CROSSEYED AND PAINLESS

The Edmonton Oilers have a system, a coaching staff that can teach it and a team that can execute it. Huzzah! On a night when the Winnipeg Jets won the possession battle 33-22 on the 5×5, hammered iron more than a blacksmith the day before a cattle drive, and lost the damned game, Edmonton had structure, a quality power play, and dressed just enough veteran savvy to win the day. It was an enjoyable evening.

THE DEFENSE

  • Ryan Stanton had a good night and is (as we have discussed) in the mix for No. 7 or No. 8 D opening night. He kept up to my eye, had some crushing hits (credited with just one hit btw). Played over three minutes on the PK and that is a big deal.
  • Kris Russell is better at LHD based on first blush, and he did make some good passes along with some that were errant missiles. Played a bunch on both special teams and I thought last night’s top pairing had a solid night overall.
  • Eric Gryba had some clumsy moments early, the big man left his legs on the plane and it took one period to find them. Settled in afterward and played well, taking no penalties. I think he held serve in the 6D battle.
  • Matt Benning was the best defenseman on the ice to my eye, he played a strong, physical game and got the puck out well. Had a couple of difficult moments (two giveaways) but for me Benning was a key player.
  • Ryan Mantha isn’t NHL ready but I liked his game a lot. Big shot from the point (ask Zack Kassian) and impressive recovery times. The Oilers have a really good prospect here.
  • Yohann Auvitu is a player I’m cheering for, and he was paired with a rookie, that often means chasing. He barely missed the corner on a power-play shot and is extremely mobile—something that appears to be even more important this year. That speed helped him on offense and defense last night.
  • Laurent Brossoit stopped 13 of 14 (.929) and got help from a half dozen pieces of iron. He didn’t look sharp! early in the game, but the Joe Jackson moved in maybe 10 minutes into the first period and he was solid after the early storm.
  • Nick Ellis stopped all 20 shots he faced, looking good mostly after (once again) taking a short time to settle in. The Oilers goaltending is shockingly better than five years ago, even with the understanding the entire roster is more focused on doing things that win games.

THE FORWARDS

  • The Nuge Line was outstanding, all three men were excellent. Nuge was fast as lightning, Jokinen is Finnish for “Giant Brain”, and Kailer Yamamoto is a turnover machine but in a good way. I thoroughly enjoyed watching this trio. McLellan on Jokinen: “He knows who he is, he knows how to play with his skill-set & he’s positionally sound.”
  • Khaira-Letestu-Kassian played well on a night when the Jets dressed the better crew. I really like a 4line that can move up, don’t know if this trio is there yet but there are some elements. Khaira is really showing well, has scored in every game (and scrimmage) he’s played in. Also saw lots of time on the penalty kill. Good arrows.
  • Callahan-Kelly-Rattie had a difficult time against clearly superior opposition. I get giving the wingers a chance on the power play, these games are reward for hard work in Bakersfield and the promise of a possible recall. Kelly? I liked him on the PK but didn’t see much at evens. Todd McLellan: “I thought our penalty kill, after the first period, did a really good job.” Being associated with that success will help Kelly but he must do something constructive at evens.
  • Laleggia-Malone-Russell got 10 minutes at evens and no special teams time. Russell got a couple of extra minutes somewhere, six hits and loud noises on each one probably get you an extra shift or two. This was Russell’s high-water mark, he might get another game out of it.

TODD MCLELLAN ON CUTS

  • Todd McLellan: “We’ll sit and talk and evaluate, by tomorrow morning we’ll have a pretty good idea of who we’d like to see again and who  we would like to get down to the minors so they can start working on their games there.”  Source

We talked about this last night, Edmonton hasn’t culled much of the herd yet and we should see as many as one dozen players sent out. I’ll guess the following 12: Braden Christoffer, Ryan Hamilton (AHL), Evan Polei (AHL), Josh Currie (AHL), Kyle Platzer, Chad Butcher (AHL), Brian Ferlin (AHL, we haven’t heard much about him), Greg Chase, Patrick Russell, Zack O’Brien (AHL), Ben Betker and Edward Pasquale. Ferlin may have to go on IR, so maybe it’s 11.

