem lies not in him, nor would removing him from the equation be any form of “solution” to anything.

  81. djs says:

    I was going to post a quick comment suggesting we not get tooo excited because (as we all know) this team is a damn six flags roller coaster and there will be some frightening moments ahead, but fuck it…

    CMD is unreal. I love this team.

    Edit: And the Phlegms can suck it.

  82. Магия 10 says:

    khildahl: I see what you did there, and I approve.

    yeah. before video review.

  83. leadfarmer says:

    Pouzar,

    What he meant to say is he should be a more offensive Boyd Gordon. Other than a tournament of small sample sizes in a different ice surface, he hasn’t exactly been putting up a lot of points. I don’t get why he hasnt been able to pot one. He is in the right place at the right time just cant finish. Maybe he’s overthinking things. In any case the Oilers have been waiting for a big center for ages and when they finally draft one I don’t know if they want to switch him to wing. I could see a future where MacDavid, Nuge, and Drai each play 19 minutes a night at center and Letestu plays limited minutes, mostly PK time

  84. leadfarmer says:

    I sure hope we keep tanking Fayne’s trade value before we trade him. That would be great.

  85. Магия 10 says:

    Water Fire: let’s not get carried away with Montreal

    Sure but let’s not get carried away by the central division guantlet either. They’ve played 2 or 3 more games against the central than every team in the central has.

    Their official record is 4-2 against the other 3 divisions. If they are a middle of the road team they better take this out on the Flames and Flyers.

  86. v4ance says:

    George RichardsVerified account ‏@GeorgeRichards
    Days before Tallon sent Hayes to Boston, he had a deal w/ #NYR for Talbot. Sather instead traded goalie to Edmonton; Dale was hot about it.

    George Richards ‏@GeorgeRichards 1m1 minute ago
    Proposed #FlaPanthers #NYR deal (Hayes for Talbot w/ picks) happened at the draft; Hayes to Boston happened a few days later on July 1.

    Looks like Chia pulled a fast one or Sather really did a big favor to his old team!

    Either that or Sather liked Edmonton’s later offer which was “better’

    EDIT:

    Nope.. personal favor to Oilers:

    zach laing @Loweded
    @GeorgeRichards Do you know if what Tallon was offering was better than what the #Oilers gave up?

    George Richards ‏@GeorgeRichards 3m3 minutes ago
    George Richards Retweeted zach laing
    Dale sure thought so. That’s why he was steamed.

  87. oliveoilers says:

    leadfarmer:
    I sure hope we keep tanking Fayne’s trade value before we trade him.That would be great.

    He’s tanking his own value.

    Or should we run him on McDavid’s line to ‘pump and dump’?

  88. oliveoilers says:

    v4ance:
    George RichardsVerified account ‏@GeorgeRichards
    Days before Tallon sent Hayes to Boston, he had a deal w/ #NYR for Talbot. Sather instead traded goalie to Edmonton; Dale was hot about it.

    Looks like Chia pulled a fast one or Sather really did a big favor to his old team!

    Who’s George Richards?

    And doesn’t Florida have Luongo?

    Maybe Sather talked to Talbot about it: Hey, you wanna continually back up the league’s best goalies?

    This doesn’t smell right.

  89. G Money says:

    v4ance,

    Or he offered more. Or Sather pulled a “Schneider” and preferred to trade Talbot to the other side of the continent.

    I have a tough time seeing any GM having any sort of allegiance with a former team, a team who is now a competitor. If anything, it’s likely to be the other way round.

    Adam Wu: If Shultz is better than Gryba and Ference, and Gryba is your 5D, then Shultz, by definition, is NOT the “big problem” in the top 4 D. His place in that top 4 D is only a symptom of the actual big problem, and in no way shape or form could his loss to injury be ever considered “addition by subtraction”

    But both of those things can be true.

    Gryba being your 5D is a problem IMO. He’s been OK as a 6D, bad as a 5D.

    So Schultz can be both better than Gryba, AND be a problem as 4D – because it’s also a tougher role.

    I think last night the team would have been markedly better with Schultz in for Ference – Schultz is no worse as a defender, no worse as a passer, can skate way better, and is better in the o zone.

    It would also have the effect of making Gryba the 6D instead of the 5D – in other words, I’d expect Schultz5-Gryba6 is way better than Gryba5-Ference6, since all players are being asked to play more in line with their talents rather than well above.

  90. dustrock says:

    oliveoilers: Who’s George Richards?And doesn’t Florida have Luongo?Maybe Sather talked to Talbot about it: Hey, you wanna continually back up the league’s best goalies?This doesn’t smell right.

    Yeah, Luongo has been consistently one of the best goalies of the last 10 years and he’s still playing at a high level.

  91. Bruce McCurdy says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    Dominoiler,

    The team last night would have been better with Schultz in instead of Ference or Gryba.Maybe Davidson too.Schultz isn’t good, but we’ve plenty worse.

    I’d argue Schultz is likely the best right-shot d-man in the org. Then again I’d argue that Moe was likely the smartest of the Three Stooges. Bar is set pretty low here.

    That said, I would Not argue the team would have been better off with Schultz instead of Davidson last night. BD scored an actual goal, something Schultz hasn’t done all year, and a big goal it was too.

  92. dustrock says:

    G Money: v4ance, Or he offered more. Or Sather pulled a “Schneider” and preferred to trade Talbot to the other side of the continent. I have a tough time seeing any GM having any sort of allegiance with a former team, a team who is now a competitor. If anything, it’s likely to be the other way round.But both of those things can be true.Gryba being your 5D is a problem IMO. He’s been OK as a 6D, bad as a 5D.So Schultz can be both better than Gryba, AND be a problem as 4D – because it’s also a tougher role.I think last night the team would have been markedly better with Schultz in for Ference – Schultz is no worse as a defender, no worse as a passer, can skate way better, and is better in the o zone.

    Right – part of my problem with Schultz is that he’s fed big minutes and PP1, and doesn’t have the 5v5 or PP P/60 to show for it.

  93. v4ance says:

    RE: Talbot to EDM instead of FLA

    zach laing @Loweded
    Slats wanted to help out his old team before he stepped down as GM. https://twitter.com/GeorgeRichards/status/660149251020873728

    George Richards ‏@GeorgeRichards George Richards Retweeted zach laing
    Yeah, that became pretty clear later on.

    This is all coming out now that BOS is visiting FLA for a game. George RIchards is a beat reporter for the Panthers, so he’s got a feel for the scuttlebutt around that team

  94. Bruce McCurdy says:

    McSorley33:

    * As others have correctly pointed out ( heresy alert ) Oscar has been making some terrible decisions with the puck lately. ( a part of the learning process )

    The Teflon Man makes plenty of mistakes, but usually he’s playing with Schultz so folks can usually find a way to lay it on 19.

  95. G Money says:

    Магия 10,

    In my pre-season look at the schedule, I broke down last years record as follows: the Oilers went
    .333 against Top 10 teams
    .407 against mid-pack teams
    .400 against fellow bottom-dwellers

    Yes, worse against bottom-dwellers than the mid-pack. This is reflected in that my rankings are based on EV CF and special teams shot rates, so Calgary is a bottom dweller. Going winless against them and ARI, and against mid-pack VAN, sealed the teams fate.

    If the Oilers are to demonstrate themselves to be a mid-pack team this year, they must do no worse against the top teams, should be able to even up against the mid-pack teams, and make hay on the bottom dwellers.

    That’s where the battleground is.

  96. season not played says:

    Heretics may try to trade him, but the smart man keeps the complete player and sends away the one-trick pony or the injured sort.

    So you’re saying trade Taylor Hall.

  97. Bruce McCurdy says:

    season not played:
    Heretics may try to trade him, but the smart man keeps the complete player and sends away the one-trick pony or the injured sort.

    So you’re saying trade Taylor Hall.

    Come clean, LT. Why do you hate Taylor Hall?

  98. Sugar Reijo says:

    v4ance:

    Nope.. personal favor to Oilers:

    From Jun 27:

    Gene PrincipeVerified account
    ‏@GenePrincipe
    Just ran into Glen Sather. Asked him about dealing Cam Talbot to @EdmontonOilers and he said “I wanted to help out my old team.”#nicetohear

  99. John Chambers says:

    leadfarmer:
    I sure hope we keep tanking Fayne’s trade value before we trade him.That would be great.

    I’m not sure there was any way of augmenting his trade value besides pairing him with our best defenseman … which we have basically done the entire season up until last night.

  100. khildahl says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Come clean, LT. Why do you hate Taylor Hall?

    Clearly it’s because his name isn’t Pouliot.

