G7 WHL FINAL OIL KINGS V WINTERHAWKS

It’s like that line from Indiana Jones: “Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?” The Edmonton Oil Kings trip to the WHL finals is an annual rite of spring. Unfortunately, the same holds true for the Portland Winterhawks. The WHL’s schedule reaches its conclusion tonight, all those bus rides and crazy nights, all from kids barely old enough to drive.

I honestly don’t know how they found the energy to get on the plane. Deflated? Oh my God. These young men found a will to fight another day, so I’m willing to scream bloody murder from my basement.

Go you Oil Kings! Stan Weir says kick some ass.

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44 Responses to "G7 WHL FINAL OIL KINGS V WINTERHAWKS"

  1. Melman says:

    First 4 games to the home squads – last 3 to the visitors!! Let’s go OK

  2. Gerta Rauss says:

    channel 303 on Shaw in British Columbia

    Go Oil Kings!!!

  3. Gerta Rauss says:

    The first 9 minutes have been (mostly) Portland

    Oil Kings score on the PP but it’s disallowed(kicked in)…too bad, but it was the right call

    1-0 Portland

  4. Lowetide says:

    Moroz ties it up.

  5. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    there was some narrow and interesting disagreement about lander on twitter today. I dug around a bit and wrote about it:
    http://www.theoilersrig.com/2014/05/idle-moments/

  6. PunjabiOil says:

    Been watching this game.

    The highs, the lows, the drama unfolds. This is why we watch sport.

  7. PunjabiOil says:

    4-1 now. Oilers scouts were high on Lazar. Ottawa got a steal in him.

  8. Clarence Oveur says:

    Now this time FINISH THEM.

  9. bsmart says:

    I was at the heart breaker yesterday at rexall. You could feel it slipping away, today just stay the course. You can do it boys!

  10. bsmart says:

    LT I really enjoy your website, I read it everyday. Keep up the great work !

  11. jp says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    there was some narrow and interesting disagreement about lander on twitter today. I dug around a bit and wrote about it:
    http://www.theoilersrig.com/2014/05/idle-moments/

    I found that first list (>60 NHL GP and <0.2 PPG) quite impressive. I thought it was going to be a total bunch of crap players, but there's a bunch of useful guys on there. Some failures for sure, and a bunch of bottom 6 players, but I'll be more than happy if Lander pans out as a useful 3rd liner. The list offers real hope of that. In any case, great to see the man signed for another year – he's gotta hit a little at some point, right?

    And the Oil Kings looking good. I'm guessing they learned a little something from the last game!

  12. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    Same lead after 2 but the 2nd was night and day better play. Playing with the structure that was missing yesterday and 15-5 in shots.

  13. PunjabiOil says:

    Looking at the 2012 draft – 2nd round

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/nhl2012e.html

    If Moroz turns out with a Brandon Prust career, that could be of some value. Not like anyone else in that 2nd round has made them clearly regret taking Moroz.

  14. Marcus Oilerius says:

    This is – and I hate to use this word, but there’s no other – an epic finish to what is undoubtedly the greatest junior hockey rivalry in my memory. When is the last time the two same teams faced each other three times in a row for the league finals in any of the junior leagues? Then gone to game 7 in their final series?

    (my junior hockey memory is pretty short, admittedly)

  15. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    Marcus Oilerius: When is the last time the two same teams faced each other three times in a row for the league finals in any of the junior leagues

    69-71 flin flon vs the old oil kings team before it relocated to Portland.

  16. Marcus Oilerius says:

    НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴: 69-71 flin flon vs the old oil kings team before it relocated to Portland.

    Man, if this was the OHL, Don Cherry and the rest of the eastern media wouldn’t shut up about this.

  17. ASkoreyko says:

    PunjabiOil:
    Looking at the 2012 draft – 2nd round

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/nhl2012e.html

    If Moroz turns out with a Brandon Prust career,that could be of some value.Not like anyone else in that 2nd round has made them clearly regret taking Moroz.

