Wild at Oilers, G77/07-08

This is Stan Weir in a pose he made famous and then gave to Wayne Gretzky. Stan doesn’t like to take credit for it, saying “he was pretty good before I began mentoring him.”

Stan Weir attended Glen Sather Hockey Schools as a kid and was better than Sather the day he got off the bus in Banff.

Stan Weir wrote the words to “O Canada.”

Many English words have come from the legend of Stan Weir. These include substantial, standoff, standard and it is no coincidence that all hockey players dream of winning the Stanley Cup.

Stan Weir can touch MC Hammer.

Some people wear Superman pajamas. Superman wears Stan Weir pajamas.

Stan Weir eats beef jerky and craps gunpowder.

Stan Weir was what Willis was talkin’ about.

Paper beats rock, rock beats scissors, and scissors beats paper. Stan Weir beats them all.

Ladies and gentlemen, Stan Weir!

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156 Responses to "Wild at Oilers, G77/07-08"

  1. ClaytonMagnet says:

    Most people fear the Reaper. Stan Weir considers him “a promising Rookie”.

  2. ClaytonMagnet says:

    As well, we need the Flames to win in 60 mins tonight. This may be the only thing in existence that can bring a tear to Stan’s eye. Sorry. I mean Mr. Weir’s eye.

  3. HBomb says:

    Good theme music for these last half-dozen games?

    I’m torn between “Don’t Stop Believin” and “Weir Not Gonna Take It”.

    Stan Weir was rumored to be the fifth Beatle. Truth is, the Fab Four were just hanging around Stan to be seen and look cool.

  4. Black Dog says:

    Keep ‘em coming LT.

  5. Lord Bob says:

    Unfortunately, a game of “rock, paper, scissors, Stan Weir”, while theoretically promising, isn’t as competitive as you might think.

    Thus, the Oilers playing the Wild. What are the chance of us getting a point out of this one, no matter how the kids are playing? One glance at the Wild sitting on a 1-0 lead and Sam Gagner will shoot himself.

    Also, any word on who’s in goal yet? Is Mathieu Garon over that lower-body injury, or is it Dwayne “Score Early and Pray for the Building to Collapse” Roloson once more?

  6. dawgbone says:

    Anyone notice how substantial is one of only a few words that begin with sub that doesn’t refer it to being below.

    Just tossing that out there.

    Stan Weir once at three 72 oz steaks in one hour… of which he spent the first 55 minutes having sex with the waitress.

  7. Lowetide says:

    dawgbone: I almost used that one, classic line. You’re right about substantial, it runs contrary to substandard, etc. Interesting.

    No word on which goalie from what I’ve seen. The Oilers will need to stay out of the PB and keep everyone with skill away from Boogard. Busy night for Stortini and Greene, I would expect.

  8. Loxy says:

    Is it politically incorrect to say that Stan Weir resurrected Jesus?

  9. dstaples says:

    Stan Weir vanquished the Fighting Saints. He crushed the North Stars. He is ready now to drive his third team right out of Minnesota.

  10. Ribs says:

    Lowetide on the Bear…Neato.

  11. danny says:

    I’ve paid my dues -
    Time after time -
    I’ve done my sentence
    But committed no crime -
    And bad mistakes
    I’ve made a few
    I’ve had my share of sand kicked in my face -
    But I’ve come through

    Weir the champions – my friends
    And we’ll keep on fighting – till the end -
    Weir the champions -
    Weir the champions
    No time for losers
    ‘Cause Weir the champions – of the world

  12. ClaytonMagnet says:

    It’s not just Boogaard they need to worry about. Anyone see Simon make a mockery of Jim Vandermeer the other night? He has a serious chip on his shoulder, and isn’t afraid of trying to end people’s careers, apparently.

  13. dstaples says:

    Has he been on The Bear already? Or is that coming up?

  14. Ribs says:

    He was on at the time of my last post.

    Spreading the word of the Spectacular Stan-Weir Man.

    Hoorah!

  15. Ribs says:

    They’re playing him again right now…

  16. goldenchild says:

    Greetings from Puerto Vallarta, I left Canada on the 15th checked in on the Oilers yesterday and strange things seem to be occuring. I don’t know if somebody found a flux capacitor or something at Rexal but the scores seem to be from the 80′s. 7-5, 8-4 and the Oilers are winning? What the fuck is going on here? I have been drinking copius amounts of alcohol so these scores and wins could just be a part of an alcoholic dream but I swear i just read a article that said Oilers are gaining on the Avs for 8th. Roli is in net, the Kids seemed to be getting hotter, My boy MAP even scored a goal, these are epic developents and of course I have missed it all.

    If someone would be so kind please give a summary of the last 10 days and just what the fuck is going on. Is MAP showing he is an NHL player? What happened to Garon? and where did all this offence come from?

    Gracias Amigos

  17. goldenchild says:

    Oh one more thing what is this Stan Weir business?

  18. Paulus says:

    Dawgbone: Anyone notice how substantial is one of only a few words that begin with sub that doesn’t refer it to being below?

    ‘Substantial’ is the somewhat modified adjective form of ‘substance’, which itself doesn’t comply with the normal (modern) rules governing the ‘sub’ prefix, at least in its modern meaning. From its Latin roots, ‘sub’ can imply a variety of relations to the root. (source: Oxford Dictionary)

    Uh, Goilers!

  19. pboy says:

    Stan Weir’s hand is the only hand that can beat a Royal Flush.

    There is no ‘ctrl’ button on Stan Weir’s computer. Stan Weir is always in control.

    Apple pays Stan Weir 99 cents every time he listens to a song.

    I was at the game Saturday and at one point, I actually felt bad for one of the Colorado defenders. It was after Hemmer made the unreal behind the back pass for Gagner’s first goal. It was the second period and he came flying over the blueline, cut across in the middle and faked a behind the back pass, that the defender fell for hook, line and sinker. Poor fucker didn’t have chance in hell. Hemsky walked right around him and got a good shot off but Budjai made one of his few saves off of him. It must have been what it was like trying to hit off Doc Gooden in 1987. He’d start you off with two letter high fastballs in the high 90′s than he would throw Lord Charles which would start letter high, than break about a foot and a half the last 2 feet. There was no way in hell you were touching that curveball. When Hemsky is flying and everything is working, all you can do is hope and pray.

  20. LJ says:

    Send Sanderson out for a beating. I’m so serious. You know Zack is going to drop ‘em quick to get his fight over with, and we need at least one other person to take a licking or else Hemsky is going to get it.

  21. HBomb says:

    If Boogard or Simon touches Hemsky, the retaliation should necessitate Demitra being scraped off the end boards with a spatula.

  22. PDO says:

    Lain – I turned on the radio today at work, and the first words I heard were “Stan Weir.”

    Nice interview.

    No way in hell we’re not winning after an effort like that.

  23. Dennis says:

    I know it’s worlds away but it honestly feels like a game day from the ’06 run.

    I was at the gym this evening and I had so much nervous energy that 90 min just fucking flew by. Yet, the rest of the time features the slow clock and while I can’t wait for the game to start, I wish it never did.

    I’m not as emotionally invested as I used to be but to get this close and not get over the hill, it’s gonna do a little more than sting.

    Roli absolutely Cannot be meh tonight and we’re gonna need something from the PP.

  24. PDO says:

    Dennis if you’re spending 90 minutes at the gym, you’re doing something wrong, or spending too much time around the skirts on the ellipticals :)

  25. Bendelson says:

    Demitra hbomb? Really? Do you have Gaborik in your pool or something?

    Gaborik needs to feel the pain tonight – regardless of what Boog or Simon are doing. Eliminate him, and we are looking good.

    I’d like to see the Oil initiate the aggression and convince Gaborik’s groin to leave the game early.

    Another big game from GlenX and Brodziak tonight..?
    Yeah, c’mon.

  26. docweb says:

    LT I’ve been following your blog for over 6 months and thought I might as well jump in. I was a season ticket holder from 78 to 85 but then moved to Southern Alberta to start work and family. Jumped back in again with 4 seats for the family in 2001.

    pboy…At the game Saturday as well. Hemsky is not Gretzky but…
    for the first time in ages I had the same feeling I used to have regularly watching Gretzky. He easily could have had 6 points. He is one of those rare players that can make something out of nothing.When he touched the puck everyone was leaning forward anticipating something great. Finally I bet when you went home and watched his highlights you could remember a dozen plays that were just as great.

    Finally…I know we should be cheering for the falmes in regulation but “you all don’t live in Southern Alberta”. Go Avs!! Go Oil!!!!