  • Todd McLellan: “We’ll practice tomorrow (today) and then we’ll make some decisions on a large group of players. Make some reassignments, whether that’s back to junior or the the American league. We’ll get down to a more workable number—yet we have a number of back-to-back games coming up.” Source

The ‘back to junior’ quote is interesting, I count only two junior eligibles still in camp. Tyler Benson is injured and just coming back from surgery, so IR at the end of camp seems more likely than being sent to the Vancouver Giants today. The other player is Kailer Yamamoto, who played well last night and is 2gp, 2-1-3 through two pre-season games. There is some logic and reason to sending the young man back now, before temptation to keep him, backed by solid performances, makes it impossible to rob the player of his nine-game audition. I don’t think they’ll do it, but this would be the day.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT

Pre-season games can’t be overrated but are effective in sussing out the contenders from the pretenders. Edmonton iced two NHL lines (Nuge and Letestu) but had a wrinkle (Yamamoto, Khaira) in each. Both hopefuls passed the test and earned another game in a feature role. This is very important, as it ‘moves the chains’ for each man and gives the organization fewer holes to worry over late at night when the cold winds howl. I’m not sure either man has secured an NHL job but they sure as hell haven’t lost one either.

It’s more difficult to impress from the back of the pack, for me Patrick Russell did more to help himself than any of the other forwards. He hits like a ramrod and the reaction from opponents resembles road kill, plus he appears to be doing it within the rules. I’m not sure his boots get him an NHL job, but another look in training camp is possible and that’s the goal.

Among defenders, seems as though everyone is holding serve. During the RE series, the most important estimation is games played by each defender. I had a terrible time deciding, a lot of it coming down to guessing player type as opposed to specific ability of each individual. I finally settled on Auvitu (29), Gryba (28), Mark Fayne (16), Ryan Stanton and Dillon Simpson (11 each) and Keegan Lowe (7) dividing 100 games. I’m fascinated to see how Todd McLellan makes the decision for opening night.

CALEB JONES

Corey Pronman has an article up (here, it is paywall) talking about prospects who have impressed the most in training camp to this point. Pronman singled out Jones among Oilers’ hopefuls, saying “I see a player who can eventually be a reliable, all situations defenseman.”  Pronman is good, you can trust him. He was so far ahead on Anton Slepyshev as a prospect no one caught up one year later when the Oilers drafted him.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy morning on the Lowdown, beginning at 10 on TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. Thoughts on last night’s game and camp overall.
  • Simon Boisvert, Hockey Insider. What to do about RW, with emphasis on Kailer Yamamoto and Jesse Puljujarvi.
  • Rob Vollman, NHL.com and ESPN. McDavid vs. Crosby, the Demers trade, Koivu extension and Colin Miller if we have time.
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. Rosters are coming into view across the NHL but questions remain and some movement is anticipated.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk in 90 minutes!

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218 Responses to "CROSSEYED AND PAINLESS"

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  1. OmJo says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Here’s an interesting exercise:

    Here is Klef’s DFF% and GF% with every partner of note in the last 3 years.

    Name them.

    If someone gets them 100%right I’ll donate $100 to the charity of your choice.

    If you name the goalie each pair played in front of most I’ll make it $200.

    Player…..DFF%…..GF%
    A…..51.3…..57.1 — Larsson
    B…..44.2…..50.0 — Petry
    C…..36.0…..33.3 — Russell
    D…..53.3…..75.0 — Benning
    E……50.4…..33.3 — Fayne
    F…..55.7…..30.0 — Davidson
    G…..52.7…..33.3 — Gryba
    H…..50.0…..46.8 — Schultz
    I…..48.6…..40.0 — Sekera
    J…..42.3…..26.5 — Ference

    Gave it a shot completely, because why not.

  2. fifthcartel says:

    I cringe a bit when thinking of the possibilities at forward that went away.

    I’m confident a team with Hall + another RHD surpasses this team. There were other options, too. Demers (x2) and Hamonic were eventually moved, in division even. I like Larsson but Chiarelli burns value on a lot of deals and it’s going to catch up to him.

