Overdrive

The Edmonton Oilers used the Arizona Coyotes as slump busters last night, Milan Lucic and Oscar Klefbom ending long goal-scoring droughts. The club reached 60 points and Connor McDavid in 66gp, 30-50-80 and on pace 99. It was a nice rebound from Saturday’s effort and (once again) the club looks to gain traction during a very difficult season.

THE ATHLETIC!

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IN THE CITY, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • March 2016: 2-1-0, goal differential +2 (4 points)
  • March 2017: 2-0-1, goal differential +4 (4 points)
  • March 2018: 1-2-0, goal differential -2 (2 points)

A much needed victory last night and perhaps the team can cobble together a more complete game against their next opponent. I’ve always felt this Oilers team plays a little harder against Hall’s Devils, that may just be my bias. I’m looking forward to seeing Jordan Eberle playing back in Edmonton, he gave this organization hope in the dark days of 2009-10 before we knew Taylor Hall was heading to the land of the ice and snow.

AFTER 66, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 25-34-7, goal differential -40 (57 points)
  • Oilers 16-17: 36-22-8, goal differential +21 (80 points)
  • Oilers 17-18: 28-34-4, goal differential -34 (60 points)

I don’t think this team wins 10 of their final 16 games, so 80 points has slipped away. Can they make 75? I am interested in seeing how much Adam Larsson can bring on Thursday, this team missed his veteran play badly.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM MARCH

  • At home to: Nashville, NY Rangers, Arizona, NY Islanders, Minnesota (Expected 2-3-0) (Actual 1-2-0)
  • On the road to: Calgary (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: San Jose (Expected 0-0-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Florida, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Ottawa (Expected 1-2-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Los Angeles, Anaheim, Columbus (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Vancouver, Calgary (Expected 1-0-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 6-7-3, 15 points in 16 games
  • Current results: 1-2-0, 2 points in three games

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Sekera-Benning were 6-8 in 9:37 (1-0 GF), Benning had a 6-0 kicker with Nurse in 1:31. Sekera did some moonlighting of his own, going 2-0 in 1:13. Pairing went 7-6 in 6:58 against Domi-Dvorak-Fischer, and were 3-1 in 3:52 against the demon trio of Martinook-Richardson-Cousins. Oh my gentle lord those three men were pains in the collective ass for the Oilers.
  • Nurse-Russell had a tough night, 11-25 in 15:37, 0-2 GF. The scoring chances were 2-10 and HDSC’s 1-5. Kris Russell had a tough night, first GA went in off his foot in front of the net and the tying goal involved one of those shifts that will live on youtube for a long while. Went 9-8 against Perlini-Stepan-Keller but 4-8 in three minutes against the Richardson unit. Went 0-6 against Archibald-Panik-Freddie Hamilton, too.
  • Klefbom-Bear were 4-22 in 12:09, that’s hard to do. Seriously. If you assume a couple of shifts where the pairing just gets the puck out and then it charges back in, a bad half period might get you down 10 points Corsi. However, sooner or later the puck is going to spend 30 seconds in the other end. The amazing thing? Half of the time was with the McDavid line (6-11)!! Went 2-13 in 5:28 against the Richardson line, it was exhausting just watching them.
  • Cam Talbot stopped 33 of 36, .917. He played well, first goal syndrome but zero blame to the goalie.
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Natural Stat Trick won’t load for me this morning, so I’m going to go all Bruce McCurdy with individual notes.
  • Iiro Pakarinen’s value is heavily weighted towards the PK, because he’s good and the team is bad. At 5×5, he doesn’t spend a lot of time with the puck but has a fine shot. He wasn’t much of an offensive factor on the night.
  • Jujhar Khaira scored shorthanded and played well 5×5, for me this is a guy who should be playing more 5×5 as well. Big, tough and skilled, he appears to be next year’s 4C based on usage.
  • Milan Lucic finally scored, it was a Frank Mahovlich goal to boot! A personal favorite of mine, glad to see him get it and hopefully the floodgates open. This will be just the second time in his career the big man will miss the playoffs.
  • Pontus Aberg got some power-play time and had the puck on his stick in the offensive zone a few times. I think it will come down to training camp in the fall for him, suspect the Oilers run him on the third line this fall.
  • Mike Cammalleri didn’t get as many looks as usual but is one of the team’s better players when he has the puck in the offensive zone. He can still play with skill, wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him back.
  • Leon Draisaitl had a fabulous game, you can usually judge his performance by giveaway-takeaway ratios (no giveaways, two takeaways on the night). Wonderful passer, he reminds me of the stories my Dad told me about Beliveau.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a few brilliant defensive moments, a couple of poor plays and a point on the night. Probably par for the course coming off injury, nice to see him in the lineup again.
  • Connor McDavid is fun to watch when others are gathering points and he’s still at zero. I imagine his competitive clock is on tilt all the time (this is a very good thing) and really he plays the entire game (no matter the situation) with a combination of blinding speed, insane skill and maximum urgency. I honestly have no idea why anyone would say a negative word to the guy, my goodness his parents did a masterful job raising a son.
  • Drake Caggiula had some impact in the game, including an unusual push-pull with Max Domi. They reminded me of kids on the school ground where they were just mad enough to get everyone’s attention. Caggiula has had a tough season, Bob Stauffer mentions the cage and range of vision quite often. He’s in a tough spot for next year now, in my opinion.
  • If Anton Slepyshev is back in the KHL this fall, it’s a game like this one that will contribute a lot. My Dad (don’t know why I keep thinking of him this morning) used to say “he’s neither fish nor fowl” which meant a person (or thing) had no real application. Slepyshev does, he is a shooter, but he’s too quiet by too many.
  • Jesse Puljujarvi is the one I worry about, all the time. I’m writing my umpteenth article on him at The Athletic today, it’s my way of working through my worry. I think it comes down to do you trust Todd McLellan. I’m more a McLellan guy than most any of you but do know veteran coaches like players who are predictable and can repeat their role consistently. JP is from a different part of the brain and any coach is going to have to make allowances. He is 49gp, 11-7-18 now, I projected him 65gp, 14-14-28. He’s not quite on par but in the range. I believe he is somewhat vulnerable as an Oiler, maybe it’s the Dad in me.
  • Ryan Strome had a good night, seems strange to say on an evening where his possession was 20 percent. He played the PK two-on-one very well, had some other looks and played in all three disciplines. He’s not Todd Marchant, but if you look at his boxscore last night, that’s a solid 3C (next year’s C depth chart looks like McDavid-Draisaitl-Strome-Khaira).

Oilers on the ultimate road trip, the nation travels like bandits so I imagine these sets will resemble a home game, especially in Cologne. I think this is pretty cool.

ETHAN BEAR

Many miles to go and he probably gets sent down in the next 24 hours, but this has been a pretty nice debut for the young man. Possession stats are poor and he’s a mark five plus minus after three games, but you can see what he brings and it’s a lot. Put him with a healthy Sekera in the fall and see how he shines.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy show, 10 this morning on TSN1260. We will have a lot of laughs! Scheduled to appear:

  • Jonathan Willis, The Athletic. What do the Oilers need before fall? How many solutions can come internally?
  • Andy McNamara, TSN. NFL combine is over, we are straight ahead with draft and free agency.
  • Scott Cullen, TSN. Hall for Hart? Barzal for Calder? Eberle for Byng?

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

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205 Responses to "Overdrive"

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  1. Woogie63 says:

    Caggiula answering the bell and taking his bubble off to fight this week. Benning chasing Kane down last week after a dirty hit. These two undersized men are showing the organization their desire to play in the NHL.

  2. Bag of Pucks says:

    With Puljujarvi, I always thought the best thing a young player can do to stick in the league is to start by finding that one thing they can do really well and contributing on that basis. It could be an aggressive forecheck, it could be physical play on the wall, or it could be a complimentary give and go puck mover. But you start with that attribute to define a role, and then build out your game around that as you reach a comfort level in the league.

    Has Jesse found that yet? I don’t think so, and that worries me as well because his game is starting to look a little reminiscent of Yakupov.

    Is Todd overcoaching him positionally? That could be a factor in this, but I see a young player who’s not playing instinctively or with pace in the offensive zone. That’s disappointing because he gave indications of excellent puck sense when he lit up the WJC.

    If I was the HC, I would turn him loose and tell him to drive the net hard. With that frame and those hands, good things will come if he’s around the blue paint. By my eye, MacLellan’s got him thinking defensive coverage constantly. Not a bad thing when you’re trying to build a 200ft player but at some point, this horse has to run.

  3. OilClog says:

    Coach had already stated Jesse needs to be able to drive his own line at 19.

    If TMac is here, so long to another skilled didn’t know what to do with you forward.

    Jesse PP goal, and lack of seeing him in that position this season..

    Fire the league of extraordinarily stubborn coaches!

  4. zatch says:

    Woogie63:
    Caggiula answering the bell and taking his bubble off to fight this week.Benning chasing Kane down last week after a dirty hit.These two undersized men are showing the organization their desire to play in the NHL.

    Thing is, this is often the standby for crappy fringe players who wanna stay in the show. They show “heart” and “grit” to compensate for “Not being good enough at hockey” and “Not being worth a damn in the NHL”

    I dunno what we have in those two, besides highly expendable/replaceable bottom of the roster players.

  5. Oilman99 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    With Puljujarvi, I always thought the best thing a young player can do to stick in the league is to start by finding that one thing they can do really well and contributing on that basis. It could be an aggressive forecheck, it could be physical play on the wall, or it could be a complimentary give and go puck mover. But you start with that attribute to define a role, and then build out your game around that as you reach a comfort level in the league.

    Has Jesse found that yet? I don’t think so, and that worries me as well because his game is starting to look a little reminiscent of Yakupov.

    Is Todd overcoaching him positionally? That could be a factor in this, but I see a young player who’s not playing instinctively or with pace in the offensive zone. That’s disappointing because he gave indications of excellent puck sense when he lit up the WJC.

    If I was the HC, I would turn him loose and tell him to drive the net hard. With that frame and those hands, good things will come if he’s around the blue paint. By me eye, MacLellan’s got him thinking defensive coverage constantly. Not a bad thing when you’re trying to build a 200ft player but at some point, this horse has to run.

    Puljarvi over Tkachuk is looking worse all the time,we should have seen this after Columbus passed on him.

  6. texmex says:

    Ryan Strome 66 GP 12G 19A 31PTS.

    On pace for just shy of 40pts for the season. Is this acceptable production for a 3LC moving forward? Similar production as Bozak in TO

    If the Oilers can sign him for 2 x 2.5million this offseason, do you do it?

    Yes, I know he was traded for Eberle. Yes I know he needs to be qualified at 3million. Yes I know Chia never used the cap savings from the trade.

    I think he will make a solid 3C assuming leon plays 2C and RNH 1LW.

    Thoughts?

  7. godot10 says:

    Woogie63:
    Caggiula answering the bell and taking his bubble off to fight this week.Benning chasing Kane down last week after a dirty hit.These two undersized men are showing the organization their desire to play in the NHL.

    It will help him in the AHL next year, which is where he belongs. Character only helps if one can actually play. Two years in, and he is way below average defensively and cannot PK, so there is really no spot for him on an NHL roster looking to contend.

  8. godot10 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    With Puljujarvi, I always thought the best thing a young player can do to stick in the league is to start by finding that one thing they can do really well and contributing on that basis. It could be an aggressive forecheck, it could be physical play on the wall, or it could be a complimentary give and go puck mover. But you start with that attribute to define a role, and then build out your game around that as you reach a comfort level in the league.

    Has Jesse found that yet? I don’t think so, and that worries me as well because his game is starting to look a little reminiscent of Yakupov.

    Is Todd overcoaching him positionally? That could be a factor in this, but I see a young player who’s not playing instinctively or with pace in the offensive zone. That’s disappointing because he gave indications of excellent puck sense when he lit up the WJC.

    If I was the HC, I would turn him loose and tell him to drive the net hard. With that frame and those hands, good things will come if he’s around the blue paint. By me eye, MacLellan’s got him thinking defensive coverage constantly. Not a bad thing when you’re trying to build a 200ft player but at some point, this horse has to run.

    The hyperactive Klingon has not given Puljujarvi two stable linemates, preferably veterans, and a defined role to set a foundation and build upon. I think part of the problem is that he is actually trying to do what the coaches are telling him to do, which is a problem for many of the Oilers players.

  9. Scungilli Slushy says:

    godot10: It will help him in the AHL next year, which is where he belongs.Character only helps if one can actually play.Two years in, and he is way below average defensively and cannot PK, so there is really no spot for him on an NHL roster looking to contend.

    Any worthwhile bottom 6 player has to be good defensively and do something other than skate around fast and bump the odd player. Winnik would be far more helpful to the team even at 32.

  10. theDjdj says:

    Players can take longer than expected to turn north. We don’t need to go too far back in this comment section history to see lowetidians writing off Nurse with utmost certainty. I think we need to relax a bit on Puljujarvi. He has obstacles that are unusual and he does show promise

  11. bendelson says:

    Buenos días a todos!

    Just wanted to say hello and mention what a pleasure it has been reading the wonderful and thought provoking posts from VOR, Georges and others regarding coaching and/or the draft while down south this past week. Impressive stuff gentlemen! Now, if the rest of you can just get your sh!t together, we’ll really be cooking with gas.

    I’ll be down at the pool bar if anyone needs me…

    Ser buenos el uno con el otro.

  12. Bag of Pucks says:

    Oilman99: Puljarvi over Tkachuk is looking worse all the time,we should have seen this after Columbus passed on him.

    Much too early to make that call imo. Pulijarvi is like the mythical 5 tool player. His upside should far exceed Tkachuk’s. The key is he has to be properly developed.

    Development is weird with this org. because they’ve gone from freeing up the offense but not building the defensive games with Core #1 to now building their defensive chops but stifling the offense.

    Blue chippers like Couture and Pavelski have eventually found their way with this Coach, but is there an example of a player from across the pond that MacLellan has turned into an offensive dynamo?

  13. Bag of Pucks says:

    godot10: The hyperactive Klingon has not given Puljujarvi two stable linemates, preferably veterans, and a defined role to set a foundation and build upon.I think part of the problem is that he is actually trying to do what the coaches are telling him to do, which is a problem for many of the Oilers players.

    Agree.

  14. smellyglove says:

    (Groan)….

    Anyone questioning the Jesse pick should be perma-banned from lowetide.com.

    It was seen as a coup at the time. Maybe in retrospect Tkachuk turns out to be the better player, but during the draft pundits, management, fans saw it as a huge mistake by CLB to the Oilers’ benefit.

  15. godot10 says:

    OilClog:
    Coach had already stated Jesse needs to be able to drive his own line at 19.

    If TMac is here, so long to another skilled didn’t know what to do with you forward.

    Jesse PP goal, and lack of seeing him in that position this season..

    Fire the league of extraordinarily stubborn coaches!

    How many PP goals did Krueger get out of Yakupov in his rookie season? A whole bunch. He wasn’t not going to find a way to use Yakupov’s shot. Puljujarvi has the best shot an Oiler has had maybe all time, and McLellan keeps that gun holstered on the bench or in the press box for most of the last two years.

    If Puljujarvi was out there in the Letestu/Strome/Ovechkin spot on the power play at the left half wall, teams would not be able to overplay McDavid and Draisaitl.

    But hey, the power play is rocking along 31st in the rankings. Clearly, don’t mess with what is working.

  16. godot10 says:

    texmex:
    Ryan Strome 66 GP 12G19A 31PTS.

    On pace for just shy of 40pts for the season. Is this acceptable production for a 3LC moving forward? Similar production as Bozak in TO

    If the Oilers can sign him for 2 x 2.5million this offseason, do you do it?

    Yes, I know he was traded for Eberle. Yes I know he needs to be qualified at 3million. Yes I know Chia never used the cap savings from the trade.

    I think he will make a solid 3C assuming leon plays 2C and RNH 1LW.

    Thoughts?

    Aim higher.

  17. godot10 says:

    Bag of Pucks:

    Blue chippers like Couture and Pavelski have eventually found their way with this Coach, but is there an example of a player from across the pond that MacLellan has turned into an offensive dynamo?

    Found their way with? More likely, in spite of this coach?

  18. godot10 says:

    smellyglove:
    (Groan)….

    Anyone questioning the Jesse pick should be perma-banned from lowetide.com.

    It was seen as a coup at the time. Maybe in retrospect Tkachuk turns out to be the better player, but during the draft pundits, management, fans saw it as a huge mistake by CLB to the Oilers’ benefit.

