Prospect Development Questions

I’m at the early stages of preparing the top 20 prospects list (it’ll start November 29) and there are two related questions that keep coming up.

First, I’m back to openly wondering about the value of SP when tracking AHL goalies. It’s definitely a strong tell, but I think we need to factor in things like the experience level of the team in front of said player (specifically the blue) and quality of team.

Any suggestions about how to suss that out?

Also, I’m very interested in following Taylor Chorney and Theo Peckham and their relative progress this fall. At the beginning of TC, Chorney was coming off a struggle in the AHL last season and Peckham appeared close to making the jump.

Peckham missed all of TC and likely isn’t at top level in terms of shape, but his play has been quite poor. Chorney on the other hand looks like he belongs. Their current Corsi:

  • Chorney -24.4
  • Peckham -42.81

Peckham (according to Desjardins) is facing the toughest opposition available (which looks like early season fluctuation) and Chorney the soft parade. I’m wondering if that adjustment from college to the more physical AHL is so great that we should just factor in a lost year for the blue? Matt Greene spent 26 games in the AHL but he was a more physical player. Chorney is more Poti than Peckham.

How do we factor that in moving forward? How much will that step impact Petry? Remember, Wild has struggled too. Anyway, any help is appreciated.

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64 Responses to "Prospect Development Questions"

  1. quain says:

    You grabbed the wrong Corsi number, LT. You had relative Corsi (their Corsi vs. Team with them not on the ice). Real Corsi is:

    Chorney: -24.44
    Peckham: -42.81

    Good for fifth worst and worst on the team.

    The good news? Chorney has the toughest O/D Zone Start on the team at 34.3% in the defensive zone, so he has an excuse for getting crushed. Peckham isn't far ahead (42.1%) so they're clearly not being coddled.

    I'm not sure my point… I think they both have some good things to talk about, but luck is making Chorney stay in the black right now and Peckham is clearly not ready for the season after the injury. The team would be wise to find a veteran option or two to push them a bit further down the depth chart.

    I will say this: Quinn doesn't have the team to play his style of mostly rolling lines. The amount of forwards and defense he can trust anywhere is probably in the single digits and then the amount of players that can't be trusted at all has to be approaching double digits. It was a rough enough problem with you had the line matching MacTavish, it gets even worse when someone is less prone to care.

  2. hunter1909 says:

    Everyone seems to be ragging on Peckham, but the kid was injured(seriously I think), and simply hasn't recovered yet. When he does, look out, because he's going to be terrorising the opposition in a way we haven't seen in years.

  3. rickibear says:

    The problem is we need to have production for each zone based on Qaulity of Comp.

    The Player faced comp value X. That Competition is expected to score at rate a(offensive), B(Neutral), C (defensive), You get a correct Production from the competition they are facing. Is there results better or worse than the expected. A true measure.

    The player could have different Quality of comp per zone.

    This is how Quality of comp should be used. We do not put enough importance on the comp factor relative to zone.

    A player getting Soft comp in mostly offensive zone Zersus Tough comp in mostly Defensive zone. They are not the same.

    Looking at general Comp versus the split zone comps is like looking at points versus General comp.

    This is the needed next step.

  4. Scott Reynolds says:

    It would be interesting to look at how various defenders do coming out of college before making a generalization about a "lost year." I know Gilbert did very well his first year out of college and he's a more finesse defender. Brian Lee had a pretty solid year for the Sens his first out of college and he came from the same program as Chorney. Every player is different, but I think generalizing about a "lost year" out of college is making an excuse for our guys.

    As for Chorney and Peckham this year, neither have looked ready for prime time yet though Chorney has been better than I expected, especially with his work on the PK.

    With regard to save percentage adjustments I think Willis did something like this for Dubnyk but I don't recall where it is at the moment. Even there, I recall it being limited to the truly terrible teams and not a general adjustment. A somewhat manageable suggestion would be to do a thorough comparison with backups and use their track record to help your analysis.

  5. kris says:

    Chorney's an interesting prospect just because his skating is so good.

    I've always thought that the only 19-21 year old kids who can play in the NHL at forward -with a few exceptions- are the ones that have top-notch speed. When you've got speed you can recover your mistakes, make up for being out of position, win puck battles against strong NHL defensemen. That is, you can make up for all the problems that young players have.

