TRUE NORTH!

The Edmonton Oilers can play good teams, make mistakes, have long periods of subpar play, and win the game. That is news. Seriously. Last night, they spent most of the evening chasing a tired team who were clearly focused on two points. They won the game, I do not think that would have happened one year ago. Goaltending? Yes. Leon? Sure! Hall going super nova? Giddyup. Those kids are coming on defense, too. Music! Peter Chiarelli, Todd McLellan and structure. Who knew? Now, do it again, with more consistency and less chaos. Please and thanks.

HOLD ON, I’M COMING YEAR OVER YEAR

  • 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: 4-7-2
  • Oilers in December 2014: 2-8-4
  • Oilers in December 2015: 4-0-0
  • Oilers after 29 in 2014-15: 7-17-5, 19 points (-41 GD)
  • Oilers after 29 in 2015-16: 12-15-2, 26 points (-10 GD)

This is pretty fabulous. Now, I do think the NYR game is set up for some shuffle, maybe Talbot gets a start and there is a chance Nikita Nikitin gets called up and draws in. The Oilers are three points out of the playoffs and have won four in a row. You cannot dismiss this progress, no matter how cynical you are, not possible. There are issues, yes. There are also real and substantial examples of progress.

standings

Edmonton had all kinds of trouble against Thornton, Pavelski, Marleau, Ward, but that happens to all teams. They bent, but did not break. The possession game has been uneven of late, need to bring back Archie Bell and the Drells.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT

There are no fancies for us, the string at Rexall detached from the soup can, leaving us to see the game through a 1975 lens. It still looks damned good for the most part.

  • Andrej Sekera: Started the game by getting run over by a big SJS forward (Thornton, I believe) but skated miles and with the exception of being the smaller man in almost every battle, he was good. Sekera played just 15:08 at evens.
  • Taylor Hall: The man can push a river and his prime is going to be exceptional. 1-1-2 on the evening, the OT goal was demon speed and balls out hockey. Damn that was nice.
  • Jordan Eberle: Another 1-1-2, Eberle had moments where he folded like a cheap suit but also came to play. The goal he scored is the reason he makes $6 million large, he is a born goal scorer. Now officially on fire offensively.
  • Teddy Purcell: Such a sweet pass to Leon, he is so damned good with the puck on his stick it is to laugh. In a 10-year period where veteran careers go to die, Purcell is bucking the trend this year.
  • Justin Schultz: The defensive side of the game is not his friend, and at this point in his return from injury there is some bad timing.
  • Luke Gazdic: He is, right now, the best Luke Gazdic we have seen.
  • Matt Hendricks: Along the wall, with the puck loose and available, sitting maybe two feet inside the Oiler line, that is where he shines. He is opposite-Lupul all over the ice. Love that guy.
  • Darnell Nurse: At 20, he is an actual bull in a china shop. Physical, rambunctious, up to the challenge, he provided coverage against sublime San Jose talent and survived. At 20. I am thrilled with his progress, still think a lesser role might benefit him. Played forever at evens, had an assist on the night.
  • Iiro Pakarinen: 0-1-1 on 8:48 at evens, he jumped up with Nuge and Ebs, did not look out of place to my eye. Will he make it in the NHL? Don’t know. Games like last night help, for sure.
  • Lauri Korpikoski: A quiet 12:55. That is progress.
  • Leon Draisaitl: 1-1-2 and 43 percent in the fo circle, I loved his night and cannot believe the good fortune of that 2014 draft. The goal was dynamite, fantastic, but the OT assist was something else again. His reach appears to be about 90 feet.
  • Anton Lander: The only man with a minus, wildly unfair to my eye on a night when he brought true meaning to ‘utility forward’ deployment. Won 10 of 11 faceoffs, played up with Nuge and Ebs for a time (Nuge misses Pouliot) and earned his roster spot.
  • Jujhar Khaira: 0-1-1 and you can see him progress as games go on. He made a dandy pass to Eberle on his goal, but was the goat on the Marleau goal all the way. Mistakes happen, and rookies are rookies, but he is making plays in the NHL. Very nice.
  • Mark Letestu: 60 percent in the dot, played well to my eye in a tough, checking game. If he had spotted Hall wide open on an offensive sortie the game would have ended in reg, but you can say that about a lot of players in a year. Nice game.
  • Eric Gryba: I don’t see it, beyond the physical play. Walked early by (I believe) Melker Karlsson and that statement tells you everything.
  • Oscar Klefbom: Lordy. What a talented young player, so mobile and intelligent in his reads. We haven’t watched an Oiler draft pick with this range of ability in years. Steady, reliable, tireless.
  • Brandon Davidson: Another quality effort to my eye, put that shot on the power play dammit! Nice evening spent playing smart D, he had one epic shift that can serve as ‘opposite Chorney’ as he seldom made a poor decision during a period where he simply could not get off the ice. Ended that shift leaning against the net trying to catch his breath. Get your own place, young man.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: 1-1-2 and 69 percent on the dot, that is the Nuge we know and love. I bet Peter Chiarelli was impressed. Solid game from a fantastic center.
  • Anders Nilsson: Made some splendid saves last night, really effective. Was not the difference on this evening (Hall-Leon get my vote) but has calmed the fan base to the point where we no longer worry at previous levels about every shot against.

