RE 14-15 TAYLOR HALL: RIVER

Taylor Hall is cast as the hero in our story. Breathtaking in flight, his presence on the ice signals a change in the weather. Hall is the central character in a tragedy that should explode in a spectacular crescendo of brilliant light, and make this journey worthwhile. Some sweet day.

TAYLOR HALL 10-11

  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.78 (4th among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 3.27 (8th among regular forwards)
  • Qual Comp: 2nd toughest among regular forwards
  • Qual Team: 5th best teammates among regular forwards
  • Corsi Rel: 10.3 (best among regular forwards)
  • Zone Start: 52.0% (4th easiest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 51.2% (7th best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 186/11.8% (4th among F’s>100 shots)
  • Boxcars: 65gp, 22-20-42 (led the team in goals as a rookie)

TAYLOR HALL 11-12

  • 5×5 points per 60: 2.07 (2nd among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 5.95 (2nd among regular forwards)
  • Corsi For 5×5 %: 52.3 (+6.5 Corsi for Rel %)
  • Qual Comp: 6th toughest among regular forwards
  • Qual Team: best teammates among regular forwards
  • Corsi Rel: 15.2 (best among regular forwards)
  • Zone Start: 56.5% (3rd easiest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 53.6% (2nd best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 207/13% (3rd among F’s>100 shots)
  • Boxcars: 61gp, 27-26-53 (led the team in PP goals-13)

TAYLOR HALL 12-13

  • 5×5 points per 60: 3.15 (1st among regular forwards, 6th in NHL, 2nd in WC)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 5.74 (3rd among regular forwards)
  • Corsi For 5×5 %: 50.4 (+8.6 Corsi for Rel %)
  • Qual Comp: 2nd toughest among regular forwards (top line opp)
  • Qual Team: 2nd best teammates among regular forwards (top linemates)
  • Corsi Rel: 20.3 (2nd best among regular forwards)
  • Zone Start: 54.8% (easiest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 47.9% (2nd best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 154/10.39% (6th among F’s>70 shots)
  • Boxcars: 45gp, 16-34-50 +5 (led the team in points)

TAYLOR HALL 13-14

  • 5×5 points per 60: 2.91 (1st among regular forwards, 4th in NHL)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 4.29 (4th among regular PP forwards)
  • Corsi For 5×5 %: 44.4 (+0.4 Corsi for Rel %)
  • Qual Comp: toughest among regular forwards (top line opp)
  • Qual Team: 2nd best teammates among regular forwards (top line)
  • Corsi Rel: 2.4 (6th best among regular forwards)
  • Zone Start: 57.9% (3rd easiest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 49.6% (2nd best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 250/10.8% (3rd among F’s>100 shots)
  • Boxcars: 75gp, 27-53-80 (led the team in points)

Despite newly poor possession stats, our man Hall continues to crush it in the scoring race. He suffered with a dull as dishwater power play and a season long issue with getting him the puck in full flight, and it cost him and the team. Will the Oilers fix it?

VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER (CORSI REL)

hall sledge corsi relWe see Hall getting the zone push here, and teams are sending their best men over the boards to fight the storm. If you’ve ever attended an Oiler game since Hall’s arrival, you know the opposition defense hits the ‘back’ button when our man makes his entrance. It’s funny, and one of the few truly great things about the Edmonton Oilers this century. Taylor Hall changes the equation. Now, let’s get him back to pushing the river, Mr. Eakins.

