CENTER STAGE

The Edmonton Oilers are ghastly up the middle and that will have to change this summer. Craig MacTavish will probably unload a whack of cash for a starting goalie and I’d guess we’ll see Marincin and a pick plus plus for one veteran defenseman. Which brings us to center. What to do?

OILERS CENTERS, 2014-15

center scoring mar 20

Oilers are probably running Nuge—Roy—Lander—Gordon next season as their default position. What could change that depth chart? Drafting McEichel or a strong, strong camp from Leon. That’s about all I can think of, unless they decide to bring in a David Legwand but MacT didn’t do that a year ago so one assumes that won’t happen this year. I have to say Lander’s advance this year (his 5×5/60 and Corsi aren’t terrible) have me wondering if Roy—Draisaitl might be enough. Thoughts?

I really like players with a range of skills. A guy like Darnell Nurse has several ways his career could turn out and that’s a very good thing. David Musil? Not so much. One of the guys I’m watching closely now is Jansen Harkins. His scouting report at the beginning of the season including a lot of verbal about two way-way ability. Now, let’s look at his scoring splits:

    • 2014: 38GP, 13-27-40 1.05
    • 2015: 30GP, 7-32-39 1.30

If the Oilers select Noah Hanifin in the lottery spot and Harkins lasts until that Pittsburgh pick? A nice player. His EV numbers are 68GP, 16-37-53 this season.

MOON MARTIN

marincin4 I find Martin Marincin’s work to be solid and unspectacular. That has value. He’s a bean pole and the Oilers don’t like the cut of his jib but beggar’s can’t be choosers. For me, if we can agree that Oscar Klefbom, Mark Fayne and Justin Schultz are going to be part of the team, then the natural fit (for me) is Marincin. Keep him in Edmonton, have run up that damn hill above the golf course every day and get him on a training and nutrition program designed to make things work long term instead of short term. And make damn good and sure he can still skate after all of the conditioning upgrades. I bet Jeff Krushell could help. marincin numbersThere isn’t a lot of offense but then again he’s playing with Mark Fayne (not Justin Schultz) and his OZ starts mean he’s miles from home plate many times. It’s also true that Marincin—with fewer than 100 NHL games experience—has been the choice of now two coaches for the toughest competition. I know Qual Comp has limitations but by eye Marincin is playing some of the toughest minutes on the team. I hope they keep him.  

Today my friends the Oilers are No. 28 and with Hall returning soon I think that’s where they end up. I’ll have the new top 30 here tomorrow morning and we’ll be talking about 3-4 in the draft, not 1-2.

Jane Birkin Files Pictures

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, we hit the air! TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Sunil Agnihotri, The SuperFan. We talked about defensemen during his last visit, today it’s the centers.
  • Antony Bent, who will be my co-host on “Soccer Sunday, presented by FC Edmonton” beginning April 5. It’ll run 11-noon every Sunday!
  • Rob Vollman, ESPN. We’ll talk Oilers problems and solve them all! Fixing C, D and G. We’ll also discuss the enormous impact Matthew Wuest had on hockey.
  • Paul Almeida, SSE. We’ll discuss the Oilers-Flyers game tomorrow night and the draft.

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

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92 Responses to "CENTER STAGE"

  1. j says:

    Do you think Petry is on the radar LT?

  2. Lowetide says:

    j:
    Do you think Petry is on the radar LT?

    No. IF Petry doesn’t get big money then maybe they’ll come around to each other but I suspect the young blue will receive a significant offer from a smart team and several ridiculous offers from dumb teams (paying too much). He won’t be a bargain, Tambellini could have had him for far less three years ago.

  3. theres oil in virginia says:

    Martin “Don’t-Mention” does the right thing with the puck pretty much every time he has it, especially in the offensive zone. So, while the points may not be there, the offense certainly is – he helps the team keep the puck. Learning how to clear forwards out of the crease (which is what he lacks) is really more like learning how to get bigger and stronger (aging and maturing).

  4. Ben says:

    Of course, any roster decisions will be shaped by whatever off-ice changes may or may not be in store for the organization.

