THE PROMISE OF KLEFBOM

The Edmonton Oilers sent Anton Lander down after the game last night, but Oscar Klefbom remains. If he stays with the big club for the next game and is healthy scratched, he counts as a callup.

lander klefbom gregorI hope he gets to play, for two reasons. First, I always enjoy watching the draft picks finally arrive at their goal—even if it’s only for one game and a cup of coffee. The other thing is there’s every chance he’s better than at least one of the guys currently playing defense for the Oilers. That isn’t a terribly high bar, not mentioning names.

 PASSING AND MAKING A PASS

  • Eakins: “We made our mistakes. Tonight, for some reason, we weren’t coming out of zone clean, we were very quick to give up that puck, made some questionable plays that cost us a lot of zone time. That will be the fire that we put out Monday in practice.”

It is SUCH an underrated skill. Taking and making a pass on the fly, hitting that stick and allowing the skater to stay in stride, it’s like being shot out of a cannon: good things are going to happen. Being an Oiler fan these years has tricked our minds into thinking that a player can be

  • either big, strong and aggressive
  • or capable of doing skilled things like taking and making a pass.

It’s like the JF Jacques experiment failed but left an impression that the two things cannot exist in the same player. Except for the other team. Mark Fraser is not a good passer. Taylor Chorney couldn’t win a battle. And yet, Martin Marincin can do both! That’s the promise of Klefbom. That’s why they should play the guy. Big strong guy, fast skater, can handle himself physically. Oiler fans: you CAN have it all! It exists! Just not here, yet. Maybe Klefbom adds a piece to the puzzle Tuesday night.

THE SMARTEST MAN IN THE ROOM IS DARRYL SUTTER?

  • From Matty, Sutter’s response to the idea that the LAK are always defending: “misconception The big thing in today’s game is you have to be able forecheck and backcheck, and you have to have the puck. You can’t give the puck up. We don’t play in our zone, so there’s not much defending.  I’ve coached in three decades now and this stuff where they said Marian had to play in Jacques’s system is a bunch of bull-crap. The game’s changed. They think there’s defending in today’s game. Nah, it’s how much you have the puck. Teams that play around in their own zone think they’re defending but they’re generally getting scored on or taking face-offs and they need a goalie to stand on his head if that’s the way they play.”

colbert

In last night’s game, Taylor Hall faced the following players for more than 6 minutes: Drew Doughty, Jeff Carter, Jarret Stoll, Dwight King. Anze Kopitar faced the following players for more than 6 minutes: Andrew Ference, Justin Schultz, Matt Hendricks, Boyd Gordon. The second defenseman for LAK was either Mitchell or Regehr. I would have liked to see Petry/Marincin out against Kopitar.

One area Eakins continues to drive the action is defensive zone starts. Boyd Gordon (84.6), Matt Hendricks (81.8), Jesse Joensuu (81.8), Ryan Smyth, Ryan Jones and  Luke Gazdic (75) didn’t see much clean air all night. Is Boyd Gordon this team’s MVP? You could make a case.

THE DRAFT

I think there’s a very good chance the Oilers select 2nd or 3rd this year in the draft, and thought we might (if you’re interested this early) begin the discussion about trading up/down and the actual ranking of the top 10. Here’s my list:

  1. D Aaron Ekblad
  2. C Sam Reinhart
  3. C Sam Bennett
  4. C Leon Draisaitl
  5. L Michael Dal Colle
  6. L Jake Virtanen
  7. C Ivan Barbashev
  8. R David Pastrnak
  9. D Julius Honka
  10. L Brandon Perlini

I believe the Oilers will try to secure Ekblad, but if Buffalo won’t back away and in fact selects him, it offers the club a difficult decision. There’s every chance they would be just as happy with Draisaitl as Reinhart or Bennett. So do you deal down? Or grab your player? I’m also fascinated by Virtanen, Barbashev, Patrnak and Honka these days. Interesting draft on the way.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

ssr1The long winter chill has finally left us, and the warmth of the sun delivers Edmonton out of the deep freeze beginning this week. One of these years I’m just going to drive to the damn airport and fly away, but I love this place in spring (and fall, and summer, winter too but Jesus not lately). Anyway, a busy show  (TSN 1260, 10am) today:

  • Scott Burnside, ESPN. The biggest names and stories from the deadline, and who won? SC favorites?
  • Travis Yost, Hockeybuzz. Senators acquired Hemsky, he looks fabulous. Will they sign him?
  • Ryan Pike. Flames Nation. Weird deadline for Burke, we’ll talk about it.
  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. We’ll break down last night’s game and look forward to the Klefbom.
  • Guy Flaming, Pipeline Show. A deeper look into the 2014 entry draft.

10-1260 via text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. I still can’t get over Sutter.

(Marincin photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved).

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141 Responses to "THE PROMISE OF KLEFBOM"

  1. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “it’s like being shot out of a cannon: good things are going to happen.”

    I’m not sure about this simile. Any circus folk who can confirm/deny this?

  2. Pouzar says:

    If Klefbom plays and plays well Tuesday night I am getting very drunk. Thank you.

  3. Doomoil says:

    I dunno man, every time I’ve been shot out of a cannon I’ve kind of regretted it immediately.

    Do we think there will be supplemental discipline for the sucker punch yesterday or did the double minor on the ice cover it? Only saw the highlights.

  4. nelson88 says:

    We need C’s and D’s and already have an abundance of F’s (duh…look at the standings) but that Virtanen guy is certainly intriguing. Very late birthday, already big and putting the puck in the back of the net at an astounding rate.

    I would consider dropping 3 or 4 spots if you think you could get him and some immediate help in the meantime.

  5. gcw_rocks says:

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/3/9/that-s-not-a-good-sign

    Willis’ post should be mandatory trading for anyone who thinks MacT and Eakins are doing a good job. Things are getting worse, and this was before the Hemsky trade.

    Timely, in that it is fairly good proof that the Oilers are the antithesis of Sutter’s comment.

  6. Pouzar says:

    Hendricks at 58% Corgis last night

  7. icecastles says:

    Interesting that Lander was up for such a short stint. I don’t know that I see a lot of value in bringing guys up for single-game auditions. Like you said the other day LT, they need to once and for all figure out what they have in Lander and determine how he fits into future plans. Bringing players to the big team for single-game looks seems to only provided limited info at best. I know he was an emergency call-up, but this late, why not keep him here?

    I guess the answer is in OKC’s playoff push? If so, that’s a perfectly valid reason.

    With Klefbom, if they were to keep him up for the rest of the season, can he still be started on the farm next year without exposing him to waivers? Never been quite clear on this but I beleive once a player has been in X number of games, he has to risk the waiver wire if he’s sent down during the season, but not out of training camp. Is that right?

  8. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    If they target Draisaitl and trade down to 4 to get him he may well be gone. That idea only works if you are comfortable with any of the top 4 players. If you target a specific player you have to secure your spot of move up to get him. It’s too much of a crap shoot on draft day to suss out players’ rank when they are so tightly knit.

    I like the idea of trading down and taking Barbashev who I’ve mentioned a number of times here. Another biggish C who is putting up points and Pronman told me he’s both defensively reliable and likely to play center (not wing) at the pro level.

    Barring a late surge, he’ll be available in the 10-18 range probably. He compares with Lazar last year for rankings purposes.

    You could get a lot of cheese trading down into that range and still pick up a nice player.

  9. icecastles says:

    Pouzar: Hendricks at 58% Corgis last night

    I bet his dogs were barking by game’s end.

  10. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Doomoil:

    Do we think there will be supplemental discipline for the sucker punch yesterday or did the double minor on the ice cover it? Only saw the highlights.

    The double minor wasn’t for the sucker punch. The sucker punch just got a regular 2 mins. the other 2 were for just roughing in general with JJ.

    I doubt the take another look at it. The NHL is very “event/injury” cautious. If it looked worse than it did or if JJ got injured they’d look at it.

  11. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    icecastles: Interesting that Lander was up for such a short stint. I don’t know that I see a lot of value in bringing guys up for single-game auditions. Like you said the other day LT, they need to once and for all figure out what they have in Lander and determine how he fits into future plans. Bringing players to the big team for single-game looks seems to only provided limited info at best. I know he was an emergency call-up, but this late, why not keep him here?

    You kind of answer your own question here… Lander’s case wasn’t an audition but an emerg call-up.

    They sent him back because they want OKC to make the playoffs and apparently plan on calling him up for a proper audition later in the year.

    Apparently they decided to take a longer look at Klef now.

  12. nelson88 says:

    Is there any consensus on where Draisaitl projects to play at the NHL level? I have seen him listed as both a winger and a center.

  13. Ben says:

    I get the sense that six years into this ‘fledgling’ rebuild, MacT has decided to adopt the radical strategy of “building from the net out”. We should be home by 2018.

  14. Woodguy says:

    That Sutter quote has all the corsizati in a tizzy on twitter. (say that 5 times fast)

    Basically the cattleman from Viking boiled down the whole puck possession philosophy into 2 paragraphs.

    Philosophy is best understood in plain language.

    Everyone is in a tizzy because the head coach from one of the most successful teams in the NHL just validated everything they have been saying for the last few years.

    They’re right too, which is nice to see.

    Also,

    If Eakins see that exits are an issue and by extension MacT sees it too, then Fraser shouldn’t play another game.

    The Oiler D who can make the correct first pass are:

    Marincin
    Petry
    Badger

    The Oiler D who can break up a cycle are:

    Marincin
    Petry (kind of)
    Ference (kind of)

    Badger still just stick checks and throws the puck away instead of eating it at the first sign of contact.

    You don’t have to be big to break the cycle, just willing to use what leverage you have separate man from puck and grab the puck.

    Two of the best Dman at doing this in the last 20 or so years?