  101. oliveoilers says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Come clean, LT. Why do you hate Taylor Hall?

    So sick of Hall and his one trick of kicking the opposition’s ass.

    And what about Talbot? All he does is make saves.

    Don’t get me started on that McDavid kid. Bust.

  102. oliveoilers says:

    Sugar Reijo: From back in June:

    Gene PrincipeVerified account
    ‏@GenePrincipe
    Just ran into Glen Sather. Asked him about dealing Cam Talbot to @EdmontonOilers and he said “I wanted to help out my old team.”#nicetohear

    Lol, ok, ok, I’m beaten!

    But I still wouldn’t trust Slats on anything about business.

  103. G Money says:

    Fun rant from Steve Dangle.

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/here-come-the-edmonton-oilers-no-for-real/

    Sugar Reijo,

    Yeah, but if you thought that quote was real (in the sense that he meant it, as opposed to having fun with the post-trade narrative), I’ve got this guy I know in Nigeria who knows a bank employee who is trying to get the fortune of a terminally ill wealthy person out of the country and is willing to cut you in big time…

  104. Adam Wu says:

    G Money:
    v4ance,

    But both of those things can be true.

    Gryba being your 5D is a problem IMO.He’s been OK as a 6D, bad as a 5D.

    So Schultz can be both better than Gryba, AND be a problem as 4D – because it’s also a tougher role.

    As I said in that first post, if Shultz is 4D because he’s better than Gryba and Gryba is your 5D, then Shultz at 4D *isn’t* the problem, but merely a symptom of the actual problem.

    It *can* be both, but if one exists because of the other, then it *isn’t* both – they are not independent variables.

  105. khildahl says:

    G Money,

    I don’t know. Sather did retire shortly after, and had a track record of doing favours for the Oilers in the past (see handing them the keys to the Rangers practice facility before the finals in 2006).

    I have a hard time believing he took the best offer on the table.

  106. oliveoilers says:

    G Money: Fun rant from Steve Dangle.
    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/here-come-the-edmonton-oilers-no-for-real/

    Listen all ye haters!

    Testify!

  107. Caramel Obvious says:

    G Money,

    Your explanation regarding adjusted Fenwick makes sense. In which case, however, I think it needs an intuitive scale.

    Shot metrics and scoring chances bear a direct and concrete relationship to the real. Their value is based on this direct relationship.

    Your metric, on the other hand, is an abstraction of the real. Now there are good reasons to engage in abstraction (mostly in the name of accuracy or in this case relative accuracy) however effort should still be made to express the expression in concrete terms. The number 43.8 Adjusted Fenwick/60 has no parallel in the real world. It needs to.

  108. godot10 says:

    v4ance:
    George RichardsVerified account ‏@GeorgeRichards
    Days before Tallon sent Hayes to Boston, he had a deal w/ #NYR for Talbot. Sather instead traded goalie to Edmonton; Dale was hot about it.


    George Richards ‏@GeorgeRichards1m1 minute ago
    Proposed #FlaPanthers #NYR deal (Hayes for Talbot w/ picks) happened at the draft; Hayes to Boston happened a few days later on July 1.

    Looks like Chia pulled a fast one or Sather really did a big favor to his old team!

    Either that or Sather liked Edmonton’s later offer which was “better’

    EDIT:

    Nope.. personal favor to Oilers:

    zach laing @Loweded
    @GeorgeRichards Do you know if what Tallon was offering was better than what the #Oilers gave up?


    George Richards ‏@GeorgeRichards3m3 minutes ago
    George Richards Retweeted zach laing
    Dale sure thought so. That’s why he was steamed.

    Glen Sather traded Mark Messier to the New York Rangers to make sure that he would never end up in LA with Gretzky in the same conference as the Oilers. He took a relatively bad deal in treturn.

    Luongo is signed forever in Florida. Trading Talbot to Florida meant that Talbot would be on the market for eastern conference teams next summer when he would go looking for a 1st string job. And playing 2nd string in Florida means that a team like Philly could get him at a bargain price.

    By sending him to Edmonton, he knew Talbot would be a #1 goaltender and on a team with McDavid and Nugent-Hopkins and Chiarelli and McLellan….meaning that it would be extremely unlikely that Talbot would end up in Philly next summer, and if he did, they would have to pay him a lot more as an established #1 than as a Florida backup.

    Sather was playing chess. Tallon was playing checkers. Sather was placing Talbot somewhere where Ron Hextall could not get him next summer, or at least far less likely to get him next summer.

    Trading Talbot to Edmonton was a strategic trade to place him where he could not end up in Philly next summer. (or in Brooklyn).

  109. ashley says:

    Woodguy:
    As discussed in my new post I think the optimal lines are:

    Hall—Nuge—Eberle
    Pouliot—McDavid—Yakupov
    Slepyshev—Lander—DrySaddle
    Hendricks—Letestu—Klinkhammer/Korpse/Pakarinen/Gazdic

    You cannot run Hall with Lander on the 3rd line because there isn’t enough TOI to go around.

    You want Hall-RNH-Nuge-McDavid-Pouliot-Yakupov playing at or near 20min per night.

    You just can’t do that with Hall with Lander.

    Its better to have Slappy and Saddle there.

    If they are going, give some ice time, if not, you aren’t benching good players.

    If someone on the top lines isn’t going or gets dinged mid-game then McLellan can channel his inner Bowman and swap out players during the game.

    Its the ideal way to deal with it and get your unicorns going.

    I’d put Drai in the top 6 in place of Pouliot. 3rd line is going to get low minutes and we risk submarining him again for 40 games with scant production. If you bring him up, put him in a position to succeed. His upside exceeds Pouliot who is a bit of an anchor on that line anyway. Nice shot last night though.

    The criticism is that “you can’t have 2 rookies on one line”. Why not? McDavid doesn’t play like a rookie anyway. He elevates everyone around him. He doesn’t need hand holding.

  110. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Ok, so you’re a ‘heretic’ if you speculate on trading Nuge. Good to know : )

    Weird. We’ve always said Nuge IS the witch. Turns out it’s the fans who will get burned at the stake if/when he gets traded.

    Here’s the key to RNH earning his $ and staying long-term. He’s got to make hay in a big way when Connor starts eating the tough comps.

    I’m sure he will, especially when Eberle returns from filming commercials with Giordano (traitor!), but make no mistake – Gretzky and Messier don’t hoist cups if both aren’t producing goals. The same standard should apply to McDavid and Nuge.

    Last night:
    4-93-29 — 11 shots on goal
    67-97-10 — 8 shots on goal
    Bottom 6, er 5 — 4 shots on goal
    Defence — 4 shots on goal

    2 goals each for the first two lines (though a defender actually scored one of the 2-line goals)

    The issue isn’t in the top 6 I don’t think.

  111. Caramel Obvious says:

    Adam Wu: As I said in that first post, if Shultz is 4D because he’s better than Gryba and Gryba is your 5D, then Shultz at 4D *isn’t* the problem, but merely a symptom of the actual problem.

    It *can* be both, but if one exists because of the other, then it *isn’t* both – they are not independent variables.

    This can’t be repeated enough. Describing the better player as the problem implies that the team would be better if they got rid of them and kept the worse player. But this is absurd.

    The problem is always the worst player on the roster.

    Now if what a person really means is that player’s A contract is is the problem then that is a different thing. But that’s not what people usually mean in these kinds of conversations.

  112. godot10 says:

    Sugar Reijo: From Jun 27:

    Gene PrincipeVerified account
    ‏@GenePrincipe
    Just ran into Glen Sather. Asked him about dealing Cam Talbot to @EdmontonOilers and he said “I wanted to help out my old team.”#nicetohear

    Sather isn’t going to tell the truth. He traded Talbot to Edmonton to keep him away from Philadelphia and Hextall next summer.

  113. Caramel Obvious says:

    Why the hell would Tallon trade for Talbot? It makes no sense.

  114. leadfarmer says:

    John Chambers,

    By trading him in the offseason when Chia realized that majority of his dmen were defensive defensemen

  115. leadfarmer says:

    Sather says a lot of things. Trading your backup who wants a chance to be a starter to another team that already has a starter locked up makes no sense unless you don’t like that player. Seems like GMs try to accommodate their players wishes if its possible. I think thats the reason that Gordon got traded for Corpse otherwise that deal makes no sense.

  116. godot10 says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    G Money,

    Your explanation regarding adjusted Fenwick makes sense.In which case, however, I think it needs an intuitive scale.

    Shot metrics and scoring chances bear a direct and concrete relationship to the real.Their value is based on this direct relationship.

