DUCKS AT OILERS, G79 13-14

The Edmonton Oilers are showing signs of life. In their last three road games, the club’s 5×5 Corsi for % has been 45.6% (San Jose), 50% (Anaheim) and 50% (Phoenix). The Anaheim game saw the 1line go off, with Corsi numbers we’ve rarely seen from anyone this season. Can they repeat it tonight?

OILERS LAST 10 GAMES, SCORING

last 10 games, april 6

 

The right people are scoring, there just aren’t enough of them. A strong finish by the top line and any kind of help from the 2line should get the Oilers close to 30 wins (they have 27 now). In the last full season Edmonton played, the club won 32. Running this year’s total up close seems like the right thing to do.

It’s interesting to see the lack of any kind of offense from the 3 and 4 lines. Gordon, Hendricks and Smyth have combined for two points during this 10-game period, and Anton Lander owns a single assist. We talk a lot about the 2line C job, but a two-way winger with offense to play with Gordon is a pretty important add this summer.

FIVE LONG YEARS

lander11A conversation from last night’s blog around how long to wait on draft picks reminded me of the wisdom in waiting five years. One year ago, this blog was rife with comments like “none of MacGregor’s second rounders are going to do anything” and “these defensemen aren’t developing”—and tonight we’ll enjoy Oscar Klefbom and Martin Marincin in the best league on the planet.

Klefbom was taken 19th overall in 2011 and beat 10 first-round picks from that year to the NHL, putting him in the ‘right on time’ category—possibly better if you believe defensemen take longer to develop. Martin Marincin was chosen 46th in the 2010 NHL draft, and ranks inside the top 30 in NHL GP from that draft season. Ahead of the curve? Certainly, especially if you factor in quality of play.

This summer, we can make the call on 2009 and the key may be Anton Lander. He can’t score at the NHL level (so far), but he has improved his offense in the AHL. The other day, I broke out AL’s offense PP/SH/EV and got (43GP) 10-16-26 (PP) 0-0-0 (PK) and 8-14-22 (PP). Let’s compare that season over season:

  • Lander EV in 13-14: 43, 8-14-22 .511
  • Lander EV in 12-13: 47, 8-8-16 .340

So, improvement. I still believe the Arco signing is a stumbler for Anton Lander, but there are some signs he’s improved at the AHL level. I think he might have an NHL career, but don’t think it’ll be in Edmonton.

SCORE ON THE POWER PLAY TONIGHT, SMYTH!

smyth moose jawWe’re cheering, Ryan. Always have.

 

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366 Responses to "DUCKS AT OILERS, G79 13-14"

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  1. Cobbler says:

    It’s nice to see Klefbom getting some good playing time and really enjoy watching him move the puck. With the timing of his “arrival” we also need to bear in mind he missed significant time due to injury.

  2. Woodguy says:

    Re-posting this from the last thread:

    Eric Tulsky is doing some writing for FiveThiryEight now.

    A sentence from his first piece for them:

    The magic of analytics is in recording all of the small things lost to memory that add up to something significant.

    That’s exactly it.

    We are just on the cusp of finding out some really cool stuff about why things happen on the ice.

    Read the whole thing here: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-people-pushing-the-nhl-into-the-advanced-stats-era/

  3. blainer says:

    It really does set back these players if they get injured while developing. I am sure it plays on their minds about being too aggressive after a long injury. Injuuries have really set back players like Plante Fedun Klefbom… I could go on forever it seems. If MacT doen’t trade Klef I can see him turning out quite well along with marincin. They both have to stay healthy. I also believe that We have a player in Mitch Moroz as long as he can stay healthy also.

  4. Lowetide says:

    WG: Agree, that article is outstanding, and the things they are looking at will really inform us and flush out Jesus Alou!

  5. speeds says:

    Speaking of Klefbom, and maybe it’s nothing, but:

    Oscar Klefbom is not on the ice this morning for the Oilers morning skate, everyone else including Ference and Pitlick accounted for…— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) April 6, 2014

  6. J-Bo says:

    LT,

    If the Oilers do go ahead with Ference, Marincin, and Klefbom as their 3 LHD for next year, who plays on the top pairing? Is it Ference by default?

  7. Pouzar says:

    Still can’t believe Klefbom is playing at this level at 20 and a full season missed. I am stoked.

  8. Hughes16 says:

    I thought for sure the oil had something with Lander. Detroit will probably pick him up and turn him into another Kris Draper.

  9. Pouzar says:

    Hughes16:
    I thought for sure the oil had something with Lander.Detroit will probably pick him up and turn him into another Kris Draper.

    minus the wheels

  10. 719 says:

    Hughes16:
    I thought for sure the oil had something with Lander.Detroit will probably pick him up and turn him into another Kris Draper.

    Or Gustav Nyquist, whose career has followed a similar statistical path.

  11. Woodguy says:

    Further to my last post, this needs to be expanded:

    The magic of analytics is in recording all of the small things lost to memory that add up to something significant.

    The small things lost to memory leads to bad decisions, which is why it is crucial to track them.

    A good example is Eric’s work on Zone entries:

    http://nhlnumbers.com/2012/7/11/more-on-the-advantages-of-puck-possession-over-dump-and-chase

    One study of tracking the small things (which actually turn out to be very crucial things) turns the dump and chase strategy on its head. There is evidence that some NHL teams changed their strategy (NAS and MIN for sure) based on Eric’s work.

    The small things lost to memory is why many fans and MSM want to run Petry out on a rail.

    Humans tend to remember bad events with much more clarity than good events:

    http://www.livescience.com/1827-bad-memories-stick-good.html

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/24/your-money/why-people-remember-negative-events-more-than-positive-ones.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    There’s lots of studies confirming this, the above 2 links are just off the top of google.

    Jeff Petry has the puck a lot.

    Like other players who have the puck a lot, he’s going to give it away more than the average player.

    When many fans see the give away the weeping and gnashing of teeth start on how bad he is and how he shouldn’t be an Oilers.

    What we fail to remember and see is the many more good small plays that Petry makes.

    These plays (making the correct first pass, skating the puck out of danger) are mostly unremarkable and don’t stick in our memory.

    All we remember is the gaffe, not the 5 good plays that moved the puck in the right direction before the gaffe. (and we also forget the only reason Petry had the puck to give it away is that he stopped the cycle and won possession from the opposition….but I digress……)

    So we need to record small things lost to memory that add up to something significant to truly be able come to conclusions on players.

    Relying on our eyes and memories is a bad bet, so we need the help.

  12. 719 says:

    speeds:
    Speaking of Klefbom, and maybe it’s nothing, but:

    Jeez

  13. 719 says:

    Woodguy:

    Excellent reads, thank you.

  14. Woodguy says:

    This is a very good test to see how closely you can follow and remember events when watching sports:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ahg6qcgoay4

    I encourage everyone to take it.

  15. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy,

    When I saw Petry live this year I was so frickin impressed. Very stronger skater who always seem
    to have the puck. There is so much more you notice live versus television.

  16. Hughes16 says:

    I know lowetide doesn’t take 2 much notice of +/-. However, with schultz at +1 and petry at -9 that stat cannot be ignored. Has petry checked out or is he that bad?

  17. Bushed says:

    Adding a really solid vet D as a mentor for the young guys could really help steady the blue and allow them to make a few mistakes while learning.

    I’ve liked Beauchemin’s game for years–tough, reasonably mobile, hits like a truck, makes smart plays without being flashy, seems like a good team guy, and…a big one for the Oilers….character.

    Don’t know if he’s available, but this type of player would be a great fit here, perhaps at less than break the bank ( a la Weber, Subban, etc) costs?

    Similar facsimiles would also be welcome.

  18. Pouzar says:

    Furthermore, I would love to have a stat that clocks the actual time every individual has the puck on their stick and it correlates to CF%.
    I am partial to these guys that always have the puck. Sedins, Kane, Kessel, Joe, Karlsson, etc.

  19. Lowetide says:

    J-Bo:
    LT,

    If the Oilers do go ahead with Ference, Marincin, and Klefbom as their 3 LHD for next year, who plays on the top pairing? Is it Ference by default?

    I would say Marincin.

  20. Cobbler says:

    Pouzar,

    Agreed. Petry took a huge step forward in his development this year. He has added a much needed physical element to his game without sacrificing his abilities as a puck mover. He is currently an extremely versatile defence man.

    I am disturbed by any suggestion of moving him, unless by some act of gord, the return is better. I fear another Gilbert-Schultz scenario. And Petry > Gilbert. That kind of move is what will keep this organization in the role of poor cousin.

  21. Cobbler says:

    Hughes16,

    Haven’t looked at the QofC or ZS data but would assume deployment is the cause. Would imagine JS has seen a lot of time with Nuge, Hall and Ebs these last few games.

  22. oliveoilers says:

    Eberle at C? Weird. Taylor at -3? Trade that bum! ;-)

  23. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    WG: Agree, that article is outstanding, and the things they are looking at will really inform us and flush out Jesus Alou!

    One day LT!

  24. Eastern Oil says:

    Re: Lander

    I, as I am sure many, would hate to see him cut loose after the strides he has made this year in the AHL. But if he cannot score at the NHL level, as many here and Young Willis have pointed out, is his defensive acumen enough? However, looking at a team that has employed Ryan Jones on the third line (love his energy and heart but that’s about it), and has an aging Hendricks on the left side, doesn’t Lander as a 3rd line winger make sense?

    Having him play on a 2-year deal for cheap beside a guy like Gordon would be great. Looking at what Chicago does with their 4th line, perhaps this is an opportunity to do the same with that 3rd line?

    Truth be told though, I agree with sentiment that having Arco signed makes things less clear for Anton. I would just hate to see the Oil cut him loose after what they did to him under Renney and the strides he has made with the Barons.

  25. J-Bo says:

    Lowetide,

    I agree. Maybe pairings would look like:

    Marincin – New Vet RHD
    Klefbom – Schultz
    Ference – Petry/Petry’s Replacement

  26. blainer says:

    Woodguy,

    Woodguy:
    This is a very good test to see how closely you can follow and remember events when watching sports:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ahg6qcgoay4

    I encourage everyone to take it.

    Woodguy:
    Further to my last post, this needs to be expanded:

    The magic of analytics is in recording all of the small things lost to memory that add up to something significant.

    The small things lost to memory leads to bad decisions, which is why it is crucial to track them.

    A good example is Eric’s work on Zone entries:

    http://nhlnumbers.com/2012/7/11/more-on-the-advantages-of-puck-possession-over-dump-and-chase

    One study of tracking the small things (which actually turn out to be very crucial things) turns the dump and chase strategy on its head.There is evidence that some NHL teams changed their strategy (NAS and MIN for sure) based on Eric’s work.

    The small things lost to memory is why many fans and MSM want to run Petry out on a rail.

