CHANCE

My nickname for Taylor Hall is “Chance” due to the fact that the Edmonton Oilers forward gets so many and helps his linemates get them too. If Hall was cashing at a normal scoring rate (he’s in the top 5 in shots on goal but has only three in the column that counts) we’d be talking about a breakout season.

The entire line is kicking ass and it’s a sight to see. For Oiler fans, the Nuge-Hall-Eberle trio is the best one we’ve seen since Horcoff-Smyth-Hemsky or Weight-Smyth-Guerin and if they hang around for a year or so we’ll have to seriously look at them as an all-time line (best Oiler line all-time? I’ll go Gretzky-Tikkanen-Kurri with Messier-Simpson-Anderson right up there).

For now, we can enjoy the pleasure of watching them toy with the opposition. Michael Parkatti is the man behind Boys on the Bus (it’s been on the blogroll for some time) and has been scoring each game and keeping track of even strength Corsi events–that’s 5×5, 4×4, etc. And the sheer brilliance of the Chance line is clear

EV CORSI, GAMES 1-14 (OILERS)

RANK NAME SHOTS FOR SHOTS AGAINST NET CORSI PER GAME
1 RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS 208 173 35 2.7
2 JORDAN EBERLE 218 186 32 2.3
3 TAYLOR HALL 219 197 22 1.6
4 ANTON LANDER 22 23 -1 -0.3
5 TEEMU HARTIKAINEN 91 97 -6 -0.5
6 RYAN SMYTH 110 129 -19 -1.5
7 SHAWN HORCOFF 47 59 -12 -1.7
8 MAGNUS PAAJARVI 77 97 -20 -1.8
16 DARCY HORDICHUK 3 10 -7 -1.8
9 NAIL YAKUPOV 130 158 -28 -2.0
10 CHRIS VANDEVELDE 17 24 -7 -2.3
11 ERIC BELANGER 90 118 -28 -2.5
12 LENNART PETRELL 77 124 -47 -3.6
13 SAM GAGNER 150 210 -60 -4.3
14 BEN EAGER 28 50 -22 -4.4
15 ALES HEMSKY 131 194 -63 -4.5

Corsi is shot differential while you’re on the ice. If you and I are playing street hockey and Scarlett Johansson is sunning herself on the lawn at center ice, the shot differential would be about 200/0 per 20 minutes. You’d be +200, Scarlett would be acquiring a restraining order and I’d be happier than both of you. Gabe Desjardins does a great job of explaining Corsi here.

Desjardins: Corsi Number is the shot differential while a player was on the ice. This includes not just goals and shots on goal, but also shots that miss the net, and in some formulations, blocked shots. In other words, it’s the differential in the total number of shots directed at the net.

As noted above, Michael has 5×5, 4×4–all evens–in the numbers he’s collecting.

POINTS

  1. That top line is going to be hell for the NHL through the end of the decade and beyond. This is even strength mind you, so the chart above is a ‘preview of coming attractions’ in that the only player on the club in the top 75 5×5/60 is Hall (2.32/60 puts him 71st). The tumblers will click.
  2. The Gagner-Hemsky line is well below par and that is job one for coach Krueger moving forward. I can’t quite figure it out–the numbers say the line is facing the soft parade with a solid zone start push. And remember, we’re not talking puck luck or shooting percentage here, this is just shots on goal, for and against, while these players are on the ice. They are (to borrow a phrase from Chris Berman) rumblin’, tumblin’, stumblin’ and you can’t blame it on Yakupov (as I have been trying to do, at least a little). This line is a concern.
  3. The 3line is all over, but that little cluster there that includes Hartikainen, Smyth, Horcoff and Paajarvi looks good to me. If the top 6 is humming, a 3line that is just under par would be acceptable. Right? I’d also like to see the Nordic Line back together, at least for a time.
  4. The 4line looks pretty bad here, but when you consider their zone starts I don’t think it’s as dire as it may appear. Belanger and Eager’s zone finishes are solid considering where they’re starting from.

