THIS IS US

After the game last night, I tweeted out the following:

  • A crappy night, I do not agree with the PP decisions, but this needs to be said: the Oilers ARE improving in things that matter. Seriously.

I received a lot of tweets and comments and various other connections asking if I’d been drinking, smoking, had fallen and couldn’t get up, etc. So, I thought it might be an idea to explain my point of view. I want you to know it is neither unique or original, and will try to send you to the group of people who have convinced me of the progress.

First, let’s begin with what’s wrong. This Oilers team is a collection of exceptional talents on one end (Hall, Nuge, Yak, Eberle, Justin Schultz) connected to a group of useful NHL players (Perron, Petry, Andrew Ference, Boyd Gordon, Ilya Bryzgalov, etc) and a group of players at the end (Smyth, Jones) or the beginning (Lander, Belov). They can look brilliant for 11 games (7-3-1 recently) and historically awful the next (FOUR different 5 game losing streaks this season). They have not been able to play a full 60 minutes this season—they are identical to the first team I followed closely as a kid (1970-1974 Toronto Maple Leafs) in this way. Howie Meeker told me it was the errors of youth, and I believed him. I think it’s the same this time—too much youth, too many errors, too little attention, too much wheeling—and that’s the battle being fought with this group by Dallas Eakins.

This season began with shoddy goaltending, not learning the swarm, an errant stick from a dickhead, injuries to Hall, etc, Nuge being out to start the season, and on it went. In addition, I think a lot of the problem comes from this team ‘checking out’ from their own game plan when it’s working (we saw that last night, I think) and not doing the difficult work of working smart without the puck.

It also involves a lack of talent on the blueline, and that’s going to have to be addressed sooner than later.

Let’s continue the process with what works, no use throwing the baby out with the bath water.

dellow capture1

No one is saying life is roses, no one is whistling a happy tune, but it’s important to properly assess the problem before addressing it. There is plenty that’s positive going on here, including an improved Corsi and Fenwick year over year. The problems are clear (not enough actual NHL players, weak up the middle) and need to be addressed now.

WHO TO KEEP?

We all have our lists of players to keep, and I’m not going to give you mine because if you read this blog it’s already known. I will say that they absolutely need to keep the heart of the cluster, and that ‘trade Gagner for’ trade thoughts aren’t going to inspire. They must keep the coach (no options there, he’s a good young coach and a lot of the problems come from him trying to straighten out bad habits from the past—that won’t change with a new coach) and they must:

  • find a veteran defenseman to build around
  • improve the center position
  • find a Pisani winger
  • upgrade much of the bottom 6F
  • reduce the number of inexperienced players

Godspeed, Craig MacTavish. They’re going to see you coming and you are going to overpay. So be it. I’d suggest we should look for names like Ehrhoff and Campbell, and would also suggest the team coming in Monday is a nice match.

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236 Responses to "THIS IS US"

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  1. Clarkenstein says:

    Your optimistic analysis of this clusterf**k reminds me of the old comment…”other than that Mrs. Lincoln what did you think of the play?”

  2. flyfish1168 says:

    Nice article LT. I believe in Corsi, but if the game is already out of hand by the 2nd intermission and we come back and have a good 3rd period corsi maybe miss leading.

  3. Lowetide says:

    Clarkenstein:
    Your optimistic analysis of this clusterf**k reminds me of the old comment…”other than that Mrs. Lincoln what did you think of the play?”

    You see, I don’t see this as optimistic at all. They ARE going to trade Yakupov or Eberle imo, and that’s a fail.

  4. Lowetide says:

    flyfish1168:
    Nice article LT. I believe in Corsi, but if the game is already out of hand by the 2nd intermission and we come back and have a good 3rd period corsi maybe miss leading.

    That’s the weird thing. Unless I’m reading things incorrectly, they were STRONGER until they gave up at 3 or 4 nothing. They were doing good things for the longest damn time, and they started like the 84-85 Oilers.

    Damndest team. Kids.

  5. Lowetide says:

    I would encourage posters to keep things on topic and to be respectful. We can disagree without turning this into a gong show.

  6. Clarkenstein says:

    Lowetide: You see, I don’t see this as optimistic at all. They ARE going to trade Yakupov or Eberle imo, and that’s a fail.

    You say they are getting better in things that matter. Only two things matter. Putting the biscuit in the other teams basket and keeping it our of theirs. How’s that working out?

  7. BrazilianOil says:

    I think it was 2002, FCBarcelona, the soccer team, the rookie manager Beguiristain, hired a rookie coach: Frank Rijkard.

    The season was awful at the midle of the year. The team was broke even with stars like a young Ronaldinho.

    When everybody was claiming for a change on the managment group, they bought Edgar Davis, a veteran midffiel. That changed the dynamic, and the team made a great run the rest of the season. That was the start of the glory days.

  8. Lowetide says:

    Clarkenstein: You say they are getting better in things that matter. Only two things matter. Putting the biscuit in the other teams basket and keeping it our of theirs.How’s that working out?

    Not well, and you know this so I assume you’d like a longer answer about the good things. The Oilers have been (since 2010 January) a team that spends weeks without playing on a level field. This season, they’ve done that far more often, and that’s a good sign.

    They also have two entire lines playing at or near 50% for the season in chances for (the Willis item above). I can’t convince you that’s a good sign, if you don’t believe me it’s cool.

    However, it does make sense that if you have half the scoring chances and all other things are equal you should win half the games—with luck a little more.

    All things are not equal. In the 50% of the time Hall spends without the puck, breakdowns, bonehead plays, rookie mistakes, dog whistles and general tomfoolery are making the difference.

    We are here. This is us.

  9. Colieo87 says:

    Hey LT,

    I know you always say for edmonton management to stick to there guns but if we’re this bad next yr which I think believe we will be does, management can’t fold now kept building through the draft and since next year going to be a special draft. Should we put a lot of eggs in one basket and go for McDavid. Special player requires special circumstances. Which is why 2017-18 season is the year I think where going to contend and challenge the cup. That’s what I believe. Defence will be ready by then. And hopefully our center position is matured by then too.

  10. flyfish1168 says:

    Lowetide: That’s the weird thing. Unless I’m reading things incorrectly, they were STRONGER until they gave up at 3 or 4 nothing. They were doing good things for the longest damn time, and they started like the 84-85 Oilers. Damndest team. Kids.

    LT I looking at how the corsi is misleading not any particular Oiler game. How some teams basically let up after 2 periods with a lead and the 3rd period is won by the losing team. Not looking at last nights game. Garbage time changes corsi

  11. sliderule says:

    Hall made a comment that RK liked the euro and that’s why he got a lot of pp time.

    To me that shows splits in the team.Does that comment mean Hall and perhaps others felt Yak shouldn’t have got the time .How about Bucky did he feel the same way as this year the time has not been given to him and he runs the pp.

    When Mact hired Eakins and told him that he hoped he would keep RKs assistants we all knew that the assistants were staying.This was the same mistake that they forced RK into..The closest associates in any business have to be absolutely loyal to you in all respects.i would not like to be in Eakins position were at least one assistant has a close personal relationship with the GM and President.i have no idea whether this has factored into comments like Hall made but the optics are terrible.

    Unless the team turns it around Eakins will be gone.If Mact does not get it right with the next hiring he will be gone.

    If the team does turn it around and the keep Eakins Mact has to let him evaluate and hire his own staff without pressure from upper management.

  12. godot10 says:

    Re: Corsi close and mc79.

    The Oilers had no Eastern Conference games last year. Everyone knows the Eastern Conference sucks.

    Why do people willfully compare apples and oranges?

    The Corsi is perhaps marginally better. But Eakins has a much better roster than last year. But he has undermined the confidence of the goaltenders. His PK and PP suck. He is a bad rookie AHL coach, and this is the first time he has coached with mediocre goaltending and an undermanned roster. With his relatively limited actual coaching experience with the Marlies, he always had near NHL calibre goaltending with Riemer and Scrivens, and a stacked AHL roster. Eakins has never experienced adversity as a coach before now.

    Learning on the job in the NHL is no place to face your first real adversity as a head coach.

    Get good players. Keep good players.

    MacT let Stoll, Torres, Pitkanen, Glencross, Hejda, Horcoff, and Smid go. The last four for basically nothing.

    Perhaps, hire a competent coach should be added to the list, rather than some relatively inexperienced AHL guy.

    I’m sticking with my October call of a post-Olympic Bataan Death March.

    Lowe should coach the rest of the season.

  13. cabbiesmacker says:

    A post with Emme Lou Harris and Mark Knoppler referenced? Hey you’re ok afterall.

    Might have to reconsider revoking your honorary Saskatchewan citizenship ya bastidge.

  14. Ducey says:

    I agree LT. This is a better team than the last several

    People need to look past the win loss record.

    The first part of the season was scuttled by DD, then they go 7-3-1. Then they were fed to the wolves schedule wise: BOS, VAN, ANA, COL, LAK, and STL is tough.

    How many of those teams should they have beat coming off a 24th place finish last season?

    We talk about the fact that player development doesn’t follow a straight line but expect that the development of a team made up of those players will. Crazy.

  15. GordM says:

    IMO…they’ll trade their first + something (not of the Yakupov/Eberle calibre though) for one well-rounded NHL Dman at the draft…then throw some UFA cash at another Dman…this, mixed with a year of growth for the players/coach will have us all believing again next year.

    1st overall trade D man + Petry
    UFA D-man + J Schultz
    Ference + take your pick (Nurse, Klefbom, Belov, etc…)

    Lowe/Buchberger/Smith out would be golden (I’m pissed off and I want blood but I know I likely won’t get it).

  16. Lowetide says:

    Colieo87:
    Hey LT,

    I know you always say for edmonton management to stick to there guns but if we’re this bad next yr which I think believe we will be does,management can’t fold now kept building through the draft and since next year going to be a special draft.Should we put a lot of eggs in one basket and go for McDavid.Special player requires special circumstances.Which is why 2017-18 season is the year I think where going to contend and challenge the cup.That’s what I believe.Defence will be ready by then.And hopefully our center position is matured by then too.

    God no. If this team keeps losing MacT won’t be the GM and Eakins won’t be the coach when McDavid’s name is called. This is a calamity. Anyone who saw the HNIC post-game last night can tell you the Oilers are a laughing stock of the NHL now. A pitiful bunch of losers.

    THEY HAVE TO TURN NORTH. AND they have to stop looking to Nurse and the other kid blue as instant plug and play.

    Get good players, keep good players.

  17. gcw_rocks says:

    Cognitive dissonance must be a bitch.

    I think Woodguy’s tweet last night said it all. This team is rotten to the core. Management’s ineffectiveness is destroying these kids. It starts with Lowe. The man who have Tambo an extension, and then hired MacT.

    It was folly to point to a run against a bunch of bottom feeders and think things were turning around. When it comes to oilers management, Fire them all to be safe.

  18. Ryan says:

    Nobody can put lipstick on a pig like LT, but this is a team with 3 first overall draft picks that’s clipping along at 0.33 pt %.

    The 09/10 Oilers finished last in the entire national hockey league at a 0.38 pt % rate.

    The 09/10 Oilers didn’t start off with much of a roster and set records for man games lost… at times they had half an AHL roster… and they grabbed more points. They were coached by a man who couldn’t name half the players on his team.

    Other than the Gagner incident and a brief injury to Hall (RNH missing a few games to start the season), the Oilers have been relatively healthy this year.

    Something is seriously wrong with this hockey club.

  19. Lowetide says:

    cabbiesmacker:
    A post with Emme Lou Harris and Mark Knoppler referenced? Hey you’re ok afterall.

    Might have to reconsider revoking your honorary Saskatchewan citizenship ya bastidge.

    I love anything Emmylou, and Knopfler is top drawer. My favorite of theirs is Why worry, its such an awesome song but I love all of them. Basically, Emmylou Harris could sing the phone book and I’d buy it.

  20. justDOit says:

    Lowetide:
    I would encourage posters to keep things on topic and to be respectful. We can disagree without turning this into a gong show.

    I expect posts like this from LT at 10:30 on a Saturday evening, but 8:44 am on the Sunday before Christmas? Lordy.

  21. theres oil in virginia says:

    flyfish1168:
    Nice article LT. I believe in Corsi, but if the game is already out of hand by the 2nd intermission and we come back and have a good 3rd period corsi maybe miss leading.

    Be wary of Miss Leading. She’ll try to convince that she’s hot, but she’s really a dog.

  22. Lowetide says:

    Ryan:
    Nobody can put lipstick on a pig like LT, but this is a team with 3 first overall draft picks that’s clipping along at 0.33 pt %.

    The 09/10 Oilers finished last in the entire national hockey league at a 0.38 pt % rate.

    The 09/10 Oilers didn’t start off with much of a roster and set records for man games lost…at times they had half an AHL roster…and they grabbed more points.They were coached by a man who couldn’t name half the players on his team.

    Other than the Gagner incident and a brief injury to Hall (RNH missing a few games to start the season), the Oilers have been relatively healthy this year.

    Something is seriously wrong with this hockey club.

    Nuge was late coming back, and added to Gagner’s injury they were down to Gordon and not much at center. That’s a big deal. Not an excuse, but that center situation was a really tough one at the beginning of the year.

