BLACK AND WHITE WORLD

Drake Caggiula is 22, Matt Benning is 22. Nail Yakupov is 22. We think of Nail as a veteran and the two college men as kids just getting started, but in actual age we are dealing with two prospects whose time is now. Can these two men make the opening night lineup? I have Caggiula’s chances of doing that at 10 percent, Benning at 15 percent (here). Both men have things that will make them legit roster options (Caggiula: speed, skill; Benning: right handed, range of skills) and we should be prepared for deep training camp runs from both men.

It might work if we imagine both were drafted in 2012—maybe in the second and third rounds, in the same area as Mitch Moroz and Jujhar Khaira—and if we (in our minds) speed up their clock and act as though their window of opportunity to make the NHL begins now. I don’t believe either man will break camp with the big team, but do believe both players will make their NHL debuts in 2016-17.

NAIL YAKUPOV

I wrote an article last night at ON that received some fairly quick and spirited reaction about its main point (play Yak with McDavid means three scoring lines). In reality, I have been writing that same article all summer (I would estimate 20 times) because for me it is a very important subject.

My email was fairly full this morning with comments pro and no in regard to the article. I feel as though we are at a point where it is almost impossible to have a nuanced conversation about any Oilers subject. When we choose sides and remain firm on opinions there is very little to talk about, which is a shame. Why? The subject of Nail Yakupov has all sides and your opinions matter. That said, we can listen as well as we hear, and for me there seems a real disconnect about this player.

So, allow me to make a few statements that I believe to be true:

  • Three scoring lines is improbable, but not impossible with this roster. Nail Yakupov played well with Connor McDavid, but not as well with other centers. There is a window of opportunity here, but—and I have no favorite in this race, the numbers dictate my stance—the only spot where three scoring lines seem reasonable is Nail with McDavid. The one other possibility—not as strong—is rookie Puljujarvi with McDavid and Nail with Leon.
  • I received a lot of reaction talking about Nail not deserving the opportunity. I think we need to get away from this kind of thinking, it is old school. Who cares if he deserves it? I don’t. I do care about using the lineup in the most effective way.
  • Also included in the words sent to me is a frustration over my approach to Nail, specifically his flaws. One email was quite aggressive in tone, suggesting my view of Nail is skewed, that I do not see his flaws. I would like to remind you that we just went through the RE process and in Nail’s RE there was acknowledgement of his flaws. The idea of the RE is to take bias out and deliver the actual news:

 

  • What is the best thing about him? He is a talented skill player. Yak can stick handle, pass, shoot and has reasonable speed. There is an NHL player there, I believe that to be true.
  • What is the worst thing about him? He is making the same mistakes now as he did as a rookie. Whatever instruction he has received, it is either too much, not enough or delivered in a way he cannot understand or is beyond his aptitude.
  • Example? Late in the season against St. Louis, Darnell Nurse labored for 20 seconds to fend off a big Blues forward, finally getting the puck out past the blue line and to Yakupov. Nail took the puck, stickhandled back into the zone, passed the puck to Nurse (with the same St. Louis forward now bearing down on him) and skated off the ice. Nurse iced the puck, and Yak’s shift continued.

Folks, I understand the idea of having an opinion and getting our points across. In hockey, as in life, things are rarely black and white—in fact, most often we are discussing shades of grey—and when we reduce a conversation to a single line we are limiting logic and reason while also increasing the emotion. The subject of Nail Yakupov is a complicated one, and there are passions on both sides. Let us spend just a moment pondering facts:

 

  • Jordan Eberle—8-8-16 (2.63) with McDavid; 7-6-13 (2.24) with Nuge; 0-1-1 (0.47) with Draisaitl
  • Nail Yakupov—2-7-9 (2.63) with McDavid; 1-1-2 (1.45) with Nuge; 1-1-2 (1.52) with Draisaitl

Huh. Folks, at the very least, the Oilers have to consider using Nail with 97. Not only does it spread out the offense and make defending the team more difficult, it also allows Peter Chiarelli to Sam Pollock the player—increasing value, perhaps getting a better return in trade (no one should have reached the conclusion Nail is a long-term player here).

This is a complicated issue. This is also an important one. I think it requires more than ‘he hasn’t earned it’ as a response. I am also fairly certain Todd McLellan will attempt to find an effective place for Nail as long as he is on the roster. I believe that to be true, and with that stated the idea of McDavid with Nail is at least worth discussion. I hope we can have that discussion today, while also taking the time to listen to each other.

CURRENT 50-MAN LIST (48)

50-man aug 27

 

AHL CONTRACTS

These are men who have signed with Bakersfield and should be included in the Mark Arcobello, Andrew Miller, Josh Winquist, Marco Roy category.

  • L Scott Allen—A giant (6.03, 198) who came out of college (Alaska-Anchorage) and scored some with two ECHL teams last season. A former Spruce Grove Saints forward, he is on an AHL deal. You may look at him as a fringe player, but he is exactly the kind of prospect who routinely gets playing time ahead of Edmonton’s prospects. Keith Gretzky will be a hero for our times if he can stop that kind of behavior.
  • C-L Joey Benik—Another AHL contract, Benik is small (5.10, 174) and quite skilled—his St. Cloud State career totals (126 points in 137 games) are impressive. Interesting addition to the team, suspect ECHL time is likely.
  • RD Frank Simonelli—He is a righty blue from the Boston Bruins system, I would suggest he is the new CJ Ludwig.
  • LC Josh Currie—Effective AHL player, outperformed several prospects one year ago—and played more than those prospects.
  • R Jaedon Descheneau—St. Louis Blues (unsigned) pick in 2014, he finishes a fine junior career with the Kootenay Ice. Small and skilled, on an AHL contract with Bakersfield.
  • L Ryan Hamilton—No longer on an NHL contract, he will pull major minutes away from the kids—but is regarded as a solid veteran and mentor.
  • LD Mikael Tam—Seems a depth defender, could end up staying the entire winter in Norfolk.
  • Current AHL roster

STRAGGLERS

  • L Kale Kessy. Not qualified, destination unknown.
  • D Adam Pardy. UFA, destination unknown. Pardy has signed a PTO with the Florida Panthers.
  • D Eric Gryba. UFA, destination unknown.
  • D Nikita Nikitin. UFA, rumored to be heading to Omsk (KHL).
  • C Marco Roy. minor league UFA, destination unknown.

Pardy was a good option for Edmonton later in the year (remember the Adam-12 waiver run?) but the Oilers have 1,000 lefties and Pardy is another. Sail on, Adam Pardy, I think you can play in this league.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Darcy McLeod, Because Oilers. Best spot for Nail? Brossoit v. Gustavsson? Richards vs. Lander? More.
  • Jesse Spector, The Sporting News. Jays enjoyed three nights of Damn Yankees, now what?
  • Jeff Krushell, Krush Performance. Jays, safety in sports, training camp physicals.
  • Jeff Hauser, Radio Hauser. NFL regular season starts tonight!

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

 

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166 Responses to "BLACK AND WHITE WORLD"

  1. hunter1909 says:

    @Lowetide:

    What about Yakupov with Draisraitl?

    During Leon’s rookie season under Eakins, I recall Leon making a wicked pass to Yakupov – the sort of pass that only a very high skill player makes – to another high skill player – and Nail simply nailed it!

    For me, hockey is a nice way to blow off steam in an otherwise stress filled existence. Nail Yakupov by my eye shows some of the classic symptoms of a great soloist musician/artist. The problem he’s got is, being forced to play with players which to his level of seeing/playing are pluggers.

    If the coach sticks some skill on his line, there’s a high probability he’s going to blossom.

  2. Jethro Tull says:

    OK, here’s one for you.

    People post on here that Yak hasn’t been given a prolonged chance with skilled players, and that has sewered his value.

    So what do you all think will happen when Drai is playing 3rd line center with two boat anchors and puts up 35pts next season?

    Skill needs to play with skill, right? Only truly exceptional players can lug around not one, but two grand pianos tied to their ass.

    It would be so Oilers to start Drai on the 3rd line and not on the RW where he’ll be arguably better sheltered. The fallacy is that there are easy minutes in the NHL. There aren’t. Only favourable match-ups.

  3. Southern Oil says:

    “Folks, I understand the idea of having an opinion and getting our points across. In hockey, as in life, things are rarely black and white—in fact, most often we are discussing shades of grey—and when we reduce a conversation to a single line we are limiting logic and reason while also increasing the emotion.”

    There are so many parts of this blog I would love to show my beautiful wife, but then I’d be afraid she’d star to yell at me.

  4. frjohnk says:

    At the end of the year, as long as Letestu is fourth ( behind McDavid, Nuge and Drai) in center ice time with Yak, I don’t really care which line he is on. They should all have some level of success with him

    As for what the Oilers actually do when it comes to McDavids wingers.

    If healthy its gonna be mostly Lucic and EBERLE. They are the two best wingers and we know that McLellan likes to load his lines.

  5. hunter1909 says:

    Jethro Tull: People post on here that Yak hasn’t been given a prolonged chance with skilled players, and that has sewered his value.

    Haha a counter argument instantly after I posted the opposite.

    Classic!

  6. Jethro Tull says:

    hunter1909: Haha a counter argument instantly after I posted the opposite.

    Classic!

    Actually, I thought I was backing you up, no?

  7. Jethro Tull says:

    hunter1909: Haha a counter argument instantly after I posted the opposite.

    Classic!

    PS, wasn’t aimed at you, anyways.

    Just to the LT world in general. 😉

  8. russ99 says:

    We’re in the Pacific division. We need to beat out 3 (soon to be 4) of those teams to get a playoff spot.

    We play a 29 games within the division and 21 games within the rest of the conference.

    So 14-15 road games of 41 are in the division. and 25 of the 41 road games are in the conference. And if we make the playoffs, the road to the cup lies directly on the same path.

    These teams play heavy, physical, grind you down hockey.

    We really need to let go of the idea of three scoring lines if we want to see the Oilers win.

    Tired of the Oilers trying to play firewagon hockey in a conference schedule and playoff system that’s designed to limit our success by doing so.

    At home, sure, we can loosen up a bit. But on the road, especially in the conference, we need to stop letting in so many easy goals and playing defense as a team than having 9 forwards playing goal-hungry pond hockey.

  9. slopitch says:

    By seasons end:

    27-97-14
    67-93-JP
    DC-29-10
    19-ML-ZK

    Must be the offseason. I can’t remember anyone’s numbers. I’d be fine rotating 14 and 10 using that spot as motivation for both. I hope DC can be a Pisani type. Wish we had a good proven 2 way left wing with speed to spare. I can see Maroon working but I don’t see a great match. Said player would really help 29/10 IMO.

  10. jm363561 says:

    Jethro Tull<

    Skill needs to play with skill, right?Only truly exceptional players can lug around not one, but two grand pianos tied to their ass.
    =======

    As Anton Lander will likely confirm.

    (As I said yesterday, if Yak is not Top Six he might as well be in the press box. A 3RW he is not.)

  11. kinger_OIL says:

    – LT: not sure how many people got the Adam-12 reference: used to watch the reruns as a kid!

    – The RE is the Oil flush Yak and give pool-party Yak’s minutes, because he is new and shiny.

    – Yak will play with Lander/Letetsu, get no powerplay time, and will be part of a package that includes next year’s 1st and one of our young D to acquire another bona-fide D: Book it.

  12. Water Fire says:

    If we hope the Oilers are moving in a new direction, part of that has to be that the team stops villainizing it’s own players. The greatest downfall of the Lowe era was this. We saw it time and again.

    At the same time I have read over and over Oiler fans going on about other teams and their players and how good they are. We see an emerging guy traded, and so many times he’s not magic on ice anymore.

    The Oilers issue is that the team has been in chaos, and young players aren’t put in a position to succeed and the lines are blurred because the team is bad.

    Good teams can put a young guy in a place to contribute, and often when put somewhere else they aren’t as good. Often this is because the guy gets to play with Crosby or Toews etc, and that is done because it helps the team.

    Putting Nail or Caggiula with Connor or a good centre and leaving them there if they stay on task will produce the same results for the Oilers if they can get their ducks in a row, finally. Then keep them or trade them as needed.

  13. hags9k says:

    I don’t hold out much hope that they will give Nail time with 97.

    I like the idea of him there though for all the reasons LT has put forward. It gives the best chance at Unicorns. And I am pulling real hard for Nail to have success as an Oiler.

    However, unicorns are unicorns, Eberle is Eberle, and they also have a new shiny toy from Finland.

    If Tmac puts Nail with 97 it would also make me very happy to know that the OBC influence is not what it used to be. Because giving a young Russian winger who just asked for a trade out, top line time with the superstar center is not an OBC thing to do. At all…

    GOILERS!!

  14. Pouzar says:

    I think Yak with 97 and 27 is the prudent thing. Line 2 will rip the competition a new one me thinks.

  15. Lloyd B. says:

    it also allows Peter Chiarelli to Sam Pollock the player—increasing value, perhaps getting a better return in trade

    This is one thought that a number of folks here often trumpet. The old pump and dump.

    I get the sentiment but don’t completely agree. IF Yakupov improves his play to the point where he is a more valuable asset, why trade him?

    The Oilers will need serviceable wingers that can play up and down the line up on reasonable contracts in the not to distant future.

    When Puljiarvi eats Yaks lunch for top six minutes, I reckon Yak could be a fine third line player that could move up as injuries dictate.

  16. jimmers2 says:

    That offense-possiblly-from-three-lines lineup might work out and is certainly worth a serious trial. Especially if Yak is productive and able to split first line RW minutes, with Eberle taking some with RNH. The question that comes to mind is who plays 2nd line RW with RNH the rest of the time, the hardest minutes, when JP is not yet called up or playing like a rookie? That line has to skate and have a defensive conscience, so is it Pitlick? If so, not much scoring seems likely.

