AVALANCHE AT OILERS, G80 13-14

I’d like to talk a little this morning about progress. Sometimes in life you have a difference of opinion with someone, or you and others find a group of people with a different view, and it becomes personal for one reason or another. I believe that’s happened with ‘saw him good versus advanced stats’ and very much doubt we’ll get this thing resolved in my lifetime. Why? There is a stubborn streak on both sides that would impress 1,000 mules.

However, there ARE signs of progress.

conversationFor me, this is progress. Two sides discussing the problem and coming at it from differing points of view, but without the “you idiot” stance so many (from both worlds) take in these conversations.

I think it comes down to this: smart math people drill down on concepts, discover this stuff works and has predictive power, and then become frustrated that it doesn’t get adopted universally. These individuals, wonderful learners but poor teachers, treat every new set of ears as though they are one large idiot, begin to lash out at these individuals in an effort to hurry along the process. “How thick are you?” is not an effective teaching tool, and yet from my experience that’s the approach many in the math group take. The exchange above represents progress. Congrats to all in the thread, and thanks for giving me some faith that defensiveness will one day wash away and leave the conversation to grow and manifest new directions.

If you’ve read this far, I’m sure part of you is saying “dammit Lowetide, THEY started it with the cheesies in the basement and do you watch the games crap!?!!” and you’re right as rain. The mainstream media has for the most part been very slow to respond, and doesn’t trust it. I suspect it has to do with having to think about strongly held views that are central to the way one sees the game. When Tyler Dellow showed me Grant Fuhr was not in fact the greatest goalie of his generation it pissed me off royally. The internet has (thankfully) washed away my rage, and I’ve come to my own view about Fuhr and his place in history.

I think the math folks have to realize three things. First, whips are a terrible teacher. Second, what took them relatively little time to suss out takes us normal humans a long time, because math and because you’re attacking our Fuhr’s. That’s going to get some pushback, but that’s also a sign that you’re engaging the other side. Finally, the MSM has the power to keep their distance for a long time, and for older gents like myself that means we’ll not be around when the good stuff arrives.

I am not pointing fingers this morning, I am thanking Ryan Batty, Alan Hull and Ryan Rishaug for engaging without anger.  Thank you, from the cheap seats.

 THE CONVERSATION IN THE COACH’S ROOM

  • Eakins on having a hammer: “I can easily stand here and argue “Yes, we need that.” We’ve got a guy back there that’s more than willing to fill the role  with Mark Fraser and, uh, one side of me says “absolutely, we need the toughness up front, we need it on our back end.”
  • Final portion: “But, Mark [Spector], I… and that’s the honest to God’s truth, there’s one side of me that says: “Yes, we need to old school it and we’ve got to have those guys.” And, then there’s another side of me looking at how teams are, some other teams are building and… I’m not sure.”

This is Dallas Eakins talking about the Rishaug and Hull/Batty argument going on in his brain. This conversation is happening all across the NHL (except Toronto) and the blogs and people who read and have read this one have been along for some or all of the ride. That’s wonderful, this is the good stuff!

Ladies, it’s a simple thing. If you care about the other man’s opinion, and believe in the strength of your argument, you need to respect both with your words and your actions. Only then, when the defenses are down and smart people are free to express complex and simple without the shackles of pettiness or the fear of the crowd, will the true value of this new toy be realized.

Let it be.

MY OPINION

I have stated forever my opinion on this but one final time. When I was a lad, the Montreal Canadiens employed a “policeman” named John Ferguson. He fought and speared and intimidated, basically all the things we see Milan Lucic do today. Ferguson did this alongside Jean Beliveau and Yvan Cournoyer (among others), meaning he had to keep up, take and make a pass (the most underrated skill in the sport) and endure the burning legs that came with keeping up to the Roadrunner.

ALL of the Flyers 70′s team could play. ALL OF THEM.

Somewhere along the way, NHL managers came to the idea that “enforcers” meant “fighters” and we are here. You cannot—as Eakins brain expressed above—have it both ways UNLESS your big man can play the game.

It’s always been thus. ALWAYS. This is a modern era issue, no one in the previous 50 years of the game would have been foolish enough to risk it. What does that tell us about the modern game? Well, it suggests coaching staffs value their top 9 forwards and that the bottom three are the ‘ad-libs’ in the group. It tells us that some teams employ a fourth line as though it was a backup third line and others employ a line designed to ward off demons.

It tells us the conversation Dallas Eakins is having with himself has yet to find a victor. It tells us the conversations we’ve had on this blog and others are also an issue in the boardrooms and the backrooms. It tells us we have answers that will eventually be adopted by the game we love.

How quickly do we want this to happen? How much do we want to be a part of it? How much do we respect the game? The people who are in it but need time and time and time to reach their own conclusions?

As always, questions are the fire that fuels ideas and solutions. Sometimes, when they’re especially volatile, the way these ideas are introduced impacts the adoption timeline.

Let it bleed.

eakins smiling

There are a lot of people saying the Oilers have been passed by the Colorado Avalanche, but to my eye the Avs are built on a house of cards.

CORSI FOR %, 5X5

corsi for by team

Their record in one-goal games is not sustainable, and the fact that Patrick Roy is being crowned king of the world will make this fall rather sweet. Will it come during the playoffs? Next season? Both?

FRIEDMAN

  • 30. Another follow-up from the last blog: the NCAA defenceman Edmonton targeted was the one they got, Jordan Oesterle. They were trying hard to keep it quiet, because other pursuers were thinking he might go back to college. Someday, I’m going to write a book on all of the things teams and agents accuse each other of doing when it comes to recruiting NCAA free agents. It’s hilarious.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

GARNER SMILE
A busy day on TSN 1260, 10 this morning. Scheduled to appear:
  • Alan Hull, Copper and Blue. We’ll discuss the ideas presented above, Hull’s opinion on the issue, and how to launch a new tomorrow.
  • Travis Yost, Hockeybuzz. The Senators season is over. What the hell happened?
  • Corey Graham, Oil Kings PBP. The OK’s keep on keeping on.
  • Michael Parkatti, Boys on the Bus. We’ll talk about Hall’s place in the game, and about the blue.
  • Pauline Hughes, Edmonton Rush. What a season! We’ll talk playoffs!
  • Darring Bauming, TSN 1290 Winnipeg. The Jets have some questions this offseason. Kane, Buff, will they do something mad?

10-1260 via text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. See you on the radio!

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250 Responses to "AVALANCHE AT OILERS, G80 13-14"

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  1. LMHF#1 says:

    Doesn’t matter whether the Avs are the “real deal” and better than the Oilers long term – they’ve got their ticket to the dance and could win the Cup just like any of the other teams headed to the post season.

    I’d take that over this any day.

  2. Lowetide says:

    LMHF#1:
    Doesn’t matter whether the Avs are the “real deal” and better than the Oilers long term – they’ve got their ticket to the dance and could win the Cup just like any of the other teams headed to the post season.

    I’d take that over this any day.

    True. However, does their current season suggest they can repeat and make the playoffs next season? The dice have no memory, but they’re riding a lot of 7′s.

  3. LMHF#1 says:

    Lowetide: True. However, does their current season suggest they can repeat and make the playoffs next season? The dice have no memory, but they’re riding a lot of 7′s.

    I’d suspect if the current group can’t repeat it, they will be replaced rather quickly instead of dumping them all for an 8-year spell in the cellar.

    I’m bitter today I guess, seeing teams like Colorado and Dallas getting after it.

    Gets back to a fundamental for me – these years “wandering” aren’t worth it unless they win multiple championships and I just don’t see it. Would rather take a good solid crack at one and then worry about the rest later.

  4. Bar_Qu says:

    What’s this about Fuhr now?

    I’m gonna get my rage on!

    ;-)

  5. Zangetsu says:

    I don’t have a whole lot of free time on my hands, so I haven’t delved too deep into advanced stats. I have tracked their progress for about five years though. I have taken some high level math courses, and I can say for certain that some people(not so much on this blog) use the stats without actually understanding how math works. A lot of times, they use the stats to back up their theories instead of looking at the math on its own.
    It also seems to me that luck plays way too big of a role in some aspects in advanced stats. My final big qualm is that hockey has so many moving parts, that it is hard to use math to describe accurately. It’s not like baseball, or golf, which are very simple games in comparison. Players are all performing in different roles, have different chemistry, play through injuries, ect. There is just so much that can’t be told by advanced stats alone, and yet some people base everything on shot statistics. I just don’t think I outrightly trust advanced stats in their current form. But some math is better than none, and I do appreciate some math with fewer moving parts like WOWY.
    Again, I don’t hate analytics, I just don’t think it has come quite far enough to be held as gospel. Currently, you have to combine traditional scouting with advanced stats to get the full picture.

  6. thejonrmcleod says:

    I read the entire Rishaug/Batty et al Twitter exchange and was not left with the same positive impression. Rishaug’s final tweet: “I respect your right to disagree with me, even if you miss the point entirely.” Then Dean K gets involved in the conversation and Batty tweets, “Guys, you’d be better off pissing into the wind than having this conversation.”

  7. Ducey says:

    LMHF#1: I’d suspect if the current group can’t repeat it, they will be replaced rather quickly instead of dumping them all for an 8-year spell in the cellar.I’m bitter today I guess, seeing teams like Colorado and Dallas getting after it.Gets back to a fundamental for me – these years “wandering” aren’t worth it unless they win multiple championships and I just don’t see it. Would rather take a good solid crack at one and then worry about the rest later.

    How ironic. The Oilers took “a good solid crack at one” in 2006 and now we must “worry about the rest”.

  8. LMHF#1 says:

    Ducey: How ironic.The Oilers took “a good solid crack at one” in 2006 and now we must “worry about the rest”.

    Even you know this isn’t what happened.

  9. danny says:

    I work in advertising. There are a lot of egos in this industry, on both the agency and client sides.

    From my experience, there is nothing that gives me more optimism and conviction that this project will be successful than when I hear the principle people involved say ” I don’t know “. It’s an outlook and demeanour that’s conducive to problem solving. My personal saying that i repeat to my team on a weekly basis is it’s never about being right, it’s always about finding the right answers.

    I think that’s a part of the source of frustration and confrontation between stats guys and MSM. Stats guys approach things with the attitude of “I don’t know”, and as such, are put off by guys that ‘ do know’.

    Anyways the important point I want to make, is that I’ve been very skeptical regarding Eakins effectiveness. Seeing him say ” I don’t know” was probably the biggest glimmer of hope I’ve had in a while.

  10. sliderule says:

    Lowetide,

    The Avs may surprise in playoffs .

    It’s harder to score off cycle in playoffs and the Avs seem to get a lot of goals off rush.

    The oilers are built similar and if they ever get in it might see them make a run.

    Disclaimer :I have absolutely no statistics to back this opinion up.

  11. icecastles says:

    “How thick are you?” is not an effective teaching tool

    I think a lot of it is the nerds (and I use that term in the most affectionate way, gord knows I was one) finally wielding the big stick and using it to exact a measure of retribution for years of mockery and social marginalization. Not saying it’s right, but it’s certainly understandable.

    My childhood was in the high arctic in a little Inuit (not ‘Eskimo’) settlement called Sachs Harbour. I was the only white kid. I was skinny. I was smart. My dad was the only RCMP in a community with massive substance abuse and spousal abuse issues. Needless to say, I spend a LOT of time getting beaten up. Lost my first baby teeth getting them kicked out. By the time I moved south to Yellowknife, I was a mean little fucker. Took a long time to chill out and return to normalcy.

    What I learned from that though, was that assholishness and bullying isn’t endemic to white people, or Christians, or men, or jocks, or whatever other demographic is usually pointed to as the culprit.