    Your metric, on the other hand, is an abstraction of the real.Now there are good reasons to engage in abstraction (mostly in the name of accuracy or in this case relative accuracy) however effort should still be made to express the expression in concrete terms.The number 43.8 Adjusted Fenwick/60 has no parallel in the real world.It needs to.

    Danger adjusted Fenwick Gmoney-style is like windchill in temperature units. The units of windchill are not temperature units, but that is what they use on the weather forecasts because it is what makes sense to people.

  117. leadfarmer says:

    Also Hayes signed for 2.3 mil a year and he just negotiated that contract. Rangers could not afford that contract even if they didn’t sign Stalberg.

  118. G Money says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    You are correct in that Danger Fenwick has abstracted away from the real world. It has value as a comparative. It is certainly harder to suss out the real-world value of an adjusted number.

    I’m not sure it’s true to say it ‘has’ to have that, though.

    Score Adjusted Corsi (and the idea for my DFF number is based in the same conceptual space as SACF) has the same problem.

    For example, last nights CF/CA for EV was 41 to 32 (56.2%) and All-in 54 to 39 (58.1%). But after score adjusting, those numbers are 36.5 to 36.0, and 47.9 to 43.7.

    So what does a ‘score adjusted Corsi For’ of 36.5 mean? Not much and everything. By comparing it to the raw 41, you can see the effect in the game where the Oilers made such a pushback after being down. And the SACF% of 50.3% probably reflects the game better than the raw 56.2%.

    Measurements can have value (and hopefully my explanation has been clear) without necessarily having an easy translation to the underlying counting numbers (the translation exists but is not easy).

  119. G Money says:

    As an aside, in case you’re wondering and you probably aren’t – yes, I’m trying to figure out if I can create an ‘Ultimate Fenwick’ – danger, zone, and score adjusted.

    Man, if you think the translation from the real-world is hidden now, that number is going to be a (fun) nightmare!

  120. godot10 says:

    Wins above replacement. Goals above replaced. Danger-adjusted Fenwick. Score-adjusted Corsi.

    Wind and humidity adjusted temperature == windchill

  121. Adam Wu says:

    leadfarmer:
    John Chambers,

    By trading him in the offseason when Chia realized that majority of his dmen were defensive defensemen

    Fayne had just had his worst statistical year playing for Eakins. His trade value in the offseason was the lowest it has ever been in his entire career at that point. Giving him time to perform under a veteran coach was the sensible thing to do. And may still be, depending on what happens going forward. A weak first 10 games doesn’t always mean much at trade deadline time.

  122. Adam Wu says:

    Sometimes a trade an be both the best available deal and one that does a favor to your old team. Sometimes if faced with two very similar offers, doing a favor to your old team may become a tiebreaker for your decision making.

  123. Woodguy says:

    stephen sheps: Not to speak for Woodguy here (I won’t pretend to even be capable of such a thing) but I think that with Purcell’s pending UFA status, no matter what happens he’s gone by the deadline – ideally before that. Purcell’s not a bad player and he still thinks the game reasonably well, but his lack of speed makes him a very poor fit for the ideal make-up of the roster. Slow defenders are one thing, but speedy forwards can help to overcome some of the back-end mobility issues on breakouts. Teddy doesn’t fit that template at all. Hopefully he ends up on an Eastern Conference team with potential to make the playoffs that has a use for a smart veteran with good hands and slow feet.

    Yeah, that’s pretty much it.

  124. khildahl says:

    G Money,

    The zone adjustment may just be complication for complication’s sake if the impact of ZS on shot attempts is as negligible as recent work has suggested.

    Unless you’re looking at identifying events taking place within 20 seconds of a faceoff?

  125. G Money says:

    godot10: Wind and humidity adjusted temperature == windchill

    Yes, I think that’s a decent metaphor. The idea behind windchill is that it takes the raw data (temperature), and adds in another data point (windspeed) to come up with the projected rate of cooling of an actively heated object (such as your skin).

    DFF takes raw data (unblocked shot counts), rolls in another data point (projected sh% for each of those shots based on distance and type) to better describe the actual balance of play.

    Windchill goes one step further, in that it converts the rate of cooling back into an equivalent temperature, to describe the subjective effect of the resulting rate of cooling on the skin in an understandable way.

    I think Caramel’s point is that DFF does not take that last step (converting back to something that has a real-world analogue). But in this particular case, I’m not sure how or if that’s even possible.

  126. admiralmark says:

    G Money:
    v4ance,

    Or he offered more.Or Sather pulled a “Schneider” and preferred to trade Talbot to the other side of the continent.

    I have a tough time seeing any GM having any sort of allegiance with a former team, a team who is now a competitor. If anything, it’s likely to be the other way round.

    But both of those things can be true.

    Gryba being your 5D is a problem IMO.He’s been OK as a 6D, bad as a 5D.

    So Schultz can be both better than Gryba, AND be a problem as 4D – because it’s also a tougher role.

    I think last night the team would have been markedly better with Schultz in for Ference – Schultz is no worse as a defender, no worse as a passer, can skate way better, and is better in the o zone.

    It would also have the effect of making Gryba the 6D instead of the 5D – in other words, I’d expect Schultz5-Gryba6 is way better than Gryba5-Ference6, since all players are being asked to play more in line with their talents rather than well above.

    Yes this is the way I feel about Schultz. Put him in the 3rd pairing with PP time. Cut his min’s back to 14-15 mins. Run a Sekera, Klef, Nurse, Fayne in your Top 4. Then run Schultz on 3rd pair with any of Reinhart-Davidson-Gryba or Ference in that order. Maybe Reinhart or Davidson surprises and pushes Fayne down? All I know is Schultz needs to be taking out of the equation of top 4.

    Again this mystical toolbox that he supposedly possess’s remains the excuse for keeping him there. But I’m not seein it. I’ll tell you what I am seeing.
    1) Lack of effort at critical moments when effort is clearly required.
    2) inaccurate passes
    3) Fumbling with the puck.
    4) Gets knocked off the puck frequently
    5) Panic when he’s forced to think quickly
    6) weak weak Shot (I bet opposing goalies have a smile hidden under that mask when he’s on the PP point.
    7) Seems to process in slow mo sometimes.. almost like Ganjah is in the equation.
    I could probably go on but i’ll end it there.

    The good? He skates really well. He often has 1-2 good plays during the game… Chalk that up to 23+ mins of icetime in all key situations. There’s 8-10 boneheaded ones as well but i’m trying to remain positive here. He has a pretty decent wrist shot. One that has shown to be extremely effective.. at the AHL level.

    I know I know.. there’s 2-3 advanced stats out there that say he’s pretty good. My limited knowledge is that if you apply 6 Different advanced stats to any given player you can find one that says he’s good or goodish.

    My point in what has turned into a rant here. Is that it’s not just the unforced errors he makes, it’s the mentality of this player. He’s not sharp, he’s not a warrior, he’s care level is barely passable. This is just not a top 4 D player in a winning organization. Could he be useful as a 3rd pair? Yah I guess. I still wouldnt want him on the team. And I’m pretty certain he’s not looking for 3rd pairing time or $$$’s in his next contract anyway. Oilers need to move on.

  127. Woodguy says:

    Bag of Pucks: I worry about the lack of footspeed with a Lander/Drai line.

    Not saying it can’t work. Just a factor to consider.

    Becoming fairly obvious this season that ‘speed kills’ is the prime mantra of the NHL atm.

    Fair.

  128. G Money says:

    khildahl,

    Yeah, the conventional approach to ZS has been to drop events occurring within x seconds of a faceoff (x subject to a variety of different opinions, but typically 10 to 20).

    I dislike the idea of ‘dropping’ data. Much the same idea as with Score Adjusted Corsi, which was intended to address the issue of using Corsi Close to reflect ‘true’ skill. Corsi Close forces you to drop a ton of data, which defeats part of the advantage (rapid sample size build) of using Corsi in the first place!

    So SACF takes score state into account without dropping any data.

    Danger Adjusted Fenwick does the same thing for shot attempts, and is a counterpoint to the war-on-ice scoring chance metrics, which by their design either filter (e.g. “high danger chances”) data or drop it altogether (“scoring chances” drops out attempts they consider weak).

    But you can see the weakness with that approach right way, right? Should a shot from the blueline be treated as having zero value? Get enough of those suckers, and one of them will eventually go in, especially if Scrivens/Fasth are in net! So to drop them to zero is problematic too. DFF doesn’t drop them to zero, it just treats perimeter shots as they should be treated – as having lower (but not zero) value compared to more dangerous shot types and locations.

    ZS I think needs to find a parallel adjustment. Rather than dropping data, adjust it up or down to reflect the starting point. That’s what I’m hoping to get to.

