TURN A DIFFERENT CORNER

This is Bill Torrey. No no, the other guy! Bill Torrey was part of the management group for the Oakland Seals in the late 1960′s. Did you know that? One of the smartest men in the game’s history sat in an office that housed the absolute nadir of modern hockey. Huh.

  • Brian Burke“I say to him, Bill (Torrey) give me your philosophy. And that’s when he said ‘you’re going to play four rounds in the playoffs, and you need enough size to beat a big team and enough speed to beat a speed team. You’re going to play a team that relies on puck recovery and special teams, so you need good special teams, and then you’ll see another one of those types again. ‘ I crystallized that philosophy a little further with the top six/bottom six, but he’s the first one who philosophy that made perfect sense to me.”

That’s a great quote, because it both gives you an idea about Torrey’s intelligence and Burke’s self-importance. The key though is that innovators changed the game and made it better, using their ability to see things in a different way and change the world.

shero

FRED SHERO

Message to the Flyers players on the blackboard before Game 6 of the 1974 Stanley Cup Finals.

One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song’s measure
Can trample an empire down.

Fred Shero did many innovative things during his coaching career. He shortened shifts, hired the first assistant coach, brought real strategy to the game. I’ll give you an example: before Shero (and with few exceptions) all teams played the game in the same way. Wingers stay in their lanes, slap shot inside the blueline was an acceptable choice, blah blah blah. There wasn’t much strategy, and if you read books from the time it’s clear the coach didn’t spend much time preparing his team with specific strategies for their next opponent.

Shero was different. When the Flyers faced Boston for the Stanley, he instructed his team to shoot the puck into Orr’s side of the ice and to punish him physically during the transaction. I’m not certain the impact said plays had, but Philly did win the Stanley and it shows some innovation in his own time.

sheroInnovation comes from looking at an age old problem and applying a new, fresh solution. Shero did that, his shift shortening meant the Flyers had fresh legs and could increase the pace of the game.

Tyler Dellow has been drilling down on Taylor Hall’s season, and it’s been a fascinating follow. Dellow’s work and Eric Tulsky’s look at possession have kind of merged around Hall and leave us with an “opportunity for innovation” that sits on Dallas Eakins’ desk.

  • Tulsky: Carrying the puck in is way better than dumping it in, more than twice as good — and it’s not because of odd-man rushes or player skill or any other external factor; it’s just because having the puck in the opponent’s zone headed towards the goal is a lot better than trying to outrace the opponent to try to get the puck in the corner. Most people don’t recognize just how big the difference is, and the data suggests that teams should be trying harder than they are to carry the puck in.

Dellow takes those words and applies them to Hall and his season. Although #4′s offense is strong this season, his shot differential is way down. I’m not going to quote the entire piece (it’s actually four articles) but wanted to quote this:

  • Dellow: I’ve come to view the game as a series of processes, repeating over and over and over and the winning team, over time, will be the team that wins more of those processes.

Which brings me back to Torrey. His words to Brian Burke talked about speed and size and those things are important. However, as Torrey showed on the island you need guys who can play and a system that won’t fall on its ass. The innovator of today is probably going to say “we found that the neutral zone is torpedo alley—if you can get some torque through the neutral zone and attack the blueline with a clear lane, speed and possession, you are going to score goals.”

You’re saying hell man, coaches do that today! I ask, what are their names? Who among the 30 NHL coaching staffs carries the puck in 70% of the time? We don’t have that answer, but I don’t think the answer is Edmonton. One thing I believe to be true? Dallas Eakins is easily smart enough to figure this out.

We wait.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

hoffs3Back on the radio! This might be our only show during these Olympics (all the damn games start at 10!) so we’re going to have some fun! Scheduled to appear this morning at 10 on TSN1260:

  • Tyler Dellow from mc79hockey. We’ll talk Olympics and Hall.
  • Andrew Bucholtz from 55-yard line. It’s been an insane 10 days in the CFL.
  • Rob Vollman from Hockey Abstract, ESPN and Bleacher Report.

10-1260 via text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. Stay tuned!

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96 Responses to "TURN A DIFFERENT CORNER"

  1. Lowetide says:

    If you’ve been trying to log in but can’t please try now. I’m having issues! Apologies.

  2. jonrmcleod says:

    Test.

  3. Sandra says:

    So LT would you say this year its the “Eakins Triangle” similar to the Belanger triangle the reason why Oilers cant score?

  4. jonrmcleod says:

    According to a recent study, internet trolls are jerks in real life too.

    http://www.thewrap.com/study-finds-online-trolls-bad-people-offline/

  5. frjohnk says:

    I’m really enjoying Tyler’s blog, and totally agree with him on the dump it in vs carry it across the blue. I have also noticed the oilers are dumping it in more than the last year.

    I remember an interview with Maurice Richard, oh, probably 20 years ago and he could never understand why teams would dump the puck in with almost every entry, especially on power plays. He felt the dump in should be used as a last resort.

    I was a huge red wings fan in the mid 90′s and loved the Russian 5. They rarely dumped it in. They would rather regroup than dump the puck.