    I think this is a very valid point re: Moroz. Other than Finn and maybe Frk who exactly did the Oiler whiff on so badly that it will make us regret the Moroz pick for years to come?

    Musil I get, but Moroz might end up being a pretty decent pick and is another ball in the Lucic lottery.

  18. Alsker says:

    Sweeeeeet!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Congrats Oil Kings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. striker says:

    Well done boys. What an amazing 3 year run. We were lucky to witness it.

  20. nycoil says:

    Congrats to the boys! Amazing resilience and fearlessness after dropping that heartbreaker. Great team. When they held Pelss’ jersey up that brought a tear to my eye. Well done, lads, well done.

  21. bsmart says:

    Oil kings 2014 whl Champs!!!!!

  22. Marcus Oilerius says:

    ASkoreyko,

    And Frk is another small-ish skilled right winger. Oilers seem pretty deep in that category.

  23. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    That was a lot of fun.

    found out via twitter in the 2nd intermission that the WHL was free streaming the game… got so caught up in it, I forgot to pop back in and mention it (sorry to whomever may have missed out).

    I hope the CHL does that with the MEM cup, or at least a few of the games.

  24. Gret99zky says:

    Congrats to the Oil Kings. Very impressive win tonight.

  25. nycoil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    That was a lot of fun.

    found out via twitter in the 2nd intermission that the WHL was free streaming the game… got so caught up in it, I forgot to pop back in and mention it (sorry to whomever may have missed out).

    I hope the CHL does that with the MEM cup, or at least a few of the games.

    Yeah, I just happened on the WHL page and saw that it was offered for free today so I took advantage. I should have posted, too, but figured everyone watching was probably Alberta/Shaw based so would have it on TV. Sorry. Was a fun game to watch for me where I don’t get to watch too many WHL games. Lazar does look like a player. I know there was a lot of debate about the Oil taking him, but how Oilers were drafting too high for that. They sure could use a guy like that now, though. One of those situations where trading down may have made some sense. Oh well! Good luck to him in Ottawa next year.

  26. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    jp: I found that first list (>60 NHL GP and <0.2 PPG) quite impressive. I thought it was going to be a total bunch of crap players, but there’s a bunch of useful guys on there. Some failures for sure, and a bunch of bottom 6 players, but I’ll be more than happy if Lander pans out as a useful 3rd liner. The list offers real hope of that. In any case, great to see the man signed for another year – he’s gotta hit a little at some point, right?

    And the Oil Kings looking good. I’m guessing they learned a little something from the last game!

    that list was hopeful for me too. number of decent players on there (way more crap than anything mind you).

    With Lander, I think the hope has to be

    1) he was severely impacted by the development process and didn’t hit his stride until March of his 21st year.

    2) he’s a genuine late bloomer

    3) some combo of both.

    the worry is going to be that the offense came so late that it’s a sign that he’s maxed out at “very good AHL player”

  27. Gerta Rauss says:

    Congratulations boys-well earned

    Enjoy

  28. PunjabiOil says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Memorial_Cup

    Oil Kings only team to play 3 games in 4 nights.

    Who approved such a schedule?

    Cunts.

  29. Gerta Rauss says:

    PunjabiOil,

    LT commented on that last night-I think the home team always gets the favorable schedule and the WHL gets the short end of the stick.

  30. Melman says:

    Watching the end of the Ducks/Kings game – that Smith-Pelley kid keeps doing this weird thing in his own end…he keeps turning his head to see if there’s an open King headed toward the slot. I don’t get it.

  31. Andy P says:

    Oil Kings; Oil Barons; Oilers. Two of these are really good hockey teams.

  32. regwald says:

    Super game by the Oil Kings to close this one out after losing a heart breaker yesterday. What a heck of an effort.

