WHEN AUTUMN LEAVES START TO FALL

We had 400 versions of ‘Autumn Leaves’ at our house when I was a kid. Lots of instrumental versions, piano mostly but also 101 Strings (101 Strings recorded all of the songs all of the time). If you wake me up at 4am, and scream ‘AUTUMN LEAVES!’ the melody will enter my brain instantly. The melody was written by a Frenchman at the end of the Second World War, it remains haunting to this day. The English words were written by Johnny Mercer, he was a helluva lyricist. The French lyrics, the originals, are more final, more heartbreaking. Damned French and their sad, sexy words.

ONE YEAR AGO

We have two games tonight, looks like Connor McDavid stays in Edmonton and I imagine Ryan Strome will play alongside. Edmonton had two games v. Calgary to start things off a year ago. same thing the year before that, too. Here are the lineups from last season:

EDMONTON

  • Milan Lucic—Drake Caggiula—Jordan Eberle. College center between $6 million wingers.
  • Benoit Pouliot—Ryan Vesce—Jesse Puljujarvi. Tough year for all three men.
  • Taylor Beck—Jujhar Khaira—Kris Versteeg. Only one would spend the year in the NHL.
  • Mitch Moroz—Kyle Platzer—Iiro Pakarinen. The Finn found a way.
  • Oscar Klefbom—Adam Larsson. A value pairing, now the top pairing.
  • Ben Betker—Mark Fayne. AHL defenders.
  • Markus Niemelainen—Matt Benning. Benning never stopped moving up the roster.
  • Cam Talbot (Eetu Laurikainen). Talbot had an amazing year.

CALGARY

  • Patrick Maroon—Anton Lander—Nail Yakupov. Nail would be gone 12 days later.
  • Matt Hendricks—Mark Letestu—Zack Kassian. De facto 4line.
  • Braden Christoffer—Jere Sallinen—Anton Slepyshev. Slepyshev made it.
  • Greg Chase—Josh Currie—Patrick Russell. AHL line.
  • Darnell Nurse—Brandon Davidson. Young emerging blue.
  • Jordan Oesterle—Eric Gryba. Fringe NHLer and Oilers 7D.
  • Caleb Jones—Ethan Bear. Will they get another start tonight?
  • Jonas Gustavsson (Laurent Brossoit). The backup plan.

TWO YEARS AGO

 EDMONTON

  • Taylor Hall—Connor McDavid—Teddy Purcell: Major firepower on 1line.
  • Anton Lander—Leon Draisaitl—Nail Yakupov: There was lots of buzz about this trio.
  • Ryan Hamilton—Andrew Miller—Tyler Pitlick: There was zero buzz about this trio.
  • Luke Gazdic—Josh Winquist—Matt Ford: Only Gazdic would play NHL games.
  • Andrej Sekera—Mark Fayne: Ended up being the most effective pairing.
  • Andrew Ference—Nikita Nikitin: The Eno experiment.
  • Brad Hunt—Brandon Davidson: Davidson rose rapidly after this game.
  • Cam Talbot and Laurent Brossoit: The position has been consistent for some time now.

CALGARY

  • Benoit Pouliot—Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Jordan Eberle: The big line.
  • Matt Hendricks—Mark Letestu—Lauri Korpikoski: An NHL line.
  • Anton Slepyshev—Bogdan Yakimov—Rob Klinkhammer: Rocknrolla.
  • Phil McRae—Jujhar Khaira—Braden Christoffer: Khaira would emerge during the year.
  • Oscar Klefbom—Justin Schultz: Blue money married to blown money.
  • Griffin Reinhart—Eric Gryba: I liked this pairing a year ago, like it now.
  • Darnell Nurse—Joey Laleggia: Both men can wheel.
  • Ben Scrivens and Anders Nilsson: One job, two goalies. The Swede won it.

It doesn’t matter who wins, just solid performances and signs of progress, no injuries please. We should be looking for strong performances from defenders in the middle of the pack, and goals from right wingers.

ROSTER CUTS

We saw five cuts last night, all junior kids and expected. It does give us a chance to look at the overall roster chase to see if there are any changes.

CERTAIN OILERS

  • Slepyshev remains on the list, if he doesn’t see action in the next week or so, we may have to move him down.
  • All of the men listed here have been mentioned in various reporting, several defensemen have scored goals during the scrimmages.
  • Most of the stories have been training camp ‘faster than a speeding bullet’ headlines. That’s not really germane to what we do, but Darnell Nurse being stronger is interesting and may have hockey application.

UNCERTAIN OILERS

  • Jujhar Khaira has delivered early in camp, Iiro Pakarinen also having his moments.
  • Yohann Auvitu and Dillon Simpson have been playing together, interesting alignment and something to watch for tonight. Auvitu has to be right at the cut line, so maybe they’re looking at his partner, too.
  • Joey Laleggia has impressed, scoring a nice goal and getting some feature minutes. He could fit on the roster, moving Jokinen or Khaira the easiest solution.
  • Chris Kelly is going to get a long look, which is galling to many but completely understandable. Edmonton didn’t have a strong PK last season, Kelly can do it and he can also play center. Utility at the back of the roster is always in fashion.

THE DISTANT BELLS

  • We have our first strikethroughs, with the five kids heading back to junior. They all performed well by my eye, encouraging draft crop for 2017.
  • William Lagesson has performed well in this preseason, I bet he gets a game tonight.
  • There could be a bunch of cuts after the game, we’ll discuss them tomorrow.
  • The players on this list who have received blank ink since camp started: Patrick Russell, Grayson Downing, Chad Butcher, Braden Christoffer, Ziyat Paigin, Ryan Mantha, Caleb Jones, Ethan Bear. I expect many of these men will play tonight.

DRAKE CAGGIULA

One story to follow is Drake Caggiula’s spot on RW. He was demoted from the 2line in the first scrimmage, came back and scored in the second. Coach Todd McLellan mentioned a subpar day one and second day improvement, but with Anton Slepyshev on the sidelines young Caggiula needs to make an impression. A big game tonight is important, no matter what line he plays on.

THE NUGE LINE

I don’t know how many lines will stay together this evening, but excitement is building over the Nuge line (with Jussi Jokinen and Jesse Puljujarvi) in a big way. If this trio can outscore opponents at 5×5, and there is some hope for it, we might be looking at three lines who can exceed 50 goals on the season. Last season, Nuge played often with Jordan Eberle and Milan Lucic. The trio scored 61 goals on what was a de facto 2line. If this trio can get 50, the McDavid line can score 86 (again) and the Draisaitl line 70, the top three lines could post over 200 goals! I know it’s crazy, but it’s blue sky time just ahead of the exhibition games. There’s a lot of talent on this team.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

There’s too much going on this time of year, and we’ll grab as much as we can this morning at 10, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Pierre Lebrun, TSN and The Athletic. Hockey is back! We’ll pluck a few stories and run with them, including a quick preview on the Oilers.
  • Rob Soria, The Hockey Writers. The Denis Shapovalov legend grew on the weekend, we’ll also talk Oil.
  • Jason Gregor, TSN1260. Eskimos lose another and now we’re in serious territory. Plus Oilers preview of tonight’s games.
  • Derek Taylor, TSN. What the hell Esks? and is Dariant Durant Done?

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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127 Responses to "WHEN AUTUMN LEAVES START TO FALL"

  1. Pouzar says:

    Been out all summer. I had no idea bad Nuge sucked with Russell. My Gord.

  2. jonrmcleod says:

    Pouzar,

    The Other Pouzar beats Original Pouzar to the punch!

  3. Dino says:

    I’m just happy hockey is back!

  4. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    So some interesting verbal last night on Chayka and the Yotes.

    Don’t want to re-hash too much but both Hamonic/Demers had bad seasons last year, bad enough that their teams traded both after resigning both last off season. Will be watching to see if either player has a comeback year.

    Gonna go out on a limb and say:

    The pairing of Klef-Larsson will be superior in every statistical measure (fancy and regular) compared to OEL and Hjalmarsson this season.

    Oscar Klefbom will show himself to be a better Dman than OEL this season (barring a substantial injury of course).

    LT I share your enthusiasm re the de-facto 3rd line. If they catch fire (more importantly if JP arrives) all bets are off on the potential for this team.

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    Rishaug was raving about how good and fast LaLeggia looks.

