RE 12-13: ERIC BELANGER

Eric Belanger was heralded as a quality addition to a great area of need: a 2-way center to play against tough opposition and to offer Shawn Horcoff relief from the madding crowd. It didn’t work out. At all.

RE 12-13: 77, 10-10-20

  1. He recovers a little? Yes, I think Belanger will have a better year. I don’t have him playing a lot of PP time so the EV numbers (78, 2-8-10 a year ago) improve smartly.
  2. Is he DONE? I think he’s probably a good candidate to recover, at least to a certain level. His shooting percentage was whack, that thing needs to come back to the median.
  3. Was his FO number near league best? 16th in the league.
  4. Why was he so horrible? Belanger had the most severe zone start on the team (43.2%) and an improved zone finish (48.9%) but the scoring 5×5/60 was well off his usual pace. I think we can acknowledge his age but also lay a lot of blame on the ZS and the linemates. The 4th line was poorly constructed and coach Renney was late to recognize it–if he ever did.
  5. If the Oilers can find a taker, should they offload him? I’d rather see Eager and or Jones gone to be honest. There have been rumors all summer, but now that I’ve started the RE series Oiler management has a ‘roster freeze’ so this is it.
  6. I’d laugh if they traded Belanger today. I’d laugh too, but I’d cry if they traded Hemsky.
  7. What would you do with Belanger? I’d send him out again next season, this time with better players. He has (or had) a nice range of skills, maybe he has a comeback in him.
  8. Which players would you use? If the top 9 is Nuge, Gags, Horc, Hall, Yak, Smyth, Hemsky, Eberle,  Jones, then I’d like to see him play with Hartikainen and Paajarvi. Eager/Hordichuk as 13-14F options.
  9. Why? I think the Oilers have to run their best players out there in 12-13, and that means the two Euro kids move ahead of Eager and Hordichuk. Paajarvi’s blue box in the Sledgehammer graph (and Harski’s small white one in a tougher quadrant) suggest there is some room for growth. I think a 4line with Belanger as mentor has a chance to be a useful line.
  10. The Oilers have other options. Petrell? I have him included in the RE series and we’ll discuss him then, but yes he’s a factor too.
  11. How tough was the competition for Belanger’s line? The Sledgehammer graph suggests he was behind Horc, Nuge and Gagner in the qual comp department among C’s, but as we get deeper into this stuff I think the true impact of zone starts is beginning to show itself.
  12. It’s always been huge. Yes, but I always felt qual comp and zone starts were equal in terms of punishment, with qual comp the first thing to check. However, as the lines and qual comp vary greatly from game to game and week to week, it’s difficult to really get a “universal” view of a season. A drastic, punishing zone start is the devil and that knowledge is coming into view for me.
  13. Is that new information? New to me. Vic was on the zone start mountain miles ago and I think most of the advanced stats men were on it forever too. But for me seeing the graph has been an eye opener.
  14. So, ALL of the advanced math guys value ZS heavily over QC? I would never speak for anyone in any area, and certainly not in this one. Having said that, the general feeling I got from the men who drive this thing was that Zone starts were a factor but qual comp was equal value. My feeling on that issue has changed, partly because of the Vollman graph but also because of the difficulty in taking 82gp and applying an “overall” qual comp number. It’s an enormous task and has its problems because of injuries, etc.
  15. You adult learners. All about the visual. True. The Vollman graph may not be perfect but it marries two things together and gives us (me) clarity. I’m hoping for a shot differential graph one day too.
  16. This is what is wrong with hockey analytics. People are too slow. Not really, I’m pretty old and can understand most of it, but reading it and “getting it” are two different things. I think various MSM have grabbed on things and are moving the conversation forward, eventually it’ll catch fire. Vollman’s graph is a pretty big deal, and Eric T’s work on zone sorties is going to change the world.
  17. The advanced stats guys will always be ahead. And well they should, I don’t think there’s any conflict between doing advance work and stopping to make sure those who are curious don’t get left behind.
  18. Remedial advanced stats? Sign me up!
  19. Sooner or later advanced stats will become ‘inner circle’ stats that have to be purchased. MLB eventually cut back on what was available but that was short sighted and I think they stopped being silly. I know of no examples ever–certainly in hockey math–of an advanced stats individual denying others his results or methods. Actually, we’re in kind of a cool area where you can actually talk to a Vollman or a Dellow or a Zona or an Eric T or Jon Willis and find out their methodology and conclusions. Suspect few had access to Bill James and Pete Palmer back in the day, not even Raytheon employees.
  20. When would you trade him? Maybe at the deadline. That FO number will attract someone.

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91 Responses to "RE 12-13: ERIC BELANGER"

  1. Rondo says:

    Belanger + ? for Andrej Sekera .

    Buffalo lost their best FO man in Roy and they are hurting in that area.

  2. Lowetide says:

    I’d be all over that, even if the + was a solid player or very good prospect.

  3. hunter1909 says:

    hunter1909′s cheap take on Belanger:

    Belanger is a decent player who arrives in Edmonton, discovers thecaptain has eternal dibs on powerplay time, top 6 etc and gets so depressed that his season simply disintegrates.

    Clue: Sheldon Souray

  4. hunter1909 says:

    Call me crazy, but I’m really starting to like the direction of this team.

    Trouble is, it’s shaping up to be another tough(for the fans) season.

