Oilers at Flames, G10, 09-10

This is Frank Mahovlich. The Big M. Mahovlich was a unique combination of size, power and speed and easily one of the finest players of his era. Howie Meeker loved him, saying Mahovlich played the game as it should be played (as a young man, the Big M would race down the ice, belt the puck carrier, grab the puck, skate for a while, get belted, get back up and do the same thing over again) and until the Leafs traded him Frank Mahovlich was pretty much adored by English Canada.

They used to say “don’t wake up Mahovlich” because the best you could hope for is that the big man would become uninvolved , and that drove his coach (the redoubtable Punch Imlach) crazy. Imlach was an ass, cruel, nasty, vicious and small-minded. He would mispronounce Frank’s name on purpose to the media (“I didn’t like Mala-hov-ich’s game tonight”) and several accounts have the coach scheduling two-a-day’s so that the big M had to stay in the city between practices.

When they traded Frank Mahovlich, all the air left the Toronto Maple Leafs. They’d won the Stanley in spring 1967, but Frank had some ulcer/stomach problems and ended up in the hospital so Punch traded his ass to Detroit. English Canada was stunned, and many have never forgiven the Leafs for trading him.

When people compare a player–any player–to Frank Mahovlich, it should be considered an extreme compliment. His name is on the Stanley 6 times, and his most impressive playoff probably came with the Habs in 1971 (huge offensive spring, 14 goals in 20 games with 11 of the markers coming at even strength). His 533 goals rank him 30th all-time, although 21 of those 30 came in the following (and more offensive) era’s. Frank Mahovlich would have to rank as one of the all-time best left wingers, behind Bobby Hull, Ted Lindsay and just a very few from the years since he passed from the game (he tried a comeback with Detroit in 1979 but retired October 7th of that year).

Dustin Penner is one of the league’s leading scorers. He’s tied for 4th in goals and points, and hockey-reference says he’s 3rd in the entire league in goals created (behind Ovechkin and Kopitar). As an Oiler fan, it’s taking me some time to adjust to his impact on the ice this season–this is not Craig MacTavish’s Dustin Penner–but it is as deligthful as it is surprising to see Dustin Penner have this kind of success.

You could write a book.

The Oilers are winning but so is everyone else in the Western Conference. As day breaks the Flames and Oilers are tied for 2nd in the division behind the bizarro Avalanche and in terms of actual conference points both Calgary and Edmonton also rank in a 2nd place tie in terms of total points.

How long before I apologize to Kevin Lowe for all the venom over the Penner signing? Let’s start with Dustin Penner first and see how long that takes. If he can play at this level in even half the games this season the Oilers will have one of the very best LW’s in the game.

Time to work on a nickname, methinks. Sour Patch Kid doesn’t make it. How about Dustincredible? No. I think we need to call him Dustin Nath.

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419 Responses to "Oilers at Flames, G10, 09-10"

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  1. PunjabiOil says:

    Any word on Brule/Comrie?

    Apparently I read somewhere that Gregor suggested Brule is out for the weekend (flu causing a player to miss 4 games?), and Comrie didn't fly with the team, but may join the team later this afternoon.

    A MacIntrye-Stortini-Strudwick line would get murdered.

    The Oilers website notes that Fernendo Pisani is close to returning. Good.

  2. FlamingPavelBure says:

    ''A MacIntrye-Stortini-Strudwick line would get murdered.''

    Let's call it the circus line.

    I still root for Poutine Penner and Creme Brulé.

  3. hunter1909 says:

    THE BIG D

  4. mjsh says:

    I started watching the leafs in 1958 and loved the big M. My second most favorite leaf after Carl Brewer.

    The Columbus game was a big step forward for this team earning my faith in them. Even the Chicago game, while they were totalling outclassed, they did not give up.

    Hard to say how many great games Penner is going to have this year, but no doubt in my mind he has turned the corner into a real NHLer. I have mentioned before and still see a lot of similarity between Penner and Bertuzzi. It seems to take these big guys a while to figure out the NHL game.

    LT. thank you so much for all the work you do to make this site the best available. IMO You are the big M of the blogger world.

  5. Lowetide says:

    This might be a night where OTC rolls three lines early. Depends on the situation obviously and MacIntyre is nice insurance against the Flames running wild (which has happened at their place) but 2 points would be a monster outcome for the Oilers.

    Best of luck to the Calgary Flames this season.

  6. Steve says:

    Hard to say how many great games Penner is going to have this year, but no doubt in my mind he has turned the corner into a real NHLer.

    Look, I know he's been frustrating, but I think he turned that corner before he joined the Oilers. He's been our best left winger since he got here, and the Oilers haven't been *that* bad.

    I think we should keep calling him Fatso, only more affectionately.

  7. PunjabiOil says:

    LT. thank you so much for all the work you do to make this site the best available. IMO You are the big M of the blogger world.

    Agreed

  8. shanetrain says:

    Dusty Hammer

  9. Dave says:

    According to the Sun, Jacques was not looking good at practice, taking lots of throat spray and looking green.

  10. Shannon says:

    Playing back to back games, I'm not sure the Quinn will shorten the bench to three lines early. I understand the concern of the 3rd line pluggers against Calgary's speedy 3/4th line, but unless there's fresh troops for Sunday Zach, Struds and Big Mac will get more ice time than we expect.

  11. Black Dog says:

    Picture and comparison is very apropos LT.

    If I remember the high school Latin taught to me by the Sisters of Sweetest Mercy and Fine Serendipity that means 'I like it like that' for all of you youngsters and Philistines.

    Penner's been on a roll pretty well since camp opened and even the games where he is not as involved he seems to hit the scoresheet, he has been serious quality and the only thing that gets my goat a little is where the hell has this been the last two years?

    Oh well.

    I haven't enjoyed an Oilers game as much as Thursday's game probably since June 17, 2006. Great stuff.

  12. Shawn says:

    How about the Big P or the Big D

  13. bookie says:

    How long before I apologize to Kevin Lowe for all the venom over the Penner signing? Let's start with Dustin Penner first and see how long that takes. If he can play at this level in even half the games this season the Oilers will have one of the very best LW's in the game.

    LT-You realize that forgiving management requires that a little of the 'blame' gets transfered to MacT.

    Lowe and MacT were just working from different playbooks. Just like Penner wanted to play like a square peg and MacT wanted him to play like a Round peg. (*though it has to be noted 9 games does not make a hero).

    For 3 years, this has been the wrong combination of team and coach.

    Either may have been fine with a different partner, but together it just kinda sucked.

    On the blog front, I totally agree with the others, great work always! Its much appreciated!

  14. bookie says:

    I am pretty excited about tonights game – that feels nice.

  15. Lowetide says:

    How about Dustin Nath-ty?

  16. raventalon40 says:

    Crustin' Dustin?

    Bull Pen

    Penzoil

    When the Dustin settles…

    Dustin "the Flying Fridge" Penner still works fine for me.

  17. Lowetide says:

    Oh, bookie. I'm trying to frame the issue in a positive way and you're arguing major events like they're minutiae.

    Dustin Penner spent a lot of time not being this Dustin Penner. That's a pretty big deal, you know. I'm hoping we can forgive and forget and move on but when push comes to shove the coach was at least a little bit right about conditioning and discipline.

    I don't think you'll get a lot of traction arguing that point.

  18. dave says:

    well even in the last two years, his linemates numbers have improved with him.

    but something has changed. no fear, no quit. He is taking low quality chances straight at the defender and beating them. I expect Horc and POS to find chemistry too.

  19. BRIdub says:

    One vote for Penzoil

  20. Lowetide says:

    dave: A completely different player imo. There's just no way he was this player a year or two ago, and in fact we know from Randy Carlyle he wasn't this player in Anaheim either.

    No sir. This isn't about Dustin Penner being placed in a better slot, this is about Dustin Penner BECOMING Dustin Penner.

    Sort of like Koufax in Brooklyn, where home plate was just a rumor.

  21. bookie says:

    I don't think you'll get a lot of traction arguing that point.

    Oh, I think a lot of people would agree that MacT & Penner were not a good mix.

    If you think the only difference is that Penner drank a few less beers this off season, I would suggest that you won't get a lot of traction with that argument. I think both. were a factor.

