OKC V SAN ANTONIO 19.1.13

The Barons lost last night but enjoyed long stretches of outstanding play and might have deserved a better fate. Toni Rajala (in photo, courtesy Rob Ferguson all rights reserved) is 9 games into his AHL season and is 3-2-5–those boxcars put him ahead of all forward prospects not named Anton Lander.

  • Arcobello-Green-Cornet: Two veterans and the guy they sent to Stockton after he led the club in scoring one year ago. Cornet hasn’t looked like much, but then again neither has Green. Arco has been stellar.
  • Lander-Rajala-Pelss: This line was outstanding last night top to bottom. Rajala is clearly skilled enough at this level and Pelss has some grit to his game combined with some ability. Lander should be the best prospect on the club and has looked better in recent days.
  • Martindale-Byers-Pitlick: Martindale scored his first AHL goal last night and Pitlick made a brilliant pass to him. Pitlick was awful on the PP though and overall I’d say he was a net minus on the night. Byers joins Green as a veteran who needs to be better.
  • VandeVelde-Hamilton-Lizon: VV remains consistent although an offensive black hole, Hamilton has improved his lot in life because of PK opportunities but is miles from the player estimated by draft number. I think it comes down to desire: if he doesn’t start showing something we won’t be talking about him as a prospect. Lizon had a terrific set of shifts in last night’s game, first time I liked him.
  • Deck-Fedun: Strange tandem and yet it works. Fedun has established himself as a real callup option for the Oilers. Deck is a guy I’d like them to sign in the spring.
  • Lafranchise-Teubert: Teubert had a chance here but didn’t take advantage. Had he been more able the Oilers might have acquired an AHL veteran and elevated Teubert. As it turned out, they acquired Fistric and left Teubert in the AHL. He needs to establish himself at this level.
  • Hotham-Marincin: I think they’ll push the prospect up the depth chart at some point this season but am pleased they have him in a depth role. Defense is a tough position to learn and this guy has potential. Hotham has been one of many additions, its kind of a blur at this point.
  • Roy: He’s going to get a nice run with Danis in the NHL, this is a real opportunity.

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27 Responses to "OKC V SAN ANTONIO 19.1.13"

  1. oilersfan says:

    Is anybody else here concerned about the recent 2nd round picks, what appears to be a disappointment in all of them, and wonder what it says about the Oilers amateur scouting staff?

    Between Lander, Pitlick, Marincin, Hamilton, Musil, and Moroz none of them seem like they will be better than fourth liners or bottom pairing types, with the possible exception of Marincin.

    I realize second rounders generally only make the NHL 1/4 times but Pitlick, Musil and Moroz were all picked in the top 32, so close to the first round it is hard to see the difference. The Red Wings seem to find a lot of good players in the top 40 and it is hard to think that MacGregor is showing his true self with these picks, along with Riley Nash and Alex Plante, than with Eberle who appears to be a one – off lucky pick than anything else.

  2. Lowetide says:

    I think there’s a concern at the pro level, sure. Pitlick is a guy who absolutely needs to move forward this season, but I think Marincin can be judged as a success even if he spends the rest of the year on the third pairing. Hamilton is a mess.

    Pitlick sets up Byers, 1-0.

  3. oilersfan says:

    Fair enough LT. I am very hopefuil for Marincin, I admit. And if Gernat and/or Khaira works out that is kudos to the amateur scouts as well. Its just I don’t see Musil or Moroz being more than 3rd pairing or fourth line types, so add that to the above mentioned disappointments and it is hard not to be discouraged. Roll players are so essential to the rebuild, and these guys don’t appear to be what will be needed.

  4. Lowetide says:

    OF: Agreed. Having said that, have you SEEN the Oilers top 6F? :-) Tough group to break into.

  5. oilersfan says:

    What do you think of Jason Strudwick’s assertion that the top 9 needs more grit? Mike Keenan, Maclean and Gregor all say the same thing…that it is important for puck retrieval to have some grit with the skill. We all know that is the reason for the Moroz pick, I wonder if that is what Hemsky will become. rather than bait for a defender, bait for a top 6 guy with size and grit. I love Hemsky and hope not, but it seems likely to me.

  6. Lowetide says:

    I think the team needs actual NHL players. This whole grit thing is all well and good but can they freaking play? Pat Quinn surely taught us that much with the Jacques disaster.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Goal was Byers (Pitlick, Martindale).