rishaug fayne

THE HILL YOU DIE ON

It is always a challenge for people—me, you, anyone—to back down from stated opinion. It is even more difficult to argue your position under circumstances that may not favor your idea or stance without sounding like a stubborn wind bag. Please consider this forum your opportunity to be heard. The important things to remember:

  1. Have the courage of your convictions. If you believe it, stand by it, don’t be a wet noodle. Argue it with your words and please give examples. Be specific.
  2. Respect others.
  3. Be open to other, well presented and (most importantly) battle-tested arguments.
  4. Don’t be an ass on the internet. The internet has all of those jobs covered.

Corsi Rel is still the best metric for defense, in my opinion. I think Mark Fayne is one of the six best defensemen (four best, probably) on the Oilers, but 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.

Mark Fayne is on waivers this morning, I do not think he should be on waivers. That doesn’t matter. It is important for you to know this is my opinion, but I welcome input that offers a counter argument. I would ask that all discussion is respectful, and if you have a metric that you believe tells the story, state it and allow the analytical world at large to examine it. Questioning beliefs and changing minds is the only way to improve the world, but if you reject accepted metrics, counter with ‘you are stupid, I am smart’ then you are not welcome here. I insist on respect for each other in this corner of the Al Gore, and if you cannot honor that, you will not be welcome here today. No exceptions. None.

  • Lowetide: 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. Source

There are many people who will read this today who understand advanced statistics far better than me. I accept that. However, we all understand things in our own way, and for me the number one statistic to look for in hockey is Corsi, relative. Now, that is going to send people hither and yawn and you will read in the comments section (unless people have given up on this blog’s ability to be fair—and that is all I have ever offered any of you—I suspect people will want to be heard) about all matter of metrics that have (supposedly) replaced the simple one of yesteryear. I ask only two things of you:

  • Make sure you are convinced, not by the strength of the prose, but by the strength of the math. If you do that, no one can say anything beyond ‘I disagree’ and attempt to change your mind.
  • Be good to each other. If you want to be heard, use your words. Seriously.

I will time out any poster who bullies today and don’t bitch to me about it after the fact, I do not want to hear it. No exceptions.

War, Inc. movie image Marisa Tomei

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy show, 10 this morning, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Darcy McLeod, Because Oilers. The game, Fayne, and things that rhyme.
  • Scott Cullen, TSN. Oilers, Leafs, who is in the playoff race, mlb winter meetings.
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. Logjam in the trade market, expansion talk.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide twitter.

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259 Responses to "TRUE NORTH!"

« Older Comments
  1. PhrankLee says:

    Cyanide: Edit: Oh, also because Klefbom is Dreamy.

    I think he is memey and a folk hero of ours because re represented a true quality draft pick that will make a difference. So happy we have him and I cannot wait till he matures.

  2. John Chambers says:

    frjohnk: Just watched that.Surprised there is somebody ( Jonas Seigel) in the Toronto area that would argue that RNH would be better for the Leafs than Stamkos.

    He’s not for sale, Toronto!

    You guys are just going to have to obtain franchise centres like everyone does – by suffering through dismal seasons of losing to earn you the right to select all-world talent. You gave it a good shot last year, but try for the nadir this year. And then five years later … you might once again compete for the playoffs.

  3. RexLibris says:

    Mattaklap:
    If you have 8 minutes to spare, this is worth a laugh, particularly the frail-and-soft remark about RNH halfway through:

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/video/who-s-better-for-the-leafs-stamkos-or-rnh~767240

    Ha.

