OILERS FUTURE IS IN THE NORTH

The disappointment of last night—Oilers now 6-11-0 on the year—is that the Arizona Coyotes should be a team Edmonton can beat, or at least battle to a draw. If Edmonton merely improves their record against Calgary, Arizona and Vancouver from a year ago and the song remains the same in the other 26 markets—it’s still music. The Coyotes are a tough mark for this team, have been for a long time. The flu is apparently with them, and that’s a factor if not an excuse. One way we can judge performance looking for flu’s clues? Compare it to previous performances.

OILERS BY THE MONTH

  • Oilers in October 2014: 4-5-1
  • Oilers in October 2015: 4-8-0
  • Oilers in November 2014: 2-9-3
  • Oilers in November 2015: 2-3-0
  • Oilers in December 2014: 2-8-4
  • Oilers in December 2015:

I look at the November and December records and see enormous opportunity for Todd McLellan and Peter Chiarelli. Despite injuries and uneven play, if they can reach the 41-game mark at (something like) 16-20-5 there will be some progress to talk about for this team. McDavid should be close, perhaps the goaling and defense will be more clear, and the idea of getting to .500 will be something the team can work toward. If they arrive at half-time at 9-27-5, I’ll be telling you about the Tkachuk boy and we’ll be looking forward to seeing the next Petry sent out of town. I’ve said it many times, but the act of turning north is an important one. Vital, because it gives you something to build on for the following season. Injuries, flu, what the hell ever, other teams deal with them and win more than 24 games a season.

Part of the problem for Oilers fans is that these days without the boy from Thunder Road can’t possibly pass quickly enough, and yet they are vital weeks to the season. If Edmonton can hang around in November and December, then the early part of 2016 should offer some hope. The club cannot afford a long losing streak this season. So far in November, they’ve been able to win a couple of games and hold back the water. We’re on to LA.

OILERS BLUE, LAST NIGHT

OIL D NOV 12

  • Klefbom—Fayne were 5-2 versus the Hanzal line (that’s a good line) and 4-1 versus the Domi line (that’s an emerging line). They also had the most defensive zone starts.
  • Gryba—Davidson enjoyed the most success among the three pairings, Davidson’s speed a nice match for Gryba’s size. They went 9-1 against the Hanzal line and 5-4 versus the Domi line.
  • Nurse—Sekera were 5-8 versus Brad Richardson and didn’t play the entire game together. By TOI, Nurse played more than anyone at EV but there were struggles in there (2-6 Boedker, 2-5 Domi, 2-2 Vermette, 5-6 Martinook, 5-5 Doan). Nurse was the only -2 on the team. You may read about the value of sending Nurse down, I don’t think one game of struggling merits such a severe penalty. He’s playing a feature role and had a tough night. Allow me to list all of the Oilers’ defensemen who have been excellent every night of the season:

OILERS CENTERS, LAST NIGHT

oil c nov 12

  • Mark Letestu was part of a dominant line (Pakarinen, Yakupov). He had two individual scoring chances and three shot attempts according to War-On-Ice, showing a nice spike in the offensive zone. He was 8-1 versus the Vermette line—that’s good. This is all (the entire look at last night) 5×5. The downside? I didn’t see—at any time—a play I would consider extremely dangerous for. Mark Letestu is not a gifted offensive player, but he needs to be better when Chance comes calling.
  • Anton Lander was part of the Eberle and Purcell line. He had three individual scoring chances and four shot attempts according to War-On-Ice, continuing a trend of reasonable chance/shot performance. He’s hitting some line drives now, but they are finding leather (to my eye). He isn’t a .330 hitter so these slumps weigh heavy on his role with the team, Anton needs a goal.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins may have had the flu. He had one shot attempt and didn’t move the needle much—Todd McLellan mentioned it was a tough night for those who drove all night (is that all right?) during the Anaheim game. Nuge was one. His line was 7-2 against Hanzal and 3-6 against Richardson, and McLellan moved him down from the top line during the game—again suggesting (t0 me) he wasn’t 100%.
  • Andrew Miller had Slepyshev and Luke Gazdic as his helpers, and when I say helpers that’s not what I mean. They were 2-6 against the Gordon line and did some standup during one of the GA. I think Miller might be a hockey player, but have to say the visual of him trying to get the puck from John Scott is going to stay awhile.

OILERS WINGERS, LAST NIGHT

OIL W NOV 12

  • Nail Yakupov looks good by the Corgi’s but to my eye there was a lot of jitterbugging without a lot of substance. He had one individual scoring chance and two shot attempts according to War-On-Ice, suggesting that—despite the zone time—not enough was happening. Iiro Pakarinen had no individual scoring chances, but three shot attempts, meaning that Pakarinen and Letestu were far more productive offensively on the line than Yakupov (who would be the driver by any estimate). Weird.
  • Teddy Purcell and Jordan Eberle are part of the Lander line, that’s a trio that seems pretty close to breaking out (although McLellan did draw Ebs farther up the food chain at points in last night’s game). Purcell had no individual scoring chances and one shot attempt according to War-On-Ice, Eberle was more productive, two and three.
  • Leon Draisaitl and Taylor Hall played most of the night with Nuge but also a little with Eberle. Leon had no individual scoring chances and one shot attempt, and Hall had four and seven!!! That’s insane production. From now on, when someone rips on Taylor Hall, you must shun them. It’s the only way. If people remain unsure of Taylor Hall, they either don’t know hockey or are looking for attention—there’s no neutral ground.
  • Anton Slepyshev and Luke Gazdic were with to Andrew Miller. Slepyshev went one and two, Gazdic one and three on the de facto fourth line, and that’s pretty good production for that group—and yes I saw the play. We’re not looking at single moments here—they of course have enormous importance—but rather the state of affairs on the large canvass. That said, the goal where Gazdic played defense points out one of the flaws in roster construction, and there’s no neutral ground on that, either.

OVERALL INDIVIDUAL SC’S AND SHOT ATTEMPTS

  • Lander—Purcell—Eberle: five individual scoring chances, 8 shot attempts
  • Nuge—Hall—Draisaitl: four individual scoring chances, 9 shot attempts
  • Letestu—Yakupov—Pakarinen: three individual scoring chances, 8 shot attempts
  • Miller—Gazdic—Slepyshev: two individual scoring chances, 5 shot attempts
  • Source

I think Todd McLellan would probably do well to continue with that Lander line as above, and hope Pouliot can draw back in to help the Letestu line. If they do have the flu, best to include out the entire game—save Hall (four individual scoring chances) and Anton Lander (three). The Swede is in the middle of an 0-for-30, but if you’ve followed baseball it’s easy to project a nice 13-for-20 streak on the way. I don’t know that Peter Chiarelli stays that patient. We wait.

THE MONEY RAN OUT, THE ENGINE BLEW

  • Todd McLellan: “I thought the willingness and want to push was there. I didn’t question that at all. I just think that when we pushed the gas pedal, there was nothing there. When they got to four, you could feel it. We’ve had so many runs at comebacks and this one got away so far where we just couldn’t do it any more.” Source

McLellan isn’t going to talk about this, but the Oilers as they sit idling in the driveway aren’t the team envisioned at the start of the season. Lots of injuries (McDavid, Schultz, Hendricks, etc) and lots of kids (that blue line is oh very young, what will they leave us this time?) means lots of coaching and lots of learning opportunities.

I didn’t expect the playoffs and maybe all of the injuries and inexperience are going to me 75 points and 30+ wins instead or a higher number. They cannot end the season at 24 wins, there must be a turn north. We’re reaching the point where Peter Chiarelli will need to make a trade to shore up the team.

johansson44

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, we kick some radio ass. Scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, Big Mouth Sports. Will the Oilers fans recover from the McDavid injury before McDavid recovers from the McDavid injury?
  • Marc Majeau, TSN1260. A wide range of topics from the coolest guy I know (very cool, I think it’s bad circulation).
  • Lyle Richardson, Spector’s Hockey and Bleacher Report. Trade rumors are out there, how many are true?

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.

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126 Responses to "OILERS FUTURE IS IN THE NORTH"

  1. speeds says:

    Interesting that you mentioned Tkachuk instead of Chychryn, is that an early hint as to their relative rankings in LT’s list?

    I’ll be curious to see where you have Debrincat rated, an absolutely torrid goalscoring start for a draft eligible forward (although he’s obviously not the biggest forward).

    http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com/stats/show/type/top_scorers/ls_season/54

  2. leadfarmer says:

    Chia knew he needed a defenseman after game 5 and a center when McDavid went down. Crickets. And they really need a PP quarterback. How do you have this much talent and you cant even get set up in the offensive zone. I mean they were running a NFL reverse to try to get into the zone with speed. I wasn’t expecting much this season but wouldnt mind a little more.