My thanks to Michael for sharing his numbers, check out his blog it’s excellent.

Anything I missed?

sjoha

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39 Responses to "CHANCE"

  1. unca miltie says:

    Anything I missed?

    Where is the picture of Scarlett on the lawn at center ice?

  2. jonrmcleod says:

    Is Petrell so amazing on the PK that it justifies putting him in the lineup? Paajarvi deserves to take his spot.

  3. mattwatt says:

    If Ben Eager plays more like he did in the second half last night, I expect that his number should get better by the end of a year.

    As someone who is not a fan of his per se, it was nice to see him make normal plays that help win hockey games. Too often his game consists of chaos, and last night he took that part out of it. He passed back to his dman to cycle the puck when he had no open ice. He got good positioning on a defender to draw a penalty. He played the puck when he should, and the man when it made sense (far too often he only plays the man).

    If Eager does this more often, he could actually be a useful NHLer. Never thought I would utter those words, but I actually believe them now.

    That second line. I for the life of me cannot figure out why they are getting their teeth kicked in. Like you said Lowetide, Krueger will be working his ass off trying to figure out what is going on and rectify the situation. Too smart of a man to let is slide.

    As for MPS, please Oilers keep him in the lineup. Guy is becoming a load for defenders to handle, and while not flashy just makes good plays. The numbers back this up. He will never be a truly gifted offensive force, but damn is he going to be a truly useful player.

  4. Lowetide says:

    unca miltie:
    Anything I missed?

    Where is the picture of Scarlett on the lawn at center ice?

    Fixed.

  5. cabbiesmacker says:

    Scarlett looks like Darryl Hannah in Bladerunner in that pic. Right before Harrison blew her away,

    Not a real flattering pic. If the girl didn’t have those schmeebs nobody would give her a second glance.

    Hey…kinda like Gagner playing with the man advantage.

  6. jake70 says:

    I consider myself not even a novice when it comes to advanced stats. I came across this video by your Vollman fellow…..likely some have seen it already….part of a youtube channel called SABERMETRICS (other sports as well as hockey). Anyway, I pasted a video of Vollman explaining Corsi and relative Corsi, might be helpful for others like me out there. Well explained I might add, elaborates on the theory behind the stats.

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

  7. jp says:

    Fwiw, if you were playing street hockey with me, your shot differential would be very close to 0 (maybe +1 for me on a weak shot in the general direction of the lawn at center ice).

    I’d be gawking with you, though I hope a restraining order wouldn’t be needed.

  8. Clay says:

    Happy to see PRV taking advantage of his chance to play on the big club. He really could be this decade’s Pisani, which the team is in desperate need of a few.

    The longer Jones sits out, the more I wonder about the wisdom of letting him play this year. There’s only 34 games left. Even if he gets in the lineup in the next few games, he missed all of the mini-training camp, so it’ll be 6 or 8 games until he gets his legs. Six or 8 games where he’s probably a liability at best; that’s a lot of risk when you have guys playing who are doing well that he’d be replacing (PRV, Harti, Petrell…).

    I, for one, would rather Magnus get a real shot here. He looks for all the world like he’s starting to “get it”.

  9. RickDeckard says:

    cabbiesmacker,

    Maybe I’m just spoiled but the only woman I like in that film is Rachael before she lets her hair down. All the rest are the wrong type of 80s.

  10. cabbiesmacker says:

    RickDeckard:
    cabbiesmacker,

    Maybe I’m just spoiled but the only woman I like in that film is Rachael before she lets her hair down. All the rest are the wrong type of 80s.

    Thus my comment on the look Ms Johanssen is sporting in LT’s pic. Never been a huge fan or hers to be honest.

    BUT..If you didn’t have some evil thoughts going through your head when Hannah had Ford in the headlock via her replicant thighs you aren’t human.