    “Does anybody even want him?” Ridiculous.

    I do like this comment from Jonas though: you aren’t just going to plug Stamkos into the Leafs and become an instant Cup winner.

    And “frail and soft” is a better description of their reasoning than the player they are describing.

    You know what, I hope that Hopkins pots 5 against the Leafs when they come to town and low-bridges Phaneuf just to shove it in the faces of these idiots.

  4. frjohnk says:

    John Chambers: He’s not for sale, Toronto!

    You guys are just going to have to obtain franchise centres like everyone does – by suffering through dismal seasons of losing to earn you the right to select all-world talent. You gave it a good shot last year, but try for the nadir this year. And then five years later … you might once again compete for the playoffs.

    I have a bet with my old man that Stamkos will go to Toronto.

  5. nvan97 says:

    Woodguy,

    Data like this makes me think that the truth about performance is somewhere among all these stats. Not saying this one in particular but perhaps some combination of WOWY, CFrel, Gmoney’s dangerous Fenwick and something like zs% will hold the key to real, predictable on ice performance. The Analytics Files- The Truth is Out There

  6. RexLibris says:

    Mattaklap:
    If you have 8 minutes to spare, this is worth a laugh, particularly the frail-and-soft remark about RNH halfway through:

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/video/who-s-better-for-the-leafs-stamkos-or-rnh~767240

    And Jonas echoes LT’s rant from earlier today which is: this team’s problems haven’t been the young skill guys.

  7. Woodguy says:

    31saves:
    Woodguy,

    Do you think that may have anything to do with the fact Brodeur was asuperior puckhandler than any of those other goalies?

    That’s a pretty interesting point for sure.

  8. Woodguy says:

    Imagine the weeping and gnashing of teeth in Toronto if Stamkos takes less to come to Edmonton because he wants to play with McDavid? Say like 2 year $6 or so?

    I would create a sack clothe factory just to keep the mourners supplied.

  9. Cyanide says:

    PhrankLee:
    He had more options than ice the puck in panic. Last man doesn’t handle the puck, generally.

    He was not the last man, Fayne was.

    PhrankLee:

    I disagree. I think he has been convinced he is more effective if he avoids contact. That is not something that has served this team well. Darting in and out of the lanes worked well in college for him.

    I’m not talking about Shultz being afraid of contact when he has the puck. I’m talking about him bailing out from being first in the corner and taking hits to make plays.

    Last night when SJ scored with JJ and Shultz defending I was sure I was gonna hear it on here how it was Shultz fault. But it was Rather limited from what it used to be. Shultz played it right last night. JJ was at fault from the beginning of the play to the end of the play. Some people even blame Klefbom for pinching in for a pass.
    JJ made an honest rookie mistake to pass it to Klef, then he abandoned his man to take the puck carrier after Shultz clearly communicated to him which man to take.
    I like Shultz, I root for him all day long. But for 4 million dollars? His leash is short and his window is narrowing.

    PhrankLee:

    Not in my mind. Not this year.

    so what your say is the Oilers walking away with 2 points. And Malkin scoring a GWG against us is the same thing?

  10. Cyanide says:

    PhrankLee: I think he is memey and a folk hero of ours because re represented a true quality draft pick that will make a difference. So happy we have him and I cannot wait till he matures.

    I have been waiting for him since he was picked. He was the first draft pick other than #1’s I have been truly excited for in a long time.

  11. Mattaklap says:

    frjohnk: What I liked about Seigel is that when Oneill said something to the effect of ” why would anybody want one of them ( oilers core, mostly Ebs, Hall, RNH), they only know how to lose.”

    Seigel said, “its not Halls fault that the Oilers had no defenseman or goaltenders”

    A lot of people want to blame Hall, Eberle, RNH for the losing, but it has never been their fault.

    They are damn good players and have been one of the few reasons to actually watch this team over the last 5 years.

    I’d love for them to all be Oilers when the Oilers win the whole fuckin thing.

    Rhetorical question: Where does the idea that “winning” is some skill you’re born with or pick up somewhere come from? It’s such overly reductive reasoning that it just seems lazy; it’s like these guys or Spector just don’t want to do any legwork so they take positions that, while unreasonable, at least require no effort.

  12. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woogie63: Big Burns takes an extra swing at a puck in our crease, Davidson jumps on the mountain man and they mma under a scrum of hockey players.