    My own worry about the Hall trade (outside of the price) is that without Hall, both the second and third lines are a bit of a mess. RNH has a tough job to do just to break even, Draisaitl might not be ready for consistent scoring over 80 games at 3C. And where to play Yak? I worry that the Oil might have only one line of offense in the end. So, here is hoping that something like the line up above comes about and works. Yak, YEG turns its hungry eyes to you.

  17. hags9k says:

    I predict that they try Leon RW with 97 at training camp and they blow the doors off. I think we should be very prepared to see Richards as 3C and a dead unicorn rotting on Woodguy’s lawn.

  18. hunter1909 says:

    hags9k: However, unicorns are unicorns, Eberle is Eberle

    I like Eberle a lot.

    However, It appears to my sometimes woeful eye that McDavid’s uber-high pressure style leaves Eberle by comparison looking like he’s floating around, lackadaisical like. It’s not true – Eberle merely plays a style that doesn’t force the play. Yakupov on the other hand is a Tazmanian Devil who, given Lucic and McDavid to riff off could very well blow the doors off everyone else playing RW.

    That’s how I want it, lol.

  19. hunter1909 says:

    hags9k: they blow the doors off.

    hunter1909: blow the doors off

    This is scary.

  20. JJS says:

    I am not sure why people feel the third line has to consist of heavy grinders to succeed in our division. The point of hockey is to score more goals than your opponent. This tends to happen by having good hockey players throughout your lineup. These players should be accountable to defense and have the ability to contribute on the scoresheet from time to time. Having balance implies that each line can produce offense/play defense on a sliding scale of effectiveness. If Yak with McD/Eberle with Nuge results in +20 goals for the team by Nov, then the balance works. If not, try some other combo. The name on the back of the jersey is secondary to this objective.

  21. hags9k says:

    haha seriously, fuck those guys.

  22. Pouzar the Goal Czar says:

    I agree with putting Yak on McDavid’s right side. I thought it was fairly effective last year, because all Yak had to do was give McDavid a 10 foot pass in the defensive or neutral zone and then get on his horse and go to the slot.

    Confidence is huge for any player, but I think it is even more so with Yak. He got to the point where his brain was spinning out of control and he was gripping his stick and then fanning on or missing one timers. With McDavid, he just has to keep it simple and relax.

    Not sure it works, but I would sure give it an extended look. Playing him with the 4th line is a waste of everybody’s time.

  23. МАГИЯ 10 says:

    Hockey’s Back!

    97, 93, 29 & 2 hit the ice tonight in Quebec City.
    The Arena opens in Edmonton.
    LT cranks up the Yakfest.

    Music. Magic. Mayhem.

    Trifecta Thursday.

  24. haters says:

    If Yak plays 60+ games with McDavid, does anyone think he won’t get 25+ goals and north of 60 pts?

    I wouldn’t bet against him this year. To much to prove, so much critisisim from fans, Russian coaches, and pretty much every media person. He will be out to prove us all ( and probably himself) wrong.

    I’ve always liked Nail. Loved him. Maybe it’s because when I first fell in love with the Oilers it was when they were perineal underdogs in the mid late 90s. Squeezing into playoffs and upsetting Dallas and Colorado, the high salary overpaid asshats that were Cup favorites every year. It’s also why I didn’t like Hall that much, he never seemed to like Yak, and that just pissed me off. He should have had plenty of friends and mentors in that dressing room that just went through what he did. It looked like no one wanted to support the exuberant Russian.
    I blame Eakins for all of Yaks troubles. To many times singled out, a convenient scape goat and whipping boy.

    I remember when we picked up Samsonov at the deadline or before maybe in 06. He told reporters and his coaches, “I don’t kill penaltys” . I laughed and thought what a cocky bastard, but there is something to be said about someone that knows their strengths and plays to them. I hope Yak finds his strengths this year and proves everyone in the hockey world wrong.

    I think we see 60+ Pts from him this year and I can’t wait to see what his next contract will be.

  25. Drew says:

    JJS:
    I am not sure why people feel the third line has to consist of heavy grinders to succeed in our division.The point of hockey is to score more goals than your opponent.This tends to happen by having good hockey players throughout your lineup.These players should be accountable to defense and have the ability to contribute on the scoresheet from time to time.Having balance implies that each line can produce offense/play defense on a sliding scale of effectiveness.If Yak with McD/Eberle with Nuge results in +20 goals for the team by Nov, then the balance works.If not, try some other combo.The name on the back of the jersey is secondary to this objective.

    I wonder who had their “doors blown off” during the finals, the heavy team or the 3 line fast team?

    oh I agree, i don’t care if the 4th line plays more than 6 or 7 minutes a night if the top 3 lines are stealing lunch money.

  26. StixMalone says:

    What happens if Yak turns it up this year? He is a UFA next season and might want a big raise. Can we afford him if his value goes up? The pump and dump theory could backfire……

  27. Pouzar says:

    МАГИЯ 10:
    Hockey’s Back!

    97, 93, 29, and 2 hit the ice tonight in Quebec City.
    The Arena opens in /Edmonton
    LT cranks up the Yakfest,

    Trifecta Thursday.

    I’m all over it

  28. haters says:

    StixMalone:
    What happens if Yak turns it up this year? He is a UFA next season and might want a big raise. Can we afford him if his value goes up? The pump and dump theory could backfire……

    Rfa I believe. Needs another bridge or long term contract that sees him thru his Ufa contract.

  29. Drew says:

    StixMalone:
    What happens if Yak turns it up this year? He is a UFA next season and might want a big raise. Can we afford him if his value goes up? The pump and dump theory could backfire……

    well, seems to a better problem than having no value yes/no?

  30. Pouzar the Goal Czar says:

    Pouzar,

    Hi Pouzar. I see my name is fsimilar to yours. I certainly didn’t mean to “steal: your name. I recall back in the day a banner hung from Northlands that read “Pouzar the Goal Czar”. It made me laugh, because I liked old “He Think Me Hamburger” Pouzar, but he certainly wasn’t a goal czar!

    I tried to change my login name, but it won’t let me. So as to not get into a trademark dispute, I will cancel my account and try again.

    Cheers.

  31. Pouzar says:

    Pouzar the Goal Czar:
    Pouzar,

    Hi Pouzar.I see my name is fsimilar to yours.I certainly didn’t mean to “steal: your name.I recall back in the day a banner hung from Northlands that read “Pouzar the Goal Czar”.It made me laugh, because I liked old “He Think Me Hamburger” Pouzar, but he certainly wasn’t a goal czar!

    I tried to change my login name, but it won’t let me.So as to not get into a trademark dispute, I will cancel my account and try again.

    Cheers.

    Ha ha, no worries…I’m just worried the wrath of some may inadvertently be sent your way!

    Welcome!

  32. haters says:

    Jethro Tull:
    OK, here’s one for you.

    People post on here that Yak hasn’t been given a prolonged chance with skilled players, and that has sewered his value.

    So what do you all think will happen when Drai is playing 3rd line center with two boat anchors and puts up 35pts next season?

    Skill needs to play with skill, right?Only truly exceptional players can lug around not one, but two grand pianos tied to their ass.

    It would be so Oilers to start Drai on the 3rd line and not on the RW where he’ll be arguably better sheltered.The fallacy is that there are easy minutes in the NHL.There aren’t.Only favourable match-ups.

    Boat anchors named Puljijarvi and Maroon ?? Not seeing a bad line there at all. I would run that line and if the game gets to tight sit yak and play Dria in his place. Shorten the bench like every other team does that has significant depth and talent.

    I also like Yak because Stauffer seems to hate him now. I hate hearing him digest his lunch on air everyday and pontificate how Yak doesn’t deserve a chance with Connor. Really don’t like Stauffer at all. Have another Mediterranean chicken you fat &@$)!!

  33. StixMalone says:

    haters,

    My bad yes RFA. I hope he has a great year (and he knows it) but if he stays the same what do we do with him? We wait and hope…..

  34. B S says:

    The “earn it” argument makes no sense to me. Especially on this team, for Three overarching reasons:

    None of the other young players on the team had to “earn it” Hall, Eberle, and within his first year Nuge, were playing first line minutes with other skilled players. Hall and Ebs started with the top center on the team. Injuries were incredibly important to the decision, but Nurse played 1st pairing for much of last season. Even Drai and Lander were played too long above their comfort level before being sent down. Yak killed it his first season, should have been nominated for the Calder (better or equal numbers to Huberdeau on a worse team ffs). New coach comes in and plays Yak with a rookie or dregs and benches him for the rest of the game if he makes a mistake (I like Hall and Eberle, but the made lots of the same stupid mistakes and they never get treated that way. it creates a double standard).

    Second, what does Yak have to do to “earn it”? The goal posts seem to move an awful lot. Post good numbers on the skill lines? he did that with McDavid, at a time when McD was struggle to score and move the puck up ice it should be remembered. Yak unlocked McDavid. Play well with the dregs? Literally the only player to drag Letestu up to respectable scoring numbers was traded this summer.

    Third, Who plays 2nd line RW? Yak is our #2 RW. He has the 2nd best scoring of any RW on the team last season, despite his terrible numbers. We established long ago that Yak doesn’t work well with RNH. Do the Oilers hope that they can fix whatever the problem is? If you move Drai up to the that position (they worked well together with Hall last season) 3C is Letestu, Hendricks is 4C, assuming you don’t play a rookie there. No the Oilers are a two line team. Not just a 2-scoring line team. The bottom six is terrible enough with Drai. Play JP there? What has he done to “earn it?” (see point 1) more than Yakupov?. Relying on a rookie to come in and save the day has been the MO for the last 6 seasons.

    As I see it Yak has two problems:

    1 he needs to read the plays better in his own zone. By eye, and I think Woodguy posted supporting numbers, Yakupov has improved in this area, particularly last season. He’s hard along the boards, and he’s blocking the passing lanes, but he needs to keep his eyes on everyone.

    2 He needs to relax. Yakupov’s sh% has plummeted. Part of that is the goalies and dmen getting a read on him (Happens to most players), the rest is him tightening up when he goes to shoot. it slows him down and throws his aim off. Yakupov’s sights are just fine. See rookie season, and anytime he’s practicing. but being worried that you aren’t going to get another shift if you don’t scoring tends to tighten the grip a little.

    sorry for the long post.

  35. JustWatt says:

    I know there are very few (if any) new thoughts on this subject but I have to say that I can’t understand those who argue that Yak hasn’t earned his shot with 97.

    The numbers he posted with him last year are legit. He earned them.

    His position as the second best RW on the team is fact. He earned it.

    So what else does he have to do? Put them together in preseason games and make sure the magic is still there (it will be this is McDavid).

    Also, LT has noted multiple times that chemistry is chemistry and wise coaches go with whatever works, ala Rust on 87s wing this past playoffs.

    And on this team it opens up more positive third line possibilities if Yak plays top 6. I can see JP succeeding on a soft minutes 3line with Drai if the Oil are determined to keep him with the big club.

    On the other hand, put Yak anywhere else and something breaks down.

    Play him 3RW with Drai (who we see he was effective with) and who plays 1RW and 2RW? One of those spots will be a gapping hole.

    Play him 3RW with a different center so Drai can move up to RW and your 3 line stinks offensively and you throw away Yak’s potential and crater any hope of increasing his trade appeal.

    I don’t see a single better suggestion than the one LT has been floating for months.

  36. flyfish1168 says:

    It is interesting how people have such a long memory on mistakes and just focus on just the offense.

    I believe even by numbers and by eye last year Nail was much better on the defensive side of the puck. Our other wingers still make defensive errors but not pointed out as harshly as Nail’s errors.
    This player has turned north even with 4 different coaches and 4 restarts. I want all our players to succeed with team 1st concept so we can make the playoffs. JMHO

  37. Pouzar says:

    former #nhljets D Adam Pardy has signed a PTO with Florida Panthers

    — gary lawless (@garylawless) September 8, 2016

  38. npanciroli says:

    I’ve said before I want,

    Lucic McDavid Yakupov
    Pouliot RNH Eberle
    Maroon Drai JP (or vet RW signing if JP doesn’t stick)
    Hendricks Letestu Kassian

    I think you can run the top two lines against all competition and the third line work at getting easier minutes.

    Realistically the lines will be fluid and late game you could run,

    Lucic McDavid Eberle
    Pouliot RNH Drai

    as the top two.

    I would prefer to always have that center depth most of the game though, Yak/JP and Pouliot/Maroon are the most fluid changes in my books with Lucic/McDavid, RNH/Eberle joined at the hip.

  39. rickithebear says:

    Just broke down Pakarinen’s
    GF waoy with Forwards
    and GA wowy with D.

    But just lost the post.
    it takes me too Damn long to redo.
    BUt:

    last year;
    Pakarinen
    Forwards:
    with top 60 Fwd got top 3 fwd EVP/60 results

    with top 9 Fwd got top 6 fwd results.

    with #13- #15 (PB) Forwards;
    got top 10 fwd resuts w lander and Hendricks.
    got PB results with Letestu and korpikoski.

    Dmen:

    with top 60 HSCA; Sa D
    he got top 10 GA results.

    with bottom 60 HSCA and Bottom 80 Sa D
    He got top 10 GA results.

    With Bottom 20 HSCA and Bottom 30 Sa D
    he got bottom 10 results.
    except with nurse he was top 30 GA results.

    So with
    Top 6 forwards and top 60 D he has some the best +ve Goal Diff results.

    top 9 forwards and below average D has well above average +ve goal diff results.

    PB forwards and Bottom 20 D.
    he has slightly above average to Even results with Lander and Hendriacks
    He has PB results with Letestu and Korpikoski.

    So if we play him with top 9 Forwards and top 4 D we have seen above average to elite FGoal diff results.

  40. West says:

    Yak,

    What are you going to do about it?