  3. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    jtblack,

    Does anyone know why Demers didn’t sign here? just curious … I liked the Hall deal, but still concede there was probably value left on the table …. The deal that leaves a burr in my side, is the Reinhart deal …

    What I’ve been able to gleen is:

    Oilers reached out to Demers.

    At the same time they shop RNH and Eberle for a Dman. They don’t shop Hall at this time.

    Oilers also reach out to Lucic.

    Oilers get almost no Dmen they want for 94 or 14. Best was Dumba from MIN for RNH.

    Lucic and Demers come to Edmonton.

    Demers talks go well, he expects an offer July 1st.

    Lucic tells Oilers he wants to come and will do so for $6MM.

    Oilers then figure they can trade Hall and replace him mostly with Lucic and get a much better Dman than has been offered for 14 or 93.

    Hall trade happens.

    Lucic signs July 1st.

    Demers signs no where July 1st expecting an offer from EDM.

    Demers agent calls Oilers to see what’s up and they tell him they’ve moved on with Larsson on the team.

    If Lucic puts up his usual 1.8-2.0pts/60 the weeping and gnashing of teeth are much less than they are.

    I hope he rebounds this year.

    I’ve always liked Larsson.

  4. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Pouzar: I’m down!

    Booked!

    Gluck!

  5. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Georges: His rel’s WERE unreal. When he was on the ice for that lottery team, the team’s sv% dropped from a bad 91.3 to a WTF 88.9. It took all of 107 games for Oscar to show an impact on sv% that was big enough to be detected by a difference of proportions test. His shot metric share came at a high price. And, all things considered (no offsetting increase in sh%), his on-ice minutes didn’t move the needle for his team. To quote Ricki, Klef definitely was not a “Dman that gives the goalie the highest % of corsi not requiring accelerating to make a save.” Oh yeah, his negative rel-sv% was almost statistically significant this past season as well. That’s just 82 games.

    Yeah, I don’t buy the Dmen having that much of an effect on SV%.

    Some? Sure, but over a season its not detectable in the noise of SV%.

    Simple exercise to go through to put it to bed for yourself.

    Go though ONSV% for every Dman on a few teams for both goalies over the year and figure out the rel SV% for each Dman and each goalie.

    When you see the rel SV% bounce around like a pinball with no particular way to go you’ll see all the noise in ONSV% and stop looking at it.

    Also,

    Nick Lidstrom had a career Rel SV% of +.002

    Keep that in mind too.

  6. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    OmJo: Gave it a shot completely, because why not.

    I don’t have my spreadsheet in front of me (did this at the office)

    IIRC you have Larsson right, but that’s the only one.

  7. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    fifthcartel:
    I cringe a bit when thinking of the possibilities at forward that went away.

    I’m confident a team with Hall + another RHD surpasses this team. There were other options, too. Demers (x2) and Hamonic were eventually moved, in division even. I like Larsson but Chiarelli burns value on a lot of deals and it’s going to catch up to him.

    When Hamonic asked out the first time (when Hall was still an Oiler) Snow ask for either Klef or Nurse.

  8. Georges says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Yeah, I don’t buy the Dmen having that much of an effect on SV%.

    Some? Sure, but over a season its not detectable imo.

    Simple exercise to go through to put it to bed for yourself.

    Go though ONSV% for every Dman on a few teams for both goalies over the year and figure out the rel SV% for each Dman and each goalie.

    When you see the rel SV% bounce around like a pinball with no particular way to go you’ll see all the noise in ONSV% and stop looking at it.

    Also,

    Nick Lidstrom had a career Rel SV% of +.002

    Keep that in mind too.

    Think about what you just described. It’s a very ad hoc method, but think about a world in which a team’s defensemen are consistently positive or negative rel regardless of the goalie they’re playing in front of. Do you think the consistently negative rel defensemen get to keep playing? Does the coach not notice these things? When you go about an analysis, you should always think about the representativeness of the sample before coming to any conclusion on what the sample tells you about the population.