    Here is a clip of some highlights. Some of the video is grainy, but this was beautiful hockey. Notice the play where Kozlov is facing 3 defenders at the blue line. He does not dump it in and he does not try to stick handle through the defenders, he just waits for help. These players were the not the biggest, but they maximized their skill.

    Red Wings Russian 5
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWekeI6-9Sg

  6. jonrmcleod says:

    So is Burke saying he invented the top six/bottom six philosophy?

  7. Lowetide says:

    Sandra:
    So LT would you say this year its the “Eakins Triangle” similar to the Belanger triangle the reason why Oilers cant score?

    Well Sandra, I’d say it’s partly a function of learning curve.

  8. Lowetide says:

    jonrmcleod:
    So is Burke saying he invented the top six/bottom six philosophy?

    Just ask him!

  9. russ99 says:

    I’m obviously a proponent of carrying the puck on zone entry and maximizing the offensive talent we have.

    But I do wonder that if some of the things Eakins is impressing on our younger players that is counter to NHL standards like the extra long shifts/icetime, dumps so we don’t turn the puck over on the break, “hit someone every shift”, etc. aren’t really the way he wants the Oilers to eventually play, but rather putting in tough groundwork in early so we can handle such situations later.

    To his credit he has changed some things that weren’t working, so maybe we’ll see further improvement when we get back from the Olympic break.

  10. Caramel Obvious says:

    jonrmcleod:
    So is Burke saying he invented the top six/bottom six philosophy?

    Yet another reason to dislike him. You could spend a lifetime and not come up with a more meaningless phrase. Everytime Dreger uses it I want to punch him in the face. Worst. Idea. Ever.

    There is no such thing as a top six forward.
    There is no such thing as a top six forward.
    There is no such thing as a top six forward.
    There is no such thing as a top six forward.
    There is no such thing as a top six forward.

    Or rather:

    Every top six forward would make a good bottom six forward.
    Every top six forward would make a good bottom six forward.
    Every top six forward would make a good bottom six forward.
    Every top six forward would make a good bottom six forward.
    Every top six forward would make a good bottom six forward.

    Or perhaps:

    There is no such thing as roles in hockey. Everyone’s job is the same.
    There is no such thing as roles in hockey. Everyone’s job is the same.
    There is no such thing as roles in hockey. Everyone’s job is the same.
    There is no such thing as roles in hockey. Everyone’s job is the same.
    There is no such thing as roles in hockey. Everyone’s job is the same.
    There is no such thing as roles in hockey. Everyone’s job is the same.

  11. Pouzar says:

    AM I in???????????

    That’s what he said

  12. Pouzar says:

    YES!!!!!!!!!!! FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Pouzar says:

    Damn can’t get on to Lowetides show now.

  14. Rexlibris says:

    Testing testing 1,2,3…

    Woo-hoo!

    *ahem – attempts to assume air of dignity*

  15. Rexlibris says:

    I thought the worst idea ever was the Flowbee? Or a land battle in Asia?

  16. stephen sheps says:

    I can’t seem to quote or reply (or even log in), but in response to FRJOHNK’s post regarding Russian players and such, have a look at this: http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/winter02/hockey/story?id=1326249

    Edit: I signed in manually, without the old password-based log in. It seemed to work, but is this how it’s going to be from now on or is wordpress a bit messed up?

  17. Ryan from the Oilers says:

    Yeah, the spam registration plugin’s banned me from posting. I can’t post at all with my iphone or ipad.

    I’m at work and this apparently is working.

    My vote is to go back to the old setup.

  18. ducey says:

    Maybe Eakins needs to get some really loud sport jackets and wear tinted glasses.

    In other news:

    Feb. 18. According to Edmonton radio host and Oilers analyst Bob Stauffer, the Montreal Canadiens or Pittsburgh Penguins — two Eastern Conference clubs known to be looking for help up front — might be interested in Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky. The veteran winger has a chance to showcase his skills in Sochi, but only registered a single assist in 30 minutes of ice time through the Czech Republic’s first three games.
    Hemsky is in the second year of a two-year, $10-million contract. The Oilers, Stauffer says, will likely have to retain some of that salary if they are to successfully move Hemsky or fellow pending free agent Nick Schultz.
    “The San Jose Sharks have been bird-dogging the Oilers a lot over about the last three weeks,” Stauffer points out, “We saw a lot of the San Sharks Jose pro scouts on the road.”

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/nhl-trades/nhl-trade-rumours-latest-buzz-ahead-of-2014-nhl-trade-deadline-maple-leafs-oilers-canadiens-sabres-flames-canucks-panthers-islanders/

  19. Lowetide says:

    I’ve changed it back. is that better?

  20. Ducey says:

    Lowetide:
    I’ve changed it back. is that better?

    Seeing I just quoted you, Yes!

  21. Lowetide says:

    no one can comment that way, Ducey. Apologies. Have changed it back and will try to fix

  22. knighttown says:

    test

  23. Jordan says:

    Test

  24. Nelson88 says:

    Tulsky article is an interesting read. Has anyone done any studies on other teams like Detroit and Pittsburgh as by eye I would estimate their use of “dump and chase” zone entries is significantly less than 50%?