    A big Shark winger take an extra swing a puck in 39’s glove. Nurse puts him in a head lock and drags him away from his goalie.

    Brent Burns drills Matt Hendricks in the back, & Anton Lander jumps right in to engage.

    If only Lander were Canadian he’d get noticed for that kind of stuff a lot more. I’m especially referring to MSM types who love rugged play and having teammates’ backs but are much more prone to notice it coming from a good old North American boy.

  13. Cyanide says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Brent Burns drills Matt Hendricks in the back, & Anton Lander jumps right in to engage.

    If only Lander were Canadian he’d get noticed for that kind of stuff a lot more. I’m especially referring to MSM types who love rugged play and having teammates’ backs but are much more prone to notice it coming from a good old North American boy.

    This! People here have been talking of signing Purcell and getting rid of Lander. To me Lander brings what Purcell does and more he wins face offs and he engages. He’s no slower than Purcell. He has proved he can play with top guys like Hall (albeit small sample size last yr). And here is a big one in my books young and signed for cheap. And likely to stay that way.(not the young part) He does alot more important things on the ice than score. I have room for lander any day of the year.
    Edit: https://www.fantasysp.com/player/nhl/Anton_Lander/4214537/anton-lander-is-without-a-point-this-season-but-coach-todd-mclellan
    If I am a betting man, I think TMac has alot of time for him as well
    EDIT #2: http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=855088&catid=4
    here is the video I remember hearing this from. I finally found it. Talk of Anton starts at roughly 1:20

  14. Statsman says:

    Woodguy: That’s a pretty interesting point for sure.

    I have really been noticing lately (and especially last night) that Nilsson is a very good puckhandler.

    When a puck gets dumped in and he has a chance to play it, he generally makes an effective decision. He seems very cognizant of the whereabouts of both his players and the oncoming forecheckers.

    He may not make the sixty-foot pass, but he makes a lot of subtle little six-foot passes that really put the receiver in good position to start a controlled breakout.

    As an old defenceman, I really appreciate this skill as there is nothing worse than getting a crappy pass in your skates when you are two feet from the boards with incoming forecheckers.

    Of course, he may just look “that” much better at this particular skill when compared to Scrivens last year.

  15. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Statsman,

    We’ve suffered through some bad goaltending puck skills over the years, but I think Scrivens was the worst of the bunch.

    I caught my four year old mumbling in his sleep last year, and then (still asleep) he yelled “GET BACK IN YOUR NET SCRIVENS”. Made me laugh, and made me realize I’ve got to be really careful about what I yell at the TV.

    Anders’ marginal competence is like the second coming.

  16. Pretendergast says:

    Woodguy,

    You and I both know Stamkos will need a bit more than $6. That’s not even enough for gas 😉

  17. jimmers2 says:

    RexLibris,

    I don’t like betting much but boy would it be sweet to have money from the two guys on the ends of that table in play over the performance of someone like RNH.

    “Frail and Soft” says the guy on the left. “Don’t get me wrong, I’d take him on my team, but….”

    Stamkos is a fantastic top-echelon player. He is apparently thinking about 8 years at about 10.5 Million AAV. RNH is still signed long term to 6. I think it is clear which would be probably better value to a team the outside looking to build itself into contention, and one that would need to find Stamkos a center or a winger depending on how things go.

  18. Tire Fire says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    Statsman,

    We’ve suffered through some bad goaltending puck skills over the years, but I think Scrivens was the worst of the bunch.

    I caught my four year old mumbling in his sleep last year, and then (still asleep) he yelled “GET BACK IN YOUR NET SCRIVENS”.Made me laugh, and made me realize I’ve got to be really careful about what I yell at the TV.

    Anders’ marginal competence is like the second coming.

    This might be the greatest story I’ve ever read on Lowetide, and that’s saying something.

    No wait. Camping box, then this at #2.

  19. Drew says:

    Pouzar:
    Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) | Twitter

    51 mins ago – View on Twitter

    Attention everyone in the analytics community who assured of Semin’s great value: Your plane for the KHL boards in an hour.

    One of the greatest pure trolls in media at work there.

  20. khildahl says:

    Statsman,

    I’ll agree with that and add that he’s quite good at getting out of trouble when a puck-handling excursion goes awry. When a forechecker closes in he moves the puck safely away and gets back into position.

  21. Drew says:

    Woodguy:
    Imagine the weeping and gnashing of teeth in Toronto if Stamkos takes less to come to Edmonton because he wants to play with McDavid?Say like 2 year $6 or so?

