Desjardins NHLE Invades Europe

I believe this to be Linus Omark (right) and of course Art Garfunkel to the left (I kid). Still, it does look like a folk duo photo, further indication that hockey stars in Europe seem to get the really good and creative photographers.

I have a real concern with this year’s Desjardins NHLE’s. It’s the same one I should have had the year Robbie Schremp put up those ridiculous numbers in London that one time.

Linus Omark had a monster season in the Swedish Elite League (SEL). Desjardins’ Magic Number barely slows down the monster and without time-on-ice totals we’re left to assume it’s an actual level of ability.

I’m not certain it is. First of all, Omark and one other player on his team (Johan Harju) lap the rest of the team badly (point totals: Omark-55; Harju-49; next guy-29) which implies lots of ice and powerplay time. Second, this is his breakout season, so we need to be very sure it’s a real level of ability before telling the world he’s Gretzky (well, okay-Cliff Ronning). Third, his total is not an historic high, this isn’t Phil Esposito 70-71. Finally, youtube. I have a feeling that a lot of the hype surrounding this player has to do with that youtube video–which is fine–but that doesn’t really tell us about the player and what he is as a player right now.

With that as the backdrop, let’s proceed. However, let’s remember what she said: the man in the gabardine suit is a spy.

European NHLE’s (per 82gp) 08-09

  1. Alexei Mikhnov (26) (RSL) 23-27-50
  2. Linus Omark (21) (SEL) 21-29-50
  3. Dragan Umicevic (23) (SEL) 11-17-28*
  4. Mikael Zhukov (23) (RSL) 10-11-21
  5. Alexander Bumagin (21) (RSL) 7-14-21
  6. Teemu Hartikainen (18) (SM-L) 15-5-20
  7. Josef Hrabal (23) (SEL) 0-8-8
  8. Johan Motin (18) (SEL) 0-3-3

I don’t have the numbers for people like William Quist because they didn’t play in their respective elite leagues. I have an asterisk for Umicevic because he’s no longer Oilers property (but it’s an interesting season he just put in). Jani Rita? 11-12-23.

A few final notes:

  • The younger the better. By that I mean Hartikainen and Bumagin had similar seasons but the Finn did it at age 18. Huge difference that favors Hartikainen.
  • One final note on Omark: the best way I can put it is that imo we don’t really know he’d be better than Nilsson given Robert’s minutes and linemates. I’m prepared for disagreement here but the lack of TOI totals hamstrings the entire process. We don’t know how many at-bats Linus Omark got this season.
  • The two players I’d be most interested in seeing this fall at TC (now that Omark isn’t coming) are Mikhnov and Hartikainen. Plus Mrs. Robinson, of course.

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74 Responses to "Desjardins NHLE Invades Europe"

  1. bookie says:

    Am I the only one who only finds that youtube goal kinda neat, but not really superamazingterrific?

  2. Showerhead says:

    bookie: count me in, but maybe it’s just because I watch a lot of soccer so of course I had seen that move before :)

  3. B.C.B. says:

    I’d add Hrabal to LT list of who I would want to see at Training Camp. He had a bad year, but I think he has the ability and skill do be a 5-6 Dman in the NHL, or at least a good call up (in cases of injuries).
    Oh and Motin, ’cause I would like to see him in the WHL playing a lot: if we can’t find a taker for him, lets throw out one of the Oil Kings imports and make him play in Edmonton.

  4. Showerhead says:

    Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that 0.8 is a reasonable hit on Omark’s numbers and that 0.5 pts/game in the NHL is a fair guess for him at age 21. Would that basically make him another Cogliano?

    If Omark is Cogliano-esque, plus or minus errors in our guesswork, he’s a guy that I think Edmonton has to be in contact with. On the other hand, as long as he hasn’t been alienated such that the Oilers are no longer his preferred NHL club, I’m not too worried we get to see one more season of his resume before Edmonton brings him over.

  5. Gerta Rauss says:

    i think that’s a young Norman Fell on the left…

  6. bookie says:

    In some ways, I see the Oilers getting a free ‘development year’ out of the deal regarding Omark.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Peter: Very helpful. Based on the info you posted, Omark played 17:05 per game and his PP point total was 19 (meaing 36 at EVs).

    To compare, Nilsson played 15:11 a night (12:39 at EV) and had 5-13-18 totals at EVs.

    I’m using .59 as the multiple so let’s assume Omark spent a little more of his time on ice on the PP than did Nilsson (2:28 for Nilsson, 3.05-est for Omark). Is that fair?