    I can’t see him making the team unless a skilled guy goes down (and he outplays Rattie) but, who knows, maybe there is a real prospect forward here with the potential to bridge the couple year gap until Yamamoto and Benson might be ready (and the longer gap for Safin and Maksimov).

    Can’t wait to watch the games tonight. Two at once is very akaward though.

  6. Jethro Tull says:

    http://www.tsn.ca/leafs-refuse-comment-on-lupul-s-apparent-allegation-1.859457

    Just getting the daily thread-jack out of the way early. Lou up to old tricks again?

    GO OILERS!

  7. Jethro Tull says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

    I think Hamonic was always going to get traded due to personal reasons.

  8. Chachi says:

    Jethro Tull:
    http://www.tsn.ca/leafs-refuse-comment-on-lupul-s-apparent-allegation-1.859457

    Just getting the daily thread-jack out of the way early.Lou up to old tricks again?

    GO OILERS!

    Joffrey is going to end up taking a nap in the foundation of a building in Woodbridge if he keeps poking at Lou. I am not sure why Lupul is complaining, you would think being paid to not play would fall right into his wheelhouse.

  9. Jethro Tull says:

    Don’t want to rehash yesterday’s thread either, was way too salty, got too personal.

    BUT…….(and it’s a nice but!)……The “Traded Because FLA Has Too Many RHD” narrative doesn’t hold water now with the news that FLA tried to get Gudbranson back, who, according to Woodguy’s phone, shoots right.

  10. Jethro Tull says:

    Chachi,

    Joffrey’s shouldn’t drink from any cup Uncle Lou gives him at his coronation feast.

  11. OmJo says:

    Starting to wonder if Cagguila will ever play in his natural position in the NHL.

  12. hunter1909 says:

    Hunter1909’s Oilers Death March

    Returns for another season

    Bigger and better than ever!

    Here’s how to play: simply enter the amount of points you expect the Edmonton Oilers to get during the 2017-18 season;

    At the end of the season the player(s) with the closest total wins!

    It’s easy!!

    contest open until the opening puck drop of the 2017-18 season

  13. Chachi says:

    Jethro Tull:
    Chachi,

    Joffrey’s shouldn’t drink from any cup Uncle Lou gives him at his coronation feast.

    Lou looks good in game of thrones garb:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gi-k9hexGY

  14. OriginalPouzar says:

    OmJo:
    Starting to wonder if Cagguila will ever play in his natural position in the NHL.

    He’s in tough with Maroon, Lucic and Jokinen taking up the top 3 spots. He could be the 4LW if Slepy is ready and wins the 2RW job (knocking Khaira to the press box) but I’m somewhat confident Drake can play up the lineup.

  15. kgo says:

    Here’s a question leading into the season….
    How many minutes should McDavid play per game?
    If you’re up by 3 goals in the third, on a Tuesday in January in Florida, do you bench McDavid to reduce fatigue and injury risk?
    with a player like McDavid, is it even the coach’s decision? would he let himself be benched?

    Also, Hunter, Up my point prediction to 108 please

  16. OriginalPouzar says:

    Its nice that Darnell might even be faster and stronger than last year but speed and strength haven’t been what’s holding him back from taking the next step – its the decision making, the hockey IQ and I look for development in that area this year. I’m still hopeful that Darnell will be an impact player going forward – I need to remind myself that he’s still on his ELC – Benning is a year older than him.

  17. OriginalPouzar says:

    Every single one of the players that were re-assigned to their junior clubs yesterday have me super excited.

    Samorukov looked so smooth and calm in prospects camp.

    Maksimov was one of the more dynamic forwards throughout prospects camp – he showed effort on the boards and on the back-check in addition to the high skill

    Safin was somewhat of an enigma – very inconstant, non-existent for large stretches and then flashes of absolute brilliance – I’m going to chalk his inconsistency up to getting used to the North American ice (although it may be a work ethic thing). Love having him in major junior this year.

    Wells – solid as expected – can he jump from #3 on the Canadian WJHC depth chart to #2?

    Skinner – stole the goaltending show – what a performance against WIN – can he jump up from #4 on the Canadian WJHC depth chart?

    I’ll look forward to the “Weekend Update” every Sunday night.

  18. McSorley33 says:

    For some reason, I find myself really cheering for Joey Leggs.

    Speed is in. And Joey has it -in spades.

    Teach him to PK and we have something.

  19. OriginalPouzar says:

    Rishaug was stating that Puljijarvi was just OK in the scrimmages but he absolutely looks like one of the NHL players out there and fits in well on the line.

    I’m ready for the spike – reasonable expectations though.

    I want to see that smile all year long.

  20. OriginalPouzar says:

    kgo:
    Here’s a question leading into the season….
    How many minutes should McDavid play per game?
    If you’re up by 3 goals in the third, on a Tuesday in January in Florida, do you bench McDavid to reduce fatigue and injury risk?
    with a player like McDavid, is it even the coach’s decision? would he let himself be benched?

    Also, Hunter, Up my point prediction to 108 please

    I’m slightly concerned about McDavid’s overall ice time. He was among the leaders, if not the absolute leader, in ES ice time last year.

    I love seeing him on the PK – with the open ice he seems dangerous out there and I bet he even changes the PP as they know one bad pass through the lane and he’s gone. With that said, I’m not sure he needs to play the extra minutes on the PK on a regular basis.

    This is one reason why I’m not really on board with Kelly getting a contract – sure, he can help on the PK but I think his insertion in the lineup limits the ability to roll the 4th line at evens increasing ice time for others, including McDavid.

    It feels weird arguing against McDavid being on the ice but its a marathon, not a sprint, and players are express that an extra min or two of ice/game makes a difference.

  21. leadfarmer says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
    So some interesting verbal last night on Chayka and the Yotes.

    Don’t want to re-hash too much but both Hamonic/Demers had bad seasons last year, bad enough that their teams traded both after resigning both last off season. Will be watching to see if either player has a comeback year.

    Gonna go out on a limb and say:

    The pairing of Klef-Larsson will be superior in every statistical measure (fancy and regular) compared to OEL and Hjalmarsson this season.

    Oscar Klefbom will show himself to be a better Dman than OEL this season (barring a substantial injury of course).

    LT I share your enthusiasm re the de-facto 3rd line. If they catch fire (more importantly if JP arrives) all bets are off on the potential for this team.

    Well OEL and Hjalmarsson will be defending for a bunch of rookie forwards so you are really comparing apples and oranges

  22. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Great post LT! YOur line-ups form previous years are reminders that things won’t look the same as the season starts… Loved the idea of Lander-Drai-Yak for instance…

    – The Lupul contract is a perfect example of what will happen to Lucic/Russel, etc if/when they aren’t performing to their salary: “If placed on long-term injury reserve, the team is given salary cap relief for the player, but it can only be used if the team has spent up to the cap ceiling”

    – Easy-peasy.

  23. Pouzar says:

    McSorley33:
    For some reason, I find myself really cheering for Joey Leggs.

    Speed is in. And Joey has it -in spades.

    Teach him to PK and we have something.

    Remember when he was too small? That verbal tends to disappear when we see that they can actually hockey.

  24. jm363561 says:

    Quote, from within an article by, alleged, stats expert (Awad):

    “The most interesting stat from Awad is he believes, from all his studying of numbers, that 39% of hockey comes down to luck. Puck bounces, ricochet, injuries, travel, etc.”

    Best hockey stat I have ever seen.

    Forget about lines, drafts, trades, etc. All LoweTiders are expected to give Todd that vital edge and buy rabbits feet, pray extra hard, and do whatever you are supposed to do to black cats, every game day.

  25. McSorley33 says:

    As others have said, beside I can’t believe he is still injured Benson – I am very happy with our prospects.

    However, I will have to excuse myself from the optimism/hope regarding RNH. Appreciated the PR points coming out about him being ‘freed up ‘ to create more offence and such.

    He is a 3C. Love the kid personally. He can PK and is coachable beyond belief.

    But the days of me hoping for the 1st overall selection in the 2011 draft to score at a decent
    ( relative to his draft slot ) 5 x 5 pace are over.

    Just tread water. Connor and Leon will do the lifting.

  26. Louis Levasseur says:

    I have mixed feelings about using superstars on the PK. On one hand I like the fact that their skill will allow them some opportunistic chances for offence, but I worry about injury. I’d hate to see McDavid break an ankle or any body part because he has to try and block a shot from the point.

