In Search of Paul Bunyan

Since trading Ryan Smyth the Edmonton Oilers have spent untold hours and millions trying to find Ryan Smyth. It’s a giggle-causer to be sure, but it’s also galling in that it was an unforced error by management. I firmly believe they made their Smyth decision after G7 SCF (within weeks they’d also be saying goodbye to Chris Pronger) and the Oilers, Daryl Katz and the fanbase have been scrambling and waking up to nightmares ever since.

Which brings us to Nikolai Zherdev. He’s no Paul Bunyan (in photo) but he’s a skilled winger and a big enough name for the Oilers management group to sell to the season ticket holder. Zherdev has size (6.02, 200) and is a shooter (his 219 shots trails only Sheldon Souray and Patrick O’Sullivan on the current roster).

He’s also in a spot of bother with the Rangers. Headed to arbitration soon, rumor has it that the Rangers may walk away from the ruling if it’s too dear. The Rangers are hoping for something close to $3.25M and the Zherdev side is dreaming of a $4.5M payday.

Should the pricetag be in the $4M range I’d say the Oilers probably make an offer. Ladislav Smid is a player who might have value and the Oilers need to move a small forward so I’ll suggest Robert Nilsson as an alternate. Picks may also be involved.

Two things I believe we can be confident about: Kevin Prendergast was running his mouth when he suggested the Oilers will go to camp with this roster, and the Oilers are going to be knocking on some doors in the next 6 weeks. I think Sather’s phone will be ringing.

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100 Responses to "In Search of Paul Bunyan"

  1. godot10 says:

    How does another RW solve the problem of finding a LW to play with Hemsky?

    Didn't they just try this with Cole?

  2. Coach pb9617 says:

    RW solves the problem of who to play with Cogliano – Gagner – XXXXXXX on the second line.

    O'Sullivan – Pouliot – Pisani on the third.

  3. Lowetide says:

    godot10: He's a winger with size. This might afford the Oilers an opportunity like this for the top 6:

    Horcoff-Penner-Hemsky
    Gagner-O'Sullivan-Zherdev

    This gives size to the 2line and keeps the top line intact.

  4. Coach pb9617 says:

    LT, your lineup seems to imply Cogliano at 3c.

    Please stop doing that to me.

  5. Lowetide says:

    coach: Nope. My 3line is Pouliot, Moreau and Pisani. Cogs is the odd man out (4line) at this point because O'Sullivan is the shooter on the 2line.

    Cogliano can move up onto the top 2lines though when injuries hit.

  6. DanMan says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

    No more big contracts, please!

    I think one of the main reasons we will go to camp with this roster is the fact that Gagner and Cogliano are RFA's after this year. If they have decent years (50-60 points) we are looking at $3.5 mil cap hit each.

    godot10: he usually plays LW, but can play either, unlike some I could mention.

  7. Mr DeBakey says:

    I'm not sure Zherdev is the best option.
    But if signed, 1-year only!
    [Nilsson & Staios going back]

    Chicago, San Jose, Boston & Philadelphia all have Cap problems.
    A few good wingers there.

    Though
    Chicago could solve their problems for this season by signing Biron at $2.5 and sending Huet to Rockford.

  8. trader says:

    LT: It seems that every option you present has Smid sent out of town and Pouliot playing the tough physical minutes. Your visions of Poo playing hard minutes is like MacTavish thinking Liam is a first line winger. I just don't see it.

  9. Traktor says:

    Zherdev had zero points in 7 playoff games and this is the guy that LT sends Cogliano down to the 4th line for?

    Yikes.

  10. Lowetide says:

    trader: I think Smid is a fine young player and he's signed at a nice price. However, you have to give in order to get and it isn't like he's pushing the top 4D (and that has happened recently in the case of Gilbert and Grebeshkov so it can be done).

    I'm all for keeping Smid, a nice inexpensive option. But he's an asset with value. If the NYR would accept Nilsson instead then by all menas.

    As for Pouliot, if they sign Malhotra then the Oilers have a better option, and if they move Gagner to the 1line then Horcoff can be part of a pvp line with Pisani and someone else (maybe Moreau).

    But as it is, Pouliot is a better option than the others on the roster. jmo.

  11. Jonathan Willis says:

    If we're looking at RW shooters for the second line, what about Jonathan Cheechoo? He only makes 3MM for the next two seasons, and San Jose would (probably) like to move him for some cap space.