    Nilsson EV TOI: 810:23
    Nilsson PP TOI: 158:15

    Nilsson EV Points: 5-13-18
    Nilsson PP Points: 4-7-11

    Nilsson EV/60 MINS: 1.33
    Nilsson PP/60 MINS: 4.17

    Omark EV TOI: 742:00
    Omark PP TOI: 163:30

    Omark EV Points: 36
    Omark PP Points: 19

    Omark EV/60 MINS: 2.91
    Omark PP/60 MINS: 6.97

    Now, we convert using .59:

    Nilsson EV/60 MINS: 1.33
    Omark EV/60 MINS: 1.72

    Nilsson PP/60 MINS: 4.17
    Omark PP/60 MINS: 4.11

    And of course we know based on the teams stats in Sweden (and from Gabriel Desjardins’ site) that Omark was playing with the best available linemates (correct if wrong but I don’t see it being possible) and Nilsson not so much.

    Is this a fair exercise? Seems to me these two are close enough that we can safely suggest luck, linemates and other elements muddy the waters and there’s no clear evidence that Omark is superior to Nilsson.

  8. Ribs says:

    From Hockey’s Future…scores goals from odd angles by banking pucks off goalies or defensemen from behind the net, and excels at being unpredictable.

    I’ve read this type of comment about Omark a few times now and it bugs me. You don’t score goals like this in the NHL with any consistency. The goalies are too good and the defensemen are too smart. I worry his season was anomalous as well and I’m glad management is being cautious with him.

    Mikhnov! I really want to see how this guy’s doing. The guy is a freak.

  9. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    @LT

    Well LT that’s the limitation of math.

    It doesn’t measure, heart or drive or persistence.

    Never did, never will.

    Start looking into hubs.

    That’s the new math in communications, business and success.

  10. Art Vandelay says:

    Where’d you get the Wacky Robert Maplethorpe photo?

  11. Lowetide says:

    I’m thinking of buying an addiator. :-)

    I don’t really subscribe to “heart” or “big game player” type discussions. My belief is that skill is skill and random is random and “heart and soul” guys often cost more than they contribute.

    Anyone who saw Butch Hobson play the hot corner could tell you that much.

  12. Lowetide says:

    Art: I thought that looked like Marianne Faithfull.

  13. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Lowetide said…
    I’m thinking of buying an addiator. :-)

    I don’t really subscribe to “heart” or “big game player” type discussions. My belief is that skill is skill and random is random and “heart and soul” guys often cost more than they contribute.

    Then I’d be interested in your explanation of Alex Burrows.

  14. Oilerpinoy says:

    Regarding Mikhnov, does anyone else think that by having a fellow countrymen in Grebeshkov, Mikhnov will feel more inclined to try coming again? And will feel more comfortable living the N.A. lifestyle and perhaps improve his play? And Yes,I’m aware that we still need to sign Denis, which I hope we really do.

  15. Lowetide says:

    FCM: I’d start with his current linemates and compare them to the guys he was playing with a year and then two years ago. I’d also look at the minutes increase and possibly the type of minutes he was playing.

    A quick glance at Desjardins tells us that at EVs in 08-09 he was 2.44/60 (5×5) which compares to 1.51/60 in 07-08.

    In 07-08, Mason Raymond’s number was 1.91 (3rd on the Canucks) and this season Raymond’s number was 0.87 for the year.

    Call me crazy but my guess is that their spot in the batting order changed season over season.

  16. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    FCM: I’d start with his current linemates and compare them to the guys he was playing with a year and then two years ago. I’d also look at the minutes increase and possibly the type of minutes he was playing.

    A quick glance at Desjardins tells us that at EVs in 08-09 he was 2.44/60 (5×5) which compares to 1.51/60 in 07-08.

    In 07-08, Mason Raymond’s number was 1.91 (3rd on the Canucks) and this season Raymond’s number was 0.87 for the year.

    Call me crazy but my guess is that their spot in the batting order changed season over season.

    10:35 PM, April 26, 2009

    You’re hardly crazy but you’re ignoring the obvious.

    Burrows earned the difference.

    Was his promotion based on math or something else?

    Math fails here.

    Did I mention the Hawks couldn’t possibly make the playoffs?

  17. Lowetide says:

    FCM: You keep mentioning Chicago not making the playoffs? Did I say that? Please pass along the post in which I said Chicago wouldn’t make it because honestly I’ve forgotten.