  129. khildahl says:

    G Money,

    You could convert to expected goals, I guess? You’d need to start calculating save percentages adjusted using the same danger criteria, which means you have to chew a lot more data.

  130. Woodguy says:

    Ducey:
    I remember way back when the Oilers had some kid lines, most recently Nilsson – Gagner – Cogs.

    I am not saying.I am just saying that young players can get hot offensively and obscure the fact that they are not learning to be complete players.

    Leon got two goals, but one was off the back of the goalie and the other was into a wide open net.

    Save your unicorns for next year, because he likely needs some more time in the minors this year.

    Critizising goals? Really?

    Wow, tough to impress some people I guess.

    RE: Gagner-Cogliano-Nilsson

    The problem there is that the first line was

    Penner-Horc-Hemsky, which was a fine first line, but the rest of the forwards that year (via 5v5 TOI) were:

    REASONER, MARTY
    STOLL, JARRET
    BRODZIAK, KYLE
    PISANI, FERNANDO
    GLENCROSS, CURTIS
    STORTINI, ZACK
    TORRES, RAFFI
    SANDERSON, GEOFF
    MOREAU, ETHAN
    POULIOT, MARC-ANTOINE

    There was no secondary scoring line.

    The unicorn line is the 3rd scoring line, not the second one.

  131. Caramel Obvious says:

    G Money,

    The same problem exists in baseball. Runs created and the derivations of wins above replacement etc. are all abstractions. However, they are abstractions that are expressed in the common sense currency of the game, i.e. runs.

    The same should be possible here. (How, not sure it took baseball decades).

  132. Caramel Obvious says:

    G Money:
    khildahl,

    Yeah, the conventional approach to ZS has been to drop events occurring within x seconds of a faceoff (x subject to a variety of different opinions, but typically 10 to 20).

    I dislike the idea of ‘dropping’ data. Much the same idea as with Score Adjusted Corsi, which was intended to address the issue of using Corsi Close to reflect ‘true’ skill.Corsi Close forces you to drop a ton of data, which defeats part of the advantage (rapid sample size build) of using Corsi in the first place!

    So SACF takes score state into account without dropping any data.

    Danger Adjusted Fenwick does the same thing for shot attempts, and is a counterpoint to the war-on-ice scoring chance metrics, which by their design either filter (e.g. “high danger chances”) data or drop it altogether (“scoring chances” drops out attempts they consider weak).

    But you can see the weakness with that approach right way, right?Should a shot from the blueline be treated as having zero value?Get enough of those suckers, and one of them will eventually go in, especially if Scrivens/Fasth are in net!So to drop them to zero is problematic too.DFF doesn’t drop them to zero, it just treats perimeter shots as they should be treated – as having lower (but not zero) value compared to more dangerous shot types and locations.

    ZS I think needs to find a parallel adjustment.Rather than dropping data, adjust it up or down to reflect the starting point.That’s what I’m hoping to get to.

    Dropping data is absolutely the wrong thing to do with zone starts, not simply because it ignores data but because it assumes that zone starts effect all players equally. However, we know that isn’t true. Centers who are good at winning faceoffs will do better in the first ten seconds after a faceoff than those that don’t. Ignoring those ten seconds will introduce a systematic bias against those players.

    Luckily, zone starts have a linear relationship with shots, so you can just apply a linear coefficient. That way players who are good at things like faceoff, will be able to beat the coefficient and hence have their value more accurately measured.

  133. Woodguy says:

    slopitch,

    PS LT have you ever just considered having multiple authors on your blog? Or is it your baby? Id think guys like GMoney and Woodguy would get more eyes by attaching to your brand.

    LT posts stuff from time to time from other people.

    DId it for me a few times.

    Its his blog though and it would be much different if were not “LT’s”

    Come for the sublime story telling and stay for the memes!

    G and I have our own blogs (all grown up!!) where we can blather on in our own voices.

    The voice and tenor of this place is set by LT and that’s why its such a long lived and special spot on the Al Gore.

  134. oliveoilers says:

    Woodguy: Come for the sublime story telling and stay for the memes!

    A meme about memes!

    Excellent work!

  135. Lowetide says:

    slopitch:

    PS LT have you ever just considered having multiple authors on your blog? Or is it your baby? Id think guys like GMoney and Woodguy would get more eyes by attaching to your brand.

    No, I do blog at Oilers Nation and Bleacher Report and enjoy that (writing in a group with different views/subjects). I’ve had many guest posts from all kinds of folks, including Woodguy, G, Blue Bullet, SpOILer, Dennis King and others. I don’t recall ever turning down anyone to be honest, but for me it works best when authors have their own blog or destination. It’s the intellectual property of the author, they should be able to enjoy some level of satisfaction in knowing people have in fact clicked on and read it.

    On a personal level, I enjoy writing on this blog, it’s a labor of love. So, while at some point in my advanced age there may be a time when others contribute more, I’m satisfied with the current situation from my end.

  136. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Memory By Number.

    Last night brought back a few memories of 1981. The glorious year that the Oilers thumped the Habs in 3 straight games, and by 15 goals to 6. But a few numbers that happened to catch my eye last night fired different neurons of three regular season games that I attended in person (never missed a game, back in the day):

    Oilers 4 Habs 3 late game heroics:

    This was actually 1980 (December 20) so in the 80-81 season, when the Oilers came from 3-2 down very late to squeak out the win. Messier from Gretzky with 5 minutes left to tie it up, then Dave Freaking Hunter scores the winner with 2 freaking seconds left in the game (no OT in those days). My internal countdown had the clock at 5 seconds when Hunter got the puck and that squares cuz it would take him about 3 seconds to get that damn wrist shot off but there was just enough time for him to let fly and actually beat Denis Herron, and two-thirds of the crowd went wild.

    We had a family reunion that Christmas (I got married the next week) so I had something like 11 family members in the stands, many of them lifelong Habs-haters like myself. It was a glorious post-game I can tell you.

    Oilers beat Habs, game’s first star is 20 years + 2 days old:

    I suspect I am the only person on the planet to make this connection, but when the Habs paid their second regular-season visit to Edmonton on 1981 January 28. It was Wayne Gretzky’s first game after turning 20, so I was watching closely for any signs he might be slowing down with age. 😉 Instead, he utterly dominated the mighty Habs, racking up a goal and four assists in a 9-1 BEATDOWN that was as shocking in its single-game domination as the three-game playoff sweep would prove to be 10 weeks later. Gretzky would score 3-8-11 in that series, so 16 points in 4 consecutive games against the Habs — who that season won the Vezina Trophy (would be the Jennings today) by 17 goals against. But they could not contain Wayne.

    I recall going to work the morning after and my secretary asked me first thing, “How did you enjoy THAT game?” and I blurted out “I think Wayne Gretzky is the greatest hockey player I’ve ever seen!” First time I said it aloud and I found my voice shaking as the words crystallized in the air. 20 years, 2 days and already old enough to find his place in my personal hierarchy, a lens through which I viewed him thereafter. He’d had plenty of great moments before, but this game wasn’t the Kings or the Canucks or Blues or what have you, these were they proud & mighty Habs. When I saw with my own 2 eyes guys like Larry Robinson & Guy Lapointe & Bob Gainey chase after Wayne Gretzky like they’d accidentally tied their skate laces together was unbelievable in the most positive way imaginable.

    Leon has a little further to go at just-turned-20, obviously, but he is a nice-looking player all the same. So is that even younger guy that made both PK Subban and Andrei Markov look like the Washington Generals in one second flat. Wow.

    Oilers 4, Storied Franchise 3 with game winning goal scored at 18:58 of the third period.

    Yeah I know, crazy eh. But this too really happened, on 1981 December 13, in what I still consider the greatest regular season game I ever attended. My Dad, who happened to attend with me, said similar (though he had fond memories of a 2-2 tie between the Wings and Habs in the Forum back when both teams were great, where Gordie Howe scored both goals for the visitors.) Back to the Oilers, this time it was the mighty Islanders who were the losers, as Gretzky set up three goals before scoring the fourth with 1:02 to play. I can still visualize the goal: Gretzky jumping on a puck in the slot, holding it an extra beat, stepping wide on the hated Billy Smith, burying it into the same side as Leon did last night. I also vividly remember the clock, where every second that remained was an enemy against the then 2-time champs who had taken out the Oil in 6 after the Montreal sweep.

    Those 62 seconds were tense indeed, and with #99 having looked after the offensive heroics, Kevin Lowe did likewise at the defensive end with a goal line save behind Grant Fuhr in the dying seconds, the Isles pouring it on with a bunch of Hall of Famers and great support players and pride and desperation. Thrilling stuff.