    Also, where did you get a career rel sv% number for Lidstrom? Lidstrom started playing in 1991-92. They had on/off data or rel sv% back in 1991-92?? Where do I find that data? From the numbers I have for Lidstrom for his last 5 seasons, he had a statistically significant positive rel sv%. Lidstrom’s numbers are just flat out excellent. Interesting you chose him as an example.

    You should notice the difference between the technique you’re using on the data (linear correlation) and the technique I’m using (difference of proportions). The fact one technique doesn’t find anything shouldn’t close your thinking to the possibility that another technique does. Probability and statistics are big and complicated fields of study. If you’re going to spend time with data, you should also make time (way more time) for theory.

    EDIT: Also on the Klefbom thing, I listed my numbers and I did a standard calculation (difference of proportions test). If you have the Manny data set, you can do the same thing. If you get what I get, it’s one of those facts we have to deal with. Now, if you look at enough defensemen, some will have a statistically significant rel sv% just by chance (even though they really have no effect on sv%). I’m not sure that’s what’s happening though. I’d have to look closer. Maybe I’m filtering by eye. Klef does seem to go wandering… And when I look at the results for defensemen overall, they line up in a way that makes sense with their reputations as stay at home or offensive players…

  9. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Think about what you just described. It’s a very ad hoc method, but think about a world in which a team’s defensemen are consistently positive or negative rel regardless of the goalie they’re playing in front of. Do you think the consistently negative rel defensemen get to keep playing? Does the coach not notice these things? When you go about an analysis, you should always think about the representativeness of the sample before coming to any conclusion on what the sample tells you about the population.

    The large samples always tell us there is no effect.

    I told you to do the ad hoc method in hopes that you’d see the randomness for yourself. Sometimes that what it takes.

    I’ve posted links to works on this before showing that as a population there is no effect.

    http://www.tsn.ca/defencemen-and-their-impact-on-team-save-percentage-1.567469

    https://hockey-graphs.com/2015/04/06/hockey-talk-on-player-control-over-save-percentage/

    https://hockey-graphs.com/2014/07/07/defensemen-still-have-no-sustainable-control-over-save-percentage/

    When I studied this I found that the majority of the negative rel Dmen were young Dmen playing 1st/2nd pairing.

    Like most shot/goal metrics, they tend to over value 3rd pairing Dmen because it doesn’t take into account that they play lesser players more often than 1st and 2nd pairing Dmen.

    The opponents on a 1st/2nd line have higher shooting % than players on 3rd and 4th and its normal that players seeing tougher comp will see lower ONSV%. Even then it jumps around so much that you “see the noise” and basically stop trying to find the weak signal.

    Now, I don’t trust large population studies to accurately reflect the players on either edge of the curve so that’s why I dug into it, and when you dig into individual players you can’t help the sample size, you only have their data to look at.

    Also, where did you get a career rel sv% number for Lidstrom? Lidstrom started playing in 1991-92. They had on/off data or rel sv% back in 1991-92?? Where do I find that data? From the numbers I have for Lidstrom for his last 5 seasons, he had a statistically significant positive rel sv%. Lidstrom’s numbers are just flat out excellent. Interesting you chose him as an example.

    I should have said “for the years we have the data”, my bad.

    I used Lidstrom because he’s generally accepted as the best Dman of the generation and if he doesn’t move the needle it creates the quesion “do you really think “Player X” is better at defending than Lidstrom?” which made me step back and think more about what the data actually means (answer: not much because the signal is so faint)


    You should notice the difference between the technique you’re using on the data (linear correlation) and the technique I’m using (difference of proportions). The fact one technique doesn’t find anything shouldn’t close your thinking to the possibility that another technique does. Probability and statistics are big and complicated fields of study. If you’re going to spend time with data, you should also make time (way more time) for theory.

    Your knowledge is much deeper than mine on the subject. I’ll have a look at DoP and try to understand it.