  27. Dennis says:

    PDO: I’m not one of those guys that can stay in shape just by lifting weights and eating right; I have to throw a helluva lot of cardio in there as well;)

  28. PDO says:

    Dennis: Which is why there are seven days in a week. 3 for lifting, 3 for cardio, and 1 for drinking beer. :D

    I can’t remember the last time I did a workout longer than 30 minutes… either HIIT training or a few compound movements, some stretching before and after, and a shower… 45 minutes round trip is the way to go ;)

  29. Bruce says:

    Yahoo!!! Off to the game I go. Not a worry in the world that Roli has allowed 13 goals in the last 3 games. As long as we’re scoring 7 and 8 a game, hey, Grant can do the rest.

  30. doritogrande says:

    pdo:

    Not all of us have 7 days in a week to get to the gym. I usually do two per week, and get my cardio, abs, arms and legs all in one workout. It clocks in at about 90 minutes. I find it impossible to get up for my ultimate games if I work out beforehand. My groin and back give out halfway in.

  31. Dennis says:

    I get there at least four times a week and sometimes five. Keep in mind that we don’t have kids so all my time’s my own:)

    Today I started sort of a boot camp thing where I’m gonna try to exercise six days a week for the next six weeks to see how it goes; softball and basketball season will soon be here so it’s a six week prep and then once it starts up I’ll keep the cardio up for endurance but I’ll train light as to not pull, tear or strain anything.

    On Mon and Thurs I’ll hit quads, hams, calves and chest ; on Tues and Fri I’ll hit bi’s, tri’s and back. Then Wed and Sat I’ll work out home and hit abs and obliques.

    That sounds like a lot but I’m not 19 anymore like the young Brian;) so it takes a lot more effort to stay in shape.

  32. doritogrande says:

    dennis:

    See, the problem with my sport of choice is that there is no offseason, or spring training. I have to be in shape 365. Granted I’m still a young buck, but there’s not a lot of time for the gym what with working two jobs. I’d love to get out to my gym more often if I could find the time, but I do like my sleep also. Luckily for me all I really need for ultimate is the stamina of a clydesdale, so I can tailor my workouts towards mostly cardio and save the arms and abs stuff for purely asthetic gains.

  33. jon k says:

    Minnie is a team with underrated speed and I think tonight will be decided by whether or not the Oil come ready to skate.

    And some timely offence from the likes of Stoll, Hemmer, Nilsson, and Pitkanen.

    And some lucky bounces wouldn’t hurt.

  34. amw says:

    I’m at the game and bought a 50-50 ticket. My change was a toonie and a loonie.

    A 2 and a 1.

    21.

    Weird.

  35. Steve says:

    Man, we really need to make the playoffs to get GlenX enough games for him to remain an RFA. Whoo!

  36. jon k says:

    Has anyone else noticed that MacT has changed the system in the past few weeks to use two forecheckers as opposed to one?

    Does seem to be paying dividends lately with turnovers, particularly for the fourth line.

  37. Lord Bob says:

    Glencross from Brodziak and Stortini at 1:59?!?

    Seriously?

    You can’t be serious.

  38. Steve says:

    Well, can’t cough up a big lead without getting a big lead, I guess.

  39. Quain says:

    Dustin Penner can have a few more million if he keeps doing that.

  40. Coach pb9617 says:

    Keep the throttle down kids. C’mon mac. Tell ‘em to win this one 9-0

  41. jon k says:

    That was a power forward goal if I’ve ever seen one.

  42. uni says:

    Wow…oh god. My heart can’t take this…they better not let Minnesota back into this.

  43. Lord Bob says:

    I’m catching this one from work, and while I’ve got Rod-o-Vision going on the computer I often need to move between floors.

    So I’ve neatly managed to miss both goals so far.

    Needless to say, I’m spending a lot of time away from the computer I have the game on. Can’t argue with success.

  44. Steve says:

    Well, can’t cough up a big lead without getting a big lead, I guess.

    And there we are.

  45. honkey says:

    Nice to see Wild make a bad change and get burned. Then Penner scores on the next shift and Bäckström is chased after only 5 min.

  46. Lord Bob says:

    3-1?!? What the hell is this? In the time I spend on escalators guys are scoring!

    If anybody can read this, help me! I’m trapped in 1988 and I can’t get out!

  47. Coach pb9617 says:

    Alright, 9-1. DO NOT ALLOW THEM TO LET UP

  48. pboy says:

    Uh oh. I watched this movie already Saturday afternoon. Let’s see some solid hockey from here on in and clamp down on Minnesota.

  49. Steve says:

    Uh oh. I watched this movie already Saturday afternoon. Let’s see some solid hockey from here on in and clamp down on Minnesota.

    Nah – let’s win it 7-5 instead.

  50. pboy says:

    When he touched the puck everyone was leaning forward anticipating something great.

    Great point. I noticed that every time Hemsky touched the puck on Saturday, it got deathly quiet in the arena. Almost like no one wanted to distract the painter as he is working on his masterpiece.

  51. uni says:

    The last time they chased Backstrom Harding was a damn bastard in net. He’s flashed the leather twice tonight, dude worries me. Of course chipping 4 goals past him will do wonders to alleviate my concerns.

  52. Coach pb9617 says:


    Nah – let’s win it 7-5 instead.

    I would need a pacemaker installed to handle that again

  53. Coach pb9617 says:

    Holy mackerel is Pitkanen feeling it tonight.

  54. Dennis says:

    89′s really beyond his years when it comes to savvy. Some of the things he thinks to do are simply remarkable for a fellow his age. A lot of this happened on the PP and the Oilers lone chance had them looking much better than they did vs the Avs on Sat. On the PK side, the Wild cut us to pieces on their PP chance so that’s something to fret over for the last 40 min.

    I noticed that MacT broke his cadence by skipping the 19 line to go back early to 51′s and I’ll be damned if it didn’t pay off.

    I don’t trust Roli as far as I can throw him but he did make one greats ave off Koivu.

    As for all the nice goals, I’m not even surprised anymore: this is the way 83 has always wanted to play and this is the way the kids have rolled right out of the womb.

  55. breakerdog says:

    Stoll makes a contribution at EV. Is the apocalypse upon us?

  56. Coach pb9617 says:

    Stoll makes a contribution at EV. Is the apocalypse upon us?

    He made up for it with the awful positioning on the power play.

  57. Coach pb9617 says:

    Gah. Gilbert.

  58. HJ says:

    Just posted this at CiO as well:

    The source site for the link that gary b shared is

    http://www.justin.tv/rags2riches

    This fellow is streaming games, and they’re being archived. I watched Sat.’s game that way earlier this afternoon.

    And I just got to see Brodziak roof it.

  59. doritogrande says:

    Fuck. I miss one period for the aforementioned gym visit, and it’s 4-2?

  60. PDO says:

    Seriously…. what the hell is with this 4th line? Brodziak almost went Ales Hemsky on us there, and he’s already got a beaut anyway.

    I swear the Oilers get scored on by more harmless looking plays than any team in the league.

    Dennis: I’m twenty in a week, thank you very much ;)

  61. Lord Bob says:

    COGLIANO!

    You know, Rod just yelled “I’m telling you something, these guys are absolutely spectacular” and, for once, the man was understating the point.

    I love this team more than I love my family and I hate it more than I hate being kicked in the groin.

  62. PDO says:

    I think I need to change my pants after that Cogliano goal.

    God I love this team.

  63. Steve says:

    What ridiculous fucking hockey team. Sort of reminds me of a 5-2 win against Vancouver when Messier was with them.

  64. doritogrande says:

    Who the hell does Brodziak think he is?

  65. Coach pb9617 says:

    Who the hell does Brodziak think he is?

    Well, if Stortini is McCarty and Glencross is Maltby, I guess that means Brodziak is Draper.

  66. gary b says:

    at this rate Cogs is gonna score 25.

  67. antithesis says:

    Amazing. Thanks for the link.

    I’m in Australia. I’m at the office. And I’m watching this amazing team!

  68. Reagen Sulewski says:

    I’m going to have to pick up some Jordache jeans if these games keep going like this.

  69. doritogrande says:

    “Well, if Stortini is McCarty and Glencross is Maltby, I guess that means Brodziak is Draper.”

    Coach, that’s brilliant.

  70. Dennis says:

    Even in a night where he’s getting the shitty end of the stick, 78 is still making a difference. He made a dandy play deep in his end to negate a chance, he avoided a Boogaard check and made Derek look like a monkey, he drove Skoula with a crushing hit and then he took the puck to the net and almost created the unthinkable: an EV goal for Jarret Stoll.

    I’ve never seen so many kids grow up at the same time since the 5th season of Facts Of Life;)

  71. Slipper says:

    Oh man, anyone else remember when they were teenagers and could eat absolutely anything and as much of it as they wanted?