    I would create a sack clothe factory just to keep the mourners supplied.

    “a wet dream of orgasmic proportions”?

  22. godot10 says:

    Woodguy:
    I found this interesting.

    Once your sample size is big enough you can use goals instead of shot attempts because eventually goal become more predictive.

    Not sure if this sample size is big enough, but here’s Fayne GF% with all the Oiler goailes’ he’s played with.

    Goalies are good proxies for “on” and “off” so with the goalie Fayne is on and the Goalie without Faye is when Fayne is off

    FAYNE OVERALLGF%36.2

    WITH SCRIVENS 39.6%
    SCRIVENS W/O FANYE 41.6%

    WITH FASTH 19%
    FASTH W/O FAYNE 37.5%

    WITH NILSSON 30%
    NILSSON W/O FAYNE 47.5%

    WITH TALBOT FAYNE 41.2%
    TALBOT W/O FAYNE 54.2%

    Some of those are pretty stark.

    Fayne’s last two years in NJD

    WITH BRODEUR 58.1%
    BRODEUER W/O FAYNE 48.5%

    WITH SCHNIEDER35.9%
    SCHNIEDER W/O FAYNE 52%

    I’m not convinced this isn’t just noisy samples, but they all trend in the same direction except the glaring opposite of Brodeur

    Martin Brodeur was an elite puck handling goaltender.

  23. RexLibris says:

    Pretendergast:
    Woodguy,

    You and I both know Stamkos will need a bit more than $6. That’s not even enough for gas

    The way the market is going….it could be.

  24. PhrankLee says:

    Cyanide,

    I’m saying that I’m not concerned at all about points. Well I’m concerned with the team reaching 76 to 84 points. The details of that scenario are irrelevant to my argument. I’m often wrong recollecting scenarios when the overarching point is the same. It was a shitty play. Shitty breakout and a frustrating and embarrassing goal against. I don’t care who stripped him he should have not been stripped. I am not defending Schultz. I poke at the posters here for their love of klefbom. Myself included. He had a tough start this year and is getting better. Im on my damn phone now so I am likely to make even less sense, be warned.

  25. PhrankLee says:

    Cyanide: I have been waiting for him since he was picked. He was the first draft pick other than #1’s I have been truly excited for in a long time.

    That makes all of us. 🙂

  26. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Halfwise: It’s a Drai cough.

    To be phlegmatic about it, he’s productive. His cough? Not productive at all.

    I believe I have exceeded my pun quota for the day, so I’ll be going now.

    Nothing a little ex-Spector-rant won’t cure.

  27. RexLibris says:

    jimmers2:
    RexLibris,

    I don’t like betting much but boy would it be sweet to have money from the two guys on the ends of that table in play over the performance of someone like RNH.

    “Frail and Soft” says the guy on the left.“Don’t get me wrong, I’d take him on my team, but….”

    Stamkos is a fantastic top-echelon player.He is apparently thinking about 8 years at about 10.5 Million AAV.RNH is still signed long term to 6.I think it is clear which would be probably better value to a team the outside looking to build itself into contention, and one that would need to find Stamkos a center or a winger depending on how things go.

    Don’t get me wrong. Stamkos is a terrific talent and a phenomenal scorer. Nugent-Hopkins does not post offense at Stamkos’ historical pace.

    But to be completely fair, comparing them isn’t really much of an exercise either.

    What just makes me furious is the nonchalant dismissal of Nugent-Hopkins for reasons that don’t even bear scrutiny.

    If they say Stamkos outscores Nugent-Hopkins by x% over the first four years of their careers, I listen.

    If they say Stamkos plays the same level of competition and has more points against that competition, I listen.

    But they come in with this soft and frail BS and immediately I tune them out. Sorry, you’ve ceded any reasonable expectation for a fair hearing because you quoted crap you can’t even point to and prove but are parroting because you heard another guy say it and he’s a tough old-timey hockey guy so he must know what he’s talking about.

    It’s lazy, stupid and does absolutely nothing to move the discussion forward.

  28. RexLibris says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Nothing a little ex-Spector-rant won’t cure.

    *slow clap*

    Beautiful, Bruce.

  29. PhrankLee says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Nothing a little ex-Spector-rant won’t cure.

    That was good, Bruce. Take a bow.