    But maybe the same fact about speed is true of young D like Chorney as well.

    This still doesn't explain his -297,00 last year, though.

    The saw him good crowd who said Chorney is much better than his AHL numbers suggest have a win here, no doubt. Sometimes the scouts and the hockey guys can see ability that the numbers don't show.

  6. kris says:

    To be clear, I do think that

    a.) Chorney isn't NHL ready yet
    b.) The numbers are usually reliable and "saw him good" is often unreliable.

    However, Deslauriers, Chorney, Souray, and I'd say Brule too, have all -once they started to play in Oilers' silks- outperformed the reasonable expectations that I (we?) had for them based on past Corsi, Goal differential, etc., either from Springfield or -in Souray's case- another team.

  7. Daron says:

    OFF-TOPIC: Sorry, don't mean to hijack the thread, but didn't know how to email LT to ask one-on-one. I have the Center Ice package, but wonder why the Oilers are rarely on at home in HD. It seems like every single Avs or Phoenix game is on there, but Oilers are rarity in DH. Do you guys not get to see all their games in HD up there?

    Also, the rare times they are on, the playing area looks somewhat darker and less well-lit than other arenas (especially Pittsburgh) look on TV. Is it like that in person, or just an illusion because of where the cameras are, etc.?

    Thanks, now back to your regularly-scheduled discussion.

  8. Gerta Rauss says:

    @Daron
    The HD feed must be specific to your local provider.
    The game was on last night on TSN-HD.This would(should) have been nation wide in Canada.

    I too,have the CI package with Bell ExpressVu in British Columbia,and most games are in HD…it's only when we go on the road and we're picking up the feed from another source(ie Fox sports) that we occasionally have to suffer through peasant TV.

    I also have noticed the darkness of the broadcast,but I thought it was my 44 year old eyes…I just clean my glasses…

  9. Bruce says:

    Daron: Here in Edmonton all the games are in HD, be it CBC, TSN, or RSW. SportsNet was the last to get on board. Sounds like Centre Ice is picking up the wrong feed … you should talk to your provider.

  10. jon k says:

    It's sort of interesting to note the symmetry in our defensive prospects.

    In the current developmental generation we have the group of guys including Peckham, Motin, and Plante. Then we have the other group consisting of Chorney, Petry, and Wild. Hesketh lurks somewhere off in the far future.

    I can't see us having a situation where the emergence of any one player at the NHL level hurts the chances of another prospect.

    I think we're lucky if we get two bona fide NHLers out of those two groups, total. Realistically speaking I think Chorney and Peckham make the cut, and Petry is hanging in the balance. At this point it's a safer bet to wager against Motin, Plante, and Wild.

    By the time any of them are ready to contribute more than they give up at the NHL level we'll be complaining about how Gilbert or Grebeshkov have lost a few steps and lamenting the retirement of Visnovsky.

  11. knighttown says:

    This won't further this particular conversation but it is relevant so I'll post it again in the hope that the idea finally gains some traction.

    Teams need to start to look at defensemen numbers 7-11 on the depth chart as much as forwards, 9-12. Even with the flu bug, we've yet to call a forward up from the AHL and have only used 14 forwards all season. We've already used 9 defenseman.

    Here are some startling stats:

    Jason Strudwick spent the first two games in the PB. In the 11 games since he has played more minutes this season (not average, TOTAL) than Hemsky, Penner, O'Sullivan, Gagner, Cogliano, Moreau, Nilsson, Stortini, Brule and Comrie. Basically, every forward but Horcoff.

    And this guy was an afterthought who gets paid minimum wage and big surprise, he gets killed in scoring chances when he's out there.

    Taylor Chorney, since he's been promoted has played more minutes than every forward except Hemsky and Horcoff.

    And this was a guy getting lit up by AAA pitching last year. He's survived to this point but can it hold up?

    I don't think I'd get any argument that Jason Strudwick will be more important to this team than Steve MacIntyre but if I'd mentioned he'd have more impact on our team than Ales Hemsky people would say I was nuts. But he has.

    Bad decision:
    Robert Nilsson at 2 million

    Good Decision:
    Nathan Oystrick, Nolan Baumgartner, Joe DiPenta and Aaron Johnson at a combined 2 million.

