THE MOROZ PROJECT

Tracking Mitchell Moroz and his junior progress has been just short of an obsession on this blog. I blame Scott Reynolds, who did all of the original work (here). However, it’s probably me. Moroz is a fascinating player because of his skill set. Big, fast, enforcer who can play the game and impact the offense as a complementary winger. Let’s begin by having another look at Reynolds draft +1 season to get an idea about Moroz at 18:

REYNOLDS LIST (DRAFT +1)

PLAYER GPG PPG
MILAN LUCIC 0.44 1.05
SHAWN MATTHIAS 0.58 1.04
ERIC TANGRADI 0.38 0.95
COLTON GILLIES 0.47 0.91
BLAKE COMEAU 0.44 0.90
BRETT CLOUTHIER 0.20 0.56
MITCHELL MOROZ 0.19 0.49
DANE BYERS 0.22 0.45

So at this point we’re looking at a ‘cup of coffee’ type player for NHL purposes, and a guy who might get a look as a curio. In this graph, all of the men went on to play 100 or more NHL games save Clouthier (who didn’t make the NHL) and Byers (who has played 14 NHL games in his career so far). As you can see, in his draft year plus one, Moroz fell a long way short of ‘in the window’ which would have started about .4 goals-per-game and .9 points-per-game.

REYNOLDS LIST (DRAFT +2)

PLAYER GPG PPG
MILAN LUCIC (NHL) 77GP, 8-19-27 BOSTON BRUINS
COLTON GILLIES (NHL) 45GP, 2-5-7 MINNESOTA WILD
ERIC TANGRADI .691 1.60
SHAWN MATTHIAS .604 1.49
BLAKE COMEAU .350 1.23
MITCHELL MOROZ .500 .900
BRETT CLOUTHIER .412 .838
DANE BYERS .296 .676

In the season just completed, Moroz has moved ahead of Clouthier and is now looking up at players who have managed more than 100 NHL games. His goal-scoring totals move him into the conversation with these prospects (at least imo) for the first time since he was drafted. The NHL equivalency on Moroz’ goals scored a year ago would be 12 in 82 games. Not quite Ethan Moreau, but a sharp improvement on Steve MacIntyre.

EVEN-STRENGTH SCORING (DRAFT +1)

PLAYER EV STATS GPG PPG
SHAWN MATTIAS 64, 24-22-46 0.38 0.72
MILAN LUCIC 70, 17-27-44 0.24 0.63
ERIC TANGRADI 56, 13-19-32 0.23 0.57
BRETT CLOUTHIER 65, 11-22-33 0.17 0.51
MITCHELL MOROZ 69, 10-17-27 0.14 0.39
COLTON GILLIES 58, 10-12-22 0.17 0.38
BLAKE COMEAU 65, 14-9-23 0.22 0.35
DANE BYERS 65, 5-6-11 0.08 0.17

Scott modified the numbers in the original graph to reflect scoring for leagues, I haven’t done that for any of the graphs that follow. This is a year ago, even-strength scoring. Moroz is just shy of mid-pack, and I think this represents the group better (Gillies takes off for the coast, but too early and that skews the information. I doubt Gillies is superior to more than three of these kids at the most).

EVEN-STRENGTH SCORING (DRAFT +2)

PLAYER EV STATS GPG PPG
MILAN LUCIC BOSTON BRUINS NHL
COLTON GILLIES MINNESOTA WILD NHL
ERIC TANGRADI 55, 25-27-52 0.45 0.95
SHAWN MATTHIAS 53, 16-22-38 0.30 0.72
MITCHELL MOROZ 70, 25-24-49 0.36 0.70
BRETT CLOUTHIER 68, 19-25-44 0.28 0.65
BLAKE COMEAU 60, 13-24-37 0.22 0.62
DANE BYERS 71, 12-13-25 0.17 0.35

This puts Moroz into a different view compared to the rest of the group. Now, he played on a very good team, but some of these characters also had some legit help. I’m still of a mind to exclude Gillies from the group, but even with that it’s interesting to see Moroz and Matthias this close at evens in their draft +2 seasons. They are NOT similar players, but at least last season Matthias played with a group of forwards one would associate with bottom 6F’s.

At this point, I’m prepared to suggest the comp that best fits in style is Blake Comeau. Now, I don’t think Moroz is a guy who’ll score 24 goals in an NHL season, but Comeau is a similar offensive player (especially at evens) and we should assume he represents the outer marker for Mitchell Moroz. All the young man has to do is develop at the AHL level and show coach Nelson (and then Eakins) he can take and make a pass, that the play will not die on his stick. NHL coaches have shown a long and consistent devotion to players of this type IF they don’t cost them defensively and can complement offensive players.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

monroe8Another big day on the Lowdown with big talent on the line. Jonathan Willis will join me at 10:05 and I’ll ask him why he hates Justin Schultz!!!?!?! Not really, but we’ll discuss that and more re: the Oilers. After that, we’ll be joined by Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Dispatch and we’ll talk Rams, Bradford and that sharp new Blues uniform. At 11, Rob Pepper from Pepper and Dylon (Virgin 104.9) will talk about NFL Fantasy Drafts and why the Buffalo Bills are like a drug you wish you’d never met. I have a couple of irons in the fire for 11:25, we’ll see how she rolls, but there will be plenty of hockey talk I assure you.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide_ and your comments are appreciated and welcome. See you on the radio!!!