    Humans tend to remember bad events with much more clarity than good events:

    http://www.livescience.com/1827-bad-memories-stick-good.html

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/24/your-money/why-people-remember-negative-events-more-than-positive-ones.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    There’s lots of studies confirming this, the above 2 links are just off the top of google.

    Jeff Petry has the puck a lot.

    Like other players who have the puck a lot, he’s going to give it away more than the average player.

    When many fans see the give away the weeping and gnashing of teeth start on how bad he is and how he shouldn’t be an Oilers.

    What we fail to remember and see is the many more good small plays that Petry makes.

    These plays (making the correct first pass, skating the puck out of danger) are mostly unremarkable and don’t stick in our memory.

    All we remember is the gaffe, not the 5 good plays that moved the puck in the right direction before the gaffe.(and we also forget the only reason Petry had the puck to give it away is that he stopped the cycle and won possession from the opposition….but I digress……)

    So we need to record small things lost to memory that add up to something significant to truly be able come to conclusions on players.

    Relying on our eyes and memories is a bad bet, so we need the help.

    This is very well said. Defense ..for those of us who have played there. is a goat position. A defensemen’s mistakes are multiplied by a factor of ten. Their mistakes are way more crucial as they are the last line to stop a goal next to the goalie. people notice them out of position way easier than a forward with maybe the exception of maybe gags and yak. Their decisons are so important also when they have the puck.. to make the correct move. The proper first move is to pass to someone who has the talent to can catch it rather than the Eakins way.. high and hard on the boards and out ,without as much as a shoulder check. Believe me it is not an easy position to play and you are correct that most fans don’t notice the four or five great plays they make before the gaffe. I can say I always am impressed when I see the defense make a good play and when that happens I always look for the number.

  27. stevezie says:

    One of the upsides of stocking the farm team with AHL-only contracts is it allows the team to give Lander a cheap contract.

    The 50 man limit is at least as tricky as the cap.

  28. book¡je says:

    I haven’t read the article by Tulsky yet, but now that the simple stuff is getting worked out (Zone entry A vs Zone entry B), things will need to get more complex (what combination of Zone entry A with Zone entry B works best). It’s unlikely that the best approach is 100% dump and chase or 100% carry it in. Then player metrics come on board. How often should Taylor Hall carry it in vs how often Ryan Jones should. Note that last one is a trick question – Ryan Jones should never carry it in because he shouldn’t be on the team!

    Note – for the record, I anticipate that someone is about to post a link to a stat that shows exactly what I was suggesting needs to be done next. Damn internet has everything.

  29. oliveoilers says:

    With Montreal admitting that talks have started very cordially with Markov and the decline of Subban’s ice-time, is there really something here? Or is he a little banged up, and with making the playoffs, they’re just limiting his ice-time for a little R+R? Does his ice-time drop off after les habs qualify for post-season to support this? I’ll have to dig. After the Honey Dew list.

  30. jake70 says:

    WG: “All we remember is the gaffe, not the 5 good plays that moved the puck in the right direction before the gaffe.”

    Let me just add to this. What we remember all too often is the gaffe because it often seems to end up , maybe not right away but soon enough, behind the goalie with the Oil drop on his chest. But your point is taken, human nature in all walks of life is to gravitate toward the negative. And the positives don’t seem to end up as goals for nearly enough (see goal differential).

  31. CurtisS says:

    Jeff Petry has the puck a lot.

    Like other players who have the puck a lot, he’s going to give it away more than the average player.

    When many fans see the give away the weeping and gnashing of teeth start on how bad he is and how he shouldn’t be an Oilers.

    What we fail to remember and see is the many more good small plays that Petry makes.

    These plays (making the correct first pass, skating the puck out of danger) are mostly unremarkable and don’t stick in our memory.

    All we remember is the gaffe, not the 5 good plays that moved the puck in the right direction before the gaffe.(and we also forget the only reason Petry had the puck to give it away is that he stopped the cycle and won possession from the opposition….but I digress……)

    So we need to record small things lost to memory that add up to something significant to truly be able come to conclusions on players.

    Relying on our eyes and memories is a bad bet, so we need the help.

    It all comes down to time and space on the ice though. Does he have 1 second to make the play? .5 second? .3 second? .1 second? 2 seconds?

    Not sure I have ever seen a stat that has the most important thing in hockey (time and space) factored in. How can you?

  32. Rondo says:

    Hockey players play better with better players. Hard to access players playing with a bad team and bad goaltending. After 8 years of bad hockey it is hard to determine who is good and who is bad, with a few exceptions.

  33. Woodguy says:

    jake70:
    WG:“All we remember is the gaffe, not the 5 good plays that moved the puck in the right direction before the gaffe.”

    Let me just add to this.What we remember all too often is the gaffe because it often seems to end up , maybe not right away but soon enough, behind the goalie with the Oil drop on his chest.But your point is taken, human nature in all walks of life is to gravitate toward the negative. And the positives don’t seem to end up as goals for nearly enough (see goal differential).

    I think that “it ends up in the net” is also biased memory.

    Not every give away end ups in the net, not even a significant percentage of them, but when they do its such a “traumatic” or “significant” event, that we remember it.

    Its like the allergic reaction that coaches have to turn overs at the opposition’s blue line.

    They treat them like the plague to be avoided at all costs, and that leads to too much dump and chase.

    How much offence is the coach giving up forcing them dump in exchange for the security of no offensive blue line turn over?

    The numbers suggest that the coaches are wrong* and they are giving up an edge.

    *wrong in this sense means that defaulting to a dump every time there is a challenge at the blue line.

    Its good that Eakins recognized that he had coached Hall too far to the dump side and took away part of his weaponry.

    Like everything else, the optimal times to dump and the optimal times to try to beat the Dman vary with situation and players.

    The key is not to force it too much one way or another.

    Being allergic to offensive blue line turn overs tends to force it too much one way and hurts the team.

  34. Woodguy says:

    CurtisS: It all comes down to time and space on the ice though. Does he have 1 second to make the play? .5 second? .3 second? .1 second? 2 seconds?

    Not sure I have ever seen a stat that has the most important thing in hockey (time and space) factored in. How can you?

    The article I linked to discusses a bit about RF chips in pucks, on players and sticks to help get all this type of info.

    By eye, players who “skate the puck out of danger” help create their own time and space.

    I think Marincin and Klefbom are the two best on the team at this, followed closely by Petry.

  35. CurtisS says:

    Woodguy: The article I linked to discusses a bit about RF chips in pucks, on players and sticks to help get all this type of info.

    By eye, players who “skate the puck out of danger” help create their own time and space.

    I think Marincin and Klefbom are the two best on the team at this, followed closely by Petry.

    Wouldnt argue this at all. Sorry I quickly browsed through the link. Maybe I should of read it a little more.

    I just dont know how analytics are going to get us to this point. There is just to many moving parts, teams, and players in the game of hockey IMO.

    Sure some can tell us good things.

  36. FastOil says:

    Hughes16,

    719,

    Lander is a player I pull for, but these two players mentioned are blazing fast. Marginal or smaller players I think need some special feature, something to get the team’s attention from the hundreds of players coming of age every year.

    Gagner has the skill that everyone can see, but he still wobbles on the fringes because he hasn’t established his game to the league. Not explosive, not strong, not fast, not agile, not dangerous, not great, not industrious, not bad, complimentary.

    I think Lander is a good player, but with little offense or speed when drafted he has had a lot to overcome. There are a lot of ‘good’ players out there. Arco established his game to the league to a degree, will they keep both? Plus Lander gets funny hair cuts.

  37. Pouzar says:

    Just great.

    No Klefbom.

    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 1h
    Hall-RNH-Eberle, Lander-Gagner-Perron, Smyth-Gordon-Pinizotto, Hendricks-Acton-Pitlick, Marincin-Petry, Belov-Schultz, Fraser-Larsen

  38. tcho says:

    Woodguy,

    Really interesting read w. the Tulsky article. Thanks, WG. I’d be really interested to see a similar analysis of Oilers dmen. Does anyone know of such a beast?

  39. eidy says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8oFVKv8sRM

    Eakins pre game is gold

    Touches on petry and it is marvellous.

    I hope he figures it out with this team as I don’t want to go back to OTC

  40. tcho says:

    Klefbom and Pitlick may be to NHL players as Jaguars were to cars.

  41. linkfromhyrule says:

    Pouzar,

    at least we have fraser!
    :)

  42. Woodguy says:

    Eakin’s pre-game avail is excellent today:

    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=596896&catid=4

    Good stuff on Petry and the perception of tough, physical D as well as systems play.

  43. Woodguy says:

    I see Eidy beat me to it.

    Good stuff.

  44. Woodguy says:

    CurtisS,

    I just dont know how analytics are going to get us to this point. There is just to many moving parts, teams, and players in the game of hockey IMO.

    RF chips will be able to break the game down into as many discrete event as you wish.

    Knowing where the puck is, came from and goes to while knowing the location of every player on the ice for every milisecond of the game is going to be an explosion of information, analysis and strategy.

    Do some reading on what’s happened in basketball.

    People said the same thing about that game because it is very fluid like hockey (although without the confounding effect of line changes on the fly, which makes the RF info crucial)

    Basketball analytics has exploded with the new information that is available via SportVu.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/tech/post/_/id/492/492

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/wizards/nba-embraces-advanced-analytics-as-moneyball-movement-sweeps-pro-basketball/2013/10/25/1bd40e24-3d7a-11e3-b0e7-716179a2c2c7_story.html

    This kind of tech is coming to hockey soon.

  45. Woodguy says:

    tcho:
    Woodguy,

    Really interesting read w. the Tulsky article. Thanks, WG. I’d be really interested to see a similar analysis of Oilers dmen. Does anyone know of such a beast?

    Cult of Hockey did last year:

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/02/28/edmonton-oilers-zone-entries-part-1-this-team-doesnt-get-nearly-enough-shots/

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/02/28/edmonton-oilers-zone-entries-part-2-which-players-drive-the-bus/

  46. Lowetide says:

    Very encouraging words from Eakins in regard to Petry. Very pleased.

  47. eidy says:

    I cheer like hell for Lander. He makes so many smart plays you know there is a hockey player there. The control of the puck along the boards, his defensive positioning, his penalty kill, and I think he is an under rated passer. So many quick little passes that hit the target. He should be 3rd line on this team or 4th + penalty kill. I don’t know how he doesn’t make it as a bottom 6 in this league.

    Now for OKC, man are they in a dog fight. The new hires are looking quite good and last night JarJar was the best of them. Out for all the defensive zone draws to end the game and made some nice plays in the offensive end. Chase was fine, but not as noticeable last night. The Jones twins were great.

    One more game and then the troops arive for Sunday game in Abbotsford.