    Scott Niedermayer 6’1 200 lbs
    Nick Lidstrom 6’1 190 lbs

    Badger is 6’2 190 lbs.

    He also has the foot work to be able to do it too.

    I wish Chuckles Huddy was still around to teach him how. No one is really progressing under Smith. (Marincin arrived hitting on all cylinders)

    So if they can teach Shultz to do this, then all the Oilers need are 3 more Dmen who can and they’re set! *laugh track*

    That is job #1 for MacT this summer.

    Play Klef know and see if he can.

    If he can, then its down to 2.

    1 really because you know Ference isn’t going anywhere, and if he’s 3rd pairing holding a rook’s hand he’ll be ok imo.

  15. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    nelson88:
    Is there any consensuson where Draisaitl projects to play at the NHL level? I have seen him listed as both a winger and a center.

    He’s a center.

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2014/03/the-eternal-kansas-city.html/comment-page-1#comment-299931

  16. Woodguy says:

    Of course the flip side of this is that the Sportsnet crew were praising Fraser every time he managed to stay upright for a whole play sequence.

    We also had the intrepid morning crew on 1260 call Fraser one of the best Oilers in the NYI game when he was worst among D at 28% CF. He knocked a couple guys down after the whistle and got in a fight so that good hockey apparently.

    Add to this Matty saying that if MacT doesn’t sign slow, big, healthy scratch Matt Greene that he’s missing the boat.

    All three of these sentiments can be perfectly described by a twitter hashtag that HBomb lust laid on me.

    #MOARBIGGOOD

    The MOARBIGGOOD people are the antithesis of smart hockey people.

    Smart hockey people want MOARGOODANDBIG

  17. frjohnk says:

    nelson88:
    Is there any consensuson where Draisaitl projects to play at the NHL level? I have seen him listed as both a winger and a center.

    He is a center but I don’t know if he should be an oilers target.
    Yes, he has great vision and skil
    Yes, he is a bigger body and can use his body well to protect the puck.

    But do the oilers need another player about as gritty as Eberle but with maybe average skating?

    Draisaitl himself has said that he is not used to the aggressive North American game. He grew up in a system where the trap is the name of the game and being aggressive is not part of hockey. Maybe he can learn this part of the game, but I guess we will see.

  18. Pouzar says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    If they target Draisaitl and trade down to 4 to get him he may well be gone. That idea only works if you are comfortable with any of the top 4 players. If you target a specific player you have to secure your spot of move up to get him. It’s too much of a crap shoot on draft day to suss out players’ rank when they are so tightly knit.

    I like the idea of trading down and taking Barbashev who I’ve mentioned a number of times here. Another biggish C who is putting up points and Pronman told me he’s both defensively reliable and likely to play center (not wing) at the pro level.

    Barring a late surge, he’ll be available in the 10-18 range probably. He compares with Lazar last year for rankings purposes.

    You could get a lot of cheese trading down into that range and still pick up a nice player.

    I like it. Best of both worlds. Obviously they have to love the player but it would be great if it worked.

    I just can’t shake the idea of The Oil after Jordan Staal. Not necessarily for the pick but in general.

  19. icecastles says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: You kind of answer your own question here… Lander’s case wasn’t an audition but an emerg call-up.

    Yeah I kind of realized the answer as soon as I’d typed the question. But Backspacing all those characters just seemed like so much work. Still, can an emergency call-up not simply be rechristened a regular call-up should they decide to hang onto him for a longer look, once he’s already here?

    There seem to a a number of weird quirks in the CBA where at least on paper you have to send him back down then issue a new, non-emergency call-up or things of that nature.

  20. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    frjohnk: He is a center but I don’t know if he should be an oilers target.
    Yes, he has great vision and skil
    Yes, he is a bigger body and can use his body well to protect the puck.

    But do the oilers need another player about as gritty as Eberle but with maybe average skating?

    Draisaitl himself has said that he is not used to the aggressive North American game.He grew up in a system where the trap is the name of the game and being aggressive is not part of hockey.Maybe he can learn this part of the game, but I guess we will see.

    He’s in his second full season of Dub hockey. He’s fifth in scoring in the Dub and he’s in his draft eligible year. Only Reinhart can say the same. He has exactly one point more than Draisaitl.

    Draisaitl has acclimated pretty damn well to the North American game I’d say.

    Heed the remarks of mr Boring Sutter. Possession not aggression. Kopitar not Ott. Kopi-fucking-tar.

  21. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    icecastles,

    I think the plan re: Lander (and maybe Horak or Arco for that matter) is to try a get them into the playoffs as a first priority.

    Then, I’d expect they’d bench one of Jones, Joensuu, Gazdic, etc. to make room for them on the 3rd line for a proper audition in the final two weeks of the season.

    I think they’ll do this even if the Barons are still fighting for a playoff spot as the priorities will shift.

  22. Pouzar says:

    Yeah Sutter made some sense. It was plain as day last night. We don’t have the damn puck.

  23. FastOil says:

    Sadly I was ready to talk draft pretty much as soon it became obvious they were done. I want to see this thing fixed given it’s been broken so long.

    Interesting to see Gagner have a good game against a smothering team, not normally his forte. It is possible that this season has produced enough stress on him to wake him up, change his perspective.

    And there’s the thing I read and can’t remember where that apparently young guys brains don’t finish wiring up until about 24. If he finishes well let’s hope MacT sticks to what he said – bird in the hand….

  24. fuzzy muppet says:

    LT, Woodguy
    I’m just wondering what your take is on them not playing lander. He’s clearly earned an opportunity with his play on the farm yet Eakins continues to throw guys like Jones and Gazdic out there. Wouldn’t they be better off seeing if Lander can handle this league before they make decisions about him in the Off-season?

    This organization does very few things correctly. I like Gordon to but in an ideal situation, he’s centering the 4th line and not the 3rd. IMO they need to see what Lander can handle.

    Also, the more I watch this team, the more I think that 14 should be the piece moving out. He’s got value and simply doesn’t engage enough for my liking.

    Just asking for your thoughts

  25. Woodguy says:

    fuzzy muppet:
    LT,Woodguy
    I’m just wondering what your take is on them not playing lander. He’s clearly earned an opportunity with his play on the farm yet Eakins continues to throw guys like Jones and Gazdic out there.Wouldn’t they be better off seeing if Lander can handle this league before they make decisions about him in the Off-season?

    This organization does very few things correctly.I like Gordon to but in an ideal situation,he’s centering the 4th line and not the 3rd.IMO they need to see what Lander can handle.

    Also,the more I watch this team, the more I think that 14 should be the piece moving out.He’s got value and simply doesn’t engage enough for my liking.

    Just asking for your thoughts

    This organization is playing Ryan Smyth at 4C for the 2nd straight year.

    Trying to understand their motivation is fruitless.

  26. frjohnk says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: He’s in his second full season of Dub hockey. He’s fifth in scoring in the Dub and he’s in his draft eligible year. Only Reinhart can say the same. He has exactly one point more than Draisaitl.

    Draisaitl has acclimated pretty damn well to the North American game I’d say.

    Heed the remarks of mr Boring Sutter. Possession not aggression. Kopitar not Ott. Kopi-fucking-tar.

    Draisaitl could be compared to Kopitar, Big body, not very aggressive but skilled. Except he does not have the skating of Kopitar. Draisaitl not only needs to work on his skating but his first couple of steps. Once he gets moving, he has OK speed.

    Personally, I hope the oilers do not draft Draisaitl, I have watched him numerous times and there are times he looks really good ( he has great vision) but times he does not seem engaged in the game. Im not fond of gentle giants with so so skating, so I’d rather have the oilers pick Bennett who might be smaller, but is tough to play against and reports say he is an energy player. If the oilers pick Draisaitl, I sure hope the games I saw were just aberrations and he proves me wrong.

  27. frjohnk says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    One more thing about Draisaitl. Im just a hockey fan, my opinion should only be taken with a grain of salt. There are many in higher places than me who hold Draisaitl in high regard. The hockey news has him ranked number 1 in the 2014 draft rankings.

    http://www.thehockeynews.com/blog/2014-nhl-draft-rankings-draisaitl-takes-over-no-1/

  28. su_dhillon says:

    Woodguy: Of course the flip side of this is that the Sportsnet crew were praising Fraser every time he managed to stay upright for a whole play sequence.We also had the intrepid morning crew on 1260 call Fraser one of the best Oilers in the NYI game when he was worst among D at 28% CF. He knocked a couple guys down after the whistle and got in a fight so that good hockey apparently. Add to this Matty saying that if MacT doesn’t sign slow, big, healthy scratch Matt Greene that he’s missing the boat.

    This is the thing, if they want a tough guy back there to clear the net and be all those fake intangibles the MSM talks about fine but if you are trying to win hockey games that guy has to be much better at acually playing hockey then Fraser.

    I think Rom had a post up this week where he discussed the fact that its pretty much understood that Eakins and Mactavish are going to have a F that is a tough guy and same with 6D. Now it seems bat shit crazy to me for a team this bad to think it has the luxury to give a away two spots in the line up to guys who only contribute 1 thing and that 1 thing has very little to do in helping you win games. The only hope is they find guys that can face punch abut also bring something else, take/make a pass, Fraser will never be that guy.

    Btw Rom that post was terrific.

  29. The Great One says:

    Kuznetsov making his debut with Washington tonight.

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=708641&navid=nhl:topheads

  30. book¡je says:

    Woodguy: This organization is playing Ryan Smyth at 4C for the 2nd straight year.

    Trying to understand their motivation is fruitless.

    There are two possibilities here then.

    1. They are woefully incompetent (almost beyond belief bad).

    2. They are doing something other than trying to win at this point, whether that is to keep players in the minors to develop, to force some element of future contract negotiation, etc.

    It could be a combination of both, but I think that to really understand the team, it is important to understand #2. So, starting with the question of ‘Why do they have Smyth at 4th line centre?’, are there any valid answers other than the coaching and management are woefully incompetent?