  23. TheOtherJohn says:

    Don’t think anyone is going to be given the luxury of improving through the draft. Think the jersey being thrown on the ice is a pretty vivid picture of how unhappy the fans are. It was a pretty sobering picture. Someone spent $150.00 here Aholes, I don’t want your merchandise any more. Hope Lowe thinks no big deal. It was, it should be and you’d have to be pretty stupid to ignore it.

    As to Tyler’s numbers, they are always accurate (the beauty of reading MC79, Willis, McCurdy, Parkatti, WG is they use facts) but I would point out that last years Corsi close % was done in 48 games against the WC and we have played 18 games against the EC this year. I believe that would likely reduce last years numbers.

    Hate the hockey operations people?. Have not yet formed an opinion on MacT as GM or Eakins as head coach. It’s too early. Wish we had not hired rookie GM & head coach but we did. These 2 men are definitely trying but that is a bad hockey team

    I expected this road trip to be bleak. This, this is Bataan death March bleak.

    Black Dog has been saying it as long as I can remember: find good players, keep good players, add more good players

    And when adding size, make sure they are no skill bums: kinda like Backes or Steen or Stewart,

  24. Ryan says:

    One area most here including LT disagree with me about is about Eakins…

    this is a results-based business.

    If you’re team has an 11-24-3 record and you’re not tanking for picks, it behooves you to fire the coach.

    I have nothing against Eakins (aside from his record), but as an organization you can’t endorse failure without consequences.

  25. oliveoilers says:

    BrazilianOil:
    I think it was 2002, FCBarcelona, the soccer team, the rookie manager Beguiristain, hired a rookie coach: Frank Rijkard.

    The season was awful at the midle of the year. The team was broke even with stars like a young Ronaldinho.

    When everybody was claiming for a change on the managment group, theyboughtEdgar Davis, a veteran midffiel. That changed the dynamic, and the team made a great run the rest of the season. That was the start of the glory days.

    In football, the manager is the coach, the chairman is the GM. Clear as mud? :-) Barca was broke because most football associations do not have a salary cap, allowing them to spend money they do not have. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were still “cash poor”. However, you are correct, something has to give, if what we are doing at the moment is clearly wrong. To quote one of my favourite authors: You can rail at the Universe about life not being fair and about what SHOULD be. The Universe will half open one eye, look right at you and say “yeah? So what.”

    And so it is with these stats, which are no doubt useful in their own way. But……But. But, “grind down the matter to it’s smallest components and show me one atom of Justice, one iota of Fairness, one molecule of determination.” Yet these concepts DO exist. Just not at Rexall.

  26. cabbiesmacker says:

    The biggest problem with statistics is that they often distract one from what is obvious at first look.

    I heartily recommend the book blink as reference material.

  27. Woodguy says:

    Godot is right in that given that last year was exclusively WC, you need to separate the two conferences this year to give a level playing field.

    Using Fenclose results from Extra Skater here is what you get:

    Last year the Oilers won/tied 14 of 48 games in terms of Fenclose 29.1%

    http://www.extraskater.com/team/edmonton-oilers/2012

    This year the Oilers have won/tied 18 of 38 for 47.4%

    http://www.extraskater.com/team/edmonton-oilers/2013

    So on the surface, it looks like a big improvement.

    If we separate WC and EC games, we get this:

    Won Fenclose vs EC
    11/19 = 57.9%

    Won Fenclose vs WC
    6/19 – 31.6%

    So the Oilers have gone from winning the Fenclose battle vs the Western Conference 29.1% of the time to 31.6% of the time.

    Given the sample sizes, its basically identical.

  28. Ryan says:

    Lowetide: Nuge was late coming back, and added to Gagner’s injury they were down to Gordon and not much at center. That’s a big deal.Not an excuse, but that center situation was a really tough one at the beginning of the year.

    They did have a tough start to the year without Gagner and Nuge, so I agree with you there. But since Nuge has been back, they haven’t exactly been making hay while the sun shines.

  29. Woodguy says:

    cabbiesmacker:
    The biggest problem with statistics is that they often distract one from what is obvious at first look.

    I heartily recommend the book blink as reference material.

    Gladwell’s a fine coffee table book writer, but he gets ripped apart for bad science by experts in the field that he is writing about every time.

  30. Mr DeBakey says:

    godot10: MacT let Stoll, Torres, Pitkanen, Glencross, Hejda, Horcoff, and Smid go.

    How long has MacT been GM?
    I keep forgetting.

    But you’ve certainly identified a problem, one that as been discussed often over the years

  31. Lowetide says:

    Ryan: They did have a tough start to the year without Gagner and Nuge, so I agree with you there.But since Nuge has been back, they haven’t exactly been making hay while the sun shines.

    And that goes back to youth. I don’t think Lou Lamoriello would ask a 20-year old to be the #1C.

  32. justDOit says:

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/q71/1476331_702007466500182_1389596921_n.jpg

    10 beers: $80.00.

    One Oiler Jersey: $179.99.

    Sending a message to Sixrings on CBC? Priceless!

  33. Thinker says:

    I don’t know why we care about shoring up weaknesses now. We are behind the five year plan, as I expect it will be at least two years until playoffs (One 8th-10th and one 5th-8th). Might as well let the kids struggle, maybe they learn something. Personally, I have found I learn the most through turmoil.
    Take the pick, try to find useful ufa’s, and potentially go big game hunting on the ufa market. Don’t even dream of touching a good rfa until two consecutive playoff years(rebuilding teams often yo-yo in and out of the playoffs a few years). Don’t trade anything that could be part of the future unless you get an overpay back. It sucks, but we have come this far, and I swear to God if they sell this team early, and end up back on the playoff bubble, I will never forgive them.

  34. flyfish1168 says:

    Woodguy: Godot is right in that given that last year was exclusively WC, you need to separate the two conferences this year to give a level playing field.Using Fenclose results from Extra Skater here is what you get.Last year the Oilers won/tied 14 of 48 games in terms of Fenclose 29.1%http://www.extraskater.com/team/edmonton-oilers/2012This year the Oilers have won/tied 18 of 38 for 47.4%http://www.extraskater.com/team/edmonton-oilers/2013So on the surface, it looks like a big improvement.If we separate WC and EC games, we get this:Won Fenclose vs EC11/19 = 57.9%Won Fenclose vs WC6/19 – 31.6%So the Oilers have gone from winning the Fenclose battle vs the Western Conference 29.1% of the time to 31.6% of the time.Given the sample sizes, its basically identical.

    Supposedly we have a stronger group his year.

  35. Woodguy says:

    Also,

    How bloody awful is the Eastern Conference?

  36. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    Also,

    How bloody awful is the Eastern Conference?

    I noticed you’ve used Fen Close instead of Tyler’s metric (Corsi %). I’m wondering if there was a reason? Not that it makes a huge difference, but apples to apples and all that.

  37. Ryan says:

    Lowetide,

    We’re mostly on the same page LT, it’s just when Calgary who was widely believed to be a laughably bad hockey club this season is 7 points north of us in the standings…

    Calgary’s basically “rebuilding” or “rebuilding thru the draft” or “tanking by inaction of the GM” and still likely to finish ahead of us in the standings.

    When a team that is trying to be terrible (for secondary gain) has a better record than one that isn’t, something is seriously wrong here.

  38. cabbiesmacker says:

    Lowetide: I love anything Emmylou, and Knopfler is top drawer. My favorite of theirs is Why worry, its such an awesome song but I love all of them. Basically, Emmylou Harris could sing the phone book and I’d buy it.

    I’m pretty much the same way with Steve Earle

    Heard ELH with him doing Goodbye?

  39. flyfish1168 says:

    This is a lost season so we should play the young players. Especially if we think Yakupov is part of the core. Sitting him and having Smyth play 17 minutes like last evening does not help Yaks development. Time to think about he future and start developing. That is on eakins. it is his time to prove he has the metal to develop the young players.

  40. Lowetide says:

    cabbiesmacker: ?

    one of my favorites.

  41. cabbiesmacker says:

    Woodguy: Gladwell’s a fine coffee table book writer, but he gets ripped apart for bad science by experts in the field that he is writing about every time.

    Science can’t explain the Oiler’s problems I don’t think.

  42. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: You see, I don’t see this as optimistic at all. They ARE going to trade Yakupov or Eberle imo, and that’s a fail.

    I don’t think that’s necessarily a fail.

    We always talk about drafting skill over everything else at the top of the draft because skill is always in demand and expensive to acquire.

    The thought is “always draft skill high and you will have good currency to fill your holes as your skill matures”

    I do think its a fail that some of the holes on the roster are easier to fill than others and do no require trading a bunch of skill.

    These holes though:

    1D
    2C

    are going to require some currency to fill properly.

  43. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: I noticed you’ve used Fen Close instead of Tyler’s metric (Corsi %). I’m wondering if there was a reason? Not that it makes a huge difference, but apples to apples and all that.

    I used Fenclose because of three reason:

    1) It has been shown to be the best indicator of future success when the samples are smallish (goal diff is better in larger samples)

    2) Extra skater has this info right at your finger tips. What a great site!

    3) Fenclose and Corsi close should be very close

  44. oliveoilers says:

    flyfish1168:
    This is a lost season so we should play the young players. Especially if we think Yakupov is part of the core. Sitting him and having Smyth play 17 minutes like last evening does not help Yaks development. Time to think about he future and start developing. That is on eakins. it is his time to prove he has the metal to develop the young players.

    This season is not hanging on a sophomore’s slump. I agree with you, some guys need to find another person that weighs the same as a duck and turns people into newts. (They got better.)

  45. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: That’s the weird thing. Unless I’m reading things incorrectly, they were STRONGER until they gave up at 3 or 4 nothing. They were doing good things for the longest damn time, and they started like the 84-85 Oilers.

    Damndest team. Kids.

    They seem to have no finish anymore.

    No one timers.

    Eberle dusting off the puck every time he has it.

    Lots of jams at the side of the net, which is very low percentage.

    They’re lost right now.

  46. Andy P says:

    LT some of us gave this team 20 games, I subscribed to Stauffer’s comment and gave them 30 to settle in all around. This was initially rewarded with a good 10 game run, and now the collapse.

    I have put out repeated posts around the fact of the constant in the poor performance over the last few years being the assistant coaches. Who knows what might happen, because the tenure of the assistants forced on the last 2 good coaches, and perhaps the last 3, is now looking to be more important than the competitiveness of the team. As such Eakins is simply window dressing.

    I don’t think these forced assistants are a reflection on MacT either, he also inherited them.

    But I’m wondering why they are not seen as the constant in a field of variables, and why there is this deafening silence around them? Your comment on this situation would be appreciated, unless there is a protocol you have to follow that would prevent a frank discourse on this. And if you think I am barking up the wrong tree, please tell me so and why. I respect your opinion and would appreciate that.

    If it is because they are, as it seems, Lowe appointees that nobody dare touch then this team has not chance until Lowe is removed from his ability to interfere like this.

  47. theres oil in virginia says:

    LT, I’ve developed an idea over the last few years regarding how people deal with issues when emotions are involved. They become binary thinkers – ie, only two positions on the issue are allowed, black or white, wonderful or awful, etc. Politics is full of this mess, especially when fear is involved: “Yer either with us or you’re with the terrists” (sic). Democrats and republicans have feasted on this for many generations. People in this mindset aren’t able to process nuanced information that might lead them to understanding the situation, probably because the tendency is to stay in the emotion and that requires the extreme thinking that polarizes the issue. The first thing these folks do when someone presents an analysis that isn’t black or white is to push that person’s argument to the other extreme and then argue that it’s wrong. Hence, you are an optimist.

  48. fuzzy muppet says:

    The only fancy stat I need is this

    2 wins against decent teams…

    TWO.

    This team is an embarrassment and no fancy stat can convince me otherwise

  49. Woodguy says:

    I also think that Fenwick is superior to Corsi in describing scoring chances because getting shots through (not blocked) is critical for scoring chances.

    Corsi is better in describing possession in the ozone.

  50. flyfish1168 says:

    oliveoilers: This season is not hanging on a sophomore’s slump. I agree with you, some guys need to find another person that weighs the same as a duck and turns people into newts. (They got better.)

    After listening to Hall in after hours about experience, with games and minutes played, I think that Oiler management should take this to heart. Playing is important. Accountability now is shifting to development. Our coaching needs to use the remaining games for this year as a learning experience and develop players like Yak. No use sitting and demanding you earn your ice time. That’s out the door now.

  51. Woodguy says:

    gcw_rocks:
    Cognitive dissonance must be a bitch.

    I think Woodguy’s tweet last night said it all. This team is rotten to the core. Management’s ineffectiveness is destroying these kids.It starts with Lowe. The man who have Tambo an extension, and then hired MacT.

    It was folly to point to a run against a bunch of bottom feeders and think things were turning around.When it comes to oilers management, Fire them all to be safe.

    I have some high hopes for MacT.

    He’s coming into a mess where the only NHL player on the roster that was acquired in the last 4 years is Nick Shultz, and he was acquired for Gilbert, who is superior.