    A lockout until Christmas might be good for Oiler’s playoff chances.

  5. Bar_Qu says:

    Belanger simply can’t be as bad as he was last year. Just the shot % thing alone will make him better in the eyes of fans. Giving him a couple of youngsters to mentor would be a great bonus and develop both PRV and Harski correctly.

    hunter1909,

    Heavens no. I remain hopeful of a November start. The fact the sides haven’t moved to their respective corners of the playground to stare at each other venomously gives me this hope.

    I can’t go that long without some substantive hockey action.

  6. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    ” I’d laugh too, but I’d cry if they traded Hemsky.”

    that makes 2 of us.

    LT, I think you lost track of Belanger there for a while… maybe you got sucked into the Belanger Triangle?

  7. Bushed says:

    Re Hemsky count me in as 3rd who would cry if he were traded.

    As far as the hockey stats go, I’d be very happy if you put together a quick-reference summary of definitions/plain language/”for dummies” meanings of some of the key metrics. I’m old, so I keep forgetting what they mean and don’t have the time or inclination to look them up.

    Not to rain on the stats guys’ parade, but I’d also be curious to hear more about why MacT isn’t a complete convert–can you write an article about which measures he sees as valid and which aren’t so convincing to him?

    I’m still mostly in the “saw it good” camp myself. (Ask the stock market crowd how those advanced stats theories have worked out for them…?)

  8. Gret99zky says:

    Didn’t he say, just recently, he wanted to play in Montreal? Good Gawd.

    The Belanger Triangle may just become urban legend.

    I like Hunter’s cheap take but LT’s previous take on Belanger was epic gold:

    “An absolute disaster. The Titanic had a better season in 1912.”

    I pissed blood I laughed so hard at this one.

  9. LMHF#1 says:

    The problem with Belanger was that he wasn’t out there “doing the right things” while struggling, as a coach would put it. A great example of a guy who does these things is our friend Mr. Gagner. When he plays badly and is demoted, he seems to focus on positioning, landing some hits, and making simple plays, which gets him going better again. The equivalent for Belanger would be something along the lines of playing strong defensive hockey, making simple passes and getting shots on net whenever there’s a chance. He didn’t do any of that. He went totally off the cliff. It was absolutely terrible.

  10. TheOtherJohn says:

    If Doan signs elsewhere , Phx will be desparate for scoring. Any possibility that we could trade Belanger and Gagner for Boyd Gordon and Hanzal? Realize we’d have to sweeten the pot a little but they have to score goals.

    If that trade is possible we would be very strong down the middle. Maybe we could use the trade to target Gormley or Rundblad and add to the deal

  11. SinceTheWHADays says:

    LT

    I was wondering about this zone start thing. I admit I’m not much of a stats guy, but is there a relationship between defensive Zone start, FO%, and goals against? Who do we replace Belanger with on the dot if he gets moved. Didn’t we all agree, before we got Belanger, that winning face-offs was a big problem. Like I said, I’m not much of a stats guy, but I would guess that FO% is one of the most significant stats to determine goals for and against at evens, and if the Oil want to improve 5×5 that a focus on winning FO’s is essential for that to transpire. Any comments?

  12. stevezie says:

    TheOtherJohn,

    I don’t think we need to sweeten that pot. I like the deal.

    hunter1909,

    So your theory is Belanger’s problem last year was he didn’t get enough powerplay time?

  13. hunter1909 says:

    stevezie: hunter1909,
    So your theory is Belanger’s problem last year was he didn’t get enough powerplay time?

    Many err by forsaking what is near for that which is far.

  14. TheOtherJohn says:

    Stevezie

    Don’t think Maloney does deal without a sweetener. Think the Phx players are the better of the four players, albeit the Oler players are the better scorers. We’d have to greatly sweeten deal to get Gormley included but so long as HERY, Klefbom are not included in the deal, I am fine with the deal. Fills roster imbalance and gets us to be harder to play against.

  15. Lowetide says:

    Hairy Klefbom? Sounds painful.

  16. jp says:

    Hopefully Belanger can rebound a little. I really would love to see a Paajarvi-Belanger-Hartikainen 4th line. The 4th line is obviously not the key to the team, but it’s been a long time since the Oil had a decent one. If they can outscore the opponents chumps that will help some.

    LMHF#1,

    You’re right, Belanger didn’t do any of the little things you’d like to see a struggling player do. And he kept struggling…

    Bar_Qu:
    a>,

    I can’t go that long without some substantive hockey action.

    Does Oilers hockey count as substantive hockey action?

  17. SinceTheWHADays says:

    SinceTheWHADays,

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/teamstats.htm
     

    There seems to be a direct correlation between wins and team FO%. The simple solution to all of the Oiler’s Troubles, seems to be in winning more faceoffs, so instead of looking for more D, or bigger wingers, wouldn’t the prudent thing be to upgrade in the FO department. Having said that it would seem that since the Oil arn’t trading RNH that one, or two of the other three need to make room for upgrades at some point. FO% makes ALL other stats better, or worse. I would guess that the reason good coaches, like Bowman, won so many games is because there over riding philosophy was to have puck possession for 60% of the game which means having center men who generally win 55% if their draws. With all Belanger’s warts I don’t think it prudent to move him without being able to replace his FO numbers first. The Oil started to REALY tank after they moved Stoll & Reasoner, which also coincided with a major shoulder injury to Horcoff. We could win a draw to save our life after that, and the win column was the direct result. just say’n.