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46 Responses to "THE MOROZ PROJECT"

  1. blainer says:

    Watching Moroz play in the memorial cup he reminded of the way Clowe plays. His skating is similar as is his size. While Clowe’s numbers are not a great comparable by eye he is a very similar player. I do believe it took Clowe a couple of years on the farm to learn the game and I suspect they should do the same with Moroz. In my mind if developed properly he is a blue chip prospect. He is Not going to be Lucic but boy I would be very happy if he turns into a Clowe.

  2. Ducey says:

    I love watching Moroz play. He is that little bit crazy the Oilers have been missing in their lineup for a long time.

    Matheson reports that the Oilers are inviting this guy to camp.
    http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=57928

    My question. Why?

    15 pts in 109 games in the top Swiss league. Now 22 yrs old.

    They need tackling dummies? Is he someone’s nephew?

  3. Jordan says:

    See you on the radio

    I don’t think “see” means what you think it means.

    Either that or “radio” doesn’t mean what you think it means.

    W.R.T. M&M … If he can become Ethan Moreau minus the dumb penalties and the poor leadership, I would be thrilled. That’s a very helpful player.

  4. Woodguy says:

    Will certainly be interesting to see who Nelson plays Moroz with and what kind of role he is able to grab in OKC.

    Still a long shot for NHL career, but he’s in the system so I’m rooting for him.

  5. Woodguy says:

    Ducey:
    I love watching Moroz play.He is that little bit crazy the Oilers have been missing in their lineup for a long time.

    Matheson reports that the Oilers are inviting this guy to camp.
    http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=57928

    My question.Why?

    15 pts in 109 games in the top Swiss league. Now 22 yrs old.

    They need tackling dummies?Is he someone’s nephew?

    Perhaps Lennart Petrell was unavailable.

  6. Lowetide says:

    That has to be a rookie camp invite, no? Baltisberger is off off OFF Broadway for a true NHL prospect.

  7. slopitch says:

    I’m rooting for Moroz too. He made up a lot of ground on the pack last season. This year could be telling. If he can have another solid development year and make similar strides then we may have a player. Being an NHL player is a real accomplishment. Like I said, rooting for him…

  8. cahill says:

    I think that Moroz got a bad rap based on his draft number. If he was a 3rd – 4th round pick he’d be tracking decently for the role that he’s expected to play and he’s not responsible for being drafted that high.

    Last, April I was bored and I started to look at comparables regardless of position and wrote up this article quickly link at the bottom for anyone interested. His 18 year old season Moroz was way off the pace. But he rebounded enough last year to think there might be a player there. He’s within the pace of players such as Chris Neil, Derek Dorsett & Dwight King in their 19 year-old season. Add in that he’s played predominately on a defensive line, which I think most players that play this role are used to playing. I still think that he’s less than 25% to play 200 games but I’m not sure it’s as crazy to expect him to play as we thought. Another player that I typically compare Moroz too is Prust, who played on an offensive team in London, and Moroz is well ahead of him with regards to points.

    Now I know most players I chose are best case scenario, but my point is I think that Moroz has been too heavily criticized by the Edmonton fan base.

    http://oilersfuture.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/mitch-moroz/

  9. Jon K says:

    LT,

    How much should we consider the context of Moroz’s team and teammate when reviewing his numbers?

    If I recall correctly, the OK were a very good ES team throughout Moroz’s tenure, and more recently he played with some impact players (at the WHL level), specifically Lazar and Samuelson.

    I have to admit, I’ve been skeptical about the pick from the beginning and I’m very wary of relying upon performance numbers from the D+2 year of prospects playing on very good teams or with players capable of pushing the river at the CHL level.

  10. Hammers says:

    Jon K: LT,How much should we consider the context of Moroz’s team and teammate when reviewing his numbers?If I recall correctly, the OK were a very good ES team throughout Moroz’s tenure, and more recently he played with some impact players (at the WHL level), specifically Lazar and Samuelson. I have to admit, I’ve been skeptical about the pick from the beginning and I’m very wary of relying upon performance numbers from the D+2 year of prospects playing on very good teams or with players capable of pushing the river at the CHL level.

    Agreed . I wondered if those 2 dragged him along as I expect both to have NHL careers of 200 + games .Moroz may be in tough with the Barons to get decent playing time . Needs some luck !

  11. russ99 says:

    Due to his draft-day reach/Oil Kings associations/Tambi’s “Lucic hunt” and the fact that scoring most often doesn’t translate to the NHL level with this type of player and the kind of game he plays, Moroz is going to have to prove it for me to think that he has any chance of being an NHL regular.

    And his first chance to do that against men in the tough AHL will go a long way towards telling us if that will happen or not.

  12. Lois Lowe says:

    Someone mentioned the best ceiling comp for Moroz earlier in the thread, and it’s not Lucic, IMO. It’s Chris Neil.

  13. Bruce McCurdy says:

    So the criticism of Moroz seems to be that he couldn’t make the top 6 of a very good CHL team at 18 & generated mediocre offensive numbers in a shutdown role, and that he DID make the top 6 of a very good CHL team at 19 and therefore was dragged along by his superior linemates. Alrighty then.