  31. russ99 says:

    frjohnk,

    That’s exactly why I don’t want them to draft Bennett, because at the end of the day what’s his ceiling in the NHL? 3rd line center/two-way 2nd line center?

    Plus, Monahan last year was a better prospect that Bennett is this year. And Landeskog was a better prospect than Monahan…

    We should be looking at prospects as to what their highest end skill level can be and not to how they can fit the current team.

    Besides, if we need a tough to play against, energy player, I’d prefer we get one with NHL experience this summer than buy high on a potential checking-line player in our likely last top-5 draft pick of the current rebuild.

  32. Captain Smarmy says:

    I’m going on record as not a fan of Virtanen.

    I’ve seen him bad for two years running. (In a small sample)

    He got outscored his last year in midget by Matt Revel, his WHL numbers are ho hum.

    Last night, I didn’t even notice him on the ice. I noticed Chase (he’s pretty small) and Tambellini for the Hitman. I can’t recall the last time I saw Virtanen do anything. Contrast that with a guy like Scherbak who I noticed every time he was on the ice, albeit it was partly because he was trying to do it all but he generated most of the Blades good chances and his setup for their lone goal was a big league pass.

    I think Virtanen is gonna be another Bret Connolly so whoever gets him is gonna be bummed.

  33. sliderule says:

    This team in their own zone is in panic mode.

    Even veterans like Ference are just trying to blindly throw it up the wall without taking a look.I can’t believe he played with Boston for so long doing that.You see skill players like Yakupov just trying to dump it out even when there is no pressure.Then the puck is carried or thrown in and it starts all over.The surprise is that one of the better puck movers has been the rookie Marincin but he may revert soon.

    If you watch the well coached teams like Chicago ,Detroit or Ducks they find an open man and seldom if ever pass it up the wall blindly or to a checked man.They have systems that work not just relying on the dump out.

    Mact has to bite the bullet and hire an experienced and competent coaching staff.

  34. frjohnk says:

    russ99,

    My saying “energy player” was a wrong choice of words. He is a player with a very high compete level, he has great skating and great skill. At the moment, he is slight, but will grow into his body.

  35. Captain Smarmy says:

    russ99:
    frjohnk,

    That’s exactly why I don’t want them to draft Bennett, because at the end of the day what’s his ceiling in the NHL? 3rd line center/two-way 2nd line center?

    I think a guy who currently has 91 points in 56 games in his draft year can have the sky as his ceiling and play it by year.

  36. Pouzar says:

    Wow…Klefbom an official callup now.

  37. Woodguy says:

    book¡je: There are two possibilities here then.

    1. They are woefully incompetent (almost beyond belief bad).

    2. They are doing something other than trying to win at this point, whether that is to keep players in the minors to develop, to force some element of future contract negotiation, etc.

    It could be a combination of both, but I think that to really understand the team, it is important to understand #2.So, starting with the question of ‘Why do they have Smyth at 4th line centre?’, are there any valid answers other than the coaching and management are woefully incompetent?

    That may all be true.

    Given their bizarre track record, I’d rather not speculate.

  38. frjohnk says:

    I think Klefbom has been brought up just so the oilers can see what they have in him and other teams can see him play against nhl players. I think in the right trade, oilers use Klefbom or Marincin as a trade chip in a package for top pairing D man.

  39. sliderule says:

    If you read Staples blog you have to think we stay in second unless a higher team wins the lottery.

    Buffalo have lots of defence so they will take one of centres.

    That will leave us having to decide between Ekblad and one of the centres.

    As it is really difficult to trade or sign for a top center or top two D this leaves the oil with a great opportunity and as long as they get the best player it really doesn’t matter whether it’s centre or D.

    I just hope the oiler scouts are up to the task.

  40. HiddenDarts says:

    Doomoil:
    I dunno man, every time I’ve been shot out of a cannon I’ve kind of regretted it immediately.

    Do we think there will be supplemental discipline for the sucker punch yesterday or did the double minor on the ice cover it? Only saw the highlights.

    I suspect there won’t be supplemental discipline. I was watching the Kings feed, and they went through the replay which showed Joensuu uh, aggressively abusing Nolan’s junk a moment earlier.

    Doesn’t excuse the punch, but that’s what you get when you squeeze the Charmin, I guess.

  41. Woodguy says:

    Patricia Teeter is saying the Klef now counts as the 2nd call up as he wasn’t sent down prior to the game last night.

    Play the man.

    Sit Fraser.

  42. jp says:

    fuzzy muppet:
    LT,Woodguy
    I’m just wondering what your take is on them not playing lander. He’s clearly earned an opportunity with his play on the farm yet Eakins continues to throw guys like Jones and Gazdic out there.Wouldn’t they be better off seeing if Lander can handle this league before they make decisions about him in the Off-season?

    One thing to remember about Lander is that this isn’t necessarily a situation where they need to see what he can do or he’ll be sent away. He’s an RFA this summer, not a UFA. We’re touchy on this because of the parallels with Hartikainen, but I’m not so sure MacT doesn’t realize the potential value of Lander. Games for him this season will help to slot him into next years plans, but don’t necessarily make or break his Oilers career.

    I think he’ll be re-signed this summer regardless of how much/how well he plays down the stretch (though if he’s given a legitimate shot with real NHLers and fails that could have a big impact). The main concern for me is if he ends up lost to waivers in the fall. A good run this season could cement his spot in the lineup. Without that it all depends on his camp performance. But I think we may be reading too much into whether he gets games down the stretch (and how many), especially considering his value to OKC and their playoff push.

  43. Caramel Obvious says:

    Woodguy:
    Patricia Teeter is saying the Klef now counts as the 2nd call up as he wasn’t sent down prior to the game last night.

    Play the man.

    Sit Fraser.

    If he’s here, he has to play. My worry is that they’ll sit Larsen, whom I quite like. This team needs defensemen who will jump into the play. That’s how you keep zone time.

    This team also needs Arcobello on the fourth line, but that’s another story.

    Finally, on Lander I think some people are arguing out of both sides of their mouth. We’ve been arguing for years that young players should spend more time in the minors and when one of them finally does so, we complain about it.

  44. fuzzy muppet says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    I’m not complaining. It’s evident that he’s turned the corner on the farm playing at a point per game pace. Now is when they SHOULD play him in the NHL but they aren’t. .. It’s just baffling how backwards the management does things

  45. icecastles says:

    It’s official: George Snuffleupagus joins HNIC next season.

  46. Woodguy says:

    Caramel Obvious: If he’s here, he has to play.My worry is that they’ll sit Larsen, whom I quite like.This team needs defensemen who will jump into the play.That’s how you keep zone time.

    This team also needs Arcobello on the fourth line, but that’s another story.

    Finally, on Lander I think some people are arguing out of both sides of their mouth.We’ve been arguing for years that young players should spend more time in the minors and when one of them finally does so, we complain about it.

    Eakins tries hard to stay with Lefty-Righty

    Fraser is a Lefty
    Klef is a Lefty
    Larsen is a Righty

  47. Woodguy says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    Finally, on Lander I think some people are arguing out of both sides of their mouth. We’ve been arguing for years that young players should spend more time in the minors and when one of them finally does so, we complain about it.

    That’s fair.

    The argument back is that they are playing a career LW at 4C and letting a > 1pt/gm AHL man play below his current established level.

    Doubly so for Arco

  48. Caramel Obvious says:

    fuzzy muppet:
    Caramel Obvious,

    I’m not complaining. It’s evident that he’s turned the corner on the farm playing at a point per game pace. Now is when they SHOULD play him in the NHL but they aren’t. .. It’s just baffling how backwardsthe management does things

    Look at how long it took Gustav Nyquist to crack the Red Wings. You can’t praise the Red Wings on the one hand and criticize the Oilers on the other.

    Think of how much better the Oilers would be if Eberle had spent a year in the AHL and Hopkins and Yakupov had spent another year in junior.

    They’d be miles ahead, not only would the players be better but in the meantime the Oilers would have been spending their time improving the roster instead of waiting for young players to magically turn into stars.

    The problem here isn’t Lander, it’s Arcobello.

  49. Caramel Obvious says:

    Woodguy: Eakins tries hard to stay with Lefty-Righty

    Fraser is a Lefty
    Klef is a Lefty
    Larsen is a Righty

    That’s encouraging.

    Woodguy:
    Caramel Obvious,

    Finally, on Lander I think some people are arguing out of both sides of their mouth. We’ve been arguing for years that young players should spend more time in the minors and when one of them finally does so, we complain about it.

    That’s fair.

    The argument back is that they are playing a career LW at 4C and letting a > 1pt/gm AHL man play below his current established level.

    Doubly so for Arco

    On this I agree. Arcobello is the guy I want called up. Lander is having his first good season of his pro career. Let him continue it. Lander should start the year in the minors next year too.

  50. Bag of Pucks says:

    So, all the Oil need to play a possession game in today’s NHL is:

    1) Defensemen capable of passing or carrying it out of the zone
    2) Skilled forwards capable of carrying it into the offensive zone
    3) Skilled/gritty forwards capable of maintaining possession on the cycle

    And, we have one of the 3….

    It’s seems like the Oilers’ approach to a ‘rebuild’ was to slap on some new paint, rearrange the furniture, buy a new flat screen and then invite all their friends over to watch the big game (i.e. draft some top picks and immediately throw them to the wolves). Meanwhile the foundation’s cracked, the roof is leaking, and there’s a smell emanating from the basement that brings John Wayne Gacy to mind.

    And still the fans fill the seats for every…damn….game. Masochists.

  51. B S says:

    icecastles:
    It’s official: George Snuffleupagus joins HNIC next season.