  30. PhrankLee says:

    RexLibris,

    Electric and impact full. Those were the main arguments.

    Twats. That’s what all of Toronto thinks and feels. When Clarkson was signed it was like Jesus landed. I don’t even want to tell you what it was like here when Babcock was hired. It was so bad!

  31. Halfwise says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Nothing a little ex-Spector-rant won’t cure.

    There’s some fine pun-ishment being handed out, right there.

  32. khildahl says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Nothing a little ex-Spector-rant won’t cure.

    Hmm…

    An ex-Spector would be a spectre.

    Spectre = S.P.E.C.T.R.E.

    S.P.E.C.T.R.E. = Blofeld

    Blofeld = Blowhard

    Blowhard = Brian Burke

    Mystery solved?

  33. RexLibris says:

    PhrankLee:
    RexLibris,

    Electric and impact full. Those were the main arguments.

    Twats. That’s what all of Toronto thinks and feels. When Clarkson was signed it was like Jesus landed. I don’t even want to tell you what it was like here when Babcock was hired. It was so bad!

    You know what would really piss off the MSM crowd? Someone developing an advanced analytical process to accurately and objectively assess them. Not anything mean-spirited, but rather something to, as James said about developing Moneyball, to cut through the BS.

    Having a bunch of cheetoh-eating, basement-dwelling, allowance-collecting bloggers clinically deconstruct the work of the media members and help to separate the good (Yost, Willis, Friedman) from the rest would be fantastic.

  34. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy: Once your sample size is big enough you can use goals instead of shot attempts because eventually goal become more predictive.

    Once the sample size becomes big enough**, you can use shots instead of shot attempts.

    **Happens much more quickly with shots (=~0.5 Corsi) than goals (= ~0.05 Corsi).

    Corsi is quicker and dirtier, but longer term give me Fenwick or (my favourite) shots.

  35. flyfish1168 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Brent Burns drills Matt Hendricks in the back, & Anton Lander jumps right in to engage.

    If only Lander were Canadian he’d get noticed for that kind of stuff a lot more. I’m especially referring to MSM types who love rugged play and having teammates’ backs but are much more prone to notice it coming from a good old North American boy.

    Yah but he can go into the corners with a dozen eggs and come out without any broken

  36. Halfwise says:

    RexLibris: You know what would really piss off the MSM crowd? Someone developing an advanced analytical process to accurately and objectively assess them. Not anything mean-spirited, but rather something to, as James said about developing Moneyball, to cut through the BS.

    Having a bunch of cheetoh-eating, basement-dwelling, allowance-collecting bloggers clinically deconstruct the work of the media members and help to separate the good (Yost, Willis, Friedman) from the rest would be fantastic.

    The analytical process exists already, and produces a pretty reliable metric called paid circulation numbers. They’ve been dropping steadily as people decide that the daily paper is not worth paying for. Kind of like muting the Sportsnet Panel between periods, only with your wallet.

  37. Bruce McCurdy says:

    31saves:
    Woodguy,

    Do you think that may have anything to do with the fact Brodeur was asuperior puckhandler than any of those other goalies?

    I have been thinking about this since reading whoever commented on Fayne in New Jersey a 100 or so posts up the page. I for one am absolutely convinced Brodeur was a game changer who allowed New Jersey to play a different system from every one else. Their stats / fancy stats were wonky the whole time he was there, it seemed like to me.

    Jacques Lemaire was a different time, but he used to line up wingers on the defensive blueline and defenders would hold their ground or step up — why hello Mr Stevens! — on occasion. Lots of shoot-ins resulted. Lots of Brodeur’s fields, passes, & so forth followed, as did a large number of Jersey zone exits.

    Some say Lamoriello was the reason, some say Brodeur, but both guys were there a long time and NJD were always a “different” kind of team. Follows that players who looked good growing up in that system might not look quite so splendid elsewhere. See also: David Clarkson. It might be an interesting study to see how Devils players who moved on did generally in the next couple of years / remaining career.

    But do I see Brodeur making a defender (like Fayne)’s life a whole lot simpler? Yes I do.

  38. sliderule says:

    Bruce McCurdy

    Finally someone agrees with me.
    Shots on goal are the most important statistic other than goal and save percentage.?

  39. RexLibris says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I have been thinking about this since reading whoever commented on Fayne in New Jersey a 100 or so posts up the page. I for one am absolutely convinced Brodeur was a game changer who allowed New Jersey to play a different system from every one else. Their stats / fancy stats were wonky the whole time he was there, it seemed like to me.