    Sincerely,

    Big Fan

  41. Ducey says:

    I know everyone likes their stats but maybe we will come to the realization someday that just flopping out the points or Corsi WOWY is just part of the picture.

    People are down on looking at zone starts but to me they signal usage. If you are getting a lot of DZS the coach looks at you as a defensive option and also likely plays you against tougher comp.

    When Yak played with Connor, they had 36.4 OZFO, 17.6 DZFO and 46.0 NZFO.

    When Yak played with Letestu, they had 26.3 OZ, 31.2 DZ, and 42.4 NZ.

    When Yak played with Nuge, it was 29 OZ, 34 DZ, 36.2 NZ

    Connor without Yak was 30.9 OZ/ 38.5DZ/ 30.6 NZ. Connor was 31.4 OZ/ 33.8 DZ/ 34.8 NZ with Eberle

    Lots of numbers there, but the thing that stands out is the 17.6 DZS for Yak with Connor. So the numbers of Connor with Yak and Eberle might be similar, but its likely that Yak’s numbers were generated in softer minutes (better zone starts, easier comp) than Eberle’s. 17.6 DZ starts for Yak with Connor is pretty strong sheltering. Its clear TMc did that on purpose. He likely picked his spots on opposition too.

    So if you want to play Connor with Yak, you have to find a way to shelter Connor. That will be tough (especially on the road) and result on more pressure on Nuge and Leon.

    This is really the horns of the dilemma.

    If it is going to be power v power (I think it has to be if you have a player like Connor) then the proper RW is Eberle for Connor. Yak is going to do better in sheltered minutes (ie not with Letestu) and therefore I think the best C to play him with will be Leon (presumably Nuge with get his fair share of tough minutes).

    To summarize the lines should be

    Toughs (Connor)
    2nd toughs (Nuge)
    sheltered (Leon)
    Dregs/ PK (Letestu)

    Yak should be on the sheltered line.

  42. B S says:

    npanciroli,

    The lines are definitely fluid, and the other part of the anti-yak sentiment that doesn’t make sense is why the oilers shouldn’t at least try it. I think even the most ardent Yakupov supporter would support moving him down the lineup if he’s not producing with McDavid. the lines aren’t set in stone. I know there is a big push on here, by many, for a 3RW, but I think a RH 3C would be better.

    A real 3C balances the forwards so nicely. I hope we get one before the season starts. Drai moves to right wing alongside say a Richards-from-3-seasons-ago (insert preferred available player here, he’s just the one we know is coming to camp, I’m not confident he will have it together enough to make the team, but it doesn’t hurt) and you have 3 solid lines that can all score, the top two quite well and the 3rd enough to draw some of the tougher competition, with a 4th that can probably cause some ruckus in limited minutes. Lots of depth in the Minors to be called up following injuries.

    Lucic McDavid Yakupov
    Pouliot RNH Eberle
    Maroon Drai
    Hendricks Letestu Kassian
    Lander

    or if you like

    Lucic McDavid Eberle
    Pouliot RNH Drai
    Maroon Yakupov
    Hendricks Letestu Kassian
    Lander/Khaira/ whoever

    3 lines that are a threat to score. Third line in the top option is big and heavy on the wings, regardless of who the 3C is. No need for a Rookie.

  43. John Chambers says:

    StixMalone:
    What happens if Yak turns it up this year? He is a UFA next season and might want a big raise. Can we afford him if his value goes up? The pump and dump theory could backfire……

    Yak has two RFA years after this one.

    Even if he puts up 60 points alongside McDavid he has three sub-par seasons to atone for.

    I think if he scores 25 and looks like a complete player he can still be signed for $3.5M x 4 or something like that.

  44. stush18 says:

    Re: woodguy

    Figured I’d reply in this thread about pak.

    That’s a good point about his CA/CF. and this makes sense why I see him good, because the things he does lead directly to good defense.

    I think we’ll not agree on this point however, as I still think his contributions to this team are negligible. That being said, I won’t be upset if beck makes the team instead, (or whoever) or if pak is attached to JP’s hip to help him navigate North America easier, whether it be on the oilers or on the condors

  45. Drew says:

    Ducey:
    I know everyone likes their stats but maybe we will come to the realization someday that just flopping out the points or Corsi WOWY is just part of the picture.

    People are down on looking at zone starts but to me they signal usage. If you are getting a lot of DZS the coach looks at you as a defensive option and also likely plays you against tougher comp.

    When Yak played with Connor, they had 36.4 OZFO, 17.6 DZFO and 46.0 NZFO.

    When Yak played with Letestu, they had 26.3 OZ, 31.2 DZ, and 42.4 NZ.

    When Yak played with Nuge, it was 29 OZ, 34 DZ, 36.2 NZ

    Connor without Yak was 30.9 OZ/ 38.5DZ/ 30.6 NZ. Connor was 31.4 OZ/ 33.8 DZ/ 34.8 NZ with Eberle

    Lots of numbers there, but the thing that stands out is the 17.6 DZS for Yak with Connor. So the numbers of Connor with Yak and Eberle might be similar, but its likely that Yak’s numbers were generated in softer minutes (better zone starts, easier comp) than Eberle’s.17.6 DZ starts for Yak with Connor is pretty strong sheltering. Its clear TMc did that on purpose. He likely picked his spots on opposition too.

    So if you want to play Connor with Yak, you have to find a way to shelter Connor. That will be tough (especially on the road) and result on more pressure on Nuge and Leon.

    This is really the horns of the dilemma.

    If it is going to be power v power (I think it has to be if you have a player like Connor) then the proper RW is Eberle for Connor. Yak is going to do better in sheltered minutes (ie not with Letestu) and therefore I think the best C to play him with will be Leon (presumably Nuge with get his fair share of tough minutes).

    for the sake of discussion purposes only what could this mean 3 or 4 face-offs a game. I seem to remember reading someone’s work (GM, WG, Wheat???) that zone starts do not have as strong an influence as originally thought?

    Does show a level of comfort from the coaching staff thou.

  46. rickithebear says:

    Last 2 years Oiler Forward Shooting % Rank
    #3 Mcdavid C 16.22
    #28 Kassain RW 13.33
    #29 Eberle RW 13.25
    #30 Lucic LW 13.24
    #31 Pouliot LW13.16
    ————————- #1 Fwd
    #65 RNH C 11.85
    ———————— #3 Fwd
    #99 Draisatl C 10.95; last year 14.15 #1 fwd rate.
    ———————– #4 Fwd
    ————————————————————————— Top 6 Fwds
    #196 Letestu 8.77
    ———————— #7 Fwd
    #245 Hall 7.89; #18 fwd 1.42 EVA/60
    #263 Maroon 7.61 #86 Fwd 1.08 EVA/60
    ———————— #9 Fwd
    #317 Yakupov 6.25
    ————————- #11 Fwd

    Yak:
    12-13:
    48gm 17G; 21.0 SH%; -4
    13-14
    63gm 11G; 9.0 SH%; -33
    14-15
    81gm 14G; 7.3 SH%; -35
    15-16
    60gm 8g; 6.3 SH%; -16

    The one thing the team publicly mentioned telling Yak?
    Work on accurate targeting of your Shot!

  47. Yeti says:

    Ducey,

    I think this is incredibly useful way of looking at it and adds much to our thinking on Yak.
    If management is thinking that putting Yak with McDavid means finding them butter soft minutes, then it won’t happen. But perhaps part of Yak’s late season usage was precisely to toughen him up defensively? If the eye and the stats back up that he improved defensively as the season wore on, then there is reason to believe that maybe this year will be better than the last.
    (I can’t remember the last thing McLellan said as he was leaving, other than Connor McDavid goes by so fast).

  48. stush18 says:

    Ducey:
    I know everyone likes their stats but maybe we will come to the realization someday that just flopping out the points or Corsi WOWY is just part of the picture.

    People are down on looking at zone starts but to me they signal usage. If you are getting a lot of DZS the coach looks at you as a defensive option and also likely plays you against tougher comp.

    When Yak played with Connor, they had 36.4 OZFO, 17.6 DZFO and 46.0 NZFO.

    When Yak played with Letestu, they had 26.3 OZ, 31.2 DZ, and 42.4 NZ.

    When Yak played with Nuge, it was 29 OZ, 34 DZ, 36.2 NZ

    Connor without Yak was 30.9 OZ/ 38.5DZ/ 30.6 NZ. Connor was 31.4 OZ/ 33.8 DZ/ 34.8 NZ with Eberle

    Lots of numbers there, but the thing that stands out is the 17.6 DZS for Yak with Connor. So the numbers of Connor with Yak and Eberle might be similar, but its likely that Yak’s numbers were generated in softer minutes (better zone starts, easier comp) than Eberle’s.17.6 DZ starts for Yak with Connor is pretty strong sheltering. Its clear TMc did that on purpose. He likely picked his spots on opposition too.

    So if you want to play Connor with Yak, you have to find a way to shelter Connor. That will be tough (especially on the road) and result on more pressure on Nuge and Leon.

    This is really the horns of the dilemma.

    If it is going to be power v power (I think it has to be if you have a player like Connor) then the proper RW is Eberle for Connor. Yak is going to do better in sheltered minutes (ie not with Letestu) and therefore I think the best C to play him with will be Leon (presumably Nuge with get his fair share of tough minutes).

    To summarize the lines should be

    Toughs (Connor)
    2nd toughs (Nuge)
    sheltered (Leon)
    Dregs/ PK (Letestu)

    Yak should be on the sheltered line.

    I agree yak should play with Leon, but I’d spread the wealth across the lines, rather than stacking up lucic-mcdavid-ebs

    Lucic-mcdavid-kass/slepy/beck
    Maroon-nuge-ebs
    Pouliot-drai-yak

    Or if you want nuge to take on the toughs
    Lucic-nuge-ebs
    Maroon-mcdavid-yak
    Poo-drai-kass

  49. LadiesloveSmid says:

    if Yak scores 60P then either he, Davidson, and/or a new D acquisition is expansion fodder

    If EDM signs Boyes/Versteeg then you can play Yak with Drai on the 3rd line. You can’t play him with RNH and expect either to put up much, and you can’t put JP in RNH’s deployment off the hop. It’s a million and a half bucks at most, just sign one of the men

  50. Ducey says:

    Drew: for the sake of discussion purposes only what could this mean 3 or 4 face-offs a game. I seem to remember reading someone’s work (GM, WG, Wheat???) that zone starts do not have as strong an influence as originally thought?

    Does show a level of comfort from the coaching staff thou.

    It was GMoney. I know the study. But as Woodguy has been doing with Larsson, I think where you see something out of whack with the zone starts it should make you start asking questions about usage.

    The faceoffs signal that TMc was trying to put Yak out with Connor in some softer minutes. Presumably the faceoffs would also be reflected in line changes as well.

    Anyway, I put it out there. I think the question is more complicated than just looking at WOWY. Someone is going to get easier minutes. It likely should be Yak if we expect him to contribute in the boxscores.

  51. dustrock says:

    Not really on topic, but I recall one of the strikes against Puljujarvi this draft year was that his 5v5 scoring wasn’t exceptional.

    LT has noted his scoring rates aren’t anywhere near a Barkov level, in terms of projecting his impact in the bigs.

    Here’s what Kournianos, who I have a lot of time for, said:

    His somewhat marginal production in the men’s league is misleading; he’s one of Karpat’s most productive forwards in terms of generating shots, and a post-WJC spike should be expected in spite of a recent drop in ice time.

    -Steve Kournianos (The Draft Analyst)

  52. B S says:

    stush18,

    Hall Nuge Drai/Ebs was the first line last season, ebs and Nuge were injured for part of it.
    Pouliot McDavid Yakupov was the second line at approximately the same time. At one point all three players were out at the same time. When Ebs moved up to McDavid’s wing it became the first line. If teams want to put their best out against Lucic McDavid and Yak, then Nuge and Ebs will feast on the easier comp.

    Also, show me a team that lost its entire second line, half its Dcorpse and had injuries to 2/3rds of its first line for significant portions of the season, and still made the playoffs. I know the team had depth problems last season. But injuries gutted this roster last season. A healthy year from the top players could turn this team around fast.

  53. G Money says:

    I respect Ducey’s work in digging into the matter. Well done.

    Reminder: d zone starts aren’t really a reflection of sheltering as we think of it (a coach trying to protect a player).

    QoC is a better reflection of sheltering.

    D and O zone starts are generally more a reflection of the coaches confidence in that aspect of the game.

    Players trusted defensively or not trusted offensively tend to get heavier d zone starts.

    Players trusted offensively or not trusted defensively tend to get heavier o zone starts.

    If you use ZS as a measure of sheltering, for many years, the Sedin twins were the most sheltered players in the league.

    So the numbers Ducey has pulled suggest that TMc trusts Yak with defensive work less than he does some others.

    I think that is true (and partially fair, though also somewhat out of date).

  54. B S says:

    Ducey,

    The other possibility is that the Oilers had fewer defensive zone starts the games with McDavid-Yak. I know Ebs didn’t come back until half the roster was in the ER. I don’t have the time, but it could be checked by comparing team zone starts for those games.

  55. haters says:

    rickithebear,

    Riki
    Even you have to admit Yak looked pretty damned ok last year. Wasn’t missing as many plays as years past and his time with McDavid was amazing.

    Deployed properly he has a chance to be better than just ok this year.
    Right ?

  56. jonrmcleod says:

    How about this as the third line:

    Pouliot – Draisaitl – Nail

  57. B S says:

    jonrmcleod,

    Lucic McDavid Ebs,
    Maroon RNH Kassian?

  58. LadiesloveSmid says:

    jonrmcleod:
    How about this as the third line:

    Pouliot – Draisaitl – Nail

    looks good to me, who plays with RNH though?