    For dessert it was Gretzky’s 33rd goal in 32 games, keeping him ahead of the goal a game pace of the Rocket and tied one year previous by Islander Mike Bossy. The race was already on and every time the “G” column got its nose in front of the “GP” column the expectations rose. In his usual fashion #99 would blow them out of the water shortly thereafter, when on the next home stand he got 15 goals (and 10 assists!) in 5 games to reach the 50-goal plateau in 39 games, whereas we had merely been hoping for 50 in 49. But I digress.

    Funny how these memories of early games remain so strong. Fun days in the playoffs were largely still in our future — the Islanders would somehow beat the Oilers TEN straight times after that last game I described — but those early years of watching a talented young team emerge before our eyes was just as rewarding in many ways. Surviving big tests like these were an important part of that emergence. While 1984 was the pinnacle, in some ways it was the end of a long season that lasted five years while a champion team was built. And a very enjoyable few years they were.

    Here’s hoping that in another 30 years — or even 10 and that may be pushing my luck — we can reminisce about games such as this for the 21st Century Schizoid Oilers. And maybe last night will be one of those games. Gord knows there have been precious few of them in recent years.

  137. Ducey says:

    Woodguy: Critizising goals? Really?

    Wow, tough to impress some people I guess.

    RE: Gagner-Cogliano-Nilsson

    The problem there is that the first line was

    Penner-Horc-Hemsky, which was a fine first line, but the rest of the forwards that year (via 5v5 TOI) were:

    REASONER, MARTY
    STOLL, JARRET
    BRODZIAK, KYLE
    PISANI, FERNANDO
    GLENCROSS, CURTIS
    STORTINI, ZACK
    TORRES, RAFFI
    SANDERSON, GEOFF
    MOREAU, ETHAN
    POULIOT, MARC-ANTOINE

    There was no secondary scoring line.

    The unicorn line is the 3rd scoring line, not the second one.

    Not criticizing the goals as much as saying we can’t take one game’s worth of work and decide Leon is fully ready. They were more luck/ getting the benefit of Nuge’s brilliance than a statement that this kid is ready to take the next step.

    I understand the unicorns concept, but don’t think the Oilers are there yet. If Leon can become another anchor C, they might have one. Perhaps next year. Don’t count your unicorns until they hatch.

    And be careful, that came very close to criticizing MAP. No more radio for you!

  138. Lowetide says:

    Bruce: Great read. I remember that Hunter goal so well.

  139. khildahl says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    I’m struggling to see any relevance to ZS in the context of danger adjustment. Is a wrister from the top of the circle any more or less dangerous because it came off a faceoff than off a cycle or a rush?

    Is a more dangerous event any more likely to happen off a faceoff win than off a different method of gaining possession?

  140. Lowetide says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Ok, so you’re a ‘heretic’ if you speculate on trading Nuge. Good to know : )

    Weird. We’ve always said Nuge IS the witch. Turns out it’s the fans who will get burned at the stake if/when he gets traded.

    Here’s the key to RNH earning his $ and staying long-term. He’s got to make hay in a big way when Connor starts eating the tough comps.

    I’m sure he will, especially when Eberle returns from filming commercials with Giordano (traitor!), but make no mistake – Gretzky and Messier don’t hoist cups if both aren’t producing goals. The same standard should apply to McDavid and Nuge.

    We’re applying the Gretzky-Messier standard to McDavid and Nuge? Seriously? That seems incredibly harsh. Is there NO room for Nuge on this roster if he isn’t Messier? My goodness that’s a tough list. I’d be happy if Nuge were Keon!

  141. AsiaOil says:

    You could also see MON totally disrespect the point shot and Davidson made them pay for it – almost twice. Shultz does nothing to address that issue.

    Best option for now is:

    Klef Sekera
    Nurse Fayne
    Reinhart Davidson Gryba

    Shultz on 3rd pairing with limited minutes when he gets back and give him PP time until he’s dealt.

    I’d be on board with trading our #1 pick and Fayne for a solid dman ASAP. Then deal Shultz, Gryba and Purcell later this season for picks to replace the draft bullets. Might not get a first to replace the Fayne deal but more picks would be welcome.

    Really happy with the game Nuge played last night – he’s got to play better and raise his game. But we would be livid with the defenseman if our guy got rolled that easy that late in the game. We’ll take it 🙂

    Bruce McCurdy: I’d argue Schultz is likely the best right-shot d-man in the org. Then again I’d argue that Moe was likely the smartest of the Three Stooges. Bar is set pretty low here.

    That said, I would Not argue the team would have been better off with Schultz instead of Davidson last night. BD scored an actual goal, something Schultz hasn’t done all year, and a big goal it was too.

  142. Lucinius says:

    ashley: I’d put Drai in the top 6 in place of Pouliot.3rd line is going to get low minutes and we risk submarining him again for 40 games with scant production.If you bring him up, put him in a position to succeed.His upside exceeds Pouliot who is a bit of an anchor on that line anyway.Nice shot last night though.

    The criticism is that “you can’t have 2 rookies on one line”.Why not?McDavid doesn’t play like a rookie anyway.He elevates everyone around him.He doesn’t need hand holding.

    My issue with putting Draisatl onto the McDavid line instead of Pouliot has nothing to do with ‘two rookies’, but more with ‘why the hell are you screwing with what works!?’.

    The McDavid line with Yak and Pouliot is killing it. Why would you mess with it at all? Just because Draisatl may, or may not do well there? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Until Eberle comes back, keep Drai with the first line. After that, put him down to the third line and see if you can’t get a third line going.

    You know Hall-RNH-Eberle will do well. Pouliot-McDavid-Yak is doing very well. Drop Drai and Hendricks (when he’s back) onto the third line and see if that doesn’t get it going. If not, you can tinker some more. Maybe you double-shift Hall now and then on that third line with Lander and Drai. Or something else.

    But why mess with what works?

  143. fuzzy muppet says:

    Last night was the most excited I’ve been about an Oiler game since the last second Yakupov goal against the kings.

    It certainly has the feel of a turning point moment for the franchise.

    That said, I’ve had my spirits murdered by this team too many times in the last decade and wouldn’t be surprised if they piss it away and shit the bed against Calgary Saturday. Please BUILD on this boys!

  144. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Lowetide:
    Bruce: Great read. I remember that Hunter goal so well.

    Thanks, LT. I added a closing paragraph that was missing to tie back in to the modern Oil.

    Kind of a blog-length post but not really a blog post — not *my* blog, at least, where historical posts don’t seem to resonate. But I thought the hard-core Oil fans who populate your comments section might enjoy it.

  145. vishcosity says:

    JDï™:
    That game was definitely jig-worthy. And sponge-worthy.

    What about sock whiskey? Or is that reserved for the ledge?
    (I’ve missed some threads yet know enough to not let “Steve Smith” in the house.)

  146. G Money says:

    G Money: The Fenwicks are going to be 50% for Fayne, 1 to 1, but the Danger Adjusted Fenwick is going to be 14.2% i.e. 0.142 = 0.334/2.35. The Danger Adjusted Number 14% (in my view) much better represents what actually happened on the ice than the 50% does – that 10 ft slapshot is way deadlier than the 45 ft wrister.

    Note that I represented this wrong!

    The Fenwick for case A is 50% because 1/ (1+1)

    The Danger Fenwick for case B is NOT 14%! It is: 0.334 / ( 0.334 + 2.35) = 12.5%. A minor numeric difference but a fundamentally different number!

  147. Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons says:

    G Money:

    I think Caramel’s point is that DFF does not take that last step (converting back to something that has a real-world analogue).But in this particular case, I’m not sure how or if that’s even possible.

    Real-world analogue = expected goals (per game)?

  148. Caramel Obvious says:

    khildahl:
    Caramel Obvious,

    I’m struggling to see any relevance to ZS in the context of danger adjustment.Is a wrister from the top of the circle any more or less dangerous because it came off a faceoff than off a cycle or a rush?

    Is a more dangerous event any more likely to happen off a faceoff win than off a different method of gaining possession?

    A wrister from the top of the circle is not more or less dangerous depending on the faceoff. However, it is far more likely to happen if you are starting in your own zone. And what the measure is attempting to measure is the ratio of real results to expected results (i.e. did player A do better or worse than player B would have done in the same situation). Zone starts is one of the things you have to control for if you are going to do this.

    On expected goals in soccer (http://cartilagefreecaptain.sbnation.com/2015/4/10/8381071/football-statistics-expected-goals-michael-caley-deadspin)

    Expected goals, by and large, works in soccer. It should work in hockey too, though the data requirements would be different.