    I find the premis interesting in relation to the Oilers PP. I don’t get to watch all of the games but I can’t recall a team that has attempted less slap shots from the point. All things being equal RNH feeding Eberle on a back door attempt, Yak on a one timer or Jultz sneaking in for a wrist shot are likely more effectivethe then a Sourayesque blast but if you try the same plays over and over again doesn’t it seem logical that the other team will become proficient at shutting them down? Do I want to see Belov or Potter hammer it from the blue-line with Smyth or JJ standing in front on every attempt; hell no, but it would likely improve the success rate overall.

  25. Clay says:

    Total thread jack here – sorry LT…

    I would’ve bet a lot of money that the Swiss would’ve beat Latvia today… glad I didn’t.

    Gotta say I’m way less worried about Canada playing Latvia tomorrow!

    And, how much of this is the Ted Nolan effect?

  26. knighttown says:

    Ok, so a question for you about the main premise in your article…that Eric T and Tyler may have stumbled upon something ground breaking. I reviewed Eric’s work and noticed a subtle shift in his verbiage from the beginning of the article to end that I can’t quite explain. It seems that the article set out to prove that carrying the puck into the zone generates more offense than dumping the puck into the zone.

    Eric then takes on a few excellent challenges; the first being the premise that zone entries also include odd man rushes which inflate the numbers and the second being that shittier players tend to dump the puck in more often than good ones which might further deflate the “success” of a dump in as a tactic for all. He does a nice job disproving these theories and I believe has successfully proven that a controlled zone entry generates more offense than a dump in which was his original intent.

    I’m not sure if it’s just me but it’s from this point that he seems to wade into dangerous territory. I know Eric’s a Harvard grad so I’m going to assume I’m missing something but later in the article he seems to take a giant leap from zone entries generating more offense to (and I quote) zone entries being “way better”. There’s a big difference between generating more offense and being “way better” in totality isn’t there?

    Certainly the prevailing opinion is that a zone entry is a riskier move than a dump in. A certain percentage of both an attempted zone entry and an attempted dump-and-retrieve will end up as a turnover. These turnovers would then result in some number of either zone entries (at 0.55 shots/entry) or odd-man rushes (0.80 shots/entry).

    Before we can say carrying the puck into the zone as a strategy is a better one than dumping it in, don’t we have to extend the math to shots against?

    ZONE ENTRY STRAT VS DUMP IN STRAT

    Successful ZE (0.55 shots) MINUS Unsuccessful ZE–>Opposition ZE (x times 0.55 shots) MINUS Unsuccessful ZE–>Opposition OMR (odd-man rush) (x times 0.80 shots)

    VS.

    Successful Dump In (0.22) MINUS Opp ZE – Opp OMR

    There’s no doubt that a turnover at the blue line (unsuccessful ZE) will cause more successful opposition ZE’s and WAY more opposition odd-man rushes than a turnover behind the opponents net (unsuccessful dump-in).

    More succinct summary…this measures only the offense generated from success but it seems to me that you also have to measure the results of failure?

    Even more brief…it’s what you generate minus what you leave behind.

  27. Nelson88 says:

    Marincin and Sekera made a nice combo for the Slovaks. Maybe we can trade Slovak Slim for Riley Nash?! ;)

  28. Lowetide says:

    Okay, I’ve changed it back and added back a bunch of regular people who should be able to sign in (Woodguy, knighttown, bookje, Rom, Jon, a bunch). Can you all try again? So sorry.

  29. Younger Oil says:

    Marincin looked incredibly good for Slovakia today. Was great at clearing away pucks from in front of the net, and made smart pinches offensively.

    Also, Meszaros looked farily good for Slovakia as well. Many view him as having negative value, due to being injury prone, but it definitely seems as if a player is there IMO. Maybe if he has percieved negative value, we could take him off of Philly’s hands if it lowers the price for Couturier, or consider signing him to a short term deal in the summer as a buffer to allow our prospects to develop for another year. He also plays on the right side it seems, despite being a left handed shot.

    If we sign Nikitin, Meszaros, and Winnik, re-sign Hemsky, Belov, and Scrivens, ship out other UFAs for picks, then draft one of Reinhart or Ekblad, I’d say things are looking pretty good going forward.

  30. Caramel Obvious says:

    knighttown,

    I haven’t had time to read everything, but I think this is an excellent point. You should post it, on their sites. It might not change anything, but it is surely worth considering.

    My guess, is that it qualifies the numbers rather than refutes them.

  31. VanOil says:

    Yeah, I am back from anti-spam-purgatory, so I will take a day off form making fantasy trades for Kulikov.

    I believe I saw a pair of Orange and Blue gloves on Hemsky when he scored today, was this me overdosing on the cold meds or is he wearing his Oilers gloves?

    Is the American Ice Dancers nose the reason girls must wear full cages in Ice Hockey? (edit: my apologies this is mean but it I find it to funny to delete)

  32. Lowetide says:

    Okay, I’ve fiddled with the “Stop Spammer Registrations” Plugin courtesy ribs Please try to sign in and if it works left me now!

    Also, based on language, many of you were plenty pissed at being blocked. My sincere apologies and please believe me when I say it was not intentional.

  33. thejonrmcleod says:

    Works!