  18. TheOtherJohn says:

    Didn’t mention JSchultz, Smid or Petry but they too would be untouchables for me

    Expect Maloney is very very concerned as to how his team his gonna score which is why a 5 or 6 for three by the Oilers might be attractive. Agree with both Staples/Willis’ comments from NR yesterday if Oil want biggest measurable improvement for this season it’s adding a goalie

  19. hunter1909 says:

    Thankfully those in charge of the zoo appear to understand that rebuilding teams with championship aspirations(70s Flyers are a perfect example) prefer to let their prospects develop, rather than rushing to trade them for other teams castoffs.

    Oilers are no way competing for the cup in the next year, just playoff experience.

  20. TheOtherJohn says:

    SWHADays

    Gordon is better at FO’s than Belanger and Hanzal is better than Gagner

  21. Semenko and Troy says:

    The Oilers are the 7th team Belanger has played for since the lockout, and coming into this season is now the 4th line center on a team that has finished the last 3 seasons 30th, 30th, and 29th .

    Forgive me if I don’t see much upside.

  22. TheOtherJohn says:

    Hunter

    The 70′s Flyers were an assembly of castoffs.. Expect there championship teams did not have 7 or 8 home grown players. Total.

    Assembling a team that can compete in the playoffs is not a rush to compete.. Both Gordon and Hanzal are young enough to play at high level for 5-6 years. Which is the Oiler window. They are also good sized. Have no clue how anyone that follows hockey would think those 2 players are “other teams castoffs”. Check out there TOI in playoffs …… Or maybe you think Tippett was playing them big minutes in the playoffs because he’s stupid. PS feel free to check out BG FO% in the playoffs

  23. SinceTheWHADays says:

    TheOtherJohn,

    Exactly. I completely agree. That type of trade makes more sence to me than any trade imvolving an upgrade to D, Wing, or Goal.

  24. Lowetide says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Hunter

    The 70′s Flyers were an assembly of castoffs.. Expect there championship teams did not have 7 or 8home grown players. Total.

    Assembling a team that can compete in the playoffs is not a rush to compete.. Both Gordon and Hanzal are young enough to play at high level for 5-6 years. Which is the Oiler window. Theyare also good sized. Have no clue how anyone that follows hockey would think those 2 players are “other teams castoffs”. Check out there TOI in playoffs …… Or maybe you think Tippett was playing them big minutes in the playoffs because he’s stupid. PS feel free to check out BG FO% in the playoffs

    Homegrown Flyers from 1975 Cup team:

    1. Bobby Clarke
    2. Billl Barber
    3. Bill Clement
    4. Orest Kindrachuk
    5. Bob Kelly
    6. Tom Bladon
    7. Don Saleski
    8. Dave Schultz
    9. Jimmy Watson

    Would have been more, but they were an expansion team. The Flyers of the mid-70s were a helluva team, crazily underrated as time rolls on.

  25. russ99 says:

    hunter1909,

    Can’t assume even playoffs. The only change between last year and this are a promotion from assistant to head coach and two entry level players.

    Yes, the kids are a year older, but the non-kids are too.

    Hopefully the Oilers do something to increase the talent level, on defense especially, or this is going to still look like a rebuild timed to arrive the same time the new building does.

  26. VOR says:

    http://www.dailyfaceoff.com/2324/how-does-winning-faceoffs-correlate-to-winning-games

    Just thought perhaps I should remind everyone just how little effect winning faceoffs actually has.

  27. jooks says:

    LT, you mentioned Jones in the top 9. You also mentioned you’d rather him traded than Belanger…I tend to agree. He’s never seemed that effective defensively by eye, but how are his advanced stats, especially compared with a good defensive forward (like Moreau in his prime)?

  28. Lowetide says:

    Jooks: the Sledgehammer graph favors Jones in a big way, very big way. I have not been onside with Jones in the past but that evidence suggests he is a better player than I’ve given him credit for in previous seasons.

    That said, I think he is a candidate for trade. Having Paajarvi or Hartikainen play his minutes in 12-13 would allow the team to find out about them moving forward. Jones would be trade bait at the deadline spring 2013 for that reason imo, but it might happen sooner.

  29. Rocknrolla says:

    Great take LT. A couple of items that I was pondering wondering if you and the advanced stats guys could come up with was just touched on. What is the correlation between fo% and EV goals differential? Also is there anyway to track if dump ins vs carrying the puck in works better?

    The other question I had was about if there is a work stoppage until Christmas, where will the team play? Can some of the kids play OKC? Would Yak play Khl for 3 months? Think this would be a good hypothetical for an article.

  30. Lowetide says:

    Rock n Rolla: I think the tie between EV goals differential and faceoffs is where you take them. Not trying to avoid answering but from what I can see losing an offensive zone FO still gives you a much better chance of getting something done during your shift than winning a defensive zone FO.

    Eric T is doing brilliant work at number numbers on possession entering the zone.
    http://nhlnumbers.com/2012/7/11/more-on-the-advantages-of-puck-possession-over-dump-and-chase

    As for work stoppage, NHL players would go to Europe, minor league eligibles would play in OKC. Yakupov and the Nuge can’t play in the AHL so would have to either play junior or Europe.