    The other interesting thing is that Michael Caley, who developed the metric, developed it in much the same way as Gmoney is. He was a poster at baseball think factory and started doing it there. Now he writes for the Washington Post.

  149. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Lowetide: We’re applying the Gretzky-Messier standard to McDavid and Nuge? Seriously? That seems incredibly harsh. Is there NO room for Nuge on this roster if he isn’t Messier? My goodness that’s a tough list. I’d be happy if Nuge were Keon!

    Keon was fantastic, just a wonderful two-way player who was a fabulous skater with great edge work. You nailed him as a Nuge comp a while back, LT, and all I could do was nod my head.

    Keon was largely a 2C with the dynasty Leafs, which was a big reason why they were so fucking tough to beat. They’d roll with Mahovlich-Kelly-Nevin and then come back with Duff-Keon-Armstrong. The third line was a checking line built around Bob Pulford, and there was no real weakness up front. Back those F up with Stanley-Horton and Brewer-Baun with Bower between the pipes and there was your Ritch Winter-defined core of 7F 4D 1G that rolled through the early 60s.

    Despite expanded rosters that 7-4-1 core is still a worthwhile ideal today. I have all day long and all night too for all of McD, Nuge, and Drai to be core players, whether all at centre or one on the wing is a detail.

  150. Bruce McCurdy says:

    In case you were wondering, I was a hardcore Leafs fan in my Hab-hating youth. Hating the Leafs became a taste I acquired later in life. 🙂

  151. ashley says:

    McDavid is going to make every line he is on “work”. Why settle for really good when it could be outstanding or even exceptional and at the same time put a rookie who struggled last year in a position to succeed?

    Lucinius: My issue with putting Draisatl onto the McDavid line instead of Pouliot has nothing to do with ‘two rookies’, but more with ‘why the hell are you screwing with what works!?’.

    The McDavid line with Yak and Pouliot is killing it. Why would you mess with it at all? Just because Draisatl may, or may not do well there? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Until Eberle comes back, keep Drai with the first line. After that, put him down to the third line and see if you can’t get a third line going.

    You know Hall-RNH-Eberle will do well. Pouliot-McDavid-Yak is doing very well. Drop Drai and Hendricks (when he’s back) onto the third line and see if that doesn’t get it going. If not, you can tinker some more. Maybe you double-shift Hall now and then on that third line with Lander and Drai. Or something else.

    But why mess with what works?

  152. G Money says:

    khildahl: You could convert to expected goals, I guess? You’d need to start calculating save percentages adjusted using the same danger criteria, which means you have to chew a lot more data.

    Exactly right. I think if you call it expected goals (as DTMAboutHeart does), you need to account for both the shooters sh% and the goalies sv% (which he doesn’t yet do). I think we need to get there, but metrics like DFF or HDSC or xG are necessary intermediate steps.

  153. admiralmark says:

    AsiaOil,

    I agree 100%.

  154. Bruce McCurdy says:

    AsiaOil: You could also see MON totally disrespect the point shot and Davidson made them pay for it – almost twice.

    Almost three times. Davidson unleashed another rocket in the second period that whizzed by the post and crashed into the boards behind the net. Gotta hit the net, obviously, but the power of the shot thudded out my speakers. He was in great shooting position that time too, no more than 30 feet from the net, just like the two in the third period.

    I’m thinking we may have reached the point where Davidson is in the top six next game because he is one of the six best options. Reinhart’s return complicates things as will Schultz’s, but this guy is establishing a toehold as a reasonable option who has already passed at least 2 veterans in Ference and Nikitin, with Fayne the next vet in his sights.

    And to think some folks were tweeting about waiving this guy as recently as yesterday.

  155. G Money says:

    Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons,

    See answer above. Can’t use xG because a. someone else is, and b. my metric (and his) fall short of ‘deserving’ the xG moniker!

  156. blainer says:

    admiralmark: Yes this is the way I feel about Schultz. Put him in the 3rd pairing with PP time. Cut his min’s back to 14-15 mins. Run a Sekera, Klef, Nurse, Fayne in your Top 4. Then run Schultz on 3rd pair with any of Reinhart-Davidson-Gryba or Ference in that order. Maybe Reinhart or Davidson surprises and pushes Fayne down? All I know is Schultz needs to be taking out of the equation of top 4.

    Again this mystical toolbox that he supposedly possess’s remains the excuse for keeping him there. But I’m not seein it. I’ll tell you what I am seeing.
    1) Lack of effort at critical moments when effort is clearly required.
    2) inaccurate passes
    3) Fumbling with the puck.
    4) Gets knocked off the puck frequently
    5) Panic when he’s forced to think quickly
    6) weak weak Shot (I bet opposing goalies have a smile hidden under that mask when he’s on the PP point.
    7) Seems to process in slow mo sometimes.. almost like Ganjah is in the equation.
    I could probably go on but i’ll end it there.

    The good? He skates really well. He often has 1-2 good plays during the game… Chalk that up to 23+ mins of icetime in all key situations. There’s 8-10 boneheaded ones as well but i’m trying to remain positive here. He has a pretty decent wrist shot. One that has shown to be extremely effective.. at the AHL level.

    I know I know.. there’s 2-3 advanced stats out there that say he’s pretty good. My limited knowledge is that if you apply 6 Different advanced stats to any given player you can find one that says he’s good or goodish.

    My point in what has turned into a rant here. Is that it’s not just the unforced errors he makes, it’s the mentality of this player. He’s not sharp, he’s not a warrior, he’s care level is barely passable. This is just not a top 4 D player in a winning organization. Could he be useful as a 3rd pair? Yah I guess. I still wouldnt want him on the team. And I’m pretty certain he’s not looking for 3rd pairing time or $$$’s in his next contract anyway. Oilers need to move on.

    There is a lot of truth in what you say here.. The Shultz I have seen this year is perplexing.. He has played quite well in spurts and then lays an egg for two or three games..

    He has the talent but lacks that competitive drive you see from the top D at this level..

    I will say this.. Back injuries are very serious and often are chronic as well career ending.. I am not optimistic for him going forward.

    Thank Gord we did not sign him long term.

  157. jonrmcleod says:

    Woodguy,

    He sounds like DSF on Twitter: “@Woodguy55 @jonrmcleod Blind squirrel stuff. One off the goalies back and an empty net.”

  158. G Money says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    I don’t think it complicates it. Davidson being a top 6 option is a huge help to a lousy D corps.

    Reinhart > Ference
    Reinhart > Gryba

    Schultz >> Ference

  159. oliveoilers says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Almost three times. Davidson unleashed another rocket in the second period that whizzed by the post and crashed into the boards behind the net. Gotta hit the net

    Unless he’s been told to do that if there isn’t a screen on Price, or that’s the book play against him.

  160. AsiaOil says:

    Yeah no way he clears with that contract, his size/skating/shot, and potential as a cheap effective 3rd pair guy. What he eventually becomes is unclear – but we are seeing some flashes – he’s here to stay.

    Bruce McCurdy:

    And to think some folks were tweeting about waiving this guy as recently as yesterday.

  161. Bruce McCurdy says:

    khildahl:
    G Money,

    The zone adjustment may just be complication for complication’s sake if the impact of ZS on shot attempts is as negligible as recent work has suggested.

    Can you kindly cite/link some of this recent work?

    Go to Rob Vollman’s interactive Player Usage Charts, choose any season, change the name of the team to “all” (& hit “apply”) and you will see a Pronounced blue shift on the right side of the chart. Better zone starts, better Corsi. Whereas by far the majority of players below the 50% zone start line are brown bubbles meaning minus Corsi.

    Alternatively, see the first graphic of this fine blog post. 🙂

    It cannot be a coincidence, nor should it be handwaved away.

  162. dustrock says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Bruce McCurdy: Almost three times. Davidson unleashed another rocket in the second period that whizzed by the post and crashed into the boards behind the net. Gotta hit the net, obviously, but the power of the shot thudded out my speakers. He was in great shooting position that time too, no more than 30 feet from the net, just like the two in the third period. I’m thinking we may have reached the point where Davidson is in the top six next game because he is one of the six best options. Reinhart’s return complicates things as will Schultz’s, but this guy is establishing a toehold as a reasonable option who has already passed at least 2 veterans in Ference and Nikitin, with Fayne the next vet in his sights. And to think some folks were tweeting about waiving this guy as recently as yesterday.

    Davidson might be a guy you like against teams like Montreal but not say the Blues.

  163. Caramel Obvious says:

    khildahl:
    G Money,

    The zone adjustment may just be complication for complication’s sake if the impact of ZS on shot attempts is as negligible as recent work has suggested.

