Old Time Comps Vol 1

This is Mike Bloom. He was a pretty high draft pick (Boston) but didn’t get a real shot until Washington picked him in the expansion draft. That was quickly followed by a trade to Detroit where he played the majority of his 201 NHL games.

Mike Bloom is a reasonable comparable for a current Oilers prospect. If you’re a fan of old time hockey I hope this is a fun read.

Let’s take a look at them one at a time:

Mike Bloom: In his three junior seasons, Bloom scored 152 points in 150 OHL games. In Jacques 4 seasons in the Q, he played about the same number of games but collected only 179 points. I think they are similar players offensively because of the leagues they played in. Jacques QMJHL teams average 3.19 goals per game in his senior year and Bloom’s OHL (called the OHA at that time) team scored 4.36 per game. Different era. Bloom was a big kid, rough and tumble and a decent PIM match (Bloom averaged 179pims per 82gp and Jacques averaged 121 in the same time frame). Bloom was 6.03, 206 and Jacques 6.04 and 217. In Bloom’s debut season with the Caps he was -54 in 67 games on a team that was 209 goals in the red at even strength (and I’m not kidding). Jacques back problems may derail his career but he would have been a nice comp imo.

Ron Chipperfield: A very nice fit in spirit with Schremp, words cannot describe the monster seasons he posted in the WHL. He finished his junior career as the WCHL/WHL’s all-time leading goal-scorer with 261 career goals in 252 games. His first NHL game was also first game in Edmonton Oilers’ NHL history and Wayne Gretzky’s first NHL game. He is one of only two players in NHL history (with Winnipeg’s Lars-Erik Sjoberg) to play first NHL game as a team captain. Chipperfield played center on line with 18-year-old Mark Messier at left wing for Edmonton in 1979-80. He was traded by Edmonton to Quebec while his mother was dying of leukemia in Winnipeg. Learned of the deal while he was visiting her, and she died the day after the trade. Much of the above is courtesy hockey draft central. In terms of terrific skill combined with average speed he is a spot-on comp for Schremp.

Butch Goring: He was a beauty player. Fast and aggressive on the forecheck, he scored a ton of goals off turnovers. He played in damn near every junior league (MJHL, SJHL, WHL) and even played in the Quebec Senior League. He played on the Canadian National B Team in 1967-68 and competed in Russia’s Izvestia Tournament. As a 12-year-old, he scored 150 goals in 40 minor-hockey games with the Glenwood Bears. His speed (used on both offense and defense) are a nice match for what we hope Cogliano will become. Goring was sent out in his sophomore pro season btw.

Vincent Damphousse: Another quality player. Smart, smart forward who could make a pass and helped many linemates to career seasons. His two (very small) areas of weakness were skating and a tendency to pass instead of shooting. Damphousse had some negative press late in his career but there is no doubt he was a top drawer talent for a long, long time. He is the best comp I have found for Sam Gagner.

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58 Responses to "Old Time Comps Vol 1"

  1. mjsh says:

    It is a fun read and I have followed hockey for a long time. I watched Goring as a junior and he turned out to be a much more formidable player than he showed. He did not handle the rough going coming into Flin Flon very well. If cogs could have the career that Goring had, the Oilers should be very happy. Likewise with Schremp vs Chipper. I went to a lot of games in the WHA and the early years of the Oilers. I was very dissapointed when he got traded. Seems to me he ended up in Italy coaching. I still wonder about JFJ although big George had great things to say about him on Staufers show one night. I only vaguely remember Bloom and I still hope Gagne is better than
    Vinny was. thanks again for the comparisions.

  2. godot10 says:

    How about Luc Robitaille as a comparable for Sam Gagner?

  3. Vic Ferrari says:

    Great stuff as always, LT. And though I don’t remember Goring especially well, that comp for Cogliano warms the heart.

    I’m not sold on Damphousse as a Gagner comparable, though. Very possibly just wishful thinking on my part.

    To me there are different kinds of guys, players who want to be the man and guys who want to rack up points. Damphousse was the latter, I won’t even argue that. Thornton is the same, and he’s obviously brilliant, and he’s had the gig in the past in Boston. And he helps you win a lot. But Thornton will never be like Forsberg for that reason.

    Remember in the finals when Therrien was trying to dodge the crosby/Z matchup? He ran Crosby out there once he thought Zetterberg was tired. That, in and of itself, is old hat and not interesting. What tells you something about the players, though, is that they didn’t want to leave the ice. I’ve never been as big a fan of Datsyuk as most of you guys, but clearly he wanted to be the man. Z the same of course. Tonnes of other guys just want to play against Staal with the puck heading north and rack up points. It probably would have been smarter for them to shorten the shifts, but it’s an admirable quality.

    I remember when we were first over here in the blogs, and a couple dozen of us were fretting that Hemsky was still on the first line, me especially, blue line giveaways aplenty then. No other community would have been able to resist calling me an idiot on that count BTW, so that was cool. Props.