    Lines yesterday
    A. Miller, Fyten, Stretch
    Eager, Khaira, C. Hamilton
    Horak, C Jones, Ford
    K.Jones, Ewanyk, Chase

    Gernat, Fedun
    Davidson, Hunt,
    Oesterle, Musil

    Could become
    Horak, Arco, Stretch
    A. Miller, Lander, Pitlick
    Ford, Fyten, Chase
    Eager, Khaira, C. Hamilton

    Fedun, marincin
    Klefbom, Gernat/musil
    Hunt, Davidon

    Two big games coming before the troops arrive. That and lots of others in the mix, Ewanyk, Jones x2, man I hope they can pull it off

  48. CurtisS says:

    Woodguy,

    Yeah I understand that, just not sure the end goal in it is?

    Im thinking the end goal is what the coach is seeing on the bench and adjusting in the game on the fly.

  49. CurtisS says:

    To bad Eakins couldnt coach as good as he talks.

  50. Pouzar says:

    eidy:
    I cheer like hell for Lander.He makes so many smart plays you know there is a hockey player there.The control of the puck along the boards, his defensive positioning, his penalty kill, and I think he is an under rated passer.So many quick little passes that hit the target.He should be 3rd line on this team or 4th + penalty kill.I don’t know how he doesn’t make it as a bottom 6 in this league.

    Couldn’t agree more with this.

  51. Lowetide says:

    this Eakins pc is outstanding. He talks about one side of him being old school (toughness) and the other side (puck mover). The answer? Nurse! But it’s a wonderful trip through his mindset.

  52. Lowetide says:

    “The one mistake I made with our group was instituting the swarm.” Hmm. I think it was working. Right? the Corsi was good early, but G was poor?

  53. steveb12344 says:

    Woodguy:
    CurtisS,

    I just dont know how analytics are going to get us to this point. There is just to many moving parts, teams, and players in the game of hockey IMO.

    RF chips will be able to break the game down into as many discrete event as you wish.

    Knowing where the puck is, came from and goes to while knowing the location of every player on the ice for every milisecond of the game is going to be an explosion of information, analysis and strategy.

    Do some reading on what’s happened in basketball.

    People said the same thing about that game because it is very fluid like hockey (although without the confounding effect of line changes on the fly, which makes the RF info crucial)

    Basketball analytics has exploded with the new information that is available via SportVu.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/tech/post/_/id/492/492

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/wizards/nba-embraces-advanced-analytics-as-moneyball-movement-sweeps-pro-basketball/2013/10/25/1bd40e24-3d7a-11e3-b0e7-716179a2c2c7_story.html

    This kind of tech is coming to hockey soon.

    What do you think the expense would be for that, and would the NHL be willing to pay for it?

    I don’t have any idea how much those chips would cost. I do know there is 1230 games in an NHL schedule, and how many pucks per game? I would think it’s at least 15-20 of them.

    It seems like a good idea, but I’d think the associated cost, and willingness to pay for it could pose some issues.

  54. Pouzar says:

    Where was the update on Klefbom?

  55. CurtisS says:

    Lowetide,

    The goaltending was horrible, the Corsi was good.

    What was even worse was one mistake and the puck was in the back of the net. The swarm with our players had one layer of defence. A good defensive system has a 2 or 3 or 4 layers of defense.

  56. Lois Lowe says:

    CurtisS,

    Why? Just why?

  57. Woodguy says:

    CurtisS:
    Woodguy,

    Yeah I understand that, just not sure the end goal in it is?

    Im thinking the end goal is what the coach is seeing on the bench and adjusting in the game on the fly.

    The more information the coach has, the more informed his in-game adjustments can be.

    Past that there’s a whole world of structural and tactical uses for the info.

  58. Woodguy says:

    steveb12344: What do you think the expense would be for that, and would the NHL be willing to pay for it?

    I don’t have any idea how much those chips would cost.I do know there is 1230 games in an NHL schedule, and how many pucks per game?I would think it’s at least 15-20 of them.

    It seems like a good idea, but I’d think the associated cost, and willingness to pay for it could pose some issues.

    The teams want it. (most of them)

    The NHL has revenues that will pass $4 Billion pretty quick.

    RF chips and pucks are pretty cheap.

  59. CurtisS says:

    Lois Lowe,

    Because, just because

  60. Woodguy says:

    Pouzar:
    Where was the update on Klefbom?

    Didn’t disclose the inury.

    50/50

    Game time decision.

  61. CurtisS says:

    Woodguy: The more information the coach has, the more informed his in-game adjustments can be.

    Past that there’s a whole world of structural and tactical uses for the info.

    Agree and it would be a wonderful tool to have for a coach.

    The only problem is that data isnt playing the games, human beings are. To much info can be a bad thing sometimes.

  62. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    “The one mistake I made with our group was instituting the swarm.” Hmm. I think it was working. Right? the Corsi was good early, but G was poor?

    Sounds like he blamed the improper implementation of the system for some high quality shots.

    Not sure he’s 100% right given the data we have on those games.

    Another spot where supplying the coach with the right data daily might have helped the decision-making process.

  63. Acumen says:

    eidy:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8oFVKv8sRM

    Eakins pre game is gold

    Touches on petry and it is marvellous.

    I hope he figures it out with this team as I don’t want to go back to OTC

    “I’ve always loved having toughness on my teams. It’s the old school part of me. But now that old school part of me is starting to get questions.”

    This is a money quote.

    Hopefully, it means bye-bye to Fraser.

  64. Woodguy says:

    CurtisS: Agree and it would be a wonderful tool to have for a coach.

    The only problem is that data isnt playing the games, human beings are. To much info can be a bad thing sometimes.

    You’re free to assign as much value to the information as you want.

    To dismiss it because humans are the source of the data doesn’t make much sense to me though.

    Companies like Google and industries like Insurance have done pretty well analyzing human derived data.

  65. Bar_Qu says:

    Lowetide:
    “The one mistake I made with our group was instituting the swarm.” Hmm. I think it was working. Right? the Corsi was good early, but G was poor?

    Wasn’t it apparent as well that the swarm was causing many questionable defensive decisions? Like abandoning the slot to chase the corner? I remember much angst here about stuff like that which created 5 bell chances (which all seemed to end up in the net) even when there was positive stuff at the other end of the ice.

    just my 2 cents

  66. steveb12344 says:

    Woodguy: The teams want it. (most of them)

    The NHL has revenues that will pass $4 Billion pretty quick.

    RF chips and pucks are pretty cheap.

    Well, hopefully that’s the case. It would be interesting to see what kind of data that would produce.

    There has to be a better way to analyze the game than just relying heavily on shot attempts that are all assigned equal value.

    For clarification, I’m not saying Corsi is bad, just that there needs to be much more before you’re going to get the masses to buy in.

    If this were to work, and produce some quality data. It could be a big step in that direction.

  67. Cameron says:

    Woodguy,

    I’d just finished reading the 538 piece before surfing over here, and was thrilled to see that a conversation had already begun about it.

    Your follow up posts have been off the hook.

    Bravo, sir. Bravo.

  68. tcho says:

    @Curtis

    I don’t know. I’m really impressed by Eakins. A) His demeanour/composure, thoughtfulness et the end of what must be an incredibly pressure-filled, trying season is truly impressive. B) I’ve found results from this past road trip VERY encouraging. To stay even-up on corsi against SJS and ANA on the road and in games that mattered to them… Music!

    @WG

    Interesting stuff, and thanks, but it’s more on how our forwards do entering the zone. I’d be more interested to see how our dmen do against sorties, and who opposing coaches are targeting.

  69. Bar_Qu says:

    Woodguy: You’re free to assign as much value to the information as you want.

    To dismiss it because humans are the source of the data doesn’t make much sense to me though.

    Companies like Google and industries like Insurance have done pretty well analyzing human derived data.

    Or to put this in a more human context – I as a teacher need to collect swathes of data on my kids, not because it is easy or fun, or even because my kids are numbers. I collect the data because I am human, miss things because I am tired, cranky or its Friday and I feel like they are all sub-humans I don’t want to see ever again. And as a result I miss the fact that although Susie is quietly sitting there, not causing problems, handing in all her work, she is actually not improving. Or that Johnny who drives me nuts because he believes a chair should be avoided at all costs, is actually demonstrating a strong understanding of all things we are doing.

    I need to be trained on what to watch for, what data is useful versus not useful (neatness in coloring is pretty but doesn’t tell me any intellectual capacity, thus don’t mark it high) and there needs to be a whole area of study into how to collect data effectively. Otherwise I am failing my students by not giving them a classroom which meets their needs in an effective way, at their speed at their level.

    I see a ton of carry-over into the sports analytics stuff. I am lousy at numbers, so I don’t crunch them here, but i do understand what they mean, enough to not fight the tide of what is obviously useful stuff.

  70. Lowetide says:

    Bar_Qu: Wasn’t it apparent as well that the swarm was causing many questionable defensive decisions? Like abandoning the slot to chase the corner? I remember much angst here about stuff like that which created 5 bell chances (which all seemed to end up in the net) even when there was positive stuff at the other end of the ice.

    just my 2 cents

    Yeah, that’s fair, there was a failure to launch in a lot of areas. I remember Eakins one time saying the idea was to turn the puck over immediately, or fall back. I think we can see the possibilities, but you’re going to be exposed if you can’t do it quickly.

  71. Woodguy says:

    CurtisS,

    What was even worse was one mistake and the puck was in the back of the net. The swarm with our players had one layer of defence. A good defensive system has a 2 or 3 or 4 layers of defense.

    I think there is some truth to that.

    The early implementation left a lot of wide open looks.

    The goalies also shit the bed on lots of not so wide open looks.

  72. Woodguy says:

    steveb12344: Well, hopefully that’s the case.It would be interesting to see what kind of data that would produce.

    There has to be a better way to analyze the game than just relying heavily on shot attempts that are all assigned equal value.

    For clarification, I’m not saying Corsi is bad, just that there needs to be much more before you’re going to get the masses to buy in.

    If this were to work, and produce some quality data.It could be a big step in that direction.

    I agree.

    The RF data would be like a scalpel and shot metrics are more like a butter knife.

    Not using shot data is like using a club.

  73. Woodguy says:

    Cameron:
    Woodguy,

    I’d just finished reading the 538 piece before surfing over here, and was thrilled to see that a conversation had already begun about it.

    Your follow up posts have been off the hook.

    Bravo, sir. Bravo.

    <3

    Love you too baby!

  74. Bar_Qu says:

    Lowetide,

    Plus I think seeing the puck go into the net all the time created a lack of confidence in the system among the players and management which “staying the course” couldn’t overcome.

  75. Woodguy says:

    tcho:
    @Curtis

    I don’t know. I’m really impressed by Eakins. A) His demeanour/composure, thoughtfulness et the end of what must be an incredibly pressure-filled, trying season is truly impressive. B) I’ve found results from this past road trip VERY encouraging. To stay even-up on corsi against SJS and ANA on the road and in games that mattered to them… Music!

    @WG

    Interesting stuff, and thanks, but it’s more on how our forwards do entering the zone. I’d be more interested to see how our dmen do against sorties, and who opposing coaches are targeting.

    Me too.

    Maybe we should crowd source a group of us to do the games next year?