    I don’t think MacT is perfect. The near miss with Clarkson, the Ference contract and betting on non-NHL Dmen when Gilbert and Hainsey were signing PTOs are fails imo.

    Lowe has destroyed the depth of the organization by letting Tambo gut the organization of any Actual NHLers.

    Think about that.

    4 years in charge and the only NHLer Tambo acquired was Nick Shultz, and he cost you Gilbert.

    That’s horrifically bad and Lowe should be fired for letting it happen.

  52. theres oil in virginia says:

    Woodguy:
    I also think that Fenwick is superior to Corsi in describing scoring chances because getting shots through (not blocked) is critical for scoring chances.

    Corsi is better in describing possession in the ozone.

    What do you think of the importance of getting a high percentage of shots toward net to be on net? I’ve noticed a few times, with the Oilers and other teams as well, that sometimes they barrage the opponent with shots toward net, but have a low percentage on-target. (I’m referring more to missed shots rather than blocked shots.) Also, do you think that lack of confidence, or the mindset that creeps in when things aren’t going well, can make guys try to pinpoint shots too often and result in too many missed shots? Do you think that happened to the Oilers in the 1st period last night?

  53. gcw_rocks says:

    Lowetide,

    Nuge was late coming back, and added to Gagner’s injury they were down to Gordon and not much at center. That’s a big deal. Not an excuse, but that center situation was a really tough one at the beginning of the year.

    Yes, except every Oilers’ blogger in the universe was screaming for the Oilers to add to their centre depth because it represented a MAJOR risk and that even before the Gagner injury the lack of centre depth could cause the team to have a slow start. The smartest man in the room decided he knew better and then burned contract spots on Gazdic and SMac rather than grab centres. It is not an excuse because they knew it was a material risk, then chose to ignore the risk. You can’t blame Eakins for the loss of the centres, but you sure as heck can blame MacT.

  54. GordM says:

    If we were to trade Eberle or Yakupov to fill some key holes…what would people want to see as a fair return?

  55. Woodguy says:

    flyfish1168: LT I looking at how the corsi is misleading not any particular Oiler game.How some teams basically let up after 2 periods with a lead and the 3rd period is won by the losing team. Not looking at last nights game. Garbage time changes corsi

    That’s why Fenclose and Corsiclose exist.

    When these metrics are “close” they only count shot attempts when the score is within 1 goal or tied in the first 2 periods or tied in the 3rd.

    It effectively removes the garbage time shot attempts.

  56. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    I wouldn’t assume McTavish will get taken to the cleaners and be forced to ‘pay high’. The stench of desperation is wrapped comfortably around a number of GM’s in the league. EDM and BUF are in a unique position given their spot at the very bottom. I think PHI, NYI, NJD, NYR and others are in every bit as difficult or more difficult a spot. Imagine the clench going on in MON on Subban. Can’t be fun. MacT will do fine. The fact he has already shown restraint is a very good signal.

    Don’t fret too much on Yak being moved either. It just isn’t there with this player. He’ll get his points no doubt, but there are some real issues around his game. Just because he went #1 doesn’t mean squat. We all know where Datsyuk and Zetterberg went in the draft. Look at Couture and Jagr . We may be overly clouded by his draft status. I’m not the least concerned to move him but it hinges on what you get back. This team needs to trade assets in hockey trades to get the mix right. It will happen over the next 9 months. In the meantime, we all endure.

  57. Woodguy says:

    godot10,

    MacT let Stoll, Torres, Pitkanen, Glencross, Hejda, Horcoff, and Smid go. The last four for basically nothing.

    MacT was GM for Horcoff and Smid trades.

    Not sure you can hang the others on him.

    Maybe you can, but the evidence isn’t there to be 100% sure.

  58. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Nuge was late coming back, and added to Gagner’s injury they were down to Gordon and not much at center. That’s a big deal.Not an excuse, but that center situation was a really tough one at the beginning of the year.

    Weird thing was that they were very good in the shot metrics and scoring at the beginning of the year and lost due to shitty goaltending.

    Almost everything has turned perfectly against the Oilers in terms of puck luck.

    Hockey Gords punishing hubris perhaps?

  59. theres oil in virginia says:

    Woodguy,

    Stoll was anything but a sure bet to return from his concussions when the Oilers let him go. I’m not sure why we’re mourning the loss of Torres.

    EDIT: Sorry, that was intended to be a response to Godot10.

  60. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Gagner mentioned as an option i Toronoto and NJD

    http://www.ottawasun.com/2013/12/21/new-york-rangers-gm-glen-sather-getting-desperate-to-make-a-deal-or-three

    Eric Gelinas might have made Larsson expendable.

    Larsson is still only playing 3rd pairing.

    CF% of 54%

    62% with Gelinas and 48% away from Gelinas.

    Larsson is RH, Gelinas is LH.

    Gelinas is 6’4″ 210lbs – 22 years old

    Gelinas is 3rd on NJD in 5v5 TOI/gm

    Another rookie, but seemingly a pretty good one.

    Have no idea if he can pass. Anyone watch him much?

    Also,

    I’d do Gagner for Gardiner straight up in a heartbeat.

    Neither Gardiner or Gelinas are 1LD, but both would immediately be the best LHD on the Oilers I think.

    edit: Gelinas’s history of .5pt/gm in the AHL and about the same this year in the NHL suggests he can pass the puck well.

  61. rich says:

    Woodguy,

    Woodguy nails it and I agree. It’s not a fail to have to trade something to get something – and right now, the lack of a 1D / 2D is hurting this team as much as anything.

    I don’t believe Gagner can get you anything close to that, so that means either Yak, Eberle or our #1 in the 2014 draft are the things with the most currency. Continuing to wait for a 1D to develop (Nurse?) is bad on many levels. The only question at this point is what’s the timing for the trade, not if because this group can’t grow organically and you can’t wait 5 years for a #1D to develop.

    I would also suggest that in addition to a trade, if you are going to continue to say that the coach/GM need time (and I agree), something else needs to change – and it needs to start with the man at the very top. Mr. Six Rings has long since outlived his usefulness and needs to go. PDQ if for no other reason to appease a fanbase that’s growing apathetic.

    Also, if you’re going to defend the coach, then you need to give the coach everything he needs – including the latitude to name his own assistants. Steve Smith’s skillset does not appear to be coaching/developing defensemen and Bucky has been bulletproof for too long.

    The season is lost, you’re in danger of the fan base growing more apathetic, you’d better do something.

  62. jake70 says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    LT, I’ve developed an idea over the last few years regarding how people deal with issues when emotions are involved.They become binary thinkers – ie, only two positions on the issue are allowed, black or white, wonderful or awful, etc.Politics is full of this mess, especially when fear is involved: “Yer either with us or you’re with the terrists” (sic).Democrats and republicans have feasted on this for many generations.People in this mindset aren’t able to process nuanced information that might lead them to understanding the situation, probably because the tendency is to stay in the emotion and that requires the extreme thinking that polarizes the issue.The first thing these folks do when someone presents an analysis that isn’t black or white is to push that person’s argument to the other extreme and then argue that it’s wrong.Hence, you are an optimist.

    +1

    “only a sith deals in absolutes” ;-)

  63. Woodguy says:

    Just had a quick look at Gelinas and Gardiner’s WOWYs.

    Gardiner makes everyone better.

    Everyone.

    If the Oilers can grab him for Gagner, I think that’s a huge win.

    I’d then deal a 3rd to CAL for Backlund to be 2C until they can find a better one.

  64. justDOit says:

    #WoodguyforPOHO

    Anybody with me?

  65. flyfish1168 says:

    All players have some type of flaw in there game. I remember watching Wayne over the years, no one cheated for offense more than he did, that is why Jarri worked for Wayne. Jarri was always a little late but Wayne would find him for that one timer or Coffey skating in as the 4th attacker. What we need to find are those complimentary players that know how to play with these type of players.

  66. Woodguy says:

    theres oil in virginia: What do you think of the importance of getting a high percentage of shots toward net to be on net?I’ve noticed a few times, with the Oilers and other teams as well, that sometimes they barrage the opponent with shots toward net, but have a low percentage on-target.(I’m referring more to missed shots rather than blocked shots.)Also, do you think that lack of confidence, or the mindset that creeps in when things aren’t going well, can make guys try to pinpoint shots too often and result in too many missed shots?Do you think that happened to the Oilers in the 1st period last night?

    I think the OIlers shoot to score a lot and that means they are shooting at the corners and edges of the net, which will result in a lot of misses.

    They don’t go to the net well without the puck.

    Hard, low shot at the net with players there with their sticks on the ice would be superior to low percentage passes imo.

  67. Woodguy says:

    justDOit:
    #WoodguyforPOHO

    Anybody with me?

    POHO?

    I’m selling myself for sex or Vietnamese beef noodle soup?

  68. gcw_rocks says:

    Woodguy,

    Interesting, if Gagner is the carrot, are you more likely to get Larsson or Gelinas at this point?

  69. Woodguy says:

    cabbiesmacker: Science can’t explain the Oiler’s problems I don’t think.

    No 1st pariring D, no 2C, variable goaltending.

    Science!

  70. oilabroad says:

    LT,

    You mention alot that Eakins is a good young coach but what exactly have you seen that makes you so adamant about that? The team on paper is much better than last year, the kids are a year older and yet we are seeing what maybe some of the worst Oiler hockey in years…

    Why are you giving Eakins a pass other than the fact we have had a revolving door at the position for years??

  71. Woodguy says:

    gcw_rocks:
    Woodguy,

    Interesting, if Gagner is the carrot, are you more likely to get Larsson or Gelinas at this point?

    Not a clue.

    Larsson is RH and I like Petry and think J.Shultz has a bright future, so I go after Gelinas.

    I like Gardiner over Gelinas via WOWYs though.

    Seen Gardiner play some, never seen Gelinas, so grain of salt.

  72. Lowetide says:

    oilabroad:
    LT,

    You mention alot that Eakins is a good young coach but what exactly have you seen that makes you so adamant about that? The team on paper is much better than last year, the kids are a year older and yet we are seeing what maybe some of the worst Oiler hockey in years…

    Why are you giving Eakins a pass other than the fact we have had a revolving door at the position for years??

    It took awhile, but Eakins is making everyone accountable. We also have evidence the swarm was working and that the team came out of the gate winning shot differential. The same things that have conspired against the Oilers have Eakins wearing his ass for a hat.

    I don’t believe you change the coach. The Oilers have done it over and over again. I agree they should have kept Renney, but Quinn/Ralph weren’t good enough.

    Stay the course, help Eakins find a way.

  73. justDOit says:

    Woodguy: POHO?

    I’m selling myself for sex or Vietnamese beef noodle soup?

    Pres of hockey operations. Do you own any rings?

  74. Dee Dee says:

    Rookies that are drafted into the NHL are best of breed. They generally played on the best of the best youth teams and totally dominated their opposition, rarely learning the defensive side of the game.

    Oilers management took a giant crop of these guys and dropped them as a bunch into the NHL as their top lines and in effect, told them to sink or swim.

    You can’t change the past. Hopefully the Oilers will let their talent bubble up through the system and EARN their playing time on the NHL team once they have mastered the teams system or they are in danger of being perennially bad.

    So management rushed the rebuild. When the coaches failed at this impossible task they were simply replaced. But that does not get to the heart of the problem all it does is mask it.

    This team needs to learn how to place defense. Team Defense. This team needs to learn how to look after their own end of the rink FIRST.

    I don’t care if they have to revert to some god awful trap but the direction of this team has to be adjusted.

    All of the young players are doing it. They all bleed chances and are liabilities on the ice. Even the golden boy Hall. What use is a player that allows two scoring chances against for every chance they generate?

    Revert to a simple system.

    Reward the players that follow the plan

    Sit the players that don’t, or send them down.

    Create a foundation to start from, then start to look for ways to be more creative and dynamic in play.

    This is not a coaching problem, or a GMing problem or a Player problem. It’s a god damn total system meltdown that resulted in this mess. Pointing the finger at any single thing as the problem is not going to generate any difference at all.

  75. oliveoilers says:

    Consistency, eh? Just because I replaced my ’85 Dodge with a crappy new Neon doesn’t mean it was the right thing to do, or the right decision to keep it when it keeps breaking down. I look at the Oilers play and see players isolated all the time, not supported, incorrect lanes skated, incorrect set up in defence. That is all coach, baby, you generally don’t make it out of junior if you can’t do as the coach tells you. I have been posting for a while that DE is a sound bites guy that NEVER takes responsibility. And if he doesn’t, why should the players? Leaders lead. That’s the point.

  76. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy:
    Just had a quick look at Gelinas and Gardiner’s WOWYs.

    Gardiner makes everyone better.

    Everyone.

    If the Oilers can grab him for Gagner, I think that’s a huge win.

    I’d then deal a 3rd to CAL for Backlund to be 2C until they can find a better one.

    Been on that Gardiner train for some time now.

    Agreed.

    If this roster has to sell some youth to bolster the blueline, let them take it from the proverbial “bottom end” of that group.

    I’d amend that to a two-trade deal though – Gagner and Musil for Gardiner and a 2nd. Take the 2nd and flip it and a prospect to Florida for Matthias. It brings you two NHL bodies to address roster concerns, keeps the incoming within the age cluster, and shifts the roster closer to balance.

