OILERS AT DUCKS, G39 (12-13) 8.4.13

The Oilers have another huge game tonight in their playoff drive (14.7% chance), and depending on your point of view they have a very good or subpar goaltender behind them.


That’s some pretty good company there, tied for 11th overall in the entire NHL. There was some concern about his EV SP, which is now .923 and ranks 20th among goalies with 15 games or more this season. I’d say that’s some solid goaltending, certainly not a “weak link” position. You’ll get arguments, but for me Dubnyk is solid as a starter for the first few years of the window.


Coach Krueger has been talking about inserting Mark Fistric into the rotation for tonight’s game, it’s going to be interesting to see who draws out. If the coach doesn’t dress Ryan Whitney, what does that tell us about assets at the deadline? Also, Ryan Jones not dressing for the LAK game on Saturday is the same thing. You have Teemu Hartikainen waiting for insertion into the lineup after earning the opportunity, and I understand if Jones is the preference of the coach. Interesting then that he’s a HS in the first game the new hire was available.

stapleton and ferguson

That’s John Ferguson in the Montreal uniform. He was probably the first powerforward, although he was called policeman or enforcer. Ferguson came to the NHL at 25 after spending a year in the IHL and three more in the AHL. The NHL was the top league but had only 6 teams, and those teams rolled three lines. So, there were exactly 18 jobs for left wingers in 1963, and Ferguson won one of them for his toughness.

But he could also play:

ferguson 63

That’s October of 1963, Ferguson’s rookie season. He was on the top line in the NHL, Beliveau-Ferguson-Geoffrion. This would have been Frank Selke (Sam Pollock would take over the following season) and it paid off in a big way. Ferguson provided toughness, Beliveau skill and Geoffrion was the shooter. The  Habs would romp through the 1960′s, with Ferguson a big part of the team.

I don’t think there’s a fan alive who couldn’t see the value Ferguson brought to Montreal in 1963.


I also don’t think there’s a fan alive who wouldn’t see the value a similar player might bring to Edmonton in 2013. The problem with the Oilers big men isn’t size, it’s skill. The Edmonton Oilers procurement department have gathered up a bunch of skill guys who are average or undersize, and because they don’t have enough actual NHL players (and that’s too easy an answer, apparently) people cast about for reasons and come upon the usual argument–too many undersized players. “We’re getting pushed around” and “they’re running our show!” we hear over and over again.

IF the guy who can play is also a bigger player? MUSIC!

The argument Oiler fans have been having (let’s call it Omark v Jacques) disappears if the Oilers can hire big, skilled men. Did any of the math people or the saw him good crowd bitch about Bill Guerin?

No. This is about size AFTER skill has been established.

A very young Barbi Benton is dancing with Hugh Hefner right at the end of the video. Wow.



Oilers are 4 points behind Detroit with a game in hand. Tonight’s game–and this week–is massive. By the time we hit the radio show Saturday we’ll know one way or another. A good week here and the Oilers will still be in it. A bad one? The Saturday show will be less about the playoffs, and more about the summer.



I don’t know if you’re still following the Barons’ season but they had a big weekend. Tend the Farm is a splendid resource and Neal’s post-game last night is a terrific read. It also shows a pulse for some struggling prospects:

  • The “2nd Round” line of Curtis Hamilton – Ryan Martindale – Tyler Pitlick played the best stretch of hockey the three have played, together or separate, in a very long time. Hamilton, with his great hands. Martindale, with his face off winning marvels. Pitlick, with his strong play around the boards. Combined they are Teemu Hartikainen, but separate they bring a very unique wrinkle to the Barons third line. I’d like to see this again, and more often.

Sad story about Kelly Jay, former member of Crowbar is here. Dammit.

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403 Responses to "OILERS AT DUCKS, G39 (12-13) 8.4.13"

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  1. russ99 says:


    Corsi for defensive players is not a good metric. Shots against and shots for never equal out when defensemen are on the ice and their defensive play (a lot more shots against) weighs on Corsi more than their team shots for (much less) while on the ice.

    Also the fact that defensive players have longer shifts than forwards and rarely do they match up with a forward group tweaks those numbers even further.

    Whitney is a veteran and Schultz is a 22 year old rookie learning at the pro level, and Whitney’s subpar play most of the season is the only thing keeping that statistical comparison from looking worse.

  2. bookje says:

    I hate the Oilers, they are terrible!

  3. VOR says:


    I haven’t looked at the next thread yet but nobody here posted a link to a paper on individual corsi so I will.


    This is the most recent work I have seen on individual corsi effects. It is also one of the few papers that even presents data for individual players. It offers little evidence that in either the short or mid term that corsi relates at all to in game or in season performance.

    Yet we get people like you saying corsi has stood up to intense scrutiny. It hasn’t. Even the work done on team corsi says fenwick is better and shot differential/% is better as a predictor of future performance. Not that corsi in small samples isn’t predictive just that in the same samples fenwick and shot differential/% are more predictive and thus corsi doesn’t add much to the conversation.

    The reason I am spending months of my life looking at 6 years of data and applying all manner of statistical tests to it, trying to figure out what corsi and other metrics tell us about hockey is that I have questions that none of the existing “papers” answer. God I hate that word used in this context because it implies a rigor they do not have. I value corsi but the hundreds of hours I have spend playing with the data implies that corsi isn’t a very good tool for understanding anything about how a defenceman is playing or will play or should play.

    The tree I am barking up is that lately it has been clear that you, and a number of other posters believe things about corsi that well may not be true and that have never stood up to any scrutiny whatsoever. Not only that, as more and more metrics are put in play a mountain of assumptions are being but in play. I posted a link to a paper a few weeks ago about getting better by subtraction in basketball – that sometimes you get a better result by not giving the ball to the player with the talen and the hot hand but by giving it to the lesser talent because defences adjust to any play you keep running. That sort of analysis never gets done in hockey.

    Take a look at current work on possession, zone exit, zone entry and neutral zone play and then look for a place where they examine with statistical and mathematical rigor team mate and opponent effects. Hell, look for any statistical or mathematical rigor or testing at all. They are just descriptions, lab notes. That doesn’t stop hockey bloggers from turning them into tools for analyzing players, teams, etc. This means we are building elaborate satistical Tower of Babel in the shifting sand.

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