    Oil Kings have been a good even strength team but a GREAT special teams team, especially in 2012-13 (an astonishing +47 in special teams goals over a 72-game season) and less so in 2013-14 (+20). But they’ve also certainly been a strong even strength team, finishing with an overall net goal differential of > +100 both years. They’ve also been the league’s top defensive team both years, which doesn’t show up in boxcars but isn’t a bad base line for player development.

  14. LMHF#1 says:

    I hope they trade him while there’s still buzz around his name.

    They should go chase the guy they really wanted. Mr. Samuelsson. He’s much more likely to be at least what people are desperately hoping Moroz will be.

  15. Bruce McCurdy says:

    LMHF#1:
    I hope they trade him while there’s still buzz around his name.

    They should go chase the guy they really wanted. Mr. Samuelsson. He’s much more likely to be at least what people are desperately hoping Moroz will be.

    The likelihood of the Coyotes trading Samuelsson, whose roots are in SCOTTSDALE ARIZONA, seems remote. Not often they have a local angle to sell, especially a big, greasy, skilled first-round draft choice. He’ll be a ‘Yote for a while, I expect.

  16. LMHF#1 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: The likelihood of the Coyotes trading Samuelsson, whose roots are in SCOTTSDALE ARIZONA, seems remote. Not often they have a local angle to sell, especially a big, greasy, skilled first-round draft choice. He’ll be a ‘Yote for a while, I expect.

    And if they decide that way it is fine. I just wouldn’t neglect making a strong offer if he’s a guy you really want (and they should).

    If you want a BMW and go buy a Kia hoping it will surprise you, you’ll just be back to buy the BMW later.

  17. Braden88 says:

    it seems everytime a prospect reaches a milestone theres always someone saying “trade him for this other guy we have all seen well and feel safer about”

    I think we need to remember to take our Fan Goggles off when looking at players. There will always be that other player we want instead of who we have. The fact is you draft your man and let him grow into what he is. you shouldn’t be trading him before you know what you have.

    If your always chasing the better player then you’ll never have the good players. Moroz is a decent to Good prospect at this point. lets be patient and let him grow. You cant tell a flower when to bloom!

  18. Jon K says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Fair enough, Bruce. Do you remember, did Moroz start the year on the top line with Lazar and then get moved down the lineup into the shutdown role?

    Generally speaking, I’m not entirely persuaded by arguments that players suffer from from being on good teams with depth. NCAA teams are obviously different, but I tend to believe that CHL teams ice the lineup that will most help them win. At this point it’s still a red flag to me, but I guess we will get our first look at the pro level this year.

    Chris Neil would seem like a good comparable but it’s hard to tell given that he was an older pick so went to pro for his D+2 year.

    Anyway, an interesting case study for a player with an interesting skillset.

  19. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Jon K:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    Fair enough, Bruce. Do you remember, did Moroz start the year on the top line with Lazar and then get moved down the lineup into the shutdown role?

    Generally speaking, I’m not entirely persuaded by arguments that players suffer from from being on good teams with depth. NCAA teams are obviously different, but I tend to believe that CHL teams ice the lineup that will most help them win. At this point it’s still a red flag to me, but I guess we will get our first look at the pro level this year.

    Chris Neil would seem like a good comparable but it’s hard to tell given that he was an older pick so went to pro for his D+2 year.

    Anyway, an interesting case study for a player with an interesting skillset.

    That’s fair commentary. Last year Moroz shuttled between Samuelsson and Lazar, sometimes played with both on the PP otherwise the 2 1st rounders were on separate lines. Either way, Moroz was clearly in the top six all year.

    The previous year he was almost entirely outside the top six. Oil Kings had a shit load of older, skilled wingers, enough to stack two scoring lines. Moroz wound up playing with Ewanyk on the shutdown line, with assorted plugs like Klarc Wilson on the starboard side. By eye they got the tough minutes and the D-zone starts though there are no stats. For sure Laxdal ran a pro-style bench, & his bruisers were a big part of the cycle without a doubt.

    Moroz finished the season 7th (go figure) in scoring among forwards, and his +21 spoke to playing on an outscoring line. That was a solid team, and other clubs couldn’t match them three lines deep. A rising tide floats all boats, Moroz benefited from playing on a good team, but he contributed to that good team.

    With the departure of St. Croix, Wruck, Foster, and Legault, spots opened up in the top six and Moroz seized one of them. This past late season and playoffs he was on a monster line with Samuelsson and Reid Petryk, who at 6’2, 208 was the smallest guy on the line, even as he would have been the 2nd biggest Oiler forward for height/weight behind only Gazdic. Those guys really leaned on the opposition, they must have been a nightmare for opposing D to play against. Size, speed, skill, and a multiple mean streak.

    In the Memorial Cup Laxdal switched in Kulda for Petryk, and the trio ripped it up, combining for 10 points in the final.

    Bottom line: if Moroz is the most skilled player on his line, that’s trouble. But he has good potential as a complementary player. I see him as a bottom sixer, but I certainly wouldn’t limit his upside to that, at least not yet. Agree his pro debut will be very interesting to follow.

  20. Bank Shot says:

    Moroz looks like a long shot who is light on offense like the majority of the Oilers forwards prospects right now with the exception of Leon and maybe Chase.

    Toughness plays into Moroz’s favor here I would say. If he can become a 4th liner that can avoid getting overwhelmed then he’s in for a long career. Having a guy that can fight and hold his own during the rest of the hockey game has some real value in the NHL and it could prevent the Oilers from playing the Gazdic types.