    Didn’t Matty Douchebag just take a selfish penalty the other day, costing a critical hockey game, and likely ending the Flames chances at a playoff spot?

  19. Scungilli Slushy says:

    JP is not like Yak. Yak isn’t fast, isn’t big, and can’t finish well enough to deserve a top 6 offensive role.

    JP is exactly the type of player a good org would turn into a difference maker. Perhaps not a deadly scorer like Laine, but a subtle player that owns other teams like Bergeron or Hossa. Sadly the Oilers still can’t get out of their pwn way.

    I believe really strong teams that can win cups have elite talent. But it’s the second tier that is the diff between teams with elite talents.They are the backbone of teams that can win and repeat.

    JP has traveled a lot in his young years. I wonder if they are helping him create a stable enough structure to be in when not doing hockey? Some people aren’t naturally good at this and being isolated will not help him grow as a player, or grow up. They haven’t done it on the ice yet.

    Giving up on a player with this range of talent, size and speed at 19 is exactly what teams do that can’t get ahead. If he’s traded it can work out but it better be for a key piece that can help for years. Who has confidence they can pull that off?

    I deeply hope to be surprised in a good way this summer for a change.

  20. jtblack says:

    godot10: Aim higher.

    Strome has been exactly as advertised. Hes a Good 3C. If Coach will play him at 3C all next yr, give him 2 consistent linemates amd let Strome learn and adapt, we have a value contract on our hands.

    The Oilers cannot just keep pushing guys out At some point they have to take responsibility for player development From Nurse to Jessie to Strome.

    Put players in a position to succeed. Support them through coaching, consistent linemates and proper matchups (where possible).

    I dont know many 40 point, RH 3C for $3 Mil or less

  21. godot10 says:

    So our $2 million dollar fourth line winger, who has two more years, was healthy scratched last night?

    Why would anyone give three years to a player with Kassian’s track record? Kassian might be an okay player, but only on a string of one year deals.

  22. OilClog says:

    godot10: How many PP goals did Krueger get out of Yakupov in his rookie season?A whole bunch.He wasn’t not going to find a way to use Yakupov’s shot.Puljujarvi has the best shot an Oiler has had maybe all time, and McLellan keeps that gun holstered on the bench or in the press box for most of the last two years.

    If Puljujarvi was out there in the Letestu/Strome/Ovechkin spot on the power play at the left half wall, teams would not be able to overplay McDavid and Draisaitl.

    But hey, the power play is rocking along 31st in the rankings.Clearly, don’t mess with what is working.

    Which is why the Oilers need to do everything they can to land JQ

    godot10: Aim higher.

    Disagree, 40pt 3rd line C, he’s got value in that role, age to boot.

  23. jtblack says:

    As for Jessie, what are ppl’s expectations? Hes 19 ..still. Its great to cherry pick Tkachuk or Debrincat, but thats a Hindsight game for comparing against the Hidden Gems of the draft.

    17 players from the 1st round of that draft have yet to play in the NHL. Jessie will have played 100 games (almost) before his 20th B day.

    Give him time to develope. He may not be a 40 Goal Scorer but he isthe exact type of piece that a team who wants to be a Cup Contender needs.

    LT said it the other day. We have 2 Aces. What the Oilers need to do, is surround them with Quality players. Jessie is and will be a good to great NHL player at 22, 24 26 or whenever his game Rounds out

  24. OilClog says:

    godot10:
    So our $2 million dollar fourth line winger, who has two more years, was healthy scratched last night?

    Why would anyone give three years to a player with Kassian’s track record?Kassian might be an okay player, but only on a string of one year deals.

    The current coach likes Iro. Kassian has been decent, just no game plan for forwards 4-12. It’s been 8 months of preasesson but let’s keep the coach for continuity!

  25. hunter1909 says:

    OilClog: Which is why the Oilers need to do everything they can to land JQ

    Will someone please explain why Chicago’s coach, with his cap-stressed team will want to go join an even worse cap strapped team, aside from the fact that he’ll be joining the worst organization in pro sports?

  26. npanciroli says:

    godot10,

    McDavid
    Crosby
    Malkin
    Draisaitl

  27. Offside says:

    Oilman99,

    but but but speed over grit

  28. frjohnk says:

    godot10: Aim higher.

    Strome is our 4th best forward.

    There are a lot of players in which we need to aim higher but Strome at under $3M is not one.

  29. Side says:

    godot10:
    So our $2 million dollar fourth line winger, who has two more years, was healthy scratched last night?

    Why would anyone give three years to a player with Kassian’s track record?Kassian might be an okay player, but only on a string of one year deals.

    It’s almost like you put your blinders on in the thread where Kassian and Pitlick were being compared and ignored all the stuff that goes against your opinion.

    What a surprise.

  30. PennersPancakes says:

    godot10,

    Curious who you would try to target? Stromes play at the beginning of the season was lackluster but that often happens with new teams and youngish players. If the current Strome is the one that shows up next season I 100% sign him even at 3million.

    I think you could even get him a little lower because of players history and RFA rights. Does 2.5mill x 2 get it done? This would allow you to run Mcdavid Drai Strome Khaira down the middle and allow Nuge (or Drai but same idea) to play wing providing cover in the event of an injury.

    UFA is a different world but I cant imagine letting Strome walk and then trading assets for a replacement. 2 notable depth centers last year are Bonino (4.1 mil) and Hanzal (4.75). Ill take Strome.

  31. frjohnk says:

    Bag of Pucks: Much too early to make that call imo. Pulijarvi is like the mythical 5 tool player. His upside should far exceed Tkachuk’s. The key is he has to be properly developed.

    Development is weird with this org. because they’ve gone from freeing up the offense but not building the defensive games with Core #1 to now building their defensive chops but stifling the offense.

    Blue chippers like Couture and Pavelski have eventually found their way with this Coach, but is there an example of a player from across the pond that MacLellan has turned into an offensive dynamo?

    Agree that it is too early to call Tkachuk/ JP pick. . Funny thing at the time of the draftm there were many on here who did not like Tkachuk because many said he was a poor skater and it looked like he was riding the coat tails of Matthews on the US teams and also playing for a stacked London team. But the arrows for Tkachuk are looking very good as he will be a very good line driver. Still a question mark with JP.

    On another related note, MacT hit the ball out of the park by picking Draisaitl over Bennett. Because we were in control of picking before Calgary in 14 and 16. Id rather have Drai and JP instead of Bennett and Tkachuk.

    Just think where this team would be if we didnt win the lottery and had picked Bennett but made the same trades and signings.

    Yikes.

  32. Pouzar says:

    Don’t understand how anybody could possibly view Caggiula as effective in that game and then be negative on what Slepyshev did. Russians man.

  33. JimmyV1965 says:

    I’m afraid to say it, but JP does remind me a lot of Yak. I’m not sure he thinks the game at an elite level. He seems to be in the wrong place a lot and looks like he actually gets in the way sometimes. This is not on the coach. On the bright side, he’s bigger, faster and stronger than Yak, and may have a better shot.

  34. GMB3 says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    I agree with this 100% wrt JP beginning to remind me of Yak. I said this months ago but I have no idea what anyone means when they talk about JP being some sort of two way savant at a young age.

    If this was the case, he would have more of the coaches trust. He does make some nice defensive plays interrupting sorties with his size, speed, and reach.

    It’s still early in his career but I’m not sure he wouldn’t benefit more from time in the AHL.

  35. JimmyV1965 says:

    smellyglove:
    (Groan)….

    Anyone questioning the Jesse pick should be perma-banned from lowetide.com.

    It was seen as a coup at the time. Maybe in retrospect Tkachuk turns out to be the better player, but during the draft pundits, management, fans saw it as a huge mistake by CLB to the Oilers’ benefit.

    Absolutely. 100%

  36. Bag of Pucks says:

    After Saturday night’s game, there was an interesting exchange between Scott Oake and Sather, where Oake asked Slats if it would be possible for an HC in the league today to coach with an offense first philosophy like he did in the eighties. Oake was speculating that would be unlikely given the massive emphasis on system structure and video grading now.

    Sather’s reply (paraphrasing) was that not only did he think a HC could encourage an offense first philosophy in this era, he was not sure why more coaches didn’t take that approach.

    After watching that interview, I read an article in Hockey News on the Golden Knights’ succcess. Two things stood out in that interview:

    1) Gallant assessed his roster and then implemented a system that catered to and accentuated his team’s strengths. He didn’t conform players to his system. He knew he lacked size at D and his Fs were soft but skilled, so he put in place a system that heavily emphasises rapid puck transition, and ultra quick breakouts leveraging area passes to breaking Fs skating to pre-assigned areas (i.e. set plays). As a result, the Knights are a speedy aggressive attack team that wins the corsi battle by turning the puck north out of its own end asap. They don’t look for the perfect breakout pass or cycle back repeatedly ala the Oilers D. Instead, they pass to zones where if there is a neutral zone turnover, it’s in a non-threatening part of the ice. But with speedy Fs knowing where the puck is going beforehand, they win more of these puck contests than they lose.

    2) Gallant is considered by his players as the ultimate players coach, and he’s actively invested in creating incentives and fun ways to encourage offensive creativity and risks that drive high quality chances.

    Imo, there’s very few coaches in the league that understand this type of approach. Quennenville, Sullivan, Cooper, Gallant, and Vigneault stand out as some of the notable ones.

    When (not if) the Oil replace MacLellan, this is what I’d like to see them pursuing: a coach that excels at unlocking the offensive side of the game. Make the most of the elite skill this team has as its disposal. Change the paradigm again just like Slats did when he brought Russian tactical influences into the Canadian game.

  37. JimmyV1965 says:

    hunter1909: Will someone please explain why Chicago’s coach, with his cap-stressed team will want to go join an even worse cap strapped team, aside from the fact that he’ll be joining the worst organization in pro sports?

    McDavid. It’s not like any good teams will be looking for a coach. Would he rather join the Flames? Maybe. Or the Hurricanes? Who knows.

  38. GMB3 says:

    Pouzar:
    Don’t understand how anybody could possibly view Caggiula as effective in that game and then be negative on what Slepyshev did. Russians man.

    Don’t you understand… a quiet game from Slepyshev is a bad game. It’s probably such a punch in the guy to be dropped off the first line despite succeeding with McDavid and seeing Lucic still there on his wing. What kind of message does that send to your players about a system of merit and accountability?

    Stauffer with some exceptional mental gymnastics. It’s the bubbles fault. Not like he wears a visor regularly or spent 4 years playing NCAA hockey. The Edmonton media man….

  39. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    After Saturday night’s game, there was an interesting exchange between Scott Oake and Sather, where Oake asked Slats if it would be possible for an HC in the league today to coach with an offense first philosophy like he did in the eighties. Oake was speculating that would be unlikely given the massive emphasis on system structure and video grading now.

    Sather’s reply (paraphrasing) was that not only did he think a HC could encourage an offense first philosophy in this era, he was not sure why more coaches didn’t take that approach.

    After watching that interview, I read an article in Hockey News on the Golden Knights’ succcess. Two things stood out in that interview:

    1) Gallant assessed his roster and then implemented a system that catered to and accentuated his team’s strengths. He didn’t conform players to his system. He knew he lacked size at D and his Fs were soft but skilled, so he put in place a system that heavily emphasises rapid puck transition, and ultra quick breakouts leveraging area passes to breaking Fs skating to pre-assigned areas (i.e. set plays).

    2) Gallant is considered by his players as the ultimate players coach, and he’s actively invested in creating incentives and fun ways to encourage offensive creativity and risks that drive high quality chances.

    Imo, there’s very few coaches in the league that understand this type of approach. Quennenville, Sullivan, Gallant, and Vigneault stand out as some of the notable ones.

    When (not if) the Oil replace MacLellan, this is what to see them pursuing. A coach that excels at unlocking the offensive side of the game. Make the most of the elite skill this team has as it’s disposal. Change the paradigm again just like Slats did when he brought Russian tactical influences into the Canadian game.

    That would be Oiler hockey. At least a long time ago.

  40. GMB3 says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    JP is not like Yak. Yak isn’t fast, isn’t big, and can’t finish well enough to deserve a top 6 offensive role.

    JP is exactly the type of player a good org would turn into a difference maker. Perhaps not a deadly scorer like Laine, but a subtle player that owns other teams like Bergeron or Hossa. Sadly the Oilers still can’t get out of their pwn way.

    I believe really strong teams that can win cups have elite talent. But it’s the second tier that is the diff between teams with elite talents.They are the backbone of teams that can win and repeat.

    JP has traveled a lot in his young years. I wonder if they are helping him create a stable enough structure to be in when not doing hockey? Some people aren’t naturally good at this and being isolated will not help him grow as a player, or grow up. They haven’t done it on the ice yet.

    Giving up on a player with this range of talent, size and speed at 19 is exactly what teams do that can’t get ahead. If he’s traded it can work out but it better be for a key piece that can help for years. Who has confidence they can pull that off?

    I deeply hope to be surprised in a good way this summer for a change.

    Lol turn him into a Hossa. Marian Hossa was viewed as an offensive dynamo with little to no defensive acumen. He’s a future hall of famed. You can’t just magically develop anyone into Hossa. That’s not in the realm of possibility.

  41. Pouzar says:

    GMB3: Don’t you understand… a quiet game from Slepyshev is a bad game. It’s probably such a punch in the guy to be dropped off the first line despite succeeding with McDavid and seeing Lucic still there on his wing. What kind of message does that send to your players about a system of merit and accountability?

    Stauffer with some exceptional mental gymnastics. It’s the bubbles fault. Not like he wears a visor regularly or spent 4 years playing NCAA hockey. The Edmonton media man….

    Nicely put.

    Another punch in the gut is to see the new guy (Aberg) get thrown on the PP pretty much on arrival.

    Slepy is gone anyway. I thought it would be another NHL team but it looks like KHL now.

  42. Bag of Pucks says:

    Scungilli Slushy: That would be Oiler hockey. At least a long time ago.

    One area where Gallant resembles Sather is length and pace of practice. He rarely runs a practice longer than 45 mins but when they’re on the ice, they’re flying and the drill tempos are looking to approximate actual game conditions.

    Florida made a huge mistake turfing this guy. Classic examples of smartest man in the room thinking and overrating quantitative inputs at the expense of qualitative inputs.

  43. Bag of Pucks says:

    Scungilli Slushy: That would be Oiler hockey. At least a long time ago.

    And if nothing else, it’s entertaining hockey which this long suffering fanbase deserves.

    When McDavid and Draisaitl are not on the ice, MacLellan has turned this into a boring team to watch which is one of his most egregious sins imo.

  44. Woogie63 says:

    RNH – McDavid – XXX
    Lucic- Draisaitl – Puljajarvi
    Kharia – Strome – Sleoyshev
    Caggiula – WAGNER – Kassian
    Paka – Aberg

    Nurse- Larsson
    Klefbom-Sekera
    Russell- Benning
    AV2

    Talbot
    Montoya

    is a $76 M cap hit vs. projected $82M in 2019 (Then new USA TV deal and then Seattle expansion)

    Cagg, Benning, Slepyshev at $1.1M each
    Strome at $2.75M
    Nurse at $4.5M

  45. VOR says:

    This is my designated day to annoy people.

    So, for the record I think Jesse’s development is going just fine. Watching him I am in fact transported back many years. He reminds of another colt I got to watch grow up. I will never forget the fans chanting his derogatory nickname every time he touched the puck. Or the fans calling into talk radio all questioning why that piece of crap is getting ice time. And my personal favourite, the MSM doing various versions of this kid doesn’t belong in the NHL, the fact he is playing just proves how terrible the team is. There was one thing we all misunderstood. We weren’t watching a colt try to grow into a horse. Because when the colt grew up it turned out he was a Moose.

    I am of course not directly comparing Jesse to one of the ten greatest players of all time. I am however reminded watching Jesse play of the friskiness and joy the young Mark Messier brought to the ice. I am pretty sure many of Jesse’s critics are comparing him to other horses, star race horses. The problem for all of you is I am pretty sure you are wrong about the sort of baby animal you are watching grow up. Jesse reminds me a lot of the baby bull we just decided not to castrate. You just know one day the ground will tremble when that little fellow walks on it.

    In conclusion I will make the following bold prediction. In a few years Jesse Puljujarvi won’t be driving a line. He will be dominating a sport.

  46. Pouzar says:

    VOR: So, for the record I think Jesse’s development is going just fine.

    I stopped reading.

    I agree 100%

    The Yakupov comparison is batshit crazy.

    I will read on.

  47. Scungilli Slushy says:

    When I watch JP in the O Zone I see a player that plays the boards pretty well already in his bambi body and repeatedly steals the puck back, and closes really well disrupting breakouts.