  3. frjohnk says:

    Mike Richards PTO?

  4. Stanley 2018 says:

    The McLellan factor is really starting to show. Oilers are keeping it close with the best of ’em, good news in a year when the Pacific is no longer the Death Division of the league. When Chiarelli brings in the cavalry, and the kids start being vets, look the hell out.

  5. G Money says:

    Copied from previous thread:

    Some 5v5 fancystats for last night:

    CF% = 61.1%
    SACF% = 60% (score adjusted Corsi)

    FF% = 60%
    DFF% = 61.7% (my Danger Adjusted Fenwick)

    Avg Dist of Oiler Shots: 33.7 ft
    Avg Dist of Dog Shots: 35.3 ft

    A few other proprietary stats:

    WOI SCF% = 61.3%
    WOI HDSCF% = 66.7%

    DTMAboutHeart xG% = 65.4%

    We are down in the dumps because we lost, but by every metric, it was a whitewash by Oilers.
    Pretty much the opposite of the night before, when the Oilers were mostly outplayed, but won primarily because of better goaltending.

    Not only are we getting somewhat bipolar, but our bipolar swings in the big picture are often the reverse of what they should be.

  6. dustrock says:

    people ragged on Mac T, and often quite correctly. However, in terms of making a trade to make a major improvement to the team, he was hooped – everyone in the entire NHL, and probably most NBA managers, knew what the Oilers needed – better goaltending and a top d-man.

    Well, I think we’ve got the goalies more or less sorted for this year at any rate, and we’re still looking at improving the D. Once again, everyone and his pet ferret knows the Oilers want to improve their D.

    We’ll see just how adept Chia Pete really is.

  7. frjohnk says:

    speeds:
    Interesting that you mentioned Tkachuk instead of Chychryn, is that an early hint as to their relative rankings in LT’s list?

    I’ll be curious to see where you have Debrincat rated, an absolutely torrid goalscoring start for a draft eligible forward (although he’s obviously not the biggest forward).

    http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com/stats/show/type/top_scorers/ls_season/54

    25 goals in 16 games?

    He is gonna blow Gretzky’s 50 in 39 out of the water!

  8. zatch says:

    Honestly, at this point, I’m just holding out for gettting to 70 points. Injuries, bad contracts and a young blue mean the team can only do so much. Get a decent draft position, which you then dangle as hard as you possibly can for serious Defence help. The bottom 6 and defence, and honestly, goaltending, aren’t good neough right now. They won’t be all season.

  9. dustrock says:

    G Money: Copied from previous thread:Some 5v5 fancystats for last night:CF% = 61.1%SACF% = 60% (score adjusted Corsi)FF% = 60%DFF% = 61.7% (my Danger Adjusted Fenwick)Avg Dist of Oiler Shots: 33.7 ftAvg Dist of Dog Shots: 35.3 ftA few other proprietary stats:WOI SCF% = 61.3%WOI HDSCF% = 66.7%DTMAboutHeart xG% = 65.4%We are down in the dumps because we lost, but by every metric, it was a whitewash by Oilers.Pretty much the opposite of the night before, when the Oilers were mostly outplayed, but won primarily because of better goaltending.Not only are we getting somewhat bipolar, but our bipolar swings in the big picture are often the reverse of what they should be.

    See, here’s the funny thing about stats – I really felt watching the game, and LT’s comments and McLellan’s comments seem to corroborate my view, that the Oilers really had much less jump than the last couple of games, enough so that I turned the game off after the 2nd period, knowing that a 3rd period comeback wasn’t going to happen.

    They’ve been riding the Hall-RNH-Drai line and the PP for quite a while. They need SOMEONE from Lines 2-4 inclusive to contribute 5v5.

    You can say this was a whitewash from a possession point of view, but I didn’t see too many difficult saves for Smith TBH.

  10. kinger_OIL says:

    – Great read LT!: The last time we had even league-average goalering was strike year with Khabby and DD. Then maybe 20 games of Scrivens in 2013, when he was around .915

    – If we could get .915 SV% for the rest of the year, and around 70 points, that’s turning it around.

    – Year after year, we have one of the worst goalie groups in the league: and this year so far, no different. Its such a useless exercise, because our Goalers are our goalers, but with .915 SV%, that’s 10 less goals this year: how much better would we be.

    – But no, we have to get a back-up with 50 games, and a KHL special, whale-hunting, looking for the next Hasek, because on small sample sizes they projected great, when all we needed was mediocre G to get better. We needed base hits, sure things. Hey Raanta’s numbers look good: maybe we should get him….

  11. knighttown says:

    I actually like the first little “reverse” to open the second period power play. Eberle took that pass full speed and the defenseman was flat footed.

    You’re very good at what you do LT. I found myself reading this and nodding a few times especially the Miller/Scott Mexican standoff.

    Letestu and +16? Yak at +10? That Corgi is one lying son of a bitch. No biscuits for him.

    Someone mentioned last night that moment Nuge Nuged on the forecheck and got it to Yak on the halfwall with time and space and he proceeded to pass it to vapour. Soul crushing I suspect. He doesn’t have the head of Nuge and Eberle and he doesn’t have the legs of Hall. Those aren’t crimes, not many do, but he certainly doesn’t seem like he’ll ever be a river pusher. The great news is at 2.5 million he’s not paid to be and he can justify that number if his ego will allow him to be a 2/3 RW (and I think it will).

  12. jm363561 says:

    It might be an unfair comparison but would anyone not take Domi over Yak today? Domi, Landeskog, (or Hall for that matter) etc do not seem the type of player that needs the right guy centering their line to be able to make an impact.

    I had read Ference would draw in last night. Was pleased to see Davidson play, and play pretty well. Getting these young D men games under their belt seems to be a key objective in building for next season, or bumping up their trade value (assuming they are not so shell shocked by the whole experience they have to be dragged on to the ice to play).

    Love Drai but I wonder about his stamina to play a full season right now.

    Disappointing game but I am still optimistic we will reach my 77 point total.

  13. knighttown says:

    G Money:
    Copied from previous thread:

    Some 5v5 fancystats for last night:

    CF% = 61.1%
    SACF% = 60% (score adjusted Corsi)

    FF% = 60%
    DFF% = 61.7% (my Danger Adjusted Fenwick)

    Avg Dist of Oiler Shots: 33.7 ft
    Avg Dist of Dog Shots: 35.3 ft

    A few other proprietary stats:

    WOI SCF% = 61.3%
    WOI HDSCF% = 66.7%

    DTMAboutHeart xG% = 65.4%

    We are down in the dumps because we lost, but by every metric, it was a whitewash by Oilers.
    Pretty much the opposite of the night before, when the Oilers were mostly outplayed, but won primarily because of better goaltending.

    Not only are we getting somewhat bipolar, but our bipolar swings in the big picture are often the reverse of what they should be.

    The percentages look good G but were the whole numbers insanely low compared to most games? I can’t think of more than a couple Grade A scoring chances for either team so perhaps the 60% is like 6-4 or something trivial like that?

    I remember Letestu getting two whacks in front and Hall’s goal. What else was there? And certainly, there were no Oiler chances nearly as dangerous as Domi’s assist or his goal.

    I’m not sure the numbers tell the story last night…

  14. G Money says:

    dustrock,

    I agree, the Oilers did not play well at all last night.

    The point that the fancystats are making is that neither did the Coyotes. We are overserving what the Coyotes did, and underserving what the Oilers did when looking just at the score.

    Did Mike Smith not have to make many tough saves? No, he didn’t, that’s true.

    Then again, he made more of them than Nilsson. He also made more medium saves, and more easy saves.

    Like I said – we’re all hyped after the Ducks game because we won – but got outplayed and won because more than anything else, we got better goaltending.

    Now we’re all mopey because we lost – but outplayed the other guys and lost because more than anything else, we got lousier goaltending.

    I should also point out that while everyone is saying “we *should* be better than the Coyotes”, and “beating Anaheim is great because they were such a good team last year”, in fact, the Coyotes are a MUCH better team than the Ducks so far this year. First place in the Pacific as a matter of fact.

  15. G Money says:

    knighttown: rade A scoring chances for either team so perhaps the 60% is like 6-4 or something trivial like that?

    Yes – WOI has the High Danger chances 8 to 4 for the Oilers, hence 67%.

    But as you say – that’s a boring low event game, exactly what we saw last night.

    The point, though, is that of the 4 HD chances the Yotes had, they scored on two of them. They got one softie, and one PP goal.

    Of the 8 dangerous chances the Oilers put forth, they scored on one of them.