  59. Centre of attention says:

    jonrmcleod:
    How about this as the third line:

    Pouliot – Draisaitl – Nail

    I’ve mentioned this as a possible 3rd line before, but people don’t like the idea of Maroon in the top 6 for what ever reason.

  60. jonrmcleod says:

    LadiesloveSmid: looks good to me, who plays with RNH though?

    It would probably have to be Puljujarvi…unless more moves are made.

  61. Centre of attention says:

    B S:
    jonrmcleod,

    Lucic McDavid Ebs,
    Maroon RNH Kassian?

    Maroon-McDavid-Eberle
    Lucic-Nuge-Kassian
    Pouliot-Drai-Yakupov

    I think Nuge needs Lucic more than McDavid does. Maroon-McDavid-Eberle were on fire for the back half of the year so why mess with that.

    I know Lucic will get looks on McDavids line, but I like the thought of Lucic with Nuge more in my opinion. Gives Nuge a more consistent even-strength producer as well as some muscle.

  62. vinotintazo says:

    the hell with the 3rd line, lets stack the top 6.

    Lucic-McD-Ebs
    Poo-RNH-Drai
    Maroon-whocares-Yak
    Hendo-Letestube-Kassasin.

  63. rickithebear says:

    Drew: for the sake of discussion purposes only what could this mean 3 or 4 face-offs a game. I seem to remember reading someone’s work (GM, WG, Wheat???) that zone starts do not have as strong an influence as originally thought?

    Does show a level of comfort from the coaching staff thou.

    you take the expected SA per face off win rates.
    Work from an early study by unknown source.
    have allways used it as my standard.
    OZ win .51 Shots For per FOW
    OZ loss .37 Shots against per FOL

    NZ Win .37 shots for per FOW
    NZ loss .37 Shots against per FOL

    DZ win .37 Shots for per FOW
    DZ win .51 Shots against per FOL

    on the extreme end of OZ and DZ start %
    60% of SF and SAG can be directly from FO pocession
    the other 40% from open play and Bench change system.

    you need to get
    A Players EVTOI:
    divide it by 60 to get 60 min segment count.

    then look at a players
    OZ FOW count times .51; then divide by Go to get the SA/60 rate
    OZ FOL count times .37…….
    NZ FOW count times .37 …….
    NZ FOL count times .37 ……..
    DZ FOW count times .37 …….
    DZ FOL count times .51 ……..

    then sum up the SF/60 and SA/60.
    compare that to a players total rates.

    Adam Larsson:
    21.91 SF/60;
    25.10 SA/60;
    21.91 – 25.10 -3.19 SD/60
    1467.47 EVTOI = 24.458 60 minute segments.

    OZFOW 141 X .51 = 71.91/24.458 = 2.94SF/60
    OZ FOL 151 X .37 = 55.87/24.458 = 2.28 SA/60
    NZFOW 233 = 3.52 SF/60
    NZ FOL 262 = 3.96 SA/60
    DZ FOW 315 X .37 = 4.77SF/60
    DZ FOL 350 x .51 = 7.30SA/60

    FOW shots For = 2.94 + 3.52 + 4.77 = 11.23 SF/60
    FOL shots against = 2.28 + 3.96 + 7.30 = 13.54 SA/60
    Shot dif from FO = 11.23 – 13.54 SA/60 = -2.31
    % SF/60 from FO = 11.23/21.91 = 51.25%
    % SA/60 From FO = 13.54/25.10 = 53.9%

    here is the critical one;
    shot Dif from open play = -3.19 – (-2.31) = – .88 SA/60
    27.6% of the dif is from open play.
    72.4% of the dif is from Expected FO affect.

    I would consider that a dramatic affect!
    when measuring a players performance.

  64. G Money says:

    Drew: for the sake of discussion purposes only what could this mean 3 or 4 face-offs a game. I seem to remember reading someone’s work (GM, WG, Wheat???) that zone starts do not have as strong an influence as originally thought?

    Does show a level of comfort from the coaching staff thou.

    Correct. The total impact that zone starts have on a player is typically quite small. The zone starts have to get extreme before it becomes of significance.

    This is a counter-intuitive result for most people, so let me explain as quickly as I can:

    – The impact of an individual faceoff can be quite significant, especially if it is a faceoff win in the offensive zone, or a loss in the defensive zone

    – However, the impact of all the faceoffs over a course of a season starts to get smaller and smaller in the context of broader play. This is how it happens:

    – The difference between the best and worst faceoff teams is from about 45% to 55%. So in effect, whatever number of d or o faceoffs you take, over the course of a season, cut it in half.

    – Faceoffs tend to occur in less than half of a players shifts. So the majority of a players metrics are actually derived from play where no faceoff occurred. In Yak’s case for example, he was on the ice for 636 faceoffs, encompassing 504 shifts, out of 1166 shifts (i.e. less than 50%).

    – Then we have to factor in that faceoffs are often a symptom of a player’s skill. We can try and suss this out by look at true zone starts – the number of times a players shift started with a faceoff. This is where the coach’s trust shows. These tend to be again about 50% or less of the total faceoffs.

    In Yak’s case for example, his true zone starts were 92 O and 92 D. His earned faceoffs were 100 O and 93 D. So his coach trusts him about 50%, and the rest of the time, Yak and his line are actually doing a decent job of driving the play into the O zone. So his zone starts make him look slightly more sheltered than he is – in fact, he’s bloating his own O zone starts by virtue of good play.

    So you add all these factors up:
    – in Yak’s case, he had 1166 shifts but only 92 shifts where TMc gave him an o zone start
    – of those 92, his team would have won only about 50% of them, so in effect, his numbers are ‘bloated’ by winning 46 faceoffs out of shot metrics generated over 1166 shifts
    – He also got 92 true d zone starts, which deficit is again cut in half … and happens to perfectly cancel out his o zone starts

    So you’re left with the fact that Yak’s numbers (shots, points, whatever) are almost perfectly reflective of his on-ice results. The effect of zone starts on his numbers is essentially trivial.

    Now what Ducey has done is shown that Yak got more preferential starts … or maybe he earned them … with McDavid. But the difference between those two numbers is probably equating to two faceoffs a game … cut that in half, and your impact is one o zone faceoff per game advantage, which in a game with 20+ shifts, still barely moves the needle.

    Counter-intuitive, but true nonetheless.

  65. G Money says:

    rickithebear,

    Except your numbers are unweighted by the occurrence of open play, which is more than 50% of the time just as a result of on-the-fly shifts alone.

    You also treat it as if a faceoff shift occurrence turns the entire shift into non-open play, which it most certainly does not.

    That faceoff differential you are quoting is a measurement that exists for approximately 20 to 30 seconds after a faceoff.

    It disappears after that time, and in effect, the rest of that shift to the next faceoff is equivalent to open play.

    This means that open play reflects something like 80% (probably closer to 90%) of the 5v5 game.

    This doesn’t matter if you’re comparing raw numbers as those automatically reflect the scale of the timeframes (e.g. like Yak’s 1166 shifts, 662 on the fly, 185 d zone faceoffs, 92 true d zone faceoffs), but the weighting matters a whole hell of a lot if you convert it to ‘per 60’ rates as you have.

    By ignoring the weighting effect, you’ve made the faceoff effect look about 4X larger than it actually is.

    That’s why in rickistats you can finish with a flourish and say “look, just add it up, what a big effect!” and yet when people do actually add it up, the effect basically disappears.

    Bad stats are worse than no stats at all, Ricki.

  66. Bruce McCurdy says:

    G Money:
    – Faceoffs tend to occur in less than half of a players shifts.So the majority of a players metrics are actually derived from play where no faceoff occurred.In Yak’s case for example, he was on the ice for 636 faceoffs, out of 1166 shifts (i.e. less than 50%).

    I don’t think 50% means what you think it means.

    Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t the respective numbers be 5v5 faceoffs but ALL shifts including special teams? I know of no source that segregates EV shifts.

  67. G Money says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Heh heh. I can do higher math, arithmetic escapes me. (the comment has been fixed to read 636 faceoffs occurring in 504 shifts out of 1166 total shifts, less than 50%).

    You are talking to the one source that aggregates EV shifts!

    I will be making my ‘true zone starts’ database available publicly soon (available now by request).

    The TOI calculations to suss out EV shifts is stupidly complicated, and I haven’t released it yet because of worries about bugs. But I’m confident in using it for individual players, as I can validate the faceoff counts against other sites.

  68. delooper says:

    In the first Taylor Hall trade thread I suggested this was a big opportunity for Yak — to play with McDavid. It seemed obvious then. Surprised people are still chewing on this now. I’m almost certain this was part of Chiarelli’s thought process when he traded Hall.

    It’s going to happen, whether people like it or not, folks. Get used to it!

  69. G Money says:

    delooper,

    Ha, here I claim I can do higher math, and along comes the one guy who can make fun of my definition of ‘higher’ math!

  70. stush18 says:

    jonrmcleod:
    How about this as the third line:

    Pouliot – Draisaitl – Nail

    I mean I just posted that and I get some pushback. People want unicorns but refuse to push maroon into the top six.

  71. TO10801 says:

    vinotintazo,

    Gregor had an article at ON and said one of Richards, Lander, Khaira,, or DC could have a shot at 3C. Will be interesting to see what the lines look like when camp opens

  72. rickithebear says:

    Pouzar: Ha ha, no worries…I’m just worried the wrath of some may inadvertently be sent your way!

    Welcome!

    Wrath?

    This place is most accepting of those who go against the flow!

    it is almost hippy freakish!

  73. LadiesloveSmid says:

    WG or GM,

    what do you guys take of Klefbom-Schultz’s CF and xGF numbers? was the team around them brutal making their rels damn impressive or did they have some serious chemistry?

    think I might like the D lineup of

    Davidson-Larsson
    Klefbom-Fayne
    Sekera-Gryba

    wish there was some damn offence in there outside of Klef and that EDM would stop trying to stick Nurse in the NHL so fast, based on Chia’s comments he obviously recognizes the importance of L-R

  74. Doug McLachlan says:

    I am all about the unicorns. If Drai is using his big body and sublime passing from the wing – he’s being wasted. Shelter him if needed but keep him at center. He needs a trigger man and while I’m ok with Yakupov, that’s too much chaos for TMac so pair him with Ebs.

    Lucic doesn’t have the speed to help McDavid. On the PP, sure, but not 5×5. He excelled with Krejci in Boston – in Edmonton that center is RNH.

    Yakupov showed he could give and go with McDavid. He’s “earned it” by maximizing his value when paired with 97. Hope that Chia and TMac can see this.

    So:

    Pouliot – McDavid – Yakupov
    Lucic – Nuge – Kassian/JP/Versteeg
    Maroon – Drai – Eberle
    Hendricks – Letestu – Kassian/JP/Versteeg

  75. stush18 says:

    Also smal sample size, but maroon was one of the league leaders in individual high scoring chances for. Basically he didn’t generate a lot of shot, but when he did he was in a favourable spot

    Which matches the eyes. He’s a smart player. He hangs out around the net while two skilled players do the cycle, and all of a sudden he’s forgotten.

    I don’t think he’s a better shooter than lucic, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he scores more goals

  76. Pouzar says:

    rickithebear: Wrath?

    This place is most accepting of those who go against the flow!

    it is almost hippy freakish!

    Good description!

  77. judgedrude says:

    Lowetide: I think we need to get away from this kind of thinking, it is old school. Who cares if he deserves it? I don’t. I do care about using the lineup in the most effective way.

    LT, maybe you would prefer to express it as:

    No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in Oilerdom.

  78. Pouzar says:

    I think McDavid-Drai would steal opponents souls. Would like to see it.
    Also, playing Top 6 isn’t a waste no matter where they play.

  79. vinotintazo says:

    TO10801:
    vinotintazo,

    Gregor had an article at ON and said one of Richards, Lander, Khaira,, or DC could have a shot at 3C. Will be interesting to see what the lines look like when camp opens

    I hope they sign someone.
    if one of the 3Cs gets injured, the team suffers alot.

  80. G Money says:

    Speaking of sheltering, here are the WoodMoney TOI %ages of time faced:

    Elite/Middle/Gritensity

    Ebs 37% / 40% / 24%
    Yak 35% / 33% / 33%

    (numbers won’t always add to 100% because of rounding)

    Note that this isn’t a true reflection of sheltering as it only reflects the calibre of forwards that the two have faced, not the defensemen (which aren’t in WM yet).

    So as far as the quality of other forward lines that they face, I’d say Yak isn’t really sheltered. When he’s on the top lines, he faces other top forwards. His larger “Grit” TOI almost certainly reflects his time in the purgatory of the Letestu/Korpse lines.

  81. G Money says:

    LadiesloveSmid,

    I can’t speak to the pairing of Klef/Schultz because I don’t have WOWYs built into WoodMoney yet.

    But for Schultz individually, his numbers break down kind of as you’d expect:
    – he has poor CF against good players, OK CF against mid players, and good CF against bad players
    – he has brutal DFF against good players, decent DFF against mid players, and makes massive hay against bad players

    All of which matches very nicely with the eye test. Schultz has skills and speed, and can deploy those very effectively on a third pairing.

    But he gets destroyed, especially from a ‘danger’ perspective, when he’s out against the best players.

    If he’d been a third pairing RHD making $1.5M, we’d likely be very happy with having Schultz, and he’d still be an Oiler. Instead we got $3 to $4M, “Norris”, Petry sent away, top pairing ice time, and an entire fan base tearing its hair out every time a soft play caused yet another deadly chance or goal.

    Hey, the Stanley Cup champs just signed Schultz to play 3rd pairing RHD for $1.4M!

    Someone out there is a whole lot smarter than MacT? Inconceivable!

  82. G Money says:

    Sobotka has left the game with clavicle injury. Maybe even fracture. He is in hospital now. RUS-CZ. #WCH2016— Sergey Demidov (@smdemidov) 8 September 2016

    The entire City of Edmonton just cringed.