    Nicholson seems to be playing out of position already, and we wait to see if any more changes are coming to the scouting dep. aside from putting Green on top of the rickety pyramid. I wonder if this is the year Lowe finally moves ‘up’ to official ribbon cutter and catering hirer.

    If only for the hugely improved PP and massive improvements from Lander and Yak, I hope MacT resists the urge to replace Nelson with his buddy McLellan.

    My ideal off-season probably starts by replacing MacT with a better talent evaluator.

  5. supernova says:

    Really like Harkins.

    If the draft fell Hanifan & Harkins I would be really happy.

    Outside of McEichel my choice is Marner but would be pleased with Hanifan.

    Another draft favorite is Travis Konecky, outside of being small he is what the Oilers need and I am OK with the size.

  6. Ducey says:

    Dumb question:

    Those zone starts posted for the C’s above, they don’t match the ones at Hockey Analysis.

    For example, they have Leon at 44 OZ%, 44.8 NZ%, 11.6 DZ%

    They have Boyd Gordon at 59.2 DZFO% and 14.6 OZFO%

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/ratings.php?disp=1&db=201415&sit=5v5&pos=forwards&minutes=50&teamid=12&type=corsi&sort=DZPCT&sortdir=DESC

    Why the discrepancy?

  7. oliveoilers says:

    Doesn’t the 30th place team have a 100% surety of 2nd OV pick?

    There are a two possible situations with the center problem:

    1) MacT knew all along that it wasn’t good enough, but wanted McEichel. This fails the WG test (which I agree with) that MacT means what he says.

    2) He honestly though it would be good enough. (Danger Will Robinson, danger! Much flailing of dryer vent tube arms.)

    So if 1 is true, the MacTank was on before we even started and we can’t trust a damn word he says.

    If 2 is true, well, I hope he’s learnt his lesson, but not over learnt to the point where a stupid trade is in the works.

    What got me wondering was the back and forth with Eakins, the Bill of Goods and the Blood on My Hands comments.

    I thought that Blood on My Hands could just as easily meant the firing of Kruiger, I meant Krueger. This would support 2, as he would believe what he gave Eakins was enough.

    Don’t discount Flight of the Conchords from your RE! They are New Zealand’s third best novelty act!

  8. su_dhillon says:

    I think in a vacuum Nuge- Lander-Gordon-Roy/Leon is enough but not with the D core they plan to bring back next year. With the group you have on the back end, I think you need to be stronger in the middle but who do you upgrade?

    Basically its Roy or Gordon, can you find a guy who brings more offense while being a 2 way center to replace Gordon? If so, then maybe Lander takes the Gordon role. Or is it easier to find a player that brings a more complete game and still brings the offense of Roy? I’m not sure they are capable of finding upgrades for either.

  9. Ducey says:

    That 5×4 PP points/ 60 for Lander, is 8th in the NHL. Crazy.

    He also has 4 shots on 12 shots on the PP, so its not likely to last.

  10. nelson88 says:

    oliveoilers,

    The 30th place team has 100% chance of one of the top two picks but only an 80% chance that pick is the 2nd pick.

  11. frjohnk says:

    Ducey:
    Dumb question:

    Those zone starts posted for the C’s above, they don’t match the ones at Hockey Analysis.

    For example, they have Leon at 44 OZ%, 44.8 NZ%, 11.6 DZ%

    They have Boyd Gordon at 59.2 DZFO% and 14.6 OZFO%

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/ratings.php?disp=1&db=201415&sit=5v5&pos=forwards&minutes=50&teamid=12&type=corsi&sort=DZPCT&sortdir=DESC

    Why the discrepancy?

    LT’s numbers do not include the neutral zone starts. Which is pretty common.

  12. G Money says:

    I am OK with Nuge—Roy—Lander—Gordon if the D gets fixed.

    The lineup is fine assuming that both Nuge and Roy can push their 5×5/60 numbers up. Nuge should be at 2.0, and Roy closer to 1.75 to be a capable 1C/2C combo. Fixing the D (and the fact that Nuge is slowly developing man strength and will soon own the league) gets them there IMO.