    This is why I’m bringing up these numbers. If you listen to the general mopery going on, the Oilers had zero chances for and the Coyotes had some uncountably many for.

    Not the case. If you feel that happened, it’s a classic case of the eye and the memory being filtered by disappointment at the final score.

  16. JDï™ says:

    frjohnk:
    Mike Richards PTO?

    Might work for the games he doesn’t have to cross into the US for. I think there’s still some legal issues hanging overhead?

  17. Caramel Obvious says:

    dustrock,

    Here’s the funny thing about perception. If the puck goes in the net we perceive it to have been a good chance. When it doesn’t, it was just ok or not a chance at all.

    The results bias in hockey is incredibly strong.

    That said, because the game was so boring (low event) the percentages are somewhat deceiving. A more high event game with those percentages would have been quite a different game.

    But Gmoney’s take is right. The Ducks outplayed the Oilers but that seemed like the good performance. It wasn’t.

  18. G Money says:

    Caramel Obvious: The results bias in hockey is incredibly strong.

    Truer words were never spoken (or written as the case may be).

    This right there is the entire reason why fancystats have value.

  19. Pouzar says:

    jm363561: It might be an unfair comparison but would anyone not take Domi over Yak today?

    In a cocaine heartbeat I would do that trade.

  20. BONE207 says:

    I don’t go to a lot of games. I watch them intently when I do. Theo Peckham a few years ago (in my opinion) lost us a game against Ottawa because he couldn’t do one thing that his coaches have probably told him to do all of his life. Take the man in front of the net along with his stick. Gazdic last night the same thing. He skated his ass off to get back but neglected to take him out. To me that’s like going the other way on a breakaway and easing into the keeper. If you are going to skate that hard, make the effort worthwhile…the rest was just ugly. Miller against Scott…there’s a joke in there somewhere.

  21. G Money says:

    BTW, based on his uncharacteristically soft play last night, I’d have to guess that Darnell was probably a member of the sickbay last night.

    “Take the game off? Bah! Just get me a bucket and an IV on the bench!”

    I think it’s about time we start to co-opt the Chuck Norris Facts memes to their rightful usage: Darnell Nurse.

    “When Darnell Nurse does a pushup, he doesn’t push himself up. He pushes the Earth down.”

    “Darnell Nurse doesn’t need to flush the toilet. He just scares the shit out of it.”

    “Why does Darnell Nurse wear sunglasses? To shield the Sun from his glare.”

    “What causes tornadoes? Turbulence from Darnell Nurse’s fists.”

    “Fear of spiders is called arachnaphobia. Fear of heights is called acrophobia. Fear of Darnell Nurse is called logic.”

    etc.

  22. rickithebear says:

    speeds: I’ll be curious to see where you have Debrincat rated, an absolutely torrid goalscoring start for a draft eligible forward (although he’s obviously not the biggest forward).

    yes please 1000 times!
    Draft -1 Age NHLE suggested
    33 EVG 35 EVA 68 EVP
    20 PPG 14 PPA 34 PPP
    53 G 49A 102P
    current draft year small sample suggests
    54 EVG 23 EVA 77 EVP
    15 PPG 7 PPA 22 PPP
    2 SHG
    71G 30A 101P

    He is getting the Eberle treatment.
    N/R or bottom of RD1

  23. Pajamah says:

    G Money:
    BTW, based on his uncharacteristically soft play last night, I’d have to guess that Darnell was probably a member of the sickbay last night.

    “Take the game off?Bah!Just get me a bucket and an IV on the bench!”

    I think it’s about time we start to co-opt the Chuck Norris Facts memes to their rightful usage: Darnell Nurse.

    “When Darnell Nurse does a pushup, he doesn’t push himself up.He pushes the Earth down.”

    “Darnell Nurse doesn’t need to flush the toilet.He just scares the shit out of it.”

    “Why does Darnell Nurse wear sunglasses?To shield the Sun from his glare.”

    “What causes tornadoes?Turbulence from Darnell Nurse’s fists.”

    “Fear of spiders is called arachnaphobia.Fear of heights is called acrophobia.Fear of Darnell Nurse is called logic.”

    etc.

    I give it another 6 weeks before Donovan McNabb starts introducing himself as Darnell’s uncle. In Philadelphia.

  24. G Money says:

    Pajamah,

    If he isn’t already!

  25. ironsight says:

    speeds,

    Just for posterity’s sake, DeBrincat has 79 shots on goal, so he’s shooting at 32%. That said, it shouldn’t be a problem for him to reach 50 goals this season, and that’s an impressive feat indeed.

  26. Pastor of Disaster says:

    “(that blue line is oh very young, what will they leave us this time?)”

    Shout out to LT for the perfectly placed Cat Stevens reference. If it were just the hockey talk, that would be excellent enough. It’s the music element that seeps through which prevents me from ever missing a blog post.

    If you added an element about Harry Potter, Mr. Tide, you would rule the internet universe.

  27. ironsight says:

    According to Aaron Portzline, Ryan Murray is a healthy scratch tonight. Any chance he’s available? They could use another scoring W. Yak? Project for project?

  28. Bag of Pucks says:

    The Oilers are a 1 line hockey team right now. They’re not going to win many games as long as that continues to be the case.

    As good as that line looks with Leon playing with Hall and Nuge (what does that say about Eberle?), they have to break up the band to create offense elsewhere.

    TMac and Eakins both expressed a beliefs in set pairs. Blasphemy I know to suggest Eakins got anything right.

    By my eye, it looks like Hall and Leon is rapidly becoming one of those pairs. Time to reunite last year’s Pouliot/Nuge/Eberle line and move Leon to C.

    Hall/Drai/Yakupov

    MacLellan needs to get 2 lines rocking or this team is done like dinner.

    Seeing encouraging signs from the D. Who knew that sticking with set pairings for more than one game might be a good thing when it comes to developing familiarity?

  29. Bruce McCurdy says:

    kinger_OIL: Great read LT!: The last time we had even league-average goalering was strike year with Khabby and DD. Then maybe 20 games of Scrivens in 2013, when he was around .915

    Agree on the great read part, disagree on the “strike year” part. It was an owners’ lockout, just like the other two owners’ lockouts.

  30. Bruce McCurdy says:

    G Money: Avg Dist of Oiler Shots: 33.7 ft
    Avg Dist of Dog Shots: 35.3 ft

    Avg. Dist of Dog Shots on 2nd 3rd and 4th goals: 3.53 feet

  31. speeds says:

    ironsight,

    Thanks for that, where are you seeing OHL shot totals?

  32. Pajamah says:

    ironsight:
    According to Aaron Portzline, Ryan Murray is a healthy scratch tonight.Any chance he’s available?They could use another scoring W.Yak?Project for project?

    If most here follow Dennis King on twitter, he uses a project for project comparable in discussion with Bruce. Ladd for Ruutu.

    I don’t think Yak gets the Oilers a better defensive piece, unless he is part of a package. I could see a Brett Connelly type deal where both players get a change of scenery and new outlook on the game.

  33. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Caramel Obvious: The results bias in hockey is incredibly strong.

    G Money: Truer words were never spoken (or written as the case may be).

    This right there is the entire reason why fancystats have value.

    But the results also bias the fancy stats. Score effects are a thing.

    If fancystats say the Oilers played a good game last night, that does NOT increase my confidence in fancystats.

  34. ironsight says:

    Lander, Letestu and Miller, three of the Oilers four starting centres, have combined for a whopping ZERO even strength points this season. This team is currently getting zero offensive contribution from anyone outside the top line and has sub-.900 goaltending. Those are two absolutely glaring stats.

  35. G Money says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Score effects are a thing.

    Indeed, and that is why we can, and do, adjust for score effects. Which you can see in my original post.

  36. G Money says:

    Bruce McCurdy: If fancystats say the Oilers play a good game last night, that does NOT increase my confidence in fancystats.

    What the fancystats say is that the Coyotes also did not play a good game last night. At all. You don’t need to get fancy to suss that out. Four powerplays and they managed to get 21 total shots on goal the entire night.

    Thinking otherwise is results bias.

  37. kinger_OIL says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    – True: Lock-out, not strike, but regardless bad goalering, however the work stoppage is defined!

    – Maybe we’d have better goalering if it was a strike, and not a lock-out?!?

  38. Woogie63 says:

    12 teams in the league have a 1st overall pick playing on their team. We have 4 on our roster. 4 FORWARDS 1OV picks. The management has more tools than most teams to turn 4 Forward 1OV into a Stud defenseman that will give us a shot at play-offs this year.

  39. kinger_OIL says:

    – We find solace in fancy stats, as they provide some insights, but the team is judged by results.