    Other advice someone under the age of 25 can give on staying in shape include: do nothing, play lots of video games, drink nightly… well, the list is pretty much infinite.

    Trust me, when you reach around thirty, like to eat as much as I do, and like having sex with as many attractive random women as possible, you’ll spend 90 minutes or more a day in a gym.

  72. Asiaoil says:

    I don’t care what happens the rest of the way – my preseason point has been made. There was:

    1) reason to be optimistic about this team

    2) a decent chance they could finish 8th-10th

    3) a decent chance for a late season run as the kids mature

    Tyler and Vic – get ready for the “I told you so” thread – you were WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

  73. PDO says:

    Slip:

    It’s not like I spend 30 minutes doing nothing you know ;). Look up Bill Starr’s 5×5.. that’s basically my weight lifting. If you haven’t done HIIT training yet, then get on your ass and start doing it… 30 minutes of HIIT will do far more for you then an hour on the bike.

    Think of your metabolism as a fire….

    Sure, you can add a few big logs over the course of an hour, or, you can add some gasoline and several big logs for thirty minutes, and realize you still have to keep adding logs half an hour later :).

    And yes, the fact that I’m 20 is why I’d recommend putting gasoline into the firepit in the first place.

  74. Slipper says:

    Better yet Asia, the Oilers have been luck, Lucky, LUCKY.

    I don’t recall you ever reasoning that the Oilers would win nearly half their games out of regulation.

    If the NHL’s system of awarding points wasn’t so fucked up, there’d be no way that a team with under 30 regulation wins would have a sniff at this time of year. Just keep that in mind when you’re massaging your nipples and writing your ridiculous thread.

  75. doritogrande says:

    That’s how your boy plays himself into MacT’s doghouse, LT.

  76. Lord Bob says:

    Oh, god, Roloson. You’ve gotta stop that one. You’ve gotta stop that one.

  77. Lord Bob says:

    I retract that insult. It was a better deflection than it had at first looked.

  78. doritogrande says:

    Holy FUCK! Pitkanen threw a hit!!!

  79. PDO says:

    That’s some tough luck for Pouliot. Be interesting to see if he gets another shift or not.

    The Oilers only gave up that 3rd goal to insure they could get a 6th ;).

    Hey Bruce, Pitkanen just hammered Gaborik. How’s that for picking his spots?! :D

  80. uni says:

    I might have just witnessed Pitkanen hit Gaborik and take him out.

    I’m not sure cause I have no frame of reference for Pitkanen hitting.

  81. doritogrande says:

    Anyone else notice how reluctant Gaborik was to go in deep against Pitkanen the second time. Made me chuckle to think that he thought of Pitkanen as someone who’ll hit a second time in a game.

  82. doritogrande says:

    2-0 Avalanche. Thanks Falmes.

  83. Asiaoil says:

    Slipper my main point was that you can’t use simple descriptive stats to predict the future with any confidence. It’s like predicting this years stock market numbers from last years results – pure folly.

    So my point is valid in any situation – and I don’t think a record number of injuries this team suffered was exactly lucky. I know the stats boys will pull out the luck argument to support their flawed approach – but it’s as limp as their original analysis.

    …..and just to emphasize – I appreciate a lot of the analysis that Vic and MC do – they are some of the best posters on the web – they just over-hype their limited tools to predict the future of something as complicated as an NHL season with unsurprising results.

  84. doritogrande says:

    The kid line…in the last minute…I know you want to get Cogliano the hat-trick but fuck. Get smart guys.

  85. Lord Bob says:

    The Kid Line II out killing time against Gaborik and company with a minute left? Are you kidding me? Did Pouliot – Reasoner – Pisani have a colletive stroke or something?

  86. doritogrande says:

    Stan Weir!

  87. Slipper says:

    As far as the hockey went, they were pretty much spot on with their predictions for this season.

    Just because half the Oilers hockey games have been concluded with a game of whack-a-mole doesn’t make most of the unsubstantiated optimism at the beginning of the season smart.

    Few people ever recognize when a thwack of the stathead’s estimations are substantiated, but when an incredible stretch of luck deviates a team’s position in the standing from one of these poster’s expectations, the termites make their way out of the woodwork.

    Had someone predicted the Wings would finish last in the conference and then the team’s plane dove into Lake Erie in December, would that validate the original prediction?

  88. doritogrande says:

    LT, if you’re counting Brodziak as a “rookie”, has there been a case of an Oilers team having 5 rookies with 30 points each in a season? Two more for Brodziak and he joins Gagner, Cogliano, Nilsson and Gilbert.

  89. Dennis says:

    Not saying I was the first one to say it but the thing about 51 even when he wasn’t scoring his GA/60 was ghastly: he was still getting chances. Now those are going in in droves and 20 can’t be stopped and the line in whole is just money.

    I’ve officially reached Salo territory with Roli; I’m nervous on every shot and I don’t expect him to be able to save tipped shots. Can we get a hyperberic chamber somewhere for Garon?

    Slipper: Kid, you nailed it:) Had wings with a bunch of my buddies last week and one fellow was always in good shape but now he’s got the belly going and I was like, “Fuck, you gotta get that off.” His response was he just got married and his wife was pregnant and now he didn’t give a fuck. So, basically, everything’s always about women:D

    LT: I have a special request here. I don’t want to anger the gods but I don’t think the Oilers need Stan Weir cheering FOR them as much as they need him or his Rockian equivelent cheering AGAINST Colorado.

    Could you make that happen?

  90. The Rage says:

    I see what you’re saying slipper, but what has been a bigger factor, the injuries or the OT/SO luck? My gut tells me they can cancel out, especially considering how important a guy like Horcoff is to this team.

  91. Dennis says:

    Forgot to mention something here: absolutely brutal fucking night for the 2-5 tandem and I think it was 5 more than 2.

    The cool thing about replacing them is they don’t add anything to the offensive game anyway so we could take both of them out for Souray and Jay McKee and we wouldn’t lose a thing transitional wise but we’d gain a lot defending wise.

  92. Coach pb9617 says:

    Dustin Penner is strong like bull. I don’t care who thinks Lowe overpaid — you’re wrong. That kid is a stud. When Scorcoff comes back, that is going to be a top line that is better than the Oilers have had in a very, very long time.

  93. jon k says:

    Dennis: Agreed on 2-5. Was going to mention it but forgot. Smid had an absolutely shit night. Green was OK I thought.

  94. Dennis says:

    Well, Coach, I assume you’re referring to that shift with around 6 min left in the third when he first bullied Rolston off the puck and then went to his knees and still kept it alive for Hemsky.

    Yes, that was an awesome shift and work like that — along with 30 goals and a plus rating — is what Penner’s going to HAVE to do in order for him to cover Lowe’s offersheet bet.

    I’ve been all over the place on Penner:

    - supported the signing
    - was disgusted by how poor his start was
    - was buoyed by the stretch where 27-10-83 were carrying the team
    - disgusted again by the stretch run by Penner; which has been a little bit softened by the last two games.

    I understand what it is that 27 brings that we’ve never had but he has to bring it a helluva lot more often then he did tonight. Fuck, he’s gonna get to play with 10-83 so 30 goals and 60 points won’t be too much to ask.

  95. danny says:

    The whole we’re right you;re wrong thing is growing very tiresome no?

    Slipper, you are being a bit overzealous in claiming victory on pretty much nailing the season minus the whack-a-mole.

    Stats guys do great work, have an excellent grip on the game and offer some great insight on what could happen. Most importantly they can debunk notions on what has happened. Therein lies their true value IMO. They reveal the worth of guys like Pisani, and uncover the limited value of the ES bleeders etc.

    But theres no fortune teller in the world that can lay claim to prognosticating the plight of the Oilers this season.

    - Gagners 18yr old performance?
    - Cogs possibly getting 20?
    - Garon a top 10 NHL goalie?
    - Nilsson breakout year?
    - Stortini a solid NHLer?
    - Grebeshkov?
    - Gilbert breaking Coffeys record?
    - Insane injuries and shootout wins?
    - Oilers have a top 5 powerplay minus the shitty start?

    I mean c’mon.

  96. danny says:

    Ok theres this weird cosmic connection thing thats been running in my head tonight. 2002-03 The Anaheim Ducks had a terrible start to the season but went on a stellar run the final couple months and sneaked into the playoffs.

    They faced the wild in the West finals, and were in tough against Roloson, Keith Carney had a memorable series…

    Tonight we saw the streaking team that follied the first part of the year, playing against the Wild… Carney vs Roloson…

    Its in the stars ;)

  97. Ribs says:

    I think this may be the team I have been waiting for. Young players who focus on offense and a roster that isn’t filled with wimps or rent-a-players. I wish Garon were in net but Roloson is at least a guy who can control his rebounds pretty well most of the time.