  8. jp says:

    Martindale from Pelss.
    2-1 Barons with 1:09 left.

  9. Lowetide says:

    Pelss with a WONDERFUL play to shield the puck and send a pass to Martindale and Martindale sent a shot that eluded the goalie. 2-1 late, 18:51 for the Barons.

  10. jp says:

    Nice game by the Barons. Finally a win without the big boys. Maybe they’ll be OK.

  11. Rebilled says:

    Even the Canuck fans didn’t believe it when Gillis said Vancouver had the best fans.

  12. Professor Q says:

    Wow, St. Louis…

  13. OilLeak says:

    Darn missed the game, thank god some of the ECHL guys can play, or OKC would be in a world of hurt.

  14. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    An AHL GDT on opening night across the NHL Almost. Well played,

  15. delooper says:

    The Yahoo! page is saying St. Louis beat Detroit 16-0. Something weird is going on?

    They’re recording points not just goals, it seems. 6-0 is the score.

  16. OilLeak says:

    Schneider getting pulled for Luongo in the first game? Beautiful, the drama continues.

  17. OilLeak says:

    delooper:
    The Yahoo! page is saying St. Louis beat Detroit 16-0.Something weird is going on?

    They’re recording points not just goals, it seems.6-0 is the score.

    Tarasenko had 5 shots and 2 goals, very impressive debut.

  18. striatic says:

    St. Louis is going to be unreal this year.

    they sorta already were last year.

    just stifling.

  19. Rebilled says:

    Cheechoo to the Barons possibly?

  20. matmik says:

    Rebilled:
    Cheechoo to the Barons possibly?

    Confirmed by kypreos -

  21. DeadmanWaking says:

    oilersfan: I realize second rounders generally only make the NHL 1/4 times but Pitlick, Musil and Moroz were all picked in the top 32, so close to the first round it is hard to see the difference.

    No, it’s the other way around. Picks 22-30 are so close to 2nd round picks it is hard to see the difference.

    Here goes the simplest single-term approximation (comparable to modeling a sine wave with a clipped triangle wave).

    Hardcore first line players tend to have fifteen year careers. With roughly ninety first line guys in the league, the draft only needs to supply about six of these guys per year. It could be five in one year and seven in the next, or it could be three in one year and nine in the next. Small handful of coins. Probably two-thirds of these guys come in the first half of the first round with the other two distributed through the other seven odd rounds (biased toward the higher picks, but with very fat tails).

    There’s a certain kind of prospect (from the Omark pool) that needs 500 at bats on one of the first two lines to find out whether the player makes the grade. These are guys who might have a potential upside of serviceable first line guys, at least 1B options. They also have a sizable chance to wash out completely if they don’t generate enough offense.

    After three straight lottery balls, this team has nowhere for this kind of prospect to slot into the pipeline. Not for a couple more years.

    We have far more launch slots–as presently constituted–for the kind of prospect who hails from the toughness/size&energy/power forward colour triangle.

    I don’t think it’s entirely legitimate or fair to decouple our second round picks from our stratospheric first round picks, as if one doesn’t influence the other. Retrospectively, that first round pick looks like a no-brainer you can make in your sleep. So then you think the scouting team has nothing better to do than sweat buckets over the high second round pick.

    But in reality, worrying about little things like Ryan Murray’s shoulder strength or Yakupov’s secret membership in the Russian triad is the big ticket item. A small mishap with a first overall pick is a limb-severing setback. Even when you’re 95% certain the chamber is empty, when you’re handling the 45 magnum with armor piercing shells, you check again. And again. And again.

    With Moroz they went against the grain. They knew this, they did it anyway. He continues to look like a low-odds against-the-grain prospect. Have the scouts seen anything in Moroz subsequent to their pick that would change their minds? Hard to say. He might still look to them exactly like the pitch they wanted. We just have to wait and see whether Moroz ever shows anything to justify taking the big swing. He might show that special something a year from now and still wash out–and just for showing something special, we might realize he was worth the risk taken. Or he might never show anything and we’ll wonder what they were smoking.

    The only way you can criticize Moroz already (beyond “I’ve got a bad feeling about this”) without watching to see if he clears the fence is to take the position that our scouting crew shouldn’t have the authority in the first place to select against the grain. If you take that position, you’ve taken your scouts off the competitive side of the balance sheet. You can just use Bob McKenzie’s list and spare the world’s landfills all those Styrofoam cups of having your own guys make their own decisions.