    I see him finding soft spots like scorers do and getting shots off regularly. He makes many good passes especially in traffic to areas that other players regularly find the puck and keep possession if it’s not on the tape.

    He can play rush or cycle.

    All of these things to me say that he has a head for the game. He’s weaker in the D zone, he definitely has a lot to learn.

    I was pulling for Yak but he doesn’t have close to the overall game that JP does, even now after years in the league. JP is still erratic as most youth are, but has no where near the bees that chase Nail around IMO.

  48. Pouzar says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    When I watch JP in the O Zone I see a player that plays the boards pretty well already in his bambi body and repeatedly steals the puck back, and closes really well disrupting breakouts.

    I see him finding soft spots like scorers do and getting shots off regularly. He makes many good passes especially in traffic to areas that other players regularly find the puck and keep possession if it’s not on the tape.

    He can play rush or cycle.

    All of these things to me say that he has a head for the game. He’s weaker in the D zone, he definitely has a lot to learn.

    I was pulling for Yak but he doesn’t have close to the overall game that JP does, even now after years in the league. JP is still erratic as most youth are, but has no where near the bees that chase Nail around IMO.

    Thx SS. Perfect.

  49. Scungilli Slushy says:

    GMB3: Lol turn him into a Hossa. Marian Hossa was viewed as an offensive dynamo with little to no defensive acumen. He’s a future hall of famed. You can’t just magically develop anyone into Hossa. That’s not in the realm of possibility.

    Every player is his own player. I used Bergeron and Hossa (what he became) because JP already shows the range of game and defensive awareness that not many players have at his age. Really.

    It is a sacrifice in points playing two ways, but I think it has a great impact on the game especially on a team with lights out offensive players.

    JP has a higher offensive ceiling than Nuge IMO, far better physical tools.

  50. hunter1909 says:

    Bag of Pucks: One area where Gallant resembles Sather is length and pace of practice. He rarely runs a practice longer than 45 mins but when they’re on the ice, they’re flying and the drill tempos are looking to approximate actual game conditions.

    In other words, talented coaches run practices like they’re real games, while losers like MacT etc use practice as a means to enforce their own fundamental worthlessness as coaches.

  51. hunter1909 says:

    JP is an outstanding prospect.

    The fact that he’s floundering…well…just stick him with Yakupov and all of the other failed top prospects.

  52. Bob Arctor says:

    VOR:
    This is my designated day to annoy people.

    So, for the record I think Jesse’s development is going just fine. Watching him I am in fact transported back many years. He reminds of another colt I got to watch grow up. I will never forget the fans chanting his derogatory nickname every time he touched the puck. Or the fans calling into talk radio all questioning why that piece of crap is getting ice time. And my personal favourite, the MSM doing various versions of this kid doesn’t belong in the NHL, the fact he is playing just proves how terrible the team is. There was one thing we all misunderstood. We weren’t watching a colt try to grow into a horse. Because when the colt grew up it turned out he was a Moose.

    I am of course not directly comparing Jesse to one of the ten greatest players of all time. I am however reminded watching Jesse play of the friskiness and joy the young Mark Messier brought to the ice. I am pretty sure many of Jesse’s critics are comparing him to other horses, star race horses. The problem for all of you is I am pretty sure you are wrong about the sort of baby animal you are watching grow up. Jesse reminds me a lot of the baby bull we just decided not to castrate. You just know one day the ground will tremble when that little fellow walks on it.

    In conclusion I will make the following bold prediction. In a few years Jesse Puljujarvi won’t be driving a line. He will be dominating a sport.

    At the other end of the spectrum, Magnus Paajarvi could be a comp for Puljujarvi as well. It will be interesting to see what happens next year.

  53. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Bag of Pucks: One area where Gallant resembles Sather is length and pace of practice. He rarely runs a practice longer than 45 mins but when they’re on the ice, they’re flying and the drill tempos are looking to approximate actual game conditions.

    Florida made a huge mistake turfing this guy. Classic examples of smartest man in the room thinking and overrating quantitative inputs at the expense of qualitative inputs.

    I don’t think McL is a bad coach, nor is he doing a great job. It’s hard to tell if he doesn’t have enough horses or doesn’t know how to use them. Probably a combo.

    Comparing to Vegas, they are a team of let go players, but this expansion set up gave them access to quality. No elite players yet, but no low functioning players either which are sinking our team ATM. They have more balance (and kudos for picking so well) than many teams.

  54. Wilde says:

    Bitter, Biting Twenty Eighteen Tank Campaign Update:

    Team – pts % / / draft placing with highest odds / / chance of top 3

    ARI – 0.392 / / 4th @ 51.9% / / 48.1%

    BUF – 0.401 / / 4th @ 33.7% / / 36.2%

    OTT – 0.431 / / 5th @ 39.1% / / 31.2%

    VAN – 0.447 / / 6th @ 35.5% / / 28.6%

    EDM – 0.454 / / 6th @ 32.8% / / 25.9%

    MTL – 0.469 / / 7th @ 38.2% / / 23.4%

    DET – 0.477 / / 8th @ 39.7% / / 20.9%

    CHI – 0.484 / / 9th @ 38.1% / / 18.3%

    As you can see, moving down one spot is always the most likely, but the value of tanking is now to secure a top 3 pick, not an actual lottery win.

    The gap between VAN and us is now super, super tight… But they lost Boeser tonight, who’s been their most consistent performer and he’s probably a 2 win per 82 value player, so over a quarter of the season he’ll probably cost them an extra point, and that’s what the race could come down to in the OTT/EDM/VAN cluster. (Seeing as that’s the difference between VAN and EDM right now, a solitary point with equal GP.)

    Blackhawks play the Avs tonight, Montreal plays the Devils.

    Our real race now, according to Dom L’s model, is between us and Montreal, so their game tonight is pivotal. The point projection has MTL and EDM at 77.4 and 77.2 points by seasons end as of the update this morning. We’re 5th last there.

    5th has a spread like this:

    – We can move to any top three position, but not 4th.

    – We can move down no lower than 8th.

    – The chance of moving down is 32.8% to 6th, 28.9% to 7th, and 5.3% chance the 8th.

    – The chance of moving up is 8.5% chance to first, 8.6% to 2nd, and 8.8% to 3rd.

    – That’s a little shy of our lucky number 11.5.

    – That’s also a split of 32.9% of staying top 5, 67.1% chance of falling out.

  55. Woogie63 says:

    I went to the Penticton Young Stars the year Puljajurvi was drafted.

    He was a huge teenager that was all over the place. Big swooooping turns, but skated so well he was able to recover, almost refused to pass the puck, was not able to stand up when he hit a player. Shot the puck from everywhere, played an individual game.

    Today we have seen lots of growth, watching him transport the puck over three lines is begin to look easy for Jesse. He is cycling, passing and defending now and I would suggest those are all taught by the Oiler coaching staff.

  56. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Bob Arctor: At the other end of the spectrum, Magnus Paajarvi could be a comp for Puljujarvi as well. It will be interesting to see what happens next year.

    I like Magnus, still Pajaarvi’s scouting report when he was drafted at 10th (which was where he was projected) was fast with questionable offensive NHL production. It was bang on.

    JP’s scouting card read with far more promise. JP was one of the most dominant players at his age in the world, outplaying Laine and basically everyone else at tournaments. Magnus never had that.

  57. hunter1909 says:

    Scungilli Slushy: JP’s scouting card read with far more promise. JP was one of the most dominant players at his age in the world, outplaying Laine and basically everyone else at tournaments. Magnus never had that.

    Yes but that’s the genius of these Oilers.

    They know how to destroy even the most robust youngster.

  58. Bag of Pucks says:

    To be clear, I’m a big JP fan and will be patient with this player for as long as it takes. Like Nurse, the obvious physical gifts are there for all to see and I was similarly patient with Darnell. Still smile to myself when I think of the many Lowetiders who were offering Nurse as a sweetener in trade proposals as recently as last year.

    All I’m saying is there’s been some development fits and starts which reminds me of Yakupov. But as we all know, this development doesn’t occur in a straight line. And there’s certainly much more to see in Jesse’s total game that we weren’t seeing in Nail’s at a similar stage, though to be fair to Yak, he did come out of the gates faster as a goal scorer. Thanks Ralph!

  59. Bag of Pucks says:

    hunter1909: Yes but that’s the genius of these Oilers.

    They know how to destroy even the most robust youngster.

    The best coaches appreciate that at the end of the day, it’s still just a game and it should be FUN!

    Dallas Eakins was obviously the poster boy for how not to do this.

  60. Doug McLachlan says:

    Haven’t seen anyone send this out yet. Not a surprise but good 1st North American season for what I thought was a very good selection by the Oilers.

    Edmonton Oilers‏Verified account @EdmontonOilers · 31m31 minutes ago More

    The #Oilers have signed forward Ostap Safin to a three-year ELC. The 115th overall pick from the 2017 #NHLDraft has scored 53 points (24 goals, 29 assists) in 56 games with @SJSeaDogs this season. Congrats, @safinostap!

  61. GMB3 says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Every player is his own player. I used Bergeron and Hossa (what he became) because JP already shows the range of game and defensive awareness that not many players have at his age. Really.

    It is a sacrifice in points playing two ways, but I think it has a great impact on the game especially on a team with lights out offensive players.

    JP has a higher offensive ceiling than Nuge IMO, far better physical tools.

    Hockey history is littered with players with great physical tools and not enough hockey sense to take full advantage.

  62. Wilde says:

    On the note of picking no lower than 8th, what’s everyones (daily) top 8 for the Oil?

    1) Dahlin
    2) Svechnikov
    3) Zadina
    4) Boqvist
    5) Hughes
    6) Wahlstrom
    7) Olofsson
    8) Lundestrom

    Scungilli Slushy:

    Comparing to Vegas, they are a team of let go players, but this expansion set up gave them access to quality. No elite players yet, but no low functioning players either which are sinking our team ATM. They have more balance (and kudos for picking so well) than many teams.

    Jonathan Marshessault is an elite player, and if Florida’s Rowe management threw him away instead of Dale Tallon, it’d be front page news on the hockey man shill parade channel every day.

    Top 20 forward in the league at least, imo.

  63. Scungilli Slushy says:

    VOR:
    This is my designated day to annoy people.

    So, for the record I think Jesse’s development is going just fine. Watching him I am in fact transported back many years. He reminds of another colt I got to watch grow up. I will never forget the fans chanting his derogatory nickname every time he touched the puck. Or the fans calling into talk radio all questioning why that piece of crap is getting ice time. And my personal favourite, the MSM doing various versions of this kid doesn’t belong in the NHL, the fact he is playing just proves how terrible the team is. There was one thing we all misunderstood. We weren’t watching a colt try to grow into a horse. Because when the colt grew up it turned out he was a Moose.

    I am of course not directly comparing Jesse to one of the ten greatest players of all time. I am however reminded watching Jesse play of the friskiness and joy the young Mark Messier brought to the ice. I am pretty sure many of Jesse’s critics are comparing him to other horses, star race horses. The problem for all of you is I am pretty sure you are wrong about the sort of baby animal you are watching grow up. Jesse reminds me a lot of the baby bull we just decided not to castrate. You just know one day the ground will tremble when that little fellow walks on it.

    In conclusion I will make the following bold prediction. In a few years Jesse Puljujarvi won’t be driving a line. He will be dominating a sport.

    This is how I also see his potential if he reaches it. He could be a winger that opens a lot of ice up for his linemates because he could be such a nightmare to deal with. His combo of speed and strength is already a problem for opponents and his man body is a ways off.

    He could become an enormous distraction in the D zone and his centre would benefit greatly.

    ** I meant O zone. I hope he’s a beast in both ends.

  64. LadiesloveSmid says:

    I’m also done with the Caggiula experiment. If they can exchange him for a 4C and play Khaira with Strome on L3 then do it. Time for Aberg’s 111 game audition.

    Not that PIT trades away good players, but I wonder if they are happy paying Sheary 3M to play on the 4th line. Maybe EDM could trade picks their way

  65. Wilde says:

    To weigh in on Puljujarvi, he’ll be fine. Fire Todd.

    I think it’s unfortunate that his playertype has arrived when the team could really use pure scoring, but I think Yamamoto will deal with that beginning next year.

    But 98 being who he is, is a boon for this team.

    Players don’t get paid for defensive ability. Look at Backlunds contract – pending UFA, the Flames’ best or second best forward, doesn’t even crack 6M for a Selke candidate.

    Connor Sheary got 3×3 after a 52 pt season.

    Will Puljujarvi hit 52 pts next season? With a new coach, maybe.

    Being as young as he is, and as young as he will burn his ELC, we’ll likely get a real value contract out of him for at least 3 years following.

    I just can’t tell if I’m being ridiculous with this player, but I think he’s already amazing and will probably end up being a low-ish event, 53-55% driver.

    Right wing will be fine. Left wing, I don’t know.

  66. Doug McLachlan says:

    Wilde:
    On the note of picking no lower than 8th, what’s everyones (daily) top 8 for the Oil?

    1) Dahlin
    2) Svechnikov
    3) Zadina
    4) Boqvist
    5) Hughes
    6) Wahlstrom
    7) Olofsson
    8) Lundestrom

    1. Dahlin

    2. Svechnikov
    3. Zadina

    4. Boqvist
    5. Tkachuk
    6. E.Bouchard
    7. Wahlstrom
    8. Dobson

    Should probably have Quinn Hughes higher but 5’9″ d-man doesn’t sound right even if the math says it is the call.

    Very interested in Bouchard and Boqvist. Both RHD, I believe and that is apparently the coin of the realm.

  67. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Wilde:
    To weigh in on Puljujarvi, he’ll be fine. Fire Todd.

    I think it’s unfortunate that his playertype has arrived when the team could really use pure scoring, but I think Yamamoto will deal with that beginning next year.

    But 98 being who he is, is a boon for this team.

    Players don’t get paid for defensive ability. Look at Backlunds contract – pending UFA, the Flames’ best or second best forward, doesn’t even crack 6M for a Selke candidate.

    Connor Sheary got 3×3 after a 52 pt season.

    Will Puljujarvi hit 52 pts next season? With a new coach, maybe.

    Being as young as he is, and as young as he will burn his ELC, we’ll likely get a real value contract out of him for at least 3 years following.

    I just can’t tell if I’m being ridiculous with this player, but I think he’s already amazing and will probably end up being a 53-55% driver.

    Right wing will be fine. Left wing, I don’t know.

    I keep thinking he should be a centre at some point. Maybe there is something he’s missing, he just seems like one to me.

  68. jtblack says:

    Seems to be a lot of ppl on here who like Jessie. Good.

    Lets all remeber he is the Youngest player on the Oilers roster. Patience is a virtue.

  69. Yeti says:

    Natural Stat Trick won’t load for me this morning, so I’m going to go all Bruce McCurdy with individual notes.

    I’d just like to say that I really enjoyed you going full-on Bruce, and would welcome it on other game reviews if you had the inclination (perhaps alternating between the stats and the McCurdyisms?).

  70. Wilde says:

    Scungilli Slushy: I keep thinking he should be a centre at some point. Maybe there is something he’s missing, he just seems like one to me.

    With the way the game is structured now, I wouldn’t mind having him practice faceoffs at the very least, considering the handedness of our top guys.

    I keep dreaming of a 97 line where Jesse takes strongside faceoffs, and plays the lowest forward in the D zone, springing passes to McDavid.

  71. godot10 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    After Saturday night’s game, there was an interesting exchange between Scott Oake and Sather, where Oake asked Slats if it would be possible for an HC in the league today to coach with an offense first philosophy like he did in the eighties. Oake was speculating that would be unlikely given the massive emphasis on system structure and video grading now.

    Sather’s reply (paraphrasing) was that not only did he think a HC could encourage an offense first philosophy in this era, he was not sure why more coaches didn’t take that approach.

    After watching that interview, I read an article in Hockey News on the Golden Knights’ succcess. Two things stood out in that interview:

    1) Gallant assessed his roster and then implemented a system that catered to and accentuated his team’s strengths. He didn’t conform players to his system. He knew he lacked size at D and his Fs were soft but skilled, so he put in place a system that heavily emphasises rapid puck transition, and ultra quick breakouts leveraging area passes to breaking Fs skating to pre-assigned areas (i.e. set plays). As a result, the Knights are a speedy aggressive attack team that wins the corsi battle by turning the puck north out of its own end asap. They don’t look for the perfect breakout pass or cycle back repeatedly ala the Oilers D. Instead, they pass to zones where if there is a neutral zone turnover, it’s in a non-threatening part of the ice. But with speedy Fs knowing where the puck is going beforehand, they win more of these puck contests than they lose.