    This is a group of young guys that we can really cheer for going into the playoffs. A true underdog in an up and coming sense.

    As for the game…

    Cogliano is the man. Any rush he’s involved in is instantly dangerous. He gets by that stay at home defender more easily than most would.

    Glencross – Would there be a way to tally Goals coming from Takeways? This guy is very adept at this and ends up starting a lot of this surprising 4th line offense.

    Poo – Nice game overall. Putting in a lot of grit and is being rewarded for playting MacT’s game. He seems to have some bad luck when it comes to receiving passes.

    Gagner – 6th overall? Ha ha! Take that 1-5!

    Penner – Showing some gusto. Trying to prove he can keep up this game. Good for him.

    Hemsky – You’d think he would have gelled with some of the younger guys better but it’s a start I suppose. One day we will find the magical player who can feed off of him. Robbie Schremp/Brett Hull?

    Rest of offense – You mean there were others out there?

    Defense played well as a whole I thought. They’re finally finding ways to get the puck out of the zone and keep it in the other teams side of the rink.

    Grebeshkov was a guy who just looked horrible from the start and he has to be one if not The most improved player on the team. He looks like he grew a foot and has shed some of the shakiness of his game since December and it looks good on him.

    Now what the hell.. I have to find a way to watch the next one PPV now…I really should invest in the digital cable some day…

  98. mc79hockey says:

    Well at least I got one thing right this year – I successfully predicted to myself that AO would have a jackoff post in this thread when I read it.

    All I can say is what I said all along – I don’t think I’ve ever said that crazy shit that can’t happen. This has been sort of the ultimate in a crazy shit happening for the Oilers season. You’re not a stupid guy – you know as well as I do how often three guys come in and contribute like Gagner/Cogliano/Nilsson have. I can’t recall if you’re one of these people who buys into the theory that MacT makes three point games happen magically or not; last year was the inverse of this year, when they got into eleven.

    One thing’s for sure. When I was ripping Adam Proteau at The Hockey News last year and pointing out how asinine it was for him to be pointing out that they got it right in saying that the Oilers would finish 12th last year, when it took an epic string of injuries, trading Ryan Smyth and a 2-17 finish to get there…I heard a lot fewer complaints about that analysis. It’s taken a hell of a lot more in terms of the unexpected this year for the Oilers to be within 3 with 5 games to go – the really amazing thing is that neither Penner or Souray have been huge contributors.

    My point, I guess, is that I stand by what I said at the start of the year – smart money was on the Oilers having a worse record than they do now. Year before, smart money was on them having a better one than they ended up having. In both cases, some pretty incredible, pretty unlikely shit happened.

  99. Slipper says:

    Now that you mention it Danny, they didn’t predict the weather either. Damn, when you establish an argument like that, I’m left with no choice but to concede your point;)

    Nobody has ever claimed the ability to project the future down to the minute details using statistical analysis, but these minute details are always what the detractors rely on in their attempts to debunk the process. It’s wrong, and that is what is tiresome.

    You can’t judge the season by the last 20 games, the first 55 matter equally. It’s pointless to exclude unfavourable results, like the early powerplay or the first 55 games the Gagner, Cogliano and Grebs played. Going into season, the popular belief was that the kids were going to get slaughtered, and they have been up until recently.

    >Grebeshkov?<

    Is this a rhetrocal question because, I don’t understand. The smart money in evaluating things sports related is not to exclude results that don’t suit your purpose. To this day Grebeshkov has played more bad minutes in the NHL than he has good ones. Although he has showed promise as of late, it would be fool hardy to to project his future based on a short, albeit good, run.

    The same goes for Stortini. I’m nearly a fully privelaged, card carrying member of the Bruce McDurdy Zach Stortini Booster Club. It’s still far too early in his career to move forward with the notion that his current performance can be relied on as expected results.

    As far as injuries go, I think that whole argument is a bit of some of you guys having your cake and eating too, or however the fuck that saying goes. I mean, most of the Oilers percieved success has come with the injuries. You slot Horcoff, Torres and Moreau back into the line-up and alot of everyone’s new favourite players, the reliable and responsible youngsters, and future Butch Gorings (sorry LT, you were due a low blow since Dennis has afforded you so much slack as of late), are delegated to the PB or AHL, and so too is their magical run.

    One last thing: Gilbert breaking Coffey’s records has been exciting. Do you think he can amass 400+ points before his 24th birthday, like Paul Coffey did?

  100. Lowetide says:

    Just back from the game (a guest of David Staples and his lovely wife, great freaking seats. Obviously the print media are spoiled :-) and it is completely unfair). Met Matt, PJ Oil, The Prez, Bruce and had a wonderful time.

    As for the game, there are about 5 guys on this team that are ridiculous (Hemsky, Gagner, Cogliano, Pitkanen, Nilsson) but that 4th line can take out the trash, kick some ass and score goals like crazy. I always think fondly of that Jim Dowd 4line back about 8 years ago but this one is so good it left 4th and moved up a notch or three. All kinds of chaos when they are out there.

    Roloson made some fine stops tonight, I thought Staios was solid and the Grebs/Gilbert pairing better than they’ve been in awhile.

    Cogliano may combust on one of his rushes, he’s that fast. The Oilers had all kinsds of troubles on Charlie Hough shots from the point tonight but other than that they were battling hard.

    Pouliot changed a full 30 seconds before his linemates in the first and they had possession in the opposition zone when he did it. The puck stayed in for a long time but they couldn’t get traction and then when the next forward came out the play had died. He did some nice things, I keep hoping he has a two goal game here.

    Penner looked like Frank Mahovlich on the goal. Sam Gagner made a pass on the PP right in front of me that no one who was at the game (in the stands or on the ice) had any inkling was possible. He must have an enormous brain.

    PJ Oil asked me who my favorite player was and I said Hemsky, Gagner, Pitkanen. I asked him and he said Hemsky, Horcoff and I realized I’ve completely forgotten about him. How alarming is this F troop going to be with Horcoff back?

    And how DO you find room for Raffi? Ethan?

    Anyway, great night except for the Flames (stupid Calgary) and thanks to a fine gentleman in David Staples.

    I will return the favor, and my wife thanks you to (she had a great time).

  101. Asiaoil says:

    Danny – agree with your post completely – there is great value in quantitative analysis and I’ve learned tons from Vic and MC about individual players and individual game situations. But something as complicated as an NHL season is way way beyond the simple statistical tools employed on those sites – and to think otherwise is hubris.

    So I’m throughly justified in gloating as my relatively optimistic predictions were slagged mercilessly on IOF and MC’s site. Turns out my armchair GM musings were more accurate than their analysis – but all that means is both were guesses. That was my whole point – you’ve gotta play the games and there is no crystal ball.

  102. Slipper says:

    I was going to add that this is the type of gonzo run that would validate every idiot over on the hockey forums who spent 4000 post calling for MacT to “play the kids!!1!”.

    Some of you people are going to have a far drop when this bubble bursts.

    Here’s to a soft landing, and by that I mean: let’s pray management doesn’t think along the same lines and do somethinng stupid like trade Shawn Horcoff.

  103. Bank Shot says:

    “Agreed on 2-5. Was going to mention it but forgot. Smid had an absolutely shit night. Green was OK I thought”

    I thought the play where Greene kept Minnesota from recording a shot on a two-on-one was pretty nice.

    It surely wasn’t as good as Pouliot playing 7 mintues and taking two penalties though. ;p

  104. Slipper says:

    Free tickets from David Staples?

    Yuck;)

  105. Coach pb9617 says:

    Well, Coach, I assume you’re referring to that shift with around 6 min left in the third when he first bullied Rolston off the puck and then went to his knees and still kept it alive for Hemsky.

    There were a bunch of plays in this game where he just showed brute strength. I’ve noticed more and more of that over the last two weeks.

  106. Coach pb9617 says:

    Hemsky – You’d think he would have gelled with some of the younger guys better but it’s a start I suppose. One day we will find the magical player who can feed off of him. Robbie Schremp/Brett Hull?

    He had one — Horcoff.

  107. Coach pb9617 says:

    My point, I guess, is that I stand by what I said at the start of the year – smart money was on the Oilers having a worse record than they do now.

    Ah. Soooo last year you predict better, it goes wrong, you blame injuries. This year, you predict worse, it goes wrong, you blame shootouts, but overlook injuries.

    This is the statistical analysis version of begging the question.

  108. mc79hockey says:

    I’m throughly justified in gloating as my relatively optimistic predictions were slagged mercilessly on IOF and MC’s site.