    Anyhow, of course we all know that MacTavish bumped Hemmer down the lineup for the playoffs (more rightly in game 80, but near enough).

    The important thing, for me, was an interview with Hemsky a week before. Clearly he knew the demotion was coming. He made a remark “If I want to play more, I’m going to have to be able to play against good players”. For me, that’s huge, he’s going to be a difference maker. Hell he already is. And he’s been willing to sacrifice the counting numbers to do it. I see Gagner the same.

    I don’t know how far apart the numbers are, but Ray Ferraro and Doug Gilmour lived at completely opposite ends of the hockey spectrum in terms of what they brought beyond scoring.

    My hope, and granted it’s more of a sense, is that Gagner is going to be that kind of player. Doug Gilmour, Lowetide. And you know I’m not a prosperast. Let yourself believe it, man.

  4. Showerhead says:

    Vic: I remember that Hemsky interview and it was the first in a string since then that has really endeared me to his character as a hockey player. First, of course, was him saying that he would need to play against good players. Then taking the team’s struggles upon himself and following it up with a lot of points in a very short time. All the while, Hemsky plays into traffic, says the right things, supports his teammates in the press, and seems to just love hockey. During important moments, he really does want the puck and he’s been fortunate to make a difference in several key situations. (regular season playoff clincher vs. Anaheim, end of Detroit series, etc.) Beauty player.

    And to have that attitude in Gagner, who in his slightly more one-dimensional way may have even more of a head for the game? As perfect as that girl in the water LT likes to bring out from time to time to keep us coming back here :P

  5. Lowetide says:

    Vic: I’d love for him to be Gilmour. I know he’s off the charts in terms of smarts. But I don’t know that we have enough evidence.

  6. Vic Ferrari says:

    That’s fair enough, LT. He’s barely shaving, after all.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Vic: Yeah. I’ve been trying to think of the last kid (Hemsky aside) who had this kind of foundation. AND it’s known, unlike someone like Satan who seemed to pass through unnoticed (certainly by Ron Low).

    This guy has the licks and he’s the vaunt. AND he’s covering the bet.

    It’s been awhile since anyway.

  8. Asiaoil says:

    Gilmour’s first NHL season
    80 25-28-53

    Gagner’s first NHL season:
    79 13-36-49

    Much more offensive league in 1983 and young Sam was 18 while Dougie was 20 in their first year. I’m with Vic – the Gilmour comp just wears better than damp-house who was never a real difference maker anywhere he went IMHO.

  9. Moose says:

    I have to assume we’re talking about the statistical end product as opposed to style of play here, right?

    The fight against Kesler aside, Gagner doesn’t have quite the edge that ‘Killer’ had. That’s not to say he won’t turn into a great leader with a few more of the old “intangibles,” but right now, given the amount of his success that’s come on the PP, he’s more of rich man’s Cliff Ronning.

  10. Asiaoil says:

    Expecting “edge” from the youngest player in the league is a pretty high expectation.

  11. Bruce says:

    No other community would have been able to resist calling me an idiot on that count BTW, so that was cool. Props.

    Those must have been the days, eh Vic? Mutual respect, imagine that. So WTF happened? People getting called idiots is daily if not hourly fare around the ‘sphere lately. Why just tonight on BoA somebody was calling Doogie2K a “brand new kind of stupid”. Guess he just couldn’t resist, eh Vic?

    I’ve never been as big a fan of Datsyuk as most of you guys

    You’re just full of surprises, aren’t you? I look at Datsyuk and I see a wonderful player, and I look at his stats and see things like this: 4.04 GF ON/60, 1.84 GA; top plus player in NHL; Corsi of +22.9; 38 penalties drawn, 7 taken; fourth in NHL scoring AND Selke Trophy winner (yeah I know, take that with a grain of salt but he is a great defensive player); led league in takeaways by a better than 5:3 (!) ratio over second place; President’s Trophy winner; Stanley Cup champion.

    Not much there not to like. A lot of that is Z, they’re a deadly tandem, but do you really think it’s all Z? I sure don’t.

  12. Schitzo says:

    Gagner doesn’t have quite the edge that ‘Killer’ had. That’s not to say he won’t turn into a great leader with a few more of the old “intangibles,”

    There’s no doubt in my mind the organization will do anything possible to develop those leadership intangibles. Lets be honest, who expected Gagner to be part of the ’08 draft team welcoming Eberle to the oilers?

    He appears to be front and centre in any leadership/PR role that comes open in the near future.

  13. Lowetide says:

    Bruce: I can’t speak for Vic but it’s probably a case of who’s zooming who (Z helping Datsyuk). Putting it in old timey terms, Dallas Smith, Rick Smith, Al Sims and others have seasons of tremendous plus minus simply because they were paired with Orr.