    EDIT: Also on the Klefbom thing, I listed my numbers and I did a standard calculation (difference of proportions test). If you have the Manny data set, you can do the same thing. If you get what I get, it’s one of those facts we have to deal with. Now, if you look at enough defensemen, some will have a statistically significant rel sv% just by chance (even though they really have no effect on sv%). I’m not sure that’s what’s happening though. I’d have to look closer. Maybe I’m filtering by eye. Klef does seem to go wandering… And when I look at the results for defensemen overall, they line up in a way that makes sense with their reputations as stay at home or offensive players…

    I think the biggest thing with Klef is that he played against the high SH% players right off the hop and got killed.

    He was also saddled with less than stellar partners for most of his career until Larsson showed up.

    The old Oiler MO of throwing players in way over their head might be the biggest culprit.

  10. OmJo says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I don’t have my spreadsheet in front of me (did this at the office)

    IIRC you have Larsson right, but that’s the only one.

    And that was the easiest one lol.

    One more try…

    Player…..DFF%…..GF%
    A…..51.3…..57.1 — Larsson
    B…..44.2…..50.0 — Schultz
    C…..36.0…..33.3 — Gryba
    D…..53.3…..75.0 — Petry
    E……50.4…..33.3 — Fayne
    F…..55.7…..30.0 — Russell
    G…..52.7…..33.3 — Ference
    H…..50.0…..46.8 — Sekera
    I…..48.6…..40.0 — Davidson
    J…..42.3…..26.5 — Benning

  11. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    OmJo: And that was the easiest one lol.

    One more try…

    Player…..DFF%…..GF%
    A…..51.3…..57.1 — Larsson
    B…..44.2…..50.0 — Schultz
    C…..36.0…..33.3 — Gryba
    D…..53.3…..75.0 — Petry
    E……50.4…..33.3 — Fayne
    F…..55.7…..30.0 — Russell
    G…..52.7…..33.3 — Ference
    H…..50.0…..46.8 —Sekera
    I…..48.6…..40.0 —Davidson
    J…..42.3…..26.5 — Benning

    No sir. Swing and a miss. Larsson is still right.

    Btw, Benning isn’t a part of this, but Ference is.

    Ference is C.

    G’luck!

  12. frjohnk says:

    Woodguy v2.0: No sir.Swing and a miss. Larsson is still right.

    Btw, Benning isn’t a part of this, but Ference is.

    Ference is C.

    G’luck!

    I think I could figure this out.

    But that would be cheating 🙂

  13. OmJo says:

    Woodguy v2.0: No sir.Swing and a miss. Larsson is still right.

    Btw, Benning isn’t a part of this, but Ference is.

    Ference is C.

    G’luck!

    I’ll try one more time after my classes and probably strike out lol

    Would it be cheating looking at who Klef played the most with over the last three years (TOI, nothing else)?

  14. Georges says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I get a very different result for Lidstrom.

    I’m using David’s 5v5 data that I pulled before he shut down.

    5 seasons (07-08 to 11-12), 387 games.

    sv% with Lidstrom

    ON 92.9
    OFF 91.6

  15. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    frjohnk: I think I could figure this out.

    But that would be cheating

    I never said you couldn’t use the internet

  16. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    OmJo: I’ll try one more time after my classes and probably strike out lol

    Would it be cheating looking at who Klef played the most with over the last three years (TOI, nothing else)?

    Its not sorted by TOI (I think) …. it might be!?!?!

    I encourage cheating.

  17. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Georges:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    I get a very different result for Lidstrom.

    I’m using David’s 5v5 data that I pulled before he shut down.

    5 seasons (07-08 to 11-12), 387 games.

    sv% with Lidstrom

    ON 92.9
    OFF 91.6

    Hmmmm.

    I went through Lidstrom with Tyler back in the day when he had the patience to beat the ONSV% notion out of my head and I was sure it was 0.002.

    0.013 seems high.

    It was David’s data too, so you’re probably right.

  18. IceDragoon says:

    Chachi,

    I made a response to this comment shortly after you made it, then reminded myself that I would be unable to follow up, so deleted it. I came back later & saw your pathetic excuse & penance for your atrocious manners.

    Did I wrong you in a past life?
    Where do you get off insulting & ridiculing me in a ‘drive by’ comment?

    I used to think you were kinda funny & asked honest questions.
    Now I know better.
    Good day to you, sir.

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