    Wasn’t much of a hot women movie for sure. Sean Young was pretty damn nice alright until we found out later it was Sean Young….orbiting a planet somewhere in a distant galaxy. That is one odd girl.

  11. spoiler says:

    RickDeckard,

    Joanna Cassidy in a transparent plastic raincoat?

    Admit it, Deckard, you thought she was hot. But that’s because you yourself are a replicant and are programmed that way.

  12. Hayek says:

    I haven’t checked out the numbers on Eager.

    But when looking at Nick Schultz’s zone starts and zone finish columns when the Gilbert trade happened, it was evident that players with a high number of zone starts in the defensive zone, all end up with high zone finishes.

    When evaluating zone starts and zone finishes, the data is not linear. Those with high defensive zone starts will have high zone finishes, and those with high offensive zone starts will have poor zone finishes.

  13. cabbiesmacker says:

    spoiler:
    RickDeckard,

    Joanna Cassidy in a transparent plastic raincoat?

    Oh yeah. What was with Ford blasting all the hotties huh? Bastidge.

    She could have been nice and landed face up too.

  14. "Steve Smith" says:

    cabbiesmacker: Hey…kinda like Gagner playing with the man advantage.

    So we can agree that Sam Gagner is to NHL centres as Scarlett Johansson is to beautiful women; we just somehow can’t agree on whether that’s a good thing? Very well.

  15. danny says:

    a ‘best line’ discussion needs mention of the 95-96 trio of Arnott / Weight / Ciger.

    I think that may have been the best for any lines not featuring Gretzky. They were scoring machines. Almost three 30 goal scorers on one line that season.

  16. murphy says:

    Would anyone here do eberle for couturier and philly’s 1st this year?

  17. cabbiesmacker says:

    “Steve Smith”: So we can agree that Sam Gagner is to NHL centres as Scarlett Johansson is to beautiful women;

    Let’s not confuse “nice tits” with the ones found on bulls.

    Maybe we could saw off on the probability that Scarlett would be as good as Sammy in the defensive zone?

  18. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I know it’s fancy dan happy time around here and I’m as excited as anyone about this team…

    but I just wanted to re-live a moment from last night and assign a few demerits and publicly signal my expectations being wildly deflated.

    At the begining of the year I was very excited by the reports concerning Whitney’s training, time off for convalescence, the apparent rebound of his abilities etc. I bought in, or at least, I hoped desperately. Here was a guy who had served us so well in the past and I hoped he could do so again.

    Equally, I was ecstatic to hear that Hrudy was taking over for Weekes (I was mislead to thinking Rick Ball was taking over for Lee… we were all lead astray!). Hrudy, for the past several years, has provided HNIC’s antithesis of Grapes. He’s endlessly optimistic and incredibly enthusiastic about hockey. He is very, very humble. When someone says something he hasn’t thought of before, or didn’t know, or which he doesn’t agree with… he perks up… eager to learn. He’s also way better at discussing hockey in laymen’s terms that actually conveys knowledge of the game, rather than empty sputter. Once again, here was a guy who had served us well in the past and who I hoped could do so again.

    But… a few games in and I’m really wishing he’d go back to set pieces between periods. It’s way too early to give him the yank… but, he’s been pretty bad. He misses cues from his producer, loses track of the play/players, has trouble thinking on his feet and articulating himself clearly and quickly. Last night was no exception.

    Watching the highlights again something struck me that really tied these two disappointments together. The RNH’s goal:

    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=4&id=202676&cmpid=embed-share-video

    Hrudy erroneously gives credit to Whitney for the play-making of Fistric… not live mind you… during the re-play. He never corrected the situation either… no doubt many people missed it, assumed Whitney deserved credit and “saw him good” by mis-identification.

    https://twitter.com/Robin_Brownlee/status/303019176803594240

    two big disappointments.

    yet, I remain a fan of both and will continue to cheer them on and hope they do better.