    When someone is in the majority, outsiders who threaten the dynamic or the accepted cultural code are looked upon with suspicion, derision, and scorn. If they stand up for themselves, they get bullied.

    We’re a strange group on here – hardcore fans of one of the more violent team sports out there, but to varying degrees, most of us also wear our geek badges with honour. So we get intellectual bullying. Calling people stupid or thick, or talking down to them and saying we’re tired, bored, or pedantically amused by what they’re saying, as if they are children merely tolerated but who must know their place.

    There are trolls who come in spouting vitriol and who are only interested in stirring up the hornets’ nest. I think these people are a different issue and there’s nothing wrong with discouraging their participation. There is a certain culture and level of discourse on here and a line can be crossed where, as a writer once aptly put it when elucidating the problems facing Amsterdam, “we become so tolerant that we tolerate intolerance.” There is nothing wrong with preserving out territorial integrity, as it were.

    But some of the most interesting discussions in recent weeks have come about from the dissenting voices and the proverbial ‘outsiders’. If we shut them down and wall them out too effectively, we end up sitting around nodding our heads at one another and guilty of the same uncritical naval gazing of which we so rightly accuse much of the mainstream media.

  12. icecastles says:

    sliderule: Disclaimer :I have absolutely no statistics to back this opinion up.

    Shut up, stupid pants. I hate you.

  13. su_dhillon says:

    LT, I think you are right about the advance stats guys not being effective teachers and too often jumping to the “you have to stupid not to see this card”. I am far from an expert on this stuff try to take in as much on this blog and from others as I can and maybe because I follow other sports that are already on the way was more open to it but not all of the stuff is easy to find or learn about. Its getting better but you do have to search for it and go to multiple sources to get a handle on whats out there.

    From the other side, the main frustration I see is access, the narrative pushers, the most ardent critics of advance stats have major national platforms and I think that is what creates the need to fight back so viscerally from the bloggers because their megaphone reaches fewer people, there is a want to be louder, to maybe somehow shame the national guys into seeing the truth.

    This will begin to change as more and more of the reasonable national guys begin to learn about and use the new stats, a guy like Elliot Friedman is a fantastic guy to have on this side; smart, reasoned and respected, add guys like Mirtle, Custance, Cullen and were on our way .

    Also there is no doubt that the reach of the bloggers will get larger as well, every other sport has major coverage dedicated to analytics, hockey coverage will follow because it has to. We are already seeing the growth of this. You have a daily radio show, Tyler has articles on Sportsnet, Willis is everywhere, Neil Greenberg is doing a blog at Washington Post…as we see this grow and the analytics talk become more and more a part of the conversation there will be a natural regression from the “whip”.

    This stuff is only going to get better, I mean compared to MLB, NBA and NFL hockey analytics are pretty basic at this point were really just counting shots at this point as well as trying to determine player usage. Compare that to Football Outsiders DVOA (Defence Adjusted Value over Average) Or Hollingers PER for NBA or any of the stuff at Fangraphs for baseball and the hockey stuff is really in its infancy.

    Which is also a good reason for the stats community not to be so fanatical about current metrics and be open to questions and criticisms because they are going to evolve and improve.

  14. su_dhillon says:

    thejonrmcleod: I read the entire Rishaug/Batty et al Twitter exchange and was not left with the same positive impression. Rishaug’s final tweet: “I respect your right to disagree with me, even if you miss the point entirely.” Then Dean K gets involved in the conversation and Batty tweets, “Guys, you’d be better off pissing into the wind than having this conversation.”

    I had same take as Jon

  15. Pouzar says:

    LMHF#1:
    Doesn’t matter whether the Avs are the “real deal” and better than the Oilers long term – they’ve got their ticket to the dance and could win the Cup just like any of the other teams headed to the post season.

    I’d take that over this any day.

    It does for me when I hear the MSM cat calls for Landeskog over Nuge. Drives me insane.

    I have no Advanced statistical basis but based on “seen em good” and game logs it seems to me that Statsny is a really driver on the Landy MacKinnon line. Not saying those guys aren’t players but I noticed a drop off in production when Statsny was out of that lineup.

  16. Mr DeBakey says:

    I just received my shipment
    Bags and bags of crunchy, orange extruded cornmeal goodness.
    Get your own

  17. icecastles says:

    Mr DeBakey:
    I just received my shipment
    Bags and bags of crunchy, orange extruded cornmeal goodness.
    Get your own

    I have no idea what this is. But you said we can’t have any so now I want some.

  18. Pouzar says:

    Disclaimer: My blatant attempt to steer this thread into a ditch!

    I hated the Movie “American Hustle”. Made my brain bleed. Booooooooring.

    Anyone else? I am up against a 93% Fresh rating I know.

  19. LMHF#1 says:

    Pouzar: It does for me when I hear the MSM cat calls for Landeskog over Nuge. Drives me insane.

    It is true that most of that talk is “grass is always greener” stuff, but I certainly would’ve been tempted to pick Landeskog if that had been my decision to make. I liked that he scored more goals and the leadership + maturity stuff.

  20. kosiork says:

    Interesting to see the twitter exchange and hopefully a cooling off in the battle between traditionalists and the math crowd. To me, being actively involved in the scouting/agency side of things, its necessary for the two sides to co-exist and for one to improve the other.

    The numbers have changed how I watch younger guys (very few and somewhat unreliable stats available here) as I try to keep the possession (and other stats) in mind as I watch live.

    Further, I know that I cannot completely throw my lot in with numbers as it is still important to have human intelligence on a player/family because it is often off-ice issues to blame when things go south.

    Finally, one number I have not seen discussed (at least not yet) is how long does it take a player to be positively engaged in a shift? Tough one to nail down, with a lot of moving parts, but have heard a couple learned scouts/coaches discussing this one lately.

  21. Pouzar says:

    LMHF#1: It is true that most of that talk is “grass is always greener” stuff, but I certainly would’ve been tempted to pick Landeskog if that had been my decision to make. I liked that he scored more goals and the leadership + maturity stuff.

    I loved both guys but Nuge being a great playmaking Center made it a landslide for me.

  22. Woodguy says:

    “How thick are you?” is not an effective teaching tool, and yet from my experience that’s the approach many in the math group take

    To be fair, I explained what CurtisS was asking about twice in a non-abrasive way and his continued derision elicited the response.

    When you patiently explain things, then explain them again and still get asinine comments some times its best just to cut bait.

  23. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    “How thick are you?” is not an effective teaching tool, and yet from my experience that’s the approach many in the math group take

    To be fair, I explained what CurtisS was asking about twice in a non-abrasive way and his continued derision elicited the response.

    When you patiently explain things, then explain them again and still get asinine comments some times its best just to cut bait.

    Yeah I didn’t have anyone specific in mind, and certainly not that discussion I agree though if the lessons aren’t learned walking away is best.

  24. RexLibris says:

    Thanks, LT.

    This sentiment, that discussion and a reasonable exploration of the other person’s point of view without any commitment to one side or the other necessarily winning the exchange, is what brings me back to this forum.

    Sure, sometimes we can slip into dink-gear and be stubborn. Sports can elicit emotional responses (see; Fuhr, Grant – awesome) but the conversation is the real value.

    Best classes I ever attended had discourse between students with opposing viewpoints on serious topics (Religion, History, etc) but within the atmosphere of decorum established by the instructor.

    To me, this is analogous to some of what we do here.

    That and share pictures of pretty ladies while talking about fine liquor and good movies.

  25. theres oil in virginia says:

    Woodguy:
    “How thick are you?” is not an effective teaching tool, and yet from my experience that’s the approach many in the math group take

    To be fair, I explained what CurtisS was asking about twice in a non-abrasive way and his continued derision elicited the response.

    When you patiently explain things, then explain them again and still get asinine comments some times its best just to cut bait.

    I thought you were quite genteel during that exchange. Also, your phrase was “You can’t really be this thick”, which I took to mean something like “what’s your real angle here”.

  26. theres oil in virginia says:

    RexLibris:
    Thanks, LT.

    This sentiment, that discussion and a reasonable exploration of the other person’s point of view without any commitment to one side or the other necessarily winning the exchange, is what brings me back to this forum.

    Sure, sometimes we can slip into dink-gear and be stubborn. Sports can elicit emotional responses (see; Fuhr, Grant – awesome) but the conversation is the real value.

    Best classes I ever attended had discourse between students with opposing viewpoints on serious topics (Religion, History, etc) but within the atmosphere of decorum established by the instructor.

    To me, this is analogous to some of what we do here.

    That and share pictures of pretty ladies while talking about fine liquor and good movies.

    Don’t forget steak and music. It’s like the old line “I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out.” Except it’s “I went to Lowetide looking for advice about red wine and how to properly sear a rib-eye, and some discussion about hockey broke out. Unfortunately, it was Oilers-centric, and now I have a complex.”

  27. Woodguy says:

    kosiork,

    Further, I know that I cannot completely throw my lot in with numbers as it is still important to have human intelligence on a player/family because it is often off-ice issues to blame when things go south.

    The vast majority of the proponents of using shot data would agree with this.

    Its one piece of the puzzle, not the whole puzzle itself.

    I like to think of it as it helps team find targets.

    Once the targets (trade or draft) are acquired you can send the scouts to do their thing and get the info on the player that the shot data can’t provide (i.e. take a pass, give a pass, puck battle ability, personal profile, etc.)

    Can work the other way too.

    Scout can tell him boss which guys he is seeing good, have the numbers guys do their thing and help focus the list.

  28. Woodguy says:

    theres oil in virginia: I thought you were quite genteel during that exchange.Also, your phrase was “You can’t really be this thick”, which I took to mean something like “what’s your real angle here”.

    That’s correct.

    CurtisS is obviously not dumb, and was seemingly willfully ignoring the explanations.

    I appreciate the support.

  29. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Yeah I didn’t have anyone specific in mind, and certainly not that discussion I agree though if the lessons aren’t learned walking away is best.

    Ah.

    I thought that was a direct shot as that’s almost exactly the phrasing I used in an exchange here recently in a “lively” thread and its not a common put down.

    I’ll just carry on…..

  30. icecastles says:

    Woodguy: “How thick are you?” is not an effective teaching tool, and yet from my experience that’s the approach many in the math group take
    To be fair, I explained what CurtisS was asking about twice in a non-abrasive way and his continued derision elicited the response.

    When you patiently explain things, then explain them again and still get asinine comments some times its best just to cut bait.

    Several of us did.
    You have to admit, that whole day was a pretty fun thread.

    It does illuminate one thing quite clearly though: how often will someone come on here and give the same challenge about “the game is too fast; advanced stats are in their infancy; we need the human touch; intangible blah blah blah” and we’re forced to explain the same basic things over and over? It absolutely stalls the conversation and derails it almost as badly as when LT asks us for musical suggestions (seriously: three days later and we’re still talking about Zappa and Skinny Puppy).

    I wonder, LT, if we would benefit from having an FAQ of sorts on here with a brief glossary and a rundown on a few of the more commonly asked questions/challenges. It might be constructive, helpful for the new folks, and serve to keep the conversations from going off the rails if we can simply direct some posters to it. Could also be a nice repository of the LT-specific memes and nicknames that throw so many people for a loop (eye-shine; corgi; OTC; etc). I’d be more than happy to help with something like this if someone else were to pitch in with some summaries of the statistical concepts I’m less articulate/informed about.

  31. TheOtherJohn says:

    Pouzar:
    Disclaimer: My blatant attempt to steer this thread into a ditch!

    I hated the Movie “American Hustle”. Made my brain bleed. Booooooooring.

    Anyone else? I am up against a 93% Fresh rating I know.