  33. Bank Shot says:

    Man Lazar is going to play in the NHL for sure. That Oil Kings team sure does have a lot of good forwards.

  34. G Money says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Nice analysis.

    I recently used Nyquist as a development comparable (age, COI, AHL ppg) for Lander, though as you correctly point out there are also significant differences. There always are – f*cking players, having the gall to not be exactly the same.

    In the end, though – why on earth would anyone get their shorts in a knot over giving Lander a $600K contract and a year to prove if he can translate his offense to the NHL? The stupid move would be to let him go for nothing.

  35. Rebilled says:

    TSN wouldn’t let me view the Canada/Czech highlights online.

    Found it on youTube with this apologetic announcer.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0tbLKoTXs0

  36. Philosophil says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    Not really. Have a look at past schedules…at least two teams have played back to back and 3 in 4; depends which league hosts.

    http://mastercardmemorialcup.ca/tournamentresults

    Well done Oil Kings!!

    I am disappointed in the lack of coverage of the OKs in general. Had to wait for Sportsnet (spits) to show the highlights as filler for Hockey Central. Even TSN 1260 would only talk about the Kings during morning sports updates, never heard much about the other Leagues, or even WHL Western conference during morning sportscasts. Our man LT and Gregor did a good job of talking them up, but it wasn’t full on the station. Just my .02

  37. DeadmanWaking says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    there was some narrow and interesting disagreement about lander on twitter today. I dug around a bit and wrote about it:

    I don’t think Kevin Lowe is a stupid man. He’s the experienced poker player with a lingering tendency to go on tilt. As a player in the NHL, tilt is often rewarded. I think it’s a small miracle that these guys find a way to play an entire play-off series with tilt on cruise control, one foot in and one foot out, never straying from the narrow band of exactly as much thuggery as you can (usually) get away with.

    Lowe was pretty good, I think, at locking his throbbing truculence onto narrow-band cruise control. He believes from this player experience that he’s got a grip on his tilt reflex. In this context, maybe he has. Unfortunately, this tilt-on-cruise-control skill doesn’t translate to the GM’s office. Tilt in the GM’s office is not a state of being one can inhabit for weeks at a time. Instead of being perpetual, it becomes episodic; it blurts. Lowe is not capable of modulating episodic tilt control. Fatal flaw.

    Sick bay, Lieutenant Bailey, you’re relieved of duty.

    Baily: Raising my voice back there doesn’t mean I was scared or couldn’t do my job. It means I happen to have a human thing called an adrenalin gland.

    Spock: It does sound most inconvenient, however. Have you considered having it removed?

    Dellow is a smart guy, but he’s got his own tilt-control issue. From where I lean back on my elbows, he’s got some kind of last-spike disease. He thinks very hard. He busts his hump laying track across swampy Manitoba and the flat-back prairies. Then he gets up into the mountains and he smells it: the last spike! Conclusion of an arduous journey! So near to hand! For some reason, this reflex kicks in where he feels compelled to wallop the last spike with a different hammer than the hammer that brung ya. Clearly that works for him at his present level of engagement. It might even be a valued strength. But if he someday found himself in the GM’s office–for real–would he receive his KLowe comeuppance? Dellow goes off on the last spike. That’s always what I come away with after reading his prose.

    There’s a huge cognitive overlap between certain approaches to software development and certain approaches to law, but there’s also a fundamental difference between Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson and Windows XP when it comes to walking away from your mistakes. Jackson faded to obscurity after his epic bungle. XP continues to purr along as the greatest zero-day magnet in the history of black-hatdome. ( Can’t live with it, can’t live without it.) There is no last-spike in large-scale software development. One’s wrought odor lingers. It can’t be gaveled out of the room.

    When a player is developed the way Lander was developed, he doesn’t slip into any comfortable narrative, such as the railman’s reflex “boxcars first”. How much did Lander gain in personal maturity in his year spinning his wheels as a boy among men, going nowhere? It can’t possibly have been a good thing. We know this. His little engine-that-could would have melted away like fresh ice cream insufficiently chilled.