    You had me excited until I clicked the link and was reminded that sportsnet owns the rights to hockey now. Looks like I’ll be watching games on mute from now on. Too bad, I’ve liked George since his Much Music days.

  52. Lois Lowe says:

    icecastles,

    I really like Strombo and I think he’ll be a good host. Marek and Millard I could live without.

  53. vangolf says:

    Captain Smarmy: I think a guy who currently has 91 points in 56 games in his draft year can have the sky as his ceiling and play it by year.

    I think there is a serious underrating of Bennett’s skill set. IMO, he will be MacT’s target due his comments about wanting “drivers”. Bennett is a driver. Draisaitl – for all his other attributes – is not.

  54. icecastles says:

    Lois Lowe: I really like Strombo and I think he’ll be a good host. Marek and Millard I could live without.

    Ditto. He’s a great host and an excellent interviewer. Hopefully he’ll at least help on the After Hours shows as well.

    I wonder exactly how all this will work, as CBC no longer has editorial control, and these folks are hired by CBC not SN.

    Now if they can get rid of Kevin Weekes. Every once in a while I’ll read an article on NHL.com and be aghast at the lack of insight and utterly unsophisticated writing style. It’s startling how often I’ll scroll up to check the byline and see it was penned by Kevin Cliche Weekes. How these guys get jobs….

  55. bendelson says:

    LT – I heard you mention on the radio today that Gagner is playing really well.
    Do you mean Gagner is getting points or do you actually believe he is playing well?

    Maybe it’s just too much water under the bridge, but I do not receive any enjoyment out of watching him play hockey anymore. I see him as selfish and largely indifferent – insistent on being a one dimensional player for the Oilers just going through the motions. It wasn’t always the case – but damn if it isn’t all I see these days…

    Points will hopefully help MacT get something useful for this player in the summer – they sure don’t help the Oilers win hockey games.

  56. book¡je says:

    Woodguy: That may all be true.

    Given their bizarre track record, I’d rather not speculate.

    Me neither, I honestly go back and forth between thinking that they know what they are doing (usually after a press availability) and thinking they are totally incompetent (usually after the team actually plays a game).

  57. thejonrmcleod says:

    Gregor has some interesting comments from Perron, Gagner, and Eakins about the pace of the Oilers’ practices.

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/3/10/pace-in-practice?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

  58. Truth says:

    What’s the deal with Friedman? Is he making the switch over to Rogers, or TSN? If he was making the move to TSN I think 100% of the better crew is there and Rogers has the B team.

  59. book¡je says:

    If Hemsky plays really well for Ottawa, Sam Gagner’s value may rise.

    Really, given the Oilers probably have an NHLE of 0.7, Gagner is doing quite well.

  60. Bag of Pucks says:

    It’s probably safe to assume we have some current season ticket holders on the board.

    If yes, could I possibly impose upon one or two to satisfy some incredible curiosity I have in regards to the very simple question of, ‘Are you planning on renewing for next season? And if yes, what is the driver behind that decision?’

    As this season of supposed ‘bold moves’ drags to a close, we have clearly reached the ‘lost in the desert’ phase of this rebuild. And Katz’ response is to maintain the status quo…

    I think professional sports franchises (specifically perennial losers) are very unique in that, you would be hard pressed to identify another consumer based business that delivers such a poor return on the customer investment whilst maintaining steadfast brand loyalty. But pragmatically at least, you would hope that, at some point, the consumer says, “Enough is enough. You may be the only game in town, but your product is horseshit!”

    Will Edmonton’s hockey faithful ever reach that point, or will Katz always be the smartest man in the room because he knows a ‘captive audience’ when he sees one?

    This team has literally become a metaphor for the city. Miserable winters followed by the hope of renewal in spring. What used to be a joke is no longer funny.

  61. Big Dan says:

    Pouzar,

    I would flip our first pick to Jordan Staal in a heartbeat. One of the best two-way players in the game signed for another 8 years.

    Eberle is getting paid $6M/year and Jordan Staal is much more valuable. Over time, Staal’s cap hit will become more and more reasonable.

    They flip Gagner for a Clifford/Martinez package, pick up Staal and a Markov-type… and the likes of RNH and Horak drink some protein shakes while working out over the summer, and they’re in the playoff picture.

    Drasaitl, etc… whatever. I don’t want any more kids. Neither does MacT. Everybody is out of patience. Unless it’s Ekblad, flip it.

  62. bendelson says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    In regards to why season tickets holders would re-new for next season:

    The question is: can I endure another lost season or two in hopes that the end to all this failure is near? Reasonable or not, there is this notion that if one is to give up their season tickets today, they will be unable to get them back should the team ever get their shit together.

  63. bendelson says:

    Note: To be clear, I am NOT a season ticket holder. I have an opportunity to take over the ‘family tickets’ and am extremely hesitant to do so anytime soon.

  64. OilClog says:

    I know we steam roll through coaches, but Eakins is worse then Ted Green.

  65. Bag of Pucks says:

    bendelson:
    Note:To be clear, I am NOT a season ticket holder.I have an opportunity to take over the ‘family tickets’ and am extremely hesitant to do so anytime soon.

    Thanks for replying. Safe to say then that it’s is a case of ‘the demand exceeding the supply?’

    I’ve always suspected that’s the case in a hockey mad market like this. What I’ve never understood is why there isn’t more competition to spend that disposable income elsewhere? Given the state of this team, if the choice is Oiler season tickets or say, an extra 4 weeks a year holiday in sunnier climes, it’s an absolute no brainer for me which option offers the better return.

    The hardest thing for me to understand is what is the cause for optimism for this team that consistently convinces the ticket buying fan that they will get better next season or the one after? Other teams have drafted high and stayed in the basement before (Islanders, Thrashers, Panthers, etc.). This team has the WORST winning percentage in the league since the 2004-05 lockout and they’re on track for another bottom 3 finish this season with one of the worst goal differentials in team history.

    Good on you for resisting the urge of the inherited tix. Too many Oiler fans are sitting at the poker table, thoroughly convinced their next hand is the one where they’ll finally draw to the inside straight. It’s a collective delusion/hypnotism that’s almost bordering on cult dynamics. Or maybe I’m just feeling this way cos I watched ‘The Master’ over the weekend!

  66. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    Lois Lowe:
    icecastles,

    I really like Strombo and I think he’ll be a good host. Marek and Millard I could live without.

    Pick the night. Pick your poison.

    Stroumboulopoulos – Sat
    MacLean – Sun
    Millard – Wed
    Marek – Thurs

  67. Woodguy says:

    Caramel Obvious: That’s encouraging.

    On this I agree.Arcobello is the guy I want called up.Lander is having his first good season of his pro career.Let him continue it.Lander should start the year in the minors next year too.

    Lander won’t clear waivers next year.

    NHL on the OIlers or somewhere else.

  68. jp says:

    vangolf: I think there is a serious underrating of Bennett’s skill set.IMO, he will be MacT’s targetdue his comments about wanting “drivers”.Bennett is a driver. Draisaitl – for all his other attributes – is not.

    Agreed about Bennett, and think he’ll likely be the target among the forwards.

    I think though that Ekblad remains the real #1 target. I’m not sure where else MacT is going to come up with a #1 D (had thought that Eberle/Yak might be moved for one, but keeping Hemsky to replace the departed was part of that vision). We’ll likely see some stopgaps and a long slow re-re-build until Ekblad/Nurse/Klefbom/Marincin are contributing. The young D also may not be included in trades for that reason.

  69. fuzzy muppet says:

    Woodguy,

    Which is why he should be playing now. See if he can handle the last 16 Games. Exposing him to Waivers(or handing him a spot without proof) without knowing what he can or can’t do is the definition of stupidity.

  70. G Money says:

    thejonrmcleod:
    Gregor has some interesting comments from Perron, Gagner, and Eakins about the pace of the Oilers’ practices.

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/3/10/pace-in-practice?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    Quite an interesting article indeed. This particular paragraph really resonated for me:

    The Oilers don’t have a very big or aggressive blueline. Prior to Mark Fraser’s arrival, Andrew Ference was the only D-man who would play physical. I’ve watched Fraser in practice and he doesn’t go easy on the forwards. That will help them. If they are never exposed to playing against big, mean and aggressive defenders in practice, it makes sense that they would struggle against them in a game. Fraser at least gives them an idea of how hard it will be to go to the net or come out the corner against a big D-man. Petry, J.Schultz, N.Schultz, Potter and Larsen never presented that challenge.

    The statement “don’t have a very big or aggressive blueline” is an enormous understatement. The “big” teams in the NHL average 205 lbs for their forwards and 210+ lbs for their defense. (I’ve run the numbers on the Pacific Division plus Pit and Chi). The Oiler forwards average 195 lbs and the defense averages 192 (!!) lbs. A little higher than that with both Fraser and Belov on the roster, but that’s rare. Only Calgary is close.

    Basically, the other teams defense manhandles the Oiler forwards, and the other teams forwards manhandle the Oiler defense. Never so obvious as against really big teams like LA and StL.

    Per earlier discussions on the value of Fraser, at least maybe having him around will enable the forwards to learn how to better handle big D in a regular practice situation, rather than practicing against midgets and getting beat up in real games.

  71. Ryan says:

    OilClog:
    I know we steam roll through coaches, but Eakins is worse then Ted Green.

    Seriously. I don’t think Eakins is moving the ball forward nor do I think he can.

    FFS. Look at Renney’s 5v5 Fen close %

    http://www.extraskater.com/team/edmonton-oilers/2011

  72. denny33 says:

    gcw_rocks,

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/3/9/that-s-not-a-good-sign
    Willis’ post should be mandatory trading for anyone who thinks MacT and Eakins are doing a good job. Things are getting worse, and this was before the Hemsky trade.
    Timely, in that it is fairly good proof that the Oilers are the antithesis of Sutter’s comment.
    **********************************************************************************************
    Great link…required reading.