    I missed this the first time. What work are you referencing?

    No work could possibly demonstrate that the impact of zone starts is negligible on shot attempts. I think David Johnston thought he had shown that, but his method presumed his conclusion.

    Zone starts have a direct and very large effect on shots. This is true both rationally and empirically.

  164. Bulging Twine says:

    Seems Hall is a lot better with the puck this year. Less give aways, less bad passes. More controlled in tight. Also a little better in board battles. Huge deal.

  165. commonfan14 says:

    All the stuff online right now about McDavid somehow exceeding expectations reminded me about something I wrote after the draft:

    commonfan14: Re-watched the McDavid pick the other night before deleting the draft from the PVR.

    Seeing it again, I think my favourite part was during the Strombo interview when he referenced that Chia had talked about the importance of keeping expectations in check. McDavid’s reaction was great, in that he seemed almost baffled by the idea and responded with something about how he’s not worried about that because nobody has higher expectations for him than himself.

    It didn’t come off as cockiness or even confidence as much as casual certainty. The way you’d react if someone suggested it was a good idea that people keep their expectations in check about your ability to drive yourself to work.

    It’s nice that most people on this site try to not go crazy when talking about this kid.

    It is.

    I’m not sure it’s necessary.

    I do not think McDavid is at all surprised by his current level of play.

    He might not be satisfied either.

    Good times.

  166. Bulging Twine says:

    It’s way too early to pronounce such things, but have the Oilers found themselves a useful Defenceman from the 6th round?!!

  167. knighttown says:

    G Money: Hi Caramel, thanks for the feedback.I definitely need to get my explanation on what Danger Adjusted Fenwick and how it is calculated posted up at NerdAlert!

    Quick explanation:

    Main thing to recognize is that Danger Adjusted Fenwick isn’t a count, it is an adjusted count.What I do is assign a ‘danger’ number to every shot based on location and shot type. (that’s generated using 5 years of shot data and a LOWESS algorithm to model/smooth the data).

    For example, the danger rating of a 10 ft slapshot is 2.35 – that is, the sh% of that shot and distance is 2.35x as high as the average shot.Covnersely, a 45 ft wrist shot is 0.334 – it is about a third as dangerous as the average shot.

    So suppose Fayne was on the ice for 2 Fenwick events – the Oilers gave up a 10 ft slapshot, but got a 45 ft wrist shot.

    The Fenwicks are going to be 50% for Fayne, 1 to 1, but the Danger Adjusted Fenwick is going to be 14.2% i.e. 0.142 = 0.334/2.35.The Danger Adjusted Number 14% (in my view) much better represents what actually happened on the ice than the 50% does – that 10 ft slapshot is way deadlier than the 45 ft wrister.

    To convert that to a ‘rate against’ number, I would take the against number (2.35) and the TOI, and just divide the two (and normalize to 60 minutes).So if Fayne gave up that slapshot in one minute, his DFA/60 rate would be 2.35*60 = 141.

    But of course, if you try and count those numbers, you can get strange results.

    Wow. Fabulous.

  168. G Money says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Can you kindly cite/link some of this recent work?

    Go to Rob Vollman’s interactive Player Usage Charts, choose any season, change the name of the team to “all” (& hit “apply”) and you will see a Pronounced blue shift on the right side of the chart. Better zone starts, better Corsi. Whereas by far the majority of players below the 50% zone start line are brown bubbles meaning minus Corsi.

    Alternatively, see the first graphic of this fine blog post.

    It cannot be a coincidence, nor should it be handwaved away.

    Recent work looks at two, no three, no five, no four factors:

    – the original work by Vic Ferrari that asserted a strong ZS influence was never supported by analysis. More recent work shows a much smaller influence, e.g. by Eric Tulsky, Matt Cane, and David Johnson (I’m not sure why Caramel feels Johnson’s analysis is so offbase).

    – ZS can confuse causation with correlation. Teams tend to give their top lines more OSZ – this would skew the apparent influence of ZS, which would cause the ‘blue shift’ you speak of.

    – ZS overstate [correction: don’t account for] the number of shifts that start on the fly. I’ve heard it stated that typically 60% are on the fly. I am trying to validate that number. In any case, what that means is that you have to account for the fact that many OSZ are ‘earned’ by the play of the players, and zone start adjustments that remove this influence understate good players and overstate bad players.

    – The most-cited OZS number ( OZS / (OZS+DZS) ) can also overstate the impact of zone starts. A player that got 2 OZS and 20 NZS has an OZS of 100% by this measure.

    Point being: ZS is not an irrelevant number. But the issues above suggest we may be significantly overweighting it as an influence on shot attempts.

  169. Clay says:

    Water Fire: Jones

    I’ve been working on a theory since the draft regarding Seth Jones.

    Chia is a smart man (at very least, smarter than we’re used to). Knowing that Seth Jones is RFA this coming summer, would he have drafted Seth’s brother so that Seth would be more apt to accept an offer sheet?

    Of the right-handed RFA dmen available this summer, Jones is the top of the class, along with Tyson Barrie (with the understanding that Barrie is elite offense but Jones is probably better all-around)..

    Honorable mentions to Vatanen, Dekeyser, McNabb, Spurgeon, Dumba, Ceci, and Trouba.

    Given the urgency created by CMD’s excellence for Chia to fix the defence, it would not surprise me in the least to see an offer sheet for one of these beauties.

  170. Caramel Obvious says:

    G Money,

    I think you meant to say that zone starts understate the number of shifts that begin on the fly.

    It’s also true that zone start numbers ignore neutral zone starts in the measurement. But that only matters if a player has a disproportionate number of neutral zone starts. Are their any such players? If there are a blanket adjustment will distort their value.

    As the confusion of causation and correlation, I’ve checked and the linear relationship between zone starts and shots is consistent no matter what subgroup of NHL players you use. This is not the case with QoC and QoT, two situations in which the phenomenon you describe does occur. So star players may or may not “earn” their offensive zone starts but that’s immaterial because the relationship is linear across the spectrum. In comparison, we know that star players “earn” both better teammates and better competition. As a result of this the relationship between QoC and QoT is not linear and, in the case of QoC actually the reverse of what you would expect (QoC is positively correlated with shots).

    Interestingly, if you do a regression of QoC and shots using only replacement level players you get the relationship you would expect (as QoC goes up shot metrics get worse). In my opinion this is how you should isolate the QoC effect without the data being swamped by the “earning” of competition.

  171. Sugar Reijo says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Last night brought back a few memories of 1981. The glorious year that the Oilers thumped the Habs in 3 straight games, and by 15 goals to 6. But a few numbers that happened to catch my eye last night fired different neurons of three regular season games that I attended in person (never missed a game, back in the day):

    That’s awesome, Bruce. I too flashed back to that series last night. My big memory from 81 was haviing to go outside with my brother between intermissions and after games to play road hockey, where all of a sudden whoever was playing goal was down on every shot in Moog’s butterfly style.

    81 was like a sneak preview of the glory to come. Felt like that at the time too. The moment Drai scored the go ahead last night I had the same feeling.

  172. stephen sheps says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    thank you Bruce. That was indeed a beautiful look into the history of the franchise. Interesting parallels, too.

  173. PDO says:

    That game last night was a rollercoaster… the Oiler’s actually came out pretty hard for the first few minutes and had a few good chances before the rails went off in the first. Even then, if they had killed that first penalty I suspect they would’ve been OK; but that was a massive fire drill trying to get the puck out on the PK and that ultimately was what led to the opening goal.

    Few thoughts on the game, but specifically why Fayne is in the dog house (while the guy turning the puck over in Klefbom isn’t):

    Fayne’s biggest problem is playing the rush. He doesn’t take many chances with the puck (as he shouldn’t), so he is constantly left in good position even after one of his linemates, such as Klefbom last night, makes a glaring error that frees up a rush.

    Mark Fayne is always right in the picture, but that’s the problem.

    He simply cannot effectively play the rush, whether it’s a 1 on 1, 2 on 2… and when it becomes a 2 on 1 it’s even worse. He gets himself into a good position (which is where he should be based on the system play anyway), but once he’s in that position he manages to do absolutely nothing. He doesn’t force the issue, he simply stands there with his stick often doing even less than his body.

    It’s not that he’s not physical (though that would help), it’s that he’s far too passive to the point of Torrey Mitchell being able to telegraph a shot for a full second with Fayne not getting a stick in the way. A good defenseman would’ve sent that puck into the rafters, Fayne watched it zip by him into the back of the net, and all the work he did to get into a good position stopped mattering.