    Anyway, I am looking forward to your mid-season post where you suggest MacT and this Team were not a good fit and where you forgive Lowe and Tambellini.

    Perhaps the only thing that we may not forgive Tambellini for is attempting to trade Penner in the off season.

    Oh, bookie. I'm trying to frame the issue in a positive way

    I am really happy to have the Positive LT back though! That guy who predicted 11th place at the beginning of the season was sounding a little sour. It was making me sad.

  22. theDrizzler says:

    How about 'the Dust Buster'?

  23. Lowetide says:

    bookie: lol. Looks like we've found another area we can disagree. I also look forward to your opinion on the team when they hit the road. If Penner plays like this on the road, then who do we blame then? The airline?

    Dustin Penner has taken ownership of his career, surely you'd like to give some credit to him.

  24. Showerhead says:

    "I haven't enjoyed an Oilers game as much as Thursday's game probably since June 17, 2006."

    At first I thought this was a bit ridiculous. Then I thought about it for the games I've seen since that Saturday and only came up with one comparable and one game I enjoyed more. The comparable one would be a game I hardly remember now other than that Sam Gagner threw a hail mary no-look backhand pass out front from the LW corner and Andrew Cogliano set his record.

    The only game I can think of off the top of my head I enjoyed more would be October '06 PPV vs the Sharks where Ryan Smyth scored his lightning quick hatty and, by beating San Jose's juggernaut, I believed for one night in the Vaunt.

    When the final buzzer sounded for that Sharks game, I was across town at a buddy's place wondering how I'd get home to residence at U of M. Buses would have taken hours, we were both a few in and cautious of driving, and the Scarlett Johansson of my existence that time had suggested it would be a good idea to be at the campus bar that night.

    Cue buddy #2, who lives and works about 12 hours north of Winnipeg and a phone call I did not expect. "Where are you? I'll come pick you up. I have pizza and beer." Well that was lucky and so I get picked up and we head back to rez with plans of disposing of said goods only to find all 500 residents of East and West Tache are huddled together outside watching firemen go in and out of our beautiful home. We park and contemplate just sitting there with our beer and pizza when the fire alarm stops, everyone gets let back in, and we hear from the guys that they'd been outside for more than one full hour. Good fucking timing.

    Beer and pizza long gone, I'd almost forgot about ScarJo's bar invite and barely remembered it at 1:30 with half an hour left to go at the bar. Now juiced, buddy and I stride confidently into the bar via its exit doors, smile at the bouncers, and then discover the bar is absolutely dead. Dead but for about 7 or 8 guys crowding around one tall gorgeous blonde who doesn't seem to be having any fun. The next moment works out like absolute complete fucking magic. Sea of douchebags parts, ScarJo steps away, runs to me for token bar hug, and the rest is history. I have never had a luckier sequence of events in my life.

    Along with Hemsky clinches playoffs in G83 vs. Anaheim, this is one of my absolute favourite Oiler nights in my life. When Penner and Hemsky netted 5 points each I was giddy as fuck and rocking a huge shit eating grin but a friend was crashing at the apartment and the GF thought better of my ideas. So it wasn't quite as good and after this very long story you'll understand why.

  25. Showerhead says:

    PS: LT, I know myself and others have occasionally taken to "life" posts of late that meander a little bit away from hockey. If it ever becomes clutter or anything like that, just let me know. BDHS brought me back to a good good night is all :)

  26. Cory Klein says:

    On CBC last night, Joanne Ireland speculated mono with Brule. By speculated I mean prognosis by throwing darts at the wall.

    To paraphrase: "Gilbert Brule was not around the team today and is not expected to join the team through the weekend. This seems more serious than just flu. Perhaps mono? Just a guess."

    She also said Comrie would make his own trip down to Shitville tonight if he felt well enough to play.

  27. godot10 says:

    //Penner's been on a roll pretty well since camp opened and even the games where he is not as involved he seems to hit the scoresheet, he has been serious quality and the only thing that gets my goat a little is where the hell has this been the last two years?//

    Penner's underlying numbers have always been there. Those have been pointed out on this blog, on copperandblue and on Staples' blog several times.

    MacT just didn't "see" it, for whatever reasons. He acquired a "point-of-view", and was never able to change it. Carlyle also "battled" with Penner, but he still found a positive role for him within the team.

    Hejda and Penner were just two hockey players that MacT just didn't get right. There were very few of these during MacT's tenure, and maybe only these two. He was mostly right on players, but missing these two cost him his job.

    MacT is mostly a good coach. Post-lockout and in hindsight, i think the became too focused on the technical side of coaching and team play for the players he was given.

    Hockey ultimately is jazz.

  28. Ian says:

    PENNZOIL. It's so perfect.

  29. Kelso says:

    Long time reading, first time posting, and I have to say that this site makes learning almost as much fun as Miss McGrath's English 20 class… Almost.

    As for a Penner nickname? Seems everyone is stunned by his turnaround, so I submit… Stunner. (Plus, it sounds like a cool wrestling move)

  30. speeds says:

    Anyone know the emergency recall rules?

    If the Oilers are short players due to the flu because both Jacques and Comrie can't play, can they recall Eberle on an emergency basis, assuming they have cap room?

  31. Spot The Loon says:

    I agree, LT. The biggest difference this year to the previous two for Penner is that he has stepped up to the plate and is taking responsibility for his career. He believes in himself, has done the things that he needs to do in order to be successful and success will, hopefully, breed more ongoing success. I think that, more than anything, this is a story of personal triumph where someone takes responsibility for their life and career success. I say good on him.

  32. Shannon says:

    Speeds, earlier in the week Gregor or Brownlee on OilersNation said the Oilers investigated the emergency call up rules re: Eberle and the NHL confirmed that people sick with the flu didn't fit.

    My take was that a junior call up could only happen after the AHL route was exhausted. That hasn't happened.

    So, anyways, no Eberle on emergency call up.

  33. knighttown says:

    Very fetch post LT. I enjoy your old timey posts most times depending on my mood but The Big M was a player I was more unfamiliar with than I should be. I could draw a mental image of the other elites from that era (Hull, Orr, Belliveau, Mikita) but with Mahovalich there was nothing. Thanks!

    13 games that will tell us a hell of a lot.

    -9 on the road
    -6 as part of back-to-backs
    -first half is loaded with beasts (Det, Cal, Bos, Col?) and second half is full of beatable teams like NYI, Atl.

    The flu can fuck off anytime now.

  34. speeds says:

    I'm somewhat sure (but not certain) that you could call up a WHLer like Eberle on an emergency interim basis provided that the emergency happens late enough that you couldn't get an AHL player to CAL in time.

    That may well be the case if Jacques is out for tonight, along with Comrie, but I'm not entirely sure how that works, or if the flu qualifies (not sure why it wouldn't?), etc.

  35. bookie says:

    Dustin Penner has taken ownership of his career, surely you'd like to give some credit to him.

    Agreed, can we give SOME credit to the coaching change?

    Or did we just fire MacT one year too early before he could enjoy the fruits of his nurturing? Quinn is just free riding?

  36. bookie says:

    Can we all agree on "Go, Oilers, Go!"

  37. Black Dog says:

    godot10 – underlying numbers smunderlying numbers

    really

    MacT and Penner were oil and water but if Dustin Penner had come to his first camp in shape and as driven as he is now I think that they might have worked things out

    I think MacT was lousy last year but Penner deserves some blame for his past two years just as he deserves a tremendous amount of credit for his start. I don't think he came into camp, Pat Quinn said hello and the light clicked.

    Showerhead – oh its just my personal preference really but 2006/07 sucked balls and 2007/08 was more of the same as was last year.There have been enjoyable games in there but to beat a good BJs club after falling behind and to do it in the manner that they did – couldn't really beat it for me in terms of sheer entertainment. Of course the fact that the new line had such a ridiculous night contributed to it as well. This is a game that folks will talk about years from now, imo. Five points each for 83 and 27. Seriously?

  38. Oilers For Life says:

    Nickname……the penetrator cuz he goes to the net hard

  39. Lowetide says:

    bookie: Quinn is an excellent coach. Good? :-)

    Showerhead: One of the things I'd like to see in my lifetime is have hockey fans (and their stories as fans) make certain moments famous enough that they become part of the legend.