  21. LMHF#1 says:

    Braden88:
    it seems everytime a prospect reaches a milestone theres always someone saying “trade him for this other guy we have all seen well and feel safer about”

    I think we need to remember to take our Fan Goggles off when looking at players. There will always be that other player we want instead of who we have. The fact is you draft your man and let him grow into what he is. you shouldn’t be trading him before you know what you have.

    If your always chasing the better player then you’ll never have the good players. Moroz is a decent to Good prospect at this point. lets be patient and let him grow. You cant tell a flower when to bloom!

    No.

    That’s how you get J.F. Jacques taking up a roster spot for a number of years. Even worse now with the contract limit. Means the Oilers go draft overagers with little chance at even signing a pro contract apparently.

    This is not about “trade Moroz for Samuelsson”. It’s about the fact that they actually wanted Samuelsson, not Moroz, and are now wishing and hoping. You can keep Moroz if you want to, but I’d move him for something because there might be some buzz about his last jr season. I doubt the buzz will continue.

    Getting Samuelsson would cost a fair bit, but then you have a guy of “the type”, but with a much higher starting point and ceiling.

  22. Ducey says:

    Lowetide: That has to be a rookie camp invite, no? Baltisberger is off off OFF Broadway for a true NHL prospect.

    No apparently to the main camp:

    “The Oilers are bringing back Swiss Elite League forward Chris Baltisberger, 22, for the main camp. He was at their orientation camp in July.”

  23. maudite says:

    The rational criticism has always been the same. Unnecessary reach pick in premium draft slot. Its do e, issue is valid, but it is done. Cheer like hell for the kid and hope he beats the odds. But, early draft reaches based mainly on size have been the Achilles heel of this club for soooo long. Prior to size it was speed…simplified draft mantra has littered the oilers history and caused a great deal more damage than any other factor than development. The effect of both has been damning. They aren’t far enough away from far too many examples of poor management. They don’t yet get the grace of informed fans not to rightly question these things.

    Bruce McCurdy:
    So the criticism of Moroz seems to be that he couldn’t make the top 6 of a very good CHL team at 18 & generated mediocre offensive numbers in a shutdown role, and that he DID make the top 6 of a very good CHL team at 19 and therefore was dragged along by his superior linemates. Alrighty then.

    Oil Kings have been a good even strength team but a GREAT special teams team, especially in 2012-13 (an astonishing +47 in special teams goals over a 72-game season) and less so in 2013-14 (+20). But they’ve also certainly been a strong even strength team, finishing with an overall net goal differential of > +100 both years. They’ve also been the league’s top defensive team both years, which doesn’t show up in boxcars but isn’t a bad base line for player development.

    Bruce McCurdy:
    So the criticism of Moroz seems to be that he couldn’t make the top 6 of a very good CHL team at 18 & generated mediocre offensive numbers in a shutdown role, and that he DID make the top 6 of a very good CHL team at 19 and therefore was dragged along by his superior linemates. Alrighty then.

    Oil Kings have been a good even strength team but a GREAT special teams team, especially in 2012-13 (an astonishing +47 in special teams goals over a 72-game season) and less so in 2013-14 (+20). But they’ve also certainly been a strong even strength team, finishing with an overall net goal differential of > +100 both years. They’ve also been the league’s top defensive team both years, which doesn’t show up in boxcars but isn’t a bad base line for player development.

  24. Jon K says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Thanks, interesting insights Bruce. I can admit that I have seen Moroz play fewer than 5 times and most of my experience with him has been listening to OK games on the radio maybe once a week.

  25. Woodguy says:

    Listening to LDWLT podcast.

    Jon and LT talking Jultz. Good stuff.

    This got me thinking.

    I’ve said before that we may be seriously underestimating Jultz because roughly 65% of his entire NHL experience has been with either Nultz and Ference.

    Nultz is done as a NHLer (and therefore has a contract in PHI…..hahaha never change PHI)

    Ference is getting close to being done as an NHLer imo. Shouldn’t see anything above 3rd pairing.

    We all pretty much agree that Petry is the best Oilers RHDman. Fayne may challenge that, but as of today its Petry.

    Here are the CF% of Petry and Jultz with common partners last year.

    NOTE: Small sample size alert all over the place
    NOTE: Players may play easier comp with Jultz than with Petry, but its probably close enough not to matter a whole bunch.

    Ference:

    w/Petry 45.1%
    w/ Jultz 42.1%

    Advantage Petry by 3% (not insignificant)

    Nultz

    w/Petry 37.1%
    w/Jultz 38.4%

    Advantage Jultz 1.3%

    Marincin

    w/Petry 48.1%
    w/Jultz 49.6%

    Advantage Jultz 1.5%

    Belov

    w/Petry 58.3%
    w/Jultz 49.0%

    Advantage Petry 9.3%, but 49% is a high water mark for Jultz.

    This is one of the reasons I ‘m really looking forward to Jultz playing with anyone but Ference this year.

    He might actually be better than we think.

    He also would need to stop loggygagging in his own zone and weak-chipping the puck up the boards instead of eating the puck to avoid a hit, but I think he’s not as weak as we think.

  26. supernova says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Jon K,

    I agree with most of Bruce’s points about Moroz.