RE 13-14 REVIEW

PPG NAME GP G A PTS
1.17 TAYLOR HALL 13-14 RE 70 37 45 82
1.07 TAYLOR HALL 13-14 ACTUAL 75 27 53 80

 RE 14-15 PROJECTION

PPG NAME GP G A PTS
1.14 TAYLOR HALL 14-15 RE 73 33 50 83
  TAYLOR HALL 14-15 ACTUAL
  1. I thought you’d project him higher. The possession stats (as broken down by Dellow) have me hedging the bet. Hall’s impact on the score sheet while he was on the ice was phenomenal, but is it replicable? Is the flow of the river fixable under Dallas Eakins system? We need to see some proof.
  2. The boxcars are good. This is a thoroughbred. Taylor Hall was touched by God. And I’m counting on Ramsay to fix the power play a little here.
  3. Where did he finish league-wide 5×5/60 in 2013-14? Incredible player.
  4. We never did give him a grand nickname. Yes we did. Chance. It’s perfect, because the guy just delivers chance after chance after chance. He’s like a chance machine, every time he’s on the ice the audience is on their seat. He’s brilliant entertainment.
  5. What should the hockey encyclopedia say about him? Taylor Hall is an impact NHLer with an insane resume and a super nova future. At 21, he enjoyed a breakout season in the NHL, finishing ninth in scoring and second in the Western Conference in total points. At 22, he finished in a tie for sixth overall in points, and was the No. 1 point-getter in the entire league among LW’s. He’s ranked 4th (75GP, 20-42-62) in EV scoring—trailing only Crosby, Getzlaf and Perry. Taylor Hall finished four points behind Sidney Crosby in the discipline.
  6. That’s impressive. He’s magic. Taylor Hall, on a team with possession stats an AHL team could manage, finished second in even-strength assists in 2013-14 behind Joe Thornton.
  7. He should have made the postseason All-Star team. The PHWA makes the call on that, and the fact Hall hasn’t been named the last two seasons says more about the PHWA than it does about Taylor Hall.
  8. You’ve used that line a lot. Yes. Never better, though. Never better.
  9. Is there anything else about last year? What doesn’t kill you makes you strong, and proof of that was last season. It’s a damn shame to see these beautiful seasons being played in obscurity.
  10. Obscurity? The reason Hall isn’t winning awards is the team’s overall record. People can’t believe he’s this good on a team that bad, so they just assume he’s lucky or it’s a one-off. There are many hockey fans who are going to be shocked when Taylor Hall makes the playoffs and kills their team dead.
  11. So he’s a brilliant star in a sky no one sees? Yes, only many see him but most don’t pay close enough attention to know what’s going on here. He’s a modern Harlond Clift, but with more sustain and a better ending. We hope.
  12. How do you feel about the coming season? I feel the team will be better, but don’t believe we’ll see a strong enough march up the standings to talk playoffs.
  13. What are the positives? The heart of the cluster is a year older, they’ve added a pack of NHL veterans (Fayne, Nikitin, Pouliot, Purcell) and a coach with experience in Craig Ramsay. And I do believe Dallas Eakins will have learned a mountain of lessons from the first season.
  14. Really? Eakins talks like the players had to learn and he was wise all along. Eakins has an arrogance about him, but that doesn’t mean he’s a crappy coach. We have to be mindful of his actions and perhaps less focused on his irritating tendency to point at others. That’s a bad habit for a priest, but kind of superfluous for an NHL coach. When Eakins speaks about the game—strategy, handling of players, situations—he’s on point and highly creative. There’s a big old brain there, here’s hoping Edmonton can tap into it and also let’s hope Eakins doesn’t ass his way to ruining Yakupov. I’m certainly prepared to fly another sortie with this coach.
  15. And if he brains Yak? Hold back your water, we’re talking Hall right now.
  16. How good IS Hall? He’s matching Tavares, marching in lock-step. Taylor Hall is an impact player, a revelation and he’s doing it against the toughest division in the infantry. He’s all-world. I love the guy.
  17. Can he make his linemates better? Oh yeah, all day. ALL day.
  18. Why are the possession stats so bad? Dellow’s drilling all over the county on that, and it seems to come down to strategy and setup. I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer on this stuff, but generally speaking Edmonton does well when Hall gains possession of the neutral and offensive zone, and are everyman or worse when playing dump and chase. They’re also addled on their set plays (this is all pure theft from Dellow, if you’re not reading him then you’re missing the plot).
  19. What’s a hockey IPP? Individual Points Percentage – The percentage of goals scored by players team while player is on the ice that the player had a point on. Source of definition: HockeyAnalysis.com.
  20. Why are people talking about Hall’s IPP? Because it’s so high, 98.1, and is the highest among NHL forwards who played 1000 or more minutes a year ago.
  21. Is it repeatable? One suspects that it is not repeatable at that level, that’s pretty much all of the points scored while he’s on the ice. In 2012-13, Hall’s IPP was 94.3, which was fourth among NHL forwards, and in 2011-12 it was 75%.
  22. Why would this be happening? In my mind’s eye, I recall Hall with the most under control sorties and Hall being the best at puck retrieval on that line. He’s also a brilliant passer and shot the puck 250 times. After that, I’m out, don’t know.
  23. But he pushes the river? Yes. When the Oilers have their most promising sorties, Hall is carrying the mail, the defensemen have their sphincters at full sail, and Ebs and the Nuge are looking for a place to be useful as well as ornamental.
  24. That seems incorrect, they should share the load. I welcome you to skip back up to the top of the page and check out Hall’s 5×5 scoring and where it ranks league wide.
  25. Maybe put him on another line? Hmm. I’m not against it, but the line itself delivered at even strength, why would you want to break it up?
  26. This IPP thing is a problem! Well, no. It’s not a problem per se, it just isn’t something the Oilers can count on year over year. There’s luck involved. What you want is for the Oilers to fix the Corsi for % at 5×5, to send more sorties the other way, to give Hall the situations in which he can push the river.
  27. As in the past? Yes. As in the past. Hall’s cashing in on a ridiculous number of his chances, and that isn’t (from what the experts say) a completely sustainable skill. So we get back to possession and having the ball on the other 20-yard line more often than the Oilers’ 20-yard line.
  28. We’re back to the Corgis? Back to the Corgis.
  29. The dogs were barking last year. The dogs were FLEEING last year.
  30. Why this song? Lots of reasons. The line “I wish I had a river I could skate away on” fits these seasons of frustration and turmoil. Plus it’s about being somewhere new and wishing you had the things from the old place. In Joni Mitchell’s case, she’s in California and who can complain, but it’s coming on Christmas and there’s no snow, no trees, no river to skate on, and she misses those things because they are dear to her. Hall? Well, he’s in the NHL and a brilliant player and who can complain, but it’s coming on five years, no playoffs, no playoff race, and a selloff every deadline, and he misses the playoffs and the OHL championship and the Memorial Cup and the World Juniors because that’s what drives him.
  31. So it’s depressing. Well, more desperate than depressing. Have you ever felt trapped under the weight of something hopeless? Like you’re in a relationship or a job, and begin to realize—several years into the relationship—that maybe the person you chose, or the destination you flew to, or the team that drafted you—has issues and miles and things you can’t overcome? And you’re committed to the goal, and failure is not an option, and yet there is just so much you cannot control and it’s a lot to deal with for you.
  32. So it’s depressing. Yes. Yes, I guess so.
  33. Anything else? The line in the song “Oh, I wish I had a river so long, I would teach my feet to fly.” What an incredible lyric. I think it fits Taylor Hall perfectly, he can fly.
  34. So, in summary, better seasons ahead? For player and team. MacT is digging out from the five years of neglect by hammering in nails and slapping on paint, and Taylor Hall and the boys are maturing and approaching their prime. And in Taylor Hall’s incredible case, he’s pushing the river even when the river overflows against him. Last season was incredible in an unusual way. Imagine what this young man would do on a good team. The river trembles.