    So, yeah, go for it. Roger Angell made a career out of stories just like yours (only in baseball terms). One of his most famous stories surrounded getting out of Shea and area in record time.

  40. Woodguy says:

    I just tried scouring the CBA and NHL rules for a definition of emergency call up, but the best I could find was the goaltender exemption in the CBA and this bit on the cap hit for an emergency call up:

    CBA 50.10
    (b) The Player Salary and Bonuses for any Players that are added to a Club's
    NHL Roster under emergency conditions shall count against any such Club's Upper
    Limit, Actual Club Salary and Averaged Club Salary, as well as against the Players'
    Share.

    My freaking eyes are bleeding from reading that silly document.

    Also,

    showerhead:

    If you ended that night by getting laid by ScarJo, then you should have bronzed your underwear hung them on the wall as a touchstone.

    That was a ridiculously awesome run of luck.

  41. Dennis says:

    LT:

    - I once spent a night in a hotel room with a girl – I was still in school at the time so spending cash like this was big news and we were there because she was living with her boyfriend – that I was chasing back in '98 and it was the night that Canada beat the US in the Olys and the US were hot off the heels of their World Cup win two years previous. I believe Rob Zamuner scored. And I know I did.

    - a year previous to that, I'd been chasing another girl and finally got her to agree to a sleepover at my place. And it happened to be the night of the Marchant OT Goal in Dal.

    - finally, I once had sex multiple times in one day and couldn't make the last one 'official' until I saw David Segui hit a game winning double into the…wait for it…gap:)

    Are those the kind of stories you want to hear;)

  42. raventalon40 says:

    Hilarious. Penetrator is a good one.

    How about Pennetractor

  43. Ribs says:

    If it ever becomes clutter or anything like that, just let me know.

    These are some of the funnest comments to read, Showerhead. Don't stop!

    Anyone else starting to get worried about this swine flu thing? Are we going to see schools and arenas and the like shut down for a couple of months soon? Are other teams having the same kind of flu problems that the Oilers are having?

    Nickname for Penner…hmm…Big Penn?

  44. Scott says:

    knighttown:

    Give it up already. Fetch is so not going to happen. ;)

  45. Ribs says:

    Are those the kind of stories you want to hear;)

    Yea! And more stories of painfull urination!

  46. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Sorry for being a Debbie downer, but I don't expect a win tonight or tomorrow:

    1. Too many injuries / flu.

    2. GA is still an issue

    3. Got away with too many mistakes last game

    4. Last game was against the worst D-lineup they've faced this year.

    5. Calgary doesn't play for 4 days after tonight and they're healthy besides Moss.

    6. Luongo is looking more like Luongo

    - If we get any points out of the next 2 games I suspect the goalie to be the #1 star and Lubo the #2 star.

    - I hope JDD has been told he's starting tomorrow.

    - Calgary and Van have players that make a living preying on young / non physical players. I'll be happy to get through the weekend wth no injuries.

  47. Dennis says:

    Ribs: there haven't been any new ones of that ilk;)

  48. Ribs says:

    Good to hear, good to hear. Ouch.

  49. John says:

    LT: Koufax…….. superb potential comparable. If Penner can play at this level that is an incredible late blooming comparable.

    Koufax made the majors at 19, was dogass mediocre for 4-5 years although he did win 11 one year and then…..at 27 yrs old he became Sandy Koufax one of the 2 best pitchers of the 1960's along with Bob Gibson

    Lets hope Penner does not have arthritis

    Irony: if Penner keeps playing like this his salary will be looked at as one of the great bargains in the NHL

  50. kinger says:

    A couple comments on tonight's game:

    - 22 needs to get back to playing simple hockey. He's making the kind of mistakes that a guy in his position can't afford to make (failing to get the puck out of his zone, losing offensive battles, needless icings).

    - Quinn has been slowly poaching 'real' NHL players out of the bottom two lines. Can they hold serve against Calgary's lesser forwards?

    - Is the new top line for real? CBJ was missing its top two defensive stoppers (Hejda and Commodore), will these guys be able to compete against a superior Calgary blue.

    - How will 91-10-19 fair? By my eye they looked pretty good in CBJ up until 18 replaced 91 on the wing. If 91 is absent and Quinn goes with 18, look for this line to get clobbered.

    - Can 46 and 22 make up for the loss of beefcake in the line up (44, 32 and 24 to an extent). After opening the year with some pretty physical outings I think we've looked soft in our last few.

  51. Dennis says:

    BTW, the flu never comes at a good time but this one comes an especially unfortunate time.

    I imagine most of us had JDD pegged for one of these stats and now I"ll bet Quinn won't play him tomorrow night in Van unless we win in Cgy tonight.

    I was hoping he'd play him tonight and then give Khabby the second half of the BTB because he's the superior goalie and that game likely requires the superior effort.

    Same thing goes with the flu in terms of players available. The potential 4th line of 43-46-33 doesn't look good to anyone but if we had an extra day or two off after this game, then we could just roll with 10 forwards and three lines and you'd probably get away with it.

    Also, LT, can you elaborate on the story from your household where you weren't allowed to cheer for the Leaves because they dealt away said Mahovolich?:)

    I've been wondering about that since you sneaked it in a few weeks ago in your post about growing up with HNIC.

  52. kris says:

    It's funny and an homage to Mahovolich and Lindros.

    The Big P

  53. Black Dog says:

    Dennis – considering that run you spoke of earlier I believe I speak on everyone's behalf when I say taht you must have sex every night that the Oilers play this season.

    If it means everyone chipping in to keep you in steady supply with St. John's, um, finest, I think that if it means Cup # 6 then we can dip into savings, kids' education funds, sell the wife's jewellery, whatever it takes.

    And for shame for not having sex on June 19th 2006. For shame!

  54. serum114 says:

    Personally, I think an affectionate and playful nickname with a nod to the man we all knew before this 9 game awakening would be perfect:

    Pudge

    Besides, then Lowetide can work all kinds of other baseball magic with it, as Pudge is such a classic baseball nickname IMO

  55. Dennis says:

    Pat: considering who you guys are, I'm willing to do it!!

  56. logical thinking says:

    Dustin Mario Lemieux Penner looked great against the columbus blue jackets with a backup goaltender. A lot of players get inflated stats at the start of the season and then end up with average stats at the end of the season. I saw Trevor Linden do that one year.

  57. Griffy aka J says:

    penners nickname is quillow and comrie doesnt fly with the team because his old lady has her own fleet
    ps. dan tencer is embarrassing

  58. Dennis says:

    Tencer twittered that;) both 67 and 91 are out.

    So, 43 moves to the forward ranks and I move over to my online gambling site to put money on the Flames.

  59. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: Mahovlich iirc was pretty much an icon in English Canada before the trade, and the idea of dealing him was just so contrary. He had been a star on the '62, '63, '64 and '67 Stanley teams in Toronto and was one of a few (Bower, Horton, Brewer, Keon, Armstrong, Pulford) who were about as famous as you could be in English Canada.

    Anyway, my Dad loved Mahovlich. When they traded big Frank (maybe spring 1968) my Dad didn't watch the games as much until playoff time and I remember it as being tragic (you know how things seem so much bigger when you're a kid?) and he didn't like the Leafs after that and really didn't appreciate anyone saying good things about them.

    We got it back in the summer of 1972 (my Dad and I) when the Canada-Russia series came along and it was again Mahovlich. We sat at the kitchen table that summer and agreed Frank Mahovlich would be important because of size (we were sort of right, Phil Esposito was the guy the USSR couldn't defend).

    Anyway, you couldn't cheer for the Leafs at my house. And he didn't like Derek Sanderson either ("a hood" was what he called Sanderson) but my brother and I thought Orr was God and he must have been good because Dad never said anything bad about him.

    Hated Imlach. Would have backed over him in our driveway given half a chance. :-)

  60. Lowetide says:

    re: Tencer's twitter. If we can identify the waitress who spilled the Bellini on him I'll plunk down $40 for her tip and welcome all to join me. :-)

  61. John says:

    Not sure re nickname for Penner that if he keeps it up that we don't simply go with "Koufax".