    Unless I’m wrong, which is a phrase I seem to be using more these days. :-)

  31. "Steve Smith" says:

    Lowetide:
    Jooks: the Sledgehammer graph favors Jones in a big way, very big way.

    I continue to dispute this characterization. The Sledgehammer graph makes Jones look like other than a total catastrophe; that’s “favour[ing] Jones in a big way” only relative to what other metrics show.

  32. misfit says:

    I was a huge fan of the Belanger signing at the time, and I still am. He’s also a player that both the “numbers guys” and the “saw him good” crowd (to use the local jargan) seem to agee was a move that fell way short of working out yet I completely disagree with both. The advanced stats just never seemed to match what I was seeing throughout the uear (where a lot if the time I find they do). The one exception being sh%. He never looked to me to be a guy who killed plays in the offensive zone as was popular opinion in most GDT/PGTs. He wasn’t putting up points, but I felt like he was getting his share of chances. I really liked what he brought to the PK and feel like the signing would’ve been worth it for his special teams contribution alone. He’s excellent on faceoffs, but I consider FO proficiency to be more of a bonus and not a significant factor in a player’s overall value.

    I use advanced stats a fair bit, though nowhere near as much as some, but I’ve always put slightly more weight in zonestart than qual comp, and considerably more when looking at giving context to corsi.

    I would put Belanger on the top of my list of Oilers likely to see the biggest improvement from last year, and would be really disappointed (but completely unsurprised) if they traded him.

  33. VOR says:

    The numbers in Eric’s admittedly limited study suggest rushing the puck might be a badly undervalued skill, a bit like on base percentage was in baseball a few years ago. Perhaps players like David Ullstrom and John Moore, Ryan Murphy, and Ryan Ellis are the future. It would also imply that some advantage might be gained by strategies that force your opponent to dump and chase. Left wing lock anyone?

  34. Gret99zky says:

    IMO, he has asked for a trade. Appeared so unhappy last year.

    He will have to showcase himself to get it done.

  35. Maggie the Monkey says:

    @LT, who wrote:

    As for work stoppage, NHL players would go to Europe, minor league eligibles would play in OKC. Yakupov and the Nuge can’t play in the AHL so would have to either play junior or Europe.

    I’m not an expert on anything related to hockey, but think that all of Hall, Eberle, Ted, Yakupov, Paajarvi, J. Schultz, and anyone else on an ELC would be able to play in OKC. Aren’t all ELCs two way deals?

    Whether or not this would be beneficial, or better than playing in Europe, is a separate issue, of course.

  36. Bruce McCurdy says:

    re: ZoneStarts vs. QualComp, one huge difference between the two is that the coach has has control over QC in home games but not so much on the road, whereas he has significant control over ZS in any venue. In road games the best shelter at a coach’s disposal is o-zone starts, or at least avoidance of d-zone starts. (I don’t think near enough work has been done yet on neutral-zone starts, the current methodologies concentrate on end-zone starts and those in the middle of the ice are largely ignored.)

    “I’m hoping for a shot differential graph one day too.”

    That’s what the bubbles attempt to convey. They’re Corsi rather than shot differential, and relative rather than gross Corsi at that, but the bubbles are a clever way to visualize the third dimension in the player usage graphs. I think of them as cones that pass through the X-Y graph at a point, with the blue bubbles “above” that plane and the white ones “below”. The bigger the bubble, the further it is off that plane.

  37. Lowetide says:

    3D baby! Thanks, Bruce.

  38. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Be langer was my biggest disappointment of the year. Renney’s hand waiving session in Oil change described his season well. He wanders around aimlessly without accomplishing a whole lot. His value is at an all time low which is usually when the Oilers trade players. Worst asset management in the NHL since Lowe brought in Pronger.

  39. TheOtherJohn says:

    My bad, they had 9 homegrown players not 7 or 8. Still 9/22 home grown players on the 74 & 75 SCC roster does not constitute building from within. Acknowledge they were an expansion franchise but had played 7 seasons before they won. What it was: a well assembled roster that had a little bit of everything but most especially superlative goaltending and man were they tough. They went 10-12 deep in toughness. Now that was team toughness. Also allowed Clarke to play incredibly dirty with total impunity

    Think suggested trade in Q gives us slightly better defensive centers, with bigger bodies that are also good at face offs. If Phx did not need offense we could not trade for them

    Other than Osgood in Detroit are there many SC champions that get by with just ok playoff goaltending

  40. VOR says:

    I am not going to be popular but zone start and QofC are still less than ideal. They are the best we have but people are beginning to over reach using them.

    Say you have a player with 100 zone starts.

    Player 1 has (these aren’t real players) 60 percent OZ starts, comp of .5
    Player 2 has 50 percent OZ comp of .65
    Player 3 has 40 percent OZ comp of .8

    Seems quite straightforward who is pushing the puck up hill doesn’t it?

    Now let’s add a layer of data

    Player 1 faces a QofC of 1 in his DZ starts and .16 in his OZ starts
    Player 2 faces QofC of .65 everywhere on the ice
    Player 3 faces a QoC of .66 in his DZ and 1in the OZ

    Now which player is doing more heavy lifting? How are we defining heavy lifting?

    This is only one of many overlays we could use. Each might show us something different.