    I guess I would use the stars on the PK situationally. No need to have them out there when the game us out of reach. Is it realistic to tell a guy like McDavid when he goes out to kill a penalty “no shot blocking”?

  27. unca miltie says:

    hunter1909:
    Hunter1909’s Oilers Death March

    Returns for another season

    Bigger and better than ever!

    Here’s how to play: simply enter the amount of points you expect the Edmonton Oilers to get during the 2017-18 season;

    At the end of the season the player(s) with the closest total wins!

    It’s easy!!

    contest open until the opening puck drop of the 2017-18 season

    I been thinking anywhere from96 to 102.so lets go with 104…Lets get a cup before McDavid’s contract kicks in and we can’t afford any help.

  28. McSorley33 says:

    Pouzar,

    Missed you Pouzar – glad you are back.

  29. dustrock says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Its nice that Darnell might even be faster and stronger than last year but speed and strength haven’t been what’s holding him back from taking the next step – its the decision making, the hockey IQ and I look for development in that area this year. I’m still hopeful that Darnell will be an impact player going forward – I need to remind myself that he’s still on his ELC – Benning is a year older than him.

    Yeah, this exactly. Nurse was ragdolling guys last year and he’s been scary since age 12, so while that’s nice to hear, it’s not what he needs to work on.

  30. Mariusz Czerkawski says:

    Man o Man i go on vacation for a week and come back to a comments section from yesterday that was an utter tire fire of non-lowetidian level arguments.

    The non-analytics supporters seemed to have the larger voice this day and were piling on WG who was there trying to pound the table with data supporting his arguments. A few of the non-supporters (let’s call them the Skip Baylesses of this blog) are known antagonizers and the vitriol they spew just added fuel to the fire and lead to WG defending his arguments against a barrage of comments that don’t further a discussion.

    When WG gets backed into a corner his comments come off a little more bearish and argumentative than i am sure he intends to. It’s not an excuse, but it is a reason, one i am sure we all can sympathize with. I have far more evidence on this very blog that this is not the norm for WG, so it pains me to see this going the same way it went with other great posters who furthered discussions on here, but have since left due to the environment that tends to creep in over summer.

    It is a shame that people on both sides can’t have a polite debate, but then again if you watch any political debate these days it’s no better.

    My opinion? Demers was a top 4 D when he was UFA last year. He signed a deal to top 4 D money in Florida, a team that had an unusual surplus of RHD, and also had a new larger analytics driven decision making team. The team as a whole had a poor year, and with Demers taking on anecdotally more responsibilities he struggled. Florida also panicked due to these results, much as many would, and have decided to go the opposite route and focus on Old school team building, as is their right to do. Part of this switch was tallon undoing what he felt were poor moves by the previous decision makers, including demers who would be at a much lower value at this point vs last year.

    Arizona is making a bet that demers will bounce back to previous levels of ability, and this bet is fairly low risk (other than term on demers) for a rebuilding team.

    It’s a bet. it may work out, it may not. The results of which will not prove or disprove the usefulness of analytics. Analytics are just providing additional information to the decision makers prior to making their bet.

  31. McSorley33 says:

    Hunter – thanks for doing this again.

    Please put me down for 92 points.

  32. Reasonableness says:

    Man, those lineups from bygone years really make me feel something…. Sadness, regret, nostalgia, relief, hope… I don’t even know

  33. OmJo says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Maybe next season then, if/when Maroon plays himself out of Edmonton by putting up 20+ goals and 40+ points again this season.

    What a weird sentence to type.

    Maybe it’s time to consider moving some of our LW and LD depth for some depth on the right side of the ice.

  34. OmJo says:

    We saw ConYak early a couple seasons ago and it looked good. Seems the Avalanche are trying what I’m dubbing Duchapov and it’s looking good so far in training camp. Will a NHL coach not named Nelson and Krueger finally play Yakupov with skilled players for a season? Seems the Avalanche might be desperate enough to try!

  35. OriginalPouzar says:

    kgo:
    Here’s a question leading into the season….
    How many minutes should McDavid play per game?
    If you’re up by 3 goals in the third, on a Tuesday in January in Florida, do you bench McDavid to reduce fatigue and injury risk?
    with a player like McDavid, is it even the coach’s decision? would he let himself be benched?

    Also, Hunter, Up my point prediction to 108 please

    I’m slightly concerned about McDavid’s overall ice time. He was among the leaders, if not the absolute leader, in ES ice time last year.

    I love seeing him on the PK – with the open ice he seems dangerous out there and I bet he even changes the PP as they know one bad pass through the lane and he’s gone. With that said, I’m not sure he needs to play the extra minutes on the PK on a regular basis.

    This is one reason why I’m not really on board with Kelly getting a contract – sure, he can help on the PK but I think his insertion in the lineup limits the ability to roll the 4th line at evens increasing ice time for others, including McDavid.

    It feels weird arguing against McDavid being on the ice but its a marathon, not a sprint, and players are express that an extra min or two of ice/game makes a difference.

    Louis Levasseur:
    I have mixed feelings about using superstars on the PK.On one hand I like the fact that their skill will allow them some opportunistic chances for offence, but I worry about injury.I’d hate to see McDavid break an ankle or any body part because he has to try and block a shot from the point.

    I guess I would use the stars on the PK situationally.No need to have them out there when the game us out of reach.Is it realistic to tell a guy like McDavid when he goes out to kill a penalty “no shot blocking”?

    I’m not overly concerned about injury on the PK – a player can get injured on any shift in any situation. I’m going to posit that its no more likely on the PK than any other shift especially since McDavid won’t be going down to block shots. He could just as easily break an ankle off a shot at ES covering a guy in front of the net as covering the point man on the PP>

    I’m more concerned about general excess minutes leading to fatigue and potentially increased injury risk due to fatigue.

  36. Chachi says:

    Mariusz Czerkawski:
    Man o Man i go on vacation for a week and come back to a comments section from yesterday that was an utter tire fire of non-lowetidian level arguments.

    The non-analytics supporters seemed to have the larger voice this day and were piling on WG who was there trying to pound the table with data supporting his arguments. A few of the non-supporters (let’s call them the Skip Baylesses of this blog) are known antagonizers and the vitriol they spew just added fuel to the fire and lead to WG defending his arguments against a barrage of comments that don’t further a discussion.

    When WG gets backed into a corner his comments come off a little more bearish and argumentative than i am sure he intends to. It’s not an excuse, but it is a reason, one i am sure we all can sympathize with. I have far more evidence on this very blog that this is not the norm for WG, so it pains me to see this going the same way it went with other great posters who furthered discussions on here, but have since left due to the environment that tends to creep in over summer.

    It is a shame that people on both sides can’t have a polite debate, but then again if you watch any political debate these days it’s no better.

    My opinion? Demers was a top 4 D when he was UFA last year. He signed a deal to top 4 D money in Florida, a team that had an unusual surplus of RHD, and also had a new larger analytics driven decision making team. The team as a whole had a poor year, and with Demers taking on anecdotally more responsibilities he struggled. Florida also panicked due to these results, much as many would, and have decided to go the opposite route and focus on Old school team building, as is their right to do. Part of this switch was tallon undoing what he felt were poor moves by the previous decision makers, including demers who would be at a much lower value at this point vs last year.

    Arizona is making a bet that demers will bounce back to previous levels of ability, and this bet is fairly low risk (other than term on demers) for a rebuilding team.

    It’s a bet. it may work out, it may not. The results of which will not prove or disprove the usefulness of analytics. Analytics are just providing additional information to the decision makers prior to making their bet.

    You can be a supporter of analytics and also disagree with people who are supporters of analytics on certain players.

  37. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    leadfarmer,

    Well I believe that I read last night that Arizona now was a better dcore than the Oilers and I’d like to run some sort of test because I think that is a suspect claim. I thought comparing stats was how I’d go about doing that but if there is another method I’m all eyes and ears.

  38. Pouzar says:

    McSorley33: However, I will have to excuse myself from the optimism/hope regarding RNH.

    have you read the last Oilers Nerd Alert post?
    Shocking.

  39. Pouzar says:

    McSorley33:
    Pouzar,

    Missed you Pouzar – glad you are back.

    Thx mang…it was an awesome summer.

  40. Lois Lowe says:

    Jethro Tull:
    http://www.tsn.ca/leafs-refuse-comment-on-lupul-s-apparent-allegation-1.859457

    Just getting the daily thread-jack out of the way early.Lou up to old tricks again?