    – Woodguy posted some ambiguous stats comparing YoY. WE are better in some, worse in others

    – Stats on this blog are used both as shield and sword, to explain away everything with the OIL

    – Alls we can do is hope it gets better, but with our D with so little experience, the G stinking, and our C’s a mess, and injuries, temper this, as LT has done with this post

    – We can take solace in improved structure, and heart of team seems better, and its not the Coaches fault for sure. Alls we can do is hope

  40. G Money says:

    ironsight,

    That’s exactly right.

    And of the vaunted centre depth we had to start the year, one of those C’s is on LTIR, and the other one is playing wing on the top line.

    Once again, we are exactly where we were last year – a team with one C and then mud.

    I think it was Bruce himself who said yesterday he didn’t want to dump too much on a team that was sick, tired, and injured.

    The team doesn’t have nearly enough depth to be able to overcome the loss of McDavid, Pouliot, Hendricks, Klinkhammer, and Jultz, let alone when others are likely playing sick and yet others are mired in terrible slumps. (or we hope that Lander and Letestu are “only” in slumps)

    Yet regardless of what the biased-by-the-score eye says, the team factually outshot, out-shot-attempted, outchanced, and outdangered the Coyotes last night.

  41. G Money says:

    kinger_OIL: Stats on this blog are used both as a shield and a sword, to explain away everything with the OIL

    You make it sound like the intent of looking at the stats is to puncture the overinflated expecations when the Oilers win, and pump the tires of the team when it loses.

    No.

    The intent of looking at the fancystats is to try and add some objectivity to our hopelessly results-and-recency biased eyes and memory.

    In that sense, indeed it often that means that they point out that a win was achieved with clay feet, or that a loss was at least a moral victory. That’s going to happen about 30% of the time – 30% being the typical balance of when a team that wins the fancystats battle loses the goal war.

    Other times, they confirm the obvious – that the team got its teeth kicked in during a loss, or deservedly won a game.

    Pretty much all of the value in the fancystats occurs in the divergences. The time to pay the most attention is when the fancystats DO NOT confirm what the eye or the box score says happened.

  42. GCW_69 says:

    leadfarmer:
    Chia knew he needed a defenseman after game 5 and a center when McDavid went down.Crickets.And they really need a PP quarterback.How do you have this much talent and you cant even get set up in the offensive zone.I mean they were running a NFL reverse to try to get into the zone with speed.I wasn’t expecting much this season but wouldnt mind a little more.

    Gee, it’s too bad someone like cody Franson wasn’t available this past summer. He’s top power play unit and over 50% CF% with a positive corsiRel with buffalo.

  43. G Money says:

    While certain ‘truthers’ out there are constantly bemoaning and berating Chia Pete for Hall-vs-OEL, and others the lack of progress on D …

    I feel like the lack of progress on D is simply lack of availability. Ain’t no-one good available right now that doesn’t cost vastly more than we’d want to pay.

    But I am getting more and more bothered by two of Chia Pete’s moves: Letestu and Korpikoski.

    Yeah, Korpi’s injured right now.

    But he was terrible, an absolute black hole most nights before that.

    Letestu is that right now. He has started to pull his possession numbers out of the manure, and that’s at least a little encouraging, but so far has done nothing more with it than he did when he was trailing the team in the welsh dog arena.

    For a guy so hung up on finding guys to play the ‘heavy hard game’, Chia sure did come up with a couple of lightweights.

  44. GCW_69 says:

    “I didn’t expect the playoffs and maybe all of the injuries and inexperience are going to me 75 points and 30+ wins instead or a higher number.”

    Sorry, I already have 75 points. At the current pace, something in the 60s may be more appropriate.

  45. Pouzar says:

    Bag of Pucks: does that say about Eberle?),

    sigh

  46. jonrmcleod says:

    Last night Connor Murphy was interviewed before the start of the second period. Here’s what he said:

    “We proved we are the better team there [at the end of the first period]. […] They’re a poor defending team?”

    Never has a hockey player been so blunt during an interview.

  47. zatch says:

    Pastor of Disaster,

    “This defence is Neville in Potions class folks. They won’t stop melting the cauldrons, nothing seems to work out as hoped and Snape is never going to like us. Herbology isn’t until the end of the week, so PC had better figure out something and fast, if we ever want an O.W.L that doesn’t make us cringe”.

  48. B S says:

    G Money,

    The fancy stats pretty much line up with what I posted last night.

    Both teams shitty, Oilers sunk by good goaltending (watch it again if you didn’t think Smith was great, he was tracking the puck beautifully last night) on one end and less impressive goaltending on their end.

    I do wish the Oil would stop the 1-3-1 powerplay though. They give up too many grade A chances on it (no Jultz but the high Dman is still Jultzing…hmm). The forwards are playing to low often times to provide an outlet when the Dman is pressured, often results in a turnover and a breakaway.

  49. ironsight says:

    speeds,

    The OHL tracks individual shots on a game-by-game basis now. I just added them up for the 16 GP. Perhaps I should have disclaimed responsibility for my adding abilities 😉

  50. norm_klassen says:

    I just hope the oilers hang around until McDavid comes back. Maybe a trade for a top four d man that sets up next year would be great.

  51. G Money says:

    B S,

    Yeah, agreed.

    The PP has been up and down and wasn’t very good last night. A PP with Hall, Nuge, Ebs, Drai, Yak, and Klef/Nurse/Davidson shooting from the points should be a lot more dangerous than it was.

    Bigger picture, the shot rates are at least encouraging.

    I’ll give them a little bit of a bye last night only in that it seemed clear that they were missing Pouliot, and you know you’re in trouble when both Letestu and Lander are out on the same PP. (I did see that, didn’t I?)

  52. Pouzar says:

    B S,

    The common denominator has been the Oilers own shitty goaltending.

  53. sliderule says:

    Nillson wasn’t good as the first goal looked stoppable but oiler forwards did their regular contribution .

    Check out Purcell back check on second goal.As per usual he ties up no one.Goal coyotes

    Then Gazdic made a great back check but because he is Gazdic he couldn’t tie up a man.Goal coyotes.

    Then we have a oiler forward with a neutral zone turnover that turned into the final nail in coffin.

    The oiler forwards will drive Tmac crazy.

  54. kinger_OIL says:

    – G – Your use of stats is certainly more holistic than most

    – Phil Birnbaum has done some work on when luck vs talent smooth out, he figures it is approx 36 games, so we are half way there. Ideally our goalers find their “talent” for the next 18 games, and have SV% of .930 to get us back to .915 average, and our D isn’t so “unlucky” with richochets, and deflections and plays up to their talent.

    – Our coaches 20 game evaluation is agressive, but he knows what he’s doing

  55. speeds says:

    ironsight,

    I’d be curious to compare that with last season’s numbers for Debrincat (not sure if that info was recorded last year?)

    That kind of percentage sounds unsustainable but (and I’m more than willing to be corrected if someone has the data to oppose) my understanding is that top scorer’s in junior do sometimes have what we’d consider really high sh% and that’s partially a function of the relative calibre of goaltending vs elite, elite finishing talent at CHL level.

  56. LMHF#1 says:

    G Money: You make it sound like the intent of looking at the stats is to puncture the overinflated expecations when the Oilers win, and pump the tires of the team when it loses.

    No.

    -EDIT- I see Kinger spoke for himself above.

    That’s not what he said.

    He said they’re used a certain way – not what the intent of looking at them is.

    And he’s right for a bunch of posters. Unfortunately what you’re talking about often results in what he’s talking about on the part of others.

  57. G Money says:

    sliderule: Then Gazdic made a great back check but because he is Gazdic he couldn’t tie up a man.Goal coyotes.

    I tweeted this screencap last night:

    Maybe Gazdic just doesn't understand what 'backchecking' means. pic.twitter.com/aJTHrP9cUg— Oilers Nerd Alert (@OilersNerdAlert) November 13, 2015

    What’s notable about it is not just the hilarious position that Gazdic ends up in (Matt Henderson drew a visual parallel between that and the Kravitz/Franco Guitar Hero commercial), but also notice how bizarrely casual Fayne’s stance is. Like, if you didn’t know that was a second before a goal was scored, you’d swear that it was during a play stoppage.

    Of course, momentary screencaps of rapid live action can always be used to create unfairly condemning images, but in this case it just somehow fits the game.

  58. Pajamah says:

    Pouzar:
    B S,

    The common denominator has been the Oilers own shitty goaltending.

    As opposed to other teams occasional rental or leasing of shitty goaltending.

  59. ironsight says:

    speeds,

    The OHL really just started tracking individual game shots consistently this season. Certainly I think there’s a larger delta on the top end vs bottom end finishers in junior, and I doubt it would be uncommon for top junior scorers to shoot 20% regularly. That said, because the data’s not publicly available, it’s really impossible to know.