    I don’t want to interrupt this “It’s all me and how right I am” session that you’ve got going here, but as far as I can tell, I went after you twice on my site – once in relation to the PP and once in relation to the SO thing. We’ve been through the SO thing on LT’s site already, so I’ll go back to the first post that was apparently so offensive: it’s right here.

    My conclusion on the PP was this: “If I had to guess, I’d guess that Edmonton ends up slotting somewhere between 15th and 20th on the PP.”

    The Oilers currently sit 20th on the PP. We didn’t know Gagner was going to be on the team when I wrote that but hey – we also didn’t know that Souray was going to be playing 25 games a year.

    Funny thing is that here’s your quote that got the whole thing rolling:

    I’m not sure how the lines and dmen pairings will work out – but a lot of usually open minded people are just being outright cynical for no particular reason. So no it’s not “[darned] crazy” that the Oilers may be pretty decent at ES this season, and the PP is likely to be very good along with the goaltending.

    They’re currently -20 at ES, have goaltending that ranks 19th in the league and are, as noted above, currently sit 20th on the PP. Congratulations. All the stats guys who said that this would be a lousy ES team with so-so goaltending and an iffy power play were clearly wrong.

  109. Coach pb9617 says:

    But something as complicated as an NHL season is way way beyond the simple statistical tools employed on those sites – and to think otherwise is hubris.

    This is beautifully stated AO.

    There are too many unaccounted for variables to make that approach work.

  110. danny says:

    Slipper, I’m not a part of ‘you people’. I’m a reborn watcher of the game since I started following the bright minds of the Oilogosphere through both the blogging and boards days. I enjoy a good breakdown as much as anyone.

    I know what you’re saying in regards to a guy like AO saying ‘the stats never predicted this run so I’m right’ having no value whatsoever, because its pretty worthless…

    But from where I’m sitting, selectively saying we said this would happen, we cant be held accountable for the other stuff happening, so our predictions would have been exact, is a pretty worthless thing to trumpet no?

    Arguing pointless stuff like that is only going to bloat the chasm that unfortunately exists.

  111. Slipper says:

    “Unaccounted for variables”

    You guys should have shirts made.

    The Oilers are between 5-10 shootout wins in the standings from you guys having no legs to stand on with your arguments and Mudcrutch being 100% bang on with everything he predicted before the first game of the season.

    Wow, do any of you like to make regular wagers? Cuz it just so happens I know a guy who knows a guy with a book, and he loves a player with an aptitude for intangibles in sports.

  112. Slipper says:

    I didn’t see alot of the of Vic’s and MC’s ilk trumpeting much of anything when this season was a shitshow, Danny. Yet when the Oilers find a a horseshoe up their collective asses for a 20 game stretch, suddenly a handful of intangible nuts stop being pussies and find their gloves in the closet and come right at these guys.

    What else can I add that Tyler hasn’t already said? Bottom 6 in the league at even stength? Check. Middling powerplay? Check. Average goaltending? Check.

    Oh what’s that, you didn’t predict an unsustainable ammount of wins that don’t involve playing the actual game of hockey? You fucking frauds!!!!

  113. Coach pb9617 says:

    The Oilers are between 5-10 shootout wins in the standings from you guys having no legs to stand on with your arguments and Mudcrutch being 100% bang on with everything he predicted before the first game of the season.

    The Oilers are 45% over both the NHL median and average in man games missed and core man games missed and they are simply positive injury variance away from winning the division.

    See how fun this is?

  114. danny says:

    Slipper, for the record my prediction on the season was 10th in the conference. I said I could see MacT running this team at about .500 throughout the season, and pretty much my exact words were it would take a couple runs of 8 wins in 10 games after christmas to see them sneak into the playoffs.

    You are right in saying the kids were getting murdered, but i doubt many people doubted that. But since you are pushing this, did anyone do any research on young teams and splits for young guys for their GF/GA per 60 etc?

    Was historical rate changes used to predict expected development of players or anything?

    Probably not, and I’m sure the Oilers would still be an outlier in that respect… i just cant see how you can quantify where injuries/slumps/development etc can really be seperated from the results to support victory for anyone here.

  115. Dennis says:

    I sorta feel in the middle of this debate — though not really;) — because just the other day I was talking to MC and Riv and they were giving it to me for expressing optimism about this club going forward.

    And of course I know they’re right because I’ve been talking about goal differential and EV play for as long as anyone and it wasn’t too long ago where I did a breakdown for EV vs ST play among WC playoff hopefuls to show just where the bodies are buried.

    I think the true answer to how good this team can be and how quickly it happens depends of if we want to spend ’09 doing things like leaving Smid or Greene in the lineup AND letting the kids protect leads or take own zone draws.

    IMO — while acknowledging the part that SO wins have played in this year — if the Oilers are interested in making trades like Stoll/Torres for McKee and MacT’s interested in having 10′s line playing the tough min while sheltering the kids, then I think we make the playoffs in ’09 and we have a good chance to get out of the first round.

    But, if Lowe and MacT pow-wow and decide to keep all the current youth on D and if they decide Not to keep the kids out of harm’s way, I think we’re back to holding on for dear life at evens and scraping again for a playoff spot.

    LT: I forgot that this was Staples night of gifts to the Oilogosphere;) Was the beer all you could drink and will he write about it? The night I mean, not the beer you drank;)

    As for your Pouliot impressions, I notice that he changes early as well which I think is an indication that he’s worried about making a good impression and I think that might’ve been noticed. Brownlee posted a blurb about him lately on Oilersnation.com and it seems like while the Oiler are still taking a wait and see approach on 78, they’re at least willing to wait and see how he’ll do come camp next Sept. The kid’s physical, looks after his own end and can take and make a pass so I don’t know why he wouldn’t make the club as a value-priced bottom sixer.

  116. danny says:

    I’ll qualify my predictions, by stating that I thought the Powerplay would be top half of the league, and would drive the results (modestly, 10th place remember). So your invariable, .500 was luck due to the aberration in shootout wins, while unforseeable, was also as unforseeable as a putrid powerplay for 30 games, and rash of season ending injuries.

    Shit happens.

  117. danny says:

    MC, dont even worry about defensing yourself against AO. You need not bother. Honestly.

    I will though, call out your nailing the powerplay ;)

    30th overall for a significant portion of the season, then top 5 for a significant portion of the season.

    So theyre the leagues 20th best powerplay obviously :)

  118. Coach pb9617 says:

    Bottom 6 in the league at even stength? Check. But not since the all-star break.

    Middling powerplay? Check.

    But not since the all-star break.

    Average goaltending? Check.

    Got me there, but I mean no team with average goaltending has EVER made the playoffs. In fact, in no year since the format was expanded to 16 playoff teams did more than one team EVER make the playoffs with average goaltending. In fact, no team has ever finished anything but last in the their division with average goaltending. EVER.

    Statistical analysis is useful for projections and conjecture and such. However, when something doesn’t follow the models, it’s not the something that is wrong. And clinging to the models and complaining about the incredible string of events that broke the model just makes the modeler look foolish, especially when they aren’t incredible at all. You might want to check out “Fooled By Randomness” it would be useful to you.

  119. mc79hockey says:

    My view of things is that the Gagner/Hemsky connection has a lot to do with the PP having been as good as it’s been. Nobody was talking about Gagner in August as being a contributor. As it stands, he’s had the second best PP season of any 18 year old in the past 10 years or so, IIRC – I think Crosby is the only one who’d done better.

    As for your point that it’s been top 5 for 55 games or whatever – first, I’d like to see the citation for that stat and second THE GAMES COUNTED AT THE START OF THE YEAR, AS EVIDENCED BY THE FACT THAT THE OILERS AREN’T COMFORTABLY IN A PLAYOFF SPOT.

    I’m sorry for shouting – I just don’t know how else to phrase that.

  120. dstaples says:

    No use fighting about who predicted what right and wrong, not when a team as special as this one is coming together before our eyes.

    Now, if someone wants to argue that this team isn’t special, that it’s doing it with mirrors right now, that it’s headed for defeat next year, that Kevin Lowe has assembled nothing but a dead-end squad that will go nowhere, that’s an interesting debate.

    But I’m seeing a team with one very special player, Gagner, and the rest of the guys coming together around him, and that is beyond my wildest dreams for this season.

    I don’t know if stats capture what I’m seeing, though an 18 year old kid averaging a point a game is a stat line you don’t see too often in this league.

    In Edmonton, I haven’t seen that kind of thing since 1980.

    For one night, at least, I’m going to savour that feeling.

    P.S. Before anyone think I’m giving Lowe too much credit for building this team, it has to be said the Oil lucked into selecting Gagner.