  12. knighttown says:

    Ian Penny out as interim NHLPA head. I mean, I'm happy because the writing is on the wall that the milataristic group of Penny/Hargrove/Pink/Lindros are probably no longer in charge, but wtf?

    I'm not sure they have the stones to do it but I hope they go back to Paul Kelly, hat in hand. Would he accept?

  13. striatic says:

    What I like about Chorney is that he's supposed to be the offensive defenseman compared to Peckham and Strudwick, but he's shown better defensive chops than either of them. He also made a couple of deft moves in the neutral zone last night that looked very impressive. He's a very talented skater.

    Maybe it is just that Chorney is facing easier opposition. If so, I think he's at least earned a shot to be put into some tougher situations to see where he is relative to Peckham.

  14. mc79hockey says:

    First, I'm back to openly wondering about the value of SP when tracking AHL goalies. It's definitely a strong tell, but I think we need to factor in things like the experience level of the team in front of said player (specifically the blue) and quality of team.

    What led to this?

  15. kanadienkyle says:

    I think a couple of things have to be considered in Chorney's case:

    1. He had a tough final year of college hockey. He was being pushed to do too much, and it hurt his game. I think perhaps the confidence is coming back.

    2. The college game is (especially the WCHA) still features a lot of clutch and grab. Could it be that some of these defenders have a tough time adjusting to the rules in the NHL. If not in actual practice then perhaps it changes how they are "thinking" the game?

  16. Unleaded says:

    Quite honestly, if you look at the size of the players who do make the transition easily, they're big boys. Chorney – not so much. If you are looking for players who will be able to transition easily, look at those who have size. Gilbert, Greene, Peckham, Poti – all bigger guys. Chorney – not so much. The further down the Pro leagues you go, the rougher they get, so it really isn't surprising that Chorney might be doing better this year as an NHLer, simply because his skill set is more applicable.

    Honestly, I'm quite interested to see Petry transition into the Pros, if for nothing else than to see if the size thing is more of a weight issue (which may be an issue for him) or a height issue (which should pose no problem for the young man).

    As for the S% issue, I remember seeing some posts around about the combined years of experience on the D for different teams. Could you look at the years of experience for the defenders on a given team, and then use that to build an additional frame through which to look at S% over a given year?

    Goalie A
    SV%.900
    TEAM D EXP: 900 GP

    Goalie B
    SV%.875
    TEAM D EXP: 450 GP

    Goalie C
    SV%.930
    TEAM D EXP: 1500 GP

    I realize that my imaginary examples don't say a lot about each goalie, but I beleive that having that kind of information would be helpful in evaluating Goalie progression. And those numbers are available for players right now, so there doesn't need to be an entire new formula for evaluating the effectiveness of a teams defense in front of a given goalie.

  17. spOILer says:

    W.r.t. Bruce's Scotch request in the previous thread…

    Bruce , I'm a scotch drinker, but I say skip the scotch and head straight for Sortilege. You can get it at the Chateau Louis for ca. $24 for a 375ml bottle.

    It is an exceptional sipping drink.

  18. Doogie2K says:

    As one of the loudest critics of SV% analysis for goaltenders, let me be clear: I don't think SV% has no inherent merit, merely that it needs to be considered in context, much as skater stats are. LT mentions experience/quality of D, and I think that's a huge factor. If you're playing with a young/inept D, it's almost as bad as playing short-handed, and we know the effect of short-handedness on SV%. (Related to this, time spent at SH vs. EV vs. PP would also have some effect, particularly if the team has a very good or very poor PK.) You want the perfect example? Justin Pogge. Look at those splits from Prince George to Calgary and tell me quality of D doesn't have an effect on SV%. And while it's an unpopular opinion here, I think you can tie a good chunk of Khabibulin's bad SV% in Chicago to the fact that that was a young D and a highly-penalized team; maybe not all of it, especially not '05-'06, but a fair bit of it.

