Running Up That Hill

The Edmonton Oilers won in Boston to end a frustrating and eventful road trip, and now wind their way back home for games against Arizona and Toronto. Sometimes you lose a player or two on a road trip, maybe this trip saw the Oilers rediscover a few good men.

THE ATHLETIC

The special Lowetide offer is here. Today’s story looks at a deadline selloff and what it could mean for Edmonton.

DIRTY WATER, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in November 2015: 4-7-2, goal differential -9 (10 poins in 13 games)
  • Oilers in November 2016: 5-8-1, goal differential -1
  • Oilers in November 2017: 6-7-1, goal differential -4

A big win for McLellan’s best November team in Edmonton and not a moment too soon. Sometimes an organization makes a move out of desperation and it’s a mistake, we don’t know how serious these Nuge talks were (and or are) but it’s good to have something positive to talk about today.

AFTER 24, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 8-14-2, goal differential -13
  • Oilers 16-17: 12-10-2, goal differential +7
  • Oilers 17-18: 9-13-2, goal differential -14

Edmonton is up to 20 points in 24 games, trailing last year’s total by six (two points ahead of 2015-16). The club has a chance to win two regulation games in a row for the first time this season against the Coyotes.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM NOVEMBER

  • At home to: Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Detroit (Expected: 2-1-0) (Actual 1-2-0)
  • On the road to: NYI, New Jersey, NYR, Washington (Expected: 1-2-1) (Actual: 2-1-1)
  • At home to: Vegas, St. Louis (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual: 1-1-0)
  • On the road to: Dallas, St. Louis, Detroit, Buffalo, Boston (Expected 2-2-1) (Actual 2-3-0)
  • At home to: Arizona, Toronto (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 7-7-2, 16 points in 16 games 
  • Current results: 6-7-1, 13 points in 14 games

I’m pleased to see the predicted totals remain possible, if the team can go 1-0-1 at home they will go 7-7-2. It isn’t going to get them into the playoffs but at least the chaos is predictable.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Klefbom-Benning went 12-7, 1-0 GF. Went 8-2 against DeBrusk-Krejci-Vatrano. Oscar doesn’t wheel like he can unless he’s with Larsson, but Benning has no problem stepping up with any partner. Eventually, they’re going to have to put the Swedes together in order to unlock Klef.
  • Auvitu-Russell went 9-8, the pairing was on the ice together for 14 minutes. Went 6-4 against the Schaller-Acciari-Szwarz trio, the Bruins have 1,200 rookies.
  • Nurse-Larsson went 16-19 in 18:58 together. Went 5-6 in eight minutes with Connor McDavid’s line, went 7-7 against Heinen-Bergeron-Pastrnak. Pairing had nine defensive zone and two offensive zone faceoffs (10 neutral).
  • Cam Talbot stopped 23 of 25, .920.
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Maroon-Nuge-Slepyshev went 15-10 together, I really liked the line. Not sure Slepy is 100 percent but the trio impressed. Maroon scored a goal from Kassian. Nuge went 12-2 against DeBrusk-Krejci-Vatrano. Trading Nuge would be batshit crazy.
  • Caggiula-Draisaitl-Strome showed some chem together, went 10-8 and were 5-5 against Schaller-Acciari-Szwarz. Great pass by Leon and shot by Strome.
  • Lucic-McDavid-Cammalleri went 10-8 together, 5-6 against Heinen-Bergeron-Pastrnak. McDavid was 10-11 against Zdeno Chara who should have been charged with mugging.
  • Pakarinen-Letestu-Kassian went 4-8 together, 3-2 against Schaller-Acciari-Szwarz. Spent a lot of time without the puck.

OBSERVATIONS

The fourth line and the third pairing need some upgrading but the rest of last night’s roster looks like they are capable. If Todd McLellan inserts Jujhar Khaira for Iiro Pakarinen and finds a role for Jesse Puljujarvi, this thing could work. The third pair isn’t adequate, the answer there is Andrej Sekera and he’s probably a month (or so)  away. Cam Talbot at .920 helps this team in a big way. There’s still time but not a lot of room for a slump of any kind.