  14. Bruce says:

    LT: Maybe so, but I see the Zetterzook duo as being very, very equal. Statistically Datsyuk had the better year if anything, although Z was clearly top dog in the playoffs. All in, Datsyuk scored 120 points, Zetterberg 119, and Datsyuk was +54 to Z’s +46. Not that they were dominant or anything.

  15. Vic Ferrari says:

    Bruce:

    I have been trying to drive off the fools for the betterment of the community. Or more correctly, to make the community more like I would like it to be. Which isn’t necessarily wise. And it’s thankless work, but I don’t mind.

    On Doogie:

    To put it the scientific terms that I don’t know especially well (but surely better than Doogie, even though my last Uni stats course is 20 years in the past) mudcrutch is a Bayesian thinker. He starts with an opinion, a premise, and a way of expressing it, a model really, and checks to see how it meshes with reality, or the chunks of reality that we own, as well as the contributions of other people who also know hockey well. Then he revises the model a bit with the new information he has learned. That’s what he does, does it all the time.

    Now the problem with this, that really separates hockey from baseball, is you have to have a good eye for the game in the first place, or else you simply can’t do what mudcrutch does and keep (generally) getting results that do all of these things: mesh with reality, repeat and predict.

    So with his post on Dion Phaneuf, his list of players there, it’s going to seem like nonsense to many hockey fans, complete gobbledigook. But if you take the percentage of shots-while-on-the-ice that happened for Dion vs MCs peculiar list of 30 players, and do the same for the other guys … list that out and lay them up against Desjardin’s QualComp numbers (which are remarkably sensible obviously, and very similar to the numbers Jeff Sagarin has produced for Mark Cuban’s Mavericks for 8 years, much simpler obviously, but built from the same bricks) it’s spooky how they are going to mesh.

    Put another way, if mudcrutch had a big drawer full of numbers, and threw them on the sheet willy nilly, his chances of getting them that close to Desjardins by random chance would probably be thousands to one (I haven’t done the math, but it is intuitively obvious that it would be in that range).

    If he did that for the entire league, well the odds of it being pure gobbledigook are going to be billions to one, probably a helluva lot longer odds than that.

    The only team I checked was Colorado, and they matched pretty much perfectly. So Stastny probably is better than I thought, given that he earned those points in tougher context than I’d realized.

    Thinking about it, I only saw him v Oilers and a bit in the playoffs, and the Oilers played them early and late mostly iirc … so Smyth and Sakic, then Forsberg, were all playing then. So he probably had a bigger role at other times of the year, given the Avs injury problems. Plus I have a bit of a bias against small, young centres … I just assume that they cheat for offense because most do.

    In any case I learned something I didn’t know, he’s provided what sensibly looks like a decent benchmark for Desjardins in his first freaking kick at the cat. He can go miles with this now if he chooses. Seriously.

    Now typically this sort of stuff is going to fly in the face of Doogies understandings. So he demands a scientific resolution. Presumably he wants MC to calculate the integral of the joint distribution of Desjardins and the mudcrutch system. I may very well have that wrong, but it would be something along those lines, and I wouldn’t know how to begin doing that (they surely aren’t normal distributions). I’m also doubt that Doogie knows, but whether he does or not, he’s too lazy to do it. It would be a tonne of work with no benefit. Because even a fool can see how closely these numbers align.

    Of course that’s not what he really wants, what he really wants is to diminish the value of the work (this or any other) by feigning intelligence and questioning methods. When clearly he doesn’t understand what the hell the conversation is even about.

    But I don’t give a crap about Doogie. What I DO care about is people I like (and me) being shat on for no reason other than it makes Doogie feel foolish. I mean they surely don’t give a damn what Doogie thinks, but get enough chirping from him and similar gulls, and sooner or later they stop bothering doing this stuff (or, if they are into this for gaming reasons or something else, they stop publishing it).

    So if Doogie and similar do even one little thing to discourage anyone who matters from posting (not just the guys who do the heavy lifting with the math, but the genuinely sharp and insightful commenters and bloggers as well) then I hope that the hockey gods pull someone like me from a parallel universe and send them to Doogies junior college to put a boot up his simple, fat, video game playing ass.

    The same applies to all the other Doogies, BTW.

    Clear enough, Bruce? Sorry for being wordy.

  16. Vic Ferrari says:

    Yeah, LT. Datsyuk is a much better player than he was, for sure. A more complete player now. Terrific in the playoffs, in all parts of the ice and with and without the puck.

    I mean if the coaches voted for the Selke, I think it is really unlikely that he’d have won the thing, but he’s still a pretty terrific player now.

    Zetterberg never got as much love a couple of years before that, when the Oilers played them in the ‘offs. But it was him who rolled out against Horcoff/Smyth the whole series. And down the stretch he was the guy who Babcock was always rolling out against Thornton and the like.

    Datsyuk has grown though, sometimes I don’t see these guys enough to realize how much and how fast. Hell, you can’t find anything but people praising Marc freaking Savard, of all people, for his complete game nowadays. And it’s justified imo. Crazy stuff.