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55 Responses to "RE 14-15 TAYLOR HALL: RIVER"

  1. Factotum Pochemuchka says:

    When you announced that you would be using Joni Mitchell for the RE series, I swear the first thing I thought is, “I like the choice. There have been many times while watching the Oilers over the past several years that I’ve wished I had a river I could skate away on.” And it went on from there.

    Funny that it would be the first JM song you chose. This is going to be fun.

  2. nycoil says:

    Point #10 is so true. I liken Hall to a bright star that’s hidden behind a cloud as well. The team is the cloud and the media can’t see the star because they are so fixated on the cloud. To me, Tavares is currently the better player but it is so close you can barely slide a piece of paper between the two. Yet Tavares is a Hart Finalist when his team squeaked into the playoffs and Hall makes no one’s top 10 players list.

    Let’s hope they will see him for what he is when the cloud finally breaks. But I have a feeling the Eastern media bias is going to deny him his due until the Oilers aren’t just a playoff team, but a contender for Stanley. Although I could see them also saying then he wasn’t good enough to lead them himself!

    Think your RE is spot on. If he plays 77 we could be talking 90pts. Should be, in fact.

  3. Jesse says:

    Beautiful song, beautiful write up. It’s this kind of sentiment that you touched on LT — the longing and desperation that Hall must feel after year after year of losing — that makes me cheer more for the player than the logo. If the logo is doomed to be sunk by the Tambellini years (not saying it is, but another dreadful season might make a pretty convincing case), then you’d hope that a player as good as Hall would eventually find the promised land in another land. I’d hate to see him go, but dammit if Hemsky and Horcoff hoist Stanley together I might weep.

  4. soup says:

    Love Hall, and can’t wait to see how he continues to learn this game. There is one really big thing to watch from my perspective. Last year, his early zone departures when looking for that long break out pass, left his defense and centre high and dry in their own zone. I don’t know that we can blame this on a specific team strategy, or if it is Hall cheating for offense. Either way, bad idea more times than not.

    This year, if we see his continued maturation as a hockey player, we’ll see that half second longer at the top of the circle in his own end before turning on the jets. It will make a world of difference in allowing the D time to make that first pass, and ultimately lead to better team results.

    Hope it happens.

  5. Pouzar says:

    Jezzuz I hope we make the playoffs soon so all this silly woe is me crap is replaced with “man we are awesome”. :)

  6. RexLibris says:

    LT, I’m curious as to your response to the constant refrain from critics about Hall’s defensive game.

    I’m still hearing comments like “he can’t be bothered to backcheck” and “great offensive player but he needs to understand there are three zones in the rink”.

    Now, I’m working off of saw-him-good stuff here, but to my eye Hall is covering his man and very attentive to backpressure. That Nugent-Hopkins beats him to the backcheck just speaks to his commitment to the discipline more than any disinterest by Hall.

    Taken in concert with Eakins’ comments last year about Hall’s goal being to become the best LW (and perhaps forward) in the league with attention to every facet of the forward game (save perhaps faceoffs), would seem to support this but can also be dismissed as fan-friendly verbal.

    Also, your RE alter-ego must be having a good summer. His snippy/60 is way down.

  7. RexLibris says:

    Pouzar:
    Jezzuz I hope we make the playoffs soon so all this silly woe is me crap is replaced with “man we are awesome”.

    I’d just like it to happen so the constant criticisms about the Oilers’ lack of accountability and losing culture stuff gets shoved in the dumpster.

    As Brownlee would say SIUTBOHC.

  8. Racki says:

    I hate the summer because this is the time we are always overcome with excitement for the new season. I say this phrase every year, but “this time I really believe this team will be a lot better.” December, she’s a cruel month. November isn’t much better. If the team survives those, I’ll be mighty happy.

    I think there’s a lot of big changes. This can be good and bad. Bad in the sense that with changes sometimes come an adjustment period. Good because when you are such a terrible team for so long.. you want to see big changes. I think unlike past years, some good thought was put into who was acquired to plug holes. This isn’t so much a case of hoping that 5 or 6 new guys suddenly play way above their level. Aulie is about the only name I find suspect. But I don’t think he’ll see a tonne of ice time. Still no stand out blueliner, but there is enough here to fake their way into several extra wins.