    That said, DeBrincat will comfortably get to 50 goals (barring injury) in his draft season on top of a 51 goal season in his Draft -1 season. An impressive offensive talent without a doubt.

  60. Woogie63 says:

    G Money,

    Ain’t no-one good available right now that doesn’t cost vastly more than we’d want to pay.

    To get that dman we value it is going to be an overpay, in some form. But if we switch the make up of the team and make the play-offs this year, I would view that as a win the Oiler POV.

  61. G Money says:

    This was Archaeologuy’s version:

    Come on, Lenny! #HereComeTheOilers pic.twitter.com/dvmMj5OswZ— Matt Henderson (@Archaeologuy) November 13, 2015

  62. norm_klassen says:

    I don’t blame t-mac for going with Nillson again. We need a goalie to go on a streak or a good run. Confidence is important for a goal er. We gotta pray a goalie gets hot and steals a few games until our team is semi whole again.

  63. Pouzar says:

    #FreeLB

  64. LMHF#1 says:

    ironsight:
    speeds,

    That said, DeBrincat will comfortably get to 50 goals (barring injury) in his draft season on top of a 51 goal season in his Draft -1 season.An impressive offensive talent without a doubt.

    I didn’t see how well his season is continuing to go. On pace for 50 in 32? 79 shots in 16 games? Wow.

    Yet still not highly ranked. That will change. Wouldn’t be the end of the world at all if they got to draft McDavid’s little buddy and could trade 2 wingers for a #1 D.

  65. knighttown says:

    Pet peeve of the day…

    Please, please stop with the offensive zone faceoff formation on the power play. With that overload/one guy at the point combined with the fact that Nuge loses most of his faceoffs, the defense just rims it around the boards and out since we have no one on the offensive blueline. Even a weak clear is out.

    A “normal” formation means someone can get to the other boards and unless the “rim” is a rocket it gets kept in and we can set up.

  66. Statsman says:

    sliderule:
    Nillson wasn’t good as the first goal looked stoppable but oiler forwards did their regular contribution .

    Check out Purcell back check on second goal.As per usual he ties up no one.Goal coyotes

    Then Gazdic made a great back check but because he is Gazdic he couldn’t tie up a man.Goal coyotes.

    Then we have a oiler forward with a neutral zone turnover that turned into the final nail in coffin.

    The oiler forwards will drive Tmac crazy.

    This is it in a nutshell. Most of the forwards on this team look like they have never had to play a lick of defense in their hockey career (maybe Eakins was right?). Nuge is one exception to this as he was properly coached by Sutter in Red Deer to be a concientious two-way player.

    I worry that some of these guys will never get “it”, regardless of who is coaching.

  67. dustrock says:

    Caramel Obvious: dustrock, Here’s the funny thing about perception. If the puck goes in the net we perceive it to have been a good chance. When it doesn’t, it was just ok or not a chance at all. The results bias in hockey is incredibly strong.That said, because the game was so boring (low event) the percentages are somewhat deceiving. A more high event game with those percentages would have been quite a different game. But Gmoney’s take is right. The Ducks outplayed the Oilers but that seemed like the good performance. It wasn’t.

    If you read my post, I make no mention of the Anaheim game. I just said having watched the game, with the Oilers posting great Corgis, they didn’t particularly look very threatening, especially on the PP. And at no time did they make it seem like another Montreal/Anaheim type comeback was in the works.

    This seems like shot volume over shot quality.

    I know the Anaheim game was a result of the Hall line and Nilsson.

    And Smith outplayed Nilsson (wow, what a shock, it was back to back).

    Drai and RNH looked tired and/or sick. Eberle still very rusty. Yakupov still a little lost without CM97.

    Fayne was okay, but man somebody tell him how to pinch – how many times this year have we been caught on a bad pinch by him?

  68. linkfromhyrule says:

    Sounds like Patrick Wiercioch was a healthy scratch in OTT the other night. By all accounts he seems to be their Petry, definite top 4, yet disliked by coaching and/or management. No way he deserves a healthy scratch on that D.

    I wonder if Chia could swindle Murray. They are looking for scoring forwards by all accounts. Too bad our forwards are either one extreme or the other, terrible or high end. I wouldn’t trade any of the top 6 for him, that’s for sure. Hmm

  69. monsterbater says:

    LMHF#1: I didn’t see how well his season is continuing to go. On pace for 50 in 32? 79 shots in 16 games? Wow.

    Yet still not highly ranked. That will change. Wouldn’t be the end of the world at all if they got to draft McDavid’s little buddy and could trade 2 wingers for a #1 D.

    I remember watching McDavid and the Otters a lot last spring as the OHL playoffs were on sportsnet a lot. In doing so debrincat always came up as scoring almost every game and often right when the otters needed it most. My thoughts were that his scoring from last year was unsustainable and a byproduct of playing often with McDavid (although he did play quite a bit with strome too). Call it the MA Pouliot – Crosby effect if you will.

    The fact he is still on pace to put up such crooked scoring numbers, with the other teams best players out against him almost every shift, is very impressive.

    I wouldn’t spend a first round pick on him, because i think the oilers could better serve their needs with a different player type or using the pick in a trade, but i wouldn’t hesitate to use a 2nd rounder on him if he fell. I also want the oilers to hire knoblauch to coach the condors, nothing against fleming but knoblauch is a great coaching talent

  70. monsterbater says:

    linkfromhyrule,

    100% this. I think he is still an RFA (too lazy to check) after this year. Someone posted on twitter last year his HERO chart and that he very much looks like the next nick leddy.

    purcell with some salary retained?

  71. Johnny Larue says:

    Ran into Todd McLellan coming out of the Urban diner by the Staples Center this morning so the oilers must have come in last night. I agree with G the Oilers were not as bad as the consensus here they had way more scoring chances but couldn’t cash and the coyotes seemed to score on every chance they got . I don’t know what Lander did but I have never seen anyone with as bad luck as him he gets a great chance the goalie makes a great save he make a great pass and the winger misses the net. Logic states that his luck is going to have to change. I hope the boys recover from what ails them as I have gold seats for tomorrow’s game. I will be wandering around today so maybe I will run into a few Oilers

  72. B S says:

    G Money,

    What the Oilers really need on the PP is a Ryan Smyth to stand in front of the net. Hall had an excellent chance last night from precisely that position, Lander was getting most of his points from there under Nelson last season. John Scott was making the Oilers look like a bunch of PeeWee players from there and he was barely on the ice last night.

    I know everyone will hate the idea of giving him PP time, but cramming Gazdic (or Gryba, but I think he gets to much ice time as it is) in front of the net after zone entry might give the Oil enough room to make it work. The Dmen were shooting plenty, but no one was screening the goalie and Smith was stopping everything he saw and he saw everything.

  73. Bruce McCurdy says:

    G Money: Indeed, and that is why we can, and do, adjust for score effects.Which you can see in my original post.

    Fair enough, agree that attempts are made to make score adjustments. Some games are more extreme than others. The team with the lead just sits back, absorbs shots from the perimeter and waits for the counter attack. If they score on one or two of those counter attacks they can become even more passive.

    Put another way, I saw only the last half of last night’s game, but those 30 minutes were barely fit to watch. Just an awful hockey game. The ‘yotes know how to beat the Oilers in their sleep, and they proved it.

    Your work is appreciated, btw, and I visit your reports often.

  74. SwedishPoster says:

    I don’t know, I think Yak was pretty good last night, tried to do a little much by himself but somewhat hard to blame him since he doesn’t have a lote of offensive talent to play with. He created quite a bit, go look at the highlights, he’s involved in a lot of them and had a lot of good plays both on the forecheck and the backcheck all night. He still severly lacks poise with the puck and he’s a bit unlucky with the bounces atm but overall I didn’t mind his game.
    He’ll always be an unorthodox player and if we look to him for hockey played the way our old coaches taught us we’ll almost always see him bad outside of the nights he puts up big numbers or has a lot of flashy moments. But if you look at his actual contributions last night he moved the puck up ice and usually did a pretty good job keeping it up ice while putting the puck into dangerous areas. That alone isn’t enough to make it a great game for him but enough for a pretty good night imo.

    One thing I’ve noticed with Yak this season is that he’s been in good positions to score, better than the last few seasons, and he’s ready to fire but when the pass comes it’s a little off and he can’t resettle. That’s not all on him, he’s had pucks come into his skates quite a few times, but he should work on resetting when the puck isn’t teed up.
    After every practice someone should just feed him crappy passes, they could just let Gazdic do it, feed him hard passes to his skates, slightly out of his reach, bouncing pucks, passes on his backhand when his stick is up for a onetimer and so forth. That would make him so much more dangerous as a finisher because a guy like Yak who can get the puck off with power without getting much on it is so scary if he learns to always get at least something on it however crappy the pass. Ovi is great at this. Markus Näslund was another one who made it an art to always get something on every pass. Yak has it in him just need to perfect it.