    Ditto

    Love Christian Bale, Amy Irving and Jennifer Lawrence and hated the movie. Bradley Cooper’s perm though was so very 1970′s!!!!!

    Problem with analytics is, I think, inevitable. That is it is a question of when not if . And the people that know they are right know that. The MSM are seeing more and more analytics creep into the mainstream and I suspect they do not know where it is all going. It is why Terry Jones loves to make fun of Eakins comment that the Oilers are not an offensive team and to “prove his point” points to the stats of 4 players. It is also why Steve Simmons concedes, now, that the analytics guys were right about the Leafs early success being highly unlikely to sustain and yet…. to be snarky says: well how do you explian the Avalanche? He does not get that the Avs record (going from 6 pts behind the Oilers last year to 42 points ahead of the Oilers this year) is unlikely to be sustainable moving forward either.

    Worse part is both groups would be better served to be a wee bit more humble in delievery. A perfect example: Parkatti’s seminar available online from the U of Alberta was a pitch perfect wonderful teaching moment.

    Wish the analytics crowd realized that they also get a HUGE benefit of doubt because this battle was played out 30+ years ago where the baseball MSM savaged Bill James and the baseball analytics crowd—– well before Paul DePodesta, Billy Beane and moneyball and history crushed them. As much as many in the MSM media do nopt want to admit it I suspect the older ones including Jones, Matty, Cox, Simmons saw just how badly that played out for MSM and tradionalist views in abseball and are a wee bit more circumspect in their criticisms

  32. misfit says:

    Pouzar:
    Disclaimer: My blatant attempt to steer this thread into a ditch!

    I hated the Movie “American Hustle”. Made my brain bleed. Booooooooring.

    Anyone else? I am up against a 93% Fresh rating I know.

    I thought it was ok. A little predictable, and incredibly overrated, but I don’t think there was any way it could live up to all the hype it received.

  33. Yeti says:

    I think part of the caustic nature of the debate in the MSM is that the use of advanced stats shows a side of hockey analysis that many (not all) MSM members simply have no purchase on. They are quite afraid of the implications and have good reason to be afraid. It’s like saying that the tools you have cut your trade on so far are no longer up to the job. For some, they can take on the new metrics; for others, the very sight of numbers makes them dizzy. The latter are particularly aggressive in their put down of the utility of advanced stats. They see it as personally undermining their ability to write with confidence in the way they have been doing for decades. And they are correct. The next brand of hockey commentators will be fully conversant in this new language. The king is dead. Long live Willis.

  34. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: Ah.

    I thought that was a direct shot as that’s almost exactly the phrasing I used in an exchange here recently in a “lively” thread and its not a common put down.

    I’ll just carry on…..

    Damn. Sincerely sorry. I thought I’d made it generic. :-)

  35. TheOtherJohn says:

    Lowetide: Damn. Sincerely sorry. I thought I’d made it generic.

    Damn it LT quit cheapshotting WG

  36. Lowetide says:

    TheOtherJohn: Damn it LT quit cheapshotting WG

    What does he know about wood???????????????

  37. Ducey says:

    Central Scouting has released their final draft list.

    North American skaters

    1. Bennett
    2. Ekblad
    3.Reinhart
    4. Draisaitl
    5. Dal Colle
    6. Virtanen
    7. Ritchie

    European skaters

    1. Kapanen
    2. Nylander
    3. Fiala
    4. Vrana
    5. Pastrnak

    http://www.tsn.ca/draftcentre/feature/?id=9363

  38. Bag of Pucks says:

    Great article today LT.

    I hugely enjoy this community you’ve cultivated on the web and the opportunity to banter about the hometown team. Hockey analytics have definitely opened my mind up to other facets of the game I didn’t appreciate before, and for that, I thank all the informed voices on here that take care to state their various hypotheses with patience and respect.

    In all honestly, I’ve never understood the animosity between the two camps, probably cos I don’t see myself with two feet firmly on either side of the fence. I just love the game. As always, I suspect it’s ulterior agendas that fuel these animosities as/when they occur.

    I work in an industry that constantly marries qualitative data with quantitative, so I find that analysis that strives to marry those two approaches is the perspective that most resonates with me. That said, it takes all kinds to make a world, so I completely understand that the kind of arguments that sway me may not sway you. We are all the product of our own experiences and biases.

    At the end of the day, it IS all about respect. No one’s going to incorporate our opinions into their beliefs if we don’t consider their viewpoints on its merits as well – and certainly both sides have been guilty of this at times.

    I remember a couple years back when Tom Gilbert was being discussed in contentious terms (when isnt’ he?) and there was a gradual realization and admission within the advanced stats community that corsi was an unwieldy proxy for fully quantifying the contributions of defensive defenceman and other methods needed to be considered. For me, advanced stats gained a lot of credibility that day because a) the conversation moved closer to what my eyes were telling me, and b) more importantly, there was a relinquishment on tightly held beliefs in favour of the more important goal of evolving the science towards something more definitive.

    Encountering unyielding dogma is never a pleasant experience, whether it’s Don Cherry’s beliefs on Scandinavian players lacking courage or someone new to advanced stats wielding corsi and fenwick without appropriate context as if it’s some all seeing Eye of Agamotto.

    P.S. I don’t subscribe to this idea that everyone on this site is a geek btw. Far too much talk of fine whiskeys, beers, women and music for that to be the case. That said, I just threw out a Dr Strange reference so what do I know?

  39. su_dhillon says:

    Rishaug didnt come off well there

  40. Andy P says:

    My experience lies in using large volumes of data to guide important decisions on costly activities, using layered derivative calculation, that vary by industry.

    In order to make sure my conclusions aligned with reality, I would use my calculated projections on prior data sets and test whether they correlated to the outcome. The outcome was a rock solid data set that provided those who used it with a lot of value, and a thorn in the side of those who survived by connivance/politics rather than competence. In the process of which I discovered that there more factors than one initially realized, that could warp the data, which is why common sense had to be applied to the statistical indication.

    I would suggest that the same applies to Hockey. Stats, properly applied, can make a significant difference to a Hockey team, and may end up giving a team the winning edge. They can show one which weaknesses to address, with experience and common sense dictating the degree to which they are applied.

    I think it is as incorrect to rely exclusively on stats as it is on experience and common sense, and the teams that embrace stats ion this manner, will find themselves in a more competitive position.

    Having said that, I’d love to see the concrete under the ice, the puck and the player’s skates fitted with an RFID system, similar in concept to the manner in which Formula 1 teams follow their cars around the circuit, although in this case I doubt they would be fitted with exhaust temperature sensors….

    But can you even imagine how barenaked that would make the game from an analysis perspective? You could track every player, every play, relative to the puck, unmask the strategies used by every team, and show the players where they went and where they should have gone. You could probably even measure the force of the blows landed in fights from the movement of the skates as the blows landed. Dare to dream

    EDIT: It would also give you Corsi and other stats accuracy within a fraction of a %.

  41. RexLibris says:

    TheOtherJohn: Damn it LT quit cheapshotting WG

    Watch. WG will be traded this off-season.

    LT, why do you hate WG?

  42. Marcus Oilerius says:

    TheOtherJohn: Damn it LT quit cheapshotting WG

    He’d never try it if it wasn’t for the damn instigator.

  43. RexLibris says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Don Cherry doesn’t hate just Scandinavians.

    Remember how he berated Gazdic for fighting with his visor on? He also hates players with Balkan surnames.

  44. OilClog says:

    It’s scary seeing that transaction, and knowing Rishaug is the one at TSN! Hahahahahahahahahaha cruel hilarious world.

  45. cahill says:

    It would be a great radio segment to have a round table with guys that played the game Struds, Sutherby & internet math guys Dellow, Eric T on LT’s show. To discuss sports analytic’s versus old school thinking.

    I look at “advanced stats and seen him good’ as two things that should go together not against one another. I look at advanced stats as a piece of the puzzle that understand what I just saw. When discussing individual players. Most times my thoughts align sometimes they don’t and I have more questions about what I just saw.

    Now I don’t have the time to look at all the games so like most people I use advanced stats (and have been for awhile with baseball, football & hockey) to determine trends for prospects, sports pools & gambling. For individual players it gives us an uneducated (from actually seeing a player) but educated (by viewing the stats) opinion of a player.

    Great article thanks for the read.

  46. WeirsBeard says:

    I was introduced to advanced states in 05-06. I went looking online for reasons why the team that looked so good, wasn’t winning. The corsi stuff always made intuitive sense to me, it highlights players that are effective even when they don’t score points. To me, it was a stat that reinforced how solid the 90s Oiler teams were, even though they had no finish.

    With the worries over concussions, the move away from fights, doesn’t it seem like there is a movement towards a new version of the game? Higher tempos, the need of 18 guys that can play, and the importance of possession. We can only hope the media can keep up.

  47. RexLibris says:

    In Rishaug’s defense, the nature of the reporting business has changed dramatically over the past 60 years.

    It has gone from crass commercial soapbox and loose editorials to professional, objective reportage, then a return to modern commercial interests (ie: “infotainment” and corporate news messaging) and with the advent of and professional pressures to engage in social media, off-the-cuff editorializing.

    It is doubtful that Rishaug or others in the sports news media attended Journalism classes that covered topics like public engagement over Twitter.

    Perhaps I’m wrong, and certainly there must be some instruction in this field now.

    Reporters used to have to cover the games, tease out some narratives, give personnel updates and so on. His perspective may run counter to the advanced stats line, but as much as I disagree with he and others who argue for “tough, hard hitting players” I try to remind myself to separate the professional man from his personal opinions. There aren’t many of us who would stand up well to such public scrutiny.

  48. Hammers says:

    su_dhillon:
    Rishaug didnt come off well there

    Does he ever come off well ?

  49. icecastles says:

    Hammers: Does he ever come off well ?

    I challenged him on a point on Twitter once and he unleashed a torrent of vitriol against me. Called me “Chief” if I recall. Not a very professional fellow. I have to agree with the others on here: I don’t read his Twitter exchange with nearly the same positivity or optimism that Lowetide saw.

    Interesting side note: autocorrect tried changing “positivity” to “pomposity.” Even my computer dislikes Rishaug.

  50. Kitchener says:

    danny,

    I completely agree. I do online strategy for organizations and it isn’t until they say “I don’t know” that progress begins. I’m just surprised Eakins said it to a pack of reporters.

    Anyone else cheering for the stunning silence surrounding Yak these days? Finally, the pressure is off and the kid can digest his season, his style, and what’s next for his career. It is also EXCELLENT that he gets to witness the development of Hall from ‘scoring threat’ to ‘complete player that’s also a scoring threat’. I sure wouldn’t have wished Yak a broken ankle, but the silver lining on the injury is breathing room. Kids need space from time to time. In his last interview on oilers.nhl.com he had his pre-draft smile on as he toyed with the reporters. Next year should be a good one.

  51. icecastles says:

    RexLibris: It is doubtful that Rishaug or others in the sports news media attended Journalism classes.

    Fixed it for you.

  52. oilersfan says:

    I have to say of all the msm in Edmonton nobody irritates me more than Rishaug. Not just because he says things I don’t usually agree with, but more that he is extremenly uninsightful. He has a very narrow, dull narrative with little insight or analysis that the average beer drinking oil rig worker wouldn’t be shouting from his seat at the pub.

    I find him to be incorrect more often than correct, lacking insight, and the 5 minute banter between him and whoever he is talking with on the radio before they discuss sports irritates me even more.

  53. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Damn. Sincerely sorry. I thought I’d made it generic.

    Lowetide: What does he know about wood???????????????

    RexLibris: Watch. WG will be traded this off-season.

    LT, why do you hate WG?

    I feel like i’m about to be traded to a Flames blog.

  54. nelson88 says:

    Great read today LT.