    As for Burrows, he was probably the best available option this season and he might be next year too. However, the moment he stops playing with better players he’ll stop driving in 120 runs. Tim Wallach drove in a ton of runs one year but the reason he did it was Tim Raines getting on base all damn day.

  18. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    FCM: You keep mentioning Chicago not making the playoffs? Did I say that? Please pass along the post in which I said Chicago wouldn’t make it because honestly I’ve forgotten.

    As for Burrows, he was probably the best available option this season and he might be next year too. However, the moment he stops playing with better players he’ll stop driving in 120 runs. Tim Wallach drove in a ton of runs one year but the reason he did it was Tim Raines getting on base all damn day.

    Not trying to rag on you LT but the “math” guys were adamant that the Hawks couldn’t make the playoffs because their “underlying numbers” weren’t good. VcoughF.

    As for Burrows, why would any sane coach stop playing him with Tim Raines when he’s delivering the mail consistently?

    Horcoff plays with his own version of Raines and shits the bed every second year.

    Perhaps Burrows will have that kind of history but based on what we know about him, I doubt it.

    You may not buy it, but I put a great deal deal of stock in heart and desire.

    It trumps math every time.

  19. Lowetide says:

    I don’t recall Vic’s discussion of Chicago so won’t comment except to say that he doesn’t read the comments section here so if you want a hearing on the issue perhaps post something over at Vic’s place.

    Burrows has had all the tumblers fall beautifully for him this year and credit to him for cashing. I don’t know him as well as you do, does he have the resume for this kind of season? Is he 22? Did he go in the first round?

  20. bookie says:

    FCM: You keep mentioning Chicago not making the playoffs? Did I say that? Please pass along the post in which I said Chicago wouldn’t make it because honestly I’ve forgotten .

    Here it is LT, from midseason “My name is Lowetide and Chicago won’t make the playoffs and MacT and Penner will work together to turn the season around so that the Oiler’s make the playoffs and make a run for the cup with Poo showing why he is so great! Schremp will also impress and play a big role for the Oil in the playoffs – Roli though will get tired and the team will have to rely upon JDD a lot durring the stretch…nuff said!”

  21. Schitzo says:

    You may not buy it, but I put a great deal deal of stock in heart and desire.

    It trumps math every time. And that’s why Ethan Moreau is so effective, and Dustin Penner is the reason this team failed.

    Wait…

  22. bookie says:

    The neat thing about math is it factors in effort and skill. So we get Skill*Effort=Math

  23. honkey says:

    The big difference between Nilsson and Omark is on the mental side of thing. Omark has a similar will and drive to win games and score points like Peter Forsberg.
    He won’t take crap from anyone and he loves to prove other people wrong.

    Last season Luleå had a very slow start, dead last in the standing 10 games in then Omark elevated his game and took the team on his shoulder and 33 games later they found themself on the top of the table for the first time in 12 years.

    I watched him for 6 years now since he joined Luleås under-18 squad and I still think he is just scratching on the surface on how good he can be.

    I firmly believe he will be as good as Nicklas Bäckström in 3 years time. So if Oilers somehow screwed up on Omark(no one really knows for sure do they?) it will come back and haunt them, I gurantee it.

  24. Quinn says:

    FCM,

    While I agree that heart can drive a guy, I think there is a strong limitation on using ‘heart’ as a guide to performance.

    Even if we are to look at equivalent skill levels (ie ignore differences in talent), there is really no objective way to use drive or heart to predict how a player is going to perform. Otherwise, we could hope to see a 40 point year from Reddox and have just finished witnessing a 60 point year from Moreau.

    This is, I think, the crux of the argument for math being made here. By taking equivalencies, based on statistically significant samples, from league to league and year to year, we as fans can hope that we see specific levels of performance from prospects or acquisitions.

    I will agree with you that a particular player can overachieve based on their drive or desire to perform well (see Mike Camalleri or any player in the last year of their contract), but the statistics will always bear out in the player’s career

  25. godot10 says:

    Nilsson already gets a failing grade based on will, effort, and consistency. And 99.9% of the time, people don't change. He has been running in place for 4 season now. At least if he shot the puck, it wouldn't be so bad. But he is a unreliable hockey player who doesn't shoot the puck. Believing that Nilsson is going to change is like a woman believing that she can change the "bad boy" that she has fallen for.

    Yep, Nilsson and Omark may be equivalent in that math right now, but Omark does NOT have the failing grade on consistent effort that Nilsson has.

    O'Sullivan is already an upgrade on Nilsson.

    Will Robert Nilsson ever be a reliable hockey player? >90% the answer is NO. He is in the last chance saloon right now.