  9. B S says:

    I hope this season Eakins is past the rookie coaching phase and realizes he needs to keep the 106 line together. Teach them defensive hockey or whatever, but they are all better together, and the only other players on this team who can keep up with them are Schultz and possibly Yak. He can (and did) double shift Hall to give a line a boost, but he needs to realize that our #1 line is our #1 line.

    Regarding Hall’s reputation: that Lindy Ruff sideburns shit is going to haunt him until he hoists a cup as a captain, despite Ruff having accomplished nothing for the last decade and never having coached Hall before and making that determination basically inside of a single game.

  10. Lowetide says:

    Rex: I think that verbal comes from the team’s overall failure and is probably overrated as a criticism. Hall’s responsibilities defensively aren’t massive (he’s a winger) and from my recall he does in fact hold his position consistently. As to leaving early, I think that’s probably true, Edmonton does that with all their wingers iirc.

    And that may be something the team needs to look at, Hall or other. However, if you’re going to cheat for offense, this would be the fellow to do it with for sure.

  11. John Chambers says:

    Hall – Arcobello – Purcell

    I’d like to see this trio line up this year. Alongside Hall, I believe Arcobello can put up 5×5 scoring at near RNH’s pace, while the vet on starboard side will help keep the corgi’s at bay.

    It also sets up a very nice looking 2nd line of Perron-RNH-Eberle.

    Hall is the only guy on the team who can mask inexperience or other faults of his linemates come away smelling clean, and have everybody put up big digits.

  12. Jordan says:

    What do you do when you have a player like Taylor Hall, who is full of win, on a team that has been filled with suck for how many years?

    Who will blink first – the unstoppable force that is Taylor Hall, or the immovable object that is the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Team? My heart tells me the Kingston Kannonball will drag this team kicking and screaming back into relevance. My mind… is not convinced.

    I hope this is the year all the pieces click, and there’s magic in Rexall next May.

    Hmm… 2015-16 will be 10 years since the cup run. I wonder if the Oilers will be back in the Playoffs by then?

  13. JohnnyOilfan says:

    LT,

    theScore ‏@theScore · 1h
    Report: Avalanche’s Ryan O’Reilly elects 1-year term, seeking $6.75M salary in arbitration. http://thesco.re/Ukjlgz

    Seems the chances of Avs trading O’reilly now has increased. What do you think it would cost for the Oilers to get him?

  14. Lowetide says:

    JohnnyOilfan:
    LT,

    theScore ‏@theScore· 1h
    Report: Avalanche’s Ryan O’Reilly elects 1-year term, seeking $6.75M salary in arbitration. http://thesco.re/Ukjlgz

    Seems the chances of Avs trading O’reilly now has increased.What do you think it would cost for the Oilers to get him?

    Just wrote about it!

    http://www.puckrant.com/slapshot/OREILLYS_SUMMER/3785

  15. JohnnyOilfan says:

    Lowetide,

    Thanks, just saw your tweet as well. Oreilly would be a great 2C behind Nuge and give Neon Leon some time to develope. Once Neon Leon is ready, Oreilly can be be moved over to the wing. I realize you also have to be willing to give up something to get something, but I wouldn’t have Eberle to be included. I would rather risk the 2015 1st rounder in a package and do the 3-1 deal.

  16. Bag of Pucks says:

    I see a lot of Steve Yzerman in Taylor Hall. And I think that bodes extremely well for a team, player and fanbase with Cup aspirations.

    Stevie Wonder finished his career as such a consummate professional, leader, two way player, playmaker, etc. that it’s easy to forget what an absolutely game changing offensive dynamo and sniper he was in his youth.

    Like Hall, Yzerman came onto a team with a LOT of holes, and early in his career his frustration with this was quite evident. He would often just grab the puck and tear through the other team on his own, cos that seemed like his best option – and all too often it was. Anyone who watched the dynasty Oilers dispatch the Wings in the playoffs in the mid-eighties will surely remember Yzerman as a constant and consistent threat – in some games matching Gretz rush for rush.

    Like Hall & the Oil, it took the Red Wings a fairly long time to build a championship core around Yzerman. Lidstrom’s, Shanahan’s, Fedorov’s and Osgood’s don’t fall off trees. The Wings pinned the C on Yzerman at age 21, the team showed solid incremental improvement after his arrival, and free agency/player movement wasn’t as frequent back then, so I don’t think Yzerman posed the same ‘flight risk’ that a player like Hall does in the modern era. Keeping Hall ‘invested’ in the plan must be a constant Top 5 on priority on MacT’s to do list.

    Like Hall, Yzerman was asked to commit to playing a complete game, and when he did so, both he and the team benefited greatly from having their best player dominate play across the full 200ft.

    Taylor vs Tyler is no longer a thing for me, cos I absolutely see greatness in our #4. Seguin may be matching his point production, but Hall has CHAMPION written all over him. To lift Lord Stanley, you have to have that one player that will lead the charge and most importantly, will inspire others to follow you into the breech. Hall is THAT player. For this reason alone, I’m really hoping Eakins finds a way to get Yakupov on the same line as ‘Chance’ this season. Having these two compete and push each other is a vital ingredient in turning this team into a contender imho.