  12. Lowetide says:

    Jonathan: Last I checked his EV/60 number was a disaster.

  13. B.C.B. says:

    I don't know if Zherdev and Patty'O need to be on the same line, in this dream. They are both shooters, and we don't have enough of them through out the line up.

    As for Smid: we need a good, inexpensive option in the 5-6 range. What if injury hits the top 4 (and it will with Big Sexy's and the Slovak's history). I would feel more comfortable promoting Smid to the top four, over Strudwick or Peckham. Staios is a fine top four injury substitute, but we need more then one if we are going to make the playoffs.

  14. Lowetide says:

    BCB: The one thing I never worry about with this club is finding a dependable defender. Should they deal Smid I'm certain someone from the Hejda tree would be right around the corner.

  15. Chappy says:

    Kevin Prendergast was running his mouth when he suggested the Oilers will go to camp with this roster

    Cheers to that

  16. raventalon40 says:

    BCB: The one thing I never worry about with this club is finding a dependable defender. Should they deal Smid I'm certain someone from the Hejda tree would be right around the corner.

    I agree with this. It's a lot harder to find defenseman who are in the 1-4 range than in the 5-8 range. Smid has trade value and that's about it until he proves he can be in the Oilers' 1-4, and as it stands on the current D-core, he's not.

  17. DBO says:

    If it means unloading Nilsson, then I am all for Zherdev. Smid and Nilsson is a good value for Zherdev, and if you look at what the two of them would make it is almost around $3.5 million. So for $.500K you add a top 6 winger with hands. Seems like a no brainer, and it does not handcuff us going forward since it isn't a $7+ mill deal like Heatley. And we can add a vet 5/6 dman to round out the back end (which would make LT happy). Personally i would like Eminger or Seidenberg, who will cost around $1 mill and can play in our top 4, are still young enough to grow and are solid two way defenseman with decent size and skills.

  18. DBO says:

    And having said all that, i would sooner go after Patrick Sharp rom Chicago, who can't bring much back due to cap constraints. Sharp is a great two way player who has grit, can score. but also kills penalties and can play wing or centre. Two way players who can score 30 are not a common thing, so i would love to have Sharp over Zherdev for what he brings in our own end as much as the offensive zone.

  19. Coach pb9617 says:

    If we're looking at RW shooters for the second line, what about Jonathan Cheechoo? He only makes 3MM for the next two seasons, and San Jose would (probably) like to move him for some cap space.

    San Jose wants playoff players and "jam". Seems like a nice place for Moreau.

    And if Cheechoo could get his SP out of the toilet, that's not a bad option.

  20. quain says:

    Zherdev would be a great addition. If you assume our lines are going to be as such next season:

    Penner-Horcoff-Hemsky
    O'Sully-Gagner-Cogliano

    then, adding Zherdev basically allows you to trade or push Penner/O'Sully/Cogliano out of the top six. He gives you a lot of flexibility and options, while also upgrading your size and talent. Also, if there's fear that Cogliano might not get paid with Zherdev here, I'd argue that Zherdev makes either O'Sullivan or Penner expendable which clears up your cap space.

    Next season becomes the audition season, and you're looking at a 2010-11 top six of:

    Sully/Penner-Horcoff-Hemsky
    Zherdev-Gagner-Cogliano

    and I like that top six.

  21. DBO says:

    what about the best of both world's.

    Smid and Cogs for Sharp.
    O'Sullivan for Zherdev

    Sharp-Horcoff-Hemsky
    Penner-Gagner-Zherdev

    Cap wise it adds $2 mill (which can be saved by sending Nilsson to minors), and still gives us a few million to sign a vet 3/4 C and a vet 5/6 dman. I like that top 6 way better then any I've seen all summer.

  22. rickibear says:

    Next season becomes the audition season, and you're looking at a 2010-11 top six of:

    Sully/Penner-Horcoff-Hemsky
    Zherdev-Gagner-Cogliano

    Not so fast!
    Don't forget the auditions of:

    Omark in the KHL
    MPS in the SEL.

  23. DBO says:

    Ok I take that back. we would be just over the cap by %275K even with dumping Nilsson. If we could unload Pisani instead of Cogs for Sharp (Chicago might do it since Pisani comes off the cap next year)

    Pisani and Smid for Sharp
    O'Sullivan for Zherdev

    Sharp-Horcoff-Hemsky
    Penner-Gagner-Zherdev
    Moreau-Betts-Cogs
    Jacques-Pouliot-Stortini

    Vishnovski-Grebeshkov
    Gilbert-Souray
    Staios-Eminger
    Strudwick

    Khabibulin
    JDD

    Cap room = $920K. I like that team to make the playoffs and have a shot at doing something.