    Except that if you read the literature on behavioural psychology, this isn’t actually how people are wired. It’s pretty much impossible to predict how any given individual will respond to adversity. Some falter, some crack, some hunker down, some bunker down beside a Juniper bush and brew up a hairy Hagrid thimble of eighty-proof two point oh.

    It’s a bit rich to derate Lander’s recent AHL boxcars because his transit across Manitoba impressed no-one. For cripesakes, he was never in Manitoba. He was airlifted to Wood Buffalo National Park in the middle of winter, then teed back onto the usual prospect progression with a sharp right turn in Medicine Hat. It’s a small miracle given his unique circumstances that he even made it to Medicine Hat.

    Even if he had gone through Manitoba, his orderly progression would have been illusory anyway: he was a forward in jersey alone. He was the yin to Yakupov’s yang; he was Jack Sprat who ate no fat to the knife who ate no lean (between them both, they had the skittering platter surrounded, from a respectful distance).

    There’s a huge bias term in this orderly progression myth. For all prospects who are brought along slowly and properly, some simple wash out. I guess the guy didn’t have what it takes. Shit happens. Sigh-o-nada. But if that same guy played forty games in the show at age eighteen then gets tossed back down where he fails to address his fatal flaw–ruination, tarnation, damnation Yosemite Sam.

    This whole argument involves creating a narrative one-to-one correspondence between victuals and countervictuals. This shifty task is much simplified by adducing the empty set: the set of all players who are almost good enough to play in the NHL but not good enough to seriously impress anyone in the AHL.

    Why is this set empty? Fundamentally it’s because there’s never any twin prospect who splits the tracks to pit factual against factual. It’s narratively convenient. And it hammers home the last spike.

    When management goes off the main sequence in how they handle a prospect such as Lander (known to have an irregular pedigree even before he was drafted) then consign him to a special basket: small-sample-size. Baby shoes, never worn.

    I was reading Taleb yet again the other night (the man can’t seem to keep himself out of the books I tend to read). He was talking–yet again–about the fourth quadrant where statistical skew in the distribution of expected return is dominated by a single (highly exciting) trading day from a forty year trading period.

    Whatever the pros and cons, when management gave Lander the early tap, they played a “get out of statistics free” card. Never again can Lander’s development be plotted against aggregate outcomes.

    Okay, I’m really feeling this–I’m going to actually stand up from my swivel chair and go fetch the book from a faraway room at the other end of a short hall.

    The essay in question is titled The Fourth Quadrant: A Map of the Limits of Statistics, from Thinking (2013) edited by John Brockman.

    Now you would think that people would buy my arguments about lack of knowledge and accept unpredictability. But many kept asking me, “Now that you say our measures are wrong, do you have anything better?”

    I used to give the same mathematical finance lectures for both graduate students and practitioners before giving up on academic students and grade-seekers. Students cannot understand the value of “this is what we don’t know”–they think it is not information, that they are learning nothing. Practitioners, on the other hand, value it immensely. Likewise with statisticians: I never had a disagreement with statisticians (who build the field)–only with the users of statistical methods.

    Spyros Makridakis and I are editors of a special issue of a decision science journal … The issue is about “what to do in an environment of low predictability.” We received tons of papers, but guess what? Very few addressed the point: they mostly focused on showing us that they predict better (on paper). This convinced me to engage in my new project: “how to live in a world we don’t understand.”

    Apparently, “hard to get” is hard to get. For me, Lander is deep into the fourth quadrant. We’ll just never know how he might have developed had he been stick-handled down the main sequence.

    Much of the evidence for the virtue of the main sequence is larded with narrative circularity where Lander’s most-normal development season yet, his 22-year-old AHL season of actually scoring, is scare-quoted because it wasn’t preceded by two other complete AHL seasons that form an exciting ChowderPint slide replete with three exciting data points demonstrating an upward–or at least convex–possession progression.