    Scouting is a lot of dog work. I don’t think you can motivate your scouts to make a good job of all that dog work without giving them an opportunity to swing for the fence on a hunch every so often. The hunch they swing on is almost by definition something they saw in a player because they showed up. Who can legitimately criticize this? A) Those who showed up and saw better. B) Those who bite their tongues until the dust settles. C) Those who think that having scouts actually show up is altogether a waste of time and resources (spreadsheet wonks).

    I know Taleb’s book has upcoming chapters devoted to paralysis by received wisdom. I don’t know whether I’ll believe him. He’s pretty bombastic. My problem with received wisdom is that too often it’s a sign you’ve given up on really thinking and activated mental cruise control. This is fatal to excellence.

    I posted about The Market for Lemons recently. I’m beginning to realize this is more important than I first thought, that it’s the legitimate flip-side of BPA. We like to pretend that markets are oh-so-efficient. Fluid. Linear. Easily cleared.

    When you draft a player, it’s like buying a new car. He loses some big chunk of value the moment you drive him off the new car lot. When you try to flip him six months later because you realize you haven’t got the right openings in your roster to fully develop his potential, the other GMs worry about lemon taint. Plus the whole trade thing adds disruption to the prospect’s circumstance, and sends a negative signal of faith. Real costs.

    I think there’s no question about money picks that you hew very close to BPA. But then after you slot your money picks into the line-up, things change in subsequent draft rounds. You do have to think a little bit about fit and commitment and transaction costs and perception discounts.

    Suppose two GMs swap high second round draft picks because the style of the players weren’t ideal to team needs. A hockey trade, of prospects who can’t yet play hockey–this trade occurs before either player accomplishes anything in the NHL. Then one busts out while the other soars. Net outcome: one GM’s white finger peeled off his precarious employment perch. Of course, the prospect who soared was only covering “reasonable” expectations. We all know how “reasonable” reasonable is, for the average fan. In general, the punishment for coming out of a deal with the short straw exceeds the upside for coming out of a deal with the long straw–especially when the short straw GM can’t point to an established body of work at the NHL level to justify the move.

    Moroz outcomes:
    A) busts out completely (high odds)
    B) puts in 5000 useless JFJ at bats, but does nothing and goes nowhere
    C) turns into a useful banger
    D) useful banger with power forward flourishes
    E) traded away with no decision because we don’t really need his player type
    F) traded away to make change for a ten spot

    There’s basically zero risk with this pick behind door number five (E), and I suspect not much behind door number two, either. So the Moroz cake batter is a whole lot of (A), a fat pinch of (C), and a hint of (D) very few people can see.

    The leverage on (D) with this team is far higher than normal. We’re already built to go two or three or four rounds deep when our cluster hits their stride, three or four years in a row. Five games of mini-Lucic at the right time of year could tilt an entire playoff series. Moroz could cover his entire draft bet by going 1/3 Pisani over exactly the right two week span (a gut-shot straight draw is a bad play, but it still counts as an out).

    This pick might well be a triumph of hope over experience (TBD, notwithstanding the rude, unlubricated raspberry from the hockey abacus), but you can’t argue there was no logic here.

    The pick looks pretty bad if one subscribes to frictionless trade markets. The professionals continue to behave as if the market is not so frictionless after all. My sense is that the friction term should be ignored in the lottery ball tier (don’t over-think your elite picks) but does need to be given some consideration with other picks. Especially after you slot into your lineup whatever lottery-ball miracle-child the stork deposits under the cabbage leaf.

    Let’s throw a dart board at this. Perhaps 80% of expected games-played from any given draft year should come from the BPA selection process. Yak could be 80% of aggregate GP from this last draft all by himself.

    If our first pick was 15th, one might only project half as many career GP as one would for blue-chip Yakupov, meaning you’ll stick to the BPA formula for your next pick, and most of the remainder, to make up the 80% quota.

    BPA is a heuristic. It’s a good heuristic. Taleb likes heuristics. What makes it a heuristic, rather than a rule, is that you still have to think, and sometimes do something different as circumstance dictates.