  55. icecastles says:

    oilersfan: with little insight or analysis that the average beer drinking oil rig worker wouldn’t be shouting from his seat at the pub.

    Therein lies his appeal, and the core ‘problem’ with MSM.

    At the end of the day, sports is entertainment. Most people don’t find math entertaining, and it’s admittedly hard to construct a rawk-n-roll montage about fenwick.

    I’m sure many of us on here have learned the hard way that the average Joe isn’t grateful to be corrected or lectured to. I honestly love both: people ask “how would you feel?” and they don’t believe me when I say, “fucking grateful!” They like to be entertained, to be told their tall and handsome and intelligent, and to feel that the world isn’t confusing and beyond them.

    In the discussion about the superiority of analytics, we sidestep the obvious question: does anyone care? Even if the MSM were 100% onside with us, that doesn’t mean they would adopt the narrative They need to appeal to the majority, and to provide entertainment.

    I’m afraid that while the decision makers will eventually come over to our side and it will have a profound influence on hockey, the narrative we see in the major media outlets will always be more interested in what Sean Avery said about Phaneuf’s girlfriend, how awesome that hit was, and what a great “story” the surprise success of the Avalanche is.

    Stats are about finding the norm. Storytelling is about finding the abnormal and making it even more exciting than it really is.

    We’re geeks, fellas. Joe Sixpack isn’t.

    On a related note, how many others here went all weak-kneed and smiley when on March 14, Ben Scrivens tweeted “Happy Pi Day?” I rest my case.

  56. jimmers2 says:

    Woodguy,

    You could do a Vishnovski and refuse to report to CalPuck. Hold out for a NYI blog.

    or Finland. Lots of wood there…

  57. bendelson says:

    Woodguy,

    Interesting thread. I saw the quote as an inadvertent shot at WG as well…
    LT wouldn’t do that purposefully would he? Not WG!

    Pouzar: I agree. It was style over substance.

    No hockey tonight… Big show at the Starlite Room!

  58. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    On the battle.

    I’ll just note that younger folks and twitter folks both tend not to view snark, confrontation, hyperbole, etc. as non-starters.

    I think they are more comfortable with calling people out, challenging authority (like MSM), using informal language and hyperbolic tones without any of that meaning actual battle lines are drawn, i.e., to a point this is part of normal engagement with others and not understood as some deeply abiding dismissal of the person they are engaging.

    Part of this might reflect the fact that most of these people have some (if not a lot) of experience in an academic setting where (ideally) people are encouraged to tenaciously attack arguments but not to take it personally, i.e., the whole “I said you were acting like an idiot, not that your irredeemably are an idiot, as if that was the core of your being.”

    that’s rambly (as always)… but I think that’s part of it.

    ———–
    I really hope Friedman writes that book.

  59. Bag of Pucks says:

    Going forward, I suspect the evolution of advanced stats will start to yield more useful data on an individual player level.

    Right now, it seems as if a lot of the data being collected is more team centric, and there’s often this awkward dance that’s carried out to try and parse that information to then place it in an appropriate context to discuss/gauge individual player performance.

    In professional football for instance, game film is used to grade players on a per play basis, with this qualitative & quantitative analysis then used to inform many of the decisions coaches make in regards to roster selection, depth charts, tactics and transactions. Unfortunately, but for obvious reasons, this grading data never makes its way into the public domain as it would be hugely illuminating for fans and media alike. Suddenly the conversation moves from very simplistic evaluation (he’s made 4 consecutive Pro Bowls) to more incisive (Player A grades out as the most effective blocker in the league on a per play basis).

    In hockey, we often see on ice situations where an individual player executed his specific assignments correctly, but team breakdowns elsewhere led to a shot against, worse a quality scoring chance against, or worst of all, a goal. I take issue with penalizing ALL the players on ice equally in this instance. If Player A executed his assignments, what else could he do individually to prevent the goal?

    I realize the argument is that over a large data set, the overall trends emerge and we begin to see those players who are pushing the river vs those that are passengers. But I think there’s some gaps here, primarily because we lack a) adequate data capture to more definitively measure in-game player assignment effiency & b) no sport really has the infrastructure/data model to quantify all the potential variable and decision outputs in a dynamic decision sport like hockey.

    One potential evolution for example could be a grading system applied to the awarding of assists that truly assesses player effectiveness. Right now, a defenceman can make a 6 foot pass in his own zone to Taylor Hall who then blazes the length of the rink to score, and that assist carries the same weight as one where a defenceman threads a seeing eye stretch pass through 2 opposition players springing our hero Hall again for the breakaway and the goal.

  60. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy: I feel like i’m about to be traded to a Flames blog.

    Hmm, you vs the combined energies of the online Flames fan community?

    I’d pick you to win and cover the spread.

  61. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    danny: From my experience, there is nothing that gives me more optimism and conviction that this project will be successful than when I hear the principle people involved say ” I don’t know “.

    Jumping from coaches to broadcasters… Talking heads figure they’re there to say they know and with as much firmness or vitriol as needed. And if they’re smart enough to know there’s way more to the story most will stick to the obvious narratives and troll for a living.

  62. thejonrmcleod says:

    Ducey:
    Central Scouting has released their final draft list.

    North American skaters

    1. Bennett
    2. Ekblad
    3.Reinhart
    4. Draisaitl
    5. Dal Colle
    6. Virtanen
    7. Ritchie

    European skaters

    1. Kapanen
    2. Nylander
    3. Fiala
    4. Vrana
    5. Pastrnak

    http://www.tsn.ca/draftcentre/feature/?id=9363

    I think Ehlers is ranked way too low.

  63. RexLibris says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: On the battle….

    I disagree only in so far as that I don’t believe that an experience with post-secondary institutions for many of the younger generation necessarily breeds an ability for back-and-forth discussions and explorations of challenging perspectives.

    Let’s start by defining our terms here. I’ll assume we’re talking about younger generations and twitter folks as those that fall somewhere in the age range of 24 to 34. We can narrow it down from there, but these would be people who either have had formulative adolescent experiences with social media or saw it come to age when they were late in their post-secondary/early professional careers. Fair?

    Okay, now the first paragraph isn’t to say that these students never encountered ideas or opinions that challenged what they believe, but instead that the post-secondary experience to which you refer has been notably in decline for many years with less content designed to directly oppose students’ perspectives and instead targeted more at encouraging collaborative and innovative educational outcomes.

    The end result of which you speak, a less formal tone and willingness to directly confront authority, is certainly something I’ve witnessed both in my own experience at University and in my professional career where I’ve worked alongside a wide assortment of generations.

    However, I believe that this is due to a fundamental shift in the way education, specifically post-secondary, has been delivered since the late 90s.

    The example you describe would absolutely hold true for someone who attended University anytime between the late 60s and up to the early to early 80s, within the life cycle of the great social shift that happened beginning in the 60s.

    The current behaviour is, I believe, more the product of post-secondary education being treated as a consumer product with the University, and by extension the faculty, adopting a customer-centric approach to their students whom have become classified as customers. This has resulted in greater informality, and when taken in combination with the general informality of many social media platforms and the disintegration of the barriers between the personal and private, leads to exactly the situation you’ve described.

    Just my take on it, though. Feel free to fire back.

  64. Bag of Pucks says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    On the battle.

    I’ll just note that younger folks and twitter folks both tend not to view snark, confrontation, hyperbole, etc. as non-starters.

    I think they are more comfortable with calling people out, challenging authority (like MSM), using informal language and hyperbolic tones without any of that meaning actual battle lines are drawn, i.e., to a point this is part of normal engagement with others and not understood as some deeply abiding dismissal of the person they are engaging.

    Part of this might reflect the fact that most of these people have some (if not a lot) of experience in an academic setting where (ideally) people are encouraged to tenaciously attack arguments but not to take it personally, i.e., the whole “I said you were acting like an idiot, not that your irredeemably are an idiot, as if that was the core of your being.”

    that’s rambly (as always)… but I think that’s part of it.

    ———–
    I really hope Friedman writes that book.

    The problem with rationalizing bad manners for a certain segment of the population is that you downgrade the code of conduct and rules of engagement for the rest of the society – particularly those invested in maintaining civil discourse based fundamentally on good manners.

    Absolutely, there are people that feel being right on a specific topic or point entitles them to act like an ass. Good luck with that approach to life. I much prefer those that recognize that “the more I learn, the less I know.”

  65. RexLibris says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Are you familiar with the old story about the Delphic Apollo and Socrates?

    The wisest man in Greece because he was aware of his own ignorance.

    One of the most important lessons I ever learned.

  66. icecastles says:

    Any comment on this idea, Lowetide?

    reposted from above:

    I wonder, LT, if we would benefit from having an FAQ of sorts on here with a brief glossary and a rundown on a few of the more commonly asked questions/challenges. It might be constructive, helpful for the new folks, and serve to keep the conversations from going off the rails if we can simply direct some posters to it. Could also be a nice repository of the LT-specific memes and nicknames that throw so many people for a loop (eye-shine; corgi; OTC; etc). I’d be more than happy to help with something like this if someone else were to pitch in with some summaries of the statistical concepts I’m less articulate/informed about.

  67. icecastles says:

    RexLibris:
    Bag of Pucks,

    Are you familiar with the old story about the Delphic Apollo and Socrates?
    The wisest man in Greece because he was aware of his own ignorance.
    One of the most important lessons I ever learned.

    “Wisest he he who knows that he does not know.” (often misquoted as “knows what he does not know” and is thus mistaken for a koan)

    I’ve got that written down in more places….

    Nicely summarizes the difference between knowledge and wisdom.

  68. speeds says:

    re: Bennett:

    "When we look at Sam Bennett we see a guy who could potentially have a Jonathan Toews type of career" -@NHLCentralScout's Dan Marr #NHLDraft— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 8, 2014

  69. RexLibris says:

    icecastles: “Wisest he he who knows that he does not know.” (often misquoted as “knows what he does not know” and is thus mistaken for a koan)I’ve got that written down in more places…. Nicely summarizes the difference between knowledge and wisdom.

    Kind of funny when viewed in the light of Rumsfeld’s famous “known knowns” speech.

    As much as I detested that man and the administration at the time, it was an relatively accurate, if somewhat clumsy, description of states of knowledge and awareness thereof.

    Shame they miscalculated on how much was really in the “unknown unknown” box.

  70. Bag of Pucks says:

    RexLibris:
    Bag of Pucks,

    Are you familiar with the old story about the Delphic Apollo and Socrates?

    The wisest man in Greece because he was aware of his own ignorance.

    One of the most important lessons I ever learned.

    Just read a summary of that now. Very cool stuff.

    Reminds me of when I arrived at the realization that I was an agnostic. Just the utter freedom and peace that came from the admission that I don’t have all the answers, and can really only rely on the paltry information my senses accumulate along the way.

    Quick aside on that one, we have a fairly active Mormon community out in the Grove and one sunny Saturday afternoon I opened the door to the unexpected but enjoyable sight of two attractive young ladies intent on proselytization without a license. Impressed as I was by the potential efficacy of this sales approach, I admitted to them I was an agnostic and their time was likely better spent on my neighbour who struggles to keep his lawn mowed : )

    The look on their face as they admitted to having no idea what an agnostic is? Absolutely priceless. I thanked them for their time and advised them that if they wanted to be supremely effective in selling belief systems door-to-door, they might want to bone up on the competition. They left satisfied with that response, and I went back inside unsatisfied that the two young ladies and I didn’t consider the more obvious alternatives for personal enlightenment.

  71. RexLibris says:

    speeds: re: Bennett:

    I’m suddenly feeling a lot more comfortable with the idea of Sam Bennett as a possible Oiler prospect.