    GO OILERS!

    The curse of Joffrey Lupul strikes again!

  41. OriginalPouzar says:

    Oilers squad headed to Calgary includes Brossoit & Ellis in net, Klefbom-Larsson on D, Lucic-Draisaitl-Caggiula up front.

    Other Oilers in Calgary: Auvitu, Simpson, Paigin, Lowe, Rattie, Callahan, Yamamoto, Khaira, Kelly, Malone, Gambardella.

  42. Pouzar says:

    dustrock: Yeah, this exactly.Nurse was ragdolling guys last year and he’s been scary since age 12, so while that’s nice to hear, it’s not what he needs to work on.

    I maybe in the minority here but I think Nurse had lots of room to improve his strength from last year. I saw lots of times last year where the “try” was there but guys were not being “man handed” as a result. I am also in the minority when it come to his “Hockey IQ” or lack thereof.

  43. T0ML says:

    Hunter, put me down for 109 please and thank you.

  44. leadfarmer says:

    Chachi: You can be a supporter of analytics and also disagree with people who are supporters of analytics on certain players.

    Exactly. You can support analytics and realize it’s not perfect. Last year I was man on an island around here defending Russell against onslaughts of analytics say he’s the worlds worst defenseman even though he’s a serviceable one. Now if some people can play better than their advanced stats then maybe just maybe there is someone out there that plays worse than his advanced stats show. Now Demers might recover, but he had a tough year last year which is known to happen after signing a big contract

  45. OriginalPouzar says:

    D in Edmonton isn’t as strong as expected as it seems Russell and Benning are getting the night off.

    D in Edmonton:

    Fayne
    Nurse
    Gryba
    Bear
    Jones
    Lagesson

    F in Edmonton:

    Strome
    Maroon
    Pakarinan
    Gowning
    Currie
    Kasian
    Hamilton
    Russell
    Letstu
    Laleggia
    Nuge
    McDavid
    Puljijarvi

    My guess is that Laleggia gets the LW with Nuge and Puljijarvi

  46. OriginalPouzar says:

    I would anticipate:

    Maroon/McDavid/Strome
    Laleggia/Nuge/JP
    Russell/Letstu/Kassian
    Downing/Currie/Hamilton

    Nurse/Gryba
    Fayne/Lagesson
    Jones/Bear

  47. leadfarmer says:

    Some of us here feel like we know woodguy and lowetide much better than they know us because of coming here for years and reading their posts. Challenging their opinions isn’t an attack on them or their character. Sometimes it gets taken as such

  48. OriginalPouzar says:

    Flames in Edmonton

    Poirier-Bennett-Foo
    Glass-F.Hamilton-Cramarossa
    Shinkaruk-Stajan-Lazar
    Lomberg-Hrivik-Klimchuk

    #Flames D in Edmonton:

    Kulak-Stone
    Bartkowski-Andersson
    Wotherspoon-Healey

  49. Pouzar says:

    Both games tonight can be seen on EdmontonOilers.com starting at 7:00 p.m. MDT within the Oilers Region only (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories) due to NHL blackout restrictions.

  50. godot10 says:

    Jethro Tull:
    http://www.tsn.ca/leafs-refuse-comment-on-lupul-s-apparent-allegation-1.859457

    Just getting the daily thread-jack out of the way early.Lou up to old tricks again?

    GO OILERS!

    Those who are without sin, throw the first stone.

    The Oilers had Ference on LTIR for two years, and during that time he was a cycling demon.

  51. Jethro Tull says:

    godot10: Those who are without sin, throw the first stone.

    The Oilers had Ference on LTIR for two years, and during that time he was a cycling demon.

    Mate, I’m no doctor. Cycling can be low impact on joints, and he has had surgery. That’s like saying Sid just says he gets headaches to get a day off.

    Also, Ference never declared himself fit. Now, i know ‘conspiracy’ and ‘he must have been promised a job’, but Lou has a history of cap circumvention.

  52. Side says:

    godot10: Those who are without sin, throw the first stone.

    The Oilers had Ference on LTIR for two years, and during that time he was a cycling demon.

    “The doctors think I got a tear in my labrum, the way the hip was shoved out of place. Over the years, the tear gets bigger, the bone starts rubbing, the cartilage starts to go,” he said. “They went in and took out all the bad cartilage, fixed the labrum tear, then they had to shave the bone because it was impinging. To promote new cartilage growth, they take a drill and drill into the hip socket. The bone bleeds and forms a pseudo cartilage. That’s where it (the recovery) turns into months instead of weeks. I guess football guys get it quite a bit and it’s usually six to eight months before you’re cutting as a football player.”

    Ference, who says he had micro-fractures in the right hip, has checked in all summer with the Oiler doctors, and he expects at the team medical to get the news he can’t play. He can bike or swim, but can’t push it farther than that. He’s always biked, forsaking a car often to pedal to practices wherever he’s been.

    “I’m trying to introduce more weight-bearing with the gym to work on my (range of) motion but I’m not even jogging … that obviously comes before skating,” he said.

    http://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/edmonton-oilers/oilers-d-man-andrew-ference-knows-his-hockey-days-are-over

    Cycling is a different physical activity than hockey.

    Comparing apples to oranges, really.

  53. godot10 says:

    Jethro Tull: Mate, I’m no doctor.Cycling can be low impact on joints, and he has had surgery.That’s like saying Sid just says he gets headaches to get a day off.

    He waited a full year to have surgery. And then had the surgery at a time to guarantee that he would not be ready for the next season.

  54. Jethro Tull says:

    godot10: He waited a full year to have surgery.And then had the surgery at a time to guarantee that he would not be ready for the next season.

    Alcan or Kirkland’s? Kirkland’s is cheaper, but you can make better shapes with Alcan brand, like an Elivis quiff, or viking helmet.

  55. Pouzar says:

    Jethro Tull: Alcan or Kirkland’s?Kirkland’s is cheaper, but you can make better shapes with Alcan brand, like an Elivis quiff, or viking helmet.

    Always non-stick.

  56. Chachi says:

    Jethro Tull: Alcan or Kirkland’s?Kirkland’s is cheaper, but you can make better shapes with Alcan brand, like an Elivis quiff, or viking helmet.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/09/tin-foil-hats-actually-make-it-easier-for-the-government-to-track-your-thoughts/262998/

  57. OriginalPouzar says:

    Looking forward to seeing what Laleggia can do with Nuge and Puljijarvi – that’s my main focus of evaluation this evening.

    Its a little disappointing that Jokinen seems banged up (not sure what is wrong with him).

  58. PokeCheck says:

    Just so I’m clear on this… are we split-squading our Pouzar or are they two different people?

  59. Pouzar says:

    PokeCheck:
    Just so I’m clear on this… are we split-squading our Pouzar or are they two different people?

    I’m the better looking Pouzar.

  60. SwedishPoster says:

    jm363561:
    Quote, from within an article by, alleged, stats expert (Awad):

    “The most interesting stat from Awad is he believes, from all his studying of numbers, that 39% of hockey comes down to luck. Puck bounces, ricochet, injuries, travel, etc.”

    Best hockey stat I have ever seen.

    Forget about lines, drafts, trades, etc. All LoweTiders are expected to give Todd that vital edge and buy rabbits feet, pray extra hard, and do whatever you are supposed to do to black cats, every game day.

    Ah, the luck argument. I don’t buy it. I’ve played a few hundred hockey games, a couple of thousand soccer games and a bunch of games in other sports and for every game I’ve played I have watched a couple more, I’d be hard-pressed to say luck was the deciding factor in even two dozens of them.

    There are a boatload of bounces every game and a decent amount of those are lucky/unlucky but how you handle the bounces is usually about skill and preparation, how big of an impact every bounce has. Also, since luck in it’s nature is arbitrary it’s usually fairly equal even within one game and over a full season it’s just not going to be a crucial factor. Any inequality in bounces tends to be your own doing and then by definition it’s no longer luck.
    Injuries are certainly not luck, sometimes it’s being at the wrong place at the wrong time, a lot of the time it’s about your physical status, sometimes it’s about a lack of sleep, sometimes it’s genetics (hello Pitlick), sometimes it’s your mental status, either way it’s things you yourself(Or in the case of genetics the GM)can affect, ofcourse you can get injured despite doing most things perfectly while the lazy drunk walks away scot -free and I don’t claim you can’t be unlucky at an individual level but at a team level there’s too many factors you can control to just say it’s about luck.