    OK, this post was a bit of struggle to write. I didn’t really know what I was going to say. The only thing I knew at the outset is that I have issues brewing about treating draft round success as cleanly separable (fancy math lingo for ignoring the interaction term), and that reading Taleb is only pouring more fertilizer onto the fire ants.

    And also … since the season hasn’t actually started yet … time to get it out of my system.

  22. Captain Happy says:

    DeadmanWaking: No, it’s the other way around.Picks 22-30 are so close to 2nd round picks it is hard to see the difference.

    Here goes the simplest single-term approximation (comparable to modeling a sine wave with a clipped triangle wave).

    Hardcore first line players tend to have fifteen year careers.With roughly ninety first line guys in the league, the draft only needs to supply about six of these guys per year.It could be five in one year and seven in the next, or it could be three in one year and nine in the next.Small handful of coins.Probably two-thirds of these guys come in the first half of the first round with the other two distributed through the other seven odd rounds (biased toward the higher picks, but with very fat tails).

    There’s a certain kind of prospect (from the Omark pool) that needs 500 at bats on one of the first two lines to find out whether the player makes the grade.These are guys who might have a potential upside of serviceable first line guys, at least 1B options.They also have a sizable chance to wash out completely if they don’t generate enough offense.

    After three straight lottery balls, this team has nowhere for this kind of prospect to slot into the pipeline.Not for a couple more years.

    We have far more launch slots–as presently constituted–for the kind of prospect who hails from the toughness/size&energy/power forward colour triangle.

    I don’t think it’s entirely legitimate or fair to decouple our second round picks from our stratospheric first round picks, as if one doesn’t influence the other.Retrospectively, that first round pick looks like a no-brainer you can make in your sleep.So then you think the scouting team has nothing better to do than sweat buckets over the high second round pick.

    But in reality, worrying about little things like Ryan Murray’s shoulder strength or Yakupov’s secret membership in the Russian triad is the big ticket item.A small mishap with a first overall pick is a limb-severing setback.Even when you’re 95% certain the chamber is empty, when you’re handling the 45 magnum with armor piercing shells, you check again.And again.And again.

    With Moroz they went against the grain.They knew this, they did it anyway.He continues to look like a low-odds against-the-grain prospect.Have the scouts seen anything in Moroz subsequent to their pick that would change their minds?Hard to say.He might still look to them exactly like the pitch they wanted.We just have to wait and see whether Moroz ever shows anything to justify taking the big swing.He might show that special something a year from now and still wash out–and just for showing something special, we might realize he was worth the risk taken.Or he might never show anything and we’ll wonder what they were smoking.

    The only way you can criticize Moroz already (beyond “I’ve got a bad feeling about this”) without watching to see if he clears the fence is to take the position that our scouting crew shouldn’t have the authority in the first place to select against the grain.If you take that position, you’ve taken your scouts off the competitive side of the balance sheet.You can just use Bob McKenzie’s list and spare the world’s landfills all those Styrofoam cups of having your own guys make their own decisions.

    Scouting is a lot of dog work.I don’t think you can motivate your scouts to make a good job of all that dog work without giving them an opportunity to swing for the fence on a hunch every so often.The hunch they swing on is almost by definition something they saw in a player because they showed up.Who can legitimately criticize this?A) Those who showed up and saw better.B) Those who bite their tongues until the dust settles.C) Those who think that having scouts actually show up is altogether a waste of time and resources (spreadsheet wonks).

    I know Taleb’s book has upcoming chapters devoted to paralysis by received wisdom.I don’t know whether I’ll believe him.He’s pretty bombastic.My problem with received wisdom is that too often it’s a sign you’ve given up on really thinking and activated mental cruise control.This is fatal to excellence.

    I posted about The Market for Lemons recently.I’m beginning to realize this is more important than I first thought, that it’s the legitimate flip-side of BPA.We like to pretend that markets are oh-so-efficient.Fluid.Linear.Easily cleared.

    When you draft a player, it’s like buying a new car.He loses some big chunk of value the moment you drive him off the new car lot.When you try to flip him six months later because you realize you haven’t got the right openings in your roster to fully develop his potential, the other GMs worry about lemon taint.Plus the whole trade thing adds disruption to the prospect’s circumstance, and sends a negative signal of faith.Real costs.

    I think there’s no question about money picks that you hew very close to BPA.But then after you slot your money picks into the line-up, things change in subsequent draft rounds.You do have to think a little bit about fit and commitment and transaction costs and perception discounts.