    How would we measure these things for prospects? Good question. The stats provided by the lower-level leagues aren't nearly as good as the ones provided by the NHL, but certainly, if there were a way to get Zonestart and Corsi (or at least SF/SA while Player X is on the ice), that would at least tell us which way the puck's going for the team on a general basis, and how each D pairing is faring. We can figure out, with a bit of work, what the situational time splits look like, and could probably use PK%/PP% as a marker of quality (maybe factoring in SHGF/SHGA). There's limited data available to work with, but we have more than just SV%; we should use it.

  19. spOILer says:

    –Sorry to hear about Penner's grandfather passing.

    –Any word on how Tambo is going to fit Pisani into the line-up? Obviously Souray is going to go LTIR retroactively, but don't they need another move once Lubo recovers from the flu?

    –Brownlee calling for Tambo to trade for D help. Hmm, how long is Vis out for? Is Staios that far away? Or is he prepping us for the Pisani juggling that will thn result in a F traded for a D?

  20. Bar Qu says:

    Brownlee calling for Tambo to trade for D help.

    The help is there for nothing – Randy Jones, lately of the Phlyers, who only costs half of a 2.75 cap hit. Best value for the dollar in the league.

  21. Bruce says:

    I don't think SV% has no inherent merit, merely that it needs to be considered in context, much as skater stats are.

    Doogie: Agreed, especially in lower leagues, which tend to be more unbalanced top to bottom.

    The other shortcoming of Sv% is it doesn't measure the goalie's other contributions to flow of play. A goalie good at the fundamentals of puck retrieval, puckhandling, passing, rebound control and crease management might face 2 or 3 shots fewer per game than a goalie who is poor at these things. The latter might be a better pure stopper, and that will show up in Sv%; whereas the shot prevention skills of the former will not. (See: Hedberg v. Lehtonen, ATL)

    I liken it to the value of a pitcher who can field his position, throw to the right bag, hold runners close, even lay down a bunt when the situation demands compared to a pure thrower whose primary skill is blowing away the batter. Obviously that's the most important skill for both, but it's not the only one. If you tell me that, say, Pitcher B holds opponents to a .210 batting average and Pitcher B to .225, that tells me something but not everything about the comparative success rates of the two.

    There is no one metric which will capture everything, and while Sv% is the best we've got for goaltenders, it has inherent limitations to say the least. Devan Dubnyk's Sv% alone tells us next to nothing about his game management skills.

  22. RiversQ says:

    I'll echo Tyler's question. I'm not clear why you got worried about AHL sv% in the first place. Please tell me it's not a handful of starts from one guy. If that's the case you better toss all your equivalencies in the bin.

  23. Gandhi says:

    Bang on Knighttown. I think you have really hit on something here.

    Should a 7th d-man be considered as important (i.e. paid as much/valued as much) as a second line forward? On how many teams does a 7th dman play more minutes (and probably tougher, more important/potentially more costly minutes) than the average second liner?!

    very interesting.

  24. Bruce says:

    The help is there for nothing – Randy Jones, lately of the Phlyers, who only costs half of a 2.75 cap hit. Best value for the dollar in the league.

    BQ: I wrote about this on Wednesday when Jones was actually available. He's gone now, claimed by the Kings despite the fact they have seven healthy blueliners. Unfortunately, through Oct 31 waiver priority is based on last year's standings, so the Kings had dibs on the Oilers. No way of knowing if there was interest in Jones here, but it wouldn't have mattered if there was. It would, however, be interesting to know.

  25. Bar Qu says:

    kt

    the pay structure is all wonkified when it comes to players who give the most value for presence. As you pointed out, a Strudwick will hurt your team more by his presence than a Penner/Hemsky or even (fantasy) Malkin will help. Everyone gets dazzled by boxcar numbers and pays per, but a good, reliable, tough minutes d-man will help your team far more in the tougher parts of the season (stretch, playoffs) than pure offensive talents anyways. Witness the disappearance of Jumbo Joe every playoffs and how it hurts the Sharks.

  26. Bar Qu says:

    Bruce,

    fiddlesticks

    Lombardi knows how to run a team don't he!

    And the middling finish by the Oil comes back to haunt them again.

  27. RiversQ says:

    I think you can tie a good chunk of Khabibulin's bad SV% in Chicago to the fact that that was a young D and a highly-penalized team; maybe not all of it, especially not '05-'06, but a fair bit of it.