  41. TheOtherJohn says:

    Single most astonishing thing about Vollman graph is Detroit. The big boys kill the upper left quadrant

  42. VOR says:

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7986703/fast-small-vs-slow-big-ice

    Okay so let’s recap. The evidence shows winning faceoffs has at best a tiny effect on winning games and size is negatively correlated with winning in the playoffs. So why would a smart GM trade small talented centers for big less offensively gifted centers?

    Research also shows dump and chase to be vastly inferior strategy to bring the puck in on the rush. So if we are going to trade for a big center don’t we want a player like Ullstrom?

  43. SinceTheWHADays says:

    VOR:
    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7986703/fast-small-vs-slow-big-ice

    Okay so let’s recap. The evidence shows winning faceoffs has at best a tiny effect on winning games and size is negatively correlated with winning in the playoffs. So why would a smart GM trade small talented centers for big less offensively gifted centers?

    Ok if FO% isn’t such a big deal how do you explain the fact that 15 out of 16 teams that made the playoffs last year finished in the top 16 in FO% in the league. Only LA was out of the top 16 finishing 17th. The top seeded teams were also at the top of the FO% list, and the lottery teams were at the bottom. To say that puck posesion and FO% are minor is hypocritical if anyone considers stats
    important at all. The teams with the best stats in all areas are also the teams with the best FO%. I’m not talking about individual players, but as a team the FO% determines puck possession which influences all stats both individually and for the team.

    Research also shows dump and chase to be vastly inferior strategy to bring the puck in on the rush. So if we are going to trade for a big center don’t we want a player like Ullstrom?

  44. Henry says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Single most astonishing thing about Vollman graph is Detroit. The big boys kill the upper left quadrant

    Yup, and the players consistently say that Datsuyk is the best player other than Crosby. They may not see the advanced stats but they have to play against the guy.

  45. stevezie says:

    hunter1909:
    Thankfully those in charge of the zoo appear to understand that rebuilding teams with championship aspirations(70s Flyers are a perfect example) prefer to let their prospects develop, rather than rushing to trade them for other teams castoffs.

    Oilers are no way competing for the cup in the next year, just playoff experience.

    Your paragraph is the reason why I don’t see any rush to fix the “one look” problem amongst the forwards. First we worry about making the playoffs, then we can start to worry about advancing in them.

    That said, if an opportunity arises to move something we have a lot of (small scoring forwards) for something we lack (larger more defensively minded forwards who are still good), and the age groups line-up sufficiently, what’s the sense in waiting till next year?

    I like Gagner a lot and would be happy to give him a year to continue to evolve his two-way game. If Phoenix wants to trade Hanzal, however- look at his usage chart. Look at his ppg. Look at his age. This is not a coke machine, this is a good player.

    I will now stop debating a hypothetical trade that isn’t even an Eklund rumour.

  46. jp says:

    Maggie the Monkey:
    @LT, who wrote:

    I’m not an expert on anything related to hockey, but think that all of Hall, Eberle, Ted, Yakupov, Paajarvi, J. Schultz, and anyone else on an ELC would be able to play in OKC.Aren’t all ELCs two way deals?

    Whether or not this would be beneficial, or better than playing in Europe, is a separate issue, of course.

    Hall, Eberle, Paajarvi and Schultz would all be eligible for OKC. Yak and Ted would not since they are still “junior eligible” age – they would have to play in the CHL rather than AHL (or go to Europe). I’d have to think there’s not much to be gained by sending the latter 2 back to junior. The others certainly wouldn’t be hurt by playing either in OKC or in Europe (and Paajarvi and Schultz could both really benefit from some OKC seasoning).

  47. FPB94 says:

    I wouldn’t freak out on Belanger. He’s always been in that excellent 30-40 range for 3rd liners.

    He played like shit, had poor random numbers (SH%) and poor help (QT, ZS)

    It’s not like a pure regression (say Horcoff), he’s just had very shitty underlying numbers.

    Tough it’s getting clogged. Horcoff already is the 3rd C, and if the kids can handle it, I suggest shipping him off for a reliable albeit unflashy defensemen.

  48. Maggie the Monkey says:

    @ JP

    Thanks for clarifying. I knew this at one point but my brain cells seem to be taking extended holidays this summer.

  49. DSF says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Single most astonishing thing about Vollman graph is Detroit. The big boys kill the upper left quadrant

    I’d say the single most astonishing thing about the Volman graph is that hockey aficionados needed it to explain the virtually self evident.

    I think we can all agree that watching Detorit games would give you a pretty good understanding of the level of competition Datsyuk faces.

    That he has averaged almost a PPG while playing that competition and being a career +208 tell you pretty much all you need to know.

    I guess we need to mark Datsyuk down a bit for 55% Off zone starts but, then again, every single player on the Detroit roster started more than 50 percent of their shifts in the offensive zone.

    Wonder what that means?

  50. sliderule says:

    The trouble with the advanced stats is how do you take in all the other factors.

    You can have a line all having nice Corsis but if they have a shooting percentage like MPS and Belanger they are pretty much useless.That is why most hockey people don’t believe in fancy stats because their hockey sense tells them that all the other factors are not being taken into account..

    As to Belanger the Oil should have taken into account that he had already gone thru seven teams.After we got him we started to hear rumors like locker room cancer.I will be very surprised if he starts the season in Edmonton let alone finishes it here.