  34. Lowetide says:

    Yes!

  35. Ribs says:

    One-Two, One-Two. That’s more like it!

  36. Lowetide says:

    Ribs:
    One-Two, One-Two. That’s more like it!

    Ribs! You did it! Thanks SO much!

  37. Ribs says:

    Hah, no problem! Plugins can be tricky buggers.

  38. OilClog says:

    Everytime I quote or reply a comment.. My browser shuts down in my phone ;(

    Can’t help but think Eakins would of best been suited replacing Steve Smith, not Kruger

  39. Ducey says:

    Looks like Hemsky had a goal today with 4 shots on goal. Hopefully he impressed some scouts.

  40. Ducey says:

    No Big Red Dog for the Oilers. LA no longer interested in Gagner (more likely is that they found they could not fleece MacT):
    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/02/18/sam-gagner-trade-talks-off-between-los-angeles-kings-and-edmonton-oilers-says-l-a-times/

  41. thejonrmcleod says:

    Ducey,

    MacT probably insisted that DSF’s favorite prospect be included in the deal.

  42. russ99 says:

    LT – the login works for me, but it worked the other way too.

    IMO, where Tyler’s piece really shines is the part about the type of dump in, with video evidence.

    Empirically, that means the purpose of the dump is less about to try to acquire the zone and more to make the “safe” play, especially on the tip dumps.

    Cheating on defense and safe tip dumps right back to the opposition as a strategic move can only stifle the potential of our players to create offense.

  43. Ducey says:

    thejonrmcleod:
    Ducey,

    MacT probably insisted that DSF’s favorite prospect be included in the deal.

    Yeah, Lomabardi would have trouble including Kyle Wellwood, now that he is out of hockey. :)

  44. theres oil in virginia says:

    Lowetide:
    Okay, I’ve fiddled with the “Stop Spammer Registrations” Plugin courtesy ribs Please try to sign in and if it works left me now!

    Also, based on language, many of you were plenty pissed at being blocked. My sincere apologies and please believe me when I say it was not intentional.

    These people got a lot of problems you!

    Ever wonder why they call us newbies when we can’t figure out to make this new-fangled technology work? Shouldn’t they call us oldbies?

  45. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: If you’ve been trying to log in but can’t please try now. I’m having issues! Apologies.

    Back to full functionality for me.

  46. Ryan says:

    Ducey:
    No Big Red Dog for the Oilers.LA no longer interested in Gagner (more likely is that they found they could not fleece MacT):
    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/02/18/sam-gagner-trade-talks-off-between-los-angeles-kings-and-edmonton-oilers-says-l-a-times/

    that’s a relief. :)

    We’ll give you Clifford for Gagner at half his cap hit, Mact. What, no thanks? Okay, no problem\, let me fire off an unofficial press release for you.

    At least in publicizes that Gagner’s available…

  47. Derek says:

    Re: The actual content of this post

    Rather than dumping the puck I think the goal should be an attempted shot on net.

    I agree that controlled zone entries are much more productive than dump ins, or attempted entries which result in turnovers (obviously). Where I an NHL coach rather than a blog commenter with a distaste for slacks, I would advise my players to attempt a shot on net only in instances where a controlled entry is not possible and/or a line change is necessary.

    Never dump into the corner, always put the puck on net. A shot on net has a small (tiny) chance of going in, or creating a rebound which puts the goaltender and defenceman out of position while they react, or a whistle which results in an offensive zone faceoff. I think each of these outcomes is preferable to a team like Edmonton who have so many problems taking back possession in the offensive zone.

    Edit: I wish I had the means to back this up with actual data, rather than lazily suggesting it in a thread connected to the excellent work @mc79hockey.

  48. anonymous says:

    Trading Gagner at the deadline for futures or role players would be a mistake. You’d think in the offseason they’d be able to fill a more pressing need, even with picks or prospects added. More players available.

  49. thejonrmcleod says:

    Linus Omark is heading back to Europe. No draft pick from the Sabres?

  50. HiddenDarts says:

    I worry that the coaches say, “Of course you should dump it in! Look how well it works with the teams that play us!”

    Ahem. Yep. A scary thought.

  51. anonymous says:

    I could see Omark being the Brian Bradley of the next expansion era.

  52. pboy says:

    I’m going to really miss the part of the hockey season where the biggest complaint about the team I’m cheering for is Sidney Crosby’s production………

  53. stephen sheps says:

    Lowetide:
    Okay, I’ve changed it back and added back a bunch of regular people who should be able to sign in (Woodguy, knighttown, bookje, Rom, Jon, a bunch). Can you all try again? So sorry.

    as someone who likely forms a part of the “bunch”, I can happily say I’m back! Thanks LT. Unfortunately other than that article about Russia I posted earlier, I’ve got nothing to contribute. It’s just nice to be allowed to join the party again.

    Edit: Scratch that I do have something–Barrie plays Kingston on March 12th. Given that I live in Kingston I am going to go to this game and watch Ekblad and Bennett like a hawk. Other Ontarians, who’s with me?