    Aren't the Khabby complaints that his EVSV% is pretty mediocre wherever he plays, not just with Chicago. From his rebound control, it sure looks to me like his sv% is a pretty good reflection of his ability. I think people are looking for reasons just because he "looks" good. At least on the first shot.

  28. Asiaoil says:

    LT – you are questioning SP based on what? JDD having 2 good NHL starts? He always starts well – problem is he has no sustain and tends to fall apart by mid-year under any kind of workload. I continue to maintain the kid will likely be a decent NHL backup and he seems to be nearing that upside (finally). But in no way does his performance call in the question the utility of SP in evaluating goalies – not even close.

  29. quain says:

    Khabibulin, ESSV% ranking per year, starting with 05-06:

    67th
    41st
    54th
    11th
    25th

    What a stud! Swoon!

  30. Bruce says:

    Quain: Context, please. Where does he rank among, say, the 30 goalies who led their team in minutes? I don't really care how he ranks compared to, say, Yann Denis.

  31. Hockey Noob says:

    @Bruce/anyone.

    On the topic of defensemen, there's no question that having Strudwick anywhere but the press box will only hurt this team. Having Peckham who still doesn't seem ready for the NHL along with Chorney who's sort of treading water, can only make things worse.

    I'm not sure how long Lubo's out, but it would be ideal to address our needs at d (relative to injuries) regardless. Given that Jones is gone, what else is available right now?

  32. Mr DeBakey says:

    what else is available right now?

    Marek Malik & Christian Bachman?

    And Chris Hajt

  33. Woodguy says:

    KT:

    You make some great points.

    7th D definitely needs to be better than we currently have, and should probably make more money than forwards 8-14.

    The problem lies with D-men 8-11.

    They can't be on your roster, there is no room, unless forward 14 is actually a D-man too. (Might be a good idea)

    8-11 have to be able to move back and forth from the farm without having to clear waivers (I.e. As good as Arsene is, you can't send him up and down with impunity)

    So your 8-11 D-men are going to be young and inexperienced by definition.

  34. Hockey Noob says:

    With Souray potentially getting placed on LTIR, I've heard that it will buy us about 3 weeks when Pisani returns. Adding further salary with signing a defenseman will complicate things further relative to the salary cap.

    On that note, I wonder if Nilsson (with his negative trade value based on cap hit), might get us anything useful for the blueline?

  35. Lowetide says:

    Tyler, Rivers, Asia, ladies and gentlemen: :-).

    I'm not suggesting SP isn't the best stat available for G (I did say that it was a strong tell) but I'm wondering if there's a relationship between playing in front of an inexperienced blue versus a more veteran group of AHLers and if we can add that to the pile of things we look at in evaluating them via math.

    Have we done much on that? Scott mentioned Willis having done something on it, would love to see that item.

  36. Hockey Noob says:

    *sorry retroactive LTIR

  37. Dennis says:

    I'M not ready 2 throw th baby out wth th bathwatr but 49 has looked terrible thus far.

    I'm guessing he"s still a little banged up but let"s see him for another 5 games or so b4 we dcide.

  38. Schitzo says:

    They can't be on your roster, there is no room, unless forward 14 is actually a D-man too. (Might be a good idea)

    I think this is a fantastic idea, actually. It's much easier to hide a 21-year-old forward on your fourth line than it is to hide a 21-year old defenceman. So stockpile veteran defenders, and airlift in forwards as necessary.

    [Heck, even in the worst case, we've already seen Smid, Strudwick, and Peckham take the odd shifts at 4LW, so it can't be THAT hard]

  39. Woodguy says:

    Dennis:

    49 sure looked ready last year. He gets a tonne* of rope. He's the real deal, by the time he's played 40 games (A/NHL) he should look like he did last year.

    Nice to see 41 make them have to make a choice.

    * proud Canadian

  40. Perry K says:

    During the TC and the preseason, I was very impressed by Motin and his composure. I wouldn't have been surprised if he had been called up instead of Chorney as the first injury replacement.

    I wonder how his numbers look presently. Any one know?

  41. Hockey Noob says:

    @Perry

    He's listed at GP: 7(/10), G0, A1, P1, 4 PIMs, -1,

    @Schizo

    Yeah, it might be harder to hide a dman than a 4th liner. It certainly seems like it especially considering the TOI issues that someone else suggested.