  19. Bar_Qu says:

    cabbiesmacker,

    Read the book. Ferpectly simple.

    jonrmcleod,

    I don’t think PRV has been better than Petrell until the last 4 or 5 games. Now he is emulating Smyth & the results are starting to show. For PRV alone i keep Smyth on the team playing & demonstrating what”all out” looks like.

  20. cabbiesmacker says:

    Bar_Qu:
    cabbiesmacker,

    Read the book. Ferpectly simple.

    jonrmcleod,

    Did read it Bar….Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep….and I’m guilty of seeing the movie at least 15 times. It’s my inner nerd ala the Trekkies.

  21. Bar_Qu says:

    cabbiesmacker,

    I honestly didn’t get the film until i read the book. I was amazed by the book & the hopelessness which the movie only scratches the surface of.

  22. RickDeckard says:

    murphy,

    That’s an overpay by Philly. Eberle would be hard to trade simply because his emotional value to the fans. He is, after all, the shining beacon that the team can draft somewhere other than first overall and he’s a Canadian hero.

    spoiler,

    That unicorn was a coincidence. Yeah, that’s the ticket…

  23. jp says:

    murphy:
    Would anyone here do eberle for couturier and philly’s 1st this year?

    In a second. Deckard is right, it’s an overpay by Philly

  24. Kris11 says:

    Yeah, the Gagner-Hemsky paring has been giving away too much.

    We know Hemsky has a long history of playing the toughs well and being one of the Oilers better Corsi players. Maybe Horcoff was pushing him, but he should be at least a solid option at driving the puck in the right direction. Hemsky’s history is evidence that he’s not the problem.

    And you can’t blame Yak. When he isn’t on there line, they stil struggle, and frankly those two guys should be able to drag another player’s Corsi up, not the other way around.

    I’m guessing, and my eyes tell me, the problem is Gagner. Kid is starting to produce more, but he might be rounding in to a guy who cheats for offense and ends up goving up way too much. He had a lot of that in his game on and off in his first two years, IIRC, but we all wrote it off as rookie HUA plays. Kid might not have a two-way game.

    That isn’t all bad of he keeps producing, but it might be trouble when it comes time to sign him. Offense costs cap money. and we might be better off with some cheaper, reliable two-way players behind Nuge and the band. Maybe not. We’ll see.

  25. Jonathan Willis says:

    I’m really not confident trusting the QualComp numbers right now.

    The Hemsky trio played Stastny against Colorado, Eriksson/Roy/Ryder against Dallas and Datsyuk against Detroit. Maybe I’m off, but by eye they’ve been getting tough opposition from the get-go.

    Not that they’re playing well enough 5-on-5 as a line, but I don’t think they’re getting killed by the soft parade.

  26. Woodguy says:

    Jonathan Willis:
    I’m really not confident trusting the QualComp numbers right now.

    The Hemsky trio played Stastny against Colorado, Eriksson/Roy/Ryder against Dallas and Datsyuk against Detroit. Maybe I’m off, but by eye they’ve been getting tough opposition from the get-go.

    Not that they’re playing well enough 5-on-5 as a line, but I don’t think they’re getting killed by the soft parade.

    They were more sheltered when 10 was healthy.

    Definitely 2nd toughs since 10 went down.

    4-93-14 are getting the toughs.

  27. FPB94 says:

    I’ve always been a bit iffy about using blocked shots with Corsi (hence why i prefer Fenwick). It’s a skill and I don’t think opting for the BKS instead of pokechecking demeans a team.

    Last full year of play Josh Gorges had 250 blocked shots, 50 more than any other defenseman in the NHL. If you go down The average NHL d-men blocks 100 shots per year.

    Gorges basically blocks 1,5X more shots than these other guys, meaning that there’s a difference of 1,5 on the ”real” shots (per game) which is pretty meaningful.