    On D – He Who Cannot Be Named is 23 yo and has 73 games under his belt.

    He’s already playing the toughs better than most of the veterans *cough* Ference *cough* Nikitin, and he’s still at least two years and 120 games from reaching his peak.

    If he gets traded as part of a package for a legit 1D in his prime, well, that’s fine.

    Anything else is just MacT following the Oiler Petry/Gilbert model of being unable to look at a defenseman and separate quality from MOAR HIT.

    There are a LOT of gaps caused by shitty players on this team. Martin Marincin is not one of those.

  13. frjohnk says:

    G Money: I am OK with Nuge—Roy—Lander—Gordon if the D gets fixed.

    But what are the chances the D gets fixed? Probably a dumb and dumber chance!

    If our starting D next year consists of Ference, Nikitin, Klefbom, Schultz, Fayne and Marincin, I am expecting Nurse to be in the line up as well.

    I think Nurse would be best served to start in the AHL next year, but the hurdle of being better than Ference and Nikitin is not very big. With that D, Nurse starts in the NHL.

    So with that D core, I like Nuge 1st line, Lander and Gordon 3/4. I don’t think Roy should play center, especially 2nd line. He is not very good in the dot, and not very good defensively. From the red line in, with the puck he is very brilliant. The team would be better served with him on the wing.

    Maybe a line of Roy-Lander-Yak.

    Unless McEichel, I think the 2nd line center spot will be weakest link in our center depth chart,

  14. Ca$h-Money! says:

    G Money,

    Agreed. We’ve come this far (not very) with the kids we have, it would be foolish to give up on those that are just starting to hit the NHL. I can see us moving AHL players like Musil/Simpson/Gernat or Pitlick/Hamilton for next year’s version of an aging vet who can’t stick on a good team (Derek Roy of 2016) but trading a Marincin is crazy. This is exactly the type of young, developing NHL player we need to keep for a few years.

    Plus, with his boxcars we can keep him in the NHL for 2 years at $1 million easily. Reasonable defensive play from a player that should be getting better than he is already, for dirt cheap, is what we need. This is how we free up cap space for impact players, it’s the opposite of the Ference/Nikitin contract.

  15. Ducey says:

    frjohnk: LT’s numbers do not include the neutral zone starts.Which is pretty common.

    They are still about 10% out. Leon has 21.8% DZS% with LT’s #, 11.6% with Hockey Analysis.

  16. frjohnk says:

    Ducey: They are still about 10% out.Leon has 21.8% DZS% with LT’s #, 11.6% with Hockey Analysis.

    You have to take them right out of the equation.

    He had 33 defensive zone starts
    He had 126 neutral zones starts
    He had 125 O zone starts.

    Take out the 126 neutral zone starts.

    So 125 divided by 158 = 79% ozone starts for Draisaitl

  17. judgedrude says:

    MacT didn’t do that a year ago so one assumes that won’t happen this year.

    I have issue with this LT. He’s only 2 years in, right? And Rookie GMs need to learn too. So, does MacT have 2 years of GM experience or 1 year experience twice? Remember, he did learn to not talk publicly about the trades he wants to make.

  18. slopitch says:

    Lets assume we dont get McDavid. If Arizona offers us OEL for the 3rd overall do you do it? If Boston offers Hamilton? What if Nashville offered us Jones or Josi so they can land a top C (Strome)? I see no scenario where it makes sense for Boston to trade Hamilton unless you given them a “come July 15, a big ass offer sheet is coming so take this offer now” scenario.

    Im of the opinion that you cant solve 1G until you have a capable D. Scrivens and Fasth were good till they got here, Dubnyk seems to be doing ok away from our D. Gotta solve this. MacT might be right that the team will be ok with another year of development of Nurse, Klefbom and Drai. Problem is it involves waiting a year.

    LT if the 3 holes are 1D, 1G, 2C, I think thats the priority of them as well. Roy with Drai potentially developing past him during the year would be ok. Not ideal but there are bigger issues.