    Thanks,

  73. rickithebear says:

    Ryan: Seriously.I don’t think Eakins is moving the ball forward nor do I think he can.

    FFS.Look at Renney’s 5v5 Fen close %

    http://www.extraskater.com/team/edmonton-oilers/2011

    Do you realize how stupid fenwick Is.

    it basically says.

    I recognize that corsi is silly cause it does not look at the variance in shot quality and results.
    but I am only going to list the 100% fail and not look at the variance in the shots that suceed.

  74. denny33 says:

    vangolf,

    I think there is a serious underrating of Bennett’s skill set. IMO, he will be MacT’s target due his comments about wanting “drivers”. Bennett is a driver. Draisaitl – for all his other attributes – is not.
    **********************************************************************************
    Could not agree more…

    Bennett is 8 months *Younger* than Draistl…..

    2 Way centre with some offensive pop.

    Thinking they ( Edmonton ) want Ekblad – but Sam Bennett I suspect is there next choice…

  75. hoser313 says:

    Caramel Obvious:

    Finally, on Lander I think some people are arguing out of both sides of their mouth.We’ve been arguing for years that young players should spend more time in the minors and when one of them finally does so, we complain about it.

    I’m probably one of those people. Really, I just want to see Lander get good ice time. Normally that would mean getting big minutes in OKC. However, we have a unique situation up in Edmonton now (err, unique to most organizations) because there are 20 games or so that could be used to give players like Lander, Klef and Fedun a 5-10 game audition with little downside.

    The key is it has to include 2nd or 3rd line minutes. No contest on comparing big minutes in OKC vs. five minutes of ice time per game at 4C as to which one is better for development.

    We’ve already seen auditions from Arco, Larsen, Grebs (and now Fraser).

  76. rickithebear says:

    Pocession analysis starts with the most basic points
    1. Pocession per team by game.
    2. What zone does procession start.
    3. Entry rate success.
    3. Shot rate/pocession type by player
    4. Average distance of shots/type of procession
    This tells you a f…alot more!

  77. hoser313 says:

    Woodguy:

    If Eakins see that exits are an issue and by extension MacT sees it too, then Fraser shouldn’t play another game.

    The Oiler D who can make the correct first pass are:

    Marincin
    Petry
    Badger

    The Oiler D who can break up a cycle are:

    Marincin
    Petry (kind of)
    Ference (kind of)

    Badger still just stick checks and throws the puck away instead of eating it at the first sign of contact.

    You don’t have to be big to break the cycle, just willing to use what leverage you have separate man from puck and grab the puck.

    Play Klef know and see if he can.

    If he can, then its down to 2.

    1 really because you know Ference isn’t going anywhere, and if he’s 3rd pairing holding a rook’s hand he’ll be ok imo.

    These are all very good points. Nick Schultz had his other good qualities, but ultimately the team got rid of his “backhand the puck around the boards without raising it” special clearing attempts. There is an opportunity now to bring in someone a little better at zone exits.

  78. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    frjohnk: Draisaitl could be compared to Kopitar, Big body, not very aggressive but skilled. Except he does not have the skating of Kopitar. Draisaitl not only needs to work on his skating but his first couple of steps. Once he gets moving, he has OK speed.

    We need to define “skater” here. Do you mean “speed” and/or “edges”

    For example, Gazdic is a very good skater, better than Draisaitl and Kopitar, if by skating you mean “speed”

    He is a horrible skater, however, if you mean ability to pivot and do edge work at speed and or position himself appropriately.

    Kopitar is not fast. Not like Hall, say. Neither is Draisaitl. But you have to contextualize that deficiency and figure out if they make up for it or not. RNH is not a fast skater either.

    Most NHLers are not blessed with explosive speed or high top speed. Speed is vital in the new NHL, but not everyone can have or must have exceptionally good speed.

    vangolf: I think there is a serious underrating of Bennett’s skill set.IMO, he will be MacT’s targetdue his comments about wanting “drivers”.Bennett is a driver. Draisaitl – for all his other attributes – is not.

    I’ve taken Staples to task many times for relying on this amorphous word “driver”

    Unless you can give me a thoroughgoing, reliable, repeatable definition of it and how it might be measured, it is little more than the bias-prone dribble that “truculence” is.

    We don’t need to expand our hockey vocabulary. We need to prune it and become more exacting in its usage.

    If you prefer a player to another you should be able to give a full accounting of it. buzz words are not that accounting.

  79. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    denny33: Bennett is 8 months *Younger* than Draistl…..

    This is a real concern about Draisaitl. He’s one of the older prospects available. This is a huge factor.

  80. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    su_dhillon,

    Thanks!

    There was some good counterarguments made too. WG notably.

    I’m thinking of doing a thing on Gazdic later in the week.

  81. gcw_rocks says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Bennett or Ekblad. Those are the best fit for the Oilers. Hoping for Bennett personally, but I could live with Ekblad.

    But I wanted Huberdeau over RNH for the same reasons, so what do i know.

  82. judgedrude says:

    Looking at the stats page at NHL.com, something caught my eye:

    Crosby – 0.841 PPG at Evens
    Hall – 0.826 PPG at Evens (Sorry, I didn’t know how to do P/60)

    It looks like one of these players has inflated stats from the power play. Who would you like at evens?

  83. godot10 says:

    gcw_rocks:
    http://oilersnation.com/2014/3/9/that-s-not-a-good-sign

    Willis’post should be mandatory trading for anyone who thinks MacT and Eakins are doing a good job. Things are getting worse, and this was before the Hemsky trade.

    Timely, in that it is fairly good proof that the Oilers are the antithesis of Sutter’s comment.

    In the “50 Mission Cap” thread two days ago:

    GODOT10 says:
    March 8, 2014 at 7:48 am
    http://www.extraskater.com/team/edmonton-oilers/2013
    If one looks at the rolling 10-game averages for Fenwick close and PDO, arguably, Eakins and things are getting worse, and not better.
    PDO can hide a lot of sins in the short term. Right?
    Early in the season, PDO amplified how bad Eakins as a coach was. Currently, it is severely attenuating how bad Eakins is.
    (Quote) (Reply)

  84. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    judgedrude:
    Looking at the stats page at NHL.com, something caught my eye:

    Crosby – 0.841 PPG at Evens
    Hall – 0.826 PPG at Evens (Sorry, I didn’t know how to do P/60)

    It looks like one of these players has inflated stats from the power play.Who would you like at evens?

    Behind the net is a good place for p/60

    Hall is currently 2nd in the NHL in p/60 for players with >40 gps

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=20&f1=2013_s&f2=5v5&f7=40-&c=0+1+3+5+17+18+19+20

    right ahead of Seguin, ha! those two are going to follow each other around for years.

    Crosby is 7th.

  85. frjohnk says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: We need to define “skater” here. Do you mean “speed” and/or “edges”

    For example, Gazdic is a very good skater, better than Draisaitl and Kopitar, if by skating you mean “speed”

    He is a horrible skater, however, if you mean ability to pivot and do edge work at speed and or position himself appropriately.

    Kopitar is not fast. Not like Hall, say. Neither is Draisaitl. But you have to contextual that deficiency and figure out if they make up for it or not. RNH is not a fast skater either.

    From my eye, Draisaitl is a “clunky” skater on the worst side of the scale and maybe an OK skater on best side of the scale. Skating is not a strength for Draisaitl like his vision is.

    His first and second gears are on the slower side. But once he gets moving he can accelerate decently. One thing I like about him is that once he reaches 5th gear he is not afraid to use his body and drive the net with the puck.

    Draisaitl is not a player that really plays with speed, he is the type of player that loves to slow the game down and look to set someone up. Like Joe Thornton.

  86. lazerguidedmelody says:

    Hmmm.

    Allan Walsh ‏@walsha 2m
    Talked with NHL team exec who assailed all use of analytics as worthless, claimed team would never use them. Team in bottom 3rd of standings

  87. godot10 says:

    gcw_rocks:
    http://oilersnation.com/2014/3/9/that-s-not-a-good-sign

    Timely, in that it is fairly good proof that the Oilers are the antithesis of Sutter’s comment.

    Krueger let Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, and Eberle play to their strengths, and they spent much more of their time attacking and playing in the other teams zone.

    Eakins doesn’t play players to their strengths. He has them focusing on defending in their own zone, and voila, those three are playing in their own zone, and it shows in the Corsi hit those three took this year.

    Tippett made a similar comment about the ability of defensemen to defend. In a Lowetide post somewhere a year or so ago (I think), he quoted Tippett commenting on two defensemen and advanced stats. One defensemen was a worse defender, but Phoenix spent much less time in their own zone when he was on the ice, so he was actually the better defender, because the team didn’t have to defend as much when he was on the ice.

  88. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    lazerguidedmelody:
    Hmmm.

    Allan Walsh ‏@walsha2m
    Talked with NHL team exec who assailed all use of analytics as worthless, claimed team would never use them. Team in bottom 3rd of standings

    hahaha.

    sounds about right.

  89. VanOil says:

    How have the Oilers not had a man from Viking at the helm?

    Buffalo has a goals for problem not a goals against problem, selecting Ekblad would surprise me.

    Edmonton is likely to fall in love with Ekblad. I would much rather they select Reinhart, Draisaitl or Bennett.

    If they want a young D with top end potential I would much rather they trade the pick for Griffin Reinhart or Adam Larsson both are more NHL ready now and have the same potential long term.

    If Buffalo picks ahead of the Oilers and select Ekblad does Ehrhoff shake free? If Florida picks ahead of the Oilers and select Ekblad does Kulikov shake free?

    I am all in for the Oilers fixing the D this summer. I would be willing to trade both this years 1st round pick and next years. I would like at least one of the following in return in ranked order;

    Kulikov, Adam Larsson, Griffen Reinhert, Ehrhoff.