  54. Ducey says:

    Derek:
    Re: The actual content of this post

    Never dump into the corner, always put the puck on net.A shot on net has a small (tiny) chance of going in, or creating a rebound which puts the goaltender and defenceman out of position while they react, or a whistle which results in an offensive zone faceoff.I think each of these outcomes is preferable to a team like Edmonton who have so many problems taking back possession in the offensive zone.

    Edit:I wish I had the means to back this up with actual data, rather than lazily suggesting it in a thread connected to the excellent work @mc79hockey.

    I don’t think shooting it in on the goalie is a good strategy. Most goalies (except maybe DD and a knucklepuck) are going to handle a shoot in quite well and the result is a change of possession. If you are going to shoot it in and plan to try and gain possession, then the corners are usually the best. This is the essence of most cycles strategies.

    I also agree with Knightown that we have to look at the negatives regarding carrying it in. You can’t have three forwards charging into the offensive zone and then turn the puck over at the blueline repeatedly without some goals against.

    You also need to look at the strategy deployed against your team. If the plan is to specifically line up on the blue line, then its going to be pretty tough to carry it in. The chip and chase might be more successful. I would think that this might explain part of the #’s with Hall; teams may be targeting him for the “stand up” defense giving him little choice.

  55. Lowetide says:

    stephen sheps: as someone who likely forms a part of the “bunch”, I can happily say I’m back! Thanks LT. Unfortunately other than that article about Russia I posted earlier, I’ve got nothing to contribute. It’s just nice to be allowed to join the party again.

    Edit: Scratch that I do have something–Barrie plays Kingston on March 12th. Given that I live in Kingston I am going to go to this game and watch Ekblad and Bennett like a hawk. Other Ontarians, who’s with me?

    You were on the list! The spam thingy seemed to be gaining steam like a runaway train!

  56. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    If Ted Nolan can beat the Swiss with one Sabre and no other NHL players, maybe the Sabres can still make up 9 pts. with 3 games in hand.

  57. WeirsBeard says:

    One of my first thoughts with the log in problems was, ” They’ve traded Hemsky, and this is step one in LT turning this into an Oakland Seals blog”. We’ll know for sure when he makes us all wear white skates.

  58. stephen sheps says:

    WeirsBeard,

    everyone knows they’re more aerodynamic!

  59. rickithebear says:

    Derek: Edit: I wish I had the means to back this up with actual data, rather than lazily suggesting it in a thread connected to the excellent work @mc79hockey

    ((corsi*(blocks and misses %))*average distance from net)
    minus
    (((dump ins * retrieval rate)*corsi from retireval)*(blocks and mises%)* average distance from net)

    Behind the net provides individual Corsi, Block and miss rates for players.
    Studies have already been done on.
    dump in retrieval rates.
    Corsi from retireval.
    Some kind of ninja provides us an average distance for shots based on shot grouping.

    I will have to look at tylers work to see if it repeats previous work?

    Congratulations tyler on finally getting with the program!

  60. Jon K says:

    “You’re saying hell man, coaches do that today! I ask, what are their names? Who among the 30 NHL coaching staffs carries the puck in 70% of the time? We don’t have that answer, but I don’t think the answer is Edmonton. One thing I believe to be true? Dallas Eakins is easily smart enough to figure this out.”

    If I recall correctly, Jason Gregor had Mike Babcock on his show a few months back. Babcock talked about a number of things, but I recall him saying that a dump-in followed by a shift change was, in his view, a failure and essentially a giveaway. He talked about how dump-ins in general were not desirable, and how possession was key to success.

    I think we can conclude that at least one NHL coach values carries over the blue lines as the top priority on attack.

  61. hunter1909 says:

    Re Shero:

    If Eakins is a good coach, then why are the Oilers terrible?

    If last season’s Taylor Hall can enter the zone with the puck and put himself into a position to pass it to another player 80% every time he took the puck out of his own end, then what’s so smart about Eakin’s decision to have the runty forwards play dump and chase against behemoth opponents?

    I mean, the rest of the league has almost stopped laughing at the Oilers, and are now feeling sorry for the fans, etc. This means, Oilers blow so hard they aren’t even disliked anymore, and yet we’re informed by Kevin Lowe that Eakins is a great coach, and the Oilers are doing fine.

    Is there some kind of disconnect that we’re missing?

  62. commonfan14 says:

    hunter1909: If last season’s Taylor Hall can enter the zone with the puck and put himself into a position to pass it to another player 80% every time he took the puck out of his own end, then what’s so smart about Eakin’s decision to have the runty forwards play dump and chase against behemoth opponents?

    I don’t know, Ekblad is just that good?

    I can’t wait to see the investigation to uncover whatever wacky tactic they come up with next year to make sure McDavid comes aboard safely.

  63. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I’m in!

    and the town celebrated henceforth on sign-in tuesday!

  64. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Just got this rarish, beautiful soul/funk/pop album by the multi-instrumentalist Shuggie Otis in the mail today. Original release in mint shape. Awesome find. Some of you rockists won’t like it, but give it a try anyway… Otis is pretty experimental and there’s a lot of interesting layering and textures going on.