  26. rickibear says:

    The only thing that bothers me is optics in Sweden.

    Jon brought up the point MSM in Sweden is treating the oilers as an incompetent laughing stock for not closing the deal on Omark.

    Nice rep to have in a country you want to draft players from.

  27. George B says:

    I like the skill is skill and random is random theory most times….but LT, can you honestly say that there aren’t tons of outliers there?

    Taylor Pyatt
    Kyle Wellwood

    in the heart not being on par with the skill.

    The guy that is on the other side in my mind right away is Ryan Smyth. You know what you have every game every night. Also Zach Parise ;)

  28. Lowetide says:

    Ryan Smyth’s junior numbers implied a guy who could score, right?

  29. relic says:

    burrows also showed signs in the minors he could score. 30 points in 33 games before being called up for good. he seems to have improved his stats year after year in each league he’s played in. don’t see how he disproves the math.

  30. Traktor says:

    “Ryan Smyth’s junior numbers implied a guy who could score, right?”

    So did Rob Schremp’s.

  31. Lowetide says:

    Traktor: If he played 30 minutes a night in the NHL with the best linemates available with mondo PP minutes, Rob Schremp would score too.

    I’m certain of it.

  32. Traktor says:

    Not if MacT was running the PP.

    Schremp put up big numbers as a 16 year old on the Mississauga IceDogs so it’s not like he needed Hunter’s gravy minutes to put up points in junior.

  33. Bank Shot says:

    burrows also showed signs in the minors he could score. 30 points in 33 games before being called up for good. he seems to have improved his stats year after year in each league he’s played in. don’t see how he disproves the math.Burrows scored 26 points in 70 odd games as a 23 year old in the AHL. The math really couldn’t have predicted that he’d scored 50 in the NHL one day.

    The math isn’t a perfect predictor, but I don’t think anyone is claiming that it is. After all, unpredictability is the reason we watch.

    Mat is a good tool however, and I think if its used together with watching players, it’ll give you the right answer far more often than just watching players alone.

  34. bookie says:

    With regards to the ‘heart’ discussion, the one thing that we need to be careful with in the Math is that some guys bring it when it counts. Joe Thorton is clearly not that guy. It appears as though come playoff time, a player like Pisani might be equal to a Thorton….while careful math can indicate this, sloppy lazy math does not. This is where heart matters.

  35. Tyler says:

    Not trying to rag on you LT but the “math” guys were adamant that the Hawks couldn’t make the playoffs because their “underlying numbers” weren’t good. VcoughF.Is there a link to this? I sure don’t recall having seen it and the non-math guys have a troubling tendency to misrepresent what the math guys actually said.

  36. Tyler says:

    Burrows has had all the tumblers fall beautifully for him this year and credit to him for cashing. I don’t know him as well as you do, does he have the resume for this kind of season? Is he 22? Did he go in the first round?

    Burrows looks like he had an off the charts year in terms of shooting percentage. 16%, without scoring a single PP goal. He ought to be giving the Sedins a cut of his paycheque.

  37. Bruce says:

    My imperfect recollection of the Black Hawks discussion — and I haven’t the first clue whether it was on this blog or another one or several — was that the “math guys” said the Hawks were outperforming their shots data by posting an unsustainably huge PDO number, that that bubble was apt to burst and they would have a correction. I don’t think anybody suggested said correction would drop them out a playoff berth.

    I also recall the Hawks went into a bit of dry spell not much later than that, but it was relatively mild and they pulled out of it. Fact is they outshot their opponents by over 4 shots per game AND maintained a raw PDO number of 1.010, an impressive combination suggestive of an elite squad.

    And of course we know based on the teams stats in Sweden (and from Gabriel Desjardins’ site) that Omark was playing with the best available linemates (correct if wrong but I don’t see it being possible) and Nilsson not so much.

    LT: That’s an interesting point, but I wonder how much Desardins accounts for it within his methodology. Surely it is normal for these guys to assume a lower position on the depth chart at the NHL level than wherever they’re coming from; that effect would influence pretty much his entire sample.

  38. Smytty777 says:

    I’m a little confused as to the whole Omark controversy. Is there any downside to having him play in Russia next year? The way I read the CBA, he will still be on a two year entry level deal next year (at age 23), same as he would have this year (at age 22).

    Omark gets another year of seasoning in a very good league and comes over on a reasonable entry level contract one year more mature. I don’t see a downside for the Oilers here, but if I am missing something please let me know.