  24. Lowetide says:

    Omark is the SEL is another set of troubles because he's small and skilled. I'd rather trade him.

    MPS is another story altogether. If he can post a quality season in the SEL then I agree bring him over and give him a chance.

  25. DanMan says:

    rickibear: you could potentially add Riley Nash, Alex Plante, Jeff Petry, and Jordan Eberle to that list.

    This only illustrates further the importance of not adding anything more than one year contracts for any veteran acquisition.

  26. blah says:

    I think we should target P Sharp and P Kessel over Zherdev has all the tools, but he is extremely inconsistent.
    That being said, I will be a little disappointed if we go with the same roster.
    My old mas often says: To achieve different results, one must do things differently.

  27. Asciutto says:

    you could potentially add Riley Nash, Alex Plante, Jeff Petry, and Jordan Eberle to that list.

    One at a time, two max!

    That should be the major lesseon learned over the past three dismal winters.

  28. DBO says:

    does anyone know if you give zherdev a one year deal is he a UFA after the year? Or is he still an RFA? No idea on that stuff, i know it matters how many years in the league, etc. Just wondering if dealing for Zherdev and giving him a one year deal for $4 mill makes sense, especially if we still have his rights. If he has a bad year, we can sign him to a discount, if he has a great year then we'll pay him and be happy for it.

  29. Dennis says:

    This is the time of the year when good ol' LT believes the brass intentions are the best:)

    I don't think the team is content with the current roster but not a lot usually shakes loose this time of the year.

  30. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: Usually I'd agree, but there are so many teams that haven't completed business. SJS haven't even really started their overhaul, Philadelphia has crazy cap problems and there's business to do in other towns too.

    And yeah, I'm feeling good about the team at this point. Not all of the predictions have come true but a couple are done and more is on the way.

    http://lowetide.blogspot.com/2009/05/oilers-turn-page.html

  31. doritogrande says:

    I think Smid is a fine young player and he's signed at a nice price.

    I may be completely out of the loop, but has Smid signed his contract yet?

  32. trav77 says:

    LT whats your opinion on todd fedoruk?

  33. DanMan says:

    Asciutto: What exactly do you mean by that?

    Do you think it was a mistake to have Gilbert, Cogliano, and Gagner all make the jump in one year?

    The young talent in the NHL keeps getting better and better. Look at the top 20 scorers this year. Some of them wouldn't be there if teams had rules like "only one rookie can make the team per year". You are in serious trouble if you get stuck in that box.

  34. Asciutto says:

    Do you think it was a mistake to have Gilbert, Cogliano, and Gagner all make the jump in one year?

    Did you enjoy the play-offs?

  35. Lowetide says:

    trav77: Always liked him.

  36. DanMan says:

    Asciutto: We were nearly a last place team in 07-08 before MacT's hand was forced and he HAD to play the kids because of injuries.

    Guess what happened? We went on an unbelieveable run and almost got in the playoffs.

  37. Coach pb9617 says:

    Guess what happened? We went on an unbelieveable run and almost got in the playoffs.

    Oh dear.

  38. quain says:

    We were nearly a last place team in 07-08 before MacT's hand was forced and he HAD to play the kids because of injuries.

    Yeah, thank goodness for injuries or Gagner, Gilbert, Cogliano, and Grebeshkov would have only played full seasons.

  39. DanMan says:

    I meant minutes wise.

    Instead of 8-10 minutes, they were given 15-18.

    Are you guys actually going to try and tell me that those players didn't have an impact on us going 14-5-1 down the stretch, when our opponents were often fighting to get in as well?

    If you just wanna argue with me thats ok.

    But Gagner had 49 points, he got about 35 in the last 41 games. Cogliano, Nilsson, and Gilbert all had really good rookie seasons.

    Who should we have played that year?

  40. Mr DeBakey says:

    "MacT's hand was forced and he HAD to play the kids because of injuries.
    Guess what happened? We went on an unbelievable run and almost got in the playoffs."

    Someone decided he wanted to go blogging wearing a pork chop necktie.

    The more I think about it, the more I think
    Just say NO
    to Zherdev.

    There has to be better options.

  41. Coach pb9617 says:

    Someone decided he wanted to go blogging wearing a pork chop necktie.