    Some of the players due to age and size were slotted ahead of Moroz in draft and draft plus 1 year.

    St.Croix was a very very good WHL player and he had chemistry with a few other players. Coach Laxdal seen this chemistry and kept them together. Meanwhile Moroz and Ewanyk were very capable of shut down/ making life miserable for other clubs and had the size to boot.

    Laxdal loves LA Kings style hockey and Moroz tends to be a very streaky player.

    Drafting Moroz at where he was picked was highly likely a reach but he also has a lot of signs that say he will be an effective bottom 6 player.

    I don’t expect getting points will be his game. If Moroz can get you 20 ish points a year, play pain in the ass hockey and be physical he will be a valuable hockey player.

  27. supernova says:

    cahill:
    I think that Moroz got a bad rap based on his draft number.If he was a 3rd – 4th round pick he’d be tracking decently for the role that he’s expected to play and he’s not responsible for being drafted that high.

    Last, April I was bored and I started to look at comparables regardless of position and wrote up this article quickly link at the bottom for anyone interested.His 18 year old season Moroz was way off the pace.But he rebounded enough last year to think there might be a player there.He’s within the pace of players such as Chris Neil, Derek Dorsett & Dwight King in their 19 year-old season.Add in that he’s played predominately on a defensive line, which I think most players that play this role are used to playing.I still think that he’s less than 25% to play 200 games but I’m not sure it’s as crazy to expect him to play as we thought.Another player that I typically compare Moroz too is Prust, who played on an offensive team in London, and Moroz is well ahead of him with regards to points.

    Now I know most players I chose are best case scenario, but my point is I think that Moroz has been too heavily criticized by the Edmonton fan base.

    http://oilersfuture.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/mitch-moroz/

    cahill,

    Very good work.

    Haven’t seen your writing before but excellent stuff.

    I myself see the same comparables for Moroz

  28. G Money says:

    maudite: But, early draft reaches based mainly on size have been the Achilles heel of this club for soooo long. Prior to size it was speed

    In fairness, the Achilles heel of this club is also drafting on skill. So first it was speed. Then skill. Then size.

    Let’s just simplify it: “The Achilles heel of this club is drafting.”

  29. B S says:

    Woodguy:

    Advantage Petry by 3% (not insignificant)

    Actuallly, this has been a concern of mine when dealing with Corsi. Using Behind the net, I took the 5v5 Corsi on for defensemen last season (I believe I set it to a minimum 20 games played), and simply calculated standard deviation (in a normal population 2 standard deviations is typically close to a difference you can be 95% confident in). The SD of corsi on for Dmen last season was 8.79. the difference in Corsi on between Petry and Schultz is 7.36. Looking at just the Oilers (as it is a within team comparison) 1 SD is 5.40. Basically two players would require a difference in corsi on of 10.80 to be considered to have significantly different Corsi (say like Marincin and Ference).

    My point is that a difference of CF% of 3% could be (and probably is) insignificant. In fact with the exception of playing with Belov (who likely had butter soft minutes) none of the those differences are likely to be significant.

    I made this point quite some time ago, but at the time, when adjusted for save% Petry and Schultz’s 5v5 GA/60 were nearly identical, as were their GF/60, with Schultz having more ice time and worse teammates, and Petry ostensibly having tougher competition, and better teammates. By eye, Petry is the better player, especially defensively, but I don’t think the difference is as much as people make it to be, and Schultz isn’t as bad as many seem to think. I believe some of the negative view (poor coverage, poor plays in the Dzone (exact same comments people made about Petry and Gilbert when they were young)) comes from the simple fact that Schultz has more ice time than any other dman, and is therefore going to make more mistakes.

  30. G Money says:

    Woodguy: This is one of the reasons I ‘m really looking forward to Jultz playing with anyone but Ference this year.
    He might actually be better than we think.

    I’ve used this comparison before, I’ll use it again.

    Back in 2005, the Edmonton Eskimos had an all-world QB (Ray), two game breaker receivers (Tucker and Hervey), and four experienced all star O linemen (Beaton, Morris, Lefsrud, McGrath).

    And yet the offense struggled. There was no running game. The O line was porous, and the all-stars looked ready to retire. The combo meant Ray took a pounding all season long.

    The biggest culprit in pass protection was a single O lineman: Glen “The Turnstile” Carson.

    The running back was a great character and a poor running back: Ron “Goldie” McClendon.

    Then came The Trade. Comiskey replaced Carson. Davis replaced McClendon.

    Overnight, the Eskimos O line went from porous to dominant.

    The run game went from non-existent to unstoppable.

    Ray took a few games to stop with the ‘happy feet’, but recovered in time to be the Grey Cup MVP for the 2005 Grey Cup Champions.

    It is astonishing how much better every player on a unit can look when you add just one or two high quality players, when you turn a units singular weakness into a strength.

    This year’s 7-1 Eskimos are largely the same cast of players as last years 1-7 version, with a couple of upgrades on the O line and a couple on the D. That’s it. Many of the characters are the same, and many of the changes that have occurred are sideways moves.

    The big difference is coaching.

    Compared to the Oiler starting unit last year, Fayne has replaced Nultz and Nikitin has replaced Belov. Think of them as Dan Comiskey and Troy Davis.

    Ramsay and Thompson have replaced Smith and Buchberger. Think of them as Chris Jones and Steve McAdoo.