    Btw LT, really looking forward to the RE this year (probably my favorite series of all the wonderful ones you do), and loving the choice of Joni Mitchell. She’s one artist I must admit to neglecting in my early years, and the series should should be a good gateway into her catalogue.

  17. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Because I noodled around with IPP and the CHL players, I can offer some modest insight here.

    1. “regression” isn’t really a thing with IPP like it is with say SH% or SV%. It doesn’t tend to have the kinds of wild luck-driven swings. It’s just not that kind of stat. As a rule of thumb, a high IPP isn’t (as it is for say SH%) a bad thing, in fact it is almost always a good thing, a good indicator of a player’s ability to drive scoring.

    2. that said, in rare cases, like Hall last year (where he was riding over 100% for a time), regression is a real thing.

    3. regression in IPP (when it happens) isn’t to be interpreted in the same way as regression in other stats. If, for example, a player’s linemates and D are replaced with better players, that player’s IPP will most likely fall, however, that player’s points and point production could easily rise at the same time. THe point being, more points are being scored all around, he just isn’t in on such a high share of them anymore.

    4. as a rule of thumb, players with several years of high IPP tend to be very good to elite players. two points here: a) IPP is best taken in large samples, multiple years; b) there is a strong correlation between impact scorers and high IPP.

  18. Bag of Pucks says:

    Would think the list of Oilers you wouldn’t deal for O’Reilly is shorter than the list of ones you would?

    Hall, Nuge, Ebs, Yak, Nurse, Drai are the only ones I wouldn’t consider offering – and I’d have to think long and hard on Yakupov.

    The biggest concern I would have about O’Reilly is his potential longterm impact on the salary structure and culture. RoR is an absolute gamer though. Could see him as a Selke candidate in the right situation.

  19. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Because I noodled around with IPP and the CHL players, I can offer some modest insight here.

    1. “regression” isn’t really a thing with IPP like it is with say SH% or SV%. It doesn’t tend to have the kinds of wild luck-driven swings. It’s just not that kind of stat. As a rule of thumb, a high IPP isn’t (as it is for say SH%) a bad thing, in fact it is almost always a good thing, a good indicator of a player’s ability to drive scoring.

    2. that said, in rare cases, like Hall last year (where he was riding over 100% for a time), regression is a real thing.

    3. regression in IPP (when it happens) isn’t to be interpreted in the same way as regression in other stats. If, for example, a player’s linemates and D are replaced with better players, that player’s IPP will most likely fall, however, that player’s points and point production could easily rise at the same time. THe point being, more points are being scored all around, he just isn’t in on such a high share of them anymore.

    4. as a rule of thumb, players with several years of high IPP tend to be very good to elite players. two points here: a) IPP is best taken in large samples, multiple years; b) there is a strong correlation between impact scorers and high IPP.

    Rom: Thanks for this, very good information.

  20. Hammers says:

    Guess my Re is close to yours . I showed 87 points playing same # of games as last year 75 . I decided to pick my lines and give the line a # for goals & assists . I gave Hall 34 , Ebs 30 & RNH 26 for 90 goals . Trouble is you would need 100 + from this line to have any chance at playoffs because the drop off for the next 3 lines is huge . . Should be interesting over the next couple of weeks .

  21. Bag of Pucks says:

    Btw LT, given that you’re such a fount of information about hockey history and the readers enjoy it so much when you wax nostalgic about players on those old Golden Seals, Bruins and Kings teams, it might be fun to consider a quick old school ‘comparable’ for each of the players in the RE?

    Does Ebs remind you of Shutt? Yakupov of Kharlamov? etc.

    I for one would get a kick out of reading which ‘old timey’ guys our current players remind you of.

  22. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    If anyone is interested, Scott Reynolds (of CnB and NHLnumbers) has written extensively on IPP. More than a dozen articles.

    For forwards, these two work as a kind of catchall intro

    http://nhlnumbers.com/2012/10/15/individual-point-percentage-for-2008-2012

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2011/8/19/2372908/individual-point-percentage-in-2010-11

  23. One-Timer says:

    Q&A #23 is a beauty.

  24. Jon K says:

    The similarities of Hall to Messier came early on, but it really is amazing how Hall is beginning to resemble Messier more and more. The transition to centre from LW would have made the comparison absolutely complete.

    They even look quite similar, hopefully Hall holds onto his hair longer:

    http://postmediaedmonton.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/messier_3.jpg

  25. Bar_Qu says:

    This is a great post – I read it while listening to the song (normally can’t do that at work) and it really set the tone for the end points. Plus I really enjoy Joni Mitchell and look forward to discovering some of her music I didn’t know about.

    As for Hall, well, what more can be said about the guy? He has done everything except be on a winning team, which would get him the accolades he deserves. I hope the Oilers shock everyone with a surprisingly strong season in the WC, causing a microscope to be placed on Hall. Then he might finally get some hardware and some good press.

    But that’s as much me being July optimistic as anything.