    Involves a lot of watching and re-winding and watching again.

    Tons of watching for a bunch of people who never watch the games!

  76. Woodguy says:

    Bar_Qu: Or to put this in a more human context – I as a teacher need to collect swathes of data on my kids, not because it is easy or fun, or even because my kids are numbers. I collect the data because I am human, miss things because I am tired, cranky or its Friday and I feel like they are all sub-humans I don’t want to see ever again. And as a result I miss the fact that although Susie is quietly sitting there, not causing problems, handing in all her work, she is actually not improving. Or that Johnny who drives me nuts because he believes a chair should be avoided at all costs, is actually demonstrating a strong understanding of all things we are doing.

    I need to be trained on what to watch for, what data is useful versus not useful (neatness in coloring is pretty but doesn’t tell me any intellectual capacity, thus don’t mark it high) and there needs to bea whole area of study into how to collect data effectively. Otherwise I am failing my students by not giving them a classroom which meets their needs in an effective way, at their speed at their level.

    I see a ton of carry-over into the sports analytics stuff. I am lousy at numbers, so I don’t crunch them here, but i do understand what they mean, enough to not fight the tide of what is obviously useful stuff.

    Great post.

    Thanks for your insight.

  77. Lloyd B. says:

    Woodguy,

    There are a couple of other fairly significant differences in hockey compared to basketball that add significant variables. The speed of the game for one. Fast game with faster decisions and much less time to “think” about what you are going to do. The most significant difference, imo is the speed of the puck. Even the fastest hardest shot in basketball ( unobstructed by the way ) would be at best the speed of Ryan Smyths rebound shots in front of the net. Tips, deflections either accidental or on purpose change the direction of play in a heartbeat.

  78. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: Sounds like he blamed the improper implementation of the system for some high quality shots.

    Not sure he’s 100% right given the data we have on those games.

    Another spot where supplying the coach with the right data daily might have helped the decision-making process.

    That’s it right there. The key to winning this advanced stats thing is to choose the right guy to walk alongside the coach when he says “what am I looking at here, Frank?”

  79. Woodguy says:

    Lloyd B.:
    Woodguy,

    There are a couple of other fairly significant differences in hockey compared to basketball that add significant variables.The speed of the game for one.Fast game with faster decisions and much less time to “think” about what you are going to do.The most significant difference, imo is the speed of the puck.Even the fastest hardest shot in basketball ( unobstructed by the way ) would be at best the speed of Ryan Smyths rebound shots in front of the net.Tips, deflections either accidental or on purpose change the direction of play in a heartbeat.

    Agreed.

    The RF data would really help with that.

  80. Hammers says:

    Listening to Eakins tells me Petry will be here but I don’t see why with a top LH “D” he can’t be on the top pairing . That would push Marincin to the second pairing probably with Schultz . Also slots Ference or Klefbom to the 3rd pairing where they should be . Every time I do this I come up with the need of a top LH “D” and a 3rd pairing RH “D” . McT has a job to do . Hopefully he gets it done .

  81. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Eakins said some crazy interesting shit today. Confirmed a pet theory of mine and talked a lot about defense. I wrote about it here (I transcribed the whole damn thing)

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2014/4/6/5587376/janus-headed-hockey-eakins-old-school-side-struggling-to-survive-in

  82. OilClog says:

    My problem with trying to take the last few games in any seriousness..

    Are these teams showing up even at 80% against us at this point.. I have a very heard time believing they’re not looking at it as 2 easy points.

    The swarm created endless wide open chances infront of the net leaving whoever was in net.. Chop suey. Does this really need to be revisited?

    Reverting back to things that work the last few seasons has out some fog over the current situation.

    Give Eakins another go, what’s it really matter at this point anymore. If they ever put it together and start winning while Taylor Hall is still an Oiler I’ll be shocked.

  83. Gino says:

    As of late I’ve been approaching the discussion to the rawness of the Oilers D core and if this team is to advance in anyway next year or the years ahead this must change. We need to add experience to this core. We talk about our lack of depth down the middle or our bottom six being a dilemma. IMO by improving the depth of experience on D it perhaps can hide the defensive shortcomings of our forwards. The team is also able to let the upcoming prospects develop and not be hasty pushed into service and have to play above their potential. If they were to add just two players with at least 400 games in the league and keep Schultz, Ferance, Petry, Marincin and slot the balance as a 7th or 8th and the balance in OKC the AVG GP would change to (336) with our six. Below are the top six teams in the west with the point leaders followed by their Career Games on Defense (Age – Games played) and we see how the Oilers stack up against them.

    OILERS – AVG AGE (25.5) AVG GP (199)
    Schultz – 23 – 118
    Ference – 35 – 831
    Petry – 26 – 232
    Larsen – 24 – 121
    Belov – 27 – 53
    Marincin – 22 – 40
    Klefbom – 20 – 13
    Fraser – 27 – 181

    BLUES – AVG AGE (28.6) AVG GP (465)
    Pietrangelo 24 – 301
    Shattenkirk 25 – 277
    Bouwmeester 30 – 841
    Jackman – 33 – 719
    Polak – 28 – 419
    Cole – 25 – 112
    Leopold – 33 – 651
    Colaiacovo – 31 – 396

    DUCKS – AVG AGE (27.6) AVG GP (381)
    Fowler – 22 – 262
    Lindholm – 20 – 73
    Vatanen – 22 – 54
    Lovejoy – 30 – 203
    Beauchemin – 33 – 605
    Allen – 33 – 706
    Sbisa – 24 – 264
    Robidas – 37 – 880

    SHARKS – AVG AGE (29.6) AVG GP (516)
    Boyle – 37 – 951
    Demers – 25 – 277
    Vlasic – 27 – 598
    Irwin – 26 – 98
    Braun – 27 – 214
    Hannan – 35 – 995
    Stuart – 34 – 982
    Pelech – 26 – 13

    AVALANCHE – AVG AGE (28.8) AVG GP (313)
    Johnson – 26 – 404
    Barrie – 22 – 102
    Benoit – 29 – 115
    Holden – 26 – 56
    Hejda – 35 – 541
    Sarich – 35 – 969
    Guenin – 31 – 95
    Wilson – 27 – 222

    BLACKHAWKS – AVG AGE (28.9) AVG GP (475)
    Keith – 30 – 684
    Seabrook – 29 – 677
    Leddy – 23 – 254
    Hjalmarsson – 26 – 384
    Oduya – 32 – 585
    Rozsival – 35 – 822
    Brookbank – 33 – 347
    Rundblad – 23 – 54

    KINGS – AVG AGE (28.1) AVG GP (406)
    Doughty – 24 – 442
    Voynov – 24 – 181
    Muzzin – 25 – 129
    Martinez – 26 – 200
    Regehr – 34 – 1002
    Mitchell – 37 – 792
    Greene – 30 – 501
    Bodnarchuk – 25 – 5

  84. Lloyd B. says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Excellent series of snippets you have stitched together. Perhaps an evolution in the way the defence plays that hasn’t been seen since Bobby Orr changed the game. For those of you that missed Orr it was incredible what he did to the game. Unfortunately, the goons took him out way to early. Not to sound too much like Don Cherry but that kid was a beaut. Changed the game like no one before him and only Gretzky has since.

  85. tcho says:

    Woodguy,

    Ha! Maybe I’m Charlie Brown, and the Oilers are my Lucy/football, but damnit! I actually think the Oilers are going to be fun to watch and pretty competitive next year. That makes the actual watching of the games more palatable? (Sweet hockey Gords, make it so).

    Anyways – interested in the crowd sourcing on d-sorties. Put me in, coach!

  86. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: That’s it right there. The key to winning this advanced stats thing is to choose the right guy to walk alongside the coach when he says “what am I looking at here, Frank?”

    From what the guys involved at the team levels have told me, it’s the assistant coaches that usually latch onto this stuff fast and they bring it to the head coach.

    Just rolls from there once they see the usefulness of it.

  87. prairieschooner says:

    So coach Eakins is now admitting that he tried to implement a system on the players (Swarm) that did not work then blamed the players for not understanding basic defence and now with half a dozen games left he has grasped the concept of coaching the players to maximise their performance by re uniting Hall Nuge and Ebs.
    Mact chose this guy and we have suffered another year as” the team that couldn’t” while Eakins learned on the job.
    Will he still be learning next year or will he have a handle on things?

  88. bendelson says:

    Woodguy,

    Your comment about the tendency to remember the bad events and forget the good makes me think of poker. I’m sure the poker players out there can attest.

    Those bad beats stick in your memory for awhile… How can I lose with bullets so damn often? What the hell!
    Meanwhile, the hands that play out to your advantage are forgotten almost as quickly as they happen.
    Hmm… 2,7 off suit and the full deck hits on the flop.

  89. book¡je says:

    RF pucks would be awesome. In addition to getting awesome statistical data, they could link it to the broadcasts and use computer imagery to make the puck stand out more on TV (make it a blue dot or something). When players took shots, they could use some kind of streaking line that becomes a deeper shade of red the faster it goes. The announcers could announce how fast each shot was. In between periods they could do things like explain what icing is.

    That would be awesome. The future looks great!

  90. Woodguy says:

    tcho:
    Woodguy,

    Ha! Maybe I’m Charlie Brown, and the Oilers are my Lucy/football, but damnit! I actually think the Oilers are going to be fun to watch and pretty competitive next year. That makes the actual watching of the games more palatable? (Sweet hockey Gords, make it so).

    Anyways – interested in the crowd sourcing on d-sorties. Put me in, coach!

    Sure, let’s re-visit this in the pre-season.

  91. Woodguy says:

    bendelson:
    Woodguy,

    Your comment about the tendency to remember the bad events and forget the good makes me think of poker.I’m sure the poker players out there can attest.

    Those bad beats stick in your memory for awhile…How can I lose with bullets so damn often?What the hell!
    Meanwhile, the hands that play out to your advantage are forgotten almost as quickly as they happen.
    Hmm… 2,7 off suit and the full deck hits on the flop.

    It was back in my semi-pro poker days that I learned to trust data above my memory.

    Good point.

  92. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy: The teams want it. (most of them)

    The NHL has revenues that will pass $4 Billion pretty quick.

    RF chips and pucks are pretty cheap.

    My experience with RFID tags is that they cost somewhere in the range of $1 to $.50 per tag. These aren’t exactly heavy duty, so I suppose there would be alternatives – 3M probably has a catalogue of available models – that could be inserted into a puck and withstand the changes of velocity and such.

  93. Lloyd B. says:

    book¡je,

    The gimmick of colored pucks and laser beams following the shot was tried a number of years ago. iirc it was when the NHL was trying to appease American fans that couldn’t follow the play. Also to try to get a foothold for an American TV deal. I think it was Fox that tried this for a few years. I always found it ironic that American fans could follow a baseball from the pitcher to the catcher and then off the bat, but couldn’t follow a puck. Not to say it might not work this time around. Make it more video gamish. Too gimmicky for my liking.