    NJ might covet this years pick. NYI and Florida might covet next years.

    Or Gagner + Germat for Larsson then 2015 1st and Fedun for Kulikov and pick a Center.

  90. VOR says:

    lazerguideboy,

    According to Sloan Conference at MIT one of the leading early adopters of SportsVu and now PointView (these are technologies and analytical tools for examining players decision making abilities in real time – the NBA is a wee bit ahead of the NHL) was the Toronto Raptors.

  91. vangolf says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I’ve taken Staples to task many times for relying on this amorphous word “driver”Unless you can give me a thoroughgoing, reliable, repeatable definition of it and how it might be measured, it is little more than the bias-prone dribble that “truculence” is.We don’t need to expand our hockey vocabulary. We need to prune it and become more exacting in its usage.If you prefer a player to another you should be able to give a full accounting of it. buzz words are not that accounting.

    Your dislike of a subjective term or the fact that it has not been defined for you, doesn’t mean that it does not exist in MacT’s mind or that it will not influence a decision. What is a driver in MacT’s eye? I don’t know, but imagine it has something to do with leadership qualities, desire to engage, a guy who plays on the edge, being vocal, hold teammates accountable, etc.

  92. Hammers says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    It’s probably safe to assume we have some current season ticket holders on the board.

    If yes, could I possibly impose upon one or two to satisfy some incredible curiosity I have in regards to the very simple question of, ‘Are you planning on renewing for next season? And if yes, what is the driver behind that decision?’

    As this season of supposed ‘bold moves’ drags to a close, we have clearly reached the ‘lost in the desert’ phase of this rebuild. And Katz’ response is to maintain the status quo…

    I think professional sports franchises (specifically perennial losers) are very unique in that, you would be hard pressed to identify another consumer based business that delivers such a poor return on the customer investment whilst maintaining steadfast brand loyalty. But pragmatically at least, you would hope that, at some point, the consumer says, “Enough is enough. You may be the only game in town, but your product is horseshit!”

    Will Edmonton’s hockey faithful ever reach that point, or will Katz always be the smartest man in the room because he knows a ‘captive audience’ when he sees one?

    This team has literally become a metaphor for the city. Miserable winters followed by the hope of renewal in spring. What used to be a joke is no longer funny.

    I was a ticket holder with 6 tickets from 1979 to 1989 then cut back to 2 . My 4 sons had grown up .1 of my sons now has 2 tickets and he sells of half every year . and the last 2 years he sells about half again . The killer for this generation isn’t just the ticket price , its parking or cabs, a couple of beers and maybe food . He pays for 1 pair of tickets what I paid for 6 and i’m not kidding let alone a crappy product . The fear I think is that this team will be good again and after burning money for years you keep hoping .Really sad .

  93. vangolf says:

    Insofar as we are discussing draft alternatives, my number one choice would be to target Trouba out of Winnipeg with our first rounder. Since our collapse in game #1 of this season, I have been in love with what Trouba brings. Rom will hate this, but he is a “driver”…haha.

  94. VOR says:

    NBA – working on ways of determining individual players performance in game situations and converting that into information the coach can relay to the player to improve their on court performance. League making information and technology available to all teams.

    NHL – ???

  95. godot10 says:

    fuzzy muppet:
    LT,Woodguy
    I’m just wondering what your take is on them not playing lander. He’s clearly earned an opportunity with his play on the farm yet Eakins continues to throw guys like Jones and Gazdic out there.Wouldn’t they be better off seeing if Lander can handle this league before they make decisions about him in the Off-season?

    This organization does very few things correctly.I like Gordon to but in an ideal situation,he’s centering the 4th line and not the 3rd.IMO they need to see what Lander can handle.

    Also,the more I watch this team, the more I think that 14 should be the piece moving out.He’s got value and simply doesn’t engage enough for my liking.

    Just asking for your thoughts

    I think they sort of know what they have in Lander in the minimal sense. They have a guy who can handle 4th line duties next year. They need to investigate whether he has more potential than that.
    They almost certainly are going to qualify him.

    The greater priority for the Oilers right now is not probing Lander’s potential but getting Klefbom, Gernat, Musil (and maybe Dillon Simpson) into the AHL playoffs. Which is why I think Arco and Lander are being “abused” by the Oilers. Marincin got an extra 20 or so high level AHL playoff games on the 1st pairing last year.

    That might be the right choice.

  96. rickithebear says:

    Christ!
    Cherry and Snuffy!

    A woman drowns her kids!
    One wants her stoned to death.
    The other hugs her and says its here fathers fault!

  97. Ryan says:

    rickithebear: Do you realize how stupid fenwick Is.

    it basically says.

    I recognize that corsi is silly cause it does not look atthe variance in shot quality and results.
    but I am only going to list the 100% fail and not look at the variance in the shots that suceed.

    keep an open mind, then go to extra skater.

    Look at the playoff bound teams vs. those that aren’t.

    The crappy teams like the Oilers have a cumulative 5v5 Fenclose of 44% while teams like the Kings, Sharks, Hawks, Blues, etc are over 50%.

    Effectively, it eliminates the ‘puck luck’ of PDO and gives you a pretty good indication if a team sucks or is headed for the playoffs.

  98. Ryan says:

    godot10: In the “50 Mission Cap” thread two days ago:

    GODOT10 says:
    March 8, 2014 at 7:48 am
    http://www.extraskater.com/team/edmonton-oilers/2013
    If one looks at the rolling 10-game averages for Fenwick close and PDO, arguably, Eakins and things are getting worse, and not better.
    PDO can hide a lot of sins in the short term. Right?
    Early in the season, PDO amplified how bad Eakins as a coach was. Currently, it is severely attenuating how bad Eakins is. (Quote)(Reply)

    Yes, things have been getting worse–even since Renney’s last season where he ended with a cumulative 5v5 fenclose % of 48!!!

  99. godot10 says:

    Caramel Obvious:

    Think of how much better the Oilers would be if Eberle had spent a year in the AHL

    Eberle led the Oilers in scoring his rookie season. He could clearly handle the NHL. You coach and develop him at a level where there is some challenge. He had seen the AHL at the end of two previous junior hockey seasons, and excelled. He played in two Wold Juniors and a World Championship and excelled. The two AHL stints, the two WJ stints, and the WC stint should count for at least half an AHL season of development all told. He was ready for the NHL.

  100. VOR says:

    Many NHL teams admit to or claim to be using their own analytical tools/statistical metrics/data mining etc. At this year’s Sloan/MIT Don Sweeney the Bruins Assistant AGM said they are now using a shot quality metric of some kind from data they collect themselves since they don’t trust the NHL’s official statistics. For all we know there are some very sophisticated models and approaches being used.

    In the early days of SportsVu and other NBA analytics approaches neither fans nor media had any idea of the technological revolution that was coming. Maybe the NHL is like that. We would never know since most of what is under development is clearly proprietary and thus we fans have no access to it whatsoever.

    It certainly seems likely that anybody who has been going to Sloan regularly and been following developments in other sports and the related research is moving more and more to decision based analysis and away from any “statistic” or “derived statistic”. In other words away from how many shots you got and towards how did you decide to shoot the puck then and was it the right decision. There has been a lot of talk in the industry for the last few years about how to make sabermetrics useful to coaches and players. This has occurred at the same time that it has become apparent that often the most successful strategy is the one your opponent isn’t expecting. You need to read and react and that means it all comes down to how well your players can do that. New generation analytics is going to focus on measuring this skill and making it possible for coaches to use feedback to improve the skill set of individuals.

  101. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    vangolf: Your dislike of a subjective term or the fact that it has not been defined for you, doesn’t mean that it does not exist in MacT’s mind or that it will not influence a decision.What is a driver in MacT’s eye? I don’t know, but imagine it has something to do with leadership qualities, desire to engage, a guy who plays on the edge, being vocal, hold teammates accountable, etc.

    I never claimed it didn’t exist in MacT’s head or that some haven’t tried to define what MacT might mean by it.

    The premise of my objection is that until there is a reliable, repeatable, clear and distinct definition, it is at best a useful supplementary description of a player’s attributes and at worst little more than empty phrasework to justify a preference.

    I’ll also note that none of the qualities you listed have anything to do with being good at hockey. Your definition such as it is fit anyone from Ference to Hordichuk. This isn’t to say that they aren’t useful descriptions of players and their attributes.

  102. godot10 says:

    thejonrmcleod:
    Gregor has some interesting comments from Perron, Gagner, and Eakins about the pace of the Oilers’ practices.

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/3/10/pace-in-practice?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    Eakins is teaching the Oilers how to play in their own zone, so/and that is where they play. Self-fulfilling coaching. The anti-Sutter and the anti-Tippett.

    Systems should be designed based on the available talent. The talent shouldn’t be shoehorned into some brilliant theory of system play inside the head of an AHL coach.

  103. vangolf says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I never claimed it didn’t exist in MacT’s head or that some haven’t tried to define what MacT might mean by it. The premise of my objection is that until there is a reliable, repeatable, clear and distinct definition, it is at best a useful supplementary description of a player’s attributes and at worst little more than empty phrasework to justify a preference.I’ll also note that none of the qualities you listed have anything to do with being good at hockey. Your definition such as it is fit anyone from Ference to Hordichuk. This isn’t to say that they aren’t useful descriptions of players and their attributes.

    I think you should take a page from US Supreme Court Judge Potter Stewart when he famously held the test for obscenity was “I know it when I see it”.

    I know a driver when I see it and I know the type of player I want on the Oilers. Bennett sounds like it and Draisaitl doesn’t.

  104. Rondo says:

    Trying to fit the evidence into a presumed narrative, he’ll bias his judgment of the facts.