  26. borisnikov says:

    If anyone else has followed that BTN link, take a look at Hall’s A2/60 rates… or just follow me here…

    11-12 – 0.33 A2/60
    12-13 – 0.44 A2/60
    13-14 – 1.02 A2/60

    The number from this year puts him in the #1 position in the league for players with >30 gp. The high IPP probably has a significant amount to do with his high rate on those second assists. I believe I’ve read, at some point (I’m not a link monster like Rom), that being awarded second assists is not as much due to skill as it is luck. His goal and first assist numbers are still strong, but not as strong as the 12-13 season where he really drove the bus on primary points.

    12-13 – 85.7% of his points were primary
    13-14 – 64.9% of his points were primary

    My 2 cents are that Hall will have to see a jump in his primary production to keep up the P/60 number, because the A2/60 of 1.02 probably wont hold. Unless Eakins and Ramsey get the possession #s sorted out, we may see a dip in Hall’s production.

    **edit** In 11-12 84.0% of his points were primary.

  27. 106 and 106 says:

    Best line of the night; “the defensemen have their sphincters at full sail.”

  28. Showerhead says:

    borisnikov:
    If anyone else has followed that BTN link, take a look at Hall’s A2/60 rates… or just follow me here…

    11-12 – 0.33 A2/60
    12-13 – 0.44 A2/60
    13-14 – 1.02 A2/60

    The number from this year puts him in the #1 position in the league for players with >30 gp. The high IPP probably has a significant amount to do with his high rate on those second assists. I believe I’ve read, at some point (I’m not a link monster like Rom), that being awarded second assists is not as much due to skill as it is luck. His goal and first assist numbers are still strong, but not as strong as the 12-13 season where he really drove the bus on primary points.

    12-13 – 85.7% of his points were primary
    13-14 – 64.9% of his points were primary

    My 2 cents are that Hall will have to see a jump in his primary production to keep up the P/60 number, because the A2/60 of 1.02 probably wont hold.Unless Eakins and Ramseyget the possession #s sorted out, we may see a dip in Hall’s production.

    **edit** In 11-12 84.0% of his points were primary.

    To my mind, this is vital information. Excellent find and thank you for posting it. The variance in secondary assists is one of those items where intuition and math tend to agree and it is definitely something to look at with respect to Taylor Hall.

    Hell of a player though, definitely a horse.

  29. godot10 says:

    John Chambers:
    Hall – Arcobello – Purcell

    I’d like to see this trio line up this year. Alongside Hall, I believe Arcobello can put up 5×5 scoring at near RNH’s pace, while the vet on starboard side will help keep the corgi’s at bay.

    It also sets up a very nice looking 2nd line of Perron-RNH-Eberle.

    Hall is the only guy on the team who can mask inexperience or other faults of his linemates come away smelling clean, and have everybody put up big digits.

    The other team is going to put out their best players against Hall. So you give Hall all the help you can. I.e. you play him with the best help.

    It is idiotic to load Hall down with a ball and chain on each ankle.

    Win the 15 minutes of EV that Hall’s line is on the ice. Win the special teams, and you’ve shortened the game to 35 minutes, likely up a goal. This was basically Krueger’s strategy, but he didn’t have an experienced assistant coach to help him help the other guys survive the other 35 mintues. Hall, Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle have already show that they can tilt the ice or pretty much play anyone else power vs. power.

    Winning Hall’s 15 minutes of EV also builds momentum and confidence for the other 35 minutes.

  30. FastOil says:

    It’s part of Oiler lore to be ignored and underestimated at the player level at least, even by Oiler fans. It makes it awesome if MacT can pull things together and Hall starts annihilating the opposition – where did he come from?

    The league has moved many times to deal with the Oilers; in the 80′s with rule changes, in the 2010′s with lottery rule changes, both so the others could keep up.

    The Edmonton Oilers, a powerhouse at both ends of the league.

  31. Rocknrolla says:

    Off topic, but just popped into my head with the Ramsay discussion.

    Did Ramsay coach Kovalchuck? If so does that bode well for him maybe having some sensitivity to how to use and coach Yakupov?

    I can se him saying ” you know you remind me a lot of Ilya, let me show you a couple things he used to work on….”

  32. Bank Shot says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised to se Hall’s numbers drop this season, but if they do no one should care.

    He will still be a beast and we will see it nightly. He’s been the number one reason by a mile to watch this sad sack club the last few seasons and I’m sure that will remain the same this year.

  33. VanOil says:

    RexLibris: Also, your RE alter-ego must be having a good summer. His snippy/60 is way down

    I had forgot how much I appreciate LT’s alter-ego. I am glad LT is willing to risk/share his mental health issues with us all.

    I agree that the snippy/60 is down so far but we are dealing with a small sample size, Taylor Hall and Joni Mitchell. It will be interesting to see if Joni can keep repressing the inner rage.The Yak RE will likely be the bellwether of the series/coach and season.

  34. borisnikov says:

    Showerhead: Excellent find and thank you for posting it.

    As Cory Cross once said in an interview after scoring a goal, even blind squirrels find nuts every once in a while. :D

    Thanks for the compliment anyways!