    Yeah – that's good stuff.

  42. shep says:

    danman should read this: link

  43. Lowetide says:

    DanMan: You're right, this is working out much better than me deleting your posts.

    :-)

  44. bookie says:

    They played a lot better during that run. I don't think it was a statistical fluke that they won over 70% of those games.

    In watching those games, I saw the team open up and play a more aggressive style of play. I think that MacT stopped coaching the team differently for each game. I suspect it was because he moved from 'must win now' to 'lets develop some players' mode. As a result he focused more on his team's play than on the opponent that they were facing (I admit that this is all unsupported speculation).

    We heard a few comments from the Oiler players near the end of this season that they felt that they spent too much time focusing on changing their game to match the team they were playing as opposed to developing a specific style of play for the Oilers. I think it was Gilbert who really laid out this argument.

    Personally, I think the biggest problem was that we had a team that designed to play one style and a coach that coached for another style. I think the 14-5-1 run was a point in time where the coaching style was closer to the skillset of the team. It was also a hotstreak for a few players that may not be repeated.

  45. Traktor says:

    DanMan:

    You have to understand that Edmonton's 14-5-1 run came when Shawn Horcoff was on the IR.

    To give credence to the winning streak is heresy.

  46. pboy says:

    I swear that if you watch the Zapruder film enough times you will see Horc up on the grassy knoll…

  47. Jonathan Willis says:

    DanMan: The link above makes things pretty clear, and if you feel like being stubborn (the record matters, not all these other trifling indicators) the early season record of the 2007-08 Ottawa Senators is worth considering.

    The way the points get accumulated matters just as much as actually accumulating the points when evaluating team performance.

  48. doritogrande says:

    You have to understand that Edmonton's 14-5-1 run came when Shawn Horcoff was on the IR.

    Or, for those of us who aren't Traktor, it also occured after thecaptainethanmoreau tried to play basketball.

  49. Gerta Rauss says:

    I swear that if you watch the Zapruder film enough times you will see Horc up on the grassy knoll…

    He was in the kitchen at the Ambassador as well.

  50. PDO says:

    Anyone know how reliable this is?

    http://mvn.com/thecoldshoulder/2009/07/sharks-cap-space-necessitates-trade.html

    TheCaptainEthanMoreau for Cheechoo and a pick, anyone?

  51. mc79hockey says:

    They played a lot better during that run. I don't think it was a statistical fluke that they won over 70% of those games.

    So you think that, for those twenty games, the Oilers were, roughly, playing as well as the Boys on the Bus.

    I don't know what you're on but, for everyone's sake, please stay away from heavy machinery and comply with whatever other instructions may be on the label.

  52. bookie says:

    The problem with the 'stats' given in mcy9's page (the link) is that it totally disassociates goal differential from the context of the game of hockey. It explores goals as though they were like rolls of dice or the drawing of cards. The winning of so many games with a minimal goal differential is explained the same way that getting heads on a coin 5x in a row is explained – as if it were a random chance happening.

    There is much more to hockey than random chance. Some goalies get sloppier when their team is leading by 3-4 goals, some players get nervous when their team is leading, some players get better when their team is leading, etc. I think that it was such an intense run that for a few games when the team fell behind by 2-3 goals that the players simply collapsed and lost big.

    In any case, the argument that win/loss is somehow irrelevant and that goal differential over multiple games is a better statistic to explain the 'quality' of a team's play is simplistic.

    A team that wins 5 games by 1 goal and then gets blown out 8 to 1 is a way better team than a team that loses 6 games by 1 goal depite the fact that they had a larger goal differential.

    So I would suggest that saying that the Oilers played poorly through that 14-5-1 run and backing that argument up with goals for/against is as weak of an argument as saying that they won because they played looser.

    I know that they got a few lucky breaks in those games, but anyone who thinks that they didn't play better than they did the month prior to that run wasn't watching.

  53. Lowetide says:

    PDO: Can Cheechoo play? His 5×5/60 isn't good and although he has a good Corsi everyone but Jamie McGinn did too.

    I think he's expensive for two years and not at all a good risk. Is that fair or am I missing something?

  54. PDO says:

    LT:

    I think it's a lateral move. I wouldn't be a big fan, but I wouldn't mind seeing TheCaptainEthanMoreau shipped out of town either. They're both signed for 2 more years.

    Who's a better bet to cover their #, Moreau @ 2.0 or Cheechoo @ 3.0?