    I am not predicting that the Oiler D unit will suddenly become dominant like that 2005 Eskimo O line, or the team will start the season 14-5-1 instead of 5-14-1.

    But these changes will add up, and they will make a difference.

    Even if Jultz is *exactly* the same player as last year, and doesn’t improve one iota under Ramsay’s tutelage – I expect he, like the team around him, is still going to look better than last year.

  31. russ99 says:

    Gotta take Schultz’s numbers from last year with a grain of salt.

    He averaged over 20 minutes per night in the throes of Eakins’ insane “play 25-30 minutes” hyper fitness ideal that’s impractical for optimal performance by hockey players.

    If Ramsey can get Schultz used in better spots, with better linemates and for less minutes this year, he could be a much better player, especially in the neutral and offensive zones.

  32. G Money says:

    B S: Using Behind the net, I took the 5v5 Corsi on for defensemen last season (I believe I set it to a minimum 20 games played), and simply calculated standard deviation (in a normal population 2 standard deviations is typically close to a difference you can be 95% confident in). The SD of corsi on for Dmen last season was 8.79. the difference in Corsi on between Petry and Schultz is 7.36. Looking at just the Oilers (as it is a within team comparison) 1 SD is 5.40. Basically two players would require a difference in corsi on of 10.80 to be considered to have significantly different Corsi (say like Marincin and Ference).
    My point is that a difference of CF% of 3% could be (and probably is) insignificant. In fact with the exception of playing with Belov (who likely had butter soft minutes) none of the those differences are likely to be significant.

    Sorry my good man (or lady), but this is a very very very wrong interpretation of how these statistics are used.

    You cannot use standard deviations of two different populations to determine whether or not the means are different (in this case, an individual game Corsi would be a ‘sample’, and the season-long collection of game Corsi would be the population from which you then can calculate mean and standard deviation).

    Whether the SD1 or SD2 overlap is meaningless for comparison purposes.

    There is an entire area of statistics devoted to determining whether or not the means of two different populations are different in a statistically significant way. The most common one is called the ‘t-test’ – this looks like a decent primer, I suggest you start there: http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/stat_t.php.

    There are different tests depending on whether you believe the variance of the populations are similar or not.

  33. B S says:

    On Moroz,

    First, I don’t think his offense is actually that important to his NHL success. By all accounts his shutdown line with Ewanyk on the OKs was brutal (Malholtra minutes and they didn’t give up much). If he can fill that role in the pros we have a big, mean SOB that we can put on the ice against the other teams’ best players and force them to look over their shoulders. If he produces, music, icing on the cake. That said, I think his offense is dependent more on his confidence than his skill. Moroz showed in the past that he had the hand-eye coordination and speed to play with skilled players and produce, he just didn’t seem to do it consistently until a full-time spot last season.

    When he turns pro this season I will be excited to see him play, I just hope his marching orders include “no fighting”. He needs to work on his play and avoid getting injured, and fighting men is a lot different than beating up little kids, so he should wait to get some of his old-man strength before he starts dropping the gloves in the pros.

  34. nycoil says:

    A bit OT, but I just saw the new plans for the massive tower next to Rogers Place. Cry poor and ask for more public money and threaten to move to Seattle, get a sweeter deal and then have these plans suddenly appear to drive the value of the property in the vicinity of your new shiny arena complex up significantly.

    They say you don’t get rich by being stupid, and having been in business my whole adult life, I’ve seen a lot and I get it.

    I haven’t lived in Edmonton a long time. As hockey fans and citizens of the city, how does this make you feel? I mean, if you ignore the fact Katz is making out like a bandit in all of this, the gentrification of the somewhat run-down downtown core is a good thing, right? But can you ignore that crucial factor?

  35. nycoil says:

    russ99,

    I see Schultz as the eventual partner to Nurse in the Oilers’ plans. I know he is too green, too flawed at the moment, and even next year, to mentor Nurse, but you can see that being the eventual goal: Schultz being the Duncan Keith (light) to Nurse being the Brent Seabrook as they play 25mins+ a night. Then you have Marincin, Klefbom, Simpson, Musil, Gernat to fill in the bottom pairs. I wish they’d keep Petry, but all signs point to management not sharing my opinion.

  36. B S says:

    G Money: Sorry my good man (or lady), but this is a very very very wrong interpretation of how these statistics are used.

    You cannot use standard deviations of two different populations to determine whether or not the means are different (in this case, an individual game Corsi would be a ‘sample’, and the season-long collection of game Corsi would be the population from which you then can calculate mean and standard deviation).

    Whether the SD1 or SD2 overlap is meaningless for comparison purposes.

    There is an entire area of statistics devoted to determining whether or not the means of two different populations are different in a statistically significant way.The most common one is called the ‘t-test’ – this looks like a decent primer, I suggest you start there: http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/stat_t.php.

    There are different tests depending on whether you believe the variance of the populations are similar or not.

    Sorry if there has been some confusion on this.

    The population in question is all NHL Dmen with over 30 games giving 220 total data points. with a population Standard Deviation of 8.79. Looking at a population, rather than samples (t-test is preferred for comparing two samples of between 20 and 30 individuals), the z-test is preferred.