  17. Bruce says:

    I have been trying to drive off the fools for the betterment of the community. Or more correctly, to make the community more like I would like it to be. Which isn’t necessarily wise. And it’s thankless work, but I don’t mind.

    I won’t be thanking you for what you said about me, let’s put it that way.

    So if Doogie and similar do even one little thing to discourage anyone who matters from posting (not just the guys who do the heavy lifting with the math, but the genuinely sharp and insightful commenters and bloggers as well) then I hope that the hockey gods pull someone like me from a parallel universe and send them to Doogies junior college to put a boot up his simple, fat, video game playing ass.

    Well that’s mighty community-minded of you, Vic. Cyber-citizen of the year stuff.

    Not that I’m anyone who “matters”, but I’m feeling pretty damned discouraged right now. And it’s not because of Doogie.

  18. Moose says:

    Asia: It wasn’t an expectation, just an observation.

  19. Vic Ferrari says:

    bruce:

    Good. That means I’m having success.

  20. Ribs says:

    What the hell?

  21. Doogie2K says:

    @Bruce: I didn’t want to bring the BoA fight over here, because I respect LT, but I did find it interesting that Vic was talking about scorers deciding to stay on the ice in a checking role as an admirable quality and I thought, “Wait, isn’t that psychology? That has no place in Vic’s world.” Z and Dats must’ve thrown some dice before making that call.

    I have been trying to drive off the fools for the betterment of the community. Or more correctly, to make the community more like I would like it to be. Which isn’t necessarily wise. And it’s thankless work, but I don’t mind.

    You have no idea how many varieties of douchebag are in this quote here, do you? It’s not about education, it’s not about science, it’s not about debate, it’s not about hockey, it’s about message-board eugenics. You truly are the shining star of this here blogosphere, Vic.

    Now typically this sort of stuff is going to fly in the face of Doogies understandings. So he demands a scientific resolution. Presumably he wants MC to calculate the integral of the joint distribution of Desjardins and the mudcrutch system. I may very well have that wrong, but it would be something along those lines, and I wouldn’t know how to begin doing that (they surely aren’t normal distributions). I’m also doubt that Doogie knows, but whether he does or not, he’s too lazy to do it. It would be a tonne of work with no benefit. Because even a fool can see how closely these numbers align.

    What the fuck are you even talking about? I didn’t say a Goddamn thing about Tyler’s methodology on that thread: go back and read it. I was talking about your last two posts specifically and you know it. The rhetorical suggestion that hockey could be easier to model statistically than baseball still does not pass the smell test for me (certainly not without publishing these bell curves you mentioned but never posted). Also, hockey is not trivia craps, no matter how much you want it to be. The game is not decided by dice throws, nor is any aspect of the game modellable by dice throws; they’re far too simplistic a model. I loved the little shot at sports psych in that post, too: because surely, a game played by humans is totally unaffected by their mental state. Humans are slaves to statistics.

    But I don’t give a crap about Doogie. What I DO care about is people I like (and me) being shat on for no reason other than it makes Doogie feel foolish. I mean they surely don’t give a damn what Doogie thinks, but get enough chirping from him and similar gulls, and sooner or later they stop bothering doing this stuff (or, if they are into this for gaming reasons or something else, they stop publishing it).

    When did I ever suggest than anyone stop? When did I shit on anyone on the sphere? I said I supported the majority of the work being done here. I had some very specific problems with methodology, because it’s not the same sort of stats work that I’ve done in the labs I work in, then everyone piled on. Don’t paint yourself as a fucking martyr because I didn’t jerk you off for your brilliance, Vic. It’s not becoming.

    So if Doogie and similar do even one little thing to discourage anyone who matters from posting (not just the guys who do the heavy lifting with the math, but the genuinely sharp and insightful commenters and bloggers as well) then I hope that the hockey gods pull someone like me from a parallel universe and send them to Doogies junior college to put a boot up his simple, fat, video game playing ass.

    When did the University of Calgary become a junior college? Do you even know what you’re talking about? Threats of physical violence? More personal attacks? Your high horse is looking pretty lame, Vic. I think this Internet argument thing is getting to you.

    Try answering some of my motherfucking questions, asshole. And drop the personal attacks and holier-than-thou attitude at the same time.

  22. Schitzo says:

    So, who else is uncomfortable like a 10 year old when mommy and daddy are fighting?

  23. Lowetide says:

    Get your ammo, boys. Season’s just around the corner. :-)

  24. Doogie2K says:

    I feel compelled to point a couple of things out from Andy’s great post on BoA the other day:

    “New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common.”
    – John Locke

    “Good sabermetrics respects the validity of all types of evidence, including that which is beyond the scope of statistical validation.”
    -Bill James

    Need more carrot, less stick in explaining advanced statistics to doubters, non-believers or newbies.

    Are you really prepared to tell me I’m wrong and Andy’s right when I’ve been trying to say the same thing for weeks?