    This guy basically walked away (for unknown reasons) when he was at the top of his game:

    In 1974, Otis released Inspiration Information, his third and final album for Epic Records. The album had taken almost three years to finish. All the songs were written and arranged by Otis himself, who played almost exclusively every musical instrument on the album (except for horns and various stringed instruments). However, despite its long-awaited impact, Inspiration Information had but one single (the title track) reach the Billboard Hot 100. After the album’s release, Otis was approached by Billy Preston on behalf of The Rolling Stones, asking him to join the band for their upcoming world tour. He declined the offer, along with the chance to work with Quincy Jones in helping produce Otis’s next album. After a series of similar refusals, Otis gained the reputation of “taking his time”, and his recording contract with Epic Records was nullified. Otis’s only credited works throughout the mid-1970s were done as a session musician for his father’s recording projects.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shuggie_Otis

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WHrCKIj6do&list=PL51D06FA61AC7AF4C&index=2

  65. VanOil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Digging the Shuggie. Thanks for introduction.

  66. godot10 says:

    Ducey:

    I also agree with Knightown that we have to look at the negatives regarding carrying it in.You can’t have three forwards charging into the offensive zone and then turn the puck over at the blueline repeatedly without some goals against.

    The Oilers were winning or playing even 15 minutes of the game last year when Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, and Eberle were carrying it in. The Oilers were winning the special teams battle for 10 minutes of the game. They were getting clobbered in the other 35 minutes of the game.

    All MacT had to do was get some players for the other 35 minutes of the game, not get a coach who would destroy the 25 minutes of the game the OIlers were actually winning.

  67. The Great One says:

    Just heard a bit from Doug McLean on the radio that the Canucks may have a deal in place to send out 2 players that will surprise.

    Kesler?

    Burrows?

  68. anonymous says:

    Kreuger was fired at the wrong time. He should have got the start of the season, at least then if he failed a shakeup would of been in order. Mact tied his own hands. This team needs a veteran offense minded coach.

  69. anonymous says:

    The Great One,

    Sedins

    Edit: wouldn’t be surprised in the offseason if the Canucks miss the playoffs

  70. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    The Great One:
    Just heard a bit from Doug McLean on the radio that the Canucks may have a deal in place to send out 2 players that will surprise.

    Kesler?

    Burrows?

    That would certainly surprise!

    Is Maclean an “insider” as they say? I only know him for his shoddy analysis.

    I think trading Burrows now would be a huge mistake. Worst PDO in the NHL. all-time low in value. He’s almost certain to rebound and the player Gillis would get just by waiting is more than likely better than any return.

    Kesler would get a King’s ransom.

    I’d look to the D for movement. As I said some time ago, I’d move Bieksa if I were Gillis.

  71. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    VanOil:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Digging the Shuggie. Thanks for introduction.

    No problem.

    He’s an interesting guy. if you take a spin through his other albums you’ll find some more nice things.

    first album, recorded when he was 16 shows off his blues guitar chops:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJ75pxrapP8

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6xRD-9hseI

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oys8FaXqTQw

  72. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Second album, when only 18, he got his songwriting down and started fiddling around in the studio and put a lot less emphasis on big guitar sounds.

    His most famous track is from this album:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KJfkUNg5P4

    crazy cat. from 16-21 he records 3 really different albums. basically abandons what he is best known for (guitar licks) and crafts a whole new sound using a variety of techniques… gets a large underground following and then walks away.

  73. hunter1909 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: crazy cat. from 16-21 he records 3 really different albums. basically abandons what he is best known for (guitar licks) and crafts a whole new sound using a variety of techniques… gets a large underground following and then walks away.

    Please excuse someone who knows little about these things: So he’s basically Daigle?

  74. The Great One says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: That would certainly surprise!

    Is Maclean an “insider” as they say? I only know him for his shoddy analysis.

    I think trading Burrows now would be a huge mistake. Worst PDO in the NHL. all-time low in value. He’s almost certain to rebound and the player Gillis would get just by waiting is more than likely better than any return.

    Kesler would get a King’s ransom.

    I’d look to the D for movement. As I said some time ago, I’d move Bieksa if I were Gillis.

    Mclean may have his faults but he IS plugged in.

    I agree on Burrows,…he’ll come around.

    Bieksa is an interesting possibility.

  75. Woodguy says:

    Ducey: I don’t think shooting it in on the goalie is a good strategy.Most goalies (except maybe DD and a knucklepuck) are going to handle a shoot in quite well and the result is a change of possession.If you are going to shoot it in and plan to try and gain possession, then the corners are usually the best.This is the essence of most cycles strategies.

    I also agree with Knightown that we have to look at the negatives regarding carrying it in.You can’t have three forwards charging into the offensive zone and then turn the puck over at the blueline repeatedly without some goals against.

    You also need to look at the strategy deployed against your team.If the plan is to specifically line up on the blue line, then its going to be pretty tough to carry it in.The chip and chase might be more successful. I would think that this might explain part of the #’s with Hall;teams may be targeting him for the “stand up” defense giving him little choice.

    Shooting the puck low on a goalie, just above stick level is always better than a low percentage pass.

    Always.

  76. The Great One says:

    anonymous:
    The Great One,

    Sedins

    Edit: wouldn’t be surprised in the offseason if the Canucks miss the playoffs

    Neither would I and it might be the best thing that could happen to them.