    Neither's good, but I'd think Cheechoo is the better bet.

  55. NBOilerFan says:

    Zherdev is someone I liked a couple years back as an option.

    However I'd preferred they had resigned Kotalik who had 208 shots and more importantly, fits the Tambs 2009 mantra of "bigger, tougher harder to play against" who is 25 pounds heavier and will hit. Kotalik had 2.5 times the hits then Zherdev last year (121 – 49) had 208 shots to Zherdev's 218, pus he won some faceoffs.

    And we could have gotten Kotalik without giving up any assets which means we could have potentially moved an asset or two, even if it was for late round picks amd came out ahead.

    PLus Ales is freinds with Hemsky and reportedly was very open to returning to Edmonton.

  56. bookie says:

    If the argument were made using scoring chances, it would be a bit more effective because it would remove the influence of 'lucky breaks'. Still though, it does not remove the influence of team behaviour in games of different circumstances.

  57. Lowetide says:

    bookie: But it all comes back to the median. Sometimes a hitter will have a hot streak where everything is a rocket and then tail off but have balls fall in. Anyone in the world following the team might think "this fellow has turned the corner" and maybe he makes the All-star game.

    But as summer rolls on, the ropes are caught and the bloops are too. It's a bitch, but if you're bleeding chances you're going to pay.

    It's like a storm cloud on the horizon. Ask Sam Gagner about the rest of the story.

  58. NBOilerFan says:

    Lowetide said…
    PDO: Can Cheechoo play? His 5×5/60 isn't good and although he has a good Corsi everyone but Jamie McGinn did too.

    Can you check these stas for the 2007/2008 season or just last year?

    I admittedly haven't looked closely at Cheechoo's stats from last year closely though I know he had a poor season from what I read lats year, but I've also saw him good. And from what I remember he knows how to get to open slots, can execute and likes to drive the net some and even score garbage goals.

    Any chance that last year was simply a bad year and this one of those buy low deals. A 2yr $2/yr deal might be a gamble that pays off?

    But admotedly I don't know alot about him.

  59. bookie says:

    They played a lot better during that run. I don't think it was a statistical fluke that they won over 70% of those games.

    So you think that, for those twenty games, the Oilers were, roughly, playing as well as the Boys on the Bus.

    I am suggesting that they were playing much better than they had for most of the season. This does not suggest that the team would have sustained that level of play into the future. I agree with LT when he says that 'It all comes back to the median' for the player/team.

    I am saying that the team was on a hot streak where they were PLAYING BETTER (which I agree may not have been sustainable), not because they were LUCKY. MC79 is arguing that they did not play any better, but rather that somehow the Hockey Gods were smiling upon them.

    Chance or 'lucky breaks' is unlikely to have much of an influence over a 20 game stretch. If you assume that 'Luck' is a 50/50 variable (which in the absence of divine intervention, it is) then over a 20 game stretch the influence of 'luck' or rather chance should pretty much be a wash and have little influence on the outcome (maybe 2-3 games at most).

  60. Coach pb9617 says:

    I don't know what you're on but, for everyone's sake, please stay away from heavy machinery and comply with whatever other instructions may be on the label.

    I just read a story that Quaaludes are coming back.

    Ray Fosse was the games greatest catcher for a year and a half. Things fell apart.

  61. Coach pb9617 says:

    I was a big proponent of allowing the fans their happiness with that run at the time and in the following off-season. I figured the team would regress like most here expected them to and everyone would learn a lesson.

    The team regressed as expected and instead of learning a lesson in probability and using it as an intro to Bayes, the lesson everyone learned was … screw the defense and hope for luck.

  62. Woodguy says:

    I think it's a lateral move. I wouldn't be a big fan, but I wouldn't mind seeing TheCaptainEthanMoreau shipped out of town either. They're both signed for 2 more years.

    Who's a better bet to cover their #, Moreau @ 2.0 or Cheechoo @ 3.0?

    Neither's good, but I'd think Cheechoo is the better bet.

    There may also be the addition by subtraction if 18 actually is the cause of some internal turmoil, but that's all conjecture.

    What I really don't like about this proposal is that Cheechoo doesn't kill penalties.

    If 18 is gone you are left with, 10, 19, and 34 as the only players on the roster with PK experience.

    This assumes that they don't sign another center of course, but they are thin enough on the PK now and it was one of the biggest problems with this team last year.