  25. Lowetide says:

    Stop it, you guys are making me miss the old days.

  26. Doogie2K says:

    Sorry, LT. I just really took it badly when Vic used my own self-described flaws as a weapon against me, and went on to treat me like a five-year-old. Wouldn’t you?

    I’m done with this argument. I’m not going anywhere, but I’m done addressing this subject.

  27. Lowetide says:

    Doogie: No worries. Your comments are always welcome here, as are Bruce’s and Vic’s and everyone else’s.

  28. mc79hockey says:

    I’m mellowing in my old age and I take a far less confrontational approach to this sort of thing than I did once upon a time. Maybe it’s because my job entails confrontation all day long, maybe it’s because I take Zoloft by the fistful, who knows, but I find that I make an effort to be less confrontational. Truth of the whole thing is, I have less time than I once did too, so I can’t spend all my time running people through who don’t get what I’m talking about.

    With that said, I read Andy’s post and I don’t know how applicable it is to the issue here. I mean, you look at the EV/60 post, which generated a heated response. I think we all (even Doogie) agree that Ender seemed a little sensitive. I like to think that I’ll respond to genuine criticisms or questions about what I do, and that I made a genuine effort to understand his point.

    It was only after much pondering (and assistance from Doogie) that I finally figured it out (I think): the point was that a player might someday become a better player than his EVP/60 suggests. Or that his EV/60 might not measure his abilities, only the results generated with those abilities.

    All of which is fair enough, but that’s not what the stat claimed to be. I’ve carefully reviewed Matt’s post and I can’t find the part where he claimed that it was a mirror into the soul of a hockey player’s ability. I don’t think that Ender’s criticism was so much a criticism of EV/60 as much as it was a criticism of stats as a whole, in that they don’t tell us who will finally take Dean Wormer’s words to heart and produce something closer to their abilities.

    That’s a fair complaint about stats generally BUT it’s not a valid complaint about Matt’s post or EV/60 stats. If Ender can come up with something that takes into account who just needs the love of a good woman and who’s gonna be out of the league at 28, I’ll be the first to say that it’s damned useful stuff. Until he can do that though, we’re stuck with the tools that we have and stuff like EV/60 strikes me as a pretty good one. I’ll say as well, even leaving aside the predictive value of EV/60, which is what Ender was getting at I think (even though Matt made no claims in that regard), it strikes me as almost inarguable that it’s a better way of presenting information about the offensive ability a player has exhibited in past seasons and that Ender’s objection just has absolutely zero to do with that.

    I will say, as someone who examines this stuff, that it’s pretty goddamned frustrating to see someone complain about something that’s a reasonably good idea because it doesn’t do what the post author didn’t claim that it did, without offering a viable alternative and then getting all pissy when the whole thing isn’t abandoned once he’s made his (in this case, extremely oblique) point. More carrot, less stick? Fair enough. Fewer objections that the stat doesn’t do what nobody said it does would be alright too.

    When did the University of Calgary become a junior college?

    As an aside, at the risk of giving offence, you’re practically begging for it on an Edmonton-centric board with this response. I, however, went to Laurentian for undergrad, so I can only nod my head and agree: UofC is not a junior college.

  29. Bruce says:

    My apologies as well, LT, I truly regret that your outstanding blog has become the latest battleground.

    I too took it badly for some reason when over the past 24 hours on this blog alone I have been called out by name, called an asshole, and more or less directly identified as a fool who needs to be driven out.

    Sorry, fellows, I’m so old that Grade 7 is an ancient memory, so I don’t know how to respond to such cunning barbs. So I think it’s time to move right on out of this conversation for awhile. There’s been some interesting discussion this week, but it has become quite Vitriolic. As of this moment this “community” is in need of some deep breaths and calm thoughts all around. This isn’t getting us anywhere.

  30. Lowetide says:

    Bruce: You were called an asshole on this site?

  31. Ender says:

    Actually mc79, that wasn’t *entirely* what I was getting at. The first issue is that I have a degree in philosophy, so sometimes I use jargon without realizing it. That can get confusing for others, and for that I apologize. What doogie posted (and what you say you think I was saying) is actually more the example than the point. I’ll try to say it (and a couple of more things) more clearly.

    a) I do not know the aim of the stats. Having stats is all well and good, but what exactly are you trying to show with them? Who is a better team, who is a better player, or what makes a great team/player great? Something else? I have never seen anything posted with regards to this

    b) The point I was trying to make in the other thread is that it’s never a good idea to *ignore* things that are on the far ends of the spectrum. If Cleary became an offensive player, and you hold to stats being (at least close to) absolute, it’s a good idea to post where these stats break down so that you can evaluate the inadequacies of the new stats like you’re trying to with the old stats.

    To me, on the other thread I said “You shouldn’t push info aside, and if not evaluate it right then, at least make a note of it for the future.” Yea, I got a bit touchy when asked for proof, because in my head that’s an obvious thing when you’re trying to make things better. It shouldn’t need proof.