    Plus adding Gardiner builds in some insurance in case one or two of Marincin, Klefbom or Nurse don’t pan out – practically a given considering blueline development.

    I’d love Backlund, and four weeks ago a 2nd round pick or a prospect like Gernat might have been enough to get him. Now? Not so much. His play is coming on and Hartley likes his new sideburns. Plus Burke is competent.

    Kind of wish they’d been able to make a Smid for Backlund move, but my guess is Feaster wouldn’t have gotten the OK from higher up.

    Anyway, I agree on Gardiner and the need for an improved 2C. My hope is Matthias could become a player like Martin Hanzal, put him with good wingers and he doesn’t need to be an offensive force on his own.

  77. Woodguy says:

    justDOit: Pres of hockey operations. Do you own any rings?

    I’ve won as many cups as Lowe has since he stopped playing.

    So, I know a few things about winning, in case that’s ever a concern.

  78. flyfish1168 says:

    It was brought up during last evening telecast , the Blues is one of the shortest teams but they also are the 2nd heaviest in weight. Short heavy players with a low enter of gravity is a good thing.

  79. Factotum says:

    Lowetide: You see, I don’t see this as optimistic at all. They ARE going to trade Yakupov or Eberle imo, and that’s a fail.

    Since the very second they drafted Yakupov, I’ve believed that either he or Eberle would have to be traded. I don’t see it is a fail, but rather what you have to do to balance your roster.

  80. WeirsBeard says:

    So,
    If they add El Kabongo, Mike Johnson and Fernando Pisani is that enough?

    What happened to the little teams that could?

  81. Woodguy says:

    RexLibris: Been on that Gardiner train for some time now.

    Agreed.

    If this roster has to sell some youth to bolster the blueline, let them take it from the proverbial “bottom end” of that group.

    I’d amend that to a two-trade deal though – Gagner and Musil for Gardiner and a 2nd. Take the 2nd and flip it and a prospect to Florida for Matthias. It brings you two NHL bodies to address roster concerns, keeps the incoming within the age cluster, and shifts the roster closer to balance.

    Plus adding Gardiner builds in some insurance in case one or two of Marincin, Klefbom or Nurse don’t pan out – practically a given considering blueline development.

    I’d love Backlund, and four weeks ago a 2nd round pick or a prospect like Gernat might have been enough to get him. Now? Not so much. His play is coming on and Hartley likes his new sideburns. Plus Burke is competent.

    Kind of wish they’d been able to make a Smid for Backlund move, but my guess is Feaster wouldn’t have gotten the OK from higher up.

    Anyway, I agree on Gardiner and the need for an improved 2C. My hope is Matthias could become a player like Martin Hanzal, put him with good wingers and he doesn’t need to be an offensive force on his own.

    By all reports Backlund is available.

    I don’t follow the Flames closely, but it looks like you’re right.

    Backlund’s played over 20min/gm in the last 4 games.

    Damn.

  82. oliveoilers says:

    Just a thought at the back of my mind, could be totally wrong, but weren’t some of the Blues UFAs signed late that we said “nnnnah, pass” on? Morrow for one, I’m sure. Maybe Backes? Instead we trade for Perron, which was a winner, but it still seems that St Louis won, as they got back a 2nd, a solid prospect and cap space.

  83. Andy P says:

    Andy P: LT some of us gave this team 20 games, I subscribed to Stauffer’s comment and gave them 30 to settle in all around. This was initially rewarded with a good 10 game run, and now the collapse. I have put out repeated posts around the fact of the constant in the poor performance over the last few years being the assistant coaches. Who knows what might happen, because the tenure of the assistants forced on the last 2 good coaches, and perhaps the last 3, is now looking to be more important than the competitiveness of the team. As such Eakins is simply window dressing. I don’t think these forced assistants are a reflection on MacT either, he also inherited them. But I’m wondering why they are not seen as the constant in a field of variables, and why there is this deafening silence around them? Your comment on this situation would be appreciated, unless there is a protocol you have to follow that would prevent a frank discourse on this. And if you think I am barking up the wrong tree, please tell me so and why. I respect your opinion and would appreciate that. If it is because they are, as it seems, Lowe appointees that nobody dare touch then this team has not chance until Lowe is removed from his ability to interfere like this.

    Put it this way:
    If Edmonton and Calgary swapped rosters right now, I believe our ex-players would show dramatic improvement within 3-4 weeks. The ex-Calgary players would decline to the same degree over the same period, they would get blown out continually, as bad or worse than our players.
    We certainly could do with the 2C and 1D but we would also do a lot better if our players were not underperforming as they are, and I suggest that the Calgary team are over performing their level of talent.

  84. RexLibris says:

    On another note, Omark looks like he’s drawing in for 4th line duty against the Coyotes tonight.

    Linemates are Kevin Porter and Matt Ellis, according to http://www2.dailyfaceoff.com/teams/lines/16/buffalo-sabres/

    Not listed as being on either PP unit, yet.

  85. Lowetide says:

    Gagner for Gardiner? Done. I don’t see why Nonis does that deal, though.

  86. hoser313 says:

    There seems to be a lot of anger that the team should be doing better this year because the roster is “better” than last year. Is it? I honestly think it’s the same roster.

    Let’s look at the line-up changes.

    One veteran defensive D (Smid) replaced by another one (Ference). One big, slow puck-moving D (Whitney) replaced by another one (Belov). One useful checking centre (Horcoff) replaced by another one (Gordon). One useful 2/3 winger (Paajarvi) replaced by another one (Perron). One physical lower end Finnish winger (Harti) replaced by another one (Joensui).

    In fact, the only real changes were replacing a PK specialist (Petrell) with face punchers and replacing Khabi with Bryz. I’d say the jury is still out on both.

    It was insanity to set high expectations at the start of the year, given an unchanged roster.

    I’m now of the view the team should draft Ekblad and keep building.

  87. gcw_rocks says:

    One of the things I looked about Landers game last night was a willingness to go to the net. I was so surprised to see an oiler go hard to the net it really stood out.

  88. justDOit says:

    Lowetide:
    Gagner for Gardiner? Done. I don’t see why Nonis does that deal, though.

    Former 1st rounder? Hockey bloodlines? Good old Ontario boy? Help me out here…

  89. gcw_rocks says:

    Andy P,

    That’s the difference between a veteran coach and Eakins.

  90. vesci says:

    Lowetide: You see, I don’t see this as optimistic at all. They ARE going to trade Yakupov or Eberle imo, and that’s a fail.

    LT

    This is only a fail if they don’t get full value in an area of greater need. Taking Yak as the BPA was the right call even though they had a greater need at center or defense and if you can turn Yak into fair value at one of those greater positions of need then that is a win.

  91. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy: By all reports Backlund is available.

    I don’t follow the Flames closely, but it looks like you’re right.

    Backlund’s played over 20min/gm in the last 4 games.

    Damn.

    Yep.

    And I suspect Burke is going to offer Baertschi for Gardiner once the trade freeze comes off.

    Just my own thoughts rolling around in my head there, not substantiated in any way, but rumours are that Burke doesn’t like Baertschi as much as Feaster and Weisbrod did and Gardiner was one of Burke’s crown jewels in Toronto.

    Hence my anxious anticipation for the Oilers to make that move before Burke gets his old buddy Nonis to cut him a deal at cost.

  92. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Gagner for Gardiner? Done. I don’t see why Nonis does that deal, though.

    Neither do I.

    Many GMs run on player reputation and not reality though.

    I think we could say “why did he do that” for about 30% of the NHL trades.

    Maybe more.

  93. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide:
    Gagner for Gardiner? Done. I don’t see why Nonis does that deal, though.

    You’re working off of Toronto needing top six forwards and especially centers. Also some hope that they ignore his stats and like his toughness and dream big about how he’ll mesh with Kessel.

    Think “O’Sullivan for E. Cole? Done. But I don’t see why Lowe makes that deal.” Sometimes we have to hope that the guy on the other end of the phone has a different perspective on things than we do. Also, I think adding a blueline prospect makes Nonis think he’s winning the deal.

  94. sliderule says:

    It’s going to take more than a no 1 d and another centre to bring the oil out of the wilderness.

    You name them Latsen,Schultz squared,Ference,and Larsen and they can’t move anybody from in front of net or pin a forward against the wall.Go back and look at Lucic standing unmolested right in front of our goalie while Bruins throw one in from point.

    Then you look at oiler Pp and when our forwards occasionally wander in front they are moved out post haste.
    The oil need to add at least two new defenders and hope that Marcinin ,Nurse or Klefbom can push up into top four.
    Then they have to hope they can draft Reinhart or Draisaitl.
    Then Stanley.lol

  95. jfry says:

    i don’t know if anyone else is getting a bit tired of advanced stats?

    at first i really enjoyed it because there was a lot of learning, then i realized that the stats are so young and the interpretations, novice. And there’s not enough historical data to really figure out how to make all the stats “work together” to help give us a definite view of “improvement”

    To me, the “chances for” and “corsi” improvement is a bit like comparing it to golf stats which are completely separate from success. Right now “we’re hitting more fairways” and “hitting more greens” but we’re not scoring better. Frankly, we’re at our lowest point in the standings at this time of year, with a better team.

    To say that this coach is changing old habits just doesn’t fit with what we see — an empty slot with prime location shots, horrible break out, distrust in the russian and general malaise in player interviews.

    Eakins has been gifted the best oiler’s team in years, is doing the worst (in the one important stat, wins) and we’re supposed to be content with his performance because he has the unenviable task of “re-learning” this squad?

    i don’t know. i used to have a flying elbow when i was little playing golf because it was an easy way (as a little kid) to generate more momentum and hit the ball further. then my coach decided that since the flying elbow isn’t “proper” we should re -learn me to keep it in tight and worry about plane. i started hitting the ball shorter and playing worse — but i was conventional, so there’s that.

    ___________________

    i’ll believe the re-learning narrative once we’re not being shut out in our own barn every second game, once the PP, which has been amazing the last two years, starts to resemble that again. once we have yak not playing with knukle draggers, and once our mgt and coach start learning to motivate with positive language (i feel bad for dubnyk’s anxiety filled summer after macTs first press conference).

    ___________________

    this “team concept” is fractured in a way i haven’t seen in a long time. our strength, offense, is non-existent. to say that we’re getting better in minute advanced stats is fine, but this isn’t a better team, and it’s arguable that this is the worst coached team in three years, regardless of what the hopeful statistic outliers are saying.

    going back to godot’s constant comment, “who has improved this year?” … a ton of players did last year.

  96. Hammers says:

    Woodguy: I have some high hopes for MacT.

    He’s coming into a mess where the only NHL player on the roster that was acquired in the last 4 years is Nick Shultz, and he was acquired for Gilbert, who is superior.

    I don’t think MacT is perfect.The near miss with Clarkson, the Ference contract and betting on non-NHL Dmen when Gilbert and Hainsey were signing PTOs are fails imo.

    Lowe has destroyed the depth of the organization by letting Tambo gut the organization of any Actual NHLers.

    Think about that.

    4 years in charge and the only NHLer Tambo acquired was Nick Shultz, and he cost you Gilbert.

    That’s horrifically bad and Lowe should be fired for letting it happen.

    I was saying this when Tambo was still here . LOWE made the biggest mistake hiring him when he had been overlooked twice in Vancouver . It’s Lowe’s single biggest mistake .

  97. Woodguy says:

    Brooks also said Pacioretty was available (for some unknown reason)

    Big, strong RW who can score.

    I wonder if MacT trades Yak for him?

    5 more years at $4.5MM is very, very attractive for him.

    I wonder if Brooks has that right.

    Thtat’s a hell of a contract for Pacioretty.

    I’d consider trading Yak for him.

  98. gcw_rocks says:

    Woodguy,

    The problem with going after Gardiner is cap space. The Leafs are going to be up against it this summer if the re-sign Dion. They will be looking for value contracts.

  99. boxman says:

    What i would love to see is every ticket holder show up and then get up at the start of the first period and head to the concession area for the entire first period. I think it would send an extremely strong message and the protest would get great coverage. Hell maybe even Katz would notice. Naw, probably doesn’t care.

  100. fifthcartel says:

    I think they move Yakupov for sure, but they can’t have the main piece being another winger. They have to have some sort of centre/defense coming back in return, and fill out the RW spot through another trade/FA.

  101. Factotum says:

    MacT’s first instinct was probably the right one, which was to find a strong systems coach to be associate to Krueger. For continuity’s sake, but also because RK seemed to be able to relate well to and motivate young players. I’m a fan of Eakins, but the last thing the team needed was yet another head coaching change – as MacT himself acknowledged at his opening presser.

    All water under the bridge now, of course, but in terms of wins and losses this team is tracking worse than Pat Quinn’s.

    It’s brown paper bag time.

    There are 29 other teams in the National Hockey League. I’m sure one of them would be worth following for the rest of this season. Take last night’s visitors for example. It wouldn’t hurt my feelings at all to see the Blues finally win one.

  102. TheOtherJohn says:

    Lowetide: I noticed you’ve used Fen Close instead of Tyler’s metric (Corsi %). I’m wondering if there was a reason? Not that it makes a huge difference, but apples to apples and all that.