    I’ll say this much, based on last year’s draft, I have some faith that MacTavish and MacGregor will find a good player with this pick. Maybe not the best (because that would be clairvoyance which is witchcraft and we burn those folks ’round these parts) but at least a good prospect.

  72. Woodguy says:

    Gillis fired.

  73. RexLibris says:

    Bag of Pucks: Just read a summary of that now. Very cool stuff. Reminds me of when I arrived at the realization that I was an agnostic…Mormon.

    I engaged in conversation once with a young Mormon woman with the purpose of educating myself about the origin of strength of her convictions.

    I asked her what made her believe that she was fundamentally right in her beleifs (no pun intended) while a man sitting in a Shinto shrine was simply wrong.

    Her reply was that she just was (right, that is).

    There endeth the conversation.

  74. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy: Gillis fired.

    Set the DSF clock to zero hour.

  75. regwald says:

    Woodguy: I feel like i’m about to be traded to a Flames blog.

    I hear the Canucks are looking for leadership WG … ;) … but you might now fit the mold that Linden has in mind… lol

  76. Bag of Pucks says:

    RexLibris: I engaged in conversation once with a young Mormon woman with the purpose of educating myself about the origin of strength of her convictions.

    I asked her what made her believe that she was fundamentally right in her beleifs (no pun intended) while a man sitting in a Shinto shrine was simply wrong.

    Her reply was that she just was (right, that is).

    There endeth the conversation.

    One of my favourites is when religious people tell me “they are convicted!”

    The obvious response is, “so what, you’re currently awaiting sentencing?”

  77. RexLibris says:

    Bag of Pucks: One of my favourites is when religious people tell me “they are convicted!”

    So many ways one could take that.

  78. Woodguy says:

    Surprised I didn’t see this in the thread yet (maybe I missed it)

    Rob Tychkowski ‏@Sun_Tychkowski 2h
    “Not here.” – Oilers winger Ryan Jones, when asked where he’ll be playing next year

    Its only been 3 years coming.

  79. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy:
    Surprised I didn’t see this in the thread yet (maybe I missed it)

    Rob Tychkowski ‏@Sun_Tychkowski2h
    “Not here.” – Oilers winger Ryan Jones, when asked where he’ll be playing next year

    Its only been 3 years coming.

    Look at this way, it takes a team full of Ryan’s (Jones, Whitney, Stone, etc.) to land 3 1stOVs.

  80. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy:
    Surprised I didn’t see this in the thread yet (maybe I missed it)

    Rob Tychkowski ‏@Sun_Tychkowski2h
    “Not here.” – Oilers winger Ryan Jones, when asked where he’ll be playing next year

    Its only been 3 years coming.

    I’m hoping he signs in Calgary.

    David Jones, Blair Jones and Ryan Jones. A Jones Triumvirate.

  81. book¡je says:

    Woodguy: I feel like i’m about to be traded to a Flames blog.

    Anyone else notice how bad Woodguy’s body language has been lately?

  82. justDOit says:

    book¡je: Anyone else notice how bad Woodguy’s body language has been lately?

    Last to log on – first to log off. Tisk tisk… Say hi to Smid for me.

  83. bendelson says:

    RexLibris: Kind of funny when viewed in the light of Rumsfeld’s famous “known knowns” speech.As much as I detested that man and the administration at the time, it was an relatively accurate, if somewhat clumsy, description of states of knowledge and awareness thereof. Shame they miscalculated on how much was really in the “unknown unknown” box.

    Interesting stuff to be sure…

    For what it’s worth, the following is from a Zizek article in 2004:

    “In March 2003, Rumsfeld engaged in a little bit of amateur philosophizing about the relationship between the known and the unknown: “There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.” What he forgot to add was the crucial fourth term: the “unknown knowns,” the things we don’t know that we know-which is precisely, the Freudian unconscious, the “knowledge which doesn’t know itself,” as Lacan used to say.

    If Rumsfeld thinks that the main dangers in the confrontation with Iraq were the “unknown unknowns,” that is, the threats from Saddam whose nature we cannot even suspect, then the Abu Ghraib scandal shows that the main dangers lie in the “unknown knowns” – the disavowed beliefs, suppositions and obscene practices we pretend not to know about, even though they form the background of our public values”.

  84. OilClog says:

    Woodguy:
    Gillis fired.

    I’m happy the Oilers are no longer the islanders of the west.

    Refused to retain salary, trade Schneider.

    Retain salary, trade Luongo, start a rookie, fail to make the playoffs, fire GM one month later.

    Beautiful, Vancouver.

    *slow clap*

  85. Ribs says:

    RexLibris: I’m suddenly feeling a lot more comfortable with the idea of Sam Bennett as a possible Oiler prospect.

    I’ll say this much, based on last year’s draft, I have some faith that MacTavish and MacGregor will find a good player with this pick. Maybe not the best (because that would be clairvoyance which is witchcraft and we burn those folks ’round these parts) but at least a good prospect.

    Ya! Bennett! He does seem to have a Toews type of game to him. This team needs a guy like that.

    Not that I’ll complain if they get Ekblad. They could definitely use him as well. I’m just not too sure about the top prospects beyond those two. It’s kind of scary.

  86. Derek says:

    icecastles: Several of us did.
    You have to admit, that whole day was a pretty fun thread.

    It does illuminate one thing quite clearly though: how often will someone come on here and give the same challenge about “the game is too fast; advanced stats are in their infancy; we need the human touch; intangible blah blah blah” and we’re forced to explain the same basic things over and over? It absolutely stalls the conversation and derails it almost as badly as when LT asks us for musical suggestions (seriously: three days later and we’re still talking about Zappa and Skinny Puppy).

    I wonder, LT, if we would benefit from having an FAQ of sorts on here with a brief glossary and a rundown on a few of the more commonly asked questions/challenges. It might be constructive, helpful for the new folks, and serve to keep the conversations from going off the rails if we can simply direct some posters to it. Could also be a nice repository of the LT-specific memes and nicknames that throw so many people for a loop (eye-shine; corgi; OTC; etc). I’d be more than happy to help with something like this if someone else were to pitch in with some summaries of the statistical concepts I’m less articulate/informed about.

    I support this. This place has a long history and if you’ve watched Vic smite the unwashed masses from his lonely mountain of numbers, Bruce scream C U Next Tuesday-treal, everytime the Habs play the early game on CBC while Hbomb tries to drown us all in liquor and Ricki spits out numbers like an autistic terminator unit sent back in time to save John Connor with digits, chances are you’ve seen a million and one new posters show up and challenge the numbers with talk of intangibles, moving parts and shot quality.

    It’s easy to forget patience and courtesy when trying to explain score effects for the third time in one thread to someone who seems either uninterested or unable to spell Sam Gagners name correctly.

    RexLibris:
    In Rishaug’s defense, the nature of the reporting business has changed dramatically over the past 60 years.

    It has gone from crass commercial soapbox and loose editorials to professional, objective reportage, then a return to modern commercial interests (ie: “infotainment” and corporate news messaging) and with the advent of and professional pressures to engage in social media, off-the-cuff editorializing.

    It is doubtful that Rishaug or others in the sports news media attended Journalism classes that covered topics like public engagement over Twitter.

    Perhaps I’m wrong, and certainly there must be some instruction in this field now.

    Reporters used to have to cover the games, tease out some narratives, give personnel updates and so on. His perspective may run counter to the advanced stats line, but as much as I disagree with he and others who argue for “tough, hard hitting players” I try to remind myself to separate the professional man from his personal opinions. There aren’t many of us who would stand up well to such public scrutiny.

    It’s amazing to me that someone who writes and reports for the public would need to take classes that instruct public engagement.

    Seriously?

  87. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RexLibris: I disagree only in so far as that I don’t believe that an experience with post-secondary institutions for many of the younger generation necessarily breeds an ability for back-and-forth discussions and explorations of challenging perspectives.

    Let’s start by defining our terms here. I’ll assume we’re talking about younger generations and twitter folks as those that fall somewhere in the age range of 24 to 34. We can narrow it down from there, but these would be people who either have had formulative adolescent experiences with social media or saw it come to age when they were late in their post-secondary/early professional careers. Fair?

    Okay, now the first paragraph isn’t to say that these students never encountered ideas or opinions that challenged what they believe, but instead that the post-secondary experience to which you refer has been notably in decline for many years with less content designed to directly oppose students’ perspectives and instead targeted more at encouraging collaborative and innovative educational outcomes.

    The end result of which you speak, a less formal tone and willingness to directly confront authority, is certainly something I’ve witnessed both in my own experience at University and in my professional career where I’ve worked alongside a wide assortment of generations.

    However, I believe that this is due to a fundamental shift in the way education, specifically post-secondary, has been delivered since the late 90s.

    The example you describe would absolutely hold true for someone who attended University anytime between the late 60s and up to the early to early 80s, within the life cycle of the great social shift that happened beginning in the 60s.

    The current behaviour is, I believe, more the product of post-secondary education being treated as a consumer product with the University, and by extension the faculty, adopting a customer-centric approach to their students whom have become classified as customers. This has resulted in greater informality, and when taken in combination with the general informality of many social media platforms and the disintegration of the barriers between the personal and private, leads to exactly the situation you’ve described.

    Just my take on it, though. Feel free to fire back.

    Ok, I see where you are going here.

    Let try and disentangle the two things as I wasn’t quite clear before.

    make a Venn diagram in your head.

    In one bubble put people aged roughly 18-35 who have the whole jumble of attributes we are discussing. informality, lack of deference to authority, snark, etc.

    In another bubble put the analytics community (Dellow, Eric T, Wendorf, Parkatti, etc). these folks, by and large, are of the same age as the first bubble and probably share the jumble of attributes we describe.

    However, they also for the most part have extensive experience with the academic world, well beyond the flippant undergrad going through the motions. They’re familiar with research, analysis, critical thinking, seminar interaction, being challenged seriously by peers, profs., advisors, etc.

    I’d guess they know what it’s like to have their theses ripped apart and to tear apart a conference presenter who doesn’t know their shit. I’d also bet they don’t consider these matters personally.

    Just a thought at any rate. larger point being that a generation and/or education gap may be an issue.

  88. Ducey says:

    OilClog: I’m happy the Oilers are no longer the islanders of the west.Refused to retain salary, trade Schneider.Retain salary, trade Luongo, start a rookie, fail to make the playoffs, fire GM one month later.Beautiful, Vancouver.*slow clap*

    I still laugh at Gillis being interviewed at the golf course on trade deadline day this year.

    Hopefully the Aquamen hire Tambo for the rebuild.

    He has experience both with rebuilds and in Vancouver!

  89. G Money says:

    book¡je: Anyone else notice how bad Woodguy’s body language has been lately?

    justDOit: Last to log on – first to log off. Tisk tisk… Say hi to Smid for me.

    I’m not surprised the guy’s getting traded. He’s a dinosaur. Should have become CompositeGuy years ago.

  90. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    You know what I’m getting from this thread?

    A distinct sense that a lot of you don’t respect wood.

    Don’t count on coming to my cocktail parties with that attitude!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17hnNOFaRH4

  91. Wolfpack says:

    When I look at the math guys vs. MSM I think it is generalizing a bit to position it as “us vs. them”.

    It reminds me of sales training and management training where they do the “Personality colours” exercise – I am sure many of you know what I am talking about.

    Blue – kind, conscientious, caring, authentic, optimistic
    Green – analytical, data-driven, planners, achievers
    Orange – impulsive, energetic, make decisions based on their “gut”, like attention
    Gold – organized, stabilizing, detail-oriented

    My suspicion is that most of the “math” people are “green”. I also suspect that media (broadcast media in particular) attracts a lot of oranges. I am a green that works with mostly oranges and I can tell you that a big challenge I have had to overcome is the frustration of me explaining something and my coworkers “just not getting it”.