    Now, admittedly I’ve bastardized it to compare two individuals within the same population rather, than an individual with the population mean, but given all other population parameters are unchanged, this should be fine as a quick and dirty look at corsi. The resultant z-score of 0.837 comparing Schultz and Petry is far less than the 1.96 standard for 95% confidence. The main point of course being that there is considerable variation in Corsi on (as well as Corsi Rel.) so even differences of 5 or more may not represent significant difference in corsi in and of themselves.

  37. Ducey says:

    nycoil: A bit OT, but I just saw the new plans for the massive tower next to Rogers Place. Cry poor and ask for more public money and threaten to move to Seattle, get a sweeter deal and then have these plans suddenly appear to drive the value of the property in the vicinity of your new shiny arena complex up significantly.They say you don’t get rich by being stupid, and having been in business my whole adult life, I’ve seen a lot and I get it. I haven’t lived in Edmonton a long time. As hockey fans and citizens of the city, how does this make you feel? I mean, if you ignore the fact Katz is making out like a bandit in all of this, the gentrification of the somewhat run-down downtown core is a good thing, right? But can you ignore that crucial factor?

    Both the City and Stantec put out RFP’s to a number of developers. Katz gave them the best deal.

    It makes no difference to me whether the new towers (there is another being built by John Day) are built by Katz or someone else. It is evidence that the “build it and they will come” model will work. There are three condo towers in the area being built, three office towers, and about 5 other condo towers that have been approved. Plus Katz is going to build a fancy hotel and the casino will move to a better location. That’s just in the last year.

    People should be happy that the City looks good to get its money back thru taxes (the CRL) and we will have a cool new area to hang out in, with people, bars, restaurants, etc. It sure beats the hell out of what we have had for the last 40 years with Northlands.

    You can bet the people that get to work on all these things are happy to have the jobs. As someone who works downtown, I am pumped too.

    Yet, because a certain rich guy built it and will make money from it (as opposed to other rich guys), people have to begrudge the whole thing. I don’t get it.

  38. nycoil says:

    Ducey,

    So you’re saying people are begrudging it around you?
    I, for one, can’t wait to visit when it is done. I love the old barns, yes, but the new ones are so much more comfortable everywhere you go. Nassau Coliseum has great sight lines, but it’s an old building with no redeeming features other than the “no bad seat in the house” thing, and is in the middle of a parking lot far from anything remotely accessible.

    The one thing I have to give MSG is, you step outside that place and you are in the heart of it all. The location is incredible because of everything around it.

    I hope the same does happen for Edmonton.

    That said, the new Yankee Stadium is a cold, heartless behemoth devoid of character. I don’t know how they managed to mess it up that badly, but Citi Field is far superior as an experience, except for, well it’s the Mets instead of those damn Yanks.

  39. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Apparently the Balt-burger news has been out there for a while:

    http://www.championshockeyleague.net/news/zsc-signs-j-n-taba-ek/103/

    That name sounds familiar… was he invited in a prior year? maybe he’s one of those odd-balls they have every year with no real hope of him making the NHL club?

  40. G Money says:

    B S,

    Hmm, nope, still not close.

    You can’t combine the Corsi of individual d men, or any players, across the league. Corsi is a collective stat at a team level, and it is calculated as a differential against other teams.

    Numerically, that means it has absolutely no comparative value for players on different teams. You cannot compare the Corsi numbers of individual players between teams and have it mean anything.

    You also cannot take that meaningless comparison, mash it up statistically, and gain meaning when combined into a whole and compared against the means and standard deviations. It is still a meaningless number comparatively.

    It might be more clear what I mean by way of example:

    You can say that Taylor Hall’s Corsi of +1.0 is meaningful compared to his Oiler teammates. You can say that Mike Brown’s +2.0 is also meaningful compared to his San Jose teammates. (NOTE: made up numbers)

    But you cannot compare them to each other numerically in any way. They have meaning ONLY relative to their own teams, and nowhere else.

    What you are doing is the statistical equivalent of combining Hall’s and Brown’s Corsi into a “league wide” average of 1.5. You can now declare that Taylor Hall is therefore below average and Brown is above average … but it has no meaning.

    You also cannot conclude that because Hall and Brown are both within the SD1 of the league wide average, that there is no statistical difference between them! Again, each of the four numbers in the comparison (Hall’s Corsi, Brown’s Corsi, mean Corsi, stdev of Corsi) has no collective or comparative meaning.

    In your specific example, you CAN say that Petry has a better Corsi than Jultz, and that is a meaningful comparison, both qualitatively and numerically. But what their individual numbers mean in comparison to the league wide d average has no meaning at all.

    On an additional note – no, it’s not correct that the t test is best used for ’20 to 30′ samples! The actual qualifiers are that you use the z test when the two distributions both follow normal distributions and have equal variances. Because this is a more stringent requirement for the populations being compared, you can use it with smaller sample sizes. The t test is used when you have two populations with unknown variances. It is a more general test, but because it is more general, you tend to need more samples for it to work. Thirty is kind of a reasonable minimum.

    To circle back to your original assertion: if you want to test whether or not the Corsi difference between Petry and Jultz is significant, I suggest you take the game by game Corsi for each player (each game being one sample, the entire season for each player being a population), then use a t test to compare whether there is a statistically significant difference in the means of those populations.

    Whatever you conclude as a result, that has some meaning.

    To repeat and emphasize: the league wide means and variances you have been calculating have no comparative value at all!