    I’m not saying luck, or completely arbitrary events, don’t exist but they are way more rare than we think(at a macro level like hockey you could make the argument they are non-existant and usually just a lack of information but that’s not really a useful pov in this case) and how we handle those events is most definitely a skill.

    What we as players or fans of sport call luck is usually a lack of preparation and skill, in team sports it could come down the lack of skill in one player, the weakest link and everything. And what statisticians call luck is usually a lack of information.

  61. OriginalPouzar says:

    Pouzar: I’m the better looking Pouzar.

    Oooooh, I’m going to have to disagree on that one – which one of us was at the gym at 4:25 this morning for the first workout of the day and track every calorie and macro we put in to our body to hit certain numbers?

    Yes, I’m as obsessed with fitness/nutrition as I am with the Oilers.

    With that said, that doesn’t help my face – wife seems to think its OK though.

    Go Oilers!!!

    Go Pouzars!!!!

  62. Chachi says:

    OriginalPouzar: Oooooh, I’m going to have to disagree on that one – which one of us was at the gym at 4:25 this morning for the first workout of the day and track every calorie and macro we put in to our body to hit certain numbers?

    Yes, I’m as obsessed with fitness/nutrition as I am with the Oilers.

    With that said, that doesn’t help my face – wife seems to think its OK though.

    Go Oilers!!!

    Go Pouzars!!!!

    I like my Pouzars to have a Rubenesque figure. More to love.

  63. Melvis says:

    Hunter…could you put me down for 105 pts please.

  64. Melvis says:

    From “The Book of Disquiet” by Fernando Pessoa.

    Pessoa pretty much invented the “heteronym”. He creates different authors with different languages and voices, putting forth different, often contradictory representations of the world. They’re all individual and distinct.

    I find this useful in distancing myself from the activity of “making” – for a vantage point other than my own. I’m currently repurposing about 80 trophies from a bunch of different activities into a much larger construct that will end up in a gallery next year.

    Failing that, it’ll end up in my backyard covrered in bird shit. The Damncat will love it…if no one else will.

  65. ashley says:

    SwedishPoster,

    I would mostly agree with your post except for the number of games that are decided by luck. I’ve also played a lot of hockey at a very high level and coached even more. I’ve also played a lot of soccer, basketball and volleyball at various levels. There is no question that hockey is affected by luck more than any sport I’ve been involved in. Games at the pro level are actually decided by luck frequently enough. It’s not the majority, but it’s not a small number of games either.

    In a sport where there are, on average, 5 goals/game with the winning team often taking it by either one or two goals, a slapshot from the point that bounces off a skate in front can easily decide a game in favour of a team that did not carry the play for 60 minutes. This is luck, and it’s pretty common. There are many other examples.

    Fortunately, there are 82 games to even out the luck over the season, and all the teams have their share of the majority of the games where luck is not the decision-maker, and the teams sort themselves out in the standings accordingly.

    But in any one game, or sometimes even a set of 2-3 games, luck can have its way.

  66. ashley says:

    Hunter: 96 points.

  67. Lowetide says:

    I liked Kirkland in his draft year. 🙂

  68. stush18 says:

    SwedishPoster,

    I agree. That’s why I disagree with PDO.

    When a guy shoots out the lights for a year, or a goalie stands on his head, they call him lucky.

    I really disagree. That player seized and opportunity, and capitalized on it with hard work 99% of the time. Especially the season long heaters.

    I don’t disagree their will be regression; I just don’t think it’s luck

  69. stush18 says:

    ashley,

    Was it luck that the slap shot bounced in?

    Or was it players prepping for the game, making a smart decision, being skilled enough to get the shot through traffic to that point?

    I guess maybe it’s wording. But I don’t think that lucky shot happens without smart players putting the puck in good places. Especially as you climb the ranks.

  70. TO10801 says:

    With so many teams looking for centers (CBJ, NYR, PIT) I wonder if RNH potentially gets moved during the season if one of those teams is really struggling down the middle. Main issue is that those teams aren’t exactly in a position to take on salary.

  71. stush18 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Looking forward to seeing what Laleggia can do with Nuge and Puljijarvi – that’s my main focus of evaluation this evening.

    Its a little disappointing that Jokinen seems banged up (not sure what is wrong with him).

    Honestly this might be the best thing for laleggia.

    This is how hockey careers are born. Players above you are out, now he has to take this chance and show he can run with it.

    It’s up to him right now.

  72. stush18 says:

    TO10801:
    With so many teams looking for centers (CBJ, NYR, PIT) I wonder if RNH potentially gets moved during the season if one of those teams is really struggling down the middle. Main issue is that those teams aren’t exactly in a position to take on salary.

    Why are NYR and PITT looking for centres? Aren’t they fairly solid through the middle?

  73. jtblack says:

    Mariusz Czerkawski,

    Non Analytic thoughts: Florida is the poster child of don’t try and fix what ain’t broke. They had a franchise best season 103 points, won their division, had great chemistry and lost out in Game 7 of round 1. Then they decided to blow it up??? Terrible Mgmt decision that could put them back 2 or 3 years … they already lost 1 season and who knows how this year works out for them … I am not making excuses for Demers; but I think he had the pressure of the big contract and was on a dysfunctional team … turned out bad for him personally ….

    As far as AZ signing him, I think it’s kind of like when the Oilers signed Russell to his original 1 year deal. AZ has been so bad that signing an NHL calibre defenseman IS an upgrade. Whether he can bounce back to a 3/4 D Man or is a 5/6; he is an NHL calibre defenseman … The difference being that AZ doesn’t get a 1 year tryout; they have him for 4 more years no matter what he does this year ..

    I think AZ will be much improved BUT still miss the playoffs .. Their forward group is incredibly thin and very young .. Defense seems OK with OEL, Goligoski, Demers, Hjalmarsson, Chycrun … Raanta may or may not be the answer …

  74. OmJo says:

    stush18:
    ashley,

    Was it luck that the slap shot bounced in?

    Or was it players prepping for the game, making a smart decision, being skilled enough to get the shot through traffic to that point?

    I guess maybe it’s wording. But I don’t think that lucky shot happens without smart players putting the puck in good places. Especially as you climb the ranks.

    I think it’s incredibly hard to purposefully try and aim a slapshot specifically to bounce off another players stick in a game situation. Not saying it’s not possible but I think many deflections, especially off body parts, are largely due to luck. Even if you have ideal positioning the puck could very well deflect off a defender trying to block the shot first, or deflect off the teammate but go out of play or into the corner. Endless possibilities.

  75. jtblack says:

    stush18,

    Pitt lost Cullen and Bonino; 4C and 3C …

    Rangers currently have Desharneis as their 3C .. we saw what he is not capable of (Not a good long term 3C) … they need help at Center

  76. OmJo says:

    jtblack,

    The Panthers firing coach of the year finalist Gallant 22 games into the season was pretty stupid, too. Who knows what is going on with that team…

  77. russ99 says:

    Pouzar:
    Both games tonight can be seen on EdmontonOilers.com starting at 7:00 p.m. MDT within the Oilers Region only (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories) due to NHL blackout restrictions.

    Boo!! Thats irritating, stupid blackout restrictions. May need to find a stream.

  78. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    SwedishPoster: Ah, the luck argument. I don’t buy it. I’ve played a few hundred hockey games, a couple of thousand soccer games and a bunch of games in other sports and for every game I’ve played I have watched a couple more, I’d be hard-pressed to say luck was the deciding factor in even two dozens of them.

    – Great post LT! I love these conversations!

    – You say that you would be hard-pressed to say luck decided all the games you played in. Perhaps “luck” is the wrong word

    – The tendancy for participants in sport once a game is over to internally analyze “what happened” to help rationalize the result is well documented

    – Win or lose, we tend to agree on the outcome, based on the result

    – But really the result is just variance. We just assign human factors to help us “assign” the loss

    – Now very few posters here have played NHL hockey where Awad is referencing the 39%

    – It’s human instinct to rule out “luck” in the result of a team sport.

    – It makes sense in NHL, the result of any single game can be attributed to “luck”, given the talent level and group think: heart, feeling it, skill level of team, goalie being hot, passes being crisp, good practices, shots going in, etc” At a certain level, that’s all variance IMO.

  79. Side says:

    I hate discussing luck in sports. If someone’s intent is to shoot the puck in the net and it goes in, how is that lucky? But I guess it depends on how you interpret luck and if chance or probability is involved.