  35. nycoil says:

    Sobotka arb hearing was today. No word in this article on salary but he owes the Blues one year before he is an UFA. No surprise really.
    http://blues.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=726719

  36. ashley says:

    Great post. LOVE the choice of artist this year.

  37. nycoil says:

    justDOit,

    Thanks. So the Blues won.

    Do we think arbitrators still rule on traditional box cars instead of advanced stats to make their rulings?

    Or was Sobotka poorly represented today with his recent agent changes, etc.?

  38. justDOit says:

    nycoil,
    I would say they won the arbitration battle, but lost the war in doing so. It’s not like if the Oilers had lost a player of Sobo’s ability, but St. Louis is not going to be as good in replacing his minutes with Ott (spits…).

    And I wonder about the capability of Sobo’s representation, and of the ‘independence’ of the arbitrator. About all they had to say for him is, ‘look – they’re paying Berglund $3.7M…’

  39. Pouzar says:

    E.F.

    The Oilers are still looking for a center as they don’t want to rush Leon Draisaitl.

  40. nycoil says:

    justDOit,

    Yes. Agree on battle vs. War. Sobotka’s side was clearly upset. I wonder if he comes back next year to serve his year and hit UFA or not.

  41. RexLibris says:

    VanOil: I had forgot how much I appreciate LT’s alter-ego. I am glad LT is willing to risk/share his mental health issues with us all.

    I agree that the snippy/60 is down so far but we are dealing with a small sample size, Taylor Hall and Joni Mitchell. It will be interesting to see if Joni can keep repressing the inner rage.The Yak RE will likely be the bellwether of the series/coach and season.

    Oilers fans – mental health issues are just a symptom of condition.

    I remember saying back in the late 90s early 00s that if I ever developed a heart condition I was going to have to stop watching the games, and that was when they won a few!

    Yeah, I think LT’s AE is going to have a field day with Yakupov, Petry and maybe the whole Draisaitl/Arcobello thing.

    Provided he’s stocked his liquor cabinet well enough, he’ll survive.

  42. RexLibris says:

    nycoil:
    justDOit,

    Yes. Agree on battle vs. War. Sobotka’s side was clearly upset. I wonder if he comes back next year to serve his year and hit UFA or not.

    I think his agent probably looks at a trade. Perhaps to a cap-free team with some roster holes who would be willing to overpay for a player shy on offense but long on metrics in exchange for a draft pick.

    Hmmm, let me check my list of possible suitors…

  43. wheatnoil says:

    RexLibris: I think his agent probably looks at a trade. Perhaps to a cap-free team with some roster holes who would be willing to overpay for a player shy on offense but long on metrics in exchange for a draft pick.

    Hmmm, let me check my list of possible suitors…

    I think, now that the arbitration salary is set, if Sobotka comes back to the next NHL year has to be at $2.7M, it can’t be renegotiated to another salary. So, if he plans to come back at all, no matter where he plays it would be for $2.7M. (This is my understanding… anyone understand different?)

    Which means, if he wants a higher NHL salary, his only route is to play out a year and hit UFA, so going to the KHL makes no sense. I don’t think he’s coming back.

  44. Lowetide says:

    speeds talked about this the other day, but can Sabotka come back THIS summer and play out the contract in 2014-15? If he can, that might force the Blues into a trade (they signed Ott).

  45. wheatnoil says:

    Lowetide:
    speeds talked about this the other day, but can Sabotka come back THIS summer and play out the contract in 2014-15? If he can, that might force the Blues into a trade (they signed Ott).

    http://www.truebluesblog.com/2014/07/arbitration-hearing-between-blues.html

    I don’t know how valid the above information is (I haven’t read info from this blog before), but it reads pretty credible. Sounds like Sobotka’s already in Russia and reported for the start of training camp. Apparently he wants to come back to the NHL but not with the Blues. They asked for a trade, but Armstrong refused. Armstrong knows he holds all the cards here and would prefer to have at least a year with Sobotka, if not this year then the year after.

    The report seems to indicate, though, that Sobotka returning to the NHL this year is highly unlikely.

    Too bad. Sobotka would’ve been a nice fit with the Oilers and a one year contract at $3M (what he was asking for) would’ve been a nice fit salary-wise for the Oilers, depending on the ask from the Blues.

    Edit: I realize I didn’t answer your question… the article explicitly states that Sobotka as an out clause after either year one or two of his KHL contract, implying he has no out for this coming year and talks about him being in the KHL a foregone conclusion. However, it does not explicitly state that Sobotka couldn’t have a change in heart and come back this year.

  46. Deadman Waiting says:

    I recall reading an interview with Joni ten or twenty years ago where she confessed that she just sat out in the back yard and tuned her guitar to the crows, which caused her problems down the road because her fingers would eventually forget those novel tunings and she wouldn’t be able to perform some of her famous pieces even when the audience was stomping their feet and ready to bliss out.

    I couldn’t find that in a quick search, but I found this instead.

    Full transcript of Joni Mitchell’s interview with The Sun’s John Mackie

    Mitchell: Well we have this one track, Woodstock, and I have the drummer of my dreams. He grew up on my music, he’s a black kid from Shreveport, Louisiana. Black rhythm lays back on the beat. With dancers, Gene Kelly would always say the dancer dances ahead of the beat, so that the music is following him. But when you’re playing to a black drummer, they’re playing back on the beat and you can’t do the Gene Kelly thing. So you have to know how to dance to black music, like a black.