    Whether it’s my fault for not explaining myself better, or the rage seemingly directed at me anytime I post something like that (it always seems to be taken as “your work has no value. stop it”) I’m sick of the lack of suspension of disbelief. Just because it doesn’t currently fit into the numbers doesn’t mean it’s not relevant and isn’t something that should be casually dismissed.

  32. Doogie2K says:

    As an aside, at the risk of giving offence, you’re practically begging for it on an Edmonton-centric board with this response.

    And that’s totally fair. Getting the gears from U of A students and grads, Edmontonians, and Edmonton ex-pats for being a U of C student is its own separate thing. Ditto my allegiance to the Hitmen over the Oil Kings. What can I say, it’s a weird situation living in enemy territory.

  33. Bruce says:

    Bruce: You were called an asshole on this site?

    LT: See the thread under “Who’s in control here?”

    Could be worse: I was called a “motherless fuck” on Black Dog’s site.

  34. Lowetide says:

    Jesus, Bruce. You’re a complete gentleman I don’t recall one time when there’s been a dispute. Sorry, man.

    I kind of pride myself on this being the “lounge” of the blogosphere. I don’t profess to do (or completely understand) the stuff Vic and Tyler are putting down but consider this blog an area where those of us who are advanced in age and or addled to some extent can do our ciphering. :-)

    Anyone tells you to fuck off on my blog DOESN’T have my endorsement. :-)

  35. Lowetide says:

    ender: Perhaps I can help. A player’s EV/60 for a season is like a snapshot. Logic and reason dictate is Robert Nilsson hits 2.37 in one season he can probably do it again but is unlikely to be Zetterberg.

    If he has a 3.00 season we would be suspicious, maybe call it a “Gary Leeman” season. However, we’ve been doing this long enough to say with some authority that it does reflect ability, especially when you factor in quality of linemates and toughness of minutes.

    Sure hope this helps.

  36. Ender says:

    LT

    I get the player comps, I do. I even understand what most of the stats mean. Maybe I’m misunderstanding your post, but I’m not sure we’re talking about the same thing.

    Saying that the stats are intended to “understand the game better” is a pretty big umbrella. I get what the specific stats say about players, etc. I guess I’m just wondering “and then what?” I mean, are we discussing teams/players on paper in an armchair GM way?

    It seems (and maybe it’s my own spin on the text that I read) that the stats are used for things that they don’t actually say. For example (and yes, it’s not the most specific example) but if we add up all of the EV/60s for each player on each team, and compare the totals, are we saying who has the “better” team, who’s going to be more successful, etc. That’s the point where I feel it moves into a “my dad could beat up your dad due to your dad’s unrepeatable shooting percentage” territory. I have no problems with how you use stats, forecasting young players, and all. I’m just saying on a lot of other sites a lot of unreasonable (IMO) jumps, and the question being asked gets really fuzzy.

  37. Ender says:

    In summary, I like what you do here. You tend to be quite quick at pointing out that these things aren’t perfect, and you also tend to point out where these things break down. I was more or less replying to mc79 with regards to the last few days on BoA, which have been a bit of a gong show. I get that Matt was trying to explain the stat and draw lines in the sand to get general markers to peg certain players in certain boxes to try to explain a bigger concept.

    Maybe it’s just my philosophy/logic background, but it just drives me nuts when people just disregard (or at least not mention on paper when they’re pointing out the advantages) the disadvantages of these things.

  38. Tyler says:

    Maybe it’s just my philosophy/logic background, but it just drives me nuts when people just disregard (or at least not mention on paper when they’re pointing out the advantages) the disadvantages of these things.

    Can you clarify something for me Ender. How is something like EVP/60 worse than G-A-P in terms of the problem that you’ve identified?

  39. Bruce says:

    Thanks, LT. On another blog I wrote what i thought was a complementary note to Vic about his great dog story, made a couple of jokes comparing his dogs to Oiler defencemen past and present (Bobo and Ladi), which I thought was either mildly derogatory to said players or pretty darn complimentary of Vic’s dogs. (I was/am a fan of both players.) But somehow it went down wrong and degenerated into a pox on my family or something. I haven’t been insulted so Viciously in many decades. But so it goes, it’s open season in here. To think I came in here to “get away”.

    So for a time I think I will go away, live somewhere closer to the real world for a little while. So far I’ve made it all the way to Brewers-Phillies on HD. And my blood pressure is gradually finding its level. I love hockey first, last and always, but there’s still nothing quite like a ball game.

  40. Tyler says:

    For example (and yes, it’s not the most specific example) but if we add up all of the EV/60s for each player on each team, and compare the totals, are we saying who has the “better” team, who’s going to be more successful, etc.

    Well, I would think no. It would completely disregard the defensive end of things and ice time isn’t equally distributed, so it would be inadvertently weighted towards teams with a lot of depth.