  • Darcy Regier“I once asked Al Arbour what’s the secret to building a team? He said no secret, it’s not complicated. Get good players.” Source

50-MAN, MAN

This is the current 50-man list for the Edmonton Oilers. I think we can all identify the “good players” and further discern the group this club is auditioning currently. For me, there’s too many in the audition category. I will tell you that (for me) giving at-bats to Kailer Yamamoto, Jesse Puljujarvi, Drake Caggiula, Jujhar Khaira, Anton Slepyshev and Iiro Pakarinen is too much audition and not enough sure thing.

  • Darcy Regier: “I think if you miss the playoffs three years in a row, and blow everything up, you’re more likely to miss the playoffs seven years in a row.” Source

When I was young, I could never find anything. My Dad would say “get a box” where everything could easily be found. Idea being, you’re saving time and money by not having to replace things you’ve already purchased and should have readily available.

The Oilers “box” should be the draft picks sent away in 2014 and 2015, but they are not where they should be for various reasons. The hammer of rage is raining down on Peter Chiarelli currently, but let’s remember the massive number of holes he needed to fill upon arrival. Regier’s words ring so true to me. A new general manager brought in today would form the team in his own image and that probably takes at least a year, maybe 18 months. A new coach might jump start this season, but Todd McLellan didn’t take a dose of stupid overnight. I know you’re looking for someone to blame but the idea of another reset makes me want to vomit. Seriously.

That said, I do believe we’re headed for some kind of pressure point in this season. One of four things appears inevitable:

  • Connor McDavid drags this team kicking and screaming into the playoffs.
  • Peter Chiarelli fires Todd McLellan.
  • Bob Nicholson fires Peter Chiarelli.
  • Peter Chiarelli trades Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for less than 100 centers on the dollar.

Choose your poison.

WAYWARD DRAFT PICKS 2014 & 2015

  • No. 33, 2014: Dealt away in the David Perron acquisition
  • No. 63, 2014: Traded for Ben Scrivens
  • No. 93, 2014: Traded for Mike Brown
  • No. 123, 2014: Traded for Viktor Fasth
  • No. 15, 2015: Traded for Griffin Reinhart
  • No. 33, 2015: Traded for Griffin Reinhart
  • No. 57, 2015: Traded for Cam Talbot
  • No. 64, 2015: Traded for Viktor Fasth
  • No. 79, 2015: Traded for Cam Talbot
  • No. 86, 2015: Traded for Todd McLellan
  • No. 94, 2015: Traded for David Perron
  • No. 107, 2015: Traded for Eric Gryba
  • No. 184, 2015: Traded for Cam Talbot

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy Monday with a lot to discuss! 10 this morning, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Pierre Lebrun, ESPN and The Athletic. Huge win in Boston, does that quiet the rumors?
  • Danny Austin, Post Media. The mood in Calgary.
  • Jason Gregor, TSN1260. Oilers win, Grey Cup another classic.
  • Andy Benoit, Sports Illustrated. NFL weekend.

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

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218 Responses to "Running Up That Hill"

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  1. Lowetide says:

    jtblack:
    Lowetide,

    Broek Boeser …Pure Gunslinger.

    22 PTS in 21 GMS.#CALDER

    #23 overall in 2015 Draft 😉

    He’s a dandy for sure.

  2. Georges says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    Also, look at Jimmy’s numbers for the first goals. They’re not distributed uniformly across shots, are they? Then look at the expected numbers based on the geometric distribution. I listed them next to his.

    Georges,

    A much closer fit than what you would expect from the uniform distribution.

  3. Georges says:

    VOR:
    Georges,

    You are confusing the properties of the set with the properties of the members of the set.

    Each goal in hockey is a unique event. Each occurs in Ricki’s multi-dimensional space. The probability of any unique event X cannot be inferred or assumed from the average (or any other property) of the set S={X1, X2, X3….Xn}. Or any derivative property set.

    No idea where we are now.

    Does this have to do with Jimmy’s numbers for first goals? Or are you talking about something else?

  4. NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker) says:

    I think it’s fair to bring up DeBrincat without dragging the whole Barzal episode back into the debate.