    Last night was the most boring game of the year as far as the hockey being played goes. And it’s not close really, so many whistles, there was a bit in the second period where it was just pathetic. No flow whatsoever. Arizona lives by the puck out and the dump in, not taking any chances, they don’t mind icing the puck at all. Pretty much the only time they have a controlled exit is when OEL has the puck on his stick.
    But you have to give it to them they do it well and once in the offensive zone they put bodies in front and put smart pucks on net, either shooting for rebounds or when a more talented player gets the puck(usually OEL) they look for the screen and then shoot for open net. Very consistent. Must be awful games to be a goalie.

    Tobias Rieder must be one of the more dangerous players offensively on the PK. Either that or he really likes to step up against the Oilers.

  75. russ99 says:

    With all the complaining about the goaltending, there’s one thing differentiating our successful games this year with the ones where we lay an egg, and that’s defending as a unit.

    IMO in the bad games, as soon as our forwards find they have room to skate, the defensive system is forgotten.

    If I see Yak or Eberle float back and not take a man, I know it’s going to be a long night. However, Hall has been a different player at that this year.

    The other thing about last night, is a back-to-back On the road with a successful strong push in the first, has us lagging in the third, Not much you can do with that, McLellan has to pick his spots, and starting well is a bigger battle right now,

  76. Frank the dog says:

    I didn’t expect the playoffs and maybe all of the injuries and inexperience are going to me 75 points and 30+ wins instead or a higher number. I told Hunter 76 points. Not that far off.

  77. Bruce McCurdy says:

    sliderule: Then we have a oiler forward with a neutral zone turnover that turned into the final nail in coffin.

    You forgot about the winger not only failing to get the puck deep & turning it over also dropping his stick & then not knowing what to do next, or the other winger going off for a line change while the first winger was failing to get the puck deep, leading to extended 4-on-3 down low, a sloppy rebound, and 1 defender trying to box out 2 attackers on the edge of the blue paint. That was a real ugly one.

    But hey, it was only a couple of Corsi events against, so not that big a deal.

  78. Pouzar says:

    B S:
    G Money,

    What the Oilers really need on the PP is a Ryan Smyth to stand in front of the net. Hall had an excellent chance last night from precisely that position, Lander was getting most of his points from there under Nelson last season. John Scott was making the Oilers look like a bunch of PeeWee players from there and he was barely on the ice last night.

    I know everyone will hate the idea of giving him PP time, but cramming Gazdic (or Gryba, but I think he gets to much ice time as it is) in front of the net after zone entry might give the Oil enough room to make it work. The Dmen were shooting plenty, but no one was screening the goalie and Smith was stopping everything he saw and he saw everything.

    We have the 7th ranked PP in the NHL. Just sayin.

  79. Bruce McCurdy says:

    B S:
    G Money,

    no one was screening the goalie and Smith was stopping everything he saw and he saw everything.

    Related: Benoit Pouliot, Matt Hendricks, and Rob Klinkhammer all missed last night’s game. That’s a lot of “heavy” missing from the flanks.

  80. Henry says:

    G Money:
    BTW, based on his uncharacteristically soft play last night, I’d have to guess that Darnell was probably a member of the sickbay last night.

    “Take the game off?Bah!Just get me a bucket and an IV on the bench!”

    I think it’s about time we start to co-opt the Chuck Norris Facts memes to their rightful usage: Darnell Nurse.

    “When Darnell Nurse does a pushup, he doesn’t push himself up.He pushes the Earth down.”

    “Darnell Nurse doesn’t need to flush the toilet.He just scares the shit out of it.”

    “Why does Darnell Nurse wear sunglasses?To shield the Sun from his glare.”

    “What causes tornadoes?Turbulence from Darnell Nurse’s fists.”

    “Fear of spiders is called arachnaphobia.Fear of heights is called acrophobia.Fear of Darnell Nurse is called logic.”

    etc.

    Signs with your quotes should dot Northlands/Skyreach/Rexall/whatever.

  81. Pouzar says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Related: Benoit Pouliot, Matt Hendricks, and Rob Klinkhammer all missed last night’s game. That’s a lot of “heavy” missing from the flanks.

    And like Blainer said in the last thread the Oil don’t have the depth to over come that.

  82. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    But hey, it was only a couple of Corsi events against, so not that big a deal.

    Haha. Good lord, Bruce, who is saying that? As I’ve mentioned before, it’s possible to have good numbers and get noticed for negative things—single moments and events can have super importance while being exactly single moments and events. I think our friend Corsi is being demonized a little here.

  83. Pechetr says:

    G Money,

    I am no stats guy, but this is exactly why I question the validity of some of the advanced stats. If your team possesses the puck 60% of the time but is kept to the outside and doesn’t score but the other team capitalizes with their 40% possession, who wins the game? Isn’t that the only stat that really matters?

  84. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Lowetide: Haha. Good lord, Bruce, who is saying that? As I’ve mentioned before, it’s possible to have good numbers and get noticed for negative things—single moments and events can have super importance while being exactly single moments and events. I think our friend Corsi is being demonized a little here.

    I’m saying it, just a snarky reminder. I’m a fancystats guy myself, but not at the 100% confidence level.

    My best analogy is to a football game, where a team racks up 25 first downs and 400 yards passing (200 of them in the fourth quarter) but also yields a pick-6 and a couple of kick returns, and fumbles twice in the red zone. Sorry, but the stats are not going to do justice to what actually happened in that game.

    Which, I believe, is in full agreement with your point above.

  85. Bruce McCurdy says:

    G Money: I think it was Bruce himself who said yesterday he didn’t want to dump too much on a team that was sick, tired, and injured.

    Yes I did, and I stand by that. Back to back is one thing, but when I heard of the flu running through the team I lowered my expectations to zero and was not disappointed. A few guys looked pretty wan out there — Nuge & Drai to name a couple, not that they are important to the team or anything — and the overall energy level was low. NOTE: I only watched the last 30 minutes, it was 1-1 when I came home but was soon 3-1. The rest of the game was a bore.

    As for the injuries, my prior remark about three veteran grinders all missing on the wing becomes a depth issue. That’s when you wind up with Luke Gazdic on the back check or Iiro Pakarinen trying to shoot the puck in. If that’s Hendricks and Pouliot those blunders likely don’t happen.

    Losing McDavid down the centre is catastrophic, and the fact the team has had a week to adjust to the new paradigm doesn’t make it any less so. While the future is bright with McDavid-RNH-Draisaitl down the middle, at the moment it is RNH and 3 dudes with 0 even strength points. That is … not good.

    I did hear a lot of complaints about Edmonton’s ability to break out last night, where the continuing absence of Schultz is felt IMO. Sure there is lots of Jultzing mixed in there, and he’s not a 100% passer, but when his passes do connect they tend to find guys in good position to move it on out. Whereas some of the guys playing a regular shift at the moment struggle to make 2 good passes in a row.

    Add it all up and they are down a couple of quarts. Part of it is roster weakness to be sure, but the biggest issue will be resolved the day McDavid returns. And any team would feel the effects of losing a similar-role player off of three different lines. Hard to fill all the holes.

  86. linkfromhyrule says:

    monsterbater: Someone posted on twitter last year his HERO chart and that he very much looks like the next nick leddy

    http://public.tableau.com/shared/QR2C2TMBK?:display_count=yes

    Link to his HERO chart from last 3 years, some very nice numbers in there. His offense is not great, but his QOT is not that great either. Ottawa’s possession #’s are not good this year, I think he could benefit from a change of scenery.

    He is 25, an RFA for one more year, and comes with a $2mil cap hit. Do it Chia! I would bet he could be signed for reasonably cheap after some early season struggles this year

  87. SwedishPoster says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    It’s also the issue of the AHL team not really rolling so the guys coming up aren’t really brimming with confidence, which is different from last season where the majority of the call ups came at the end of the year when the Barons were hot and the guys coming up were as well. An elite talent like Drai or Nurse can step up, but the other guys probably needs to get their feet under them in the AHL before feeling comfortable enough to be more than a warm body at the NHL level.

  88. John Chambers says:

    Colorado is trading Matt Duchesne. My guess is they want a defenseman.

    Not sure what Schultz’s cachet might still be as not all GMs are plugged in on blogger fancystats, but perhaps a Schultz – Pouliot package for Duchesne becomes feasible.

    Not saying it’s a fair deal, but Edmonton is one of the few teams with a young, good-skating defenseman with over 200 GP.