    Again, maybe this is something that will be addressed by Matt’s series, but it’s not like a million words about goal differential haven’t been written on the ‘sphere and elsewhere over the past 3 + years. I don’t think you can reasonably conclude that your example is what Matt is saying. Let’s look at his post and see if we can suss out why he thinks it’s better. This might be it:

    “Everyone agrees that Goals-Assists-Points is not the definitive measure of the quality of a hockey player, but it’s much less understood that it’s not the definitive measure of a player’s offensive ability either. There are (to start) two things that have a major impact on a player’s production that are, strictly speaking, out of his control:

    1. How much ice time he gets
    2. How that ice time is divided up between the PP, the PK, and even strength (EV)”

    You know, I don’t want to come off as an asshole but as long as we’re talking about this, as a writer, I would find it profoundly frustrating to open with that passage and then have someone say “Saying that the stats are intended to “understand the game better” is a pretty big umbrella. I get what the specific stats say about players, etc. I guess I’m just wondering “and then what?” I mean, are we discussing teams/players on paper in an armchair GM way?”

    I’m as interested in the “and then what” as the next guy but Matt wasn’t making any claims in that regard.

  41. Ender says:

    Tyler, I think you’re misunderstanding me (because if I read your posts without knowing what I meant in mine, I’d agree with you). I’m doing things in bullets to be clear, not trite, just so you know.

    a) Can you clarify something for me Ender. How is something like EVP/60 worse than G-A-P in terms of the problem that you’ve identified?

    It’s not. I never argued that. It’s better. A lot better. All I’m saying is that I feel that it deserves to be mentioned that the new stat has its own pitfalls.

    b) I know Matt wasn’t making any assertions with regards to the “and then what” in that thread. Regarding that thread, my stance began and ended with “You really should point out the bad with the good”

    c) The “and then what” thing is what bugs me the most. You say Matt wasn’t talking about that, and you’re right. Nobody is ever talking about that. That’s the issue. A lot of stats are presented on a lot of sites, but to what end? Matt is writing that series to gain acceptance for the new stats. Acceptance where? People disregard anecdotal evidence, and rightly so most of the time. The issue is without expressly stating some sort of overriding purpose to what you’re doing, you end up with a bunch of anecdotal math. It works, it’s reasonably concrete, but at the end of the day, how does it integrate with watching the game? Why do I, the reader, care, outside of trivia? (I should add that I know that last statement will come off as arrogant and it’s not the intent. It’s just that if you write for yourself, why would these threads get so heated over people disagreeing with the blogger? Why have comments at that point?)

    I know the answer to that will likely be “then don’t be part of the audience” and that’s fine. But what, exactly is that adding to the larger body of work that is the Oilogosphere?

  42. Ender says:

    I should add that “nobody” in (c) is a bad word choice. LT is very clear in his intent on this site, and obviously occasionally posts from other authors (including yourself – The left handed goalies post comes to mind) do add more than trivia.

  43. Lowetide says:

    Ender: I think maybe you’re looking for the kind of proof that comes only from digesting the stat for a season or two and then trusting it.

    From my pov, I used to watch games and wonder why Bob Gainey played so much and Steve Shutt played so little. I never did have a good answer (still think the Habs should have played Shutt more) but if I ask that question (or “why does everyone love Bob Gainey when Craig Ramsay does it better and scores more?”) in the here and now we can answer at least part of the question.

    Let me ask you something: have you seen a player’s EV/60 over several seasons? Have you seen the way it moves? I think part of it for you might just be that you don’t trust it and that can only come with time.

    Other than that, I’m not certain what you’re getting at and in fact this entire thread looks a little like you’re moving the carrot just out of reach to play with the viewpoints.

    Not ripping you, just asking.

  44. Ender says:

    LT

    I’ll try this one more time, but after this, if you’re still reading me the same way I must just not be able to explain this well, and I’ll just drop it.

    It’s not that I distrust the new stats. GAP is not perfect. Its imperfections have led people on these blogs to move to more advanced stats. These more advanced stats are much better than GAP. These advanced stats are, however, not perfect.

    Looking at how the stats are not perfect, as people did with GAP is part of the process of making even better stats. Yes, this is useful and can be worked with now, but even just a note acknowledging the pitfalls of the new stat will aid in making even better stats. Ignoring those pitfalls and looking at it as “good enough” is not going to move you past where you currently are.

    That might be moving the carrot out of reach, I don’t know. I just know that healthy skepticism is generally a good thing is all things stats-based. I look at Andy’s Numb3rs thread, and to me, the whole “Basic needs to that end” is ignored, as are numbers 3 and 4 of the “push to the next level” section.

    And if you’ll notice, that thread didn’t get much commenting.

  45. Ender says:

    Actually, #4 of push it to the next level is covered. my bad.

  46. Doogie2K says:

    So in other words, Ender, you’re looking for a more concise idea of what each stat does and doesn’t tell us, whether there’s anything to be learned from the outliers, and how it all fits into the bigger picture?