    Jacques Lemaire was a different time, but he used to line up wingers on the defensive blueline and defenders would hold their ground or step up — why hello Mr Stevens! — on occasion. Lots of shoot-ins resulted. Lots of Brodeur’s fields, passes, & so forth followed, as did a large number of Jersey zone exits.

    Some say Lamoriello was the reason, some say Brodeur, but both guys were there a long time and NJD were always a “different” kind of team. Follows that players who looked good growing up in that system might not look quite so splendid elsewhere. See also: David Clarkson. It might be an interesting study to see how Devils players who moved on did generally in the next couple of years / remaining career.

    Turco allowed Hitchcock in Dallas to do some of the same (without the Mr. Stevens part, obviously) where they’d run four across the blueline and have one guy forecheck, Turco would freeze the dump in and Zubov would fetch the puck and pass it out to Modano or a winger and they’d go down the ice. When you carried it in Hatcher would pin you along the boards or some such scenario.

    Over. And over again.

  40. Bruce McCurdy says:

    flyfish1168: Yah but he can go into the corners with a dozen eggs and come out without any broken

    The Swedes have come a long way. The original Chicken Swede, Inge Hammarstrom, could only shelter a HALF-dozen eggs, if I have my Old Weird Harold quotes correct. Lander is a brood mother by comparison.

  41. flyfish1168 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: The Swedes have come a long way. The original Chicken Swede, Inge Hammarstrom, could only shelter a HALF-dozen eggs, if I have my Old Weird Harold quotes correct. Lander is a brood mother by comparison.

    I could not remember the whole quote correctly either. I was also thinking good old Harold also used the term “Soft Swede” or was that someone else? I always felt sorry for Börje Salming playing for the leafs. So under appreciated.

    i agree there are many tough Swedes I would like on our team.

  42. Bruce McCurdy says:

    RexLibris: Turco allowed Hitchcock in Dallas to do some of the same (without the Mr. Stevens part, obviously) where they’d run four across the blueline and have one guy forecheck, Turco would freeze the dump in and Zubov would fetch the puck and pass it out to Modano or a winger and they’d go down the ice. When you carried it in Hatcher would pin you along the boards or some such scenario.

    Or cut your fucking eyes out just because.

    Agreed Turco is only netminder who comes close to Brodeur in this aspect. There are good puckhandlers, but these guys were dominant in their day. Belfour was another who was very, very good playing Hitchcock’s system before Turco. The 2000 Cup final between the Devils and Stars was probably the finest display of goalie puckhandling I’ve ever seen.

  43. stevezie says:

    For those of you worried by all the time I spent posting earlier, you’ll be happy to know I got to work and finished my submission with four minutes to spare.

    I’m Hall-Draisatl of procrastination.

  44. tcho says:

    Great to hear the love going out to GMoney today on the Lowdown, btw. Well deserved.

  45. Halfwise says:

    stevezie:
    For those of you worried by all the time I spent posting earlier, you’ll be happy to know I got to work and finished my submission with four minutes to spare.

    I’m Hall-Draisatl of procrastination.

    Where I work, we always meet the revised schedule.

  46. Bruce McCurdy says:

    flyfish1168: I could not remember the whole quote correctly either. I was also thinking good old Harold also used the term “Soft Swede” or was that someone else?I always felt sorry for Börje Salming playing for the leafs. So under appreciated.

    i agree there are many tough Swedes I would like on our team.

    It was “Chicken Swede”. Pretty sure that was Ballard, then Cherry picked up on it.

  47. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy: It was “Chicken Swede”. Pretty sure that was Ballard, then Cherry picked up on it.

    Meanwhile, Juha Widing, Anders Hedberg, Ulf Nilsson, Thommie Bergman and Borje Salming (along with Hammarstrom) had to suffer the on-ice slings and arrows.

  48. flyfish1168 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: It was “Chicken Swede”. Pretty sure that was Ballard, then Cherry picked up on it.

    You are right. cherry did pick that up. Its cherry that hate Russians?

  49. sliderule says:

    I used to laugh when Cherry talked of chicken swedes

    Cherry knows nothing of history

    Swedens Charles XII fought Peter the great to a standstill and conquered a lot of the world with his small army

    The swedes have a Viking history and anyone who disparages them is ignorant

  50. Water Fire says:

    sliderule:
    Bruce McCurdy

    Finally someone agrees with me.
    Shots on goal are the most important statistic other than goal and save percentage.