    Apologies

    Wrote comment on Ipad had to open separate window to get total games by oilers against EC teams. Came back and comments section was empty. Re typed message in a hurry. Used wrong reference to Tyler’s tweet.

  103. G Money says:

    I think me an’ Andropod are off on our own little island on this, but this one is a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned: FIRE SMITH AND BUCKY.

    - They are constants over the losing years. They need to go before you can even dream of firing Eakins

    - When you are this far under this late in the season, you HAVE to make a change. A trade is needed but not necessarily easy. Getting two experienced NHL assistant coaches is both obvious and relatively easy*.

    - Even if you convinced me that the two of them are good on-ice coaches (and I don’t believe it), in the same way that the players are having a tough time adapting to following a system, I don’t believe for a second that they can be teaching their third different system in three years and be effective at it. Not a chance.

    SMITH AND BUCKY MUST GO.

    *Actually, given the clusterfuck that is the Oilers, it may not be that easy to hire an assistant coach or two. Who would want to work here?

    On a final less gloomy note, I will (completely unneeded) come to the defense of LT’s “things are getting better” post. There is a reason to believe that.

    There have been games and periods where this team has played the system and matched or even overmatched some very good teams. But it’s a team that has a long history of bad habits and is extremely fragile. As soon as the system doesn’t produce early results, or if a bad bounce goes against them – they abandon the system and go back to old lazy freewheeling habits. Meanwhile their opponents stay disciplined and intense and soon snow the youngsters under.

    But the good team is there at times. You have to squint really hard (at the games, at the record, at the fancy stats) to find it, but LT’s point is: you CAN occasionally see it, and that gives a tiny reason for optimism.

    This is contrasted with the team last year, which was bad from start to finish (game and season), and was saved only by Dubnyk’s goaltending and Hall’s beastliness – and it should be pointed out that was in large measure simply because Hall and co. DID NOT play RK’s system.

    They did their own thing and had some success at it individually, even as the rest of the team imploded around them.

    I don’t doubt that RK did not hold them accountable for it.

    I think Eakins IS holding them accountable (in his own strange anti-Yak way), and the early results ain’t pretty – but they’re necessary and the message will eventually sink in.

  104. oliveoilers says:

    jfry,

    Have lots of props for Xmas! I fully concur with this post.

  105. WeirsBeard says:

    To all those saying trade Yak, how do you do this when you don’t know what he is yet? At least if you consider moving Eberle, you know what he is now. That said, I would rather not trade either one. I’m in favour of adding Grier/Marchant/Moreaus and I don’t think it would cost anything of significance.

  106. G Money says:

    jfry: going back to godot’s constant comment, “who has improved this year?” … a ton of players did last year.

    This is flat out wrong. The entire team fell off a cliff last year EXCEPT for Hall and Dubnyk.

    Last year’s team was awful.

    If you want a comparable where the team and players actually improved year on year, you have to go back to Renney’s second year. That happened to be the second year of having the same coach. Coincidence? I think not.

    The mistake was not firing Krueger or hiring Eakins. It was firing Renney.

  107. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    At the end of a 6 game losing skid you get throttled 6-0 in your home arena on hockey’s pre-eminent stage (HNIC) whilst tumbling to the absolute bottom of the standings. An absolute bag over the head, kick in the junk. The pinnacle of futility (ok….we may yet find another peak…because Oilers). Has any president of professional sport ever survived anything like this? Imagine Ed Snider enduring this…..

    What’s most disconcerting is the increasing vacuum of fan outrage. Apathy and disillusionment. I marvel that Katz can stomach this. Life at his holiday cocktail parties must bite big time. Red cheeked shame.

    Sorry for the outburst, but I just needed a release and reset as I know I have a lot more hockey games to bite down on the stick and find my calm centre.

  108. Hammers says:

    Lowetide:
    Gagner for Gardiner? Done. I don’t see why Nonis does that deal, though.

    Because Gags isn’t enough . Maybe Gags & Klefbom for Gardiner & Kulimen. We won’t totally win any trades right now .

  109. Lowetide says:

    TheOtherJohn: Apologies

    Wrote comment on Ipadhad to open separate window to get total games by oilers against EC teams. Came back and comments section was empty. Re typed message in a hurry. Used wrong reference to Tyler’s tweet.

    No worries, wasn’t directed at you.

  110. cabbiesmacker says:

    Woodguy: No 1st pariring D, no 2C, variable goaltending.

    Science!

    OK Thomas Dolby.

    More like common sense….but Oilers.

  111. SoCaloil says:

    There’s a bout of low confidence in the forwards. Notice how long it takes them to get the puck of the stick. They’re trying to settle it and in the meantime the Elliot gets across.
    Fire it boys. Off the stick quick. That’s easily fixable by coaching

  112. cabbiesmacker says:

    Hammers: Because Gags isn’t enough . Maybe Gags & Klefbom for Gardiner & Kulimen. We won’t totally win any trades right now .

    Kulemin is a bum. Getting him would just be adding more tinder and fluff to this fire. Aim higher.

  113. Andy P says:

    boxman: What i would love to see is every ticket holder show up and then get up at the start of the first period and head to the concession area for the entire first period. I think it would send an extremely strong message and the protest would get great coverage. Hell maybe even Katz would notice. Naw, probably doesn’t care.

    Perhaps stay until they start playing stupid then leave en mass for the rest of the game. Do it if we get another HNIC so it’s in front of a national audience.

  114. DBO says:

    Lowetide,

    Gagner for Gardiner actually makes sense for both. Remember, Toronto is also realing somewhat and they need offense. Gagner is a local kid, is young and fits their core, and could be a fit with Kessel. And with the cap going up, he is signed to a reasonable number.

    When making deals you target teams who may be desperate. We are also desperate, but Toronto may be one of our best fits since they need to shake it up as well. Gardiner with his old D partner Schultz could be a huge boost. He is still young, and has proven nothing, so he is no savior. But he could be an upgrade,and is NHL ready right now.

    While everyone is looking for D, they are also looking for young offensive centres, so it’s not like Gagner has zero value.

    Gagner and Schultz Sr, prospect
    for
    Gardiner and Kulemin.

  115. Hammers says:

    cabbiesmacker: Kulemin is a bum. Getting him would just be adding more tinder and fluff to this fire. Aim higher.

    It’s not a matter of aiming higher it’s what the worth is . Hell if McT got Gardiner for Gags it would be a steal .

  116. G Money says:

    OK gang, I’m packing the family into the car as we are about to head on up to the Big E. Maybe I’ll see some of you locals (without recognizing you) while up there.

    Not sure when I’ll post next, so

    Merry Christmas!

  117. jfry says:

    G Money,

    um..hall went supernova. yak could have been rookie of the year. dubnyk had his best year. MPS improved enough that he had trade value….that’s just off the top of my head in a shortened lock out season full of adversity and a western conference schedule.

    who has improved this year? i can’t think of a single player on the squad where we can definitely say, “great year over year improvement that increases his value to team or trade.”

    so, by my “not looking over the roster” count, that’s 4-0 in favour of last year.

    seriously, the only “feel good” story about this team is arco. but i’ve also enjoyed seeing all the jpegs of bryzy in his astronaut uniform too :)

  118. Hammers says:

    Maybe we should look at this from another point of view . Not what we get back but who needs to go . Last year McT dumped how many? about 13 players . For me no matter what he gets back the following should be gone if for no other reason that they have been here to long . Smyth ; Hemsky ; Jones ; Gags ; N.Schultz ; Petry ; Larsen ; Potter . That’s 8 players who also deserve another shot elsewhere plus about $ 20 mil in cap space . 3 of them should get players back and the other 5 draft picks . I say this not because I hate the above players but to change the culture in the room and on the ice .

  119. VOR says:

    My problem with much of what is said about the Oilers is that it seems to be fuelled by the idea that all of the Oilers prospects are shit, or too far away to help before we all lose our minds. Neither of these positions are sound.

    We definitely need better bottom six forwards but next year there is real hope for at least two of the prospects LT talked about here ably filling roles/holes on the bottom six. Lets just say Moroz and Chase for arguments sake.

    Meanwhile we lament the lack of a 1D or 2D or some D while we have not one but two (Nurse, Marincin) D prospects who are tracking towards starring roles in the NHL.

    I know, everyone’s first thought is they are years away. All I can say in response is consider this -

    19 years old – junior A 51 games played 11 27 38
    20 years old – CHL 65 games played 3 15 18
    21 years old – AHL 57 games played 8 30 38
    22 years old – NHL 78 15 29 44 – Stanley Cup as 2D (to one of the most eccentric 1D who ever played.)

    He’d go on to win another cup at 24 as the 1D, then 4 more as a 3D, possibly the greatest 3D of all time. As far as I know Guy Lapointe is the only player who actually can claim Stanley Cup wins as 1D, 2D, and 3D. But he didn’t exactly announce his arrival with trumpets. But there he is at 22 out on the ice with J.C. Tremblay – now did that guy look like a stud 1D – on his way to the first of 6 cups?

    Marincin, is following a very similar career track, to Lapointe. In fact, many D arrive as the real thing at 22 or 23. They seldom scream, “hey just you wait”. I have seen Marincin play a couple of times this year and he still makes mistakes but he also creates enormous opportunities. The mistakes are getting less as the OKC season wears on. It was learning to limit the mistakes that slowed Lapointe’s journey to the NHL. Once he figured it out, wow!

    Nurse, size aside, reminds me of Lapointe. Rock solid defence, tough as nails, can move the puck. As a pro he will take on the toughs and outplay. Yes, he probably won’t play big minutes for the Oilers for 3 years but he is tracking to have those minutes count when he does arrive. Yet we are screaming for a veteran D right now.

    If the Oilers were to get a 1D, lets imagine they can do it without selling both the present and the future, the best he could do this year is lift the Oilers up far enough for the odds of drafting a great player to fall significantly. Next year he could well be blocking the emergence of some of our prospects or be displaced by one and thus be too expensive for his role and we all know how Oilers fans feel about that.

    What if your veteran stud D lifts us to say 7th OV in the draft instead of 1-6? D taken 1-6 have stepped right into the NHL and played 1D at 18 or 19 and played it well. It has happened over and over again. So you get veteran D and lose a chance at Larry Murphy at 18 or Ray Bourque at 19. There is nobody we could trade for or acquire in free agency who would be worth losing a shot at one of those guys. Nobody. Aaron Ekblad might anchor the Oilers D next year or the year after and for a decade to come.

    Let me ask it this way – is there any Veteran D out there you would take over Drew Doughty?

    Well what you are saying is lets toss away Drew Doughty because we are impatient and tired of losing. I can’t see that being a good move. I didn’t want to watch another losing season but given we are lets maximize the return. Just say no to veteran D.

  120. Henry says:

    G Money: This is flat out wrong.The entire team fell off a cliff last year EXCEPT for Hall and Dubnyk.

    Last year’s team was awful.

    If you want a comparable where the team and players actually improved year on year, you have to go back to Renney’s second year.That happened to be the second year of having the same coach.Coincidence? I think not.

    The mistake was not firing Krueger or hiring Eakins.It was firing Renney.

    I think you are right. Renney with Krueger running the special teams would have this roster rolling. The mistake was keeping Tambi and losing Renney especially the awful, indecisive two month method employed to fire him.

  121. Woodguy says:

    gcw_rocks:
    Woodguy,

    The problem with going after Gardiner is cap space. The Leafs are going to be up against it this summer if the re-sign Dion.They will be looking for value contracts.

    I’m not sure about that.

    Cap next year is $71MM by all accounts.

    If Dion signs for $7MM then they have $21MM to spend on 10 players and all their key players would be under contract except Bolland and Kulimen.

    Add Gagner and they have $16MM for 9 players, but all expensive positions are locked up.

    I think they sign Bolland and let Kulimen walk.

  122. Woodguy says:

    Hammers: I was saying this when Tambo was still here . LOWE made the biggest mistake hiring him when he had been overlooked twice in Vancouver . It’s Lowe’s single biggest mistake .

    Read the threads here during Tambo’s rein.

    He was not a favorite of this forum.

  123. edoil1 says:

    godot10,

    Lowe should coach?He’s the one that signed off on and got rid of the above mentioned talent ,I blame Mct for about 10% of this mess.Coach? what,Lowe coached 1 year himself before Glen Sather handed him the GM position before he headed to make New York unacheivers,Sorry but Lowe walked into this situation without paying dues on any level other then to be the 6th or 7th best player on a dynasty.And it shows.As for team Canada and the win’s in 2002.2010,lets be honest, it’s the coach’s and players that win these tournaments,anybody can pick an allstar team out of 300 Canadian players and stand back and take credit,example Tambo,There is not only a few mistakes and poor decisions done by this group, there are hundreds.

  124. Woodguy says:

    jfry,

    Fancy stats correlations are derived from over 10,000 games and 2,000,000 shot attempts.

    They don’t predict the winner of each game, but do a very good job prediction who will win in the long run.

    Not liking fancy stats because they cannot predict the short term is like saying insurance actuary tables are invalid because they cannot predict the actual day you will die.