    It seems like a “bigger picture” was what Fenwick was leading up to with the series that he started with the EV/60 post (before we all got derailed), but I obviously can’t say. I would be interested in seeing the series continue, though, maybe with more of the stuff Andy mentioned in his post included, if for no other reason than to get everyone on the same page.

  47. Ender says:

    @Doogie

    Yes to the first paragraph.

    To the second, you might be right. I actually started my first post on that thread was “One quick note that you may have already been planning about commenting on in a later post.” Nobody commented on that though.

  48. Ribs says:

    We’ll get’em next time guys….Who’s empty?

  49. Lowetide says:

    Ender: Gotcha. Well there is no perfect stat and honestly I see some weird things out there now measuring everything but the kitchen sink.

    Generally speaking, though, I think that several of these new stats do measure important things that contribute to winning.

    And I also think there is a lot of verbal on all of the blogs about the imperfection of these stats. Vic’s luck post basically says as much.

    I think it comes down to this: some of us are going to sit with or G-A-PTS hockey cards and ramble on to our wives (poor women) about our heroes and the guy across the street is going to tell his wife about outscoring and the importance of having a guy who can post 2.2+/60 while doing heavy lifting.

    It’s up to each of us to decide which side we’re on, and then if we decide to do the ciphering required then it’s up to us to move the ball forward so that when my kid discovers this stuff at 31 he has something to build on.

    Because if you believe that our understanding of the game can be enhanced when we better understand situations, measure them and then compare them then it isn’t a matter of “what’s this worth?” as opposed to “how can I help?”

  50. Ender says:

    Because if you believe that our understanding of the game can be enhanced when we better understand situations, measure them and then compare them then it isn’t a matter of “what’s this worth?” as opposed to “how can I help?”

    Honestly, LT, that’s the sanest thing I’ve read on Oilers blogs in…well, ever. It’s just sad that depending what side of the fence you’re on, you’re met with hostility places. Even if you’re on the fence, often you’re met with hostility. I’ve never had a beef with what you do on this site at all. I just don’t often see “I’m doing it because it’s like a puzzle to me, and I enjoy it” coinciding with some of the comments that have been directed at people like Bruce and Doogie.

    The main reason I brought up purpose was mostly rhetorical. Some people, when posting, make comments about flaws or lack of understanding not hostilely, but just trying to figure out what exactly the person is getting at. It’s taken me a long time to manage to get people to understand what I was saying in the first place. I get that. I just wonder how many of the hostilities are for the same reason.

    But that’s all beside the point. What about a Bure comp for Cogliano? He’s going to get a lot of high % chances due to his footspeed, a lot like Bure did in the day. Actually, that’s pushing it a bit. Have you managed to track down which is a better predictor: style comp or points comp?

  51. Slipper says:

    I think this word “hostile” is being thrown around too liberally as of late. I mean, how uptight has this place become that people cannot take a bit of ribbing with their disagreements on sports?

    Anywez, I don’t believe that anyone is saying that any of these stat expressions are the be-all-and-end-all, or that they’re without their flaws. They’re just the best of what’s available today, and so it goes.

    Take even strength points per sixty. They mean more given proper context, some of which can be obtained by looking at competition, linemates, what end of the rink the player’s shifts are beginning and ending in.

    Taken all together these can paint a better picture of a player. The whole, convoluted, complete picture? No. But it’s a clearer picture than what we started with.

    Nobody who produces these numbers or espouses their usefulness has ever said “these stats are perfect” or “well we can’t do any better than these”. Again, I think it’s a matter of people creating a something that isn’t there. Like a big clik of stats geeks who don’t watch games and only rely on numbers and think they’re all just perfect and everyone and everything else is inferior, la duh de da de duh.

  52. Doogie2K says:

    I think this word “hostile” is being thrown around too liberally as of late. I mean, how uptight has this place become that people cannot take a bit of ribbing with their disagreements on sports?

    There’s a mile of difference between “ribbing” and sincerely wishing real harm or tragedy on people.

  53. Dennis says:

    There’s a huge fight going on and I’m not involved?

    Another nod to having less time and mellowing:)

  54. Doogie2K says:

    Maybe someone tied your laces together so you couldn’t leave the bench with the rest of us. ;)

  55. Oilman says:

    To all the combatants in todays main event…..http://hugarfro.com/blogg/wp-content/uploads/2007/05/arguing_on_the_internet.jpg

    Well Done!

  56. Coach pb9617 says:

    What in the holy hell has happened to this blog? Reading the comments now is like watch the LD class go to recess!

    Ladies, can we talk about neato things like hockey and leave the bullshit semantics of amateur and amateurish stats analysis to your bridge club?

  57. Doogie2K says:

    @Oilman: Don’t think that hadn’t occurred to me in the course of this. Well played, sir.

  58. Dennis says:

    D2K: I’m not totally out of “it.”:)

    I still send Staples emails every now and then but you just won’t change that guy:)

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