  83. stush18 says:

    How has nakladal not been signed? He looks great in this first game

  84. B S says:

    Centre of attention,

    I guess I’m assuming Lucic is stuck to McDavid like glue. If Lucic can move around, those lines could work. I support Lucic with RNH, as it spreads the talent around a little more (Pouliot can load up the 1st line, or support a Draisaitl 3rd line), and he can feed RNH, who has a very underrated shot.

  85. Centre of attention says:

    B S:
    Centre of attention,

    I guess I’m assuming Lucic is stuck to McDavid like glue. If Lucic can move around, those lines could work. I support Lucic with RNH, as it spreads the talent around a little more (Pouliot can load up the 1st line, or support a Draisaitl 3rd line), and he can feed RNH, who has a very underrated shot.

    Yes. I think Lucic’s style is more accustomed to Nuges game. Nuge likes to slow the game down and make great give-and-go plays. Lucic is great at that, he can help Nuge with puck retrieval as well as be an excellent forchecker.

    Lucic feeding Nuge by the right circle for a quick wrist shot gives me tingles.

    Maroon is a poor mans Lucic, McDavid can drag his ass to relevance in the top 6.

    I still think Lucic gets time with McDavid though, that is pretty much a given. Over time though I think Todd will realize Milan is more suited to Nuge’s style.

  86. Water Fire says:

    I will be shocked if Lucic plays with anyone but McDavid unless it really doesn’t work. He wouldn’t have signed to play with anyone else, as a GM I would want him on the ice with Connor.

    Go ahead Dion, have a go at Connor, hehe. You know Lucic is going to act like a royal bodyguard, the Oilers won’t be turning backs on their teammates anymore.

    This is also why Nurse is on the team, and I’m sure Maroon, Hendricks and Kassian know what they are there for. And Talbot, I heard he hired Billy Smith as a skills coach this summer.

  87. blainer says:

    Always vey interesting threads when Yak is involved. I am the anti Yak fan and even I am hoping for a Looch CMD Yak line.

    Playing Yak with a generational talent and a big strong possession player is really setting this player up for success. As was mentioned earlier Yak respects CMD and gets the puck to him fast. He will also listen to Looch also I believe.

    I think the trades and changes which I also believe hasn’t finished yet I am actually excited to see how Yak does. If he has put in the work and is motivated which I think he is … watch out.. At this point I am actually happy they never traded him.. I can’t believe I just said that..lol..

  88. dangilitis says:

    LT, I am very disappointed because I submitted a long response on ON shortly after you posted the case for Yak with McDavid, in support of your statement.

    Now I am lazy and at work. The gist of it was that the argument about Yak not deserving of the 1st line is a shitty one. As you pointed out, don’t focus on what Yak can’t do, rather what Eberle can do. Many can play with McDavid and produce, but Eberle is a rare breed who can score with many skilled players. Why waste that gift? Why put Yak with Draisaitl, who is still learning to play the C, or with Nuge, with whom he’s never produced with? You’re not helping either center or winger in these scenarios. History has told us Ebs will be just fine. And if he’s not, as you suggest, the experiment ends quickly.

    And if you can tell me Yak hasn’t earned a chance to play with McDavid, and yet Conor Sheary earned to play in the playoffs alongside Crosby, then I honestly don’t know what to say. The situations are fairly similar, in my opinion, except for the perception of the players discussed. Again, one is a success story overcoming adversity, and the other is a flop. But when reduced to the facts, there were certainly better winger options to put with the #1 C. Crosby’s production certainly suffered for it, but no one is going to question the line combinations of a Cup winning team.

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/nhl/sidney-crosby-supporting-cast-success-1.3623061

    “[Kessel’s] speedy line, which includes Carl Hagelin (15 playoff points) and Nick Bonino (17 points), has turned Pittsburgh into a dangerous three-pronged attack. Contain Crosby’s unit somehow and there’s Evgeny Malkin’s line to contend with. Contain that group and Kessel is looming as a threat.

    The dynamic has created matchup issues for opponents all spring. The Penguins fourth line has also contributed, including Eric Fehr’s third goal in Monday’s 3-1 win.”

  89. rickithebear says:

    G Money:
    rickithebear,

    Except your numbers are unweighted by the occurrence of open play, which is more than 50% of the time just as a result of on-the-fly shifts alone.

    You also treat it as if a faceoff shift occurrence turns the entire shift into non-open play, which it most certainly does not.

    That faceoff differential you are quoting is a measurement that exists for approximately 20 to 30 seconds after a faceoff.

    It disappears after that time, and in effect, the rest of that shift to the next faceoff is equivalent to open play.

    This means that open play reflects something like 80% (probably closer to 90%) of the 5v5 game.

    This doesn’t matter if you’re comparing raw numbers as those automatically reflect the scale of the timeframes (e.g. like Yak’s 1166 shifts, 662 on the fly, 185 d zone faceoffs, 92 true d zone faceoffs), but the weighting matters a whole hell of a lot if you convert it to ‘per 60’ rates as you have.

    By ignoring the weighting effect, you’ve made the faceoff effect look about 4X larger than it actually is.

    That’s why in rickistats you can finish with a flourish and say “look, just add it up, what a big effect!” and yet when people do actually add it up, the effect basically disappears.

    Bad stats are worse than no stats at all, Ricki.

    a study was done.
    for every pocession.
    -started outside the oz .37 shots/60 are expected.
    -started inside the OZ .51 shots/60 are expected.

    open pay is what differentiates the the success.
    the critical factor is Zone entry.
    I would almost say .14 shots per pocession affect from having to enter the zone.

    Until some one can give me individualized (player) SH/pocession rates for outside and inside.

    I will udse the league average as my relative measure.

    That is why I have such a problem with team based RE stasts.

    Cause not all teams are equal.

    you are correct in that on average there is a shift in open play affect at around 30 seconds.
    of standard 45 sec shift. 66%.

    But once there is a pocession change. it becomes an open play measure.
    That is true for all three zones.

    So I do not know if the data was to procession end. or shift end.

    I have used that to checlk the extrremes and and avg examples.
    with it
    suggesting only a 0 for avg ZS to 24/30% affect fro the extreme ends of Zone start. (depending on defined start of open play.)

    so it is not a factor of 4 but a factor of 2.

    so a 24 to 30% affect from face-offs.

    which according to you is zero affect.
    for the team yes.

    individual players.
    the 24-30% is still damn important.

    Thanks for identifying a problem.

    As a result the Zone face off affect is not
    0 to +/- 60% of shot diff.
    but
    0 to +/- 30% of shot diff.
    or
    0 to +/- 24% of shot diff.

    Once I can find a study that defines SH/zone of start relative to procession and time.
    we can better determine were. on the 24-60% it truly is.

  90. Drew says:

    blainer:
    Always vey interesting threads when Yak is involved. I am the anti Yak fan and even I am hoping for a Looch CMD Yak line.

    Playing Yak with a generational talent and a big strong possession player is really setting this player up for success. As was mentioned earlier Yak respects CMD and gets the puck to him fast. He will also listen to Looch also I believe.

    I think the trades and changes which I also believe hasn’t finished yet I am actually excited to see how Yak does. If he has put in the work and is motivated which I think he is … watch out.. At this point I am actually happy they never traded him.. I can’t believe I just said that..lol..

    As a Yak supporter I have sometimes cringed at the critical (not entirely undeserved) Yak postings but way to make a change. I am pulling for the kid as well. Almost optimistic at this point in time.

  91. rickithebear says:

    stush18:
    How has nakladal not been signed? He looks great in this first game

    Once again;

    Nakladal
    3rd comp
    top 40 HSCA D
    #7 24.41 SA/60
    #36 1.81 GA/60

  92. kinger_OIL says:

    Water Fire,

    – I can’t be quantified, but Chia has to be applauded for putting McD in the position to suceed. I’m sure there are other Wingers that fit the bill, but Lucic is really an ideal linemate for a talented rookie C, that is establishing himself in the league: not too old, not too young, strong enough, and good enough

    – That’s a massive thing. MacT et all, they just threw their new toys together, and let them fend for themselves (yes an exaggeration, so don’t be sending me links on how much each of the Steve Austins played with other player: their most common partner, when healthy was other Steve Austins).

    – Lucic will be much better for McD than Hall would have been for the next few years. And this team is going to win when McD figures out the league, and is surrounded by players that help him

    – Hall might help the team in terms of fancy-stats, but he wouldn’t help McD to the extent Lucic will

    – It’s all about maximizing McD. No one has explored that when evaluating Lucic vs. Hall

  93. Louis Levasseur says:

    Interesting conversation between Stauffer and Ramenda regarding playing Yak on McDavid’s wing. I’m not a huge fan of either of those guys, but their comments about Yak’s practice habits last year make me wonder about Yak. They basically said he checked out for the last 1/2 of the season.

    If that’s the case, no matter what the reason, he truly doesn’t deserve top minutes with McDavid. If he comes back in training camp with a better attitude and shows he is a professional in his work habits then give him a chance.

  94. JustWatt says:

    stush18,

    Can’t say I had read every comment between yours and mine but my problem is not with LW or moving Maroon up a line. He at least has a small sample size of success there with the Oilers.

    The problem is RW. Who else plays with Nuge and Maroon there that doesn’t make the second line crap-tastic?

  95. Drew says:

    Louis Levasseur:
    Interesting conversation between Stauffer and Ramenda regarding playing Yak on McDavid’s wing.I’m not a huge fan of either of those guys, but their comments about Yak’s practice habits last year make me wonder about Yak.They basically said he checked out for the last 1/2 of the season.

    If that’s the case, no matter what the reason, he truly doesn’t deserve topminutes with McDavid.If he comes back in training camp with a better attitude and shows he is a professional in his work habits then give him a chance.

    His habits up to that point in time were top shelf. He was among the hardest working guys on the team. This despite facing many difficulties.
    Messier was sent to the AHL as punishment for not taking the NHL serious enough. These are young men/boys finding there way.

  96. stush18 says:

    rickithebear: Once again;

    Nakladal
    3rd comp
    top 40 HSCA D
    #7 24.41 SA/60
    #36 1.81 GA/60

    So you agree?

  97. stush18 says:

    JustWatt:
    stush18,

    Can’t say I had read every comment between yours and mine but my problem is not with LW or moving Maroon up a line. He at least has a small sample size of success there with the Oilers.

    The problem is RW. Who else plays with Nuge and Maroon there that doesn’t make the second line crap-tastic?

    Imo if you have your best left wing (lucic) and best center (mcdavid) together, then you don’t need to put your best right winger (ebs) with him.

    Maroon-nuge-ebs should be able to saw off, and we have a dangerous third line in pou-drai-yak.

    I’m convinced playing kass/slepy/beck with mcdavid is the best play if he is playing with lucic.

  98. delooper says:

    G Money,

    That’s okay. I am an appreciator of a wide-variety of mathematics. 🙂

  99. B S says:

    Louis Levasseur,

    Yaks first training camp he was one of the last 3 guys of the ice each time, practicing his shot, one timers, tossing pucks to kids. he was intent on the coach and worked hard each time. If he’s lost that love of the game, that’s on the organization at this point. If all his hard work resulted in more bench time it’s no wonder he’s lost his edge; it is hard to stay focused or upbeat when it feels like nothing you do matters.

  100. Pouzar says:

    EDIT: He is a RWer

    FLA starting corner the PTO market

    Chris Johnston ‏@reporterchris

    Justin Fontaine has landed a PTO with the #FlaPanthers. He played 197 games over the last three years with Minnesota.

  101. B S says:

    stush18,

    Drai yak pou?

  102. Louis Levasseur says:

    Drew,

    Can’t say i disagree, but even though he faced difficulties, he was still being paid $2.5 million. If he comes to camp and cleans up his attitude and works hard, then maybe we can say he is finding his way as a pro and will get his “earned” opportunity to play on a top line.

    Personally I have no idea how hard he works at practice or what kind of a guy he is. But I assume Staufffer and Ramenda wouldn’t put it out there if they weren’t sure.

  103. hunter1909 says:

    Louis Levasseur: But I assume Staufffer and Ramenda wouldn’t put it out there if they weren’t sure.

    I wouldn’t trust Oilers hacks to be able to call their own dogs.

  104. Drew says:

    hunter1909: I wouldn’t trust Oilers hacks to be able to call their own dogs.

    LOL

    cited for accuracy

  105. stush18 says:

    B S:
    stush18,

    Drai yak pou?

    You don’t like that as a third line?

  106. Spengler says:

    Sorry to thread jack, but player development is a topic that has been raised on a number of occasions on here, by our gracious host and others, but I haven’t been able to get my thoughts together while any of those threads were active. So instead of waiting for another thread, I figured I’d jump in here.

    The main thrust is that it seems to me part of the issue with player development is that teams are hiring the wrong people. Most coaches in the AHL, ECHL etc hope to move up the coaching ladder and become NHL coaches. There’s more money and prestige there. However it seems to me that we are looking at potentially two different skill sets. one being development of young players and the other being utilization of talent. The two aren’t mutually exclusive, you’d certainly hope that your NHL coaching staff were developing players, but the primary focus really should be different.; wins vs development.

    So that got me thinking, why not hire the best development coach available and pay him a lot more money than what AHL coaches typically make? He’d (She’d?) have the skills for the task needed and less incentive to coach in ways to simply to move up the ladder as the next job up doesn’t provide the pay bump that usually comes with a promotion. (The Peter Principle in action!)

    I tried searching for AHL coaching salaries to see what it might cost to hire someone in that role and couldn’t find anything but in my search I did come across a note in Elliotte Friedman’s 30 Thoughts from almost a year ago which I found interesting regarding Justin Johnson:

    “The interesting thing is how the team and the agent designed this contract. The structure is very different, with a couple of agents and executives saying they’d never seen anything like it before. Johnson’s salary and signing bonus are normal, in American funds.