    That is, a decent player who played 4 -5 years in the Bigs would always show flashes of being a decent pitcher and then in 1963 at age 27 for 4 years before he had to retire due to an illness was an absolutely stud horse dominating starting pitcher winning 25, 19, 26 and 27 games with unworldly ancillary numbers.

    Realistically for that nickname to be accurate Penner would have to throw 90 points on the board this year

  62. Lowetide says:

    John: Yeah, agreed. The thing about Koufax was that those first 4 years could be any number of prospects you see every generation. Can't find homeplate, no one can hit him and lots of K's but they usually explode their elbows or give up.

    But Koufax learned to harness that gift and became (along with Gibson and I'd add Marichal in there) in that group of elite pitchers during the 1960's.

  63. Dennis says:

    LT: we can make it so she can take the weekend off work and not worry about the lost wages;)

    BTW, I loved that story about your father and I laughed out loud about the Sanderson part; isn't it odd that a fellow who didn't like Bowie album covers wouldn't like Derek?;)

    I really like the stories about your dad and the courage of his convictions because I was brought up by my grandparents so I remember the values and beliefs espoused by people born before and during the great depression.

  64. dubya says:

    I *heart* OTC Quinn.

    From the Edmonton Sun:
    …There's the potential for a beast of a line with Steve MacIntyre, Zack Stortini and Strudwick, but head coach Pat Quinn isn't sure if he wants all that muscle out there are once.

    "I don't know if I could play them as a line," [Quinn] said. "We'd probably have to throw a puck out there and I don't know what would happen then."

    lol

  65. Hockey Noob says:

    Sorry to thread jack… The other day one of Lowetide's posts started a debate over the merits or lack thereof regarding MacT. There's no question that MacT polarizes Oilers fans.

    One of my favorite Oilers writers is a fellow from Norway that writes under the name, Norwegian Oiler. In fact, for someone who lives in Norway, his command of the English language borders on awe-inspiring.

    Here's an article that he wrote on MacT/Quinn:

    On coaching comparisons and team psychology

  66. bookie says:

    bookie: Quinn is an excellent coach. Good? :-)

    Agreed, lets hope that the trajectory that we have seen thus far this fall continues.

  67. Greg MC says:

    "The Big D" is awesome! I am still partial to "The Flying Fridge". Dustin is bright and not just a little bit quirky. The proper cliche might be "Marches to his own drummer".

    He seems very determined to do good when he is on the ice; he's been impressive so far, and might I say, elite?

  68. kris says:

    We might very well have to run 3 lines, which might cause us to lose the game and be tired for tomorrow's game, only because we have stupid SMac (the "S" is now for stupid) on the 23 man roster.

    Multiple Choice: Which of the following lines is the least likely to get killed?

    a.)Minard/Reddox-Potulny-Stortini
    b.)Strudwick-Potulny-Stortini
    c.)Strudwick-Stortini-SMac

    I'd say a.), and I'll allow that b.) is reasonable.

    C.) is a joke.

  69. Woodguy says:

    Its interesting that the hockeydb.com lists both Mahovlich and Esposito as 6'1" 205lbs.

    It also lists Neely at 6'1" 185.

    Penner comes in at 6'4" 240lbs.

    The definition of a big man in this game has sure changed.

    As for a nickname, I like acronyms.

    He is skating Fast, playing Aggressive, and being Truculent, so how about FAT?

    FAT, that would be very fetch.

  70. spOILer says:

    bookie said…

    LT-You realize that forgiving management requires that a little of the 'blame' gets transfered to MacT.

    It's like listening to a guy trying to play Scot Joplin on a one key piana, hitting the same note over and over again. And ya gotta love the zero sum "logic" to this ragtime.

    *rolls eyes*

    My pick:

    Bustin' Dustin, The Manitoba Moose… then if he reverts back to his old wheat-based ways, it'd be easy to change his name to The Manitoba Mouse.

  71. Showerhead says:

    This is a game that folks will talk about years from now, imo. Five points each for 83 and 27. Seriously?
    I'm sure you're right Pat but I think it's clear that the more important concern is I didn't get laid that night. So while I will always remember it, I will also always remember the absence of sex that followed. You really have to consummate great nights like that one to get the full effect :P

    If you ended that night by getting laid by ScarJo, then you should have bronzed your underwear hung them on the wall as a touchstone.
    I don't know what a touchstone is but it occurs to me now that I made a mistake in not honouring that night's boxers somehow. Thanks to you, if I ever go on a BS run like that again, I will know what to do just like next time Sid wins the Cup you have to think he'll remember to shake Lidstrom's (or whoever's) hand. Except I suppose the Penguins team deserved their holy grail and I sort of tripped and fell into mine :)

    These are some of the funnest comments to read, Showerhead. Don't stop!

  72. Mr DeBakey says:

    Manitoba Fats

    8 ball
    Corner pocket

  73. Lowetide says:

    Cheetah Chrome?

    That's what she said?

  74. Mustafa Hirji says:

    BTW, what does OTC represent?

  75. PDO says:

    Old Tangy Cu…

    er, Old Timey Coach :-).

  76. gary b says:

    Sportsnet HockeyCentral's projected Oilers forward lines vs. Flames:

    4th line: BUCHBERGER – Stortini – MacIntyre

    uh huh.

  77. Halfwise says:

    If he is the Big Pee and keeps skating, stickhandling and scoring like that, then I guess that makes him the Whizz…

  78. Woodguy says:

    From TSN's article on Penner:

    "I got a chance to make a new start and make a new impression," Penner said. "It's meant a great deal to me how he (Quinn) has treated me and the whole team. Everybody has fed off the coaching staff and their energy in the dressing room. Tom (Renney) is fist-pumping on the bench during the game. A lot of it is the mental outlook, you know?

    You mean having his coach blanking staring into space while taking a drink from your water bottle didn't do it for him?

    Oh yeah, I forgot, coaches aren't supposed to motivate, sorry.

  79. Woodguy says:

    More in the same vein from TSN's article on former player Jim Tompson calling out Ron Wilson.

    "Ron Wilson is not a good coach," Thomson told OTR. "Where it breaks down is he can't motivate players, he doesn't know what to do with players when there's controversy and they are losing."

    and

    "When he calls out Luke Schenn three games into the season, a young player who's their future, and starts beating the hell out of him…You don't call a player out in the media, you go behind closed doors," Thomson stated. "I watched him do it to Oleg Tverdovsky in Anaheim, and he ruined the kid's career."

    Hmmmmm.

  80. Oilmaniac says:

    Hey LT,

    Can you explain this "Dustin Nath".. play on words? whats the reference?.. i dont get it at all..

    "No sir. This isn't about Dustin Penner being placed in a better slot, this is about Dustin Penner BECOMING Dustin Penner."

    - I totally agree… there has been serious mental re-molding that he deserves credit for pursuing.. It is reflected in his conditioning (a symptom, not the cause) and probably could been seen in body language has he acquires more and more confidence..

    This personal transformation, as its been so drastic, is the root of a deepening repsect I've have for 'Dustin Penner BECOMING Dustin Penner'… (why i like it so much is because i/we can actually look at a sports figure and say.. wow, look at the work he has done and how it is paying off.. thats a hero in modern terms, imo, that reflects aspects of life that are bigger than hockey)

  81. Showerhead says:

    Regarding motivation,

    My thinking on it being relatively ignored by statistically minded folk is obviously mostly due to how hard it is to measure.

    That said, I think part of it is also that there is a fundamental assumption being made that while motivation from the coach IS important, it is not likely to vary so significantly from team to team as to have an impact on the standings. Or, if anyone is willing to acknowledge that there might be impact there, these folks are more concerned with factors "proven" to cause variations in results over the course of a season (such as shooting and save percentages).

    Whether the assumptions are correct or not are clearly up for debate. Personally, I do believe very much in motivation having an impact on people's performance and I do believe that the ability of a coach to motivate likely varies significantly from team to team. On the flip side, I'd bet good money that bullshit luck like how many posts you hit and other things that cause percentages to vary have more of an impact on the standings than motivation does. It's a tough argument, and in most cases tough to fault either side for thinking as they do regardless of whether I agree or not.