  89. Eastern Oil says:

    linkfromhyrule,

    I’ve always like Weircioch as an under the radar type of guy, didn’t know he was making $2.7 mil this year though. I wonder how much him and Gryba played together in Ottawa?

  90. Bruce McCurdy says:

    G Money: Yet regardless of what the biased-by-the-score eye says, the team factually outshot, out-shot-attempted, outchanced, and outdangered the Coyotes last night.

    “factually … outdangered”. Hmmm. Seems to me danger is more an interpretation than a fact. You can count dangerous chances, but it is hard to evaluate how dangerous is dangerous. “Chance quality” if you will.

    In the half of the game I watched, by my judgement Oilers had 2 dangerous chances, Smith’s glove robbery of Hall, & Letestu — why, Gord, why? did it have to be Letestu — getting a couple of whacks in tight. Whereas Arizona got 3 goals all from an un- or poorly-checked player right at the edge of the crease, and Nilsson made a couple of pretty good stops as well.

    Staples had the chances at 15-10 Edmonton, but the Grade A chances at 7-7. What were the Grade A++ chances? Lower numbers, but favouring the ‘yotes is my guess.

    And all that said, I do understand that the Oil played better in the first 30 than they did in the last. Refer to “tired, sick, injured” comment above and it’s not that surprising.

  91. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Add: I don’t suppose having a tired goalie helped either. Nilsson played an intense game the night before, facing 37 shots and having Corey Perry in his kitchen all game. I get that McLellan is between a rock and a hard place in terms of how he manages that situation — for all we know, he’s told his netminders “win and you’re in” — but in hindsight he might have been better served to go with the rested guy. Or in foresight, in the minds of the many who questioned the move yesterday.

  92. spoiler says:

    Has anyone considered the possibility Talbot was one of he players suffering from the flu?

  93. spoiler says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Fair enough, agree that attempts are made to make score adjustments. Some games are more extreme than others. The team with the lead just sits back, absorbs shots from the perimeter and waits for the counter attack. If they score on one or two of those counter attacks they can become even more passive.

    Put another way, I saw only the last half of last night’s game, but those 30 minutes were barely fit to watch. Just an awful hockey game. The ‘yotes know how to beat the Oilers in their sleep, and they proved it.

    Your work is appreciated, btw, and I visit your reports often.

    There was little in the way of score effects last night.

    Arizona was sitting back and throwing the puck out from the opening whistle.

    Once they went up 3-1, Arizone actually closed the shot differential over the next stretch of play.

  94. linkfromhyrule says:

    Eastern Oil:
    linkfromhyrule,

    I’ve always like Weircioch as an under the radar type of guy, didn’t know he was making $2.7 mil this year though.I wonder how much him and Gryba played together in Ottawa?

    Looks like he played about 164 minutes with Gryba in 2014-15. Ceci and Karlsson were Wiercioch’s more common linemates.

    He’s an interesting target for sure, but it’s difficult to say how he will handle increased playing time on a terrible D like ours

  95. Bruce McCurdy says:

    spoiler:
    Has anyone considered the possibility Talbot was one of he players suffering from the flu?

    That is a valid point. I for one had not considered it, but it’s certainly possible.

  96. Gordies Elbow says:

    spoiler:
    Has anyone considered the possibility Talbot was one of he players suffering from the flu?

    I’d expect that there were quite a few sick guys. Take that, throw in a 21 hour turnaround from the last game which went to OT, a roster that has 6 regulars out, and it’s pretty much a guarantee for a poor game.

    I wouldn’t read too much into last nights game. You’re going to get those over an 82 game season. Hopefully they’ll be better on Saturday.

    (PS: Anahiem->Arizona->LA? Lovely scheduling.)

  97. monsterbater says:

    linkfromhyrule,

    Thanks for posting the HERO, it’s interesting if you remove the 2015-2016 season (ie about 15 games this year) his chart goes bananas. Would have to look at the wowys to see how much was driven by karlsson but damn it get this guy for cheap CHIA

  98. Bruce McCurdy says:

    SwedishPoster: After every practice someone should just feed him crappy passes, they could just let Gazdic do it,

    Haha, this was the best line of another excellent analysis. Keep the posts coming, SP!

    SwedishPoster: Last night was the most boring game of the year as far as the hockey being played goes. And it’s not close really, so many whistles, there was a bit in the second period where it was just pathetic. No flow whatsoever. Arizona lives by the puck out and the dump in, not taking any chances, they don’t mind icing the puck at all. Pretty much the only time they have a controlled exit is when OEL has the puck on his stick.

    My favourite part was when Boyd Gordon “fell” on the puck just inside the ‘yotes blueline and treaded water for what seemed like about 20 seconds while the clock ticked down, down, down. It was interesting to consider the value of a Boyd Gordon when protecting an actual lead, not a situation he encountered here all that often.

  99. SwedishPoster says:

    Gordies Elbow: I’d expect that there were quite a few sick guys. Take that, throw in a 21 hour turnaround from the last game which went to OT, a roster that has 6 regulars out, and it’s pretty much a guarantee for a poor game.

    I wouldn’t read too much into last nights game. You’re going to get those over an 82 game season. Hopefully they’ll be better on Saturday.

    (PS: Anahiem->Arizona->LA? Lovely scheduling.)

    Yeah, getting Arizona with a days rest would have been preferable as LA is pretty much a guaranteed loss as it is. But we lucked into McDavid, you rarely get everything your way in this life.

  100. Bruce McCurdy says:

    SwedishPoster: Yeah, getting Arizona with a days rest would have been preferable as LA is pretty much a guaranteed loss as it is. But we lucked into McDavid, you rarely get everything your way in this life.

    I’m trying to remember a time that there was another game sandwiched in between L.A. and Anaheim. Seems a tad inefficient.

  101. SwedishPoster says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Hehe, yeah one shouldn’t laugh at ones own lines but I have to admit that the idea of Gazdic feeding Yak slap passes for half an hour with Yak getting more and more frustrated while being too much of a polite tatarian to lash out on the big guy made me chuckle.

  102. Pajamah says:

    I for one despise the schedule makers more for the difficulty of schedule they’ve given the Oilers

    Almost all their games this year come against teams higher in the standings.

  103. Jacobo Maremoto says:

    I don’t know what we expected. A tired and possibly sick group of forwards backed by weak-kneed defencemen showed up to take on the ruthless desert dogs of Phoenix. It was no surprise that the recorded sound of the lonely coyote was repeatedly heard at the Gila River Arena as Nilsson was lit up like an unseasonably early Christmas tree. Who to blame? The nefarious schedulers at the NHL? Wasn’t it they who sent us into the hazy depths of the Southwest just a day after a joyous 3-on-3 win in the house that Kariya built? Or Peter Chiarelli? Wasn’t it he who overlooked the necessity of a few veteran D-men during the fading weeks of summer? Would they have even helped? Who knows.

    Don’t sweat this one too much, team. The dice may have been loaded from the start.

  104. spoiler says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Haha, this was the best line of another excellent analysis. Keep the posts coming, SP!

    My favourite part was when Boyd Gordon “fell” on the puck just inside the ‘yotes blueline and treaded water for what seemed like about 20 seconds while the clock ticked down, down, down. It was interesting to consider the value of a Boyd Gordon when protecting an actual lead, not a situation he encountered here all that often.

    It was at the end of the Oil PP too, wasn’t it?

  105. Bruce McCurdy says:

    spoiler: It was at the end of the Oil PP too, wasn’t it?

    I dunno, but that reminds me of a point I forgot to make earlier, in that (many) fancystats routinely ignore special teams. Last night Arizona’s crappy powerplay was 1/3 with 4 scoring chances while Edmonton’s high-powered one was 0/4 with 3 chances for and 2 against. (Staples’ counts) It was not a good night for the special teams. See: Game Winning Goal for details.

  106. G Money says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    When I say ‘factually’, what I mean by that really is ‘numerically and objectively’ vs ‘subjectively’.

    That is to say, whether it’s WOI SC/HDSC or DTM xG or my own DFF, the number you see comes from an objective calculation of each shot and where it came from and what type it was, and assigns some measure of danger based on that.

    Unlike humans, it doesn’t miss any shots, from either side.

    Unlike humans, it doesn’t overweight a shot because it was a goal, and it doesn’t underweight the shot because it wasn’t a goal. Same criteria every time.

    Now of course, none of those calculations are by any means perfect. As I’ve ranted a few times over the last couple of weeks, each of those subtly-different calculations has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. Which is why they’re all worth comparing (as I’ve done).

    And they’re all victims of NHL shot data quality issues, which I think is actually the biggest flaw, at least at anything below the full game level.