    What stands out are the bonuses.

    Johnson gets:
    *$5,000 (these are in Canadian dollars) for every Marlie who scores 20 goals
    *$5,000 for every Marlie who reaches 50 points
    *$2,500 based on the success of the power play and penalty kill
    *$2,500 for everyone who plays 10 games with the Marlies and 15 with the Maple Leafs”

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/30-thoughts-flames-willing-to-deal-but-is-anyone-else/

    (I hope I haven’t broken any rules on accreditation, if so I apologise.)

    This got me thinking, are there similar bonuses in any AHL coaches contracts? Say $X for every player called up for the first time, $X per game played in the NHL. Possibly they could be weighted (say $X for every player called up multiplied by the round he was selected in…)

    I am not sure exactly where I am going with this completely but it seems to me that doing things the same way it’s always been done doesn’t always produce the best results.

    End thread jack….

  107. hunter1909 says:

    B S:
    Louis Levasseur,

    Yaks first training camp he was one of the last 3 guys of the ice each time, practicing his shot, one timers, tossing pucks to kids. he was intent on the coach and worked hard each time. If he’s lost that love of the game, that’s on the organization at this point.If all his hard work resulted in more bench time it’s no wonder he’s lost his edge; it is hard to stay focused or upbeat when it feels like nothing you do matters.

    Sometimes that’s exactly how it works with elite talent. They’re willing to do whatever it takes and then some, until they encounter some dipshit with a fraction of their talent – hellbent on appearing smarter than they are when at that point they simply stop caring.

    In my experience it’s usually mediocre talents who are constantly striving to appear motivated.

  108. B S says:

    They might, sports analysts like to fill time with a lot of BS.

    See the top of the thread for problems with the “earned it” argument, including mine but mostly many better articulated examples. And sometimes the money isn’t the point.

    Re: Yak’s practice habbits: I’ve turned down substantial employment, because I knew I would be miserable with it. I was fortunate enough to be in a position to do so of course. Yak can be payed plenty, but if he’s being treated like shit, it’s still going to be hard to come in and play, no matter the money, professionalism is one thing, but work place abuse is going to trump it, plus the last half of the season was after Yakupov was injured. How do we know he was 100%?

    Louis Levasseur: But I assume Staufffer and Ramenda wouldn’t put it out there if they weren’t sure.

  109. Louis Levasseur says:

    B S,

    Yes, I get all that. I’m cheering for the kid. But you can’t check out of practice, no matter what the cirucmstances. Flipping pucks up against the glass rather than listening to powerplay discussions, etc.

    They also discussed that his agent Larionov maybe hasn’t been helping his cause. Anyway, I hope all sides have a good understanding of what the expectations are coming into camp. Call it a clean slate for player and coaches/management. Otherwise he gets flushed and it’s a total loss for everybody.

  110. Atc-Nate says:

    I would be curious to see the defensive side of Yaks game compared to that of Eberle. Not sure how it would be captured other than to look at all the different fancy stats of both, but I’ve heard a lot of reason for Yak not to be with McD, based on playing against the best and he’s not defensively responsible enough.

    Eberle has given far too many get out of jail free cards. To be clear, I love Eberle and his finesse, his finish is freaking magical…. But I hate the lollygagging back as he melts like butter during a board battle. Yak battles and hustles back, sometimes getting to his assignment, sometimes doing the fly by, but he’s in the picture.

    I’d way rather have Yaks hustle and forecheck as well as his deferring to McDavid through the neutral zone, than have Eberle there. I noticed by eye last year that Eberle likes to carry the puck, (Hall as well) and when you are playing with McJesus, that’s a cornucopia of crap. Give. Him. The. Puck.

    I’ve also noticed on twitter lots of Serdachny (so?) Vids of Yak working out which has me hoping he’s been busting his butt all summer.

    Lastly, Eberle and RNH work well together and will absolutely FEAST on 2nd line comp I’m guessing. Roll that and see what happens. 🙂

  111. Jethro Tull says:

    Hemsky. Last off the ice.

    That is all.

  112. Jethro Tull says:

    Atc-Nate:
    I would be curious to see the defensive side of Yaks game compared to that of Eberle. Not sure how it would be captured other than to look at all the different fancy stats of both, but I’ve heard a lot of reason for Yak not to be with McD, based on playing against the best and he’s not defensively responsible enough.

    Eberle has given far too many get out of jail free cards. To be clear, I love Eberle and his finesse, his finish is freaking magical…. But I hate the lollygagging back as he melts like butter during a board battle. Yak battles and hustles back, sometimes getting to his assignment, sometimes doing the fly by, but he’s in the picture.

    I’d way rather have Yaks hustle and forecheck as well as his deferring to McDavid through the neutral zone, than have Eberle there. I noticed by eye last year that Eberle likes to carry the puck, (Hall as well) and when you are playing with McJesus, that’s a cornucopia of crap. Give. Him. The. Puck.

    I’ve also noticed on twitter lots of Serdachny (so?) Vids of Yak working out which has me hoping he’s been busting his butt all summer.

    Lastly, Eberle and RNH work well together and will absolutely FEAST on 2nd line comp I’m guessing. Roll that and see what happens.

    I’d rather have Ebs score 30+ a season and be lazy than Yak trying to keep the plexi-glass industry afloat single handed.

  113. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Centre of attention: Yes. I think Lucic’s style is more accustomed to Nuges game. Nuge likes to slow the game down and make great give-and-go plays. Lucic is great at that, he can help Nuge with puck retrieval as well as be an excellent forchecker.

    Lucic feeding Nuge by the right circle for a quick wrist shot gives me tingles.

    Maroon is a poor mans Lucic, McDavid can drag his ass to relevance in the top 6.

    I still think Lucic gets time with McDavid though, that is pretty much a given. Over time though I think Todd will realize Milan is more suited to Nuge’s style.

    Let’s see if I have the reasoning down from this & other comments: Lucic can’t skate with McDavid therefore let’s put Maroon with McDavid.

  114. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Let’s see if I have the reasoning down from this & other comments: Lucic can’t skate with McDavid therefore let’s put Maroon with McDavid.

    slow down the game doesn’t have to mean inept skater

  115. OF17 says:

    Oilers and Jets announce the rosters for the Heritage Classic alumni game. Going to be a fun one to watch!

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=892391

  116. Ducey says:

    G Money: Correct.The total impact that zone starts have on a player is typically quite small.The zone starts have to get extreme before it becomes of significance.

    This is a counter-intuitive result for most people, so let me explain as quickly as I can:

    – The impact of an individual faceoff can be quite significant, especially if it is a faceoff win in the offensive zone, or a loss in the defensive zone

    – However, the impact of all the faceoffs over a course of a season starts to get smaller and smaller in the context of broader play. This is how it happens:

    – The difference between the best and worst faceoff teams is from about 45% to 55%.So in effect, whatever number of d or o faceoffs you take, over the course of a season, cut it in half.

    – Faceoffs tend to occur in less than half of a players shifts.So the majority of a players metrics are actually derived from play where no faceoff occurred.In Yak’s case for example, he was on the ice for 636 faceoffs, encompassing 504 shifts, out of 1166 shifts (i.e. less than 50%).

    – Then we have to factor in that faceoffs are often a symptom of a player’s skill. We can try and suss this out by look at true zone starts – the number of times a players shift started with a faceoff. This is where the coach’s trust shows.These tend to be again about 50% or less of the total faceoffs.

    In Yak’s case for example, his true zone starts were 92 O and 92 D.His earned faceoffs were 100 O and 93 D.So his coach trusts him about 50%, and the rest of the time, Yak and his line are actually doing a decent job of driving the play into the O zone.So his zone starts make him look slightly more sheltered than he is – in fact, he’s bloating his own O zone starts by virtue of good play.

    So you add all these factors up:
    – in Yak’s case, he had 1166 shifts but only 92 shifts where TMc gave him an o zone start
    – of those 92, his team would have won only about 50% of them, so in effect, his numbers are ‘bloated’ by winning 46 faceoffs out of shot metrics generated over 1166 shifts
    – He also got 92 true d zone starts, which deficit is again cut in half … and happens to perfectly cancel out his o zone starts

    So you’re left with the fact that Yak’s numbers (shots, points, whatever) are almost perfectly reflective of his on-ice results. The effect of zone starts on his numbers is essentially trivial.

    Now what Ducey has done is shown that Yak got more preferential starts … or maybe he earned them … with McDavid. But the difference between those two numbers is probably equating to two faceoffs a game … cut that in half, and your impact is one o zone faceoff per game advantage, which in a game with 20+ shifts, still barely moves the needle.

    Counter-intuitive, but true nonetheless.

    Yak had 186 OZ starts, 177 DZ starts, and 251 NZ starts. That’s 5 x 5.

    Ignoring the NZFO does not reflect reality. As a coach, I am a lot more comfortable putting a weak defensive player at center ice or at an “offensive” offside dot.

    The Offensive faceoff vs the Defensive faceoffs seems even but this reflects all situations. As you will note, he was just sheltered with Connor. Not coincidently, this is the situation where he did the best offensively. Maybe this was Connor, maybe the zone starts had something to do with it

    “True” faceoffs are equivocal. If I coach, I might put the weakest link on last on the fly to limit TOI and because I naturally want my best player out there first. Maybe I leave the previous RW on longer. All of these things could lead to Yak’s starting a shift on a faceoff. I would think this would have more of an impact with a guy like Letestu who is sent out to win a faceoff. As his winger was often Yak, he might have got sent out more due to the coaches trust in Letestu than Yak. A bunch of Yak DZ faceoffs might be from dumb icings. We don’t know.

    Anyway, 600 faceoffs is not insignificant. I don’t know how many were with Connor. It gives you an idea of what the coach is attempting to do. This could reflect the way he changed Yak on the fly, etc.

    Finally, just saying 50% of faceoffs are won or lost doesn’t reflect the fact that you still have to get the puck out of your zone. If Letestu wins the faceoff to Fayne in this own zone and Fayne still has to get the puck out, this in itself is perhaps a 50/ 50 proposition.

    We have too much certainty from the analytics crowd. We can’t measure much of what happens in the game or why, yet people cite the stuff we can measure as if it is gospel.

    In this case, we can just say “Yak put up the same numbers as Eberle and therefore he should be on the 1st line.” Or we can exercise some caution and try and figure out whether Yak will be able to handle the toughs. I don’t think his coach thinks he can. Maybe we should try and figure out why (besides saying he is an idiot). I think the zone starts gives us a sense that he might just have some trouble with Connor if they play the toughs.

  117. delooper says:

    OF17,

    Nice lineup. I wonder if we’ll see a rat-trick.

  118. stush18 says:

    Spengler,

    I think the good coaches who develop players will get called up to the NHL. I might be oversimplifying it, but if the players aren’t developing and scoring, the coach and team isn’t going to be successful.

    Cooper and Nelson are coaches that come to mind as a coaches good at developing and winning. Coopers coaching now. I’m sure Nelson isn’t far behind

  119. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    OF17:
    Oilers and Jets announce the rosters for the Heritage Classic alumni game. Going to be a fun one to watch!

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=892391

    Who gets Bob Essensa?

  120. G Money says:

    rickithebear: which according to you is zero affect.
    for the team yes.

    individual players.
    the 24-30% is still damn important.

    No, you have it exactly backwards.

    Since every team starts every period with a faceoff at centre ice, every faceoff thereafter is an earned faceoff. So the effect is most distinctly not zero for teams. Bad teams will get pushed into their own zone a lot more than good teams.

    So the effect of zone starts at the team level may be very significant.

    But since by definition every non-neutral zone start is earned, adjustments for zone starts are meaningless at the team level. Zone starts are 100% symptom, not cause.

    It is the reverse for players. The coach has a choice over which players start where. So zone starts and zone starts adjustments have some meaning for players.

    Yet in the balance of where players earn their numbers, with on the fly shifts and earned zone starts dominating, and faceoff %ages constrained to a narrow band around 50%, unearned (coaches decision) zone start effects dwindle to very small numbers.

    Teams: every zone start is earned so zone start adjustments are meaningless because they are 100% symptom. Despite the fact that if you calculate them, the overall zone start effects can have a large effect on the numbers. Meaningless, but large.

    Players: not every zone start is earned, so zone start adjustments have at least some meaning as cause rather than symptom. Yet when you calculate them, the overall effective zone start impact is insignificant for most players. Meaningful, yet small.

  121. Centre of attention says:

    Jethro Tull: I’d rather have Ebs score 30+ a season and be lazy than Yak trying to keep the plexi-glass industry afloat single handed.

    I chuckled at this. And I agree. Kind of. Let me explain:

    Everyone likes to quote Yaks per-60 numbers with McDavid and say “Look, he’s producing at Eberle levels!” but what they don’t stop and see is that lots of those are assists, some second assists where he just bumped the puck off the boards to McDavid who dangled the entire enemy team and scored by himself. Yak scored 2 friggen goals. 2 goals in 12ish games with McDavid is not enough. And I don’t care how many cake-walk assists you rack up. McDavid was scoring on about 25% of his shots early in the season, and Yak was just scooping up assists all over the place. If anything Pouliot played a more important role than Yak in that lines success.

    Eberle meanwhile scored plenty of goals, and probably could have had more if lady luck had went his way! He had at least 10 point blank chances last season that any other day of the week he would of cashed. He almost looked surprised sometimes when McDavid would find him. Those goals are going to go in eventually, and 35 goals is definitely within reason with this player. He is also working hard on his one-timer this summer, which is good news. He was already on a 30 goal pace with 97 last year, what pace was Yak on? Exactly.

    What I’m getting at is that I want a goal scorer on McDavids line. If Lucic is there, he is the pass-first winger and the dominant forchecker, the RW needs to be a gunner who can find a quiet spot around the net. Yak has a history of being that gunner, but like the comment I quoted said he has been killing the plexiglass instead of the goal netting.