  42. Woodguy says:

    They can't be on your roster, there is no room, unless forward 14 is actually a D-man too. (Might be a good idea)

    I think this is a fantastic idea, actually. It's much easier to hide a 21-year-old forward on your fourth line than it is to hide a 21-year old defenceman. So stockpile veteran defenders, and airlift in forwards as necessary.

    [Heck, even in the worst case, we've already seen Smid, Strudwick, and Peckham take the odd shifts at 4LW, so it can't be THAT hard]

    Hmmmm, KT (and us :-)) may be onto something here.

    You're right, D-man 7/8 can play 4L/RW waaaaay easier than forward 13/14 can play D-man 6 when you're ina pinch.

    Someone inform Tamblowe that the paradigm just changed. (Not kidding)

    Usually more good young F on the farm than D anyhow….

    Oilers might have another win and one less loss if a reasonable D-man was on the roster instead of SMac.

    Does anyone know if an NHL team carries an extra D-man instead of forward? (Besides LA…..prelude to trade?)

  43. Bruce says:

    I love Strudwick as a #14F/#8D. But the 13th guy needs to be a real player, not the guy Quinn has been forced to play 3 times and has received a total! of 9 shifts and 4:54. By all means keep a young buck or two as your 6th and/or 7th blueliner, and as your 12F/13F for that matter.

    The exact same thing happened last year. Strudwick started the year in the pressbox, then started to play and more or less never came out, playing a career-high 71 GP at age 33. This year he's on pace for about the same number of games (>85%), except he's playing 5 minutes per game More than he did last year. He has never posted a seasonal TOI average within 1:00 of his current average of 16:37. If you ask me age 33/34 is mighty old to be seetting career longevity marks.

    By my eye, both years he came down and played a few solid games impressing nearly everyone, coaches included, but quickly "digressed". His ability to step in and play decent is much better suited to spot duty than heavy lifting. Say, #14F/#8D level of spot duty.

    And all that said, when you lose three veteran defencemen at once, you're going to be down around the Strudwick Line no matter what. To a large extent, Quinn is a victim of circumstances.

    Anybody know if Vis made the trip?

  44. Scott Reynolds says:

    The latter might be a better pure stopper, and that will show up in Sv%; whereas the shot prevention skills of the former will not. (See: Hedberg v. Lehtonen, ATL)

    Gabe looked at this example pretty extensively and couldn't come to a cause for the disparity between the two Atlanta tenders. He ruled out rebounds, playing to the score, and quality of opponent though:

    http://www.behindthenethockey.com/2009/10/12/1082289/lehtonen-vs-hedberg

    I found the Willis piece here which is related to team record and not age of defenders, though those two things might be related:

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2009/5/6/867670/developing-devan-dubnyk

    a Strudwick will hurt your team more by his presence than a Penner/Hemsky or even (fantasy) Malkin will help.

    Is this a serious position that someone is prepared to actually defend? Or is it a joke?

  45. looooob says:

    Flames decided not to carry an 8th D initially and traded Stralman for less than they acquired him for (although it did rid them of Primeau's salary) to do it rather than lose him on waivers

    then it appeared they had a change of heart and acquired Aaron Johnson to be their 8th D

    so they are currently carrying 8 D and 13 F in answer to an above question

  46. Scott Reynolds says:

    Tampa Bay is carrying nine dmen on their active roster right now. Nine!

  47. MattM says:

    Scott: I don't think that supports the arguments here, as anytime I see Tampa do something, I pretty much just assume that the Oilers should do the opposite.

  48. John says:

    I do not think anyone is ragging on Pechham. He is just playing really sluggish. I am sure some of it is timing and rust. He will be a good 3rd pairing NHL D man who plays tough. Maybe next year

    I have been very pleasantly surprised at how comfortable Chorney…. that good Canadian born (thunder bay) player looks. He will never be a stellar defender but i think he will be a good 2nd pairing defender and 2nd unit of PP

    I think the Oilers lack a good defence first defender that will allow the Viz, Grebs and Chorney Dmen jump into the play. Smid is really turning the corner into a real solid, tough NHL defender

    Did I mention that Tom Gilbert is as soft as butter? Drew Stafford anyone??