  19. Ducey says:

    frjohnk: You have to take them right out of the equation.

    He had 33 defensive zone starts
    He had 126 neutral zones starts
    He had 125 O zone starts.

    Take out the 126 neutral zone starts.

    So 125 divided by 158 = 79% ozone starts for Draisaitl

    Ah, so we are really talking about non neutral zone starts. Thanks.

  20. slopitch says:

    I am OK with Nuge—Roy—Lander—Gordon if the D gets fixed.

    G Money:

    This.

  21. russ99 says:

    Signing a better experienced #2 center would let us split up the kid line, and finally give us 2 lines that can push the river on offense. We all agree that we need a #1 netminder and better talent on defense, but we really can’t backslide on offense to get there either.

    Roy is a good veteran player, and has really helped Yak this year, but really isn’t that kind of player anymore.

    If we re-sign Roy it should be for a bottom-six role. Draisaitl would be vastly better served with a year or two in the AHL, and as many have deduced before, he may eventually end up at wing.

  22. frjohnk says:

    “Today my friends the Oilers are No. 28 and with Hall returning soon I think that’s where they end up. I’ll have the new top 30 here tomorrow morning and we’ll be talking about 3-4 in the draft, not 1-2.

    Here is the oilers scedule

    Flyers Oilers
    Jets Oilers
    Avalanche Oilers
    Stars Oilers
    Oilers Avalanche
    Oilers Ducks
    Oilers Kings
    Flames Oilers
    Kings Oilers
    Sharks Oilers
    Oilers Canucks

    Here is the Yotes schedule

    Penguins Coyotes
    Canucks Coyotes
    Coyotes Red Wings
    Coyotes Sabres
    Coyotes Penguins
    Sabres Coyotes
    Coyotes Sharks
    Sharks Coyotes
    Coyotes Flames
    Coyotes Canucks
    Ducks Coyotes

    Here is the Sabres schedule

    Devils Sabres
    Sabres Predators
    Sabres Stars
    Coyotes Sabres
    Sabres Avalanche
    Sabres Coyotes
    Maple Leafs Sabres
    Blackhawks Sabres
    Sabres Islanders
    Hurricanes Sabres
    Sabres Blue Jackets
    Penguins Sabres

    Oilers have the toughest schedule.
    Sabres have the easiest schedule.

    Oilers 30th
    Yotes 29th
    Sabres 28th

    This could happen.

  23. jbfuzz says:

    Frankly, I’d try to upgrade on Derey Roy if possible. I’d like to see Artem Asinimov or someone of that ilk acquired. I could also see a Marincin – Lehner swap and the Oil poaching Kevn Klein from NYR.

    I hope they can acquire both MPS and Daniel Winnick for the Lander line.

    Saying all that, none of this will happen and LD will be back on the team. Good times.

  24. Ryan says:

    judgedrude: I have issue with this LT.He’s only 2 years in, right?And Rookie GMs need to learn too.So, does MacT have 2 years of GM experience or 1 year experience twice?Remember, he did learn to not talk publicly about the trades he wants to make.

    Two years in a row, he traded a centre then chased a high-end winger …

  25. slopitch says:

    Rondo:
    Kyle Woodlief of Redline Report has a top 10 ranking today.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nhl/columnist/woodlief/2015/03/19/march-red-line-report-draft-column/25025395/

    Gonna be interesting to follow Nikita Pavlychev. 6″7 dman playing in the USHL. NHL.com had a mock draft with him at 90. Woodlief has him as a fast riser. Id bet he goes in round 2.

  26. sliderule says:

    frjohnk,

    It’s all up to Scrivens

    Can he deliver like Habi.

    I am hopefull.

  27. Hammers says:

    I like you think Marincin will be the one traded either with Our 1st or 2nd Or Pitts 1st but McT will Only get rid of 1 of those 3 picks . Also like you LT I would sooner keep MM even for at least 1 more year . If Roy is signed for under $ 1.5 fine but only 1 year . What can’t happen is no NEW goalie of “D” . If I had to keep all our forwards I can see at least a passing grade but if there is no goalie or “D” we could be bottom 5 again . McT will add a minimum of 3 max of 5players but they must be the right players . 1 of Ottawas goalies , 1 of Chicagos “D” 1 of N.Y. “D” . WE should have about the $ 11 million mark for those 3 so Goalie 3-3.5 #1 “D” 5.5 -6 #2 “D” 2.5 – 3 mill .