  94. steveb12344 says:

    bendelson:
    Woodguy,

    Your comment about the tendency to remember the bad events and forget the good makes me think of poker.I’m sure the poker players out there can attest.

    Those bad beats stick in your memory for awhile…How can I lose with bullets so damn often?What the hell!
    Meanwhile, the hands that play out to your advantage are forgotten almost as quickly as they happen.
    Hmm… 2,7 off suit and the full deck hits on the flop.

    I agree that it applies to poker, but it pretty much applies to everything. As WG pointed out, it is basic human psychology.

    One of our biggest flaws as humans is that we tend to focus on the negatives and dwell far too much on them.

    The people that have found success in life, whether that be Athletes, Poker players, or people in general. Are the ones who’ve learned to take negative experiences and learn from them, while focusing on the positives moving forward.

  95. Lowetide says:

    Lloyd B.:
    book¡je,

    The gimmick of colored pucks and laser beams following the shot was tried a number of years ago.iirc it was when the NHL was trying to appease American fans that couldn’t follow the play.Also to try to get a foothold for an American TV deal.I think it was Fox that tried this for a few years.I always found it ironic that American fans could follow a baseball from the pitcher to the catcher and then off the bat, but couldn’t follow a puck.Not to say it might not work this time around.Make it more video gamish.Too gimmicky for my liking.

    I watched a hockey game with a girl from the USA years ago. Bright girl, it drove her crazy when she couldn’t see the puck! I remember vividly it was along the near boards, in a scrum, and the camera was on them from the near side. you saw them digging and she’s ‘where’s the puck now?’ and I’m like ‘it’s in their feet’ and she couldn’t understand how the broadcast didn’t make the puck more of a priority.

    I’m not saying right or wrong, but the conversation always stuck with me.

  96. leadfarmer says:

    I hate Eakins and his smug more than most people and didnt like the signing at all, but blaming the entire season on him is not fair to him. This roster was doomed to fail from the start and Scotty Bowman as head coach with Mike Babcock and Ken Hitchcock as his assistants couldnt coach this team into the playoffs with how strong the west is.

  97. bendelson says:

    steveb12344,

    Agreed. I used poker as an example due to the immediacy of the results and the difficulty in deferring to the data when your brain is on full tilt.

    It’s like MacT staying the course after the Gagner broken jaw incident instead of overreacting and picking up SMac on waivers the next day.

    Wait a minute…

  98. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lloyd B.:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Excellent series of snippets you have stitched together.Perhaps an evolution in the way the defence plays that hasn’t been seen since Bobby Orr changed the game. For those of you that missed Orr it was incredible what he did to the game.Unfortunately, the goons took him out way to early.Not to sound too much like Don Cherry but that kid was a beaut.Changed the game like no one before him and only Gretzky has since.

    Thanks.

    too young to see Orr. But my dad loved him.

    My dad has this funny way of phrasing things as if he doesn’t understand I haven’t always been around him. He’ll say things like “did you ever see Orr skate?” and get all excited like we can share a memory together… And, I’ll be like… “Dad, I’m 12, it’s 1992, what are you talking about?”

    (btw he’s not senile or anything, he’s incredibly smart. it’s just a funny verbal tick… but he’s asked me that question — “did you ever see Orr skate?” — about a thousand times)

  99. leadfarmer says:

    One rule change that I would like to see next year is if a offensive player has a step on a defensive player it is an automatic penalty if the defensive player makes contact with the offensive player with his stick.
    And please get rid of the automatic penalty for puck hit out of play by players in their own zone. If they do it intentionally fine, otherwise i hate the penalty

  100. Lloyd B. says:

    Lowetide,

    It sounds like it was her first time watching a game. Perhaps now that she has been a fan for a few years she understands that in a game that has a solid fence around it that sometimes you have to watch other things happening on the ice rather than just the object of her affections. Or the guy sitting next to her.

  101. Gerta Rauss says:

    Lowetide: I watched a hockey game with a girl from the USA years ago. Bright girl, it drove her crazy when she couldn’t see the puck! I remember vividly it was along the near boards, in a scrum, and the camera was on them from the near side. you saw them digging and she’s ‘where’s the puck now?’ and I’m like ‘it’s in their feet’ and she couldn’t understand how the broadcast didn’t make the puck more of a priority.

    I’m not saying right or wrong, but the conversation always stuck with me.

    I had similar experience when Fox implemented the glowing puck 20?? years ago. At that point I had watched hockey all my life(starting with black and white TVs with rabbit ears)…and not once…not once..did I question that sometimes the puck was going to be out of view. It was just part of the viewing experience.

    When the glowing puck arrived I couldn’t understand that someone may view the game differently(ie: the need to see the puck at all times) Anyway, the arrival of HD TV may have given the NHL a bigger boost than the failed glowing puck thing.

  102. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: I watched a hockey game with a girl from the USA years ago. Bright girl, it drove her crazy when she couldn’t see the puck! I remember vividly it was along the near boards, in a scrum, and the camera was on them from the near side. you saw them digging and she’s ‘where’s the puck now?’ and I’m like ‘it’s in their feet’ and she couldn’t understand how the broadcast didn’t make the puck more of a priority.

    I’m not saying right or wrong, but the conversation always stuck with me.

    It’s so hard to experience something you are deeply intimate with from an complete outsiders perspective.

    I’ve tried to figure out how watching hockey a few times must look like and I always come back to this: don’t you just watch the heads and movement of the players to indicate where an “absent” puck is?

    sure you get the odd false positive and maybe it’s just ingrained and hard to teach yourself that… but, It’s something I think about.

  103. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    Woodguy: There is evidence that some NHL teams changed their strategy (NAS and MIN for sure) based on Eric’s work.

    And there is some evidence that Eakins convinced Hall at the same point to change to more dumping with catastrophic results to the best part of the Oilers offence.

  104. book¡je says:

    RF chips would be worth it just for puck speeds for broadcast. I never hated the faxtrack like some did, but it was too gimmicky. If it were used for puck speed and replays that would be great.

  105. Lloyd B. says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    yes but did you ever see Orr skate ?

  106. Bar_Qu says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: It’s so hard to experience something you are deeply intimate with from an complete outsiders perspective.

    I’ve tried to figure out how watching hockey a few times must look like and I always come back to this: don’t you just watch the heads and movement of the players to indicate where an “absent” puck is?

    sure you get the odd false positive and maybe it’s just ingrained and hard to teach yourself that… but, It’s something I think about.

    I imagine the feeling a newbie to hockey has is similar to what I experience when I try to puzzle out what the deuce is going on in a cricket game.

    “He hit the ball! Why isn’t he leaving the field now? And why did this game start 72 hours ago?”

  107. Woodguy says:

    Tyler weighs in on the debate du jour regarding Dmen using Eakins’ presser and some interesting data:

    http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=6884

  108. Woodguy says:

    НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴: And there is some evidence that Eakins convinced Hall at the same point to change to more dumping with catastrophic results to the best part of the Oilers offence.

    Yup.

    Evidence that he told him to go back to carrying more too.

    48% CF in last 25 games, and the fact that Eakins explicitly said as much.

  109. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: I watched a hockey game with a girl from the USA years ago. Bright girl, it drove her crazy when she couldn’t see the puck! I remember vividly it was along the near boards, in a scrum, and the camera was on them from the near side. you saw them digging and she’s ‘where’s the puck now?’ and I’m like ‘it’s in their feet’ and she couldn’t understand how the broadcast didn’t make the puck more of a priority.

    I’m not saying right or wrong, but the conversation always stuck with me.

    I still say the reason hockey really took off in the US in the last 10 years or so was the advent of HD TV.

    You can see the damn puck!

  110. Woodguy says:

    My favourite part of Tyler’s post is the shift charts showing how Eakins (correctly) avoids putting Fraser out against the best of SJS and ANA.

    What’s the point of toughness and intimidation if you’re scared to use them against anyone good? Who are they intimidating then? The other team’s depth players? Sort of? Who cares.

    Guys like Joe Thornton and Ryan Getzlaf drive the bus and they intimidate coaches into playing good defencemen against them, not tough ones.

  111. gogliano says:

    It is very rare that I even watch the puck when it isn’t being passed or shot (and even then watching teh play is more reliable). If you grow up with the game and the movements you know where the puck is in a way that is more reliable than what my eyes might tell me about where it is. And more importantly, most of the most interesting stuff is going on away from the puck.

    An interesting comparison here is Soccer/Football. People who know the game well don’t watch the ball, they are watching plays develop as the ball is getting distributed–even though the ball is a lot easier to pick up than the puck. I can’t see things others do even though I can follow the ball just fine.

  112. fifthcartel says:

    I wonder if there will be improvement with Eakins just by having a second year without switching coaches. (provided there are some sort of improvements roster-wise)

  113. Lowetide says:

    The reason he asks you if you ever saw Orr skate? It was kind of spectacular, the sort of thing you see and instantly recognize as being special. Orr’s NHL had two speeds, he had five. Incredible.

  114. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Great thread today. I’ll bundle up a few responses in one comment.

    Woodguy: The magic of analytics is in recording all of the small things lost to memory that add up to something significant.

    That’s fantastic.

    Woodguy: People said the same thing about that game because it is very fluid like hockey (although without the confounding effect of line changes on the fly, which makes the RF info crucial)

    Plus the convenient fact that in basketball goaltending is illegal. In hockey it is voodoo.

    CurtisS: The only problem is that data isnt playing the games, human beings are.

    Quoted for truth.

    Woodguy: Like other players who have the puck a lot, he’s going to give it away more than the average player.

    From the Book of Unintended Consequences, perhaps the most useful application of the Giveaways stat is that it tells us who handles the puck the most. People want to do away with the stat, I say “keep it, just understand its context”.

    Cobbler: Petry took a huge step forward in his development this year. He has added a much needed physical element to his game without sacrificing his abilities as a puck mover.

    Speaking of “useless” stats that many people hate, Petry leads the Oilers in Hits this season, & by a goodly margin. I took this up with Rishaug on Twitter a few months ago when he was ripping Petry for being soft, & of course the discussion immediately degenerated into something I can only call “hit quality”. Sigh. But for those who say Petry doesn’t play physical, then by one metric that we actually try to keep he is the least on an entire team of culprits.

    oliveoilers: Eberle at C? Weird. Taylor at -3? Trade that bum!

    Eberle has been listed as a C his whole career. To the best of my knowledge, he has never taken a single shift at C, barring perhaps 4v4 scenarios in which there really isn’t a “centre”.

    As for Hall’s +/-, it’s interesting to look at the +/- in LT’s list for the top six. Guess who moved from Gagner-Perron to RNH-Eberle partway through the 10-game sample?

    book¡je: It’s unlikely that the best approach is 100% dump and chase or 100% carry it in.