    2) Gallant is considered by his players as the ultimate players coach, and he’s actively invested in creating incentives and fun ways to encourage offensive creativity and risks that drive high quality chances.

    Imo, there’s very few coaches in the league that understand this type of approach. Quennenville, Sullivan, Cooper, Gallant, and Vigneault stand out as some of the notable ones.

    When (not if) the Oil replace MacLellan, this is what I’d like to see them pursuing: a coach that excels at unlocking the offensive side of the game. Make the most of the elite skill this team has as its disposal. Change the paradigm again just like Slats did when he brought Russian tactical influences into the Canadian game.

    This is why I’ve thrown Jacques Martin into the pool of candidates. He has been at the front lines of Sullivan doing this in Pittsburgh. In a two elite centre based team with average D.

    My first choice would always be Nelson. But if one wants a guy with experience who isn’t going to bully his players, who has worked well at developing European players, and who will still coach solid fundamentals…Jacques Martin is a reasonable option.

  72. russ99 says:

    JP is nothing like Yak. JP can play a two way game, JP can keep and move the puck on the wall, JP can contest the puck on the wall in the defensive zone.

    Stop thinking only about goal scoring.

  73. russ99 says:

    godot10: This is why I’ve thrown Jacques Martin into the pool of candidates.He has been at the front lines of Sullivan doing this in Pittsburgh.In a two elite centre based team with average D.

    My first choice would always be Nelson.But if one wants a guy with experience who isn’t going to bully his players, who has worked well at developing European players, and who will still coach solid fundamentals…Jacques Martin is a reasonable option.

    A players coach would be like Krueger all over again. Our core us under 23, we need systems, structure and discipline. And yes, someone more flexible than McLellan.

    Quenneville or Tippett if we’re making a move.

  74. Bob Arctor says:

    Scungilli Slushy,

    Paajarvi is second on the list of all-time scoring leaders at the U18s for Sweden. He’s further down the list for U20s (14th). Beware of small sample tournaments telling you much of anything.

  75. frjohnk says:

    Two articles about Hall today. One in the Journal, one on Sportsnet. Both dont look good on the Oilers

    Spector on Oilers Now

    “No one in their right mind would trade Hall for Larsson right now”

    Spector also added that when talking about loss in the big moves “Chiarelli needs to be in a place 3 years from now in which he can look back and say ‘yeah, Id do that trade again'”

    Im not sure how Chia survives after a season like this.

    *grabs popcorn*

  76. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Bob Arctor:
    Scungilli Slushy,

    Paajarvi is second on the list of all-time scoring leaders at the U18s for Sweden. He’s further down the list for U20s (14th). Beware of small sample tournaments telling you much of anything.

    True.

  77. Pretendergast says:

    Age 18-19

    X: 7: 0-1-1
    Y: 28: 1-7-8

    Age 19-20
    X: 60: 15-15-30
    Y: 49: 11-7-18

    Dead puck era and all that and couldn’t find powerplay time for 1998 but Jesse isn’t really far off the Hossa comparison.

    I personally don’t think he will be but the story’s too early to tell. 5 year rule.

  78. Bag of Pucks says:

    russ99: A players coach would be like Krueger all over again.

    You say that like it’s a bad thing ; )

  79. russ99 says:

    Bag of Pucks: You say that like it’s a bad thing ; )

    Yup. All offense, no responsibility.

    The shift from Renney and then overcorrection of Eakins messed up a lot of players.

  80. sliderule says:

    As to similarity between JP and Mp I don’t see much.

    Mp has a muffin for a shot while JP has a rocket wrist or slap per.

    Mp played with eggs in his pockets while JP uses his big body with abandon.

    Mp was a wonderful skater with good edges while JP is lanky and awkward.

    Mp was not a good passer while JP has good vision and a good passer

    The only similarity I see is that coaches didn’t trust either one too much.

  81. Gayfish says:

    frjohnk:
    Two articles about Hall today.One in the Journal, one on Sportsnet. Both dont look good on the Oilers

    Spector on Oilers Now

    “No one in their right mind would trade Hall for Larsson right now”

    Spector also added that when talking about loss in the big moves “Chiarelli needs to be in a place 3 years from now in which he can look back and say ‘yeah, Id do that trade again’”

    Im not sure how Chia survives after a season like this.

    *grabs popcorn*

    I’m not sure how they will make it worse, but I’m always surprised. Perhaps Gretzky as GM, and Coffey as coach (because he has shadowed the team, and knows them well).

  82. Professor Q says:

    It’s been Crazy Town and Topsy Turvy World in here lately. What the heck is up with everyone?

  83. Side says:

    Professor Q:
    It’s been Crazy Town and Topsy Turvy World in here lately. What the heck is up with everyone?

    Team is Doomed!

    Todd is the worst coach in the entire world!

    PC inherited a Dynasty but turned it into crap!

    19 year old JP is struggling because he wasn’t that good in the first place and the coach is ruining him!

    Last year was a fluke and this year is ACTUALLY what the Oilers are like!

    Klefbom will never be good!

    etc.

  84. SwedishPoster says:

    russ99: Yup. All offense, no responsibility.

    The shift from Renney and then overcorrection of Eakins messed up a lot of players.

    Que? If anything Kruegers system was too defensive, sitting back and score off the rush, gave up real estate and possession too easily. He preached discipline from Day 1 and was pretty much fired because MacT wanted more of a possession game focused on skill vs the defensive structure of Krueger. MacTavish answer to that was ofc Dallas Eakins who knew about the corgis and preached possession so beautifully Craig hired him on the spot. Ended well.

    Neither were great fits as HC, though tbh Krueger never got a fair shake with zero training camp and a shortened season.

  85. rickithebear says:

    hunter1909: Will someone please explain why Chicago’s coach, with his cap-stressed team will want to go join an even worse cap strapped team, aside from the fact that he’ll be joining the worst organization in pro sports?

    Org success is judged by Championships.
    2 teams win Championships and all the rest have achieved nothing each year.

    I do believe we won a Conf Championship in 05-06.
    The modern era is in its 51st year and 50th seasons.

    The TMLorg has been the worst NA sports org in that 51 yr Period.

    The HHOF even recognizes that.

    There have been 3 coaches to get the TML org into a conf Final.
    Nielson
    Burns
    Quinn

    The voters:
    These guys got the TMLinto conf Final.
    Jees!
    got my vote!

  86. ArmchairGM says:

    So, if Strome will sign for a reasonable sum ($2.5 – 3M), would trading RNH for Ristolainen be a reasonable expectation?

  87. Scungilli Slushy says:

    The only solution can’t happen because Katz bought his friends a toy, or that is how he seems to treat the team, and anyone who isn’t his ‘friend’ better tow the line methinks.

    Despite the scorched earth trades Chia has put an NHL roster together, so there’s that. No wholesale roster changes are needed at this point, so a deep change doesn’t have to be a rebuild anymore than they seem to do already.

    The solution would be to remove ‘friends’ from active participation in anything hockey. They should be ambassadors like decent clubs do with their legends.

    First dictate the style wanted, which of course should be offensive oriented, creative, disciplined, fast hockey.

    Then clean the lot of everyone else out, hire Fenton or the like from an org that has a history of quality work and right minded behavior, and let them populate the org. I’m not sure what all of the upper management actually does, but ‘Fenton’ would need a boss as I doubt Katz wants to do that and probably wants an intermediary.

    Things are far too dysfunctional to just keep swapping the pieces around. Sadly it will never happen deeply enough to effect real change. It starts with the owner, and there aren’t many Lemieux’s and whoever owns the Preds and Bolts.

  88. Gayfish says:

    ArmchairGM:
    So, if Strome will sign for a reasonable sum ($2.5 – 3M), would trading RNH for Ristolainen be a reasonable expectation?

    If by Ristolainen you mean Bogosian, then yes. (assuming Chia is still GM)

  89. pts2pndr says:

    godot10,

    I would normally agree however given the fact that Strome is a right shot and a rfa I would think the more prudent move would be to qualify him and try to sign him at 3 mil for three years. I believe he is bonafide NHL player and it normally takes a full year with new team for a young player to get established. He has been steadily improving over the last part of the year and could end up providing good value at 3 mil for third line center moving forward. Aiminh higher noble thought but we don’t have any bullets!

  90. pts2pndr says:

    russ99,

    Carefull what you wish for! A task master at discipline and systems may very well destroy the creativity required for offense.

  91. pts2pndr says:

    SwedishPoster,

    I really enjoy you posts so pls keep them comming. Further to your post Krueger had one of the best power plays in the NHL in his tenure. As good as durring the glory years or better.

  92. Wilde says:

    ArmchairGM,

    There are probably 90 defensemen at least that I’d rather have over RIsto.

    For anyone who thinks the Oilers don’t develop defensemen well, take a look at RR’s TOI, Qual Comp, and possession data since he came into the league.

    Absolutely brutal. A masterclass on how to botch a player’s development.

  93. frjohnk says:

    This is too good to not post.
    https://www.bsndenver.com/introduction-to-the-player-evaluation-tool-pet-chart/

    Here is a player evaluation tool that is like the HERO charts but it also has Corey Sznaders Passing Project stats.

    So if you dont like Corsi you may like this as it looks at different individual stats such as passing, zone exits, zone entries etc.

    Some of the data has a limited data size sample but its all very interesting. McDavid and Draisaitl look very good. RNH looks good as well.

    Check it out.

  94. ArmchairGM says:

    Wilde,

    I don’t think Olofsson and Lundestrom will be in the top-8. I looked at 4 scouting services and ranked the top 31 players according to an average of their rankings, and it puts Lundestrom at 13th (all four had him 12 – 14), while Olofsson is at 26th (22 – 31).

  95. Georges says:

    SwedishPoster: Que? If anything Kruegers system was too defensive, sitting back and score off the rush, gave up real estate and possession too easily. He preached discipline from Day 1 and was pretty much fired because MacT wanted more of a possession game focused on skill vs the defensive structure of Krueger. MacTavish answer to that was ofc Dallas Eakins who knew about the corgis and preached possession so beautifully Craig hired him on the spot. Ended well.

    Neither were great fits as HC, though tbh Krueger never got a fair shake with zero training camp and a shortened season.

    Some evidence to support what you’re saying:

    Season, GF/60, GA/60

    10-11, 2.33, 3.17
    11-12, 2.52, 2.83
    12-13, 2.56, 2.73 (Krueger)
    13-14, 2.43, 3.26
    14-15, 2.35, 3.37
    15-16, 2.43, 2.95
    16-17, 2.96, 2.52
    17-18, 2.79, 3.30

    Season, SF/60, SA/60

    10-11, 26.7, 31.7
    11-12, 26.7, 30.7
    12-13, 26.8, 32.8 (Krueger)
    13-14, 26.9, 32.9
    14-15, 28.4, 30.0
    15-16, 29.1, 31.1
    16-17, 31.1, 29.5
    17-18, 34.0, 31.7

  96. Wilde says:

    ArmchairGM,

    That’s the order of players I would take if the Oilers are in that range, not a mock draft

  97. Georges says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    After Saturday night’s game, there was an interesting exchange between Scott Oake and Sather, where Oake asked Slats if it would be possible for an HC in the league today to coach with an offense first philosophy like he did in the eighties. Oake was speculating that would be unlikely given the massive emphasis on system structure and video grading now.

    Sather’s reply (paraphrasing) was that not only did he think a HC could encourage an offense first philosophy in this era, he was not sure why more coaches didn’t take that approach.

    After watching that interview, I read an article in Hockey News on the Golden Knights’ succcess. Two things stood out in that interview:

    1) Gallant assessed his roster and then implemented a system that catered to and accentuated his team’s strengths. He didn’t conform players to his system. He knew he lacked size at D and his Fs were soft but skilled, so he put in place a system that heavily emphasises rapid puck transition, and ultra quick breakouts leveraging area passes to breaking Fs skating to pre-assigned areas (i.e. set plays). As a result, the Knights are a speedy aggressive attack team that wins the corsi battle by turning the puck north out of its own end asap. They don’t look for the perfect breakout pass or cycle back repeatedly ala the Oilers D. Instead, they pass to zones where if there is a neutral zone turnover, it’s in a non-threatening part of the ice. But with speedy Fs knowing where the puck is going beforehand, they win more of these puck contests than they lose.

    2) Gallant is considered by his players as the ultimate players coach, and he’s actively invested in creating incentives and fun ways to encourage offensive creativity and risks that drive high quality chances.

    Imo, there’s very few coaches in the league that understand this type of approach. Quennenville, Sullivan, Cooper, Gallant, and Vigneault stand out as some of the notable ones.

    When (not if) the Oil replace MacLellan, this is what I’d like to see them pursuing: a coach that excels at unlocking the offensive side of the game. Make the most of the elite skill this team has as its disposal. Change the paradigm again just like Slats did when he brought Russian tactical influences into the Canadian game.

    Nice post. Helpful.

  98. OilClog says:

    hunter1909: Will someone please explain why Chicago’s coach, with his cap-stressed team will want to go join an even worse cap strapped team, aside from the fact that he’ll be joining the worst organization in pro sports?

    It’s called Connor Mcdavid, there isn’t a coach in the league that would pass up the chance to not chase their dreams and bring Mcdavid to the cup finals. Being Connor Mcdavids coach is the top sought after job as it stands today. The best player in the world is 21, signed forever. If a coach turns down a chance at Mcdavid, it would be purely an issue not related to hockey.

  99. ArmchairGM says:

    Wilde:
    ArmchairGM,

    That’s the order of players I would take if the Oilers are in that range, not a mock draft

    Got it.

    My picks:

    Dahlin
    Svechnikov
    Zadina
    Boqvist
    Wahlstrom
    Bouchard
    Dobson
    Hughes

    Hughes is likely the better pick than the two guys just above him, but being a leftie doesn’t fill the organizational need like the others do. If picking 6th I would consider trading down to 7th or 8th to get one of these RHD’s, as long as the return was decent.

  100. OilClog says:

    Trade the pick for Hall

  101. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    texmex:
    Ryan Strome 66 GP 12G19A 31PTS.

    On pace for just shy of 40pts for the season. Is this acceptable production for a 3LC moving forward? Similar production as Bozak in TO

    If the Oilers can sign him for 2 x 2.5million this offseason, do you do it?

    Yes, I know he was traded for Eberle. Yes I know he needs to be qualified at 3million. Yes I know Chia never used the cap savings from the trade.

    I think he will make a solid 3C assuming leon plays 2C and RNH 1LW.

    Thoughts?

    Agreed all points

  102. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    godot10: Aim higher.

    Given the cap it might not be prudent to.

    I also think JJ takes that job within 2 years and does it very well.

    Maybe sooner.

  103. Andy Dufresne says:

    godot10: The hyperactive Klingon has not given Puljujarvi two stable linemates, preferably veterans, and a defined role to set a foundation and build upon.I think part of the problem is that he is actually trying to do what the coaches are telling him to do, which is a problem for many of the Oilers players.

    Yeah thats it. AND they wont even give him a helmet that fits……Dotards!

  104. Andy Dufresne says:

    Bag of Pucks: Much too early to make that call imo. Pulijarvi is like the mythical 5 tool player. His upside should far exceed Tkachuk’s. The key is he has to be properly developed.

    Development is weird with this org. because they’ve gone from freeing up the offense but not building the defensive games with Core #1 to now building their defensive chops but stifling the offense.

    Blue chippers like Couture and Pavelski have eventually found their way with this Coach, but is there an example of a player from across the pond that MacLellan has turned into an offensive dynamo?

    Draisaitl

  105. Andy Dufresne says:

    smellyglove:
    (Groan)….

    Anyone questioning the Jesse pick should be perma-banned from lowetide.com.

    It was seen as a coup at the time. Maybe in retrospect Tkachuk turns out to be the better player, but during the draft pundits, management, fans saw it as a huge mistake by CLB to the Oilers’ benefit.

    Quoted for Truth. Thank You.

  106. Andy Dufresne says:

    frjohnk: Agree that it is too early to call Tkachuk/ JP pick. .Funny thing at the time of the draftm there were many on here who did not like Tkachuk because many said he was a poor skater and it looked like he was riding the coat tails of Matthews on the US teams and also playing for a stacked London team.But the arrows for Tkachuk are looking very good as he will be a very good line driver.Still a question mark with JP.

    On another related note, MacT hit the ball out of the park by picking Draisaitl over Bennett.Because we were in control of picking before Calgary in 14 and 16.Id rather have Drai and JP instead of Bennett and Tkachuk.