  28. knighttown says:

    Here is the Yotes schedule
    Penguins Coyotes
    Canucks Coyotes
    Coyotes Red Wings
    Coyotes Sabres
    Coyotes Penguins
    Sabres Coyotes
    Coyotes Sharks
    Sharks Coyotes
    Coyotes Flames
    Coyotes Canucks
    Ducks Coyotes

    This Coyotes schedule looks way tougher than the Oilers one. Either powerhouses or decent teams playing for their lives. They might win two games.

  29. letmycamerongo says:

    In the “to keep Nelson, or look for outside help debate”, is it realistic at all to hire a Hitchcock or McLennan and have Nelson be an assistant or even associate? I know coaches like to bring in their own guys, just wondering if this is fathomable at all. If so, it seems the route I’d go.

  30. frjohnk says:

    sliderule:
    frjohnk,

    It’s all up to Scrivens

    Can he deliver like Habi.

    I am hopefull.

    In all honesty, I’d rather see the oilers win.

    Whether we end up 30th, 29th or 28th, the chances for McDavid are small.

    And while I like Eichel, I really want a Dman with our top pick.( Hanifan) We can get him with the 3rd pick.

    I know it does not carry over to the next season, but I just like seeing the oilers play good and win. If we can help knock out the flames and canucks out of the playoffs, that’s even better 🙂

  31. rich says:

    slopitch: This.

    Agree with you guys on the C’s “if the D gets fixed”.

    But I fear the D won’t be fixed this summer and thus another season will be lost.

    MacT is going to send out Marincin for something. He has the most potential to bring back something of value because of his contract – and what he’s already show – which the GM doesn’t see.

    At the same time, they aren’t going to do anything that’s going to jeopardize a spot for Nurse in 2016-17 when the new building opens. Realistically, Nurse replaces Nikitin then, but you still have the issue of Ference and if the GM is willing to admit he screwed that one up too and buy him out this summer.

    Given this, I fear MacT starts next year with: Klefbom/Schultz (playing 1 step too high as a 2nd pairing); Fayne/? ; Nikitin/Ference and ? as 7D. As we are seeing right now, this is going to be brutal unless Marincin and a 2nd rounder can get you a Seabrook (as an example). Even then, you still have a brutal 3rd pairing. They can’t make a pass, can’t skate the puck up, can’t (or won’t) box out so the goalie isn’t screened and cough the puck up against an even average forecheck.

    You can put Dominik Hasek in goal and he’d still get torched behind the defense.

    Le sigh.

  32. sliderule says:

    frjohnk,

    I am pretty sure Hanifin will be there for oilers.

    If the lottery goes outside the bottom three Coyotes if they have to chose between Marner/Hanifin will take Marner.

    That gives them complete line from London and offence might sell tickets.

  33. HiddenDarts says:

    As far as Derek Roy goes, I agree with the sentiment to sign him, but look for better. I watched the OTT-BOS game last night (it was a scorcher!), and discovered that David Legwand (who was considered somewhat of first tier UFA center last year) is playing 4th line minutes. He also scored his first goal last night in 16 games. If I was OTT, I would be screaming to get rid of that contract, but I’m sure there’ll be no takers.

    Anyway, point is that in terms of center depth, you can never have too much. But signing 30+ year old centers to long contracts is also a very, very bad idea.

  34. Numenius says:

    letmycamerongo:
    In the “to keep Nelson, or look for outside help debate”, is it realistic at all to hire a Hitchcock or McLennan and have Nelson be an assistant or even associate? I know coaches like to bring in their own guys, just wondering if this is fathomable at all. If so, it seems the route I’d go.

    Nelson has said many times he’d rather be a head coach in the AHL than an assistant or associate in the NHL.