    Everyone agrees with you, it’s just that sample size thingie. I like goal differential to rate how strong teams are. C n B used to track it closely but Zona got to rich betting or something ?

  51. 2017champions says:

    If anyone wants tickets to the game tomorrow i have a pair.
    Section 132 Row 16 Seat #3#4

    Actingmonolog@gmail.com

    willing to listen to offers around $440 need christmas money for family and friends…felt like this was a good community to ask.

    Willing to negotiate…banner night, sather reunion game. Thanks for your time

  52. teddyturnbuckle says:

    Teddy Purcell looks great since he cut his stick down! Like a new man. The first time I watched Fayne play he through a suicide pass into RNH’s skates on a breakout and I’ve never liked him since. Here’s to hoping we get another pleasant surprise from the farm on D.

  53. Lewis Grant says:

    Halfwise: It’s a Drai cough.

    To be phlegmatic about it, he’s productive. His cough? Not productive at all.

    I believe I have exceeded my pun quota for the day, so I’ll be going now.

    Nothing a little ex-Spector-rant won’t cure.

    Geez! This is why I can’t quit this site despite its drain on my work productivity! The level of intelligence and wit here is so far beyond anything else I read on the blogosphere (including the occasional NY Times comment section).

  54. Really? says:

    Three points to make:
    1. “Chicken Swede” originated with Ballard in referring to Inge Hammerstrom. He stated that Hammerstrom was the only player in the league who could go into a corner with eggs in his pockets and never break one.

    2. All this talk about the Leafs obtaining Stamkos makes me think that they learned a valuable lesson from their Kessel adventure. They always wanted/needed a first line centre to work with Phil. The beauty of acquiring Stamkos is that he is a centre. Who will be his set up man? His best years were when he had St. Louis helping out.

    3. Jonas Siegel makes sense. He realizes that O’Neill is a windbag member of the MSM and has no conception of what RNH brings to the table. What is even more pathetic is that the MSM generally have no understanding of what the situation was, or now is, in Edmonton with respect to the Oilers. Sure will be a bunch of them trying o jump on the bandwagon as early as next year.

  55. Old School G says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Brent Burns drills Matt Hendricks in the back, & Anton Lander jumps right in to engage.

    If only Lander were Canadian he’d get noticed for that kind of stuff a lot more. I’m especially referring to MSM types who love rugged play and having teammates’ backs but are much more prone to notice it coming from a good old North American boy.

    Respect.

  56. Ryan says:

    Bruce McCurdy: It was “Chicken Swede”. Pretty sure that was Ballard, then Cherry picked up on it.

    Bruce, what’s your Mendoza line for offense that you’d like to see from a 4c/utility forward?

  57. PhrankLee says:

    Finnish Liiga will start using ‘smart puck’ tech in January.

    http://liiga.fi/uutiset/2015/12/11/liigaan-tulee-alykiekko-mullistaa-jaakiekon-seuraamisen

    The translation is alright and I do not know Finnish.

    This data would include puck speed and height.

    Sounds very cool.

  58. Halfwise says:

    Lewis Grant:
    Halfwise: It’s a Drai cough.


    To be phlegmatic about it, he’s productive. His cough? Not productive at all.

    I believe I have exceeded my pun quota for the day, so I’ll be going now.

    Nothing a little ex-Spector-rant won’t cure.

    Geez!This is why I can’t quit this site despite its drain on my work productivity!The level of intelligence and wit here is so far beyond anything else I read on the blogosphere (including the occasional NY Times comment section).

    You’re just going to encourage more of this, you know.

  59. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Ryan: Bruce, what’s your Mendoza line for offense that you’d like to see from a 4c/utility forward?

    Ha! Just read this & my immediate response was “10 points minimum, though 20 would be nicer!” Then went to NHL.com stats for 2014-15, set the filter to “forwards” & looked up the range 271-360. Wouldn’t you know, #271 (Kyle Brodziak) had 20 points and #360 (Viktor Stalberg) had 10.

    Of course it’s not like there are exactly 360 forwards who play 82 games each, Stalberg for instance played just 25. Below that 10-point “milestone” there are full-timers like Rob Klinkhammer and Tanner Glass, but they are definitively below the Mendoza line.

    Let’s split the difference though & say 15 points.

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