    And this is coming from a Psych grad with an A+ in Sports Psychology (a dreadfully easy but very interesting course at the U of M) so, like, I am totally qualified :P

  82. Oilmaniac says:

    Dennis said…
    "Tencer twittered that;) both 67 and 91 are out.

    So, 43 moves to the forward ranks and I move over to my online gambling site to put money on the Flames."

    Hahaha… Rationality be damned, but not when it comes to money…

  83. Lowetide says:

    Oilmaniac: Just something I grabbed from Urban Dictionary.

  84. Oilmaniac says:

    lastly,
    The Manitoba Moose is a little wordy, but it gets my vote as a tribute to the great #11…

  85. Woodguy says:

    So, 43 moves to the forward ranks and I move over to my online gambling site to put money on the Flames.

    O/U is 5.5, that's worth a few units too.

  86. kris says:

    The Big P relieves the pressure… on the PK.

    The Big P burns… another defender.

    The Big P is all over the team.

    Once started, the Big P can't be stopped!

    The Big P blasts… the puck on net.

    You get the idea.
    That is awesome.

  87. Oilmaniac says:

    anyone else dig the HNIC opener..

  88. Lowetide says:

    Love Blue Rodeo.

  89. Oilmaniac says:

    hahaha (good run down kris)

    K, LT,

    Dustin Nath (from urban dictionary)
    "A man who cuts rocks with a knife and sleeps standing up wherever he can. The Dustin Nath requires great skill holding a rock in one hand and sleeping while taking a piss.
    I went to bed but woke up in the hallway with a rock in my pants, I guess I slept like a dustin nath.
    "

    I still.. dont.. really.. see the connection.. hehehe… but thanks for this new term that I will try to somehow work into a sentence sometime… Next time I see someone sleepwalking, pissing, and holding a rock in the other hand… BAM! Dustin Nath!

  90. HBomb says:

    First off, hello from Noralta Lodge, about halfway between Fort McMurray and Fort MacKay! The rooms aren't huge, but I have a private bathroom (which most guys don't get, this is an "executive suite"), there's a licensed lounge a 30 second walk down the hall, the food is good, and to compensate for an outright lack of females – free Playboy channel. Best part? It's all paid for! Working up here isn't so bad.

    Anyways, in the spirit of porno references, I'm nominating the nickname "The Big DP" for Penner. Adult movie afficinados can figure out the innuendo here. Tonight, I'm hoping for the establishment of the term "Dustin Penner hat-trick":

    - a goal
    - an assist
    - a flat out shitkicking of a Flame in a fight, preferably Jarome Iginla

    Speaking of Iginla and 'retribution' (and note I am not suggesting Todd Bertuzzi style retriubtion, rather a straight-up face to face speedbagging), does anyone think it's a bit odd that Iginla didn't even get two minutes for what he did, but Tuomo Ruutu got a five minute major AND a three game suspension for what he did to Tucker? The Colin Campbell wheel of justice strikes again.

    Anyways, off to watch Leafs East vs. Leafs West. This Toronto/Vancouver game is really a no-lose proposition: Toronto loses, we can continue to point out Burke's team being winless, Vancouver loses, they get heckled for being the team that suffers the indignity of losing to the Leafs first this year (i.e. being the proverbial "slump-buster").

    Oh, and that new Blue Rodeo song kicks ass.

  91. R O says:

    Regarding motivation,

    My thinking on it being relatively ignored by statistically minded folk is obviously mostly due to how hard it is to measure.

    That said, I think part of it is also that there is a fundamental assumption being made that while motivation from the coach IS important, it is not likely to vary so significantly from team to team as to have an impact on the standings. Or, if anyone is willing to acknowledge that there might be impact there, these folks are more concerned with factors "proven" to cause variations in results over the course of a season (such as shooting and save percentages).

    Also, if motivation has a tangible effect to making you play better, then there's the reasonable assumption that it will show up in some of the numbers.

    For example, whether or not Penner is playing better because he's motivated or because he's better conditioned or he's just making better decisions, shouldn't it be reflected in his ability to gain the zone and get scoring chances? And if so, we can measure those things.

  92. R O says:

    Speaking of Iginla and 'retribution' (and note I am not suggesting Todd Bertuzzi style retriubtion, rather a straight-up face to face speedbagging), does anyone think it's a bit odd that Iginla didn't even get two minutes for what he did, but Tuomo Ruutu got a five minute major AND a three game suspension for what he did to Tucker? The Colin Campbell wheel of justice strikes again.

    Iginla got two minutes for tripping.

  93. Geeker99 says:

    first comment but long time reader,I just had to comment on how nervous every team must be going to play the leafs. Who would want to be there first regulation win.

    Go oil

  94. HBomb says:

    RO: I stand corrected. That being said, I think it deserved more.

    Another footnote – I don't know if Iginla deserved a suspension, per se, but I'm more along the lines to think what Ruutu got was over the top. Comparing that incident to the Souray/Iginla one, either one guy didn't get enough or one guy got too much, and I'd tend to lean towards the latter. What happened to Tucker looked worse because of what happened after the hit (i.e. his head hitting the ice).

    Then again, if it happened because of the hit, I guess you can't argue that much. My belief is that what Iginla did was worth a five-minute major, and maybe a fine or a game suspension tops. 2 minutes for giving a guy a concussion that will have sidelined him for at least a month (and probably more) seems pretty underwhelming in terms of "discipline", regardless of the level of intent.

  95. Mr DeBakey says:

    Sam's dad just scored a goal on the NHL Network

    Early 90s match-up
    North Stars vs Penguins.

  96. R O says:

    Then again, if it happened because of the hit, I guess you can't argue that much. My belief is that what Iginla did was worth a five-minute major, and maybe a fine or a game suspension tops. 2 minutes for giving a guy a concussion that will have sidelined him for at least a month (and probably more) seems pretty underwhelming in terms of "discipline", regardless of the level of intent.

    Yeah, can't argue with that.

    Nobody's going to get anywhere trying to decipher "intent" (esp. given Iginla's history).

    But the play was stupid and dangerous nonetheless, and I wouldn't have said anything if Iginla had gotten a game (although knowing how the league works the odds of that were slim).

    And of course calls for "retribution" (in the sense of trying to injure Iginla tonight) are out of line. My feeling on it was that Moreau already engaged in mano-a-mano last game and that should be it. But if the Oilers want to go again tonight, that's their right.

  97. Oilmaniac says:

    R O

    "Also, if motivation has a tangible effect to making you play better, then there's the reasonable assumption that it will show up in some of the numbers."

    So if the numbers improve you say he was motivated?!? thats enlightening… The way you measure 'these things' is so crude that I cannot see how you could distinguish between the motivation factor, quinn coaching factor, the donair input factor… I would argue that stats are more tangible than motivational improvement, which would be better analyze by reflecting on a players positive comments relating to 'motivation' (in combination with statistical improvement)…

  98. Lowetide says:

    Quick question: Could Dustin Penner sit around eating chips, drinking beer and curing ham right up until the moment MacT was fired, go "oh shit!" when he was fired and work himself into this kind of shape?

  99. Oilmaniac says:

    mact was fired at the beginning of the offseason,.. so yes…

  100. R O says:

    So if the numbers improve you say he was motivated?!? thats enlightening… The way you measure 'these things' is so crude that I cannot see how you could distinguish between the motivation factor, quinn coaching factor, the donair input factor… I would argue that stats are more tangible than motivational improvement, which would be better analyze by reflecting on a players positive comments relating to 'motivation' (in combination with statistical improvement)…

    I don't think you can distinguish motivation from any of those other factors. Just saying that the motivation factor had better translate to on-ice play or it's not worth a damn.

    This isn't exactly relevant for Penner but more for the Oilers in general. Quinn's effect on the team is being credited for the early season start – but the Oilers are getting outshot significantly (as they were last year).

    Different coach, different message, but the arrows are still pointing in the same direction. So maybe motivation isn't as much a factor as player quality, at least at the Oilers team level.

  101. Lowetide says:

    I think Penner left the season after 2009 and made a personal commmitment to be a better man. You'll have to pack a lunch to convince me otherwise.