  77. Woodguy says:

    Ducey: I don’t think shooting it in on the goalie is a good strategy.Most goalies (except maybe DD and a knucklepuck) are going to handle a shoot in quite well and the result is a change of possession.If you are going to shoot it in and plan to try and gain possession, then the corners are usually the best.This is the essence of most cycles strategies.

    I also agree with Knightown that we have to look at the negatives regarding carrying it in.You can’t have three forwards charging into the offensive zone and then turn the puck over at the blueline repeatedly without some goals against.

    You also need to look at the strategy deployed against your team.If the plan is to specifically line up on the blue line, then its going to be pretty tough to carry it in.The chip and chase might be more successful. I would think that this might explain part of the #’s with Hall;teams may be targeting him for the “stand up” defense giving him little choice.

    Shooting it high so the goalie can catch it or direct it out of play is worse than a low percentage pass.

    Imo.

  78. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    The Great One: Mclean may have his faults but he IS plugged in.

    I agree on Burrows,…he’ll come around.

    Bieksa is an interesting possibility.

    Ok.

    The Great One: Neither would I and it might be the best thing that could happen to them.

    I’d love to see them land in the East somewhere, but that would be a tough cord to cut… and do you cut both?

    I’d be interested in hearing who you and everyone else thinks could put a package together for them and why they’d target them.

    It would be pretty funny if NYR was the destination.

  79. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    hunter1909: Please excuse someone who knows little about these things: So he’s basically Daigle?

    Not sure about this…

    thing about artistic wanderers is that they usually leave something behind (films, paintings, novels, etc.) that can be reckoned with by the future. Hockey… is pretty transitory and failing to reach your potential (for whatever reason) rarely inspires the kind of interest artistic types get.

  80. VanOil says:

    Woodguy: Shooting it high so the goalie can catch it or direct it out of play is worse than a low percentage pass.

    Imo.

    Hall has, to my eye, often shot high inside corner this year off the rush. When he misses the result is the same as the D ringing it around the boards. He is a top flight points producer so has every right to take that shot but I would rather him shoot lower when he is in the zone all alone and generate rebounds for his trailing team mates. My eye could be wrong I have no statistical evidence to back this up.

  81. AZOIL says:

    So if ekblad is gone do you guys like bennet or reinhart assuming we are 2 or 3rd pick?

  82. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Willis with a piece up at ON on scoring chances:

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/2/18/scoring-chances-at-the-olympic-break-forwards

    one more reason to try and come to terms with Hemsky.

  83. ashley says:

    Woodguy,

    I have never understood shooting high. Unless you’re playing against Dubnyk, these are the easiest to see and stop with a deflection out of play or glove stop. Yet players love trying to pick the top corner. Hall does this a lot and misses the net. Missing the net while shooting high is worse than a blue line turnover since teammates get caught flat footed with momentum carrying them into the zone. On the other hand, RNH is very good at shooting low resulting in a rebound.

    Souray always shot high from the point.

  84. The Great One says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Ok.

    I’d love to see them land in the East somewhere, but that would be a tough cord to cut… and do you cut both?

    I’d be interested in hearing who you and everyone else thinks could put a package together for them and why they’d target them.

    It would be pretty funny if NYR was the destination.

    Just a wild stab at it…

    Maybe Toronto for a package including Nazem Kadri, Jake Gardiner+ ?

  85. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    AZOIL:
    So if ekblad is gone do you guys like bennet or reinhart assuming we are 2 or 3rd pick?

    Draisaitl!

    But, I have no idea who the Oilers would prefer.

    The players are described differently. Bennett has more jam attributed to him (TSN anointed him the next Gilmour at the mid-season update), so I suspect if it’s close they choose him.

  86. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    The Great One: Just a wild stab at it…

    Maybe Toronto for a package including Nazem Kadri, Jake Gardiner+ ?

    That’s not bad.

    Gillis will want to get younger and that accomplishes it.

    But, he’s also on the record repeatedly wanting to get more sizey. Kadri certainly plays with some sandpaper… but he’s smallish and Gardiner isn’t at all rough.

    I wonder if that’s a deal breaker for Gillis?

    One problem there would be cap space. An off-season deal would make a lot more sense for TOR in that case.

  87. oliveoilers says:

    Woodguy: Shooting it high so the goalie can catch it or direct it out of play is worse than a low percentage pass.

    Imo.

    It’s a play to be made when you’re alone in the o-zone and your line mates have abandoned you on a bad line change. Put it on the goalie and follow it up so he freezes it. You keep possession in the o-zone, whilst denying the opportunity of a rush against out of position players. Not to be used every single zone entry, it’s just a tool in the box to be used in the right circumstances. Used incorrectly, it’s still not as bad as the low-percentage acute angle shot that turns into a break-out pass if the rest of the team isn’t set up properly. Whatever happens, that shot MUST hit the net. It is not worse than a low percentage pass, however, because when the puck is frozen by the goalie or out of play it is a known quantity; a face off. A low percentage pass gone wrong means panicking monkeys everywhere, the puck coming back from an unexpected direction with alacrity with little time for re-adjustment.