    When or if Yak gets his shot on target, he will find success in the NHL. He can still take and make a pass, but he can’t survive on only that when his job description reads “RW sniper”. Yak’s shooting% has resembled a downhill ski-slope for the last 3 years. That should not be ignored. Combine this with the bee swarms, and you have two solid reasons for the coach to not trust Yak on a premiere scoring line.

    Even after saying all of this, I would still put Yak with McDavid. Just to see if Yak can get that shot on target when given a little more leash with 97. If Yak doesn’t cash some goals though, things won’t look good.

    One suspects Nail gets a look with McDavid in training camp, if the goals don’t come the coach will find the goals somewhere else and Yak will be on the outside looking in. Sail on Sarnia Stinger, it is only a matter of time before the inevitable. Keep your chin up and shot low. Hope you find success where ever you go.

    Sorry for turning this into a Yak eulogy but I feel sooner rather than later it’ll be about that time.

  122. G Money says:

    Ducey,

    So what you’re arguing is that the numbers can’t tell you much about the game, but you’re more than happy to read the numbers to imply that the coach doesn’t trust Yak.

    And that’s your response to me telling you that you can’t read much into the zone start numbers because they aren’t very meaningful.

    Perhaps it might be easier to just admit you’re not looking at the numbers as way to try and objectively understand what is happening, you’re just trying to find a way to read them in a way that supports the preconceived belief you have anyway?

  123. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Reading Gregor’s post on line combos he stresses how Yak can’t handle top competition, then goes ahead and pairs Nurse with Larsson. Alrighty then.

  124. Centre of attention says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Let’s see if I have the reasoning down from this & other comments: Lucic can’t skate with McDavid therefore let’s put Maroon with McDavid.

    I never said that. I bet Lucic will skate just fine with 97, and if the coach goes with that I think they will find success.

    I just think Lucic is a more consistent even-strength producer and I think Nuge will be getting the even strength push so it makes sense to give him a strong even strength option like Lucic right?

    Maroon is OK to get dragged along by McDavid a bit, but on Nuges line I don’t know if he can produce enough at even strength to help Nuge much with the heavy lifting his line will be doing.

    McDavid can produce with lesser players, why not give the stronger option to Nuge in order to help prop up the second line? Just an idea.

    Also on another note, when interview after signing here, Lucic discussed the possibility of play with all 3 of our skilled centers and would be fine with playing on any of their lines. Obviously everyone has their favorites, for example Lucic probably preferred Krejic and Kopitar, but frequently spent time with Bergeron and Carter and did just fine with no complaints.

  125. G Money says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Hmmm. Worth bothering to read?

  126. kinger_OIL says:

    Spengler,

    – Good idea! It would be tough for any coach or team though to not put winning first.

    – I like the idea of on the farm team, you have like a skating specialist, shooting coach, etc.

    – I’ve been to many AHL practices and it surprises me: they are no different than NHL practices: they don’t work on individual skills, its all about the team: practicing rushes, break-outs, etc.

    – No concentration on individual skill improvement (except they have guys working on the goalies)

  127. Centre of attention says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Reading Gregor’s post on line combos he stresses how Yak can’t handle top competition, then goes ahead and pairs Nurse with Larsson. Alrighty then.

    Wait what?! I usually enjoy Gregors perspective but that is insane to expect that much from Nurse. And to shackle a novice like Nurse to the brand new addition Larsson who already has tons of pressure, is just asking for failure.

    If anything try Davidson-Larsson before Nurse-Larsson. What was his reasoning behind his choice by the way? Haven’t had time to read the article.

  128. Spengler says:

    stush18,

    Nelson sort of represents the point I’m making. Let’s assume he’s great at player development (I’m not saying e is or isn’t, someone else can make that judgement). He’s no longer with the organisation though. Why? Likely as a result of being passed over for the NHL job. And maybe that was the right decision (again, not stating this as a fact just a hypothetical). Not everyone is suited for the next level. But now the organisation has lost that talent.

    Additionally, could his player development have been improved if he hadn’t needed to worry about winning? If the rewards for development (in salary and bonuses) were more equitable with the rewards for winning (promotion to the nhl).

    Justmy 84 cents.

  129. omega4 says:

    G Money: you’re just trying to find a way to read them in a way that supports the preconceived belief you have anyway?

    I LOVE numbers that support my preconceived beliefs!

  130. kinger_OIL says:

    Sek-Larsson
    Klef-Fayne
    Davidson-Gryba

    – That’s how I would roll: your two most accomplished D together.

    – Fayne works well with a puck mover Klef

    – Davidson plays on his correct side, with the best RD left… Nurse Griff can play with Davey if need be

    On paper you have an above average top pair, an average bottom pair, assuming Davidson is fine, and probably a below average 2nd pair, but if Klef is real deal, they could be average. That’s good enough

  131. G Money says:

    omega4,

    Those ARE the best numbers, no question!

    Speaking of numbers vaguely related to Yak, I will be publishing my look at off-hand wingers today or tomorrow.

    Some interesting outcomes there, not what I expected.

  132. striatic says:

    G Money,

    Dang. I was just about to leave a comment asking you if you knew how big Yak’s drop off going from RW to LW is and apparently you’re doing a whole post on off-handedness.

  133. blainer says:

    Louis Levasseur:
    Interesting conversation between Stauffer and Ramenda regarding playing Yak on McDavid’s wing.I’m not a huge fan of either of those guys, but their comments about Yak’s practice habits last year make me wonder about Yak.They basically said he checked out for the last 1/2 of the season.

    If that’s the case, no matter what the reason, he truly doesn’t deserve topminutes with McDavid.If he comes back in training camp with a better attitude and shows he is a professional in his work habits then give him a chance.

    Don’t know if many here have experienced a job where they felt they weren’t treated properly for all the hard work they put in. As a boss i regularly compliment the staff at how well they are doing and it does help productivity.. even when some of those times i am flat out lying.

    Now a lot of times i have had a bad mix of staff and had to change things up to keep everyone motivated. personalities clash in the office just like they do in the room and on the ice.

    Yak lost interest .. of that I do believe. The team made changes that IMO will hep Yak. He also got a real lesson AND a wake up call from the Russian team.

    I’d wager Chia and TMc are saying all the right things to motivate this player based on the fact they never traded him. Will it work.. i think it has a good shot.

    The problem is if he struggles early he will need a change as the past will still be in the back of his mind.

    I’m rooting for the guy but really think that both the team and the player are on a short leash. JMHO.

  134. Bruce McCurdy says:

    G Money:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    Hmmm.Worth bothering to read?

    Given his views on Yak vs yours, I recommend it only if your blood pressure needs a boost by, say, 50/30.

  135. Spengler says:

    kinger_OIL,

    It would be hard to find a coach who valued winning less than development. But finding, and incentivizing, one who did, might be worth it. At the very least, we might see fewer AHL minutes going to guys who will neverreach the NHL.

  136. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Centre of attention: I never said that. I bet Lucic will skate just fine with 97, and if the coach goes with that I think they will find success.

    I just think Lucic is a more consistent even-strength producer and I think Nuge will be getting the even strength push so it makes sense to give him a strong even strength option like Lucic right?

    Maroon is OK to get dragged along by McDavid a bit, but on Nuges line I don’t know if he can produce enough at even strength to help Nuge much with the heavy lifting his line will be doing.

    McDavid can produce with lesser players, why not give the stronger option to Nuge in order to help prop up the second line? Just an idea.

    Also on another note, when interview after signing here, Lucic discussed the possibility of play with all 3 of our skilled centers and would be fine with playing on any of their lines. Obviously everyone has their favorites, for example Lucic probably preferred Krejic and Kopitar, but frequently spent time with Bergeron and Carter and did just fine with no complaints.

    I did say “& other comments” & am deliberately conflating a few opinions just to stir the pot.

    Also: Benoit Pouliot isn’t exactly chopped liver, & is by far the fastest portsider among the Big four. He too is a guy who would look good on just about any line IMO & certainly gives McLellan plenty of flexibility. None of this “we have to put Pou with X because he sucks with Y & Z” kind of logic.

  137. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Centre of attention: Wait what?! I usually enjoy Gregors perspective but that is insane to expect that much from Nurse. And to shackle a novice like Nurse to the brand new addition Larsson who already has tons of pressure, is just asking for failure.

    If anything try Davidson-Larsson before Nurse-Larsson. What was his reasoning behind his choice by the way? Haven’t had time to read the article.

    Not sure how much reasoning was involved, though in fairness I’m not entirely sure I took his meaning in the way he intended. He did manage to list a top 4 without Sekera in it which is hard to fathom.

  138. G Money says:

    striatic,

    Now that the idea of defense handedness is well established, I was mulling a few weeks ago on the idea of winger handedness.

    I put the idea out on Twitter, asking if anyone knew of work that had been done in that area.

    Some folks with a much higher profile than I (a couple of LeafsNation guys, as well as Matt Pfeffer, formerly of the Canadiens) picked up on it and retweeted it. Most read tweet I’ve ever had.

    Pfeffer’s comment was interesting: he feels that within a few years, most wingers will be on their off hand. Sounds like he may have looked at that idea for the Canadiens.

    So I thought I’d see if I could test that idea, comparing wingers on their ‘on’ hands vs wingers on their ‘off’ hands, and see if there was any meaningful trend visible as far as points or shots or offense/defense.

    One of the things I pulled is how many off-hand wingers each team has, and interestingly the Habs are on the low side (MTL 7 1 1 5 – the numbers in order meaning LW/LS, LW/RS, RW/LS, RW/RS, so the Habs have just one winger on each side playing off hand).

    The Oiler numbers are identical: EDM 7 1 1 5

  139. Drew says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Given his views on Yak vs yours, I recommend it only if your blood pressure needs a boost by, say, 50/30.

    have been DMing Gregor for last 30 minutes on this and am frustrated as well. I really like his take on things most times but i am not agreeing with him at all.

  140. Centre of attention says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I did say “& other comments” & am deliberately conflating a few opinions just to stir the pot.

    Also: Benoit Pouliot isn’t exactly chopped liver, & is by far the fastest portsider among the Big four. He too is a guy who would look good on just about any line IMO & certainly gives McLellan plenty of flexibility.None of this “we have to put Pou with X because he sucks with Y & Z” kind of logic.

    Agree, Pouliot is a beast. Really liked the signing when it happened and even more after watching a couple seasons of his play as an Oiler.

    I feel like because Pouliot is a great two way player (best 2-way LW hands down), he would be well suited to mentor Drai & possibly Yak or Puljujarvi on the 3rd line. He can produce there, and cover for mistakes that the yutes are making. Pouliot could make up for the loss of even-strength minutes that comes with being on the 3rd line by getting a push on the power play, as Lucic is no power play specialist and I like Pouliot as a net front presence. Pouliot can tip pucks with the best of them when on the man advantage.

    What are your thoughts on that idea? I think we see multiple combinations threw out the year, so perhaps reading this far into things this early is kind of silly. I guess reading too much into things is the entire premise of the blog though, so screw it give me your ideas on line combos heheh.

  141. Ducey says:

    G Money:
    Ducey,

    So what you’re arguing is that the numbers can’t tell you much about the game, but you’re more than happy to read the numbers to imply that the coach doesn’t trust Yak.

    And that’s your response to me telling you that you can’t read much into the zone start numbers because they aren’t very meaningful.

    Perhaps it might be easier to just admit you’re not looking at the numbers asway to try and objectively understand what is happening, you’re just trying to find a way to read them in a way that supports the preconceived belief you have anyway?

    Ah, Gmoney.

    I hesitate to get into this with you because you always get prickly.

    I am saying that WOWY numbers must be read in context. Part of that context is Q of C (which we don’t seem to be able to measure very well) and zone starts.

    I understand your argument that not a lot of weight can be put on zone starts, but feel that they add to the context. I also feel that your dismissal of faceoffs isn’t all valid.

    Its all there. Feel free to reread it.

    I am quite sure I am in wrong in some regards but also fairly sure that Yak is going to have some problems in a feature role.

    The other day someone elegantly pointed out that some subset of the analytics crowd seems to gravitate to stats as a way to bludgeon people over the heads during argument.

    Please don’t be that guy..

  142. Centre of attention says:

    From Gregors article:

    “Yakupov’s most productive stretch in the past three seasons was the final 28 games of 2014/2015 when he produced nine goals and 20 points. He played with Derek Roy on the third line. He flourished against lesser competition. Why not start him in a role where he was the most effective?”

    Wait what? I thought Roy was our second line center after Drai went down? Gregor didn’t have enough coffee today, his memory seems to be on the fritz this afternoon.

  143. striatic says:

    G Money: Pfeffer’s comment was interesting: he feels that within a few years, most wingers will be on their off hand. Sounds like he may have looked at that idea for the Canadiens.

    That’s a very interesting thought. I doubt it, but looking at what Draisaitl does on his off-hand playing RW and assuming that Possession is King, the ability to shelter the puck with the body in the way he does is very beneficial to maintaining possession in the offensive zone. That’s no really how Yak uses his off-handedness though, at least not by eye.

  144. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    striatic,

    I would argue it’s easier to protect the puck on your correct side. The advantage to the off wing is that you have a superior shooting angle relative to the position of your feet (the puck is more square to the net giving you a larger relative target area) plus it’s much easier to get off a one timer or quick wrister after receiving a pass.

    Drai can do what he does because he passes the puck on his back hand better than most do on their forehand. That and he’s Hossa like in his ability to shrug off defenders.

  145. Louis Levasseur says:

    blainer,

    Totally agree. To be honest, I find it hard to believe that any of the coaches or management, including previous coaches (even Eikins) would treat Yak like sh1t or somehow mistreat him, such that he checks out.