    Just think where this team would be if we didnt win the lottery and had picked Bennett but made the same trades and signings.

    Yikes.

    But man Bennet was the popular pick on this site with the wee ones.

  107. Andy Dufresne says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Given the cap it might not be prudent to.

    I also think JJ takes that job within 2 years and does it very well.

    Maybe sooner.

    Man Woodguy go back and look at the guys who are quoting you with the “aim higher” and the “Fire Them All”….you’re in such good company.

  108. Scungilli Slushy says:

    An interesting foil for the Oilers is how many Eskimos seem to love the team and the city.

    Obviously a different pay scale, but still.

    Too much politics and double talk it seems.

    And such a no brainer with Connor and the arena.

  109. Georges says:

    Where’s OP?

  110. Andy Dufresne says:

    JimmyV1965:
    I’m afraid to say it, but JP does remind me a lot of Yak. I’m not sure he thinks the game at an elite level. He seems to be in the wrong place a lot and looks like he actually gets in the way sometimes. This is not on the coach.On the bright side, he’s bigger, faster and stronger than Yak, and may have a better shot.

    I keep thinking they have got to teach him how to use his body better/ be more physical especially on the forecheck….you think hes only 19 so he’ll grow into it….but the majority of players that do use thier size to their advantage do so from a young age…..so Im not sure hes going to get any more physical. Hes never had a history of being a prolific scorer…..I have to assume the Oilers are either looking at him as a solid second line winger on a potential value contract after he comes off his ELC, or they are considering his value on the trade market. IF they get a Zadina or Svechnikov in the Draft Jesse may be the one moving for a RHD.

  111. Andy Dufresne says:

    Wilde:
    Bitter, Biting Twenty Eighteen Tank Campaign Update:

    Team – pts % / / draft placing with highest odds / / chance of top 3

    ARI – 0.392 / / 4th @ 51.9% / / 48.1%

    BUF – 0.401 / / 4th @ 33.7% / / 36.2%

    OTT – 0.431 / / 5th @ 39.1% / / 31.2%

    VAN – 0.447 / / 6th @ 35.5% / / 28.6%

    EDM – 0.454 / / 6th @ 32.8% / / 25.9%

    MTL – 0.469 / / 7th @ 38.2% / / 23.4%

    DET – 0.477 / / 8th @ 39.7% / / 20.9%

    CHI – 0.484 / / 9th @ 38.1% / / 18.3%

    As you can see, movingdown one spot is always the most likely, but the value of tanking is now to secure a top 3 pick, not an actual lottery win.

    The gap between VAN and us is now super, super tight… But they lost Boeser tonight, who’s been their most consistent performer and he’s probably a 2 win per 82 value player, so over a quarter of the season he’ll probably cost them an extra point, and that’s what the race could come down to in the OTT/EDM/VAN cluster. (Seeing as that’s the difference between VAN and EDM right now, a solitary point with equal GP.)

    Blackhawks play the Avs tonight, Montreal plays the Devils.

    Our real race now, according to Dom L’s model, is between us and Montreal, so their game tonight is pivotal. The point projection has MTL and EDM at 77.4 and 77.2 points by seasons end as of the update this morning. We’re 5th last there.

    5th has a spread like this:

    – We can move to any top three position, but not 4th.

    – We can move down no lower than 8th.

    – The chance of moving down is 32.8% to 6th, 28.9% to 7th, and 5.3% chance the 8th.

    – The chance of moving up is 8.5% chance to first, 8.6% to 2nd, and 8.8% to 3rd.

    – That’s a little shy of our lucky number 11.5.

    – That’s also a split of 32.9% of staying top 5, 67.1% chance of falling out.

    Nice Update. Thank You for the hard work. Keep them coming.

  112. Andy Dufresne says:

    Woogie63:
    I went to the Penticton Young Stars the year Puljajurvi was drafted.

    He was a huge teenager that was all over the place.Big swooooping turns, but skated so well he was able to recover, almost refused to pass the puck, was not able to stand up when he hit a player.Shot the puck from everywhere, played an individual game.

    Today we have seen lots of growth, watching him transport the puck over three lines is begin to look easy for Jesse.He is cycling, passing and defending now and I would suggest those are all taught by the Oiler coaching staff.

    +1

  113. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Andy Dufresne: Man Woodguy go back and look at the guys who are quoting you with the “aim higher” and the “Fire Them All”….you’re in such good company.

    I’m pretty comfortable with myself, thanks for checking in.

    Also,

    Which posters are ones I’m not supposed to be happy that agree with me?

    Godot? Who’s consistently been a good poster, holds a PhD,
    (Has his foibles like all of us) with smart ideas and was a regular already when I found lowetide.blogspot.com?

    Who else doesn’t meet your bar of “good company” ?

  114. Andy Dufresne says:

    Side: Team is Doomed!

    Todd is the worst coach in the entire world!

    PC inherited a Dynasty but turned it into crap!

    19 year old JP is struggling because he wasn’t that good in the first place and the coach is ruining him!

    Last year was a fluke and this year is ACTUALLY what the Oilers are like!

    Klefbom will never be good!

    etc.

    Youre really getting the hang of this place. Dont worry it washes off.

  115. Gayfish says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    An interesting foil for the Oilers is how many Eskimos seem to love the team and the city.

    Obviously a different pay scale, but still.

    Too much politics and double talk it seems.

    And such a no brainer with Connor and the arena.

    The Eskimos have a much better culture (especially when Hervey revitalized it). The “Eskimo Way” is real and important. It’s pretty interesting how many guys stick around though (Canadian and even some Americans). C Murder basically coordinates all football in Northern Alberta (from 5year old flag to NFL level prospects-shout out to Mark Korte).

    It’s interesting how many old boys hang around the Oilers, but are simply in their ivory towers. I’m not sure if that has to do with culture, but in my experience, football turns out much better men.

  116. Professor Q says:

    Side: Team is Doomed!

    Todd is the worst coach in the entire world!

    PC inherited a Dynasty but turned it into crap!

    19 year old JP is struggling because he wasn’t that good in the first place and the coach is ruining him!

    Last year was a fluke and this year is ACTUALLY what the Oilers are like!

    Klefbom will never be good!

    etc.

    I know, I know.

    I deal with enough of this as it is as a Browns fan.

    I guess I’m consistent.

  117. Melvis says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I’m pretty comfortable with myself, thanks for checking in.

    Quoted for posterity. Handedness. It’s a thing.

  118. Gayfish says:

    Andy Dufresne: But man Bennet was the popular pick on this site with the wee ones.

    To be fair, we were terrified of anyone with phrases like “Skates well for his size” and “bit of a mean streak” in their scouting report. Especially when those were the first things mentioned. When I read Nurse’s, I just kept thinking Teubert and Plante.

    Did we ever find out if Benette had a bum shoulder when he couldn’t do pull-ups? If not, that was a major red flag, as it suggests he never lifted a weight prior to combine.

  119. Alpine says:

    *checks standings* you know what, I acltually love being in 27th place. Truly something one should be positive about and therefore have zero questions about the management and coaching that contributed to such a wonderful season.

    It’s just makes me feel good inside to have the best player in the world and at the same time feel the team is incapable of winning in the near future despite the presence of said player.

  120. Lowetide says:

    For the Athletic: Something’s burning for Jesse Puljujarvi since the deadline

    https://theathletic.com/262462/2018/03/06/lowetide-somethings-burning-with-jesse-puljujarvi-since-the-trade-deadline/

  121. Andy Dufresne says:

    Woogie63:
    I went to the Penticton Young Stars the year Puljajurvi was drafted.

    He was a huge teenager that was all over the place.Big swooooping turns, but skated so well he was able to recover, almost refused to pass the puck, was not able to stand up when he hit a player.Shot the puck from everywhere, played an individual game.

    Today we have seen lots of growth, watching him transport the puck over three lines is begin to look easy for Jesse.He is cycling, passing and defending now and I would suggest those are all taught by the Oiler coaching staff.

    +1

    Woodguy v2.0: I’m pretty comfortable with myself, thanks for checking in.

    Im comfortable with you too, You do the hard work to present reasoned opinions. Your opinion carries weight because of it…and rightly so.It just seems to me that when an opinion of yours borders on vitriolic it really stirs up the sentiment (or is it sediment) in here.I get that its not your fault. But it is a thing. Just an observation. Respect……(even as Im typing this I can see how it comes across as a backhanded compliment…..that is not my intention.)

  122. Andy Dufresne says:

    Gayfish: To be fair, we were terrified of anyone with phrases like “Skates well for his size” and “bit of a mean streak” in their scouting report. Especially when those were the first things mentioned. When I read Nurse’s, I just kept thinking Teubert and Plante.

    Did we ever find out if Benette had a bum shoulder when he couldn’t do pull-ups? If not, that was a major red flag, as it suggests he never lifted a weight prior to combine.

    Thats Fair.

  123. N64 says:

    Andy Dufresne: +1

    Im comfortable with you too, You do the hard work to present reasoned opinions. Your opinion carries weight because of it…and rightly so.It just seems to me that when an opinion of yours border on vitriolic it really stirs up the sentiment (or is it setiment) in here.I get that its not your fault. But it is a thing.

    For good and for bad, sometimes the sentiment gets stirred. Sometimes the sediment. Occasionally some sentience.

    Never thought
    My heart could be so yearny
    Why did I decide to roam
    Gotta take that sedimental journey

  124. Andy Dufresne says:

    N64: For good and for bad, sometimes the sentiment gets stirred. Sometimes the sediment. Occasionally some sentience.

    Never thought
    My heart could be so yearny
    Why did I decide to roam
    Gotta take that sedimental journey

    lol…..thanks….i needed that….i was getting to heavy/serious for my own good.

  125. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Melvis: Quoted for posterity. Handedness. It’s a thing.

    Being ambidextrous is handy.

  126. VOR says:

    Thinking About the Draft – 13 – Toward a New Math for the Draft – 2A – Giving up your preconceptions

    In order to maximize draft success there is a bunch of biases you haves to give up. Let’s try a simple one. Leaner is better.

    You would be amazed the number of times you hear scouts raving about how cut some prospect is and when I ask what that has to do with anything they tell me it means the kid is fit and a work out fanatic. I just shake my head. It is hard to imagine but a lot of NHL scouts are victims of fashion.

    In the spring of 1980 I ran a mile race. Just me and one of the fastest milers in US high school history. For years he held the North American under 16 record for the mile. The year I was 15 I got within a second of that record 6 times.

    I was 24 in 1980 and a devastating knee injury had forced me to limit my mileage and the distances over which I raced. But I was still a serious runner. I had started focussing on the 400 meter sprint. In fact, in May of 1980 I was training like a demon trying to qualify for the Olympics. Though that had more to do with my job than some burning desire to be an Olympian.

    That day I ran 4:04. Al Oerter, my opponent, ran 4:06. My trade mark was always a lethal kick and I pulled away in the final 400. But I had to really kick. I had made the mistake of taking Al lightly.

    You see Al was 43. And weighed 280 pounds. Now he was 6’4″ so that isn’t as heavy as you might think. And Al was of course a freak of nature. You don’t win 4 consecutive Olympic Gold Medals if you are normal.

    He was also a workout fanatic. He was training with Gideon Ariel in an attempt to qualify for a record fifth Olympics. Gideon was pushing Al, a workout machine, to new extremes of training. I was Gideon’s man on the ground so he was also pushing me to new limits. Because my job was to oversee the training, by which Gideon meant do it with Al.

    I can assure you Al was working very hard to stay at 280 and around 16% body fat. You need body mass to throw at an elite level. He was eating close to 10,000 calories a day. But that didn’t mean he wasn’t fit. Trust me, you don’t run 4:06 for a mile if you aren’t in great shape.

    Al could also fly. Every world class thrower is close to being a world class sprinter (some are world class) and Al was no exception. His best at 43 over 50 meters was 5.85 seconds. I have coached 300+ pound behemoths who were even faster.

    Al by the way tried trimming down and going lean. At one point he was 248 with 6% body fat. It was the worst he ever threw and the slowest 50 meters he ever ran. He also, with the help of steroids (and under medical supervision), bulked up to 312 and 13% body fat. That also killed his throwing though at 312 at the age of 39 he ran 5.79 for 50 meters. At the time the world record was 5.68 I think. The steroids also drove his blood pressure through the roof and literally nearly killed him. To say Al was opposed to steroid use would be a wild understatement.

    For some reason people, even smart people struggle to accept the idea that every athlete has an ideal body weight and ideal body mass and that what they look like and how much they weigh has absolutely nothing to do with how fit they are, or how strong, or how fast. Those things are down to training and genetics.

    But a whole bunch of media money and time has gone into selling the idea that dangerously low body fat levels are the definition of fitness and even great scouts fall into the trap of correlating the two. Just so you all know the drop from 16% to 6% body fat in men is a far bigger health risk than the climb from 16% to 26% body fat. Men should never be able to see their abdominal muscles. So say the AMA, Lancet, JAMA, and the American Bariatric Association. But look at any male fashion model, movie star or hockey pin up calendar. Abs everywhere.

    However, studies conducted at the last 4 Winter Olympics (not including this one) have found the average male Olympic hockey player has a body fat of 13%. The range is tight at 10 to 15%. Healthy men that age range from 12 to 16%. So the best players in the world mid season are pretty normal in regards to body fat.

    In the interest of full disclosure I wrestled very seriously both Free Style and Greco Roman. At one point, trying to get more competitive I dropped down to wrestle at 156 pounds from my natural 178. At just shy of 6′ being a mesomorph I looked like Cogs. Not that being cut was the point.

    Being lean didn’t make me a better wrestler. It was a disaster. I went back to 178 but it took me years to get as strong and fast as I’d been before the drop. I never really got all the way back which is how I ended up switching full time to track and football (where ironically I was considered too small to play middle linebacker).

    Years later in university, in grad school actually, I learned it nearly always goes that way for elite athletes.

    Now I could have used any of 100s of throwers to make this same point. Why Al?

    You would all have loved Al the Renaissance Man. He was a connoisseur of BBQ, whiskey, and cigars. A man’s man. He also adored the ballet and was an abstract painter. He actually used the discus in his art. He’d pour paint in the middle of the canvas and drop the discus on it. He was endlessly fascinating to talk with.

    But first and foremost Al was a nerd. He was a working computer engineer, a software developer, a math genius, and a sports statistician who worshipped at the alter of Bill James. And in the next post I am going to tell you about one of the last conversations we ever had. It was a ferocious debate about the seminal book Heuristic Trees and Biases.

    But now I am going to tell you what you are all thinking. “But surely Phil Kessel, Dustin Byfuglien, and Milan Lucic would be better if they were leaner?” And in your head it isn’t a question. We can only know by trying the experiment but the odds are that by making them leaner we will make them worse, elite athletes bodies are finally tuned machines and they don’t like change. But they will be prettier. Oddly enough I am not particularly concerned with how hockey players look in a pin up calendar.

    But if you are thinking I am full of shit demanding you give up culturally embedded ideas of male beauty if you want to improve your draft success (and I will be returning to explain in more depth just how toxic falsely correlating hockey talent with whacked out ideas of the perfect male body really is to draft success) wait till I explain why you have to throw linear regressions in the trash.

  127. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Being ambidextrous is handy.

    Don’t mean a thing when your phone won’t swing.

  128. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Andy Dufresne: Man Woodguy go back and look at the guys who are quoting you with the “aim higher” and the “Fire Them All”….you’re in such good company.

    Also,

    I wasn’t the first to say “fire them all/fire the mall” or “aim higher”

    I am riffing off of others as much as the next guy.

    Except DMW and Melvin.

    Those cats create the riffs.

  129. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Lowetide: Don’t mean a thing when your phone won’t swing.

    doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah

  130. Melvis says:

    frjohnk:
    This is too good to not post.
    https://www.bsndenver.com/introduction-to-the-player-evaluation-tool-pet-chart/

    Here is a player evaluation tool that is like the HERO chartsbut it also has Corey Sznaders Passing Project stats.

    So if you dont like Corsi you may like this as it looks at different individual stats such as passing, zone exits, zone entries etc.

    Some of the data has a limited data size sample but its all very interesting.McDavid and Draisaitl look very good.RNH looks good as well.

    Check it out.

    Check out the byline as well. Andi Duroux. She’s got an interesting evaluation of Yak up as well.

  131. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    From @PatrickMcSports:


    So @FriedgeHNIC just said on Hockey Central that the Oilers may not be shutting down an injured Klefbom in order to showcase him to other teams.