    Not that Moreau was great on the PK (8.13 GA/60), but if he will allow Renney to coach him, and he is relatively healthy (phantom wrist injury) he shouldn't be that bad again.

    Hopefully.

  63. mc79hockey says:

    Chance or 'lucky breaks' is unlikely to have much of an influence over a 20 game stretch. If you assume that 'Luck' is a 50/50 variable (which in the absence of divine intervention, it is) then over a 20 game stretch the influence of 'luck' or rather chance should pretty much be a wash and have little influence on the outcome (maybe 2-3 games at most).

    If you're talking about coin flips with a 50/50 coin, the odds of getting 14 or more heads in 20 trials is about 5.8%. So your statement is just wrong.

  64. bookie says:

    If you're talking about coin flips with a 50/50 coin, the odds of getting 14 or more heads in 20 trials is about 5.8%. So your statement is just wrong.

    Your math is correct, your conclusions are wrong. Actually, it means that there is a 94.2% chance that I am correct and a 5.8% chance that you are correct.

    Luck is a 50/50 chance (yes, like a coin flip). There are two teams each of which has the same chance at having more luck through 60 minutes.

    You are essentially arguing that the Oilers were outplayed in a significant number of those 14 wins and one OT loss. The goal differential over 20 games provides absolutely no evidence of that. It would be just as logical for me to argue that the teams who beat them in the other 5 games got enormously lucky or that luck was against the Oilers for 14 games, but the Oilers played well enough to overcome the bad luck.

    Anyway, I generally agree with you that too many people got overexcited about the winning streak, I just disagree with the goal differential over 20 games being an effective way to make your argument.

    I do think that MacT got worse results for the team than the average NHL coach would. I do wonder and sometimes surmise that the team benefited from a change in MacT for those 20 games. There is no way to know or prove this though.

  65. Coach pb9617 says:

    Actually, it means that there is a 94.2% chance that I am correct and a 5.8% chance that you are correct.

    It doesn't mean that at all.

  66. Coach pb9617 says:

    And with bookie's misunderstanding of probability, Vic has an uneasy feeling that there is a giant silhouette of a sigma shining in the night sky to alert him.

    He is compelled to respond.

  67. Steve says:

    Kevin Prendergast was running his mouth when he suggested the Oilers will go to camp with this roster…

    Am I the only one who pictures Lowetide clutching a pillow and rocking back and forth as he says this?

  68. bookie says:

    Coach – I am saying that there is a 94.2% chance that the Oilers were more lucky than the opposing team for no more than 13 of 20 games. How is that wrong? This really is quite simple.

  69. bookie says:

    Of course, we could fall into a philosophical discussion about whether luck exists… I like to think of it as the element that is beyond the ability of the players to influence. In other words, the influence of precision beyond the skill of the player at the moment, reffing, ice conditions that favour one player over another, etc.

  70. Coach pb9617 says:

    Coach – I am saying that there is a 94.2% chance that the Oilers were more lucky than the opposing team for no more than 13 of 20 games. How is that wrong? This really is quite simple.

    No sir. You said, and I quote directly:

    Actually, it means that there is a 94.2% chance that I am correct and a 5.8% chance that you are correct.

    And you are quite wrong in that argument.

  71. bookie says:

    Ok coach, I should have said MOST PROBABLY 2-3 games at most. MOST PROBABLY luck played little role in the winning/losing record of the Oilers over 20 games.

    To support MC79's argument, it is more likely that luck played a role in games that were close than if all of the games would have had a 2-3 goal differential.

    In my estimation the Oilers played better than the teams they beat in most of those games. In fact, more often than not, that is how things work out.

    Sorry for being so argumentative, but I am procrastaposting to avoid doing my actual work…

  72. Bruce says:

    The one thing I never worry about with this club is finding a dependable defender. Should they deal Smid I'm certain someone from the Hejda tree would be right around the corner.

    LT: Is Jason Strudwick from the Hejda tree?

  73. esa tikkanen says:

    Lowetide,

    How is it you can complain for a month about giving up Cogliano in the Heatley trade then now you have him as a spare part? Getting a 50 goal scorer for a spare part, an overpaid Penner contract and a yet to arrive #5 dman seems like the trade of the century. What exactly were you upset about? Cogliano is redundant on this team, Heatley is a unique talent. I know the trade is dead, but your opposition to it based on giving up on a kid who you want on the fourth line makes absolutely no sense to me.