    Indeed. To once again use an analogy from another sport, I liken it to football. Say you have a team that has an average of 3.5 yards rushing the ball, and 7 yards per pass attempt. The simplistic viewpoint is “pass on every play”, but then the other team adjusts their defence by taking out a linebacker or two & inserting extra defensive backs, and the pash rushers just pin their ears back & bring it on every play. So maybe you install a pass-first offence, but you still need a running game just to keep the opposition honest, & also to give your O-line hogs a chance to hit the other guys once in a while. Plus you will obvously (& it was ever thus) play the percentages a little different on 2nd-&-short vs. 2nd-&-long (or 3rd, if you prefer NFL).

    You’ll still have an old school coach or twenty who spews mantras like “there are three things that can happen on a passing play, & two of them are bad!” But eventually the game will be dragged, kicking and screaming, to a new paradigm where both running & passing games are important but the mix is different. We’ve seen that in football, even as they continue to tinker with it from year to year and from team to team. Score effects rule there as well, where a running play works the clock just as effectively as a good dump-&-thump cycle will in hockey.

  115. book¡je says:

    Woodguy: I still say the reason hockey really took off in the US in the last 10 years or so was the advent of HD TV.

    You can see the damn puck!

    The first thing I saw in HD was an NHL game – it was stunning. I remember saying “you can see when the puck is on edge!” I was amazed.

  116. theres oil in virginia says:

    Lowetide: I watched a hockey game with a girl from the USA years ago. Bright girl, it drove her crazy when she couldn’t see the puck! I remember vividly it was along the near boards, in a scrum, and the camera was on them from the near side. you saw them digging and she’s ‘where’s the puck now?’ and I’m like ‘it’s in their feet’ and she couldn’t understand how the broadcast didn’t make the puck more of a priority.

    I’m not saying right or wrong, but the conversation always stuck with me.

    It’s not just hockey. NFL-football broadcasts have the same obsession with the ball. I hate that you can’t see the route the WR is running before the ball is thrown. The play develops outside the frame, but all you see is the ball-carrier. The nfl.com coverage of the Thursday night games experimented with the overhead view (all-22) during portions of the game – it was great. One day, I suppose there will be enough bandwidth to choose your own camera angle.

    book¡je: The first thing I saw in HD was an NHL game – it was stunning.I remember saying “you can see when the puck is on edge!”I was amazed.

    The first thing I watched in HD was “CSI: Miami”. HD even made that show watchable…at least for a few minutes.

  117. Bruce McCurdy says:

    tcho: I’d be more interested to see how our dmen do against sorties, and who opposing coaches are targeting.

    That’s a good question for which I don’t have an answer. I did something perhaps a bit more relevant about defensive zone play when I did Zone Exits last year to parallel Jon’s Zone Entry work. The d-men were much more equal partners in this process, with Petry the top of the pops by a wide margin.

    Introductory: http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/02/11/introducing-zone-exits-the-cult-of-hockeys-latest-non-traditional-stat-or-how-jeff-petry-responded-to-a-new-defence-partner-on-sunday/

    D-men at even strength: http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/02/21/jeff-petry-carrying-the-load-as-oilers-top-puck-mule-on-the-back-end-and-weve-got-the-zone-exit-numbers-to-prove-it/

    Penalty killing: http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/04/08/petry-and-petrell-patriarchs-of-the-penalty-kill-at-least-when-judging-by-zone-exits/

    Year end (2013 season) stats at even strength: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AtPHYLVCcL7tdFBuVERlRHB0UWctS2w5TldYUXhwS2c#gid=0

  118. commonfan14 says:

    As s fan who really, really hates the direction that the NBA game has gone recently, I’m a little concerned about the coming revolution in NHL data. Not from an analysis standpoint, but the next step when the data really starts influencing tactics in games.

    Constructing all sorts of intricate schemes to get guys open to shoot 3s from the corner where the line is shortest and guys hit a higher percentage is technically smart coaching, but in my opinion watching guys jacking historic numbers of 3-pointers makes for a terrible viewing experience.

    I’m not nearly as big a baseball fan as some here, but I’ve heard some similar complaints about how it’s actually not much fun to, for example, watch guys work pitch counts for all they’re worth.

    Not sure what things could crop up on ice on the NHL, but we shouldn’t assume it’ll make it more fun to watch.

  119. Lloyd B. says:

    I just watched the Eakins avail. He mentioned reading an article on long distance runners being totally spent, yet at the end have an ability to turn it on. That reminded me of the opening day/night of the 2001 track and field championships held in Edmonton. I bought two seats for the full championship with the intention of giving my clients the tickets. Minus of course the opening, closing ceremonies and the mens 100. I wasn’t a big T & F fan but an event of that magnitude was not to be missed.

    That first night the assembled masses were waiting for the opening ceremonies to begin as the marathon was wrapping up. It was delayed for a few minutes ( I think 10 or 15) as the top Canadian was getting close to entering the stadium in about 40th place. The Canadian came into stadium at the South end about 75 meters or so behind the runner in front of him. We were all cheering madly ( imagine that..60,000 Edmontonians all standing in unison for a guy none of us had ever heard in a non-descript event of and cheering madly.) Anyway…this guy turns on the jets and passes the runner that had the 75M head start entering the stadium. With about 4 meters to spare at the finish line which was on the West side about the middle of the stadium. Maybe 300 Ms total… from Stadium entry to the finish line. The place went NUTS !

    It was right then I understood what I had bought into and the effort, try and “compete level we were about to see the next 10 days. From “amateurs”. Needless to say my clients received significantly less tickets than I had originally planned..

    Now if only we could get our Oilers to understand what it takes to be the best you can be. Not just the best they think they are.

  120. Lowetide says:

    Eric Rodgers ‏@ericrsports 59s

    #OKCBarons lines: Miller-Stretch-Fyten, Hamilton-Khaira-Eager, Ford-C.Jones-Horak, Holmberg-Ewanyk-K.Jones

    Chase out, but Khaira remains. And the Jones boys broken up, with the draft pick on the 4line. Interesting.

  121. Lowetide says:

    Eric Rodgers ‏@ericrsports 1m

    #OKCBarons D-pairs: Gernat-Fedun, Hunt-Davidson, Musil-Oesterle Bachman in net. #Oilers

    Oesterle plays again, Gernat with Fedun. Fun!

  122. Jasmine says:

    leadfarmer,

    leadfarmer:
    I hate Eakins and his smug more than most people and didnt like the signing at all, but blaming the entire season on him is not fair to him.This roster was doomed to fail from the start and Scotty Bowman as head coach with Mike Babcock and Ken Hitchcock as his assistants couldnt coach this team into the playoffs with how strong the west is.

    leadfarmer:
    I hate Eakins and his smug more than most people and didnt like the signing at all, but blaming the entire season on him is not fair to him.This roster was doomed to fail from the start and Scotty Bowman as head coach with Mike Babcock and Ken Hitchcock as his assistants couldnt coach this team into the playoffs with how strong the west is.

    Krueger wasn’t a good coach. He benched players for fighting. With Krueger as coach, Oilers had the fewest fights in the NHL because Krueger didn’t allow the team to fight as he benched players that fought.

  123. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Jasmine:
    leadfarmer,

    Krueger wasn’t a good coach. He benched players for fighting. With Krueger as coach, Oilers had the fewest fights in the NHL because Krueger didn’t allow the team to fight as he benched players that fought.

    Detroit had been 30th in the league in fights for 8 years in a row until Oilers knocked them off that perch. Damn that Babcock anyway, what a wuss.

  124. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    Eric Rodgers ‏@ericrsports 59s

    #OKCBarons lines: Miller-Stretch-Fyten, Hamilton-Khaira-Eager, Ford-C.Jones-Horak, Holmberg-Ewanyk-K.Jones

    Chase out, but Khaira remains. And the Jones boys broken up, with the draft pick on the 4line. Interesting.

    the twins were broken up yesterday too. I think it is odd to reject chemistry like that in Nelson’s situation, where you have a ton of new players who don’t know each other or the systems.

    I suspect the 3rd vs. 4th lines has more to do with who’s the center than who’s the better prospect.

    I’m guessing Chase is out to give MacT a look at Holmberg (platooning) and it looks like they love Khaira (again premium placed on centers… no arco, pitlick or lander), he was in all the big draws late last game.

  125. Numenius says:

    Woodguy:
    Further to my last post, this needs to be expanded:

    The magic of analytics is in recording all of the small things lost to memory that add up to something significant.

    The small things lost to memory leads to bad decisions, which is why it is crucial to track them.

    A good example is Eric’s work on Zone entries:

    http://nhlnumbers.com/2012/7/11/more-on-the-advantages-of-puck-possession-over-dump-and-chase

    One study of tracking the small things (which actually turn out to be very crucial things) turns the dump and chase strategy on its head.There is evidence that some NHL teams changed their strategy (NAS and MIN for sure) based on Eric’s work.

    The small things lost to memory is why many fans and MSM want to run Petry out on a rail.

    Humans tend to remember bad events with much more clarity than good events:

    http://www.livescience.com/1827-bad-memories-stick-good.html

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/24/your-money/why-people-remember-negative-events-more-than-positive-ones.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    There’s lots of studies confirming this, the above 2 links are just off the top of google.

    Jeff Petry has the puck a lot.

    Like other players who have the puck a lot, he’s going to give it away more than the average player.

    When many fans see the give away the weeping and gnashing of teeth start on how bad he is and how he shouldn’t be an Oilers.

    What we fail to remember and see is the many more good small plays that Petry makes.

    These plays (making the correct first pass, skating the puck out of danger) are mostly unremarkable and don’t stick in our memory.

    All we remember is the gaffe, not the 5 good plays that moved the puck in the right direction before the gaffe.(and we also forget the only reason Petry had the puck to give it away is that he stopped the cycle and won possession from the opposition….but I digress……)

    So we need to record small things lost to memory that add up to something significant to truly be able come to conclusions on players.

    Relying on our eyes and memories is a bad bet, so we need the help.

    This, all day. Wonderful post.

  126. stevezie says:

    Jasmine,

    At first I thought it was odd that you found a way to repeat yourself in only three sentences, but then I noticed you repeated the quote you were responding to also. Mistakes when looked at alone, but taken in tandem they suggest a larger plan at work here.

    I get it, I get it. Excited to see where you go from here.

  127. icecastles says:

    Jasmine: Krueger wasn’t a good coach. He benched players for fighting. With Krueger as coach, Oilers had the fewest fights in the NHL because Krueger didn’t allow the team to fight as he benched players that fought.

    Of course, Kreuger coached a hockey team, not a boxing team.

    I always forget… how many points is a fight worth in the standings?

    None? Oh. Well maybe there’s a correlation between fights and goals.

    Oh, apparently not. It must be that they have a proven result in momentum shifts (ignoring the fact of course that if two guys are fighting, the odds of a momentum swing being in your team’s favour are exactly 50%).

    Hmm. Looks like the fighting wasn’t really the sign of bad coaching. Plenty of reasons that Kreuger was a bad coach, but this isn’t one of them.