  102. R O says:

    Different coach, different message, but the arrows are still pointing in the same direction. So maybe motivation isn't as much a factor as player quality, at least at the Oilers team level.

    And of course I should acknowledge that this analysis is relatively simplistic so pick it apart as you please.

  103. Matt says:

    Not my injury to avenge or not avenge, but I'd have to think that given Quinn's comments after the last game, retribution against Iginla (A) is a very bad idea, and (B) has been prohibited by the Oiler coaching staff.

  104. R O says:

    LT:

    How would you feel if, in an alternate universe, Penner was playing exactly the way he was now (that is: winning a lot of puck battles, gaining the zone with speed, etc.) – and the only difference was that his box cars were 3G-6A-9P (SH% of 11%) and +4?

  105. Oilmaniac says:

    LT, Im with you 100%
    (as per my earliest post)

    There is a lesson to be learned, imo, from the transition to becoming a pro and can be extended to the penner transformation.. there is a commitment made by the player to be focused (to practice/play at full speed), committed to conditioning, not expecting anything to be easy – only the result of heart/work, etc.

    I remember a post-season review w MacT a couple years ago talking about Nilsson when he was showing signs that he was turnning the corner.. nils doesnt seem to have turned the corner as thought, but penner certainly looks to have done so… I find plently to respect in anyone making that/those commitment(s), which is a concept that extends outside the bounds of hockey..

  106. R O says:

    Ron Maclean just mentioned Corsi on HNIC. Interesting.

  107. Lowetide says:

    Don CHerry is officially the grandpa no one wants to talk about.

  108. kris says:

    Re Motivation and Coaching:

    Let's not forget the guy scored 29 goals for the Ducks and 24 for a very bad Oilers squad before last year when he only got 17. (Despite being one of the better players +/-, not playing enough on the PP, not playing on the top line, etc.)

    If he scores 28-30 per season for the next few years, which would be awesomeness maximalized, that's hardly really an amazing turn around in his career arc that needs to be explained by a change in attitude or in how he relates to the coaches. IMO, anyway.

    And he's entering his prime now (years 27-31) so we should expect a slight improvement of his average and a bigger improvement on his last, quite disappointing -in terms of boxcars- campaign.

  109. kris says:

    How would you feel if, in an alternate universe, Penner was playing exactly the way he was now (that is: winning a lot of puck battles, gaining the zone with speed, etc.) – and the only difference was that his box cars were 3G-6A-9P (SH% of 11%) and +4?

    I know the question was aimed at LT, but I'd be elated.

    Oh and BTW, the guys career SH% is 13%. (270 games is a nice sample size.)

    So, if he keeps generating 3 shots a game, he'll score 31-32 goals in an 82 game season.

    I think he'll get a few less than that even if he keeps us his current play, but it's not unthinkable. If it happens he's a beast and his contract is a good one.

  110. Woodguy says:

    Blake knees Luongo in the head.

    Awesome.

  111. R O says:

    Oh and BTW, the guys career SH% is 13%. (270 games is a nice sample size.)

    On 27 shots (what Penner has now) 4 goals is a SH% of 15%.

    Which just goes to show how small sample sizes distort evertything.

    And 30ish goals is probably a reasonable expectation. Especially if Penner is given generous first-unit PP time.

  112. Oilmaniac says:

    (sorry, im kinda post spamming.. @ home nursing the tail end of my hangover)

    R O
    "Different coach, different message, but the arrows are still pointing in the same direction. So maybe motivation isn't as much a factor as player quality, at least at the Oilers team level.

    And of course I should acknowledge that this analysis is relatively simplistic so pick it apart as you please."

    So your saying that the team is still being out shot, player quality is roughly equal and therefore motivation isnt doing much for the team?!.. what are the 'arrows' besides shot totals?

    Favorable differentiating stat: 6-2-1..
    4-1 come back win.. even the games against calgary they showed perserverance.. but I cant make a quantitative arguement there.. (unless looking at the number/ratio of comeback (2/3+ goal differential?) wins under the past regieme?)

    but does this equal more-motivation?!

    Outside of a shot-count, I would say there are a number of other stats that have improved while most of the players on the roster are the same.. so if 'other' arrows are pointing in a different/better direction, does this equal impact of motivation..

    all this sounds like an arguement for coaching rather than motivation.. either way we are trying to sus out the impact of an intangible (i conceed) from the generalized statistical results.

  113. Showerhead says:

    Also, if motivation has a tangible effect to making you play better, then there's the reasonable assumption that it will show up in some of the numbers.

    I don't think you can distinguish motivation from any of those other factors. Just saying that the motivation factor had better translate to on-ice play or it's not worth a damn.

    Great comments, both of these.

    It's impossible to deny motivation exists as a factor but almost as impossible to isolate it as a contributing factor to a player's performance. Even admitting that all else being equal, variation in motivation is likely to cause variation in player performance, the actual magnitude of that effect is probably not going to be huge. Even if it is currently having some effect on the boxcars in this case for Dustin Penner I think that it is crucial to identify and acknowledge that there are a shit ton of other very real and very significant factors at flux affecting DP as well. It's the black and white arguments on this issue that frustrate me as a reader of otherwise very intelligent thoughts.

  114. HBomb says:

    RO: No one (especially anyone wanting Canada to take home gold in Vancouver) in their right mind wants to see Iginla injured.

    I'd enjoy a good up buttwhipping in a good clean dropping of the gloves where Iginla misses five minutes and not a shift afterwards.

    And what you say about Iginla is dead on – the guy is the furthest thing from dirty there is out there (I wouldn't say the same about Ovechkin or Malkin, that's for sure). What he did wasn't even dirty, however it was highly careless and had a severe consequence.

    For instances like that, I think a one game suspension is suffice. Hell, Joe Sakic got one in late 1998 if I recall correctly. No one's immune to it – hockey's a rough game and "shit happens", so to speak.

  115. HBomb says:

    Matt: I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case, for tonight at least.

    I do expect that Iginla will square up one-on-one with Souray once 44 gets back, they'll do the dance, and that will be the end of it. Unlike a guy like Phaneuf (who is Grade-A Gutless from where I sit), Iginla is probably a believer in the code and won't take much issue with having to drop the flippers to bury the hatchet.

    And that's how it should be, really, no cheap Bertuzzi-style stuff. And if the Oilers do choose to go at Iginla tonight, I hope it's in the form of clean but hard and relentless bodychecking.

    Retribution doesn't have to be dirty. The best retribution of all would be an Oiler win tonight.

  116. Lowetide says:

    Through 2 periods in Springfield, Falcons are being outshot 33-10.

    Score: 0-0.

  117. Oilmaniac says:

    One last thought on motivation..
    I dont believe this should be ascertained through team stats.. motivation is a personal thing..

    MacT's 'no motivation for you' is fine for some, whom find their own, but not others..

    I find the Penner transition to provide a much better indication that an intangible change has been made, supported by (dramatic) statistical improvement, which could provide fuel for an improved motivation-factor arguement…

  118. hunter1909 says:

    Iginla smashed his own thick skull in the Souray take out.

    Want to make him "pay?" The only sure way is to win tonight's game.

    As much as I'd love to see bench clearing brawls return to the NHL, along with helmets being optional, no face masks on goalies etc, I seriously doubt that going after Jerome is going to happen. And besides, he's as tough or even tougher as almost any of the Oilers.

    The mark of a good team is the ability to incur injuries, and to not collapse as a team. Win tonight, and everything will be gloom and doom on Calgary Puck, and that's the bottom line.

    re MacT talk: Can't we just go back to discussing Rob Schremp?

  119. Showerhead says:

    LT: Who's playing goal? Dubnyk I expect?

    Also, I've been keeping an eye on the MPS tracker. Is ~0.75 pts/game "good" in your view?

  120. Bruce says:

    Is it still called "truculence" when you get your head handed to you?

  121. R O says:

    One last thought on motivation..
    I dont believe this should be ascertained through team stats.. motivation is a personal thing..

    MacT's 'no motivation for you' is fine for some, whom find their own, but not others..

    I find the Penner transition to provide a much better indication that an intangible change has been made, supported by (dramatic) statistical improvement, which could provide fuel for an improved motivation-factor arguement…

    Conditioning might also play a role, right? Because there are also reports (from Penner himself and others) that he dramatically improved in this department.