  49. hunter1909 says:

    It's obvious to me that Quinn's trying to assess the strengths and weaknesses of a pretty disfunctional hockey club. Were everyone healthy, it might take 20 games, but with the injury situation I have no idea. That's for Quinn to worry about.

    Personally I'm tickled pink to see MacT on tv, giving his opinions. He was unable to coach the Oilers, and pretty well fucked them up to anyone but the die hards who hold their breath, in anticipation of the next chance to sing his praises. That's fine, but in my mind unrealistic.

    What's great is, seeing Penner, Stone, Brule, and O'Sullivan, all playing infinitely better than before. It's almost as if the team signed a whole bunch of good players to add to the MacT dregs(Horcoff, Staios et al).

    Obviously I know very little about the Oilers right now, and last night's near disaster bears this out. I was certain they wouldn't collapse. Silly me. But then, I have to live in whatever passes as my reality, which is of no interest to this board. Whatever I have left to give to my hockey fan side is probably a lot less patient, caring, or understanding than 95% of the rest of you.

  50. Gerta Rauss says:

    Quinn comments today

    Vis,Pisani on the trip,uncertain if they'll play in the morning in Boston

  51. Lowetide says:

    Well Hunter, you are the voice of reason.

  52. hunter1909 says:

    Lowetide: Remember that first pick Oilers handed over for Penner? And how it looked like a lottery pick?

    The Leafs are currently giving me multiple orgasms, as they stagger and stumble along in 30th spot, with me knowing they're going to be crying their eyes out for the next generation if Boston grabs the first overall pick next June.

    I'm not even particularly anti-Leafs, other than they're a pretty terrible team.

    Right now I'm enjoying watching the Sabres, making like they've got Bernie Parent in net, holding a 2-1 lead against the oh so desperate Leafs, lol.

  53. PDO says:

    The Eskimo's kinda look like a football team…

  54. Icecastles says:

    I may hate Toronto, but by god, do they deserve to win this Buffalo game. Absolutely insane.

  55. PDO says:

    The Laffs have more points from OTL's than W's.

    Ha.

  56. Woodguy says:

    Flames decided not to carry an 8th D initially and traded Stralman for less than they acquired him for (although it did rid them of Primeau's salary) to do it rather than lose him on waivers

    then it appeared they had a change of heart and acquired Aaron Johnson to be their 8th D

    so they are currently carrying 8 D and 13 F in answer to an above question

    Of course a cattle farmer from central Alberta is pragmatic.

    Just look at his bottom 6 forwards.

    It would not surprise me is D.Sutter traded Phenuef for a quality top 3 forward.

    Pragmatism usually beats optimism.

    Although 27 is looking pretty good this year…

  57. Woodguy says:

    Scott: I don't think that supports the arguments here, as anytime I see Tampa do something, I pretty much just assume that the Oilers should do the opposite.

    That a pretty broad statement.

    That's a lot of things not to do.

    Should that include:

    -picking up Martin St. Louis off waivers

    -Drafting Lecavaler

    -Winning the Stanley Cup in 2004

    -Drafting Stamkos

    You should really be more specific.

  58. knighttown says:

    Yeah, there are a few teams that have loaded up on defensemen. Didn't Vancouver have a full slate before they picked up Ehrhoff and Lukowich? Someone mentioned Aaron Johnson.

    And really, the waivers thing isn't a big issue. If anyone really wanted (say) Aaron Johnson they would have signed him. In a pinch, you call him up and if you lose them on waivers move along to the next guy.

    Corsi's for our 7,8,9:

    Strudwick- -23.44
    Chroney- -24.44
    Peckham- -42.82

    Of the 200 or so defensemen that have played this year all three of those guys are in the bottom 15 and Peckham is 2nd last. They produce no offense and their defense is marginal at best. What that says to me is that we try to score when 37/ 77/5 are on the ice and hold on like hell when the others are on.

    If we cut or bury or trade Moreau and Nilsson and pick up 2 or 3 more guys in the 1.5 million range we'd be much better off.