    IMO, when someone is “lucky” in sports it is when someone does something unintentionally and it has positive result.

    Example, hockey player tries to make a pass to his teammate, but the opposing player gets his stick in the way and accidentally directs it into his own team’s net. The passer is lucky, the opposing player is unlucky.

  80. ashley says:

    Side,

    Some of this can certainly be open to interpretation.

  81. stush18 says:

    OmJo: I think it’s incredibly hard to purposefully try and aim a slapshot specifically to bounce off another players stick in a game situation. Not saying it’s not possible but I think many deflections, especially off body parts, are largely due to luck. Even if you have ideal positioning the puck could very well deflect off a defender trying to block the shot first, or deflect off the teammate but go out of play or into the corner. Endless possibilities.

    Sure. But a smart hockey player makes that play, knowing they could possibly score.

    Not saying there isn’t luck. Just that better players and smarter players have more “luck” because of smart plays.

  82. Professor Q says:

    OmJo: I think it’s incredibly hard to purposefully try and aim a slapshot specifically to bounce off another players stick in a game situation. Not saying it’s not possible but I think many deflections, especially off body parts, are largely due to luck. Even if you have ideal positioning the puck could very well deflect off a defender trying to block the shot first, or deflect off the teammate but go out of play or into the corner. Endless possibilities.

    I’ve seen it a few times in the past. Connor and Sidney a few times from behind the net seemingly intentionally for a goal, as well as a few others from behind the net and sometimes elsewhere (some college player I believe).

    I know the Red Wings used to have that play where they’d intentionally shoot it off the end boards to get a better rebound chance, but I’m not sure if other teams had similar plays but for sticks (unlikely to be truly intentionally, aside from taking a chance for a deflection).

  83. stush18 says:

    Side:
    I hate discussing luck in sports.If someone’s intent is to shoot the puck in the net and it goes in, how is that lucky?But I guess it depends on how you interpret luck and if chance or probability is involved.

    IMO, when someone is “lucky” in sports it is when someone does something unintentionally and it has positive result.

    Example, hockey player tries to make a pass to his teammate, but the opposing player gets his stick in the way and accidentally directs it into his own team’s net.The passer is lucky, the opposing player is unlucky.

    SUre.

    But if the player hadn’t made that pass in the first place, luck would have not come into the equation.

  84. stush18 says:

    jtblack:
    stush18,

    Pitt lost Cullen and Bonino;4C and 3C …

    Rangers currently have Desharneis as their 3C .. we saw what he is not capable of (Not a good long term 3C) … they need help at Center

    Oh I actually forgot about bonino. My bad.

    I thought NYR had zibby, Hayes and someone else with desharnais as the 4th line centre. Might be mistaken

  85. stush18 says:

    OmJo:
    jtblack,

    The Panthers firing coach of the year finalist Gallant 22 games into the season was pretty stupid, too. Who knows what is going on with that team…

    Ya I said on twitter yestaerday, Gallant seems like a coach I would want to play for. Firing him with injuries that FLA had last year seems ridiculous.

    I heard he disagreed with some of the analytics, but who knows.

  86. SwedishPoster says:

    ashley,

    I see your point but somewhat disagree with the point shot bouncing off a skate being pure luck, someone took the shot at a good time to shoot and someone planted his skate there and failed at deflecting it or took a good lane if it’s an offensive player. If one team takes a bunch of shots but can’t get through screens and/or a hot goalie while the other team scores with q shot through traffic I wouldn’t necessarily call it luck. It’s usually not a good way to find long term success because you need maximum focus and commitment to play tight and wait for mistakes which is real hard to do over a full year but I wouldn’t call it luck.

    Hockey is tighter and faster than other sports and I might have understated the absolute number of games where luck is the decider, but what’s called luck a lot of time tends be good decisionmaking, focus and hard work. As a player those games are frustrating when it feels you carried play and lost by a crap goal and you feel unlucky, robbed but often you just were outsmarted or outworked or the opponent had a better goalie.

  87. TO10801 says:

    stush18: Oh I actually forgot about bonino. My bad.

    I thought NYR had zibby, Hayes and someone else with desharnais as the 4th line centre. Might be mistaken

    I think the plan for NYR is to try JT Miller at Center. I’m just thinking if that doesn’t go well they have very little cover.

  88. ashley says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    Agreed it is human nature to assign human effort/skill or lack thereof to outcomes, and minimizing the role of luck. We like to believe we are in control of things. In fact, the illusion of control drives people to do many mysterious things that they cannot affect the outcome of, but that is a topic for another blog. It is also a tactic used by leaders to calm their base. People can become quite agitated when they feel they have no control over something that affects them. If you give them real control, or even the illusion of control, the average person will more often find peace with whatever they were worked up about.

    As far as hockey goes, we cannot really influence the outcome of a game in any significant way (although research does show that the home advantage that teams enjoy could entirely relate to subconscious referee bias caused by making calls in front of the home crowd, an effect that disappears when the crowd is small or nonexistent….again a topic for another day), but it is rather disconcerting to consider that we are investing time, money, and effort into being a fan for a sport where the outcomes are sometimes decided by luck.

    Like anyone else, this thought makes me squirm, and I feel that I want to downplay the role of luck in hockey. After all, I don’t want to identify myself as someone who might seek out televised lottery draws or bingo games to cheer for.

  89. OmJo says:

    stush18: Sure. But a smart hockey player makes that play, knowing they could possibly score.

    Not saying there isn’t luck. Just that better players and smarter players have more “luck” because of smart plays.

    I guess it depends on how one defines luck. Too broad a definition and every goal could be attributed to luck, too specific and luck is pretty much nonexistent. Then we also have to take into consideration the luck of the goalie as well and it gets even messier.

    Professor Q: I’ve seen it a few times in the past. Connor and Sidney a few times from behind the net seemingly intentionally for a goal, as well as a few others from behind the net and sometimes elsewhere (some college player I believe).

    I know the Red Wings used to have that play where they’d intentionally shoot it off the end boards to get a better rebound chance, but I’m not sure if other teams had similar plays but for sticks (unlikely to be truly intentionally, aside from taking a chance for a deflection).

    To clarify, I’m not saying the act of shooting for a deflection is lucky, I’m saying the success of a deflection requires some degree of luck to happen because that puck can deflect in a number of different ways, directions, etc.

  90. ashley says:

    SwedishPoster,

    Well some of these scenerios can be open to differences in the way we interpret luck affecting the play. Regardless, I believe we agree on much more than we disagree on based on your original post.

  91. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    ashley:
    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    Like anyone else, this thought makes me squirm, and I want to downplay the role of luck in hockey. After all, I don’t want to identify myself as someone who might seek out televised lottery draws or bingo games to cheer for.

    – Agreed! At the end of the day though, I don’t think your far off the mark…

    – As you say it’s this illusion of control that Human’s crave, to make sense of randomness

    – Watching NHL, having a few pops sure beats cheering for “under the O, O 34!”

  92. SwedishPoster says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    I never played higher than the semi-pro ranks in soccer and hockey but I have friends who played at the highest level and they felt luck played a lesser factor the higher you got. Everyone thinks the game at a higher level, there is a thought behind most plays and fewer mistakes are made. At lower level people just do something random and sometimes it fails sometimes it works

  93. SwedishPoster says:

    ashley,

    Let’s agree to somewhat agree.

  94. SwedishPoster says:

    Whenever the subject of luck in sports come up I like to quote swedish downhill skiing star of the eighties Ingemar Stenmark “I don’t know much about luck. I only know that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” He was lucky enough to win 86 world cup competitions.

  95. jm363561 says:

    ashley:
    SwedishPoster,

    I would mostly agree with your post except for the number of games that are decided by luck.I’ve also played a lot of hockey at a very high level and coached even more.I’ve also played a lot of soccer, basketball and volleyball at various levels.There is no question that hockey is affected by luck more than any sport I’ve been involved in.Games at the pro level are actually decided by luck frequently enough.It’s not the majority, but it’s not a small number of games either.

    In a sport where there are, on average, 5 goals/game with the winning team often taking it by either one or two goals, a slapshot from the point that bounces off a skate in front can easily decide a game in favour of a team that did not carry the play for 60 minutes.This is luck, and it’s pretty common.There are many other examples.