    Suppose two GMs swap high second round draft picks because the style of the players weren’t ideal to team needs.A hockey trade, of prospects who can’t yet play hockey–this trade occurs before either player accomplishes anything in the NHL.Then one busts out while the other soars.Net outcome: one GM’s white finger peeled off his precarious employment perch.Of course, the prospect who soared was only covering “reasonable” expectations.We all know how “reasonable” reasonable is, for the average fan.In general, the punishment for coming out of a deal with the short straw exceeds the upside for coming out of a deal with the long straw–especially when the short straw GM can’t point to an established body of work at the NHL level to justify the move.

    Moroz outcomes:
    A) busts out completely (high odds)
    B) puts in 5000 useless JFJ at bats, but does nothing and goes nowhere
    C) turns into a useful banger
    D) useful banger with power forward flourishes
    E) traded away with no decision because we don’t really need his player type
    F) traded away to make change for a ten spot

    There’s basically zero risk with this pick behind door number five (E), and I suspect not much behind door number two, either.So the Moroz cake batter is a whole lot of (A), a fat pinch of (C), and a hint of (D) very few people can see.

    The leverage on (D) with this team is far higher than normal.We’re already built to go two or three or four rounds deep when our cluster hits their stride, three or four years in a row.Five games of mini-Lucic at the right time of year could tilt an entire playoff series.Moroz could cover his entire draft bet by going 1/3 Pisani over exactly the right two week span (a gut-shot straight draw is a bad play, but it still counts as an out).

    This pick might well be a triumph of hope over experience (TBD, notwithstanding the rude, unlubricated raspberry from the hockey abacus), but you can’t argue there was no logic here.

    The pick looks pretty bad if one subscribes to frictionless trade markets.The professionals continue to behave as if the market is not so frictionless after all.My sense is that the friction term should be ignored in the lottery ball tier (don’t over-think your elite picks) but does need to be given some consideration with other picks.Especially after you slot into your lineup whatever lottery-ball miracle-child the stork deposits under the cabbage leaf.

    Let’s throw a dart board at this.Perhaps 80% of expected games-played from any given draft year should come from the BPA selection process.Yak could be 80% of aggregate GP from this last draft all by himself.

    If our first pick was 15th, one might only project half as many career GP as one would for blue-chip Yakupov, meaning you’ll stick to the BPA formula for your next pick, and most of the remainder, to make up the 80% quota.

    BPA is a heuristic.It’s a good heuristic.Taleb likes heuristics.What makes it a heuristic, rather than a rule, is that you still have to think, and sometimes do something different as circumstance dictates.

    OK, this post was a bit of struggle to write.I didn’t really know what I was going to say.The only thing I knew at the outset is that I have issues brewing about treating draft round success as cleanly separable (fancy math lingo for ignoring the interaction term), and that reading Taleb is only pouring more fertilizer onto the fire ants.

    And also … since the season hasn’t actually started yet … time to get it out of my system.

    When in doubt you load up on defensemen or centres…not coke machines.

    There is always a seller’s market for NHL D…always.

    Matt Finn.

    Period.

  23. Marc says:

    DeadmanWaking,

    Very, very well said

  24. Lowetide says:

    Every once in awhile, someone will ask me why I spend so much time on this blog and blogging in general. I say “because it informs me, makes me smarter, teaches me about the game and moves the conversation I care about forward” if I like the person and feel they genuinely want to know.

    That’s only half of it, because the truth is I enjoy this little communitiy a greal deal. As a group, the personality of this thing is pretty damn addictive–I like the group.

    But the real reason is things like Deadman Waking’s comment above. WHERE are you going to get that kind of clarity about Mitchell Moroz? Huh?

    Its 5 in the morning and I woke up because the dog had to pee. I was fairly grumpy until reading that post, now I’m inspired!

    Thanks DMW. That was brilliant.

  25. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Lowetide: Thanks DMW. That was brilliant.

    I’ll second that. Outstanding.

  26. gogliano says:

    Thirded. Great post.

  27. Gerta Rauss says:

    DeadmanWaking,

    After reading that, I was reminded of a quote from Herbert Warren Wind in 1986, about his concern about shorter nature of golf articles in magazines..”it takes me a 1000 words just to clear my throat”

    Nice post.

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