    We sort of know instinctively that we think about the fourth quadrant badly, so this is what happens: management steers Lander into the fourth quadrant, we know we think badly about this quadrant, our conclusions stink, therefore management sucks. We have trouble separating the stink about a prospect from the stink of our thinking about the prospect and so the synesthesia of management by bad smell possesses the room.

    Don’t get me wrong about my admiration for Dellow’s hockey insights. Probably I envy his capacity to abruptly conk the last spike with the dandered hammer of the powdered wig.

  38. Barcs says:

    Oh for the alternate reality where Henrik Samuelsson wasn’t picked until 32nd in 2012…

  39. rich says:

    DeadmanWaking,

    Outstanding stuff Deadmanwaking. Another gem.

  40. cahill says:

    TSN NHL Feed ‏@TSNNHLFeed 7m
    New: Muller joins Blues as assistant coach to Hitchcock.

    Something random. Obviously we don’t know the inner workings of why a coach chooses one situation over another, or even if the Oilers are interested in adding (and removing) a coach to their staff. I thought Muller would have been a good fit here. Good PP coach, known to be a good communicator & former head coach that could help Eakins. The other coach that was on the Canes staff that I think would be a good fit for the Oilers is Dave Lewis.

  41. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    G Money:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Nice analysis.

    I recently used Nyquist as a development comparable (age, COI, AHL ppg) for Lander, though as you correctly point out there are also significant differences.There always are – f*cking players, having the gall to not be exactly the same.

    In the end, though – why on earth would anyone get their shorts in a knot over giving Lander a $600K contract and a year to prove if he can translate his offense to the NHL?The stupid move would be to let him go for nothing.

    thanks.

    luckily, I didn’t see anyone really decrying the signing (there were some at ON but that’s all I saw).

    DeadmanWaking: When a player is developed the way Lander was developed, he doesn’t slip into any comfortable narrative, such as the railman’s reflex “boxcars first”.

    FWIW, Dellow was happy to acknowledge Lander’s bungled development when I brought it up.

    DeadmanWaking: It’s a bit rich to derate Lander’s recent AHL boxcars because his transit across Manitoba impressed no-one.

    ….
    This whole argument involves creating a narrative one-to-one correspondence between victuals and countervictuals. This shifty task is much simplified by adducing the empty set: the set of all players who are almost good enough to play in the NHL but not good enough to seriously impress anyone in the AHL.

    couple of points:

    1) I don’t think it has to be mutually exclusive to note both that Lander’s development was impeded and that he remains questionable as a NHL player (even when compensating for his unique situation).

    We’re dealing with enough of a fringe player here that both notions are true.

    2) It’s not clear to me at all that the exercise of trying to find comparables is wasted. First, the effort isn’t to find a pure match. Second, even if all we learned was that Lander was an entirely unique snowflake of a case study (something I don’t agree with), we still would have learned a lot from the effort.

    ps. as always, a lovely read.

  42. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    Adversity is a great teacher. Gotta hope that going into the Memorial cup the Oil Kings are 100% bought into the structure that 4 times buried a dynamic offense better than the puck luck in Game 6 could. Oh for an Oilers stick like Griff’s.

  43. Bruce McCurdy says:

    DeadmanWaking: The issue is about “what to do in an environment of low predictability.” We received tons of papers, but guess what? Very few addressed the point: they mostly focused on showing us that they predict better (on paper). This convinced me to engage in my new project: “how to live in a world we don’t understand.”

    Outstanding read, DMW. Being able to predict with 25% confidence instead of 20% confidence is all well and good — and there is a lot of value to be gained in the margins — but coming to terms with the implications of the other 75% is more important in my view. Kind of reminds me of the dark matter/dark energy problem. Simply recognizing it is there is a massive (!) step.

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