  125. Woodguy says:

    cabbiesmacker: Kulemin is a bum. Getting him would just be adding more tinder and fluff to this fire. Aim higher.

    Kulimen’s a very good 3LW.

    That’s one of the open spots on this team and they would do very well to fill it with him.

  126. sliderule says:

    I just don’t get the Gardiner love.

    The oil defence averages 197 lbs.

    St. Louis 210 kings 214 Hawks and Canucks around 204 each

    Gardiner is a tall string bean at only 185 lbs.If he was to replace Schultz junior Ok

    There is a reason why the oil can’t win a puck battle or move someone in front of net they have too many small light defenceman.

    Adding Gardiner at the cost of Gagner would bite them in the ass.

  127. Lowetide says:

    sliderule:
    I just don’t get the Gardiner love.

    The oil defence averages197 lbs.

    St. Louis210kings 214Hawks and Canucks around 204 each

    Gardiner is a tall string beanat only 185 lbs.If he was to replace Schultz junior Ok

    There is a reason whythe oil can’t win a puck battle or move someone in front of net they have too many small light defenceman.

    Adding Gardiner at the costof Gagner would bite them in the ass.

    I don’t understand why we’re so focused on actual weight all of a sudden. Kevin Lowe was the toughest defenseman of the BOB era, everyone agree? Did he weigh more than Beukeboom? Jackson?

  128. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy: Kulimen’s a very good 3LW.

    That’s one of the open spots on this team and they would do very well to fill it with him.

    As DBO noted above, and I believe it was VanOil who first posited this series of moves:

    Gagner, N. Schultz and a prospect (let’s call him Musil) for Gardiner and Kulemin. Not meaning to out words in VO’s mouth but I think he also mentioned getting a 2nd in the deal which could then be flipped to Tallon for Matthias, likely including another prospect in the range of Pitlick, perhaps.

    This means the Oilers lose one 2C/2W and a 6th defenseman for a 2nd pairing defenseman with potential to become a 1st pairing, a 3LW and a center that slots in either at 2C or 3C.

    That’s two NHL (some might say one and a half based on N. Schultz’s gradual demotion down the roster) players for three and it addresses some areas of pressing need, namely defense, size and forward depth.

  129. Woodguy says:

    VOR,

    I love how every D that is slated to be the first pick in the draft is the next …… *insert name here*

    In this case its Doughty.

    Remember when Hedman was the next Progner? Massive hype around Hedman. 5 years since his draft year and he’s finally doing well at 1st pairing minutes.

    5 years is a reasonable timeline.

    Remember when Larsson was debated at 1st overall?

    3 years in and struggling at 3rd pairing minutes. Which is fine, he’s still a kid.

    Remember all the hype around Fowler?

    Slid down to ANA for idiotic reasons, but now in his 4th year playing 1st pairing minutes well.

    Hell of a player.

    Remember Eric Johnson? 1st overall, next Pronger for sure. 6 years later and he’s not quite what everyone thought he would be. That’s ok. It happens.

    Remember Bogosian? The Ekblad hype reminds me most of the Bogo hype. “Already Mature” “Big Body” “A man” 5 years later he’s just getting it.

    Should we speak about Jack Johnson was was “the complete package” coming into the NHL and drafted 3rd overall?

    You can point out LaPointe who played on probably one of the best teams of all time. He has Savard, Trembly and Laparierre there to help out.

    You can point out Drew Doughty, the first 18 year old Dman to make an immediate impact at a high level since Bowmeester (who’s impact is debate-able)

    Ekblad might be great.

    Recent history shows us that if he is one of the best and everyone is right, and he doesn’t get injured, and he progresses like we hope, then maybe he’s a 1st pairing in 4-5 years.

    4-5 years.

  130. sliderule says:

    Lowetide,

    With a well conditioned hockey player you have to equate weight with strength.

    I see our light defenders being unable to pin in the corners or control the crease.

    Schulz jr doesn’t even try anymore he just tries to stay in front in the corners and in the crease area stick check.

    A couple of games ago I saw Larsen go hard in the corner and just get knocked on his prat so easy it could make you cry.Perfect technique just not enough strength and mass.

    You can have one or maybe two of those types but the other D have to be big and heavy enough to move people.

  131. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy:
    VOR,

    I love how every D that is slated to be the first pick in the draft is the next …… *insert name here*

    In this case its Doughty.

    Remember when Hedman was the next Progner?Massive hype around Hedman.5 years since his draft year and he’s finally doing well at 1st pairing minutes.

    5 years is a reasonable timeline.

    Remember when Larsson was debated at 1st overall?

    3 years in and struggling at 3rd pairing minutes.Which is fine, he’s still a kid.

    Remember all the hype around Fowler?

    Slid down to ANA for idiotic reasons, but now in his 4th year playing 1st pairing minutes well.

    Hell of a player.

    Remember Eric Johnson?1st overall, next Pronger for sure.6 years later and he’s not quite what everyone thought he would be.That’s ok.It happens.

    Remember Bogosian?The Ekblad hype reminds me most of the Bogo hype.“Already Mature” “Big Body” “A man”5 years later he’s just getting it.

    Should we speak about Jack Johnson was was “the complete package” coming into the NHL and drafted 3rd overall?

    You can point out LaPointe who played on probably one of the best teams of all time.He has Savard, Trembly and Laparierre there to help out.

    You can point out Drew Doughty, the first 18 year old Dman to make an immediate impact at a high level since Bowmeester (who’s impact is debate-able)

    Ekblad might be great.

    Recent history shows us that if he is one of the best and everyone is right, and he doesn’t get injured, and he progresses like we hope, then maybe he’s a 1st pairing in 4-5 years.

    4-5 years.

    Acting as Rom’s proxy for the time being…

    …ahem…

    DRAISAITL!

    Thank you.

    *bows and walks off stage*

    ——–

    Seriously though, I’m nervous about blueliners that high up as well. There aren’t many in this year’s draft. I think this is playing into my desire to trade for Gardiner. It cuts the timetable a bit, even if he might not turn out to be as strong a player, and insures the club against a draft bust they can’t afford to wait on.

    So if Lamoriello comes calling for that pick at say 2nd overall, do you try to make a deal?

  132. sliderule says:

    Woodguy,

    I totally agree taking a defender were the oil will be picking is dicey.

    Reinhart and Drasaitl hopefully will show how good they are at WJC.

    The way the oil are going they could have their choice of the two.

  133. bookje says:

    Henry: I think you are right.Renney with Krueger running the special teams would have this roster rolling.The mistake was keeping Tambi and losing Renney especially the awful, indecisive two month method employed to fire him.

    He doesn’t use Skype so it was hard.

  134. SpotTheLoon says:

    Oh the Oilers team is frightful
    & their fans are feeling spiteful
    so where should all the blame go?
    Katz & Lowe, Latz & Lowe, Katz & Lowe

    Adapted from twitter post James Mirtle and Adam Proteau

  135. Woodguy says:

    sliderule:
    Woodguy,

    I totally agree taking a defender were the oil will be pickingis dicey.

    Reinhart and Drasaitlhopefully will show how good they are at WJC.

    The way the oil are going they could have their choice of the two.

    Two bigger C’s who can score.

    Oilers could certainly use that.

  136. Woodguy says:

    SpotTheLoon:
    Oh the Oilers team is frightful
    & their fans are feeling spiteful
    so where should all the blame go?
    Katz & Lowe, Latz & Lowe, Katz & Lowe

    You should give credit where its due.

    James Mirtle posted that on twitter.

  137. rickithebear says:

    Lt:
    The most spiritually uplifting analysis of this team in along time.
    We have 2 of the top 10 scoring LW.
    One of the 5 best scoring RW.
    A college fa center who,s stats say Bergeron.
    A center top 15 in production.
    Three of these forwards our best PK forwards
    One strong box dman.
    Three strong bowman forward pairs.
    We need 3 skilled mean as ……. Forwards for those pairs.

    You know my 5 dmen I would like!
    All would come on th cheap.

  138. SpotTheLoon says:

    Woodguy,

    Done. I hit post before adding that.

  139. Woodguy says:

    SpotTheLoon:
    Woodguy,

    Done.I hit post before adding that.

    Well done sir.

  140. Woodguy says:

    rickithebear:
    Lt:
    The most spiritually uplifting analysis of this team in along time.
    We have 2 of the top 10 scoring LW.
    One of the 5 best scoring RW.
    A college fa center who,s stats say Bergeron.
    A centertop 15 in production.
    Three of these forwards our best PK forwards
    One strong box dman.
    Three strong bowman forward pairs.
    We need 3 skilled mean as ……. Forwards for those pairs.

    You know my 5 dmen I would like!
    All would come on th cheap.

    FISTRIC!!!!

  141. jfry says:

    Woodguy,

    that’s where we completely disagree. I guess what i’m saying about fancy stats is that they’re so young, we don’t know how to effectively analyze the data in the grand scheme. I’ve been coming here since LT started the blog and we’ve seen a massive change in what we believe is an indicator and how we interpret meaningful stats. fenwick wasn’t a discussion point 3 years ago. now it’s the most important indicator.

    I’ve enjoyed watching the stats grow, but I think we’re still in the infancy with this and to make bold statements about certain stats relevance with only 2-3 years of data is folly. right now, i’m enjoying watching people spearhead the movement and in 15 years we’re going to talk about them with revereance and about how they changed the way that we think about the game and what areas of concentration are really important. BUT, I really don’t think we have the ball of yarn figured out in such a manner as to say definitely that we’re able to analyze a complete body of work with these stats. we’re in our first year of having an “abstract” and as much as we all want it to be 20 years into this, we’re not.

    there’s still so much learning to be done with these stats. there’s still a lot of throw away with these stats. for instance, in the last 18 months, we’ve seen corsi be thrown around from corsi, to being a possession stat, to only being an offensive possession stat, to being outweighed by fenwick. like any ideology or technology, we’re still in beta.

    I know you bet a lot on games, as I do. most of my betting comes from basic things that have been around forever, like home or away games, back to backs, injuries, etc.

    I love that we’re breaking new ground, but having watched all the interpretations of these new stats change, ebb and flow over a 5 year period, I think it’s folly to say that we know what they are and how to definitely interpret them.

    i’ll never agree that corsi is a decent indicator of a possession stat and we’re going to disagree on that.

  142. Lowetide says:

    I love the idea of Draisaitl and Ekblad, but you have a chance at ANOTHER Nuge. Reinhart all day.

    ALL day.

  143. jfry says:

    Woodguy: statements

    it’s actually nothing like your example of insurance. that’s a colourful metaphor though. what i’m suggesting is that we don’t even know what factors add up to a decent insurance policy at this point, let alone something that can predict lifespan.

    Anaheim was supposed to come back to the curve this year, right? according to the abstract, NJ was supposed to be a top five team. we have all this great data and still all the strong minds are saying 38% is luck. that’s 12% from being a coin flip.

  144. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy:
    jfry,

    Fancy stats correlations are derived from over 10,000 games and 2,000,000 shot attempts.

    They don’t predict the winner of each game, but do a very good job prediction who will win in the long run.

    Not liking fancy stats because they cannot predict the short term is like saying insurance actuary tables are invalid because they cannot predict the actual day you will die.

    ^^^This^^^^

    My one caution would be that actuarial tables for hockey are still immature. E.g. If The Swarm prevents 2 or 3 shot attempts but then allows a 10-foot slapshot from Joffrey Lupul with nobody around him, that’s maybe an indicator of a “high risk lifestyle” that still might not predict the day you die, but it’s apt to be a whole lot sooner than average.

  145. jb says:

    jfry:
    i don’t know if anyone else is getting a bit tired of advanced stats?

    Agree 100%, I feel like smart people sound stupid while talking about the impact of Corsi and other most other “advanced stats”.

    It’s time for super advanced Corsi 2.0, bust out the stop watch and take down some real possession numbers… even Canuck trolls know this.

  146. Woodguy says:

    jfry,

    and to make bold statements about certain stats relevance with only 2-3 years of data is folly.

    The data set goes back to 06/07, its not 2-3 years.

    All the data since the NHL started publishing the pbp stuff in 06. That’s were all the data comes from.

    there’s still so much learning to be done with these stats. there’s still a lot of throw away with these stats. for instance, in the last 18 months, we’ve seen corsi be thrown around from corsi, to being a possession stat, to only being an offensive possession stat, to being outweighed by fenwick. like any ideology or technology, we’re still in beta.

    Yes and no.

    The people on the front end of this stuff like Tyler, Eric, etc have usually been in agreement.

    The thing now is to figure out the components that result in the corsi/fenwick scores that we observe.

    Agreed that its early, but you’re characterizing it incorrectly imo

    Some people (including myself) mis use the data from time to time (some all of the time)

    Doesn’t mean the data is wrong or doesn’t tell us anything.

  147. jfry says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    so, where is corsi, or fenwick or anything, explaining this to me? I get that we all want to push these stats and make wild claims about what they allow us to know, but your last paragraph actually explains the issues with them. they require interpretation and explanation at this point from a person who believes they understand the base data (of which bloggers have to create!!!).

    nothing about fenwick or corsi is telling me that lupul is open in the slot, consistently for high quality scoring chances. we’ll get there. the heat mapping that’s coming out and the shot tracking is changing things, but the stats don’t paint a full picture yet, unless we’re accepting these ridiculous metaphors.