  105. VOR says:

    Ryan – not to nitpick but

    6th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 15th – those are the FC% rankings for NJ, Vancouver, Detroit, Ottawa, and Nashville all currently on the outside looking in

    21st, 23rd, 25th, 26th, 29th – those are the FC% rankings for Minnesota, Montreal, Philadelphia, Colorado, and Toronto all of whom are currently in the playoffs.

    The average ranking for Fenwick Close % for teams in the playoffs is 13th in the NHL in Fenwick Close.

  106. Bag of Pucks says:

    Hammers: The fear I think is that this team will be good again and after burning money for years you keep hoping .Really sad .

    Thanks Hammers. The psychology on this is really interesting. It sounds like the same rationale that people have holding onto a stock when the market is obviously crashing.

    Turning that loser stock around must be what Lowe meant when he referred to ‘chasing the dream for the fans’ in his now infamous presser.

    Oiler ducats analagous to Bre-X wallpaper. Makes sense. If only we could’ve gotten Prendergast in a helicopter back in the day.

  107. judgedrude says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:

    Wow! Thanks! Even better than I would have guessed considering “team effects”.

    Hall’s in
    A
    League of his own.
    Love him.

  108. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    vangolf: I think you should take a page from US Supreme Court Judge Potter Stewart when he famously held the test for obscenity was “I know it when I see it”.

    I know a driver when I see it and I know the type of player I want on the Oilers.Bennett sounds like it and Draisaitl doesn’t.

    So, it’s an intangible privy to isolated opinions?

    I don’t think that is going to get us very far.

    I think we need to remind ourselves that one man who just left town was variously described as “soft” “lazy” “disinterested” “enigmatic” etc. and another man who just left town was variously described as a “warrior” “workhorse” and being “steady” having a “veteran presence” etc.

    These terms are liable to two things we should avoid like the plague: bias as uneven distribution of attributes and bias as overvaluing attributes that don’t help you win over attributes that do.

  109. bendelson says:

    One game for Nolan.

  110. RexLibris says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: So, it’s an intangible privy to isolated opinions?

    I don’t think that is going to get us very far.

    I think we need to remind ourselves that one man who just left town was variously described as “soft” “lazy” “disinterested” “enigmatic” etc. and another man who just left town was variously described as a “warrior” “workhorse” and being “steady” having a “veteran presence” etc.

    These terms are liable to two things we should avoid like the plague: bias as uneven distribution of attributes and bias as overvaluing attributes that don’t help you win over attributes that do.

    I am 100% in favour of this approach. It allows me to say, unequivocally and without any room for argument, that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is the premier player of his age…because I believe it to be true and I know things about stuff.

    ;)

    It seems to me that you have come around to describing the justification of many of the hockey observers we like to describe as “old-school”, or the seen-him-good crowd.

    Unfortunately, as you say the “intangible(s) privy to isolated opinions” is exactly the situation in which we fans find ourselves as we stand on the outside looking in at management who, for better or worse, are reticent to detail their decision-making processes to the hyper-vigilant masses.

  111. Bag of Pucks says:

    bendelson:
    One game for Nolan.

    That’ll learn him.

  112. rickithebear says:

    Ryan: keep an open mind, then go to extra skater.

    Look at the playoff bound teams vs. those that aren’t.

    The crappy teams like the Oilers have a cumulative 5v5 Fenclose of 44% while teams like the Kings, Sharks, Hawks, Blues, etc are over 50%.

    Effectively, it eliminates the ‘puck luck’ of PDO and gives you a pretty good indication if a team sucks or is headed for the playoffs.

    There is a rough basis to all these time in moment stats.
    I understand and respect there basis.
    I hate the obvious flaws that give clear false results.

    Sutter is correct on procession.
    But shots that get thru are 1-30%
    And shot count is equal to location and goalie afffect.
    This has been my belief from day one.
    on average 140 – 160 processions.
    60 from face off.
    The other 80-100 dependent on zone entry type, player giveaway/takeaway, willingness to enter the over 8% shooting area, defensive ability of Box protection.

    All those trite comments, Are the Basis for Common sense pocession analysis,
    win the puck battles, win along the boards, drive the net, block the shots, Back check,

  113. RexLibris says:

    Bag of Pucks: That’ll learn him.

    I was going to say “that smarted him” but backed off.

  114. G Money says:

    Apropos of nothing…

    Anyone know where I can get my hands on a large volume of NHL game by game shot save data?

    That is: for each game, the goalie(s) involved, the shots, the saves. Ideally five to ten years worth.

    I am refreshing/relearning about Bayesian statistics and am mulling over using them to help answer the questions: how good are Scrivens and Fasth really?

    Secondary project to predict long term success of 1st round draft picks, but that will be more complicated and I haven’t yet solved the question of what types of data are needed to feed the equations for that…

  115. rickithebear says:

    As for Klefbom,
    I see him moving the puck up the ice,
    Protecting the box.
    He is our heaviest mobile Dman.
    Adds to the left Dmen.

    Passing and Board play is our biggest issue.

  116. stevezie says:

    godot10: The talent shouldn’t be shoehorned into some brilliant theory of system play inside the head of an AHL coach.

    See, this is the problem.

    Evidence of Eakins’ imperfection is mounting, but your use of the term “AHL coach” looks ridiculous. That’s were future coaches come from. John Cooper was an AHL coach, Roy is a major junior coach, for crying out loud, what’s your point?

    His problem is he might be a bad coach. You’re coming like a guy saying, “See? I told you Sagittariuses can’t do math!” Accidental knowledge.

  117. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    bendelson:
    One game for Nolan.

    wow!

    I for sure thought he’d get nothing. This is good news.

  118. delooper says:

    stevezie: See, this is the problem.

    The term “AHL coach” is used to distinguish NHL coaches that come from the AHL ranks, vs. say, the love child of Scott Bowman and Ken Hitchcock. That’s an NHL coach with pedigree.

  119. RexLibris says:

    delooper: The term “AHL coach” is used to distinguish NHL coaches that come from the AHL ranks, vs. say, the love child of Scott Bowman and Ken Hitchcock.That’s an NHL coach with pedigree.

    And likely born with a face for radio.

    yeesh, what a mental image…

  120. Ryan says:

    VOR:
    Ryan – not to nitpick but

    6th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 15th – those are the FC% rankings for NJ, Vancouver, Detroit, Ottawa, and Nashville all currently on the outside looking in

    21st, 23rd, 25th, 26th, 29th – those are the FC% rankings for Minnesota, Montreal, Philadelphia, Colorado, and Toronto all of whom are currently in the playoffs.

    The average ranking for Fenwick Close % for teams in the playoffs is 13th in the NHL in Fenwick Close.

    Toronto’s the classic example of how to make the playoffs while getting regularly out shot. It’s been a running joke since last year, but hey, here they are.

    The EC is pretty level and there’s a lot of teams vying for the last few playoff spots.

    Anyway, the point of the cumulative Fenclose 5v5% is sort of like getting 30 guys to test out their 1-rep max bench press–it doesn’t necessarily tell you which ones will win in a fight but it lets you know who’s stronger.

    Obviously PDO and specialty teams also play a big role in determining the final standings.

  121. delooper says:

    RexLibris: And likely born with a face for radio.

    yeesh, what a mental image…

    I wonder how long it will take stem-cell technology to be able to fabricate a uterus, so that men can bare children? It might be hard for men to keep their hormonal levels in the right range to bring a baby to term… but who knows? Maybe Hitchcock and Bowman can do it.

  122. B S says:

    delooper: I wonder how long it will take stem-cell technology to be able to fabricate a uterus, so that men can bare children?It might be hard for men to keep their hormonal levels in the right range to bring a baby to term… but who knows?Maybe Hitchcock and Bowman can do it.

    Uuuggghh, that’ll make the tapioca rise in your gullet. Rex was bad enough, but please stop, I just ate dinner, and I have enough Biology background to have very specific knowledge (and images) of how that might work. A lactating Ken Hichcock is something I never want to imagine again.

  123. vangolf says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: So, it’s an intangible privy to isolated opinions?I don’t think that is going to get us very far.I think we need to remind ourselves that one man who just left town was variously described as “soft” “lazy” “disinterested” “enigmatic” etc. and another man who just left town was variously described as a “warrior” “workhorse” and being “steady” having a “veteran presence” etc.These terms are liable to two things we should avoid like the plague: bias as uneven distribution of attributes and bias as overvaluing attributes that don’t help you win over attributes that do.

    These terms allow a collection of thoughts to be packaged and allow for efficiency of conversation. I think the frustration comes from someone using a word that you don’t know what it means, notwithstanding that its author likely does. It’s like calling a girl pretty and someone not satisfied with that description and demands that you elaborate on what pretty is and you can only satisfy them with data points, such measurements between her eyes, symmetry of her face, the length of her hair, where her cheekbones sit, etc.

  124. RexLibris says:

    delooper: I wonder how long it will take stem-cell technology to be able to fabricate a uterus, so that men can bare children?It might be hard for men to keep their hormonal levels in the right range to bring a baby to term… but who knows?Maybe Hitchcock and Bowman can do it.

    Maybe they already have!

    https://twitter.com/Bob_Stauffer

  125. G Money says:

    vangolf,

    I can tell you this:
    a. However you define it, the Oilers ain’t pretty!
    b. That didn’t stop the Kings from making the Oilers their b*tch!

  126. RexLibris says:

    B S: Uuuggghh, that’ll make the tapioca rise in your gullet. Rex was bad enough, but please stop, I just ate dinner, and I have enough Biology background to have very specific knowledge (and images) of how that might work. A lactating Ken Hichcock is something I never want to imagine again.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OkcucXIuVI

  127. prairieschooner says:

    Oilers re being outshot on a regular basis these days and I want to know why?
    Shots from a rush might be attributed to the D
    Shots from the point have no bearing on what the D are doing it has to be the forwards job right?
    We seem to blame the D men for shots against when perhaps the forwards are more responsible
    Too simplistic?