  51. VOR says:

    Sincethewhadays

    You and I are apparently looking at different stats. To my reading 5 of the top ten faceoff teams missed the playoffs. Toronto, Colorado, Minnesota, Columbus, Carolina. Philly and Jersey were near the bottom of the league. Second one season of outliers, which this was to a large extent doesn’t invalidate years of data. Also, have you glanced at the playoff results for this year? If faceoffs are predictive why didn’t they predict the playoffs?

  52. FPB94 says:

    VOR,

    IIRC Faceoffs impact as much hockey games as donald duck.

  53. VOR says:

    Sliderule

    Could you give me a source for locker room cancer vis a vis Belanger please.

    I think many advanced stats guys would tell you that relative corsi has some of the hallmarks of a useful stat. It is far less variable than plus/minus, the signal to noise ratio is better. It is also modestly predictive. If a player has great 5 on 5 relative corsi and is young it is both more descriptive and predictive than plus/minus. In younger players it is frequently a better indicator than boxcars.

    Is it perfect? Not close. The real question is does it out perform our eyes? The answer is probably yes, unless we can remove all confirmation bias from our visual impression and analysis. Which we can’t.

  54. VOR says:

    FPB94

    If you go back to my earlier post in this thread. The study shows a very small positive correlation between faceoffs and winning games. So I think Faceoffs have as much effect on winning hockey games as Goofy would be more accurate.

  55. jb says:

    What if your top lines being hard matched against an elite checking line with the best face-off man in the league. This guy wins 60% of his faceoffs and the checkers make dumping the puck out of the zone priority #1. This top line pops the winning goal and finishes the game +1. Yet the majority of the time that checking line does they’re job and gets the puck into their offensive zone.

    Wouldn’t these numbers show us the puck is moving in the wrong direction, while only playing against 3rd line competition with a zonestart push? So do we conclude this is a poor top line?

    From the checkers perspective they have a bad zonestart, move the puck in the right direction, and play against top line competition, yet never at any point were these guys a threat to score. Why do these numbers tell us this is an elite 3rd line even though they were outscored and the team lost the game?

    I’m not sure what these numbers tell us about a players impact on winning hockey games really.

  56. SK Oiler Fan says:

    VOR:
    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7986703/fast-small-vs-slow-big-ice

    Okay so let’s recap. The evidence shows winning faceoffs has at best a tiny effect on winning games and size is negatively correlated with winning in the playoffs. So why would a smart GM trade small talented centers for big less offensively gifted centers?

    Fascinating read, thanks VOR. Can you point me towards the dump and chase vs carrying the puck into the zone research? This debate is as old as the game itself.

    Research also shows dump and chase to be vastly inferior strategy to bring the puck in on the rush. So if we are going to trade for a big center don’t we want a player like Ullstrom?

  57. Cactus says:

    Lowetide,

    I”m not entirely sure why you don’t have Petrell in the plans for next year. Because he got a new contract, I’d think that MP and Harski both have to clearly beat him in camp to make this team. Moreover, as I recall, Zona took a brief look at Petrell last year and found some evidence that he was being dragged down by the “Eager-Lander Binary Black Hole” (that’s one for Bruce).

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2012/3/11/2863125/lennart-petrells-blip-real-or-illusory

    Obviously a small sample size, but it touches on something that I’ve been mulling over: how much does a team improve if it can ditch it’s absolute worst players and replace them with even moderately competent ones? If there’s no Lander, Barker and much less Eager and Khabby, can this team improve a number of spots simply by virtue of lacking truly awful players? I don’t know that anyone’s examined this question, but it’s an interesting one (to me, at least).

  58. sliderule says:

    Vor
    The fancy stats guys and I assume you are one don’t like to talk about plus minus.

    The reasons given that I have heard is that it’s random .A player steps on the ice when a goal is scored and is given a minus and he wasn’t involved in the play.The problem is that most of the fancy stats are also random the same thing can happen.In addition with corsi and adjusted corsi you can be throwing muffins at the net and accomplishing nothing.At least with plus minus if you are shooting at 15 percent it will reflect in your stat.

    The only fancy stat that catches my eye is the possession over shooting it inThis also has to be taken with a grain of salt because you have to have skilled players on your team to have this strategy..You don’t want the Eagers trying to carry the puck into the zone.

  59. Lowetide says:

    Cactus:
    Lowetide,

    I”m not entirely sure why you don’t have Petrell in the plans for next year.Because he got a new contract, I’d think that MP and Harski both have to clearly beat him in camp to make this team.Moreover, as I recall, Zona took a brief look at Petrell last year and found some evidence that he was being dragged down by the “Eager-Lander Binary Black Hole” (that’s one for Bruce).

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2012/3/11/2863125/lennart-petrells-blip-real-or-illusory

    Obviously a small sample size, but it touches on something that I’ve been mulling over: how much does a team improve if it can ditch it’s absolute worst players and replace them with even moderately competent ones?If there’s no Lander, Barker and much less Eager and Khabby, can this team improve a number of spots simply by virtue of lacking truly awful players?I don’t know that anyone’s examined this question, but it’s an interesting one (to me, at least).

    I do have Petrell in the RE series, playing a 4line role.

  60. hunter1909 says:

    Jones always looked like a pretty decent hockey player to me, and I’m not ashamed of saying that.

    Or, when you watch the games, how many of you have a spreadsheet on your lap, to heighten the experience?