    For
    Fuck
    Sakes

  132. Andy Dufresne says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Also,

    I wasn’t the first to say “fire them all/fire the mall” or “aim higher”

    I am riffing off of others as much as the next guy.

    Except DMW and Melvin.

    Those cats create the riffs.

    I didnt know that. Please dont take my comments the wrong way. Even though I sometimes comment the wrong way. All Im really hoping is that as many people as possible would refrain from referring to Chia or TMac or anyone for that matter as “an idiot” all criticism is fair game. It just a pet peeve of mine where I feel obligated to point out the obvious when people insist Chia is an “idiot” (and then often proceed to say somehting truly idiodic)

    Just as our host sets people straight when they call each other idiots…I feel obligated to step in when people call someone an idiot who 1) isnt here to defend himself and 2) as a matter of fact, is not an idiot.

    Anyway Ill refrain from directing any comments on this specific matter to you in the future. I value your insight, your intellect and your opinions.

  133. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    From @PatrickMcSports:


    So @FriedgeHNIC just said on Hockey Central that the Oilers may not be shutting down an injured Klefbom in order to showcase him to other teams.

    For
    Fuck
    Sakes

    I wrote about it here
    https://theathletic.com/250232/2018/02/23/lowetide-oscar-klefbom-is-vulnerable-entering-the-off-season/

  134. hunter1909 says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    From @PatrickMcSports:


    So @FriedgeHNIC just said on Hockey Central that the Oilers may not be shutting down an injured Klefbom in order to showcase him to other teams.

    For
    Fuck
    Sakes

    You have to admit, they could use a scoring winger(Hall cough cough)…

  135. Melvis says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Except DMW and Melvin.

    Surely you don’t mean me, unless I need to double down on double entendre.

    As for secondary characters, Melvin from Tremors and the Worms from Men in Black deserve a movie of their own. Have to get in touch with Katz about my most fevered dream. B grade movie director.

    Chooka la Funga!

  136. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Interesting quote from Hall today.

    Did a PHWA avail on conference call so lots of pieces on it.

    In this market Spector and Tych wrote on it:

    This is from Tych:

    “It’s not that I didn’t want dialogue with my coaches in Edmonton, of course, I always wanted to learn,” said Hall. “But as far as day-to-day dialogue, one-on-one, I think that John Hynes and I have developed a pretty good relationship this year, and we’ve been able to talk about more things than just what line you’re playing on or how you’re playing.

    Source: http://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/edmonton-oilers/new-jersey-devils-star-taylor-hall-making-strong-statement-two-years-after-edmonton-oilers-traded-him/wcm/dbc3168c-516a-4134-9650-125bc678127f

  137. Andy Dufresne says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    From @PatrickMcSports:


    So @FriedgeHNIC just said on Hockey Central that the Oilers may not be shutting down an injured Klefbom in order to showcase him to other teams.

    For
    Fuck
    Sakes

    Ive been saying for weeks that I beleive that the players being auditioned for next year are not the Sleppys and the Abergs……its Klefbom (and to a lesser degree Talbot). The Organization has been signaling a summertime move for a RHD and need to know if Dreamy is the 2016 Dreamy or the 2017-18 Klefbom.

    Talbot because the GM is in a postition where he cannot fail in 2018-19 and the goalie is the only one possible single point failure (and it meshes with Talbot having only one year left on his contract being a good/approriate year to bring in a potential heir to the throne) even though it seems we have no money to spend.

    Im not saying I agree just observing the smoke signals.

    Edit: I even posted a few days ago that the tell will be whether they shut him down or not.

  138. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Melvis: Surely you don’t mean me, unless I need to double down on double entendre.

    As for secondary characters, Melvin from Tremors and the Worms from Men in Black deserve a movie of their own. Have to get in touch with Katz about my most fevered dream. B grade movie director.

    Chooka la Funga!

    Jesus, the “s” button isn’t even close to the “n” so I have no excuse.

    I feel shame.

  139. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    From @PatrickMcSports:


    So @FriedgeHNIC just said on Hockey Central that the Oilers may not be shutting down an injured Klefbom in order to showcase him to other teams.

    For
    Fuck
    Sakes

    I think only 97 and Nurse are safe. Team is just an ongoing history lesson on mismanagement and sewering futures.

  140. frjohnk says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Should we be surprised about Chia moving Klefbom?

    Team is in cap hell next year. ( BC)

    The team needs to get better wingers ( BC) and the only asset he can really use in a trade from the D is Klefbom. ( BC)

    Chia is not scared to pull the trigger when a player has a down year or does not fit into his team. (BC)

    Klefbom is having a down year so Klefbom fits into the spot that he will be traded by our GM( BC)

    Our GM doing stupid things should not be a surprise. ( BC)

    If he gets anything close to value then I’ll be surprised in a Klefbom trade.

    EDIT: BC = Because Chia

  141. Andy Dufresne says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Interesting quote from Hall today.

    Did a PHWA avail on conference call so lots of pieces on it.

    In this market Spector and Tych wrote on it:

    This is from Tych:

    “It’s not that I didn’t want dialogue with my coaches in Edmonton, of course, I always wanted to learn,” said Hall. “But as far as day-to-day dialogue, one-on-one, I think that John Hynes and I have developed a pretty good relationship this year, and we’ve been able to talk about more things than just what line you’re playing on or how you’re playing.

    Source: http://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/edmonton-oilers/new-jersey-devils-star-taylor-hall-making-strong-statement-two-years-after-edmonton-oilers-traded-him/wcm/dbc3168c-516a-4134-9650-125bc678127f

    It is interesting….I dont want to assume…so Ill ask you… is your first thought that this is a bit of an indictement of the Oilers coaches? cause for me my first thought is (and was even before this) that Taylor Hall has grown(matured) and like many others have done is making the most his new opportunity including how he interacts with coaches and teammates

  142. LadiesloveSmid says:

    So hard to define a line. If I didn’t stop following when they gave away Hall or when they traded Eberle, does it really matter if they flip Klefbom? So long as they keep McDavid and subtract all impact players

  143. Andy Dufresne says:

    frjohnk:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Should we be surprised about Chia moving Klefbom?

    Team is in cap hell next year.

    The team needs to get better wingers and the only asset he can really use from the D is Klefbom.

    Chia is not scared to pull the trigger when a player has a down year or does not fit into his team.

    Klefbom is having a down year.

    Our GM doing stupid things should not be a surprise.

    If he gets anything close to value then I’ll be surprised in a Klefbom trade.

    I get the sense that the Oilers dont value Oscar at the same level as the community here. Dont get me wrong …they value him….just not in the same way as the Analytics community value him.

    So Yes…..a down year puts Oscar at risk.I think they see him as a very good skater and a good passer who sees the ice fairly well……but they also see his lack of physicallity and that combined with his injury history put him at risk in down year for him personally and especially in a down year for the team where status quo is highly unlikely

    Timing and Circumstances….its a thing.

    I think they value Nuge more than they value Oscar…..so

  144. frjohnk says:

    LadiesloveSmid: Team is just an ongoing history lesson on mismanagement and sewering futures.

    Continuity.

  145. Munny says:

    VOR,

    Lovely, just lovely. Very enjoyable (*stares down at his deergut*)

    The Drew Doughty draft syndrome.

  146. frjohnk says:

    Andy Dufresne: I get the sense that the Oilers dont value Oscar at the same level as the community here. Dont get me wrong …they value him….just not in the same way as the Analytics community value him.

    So Yes…..a down year puts Oscar at risk.I think they see him as a very good skater and a good passer who sees the ice fairly well……but they also see his lack of physicallity and that combined with his injury history put him at risk in down year for him personally and especially in a down year for the team where status quo highly unlikely

    Timing and Circumstances….its a thing.

    I think they value Nuge more than they value Oscar…..so

    Trading Klefbom or whoever is tough to stomach, but if the full value or at least very close to, is coming back, then its a trade that people will be OK with.

    But with his track record, few people have faith in Chia making a good trade with a big piece.

    It should be noted that Friedman is sort of speculating but he is connected so he wouldnt be saying that without some cause.. I dont doubt the Oilers are exploring options of moving pieces for next year and Klefbom would be a target of Chias to move.

  147. Professor Q says:

    Lowetide:
    For the Athletic: Something’s burning for Jesse Puljujarvi since the deadline

    https://theathletic.com/262462/2018/03/06/lowetide-somethings-burning-with-jesse-puljujarvi-since-the-trade-deadline/

    Hopefully not in the urinal tract.

  148. Andy Dufresne says:

    frjohnk: Trading Klefbom or whoever is tough to stomach, but if the full value or at least very close to, is coming back, then its a trade that people will be OK with.

    But with his track record, few people have faith in Chia making a good trade with a big piece.

    It should be noted that Friedman is sort of speculating but he is connected so he wouldnt be saying that without some cause.. I dont doubt the Oilers are exploring options of moving pieces for next year and Klefbom would be a target of Chias to move.

    Lets hope if a Klefbom trade happens that Chias record on trading progresses to the meat.

  149. Andy Dufresne says:

    I think Tampa Bay scouts were never looking at Maroon….They were looking at Klefbom and they landed on Mcdonagh.

  150. bendelson says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Being ambidextrous is handy.

    Quoted for truth: Woodguy – his premium Irish whiskey in one hand, and some
    losers completely untouched premium Irish whiskey in the other…

    Note: Handing me a glass of fine whiskey is offensive… to the whiskey.

    Now, if I can find it… back to the tequila bar!

    Woot!

  151. digger50 says:

    I see the Oil signed Safin today who is just 19, and we are talking about JP who is also 19.

    I know hindsight is 20/20 but if you review your actions by looking backwards you “should” make better decisions in the future.

    With Jessie it was always about his maturity as a teenager, not as a hockey player.

    He had no business being here last year. Should have been back in Finland. And this year as the kid seeks out stability he’s bumped for Yammer, he’s on the farm, he’s in the press box and he’s all over the line up.

    I’m sure theOikers “care” but they just don’t seem to be doing it right.

    I feel Jessie game will progress at the same rate as he matures and feels like he’s in a stable, consistent home environment.

  152. YKOil says:

    Andy Dufresne: Lets hope if a Klefbom trade happens that Chias record on trading progresses to the meat.

    Are we back on the “handedness” theme?

  153. who says:

    Wilde:
    To weigh in on Puljujarvi, he’ll be fine. Fire Todd.

    I think it’s unfortunate that his playertype has arrived when the team could really use pure scoring, but I think Yamamoto will deal with that beginning next year.

    But 98 being who he is, is a boon for this team.

    Players don’t get paid for defensive ability. Look at Backlunds contract – pending UFA, the Flames’ best or second best forward, doesn’t even crack 6M for a Selke candidate.

    Connor Sheary got 3×3 after a 52 pt season.

    Will Puljujarvi hit 52 pts next season? With a new coach, maybe.

    Being as young as he is, and as young as he will burn his ELC, we’ll likely get a real value contract out of him for at least 3 years following.

    I just can’t tell if I’m being ridiculous with this player, but I think he’s already amazing and will probably end up being a low-ish event, 53-55% driver.

    Right wing will be fine. Left wing, I don’t know.

    Like a lot of people on this blog, I have openly wondered why JP is not playing on Macdavids wing and is not getting significant power play time. Especially now that the season is lost.
    But maybe we should reconsider. Maybe the third line is the best place for him for the rest of this year and even into next year. I’ve already stated that I think it places less pressure on him and allows him to be the feature puck transporter when he is on the ice. This has to be good for his development.
    It’s also possible that the Oilers have learned something from the Draisatll situation last year and are doing everything in their power to keep the cost of his next contract down. Placing him on Mcdavids wing and making him the feature shooter on PP1 could result in a 60 -70 pt season next year. That would not be very good for our cap situation. I would prefer that they try other options in those spots first. Basically anyone not named Lucic who has term left on his contract.

  154. N64 says:

    Andy Dufresne: lol…..thanks….i needed that….i was getting to heavy/serious for my own good.

    Sentiment / Sediment.

    Liked your word contrast a lot.

    LT’s word pictures can be a real sentimental journey. And the numbers side is cool. And WG does as good a job as any as finding words for the numbers.

    Lighting Rod / Lightning Rod.

    Sometimes you’re the windshield
    Sometimes you’re the bug
    Sometimes it all comes together baby
    Sometimes you’re just a fool in love

    ~ plus habeo vacca bell ~

  155. Jaxon says:

    Yesterday’s post included a table of Swedish D’s 17 year old season in SuperElit (J20) where Boqvist showed well against the top goal scorers. Boqvist with 14, Hedman and Karlsson with 13. Oilers prospect (and right-hander), Filip Berglund had an amazing 18 year old season (18y,4m,12d on Sept. 15). He scored 19 goals and had 0.95 pts/gp over 43 games. I hope the Oilers nabbed a good one in the Justin Schultz trade.

  156. SVR says:

    Anyone know where OP went? I thought for sure he would have a comment on the Safin signing

  157. VOR says:

    Thinking About the Draft – 13 – Toward a New Math of the Draft – 2B – Giving Up Your Preconceptions
    In 2004 Al and I met in Boston. He had sent me a copy of Heuristic Trees and Biases by Daniel Kahneman. I am a terrible speller and I am not going to go look that up. In the flap he had written – A useful guide for the most biased person I know. This will be much funnier when I get to 2C.

    The book by the way is a look at how we make decisions, how we should make decisions, and how our biases make good decision making nearly impossible. In that sense it is a sequel to prospect theory. It should be required reading for every scout and every GM.

    In person he was teasing me about wanting to be the Bill James of hockey.

    I took exception and Al responded, ” Look at your obsession with the NHL draft. You keep trying to find one rule, one algorithm that will let you be the greatest scout of all time. You have linear regression bias.”

    For those of you who don’t know – serious mathematicians and statisticians see linear regression as a tool with limited uses and even more limited value. The rate of false positives in linear regression is startling. For example, the number of books you read this year correlates nicely with the number of discrete bumps on your head (see Phrenology). Not only that it is so easy to manipulate regressions that you can do it purely unintentionally. Not to mention they really go off the rails when considering small sample sizes.

    None of which is what Al meant. Linear Regression Bias is the odd, but widely held believe that all similar things can be lumped together and studied. He correctly pointed out that I thought all draft picks could be lumped together and studied and this would produce “answers.” Just take a moment and ask yourself why we all believe that? There is, you will realize, no a priori reason to assume this. In fact the observed data screams the exact opposite.

    What if you can’t use the same math to decide between Thomas Vanek and Zach Parise as you use to find Joe Pavelski or Dustin Byfuglien?

    What if the combine is an utter waste of time being clearly based on the idea that some of these tests have predictive power for all elite players? What if the combine tests are predictive for some players but not others but we have no way to tell which is which?

    What if their is nothing you can see or measure that reliably predicts the future of the members of the set “all draft eligible players?”

    Al’s suggestion was I focus on how scouts and GMs make draft decisions and how to make those decisions more efficient. And that is what I have been doing ever since. I am about to present what I have learned in the last 12 years.

    This is where you may wish to stop reading. The math and science is about to get enormously complex. For example, in the next post I will be discussing the binding problem which takes us straight into attention theory, neural nets and AI. All in aid of explaining why scouts can’t figure out who will think the game both well and fast at the NHL level.

  158. frjohnk says:

    VOR,

    I think I can speak for everyone here.

    Your posts on the draft are fantastic.

    Personally, I want you to keep posting here but have you thought about posting your stuff on your own blog?

    Many of us don’t read everything here and we probably miss some of your thoughts.

    If you had a blog, your stuff would be easier to follow.

    Whatever you do, please don’t stop posting here.

  159. barry.moore23 says:

    SVR,

    He’s at the gym . For the fourth time today.

  160. Andy Dufresne says:

    who: Like a lot of people on this blog, I have openly wondered why JP is not playing on Macdavids wing and is not getting significant power play time.Especially now that the season is lost.
    But maybe we should reconsider. Maybe the third line is the best place for him for the rest of this year and even into next year. I’ve already stated that I think it places less pressure on him and allows him to be the feature puck transporter when he is on the ice. This has to be good for his development.
    It’s also possible that the Oilers have learned something from the Draisatll situation last year and are doing everything in their power to keep the cost of his next contract down. Placing him on Mcdavids wing and making him the feature shooter on PP1 could result in a 60 -70 pt season next year. That would not be very good for our cap situation. I would prefer that they try other options in those spots first. Basically anyone not named Lucic who has term left on his contract.

    This makes a lot of sense. Thank you for provinding a reasoned explanation as to why this may be occuring as it is. JP has performed well on 2nd line with Nuge and Lucic and more recently on 3rd line with Strome (and Sleppy?)