  88. Woodguy says:

    oliveoilers: It’s a play to be made when you’re alone in the o-zone and your line mates have abandoned you on a bad line change.Put it on the goalie and follow it up so he freezes it.You keep possession in the o-zone, whilst denying the opportunity of a rush against out of position players.Not to be used every single zone entry, it’s just a tool in the box to be used in the right circumstances.Used incorrectly, it’s still not as bad as the low-percentage acute angle shot that turns into a break-out pass if the rest of the team isn’t set up properly.Whatever happens, that shot MUST hit the net.It is not worse than a low percentage pass, however, because when the puck is frozen by the goalie or out of play it is a known quantity; a face off.A low percentage pass gone wrong means panicking monkeys everywhere, the puck coming back from an unexpected direction with alacrity with little time for re-adjustment.

    Sure, when you need a change, and its 1vs2/3, putting it into the crest is a good play.

    That’s not the norm though.

    When teams are attacking, changing usually isn’t the first goal.

  89. anonymous says:

    The Great One: Just a wild stab at it…

    Maybe Toronto for a package including Nazem Kadri, Jake Gardiner+ ?

    Now that Burke is gone that’s probably a good guess.

  90. AZOIL says:

    Is draisaitl a center or wing? How big is he?

    Romulus Apotheosis: Draisaitl!

    But, I have no idea who the Oilers would prefer.

    The players are described differently. Bennett has more jam attributed to him (TSN anointed him the next Gilmour at the mid-season update), so I suspect if it’s close they choose him.

  91. Captain Smarmy says:

    I’m all in on Bennett! Saw the tape, love the game.

    Oh and the numbers look good too.

  92. spoiler says:

    Sorry about the late post, busy day but I’ve finally had a chance to review the Tulsky article.

    I’m going to be a contrarian here.

    I think all coaches already know what Tulsky’s study showed. I think, in general, they coach to it already. Pretty much all bench managers except those compagni with an Italian football level of defense obsessiveness… catenaccio. And those coaches have little offensive intent, so they would disagree with Tulsky assuming shot rates are The Good. They are looking for a different Good. That isn’t to say Tulsky’s work isn’t important; it confirms some important things and those things raise some important questions.

    It’s hard to disagree with those catenaccio coaches while the NHL continues to reward ties so richly. And the NHL won’t change because the points are set up to generate or accentuate standings parity. And those coaches are also aware of the advantage of carry-ins–it’s the reason why they coach the trap.

    But those Assassins of Aesthetic aside, coaches prefer carry-ins to dump-ins. That can be seen by the data Tulsky reports. There are more carry-ins then dump-ins. The amount is more pronounced among skill players than lesser players–a data point which I wish Tulsky had spent more time with because asking why might reveal what is going on here.

    The point KT makes is valid. Failure rates are important. I suspect Hitchcock already knows something about this. Thresholds are important too.. How much is too aggressive, how much is too conservative? These strategies aren’t independent of each other too. Gagner dumps it in twice, the next time the defenseman cheats a bit and Gagner exploits it for a scoring chance or a goal.

    The answer to the question above, the reason why less-skilled players shoot it in more, is because gaining the zone with possession against a smart, structured, mobile defense is frickin’ hard.

    Sure every coach who wants offense wants carry-ins. But they can’t always get what they want. When repeated attempts to carry it in fail, players are taught to change strategies. They’re taught to take what is given to them, and to make sure they don’t create a giveaway with the players spread and skating in the wrong direction. They’re taught to mix it up and be different, be creative, don’t give the same looks. And sometimes the set-up is awkward and requires a dump in.

    So the coaches all already know about the shot rates of the two strategies. That doesn’t solve a lot for them. The success of regrouping is one of the interesting questions raised by the Tulsky data… and maybe there’s some innovation that can be made there, but let’s face it, we’ve all seen every team employ re-grouping, it’s not like they’re unaware of the strategy. Each line rush has it’s own circumstances and not all of them are conducive to regrouping. The slower more controlled rushes are and that’s usually when we see a team back off and try again.

    So I don’t see this Tulsky study as much of an opportunity to turn down a different corner or innovate. Coaches are already all over this.

    And while it is one step into looking at Hall’s Corsi crater, it doesn’t tell us the ultimate why. Why have there been more dump-ins and less shoot-ins?

    Can’t be coaching if his linemates aren’t experiencing the same effects.

    I will offer my own explanations:

    1. The injury Hall received is not an injury that heals fast. There will be a performance drop until it is fully healed. It may also affect the aggressiveness of his mindset, and his trust in his own speed and mobility, and thus his decision-making

    2. Opposing teams have been able to study Hall’s line and adjust tactics to their play. They will adjust to their opponent’s’ play, discarding what is consistently unsuccessful over time.

    3. A combination of the above.

    I will also throw some general suspicion about qualcomp numbers in there too.

  93. spoiler says:

    One conclusion that I think we can take from Tulsky’s study that no one seems to be making is that it confirms that three scoring lines is a better choice than a top 6-bottom 6 roster set-up. Assuming of course you can fit three good scoring lines under the cap.

  94. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    AZOIL:
    Is draisaitl a center or wing? How big is he?

    Center. Very big at 18.

    http://www.whl.ca/roster/show/id/10729

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