  39. bookie says:

    I am with you on that Smitty, I think the only downside is perhaps the optics that the Oilers didn’t pay enough attention to the player.

  40. George B says:

    I can agree with that LT, but how does playing with “Scott Ferguson on the wing” affect the NHLE?

    If you can always assure the samples being used in the same role as their numbers dictate, that would be fine.

    For example, I don’t have a complete understanding of how to apply the NHLE but what happens to a kid playing in the ECAC of the NCAA at 18 who scores at a 1.0 PPG and their GPG is .63?

    How do you apply their performance in college to what their NHL stats should be…I went to behindthenet but couldn’t find such an animal.

  41. gogliano says:

    Can I get a clarification on how this went down in terms of Omark’s rights?

    If Omark did not sign in Russia, he would have went back into the draft, correct? So Omark’s actions effectively gave Edmonton–a team he apparently is not so hot on–a one year extension on his rights?

    So if Omark had waited until after the draft to sign in Russia, he would then have his rights owned by another NHL team, but would still be free to play in Russia.

    Do Omark’s actions help him reach UFA more quickly, or what exactly is his angle here (Russian team putting too much pressure on him, etc.)?

  42. kris says:

    Gogliano:

    I’m totally unsure about this, but…

    I think there’s a difference between draft rights over Euro-League and Junior players. You get to keep the former for longer without their being able to “go back into the draft.”

    If there weren’t, the kids playing and developing overseas wouldn’t get picked very highly as many of them would do exactly what you’re suggesting Omark could’ve done.

    But, again, I really have no idea.

  43. Smytty777 says:

    Gogliano: there is a decent discussion of this at the HF Boards on this topic. They explain it better than I can.

    http://www.hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=546690

  44. gogliano says:

    Ah thanks–I was worried it was a link to the Omark thread in the Oilers section, i.e. why Horcoff isn’t a first line center and the Oilers can’t develop skill, but it was actually helpful.

    So as I understand it he is Oilers property as a defect player at least until a new IIHF-NHL agreement is in place (and even then there would presumably be time to sign him while transition rules were in effect).

  45. Smytty777 says:

    That’s my understanding as well. Omark remains the Oilers property which is what lead me to the conclusion that there is no down side for the Oilers to him playing in Russia.

  46. quain says:

    Off-topic, but might be relevant to the whole heart and grit debate… but not really.

    I just can’t wrap my head around people writing long-winded passages about Carcillo flipping the momentum in Game 6. If your team blows a three goal lead because one of your teammates beats the piss out of someone, I really have no idea what that says about the Flyers or hockey players in general.

    And, after Pittsburgh scored, why didn’t Joffrey Lupul go out there and let someone beat the hell out of him to get the momentum back?

  47. Quinn says:

    Good point quain.

    As an outsider, have never quite understood the momentum swinger, especially the role a good beating has in a game. Seems to defy the math ;)

  48. bookie says:

    I just can’t wrap my head around people writing long-winded passages about Carcillo flipping the momentum in Game 6. If your team blows a three goal lead because one of your teammates beats the piss out of someone, I really have no idea what that says about the Flyers or hockey players in general.

    That is why sports is about sooo much more than the simple math. Its all in the head as they say.

  49. kamus says:

    The problem with math is it can only tell you what happened in the past.

    A mathematical prediction:

    Player A scored 40 pts. in 08/09
    Player A will score 40 pts. in 09/10

    How often is that acccurate, my guess a number approaching zero.

  50. kris says:

    Smytty,

    Thanks for that HF link. It looks like I was wrong; you don’t get to keep a European player longer, but if the player “defects” you get to keep him.

    Is this how you guys read the rule too?

  51. kris says:

    Kamus,

    That is the funniest thing I’ve ever read.

    Colbert-esque.

  52. bookie says:

    I don’t trust math, it’s elitist.

    I trust my gut, the gut is always right. I say the Oilers lost because Penner was a defensive liabilty who can’t score…I’m sure some Statsinazi out there is going to say I am wrong, but that’s cause you used math, thats the problem right there – you shoulda used your gut!

  53. Bruce says:

    Burrows looks like he had an off the charts year in terms of shooting percentage. 16%, without scoring a single PP goal. He ought to be giving the Sedins a cut of his paycheque.
    That's rich, Tyler. Henrik & Daniel each pulled down $3.575 MM this year, Burrows just $525 K. Seems to me the twins should be giving Burrows a cut of their cheque, not the other way 'round. Their line got better the moment Burrows was slotted there.