    (And please understand – I say none of this to be mean or denigrating at all. Actually using statistics properly, not the simple counting stats that we call “fancy stats” in hockey!, but actual statistics, is quite hard).

  41. G Money says:

    nycoil: The one thing I have to give MSG is, you step outside that place and you are in the heart of it all. The location is incredible because of everything around it.
    I hope the same does happen for Edmonton.

    Was this not part of the value proposition for the new arena? That Katz would help develop the surrounding area, thereby adding tremendous value over and above just the shiny new digs for hockey?

    If it (the gentrification) works out, someone’s going to make lots of money.

    If it doesn’t work out, someone’s going to lose a lot of money.

    I do not begrudge Katz his just desserts in either of those situations. Making money is and always has been more about taking risks than it has been about brains, hard work, etc. (e.g. Trump).

  42. B S says:

    G Money,
    I’m going to post this here, to avoid any carry-over into the next thread.
    To start, as I said this is a bit of a bastardization. It was meant to show the amount of variation in the data, not give a precise comparison.

    The entire purpose of statistics is to test basic assumptions by repetition or at least numerous samples, rather than accounting for every single factor. In that respect, comparison of Corsi (as a ratio it is continuous data) across a population is valid, and the confounding factors (ZS, team effects, quality of comp.) are present as variation in the data. high variation indicates that many of those factors have a large effect on differences in Corsi.

    As an example, lets use height. You can take a census of height for men across north america. you want to see if to people (say in the same city) are more different from each other than you would expect by chance. Using only the data for your city would be best, but then you run the risk of small sample size skewing data. You can use the world data, though it will have higher variation (differences in diet, genetics, etc. related to different areas), it just won’t be as precise. Here, Corsi is height, and teams are cities.

    Of course as you discussed, any raw analysis that does not account for the various factors runs the risk of interdependence, as well as non-normal distribution, the assumption I am most likely to have violated. Comparison of players from different teams would require use of the Corsi Rel., I intentionally kept my focus on Corsi on, only because it was two teammates.

    additionally, and only related to our discussion in passing:
    Both the t-test and the z-test assume equal variances (except for Welch’s adjustment to Student’s t-test) and normal distribution (Central limit theorem allows you to assume this, especially as sample size increases). The main difference between the tests is that once you have a large sample size (greater than 30) the z-test is more robust than the t-test for most sample comparisons.

    And, I don’t take anything you’ve said as mean, or offensive, and hope I haven’t offended or frustrated you too much in turn.

  43. godot10 says:

    nycoil:
    A bit OT, but I just saw the new plans for the massive tower next to Rogers Place. Cry poor and ask for more public money and threaten to move to Seattle, get a sweeter deal and then have these plans suddenly appear to drive the value of the property in the vicinity of your new shiny arena complex up significantly.

    They say you don’t get rich by being stupid, and having been in business my whole adult life, I’ve seen a lot and I get it.

    I haven’t lived in Edmonton a long time. As hockey fans and citizens of the city, how does this make you feel? I mean, if you ignore the fact Katz is making out like a bandit in all of this, the gentrification of the somewhat run-down downtown core is a good thing, right? But can you ignore that crucial factor?

    I see you missed the entire arena district debate and how the city was going to get the revenue to pay for their share.

    The whole arena district proposal was based on the city being able to fund their contribution out of a community revitalization levy (CRL) levied on the difference in property taxes raised in the arena district before and after.

    Many of the critics said the city would be left holding the bag because the associated development would never happen. The critics are turning out to be wrong. The associated development appears to be happening.

    Edmonton has the potential for a great downtown with a little thoughtful planning, because it was such a wasteland for so long, it can almost be designed from scratch. There is massive potential for gentrification of the nearby somewhat blighted neighbourhoods.

  44. nycoil says:

    godot10,

    I probably missed some key parts of the debate; saying I missed it entirely is a bit unfair. Maybe my sources in the media were a problem in that yes, most were critical about the project. I knew the idea was to develop the area around the arena; I did not know there were plans in motion for this giant tower. I did know the city was planning a levy on development in the area, though. I probably read too much MSM commentary that talked about unhappy voters and councilmen and how the project was dialed back from the original ambitious plans.

    I have no skin in the game; if Edmontonians are happy, I’m happy.

  45. nycoil says:

    G Money:

    I do not begrudge Katz his just desserts in either of those situations.Making money is and always has been more about taking risks than it has been about brains, hard work, etc.(e.g. Trump).

    Now that’s an interesting debate for a future date. Luck plays a large role, as does risk-taking. Brains, hard work, etc. are also important. Donald Trump is a risk taker, but he is actually also smart and a hardworker. Warren Buffett, smarter, more careful with risk. Steve Jobs, smart risk taker. Gates, risk taker, smart.
    I don’t put Katz on the same level as these gentlemen, but I would say he made very sure the deck was stacked heavily in his favour before he took this risk. So brains definitely helped.

  46. Bruce McCurdy says:

    LMHF#1: No.

    This is not about “trade Moroz for Samuelsson”. It’s about the fact that they actually wanted Samuelsson, not Moroz, and are now wishing and hoping. You can keep Moroz if you want to, but I’d move him for something because there might be some buzz about his last jr season. I doubt the buzz will continue.

    I’d suggest this is about the fact YOU want Samuelsson, not Moroz.

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