  74. Asciutto says:

    No Bruce,
    He's not

    Strudwick is the kind you keep
    Hejda the type you let walk

  75. bookie says:

    Strudwick is from the same tree family as Hejda, but it's a lot like Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree is fromt the same tree family as the Rockefeller Center tree, yet at the same time there is something comfortable about that little old malnurished tree.

  76. Lowetide says:

    esa tikkanen: Cogliano may start on my 4line but he has all kinds of talent. This season will likely be an adjustment as he moves to wing. I'm certainly not in favor of burying him.

  77. RiversQ says:

    Busted by tikkanen.

  78. DanMan says:

    You guys can bring up all the advanced stats you want, and we can have circular arguments that go on for days on end.

    Did any of you even bother to read my original point, that its is not automatic disaster to have 2 or 3 rookies make the 23 man roster?

    Did that hurt the kids development? Did it hurt the organizations development?

    and LT: If you want to delete the posts that stray from your herd, that's your perogative, I honestly don't care.

    Come up with some original thoughts, guys. Don't just regurgitate what MacT tells you.

  79. DanMan says:

    I did read mc79hockeys article. I get it.

    Hockey is not a black and white game. A hockey puck is a crazy object to play a game with. You can outplay, outcheck, outshoot the other team and lose. You can also play a horrible game and win. Goaltending is enigmatic.

    There are some nice goals. There are bad goals. There are deflected shots that become goals. Sticks get broken, guys lose the edge of their skate.

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Advanced stats simply do not work in hockey. It is a game of bounces. Moneyball may work in baseball, Moneypuck won't work in hockey.

  80. R O says:

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Advanced stats simply do not work in hockey. It is a game of bounces. Moneyball may work in baseball, Moneypuck won't work in hockey.

    Prove it.

  81. mc79hockey says:

    I'm also surprised to learn that baseball isn't a game of bounces.

  82. Stormwatch says:

    Take Baywatch for instance,
    that's a game of bounces

  83. Mr DeBakey says:

    Did any of you even bother to read my original point, that its is not automatic disaster to have 2 or 3 rookies make the 23 man roster?

    Did that hurt the kids development? Did it hurt the organizations development?

    The Organization's development was hurt by flushing one of Gagner's RFA years.

    Automatic Disaster – Of the four SC semi-finalists,
    how many guys with less than 75 NHL games in each club's top-15 minutes played?

  84. mc79hockey says:

    They flushed two of Gagner's RFA years.

  85. DanMan says:

    R.O.: Where are the stats on bad goals?

    Where are the stats on how goals are actually scored?

    You guys can try and make it as complex as you like, the bottom line is to win a hockey game you just score more goals than you opponent.

    These are the stats that matter the most when it comes to winning hockey games.

  86. Jonathan Willis says:

    DanMan:

    And that's why two rookie forwards in the top-nine is a terrible mistake – because as a general rule they're bad at scoring more goals than more experienced players.

  87. bookie says:

    I would say that the complexity of what happens on the ice is more limiting to the predictibility that can be gained through advanced stats than it is for baseball.

    I would not say advanced stats do not have value, but that they need to be interpreted with a notion that they have limitations.

  88. DanMan says:

    Look at it this way mc79hockey:

    If the Oilers start the year 5-14-1, will you chalk it up to bad luck? No you won't, you and the rest of the Oilogisphere will run Tambo and Quinn under the bus (and rightfully so).

    And yeah your'e right Gagner shouldv'e stayed in junior that year, and Cogs shouldv'e been in Springfield. We could have had Toby Peterson back, and bump Reddox up a year early. That wouldv'e been way better.

  89. DanMan says:

    Jonathan: Gagner and Cogliano finished 3rd, and 5th in scoring on the team that year. Those pesky veteran snipers must have been snakebitten.

    Brilliant stuff guys, keep it coming.

  90. DanMan says:

    If a 5'9" 165 pound Patrick Kane can play on the first line right off the bat, anything is possible when it comes to rookies.

    It's a good thing Chicago didn't play by your rules, Jonathan.

    Icing young teams that do very well is only news to you guys. It's not really breaking new ground to suggest that rookies can have an immediate impact.

  91. R O says:

    If a 5'9" 165 pound Patrick Kane can play on the first line right off the bat, anything is possible when it comes to rookies.

    Hold on, when did Patrick Kane start playing first line minutes? He ranked 6th in QualComp in 07/08 and 5th in 08/09 amongst Chicago forwards.