    Andrew Alberts-Car- +19.68 in 15.5 EV minutes per night. $1,050,000.
    Shane O'Brien-Van- +16.06 in 14 EV minutes per night. $1,500,000.
    Ian White- Tor- +21.01 in 17 EV minutes per night. $850,000

    And I'd bet there are a dozen more unsigned free agents out there that could post an even Corsi and we could have had three for the price of Moreau and Nilsson and gotten change back. Let the kids learn on the farm until they are really ready.

  59. Vince says:

    I'm going to see Philippe Cornet play against St. John Sea Dogs next weekend….he's tearing up the Q for anyone who didn't know

  60. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Unleaded,I think you nailed it regarding young D-men in the A.

    The A is a tough tough league. More physical and more guys that can and are willing to run young, small D-men through the end boards. I imagine it's a little scary for undersized college D-men.

    I'm not saying facing Ovechkin's and Iginla's isn't scary for young D as well, but sometimes guys are just more suited to the big leagues due to skating ability, hockey sense, and decision making ability.

    I see Chorney topping out as a poor man's Rafalski with less of a point shot.

    Regarding #7-10 D men: I've always liked M. Dandenault because of his D/F versatility and skating. Guys like this are valuable come injury time. His stock has fallen mightily since his Red Wing days, mostly due to injury. I believe he's available (released by the Sharks after a tryout).

  61. Satisfied_to_Ignore says:

    LT: In regards to SV% as a measure.

    I have a son playing goal and have struggled with this for a while. I do not think that SV% accurately captures the quality of goalie, but have not found a better measure either.

    Idea: Some average of QCOMP for/against for every shot. So then a goal or save is weighted by the quality of players on your team vs the quality of their opposition.

    For example a save when Smac is out against Ovechkin is weighted more heavily than a shot when Prust is out against Horcoff.

    Thoughts?

  62. Doogie2K says:

    Khabibulin's EVSV% rank amongst goalies with at least 40 GP:

    '09 5th (.933)
    '08 27th (.916)
    '07 26th (.913)
    '06 27th (.899)
    '04 20th (.920)
    '03 10th (.924)
    '02 9th (.923)
    '01 DNQ (2 GP)
    '00 DNQ (0 GP)
    '99 4th (.930)
    '98 24th (but that year's numbers are broken, so I can't give you a number)

    And that's as far back as NHL.com's records go. 1999 was his first year putting up elite numbers, after debuting in 1995, which is probably about right; his prime runs through 2003 or 2004. The 20th-place mark on the '04 Stanley Cup champions is weird (all his numbers were off that year), though it's not actually appreciably worse than his previous two years by raw number. Again, though, looking at Chicago's defence (and probably Denis Savard's system) in '07 and '08, at least, I'm not sure how much better he could reasonably have been expected to do. ('06 is inexcusably bad, but also a massive outlier. Unfortunately, '09 looks to be the outlier in the other direction.)

  63. Bruce says:

    Gabe looked at this example pretty extensively and couldn't come to a cause for the disparity between the two Atlanta tenders.

    Thanks, Scott, I had missed that one. Too bad, I would have liked to join that discussion. Obviously I would pin a large portion of the cause on those "soft skills" which Hedberg seemingly has in abundance over Lehtonen.

    I've been watching that Atlanta pairing with great interest for some time, and previously brought it up with The Falconer back in September and several times over the past year with The Contrarian Goaltender. There's been lots of discussion on the latter blog for those interested in goaltending generally and this aspect of it in particular.

    The real odd thing about Lehtonen and Hedberg is that while Lehtonen has a vastly superior Sv%, and clearly superior (although not by as much due to facing more shots) GAA each of the last three seasons, Hedberg has had the better point percentage, and by a significant margin, in each of those seasons. And for that I have no explanation. I identified that a year ago and wouldn't have bet a nickel that the trend would continue for a third season, but it did. It'll be interesting to see what happens in '09-10 … assuming Lehtonen ever makes it back from his latest physical problems.

  64. logical thinking says:

    The problem with Peckham is that he can't handle the speed of the nhl, even before his injury.

    Kind of like a QB that gets blitzed and sacked over and over again because the QB can't read the play quick enough.

    Chorney is a very good skater and puck handler, but he is soft in the physical department. I have not observed his point shot, to see if he would be effective on the powerplay. I figure he will be a nhl d man, some what in the mold of a Geoff Smith.

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