  128. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    vangolf: These terms allow a collection of thoughts to be packaged and allow for efficiency of conversation.I think the frustration comes from someone using a word that you don’t know what it means, notwithstanding that its author likely does. It’s like calling a girl pretty and someone not satisfied with that description and demands that you elaborate on what pretty is and you can only satisfy them with data points, such measurements between her eyes, symmetry of her face, the length of her hair, where her cheekbones sit, etc.

    No. this is not the problem.

    The problem isn’t that I don’t have enough experience with this word. This is a silly objection.

    The problem is that some descriptions are indefinitely better than others.

    The ones that are better make an effort to actually describe things that happen and why they happen. The ones that are worse elide this effort and try to distill an idiosyncratic impression into a word.

    Descriptions, even as bias prone as they are can be better or worse, more clear or less, more helpful or less, more informative or less, more prone to bias or less, etc.

    A single word like “driver” is not a helpful description unless it can be filled out and replicated in use by others independently.

  129. RexLibris says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    This thread of conversation has brought up an interesting idea.

    What you are discussing is something akin to semantics, but in some respects it is a disconnect within the English language between vague descriptors and more distinct, empirical common points of reference.

    I wonder though, with the English language’s great ability to be a technically descriptive language, what the experience is of discussing the advanced analytics of a sport in a language more generally inclined towards implied description than the literal explanation – the Romantic languages, for instance, or Mandarin.

    German might be an interesting case as rather than branding terms for their inventor (Corsi) or for some arcane reference (Fenwick), they might simply hybridize a word 28 characters long to describe its purpose, allowing for those in the discussion to converse over a generally agreed upon concept through an established reference.

    Yes, these are the stray thoughts I am left with after the trade deadline and facing the long march to the draft.

  130. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RexLibris:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    This thread of conversation has brought up an interesting idea.

    What you are discussing is something akin to semantics, but in some respects it is a disconnect within the English language between vague descriptors and more distinct, empirical common points of reference.

    I wonder though, with the English language’s great ability to be a technically descriptive language, what the experience is of discussing the advanced analytics of a sport in a language more generally inclined towards implied description than the literal explanation – the Romantic languages, for instance, or Mandarin.

    German might be an interesting case as rather than branding terms for their inventor (Corsi) or for some arcane reference (Fenwick), they might simply hybridize a word 28 characters long to describe its purpose, allowing for those in the discussion to converse over a generally agreed upon concept through an established reference.

    Yes, these are the stray thoughts I am left with after the trade deadline and facing the long march to the draft.

    Ha!

    I don’t have much to contribute, but I love your tangent.

    Though I’m no linguist, I feel fairly confident saying native tongues condition how we understand and describe the world to a great degree.

  131. theres oil in virginia says:

    B S: A lactating Ken Hichcock

    Well, thanks for bringing it on home! Prior to reading this, I was able to gloss over the concept in safe, abstract terms. That is now in the past.

    :)

  132. theres oil in virginia says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: A single word like “driver” is not a helpful description unless it can be filled out and replicated in use by others independently.

    From the ON article that jonrmcleod linked above:

    Gregor: Is the pace of practice set more by the players or the coach?

    Gagner: I think the coach is driving the practice and we’re the ones pushing it. The coaches have a practice plan and they lay it out, but it is on us to make sure we are pushing it.

    So Gregor is basically asking who is “driving” the practice, meaning who is “pushing the pace”, and Gagner answers that the coach is “driving”, but the players are “pushing the pace”.

    Yet another meaning of the word driving. Precision of language is the term I usually apply to this concept. It’s usually lacking.

  133. Marc says:

    Woodguy: Lander won’t clear waivers next year.

    NHL on the OIlers or somewhere else.

    Arcobello becomes waiver eligible in 10 more NHL games I think, which I suspect explains how the Oilers have handled him the last month or two.

    His last game was against Phoenix on Jan. 24 (they lost) – at that point the Oilers had exactly 10 games left before the trade deadline. They healthy scratched him for the next 3 games (all of which the Oilers won), then assigned him to OKC, where he has remained.

    To be eligible for the AHL playoffs, a player has to be on the AHL team’s roster at the NHL trade deadline. So if Arcobello had played in all of the Oilers’ games after his last one he would have had to clear waivers to be eligible for the AHL playoffs, and there would have been a real risk that he’d get claimed.

    Now they could have just sat him for a game or two, so he still could be assigned to OKC prior to the trade deadline, but that would just delay the waiver problem. The trade deadline freezes playoff rosters, but a non-playoff team could still claim him when they sent him down again to join OKC for the playoffs.

    Also worth noting is that on the 23rd and 24th of January, OKC got blown out by Charlotte on back-to-back games, getting outscored 13-3. This capped a run of 8 games during which they had only 1 regulation win. They were well out of the final playoff spot in their conference, so there was a real question as to whether there would even be an AHL playoff run.

    The timing of Arcobello’s healthy scratch strongly suggests they see him as part of the future. If the Oilers had doubts about him, why would they work so hard to keep him from being waiver eligible?

    I think they’ve already promised him a new contract and have asked him to help OKC make the playoffs whilst they see what they have with some of the other young players. They gave Arcobello a very generous AHL salary in his two way deal this year, so the financial hit isn’t too bad for him, expecially if he knows he’s got a multi-year 1 way deal coming in the offseason.

  134. VanOil says:

    RexLibris:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    This thread of conversation has brought up an interesting idea.

    What you are discussing is something akin to semantics, but in some respects it is a disconnect within the English language between vague descriptors and more distinct, empirical common points of reference.

    I wonder though, with the English language’s great ability to be a technically descriptive language, what the experience is of discussing the advanced analytics of a sport in a language more generally inclined towards implied description than the literal explanation – the Romantic languages, for instance, or Mandarin.

    German might be an interesting case as rather than branding terms for their inventor (Corsi) or for some arcane reference (Fenwick), they might simply hybridize a word 28 characters long to describe its purpose, allowing for those in the discussion to converse over a generally agreed upon concept through an established reference.

    Yes, these are the stray thoughts I am left with after the trade deadline and facing the long march to the draft.

    Corsi as ShotAttempsPossessionProxy or shortened to SAPP which is a strange name for a dog.

  135. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    theres oil in virginia: From the ON article that jonrmcleod linked above:

    Gregor: Is the pace of practice set more by the players or the coach?


    Gagner: I think the coach is driving the practice and we’re the ones pushing it. The coaches have a practice plan and they lay it out, but it is on us to make sure we are pushing it.

    So Gregor is basically asking who is “driving” the practice, meaning who is “pushing the pace”, and Gagner answers that the coach is “driving”, but the players are “pushing the pace”.

    Yet another meaning of the word driving.Precision of language is the term I usually apply to this concept.It’s usually lacking.

    hahaha exactly.

    there’s a phrase the emerges out of the WOWY analysis that’s interesting here: “who’s zooming who?” often rendered as “who’s driving the play/results?”

    This is usually a conversation about impact vs. complementary players. Both are essential, but obviously impact players are the most important.

    If you are picking in the top 3 you better damn well get an impact player. If in the top 10 you certainly hope to get one.

    There are ways to describe and demonstrate these things: “ability to create offence for himself and others” should show up in box cars and shot differentials (for example both Draisaitl and Bennett have by far the most points on their respective teams, largely outpacing their linemates):

    http://whl.ca/stats/show/type/skaters/ls_season/245/ls_team/209

    http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com/stats/show/type/skaters/ls_season/49/ls_team/2

    we could go through other descriptions too.

    If MacT means something like “impact” player and impact player means a series of attributes we can all check out for ourselves, by eye or by stat, then great.

    My fear, is, and based on how Staples and others use it, it is a fear well worth having… they believe “driver” to mean some jumble of rugged, manly attributes… intangibles.

  136. vangolf says:

    My fear is watching more games with disinterested players and being subjected to your condescension.

  137. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    vangolf:
    My fear is watching more games with disinterested players and being subjected to your condescension.

    I would suggest your insistence that I don’t understand a word, rather than its usage being contested, is more condescending than anything I’ve written.

    Did you feel that Hemsky was “disinterested”? Would you apply that label to Ovi?

  138. vangolf says:

    My qualm is that you – as a interested observer- seem offended that management has not defined something for you, when to be frank, they don’t care about whether you understand the precise objectives or not. Your last (somewhat snarky) response, attempts to reposition the discussion as an either/or proposition (ie., intangibles at the expense of a more well defined objective metric). Whereas I believe you can have both, especially if you define driver as synonymous with passionate (which is my interpretation).

    As for hemsky, he had become very disinterested (would not apply this label to his entire career, but to his later Oiler days). I do not watch Ovi enough to have an informed opinion.

  139. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    vangolf,

    I just say this one last time: I have no idea what MacT meant by this word, neither do you and neither does Staples.

    I have no doubt that MacT means something specific. But unless and until he elaborates. It is foolish for us to presume he means x, for example Staples interprets it as aggression mixed with passion for winning. It is even more foolish to start making decisions on his behalf on the basis of this presumption, i.e., MacT prefers this player to that.

    This is the sum total of my objection. The word is extremely flexible and until we hear something more detailed, I don’t think it is wise for us to start saying “MacT is going to prefer this player and not that one because this player matches what I think he meant by this single word”

  140. vangolf says:

    With the above, I don’t think we disagree as much as first thought. I fully agree that it is a subjective word that may be defined differently by different people. That said, knowing how MacT was as a player and knowing how he was as a coach removes some of the vacuum around his use of the word and allows for inferences to be drawn. Will these inferences play out to be 100% correct 100% of the time? Obviously no, but the drafting of Nurse rather than Ristolainen is but one example and adds more context to what MacT means by his words.

    Anyways, too much typing over semantics (although more entertaining than watching this Wild game). I will go away and imagine the Oilers draft board one way and will wait to see at the draft whether it was validated.

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