  128. Lloyd B. says:

    Sorry for so many posts today but an unexpected day off in the middle of nowhere MB. Watching the last few holes of the PGA Houston Open. There is a guy named Stephanie playing and on the womens event earlier there was a gal named Charley playing. Is this what you new age kids call Metrosexual?

  129. eidy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    A few years ago my fellowship took me to Auckland and I had the pleasure of attending an All Blacks game vs Australia with winner taking the championship. I had heard of the All Blacks as my cousin played Rugby for Canada and she competed internationally, but I hadn’t ever really watched a game. I thought it would be a neat experience and I have always enjoyed watching/playing sports. I could watch just about anything on TV from football, to golf, hell I even watch the oilers… every damn game…

    Anyways, the atmosphere was electric and the knowledge of rugby there is ridiculous. I learned over the year to admire the magnificent game, but the first time I saw it I could have used a dummies guide to rugby.

    That was the year I learned of this site as well. I was still amped up after the Stanley run in 06 and needed to get my fix. That was when Loise, Vic etc were posting more and I began to learn about another side to the game that I had never been exposed to. Seven years and still learning…

  130. stevezie says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I’m guessing Chase is out to give MacT a look at Holmberg

    I would bet Nelson is coaching to win.

    I don’t see the value of an immediate look at Holmberg for MacT, especially since he seems to really value AHL playoffs. I can see Nelson wanting to know what his options are though, which I guess means Chase left Nelson some room to wonder if Holmberg is even better.

    That’s no sin.

  131. stevezie says:

    icecastles,

    No man, it’s performance art in text. Let’s see where she takes it.

    (Also, I do no believe Kruger did that, but that is hardly the point here.)

  132. Lois Lowe says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I think Nelson is also trying to ensure that there’s some AHL vets on each line.

  133. Lowetide says:

    I’m just putting together the season ending themes. Have used Neil Young, Springsteen, Stones, Dylan in the past for artist themes, Bowie most recently.

    Suggestions? No Zep please.

  134. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Detroit had been 30th in the league in fights for 8 years in a row until Oilers knocked them off that perch. Damn that Babcock anyway, what a wuss.

    He’s passive. When he talks, it’s obvious he thinks about the game for an hour, maybe two, per day. #lollygagthinker

  135. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Lowetide,

    Well, it was the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s suicide yesterday.

    But I know that’s probably a little too close to the 21st century for some readers here, so how about a compromise – Nirvana covering Bowie. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fregObNcHC8&feature=kp

  136. theres oil in virginia says:

    Lowetide:
    I’m just putting together the season ending themes. Have used Neil Young, Springsteen, Stones, Dylan in the past for artist themes, Bowie most recently.

    Suggestions? No Zep please.

    Zappa, of course!

    ;)

  137. Lloyd B. says:

    Lowetide:
    I’m just putting together the season ending themes. Have used Neil Young, Springsteen, Stones, Dylan in the past for artist themes, Bowie most recently.

    Suggestions? No Zep please.

    Amazing Grace by…anybody.

  138. Lloyd B. says:

    in all seriousness there are lots of songs by the Who that fit this group.

  139. stevezie says:

    Lowetide,
    I would bet five bucks you’d like The Drive-by Truckers if you don’t know them already. They have the lyrics and style to make this work, too.

    More established choices? CCR is great but they don’t really have any deep cuts, so it would be tougher to surprise us. Does Skynard have enough songs?

    The Who, Jethro Tull, The Hip, Rush, or Aretha are all classics yet to be explored.

    Ryan Adams, Elvis Costello, The Clash, Pearl Jam, Arcade Fire or Pavement (maybe?) are different enough to be different but should still be the zone. Maybe not Pavement. Say the White Stripes.

    Warren Zevon, John Prine, and Loudon Wainwright would fit if you wanted to go the singer-songwriter route. Steve Earle has the library. I don’t knbow Van Morrison very well but I’ve heard good things.

    Cash, Hank, or another formative country star would be a fun change of pace. Or you could just use great old-timey country songs- go broader.

    Prince? Police? Queen? R.E.M? Leonard Cohen?

    Elliot Smith may or may not be your bag, but lyrically he would have the goods. Sufjan Stevens too- maybe the best artist of the millennium?

    Or you could shock everyone and go with Tool, Sonic Youth, Public Enemy or Celine Dion. Lot of material there.

    Just spitballing. If I had to pick one I’d say Ryan Adams, but I don’t really have a reason. I just think he would suit. Or the DBTruckers.

  140. Gerta Rauss says:

    Bruce Cockburn has the library

    The Who would fit as well

  141. speeds says:

    The Replacements?

  142. godot10 says:

    FastOil:
    Hughes16,

    719,

    I think Lander is a good player, but with little offense or speed when drafted he has had a lot to overcome. There are a lot of ‘good’ players out there. Arco established his game to the league to a degree, will they keep both? Plus Lander gets funny hair cuts.

    Lander is way ahead of Arcobello at the same age. The majority of people on this blog were complaining that Tambellini had given a 2-year NHL contract to a small first year pro who had played only about 40 AHL games (Arcobello) with limited NHL potential instead of signing Jeremy Blain.

    Nyquist had a similar season to Lander at 22. He didn’t crack the NHL till 1.5 years later.

    And they are playing Lander at wing. In the AHL he was at centre and controlling the play. He has to play an entirely different game offensively at wing.

  143. Lois Lowe says:

    Warren Zevon or Van Morrison would be sublime. Tom Waits or Steve Earle would be my other choices.

  144. Lloyd B. says:

    speeds:
    The Replacements?

    Hilarious.. Maybe the Pretenders?

  145. theres oil in virginia says:

    justDOit: The Torture Never Stops.

    Forgot to mention the other day (after the Calgary drubbing) that your reference to that song was perfectly timed! It’s not that it was the low point of the season, by any means, but it was definitely the “never-ending torture” point of the season.

  146. theres oil in virginia says:

    Also, I have it on good authority that Rom’s vote is for Yngwie Malmsteen. Especially the virtuoso stuff. His exact words were: “my all time favorite”!

  147. Woodguy says:

    Lois Lowe:
    Warren Zevon or Van Morrison would be sublime. Tom Waits or Steve Earle would be my other choices.

    A second vote for Steve Earle here.

  148. Woodguy says:

    Can never go wrong with Johnny Cash.

  149. OilLeak says:

    Horak (Gernat) 3-1 OKC

  150. Lowetide says:

    Fedun just scored. No-name Barons appear to be better than the real Barons.

  151. OilLeak says:

    Fedun (Holmberg, Bachman) 4-1 OKC

  152. steveb12344 says:

    4-1 now for the Barons. This is such a huge game for them. A win today and they finish the day in 7th.

  153. OilLeak says:

    Lowetide,

    This is why drafting goons and grinders makes no sense.

  154. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Lowetide:
    Fedun just scored. No-name Barons appear to be better than the real Barons.

    Doing more with less is some pretty impressive coaching.

    can we have todd nelson as coach plz?

  155. bendelson says:

    How about the Velvet Undeground/Lou Reed?

    Stevezee: Pavement hey? Good stuff. It likely doesn’t fit with what LT likes to do with music here but damn if I don’t like the cut of your jib.

  156. OilLeak says:

    Marcus Oilerius,

    I’m not sure it’s less, Connor and Kellen are both 23 and were PPG players in the NCAA, Holmberg put up 118 points in junior this season.

    Drafted players like Kessy, Ewanyk, etc never put up those types of numbers.

  157. oliveoilers says:

    Bar_Qu: I imagine the feeling a newbie to hockey has is similar to what I experience when I try to puzzle out what the deuce is going on in a cricket game.

    “He hit the ball! Why isn’t he leaving the field now? And why did this game start 72 hours ago?”

    When I first saw a hockey game in ’98, I was on an exchange posting to CFB Wainwright. I was immediately entranced. Here was rugby, but graceful, more fluid with enough casual violence to sate even the most bloodthirsty plebeian’s thirst. As a life-long sports fan and player (I played semi-professional soccer during the military) I was captivated. I had been assimilated. Ice Hockey in the UK was played by either rich kids or Canadian ex-pats. I rarely watch soccer now, since the demise of Portsmouth, rugby is hardly ever on, but it wouldn’t matter. I have a new sweet-heart. Now I live here, in lovely Peace River on an acreage that would cost a pretty penny over the pond. And I even manage to make a few games a year. I am, in short, happier than a pig in shit.

    Cricket: The point of cricket is the teams you play against. Five times five day matches. And England always travel on winter tours. West Indies, Australia, South Africa. I’m guessing you never found the bar? My mate went to the West Indies tour. Hot-tubs and BBQs next to the pitch. Just remember to applaud a good stroke once in a while. It’s always Pimm’s o’clock, or a stiff G & T. Baseball? There is no hope for Baseball while it’s known as “rounders” and played by pre-school kids in the UK. World Series, my arse.

    The first game I watched? It was an Edmonton game, I don’t even remember the opponents. It was in JD’s lounge. I don’t think even my Canadian mentors in the game expected the reaction and fanaticism of a displaced Brit abroad. God, I love/hate the Oilers.

  158. Lowetide says:

    oliveoilers: When I first saw a hockey game in ’98, I was on an exchange posting to CFB Wainwright.I was immediately entranced.Here was rugby, but graceful, more fluid with enough casual violence to sate even the most bloodthirsty plebeian’s thirst.As a life-long sports fan and player (I played semi-professional soccer during the military) I was captivated.I had been assimilated.Ice Hockey in the UK was played by either rich kids or Canadian ex-pats.I rarely watch soccer now, since the demise of Portsmouth, rugby is hardly ever on, but it wouldn’t matter.I have a new sweet-heart.Now I live here, in lovely Peace River on an acreage that would cost a pretty penny over the pond.And I even manage to make a few games a year.I am, in short, happier than a pig in shit.

    Cricket:The point of cricket is the teams you play against.Five times five day matches.And England always travel on winter tours.West Indies, Australia, South Africa.I’m guessing you never found the bar?My mate went to the West Indies tour.Hot-tubs and BBQs next to the pitch.Just remember to applaud a good stroke once in a while.It’s always Pimm’s o’clock, or a stiff G & T.Baseball?There is no hope for Baseball while it’s known as “rounders” and played by pre-school kids in the UK.World Series, my arse.

    The first game I watched?It was an Edmonton game, I don’t even remember the opponents.It was in JD’s lounge.I don’t think even my Canadian mentors in the game expected the reaction and fanaticism of a displaced Brit abroad.God, I love/hate the Oilers.

    THAT is a beautiful damn post.

  159. justDOit says:

    theres oil in virginia: Forgot to mention the other day (after the Calgary drubbing) that your reference to that song was perfectly timed!It’s not that it was the low point of the season, by any means, but it was definitely the “never-ending torture” point of the season.

    Thx, but timing that wasn’t too difficult.