    Timeonice shows that Sedin-Sedin-Burrows notched a Horpensky-like +24/-7 in (parts of) 33 games as a trio, with a Corsi of +121 on a -89 team and an unreal PDO of 1.082.

    Check out these per-20 numbers from HockeyAnalysis.com:
    Henrik w. Burrows
    1.749 GF – 0.630 GA = +1.119

    Henrik w/o Burrows
    0.933 GF – 0.712 GA = +0.221

    Daniel w. Burrows
    1.769 GF – 0.385 GA = +1.384

    Daniel w/o Burrows
    0.909 GF – 0.688 = +0.221
    When teamed with Burrows each twin improved on both sides of the puck, with their goal production virtually doubling. Some of it is riding the percentages, sure, but from this distance a lot of it appeared to be real chemistry, with Burrows carrying every bit of his share of the load.

  54. spOILer says:

    LT

    I have no idea how well Desjardins handles the SEL but to me the big diff here on Omark is age.

    Forsberg had his breakout SEL year before he turned 20 did he not? And Omark did it in the season he had his 22nd birthday. To me those two years make a world of difference…

    I do, however, think he will be a better player then Nilsson in the long run, but would he be right now, after Nilsson has had a chance to learn some D at the NHL level?

    But as you point out there’s a lot of Oilers already sitting on the branches of the small skilled tree. Is it better to trade some of the existing ones and take a chance on Omark? Risky as all hell, but you also might hit a home run, whereas we pretty much know the upside of the other ones.

    …As for the off-season, how about this?

    Penner + Gilbert for Horton + FLA 2nd pick. Solves FLA’s Dman prob, Horton allegedly unhappy, and they have space for both with the disappearance of JBO’s contract.

    Pick up Tanguay and Komisarek as UFAs.

    Cogliano + Nilsson + Schremp(if necessary) for J. Staal. Solves their cap issues and gives them a speed dimension and a needed winger(s).

    FLA 2nd + JDD for Halak. Can’t see a back-up going for more than a 2nd selling into a soft goalie market.

    TAN HOR HEM
    POS GAG HORT
    MOR STA PIS
    JFJ BRO STO

    SOU KOM
    VIS GRE
    SMI STA

    HALAK

    Heh. Looks good, but what are those two UFAs going to sign for? Surely Komi doesn’t get more than Volchenkov or Phillips or White?

    Tanguay is a concern with his drop in recent counting stats, but jeez that first line should not bleed goals against.

    Horton and Komi and Staal add Tambo’s size and toughness.

    Course I’d rather see Gagne at 1LW, but I can’t see that trade happening. Malone would be nice too, but doesn’t Tampa HAVE to ice a team next year?

    Anyway, just thinking out loud guys, feel free to flame the conjecture.

  55. mc79hockey says:

    I don’t know why you insist on playing the sample size game Bruce. You’re a bright guy with a scientific background (IIRC) and I assume that when I debate these points with you, you get this stuff. Then I see arguments like the Burrows bit.

    The major problem that I have with your point is that you seem to think that Henrik + Burrows or Daniel + Burrows are somehow actually about a goal for/60 better than Pavel Datsyuk, who’s the best guy in the league in that regard this year at 4.28 5v5 G/60, as opposed to that just being a shit happens sort of a thing.

    You refer to the unreal PDO as if it’s a positive. While it reflects well in the scoresheet, and I accept that Henrik and Daniel should have PDO’s north of 100, Burrows has done nothing in his career to date to indicate that his PDO legitimately belongs at that level.

    I also give the credit to the Sedins instead of Burrows because it’s not like this is the first time that the Sedins have pulled this trick – they made Anson Carter a couple of million bucks too.

    The Canucks team also changed a lot this year. I don’t know when they started running Burrows with the Sedins or how they’ve used Sundin, but he may well have taken some of the heat off that line. I note as well that the Sedins have historically outshot and outscored their opposition, even when not blessed with the talent that is Alex Burrows.

    FYI, Burrows is signed for four years at $2MM per. That’s the contract that I think that the Sedins should be getting a cut of.

  56. kamus says:

    Bookie: Nobody is saying math is elitist, it can be a very useful tool. You can use math to build bridges, computers, planes, but
    until hockey is played by robots math won’t tell you much except for predictions like:
    if every variable is the same this will happen(again).

  57. kris says:

    I agree with Kamus that hockey playing robots are pretty much the only thing we can predict. The XJ 2000 scores exactly 800 goals a season. No more. No less. Well, okay one season out of 10 it scores only 700. So, I guess there’s no way of knowing the odds of it scoring 800 goals next season.