    Fortunately, there are 82 games to even out the luck over the season, and all the teams have their share of the majority of the games where luck is not the decision-maker, and the teams sort themselves out in the standings accordingly.

    But in any one game, or sometimes even a set of 2-3 games, luck can have its way.

    Great posts by yourself and Swedish Poster. I would tend to be closer to your view on luck, and one item omitted from the list is referee decisions. Over 82 games the luck factor likely evens out. Over a playoff series IMHO it will generally not.

    Anyway, just to be on the safe side lets all buy a few rabbits feet.

  96. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    SwedishPoster:
    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    I never played higher than the semi-pro ranks in soccer and hockey but I have friends who played at the highest level and they felt luck played a lesser factor the higher you got. Everyone thinks the game at a higher level, there is a thought behind most plays and fewer mistakes are made. At lower level people just do something random and sometimes it fails sometimes it works

    – I’d posit the opposite: at the highest level, there is less opportunity to differentiate, because there are few “errors” to capitalize on. So two teams, equal skill level, a lot of the result is going to be variance. All the millions of movements in a game get compressed into single events

    – Backgammon is a good example of this variance: there is an optimal reaction to every dice roll, and the better player you are, the more optimal you can play. but the dice rolls, the variance in it accounts for about 60% of the result of any game.

    – I don’t think Hockey is any different: lots you can control in Hockey, but its the “roll of the dice” that account often for a G, or Goalie makes save, a sequence of events that result in a rush, etc.

  97. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    SwedishPoster:
    Whenever the subject of luck in sports come up I like to quote swedish downhill skiing star of the eighties Ingemar Stenmark “I don’t know much about luck. I only know that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” He was lucky enough to win 86 world cup competitions.

    – The context is different: skiing is an individual sport.

    – There is more luck in downhill race than say the 100M dash, because each skier doesn’t get the exact same conditions, but certainly each athlete racing against the clock reduces luck greatly.

    – That’s not to say Crosby’s goal totals are higher than Hall’s because of luck.

    – Assigning a % of a result to luck isn’t trivializing the outcome

  98. SwedishPoster says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – I’d posit the opposite: at the highest level, there is less opportunity to differentiate, because there are few “errors” to capitalize on.So two teams, equal skill level, a lot of the result is going to be variance.All the millions of movements in a game get compressed into single events

    – Backgammon is a good example of this variance: there is an optimal reaction to every dice roll, and the better player you are, the more optimal you can play.but the dice rolls, the variance in it accounts for about 60% of the result of any game.

    – I don’t think Hockey is any different: lots you can control in Hockey, but its the “roll of the dice” thataccount often for a G, or Goalie makes save, a sequence of events that result in a rush, etc.

    And yet the same players make the key plays over and over. Jagr has done it for a couple of decades despite not keeping up skatingwise the last few years, if it was more about keeping up and be lucky Darren Helm would be a lot more efficient. I believe the smaller margins make the quality of the players more crucial, but we differ which is fair enough, I understand that players can be more dominant at lower levels thus reducing luck but overall I think the games are far more random the lower you get.

    I have to get going, it’s 10 pm over here but an interesting discussion everyone!

  99. Jethro Tull says:

    SwedishPoster:
    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    I never played higher than the semi-pro ranks in soccer and hockey but I have friends who played at the highest level and they felt luck played a lesser factor the higher you got. Everyone thinks the game at a higher level, there is a thought behind most plays and fewer mistakes are made. At lower level people just do something random and sometimes it fails sometimes it works

    Do you know Tomas Brolin?

  100. Skook says:

    hunter1909:
    Hunter1909’s Oilers Death March

    Returns for another season

    Bigger and better than ever!

    Here’s how to play: simply enter the amount of points you expect the Edmonton Oilers to get during the 2017-18 season;

    At the end of the season the player(s) with the closest total wins!

    It’s easy!!

    contest open until the opening puck drop of the 2017-18 season

    Hunter, 107 pts please and thank you!

  101. Jethro Tull says:

    I think it’s easy to get turned around in the ‘Luck’ conversation – what is required is context. It seems to me that the best players put themselves in the best possible positions to take advantage of either good luck for their team, or bad luck for the opposition.

    I agree with Swedish that these guys play at such a high level that they even think the game differently, but every play isn’t preordained to culminate in a satisfactory conclusion. That’s where the luck thing comes into it and what the researchers were trying to say. Random events, such as catching a rut in the ice just as you’re turning backwards to defend. Clean ice sheet, that doesn’t happen. But was that rut put there on purpose and did the opposition deliberately guide you back onto it, knowing you’d fall? Freak ricochets in any sport etc.

    So, how come we say “that player was lucky to have been standing there to score”? Is it possible the sub-conscious has a way of making a player ‘intuitive’ without them knowing? An unwitting probability calculation made by the brain of the likelihood of a seemingly random series of events?

    For the ‘nothing is down to luck’ people, for your theory to hold water, every play must end up with the same outcome. That they don’t suggests other forces at work, such as human error and luck. Now, the probability that a pro-athlete makes mistakes on a lesser frequency than us is a gimme. but the fact that the puck zips around with merry abandon tells me that the players aren’t mindless automatons and are fallible.

    Luck exists, even blind luck, but the human mind is hard-wired to see patterns, even in apparent randomness. It’s how we got to here from the cave.

    “I would wish you good luck, but I believe luck is a concept invented by the weak to explain their failures.”. Ron Swanson

  102. Doug McLachlan says:

    When it comes to Caggulia, it sounds like the discussion is whether or not he can take advantage of Slepyshev’s absence and lock-down a spot of Drai’s RW or whether he falls back to Letestu’s LW.

    I suspect the challenge is even greater than that.

    Caggulia has such a “swiss-army-knife” skill set that I wonder if he might not be better suited to be the 13th F – able to fill-in up or down the line-up in almost any role (for limited periods of time).

    I am still excited to see what Kharia – Letestu – Kassian can do from the fourth line and will keep harping about those magical 20 minutes where Kharia and Kassian combined for unbelievable (and no doubt unsustainable) fancies together 73.3 CF%, 75.7 DFF% and 66.7 GF%.

  103. Ancient Oilers Fan says:

    Luck is a factor but you play for luck.

    If you don’t have a better play throw it at the net. 1.37% (87% of statistics are made up on the spot) of those go in.

    Defence especially shoot for luck. Very few unscreened or undeflected shots score but defencemen shoot into a crowd going for the perfect screen, intentional deflection, lucky rebound or a lucky deflection.

    The higher level they are the more they increase their odds by adjusting their shots to what they believe gives them a better chance to be lucky.

    Of course there is luck involved but volume of shots and maybe technique will result in more goals.

  104. Pouzar says:

    OriginalPouzar: Oooooh, I’m going to have to disagree on that one – which one of us was at the gym at 4:25 this morning for the first workout of the day and track every calorie and macro we put in to our body to hit certain numbers?

    Yes, I’m as obsessed with fitness/nutrition as I am with the Oilers.

    With that said, that doesn’t help my face – wife seems to think its OK though.

    Go Oilers!!!

    Go Pouzars!!!!

    I had a big Chocolate Chip muffin at 7:30 AM!
    That was healthy eating in the early 90’s!!!!!

  105. Pouzar says:

    russ99: Boo!! Thats irritating, stupid blackout restrictions. May need to find a stream.

    onhockey.tv

    or

    google: reddit NHL stream

  106. bendelson says:

    Pouzar,

    OriginalPouzar,

    Which one of you lads is the ‘Pouzar’s Pouzar’?

  107. Chachi says:

    Jethro Tull:
    I think it’s easy to get turned around in the ‘Luck’ conversation – what is required is context.It seems to me that the best players put themselves in the best possible positions to take advantage of either good luck for their team, or bad luck for the opposition.

    I agree with Swedish that these guys play at such a high level that they even think the game differently, but every play isn’t preordained to culminate in a satisfactory conclusion.That’s where the luck thing comes into it and what the researchers were trying to say.Random events, such as catching a rut in the ice just as you’re turning backwards to defend.Clean ice sheet, that doesn’t happen.But was that rut put there on purpose and did the opposition deliberately guide you back onto it, knowing you’d fall?Freak ricochets in any sport etc.

    So, how come we say “that player was lucky to have been standing there to score”?Is it possible the sub-conscious has a way of making a player ‘intuitive’ without them knowing? An unwitting probability calculation made by the brain of the likelihood of a seemingly random series of events?