    But what they are is, factually, objective and clinical and not influenced by: being a fan of one of the teams, missing part of the game, dislike of the management team, the sashaying assets of a member of the opposite (or appropriate) sex walking past, or the consumption of intoxicating substances.

    So far all those flaws, I will in general, take them collectively to be a more accurate measure of what happened in a game than the subjective impressions of individuals based on a biased viewing and a flawed recollection!

    So to repeat: despite playing a terrible terrible game, despite apparently being both sick and tired and injured, despite starting strong and then fading from there the entire damn game … factually, the Oilers outshot, out shot-attempted, out dangerous-shot-attempted (my statistic, DTM), outchanced (WOI), and out Grade A-chanced (WOI, Staples if you want to include him here) the Coyotes.

    And they did it from the very start, not because of score effects. In fact, they noticeably faded after goal #3.

    Which tells me – something my eye confirmed, BTW – that the Oilers while good initially and getting worse over the game, played a Coyotes team that was horrible and stayed horrible the entire game. I mean, migod – they’re at home rested against sick, tired, and injured Oilers squad that went to OT against a bruising ANA squad the night before, had four powerplays – and could only manage 21 shots against THIS Oiler defense?

    I mean really … is someone suggesting the Coyotes played a good game yesterday?

    To me, subjectively, last nights game was a typical Coyotes game, requiring eye-bleach to remove the visual effects and hefty amounts of alcohol to mask the psychological damage of such horrible hockey.

    But the Oilers weren’t outplayed. The Coyotes scored on basically every dangerous chance they had, and the Oilers scored on none. At least one of the Yotes goals was a non-dangerous chance that became dangerous because of a fluffy rebound. Switch the goalies and the Oilers likely win in a cakewalk.

    Two terrible teams playing terrible hockey in a terrible market. *That’s* what the fancystats are telling us.

    Go Gary!

  107. G Money says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    I wouldn’t say they ignore them.

    It just doesn’t make sense to use something that is heavily possession-driven to assess special teams, where possession by one team is largely (or should be) a given.

    I’d only use two metrics, really: shot rates, and chances (whether WOI HDSC, DTM xG, or Staples – I don’t calculate DFF for special teams though I suppose there’s nothing stopping me but laziness and other projects).

    Your comment about the chances given up on the PP are the most damning of last nights effort.

    Shades of the Eakins PP, that.

  108. G Money says:

    Pajamah:
    I for one despise the schedule makers more for the difficulty of schedule they’ve given the Oilers

    Almost all their games this year come against teams higher in the standings.

    Beauty!

  109. Lowetide says:

    Tom Gazzola ‏@TomGazzola 29s30 seconds ago

    Tom Gazzola Retweeted Edmonton Oilers

    Oilers hoping to having Hendricks & Pouliot back in the lineup tomorrow.

    Tom Gazzola added,
    Edmonton Oilers @EdmontonOilers
    The #Oilers have assigned Anton Slepyshev back to the @Condors.
    0 retweets 0 likes

  110. Lowetide says:

    Jack Michaels ‏@EdmontonJack 2m2 minutes ago

    Jack Michaels Retweeted Edmonton Oilers

    Sounds like Hendricks, Pouliot, and Ference (who’s also been sick) all may be in lineup tomorrow.

  111. G Money says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Your work is appreciated, btw, and I visit your reports often.

    Thanks man!

    SwedishPoster,

    Really really good points.

  112. G Money says:

    Lowetide,

    Yay! Huzzah! WTF?!?

  113. Melvis says:

    Anton Slepyshev back to the @Condors…

    This comes as no surprise. There was a point in the 3rd when Sleppy and Miller glanced at each other with the, “We just caught smoking in the alley behind the school.”

  114. RPG says:

    Thoughts and prayers Paris. Such cowardly acts.

  115. Lowetide says:

    RPG:
    Thoughts and prayers Paris. Such cowardly acts.

    Amen. What an awful night in Paris. Fucking idiots.

  116. Bruce McCurdy says:

    G Money:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    I wouldn’t say they ignore them.

    It just doesn’t make sense to use something that is heavily possession-driven to assess special teams, where possession by one team is largely (or should be) a given.

    I’d only use two metrics, really: shot rates, and chances (whether WOI HDSC, DTM xG, or Staples – I don’t calculate DFF for special teams though I suppose there’s nothing stopping me but laziness and other projects).

    Your comment about the chances given up on the PP are the most damning of last nights effort.

    Shades of the Eakins PP, that.

    Of course even-strength stats ignore special teams, by definition. Like everything else, something that might balance out over a large sample size most certainly does not within the context of a single game.

    If you prefer shots to David’s scoring chances, the Oilers outshot the Coyotes 5-3 during the 4 Edmonton powerplays. It’s telling us the same thing, that the special team was not sharp. The Dogs outshot the Oilers 4-0 on their PP, including Doan’s tap-in of Domi’s saucer pass after the rookie had already owned Sekera along the wall.

  117. RexLibris says:

    John Chambers:
    Colorado is trading Matt Duchesne. My guess is they want a defenseman.

    Not sure what Schultz’s cachet might still be as not all GMs are plugged in on blogger fancystats, but perhaps a Schultz – Pouliot package for Duchesne becomes feasible.

    Not saying it’s a fair deal, but Edmonton is one of the few teams with a young, good-skating defenseman with over 200 GP.

    That’s where you move Schultz and Yakupov for Duchene and Gormley, and if it means hiring the Amazing Kreskin to work over Sakic then so be it.

  118. vishcosity says:

    From Paris:

    “The assailants had time to recharge at least three times. They were not masked” the reporter Julian Pearce said, according to the Liberation newspaper.

    From America:

    Two years ago in Tucson at a Sunday brunch at the Golden Corral (honest) I counted 6 guys openly carrying a pistol.

    Brazil made the news:

    http://time.com/4108421/brazil-u-s-gun-culture/

    As for me, I’ve never owned a gun in my life. We talk about it. I think at some point it has to become the subject matter for everyone themselves.

    Fred Eaglesmith on the subject:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlEb3Zxhuwg

  119. RexLibris says:

    G Money: Pajamah:
    I for one despise the schedule makers more for the difficulty of schedule they’ve given the Oilers

    Almost all their games this year come against teams higher in the standings.

    Beauty!

    First time I heard that joke was four years ago.

    I don’t know what’s sadder, that it hasn’t gotten old or that we keep having the opportunity to tell it.

  120. RexLibris says:

    vishcosity:
    From Paris:

    “The assailants had time to recharge at least three times. They were not masked” the reporter Julian Pearce said, according to the Liberation newspaper.

    From America:

    Two years ago in Tucson at a Sunday brunch at the Golden Corral (honest) I counted 6 guys openly carrying a pistol.

    Brazil made the news:

    http://time.com/4108421/brazil-u-s-gun-culture/

    As for me, I’ve never owned a gun in my life.We talk about it.I think at some point it has to become the subject matter for everyone themselves.

    Fred Eaglesmith on the subject:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlEb3Zxhuwg

    Is this implying that more civilian guns = a safer society? Because I’m pretty certain we’ve got enough evidence to the contrary.

  121. Pouzar says:

    Gun debate now guys? Really?

  122. RexLibris says:

    Pouzar:
    Gun debate now guys? Really?

    Sorry, not going any further down that rabbit hole.

    To completely change the topic, is it strange that I had entirely forgotten Klinkhammer was even on this team?

  123. Pouzar says:

    RexLibris: Sorry, not going any further down that rabbit hole.

    To completely change the topic, is it strange that I had entirely forgotten Klinkhammer was even on this team?

    Thanks.

    I like debates as much as the net guy but this one is fruitless.

    Yeah…Kilnk…wtf happened again?

  124. RexLibris says:

    Pouzar: Thanks.

    I like debates as much as the net guy but this one is fruitless.

    Yeah…Kilnk…wtf happened again?

    He looked good on the wing, as did Hendricks.

    That RW depth pre-Draisaitl was a really nice development this year.

    That it needed to happen sucked.

    That it was exhausted by injury so quickly also sucked.

    The 2C hole is pretty glaring, but if we could bring Hendricks back and move Draisaitl back to that spot, the possibilities begin to improve.

  125. Pastor of Disaster says:

    zatch:
    Pastor of Disaster,

    “This defence is Neville in Potions class folks. They won’t stop melting the cauldrons, nothing seems to work out as hoped and Snape is never going to like us. Herbology isn’t until the end of the week, so PC had better figure out something and fast, if we ever want an O.W.L that doesn’t make us cringe”.

    Thank you for that. You know, I have a lot of friends who ask me why I still cheer for the Oilers.

    “After all this time?”, they ask.

    “Always.” I reply.

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