    If I had to guess, I would say that there are a few MSM folks out there that are green – like maybe Staples, who excels at investigative reporting and has embraced advanced stats. But most are probably orange – and it is just not in their nature to try to understand advanced stats concepts.

    ORANGE: “They often find formal learning rather tedious and may not like to be bothered reading the books to master an academic subject.”

    GREEN: “They need to feel competent. However, their definition of competence far exceeds that of any other temperament.”

    Hmmmmmm………..

  92. icecastles says:

    G Money: I’m not surprised the guy’s getting traded. He’s a dinosaur. Should have become CompositeGuy years ago.

    Woodguy’s style is too gritty. Composite guy would be shattered around here. Of course for WG I’m sure he likes the handle because of the intangibles it brings.

  93. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: A distinct sense that a lot of you don’t respect wood.

    It’s the sideburns.

  94. justDOit says:

    icecastles: Woodguy’s style is too gritty. Composite guy would be shattered around here. Of course for WG I’m sure he likes the handle because of the intangibles it brings.

    Has he ever passed to Yakupov? Can someone look that up in the puck RF log?

  95. Pajamah says:

    My biggest issue with the MSM vs. Bloggers, or “seen him good” vs. advanced stats is with who is on what side.

    Rishaug, Dustin Neilson, Brownlee, Milhouse, Gregor, Spec……..

    These are journalists, not hockey experts, and short of Rishaug, none of them can play short of beer league or media events. What makes Gregor think he knows more than the common fan is a media pass, which is no more or less valuable than a season ticket. These are Tier 1 old school fans who say incindiary, or downright stupid things to get their “hyuck” listeners talking (or more importantly, tuning in)

    If following a measurable, repeatable stats based schedule of progression is the wrong way to build a hockey team, its still better than MOARBIGGOOD

  96. Pajamah says:

    icecastles,

    Composite guy just means he’s made of particleboard or MDF.

    He strikes me as more of a lumber core kinda guy.

  97. Baby Nilsson says:

    Andy P,

    Pro football (soccer) teams use player tracking software, except instead of using RFID tech, they have cameras set up around the field to collect data on player movements. The NBA uses a similar technique except that they use a different company (sportsvu as opposed to Prozone). One team that was one of the first to adopt the technology was Southampton, which incidentally hired Ralph Kruger.

  98. icecastles says:

    What timing. This article is an absolute must read for anyone interested in swaying public opinion with facts. It’s ostensibly about politics, but it is 100% tied in to what we’ve all been talking about here today… Ryan Jones.

    Wait that’s not it. It’s about how we use, ignore and selectively ignore facts not to form our opinions, but to reinforce the ones we already hold.

    Here’s are a couple of money quotes:

    Perhaps there are some kinds of debates where people don’t want to find the right answer so much as they want to win the argument. Perhaps humans reason for purposes other than finding the truth — purposes like increasing their standing in their community, or ensuring they don’t piss off the leaders of their tribe. If this hypothesis proved true, then a smarter, better-educated citizenry wouldn’t put an end to these disagreements. It would just mean the participants are better equipped to argue for their own side.

    and this:

    Kahan calls this theory Identity-Protective Cognition: “As a way of avoiding dissonance and estrangement from valued groups, individuals subconsciously resist factual information that threatens their defining values.”

    Warning: it tips the scales at a bit over 4000 words. Maybe read it during whichever period the Oilers don’t show up for tonight.

  99. LMHF#1 says:

    icecastles:
    What timing. This article is an absolute must read for anyone interested in swaying public opinion with facts. It’s ostensibly about politics, but it is 100% tied in to what we’ve all been talking about here today… Ryan Jones.

    So, why write a political article saying politics makes you stupid?

    That thing is as charged up as any of the people it is deriding.

  100. LMHF#1 says:

    Pajamah:

    Rishaug, Dustin Neilson, Brownlee, Milhouse, Gregor, Spec……..

    These are journalists

    Bahahaha!

    Don’t get me wrong, they’re not hockey experts either.

  101. RexLibris says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:

    make a Venn diagram in your head.

    You had me at “Venn”…

    ;)

    No, good points and I think we are actually in clear agreement here, but the forum doesn’t lend itself to the easy communication that would follow.

  102. RexLibris says:

    icecastles,

    Interesting read.

    Reminds me of the fatal flaw in economic theory – human beings.

    No system that includes a significant input source from a single or collection of human beings is going to function according to logical design.

    That we can ask these questions and be puzzled over the answers is wonderful, though.

  103. Woodguy says:

    icecastles: Woodguy’s style is too gritty. Composite guy would be shattered around here. Of course for WG I’m sure he likes the handle because of the intangibles it brings.

    Wood is the ultimate utility player.

    Can do damn near everything you want to too.

    Ultimate renewable resource too.

    Shit grows everywhere.

    Don’t believe me?

    Check out the trees growing out of rocky crags in the mountains.

    Can’t kill the damn things.

    Very gritty.

  104. Hammers says:

    Line matching tonight should be interesting . Roy vs Eakins , can’t wait . 1 week to go for the lottery pick but it doesn’t matter if we are 1st or 4th . It’s take a center or trade the pick .Hilarious what’s coming out of Vancouver . Those fans are back to jumping off the bandwagon again like they are preordained to be in playoffs every year . They haven’t realized the reason they won the Pacific Northwest the last 5 years was because the other 4 teams have been 4 of the worst in the league . How many players may be available in trades from this Canucks team ? maybe 4 or 5 if they do a total revamp .

  105. Doomoil says:

    The MSM are desperate to play the jock.

    It’s the only reason I can come up with why their go to insult became ‘you’re just some nerd in his mom’s basement.’

    50 year old dorks pretending they’re the cool kids in highschool.

  106. Woodguy says:

    G Money:
    I’m not surprised the guy’s getting traded.He’s a dinosaur.Should have become CompositeGuy years ago.

    I sell composites too.

    Just wood, glue, and pressure.

    Wood is very good under pressure.

    Wood is clutch.

  107. prairieschooner says:

    Hey this is fun giving wood guy the lumber it looks like a lot of you have been waiting a long time for this opportunity.

    Can I just say there is something very nauseating about Oilers fans “fighting” about who we should pick with our very high draft position. Rewarded for Failure yet again

  108. Lynas1 says:

    Ducey:
    Central Scouting has released their final draft list.

    North American skaters

    1. Bennett
    2. Ekblad
    3.Reinhart
    4. Draisaitl
    5. Dal Colle
    6. Virtanen
    7. Ritchie

    European skaters

    1. Kapanen
    2. Nylander
    3. Fiala
    4. Vrana
    5. Pastrnak

    http://www.tsn.ca/draftcentre/feature/?id=9363

    I’ve been big on Sam Bennett, but I’ve seen only two things on Draisaitl, and in one his game was compared to Joe Thornton, and the other compared his game to Jagr. Sold. :)

  109. Woodguy says:

    Pajamah:
    icecastles,

    Composite guy just means he’s made of particleboard or MDF.

    He strikes me as more of a lumber core kinda guy.

    Composites means a lot of things including blending wood residue with plastics, laminated strands etc.

    I sell composites, lumber core, solid wood, plywood core, HDF (high density fiber, as opposed to medium density (MDF))

    Unlike the Oilers, I strive to make sure my product offering is balanced.

    Balance is beauty.

    Wood is good.

  110. Woodguy says:

    Don’t think it’s been mentioned in the thread, but Jiggy starts tonight so this is the last Jiggy vs. Smytty ever.

    Dawgbone posted this on twitter today.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TG7_YMMHEVI

    So awesome.

    Smytty breaks the record tonight while Jiggy loses his shit.

    Book it!

  111. LoDog says:

    icecastles:
    What timing. This article is an absolute must read for anyone interested in swaying public opinion with facts. It’s ostensibly about politics, but it is 100% tied in to what we’ve all been talking about here today… Ryan Jones.

    Wait that’s not it. It’s about how we use, ignore and selectively ignore facts not to form our opinions, but to reinforce the ones we already hold.

    Here’s are a couple of money quotes:

    and this:

    Warning: it tips the scales at a bit over 4000 words. Maybe read it during whichever period the Oilers don’t show up for tonight.

    Nothing new there. It’s the same with everything. Humans believe what they want to believe and then filter the information that backs up their view and disregard anything that does not. We are creatures of bias and the first step to better science ( or stats, to tie into this blog) is admitting that we all have biases.

    If you want to read something much better that actually has original and footnoted thoughts, may I suggest The Believing Brain by Michael Shermer.

  112. icecastles says:

    Woodguy: I sell composites too.
    Just wood, glue, and pressure.
    Wood is very good under pressure.
    Wood is clutch.

    Woodguy where in Alberta are you? I assume you sell wholesale and you’re not working in a lumber yard somewhere… I wonder if you’re one of our suppliers, or if you could become one. Have a hell of a time getting what I need through Taiga a lot of the time.

  113. Lois Lowe says:

    This thread is all of the things that makes LT’s community so wonderful. It’s amazing to me that I have been reading this forum as long as I have (seven years now). I don’t bat an eye at the insane amount of inside joking and commentary that goes on here because it just adds so much.

    I have always like the cut of Woodguy’s jib. His advanced stats eyeglow/60 and poise are enough to keep me from trading him.

    As someone once said, “Find good posters, keep good posters.”

  114. icecastles says:

    LoDog: Nothing new there. It’s the same with everything. Humans believe what they want to believe and then filter the information that backs up their view and disregard anything that does not. We are creatures of bias and the first step to better science ( or stats, to tie into this blog) is admitting that we all have biases.

    It sounds like you read the pullquotes and not the article. That’s not really the point it makes at all.

  115. icecastles says:

    Lois Lowe: As someone once said, “Find good posters, keep good posters.”

    I’ve got a poster of Lady Gaga.

  116. Marc says:

    Bag of Pucks:

    In professional football for instance, game film is used to grade players on a per play basis, with this qualitative & quantitative analysis then used to inform many of the decisions coaches make in regards to roster selection, depth charts, tactics and transactions. Unfortunately, but for obvious reasons, this grading data never makes its way into the public domain as it would be hugely illuminating for fans and media alike. Suddenly the conversation moves from very simplistic evaluation (he’s made 4 consecutive Pro Bowls) to more incisive (Player A grades out as the most effective blocker in the league on a per play basis).

    Interestingly, the Oilers’ scouts are doing just that. From Matty:

    “The Oilers are very high on their college defenceman signing, Jordan Oesterle. Oilers vice-president of hockey operations Scott Howson tracked him for months at Western Michigan. One game, he tracked his touches with the puck, and of the 58, 53 turned out to be very good, and they weren’t all 10-foot passes. His best attribute is his skating, though, He’s got NHL wheels.”

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/04/06/short-shifts-john-tortorella-will-enjoy-hefty-golden-parachute-if-canucks-cut-him-loose/

    I’d be surprised if they were doing it for scouting purposes and didn’t have some kind of similar system for assessing players already in the system.

  117. bendelson says:

    Question WH: what are the chances you can you get your hands on 35′ wooden flag poles? 8″-10″ diameter at bottom. At least 4″ at the top. Tough to find….

  118. G Money says:

    Presumably inspired by Rom’s latest missives, and also because I had some free brain time (WTF??) and launched one of the number crunching exercises I have on my massive “interesting Hockey Stats” project list, I just made my first FanPost over at C&B!

    I updated/calculated/graphed draft success rates for the twelve years from 1998 to 2009. Now you can say cool things like: “Defensemen drafted in the third round have a 44.3% chance of playing in the NHL, and the average number of games in his career will be 377!”

    You know how useful a statement like that can be.