    Being in position is important, but if you don’t finish the play you may as well be standing at the blue line beside Klefbom.

    Now, that doesn’t fully excuse Klefbom. He had an awful turnover and he has to own that, but Klefbom is trying to create while Fayne is trying to limit, and a mistake made by a guy trying to create offense is infinitely easier to accept than one made by a guy who had one job and didn’t do it.

    Just my $0.02.

    Onto the rest of the game…

    – Loved the anecdote that Hall took Leon aside after a few shifts. That’s counter to a lot of the crap we hear through the grapevine and I suspect that it is a lot closer to the truth. Great leadership from Hall there and Leon really did look like he started to settle down. He knows where to be and how to get there, now it’s just a matter of him doing it confidently. Last night could be a big step in the right direction.

    – How many times will anyone make Subban look as bad as McDavid did on the Pouliot goal? Out muscles and out smarts one of top 5 defensemen in the world. Incredible. His speed gave Montreal fits most of the night and he absolutely put the team on his back and dragged them along – it’s so great to see somebody besides RNH or Hall doing it, and the more guys like that we have the better off we will be.

    – It’s still early, but I wanted Yakupov with McDavid from day 1 and that’s starting to become a better and better fit. Yakupov still has some trouble in his own zone on breakouts, but offensively they’re a perfect match with Yakupov’s one timer becoming a bigger weapon every day, opening even more space for McDavid to exploit with his speed.

    – I really don’t see how there’s any forward you could trade for a D except for Draisatl. Yakupov won’t have the cache to get what you need (and looks to be a real value contract this year and next, which we need) and trading any of Hall, RNH or Eberle is simply filling one hole by opening another. This team desperately misses Eberle, and as much as upgrading the d-corps would help a lot, you’d instantly be looking for another Eberle. The only luxury up front right now is Draisatl.

    – If anything, I think the smart route is to get another Petry type at the deadline for a 2nd round pick and then work like hell to extend him before summer hits. A quick look at capfriendly has the RFA group much better than the UFA group, but I’m sure someone shakes loose just like Petry did.

    – Talbot is so damn steady.

  174. Snowman says:

    Clay,

    If somehow you could get Trouba out of Winterpeg I’d lose my mind. Nurse and Trouba would be an insanely fast and mean pairing. Good lord would they be scary.

  175. Bruce McCurdy says:

    G Money: – the original work by Vic Ferrari that asserted a strong ZS influence was never supported by analysis. More recent work shows a much smaller influence, e.g. by Eric Tulsky, Matt Cane, and David Johnson

    I’ll admit to accepting Vic’s 0.8 figure based on one case study I did which arrived at an identical figure (well, 53/66, which = 0.803). Happened to be my very first post for C&B back in 2008, which is why I remember it. See the paragraph right under the faceoff percentages here. Tiny but pure sample size that so perfectly matched Vic’s standard that I just went “huh” and took it as a small but solid proof of the method.

    G Money: – ZS can confuse causation with correlation. Teams tend to give their top lines more OSZ – this would skew the apparent influence of ZS, which would cause the ‘blue shift’ you speak of.

    Yes this is true to an extent, though often teams shelter weaker lines with OZS.

    G Money: – ZS overstate [correction: don’t account for] the number of shifts that start on the fly. I’ve heard it stated that typically 60% are on the fly. I am trying to validate that number. In any case, what that means is that you have to account for the fact that many OSZ are ‘earned’ by the play of the players, and zone start adjustments that remove this influence understate good players and overstate bad players.
    – The most-cited OZS number ( OZS / (OZS+DZS) ) can also overstate the impact of zone starts. A player that got 2 OZS and 20 NZS has an OZS of 100% by this measure.

    Agreed to a degree. Thing is, that both of on-the-fly shifts and NZS should have the effect of watering down differences of end zone starts, which are a fraction of all shifts. Yet even that fraction of all starts results in a strong blue shift.

    G Money: Point being: ZS is not an irrelevant number. But the issues above suggest we may be significantly overweighting it as an influence on shot attempts.

    “Overweighting” is a different word than “negligible”. In itself the blue shift doesn’t necessarily properly weight the effect, but in my eye it absolutely proves that a) it does exist and b) it is not negligible.

  176. blainer says:

    Absolutely agree on the trade idea. I actually think we have a good shot at getting Burns either at the deadline or as a free agent..

    In the meantime keep workin the phones to see what we can get..

  177. khildahl says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    G Money,

    G Money covered the stuff I was thinking of.

  178. Bulging Twine says:

    PDO:
    That game last night was a rollercoaster… the Oiler’s actually came out pretty hard for the first few minutes and had a few good chances before the rails went off in the first.Even then, if they had killed that first penalty I suspect they would’ve been OK; but that was a massive fire drill trying to get the puck out on the PK and that ultimately was what led to the opening goal.

    Few thoughts on the game, but specifically why Fayne is in the dog house (while the guy turning the puck over in Klefbom isn’t):

    Fayne’s biggest problem is playing the rush.He doesn’t take many chances with the puck (as he shouldn’t), so he is constantly left in good position even after one of his linemates, such as Klefbom last night, makes a glaring error that frees up a rush.

    Mark Fayne is always right in the picture, but that’s the problem.

    He simply cannot effectively play the rush, whether it’s a 1 on 1, 2 on 2… and when it becomes a 2 on 1 it’s even worse.He gets himself into a good position (which is where he should be based on the system play anyway), but once he’s in that position he manages to do absolutely nothing.He doesn’t force the issue, he simply stands there with his stick often doing even less than his body.

    It’s not that he’s not physical (though that would help), it’s that he’s far too passive to the point of Torrey Mitchell being able to telegraph a shot for a full second with Fayne not getting a stick in the way.A good defenseman would’ve sent that puck into the rafters, Fayne watched it zip by him into the back of the net, and all the work he did to get into a good position stopped mattering.

    Being in position is important, but if you don’t finish the play you may as well be standing at the blue line beside Klefbom.

    Now, that doesn’t fully excuse Klefbom.He had an awful turnover and he has to own that, but Klefbom is trying to create while Fayne is trying to limit, and a mistake made by a guy trying to create offense is infinitely easier to accept than one made by a guy who had one job and didn’t do it.

    Just my $0.02.

    I noticed that too on that goal, Fayne didn’t step up to challenge Mitchell at all. He didn’t limit Mitchell’s time or space, just the opposite. It appears MacLellan likes players to not only be in the right position but push the play or create as you say. It’s the exact thing that he said about Lander yesterday. It’s one thing to be there, it’s another thing to do something when you are there. I like this. If this is demanded the end result will be aggressive, pushing the play type players. Playoff players.

  179. Woodguy says:

    PDO,

    Agreed on Fayne.

    I posted the other day that he’s a lot like Marincin.

    He has good possession metrics because how he plays but the rate that the opposition cashes or gets a high danger shot off it too high because he doesn’t break anything up once the play is in the zone.

  180. G Money says:

    Caramel Obvious: It’s also true that zone start numbers ignore neutral zone starts in the measurement. But that only matters if a player has a disproportionate number of neutral zone starts. Are their any such players? If there are a blanket adjustment will distort their value.

    I guess you’d have to define disproportionate. I have been tracking zone starts using both methodologies, and it does change the numbers quite a bit. Here are the numbers from last night (OSZ3 accounts for NZ, and OSZ2 is the more common display):

    Player OZS%3 OZS%2
    Nuge 24.1 43.8
    Hall 24.2 42.1
    A. Sekera 23.5 50
    Klef 29.2 50
    McYay! 25 50
    L. Draisaitl 25.9 50
    D. Nurse 14.3 33.3
    Yak 30.8 66.7
    Poo 30.8 66.7
    T. Purcell 20 40
    B. Davidson 23.1 40
    E. Gryba 18.8 37.5
    Ference 20 42.9
    Hero 23.1 42.9
    M. Letestu 21.4 33.3
    M. Fayne 50 62.5
    Slappy 27.3 42.9
    A. Lander 0 0

    Bruce McCurdy: “Overweighting” is a different word than “negligible”. In itself the blue shift doesn’t necessarily properly weight the effect, but in my eye it absolutely proves that a) it does exist and b) it is not negligible.

    Indeed. I never used the world negligible though. That was in Khildahl’s comment, and he may or may not have felt was a fair reflection.

    In the traditional context of fancystats, I think we do need to be concerned that we are overweighting the impact of ZS – because we probably are!

  181. Caramel Obvious says:

    G Money,

    What matters is whether there is a systematic distortion, i.e. a certain player or certain type of player that whose numbers are different over a large sample.

    It’s not impossible. But even if it exists it can be accounted for.

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