    On another note, meteorologists predict the sun will rise tomorrow. Fools.

    BTW, I assume Tyler wears a pocket protector.

    Anyway, math is great but only for answering questions and knowing stuff.

  58. bookie says:

    I think building bridges with math is elitist! I would rather use Popsicle sticks!

  59. GB says:

    As I Canuck fan – please, hold the applause – I think that Tyler and Bruce are both sort of right about Burrows. The Sedins have helped him, no doubt, but they’ve been way better with him too. Burrows has somehow turned himself from a fringe 4th liner two years ago to somebody who is actually strong on the puck and has some skill. For him to make these improvements at age 27 and 28 is kind of bizarre. Maybe I can do some math and figure it out.

    Oh, and best of luck to the Calgary Flames tonight.

  60. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Quinn said…
    FCM,

    While I agree that heart can drive a guy, I think there is a strong limitation on using ‘heart’ as a guide to performance.

    Even if we are to look at equivalent skill levels (ie ignore differences in talent), there is really no objective way to use drive or heart to predict how a player is going to perform. Otherwise, we could hope to see a 40 point year from Reddox and have just finished witnessing a 60 point year from Moreau.

    This is, I think, the crux of the argument for math being made here. By taking equivalencies, based on statistically significant samples, from league to league and year to year, we as fans can hope that we see specific levels of performance from prospects or acquisitions.

    I will agree with you that a particular player can overachieve based on their drive or desire to perform well (see Mike Camalleri or any player in the last year of their contract), but the statistics will always bear out in the player’s career

    That’s exactly my point.

    There is no objective way to measure it so the math guys discount it as an anomaly.

    Without sounding like I’m heading off to the next Billy Graham Crusade, there are aspects of human behaviour that are not measurable and never will be.

    (BTW the audience at a Billy Graham Crusade and Oiler seaons ticket holders have a lot in common as they often rise to their feet and yell…Oh, Jesus.)

    Stolen humor but a hoot nonetheless.

    I see Tyler is having some issues with a 28 goal scorer that is signed for $2M/yr.

    Don’t results matter anymore?

  61. godot10 says:

    //Pick up Tanguay and Komisarek as UFAs.//

    Komisarek will cost a fortune. The Oilers have Smid and Peckham to be physical, and if one is going to spend all that money on Komisarek, spend it on Bouwmeester instead.

    Tanguay….aren’t we supposed to be getting bigger?

    And Tanguay again is a playmaker, and not a shooter, and isn’t particularly good in the corners, so he would be a terrible fit for Hemsky.

    Komisarek and Tanguay don’t add to the skillset at an affordable price.

    The Oilers main needs is affordable, physical, two-way forwards.

  62. rickibear says:

    The problem with math is it can only tell you what happened in the past.

    //A mathematical prediction:

    Player A scored 40 pts. in 08/09
    Player A will score 40 pts. in 09/10

    How often is that acccurate, my guess a number approaching zero.//

    Kamus: Reliabity based analysis.

    Swedish pump type “A’ has achieved a process movement value of 80% 14 times. A new pump comes out that achieves the same performance as the other pump in similiar conditions. You can buy the new pump for $100,000.

    You have two North American pumps that achieve less for $110,000 and $160,000.

    The goal is to achieve maximum Process. It identified as a higher priority by your company.

    You ignore the pump that trends like the other 14 elite pumps and use the existing.

    You know what happens next. You get a letter from corporate calling you in to explain why you did not use the pump.

    You tell them because you think the other NA pumps will work better.

    You Know what happens next. They look at you Laugh and say you are fired.

    Trending is how we reward prospects in the NHL. To ignore a trend that says increased performance in todays world is foolhardy.

  63. Bruce says:

    The major problem that I have with your point is that you seem to think that Henrik + Burrows or Daniel + Burrows are somehow actually about a goal for/60 better than Pavel Datsyuk, who’s the best guy in the league in that regard this year at 4.28 5v5 G/60, as opposed to that just being a shit happens sort of a thing.Tyler, what I actually said was this:

    Some of it is riding the percentages, sure, but from this distance a lot of it appeared to be real chemistry, with Burrows carrying every bit of his share of the load.”

    You refer to the unreal PDO as if it’s a positive. Of course it’s a positive. It may not be sustainable at “unreal” levels, but a good PDO speaks to shot quality for and against. A good Corsi speaks to shot quantity for and against. Elite performance typically (not always) relies on both of those factors to contribute positively.