    Feel free to check it out and make appropriate Pssssh! and Tsk Tsk noises.

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2014/4/8/5594876/updating-draft-success-numbers-a-vainglorious-number-crunching

  119. Woodguy says:

    Lois Lowe:
    This thread is all of the things that makes LT’s community so wonderful. It’s amazing to me that I have been reading this forum as long as I have (seven years now). I don’t bat an eye at the insane amount of inside joking and commentary that goes on here because it just adds so much.

    I have always like the cut of Woodguy’s jib. His advanced stats eyeglow/60 and poise are enough to keep me from trading him.

    As someone once said, “Find good posters, keep good posters.”

    <3

    Love you too!

  120. Woodguy says:

    Marc: Interestingly, the Oilers’ scouts are doing just that.From Matty:

    “The Oilers are very high on their college defenceman signing, Jordan Oesterle. Oilers vice-president of hockey operations Scott Howson tracked him for months at Western Michigan. One game, he tracked his touches with the puck, and of the 58, 53 turned out to be very good, and they weren’t all 10-foot passes. His best attribute is his skating, though, He’s got NHL wheels.”

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/04/06/short-shifts-john-tortorella-will-enjoy-hefty-golden-parachute-if-canucks-cut-him-loose/

    I’d be surprised if they were doing it for scouting purposes and didn’t have some kind of similar system for assessing players already in the system.

    Great info Marc. Thanks for that.

    Take a pass/give a pass (along with puck battles won/lost) are key stats that shot data doesn’t give you.

    Good to see the Oilers look for it.

    Sad that they only tracked one game and didn’t a student for $100/gm to track it all year. (maybe they did…….)

  121. lance says:

    The other day a dialogue here was going on about RFID chips in pucks. While I’m a bit behind on the comment sections, I wonder if there has been any dialogue regarding the placement of chips on the players instead?

    As for me, I’d rather see the data track the players, however, I’m also very interested in shot quality data regarding goalies, so maybe it would be important to track puck trajectory at least for the G.

    Seems hard to decipher player stats when only tracking the puck.

  122. Lowetide says:

    Lois Lowe:
    This thread is all of the things that makes LT’s community so wonderful. It’s amazing to me that I have been reading this forum as long as I have (seven years now). I don’t bat an eye at the insane amount of inside joking and commentary that goes on here because it just adds so much.

    I have always like the cut of Woodguy’s jib. His advanced stats eyeglow/60 and poise are enough to keep me from trading him.

    As someone once said, “Find good posters, keep good posters.”

    I agree, WG is top drawer. The atmosphere in here comes directly from redwtwilight, who was the first person I ever talked to online. About anything. It was back in the days of hfboards, and I asked a question, he answered, and I told him he was wrong.

    And so it began.

    Over the years, friends come and go, and a few go and come back and that’s always a real good day. I don’t know why it works, only that it does.

    Thanks, Kim Gernack. See you someday.

  123. Woodguy says:

    bendelson:
    Question WH:what are the chances you can you get your hands on 35′ wooden flag poles?8″-10″ diameter at bottom.At least 4″ at the top.Tough to find….

    Not in my wheel house.

    I’d contact a company that does telephone poles and see if they have rejected poles that they sell.

    I remember a company called “Bell Pole”, but that was years ago.

    You probably need someone to re-man the reject pole, but that’s the easy part.

  124. icecastles says:

    Woodguy: You probably need someone to re-man the reject pole

    Phrasing like this makes me wonder if “wood guy” is a euphamism.

    And you did mention cock-tail parties earlier…

  125. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide,

    Yeah, you said you liked Smid too….

    Seriously, finding this place maintained my sanity as an Oiler fan.

    Thanks for giving us a forum so we can be heard.

    We write something here and thousands read it.

    If had my own blog the crickets would only be outnumbered by the tumbleweeds.

    The bonus is the friends you make.

    Hell, I hired PDO as a summer student to help him out and 5 or so years later he’s a key salesman for me.

    He only knew me from here.

    Amazing place.

    Thank you very, very much.

  126. bendelson says:

    Thank you for your thoughts on the subject WG.
    I will certainly investigate.
    It appears as though my tipi pole guy isn’t a great flag pole guy…
    Who knew?

    Enjoy the game!

  127. Woodguy says:

    icecastles: Phrasing like this makes me wonder if “wood guy” is a euphamism.

    The best part is that it works both ways.

    The nick came from a buddy almost 20 years ago.

    He’d introduce me to people saying “This is Darcy. He sells wood. He’s a woodguy”

    Of course we were in our 20′s and if we were talking to girls the next line would be about the quality of my wood etc.

    The thing that I never understood is that after telling people I sold wood for a living about 70% would ask “fire wood”

    Weird.

  128. "Steve Smith" says:

    Woodguy:
    Seriously, finding this place maintained my sanity as an Oiler fan.

    Finding this place maintained me as an Oiler fan, so to hell with this place and everyone in it.

  129. hunter1909 says:

    icecastles: . This article is an absolute must read

    Nope.

    I took the skin cream test, but since I didn’t respond the way I was supposed to(I looked at the data and decided it was better not to use it) the rest of the article started to ring like a neighbor’s wind chime at 8am on a Sunday.

  130. B S says:

    Apologize if some of this has been touched on, but given the Stats vs OTC hockey debate going one I figured some things are worth pointing out. Firstly, I don’t buy into the current crop of “advanced stats” as the end-all-be-all for two reasons, first off, because I don’t believe these stats are tell everything that’s going on, case in point being the Avs example, LT sees luck as the separation between them and the Oil, I see a team with a coach that can light a fire under their asses when the game is on the line (winning 1 goal games) vs a team that lacks that push late in the game (note I’m using team as a single entity, not pointing to particular players). Players are human beings, their psychology is typically one of the biggest differences between the successes and failures. This will show up in their confidence, their ability to make the important play (take advantage of the rare events), and will show up in the wins and losses, but not necessarily the “advanced” stats the way we are currently looking at them.

    Secondly, the whole point of statistics is to tell you whether you’re right given the missing information (p-value is the usual expression of this), This is almost never given, and without it statistics are basically meaningless (you can’t say how uncommon your event is). Even more frustrating is that at least some people track this and don’t give it (Dellow only gave probabilities after being pressed incessantly by VOR (thank you VOR) on a very basic statistical concept). For now it seems to be best to use them as a check for common narratives and their validity (a common use on this site).

  131. hunter1909 says:

    "Steve Smith",

    “Steve Smith” used to be a riot on Lowetide, with insane intelligence flying in all directions.

    Then Dallas Eakins arrived and ruined everything.

  132. Woodguy says:

    "Steve Smith": Finding this place maintained me as an Oiler fan, so to hell with this place and everyone in it.

    Agreed Steve Smith

    If that’s your real name.

  133. B S says:

    Regarding the debate itself, if you are on a public forum (twitter, blogs, etc.) don’t cut bait. You aren’t trying to convince him (or her), you’re trying to convince the next generation, those following and hearing these debates. Just remember to keep an open mind and clearly define what it is you are trying to say (stats are always right, or just that stats show that e.g. Petry is a good and physical defenseman).

  134. Lois Lowe says:

    hunter1909,

    I am pretty sure that “Steve Smith” has been overworked and underpaid since leaving school, hence his absence around these parts.

  135. icecastles says:

    B S:
    Apologize if some of this has been touched on, but given the Stats vs OTC hockey debate going one I figured some things are worth pointing out. Firstly, I don’t buy into the current crop of “advanced stats” as the end-all-be-all for two reasons, first off, because I don’t believe these stats are tell everything that’s going on, case in point being the Avs example, LT sees luck as the separation between them and the Oil, I see a team with a coach that can light a fire under their asses when the game is on the line (winning 1 goal games) vs a team that lacks that push late in the game (note I’m using team as a single entity, not pointing to particular players). Players are human beings, their psychology is typically one of the biggest differences between the successes and failures. This will show up in their confidence, their ability to make the important play (take advantage of the rare events), and will show up in the wins and losses, but not necessarily the “advanced” stats the way we are currently looking at them.

    Secondly, the whole point of statistics is to tell you whether you’re right given the missing information (p-value is the usual expression of this), This is almost never given, and without it statistics are basically meaningless (you can’t say how uncommon your event is). Even more frustrating is that at least some people track this and don’t give it (Dellow only gave probabilities after being pressed incessantly by VOR (thank you VOR) on a very basic statistical concept). For now it seems to be best to use them as a check for common narratives and their validity (a common use on this site).

    This is where it would be so nice to just say “Read the FAQ.”

    These objections have been addressed and explained half a dozen times in the last week alone.

  136. Lowetide says:

    "Steve Smith": Finding this place maintained me as an Oiler fan, so to hell with this place and everyone in it.

    I’m thinking of changing the blog name to “Drat! Draft!”

  137. justDOit says:

    Lowetide:
    “Steve Smith”: Finding this place maintained me as an Oiler fan, so to hell with this place and everyone in it.

    I’m thinking of changing the blog name to “Drat! Draft!”

    Drat! Draught!! Draft!!!

  138. thejonrmcleod says:

    I wish the above comments wood focus more on this evening’s game.

  139. Lowetide says:

    thejonrmcleod:
    I wish the above comments wood focus more on this evening’s game.

    Wood?

  140. hunter1909 says:

    thejonrmcleod:
    I wish the above comments wood focus more on this evening’s game.

    Np. First off, prior to this season I expected the Oilers to make the Avs their girlfriends but instead it appears the glorious blue-orange-white are going to be getting a shellacking.

    PS: In fairness, the team has been playing better recently, but I’m trying to resist my usual urge to be optimistic.

  141. icecastles says:

    Lowetide: Wood?

    There would be more about wood if we could think of something good. Understood?
    But the game is lame so our observations stay the same.
    We doff our hats and go on about the stats while LT calls the games “at bats.”
    Then the smart guys all get pelted until our brains are melted.
    I think this comment thread is messing with my head.
    I should probably just go to bed, since our playoff hopes are dead and these Ave comparisons make me see red.
    But instead I’ll grab a beer, sit alone and cheer until the offseason is here.
    Which for the Oilers, is all too near.

  142. magisterrex says:

    Dammit! I came here for culinary tips. What is all this Rishaud talk?

  143. justDOit says:

    hunter1909:
    … I’m trying to resist my usual urge to be optimistic.

    Stay strong, Hunter.

  144. "Steve Smith" says:

    Lois Lowe:
    hunter1909,

    I am pretty sure that “Steve Smith” has been overworked and underpaid since leaving school, hence his absence around these parts.

    Not at all, actually – well, maybe overworked on occasion (of my own volition, typically, because whenever I lose I offer, in a fit of pique, to appeal for free, and because I accept pretty well every Legal Aid file that gets thrown my way), but I certainly have no complaints about the money. And in any event, being underpaid would not prevent me from hanging around here, unless it made me take on a second job, or something.

    Mostly I’ve stopped spending so much time here because the contribution I most frequently feel like making is “In the interests of full disclosure, it should be noted that you have a very tiny brain”,* and that didn’t seem like it would be productive for me or edifying for this hallowed forum. But I think I’m mostly through that now, so perhaps I’ll be contributing my particular brand of lack of substance more frequently henceforth.

    * Not that posters here have, on average, tiny brains – quite the opposite, in fact. It’s just that the people who were making feel like responding belonged to the tiny-brained minority.

  145. Woodguy says:

    icecastles: There would be more about wood if we could think of something good. Understood?
    But the game is lame so our observations stay the same.
    We doff our hats and go on about the stats while LT calls the games “at bats.”
    Then the smart guys all get pelted until our brains are melted.
    I think this comment thread is messing with my head.
    I should probably just go to bed, since our playoff hopes are dead and these Ave comparisons make me see red.
    But instead I’ll grab a beer, sit alone and cheer until the offseason is here.
    Which for the Oilers, is all too near.