  146. Centre of attention says:

    striatic: That’s a very interesting thought. I doubt it, but looking at what Draisaitl does on his off-hand playing RW and assuming that Possession is King, the ability to shelter the puck with the body in the way he does is very beneficial to maintaining possession in the offensive zone. That’s no really how Yak uses his off-handedness though, at least not by eye.

    Yak’s problem is he gets the buzz-saw stick handling going when he tries to protect the puck. He gets good body position, but keeps chopping the puck back and forth so fast he ends up getting poke checked really easy.

    Where as Draisaitl likes to drag it in one smooth motion and kind of dangle it out of reach of the opponent. Complete opposite to Yak’s style. You are much more in control of the puck when you’re not faking yourself out with over-the-top stick handling, IMO.

  147. fifthcartel says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    If McLellan did this I would seriously question his coaching abilities.

  148. striatic says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!: I would argue it’s easier to protect the puck on your correct side.

    Right, it depends on how adept you are at controlling the puck with only one hand on the stick. Drai is exceptional at this, but I think playing off-handed could benefit more players if they develop the skill.

    Playing off handed wing, on the backhand, your body as well as your other arm protects the puck, the stick and the arm controlling the stick.

    I’m not sure this skill should be unique to Draisaitl, as the puck and the parts of the body controlling the puck are inherently more protectable. Whatever your frame is, more of you is between the opposing player and the puck. You get the benefits of a quicker one timer but also puck protection, Yak only takes advantage of half these benefits.

  149. rickithebear says:

    G Money: No, you have it exactly backwards.

    Since every team starts every period with a faceoff at centre ice, every faceoff thereafter is an earned faceoff.So the effect is most distinctly not zero for teams.Bad teams will get pushed into their own zone a lot more than good teams.

    So the effect of zone starts at the team level may be very significant.

    But since by definition every non-neutral zone start is earned,adjustments for zone starts are meaningless at the team level.Zone starts are 100% symptom, not cause.

    It is the reverse for players.The coach has a choice over which players start where.So zone starts and zone starts adjustments have some meaning for players.

    Yet in the balance of where players earn their numbers, with on the fly shifts and earned zone starts dominating, and faceoff %ages constrained to a narrow band around 50%, unearned (coaches decision) zone start effects dwindle to very small numbers.

    Teams: every zone start is earned so zone start adjustments are meaningless because they are 100% symptom. Despite the fact that if you calculate them, the overall zone start effects can have a large effect on the numbers.Meaningless, but large.

    Players: not every zone start is earned, so zone start adjustments have at least some meaning as cause rather than symptom.Yet when you calculate them, the overall effective zone start impact is insignificant for most players.Meaningful, yet small.

    No I think WE are confusing the term affect.

    What you are stating is the critical occurance. open vs Fo start to Pocession.
    I like to examine them in phases.

    In a constantly flowing game like rugby it is phase play theat creates chaos.
    and
    the ability to score.
    I like to find portions of other games (as many as possible) that can be related to similar play.
    to analyize the open aspect of play.

    Yet the coaches do have control of deciding who gets what comp, Teamates, Zone.
    they do gretly affect the perception of a players ability.

    When I say face offs have an affect.
    It is the portion of the coaches decision I am trying to eliminate.
    Not the measure of real open play.

    the earned aspect is exactly what I am trying to identify.

    that was most critical thought when I first started looking at True Goal Differential.
    You have to see the data fro a given group of players who at even face similar comp; team; ZS
    to get a gradualy building Expected goal dif range for that situation.

    try to find the expected GF, SF, CF for forwards in a given situation both teams coachs puts them in.
    trying to find the expected GA, SA, CA for Dmne in a given situation both teams coaches puts them in.

    As you venture into the Data process you go thru.
    You are discovering the influences out side open play.

  150. Louis Levasseur says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    I read Gregor’s post. I don’t think he was suggesting that Larsson should be paired with Nurse. I think he was suggesting that people would be up in arms if they did that, yet they think it’s ok to put Yak with McDavid, instead of Eberle.

    But Gregor can be a prickly dude when somebody disagrees with him.

  151. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Centre of attention: Agree, Pouliot is a beast. Really liked the signing when it happened and even more after watching a couple seasons of his play as an Oiler.

    I feel like because Pouliot is a great two way player (best 2-way LW hands down), he would be well suited to mentor Drai & possibly Yak or Puljujarvi on the 3rd line. He can produce there, and cover for mistakes that the yutes are making. Pouliot could make up for the loss of even-strength minutes that comes with being on the 3rd line by getting a push on the power play, as Lucic is no power play specialist and I like Pouliot as a net front presence. Pouliot can tip pucks with the best of them when on the man advantage.

    What are your thoughts on that idea? I think we see multiple combinations threw out the year, so perhaps reading this far into things this early is kind of silly. I guess reading too much into things is the entire premise of the blog though, so screw it give me your ideas on line combos heheh.

    You touch on a key point, in that there are line combos at even strength and different ones on the powerplay. The coach will have his chance to find chemistry with various combinations in both game states.

  152. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Louis Levasseur:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    I read Gregor’s post.I don’t think he was suggesting that Larsson should be paired with Nurse.I think he was suggesting that people would be up in arms if they did that, yet they think it’s ok to put Yak with McDavid, instead of Eberle.

    That may be so. As I said in another comment on that Gregor post, “in fairness I’m not entirely sure I took his meaning in the way he intended”. By the time I got to Nurse-Larsson I was trying to control my blood pressure so may have been distracted.

  153. МАГИЯ 10 says:

    Centre of attention:
    From Gregors article:

    “Yakupov’s most productive stretch in the past three seasons was the final 28 games of 2014/2015 when he produced nine goals and 20 points. He played with Derek Roy on the third line. He flourished against lesser competition. Why not start him in a role where he was the most effective?”

    Wait what? I thought Roy was our second line center after Drai went down? Gregor didn’t have enough coffee today, his memory seems to be on the fritz this afternoon.

    So he’s signing Roy again? Someone out there has a theory that Lucic could be his new Roy.

    #gimmeshelter

  154. Alpine says:

    I would like to see McLellan look into the pairings model for his six best forwards.

    McDavid & Lucic look meant to play together, Lucic is the best left wing on the team and has lots of experience playing top comp.

    RNH and Eberle have had good chemistry and results together for most of their career against top comp. Let them stay together and play a mix of elite and muddles.

    Pouliot and Drai get the gravy minutes of the top nine. Pou has been a soft minutes killer his whole career and is the ideal vet winger for Drai to play with after losing Hall.

    With this setup you can put Maroon on the 2nd line as the physical foil to the smaller Nuge and Ebs. And you have options with what you can for right wingers on the McDavid and Drai lines.

    That’s the template I would look to go with. Has ample vet support for all 3 young centres and doesn’t leave any exposed. Putting Ebs on the top line will expose one of Nuge or Drai as only one will have a proper top 6 veteran on their wing.

  155. Centre of attention says:

    Chiarelli is on Tim & Sid.

    Brace yourselves.

  156. МАГИЯ 10 says:

    up on website already

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/shows/tim-and-sid-show/will-connor-mcdavid-captain-team-north-america/

    not much news. oiler captain will be later on in camp.
    and that there might be team na new tonight.

    update: he did not tell them it was about to break in minutes!

  157. stush18 says:

    Centre of attention:
    Chiarelli is on Tim & Sid.

    Brace yourselves.

    I actually love Tim and sid. Prolly one of the best sports shows out there.

    I also love when Tim hosts different shows by himself. Has a bit of bob mcgowan in him.

  158. Centre of attention says:

    stush18: I actually love Tim and sid. Prolly one of the best sports shows out there.

    I also love when Tim hosts different shows by himself. Has a bit of bob mcgowan in him.

    I like their show but I don’t like when our management gets in front of microphones. lucky it was just world cup talk, and then a hint that “in the middle of camp we’ll name the Oilers captain” well in the middle of camp is right around when McDavid gets back so there you go.

  159. МАГИЯ 10 says:

    Elliotte FriedmanVerified account ‏@FriedgeHNIC 8m8 minutes ago
    Team North America names Connor McDavid captain

  160. Pouzar says:

    Larsson on 3rd pair with Nurse?

  161. digger50 says:

    Water Fire:
    I will be shocked if Lucic plays with anyone but McDavid unless it really doesn’t work. He wouldn’t have signed to play with anyone else, as a GM I would want him on the ice with Connor.

    Go ahead Dion, have a go at Connor, hehe. You know Lucic is going to act like a royal bodyguard, the Oilers won’t be turning backs on their teammates anymore.

    This is also why Nurse is on the team, and I’m sure Maroon, Hendricks and Kassian know what they are there for. And Talbot, I heard he hired Billy Smith as a skills coach this summer.

    And by this logic, Gryba makes the team. I hope he does, I thought Gryba did well in his role.

  162. Jaxon says:

    Interesting discovery regarding Taylor Hall. One of the hottest points streaks for Oilers forwards over the past few years pre-McDavid was during Hall’s last injury (out from Feb.2, 2015 to Mar.21, 2015) when:

    Eberle had 25 pts in a 19 game stretch.(Feb. 9 – Mar. 21) – 108 pt pace

    Nugent-Hopkins had 23 pts in a 19 game stretch.(Feb. 10 – Mar. 23) – 99 pt pace

    Yakupov had 15 pts in a 17 game stretch.(Feb. 9 – Mar. 18) – 72 pt pace

    Pouliot had 21pts in a 28 game stretch.(Jan. 9 – Mar. 22) – 62 pt pace

    Lander had 16 pts in a 25 game stretch.(Jan. 29 – Apr. 7) – 52 pt pace

    I believe this was the period when Pouliot-Nuge-Ebs got incredibly hot and Yakupov and Roy where clicking.

    Also worth noting that Yakupov was on a 53 pt pace in his rookie season.

    I think Lucic-Nuge-Ebs would make it a tough decision for opposition coaches on who to send their top pair and best line out against. I think Pouliot’s speed is a better match for McDavid than Lucic and Yakupov could find his scoring touch on that line. Maroon-Draisaitl-Kassian would be a tough line to handle and could really shake things up against 3rd line competition and Kassian played quite well with Draisaitl last year. That would leave Hendricks-Letestu-Pakarinen as a tough defending 4th line to get the puck out of the Oilers zone (with 2 players solid on the dot) and laying a few hits before going off. Slepyshev-Caggiula-Puljujarvi would be a great line down in Bakersfield getting 20 plus minutes per night in preparation for the NHL.

  163. Jaxon says:

    Re: Gregor’s article: Is Kessel really a driver? Maybe I need a definition of driver to clarify things. Aren’t his shot volume metrics quite poor to be considered a driver of the play? Super productive offensively? For sure. But a driver? I think that’s a stretch. Maybe I’m mistaken.

  164. OmJo says:

    Hey LT, long time reader, first time commenter. Well, haven’t been reading for very long, since around May I started reading your stuff here and on ON and I just wanted to say (nothing new, I’m sure you get this a lot) you’re doing an incredible job covering the OIlers! You and the community here have really taught me a lot in only a few months on the Oilers and how to analyze players using advanced stats – I never could quite grasp them until I started reading the comments section on here. Really enjoyed the RE series and reading your articles during lunch/dinner/work breaks has become like a routine now.

    To you and the community here, keep up the good work!

    (Wanted my first comment to be something nice lol)

  165. OmJo says:

    Ducey:
    I know everyone likes their stats but maybe we will come to the realization someday that just flopping out the points or Corsi WOWY is just part of the picture.

    People are down on looking at zone starts but to me they signal usage. If you are getting a lot of DZS the coach looks at you as a defensive option and also likely plays you against tougher comp.

    When Yak played with Connor, they had 36.4 OZFO, 17.6 DZFO and 46.0 NZFO.

    When Yak played with Letestu, they had 26.3 OZ, 31.2 DZ, and 42.4 NZ.

    When Yak played with Nuge, it was 29 OZ, 34 DZ, 36.2 NZ

    Connor without Yak was 30.9 OZ/ 38.5DZ/ 30.6 NZ. Connor was 31.4 OZ/ 33.8 DZ/ 34.8 NZ with Eberle

    Lots of numbers there, but the thing that stands out is the 17.6 DZS for Yak with Connor. So the numbers of Connor with Yak and Eberle might be similar, but its likely that Yak’s numbers were generated in softer minutes (better zone starts, easier comp) than Eberle’s.17.6 DZ starts for Yak with Connor is pretty strong sheltering. Its clear TMc did that on purpose. He likely picked his spots on opposition too.

    So if you want to play Connor with Yak, you have to find a way to shelter Connor. That will be tough (especially on the road) and result on more pressure on Nuge and Leon.

    This is really the horns of the dilemma.

    If it is going to be power v power (I think it has to be if you have a player like Connor) then the proper RW is Eberle for Connor. Yak is going to do better in sheltered minutes (ie not with Letestu) and therefore I think the best C to play him with will be Leon (presumably Nuge with get his fair share of tough minutes).

    To summarize the lines should be

    Toughs (Connor)
    2nd toughs (Nuge)
    sheltered (Leon)
    Dregs/ PK (Letestu)

    Yak should be on the sheltered line.

    What if the reason that Yak and McDavid had such a low number of DZone starts was because at this point in his career, McDavid was still getting used to the NHL game? He played what, 12-13 games before he got injured? Whereas, with Eberle, he was much more used to the game.

    Not to mention, Pouliot was the only player on that line that was defensively-sound. I think it had to do with sheltering McDavid as much as it was Yak.

    That said, if Yak can slow his game down a bit (the unpredictability of it, not his actual speed) I think a line of Maroon-Draisaitl-Yakupov would be very effective. And Maroon could have the same effect as Lucic would on him.

    He looked good with Draisaitl and Hall (sigh) late last season, too. If I remember correctly once he was put on that line they weren’t producing as badly as prior to it.

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