    DeBrincat was on the board for the Oilers in the 2nd round–another case where an elite offensive player was sliding due to size/perception (just like Barzal) and they took Benson. Again, no slight to Benson. If the reasoning was that DeBrincat was too small, well they took Yamamoto the next year, so that doesn’t make much sense.

    Benson needs to stay healthy and bring his solid two-way game to the pros. He doesn’t have to score as much as DeBrincat, but he needs to become a reliable middle-six forward to justify that bet.

    Or, call Bruce McCurdy in here. He will tell you.

  5. NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker) says:

    Lowetide: He’s a dandy for sure.

    Boeser, Barzal, Keller are my top 3 at the moment

    DeBrincat, Connor, McAvoy, Sergachev in the next tier, but looking like they could have something to say for themselves in the second half.

    Shaping up to be a great Calder race.

  6. Lowetide says:

    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker): Boeser, Barzal, Keller are my top 3 at the moment

    DeBrincat, Connor, McAvoy, Sergachev in the next tier, but looking like they could have something to say for themselves in the second half.

    Shaping up to be a great Calder race.

    I had McAvoy before the season started, still hoping he wins it. Wonderful player.

  7. VOR says:

    Georges,

    I am saying your arguments for the first goal being the most likely to go in are brilliant in an abstract universe, one where the set S ={X1,X2, X3….Xn} has the property [X1 = X2 = X3……= Xn]. But goals are unique events with unique antecedents. Thus some goals are not like other goals. Thus the real world set of all shots on net lacks the property your argument relies on.

    Let me be clear not all shots are equally likely go in. Thus save percentage is not solely derived from the antecedent = shot. Thus we can’t say the save percentage expected on a first shot is necessarily related to it being a first shot. Nor can we definitively say if their is a relationship such that the probability of a goal on any shot including the first isn’t related to the probability of any shot in the set of all shots resulting in a goal.

  8. Georges says:

    VOR,

    You mean I’m assuming independent trials and constant probability for each trial. Yes, I am. Absent any information on the shots other than they occurred, I’m assuming they’re identical and independently distributed (constant probability) Bernoulli trials. And then I’m comparing the expected results from my geometric model to the data that Jimmy provided. The fit isn’t perfect. There are too many goals occurring in the first two shots and too few goals in the remaining shots. But the fit is close enough (by a chi-square test) that I have no reason to believe my assumptions have been violated. The model happens to have a reasonable fit with the data. And it’s useful for understanding the patterns observed in the data.

    The nice thing about the geometric distribution isn’t that it’s brilliant in an abstract universe. It’s that, in this case, it happens to correspond to the data that we observe in this universe.

  9. Munny says:

    Pouzar: The Commish waxed poetically about the 3rd week in October.

    ““I’d like to see the Grey Cup earlier, it won’t happen for 2018, but for 2019 it’s possible,” Ambrosie told Postmedia. “I’d like to see it maybe the third week of October. That week, almost everywhere in Canada is a fantastic weekend. I’ve traveled – we’ve lived in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Oakville, Montreal – the third week in October is amazing. The leaves are changing colours. It’s autumn, it’s not cold.”

    Really? He’s been everywhere in Canada? Because usually the leaves turn yellow around Sept 24 here Calgary-way, and are long gone by 3rd week October. They hung around well this year—no wind or rain to rip them from their fragile moorings. So the weather was nice. But it depends on the timing of the warm and cold spells because it can be miserable then too, here on the Prairies.

    That said, there’s no harm in moving the date, but in the long run, it has to mean more money to make sense.

    I wonder, for eg, if an unusual weather game adds to the TV numbers, greater general interest, because I suspect it does. I’m curious to see this year’s.

  10. Munny says:

    Lowetide: I had McAvoy before the season started, still hoping he wins it. Wonderful player.

    Doesn’t hurt playing next to Chara, tho’. Gets to be a shaker and a skater… with the ultimate man-mountain covering his ass.

  11. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide:
    Clayton Keller is my Calder pick right now, 11-9-20 and 78 shots in 26 games – gross!

    Edit: I see other had beat me to it – its early, give me a break.