  61. commonfan14 says:

    jp: Hall, Eberle, Paajarvi and Schultz would all be eligible for OKC. Yak and Ted would not since they are still “junior eligible” age – they would have to play in the CHL rather than AHL (or go to Europe). I’d have to think there’s not much to be gained by sending the latter 2 back to junior. The others certainly wouldn’t be hurt by playing either in OKC or in Europe (and Paajarvi and Schultz could both really benefit from some OKC seasoning).

    This has always seemed like a crazy restriction to me. Every year there are guys who have little to gain by going back to Junior and would benefit from being eased into pro hockey via the AHL.

    I’d like to think it’s something that’ll be discussed during CBA negotiations, but I doubt it.

  62. Cactus says:

    Lowetide: I do have Petrell in the RE series, playing a 4line role.

    Forgive me for the confusion, but at the beginning of the piece, you suggested putting Hartikainen and Paajarvi on the 4th line and Eager and Hordichuk as the 13/14 forward. I took that to mean that Petrell would be the 15th forward – i.e. on the farm/off the team. It strikes me that that’s a better place for MPS if it comes to it. I’m okay with Petrell playing 50% of the games – that doesn’t seem to be good for one of the kids.

  63. Lowetide says:

    Cactus: I should have been clear. I’d like to see a 4line with Belanger-Hartikainen-Paajarvi but the RE series is all about “reasonable.” so the 4line is in fact Belanger-Eager-Petrell and I had Hartikainen and Hordichuk also making the opening night roster.

    Paajarvi is in the RE series, but represents a callup.

  64. DSF says:

    commonfan14: This has always seemed like a crazy restriction to me.Every yearthere are guys who have little to gain by going back to Junior and would benefit from being eased into pro hockey via the AHL.

    I’d like to think it’s something that’ll be discussed during CBA negotiations, but I doubt it.

    It’s actually an agreement between the NHL and the CHL.

    It was instituted to help the junior leagues put a better product on the ice.

    If NHL teams were allow to put their draft choices directly in the AHL, the quality of the junior game would suffer.

    A more compelling case could be made for changing draft age to 19.

  65. jp says:

    Lowetide:
    Cactus: I should have been clear. I’d like to see a 4line with Belanger-Hartikainen-Paajarvi but the RE series is all about “reasonable.” so the 4line is in fact Belanger-Eager-Petrell and I had Hartikainen and Hordichuk also making the opening night roster.

    Paajarvi is in the RE series, but represents a callup.

    Agree that it’s “reasonable” to assume that Petrell is on the big team’s roster to start, but I sure hope that if Paajarvi and/or Hartikainen are the better players at TC then they get a spot over Petrell/Hordichuk, etc. That’s certainly how developing young players is supposed to work – you make room for them when they’re ready. I have no problem sending them down if they aren’t showing they’re the better player, but when they’re ready you’ve got to make room for them. Petrell is not the future, Paajarvi and Hartikainen are (hopefully).

  66. DSF says:

    hunter1909:
    Jones always looked like a pretty decent hockey player to me, and I’m not ashamed of saying that.

    Or, when you watch the games, how many of you have a spreadsheet on your lap, to heighten the experience?

    Having a blonde on your lap tends to enhance the game experience even more.

  67. Cactus says:

    Lowetide,

    Thanks LT, I see where you’re going now. Besides, for all we know, we’ll see a trade that will change up the RE before the season.

  68. Lowetide says:

    Cactus: No. There’s a roster freeze. I can’t allow it. Sorry. :-)

  69. leadfarmer says:

    That should be included in my Center Ice package. I would also settle for a brunnette.

    DSF,

  70. leadfarmer says:

    Actually a red head would be fine too.

  71. DSF says:

    leadfarmer:
    That should be included in my Center Ice package.I would also settle for a brunnette.

    DSF,

    Never settle.

    Shaw Cable is losing so many customers they might throw in one of each :)

  72. leadfarmer says:

    Hey LT do you get money to hang those ads or do we have to click on them. I ve been mooching off your fine work for 5years I might as well click a few buttons for you.

  73. Lowetide says:

    I don’t honestly know. Suspect i’ll get a million no matter what. :-)

  74. jp says:

    DSF,

    Exactly. And in addition to helping out the CHL (which is the primary issue), it could pretty reasonably be argued that these rules are better overall for prospect development. As commonfan says, there are examples every year of players who could/should be playing in the AHL rather than CHL, but without the current rules there would be WAY more junior age guys playing in the AHL. Look at how someone like Hamilton struggled as a 20 yo in the AHL after a pretty dominant WHL season. Even if these young guys seem like they’re ready for the next step, they quite often aren’t. A guy like Frank, er… David Musil would be moving to the AHL for his age 19 season on most teams, which very well may not be a good move for his development. So as well as allowing the CHL to keep its star players as long as possible, I suspect the NHL has supported these rules because on average they are actually better for player development.

  75. jp says:

    Lowetide:
    I don’t honestly know. Suspect i’ll get a million no matter what.

    You should find out. Sounds like you have a lot of loyal fans who’d be happy to help you out if they knew exactly how to get you you’re million…

  76. leadfarmer says:

    I got a boring job and can click all day.

  77. uni says:

    I’ll go on the record as saying I thought the Belanger signing was a brilliant one and I was far from the only one. The dollars weren’t crazy, and only one extra year that I’d wanted for him to agreed to sign (3 vs. 2). I really thought he’d work out. Can’t fault Tambi for this one.

    Now Barker, Hordichuk, and Eager…well that’s just batshit.