  28. RickDeckard says:

    FPB94,

    Blocks are also not always good. Notice Smid laying down to get some blocks lately and taking himself out of the play.

    As for raw totals, you have to account for opportunity. A player that isn’t on ice for many shots attempts against will have less chances to block a shot.

  29. B S says:

    Woodguy,

    Ralph doesn’t line match, not with any serious effort anyway. If he can get Gagner out against soft competition he’ll do it, but he won’t break up his line rhythm to do so. Kreuger seems to be more focused on differentiating lines by zone starts, I almost never see Gagner start in the D-zone unless it’s on the PK. I think this whole “soft comp.” business is a bit of an assumption by analysts based on the presence of Yakupov on that line. people were saying the same thing about Eberle and RNH last season, but they were facing the toughest D-pairings of anyone on the team.

  30. FPB94 says:

    RickDeckard,

    More or less. Substracting BKS from the Corsi measure wouldn’t give a proportion bias.

  31. Ryan says:

    murphy:
    Would anyone here do eberle for couturier and philly’s 1st this year?

    I almost never watch the Flyers, but why would they want Eberle?

    They seem to be pretty solid on RW.

    They’ve already got Giroux, then voracek, read, briere, Simmons…

    Unless one of those guys plays the off wing, they’ve got some ridiculous depth at RW.

  32. Ryan says:

    Woodguy: They were more sheltered when 10 was healthy.

    Definitely 2nd toughs since 10 went down.

    4-93-14 are getting the toughs.

    By eye, I see the same thing.

    Already, there’s a huge difference watching Nuge (datysuk lite) vs Gagner in the Oilers zone.

    In theory, players can learn defense as opposed to offense. Gagner hasn’t made consistent strides playing defense.

  33. murphy says:

    Ryan,

    Giroux is the first line center with hartnell on the left and a big gap on the right with jagr gone. voracek plays on the left side on the 2nd line with Read on the right and briere in the middle. Simmonds is on the 3rd with talbot and schenn.

    Flyers need a top line talent to play with Giroux and have another nice young C in Laughton or can move B Schenn back there. I agree my intial deal would be a flyers overpay but with their struggles i can see them doing it, especially if we added in the ducks 2nd for this year.

  34. godot10 says:

    murphy:
    Would anyone here do eberle for couturier and philly’s 1st this year?

    No. At this stage I prefer quality over quantity.

    I am not trading away top end offensive talent for a role player and a draft pick. The cluster of top end talent will attract the role players in the UFA market ( a la Schultz).

    The more top end talent one has, the higher the potential, and the less winning a championship will depend on perfect execution and luck.

    One should not make trades that limit the potential upside.

    Eberle’s are rarer and thus more valuable than Couturier’s.

    The team that gets the best player wins the deal.

  35. Ryan says:

    murphy,

    Sorry, I went off the Flyers NHL stats page. Odd, but they list half their players as RW, lol.

    http://flyers.nhl.com/club/stats.htm

  36. Spydyr says:

    danny,

    a ‘best line’ discussion needs mention of the 95-96 trio of Arnott / Weight / Ciger.
    I think that may have been the best for any lines not featuring Gretzky. They were scoring machines. Almost three 30 goal scorers on one line that season.

    The Messier/Anderson/Simpson line scored a few goals.

  37. murphy says:

    Ryan,

    No problem, the Team sites are often the most unreliable. I only know the difference because I watch as many Flyers games as I can, I’m a fan of the way they play the game.

    Giroux didn’t look like he needed much help today!

  38. murphy says:

    godot10,

    Although i agree with the overall point you made about quality over quanity and elite players, i’m not sure you realize how good Couturier really is. For the sake of debate, i think a lot of people would agree a player of his caliber and position is rarer to find than one of Eberle’s.

    At the age of 19 this guy was tasked to shut down Malkin in the playoffs and did so while putting up numbers of his own. It was extremely impressive.

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