  161. Andy Dufresne says:

    N64: Sentiment / Sediment.

    Liked your word contrast a lot.

    LT’s word pictures can be a real sentimental journey. And the numbers side is cool. And WG does as good a job as any as finding words for the numbers.

    Lighting Rod / Lightning Rod.

    Sometimes you’re the windshield
    Sometimes you’re the bug
    Sometimes it all comes together baby
    Sometimes you’re just a fool in love

    ~ plus habeo vacca bell ~

    +1 and thanks.

  162. Andy Dufresne says:

    VOR:
    Thinking About the Draft – 13 –Toward a New Math of the Draft – 2B – Giving Up Your Preconceptions
    In 2004 Al and I met in Boston. He had sent me a copy of Heuristic Trees and Biases by Daniel Kahneman. I am a terrible speller and I am not going to go look that up. In the flap he had written – A useful guide for the most biased person I know. This will be much funnier when I get to 2C.

    The book by the way is a look at how we make decisions, how we should make decisions, and how our biases make good decision making nearly impossible. In that sense it is a sequel to prospect theory. It should be required reading for every scout and every GM.

    In person he was teasing me about wanting to be the Bill James of hockey.

    I took exception and Al responded, ” Look at your obsession with the NHL draft. You keep trying to find one rule, one algorithm that will let you be the greatest scout of all time. You have linear regression bias.”

    For those of you who don’t know – serious mathematicians and statisticians see linear regression as a tool with limited uses and even more limited value. The rate of false positives in linear regression is startling. For example, the number of books you read this year correlates nicely with the number of discrete bumps on your head (see Phrenology). Not only that it is so easy to manipulate regressions that you can do it purely unintentionally. Not to mention they really go off the rails when considering small sample sizes.

    None of which is what Al meant. Linear Regression Bias is the odd, but widely held believe that all similar things can be lumped together and studied. He correctly pointed out that I thought all draft picks could be lumped together and studied and this would produce “answers.” Just take a moment and ask yourself why we all believe that? There is, you will realize, no a priori reason to assume this. In fact the observed data screams the exact opposite.

    What if you can’t use the same math to decide between Thomas Vanek and Zach Parise as you use to find Joe Pavelski or Dustin Byfuglien?

    What if the combine is an utter waste of time being clearly based on the idea that some of these tests have predictive power for all elite players? What if the combine tests are predictive for some players but not others but we have no way to tell which is which?

    What if their is nothing you can see or measure that reliablypredicts the future of the members of the set “all draft eligible players?”

    Al’s suggestion was I focus on how scouts and GMs make draft decisions and how to make those decisions more efficient. And that is what I have been doing ever since. I am about to present what I have learned in the last 12 years.

    This is where you may wish to stop reading. The math and science is about to get enormously complex. For example, in the next post I will be discussing the binding problem which takes us straight into attention theory, neural nets and AI. All in aid of explaining why scouts can’t figure out who will think the game both well and fast at the NHL level.

    Why is it always about regression to the mean and not “progression” to the mean.

    Example “I hope that if Klefbom is traded, that Chias record on trades shows progression to the meat”

  163. Truth says:

    Friedman on the Sportsnet panel during an intermission states that it’s practically known Klefbom is playing through a shoulder injury, and it’s reasonable to assume he’s not being shut down in order to be showcased for a trade.

    Where does one start on the stupidity of this? Showcasing a player at less than 100% will practically guarantee a lesser return? Forcing a young blue chip player to play through injury in a lost season? Attempting to trade one of the only value contracts on the team when it is obvious they are about to go through cap hell with a few horrendous contracts they should be focusing on ridding themselves of before anything else? Allowing Chia to orchestrate another significant trade? I feel like there are another handful of reasons this might be their dumbest idea yet (and that is certainly saying something!).

    The only reason I think that this may not be true is that even a first grader would be able to discern that this move would be a mistake. However, it is the Oilers, and it is Chiarelli.

  164. Andy Dufresne says:

    VOR,

    “The rate of false positives in linear regression is startling. For example, the number of books you read this year correlates nicely with the number of discrete bumps on your head”

    This sounds a lot like the history of CORSI……………………………………….too soon?

  165. Andy Dufresne says:

    Truth:
    Friedman on the Sportsnet panel during an intermission states that it’s practically known Klefbom is playing through a shoulder injury, and it’s reasonable to assume he’s not being shut down in order to be showcased for a trade.

    Where does one start on the stupidity of this? Showcasing a player at less than 100% will practically guarantee a lesser return? Forcing a young blue chip player to play through injury in a lost season? Attempting to trade one of the only value contracts on the team when it is obvious they are about to go through cap hell with a few horrendous contracts they should be focusing on ridding themselves of before anything else? Allowing Chia to orchestrate another significant trade? I feel like there are another handful of reasons this might be their dumbest idea yet (and that is certainly saying something!).

    The only reason I think that this may not be true is that even a first grader would be able to discern that this move would be a mistake. However, it is the Oilers, and it is Chiarelli.

    Quoted by Truth.

  166. JimmyV1965 says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    From @PatrickMcSports:


    So @FriedgeHNIC just said on Hockey Central that the Oilers may not be shutting down an injured Klefbom in order to showcase him to other teams.

    For
    Fuck
    Sakes

    Sounds like speculation. They’re certainly not increasing his trade value by playing him right now.

  167. Andy Dufresne says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    VOR,

    “The rate of false positives in linear regression is startling. For example, the number of books you read this year correlates nicely with the number of discrete bumps on your head”

    This sounds a lot like the history of CORSI……………………………….too soon?

    Wow this sounds like the history of CORSI too “Not only that it is so easy to manipulate regressions that you can do it purely unintentionally.”

    AND this one too ” Not to mention they really go off the rails when considering small sample sizes”.

  168. Andy Dufresne says:

    JimmyV1965: Sounds like speculation. They’re certainly not increasing his trade value by playing him right now.

    Sounds like solid inductive reasoning (by Friedman) to me. If theyve already made their decision then playing him cannot hurt his trade value. His play going forward cannot possibly be any worse relative to his play over the past 6 months.

    Clearly his play since the trade dealine has improved……he even scored a goal.

  169. VOR says:

    frjohnk:
    VOR,

    I think I can speak for everyone here.

    Your posts on the draft are fantastic.

    Personally, I want you to keep posting here but have you thought about posting your stuff on your own blog?

    Many of us don’t read everything here and we probably miss some of your thoughts.

    If you had a blog, your stuff would be easier to follow.

    Whatever you do, please don’t stop posting here.

    I have been working on one for some time. I think I am finally ready to launch. I am more than a year behind now and counting. Story of my life.

    Part of my problem, but believe me it is bigger than that, is I want to talk publicly about the work I do for my private clients. It would be great advertising and I think many people would find it fascinating. My existing clients aren’t at all interested in me doing that.

    I think I can explain my dilemma easily enough.

    Many of you golf I assume. You will know what I mean when I say the yips ends careers. I can explain how the yips relates to inconsistency in the throwing circle and scoring slumps in hockey. I can even fix your yips, your inconsistency and end your slump. Wouldn’t you want to share that?

    The only way I can prove that is by talking in detail about the actual athletes I work with and the work I do. But here is the thing. I play in these people’s brains. It isn’t sport psychology I do. I actually re-wire and re-write their brains. Would you want people to know I was messing around in the very core of what makes you you?

    As I get older I hate the deal I made with the devil. I get to do fascinating work with incredible people. But I can’t talk about it. So it is starting to bleed around the edges not to mention my own processing time and motivational drive are falling as I confront the end game. My work, a life time of innovation is going to die with me.

    Here I can write about little pieces of the puzzle. Every time I try to work on the blog I start wanting to link everything up and put it all in context. I want to tie the work I do with athletes to my passion for sports stats, a lifetime of being a jock, my work with entrepreneurs, my research into making driving safer, my AI, and all the things I know about cancer, programmed cell death, and aging, and my writing. All in one place. And of course I freeze up.

    My whole life is slowly freezing up.

    Even here I am struggling.

    I am about to start talking about a central theme of my life – the neural biology of decision making. I am about to go way beyond too much information.

    It all started with a young woman I was coaching realizing I was staring at her ass rather than analyzing her technique. “Less ogling, more coaching,” she said.

  170. JimmyV1965 says:

    frjohnk:
    VOR,

    I think I can speak for everyone here.

    Your posts on the draft are fantastic.

    Personally, I want you to keep posting here but have you thought about posting your stuff on your own blog?

    Many of us don’t read everything here and we probably miss some of your thoughts.

    If you had a blog, your stuff would be easier to follow.

    Whatever you do, please don’t stop posting here.

    +1000

  171. OmJo says:

    I would sign Yakupov in the summer.

    If it was following the firing of McLellan (and General Disappointment) and hiring of JQ.

    I just want the poor bastard to succeed, okay.

  172. OmJo says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Interesting quote from Hall today.

    Did a PHWA avail on conference call so lots of pieces on it.

    In this market Spector and Tych wrote on it:

    This is from Tych:

    “It’s not that I didn’t want dialogue with my coaches in Edmonton, of course, I always wanted to learn,” said Hall. “But as far as day-to-day dialogue, one-on-one, I think that John Hynes and I have developed a pretty good relationship this year, and we’ve been able to talk about more things than just what line you’re playing on or how you’re playing.

    Source: http://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/edmonton-oilers/new-jersey-devils-star-taylor-hall-making-strong-statement-two-years-after-edmonton-oilers-traded-him/wcm/dbc3168c-516a-4134-9650-125bc678127f

    Sad how some people automatically assumed his original comment meant he wanted nothing to do with the coaches.

    Looking for any chance to shit on his character.

    He’s locker room cancering his way to a Hart trophy finalist and carrying the Devils to a playoff birth. Not bad for a team that drafted 1st overall last summer.

    Fire Chiarelli.

  173. JimmyV1965 says:

    Truth:
    Friedman on the Sportsnet panel during an intermission states that it’s practically known Klefbom is playing through a shoulder injury, and it’s reasonable to assume he’s not being shut down in order to be showcased for a trade.

    Where does one start on the stupidity of this? Showcasing a player at less than 100% will practically guarantee a lesser return? Forcing a young blue chip player to play through injury in a lost season? Attempting to trade one of the only value contracts on the team when it is obvious they are about to go through cap hell with a few horrendous contracts they should be focusing on ridding themselves of before anything else? Allowing Chia to orchestrate another significant trade? I feel like there are another handful of reasons this might be their dumbest idea yet (and that is certainly saying something!).

    The only reason I think that this may not be true is that even a first grader would be able to discern that this move would be a mistake. However, it is the Oilers, and it is Chiarelli.

    Okay. I think we’re waaaayyyy overthinking this. I never heard the Friedman discussion, but it sounds like pure speculation, just like the vast majority of trade talk. Chia may not be the brightest light, but no one showcases an injured player by playing them. It doesn’t make sense and they didn’t do it for Maroon a week ago. Showcasing Klef now is lowering his trade value. Even Chia could see that.

    The reasonable explanation is that Klef is playing with an injury that doesn’t require surgery and won’t get worse if he plays, but requires a few weeks to completely heal. And the player CHOSE to keep playing for himself and his teammates.

  174. Andy Dufresne says:

    VOR: I have been working on one for some time. I think I am finally ready to launch. I am more than a year behind now and counting. Story of my life.

    Part of my problem, but believe me it is bigger than that, is I want to talk publicly about the work I do for my private clients. It would be great advertising and I think many people would find it fascinating. My existing clients aren’t at all interested in me doing that.

    I think I can explain my dilemma easily enough.

    Many of you golf I assume. You will know what I mean when I say the yips ends careers. I can explain how the yips relates to inconsistency in the throwing circle and scoring slumps in hockey. I can even fix your yips, your inconsistency and end your slump. Wouldn’t you want to share that?

    The only way I can prove that is by talking in detail about the actual athletes I work with and the work I do. But here is the thing. I play in these people’s brains. It isn’t sport psychology I do. I actually re-wire and re-write their brains. Would you want people to know I was messing around in the very core of what makes you you?

    As I get older I hate the deal I made with the devil. I get to do fascinating work with incredible people. But I can’t talk about it. So it is starting to bleed around the edges not to mention my own processing time and motivational drive are falling as I confront the end game. My work, a life time of innovation is going to die with me.

    Here I can write about little pieces of the puzzle. Every time I try to work on the blog I start wanting to link everything up and put it all in context. I want to tie the work I do with athletes to my passion for sports stats, a lifetime of being a jock, my work with entrepreneurs, my research into making driving safer, my AI, and all the things I know about cancer, programmed cell death, and aging, and my writing. All in one place. And of course I freeze up.

    My whole life is slowly freezing up.

    Even here I am struggling.

    I am about to start talking about a central theme of my life – the neural biology of decision making. I am about to go way beyond too much information.

    It all started with a young woman I was coaching realizing I was staring at her ass rather than analyzing her technique. “Less ogling, more coaching,” she said.

    Serious question for you. Maybe you can help me. I golfed for years and got pretty good at. Avg for 18 holes was around 90. Low score ever was 81. But had too many high 90s rounds for my liking.

    The kicker is….I golfed backhanded. I stood in a right handed stance but my right hand was the lower of the two in my grip. Wierd I know…..

    My question is….Due to a Frozen Shoulder (among other things) I havent golfed for 6 years now.

    Now my shoulder is unlocked and Im eagre to get back it. BUT Im considering starting from scratch using a normal right handed grip and getting some lessons. Do you think my brain is now hardwired from 15 years of backhanded golf? Is it worth it to take advantage of this layoff to correct my grip? I know you cant diagnose this…but whats your best guess.

  175. OmJo says:

    Trying to showcase an injured Klefbom is just… Mind boggling.

    Is it hindsight to say today, March 6, 2018, that the Kris Russell extension should have never happened?

    That contract arguably cost us Eberle and now Klefbom. Showcasing an injured player is a batshit crazy way to try and get maximum value for him. Its as batshit crazy as trading a top six RW after a poor playoff performance and career-worst year.

    Oh…

  176. JimmyV1965 says:

    Andy Dufresne: Sounds like solid inductive reasoning (by Friedman) to me.If theyve already made their decision then playing him cannot hurt his trade value. His play going forward cannot possibly be any worse relative to his play over the past 6 months.

    Clearly his play since the trade dealine has improved……he even scored a goal.

    By inductive reasoning, do you mean Friedman thought about it, somehow decided it makes sense and then speculated on it? I’m sure he started the spiel with a disclaimer, something like; “No one has told me this, but…”

  177. Munny says:

    VOR,

    Damn. You are the ultimate tease. I so want to read that book.

    You are not allowed to leave this earth until you have compiled your life’s work, y’hear?

  178. JimmyV1965 says:

    Andy Dufresne: Sounds like solid inductive reasoning (by Friedman) to me.If theyve already made their decision then playing him cannot hurt his trade value. His play going forward cannot possibly be any worse relative to his play over the past 6 months.

    Clearly his play since the trade dealine has improved……he even scored a goal.

    Playing him now absolutely hurts his trade value. By playing him they can no longer tell prospective buyers to disregard his performance because he was hurt. He may be playing better right now, but he’s a shadow of what he was last year and what he will likely be next year.

  179. Andy Dufresne says:

    VOR,

    Three things:

    1) you can do it all. you just can do it all at once
    2) create a spoked hub where the hub is the core of your thesis/knowledge base/service
    3) pare it (the hub) down wherever and whenever you can. Rework refine and rewrite it till its as consice as it can be. Add the spokes as and when its appropriate to do so. Less is more.
    4) Think of your work like a sculpture remove everything that isnt core to the work. Less is more.
    5) dont fear the imperfections, the thought you wont ever finish your master work. All of the master works are imperfect and many are unfinished.
    6) what you dont finish someone else will whether by design or by chance….collaboration is the cornerstone of creativity and innovation

    ok. now Ive got to go away and pare this list down to three things.

  180. Andy Dufresne says:

    JimmyV1965: Playing him now absolutely hurts his trade value. By playing him they can no longer tell prospective buyers to disregard his performance because he was hurt. He may be playing better right now, but he’s a shadow of what he was last year and what he will likely be next year.

    Yeah……what your saying makes sense if youre keeping him for another year but if you have already made the decision to move him then what your saying doesnt make sense to me. I could be wrong. But your course of action is shut him down and let buyers hope hes not too injured and hope they remember who he was in 2016 and bank on that…….I think its far more likely that they want to establish that hes healthy now and hope we get a glimpse of 2016 Oscar in the final 15 games…which I do think we are beginning to see.

  181. Andy Dufresne says:

    OmJo:
    I would sign Yakupov in the summer.