    And of course conditioning and motivation are tied together. Does Penner commit to becoming better conditioned if he's not motivated to do so? Does his previous level of conditioning make him realize he needs to be better in that area, thus motivating him to do so?

  122. striatic says:

    I prefer just "Mahovlich" as a nickname.

    Big D is good too, because it reminds me of that scene from The Hunt for Red October where the massive USS Dallas bursts up out of the surface of the ocean [much like Penner blows through a defense] while one of the submariners desperately utters "C'Mon BIG D!"

  123. Lowetide says:

    Showerhead: Yeah, it's Dubnyk. As for MPS, that's a tetrific number. Over a 50-game season, he'd be at 50gp, 20-17-37 for the season. Massive improvement year over year (50gp, 7-10-17 as a 17-year old).

  124. Showerhead says:

    Last year: 50GP, 7-10-17 = 0.34 pts/game

    This year: 50GP @ 0.75 pts/game would be a huge improvement by the numbers. Is this expected? Is it real? Is it real AND spectacular?

  125. striatic says:

    I think Penner was motivated to get into better condition this summer for two reasons.

    One is that there was a possibility he'd get a second chance outside of Edmonton, perhaps with Ottawa. He wanted to be ready to make an impact there.

    The Other is that with MacT's firing, he had "won" their little battle. He was going to get a fresh look with a new coach who was more likely to roll the lines and less likely to bench him or cut back his minutes like MacT did.

  126. Showerhead says:

    Haha LT I see you answered my question before I tried. Thanks! :)

  127. Woodguy says:

    Even admitting that all else being equal, variation in motivation is likely to cause variation in player performance, the actual magnitude of that effect is probably not going to be huge.

    I think that depends on the motivation.

    There is lots of anecdotal evidence about players having career years during a contract year.

    Has anyone done an analysis on variation of ppg or sv% in a contract year as opposed to non-contract years over a large sample of NHL players? That would be interesting.

    Motivation can come from many sources, desire for money, desire to be liked and accepted by your peers, desire from within to be your best, desire to please others in authority positions (parents coach), etc.

    What we also have to account for is de-motivation.

    Who hasn't had a shitty boss, so your efforts were less than your best. Even internally driven people can deflate when people in authority are a problem.

    So if there is a motivational continuum that looks like this:

    |—————————–|—————————|
    100% demotivated 0 Motivation 100% Motivated

    and Penner went from the far left to the far right, that is a significant difference which is probably measurable and outside of normal variance.

    That and a great shooting percentage. :)

  128. Lowetide says:

    I love numbers, but we can grind ourselves into a fine white powder and luck will still be out there. As with many issues, I think it depends on your bias when you enter the room.

  129. Showerhead says:

    As with many issues, I think it depends on your bias when you enter the room.

    I like when we can use the language or context of hockey to say things that apply to all of life. Well said and I think it is quite true.

  130. Showerhead says:

    Has anyone done an analysis on variation of ppg or sv% in a contract year as opposed to non-contract years over a large sample of NHL players? That would be interesting.

    I think that would be a fun one to do. Whether evidence was found in one direction or not, it's a myth that would be interesting to challenge – almost more entertaining if it turned out that contract years outperformed other years.

  131. Lowetide says:

    Heading to OT in Springfield, 0-0 score and Springfield being outshot 44-16.

  132. kris says:

    You could empirically determine the value of motivation.

    Take every player who's been traded to the Islanders in the last 10 years.

    Find the difference in their points/game pre-Island and post-Island.

    Average the results.

    Voila.

    I'm guessing a complete lack of motivation to live causes a reduction of output of about 10%.

  133. Matt says:

    Selon des informations obtenues par RDS, Chris Chelios et Shawn Horcoff (Oilers) ont eu des échanges via courriel avec l’ancien directeur de l’AJLNH, Paul Kelly, afin de trouver une façon de se départir complètement des dirigeants actuels de l’Association. L’objectif surtout est d’obtenir la tête de Ian Penny qui a remplacé Kelly par intérim.

    Interesting. Don't think the angels are on either side here, but without knowing the dirty details, I'd personally start with the assumption that Horcoff's stance is credible. Kinda like I'd assume the opposite if it was Moreau.

    Link

  134. kris says:

    You could use other non-playoff teams as a control group.

  135. kris says:

    I bet you could publish something like that Islanders study in a pop-statistics book like Gladwell's stuff or Freakonomics.

    No kidding.

  136. Oilmaniac says:

    Question:
    Could this years edition be the worst Leafs team of all time… hehe.. could it happen..? hehe..

  137. Oilmaniac says:

    kessel will help right, and they are not horrible.. decent at times, but.. how bad could their record get?..

  138. Lowetide says:

    Dubnyk's SP is now .919 after a .979 night in which he gave up a goal in OT.

  139. R O says:

    Question:
    Could this years edition be the worst Leafs team of all time… hehe.. could it happen..? hehe..

    Leafs dominated at EV tonight. +26 Corsi, extended sequences of shifts spent entirely in the Vancouver zone, and the Sedin line was totally neutralized.

    Officiating was suspect tonight. Six Vancouver PPs in a row? You gotta be kidding me.

  140. Matt says:

    To think! How many Cups MacT pissed away because he rejected talent. Hard to see how much more Lowe could have done.

  141. Matt says:

    That's why Lupul won all those Stanleys before and since his Oil year, and no other coach has ever had a bad thing to say about him.

  142. Oilmaniac says:

    R O:

    And of course conditioning and motivation are tied together. Does Penner commit to becoming better conditioned if he's not motivated to do so? Does his previous level of conditioning make him realize he needs to be better in that area, thus motivating him to do so?

    -Exactly

    (earlier)

    "No sir. This isn't about Dustin Penner being placed in a better slot, this is about Dustin Penner BECOMING Dustin Penner."

    - I totally agree… there has been serious mental re-molding that he deserves credit for pursuing.. It is reflected in his conditioning (a symptom, not the cause) and probably could been seen in body language has he acquires more and more confidence..

    I was talking about motivation, Penner's Motivation..

    BTW: Gaborik – wadda player, Litte Guy with A MONSTER Goal.. Bravo Montreal…

  143. Matt says:

    Heh heh Hunter… nice work. Remembered your own advice from a half-hour previous, and took back your MacT blast.

    I eagerly await your fresh Rob Schremp take.

  144. Oilmaniac says:

    Cool.

    RO,
    I totally agree with your numbers.. the Corsi reflect some good possesion the leafs had at times.. but the penalties were mostly deserved/occured, imo..

    and yeah, I was kinda kidding..
    Im going to look up the worst leafs record of all time tho, just to see what their up against..

  145. hunter1909 says:

    Matt: Rob Schremp haha who knows? It's getting harder and harder to place my daily lunch money on him scoring 30 goals this season, that's for sure.

  146. R O says:

    I totally agree with your numbers.. the Corsi reflect some good possesion the leafs had at times.. but the penalties were mostly deserved/occured, imo..

    For the most part I agree. But they missed a lot of Vancouver interference imo which is what really grates my cheese. If the game's going to be called that wide-open it's got to be called both ways.

    And the hand-on-puck-in-crease was just disgraceful. As if we need another reason to call Vancouver dishonorable.

  147. hunter1909 says:

    Normally I semi-like the Leafs, but this crazy trading TWO draft picks away for an injured player looks a lot like panning out to be much what we all had to go through during Penner's first season. I'm getting a lot of vicarious kicks out of watching another team go through what Oilers fans saw a couple of seasons ago.

    Irony of ironies, it's all happening to Brian Burke. Looks like Lowe gets the last laugh.

  148. Icecastles says:

    Panning along the row of Oilers during O Canada and all I could think was "Holy shit, Cogliano looks tiny behind Penner."

  149. Icecastles says:

    YESSSS!!!!

  150. kris says:

    Hey they planned something on the PP.

    No Souray, we better plan something.

  151. Woodguy says:

    Wow.

    89-83-71 looking world class on that PP play

  152. andy grabia says:

    That was a nice goal. Real nice. But am I the only one who's terrified of Gagner playing against Iginla?