    P.P.S. Stan Weir’s record is now 10-3, I believe.

  121. Coach pb9617 says:

    As for your point that it’s been top 5 for 55 games or whatever – first, I’d like to see the citation for that stat and second THE GAMES COUNTED AT THE START OF THE YEAR, AS EVIDENCED BY THE FACT THAT THE OILERS AREN’T COMFORTABLY IN A PLAYOFF SPOT.

    Certainly they do. But how does that support those, including you, that continue to bang the drum of hopelessness?

    It doesn’t. But keep banging that drum anyway – it keeps you busy.

  122. mc79hockey says:

    You might want to check out “Fooled By Randomness” it would be useful to you.

    Says the guy who just wants to ignore the parts of the season when the Oilers stunk.

    Incidentally, I’m not saying that randomness explains either part – I think that the most obvious explanation is that three guys have taken a quantum leap forward, at least in terms of results and likely in terms of the underlying results in the second half. With that said, I must have missed all of the predictions at the start of the year that Gagner would be one of the best 18 year olds of the past 10 years, Cogs would have an argument for being say, 80th perecentile of the 20 year olds and that Nilsson would turn into a player. As long as we’re advising people to look up stuff up about statistical theory here, I’d recommend reviewing the bit about probability where it’s explained that improbable events sometimes occur.

  123. mc79hockey says:

    Certainly they do. But how does that support those, including you, that continue to bang the drum of hopelessness?

    I’m sorry. I must have blacked out. I don’t recall that I’ve been continuing to “…bang the drum of hopelesness.”

  124. grease trap says:

    Stats guys do good work. I love it. I learn from it. But one or two of them can come across as unbearably arrogant assholes who always have to be right.

    I mean, I want to be on your side when I read these threads but you’re not making it easy.

    Let the crowers crow and stop filling Lowetide’s very fine and very smart site with so much noise just to save your ego from…what? Someone who disagrees with you?

    Come on, we’re all out of puberty here, aren’t we?

  125. mc79hockey says:

    P.S. Before anyone think I’m giving Lowe too much credit for building this team, it has to be said the Oil lucked into selecting Gagner.

    It also has to be said that he, Cogs and Nilsson having seasons like this would be at the far end of plausible in September. Glad you recognize it though David. The most interesting thing about this is that if you’d told most people the lines that Penner and Souray would come up with for the year in September and asked them where they’d be with five games to go, I don’t think that “3 points out” is the answer they’d come up with.

    But I’m seeing a team with one very special player, Gagner, and the rest of the guys coming together around him, and that is beyond my wildest dreams for this season.

    This I agree with unconditionally.

  126. Coach pb9617 says:

    IMO — while acknowledging the part that SO wins have played in this year — if the Oilers are interested in making trades like Stoll/Torres for McKee and MacT’s interested in having 10′s line playing the tough min while sheltering the kids, then I think we make the playoffs in ’09 and we have a good chance to get out of the first round.

    Finding someone that can defend the Sedins and Arnason would guarantee a playoff spot :)

  127. mc79hockey says:

    Sorry Lowetide. Didn’t mean to upset your moderators.

  128. grease trap says:

    ha…

    I don’t even get paid!

  129. Slipper says:

    Yeah, coach, nobody ever said that the average goaltending was going to be the prevalent factor in this team not getting into the post-season. Go ahead with your batshit crazy response to your own misinterpretation and run with it.

    The idea was that the Oilers would need phenomenal goaltending to overcome the hole they’d be in being outshot nearly everynight. Holy cow, I can hear you think, that’s just ridiculous. If there’s a book that helps people follow along and not jump to their own absurd conclusions to suit their own absurd side of an argument, well, that’s the book you should read.

    Postscript:

    The model you so eloquently analogize about doesn’t appear broken to me. In fact it appears there were some fairly accurate (noone who actually defends the stuff expects an unwavering, line in the sand kind of prediction) pictures of certain hockey team’s sucess and failures at playing the game of hockey. That, in the case of this particular team, a non-hockey method of deciding games, only further elucidates the value of the type of analysis Mudcrutch and others do.

  130. Coach pb9617 says:

    With that said, I must have missed all of the predictions at the start of the year that…

    The Oilers would be 45% above the average in injuries. As long as we’re talking status, 45% would be considered statistically significant.

    Okay, so the stats guys start with shootout wins. Now it’s three guys overachieving. Is it really that difficult for you(royal you) to get that it’s not a singular variable that you missed? It’s not a singular variable that blows up a model? And it’s not wrong to say, “well, the model showed this, but you know, the model is based on compilations of individual calculations, and each additional compilation makes the model this much more blurry.” You don’t seem to be as stubborn and vulgar as the others, but the others sound like this guy:

    http://www.dailyreckoning.com.au/wall-street-math/2007/08/16/

    “‘We are seeing things that were 25-standard deviation events, several days in a row,’ said David Viniar, Goldman’s chief financial officer.”

    Right. Models aren’t wrong, Oilers are a once-in-a-100,000-years team.

  131. danny says:

    MC I didnt want to get in a bicker-fest with you at all.

    But you’re actually running with that? A powerplay thats been top 5, in 2/3rds of the season, that was 30th for 1/3rd of the season, can be accurately categorized as a 20th powerplay?

    Sam Gagner was an unknown sure, however him being 5th in powerplay points and 6th on pp TOI, 4.67 PPP/60 is good enough to explain the top 5 right? What about Sourays massive drop there?

    Anyways again, not a bicker fest, its just obvious to me that caling this powerplay a 20th overall powerplay simply because their percentage is at that mark right now does as much damage to your movement as it does support your prediction.

    Whatever.

  132. PunjabiOil says:

    P.S. Before anyone think I’m giving Lowe too much credit for building this team, it has to be said the Oil lucked into selecting Gagner.
    Lucked in as in the 1 regulation win in the final 20?

    Or LA for some reason taking Hickey over Gagner/Alzner/Voracek?

    I think Lowe and Co. deserve credit for taking Gagner when he was available. Given the number of failed picks this organization had in the top 15 (Bonsignore, Henrich, Riesen, Kelly), it’s great the Oilers finally came out on the right side.

    Of course it’s fair to say that this sort of production was likely not reasonably foreseeable at the draft – but that’s drafting.

    As for the game, David Staples was a great, friendly host. Seems like a great family he has. Cheers.

  133. Tyler says:

    I don’t quite think that you know what you’re talking about. For one, I assume that your point is that the Oilers have lost a lot of man games to injury – I haven’t the foggiest as to why you’re dragging statistical significance into this or to what degree of confidence you’re referring to.

    In any event, I’m pretty comfortable in saying that the Oilers 45% edge over the average in man games lost, even if it’s not statistically significant, is not as a result of randomness: I strongly suspect that they’ve had more players hurt, which leads to them missing more games. Can’t prove it but that’s my suspicion. I just have a feeling that there’s a connection there.

    As for your point, the real question is the effect of the man games lost on their expected results. That’s a whole different topic but I would suggest that, logically, the effect is smaller than people think, outside of a) circumstances where you get cascading injuries like the last twenty last year or b) when you lose a superstar.

  134. Coach pb9617 says:

    The stats guys would be more interesting if they would set aside bravado and run regression to find players with half-season splits similar to what the kid line is having and find out who they were and where they ended up.

    Find out exactly how many teams have outperformed their Desjardins, Pythagorean, CORSI, blah blah and further determine their finishing position. Is it 1-3 teams a year or are the Oilers that 100,000 year team?

    Do something useful and interesting with the knowledge and skills you have rather than sit on the porch and shake your fist at the whippersnappers that won’t listen to you because your models show that this team should stink, but they don’t.

  135. Tyler says:

    Anyways again, not a bicker fest, its just obvious to me that caling this powerplay a 20th overall powerplay simply because their percentage is at that mark right now does as much damage to your movement as it does support your prediction.

    What can I say, I speak truth. The question I addressed at the start of the year was where I thought the Oilers PP would be over the course of the season. I said 15-20. It’s 20th. I’m struggling to understand how that it somehow undermined by the fact that it started unbelievably cold and then got unbelievably hot. I doubt it was as bad as they played at the start of the year or that it’s as good as it is right now.

    I also doubt this whole top 5 for 2/3 of the season thing. Got a link?

  136. danny says:

    MC, I’ll run the numbers tomorrow and update this thread on their PP%s through the stretches. By memory, prior to the last 15 games they were running at 24% through a 21 game stretch, I saw a graphic showing their % over the past 15 games tonight but don’t recall the exact number.

    Anyhow, my point is not that you’re right or wrong. My point is that an absurd plot of stats, with such extremes through its course, averages out to what you predicted and thats basis for saying proudly that you were dead on.