    If it was following the firing of McLellan (and General Disappointment) and hiring of JQ.

    I just want the poor bastard to succeed, okay.

    I just want the poor BUZZZard to succeed ok.

    There fixed that for ya.

  182. JimmyV1965 says:

    I’ve got a question for you VOR. Is it possible to measure or even discern hockey IQ? I’ve been thinking about the Tkachuk brothers. From all reports, Brady is faster, more skilled,stronger and meaner. I would assume then that he will be a better player, but Matt has enjoyed huge success because he understands and processes the game so exceptionally well. This might make him a better player simply because of his brain. Can teams figure this out prior to drafting a player? Also, in the first round this year, are there any players with incredible hockey IQ?

  183. Jaxon says:

    Wilde:
    On the note of picking no lower than 8th, what’s everyones (daily) top 8 for the Oil?

    1) Dahlin
    2) Svechnikov
    3) Zadina
    4) Boqvist
    5) Hughes
    6) Wahlstrom
    7) Olofsson
    8) Lundestrom

    1) Dahlin
    2) Svechnikov
    3) Boqvist
    4) Zadina
    5) Bouchard
    6) Dobson
    7) Wahlstrom
    8) Veleno

    Stayed away from Tkachuk (consensus #4), and Hughes (consensus #7).

    Tempted to move Boqvist up to #2, but Svechnikov is a special player and Boqvist isn’t the biggest player and has some defensive issues. Zadina reminds me a bit of Yakupov (low stride, shovel type shot) so he freaks me out a bit. Bouchard is a big offensive right-hand D (yes, please).

    I think Veleno might climb the rankings again and show why he was granted exceptional status. He’s been scoring at a 1.41 pts/GP since he was traded which is better than Zadina’s 1.38 in the same league.

    If they traded down or obtained a pick later in the first round I’d keep my eye on Serron Noel (6’5″ goal scorer with speed)

  184. Andy Dufresne says:

    JimmyV1965: By inductive reasoning, do you mean Friedman thought about it, somehow decided it makes sense and then speculated on it? I’m sure he started the spiel with a disclaimer, something like; “No one has told me this, but…”

    No. By inductive reasoning I mean he looked at the situation and said to himself “why arent they shutting him down” …..he may have paired that with things like looking at the list of teams that scouted the Oilers pre-deadline and coming to the conclusion that at least one of those teams was in attendance to scout Klefbom. He may have then started asking questions cause that is his craft and found out that Oscar has been available on the QT. Something like that………….or speculation…….

    Obviously I dont know…but hes got a reputation to uphold and hes doesnt often specutlate for no good reason. Just my take.

    Edit: plus his speculation reinforces my already held belief that Oscar is available and the not shutting down is the tell. (oops ….Did I just say that outloud?)

  185. Andy Dufresne says:

    JimmyV1965:
    I’ve got a question for you VOR. Is it possible to measure or even discern hockey IQ? I’ve been thinking about the Tkachuk brothers. From all reports, Brady is faster, more skilled,stronger and meaner. I would assume then that he will be a better player, but Matt has enjoyed huge success because he understands and processes the game so exceptionally well. This might make him a better player simply because of his brain. Can teams figure this out prior to drafting a player? Also, in the first round this year, are there any players with incredible hockey IQ?

    Also, is there an actual technical definition of Hockey IQ or is it jsut a phrase we throw around like “push the river”

  186. Andy Dufresne says:

    OmJo:

    You can define it however you like. But theres a reality in the business of professional sports. Players that dont perform put themselves at risk of being traded. The players call it the nature of the business.

    In Klefboms case he put himself at risk with really poor play and now timing and circumstances are conspiring to potentially do him in.

    If we didnt need a RHD….. it might not be him.
    If we didnt have a crappy year as a team…it might not be him
    If we didnt have 16 left handed Dmen…it might not be him
    If he didnt have a contract that gives him value on the trade market ……it might not be him.
    If he had played better……it might not be him.

    But here we are. Time stands still for no man.

  187. JimmyV1965 says:

    Andy Dufresne: No. By inductive reasoning I mean he looked at the situation and said to himself “why arent they shutting him down” …..he may have paired that with things like looking at the list of teams that scouted the Oilers pre-deadline and coming to the conclusion that at least one of those teams was in attendance to scout Klefbom. He may have then started asking questions cause that is his craft and found out that Oscar has been available on the QT. Something like that………….or speculation…….

    Obviously I dont know…but hes got a reputation to uphold and hes doesnt often specutlate for no good reason.Just my take.

    Edit: plus his speculation reinforces my already held belief that Oscar is available and the not shutting down is the tell. (oops ….Did I just say that outloud?)

    We will agree to disagree. Sometimes Friedman will say something like; “I’ve talked to a number of GMs and they tell me player X is on the market.” Many times though, like all these guys on panels, he opens with a disclaimer and does that inductive reasoning, which is still speculation. And yes, I won’t be surprised if Klef is traded, which is again selling low.

  188. JimmyV1965 says:

    Andy Dufresne: Also, is there an actual technical definition of Hockey IQor is it jsut a phrase we throw around like “push the river”

    And yet it’s do important. Mark Stone is a great player becuaee he’s so smart. Would be nice if GMs actually had a handle on this.

  189. Andy Dufresne says:

    JimmyV1965: We will agree to disagree. Sometimes Friedman will say something like; “I’ve talked to a number of GMs and they tell me player X is on the market.” Many times though, like all these guys on panels, he opens with a disclaimer and does that inductive reasoning, which is still speculation.And yes, I won’t be surprised if Klef is traded, which is again selling low.

    I think we are actually agreeing.

  190. Andy Dufresne says:

    JimmyV1965: And yet it’s do important. Mark Stone is a great player becuaee he’s so smart. Would be nice if GMs actually had a handle on this.

    yes and a way to quantifiy it or at least agree apon what it means.

  191. Wilde says:

    What’s the market for Colin Miller?

    Extremely low qualifying offer, still only 25, he’d be 5th in TOI on Vegas’ blueline if Theodore played 60 games.

    McPhee might have gotten himself emotionally attached to his “core” of forwards, he’ll have to pay a lot of guys a lot of money next year.

    Maybe swing a deal around Caleb Jones? They’re missing their 3rd this year, too.

    I think if you can somehow get rid of Russell, this looks pretty good for the foreseeable future:

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Nurse – Miller
    Sekera – Benning

    Looks like a playoff 6 blue to me.

    For those who think the 2RHD issue is more pressing issue, rather than addressing the forwards in terms of asset expenditure… this is the best, most realistic(lol) move I can think of.

  192. JimmyV1965 says:

    Wilde:
    What’s the market for Colin Miller?

    Extremely low qualifying offer, still only 25, he’d be 5th in TOI on Vegas’ blueline if Theodore played 60 games.

    McPhee might have gotten himself emotionally attached to his “core” of forwards, he’ll have to pay a lot of guys a lot of money next year.

    Maybe swing a deal around Caleb Jones? They’re missing their 3rd this year, too.

    I think if you can somehow get rid of Russell, this looks pretty good for the foreseeable future:

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Nurse – Miller
    Sekera – Benning

    Looks like a playoff 6 blue to me.

    For those who think the 2RHD issue is more pressing issue, rather than addressing the forwards in terms of asset expenditure… this is the best, most realistic(lol) move I can think of.

    Connor Murphy in Chi may be interesting. I know he was in the doghouse earlier this year. His ice time is up lately though. Don’t know much about him, but I sure did hate him when he was with the Yotes.

  193. VOR says:

    Thinking About the Draft 13 – Toward A New Math for the Draft – 3A – Less Ogling More Coaching

    I have spent most of my coaching life working with women. I don’t understand them, my wife will gladly assure you that this is a wild understatement, but I do find them fascinating. I would also think it went without saying that anybody who works with female throwers, lifters, rowers, cyclists, and speed skaters probably doesn’t find big strong women to be hideous monstrosities.

    Creativity and innovation are hard things to explain, control or predict. I freely confess on that sweltering day in July of 1981 I was staring at Martina’s ass. I was young, horny and unattached and so was Martina. The only thing preventing a train wreck was the calming presence of the gigantic Al Oerter. But damn it, sweat was making her shorts stick to her like a second skin.

    Martina caught me looking and without even turning around says, “Less ogling, more coaching.”

    Al nearly passed out he was laughing so hard.

    My rather lame response was, “I can ogle and coach at the same time.” Now they were both laughing their heads off. I was embarrassed at getting caught and thinking I will never convince another female athlete to work with me and cursing my stupidity. Martina was my ticket to the big time and I had just fucked up spectacularly.

    And then it happened. I realized Martina had a processing problem. Her brain wasn’t processing where her body was in space quickly enough and or accurately enough for Martina to make the micro corrections in form that make a good throw into a great throw. I even had this bizarre idea for fixing the problem.

    I don’t know if any of you know what a donkey whip is. Donkeys and mules won’t respond to a conventional whip. If you whip a horse it runs faster and becomes terrified of the whip. If you whip a donkey it runs faster the first few times then does a fast mental calculation. If the donkey stops you will whip him but if he just ignores the whip you will stop whipping him. You may even stop making him pull things. Guess what the donkey does?

    Enter the donkey whip, usually whippy willow with a cord attached with feathers on the end. Why this works isn’t clear but tickling a donkey works way better than whipping it.

    I used a donkey whip on Martina, occasionally and without warning as she was throwing I’d flick the whip and the feathers would touch her somewhere on her body. That first day she added six feet to her best practice throw. And it kept working. Though Martina did take to introducing me as her S&M coach.

    The idea came right out of a grad seminar I took at UBC, Processing and Attention. I will be introducing Anne, the Professor who became my colleague and friend, in the next part of this series. For now let’s focus on the binding problem and Anne’s unique solution.

    The way this is usually taught is to toss a student a tennis ball. You toss it really slowly with lots of arc. A moon ball. Most people can catch it.

    Next step you have the catcher shut their eyes just before the ball arrives. Most people can still catch the tennis ball. In fact this skill is trainable. You can teach someone to only require a millisecond of seeing the ball thrown in order to catch it. Even if the ball is fired at them at the speed of a pro tennis serve. In fact, you can train the catcher to only need to see the thrower preparing to throw in order to reliably catch the ball with their eyes shut.

    On a tennis court you can go further. Hard as it is to believe you can train people to catch a tennis ball or even play tennis just based on the sound the ball makes on their opponents racket. Interestingly despite being blind the unsighted player will describe “seeing” the ball. Obviously this sieeing thing is complicated.

    Research with CT scans showed that each stage of “sight” occurs in a different part of the brain. We identify the object as round in one area, as fuzzy in another, as a tennis ball in another, as in motion in another, identify the trajectory in another and only then does another region fire and then and only then do we “see” a tennis ball coming at us.

    How on earth does this work? How do we assemble all those signals into “sight”. This is called the binding problem. The solution is often called The FIT theory. I will talk more about it in the next post. For now we need to know that what happens is as soon as we start paying attention our brains start building a neural network. Let’s call it “thrown tennis ball.”

    When we train the activity the catcher just builds the neural network sooner, faster, and better.

    Returning to Martina . My intuition that day was that what works for sight must work for proprioception. We have mechanical receptors that help place us in space. They tell us useful things like how fast we are swinging a bat, or how strongly a guitar string is vibrating. In order to catch that tennis ball we must have a neural network for “catching thrown ball.” A trainable network. There has to be a neural network for “throwing the discus” and it has to be trainable.

    So how do you teach a network. You increase Attention. More proprioceptors firing means a better, richer neural network “throwing the discus” forming sooner and longer more consistent throws. Thus the donkey whip. Just to complicate things between Martina and I sexual arousal increases our ability to form new neural networks let’s call them “I’m horny” but also may increase our ability to form other neural networks particularly in women. In men “I’m horny” pretty much shuts all other neural networks down.

    What has this got to do with the NHL draft? Well scouts and GMs want players who think the game well and play fast. So they go out and look for players who are expressing these neural networks.

    But land mines are everywhere. These networks are trainable so you may be seeing coaching differences not differences in innate ability. The ability to form better, faster game awareness neural nets isn’t equally distributed throughout the population. No neural network is uniromally robust across large samples. But to max the network you need the genetics, the neuro anatomy, the neuro biology, the personality, and the training. Worse, the development of the “best” game state networks rely on extensive game play experience. You can’t know until a player is mid career or beyond who had all the right parts to become a superb thinker of the game. There are exceptions like Wayne Gretzky but generally the ability to think the game fast and at a high level at 18 in junior does not predict the ability to do so at 28 in the NHL.

    So one of the most commonly used scouting metrics is nearly totally useless.

    The question is can we predict the neural network capacities of players not from how they perform at 18 but in some other way?

  194. VOR says:

    Andy Dufresne: Serious question for you. Maybe you can help me. I golfed for years and got pretty good at. Avg for 18 holes was around 90.Low score ever was 81.But had too many high 90s rounds for my liking.

    The kicker is….I golfed backhanded.I stood in a right handed stance but my right hand was the lower of the two in my grip. Wierd I know…..

    My question is….Due to a Frozen Shoulder (among other things) I havent golfed for 6 years now.

    Now my shoulder is unlocked and Im eagre to get back it. BUT Im considering starting from scratch using a normal right handed grip and getting some lessons.Do you think my brain is now hardwired from 15 years of backhanded golf?Is it worth it to take advantage of this layoff to correct my grip? I know you cant diagnose this…but whats your best guess.

    This is an easy one. Pick up the club and do what feels natural. That will almost certainly be the wrong hand grip.

    By the way your grip had nothing to do with the consistency problem. Ever read the Bogey Man. The little men in your brain weren’t all working in perfect harmony. Saki may be to blame.

    Seriously, serious golf is all in your head.

    Your consistency hinges on forming better neural networks, improving how you feel and think the game not the swing mechanics.

  195. OmJo says:

    Andy Dufresne: You can define it however you like. But theres a reality in the business of professional sports. Players that dont perform put themselves at risk of being traded. The players call it the nature of the business.

    In Klefboms case he put himself at risk with really poor play and now timing and circumstances are conspiring topotentially do him in.

    If we didnt need a RHD….. it might not be him.
    If we didnt have a crappy year as a team…it might not be him
    If we didnt have 16 left handed Dmen…it might not be him
    If he didnt have a contract that gives him value on the trade market ……it might not be him.
    If he had played better……it might not be him.

    But here we are. Time stands still for no man.

    He’s playing injured…

    And he’s been doing so for the majority – if not the entirety – of the season. So I don’t buy that, I’m sorry.

    Last season he was arguably our best defenceman. This season he’s injured, and playing the majority of the time with a struggling Benning.

    Reality is the odds of us getting a better RHD than Klefbom has been, at a contract as good as his, is slim to none.

    But saying he should have played better while he’s injured is just ridiculous IMO.

  196. Munny says:

    VOR: but generally the ability to think the game fast and at a high level at 18 in junior does not predict the ability to do so at 28 in the NHL.

    This one is tough to buy, VOR and seems to go against what we know about psychological testing. Or at least what I know of it. (And speaking generally, not in the specific).

    Also, I think you might enjoy watching this:

    The Master and His Emissary: Conversation with Dr. Iain McGilchrist

  197. Professor Q says:

    Andy Dufresne: No. By inductive reasoning I mean he looked at the situation and said to himself “why arent they shutting him down” …..he may have paired that with things like looking at the list of teams that scouted the Oilers pre-deadline and coming to the conclusion that at least one of those teams was in attendance to scout Klefbom. He may have then started asking questions cause that is his craft and found out that Oscar has been available on the QT. Something like that………….or speculation…….

    Obviously I dont know…but hes got a reputation to uphold and hes doesnt often specutlate for no good reason.Just my take.

    Edit: plus his speculation reinforces my already held belief that Oscar is available and the not shutting down is the tell. (oops ….Did I just say that outloud?)

    Except that not shutting him down while severely injured will do the opposite to his trade value if that’s the idea.

    Seemed like a random tweeter tweeting it, though.

  198. Professor Q says:

    JimmyV1965: Connor Murphy in Chi may be interesting. I know he was in the doghouse earlier this year. His ice time is up lately though. Don’t know much about him, but I sure did hate him when he was with the Yotes.

    Then trade for Kyle Connor as well. Get all of the NHL and AHL and Pre-Pro Connors.

  199. ArmchairGM says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    From @PatrickMcSports:


    So @FriedgeHNIC just said on Hockey Central that the Oilers may not be shutting down an injured Klefbom in order to showcase him to other teams.

    For
    Fuck
    Sakes

    Why can’t we have nice things?

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