  153. kris says:

    Pointless

  154. Icecastles says:

    Considering the breadth of talent MacIntyre brings (not to mention his pedigree and his terrifying size), his NHL fight record isn't exactly overwhelming so far.

  155. rickibear says:

    Also, I've been keeping an eye on the MPS tracker. Is ~0.75 pts/game "good" in your view?

    Dennis: asked for a historical reference of MPS performance the post before. I posted it at the end of it. He is ahead of a very sick list.

  156. Woodguy says:

    77-37 playing behind 83-89-27 against Igenlia.

    Would rather see 71-5 in that spot.

  157. Lowetide says:

    MacIntyre looked like a Teletubby.

  158. Lowetide says:

    Visnovsky (Hemsky, Gagner)

    That's a lot of smooth.

  159. Icecastles says:

    Uh-oh. Ref's putting the foil on.

  160. Oilmaniac says:

    R O,
    A deserved penalty shot could have been the single goal separating the teams… totally missed call..

    Its cus its burke that I would laugh out loud.. if…

  161. Lowetide says:

    Are there people cheering for the Leafs on this blog? Seriously?

  162. PDO says:

    LT:

    If there are, they better be banned…

  163. Oilmaniac says:

    Horc on the fourth, but the fourth getting good time out there.. it would be cool if horc gets double shifted for Smack, then with the Osull line..

    Nice Pp goal, wow vish and hemmer.. this looks sustainable?!..

  164. Steve says:

    I totally agree with your numbers..

    That's gracious of you.

  165. Lowetide says:

    Why no penalty there? Jeebus.

  166. Icecastles says:

    Are there people cheering for the Leafs on this blog? Seriously?

    I was torn on that game, but vancouver might be the only opponent against which I would cheer for Toronto. I hate those cowardly fuckers, and I especially hate that olympic diver Luongo.

    I also fucking hate shorthanded goals. I was worried there was going to be one on the Oilers first PP. Fucksakes.

  167. hunter1909 says:

    Robert Nilsson is useless.

  168. PDO says:

    How can the officials let a 2 on 1 get sprung on a clear crosscheck on the defenseman?

    That's a brutal non-call.

  169. Woodguy says:

    Apparently cross checking someone down from behind isn't a penalty anymore.

    Brutal that it leads to a goal.

  170. Oilmaniac says:

    man, who else had been looking forward to a 5 on 3.. damn..

  171. Lowetide says:

    And by the way, my personal thanks to the Edmonton Eskimos for making my wife's weekend. She's drinking Pinot Grigio and laughing her ass off right now because the Green Riders won.

    Hey Danny: Thanks for nothing!

  172. PDO says:

    LT:

    At least it should get you laid?

  173. Lowetide says:

    PDO: There's no chance I screw this up. Unless a meteor hits the house. :-)

  174. kris says:

    Strudwick is also useless.

  175. PDO says:

    That's the third flagrant penalty the Flames have gotten away with this period… one lead to a goal, and the other one was Hemsky getting tripped behind the net shortly after.

    Ridiculous.

    Anyone wanna take bets that Calgary scores a goal on a VERY soft call?

  176. PDO says:

    Atta boy Zorg!

  177. Icecastles says:

    Right on, Zorg!

  178. PDO says:

    Eat it Iginla.

  179. R O says:

    That's the third flagrant penalty the Flames have gotten away with this period… one lead to a goal, and the other one was Hemsky getting tripped behind the net shortly after.

    Now it's even. Weak no-call against Stortini.

    And an awful play by Stortini in general.

  180. uni says:

    I'm coming around to Bruce's point of view. Stortini is a very useful player on this Oilers team. =)

  181. Icecastles says:

    If he draws blood, is that not an automatic major?

  182. PDO says:

    RO… awful?

    He finished his check while Iginla admired his dump in.

    Iginla then lost his shit and took a dumb penalty.

    Brilliant play.

  183. kinger says:

    I don't understand the confusion regarding Iginla with the only penalty. Where's the Stortini penalty there?

  184. kinger says:

    Hey RO, maybe you should re-check your rose-coloured glasses.

  185. PDO says:

    Kinger:

    He hit a good player! How dare he!

  186. hunter1909 says:

    Stortini's a riot. Give him another season or two and he's going to be a really good player.

    1-1 after 1 period against these Flames is good enough for me, but that free powerplay to open up the 2nd is gravy, baby.

  187. R O says:

    He finished his check while Iginla admired his dump in.

    So, Stortini is guilty of interference? At the very least.

    And let's not beat about the bush. That was an attempt at revenge.

  188. PDO says:

    RO:

    I'd recommend figure skating.

  189. Icecastles says:

    Now it's even. Weak no-call against Stortini.
    And an awful play by Stortini in general
    .

    RO, sometimes I wonder if you watch the same game the rest of us do. Or at least cheer for the same team.

    Iginla high-sticked Zorg and drew blood (unintentional I'm sure… a suspiciously frequent refrain when Iggy injures someone…), and Zorg had a chance to check him into the boards and game him a nice heavy and legal check, and I'm pretty sure it didn't count as a late hit since Iginla had only *just* dished the puck.

  190. kris says:

    If Stortini's gonna get more minutes, he might as well play like that: Sean Avery, Claude Lemieux, Ulf Samuelsson style hockey.

  191. Woodguy says:

    I wonder what percentage of thecaptainethanmoreau's shots hit the goalie in the crest?

    85%?

    Iginla runs over Khabby, sticks Zorg. Yeah, classy player. Someone needs to break his fucking nose.

    Sutter losing it on the bench when Assinla gets the only penalty when his gang of idiot thugs are getting away with murder.

    My hate for the Flames hasn't been this strong since Otto played for them.

    God I love hockey!!

  192. PDO says:

    Kris:

    So long as he's always willing to drop the mitts and doesn't take cheap shots I'm just fine with that.

  193. kinger says:

    So, Stortini is guilty of interference? At the very least.

    Nope, Stortini was guilty of nothing, the check came right after the dump in. Also, unlike Iginla's hit on Souray, Stortini had the balls to do the damage face to face.

  194. HBomb says:

    Considering they missed an automatic 4-minute minor (in theory) on Iginla, what happened afterwards was poetic justice.

  195. PDO says:

    Moreau didn't touch Kipper in that replay…

  196. R O says:

    RO, sometimes I wonder if you watch the same game the rest of us do. Or at least cheer for the same team.

    I don't cheer for the same team. Never have claimed to.

  197. kris says:

    PDO,

    I could care less of he fights. Actually, I think he should cheap shot more and sometimes not fight.

    Maybe he draws some attention from Regher, etc.

    I think a cheap shot guy does way more for you than a Boogard.

  198. PDO says:

    Kris:

    I don't wanna become the Canucks… can't help it, always hated guys who hide behind visors and are just pussies in general.

  199. pboy says:

    I was at the game Thursday and with the exception of GM 4 against S.J. during the '06 run, it was the best game I've ever seen in person.

    1. I love Stortini's game. He keeps it simple, he works his bag off every shift and he is a guy who will have his teammates back at all times. Not a great skater but he makes up for it by never quitting on a play. Basically, he's Bizzaro Robert Nilsson.

    2. If Lubo played in Toronto he would make the All-Star team every year.

    3. thecaptainEthanmoreau can't be trusted anymore. At some point, he will either take a stupid penalty or turn the puck over in a compromising situation. Book it.

    4. Whatever we decide to call Penner, his game so far this year is totally fetch.

    5. My wife made mention that Horcoff skates harder to the bench after his shift than most guys do during their shift. He's been snakebitten so far this year but I still think he will end up with 50+ points.

    6. With Souray, Staios, Brule, Comrie and Stone being out of the line-up, if the Oil can come up with a couple of points against the Flames and Canucks this weekend, it's a huge bonus.

    7. I know you aren't supposed to wish harm to anyone but if Phanuef was to take a Lubo slapper to the melon, I wouldn't complain.

  200. PDO says:

    He's a Flames fan.

    I'm assuming you think Regehr should have been kicked out of the league by now RO? I mean, he's tried to end Hemsky's career multiple times from behind on violent hits…. if that's an awful play by Stortini, Regehr should have had a life time ban by now.

    Right?

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