    Wow.

    Nice work Suess.

  146. gr8one says:

    justDOit: Drat! Draught!! Draft!!!

    Draisatl?

  147. Ryan says:

    Lois Lowe:
    hunter1909,

    I am pretty sure that “Steve Smith” has been overworked and underpaid since leaving school, hence his absence around these parts.

    What type of law does he practice?

    It’s crazy how many of this blog readers are lawyers.

    I’ve always found it interesting how ‘ballsy’s’ dellow’s twitter account is for a guy who works as a litigator for a big Toronto law firm. Granted, it’s not in his own name, but he frequently connects the two on radio shows. I’d have thought big law firms would frown on such a thing, but it doesn’t sound like it’s been a problem for him.

  148. Woodguy says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    Mostly I’ve stopped spending so much time here because the contribution I most frequently feel like making is “In the interests of full disclosure, it should be noted that you have a very tiny brain”,* and that didn’t seem like it would be productive for me or edifying for this hallowed forum.

    But you can do better if you want to.

  149. Woodguy says:

    Ryan,

    I’ve always found it interesting how ‘ballsy’s’ dellow’s twitter account is for a guy who works as a litigator for a big Toronto law firm. Granted, it’s not in his own name, but he frequently connects the two on radio shows. I’d have thought big law firms would frown on such a thing, but it doesn’t sound like it’s been a problem for him.

    Tyler stopped practicing law and started living off of his common-law wife’s better nature, writing, and collecting bottles for over a year now I think.

  150. "Steve Smith" says:

    Ryan: What type of law does he practice?

    Criminal defence.

  151. thejonrmcleod says:

    Lowetide: Wood?

    Yes, I meant “wood.”

  152. Ryan says:

    “Steve Smith”: Criminal defence.

    Oh wow, there’s the interweb for you. I would have pegged you for something more involving drafting contracts or corporate documents than Perry Mason, :)

  153. Ryan says:

    Woodguy:
    Ryan,

    I’ve always found it interesting how ‘ballsy’s’ dellow’s twitter account is for a guy who works as a litigator for a big Toronto law firm. Granted, it’s not in his own name, but he frequently connects the two on radio shows. I’d have thought big law firms would frown on such a thing, but it doesn’t sound like it’s been a problem for him.

    Tyler stopped practicing law and started living off of his common-law wife’s better nature, writing,and collecting bottles for over a year now I think.

    Lol. Serves him right for moving from here to twitter. :)

  154. theres oil in virginia says:

    G Money:
    Presumably inspired by Rom’s latest missives, and also because I had some free brain time (WTF??) and launched one of the number crunching exercises I have on my massive “interesting Hockey Stats” project list, I just made my first FanPost over at C&B!

    I updated/calculated/graphed draft success rates for the twelve years from 1998 to 2009.Now you can say cool things like: “Defensemen drafted in the third round have a 44.3% chance of playing in the NHL, and the average number of games in his career will be 377!”

    You know how useful a statement like that can be.

    Feel free to check it out and make appropriate Pssssh!and Tsk Tsk noises.

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2014/4/8/5594876/updating-draft-success-numbers-a-vainglorious-number-crunching

    Hey man, I think someone’s impostering you over at C&B. I’m pretty sure he’s a fake, because he seems to be pretty smart! He tweaked his handle (easy now) as a tip off. The article looks like it’s good and has some smart stuff in it, but I just looked at the pictures.

    Do you think that games played can account for quality? In other words, if a goalie has played 300 games, is he necessarily a pretty good goalie? If so, it looks like 60-90 is a good spot for picking one. On the other hand, if the average save% of the goalies in the 60-90 pick range is 1% lower than those in the 20-60 range, does that justify picking one earlier? You still have to pick the right one and put them on a good development track.

    Teasing aside…good work…although, you missed a word under Phil Collins’ chin…fucking amateurs.

  155. theres oil in virginia says:

    Lowetide: Wood?

    Try to keep up, man. This blog is leavin’ you behind!

  156. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    G Money:
    Presumably inspired by Rom’s latest missives, and also because I had some free brain time (WTF??) and launched one of the number crunching exercises I have on my massive “interesting Hockey Stats” project list, I just made my first FanPost over at C&B!

    I updated/calculated/graphed draft success rates for the twelve years from 1998 to 2009.Now you can say cool things like: “Defensemen drafted in the third round have a 44.3% chance of playing in the NHL, and the average number of games in his career will be 377!”

    You know how useful a statement like that can be.

    Feel free to check it out and make appropriate Pssssh!and Tsk Tsk noises.

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2014/4/8/5594876/updating-draft-success-numbers-a-vainglorious-number-crunching

    awesome. just checking in to say that Wood is great and I saw this.

    No time to read it now, but I’ll get to it tonight or tomorrow. looking forward to it.

  157. Pouzar says:

    1. SSM Pronger, (3) (S. Tolchinsky, P. Watling), 5:49 (PP)

    2-2

    5:58 min remaining in 3rd

  158. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I think wood is endlessly interesting.

    If I ever met WG I’m tire him pretty quickly with a lot of questions about the relative merits of Cypress and Walnut, etc. and then tell him all about Aristotle’s funny ideas about material causation.

    gotta go, dinner with the wife!

  159. book¡je says:

    icecastles: This is where it would be so nice to just say “Read the FAQ.”

    These objections have been addressed and explained half a dozen times in the last week alone.

    Player X isn’t waiver eligible because he is on a two way contract!

  160. book¡je says:

    Woodguy: Not in my wheel house.

    I’d contact a company that does telephone poles and see if they have rejected poles that they sell.

    I remember a company called “Bell Pole”, but that was years ago.

    You probably need someone to re-man the reject pole, but that’s the easy part.

    I know another way to get telephone poles, but you need really good gloves, a chainsaw and heavy wire cutters.

  161. sliderule says:

    Woodguy,

    That’s how I feel sometime but as I have been on the other end I feel respect is best.

  162. spoiler says:

    I can’t see the forest for all the damn trees.

    Sorry. Saw Noah last night. I’ve had a lot of wood in the past 24 hours. Like, more than a cord.

  163. spoiler says:

    It’s also woodpecker-on-chimney season.

    I was hoping they’d visit hunter’s neighbour with the pretty chimes instead.

  164. spoiler says:

    Great save by Scrivens followed by a telepathic pass by Marincin to Hall.

  165. hunter1909 says:

    The good part is, the Avs are not much if any older than the Oilers, so Oilers won’t want to give up too quickly tonight.

    The bad part is, the Avs are not much if any older than the Oilers and are already beating them with their big well coached forwards.

  166. Lloyd B. says:

    Great. SNW in MB means Ontario so I get baseball yet again. Now CHED is offline. You guys are my only link to the game. Lots of updates please.

  167. hunter1909 says:

    Lloyd B.:
    Great.SNW in MB means Ontario so I get baseball yet again.Now CHED is offline.You guys are my only link to the game.Lots of updates please.

    Ok Avs look pretty organized and the Oilers aren’t terrible but they’re definitely a quarter step behind.

    Gagner just totally fucked up, so nothings changed here lol.

  168. Derek says:

    I’m not convinced that if they replace Sam Gagner with a rookie centerman they’re any worse off. The only time he looks engaged in the game is when he’s in the offensive zone with his mouth guard hanging halfway out of his month.

  169. spoiler says:

    Looks like the Soo lost in OT, 3-2. Nurse with the first goal of the game off the powerplay.

    And a bounce comes back our way from Perron.

  170. fuzzy muppet says:

    Perron scores on the PP. Lucky bounce but it counts.

  171. Lowetide says:

    Perron is the mon.

  172. Rondo says:

    Moroz

    Hemsky

  173. fuzzy muppet says:

    Eric Johnson scores immediately after he walks Petry in embarrassing fashion

    It’s plays like that why so many people dislike Petry.

  174. Derek says:

    Petry so soff

  175. spoiler says:

    And Jeff Petry is caught shopping at The Gap on full HD video.

  176. Lloyd B. says:

    CHED back up just in time for the Oiler goal and then the Colorado one. WFT ??

  177. Derek says:

    Upcoming Mactavish interview with Principe.

    Genes questions include:

    Would you like to see the Oilers improve?
    How do you feel about Taylor Hall?
    Do you like cheese?

  178. cabbiesmacker says:

    Derek:
    The only time he looks engaged in the game is when he’s in the offensive zone with his mouth guard hanging halfway out of his month.

    Freudian slip that works?

  179. Wolfie says:

    For the record. Perron bounced that off the guy’s skate on purpose. There was no luck on that one. I bet you he’s a mean pool player too!

  180. hunter1909 says:

    Wolfie:
    For the record.Perron bounced that off the guy’s skate on purpose.There was no luck on that one.I bet you he’s a mean pool player too!

    Great player. Pity he’s wasted as an Oiler.

  181. Pouzar says:

    MacT sayin Nurse to OKC…paraphrasing

  182. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    anyone got a link to the SN feed. All I can find is the Avs.

  183. JonyPro says:

    Why did MacT glance up right before the interview ended?

  184. spoiler says:

    Nice interview by Gene standards. Would have liked him to ask MacT where on the 2nd line he saw room for improvement, but there was no chance of that.

  185. cabbiesmacker says:

    hunter1909: Great player. Pity he’s wasted as an Oiler.

    Well apparently the smart thing to do would be to trade him so don’t fret. His 25+ goals and ill humour aren’t required in these parts.

  186. cabbiesmacker says:

    spoiler:
    .Would have liked him to ask MacT where on the 2nd line he saw room for improvement, but there was no chance of that.

    Well done Gene for not questioning the obvious

  187. spoiler says:

    The other significant thing for me was MacT listing Eberle as part of the core (and the first line).

  188. Pouzar says:

    spoiler:
    The other significant thing for me was MacT listing Eberle as part of the core (and the first line).

    I think that’s been obvious to them for a while. :)

  189. spoiler says:

    Pouzar: I think that’s been obvious to them for a while.

    A person might have said his other 1st overall pick. Especially after discussing improving the 2nd line and looking for a top defenseman.

  190. Lowetide says:

    The people MacT didn’t mention: Gagner, Petry, Yakupov.

  191. Derek says:

    I thought it odd that Mactavish mentioned Klefbom in such glowing terms while Marincin seemed like a bit of an afterthought.

  192. Pouzar says:

    spoiler: A person might have said his other 1st overall pick.Especially after discussing improving the 2nd line and looking for a top defenseman.

    Eberle has 1 more pt than Corey Perry in the last 3 years good for 17th overall, not sure what a brutha has to do to become untouchable.

  193. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: The people MacT didn’t mention: Gagner, Petry, Yakupov.

    Yeah, I took that as pretty ominous too.

    Do we have any official update on Yak`s injury or is it still a bruised ankle?

  194. Pouzar says:

    Derek:
    I thought it odd that Mactavish mentioned Klefbom in such glowing terms while Marincin seemed like a bit of an afterthought.

    You heard him good.

  195. spoiler says:

    Derek: I thought it odd that Mactavish mentioned Klefbom in such glowing terms while Marincin seemed like a bit of an afterthought.

    I think that came from Klef`s upside.

  196. spoiler says:

    spoiler: Yeah, I took that as pretty ominous too.

    Sorry, LT, I am being presumptuous here. You might not be taking that the same way.

  197. book¡je says:

    If I am correct, the Brown/Hemsky spread is now 5 points with 3 games left.

  198. Lowetide says:

    spoiler: Sorry, LT, I am being presumptuous here. You might not be taking that the same way.

    Nope. We’re on the same page.

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