    While it reflects well in the scoresheet, and I accept that Henrik and Daniel should have PDO’s north of 100, Burrows has done nothing in his career to date to indicate that his PDO legitimately belongs at that level.
    I forget how to access previous seasons on TimeonIce — have to enter php?season=2008 or some such somewhere — so I can’t quantify Burrows’ PDO in 2007-08. However, he ended last season +11 while playing almost exclusively on the checking line against top opp so surely he wasn’t outshooting a ton, strongly suggestive of a PDO well north of 100.

    I also give the credit to the Sedins instead of Burrows because it’s not like this is the first time that the Sedins have pulled this trick – they made Anson Carter a couple of million bucks too. Therefore Burrows = Carter??? And to think you accuse me of making weak arguments. I can hardly think of two players more different.

    I note as well that the Sedins have historically outshot and outscored their opposition, even when not blessed with the talent that is Alex Burrows.I thought we math guys are supposed to be dispassionately scientific. :) Your antipathy towards Burrows is a poor reason to be making bad arguments. I don’t like him either, but I sure respect the career he’s carving from a pretty unlikely background.

    FYI, Burrows is signed for four years at $2MM per. That’s the contract that I think that the Sedins should be getting a cut of.
    Burrows scored 28 goals this year including Zero on the powerplay. The Canucks got a bargain signing him long term for (ahem) Robert Nilsson money. Burrows hits, agitates, kills (and draws) penalties, scores goals, and outscores tough opposition. And he just keeps on improving, year after year. You don’t have to like the guy to see that he’s a helluva player.

  64. slipper says:

    It may not be sustainable at “unreal” levels, but a good PDO speaks to shot quality for and against.I think this is something you’ve hoped to be true for a while now.

  65. kamus says:

    In statistics an outlier is disgarded because it is deemed insignificant.
    In hockey an outlier is Pavel Datsyuk.
    When I watch hockey I want to see a bunch of outliers playing.

  66. slipper says:

    In statistics an outlier is disgarded because it is deemed insignificant.Are you refering to Alex Burrow’s 150% increase in ES goal production this season, or his shooting percentage nearly doubling from 07-08 to 08-09?

  67. slipper says:

    What the heck is up with the italicized comments bridging onto my clever responses?

  68. uni says:

    What the heck is up with the italicized comments bridging onto my clever responses?

    Try using a <br /><br /> after your </i>

  69. uni says:

    Weird triple posting thing happening there with Iron…hmm…makes me less enthused by Chromium source.

  70. Bruce says:

    What the heck is up with the italicized comments bridging onto my clever responses?

    Another alternative is to close your italics before the punctuation ofthe quote. (Note the ? of your question in regular font) Seems to trick the little bug that has cropped up in blogger in recent weeks.

    //a good PDO speaks to shot quality for and against.//

    I think this is something you’ve hoped to be true for a while now.

    Slipper: I think it is true. But it’s damn tough to isolate.

    Now that the regular season is over I hope to find some time to have a deeper look at outshooting vs. PDO at the team level and post it on my blog so nobody can read it. :(

  71. Dennis says:

    Lars and Erik were in love and they knew the world wouldn’t approve.

    And they didn’t give a fuck.

    This was a picture caption contest, right?

  72. spOILer says:

    Godot said:

    Komisarek will cost a fortune. The Oilers have Smid and Peckham to be physical, and if one is going to spend all that money on Komisarek, spend it on Bouwmeester instead.

    Tanguay….aren’t we supposed to be getting bigger?

    And Tanguay again is a playmaker, and not a shooter, and isn’t particularly good in the corners, so he would be a terrible fit for Hemsky.

    Komisarek and Tanguay don’t add to the skillset at an affordable price.

    The Oilers main needs is affordable, physical, two-way forwards.
    Tanguay is, IMO, an elite two way forward. He can score goals, but as I said above, the drop in his numbers last two seasons, is a bit alarming… and might also reduce his cost. And he’s better in the corners than you think. Size issue is resolved by additions of Horton, Staal and Komisarek. So I’d be just as happy with Gaborik in the same place.

    I don’t think Komi is going to cost what you think, and I could see JBO going for nearly twice Komi’s ticket price, without some fancy front-loading on an extremely long term contract. See the contracts of the aforementioned defensive defensemen, and then add in the notion of declining cap ceiling.

    But I do appreciate your opinion, thank you for the response.

  73. spOILer says:

    Caption contest…

    Linus: When is someone going to call a penalty on Garfinkel here for holding my stick?

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