  148. Woodguy says:

    jb: Agree 100%, I feel like smart people sound stupid while talking about the impact of Corsi and other most other “advanced stats”.

    It’s time for super advanced Corsi 2.0, bust out the stop watch and take down some real possession numbers… even Canuck trolls know this.

    People have done the stop watch thing.

    Results are extremely close to what the pbp data spits out.

    When you have a very good proxy for something, you don’t need to do the something.

    My biggest complaint about these types of posts is that its assumed that no one has done things to triple check the data.

    The number of checks, re-checks, different regressions on the same sets of data etc. are being done all the time.

  149. Woodguy says:

    jfry: it’s actually nothing like your example of insurance. that’s a colourful metaphor though. what i’m suggesting is that we don’t even know what factors add up to a decent insurance policy at this point, let alone something that can predict lifespan.

    Anaheim was supposed to come back to the curve this year, right? according to the abstract, NJ was supposed to be a top five team.we have all this great data and still all the strong minds are saying 38% is luck. that’s 12% from being a coin flip.

    No amount of analysis can take out the random factors in sports.

    Luck exists and is huge in small samples (1 game, 1 shift, 1 shot)

    Not liking that a significant amount of result is driven by luck doesn’t make it wrong.

    BTW,

    Fenclose Home + goaltending of the home team – Fenclose Road + goaltending of the road team has been spitting out some nice results in terms of betting.

    Finding the lines that are the most unbalanced is the key.

  150. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Re: Oilers fancy stats vs. East. Chew on this: record vs. divisions. 10 Western teams have a >.500 record vs both Eastern divisions. San Jose is .500 vs Met. Calgary has a losing record vs Atlantic, Nashville vs Met. Oilers have a losing record vs. BOTH. Their 11 regulation losses vs East compare poorly to the 22 reg losses racked up by other 6 Pacific Division teams combined. They totally hooped their season with their miserable record vs the league’s by far weaker conference in the opening couple of months.

    Whatever the fancy stats may say about Oilers’ “improved” play in that group of games, they have won 7 of 19. Which is admittedly better than the 4 wins they’ve managed in a like number of games vs the West, but it still sucks AND blows.

  151. Woodguy says:

    jfry,

    Anaheim was supposed to come back to the curve this year, right? according to the abstract, NJ was supposed to be a top five team. we have all this great data and still all the strong minds are saying 38% is luck. that’s 12% from being a coin flip.

    Anaheim and NJD are both still interesting.

    13th in Fenclose in the league and riding a 1039 PDO.

    Their results still outstripping the numbers. Getzlaf shooting 21% and Bonino shooting 15% leading that charge.

    Not as outrageous as last year, but still on the far right side of the bell curve.

    NJD 7th in NHL at Fenclose (5th last year) but saddled with a 959 PDO.

    Low shooting % and awful .895 goaltending the problem again.

    If they could figure out not to play Brodeur they’d make the playoffs.

    They currently hold the last wildcard spot in the East and I think they make it.

  152. jfry says:

    wg wrote,

    BTW,

    Fenclose Home + goaltending of the home team – Fenclose Road + goaltending of the road team has been spitting out some nice results in terms of betting.

    Finding the lines that are the most unbalanced is the key.

    ——————————

    thanks, i’ll put this into the rotation and see how it works. always looking for better results.

  153. Woodguy says:

    jb: Agree 100%, I feel like smart people sound stupid while talking about the impact of Corsi and other most other “advanced stats”.

    It’s time for super advanced Corsi 2.0, bust out the stop watch and take down some real possession numbers… even Canuck trolls know this.

    Here, read this: http://www.sbnation.com/nhl/2013/11/21/5096220/nhl-stats-advanced-idiots-criticism

    Make sure to read everything that Eric links to in the post.

  154. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy:

    If they could figure out not to play Brodeur they’d make the playoffs.

    Mine is a minority (of one?) opinion, but I believe that New Jersey’s consistent superiority in shot differential during Brodeur’s entire two decades there is not a random coincidence. Parsing this goalie by Sv% alone is dangerously incomplete.

    That said he’s obviously nearing the end of the line. Reminds me of the end-of-career Greg Maddux.

  155. prairieschooner says:

    I wonder how hiring Eakins went when the topic of hiring his own assistants came up?
    Did Eakins sell his soul to get an NHL gig?
    Was the first he knew how it would be when MacT announced he hoped the new coach would keep the assistants?
    I have read all the posts on the thread and would really like to know
    What is wrong with the Oilers

    The Oilers jersey on the ice was a poignant image

  156. Woodguy says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Mine is a minority (of one?) opinion, but I believe that New Jersey’s consistent superiority in shot differential during Brodeur’s entire two decades there is not a random coincidence. Parsing this goalie by Sv% alone is dangerously incomplete.

    That said he’s obviously nearing the end of the line. Reminds me of the end-of-career Greg Maddux.

    Are you saying that the Devils were scared enough on relying Brodeur that they knew they had to out shoot to win?

  157. Lowetide says:

    prairieschooner:
    I wonder how hiring Eakins went when the topic of hiring his own assistants came up?
    Did Eakins sell his soul to get an NHL gig?
    Was the first he knew how it would be when MacT announced he hoped the new coach would keep the assistants?
    I have read all the posts on the thread and would really like to know
    What is wrong with the Oilers

    The Oilers jersey on the ice was apoignant image

    I agree with the jersey on the ice, that moment is going to have sustain.

    As for Eakins, I think one never knows until they’re in the position. It seems reasonable he would have felt that he plus Acton could get the job done, and that at a later point he realized more help was needed. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a change over the summer, and wonder about the wisdom of picking up someone now.

    Better to wait until the pool is deeper. Like Huddy and Craig Ramsay deeper.

  158. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy: Are you saying that the Devils were scared enough on relying Brodeur that they knew they had to out shoot to win?

    Nope. I’m saying that relatively speaking, the puck didn’t spend a lot of time in Devils territory. And that Brodeur himself was a huge contributing factor to that.

  159. justDOit says:

    Bruce McCurdy:

    … “high risk lifestyle”…

    Well if that don’t splain the Oilers current state of play, nuthin does.

  160. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Nope. I’m saying that relatively speaking, the puck didn’t spend a lot of time in Devils territory. And that Brodeur himself was a huge contributing factor to that.

    Further to that, this: http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2012/05/25/tender-touches-an-attempt-to-measure-martin-brodeurs-puckhandling-impact/

    Just a 5-game sample, but by eye pretty consistent with what I’ve been watching since three lockouts ago. Interesting comparison to Bryzgalov in that particular series, whose weaknesses as a puckhandler/decision-maker were exposed on the first Blues goal last night.

  161. pboy says:

    Your Edmonton Oilers, putting the “painful” in painfully obvious since Glen Sather left.

    Kevin Lowe retired as a player, served 1 year as an Assistant Coach, served the next year as Head Coach and directly from that to General Manager. Not as crazy as Garth Snow’s career path but close.

    Craig MacTavish spent 8 seasons as Head Coach of the Edmonton Oilers and I think he did a pretty good job of making chicken salad out of chicken shit for most of his time here but it is interesting to note that he wasn’t hired by any other organizations in an NHL head coaching position once he “resigned” from the Oilers. He did go and get his MBA but what practical business experience did he bring to the table when he came back to the Oilers?

    Neither of these gentleman would have been given the opportunities in higher management they were given here in Edmonton with another organization. They were both reasonable bets to be assistant coaches in other organizations and I think Craig would have been given a Head Coaching job elsewhere but that’s about it. I have more confidence in Scott Howson than I do with either Lowe or MacT.

    Structure, accountability, leadership, whatever buzz words you want to use, all start at the top of any companies organizational chart. Until Mr Katz gets his head on straight, this is going to continue here. Firing Bucky or Smith or bringing back Huddy or Gretz is all window dressing. Firing another Head Coach doesn’t push this cluster any closer to winning. The new arena is going to generate ZERO wins. I do like a lot of what MacT has done so far and I want him to be successful. Hiring him was a bad idea that I hope has a good ending.

    I thought that after the touch and go years with the EIG, Katz would be a no brainer success story. Who would have guessed things would get so much worse with a billionaire owning our hometown team. This is what the Redskins and the Cowboys organizations are suffering from.

  162. oliveoilers says:

    Woodguy:
    jfry,

    and to make bold statements about certain stats relevance with only 2-3 years of data is folly.

    The data set goes back to 06/07, its not 2-3 years.

    All the data since the NHL started publishing the pbp stuff in 06.That’s were all the data comes from.

    there’s still so much learning to be done with these stats. there’s still a lot of throw away with these stats. for instance, in the last 18 months, we’ve seen corsi be thrown around from corsi, to being a possession stat, to only being an offensive possession stat, to being outweighed by fenwick. like any ideology or technology, we’re still in beta.

    Yes and no.

    The people on the front end of this stuff like Tyler, Eric, etc have usually been in agreement.

    The thing now is to figure out the components that result in the corsi/fenwick scores that we observe.

    Agreed that its early, but you’re characterizing it incorrectly imo

    Some people (including myself) mis use the data from time to time (some all of the time)

    Doesn’t mean the data is wrong or doesn’t tell us anything.

    If I understand jfry correctly, I think his point is that we can’t even decide/agree on what this data is telling us. Data is never wrong if recorded diligently. It is what it is. Now interpretation, well sir, that is a different gravy altogether. As Vic Reeves once said: “82.2% of statistics are made up on the spot. 8 out of ten people know this.”

  163. Cameron says:

    Woodguy:
    Just had a quick look at Gelinas and Gardiner’s WOWYs.

    Gardiner makes everyone better.

    Everyone.

    If the Oilers can grab him for Gagner, I think that’s a huge win.

    I’d then deal a 3rd to CAL for Backlund to be 2C until they can find a better one.

    I like what you are smoking! But isn’t trading a 3rd for Backlund thinking too small? Why not get Crosby out of Pitt for the Oilers 2nd?

  164. Gret99zky says:

    So how’s Eakins going to feel when MacT tells him he’s going out for a little while, he’s just going out shopping for a new assistance coach.

    *Gulp*

    “…take the cannoli.”

  165. Thinker says:

    I keep thinking about the story of Messier scolding a young player for throwing his jersey on the floor. Hopefully Messier says something again before the next game. I don’t know how the players feel, but that picture should be a painful one to them.

  166. TheOtherJohn says:

    Love days on here where WG and McCurdy discuss and connect the dots.

    Am doing the opposite of GMoney and am going South for the C’mas season. Have a relaxing festive season to everyone

  167. Woodguy says:

    Cameron: I like what you are smoking! But isn’t trading a 3rd for Backlund thinking too small? Why not get Crosby out of Pitt for the Oilers 2nd?

    You know we are talking about Calgary Flame Mikeal Backlund right?

    Who was reported to be trade bait as little as 3 weeks ago?

    https://twitter.com/DarrenDreger/status/404039272271204352

    http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2013/11/22/report-flames-willing-to-move-backlund/

    How in hell are you bringing Crosby up.

  168. Woodguy says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Love days on here where WG and McCurdy discuss and connect the dots.

    Am doing the opposite of GMoney andam going South for the C’mas season. Have a relaxing festive season to everyone

    I wish I were going somewhere warm too!

    Merry Christmas John.

  169. Woodguy says:

    oliveoilers: If I understand jfry correctly, I think his point is that we can’t even decide/agree on what this data is telling us.Data is never wrong if recorded diligently.It is what it is.Now interpretation, well sir, that is a different gravy altogether.As Vic Reeves once said:“82.2% of statistics are made up on the spot.8 out of ten people know this.”

    Read the links I’ve posted.

    Everyone assumes there is much less diligence than there is.

  170. Woodguy says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Further to that, this: http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2012/05/25/tender-touches-an-attempt-to-measure-martin-brodeurs-puckhandling-impact/

    Just a 5-game sample, but by eye pretty consistent with what I’ve been watching since three lockouts ago. Interesting comparison to Bryzgalov in that particular series, whose weaknesses as a puckhandler/decision-maker were exposed on the first Blues goal last night.

    I see where you were going.

    Have you looked at Brodeur games vs. Backup/Schneider in terms of shot attempt differential?

    I’d probably group home and road separately to control for FF difference between the two (although NJD are one of the few teams to have a better FF on the road this year)

  171. RexLibris says:

    Cameron,

    Read a little further up.

    WG admits he is working off of outdated information. The 3rd rounder is based on rumours that were swirling several weeks ago. I can’t remember which writer over at FN, Ryan Pike perhaps, who originally suggested that Backlund’s stock was so low and the verbal from Burke and Hartley that a 3rd might be all they ask for.

  172. Lowetide says:

    Gret99zky:
    So how’s Eakins going to feel when MacT tells him he’s going out for a little while, he’s just going out shopping for a new assistance coach.

    *Gulp*

    “…take the cannoli.”

    Ha! Awesome reference.

  173. Woodguy says:

    Cameron:
    Woodguy,

    Trading for a two-way C under 25 who drives possession and can play hard minutes against top lines for a 3rd rnd pick would be awesome.