    So I came in on Woodstock with this black drummer playing, and the south is hot and humid. You relax into the beat, you just let your body kind of drop into the beat, whereas white people are taught to count, one-two-three-four, in their thinking. So I came in and I looked at Woodstock, and they were way ahead of the drummer. It looked white.

    In fact, it was a lot of orientals [laughs], and great dancers. I said ‘Swing your hips wider.’ So on Woodstock, the hips swing in a very exaggerated way, which is good, because we’re depicting the Summer of Love and that emancipated sensuality. But just that one little thing, by swinging their hips wider to each side they lock up better to a black drummer.

    There’s a few little things like that in pop music, that come down to feel. You can’t count feel, it’s a nuance on time, you know what I mean?

    Grand-Maitre: Exactly.

    Sun: What’s the name of the drummer?

    Mitchell: Brian Blade.

    Why is that so damn funny? Suddenly—with just the name—the “Material Girl” update on Woodstock turns into Boogie Nights.

    Mitchell: Not just one genius. There’s Wayne Shorter, there’s a lot of geniuses on the records as well. And there aren’t that many geniuses in any generation. A lot of people they call geniuses are great talents, but a genius is something unique. Wayne Shorter is a genius, Brian Blade, I think he’s a genius too as a drummer. Although he’s not on a lot of things in this ballet.

    It’s an staggeringly long and articulate interview (centered on how Bush-era oilmen tend not to fund anti-war ballet). After quoting so much, I feel compelled to tell everyone here not hopped up on Ritalin to go read the darn thing.

    I actually tend not to play the daily music track very often. Reading consumes me. I’ve got nothing left. My brain explodes if anything blinks, or pops, or slides, or sizzles, or croons, or soars once I’ve opened up the comprehension conduit. My FF is so locked down, an animated GIF requires more layers of approval to shake its can than a technical intern at IBM installing a “black” quantum intuition module into Watson’s right temporal lobe.

    Yes, I know. It’s my loss.

  47. Deadman Waiting says:

    Man, if I were twelve, I could go back to that passage and substitute “penis” for “genius” and “penetration” for “generation” and then sit back and laugh my ass off at something disturbingly remote.

    I really do wonder if the Cookie Monster is responsible to planting the facepalm meme into our collective four-year-old.

    Weirder things have happened.

    Lang received a writing credit for the Rolling Stones song, “Anybody Seen My Baby?”, whose chorus sounds strikingly similar to “Constant Craving”. Jagger and Richards claimed to have never heard the song before and when they discovered the similarity prior to the song’s release, were flummoxed as to how the songs could be so similar. Jagger then soon discovered his daughter listening to a recording of “Constant Craving” on her stereo and realized he had heard the song before many times but only subliminally. The two gave Lang credit, along with her co-writer Ben Mink, to avoid any possible lawsuits. Afterwards, Lang said she was “completely honoured and flattered” to receive the songwriting credit.

    Here are a couple of humorous images not suitable for the Texas oil patch or equality stuffy office buildings:

    – strategic mirror
    – pinstripe Twizzler

    ———

    Just for fun, I’ll tag on a paragraph I rediscovered in my notes last night, from a book I read more than a year ago:

    Stress also lends more power to each of the mechanisms that drive overeating though its capacity to heighten our arousal. “If you’re in an agitated state, a stimulus will act on you more, will generate a little more vigor,” said Bernard Balleine. Call it the paper-clip-on-the-rat’s-tail phenomenon. Pinching the animal’s tail with a paper clip is a mild stressor—not so strong as to interfere with the animal’s behaviour, but strong enough to intensify all its usual activities.

    That’s from The End of Overeating.

  48. "Steve Smith" says:

    John Mitchell? The Watergate guy?

  49. Ryan says:

    Lowetide:
    speeds talked about this the other day, but can Sabotka come back THIS summer and play out the contract in 2014-15? If he can, that might force the Blues into a trade (they signed Ott).

    Kind of ironic isn’t it?

    Players can sidestep their contractual obligations to the NHL to play in the KHL–yet they need an out clause from their KHL contracts to return to fulfill their NHL obligations…

    Where’s Dellow when you need him?

    I vaguely recall Armstrong quoted about possibly seeing Sobotka at training camp this year which implies that he has an out clause for this season.

  50. cc says:

    Hall, blah blah blah.

    Four years ago we shouldn’t have picked him! Three years ago we could have traded him straight across to get Seguin. Today we’d have to throw in a second or third rounder with Hall to get Seguin.

  51. Lowetide says:

    cc:
    Hall, blah blah blah.

    Four years ago we shouldn’t have picked him! Three years ago we could have traded him straight across to get Seguin.Today we’d have to throw in a second or third rounder with Hall to get Seguin.

    I disagree with everything you said after “Hall”.

  52. cc says:

    Fair enough! Still like your blog.

  53. Lowetide says:

    cc:
    Fair enough!Still like your blog.

    Oh yeah?!?!!? :-)

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