    I mean all the credit in the world for making the effort and putting yourself out there and making a prediction on a pretty tough topic…

    But IMO, someone that says their 20th prediction is meaningful in this case because it happened, sounds too much like AO… you know… because it uh happened

  137. danny says:

    Ive gathered the last 38 games, and they are 34/161… which would give them at 21.1%. DET has the leagues 3rd best PP at 20.8% this season.

    I’d do the rest but its 5:30am and I should be asleep.

  138. Oiler Mag says:

    “Stan Weir once at three 72 oz steaks in one hour… of which he spent the first 55 minutes having sex with the waitress.”

    Alledgadly this story is from an early 80′s tour of Czechoslovakia and the waitress went by the name Hemsky……

  139. Asiaoil says:

    Yes when your apprach doesn’t churn out the results you want – just blame the data instead of the holes in the model – classic move.

    That was a classy move calling me a jackoff – but hey all I did was say I respect most of your stuff except the parts where you clearly reach too far with the simple tools you use. Clearly you don’t like people pointing out that their guesses are as good as your guesses which is all your so-called analysis is when applied to a entire future NHL season.

  140. godot10 says:

    Long Term Capital Management, which blew up in the late nineties, was run by Nobel prize winning economists.

    The alphabet soup of asset-backed credit products (CDO’s, ABCP, ARS, RMBS, CMBS, etc) that are currently blowing up on Wall Street were designed by Ph.D physicists and mathematicians hired by Wall Street.

    Models work only if one includes all the variables. The “moneypuck” guys are obviously still missing some variables in their model. When you have a model, one has to be continuing asking the question of what is potentially wrong with or missing from the model, or the model eventually blows up.

    For example, one can never build a big enough dam to guarentee that there will never be floods, because flooding levels have been shown to be self-similar and fractal, and thus, “chaos theory” applies, and there are big fat tails to the distribution.

    People with models often/usually forget that there may be big fat tails on the distributions, and that the distributions are not Poisson or normal distributions, and thus Black Swan events happen far more often than would be predicted by models.

    Some hypotheses that might explain the Oilers Black Swan event:
    1) MacT (and the coaching staff) are really good coaches. Point to a blunder on MacT’s player development record. It really doesn’t exist for somebody coaching that long.
    2) The Oilers drafting over the last five years has really improved.
    3) Lowe and his staff is really good at little trades, and identifying useful marginal defensmen.
    4) The anomalous amount of injuries provided the ice time to contribute to a rapid development of young players. (i.e. positive mutual interactions between the anomalies).

    As Mirtle pointed out in the fall, Lowe and MacT have the 11th best record in the NHL since the last expansion, and most of the teams ahead of them were big money teams able to pay big prior to the new CBA. Ability-to-pay adjusted, the Lowe and MacT (and their staff) were clearly a top quartile organization, which seems to be a simple fact the “money puck” guys overlooked. The Oilers clearly had to demonstrate superior player development to remain competitve before the new CBA.

    The “Black Swan” event this year is anomalous rapid player development, but is it really anomalous. The Oiler organization had demonstrated top quartile player development when they were a poor team losing their star players yearly in the pre-cap world, so is it really an anomalous “Black Swan” event?

  141. Cam says:

    That was a classy move calling me a jackoff

    He called your post ‘a jackoff’, not you.

  142. Cam says:

    This thread is quite the weiner waiving fest.

  143. Devin says:

    godot10- funny you should talk about MacT’s coaching — it’s the “moneypuck” guys who have been his biggest defenders pretty much at every turn.

    Look, I don’t see how you guys take issue with a statement re: the PP like “I doubt it was as bad as they played at the start of the year or that it’s as good as it is right now.”

    The Oilers are winning a ton here, and lately have been outchancing their opponents, too. But it hasn’t been that way for long, and for a good portion of this little run they were winning games in which they were being badly outshot/outplayed. That stuff doesn’t last, I think that’s all Tyler is saying here (or ever said). Sort of like when we beat DET in ’06 – they were a better team and outplayed us, but we got the breaks and in a short series anything can happen. In the next 6 games anything can happen, too.

    Fortunately it seems like this team is taking legitimate steps forward and winning all at the same time. They’ve deserved to win the past couple games and they were a goaltender away from squarely beating VAN, too. If this is the real level we can expect from the kids moving forward then once Horcoff is back, add some D, this team becomes scary. Montreal of the West indeed.

  144. Oilman says:

    That, in the case of this particular team, a non-hockey method of deciding games, only further elucidates the value of the type of analysis Mudcrutch and others do.

    Did Mudcrutch not use the same tools to evaluate the Devils (and predict their demise – and point to it after their bad start) as he used to evaluate the Oilers pre-season? Was luck the unknown variable their too? Just asking?

  145. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: I had 3 beer during the game, which is a little high for mid-week and maybe 2 shy of a Saturday night (I can drink beer, baby!). Staples is a really nice guy, makes it difficult to disagree on Sakic, Greene and errors. :-)

    MC: There ARE no moderators on this blog. CLEARLY! :-)

    As for the rumble in this thread, it’s all good. If I could drive back to 1978 and talk to the guy holding the July issue of the Hockey News and say “there’s this tv screen coming to your home that will connect you to people as wacko as you before your 50th birthday” I would have been pretty thrilled.

    So a few “I said, you said” comments late on a night where maybe our team is turning a bit of a corner isn’t too much to pay.

    Need more women posters, though. :-)

  146. heed says:

    until someone shows me proof of one of the following:

    1) master’s degree in statistics

    2) evidence of being a qualified actuary

    i take all the numerical analysis with a grain of salt. i would like to state that my predictions for this season were bang on. my predictions were as follows:

    1) i will get drunk watching hockey games on numerous occasions

    2) i will cry watching hockey games on numerous occasions

    3) i will get red with anger on too many occasions watching hockey

    4) i will get way too drunk watching hockey games on too many occasions

    5) i will hate phaneuf unconditionally throughout the season

  147. Doogie says:

    What can I say, I speak truth. The question I addressed at the start of the year was where I thought the Oilers PP would be over the course of the season. I said 15-20. It’s 20th. I’m struggling to understand how that it somehow undermined by the fact that it started unbelievably cold and then got unbelievably hot. I doubt it was as bad as they played at the start of the year or that it’s as good as it is right now.

    So doesn’t that make you calling out Adam Proteau a bit like the pot calling the kettle black? He crowed about calling the Oilers at #12, even though they were a bubble team or better for 3/4 of the year and had a historically bad final quarter. You’re crowing about calling the Oilers having a mediocre power play, even though without numbers, it’s pretty bloody clear that they did a complete 180 from vomit-inducingly awful to mind-blowingly awesome on the PP somewhere about halfway through the season.

    This thread is quite the weiner waiving fest.

    No shit. I mean, really. Can’t we all just enjoy this while we can, and worry about whose pen–er, “model,” is right after the season? Jesus Christ, people, it’s a fucking game. Get over yourselves.

  148. Bruce says:

    Well that was fun. My thanks to David Staples who proved to be a most affable host — no surprise to this longtime reader of his column — with a lovely family. And my thanks to the Edmonton Journal for the sweet Suite seat, a new experience for me after being a plebian for some 800 live Oiler games over the years. My wife and I enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.

    Great also to meet some of the bloggers including the equally affable host of this fine blog; I wouldn’t have minded hanging around for a couple hours after the game shooting the shit with you folks and emptying that fridge :), but I had to rush off for a late night volunteer shift at a casino, thus have been unable to join this very interesting thread until now.

    Not only am I somewhere in the middle between the stats hounds and the more gut-feel observers (I try to be a bit of both), I’m also somewhere between optimist and pessimist when it comes to the Oilers. Having lived the hockey fan’s dream and stood on top of the mountain when the Oilers dominated the hockey world with a 5-year growth spurt followed by 5 Stanleys in 7 years (6 if you count Weir), no other team is going to compare favourably. I have strongly resisted any such temptation because it’s simply unfair to the up-and-comers, and unrealistic to us fans. (I have gone so far as to say the current crop of Oiler rookies is the best SINCE 1980-81, but that’s a lot different from saying they’re as good.)

    But last night, watching this new young team come out and storm the gates, racking up a 3-0 lead in the first 5 minutes and cruising to victory over the first-place club in our division, well, the atmosphere in the building certainly felt a little like that of the very early 1980s.