  78. rickithebear says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    re: ZoneStarts vs. QualComp, one huge difference between the two is that the coach has has control over QC in home games but not so much on the road, whereas he has significant control over ZS in any venue. In road games the best shelter at a coach’s disposal is o-zone starts, or at least avoidance of d-zone starts. (I don’t think near enough work has been done yet on neutral-zone starts, the current methodologies concentrate on end-zone starts and those in the middle of the ice are largely ignored.)

    “I’m hoping for a shot differential graph one day too.”

    That’s what the bubbles attempt to convey. They’re Corsi rather than shot differential, and relative rather than gross Corsi at that, but the bubbles are a clever way to visualize the third dimension in the player usage graphs. I think of them as cones that pass through the X-Y graph at a point, with the blue bubbles “above” that plane and the white ones “below”. The bigger the bubble, the further it is off that plane.

    Amen!

    here is aquestion?

    Shots vary from 2% to 85% so those bubles really do not reflect true data.

    everyone is a against GA, GF, +/-. but they are based on G 100% no goal 0%.

    The regection of binary result cause of the potential for a slight error in resultt 5%.

    yet you accept Corsi relative Corsi and Corsi Comp like it is stone. the variance is Staggering.

    I have beat the cumulative shooting % drum on this board since day one. Now that you can see it visually you guys get the need for an accurate measure of the shot.

    That is true corsi and becomes the standard for measure. At that point the Corsi becomes more accurate than GF, GA, +/-.

  79. DSF says:

    rickithebear: Amen!

    here is aquestion?

    Shots vary from 2% to 85% so those bubles really do not reflect true data.

    everyone is a against GA, GF, +/-. but they are based on G 100% no goal 0%.

    The regection of binary result cause of the potential for a slight error in resultt 5%.

    yet you accept Corsi relative Corsi and Corsi Comp like it is stone. the variance is Staggering.

    I have beat the cumulative shooting % drum on this board since day one. Now that you can see it visually you guys get the need for an accurate measure ofthe shot.

    That is true corsi and becomes the standard for measure.At that point the Corsi becomes more accurate than GF, GA, +/-.

    This.

    All day long.

    Corsi can (not without context) measure possession and it can (not without context) tell you where the puck is headed.

    What it doesn’t tell you, is what happens when the puck gets in the offensive zone.

    A player like Paajarvi is great at moving the puck into the offensive zone but, when he gets there, his ensuing actions are almost without exception, turnovers.

  80. FPB94 says:

    God that Semin-Staal-Staal line looks otherwordly.

    Then again so did that Semin-Backstrom-Ovechkin line. And the fools killed it.

  81. VOR says:

    DSF,

    Please provide some evidence for your contention that all of MPS OZone sorties produce almost without exception turnovers. TBH, I think your wrong, and willfully so, in other words you once again are making shit up!

  82. DSF says:

    VOR:
    DSF,

    Please provide some evidence for your contention that all of MPS OZone sorties produce almost without exception turnovers. TBH, I think your wrong, and willfully so, in other words you once again are making shit up!

    I no longer have the data in front of me but I actually logged one of his games last season for use in another forum.

    It was startling how often the puck went the other way directly after a Paajarvi sortie.

    Should he play for the Oilers next season, i’ll do the same and provide the results.

  83. VOR says:

    So based on one game of 121, purely personal observation, the records of which you can’t find, you make a broad sweeping generalization about the player. You just hit a new high point n your career as a font of knowledge for us poor, ignorant Oilers fans. We are ever so grateful .

  84. Lowetide says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, The DOG ate DSF”s homework!!!! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

  85. bookje says:

    Krueger will fix Belanger and PRV.

    No sense discussing the past. The past no longer counts. Krueger is here.

  86. Ryan says:

    Lowetide,

    The current ads are ppc or pay per click. That being said, it’s against their tos (aka click fraud) to discuss clicking them to pay respect for the blogger.

    LT, I have a contact with Glam Media which I use if you want me to put you in contact with them. Their ads are cpm based (page views not clicks). They pay significantly more money overall.

    Roster freeze? Lol. I was waiting for this summer’s “trade winds are blowing (smoke) article.”. :)

  87. Ryan says:

    VOR:
    http://www.dailyfaceoff.com/2324/how-does-winning-faceoffs-correlate-to-winning-games

    Just thought perhaps I should remind everyone just how little effect winning faceoffs actually has.

    I think this analysis is pretty limited. It doesn’t adjust for confounding factors.

    That would kinda be like trying to find a correlation between smoking and heart disease without adjusting for confounding factors like cholesterol, htn, bmi, age, physical activity, diabetes and family history between smokers and non smokers in two populations.

    That and looking at the graphs, roughly 80% of the data points for face off % are between 48-52%. Can you reasonably expect to see a large effect size in this context?

    I dunno but maybe I’d find it more convincing if someone looked at face off % vs 5v5 gf/ga while adjusting for pdo and team zone start or something.

  88. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Cactus: Besides, for all we know, we’ll see a trade that will change up the RE before the season.

    If LT has his way Jones will be traded three times and Smid twice by this time next week.

  89. Ryan says:

    Puck Daddy has some interesting thoughts. What do pk Subban, del zotto, o’reilly, and Jamie benn have in common?

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/trending-topics-let-offer-sheets-regular-thing-135621626–nhl.html#more-38701

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