    I guess thats why they call them ‘fantasy’ trades.

    Cameron.

    I posted 2 links.

    If you follow them and click the other links the “generally accepted price” being floated was a 3rd.

    I would value him higher, but as we see often in the NHL, many GMs do not value possession stats.

    Many reports that CAL wanted more offence from Backlund and were looking to move him.

    I’m not making this stuff up or engaging in fantasy.

    I’m one of the few posters who actually supplies links to offer evidence in posts.

    The Crosby thing was way offside.

  174. spoiler says:

    From Garrioch today:

    If any team wants forwards Mikael Backlund, Sven Baertschi, Mike Cammalleri or Lee Stempniak, give the Flames a call once the holidays are over, or just wait for Brian Burke to hire a GM.

  175. Lowetide says:

    Cameron: What are you doin?

  176. VOR says:

    “Unfortunately for believers in possession as a predictor of wins, these equations tell us something else: PDO (Sh% + Sv%) has a far greater impact than Fenwick Close on wins and points. Specifically, a 1% increase in Fenwick Close is only good for 0.12 more wins, while a 1% increase in shooting percentage or save percentage is worth about 3 additional wins. The impact of puck possession is statistically significant in both models, and it is interesting to me that it matters a lot more than special teams. But if you’re inclined to view PDO as a proxy for luck and Fenwick as a proxy for “good at hockey”, then apparently it is better to be lucky than good.”

    That is a quote from the last link woodguy posted. Apparently Woodguy believes it is better to be lucky than good. Who knew?

    The author goes on to look at using Fenwick Close and other approaches to predict the following year from the current year.

    He says.

    “The R^2 for both models was much lower (about 0.24 for the wins model, about 0.26 for the points model), which isn’t really surprising: you lose precision when you lose part of your sample, and there are plenty of reasons (e.g., roster changes, coaching changes) why you’d expect one season’s statistics to not predict next year’s results. Yet the influence of Sh% falls dramatically in these analyses; neither of the regression coefficients for Sh% are statistically significant, which basically means we don’t know if the estimated effect of Sh% is noise or signal. The only statistically significant coefficients in these models are those on Fenwick Close and save percentage. So, if you want to know which teams are likely to do well (or terribly) next season, these analyses suggest you should focus on possession and goaltender quality. Maybe it’s better to be good after all.”

    However, for those of you who don’t like advanced stats let me translate. Advanced stats are pretty good at predicting this year r= about .75 but really crummy at predicting next year r = .26. Nobody knows how good they are at predicting 2 years from now but probably terrible.

    None of the these links prove any advanced stat is causative by the way – better Fenwick Close doesn’t cause better outcomes it merely (at best) predicts outcomes of a population of teams over the next few months and even then, as the author (though not Woodguy) freely admits, it is far less than perfect.

    If this is Woodguy’s best evidence well then we have to conclude luck matters more in the short term than talent and that in the mid term not even luck is very predictive, nothing is strongly predictive as short a time as a year out. Now isn’t that sort of the anti-stats people’s point.

  177. Cameron says:

    Lowetide: sure sure I get that, but he’s not contributing. These deals are available as rumors on the web, this seems either to be someone who genuinelydoesn’t know or does know and is trolling. I want to be sure.

    This has clearly generated way more heat than light. My initial comment was merely that a trade of the Oilers 3rd for Backlund is not realistic (a position I stand by). I was not saying that Backlund wasn’t available (I suspect he is), or to disparage WG for making the comment.

    I get that I’m in hostile territory, and am trying to keep things more or less focussed on the suggestion raised by WG in relation to a trade with the Flames. Given I suggested his idea was ridiculous and he disagrees, I’m not sure there is anymore I can say on the subject.

  178. Lowetide says:

    Cameron: This has clearly generated way more heat than light. My initial comment was merely that a trade of the Oilers 3rd for Backlund is not realistic (a position I stand by). I was not saying that Backlund wasn’t available (I suspect he is), or to disparage WG for making the comment.

    I get that I’m in hostile territory, and am trying to keep things more or less focussed on the suggestion raised by WG in relation to a trade with the Flames. Given I suggested his idea was ridiculous and he disagrees, I’m not sure there is anymore I can say on the subject.

    I think we’re in agreement.

  179. spoiler says:

    VOR: If this is Woodguy’s best evidence well then we have to conclude luck matters more in the short term than talent.

    I believe WG basically said this very same thing higher in the thread. He also mentions the effect of SV% and PDO. This is all known stuff right? The luck thing goes back to the Vic Ferrari days.

  180. VOR says:

    Spoiler:

    I am merely puzzled by why somebody claiming to be arguing in favor of there being some value in advanced stats would link to a paper that basically demonstrates quite well that there is little or none. I repeat, isn’t that the point all those opponents of the use of advanced stats are trying to make?

  181. Lowetide says:

    spoiler: I believe WG basically said this very same thing higher in the thread. He also mentions the effect of SV% and PDO. This is all known stuff right?The luck thing goes back to the Vic Ferrari days.

    Yes. The entire Oilogosphere is trying to get a handle on this, and this is a very difficult season to suss out. WG’s stuff always comes with the usual warnings and we have a right to believe, not believe, ask questions or ignore it.

    But it has value. And if moves the conversation forward.

  182. Woodguy says:

    VOR,

    You’re missing the point Vor.

    People get upset that FancyStats can’t predict the winner of individual games and point to this as to why FancyStats are useless.

    My response is that to try to use FancyStats to predict one game is useless, and FancyStats proponents know this.

    Trying to predict almost anything in a one unit sample is very tough.

    To try to discount luck in a sporting event is ridiculous, the whole process is full of really random events, so luck is a significant factor the short term like it does in many things.

    Where FancyStats shines is predicting long term success.

    You’re pretty smart Vor, you know that you need large samples to remove luck or variance from any sample.

    I don’t why people point to short term variance and say AH HA! YOU’RE WRONG, when FancyStats doesn’t try to predict individual games, but long term success.

  183. VOR says:

    Lowetide,

    I agree completely, this paper is very useful. It proves there is no point to worrying about advanced stats because in the short term luck matters more and in the mid term nothing works as a predictor at all. That isn’t open to argument, it is just what the link says in simple English. I am glad to see Woodguy had the guts to link to such a searing indictment of nearly everything he has ever posted.

  184. Woodguy says:

    VOR,

    Apparently Woodguy believes it is better to be lucky than good. Who knew?

    In a sample of one, it is always better to be lucky.

    You know this.

  185. VOR says:

    Woodguy,

    I like stats and I love math. I love your links. So please keep them coming.

    However, whether the anti-advanced stats people point to the inability to predict individual games as an argument has nothing to do with why this link is a direct rebuttal to the predicting long term success argument you are making in support of advanced stats. It says you can’t use any of those stats for predicting long term success. None of them predict well enough into next season to tell us anything about next year. So maybe you are saying long term is the rest of this season, which seems a bit myopic. Not to mention this says luck is more important over the rest of this season.

    This link really doesn’t leave you a leg to stand on.

  186. Woodguy says:

    VOR:
    Lowetide,

    I agree completely, this paper is very useful. It proves there is no point to worrying about advanced stats because in the short term luck matters more and in the mid term nothing works as a predictor at all. That isn’t open to argument, it is just what the link says in simple English. I am gladto see Woodguy had the guts to link to such a searing indictment of nearly everything he has ever posted.

    Don’t be so obtuse.

    There is a difference between long term and short term and you know it.

    Read this: http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2012/1/23/2722089/score-adjusted-fenwick

  187. Woodguy says:

    VOR:
    Woodguy,

    I like stats and I love math. I love your links. So please keep them coming.

    However, whether the anti-advanced stats people point to the inability to predict individual games as an argument has nothing to do with why this link is a direct rebuttal to the predicting long term success. It says you can’t use any of those stats for predicting long term success. None of them predict well enough into next season to tell us anything about next year. So maybe you are saying long term is the rest of this season, which seems a bit myopic. Not to mention this says luck is more important over the rest of this season.

    This link really doesn’t leave you a leg to stand on.

    He’s talking about his betting model based up on Fenwick to predict the winner of the next game, not on the long term predictive ability of Fenwick itself.

  188. Woodguy says:

    Vor, you forgot to quote his conclusions:

    It’s likely the case that stronger possession play leads to a marginal increase in win probability, and over the course of a long season, this increase translates into additional wins and points. The same, of course, can be said of goaltending and team shooting, but these are less reliable from game to game than controlling the puck. But when it comes to single games, or small numbers of games (i.e., playoff series), no variable, even Fenwick Close, is as predictive as you might expect.

    Which is pretty much what FancyStats people say.

  189. VOR says:

    Woodguy,

    You know full well the author of this paper isn’t saying luck is playing out in a sample of one, but in a year of data for all NHL teams. He is saying metrics that are unstable over time SH% and SV% better predict outcome of success in an NHL season than do possession metrics.

    Others may notice there has been no attempt to rebut either my reading of this link nor the post itself. The link is bad news for lovers of advanced stats. In fact, it sort of makes us all look a bit foolish (notice I am including myself in this). I actually thought about running exactly this analysis (well I planned to do some independent/dependent variable analysis and more variables but never got around to it. Now it turns out teams with good possession metrics this year do only slightly better than chance in terms of success next year.

  190. VOR says:

    “No variable, even Fenwick close is as predictive as you would expect.” Didn’t you just say it was predictive? I don’t actuallyr ecall any fancy stat guy saying, “while I love the numbers I don’t think they mean dick all. That is what this paper is saying, very politely because like you and I the author is clearly a true believer.

  191. jake70 says:

    LT,when is the Tom Jackson special on? Finally got around to podcast with Dennis King. Good abdominal workout…lol.

  192. VOR says:

    “Nevertheless, there are inconsistencies in the association between possession and winning that bother me. Across the eight seasons of single-game data I compiled to create the Puck Prediction model, shot differential (which correlates strongly with Fenwick Close) was only predictive of 54.7% of game results. To put this in perspective, you’re more likely to pick the winner of a game correctly by simply choosing the home team than you are by choosing the team with the better shot differential entering the game. (A t-test comparing shot-differential predictions to random predictions is statistically significant, but the correct interpretation of this analysis is less “this relationship is really meaningful” than “a sample of 10,000+ games allows us to estimate a weak association with a high degree of precision”.) What’s more, until the launch of the excellent Extra Skater website this year, game-level Fenwick Close data haven’t been available, so the utility of advanced possession metrics for explaining game outcomes has been unknown. This is important insofar as the adoption of hockey “fancy stats” by teams may well require a demonstrable linkage between specific systems of play and the probability of winning. Which requires us to be able to point to factors within games that explain how teams win.”

    For regular folks the tag line is picking the home team is a better way to predict outcomes of hockey games than using possession metrics. That is from another of Woodguy’s links.

  193. Lowetide says:

    jake70:
    LT,when is the Tom Jackson special on?Finally got around to podcast with Dennis King.Good abdominal workout…lol.

    Oh God, he’s so quick. Really, the guy should have his own show. I’d listen every day.

  194. VOR says:

    Woodguy,

    You know full well the one paper is all about team success over the next NHL season not over one game. It goes to the heart of Fenwick Close’s usefulness or rather the lack thereof.

  195. CopperBandit says:

    Every year you can digest all the stats you want and you will find improvement in some aspects of the teams game. Me? I am only interested in seeming the the Oilers progress in moving up the standing, everything else is a moot point.

  196. VOR says:

    “It is worth noting that the predictive powers reported here are smaller than those reported previously. The previous analysis was non-chronological; the test of the predictions after 20 games would ask: looking at the shot differential in 20 randomly-selected games, how well can we guess how many points the team scored in 60 other randomly-selected games?”

    This is from Woodguy’s last link. The link shows that Adjusted Fenwick Close is predictive at .46 at 20 games but under .30 at 60 games. The thing is that any stat that becomes less predictive the more data points you have isn’t really much good.

  197. Woodguy says:

    VOR,

    He is saying metrics that are unstable over time SH% and SV% better predict outcome of success in an NHL season than do possession metrics.

    EDIT: Assumed different link.

    I linked this earlier, not sure if you read it.

    Read all the links in the post, its great stuff: http://www.sbnation.com/nhl/2013/11/21/5096220/nhl-stats-advanced-idiots-criticism

  198. Woodguy says:

    VOR:
    “It is worth noting that the predictive powers reported here are smaller than those reported previously. The previous analysis was non-chronological; the test of the predictions after 20 games would ask: looking at the shot differential in 20 randomly-selected games, how well can we guess how many points the team scored in 60 other randomly-selected games?”

    This is from Woodguy’s last link. The link shows that Adjusted Fenwick Close is predictive at .46 at 20 games but under .30 at 60 games. The thing is that any stat that becomes less predictive the more data points you have isn’t really much good.

    You missed this part:

    Early in the season, Score-Adjusted Fenwick does a substantially better job of predicting how many points a team will earn in the remainder of the season. Later in the season the difference gets small — both because the sample size for Fenwick Tied gets large enough that much of the noise is washed out and because the randomness of the small number of games remaining becomes increasingly difficult for any measure to predict.

    Its comes back to the randomness of predicting a small amount.

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