    One comparison I will now make between that 1980-81 team and today’s has to do with the splits. Sometime around the All-Star break Glen Sather united Mark Messier and Glenn Anderson, or maybe it was just he reunited them after the one significant injury of Anderson’s career cost him 22 games of a fine rookie season, but sometime in the second half the light went on and those guys started to bring it, every night. And suddenly blessed with real scoring depth, the Oilers made a closing rush from way down in the standings to 14th overall and then an exciting playoff run against dynasties past (Montreal) and present (Islanders). It didn’t take a visionary at that point to predict Dynasty Future. (And no, we’re not there yet.) I’d love to know what their splits were, but when those guys started to chemically combust there was no real stopping them, they would dominate large stretches of games with their speed, skill and go-for-the-gusto approach.

    The so-called “Kid Line” (ugh — I prefer NGC for the astronomical catalog of celestial delights) has some of that same kind of attitude. Trouble without the puck, but when they got it, well look out, either Cogs is flying through the neutral zone with it or Gagner and Nilsson are making crisp, crafty passes into space.

    In fact, in a giddy moment last night I even invoked the G-word for the first time when I exclaimed to Staples in celebrating Cogliano’s 5-2 goal that Gagner’s pass was Gretzky-esque. The kid has a VERY low panic point, recognized exactly how much time and space he had, used the time to take a little extra space, got the puck above the goal line to make the tender respect the short side while improving the passing angle, and made about a six foot saucer pass right across the crease and on to the tape of Cogs for the nice backhand finish. A beautiful play, almost breathtaking in its subtlety. This kid is 18 years old? My heart palpitates.

    Some things are very different from those days, of course. For one thing, that team had Wayne Gretzky centring the #1 line; this club has Jarret Stoll. So let’s not get carried away. That said, the current run is happening with Oilers’ All-Star representative and arguably best player, their highest-paid player, their captain, and their #1 goalie and probable team MVP all on the shelf. That’s nothing short of astonishing, and speaks to the depth this organization has built. (Wait a minute, do you build depth or do you dig it?) Whatever, I’m really starting to dig this team.

  149. jon k says:

    Through the adversarial nature of argument, the truth will be elucidated.

    :)

    Then again, this thread is really the natural consequence of the Oilers winning. We all can’t argue about why the Oilers are losing, so we argue about why they’re winning and who called it first.

    Makes sense to me.

    Go Oil.

  150. Bruce says:

    Part II

    Memorable moments from last night’s tilt, some of them very surprising:

    – Joni Pitkanen hit somebody! Hard!

    – Jarret Stoll got a point at even strength!! I think that’s a first since January — despite the fact he has been centring the first line for weeks.

    – Ales Hemsky dumped the puck into Dustin Penner’s corner!!! Guess what, Penner — who played a great game — went and got it, cycled it back to Hemsky, and Ales had full possession in the offensive zone without either a) having risked coughing it up at the blueline or b) having taken a hit or a slash or the usual rough treatment gaining the zone. On this occasion it was Penner who was administering the punishment. Now I’m not saying Ales should always shoot it in, just that it is a viable option to do so once in awhile, esp. if the defensive team is stacking up the blueline for the inevitable rush. Finally, just the last handful of games, I’m seeing Ales and Dustin starting to connect somewhere on the same plane (the one where Penner moves his feet).

    … and a few more general observations across the roster:

    35: Dwayne (Grant) Roloson was solid, other than those three 60-footers of course. Hard to imagine three more innocuous shots finding twine, but Oilers weren’t good on clearing traffic in front, and any long shot that got through was dangerous. Roloson made a few fine stops at key moments, and the Wild never were able to get closer then two.

    24-25: A very solid night’s work. Besides the afore-mentioned hit on Gaborik of all people, Pitkanen was flying out there again. Joni is extremely adept at the high dump pass, long a favourite play of mine for its high reward: risk ratio. On his good nights it’s easy to be optimistic about this entire team.

    37-77: The puck was generally moving in the right direction when those guys were out there. Gilbert was at fault on one of those goals (Hill’s), but bounced out of his minus funk in a big way, ending the night at +3. His partner Grebeshkov had a very fine game as well. Although 37 was not credited with a blocked shot, to my eye he made a critical block on the best of a series of good scoring opportunities on a very dangerous Wild powerplay at the end of the first. A goal there would really have changed the complexion of the game.

    2-5: Had their iffy moments. These guys battle hard in our end of the rink, and I love that about them. But mistakes still happen. Smid made one sequence of plays that was just outstanding, I was just preparing to comment how he had done everything right, and then he tried to force a pass along the boards to clear the zone, and turnover and trouble ensued. But the ratio of solid plays to mistakes is increasing with both guys, as it has to for them to be truly effective defensive defencemen. In the O-zone their game is largely to keep it in and dump it into the corner, making them an ideal match for the Crosstiniaks.

    16-27-83: Finally holding their own out there after all sorts of problems 5v5. Watching the big #27 romp around the outside of Minnesota’s best defenceman (Burns) before deking Backstrom and tucking ‘er home was indeed reminiscent of the Big M. Penner’s sequence of strength moves to control the puck down under the Minnesota goal line late in the third was equally eye-catching.

    12-13-89: Very high event trio ended the night +2/-2. I found myself at the edge of my seat whenever they had the puck, but crushed back in the deepest recesses of it when they didn’t. Anticipation + fear = excitement.

    19-34-78: Marc Pouliot had a tough night, taking consecutive bad penalties in the neutral zone and earning his -1 when Minnesota scored just after he emerged from the box after the second one. Still, he showed me a few things; simply put he looks like a hockey player, and I hope Oilers remain patient with him. I was pleasantly surprised to see MacT give him a couple more shifts after that bad sequence, and thought 78 responded well. I also noticed the short shift thing, I think that’s lesson learned from the Filppula Fiasco, but they are smart, safe, early changes. Reasoner meanwhile attempted 4 shots on goal and all of them were blocked. I don’t know what it is about Reasoner but he can’t seem to get the puck through, either on to their net or, more importantly, over our blueline. I can’t tell you how many times in the last few games I thought Marty was going to clear the zone on the PK, he’ll make a good play to get a chance to do so but then somehow the puck doesn’t seem to get over the damn line. He either is out of gas or simply too slow to get to it, or shoots it too weakly, or shoots it right at the point man or something. Reasoner is not strong on the puck generally, and I think his annual double-digit minus is rooted in that unfortunate fact.

    20-46-51: None of the Crosstiniaks has so much as 100 games of NHL experience, but you’d never know it by the way they’re playing. Last night they were out there early, and opened the scoring just 1:59 in with a lot of hustle and a little old-fashioned net-crashing by my man Zack Stortini, whose crash landing in the crease was the beginning of a very difficult few minutes for poor Niklas Backstrom. They were out there late, playing a trouble-free shift in the last minute of the second. And they were out there often, firmly ensconced in MacT’s rotation. Last night there were at least two TV timeouts that ended with 2-5-20-46-51 lining up for the faceoff, not something we would have seen even 10 games ago. In theory that’s the bottom 5 guys on our roster, but all five of them are battlers who even when they get trapped in our zone, are disciplined enough to keep the play to the perimeter. By night’s end the Crosstiniaks had contributed a second goal, and drawn another Oiler powerplay, something they have done frequently of late. Equally important, they maintained a clean sheet, and their +2 on the night was the margin of victory. They also showed some real puck-moving moxy on a play when 46 made a good breakout pass under heavy traffic to GlenX, who whipped a fine headman pass to a breaking Brodziak who stepped around the defenceman and fired a hard rising shot, only to be stoned by Harding. Brodz was flying all night, had a terrific game with a goal and an assist, a team leading 4 shots, and 2 blocks including a real gutsy effort on another dangerous Minny powerplay in the third. I think maybe this is the guy who might make Stoll redundant.

    One last vignette that stands out is the play where GlenX raced back in the neutral zone and stole the puck from a “breaking” Wild forward, turning a Minny rush into an Edmonton counter-attack. That’s just beautiful hockey to my eye. We gotta sign that guy, he is outstanding. I think the best way is to get him those 9+ playoff games that will improve the club’s options. But hey, if they announced an extension today, I’d be happier than hell. Maybe it’s just lucky timing, but to me eye Glencurtis has been a real difference maker since he arrived. The whole team has got more edge these days.

  151. dstaples says:

    I’m pushing the Houdini Line for Gagner, Nilsson, Cogliano.

    All are magic.

    All contortionists, know how to worm way out of tight spots and look like heroes.

  152. Oilman says:

    let’s hope no one puches them in the gut prior to the end of the season;o)

  153. danny says:

    ILM Line?

    Industrial Light and Magic

    (Otherwise known as George Lucas’ special effects studio)

  154. Graham says:

    If this team somehow sneaks into the playoffs, can we finally give some credit to MacT?

    Is he then a credible Jack Adams candidate?

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