    A great crop of rookies this season.

    Boeser with 11-11-22 in 21 games is right up there I would think – that boy can shoot.

  12. OriginalPouzar says:

    Coach clarified his comments and expressed that he did not mean that Leon was a selfish player at all and was paying him a huge compliment.

    http://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/edmonton-oilers/edmonton-oilers-head-coach-clarifies-his-view-of-leon-draisaitls-play/wcm/7145157a-868e-4d1f-9935-9391822b4617

  13. OriginalPouzar says:

    Even though we don’t want to change a lineup that won, I’m hoping to see Jesse back in the lineup tonight.

    At the same time, the top 3 lines each added something to the game on Sunday so I’m remiss to switch them up which means I think Jesse should just replace Pak on the 4th line – not ideal for Jesse but I think it makes sense in the circumstances for now. Maybe him and Kass can find some chemistry on the forecheck.

    PP for Jesse please!

  14. GMB3 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Coach clarified his comments and expressed that he did not mean that Leon was a selfish player at all and was paying him a huge compliment.

    http://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/edmonton-oilers/edmonton-oilers-head-coach-clarifies-his-view-of-leon-draisaitls-play/wcm/7145157a-868e-4d1f-9935-9391822b4617

    Seems like TMac went full spin zone there. He definitely took a shot at Leon. “Sometimes Leon skates for Leon”. He’s in damage control now. Not really surprised considering how things went down at the end of his tenure in SJ.

    I’d like to see Slepy with McDavid and JP with RNH at some point in the coming games. Imperative that JP starts producing some offense here. He’s only got 15 shots in 8 games, would like to see the coach try and maximize his skill set.

  15. Ryan says:

    VOR:
    Georges,

    I am saying your arguments for the first goal being the most likely to go in are brilliant in an abstract universe, one where the set S ={X1,X2, X3….Xn} has the property [X1 = X2 = X3……= Xn]. But goals are unique events with unique antecedents. Thus some goals are not like other goals. Thus the real world set of all shots on net lacks the property your argument relies on.

    Let me be clear not all shots are equally likely go in. Thus save percentage is not solely derived from the antecedent = shot. Thus we can’t say the save percentage expected on a first shot is necessarily related to it being a first shot. Nor can we definitively say if their is a relationship such that the probability of a goal on any shot including the first isn’t related to the probability of any shot in the set of all shots resulting in a goal.

    It would be interesting to see what the real world frequency would be over a large data set.

    First, Georges has the assumption that all shots are equal which as we know is a flawed assumption. Also, I am not sure about his model since his math relies on a series of independent events which I am not certain this would fit that criteria.

  16. Scungilli Slushy says:

    I give the coach the benefit of the doubt. Clumsily said, but Lucic said the same thing.

  17. VOR says:

    Ryan: It would be interesting to see what the real world frequency would be over a large data set.

    First, Georges has the assumption that all shots are equal which as we know is a flawed assumption. Also, I am not sure about his model since his math relies on a series of independent events which I am not certain this would fit that criteria.

    Ryan,

    It would be very interesting.

    I was tired last night and didn’t explain myself well. It doesn’t matter how well Georges data fits the small sample size he is observing his approach violates a basic law of math. His assumptions clearly delineated in his response to me creates a null set. There are no two goals in the NHL that have the property of equality. So any argument you make that relies on the existence of such a set is an irrelevant abstraction. Like the fact that from time to time the last digit of the day, the month and the year are 666.

    That this is a null set is easy to demonstrate if I had a chalkboard and a few hours to teach basic set theory. I need to use Venn diagrams and Boolean algebra.

    I love the math he is presenting but am not sure he or his readers understand it is a wonderfully diverting abstraction with no real world relevance.

  18. Georges says:

    VOR,

    Ha! You’re an interesting character, VOR. I do like your stories.

    I’ve heard you rumble about your background in math but every post in which you refer to math makes me wonder about your background in math. Really wonder.

    I’m interested to learn more about VOR math and VOR set theory. It seems very personal, like your stories. Like Ricki’s theories. I’m flattered that you feel you need to take the time to teach it to me.

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