    For the ‘nothing is down to luck’ people, for your theory to hold water, every play must end up with the same outcome.That they don’t suggests other forces at work, such as human error and luck.Now, the probability that a pro-athlete makes mistakes on a lesser frequency than us is a gimme. but the fact that the puck zips around with merry abandon tells me that the players aren’t mindless automatons and are fallible.

    Luck exists, even blind luck, but the human mind is hard-wired to see patterns, even in apparent randomness.It’s how we got to here from the cave.

    “I would wish you good luck, but I believe luck is a concept invented by the weak to explain their failures.”. Ron Swanson

    Deep thoughts and a Parks and Rec reference. Beautiful.

  108. pocession charge says:

    Pouzar: I had a big Chocolate Chip muffin at 7:30 AM!
    That was healthy eating in the early 90’s!!!!!

    Initial Pouzar for the win!

  109. OriginalPouzar says:

    Doug McLachlan:
    When it comes to Caggulia, it sounds like the discussion is whether or not he can take advantage of Slepyshev’s absence and lock-down a spot of Drai’s RW or whether he falls back to Letestu’s LW.

    I suspect the challenge is even greater than that.

    Caggulia has such a “swiss-army-knife” skill set that I wonder if he might not be better suited to be the 13th F – able to fill-in up or down the line-up in almost any role (for limited periods of time).

    I am still excited to see what Kharia – Letestu – Kassian can do from the fourth line and will keep harping about those magical 20 minutes where Kharia and Kassian combined for unbelievable (and no doubt unsustainable) fancies together 73.3 CF%, 75.7 DFF% and 66.7 GF%.

    If Slepy isn’t able to go for Game 1, then I think Drake is the only real option unless we are moving around the other right wingers – I guess we’ll see how Strome looks as 1RW and how JP looks at 3RW.

    I’d be remiss to move Kass up as I think that 4th line could be very effective.

    If Slepy is good to go, its Khaira that’s likely in the press box – he seems like more of a 4th line type player than Drake, however, Drake and Kass together actually could have a bit of offensive punch for a 4th line.

  110. OriginalPouzar says:

    Pouzar: I had a big Chocolate Chip muffin at 7:30 AM!
    That was healthy eating in the early 90’s!!!!!

    Baked goods – oh, how i miss thee…..

  111. OriginalPouzar says:

    pocession charge: Initial Pouzar for the win!

    but, but but, does 7.5-8% body fat while still benching 225 at 140 pounds not count for anything these days?

  112. pocession charge says:

    SwedishPoster:
    ashley,

    I see your point but somewhat disagree with the point shot bouncing off a skate being pure luck, someone took the shot at a good time to shoot and someone planted his skate there and failed at deflecting it or took a good lane if it’s an offensive player. If one team takes a bunch of shots but can’t get through screens and/or a hot goalie while the other team scores with q shot through traffic I wouldn’t necessarily call it luck. It’s usually not a good way to find long term success because you need maximum focus and commitment to play tight and wait for mistakes which is real hard to do over a full year butI wouldn’t call it luck.

    Hockey is tighter and faster than other sports and I might have understated the absolute number of games where luck is the decider,but what’s called luck a lot of time tends be good decisionmaking, focus and hard work. As a player those games are frustrating when it feels you carried play and lost by a crap goal and you feel unlucky, robbed but often you just were outsmarted or outworked or the opponent had a better goalie.

    In the scenario that you describe (puck going in after hitting a skate blade or stick, etic), it can only be considered ‘not luck’ if the results are reproducible. If player X leads the league year after year in deflected goals scored, then that could be considered a skill. I highly doubt that is the case, though.

  113. Side says:

    OriginalPouzar: but, but but, does 7.5-8% body fat while still benching 225 at 140 pounds not count for anything these days?

    Maybe if you were competing in the International Humblebrag Championship.

    just kidding.

  114. pocession charge says:

    Doug McLachlan:
    When it comes to Caggulia, it sounds like the discussion is whether or not he can take advantage of Slepyshev’s absence and lock-down a spot of Drai’s RW or whether he falls back to Letestu’s LW.

    I suspect the challenge is even greater than that.

    Caggulia has such a “swiss-army-knife” skill set that I wonder if he might not be better suited to be the 13th F – able to fill-in up or down the line-up in almost any role (for limited periods of time).

    I am still excited to see what Kharia – Letestu – Kassian can do from the fourth line and will keep harping about those magical 20 minutes where Kharia and Kassian combined for unbelievable (and no doubt unsustainable) fancies together 73.3 CF%, 75.7 DFF% and 66.7 GF%.

    I’m not concerned about Caggiula’s role or ability. The kid is a player and will find a spot. What concerns me most is taking a player like Chris Kelly based on past performance rather than current ability. When Slepy comes back, someone will get bumped and I would hate to see the team keep a declining vet over a young player who is trending in the right direction. Can’t someone else learn how to penalty kill? Along the same lines, if Joey Leggs keeps performing at the level he has been, how do you possibly deny this guy a roster spot?

  115. dustrock says:

    Side: Maybe if you were competing in the International Humblebrag Championship.

    just kidding.

    Just kidding. It wasn’t humble. 😉

  116. Doug McLachlan says:

    dustrock,

    I know I shouldn’t continue to be baited by @TreenasOil posts but in the absence of real leaks…

    Last night she let out a trio of tweets:

    @TreenasOil
    Drake Caggiula drawing interest from Vegas …APG

    Ok, sure. But for who? Reinhart 😉

    @Treenas Oil
    Iginla contacted the Oilers prior to training camp but was not interested in a PTO could still see some movement here …as purr Garfield

    I think this ship has sailed but the thought of Iggy scoring the goal to eliminate the Flames has some sentimental appeal.

    @Treenas Oil
    If Fayne clears waivers Oilers are willing to retain salary on trade …as purr Garfield

    Wonder if Lou would have any interest in his old RHD, Fayne, in Toronto if the price was right? We don’t need the cap space this year, or could we then overpay for someone else on a one year?

  117. Jethro Tull says:

    Doug McLachlan,

    TreenasOil has got it dead on before….

  118. prairieschooner says:

    I think JP should spend another season in the AHL
    He needs to produce offensively with 1st or 2nd points on a regular basis
    I feel that he needs more development time

  119. Doug McLachlan says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    I think the lines will probably be as follows

    Maroon – McDavid – Strome
    Lucic – Draisitl – Slepy (if healthy)/Caggiula (if not)
    Jokinen – Nuge – Puljujarvi
    Kharia – Letestu – Kassian
    Caggiula (if Slepy healty)/Pak (if not)

  120. Zelepukin says:

    Jethro Tull:
    Doug McLachlan,

    TreenasOil has got it dead on before….

    correct, he/she is 1 for 300.

  121. OriginalPouzar says:

    Doug McLachlan:
    OriginalPouzar,

    I think the lines will probably be as follows

    Maroon – McDavid – Strome
    Lucic – Draisitl – Slepy (if healthy)/Caggiula (if not)
    Jokinen – Nuge – Puljujarvi
    Kharia – Letestu – Kassian
    Caggiula (if Slepy healty)/Pak (if not)

    Could be – I don’t wee Drake being a healthy scratch though.

  122. geowal says:

    Jethro Tull:
    Doug McLachlan,

    TreenasOil has got it dead on before….

    Blind squirrels and all that…

  123. OmJo says:

    Zelepukin,

    Almost as good as Eklund. E4.

  124. OmJo says:

    prairieschooner:
    I think JP should spend another season in the AHL
    He needs to produce offensively with 1st or 2nd points on a regular basis
    I feel that he needs more development time

    This. At least part of the season, if not the entirety. Probably not going to happen though.

  125. GMB3 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Baked goods – oh, how i miss thee…..

    Why aren’t you eating any baked goods these days?

  126. OriginalPouzar says:

    GMB3: Why aren’t you eating any baked goods these days?

    I track every calorie and macro-nutrient (grams of protein, carbs and fat) – I have certain numbers that I need to hit. Essentially I can eat whatever I want as long as I hit my numbers. Baked goods are inherently high in calories and, given the nature of them, are digested fairly quickly leading to hunger quicker – essentially, I can eat them but I choose not to because I prefer to eat food with a higher nutritional value vis-a-vis the calories so I can eat more (chicken, veggies, greek yogurt, quiona, white fish, etc.).

    I’m quite neurotic when it comes to my diet and fitness regime – drives my wife crazy.

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