    With titles like the following (from 99 releases – 99!), Zappa would be a great choice:

    More Trouble Every Day

    Cosmik Debris

    Titties n Beer

    Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow

    Dancin’ Fool

    You Are What You Is

    Cocaine Decisions

    Zombie Woof

  160. Bar_Qu says:

    I second either Van Morrison, Steve Earle, Bruce Cockburn

    Plus Mark Knopfler would be a suggestion

  161. nycoil says:

    I just wanted to say thank you to everyone on this blog again for a great community and a few beautiul threads these past few weeks. I have been travelling in Australia and the internet access has been shockingly poor so I have once again been deprived of video access and thank god for these threads I can keep up.

    Special thanks to Rom for transcribing the Eakins comments in print form. Very happy to read that he feels that way about Petry.

  162. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    eidy,

    great story.

    I’m still learning too. I owe just about everything about hockey that I actually “know” rather than simply assume to LT and the commenters here. amazing place.

  163. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    stevezie: I would bet Nelson is coaching to win.

    I don’t see the value of an immediate look at Holmberg for MacT, especially since he seems to really value AHL playoffs. I can see Nelson wanting to know what his options are though, which I guess means Chase left Nelson some room to wonder if Holmberg is even better.

    That’s no sin.

    I heard MacT was down there watching.

    It’s probably true that he doesn’t have his thumb on the scales, I doubt he thinks Holmberg is an upgrade on Chase, he probably doesn’t know either terribly well and is just trying to get everyone (to an extent) into a game (and I bet MacT appreciates it).

  164. sliderule says:

    Eakins pre game was awesome.

    It is apparent that he realizes that Petry is a better player than “media” think.He doesn’t play like a high school bully but more like Lidstrom..I was worried Oilers were starting to buy into that toughness beats skill crap exemplified in the way our assistant coach Bucky played.

    He also mentioned that the heavy teams are beating you by being heavy not by inference being tough.The old school was you hit to hurt or injure.The new school and the way most college teams are coached is you hit to separate from puck.The new rules are starting to turn nhl teams towards playing more like Wings or Hawks than Bruins.

    Eakins was also more humble and admitted that he had made mistakes.He is here for at least the start of next year so they had better get him some assistant help like RK cried for.

  165. FastOil says:

    godot10: Lander is way ahead of Arcobello at the same age. The majority of people on this blog were complaining that Tambellini had given a 2-year NHL contract to a small first year pro who had played only about 40 AHL games (Arcobello) with limited NHL potential instead of signing Jeremy Blain.

    Nyquist had a similar season to Lander at 22.He didn’t crack the NHL till 1.5 years later.

    And they are playing Lander at wing.In the AHL he was at centre and controlling the play.He has to play an entirely different game offensively at wing.

    These things are true, yet Nyquist is an explosive skating offensive player. I imagine they are viewed entirely differently. I think LT has it right that if Lander doesn’t score they won’t keep him, right or wrong.

    I think the Oilers might keep him if he were a buzz saw fore checker or a player that was really disruptive to the other team in some way. I don’t think he is.

  166. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lois Lowe:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I think Nelson is also trying to ensure that there’s some AHL vets on each line.

    good theory.

    Still, if you’ve got a bunch of new people, not like 1, but a bunch and you are trying to build lines that will work together… and two of the guys you are putting in the line up have always played together… makes sense to keep them together… I mean you can just say: “I guess that works”

  167. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    I’m just putting together the season ending themes. Have used Neil Young, Springsteen, Stones, Dylan in the past for artist themes, Bowie most recently.

    Suggestions? No Zep please.

    Floyd.

  168. oliveoilers says:

    Lowetide: THAT is a beautiful damn post.

    Thank you, LT. And now I must go, because no word of a lie, I heard a hissing sound from downstairs and my 20month old son has managed to hit a spray can of paint with a hammer. Apparently some idiot forgot to close the cold stoare room door when they got themselves a beer…..The wife is ecstatic.

  169. theres oil in virginia says:

    justDOit: Thx, but timing that wasn’t too difficult.

    With titles like the following (from 99 releases – 99!), Zappa would be a great choice:

    More Trouble Every Day

    Cosmik Debris

    Titties n Beer

    Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow

    Dancin’ Fool

    You Are What You Is

    Cocaine Decisions

    Zombie Woof

    Don’t forget:

    Cheap Thrills

    A Token Of My Extreme

    It Just Might Be A One-Shot Deal

    Them Or Us

    Big Swifty

    and of course:

    Dumb All Over (A Little Ugly On The Side)

  170. nycoil says:

    A small vote for maybe the allmans since they are likely reaching the end of the line

  171. theres oil in virginia says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Floyd.

    Too late, you already voted.

  172. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    Also, I have it on good authority that Rom’s vote is for Yngwie Malmsteen.Especially the virtuoso stuff.His exact words were: “my all time favorite”!

    damn your eyes!

  173. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    nycoil: Special thanks to Rom for transcribing the Eakins comments in print form. Very happy to read that he feels that way about Petry.

    thanks for reading!

  174. dangilitis says:

    Lowetide:
    I’m just putting together the season ending themes. Have used Neil Young, Springsteen, Stones, Dylan in the past for artist themes, Bowie most recently.

    Suggestions? No Zep please.

    I was thinking Cash as well. Or Ray Charles. You know, artists that enjoyed initial success then fell into drugs and had what felt like a long road to recovery. But they made it back.

  175. wordbird says:

    Lowetide,

    Tom Waits!

  176. Pouzar says:

    Damn you LT for turning this into a music thread!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    WAsssup with Klefbom?
    Where is Chase.

    I was talking to Olli Jokinen today…says EDM would be a good fit.

  177. Lowetide says:

    Curtis Hamilton! Big damn goal there.

  178. Alsker says:

    theres oil in virginia: Too late, you already voted.

    True Rom did, but I haven’t….Floyd.

  179. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Barons win in regulation. In 7th place now.

    Curtis scored the go ahead and Davidson got an empty netter.

    amazing this team.

  180. wheatnoil says:

    This OKC team seems more fun to watch than the parent club no matter who they throw into the line-up! Good for Hamilton!

  181. alice13 says:

    A lot to catch up,

    A passive RFID chip needs to get in close proximity to a reader in order to activate. The type of unit that Wifi can locate in 3D is – I think – a more complex thing that has to be powered to transmit. Might be easier to have the puck treated with something such that it can be noticed by camera at a non-visible frequency (IR), if the idea is to have blanket camera coverage. No, I don’t want warm pucks,either… just guessing

    What’s interesting compared to basketball is there’s a neutral zone that’s contested and there are scrums where teams are fighting for possession but neither has established it. Will be interesting to see what can be learned of the transition part of the game.

    The swarm. Here’s a theory – all systems require a certain amount of trust to operate effectively. I can pinch here because the other four will adjust and cover for me. The swarm being by nature a riskier tactic likely requires yet again a higher level of trust/shared knowledge. It’s not that the swarm was wrong for this team, but they needed a comfort/confidence level to start with, ie. twenty games to acclimatize with new coach, then bring on the new thing. The swarm unraveling – and further exposed by the goaltending – not only sunk the confidence of the team in themselves but in their new coach as well. It’s too bad, but I don’t think it was necessarily the wrong idea, I do think it was a poor decision to implement it immediately in his (DE’s) tenure.

    Elvis Presley had a pretty good run.
    And a nice bunch of gals for you to put up, starting with Ann Margaret!

  182. gogliano says:

    FLA with the comeback win. Still a tight race for 29th.

  183. godot10 says:

    Deadmau5! -).

    Eakins and MacT talk new school. They have acted old school a whole lot. House divided against itself and all.

  184. theres oil in virginia says:

    Alsker: True Rom did, but I haven’t….Floyd.

    Foiled again!

  185. Gret99zky says:

    Lowetide:
    I’m just putting together the season ending themes. Have used Neil Young, Springsteen, Stones, Dylan in the past for artist themes, Bowie most recently.

    Suggestions? No Zep please.

    Why do you hate Beatles?

    I suggest something classic, something timeless.

    From 1992 self-titled debut album Body Count.

    Track #5: Cop Killer

    jk

  186. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Jack Michaels ‏@EdmontonJack 7m
    If Kramer were here, as a Julliard-trained dermatologist, he’d be speculating that Klefbom was going to play after all. And I’d concur.

    I don’t know what this means, but it’s interesting.

  187. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Minister D-:
    speeds,

    Seems appropriate:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AH5NVFHeu4&feature=kp

    Man,

    Bastards of Young

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fl9KQ1Mub6Q

    left of the dial, unsatisfied…

    yea. Replacements would be a great pick.

  188. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Florida wins! We’re back in 29th!

  189. OilClog says:

    Watching the pregame show..

    Smashed face into wall.

    Why is everyone so surprised/thrilled/shocked about our #1 line.

    Did the last 2-3yrs simply not happen?

  190. OilClog says:

    1. Nugent Hopkins if used by a good coach won’t be facing Thorton, Kopitar.. Yadda yadda. That’s Gordon’s job.

    2. These 3 kids jobs isn’t be responsible defensively, that isn’t why they’re losing. 7 of the last 8 goals scored by the top line, yet let’s moan about their defensive coverage.

    TSN Sunday crew. Rough.

  191. Lowetide says:

    Freaky first goal against. Rookie loses puck battle at the blueline, circus after. I’m not sure who gets an error there, but it did go off Gagner so he’s handy.

  192. icecastles says:

    Lowetide:
    I’m just putting together the season ending themes. Have used Neil Young, Springsteen, Stones, Dylan in the past for artist themes, Bowie most recently.

    Suggestions? No Zep please.

    Didn’t Nirvana have track called I Hate Myself And I Want To Die?
    There was also an early Depeche Mode b-side called “I Sometimes Wish I Was Dead”.

    Though I still really miss Private Eyes. Clap clap!

    And this. So much. Wanted to keep him around just so I could post that after every goal.

  193. Lois Lowe says:

    I still say Van Morrison, “Too Long In Exile” is just perfect.

  194. Lowetide says:

    Man, Gagner is looking brutal this period. I’ll give him an unlucky on the goal, but the penalty was not good.

  195. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: Freaky first goal against. Rookie loses puck battle at the blueline, circus after. I’m not sure who gets an error there, but it did go off Gagner so he’s handy.

    K-Bomb fought through three different puck battles, allowing time for the forwards to get back. Eventually a bad puck bounce put him off positionally, and he lost it at the blue line, but geez, it sure wasn’t for a lack of trying.

    I have never before seen the sheer number of bad-bounce goals that have gone in this year.

  196. spoiler says:

    Smart of Hendricks to skate that puck out at the end of the PK, rather than firing it down the ice

  197. Lowetide says:

    I believe Van is leading at this point. Johnny would be good, love TULL but the lyrics hoo boy. That’s a lot of work.

  198. Gerta Rauss says:

    I didn’t suggest Van but he would be my pick of all the suggestions

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