  92. R O says:

    R.O.: Where are the stats on bad goals?

    Where are the stats on how goals are actually scored?

    You guys can try and make it as complex as you like, the bottom line is to win a hockey game you just score more goals than you opponent.

    These are the stats that matter the most when it comes to winning hockey games.

    He was fuckin' lucky

    Possession is everything

  93. mc79hockey says:

    If the Oilers start the year 5-14-1, will you chalk it up to bad luck? No you won't, you and the rest of the Oilogisphere will run Tambo and Quinn under the bus (and rightfully so).

    Well, right off the hop, your assumption is wrong. What I would chalk it up to depends on whether I thought that they'd actually been unlucky or not. I've certainly gone against the grain the other way – I spent much of 05-06 saying that this was a very good hockey team that needed a goalie.

    And yeah your'e right Gagner shouldv'e stayed in junior that year, and Cogs shouldv'e been in Springfield. We could have had Toby Peterson back, and bump Reddox up a year early. That wouldv'e been way better.

    Cogs is a different issue because they weren't burning FA years to have him here. Gagner's an RFA this year because of that decision. He'll be a UFA two years earlier. Hope you enjoyed being that much closer to the playoffs at the cost of better performances in the future, because that's exactly what those clowns did.

  94. DanMan says:

    mc79hockey:

    I agree, we will be in an unfortunate situation next year if the kids progress even slightly.

    But, are we really gonna be in cup contention in the forseeable future, anyway?

    On the baseball comment: There aren't many deflection home runs in basball (unless it's off Canseco's big head). There are no boards down the foul line. The ball is round, the puck is a disc. One one player has a bat in baseball.

    Hockey is a unique game in the sense that posession of the puck can change hands 10 times in under a minute (a large part of the game is played against the wall).

    Don't get me wrong, I like advanced stats. I visit your site often, and I don't want to take anything away from the work that you do.

    My point is that the game is not played on paper. In this age of endless advanced stats at our fingertips, why do teams still send scouts to watch in person?

    Some of us can actually watch the games and figure out what is going on. I dont need the stats to tell me that Jarrett Stoll is not a very good player 5 on 5.

    Here are the stats I have the biggest problems with:

    Save%: Smoe of the great glove and blocker saves are made on pucks that are actually going wide or off the post and out. Goalies get credit for a save whether its a Horcoff slapper at the logo, or all-out larceny.

    Faceoff%: 5 on 5 faceoffs often result in 6 forwards battling for posession of the puck. There are a lot of scrambles that are scored to the center on the team that ends up with the puck, when in fact it is often the wingers who actually win posession. There's a reason the PP team is 55% to the PK 45% leaguewide: The PP team has 3 forwards battling for posession, while the PK really has to pick their spots in this area.

    Hits, and +/- are two more that bother me, but those are fairly obvious

  95. DanMan says:

    While we're on the subject of comparing sports…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=om_yq4L3M_I

    I'm sure many of you have seen or heard this. It still never gets old to me.

  96. Asciutto says:

    "Goalies get credit for a save whether its a Horcoff slapper at the logo, or all-out larceny."

    Jayzuz, Merry and Josef

    Horcoff puts one into Kiprasoff's gut one night, then into Luongo's the next, and Anderson's on Friday.
    Why shouldn't they all count?
    I mean, we all know that Horcoff is going to be burying the biscuit into logos by turns, don't we?

  97. Lowetide says:

    RQ: Having Cogliano start on the 4line is burying him? I don't think so.

    MC: You're saying baseball is ALL luck, or do you agree that a career .270 hitter who hits .320 in the season's firs half is extremely likely to fall back (all things remaining equal)?

  98. mc79hockey says:

    MC: You're saying baseball is ALL luck, or do you agree that a career .270 hitter who hits .320 in the season's firs half is extremely likely to fall back (all things remaining equal)?

    I think that people have true talent levels. Some guys are .300 hitters, some guys are .260 hitters. Randomness, or luck, acts on their true talent and the observed results don't necessarily reflect their real abilities. So I believe that there are differences in ability, it's just not always clear what they are.

    You and I are completely on the same page here.

  99. Lowetide says:

    Ah, gotcha. I thought so, just making sure there wasn't a new NEW math. :-)

  100. bookie says:

    I think that sometimes people confuse ups and downs in a player's gameplay to luck. I think it is more likley due to a plethora of real world factors. You get lucky for a game, but over a larger sample of games luck is irrelevant.

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