    Hitchcock is a good coach but his style doesn’t fit the Oilers in my opinion.

  35. frjohnk says:

    sliderule:
    frjohnk,

    I am pretty sure Hanifin will be there for oilers.

    If the lottery goes outside the bottom three Coyotes if they have to chose between Marner/Hanifin will take Marner.

    That gives them complete line from London and offence might sell tickets.

    My order of who I want the Oilers to pick is:

    Mcdavid
    Eichel
    Hanifan
    Marner

    I do think the gap between Hanifan and Marner is extremely small and could easily be flipped around. But I do believe that the need for a top pair D man is bigger than the need for a first line player, that’s why I like Hanifan over Marner.

  36. Woogie63 says:

    It takes 5-6 NHL ready centers to finish an 82 games schedule (Yakimov, Drisaital, are options after Christmas). MacT has been trying to get a 4 line system for +60 games now. We need to think of our depth at center in concert with our depth at wing. I would like to see Hall, Hopkins and Yakapov seperated to anchor three attack lines. If that happens our centers are strong enough. If we play Hall with RNH together we need another centre.

    Our defence and depth on defence is way too weak to loose Petry and Marincin in 12 months.

    I propose Davidson is the same value as Marincin to a cap straved team, because the contract THEN a body is the issue …. so move Davidson before Marincin.

  37. Professor Q says:

    So if they don’t get their top franchise centre from the draft, and get their D, I would still like to see Marincin stay on.

    If they do get that centre, why trade Draisaitl right away? And would the goal be a D or a Goalie first and foremost?

  38. GCW_69 says:

    I did a fan post on c&b looking at Eakins vs Nelson based on game situation – leading by two or more, leading by one, tied, down one, and down two or more using data from Puck on Net.

    It continues to show the two coaches about even when trailing, Nelson better when leading and much worse when tied. Note, since the Petry trade, Nelson had been slipping when trailing but when you lose your best defender, I am willing to cut him some slack.

    I posed the question, why does Nelson do so much worse when tied but as good or better in other game situations?

    Derek noted it might be because Eakins was trailing so much. I responded, “Percentage on time on ice tied is virtually identical for both coaches. What I can’t measure is the situation prior to the tied time on ice. If Eakins got to tied from trailing more often and was riding on the coat tails of score effects, whereas Nelson gets to tied from a lead where score effects are working against him, that could explain the difference. Of course you would then have to believe in momentum.

    It’s an interesting hypothesis though. I wish I had the time to go through the game sheets and test it. Based on the time on ice leading vs trailing for both coaches it’s certainly possible.”

    Does anyone know if this kind of analysis had been done before?

    Note, NHL average corsi down one is 55% and up one is therefore the reverse, 45%, so if you get to tied when trailing, shot share had been on yours side whereas it’s the reverse when leading. Do teams just flip a switch and revert to even play, or does the team that was leading carry the shot share into the time tied, at least for a while? Is this potentially being lost in aggregate numbers that don’t account for transition?

  39. G Money says:

    GCW_69,

    It is indeed an interesting hypothesis.

    I have other projects on the go so I can’t help you with this one.

    However, I can speed up your access to the data you need by 1000x!

    I’ve already gone through and written the scripts to pull all the data from the PbP game sheets, reconciled that with the shot location data from the RTSS JSON feed, and generated a CSV containing all that information in one place.

    This is what I’m using for my Temporal Corsi project.

    As noted in some of my previous posts on the topic, in the spirit of “open source”, I’m making the data freely available to any and all who might need it. This would save you the effort of going through 60+ game sheets – all of the information would be in one single place.

    Let me know if you’re interested and I will repost the links. It’s about ~65MB per season (when I’m done, I’ll have the last five seasons).

  40. frjohnk says:

    GCW_69,

    I would throw out the argument that Nelson has an inferior roster. Yes center depth is improved. But our winger depth has been decimated with injuries Hall, Pouliot and by the trade of Perron. And Nelson just lost his best D man.

    Nelson has had more AHL regulars in his line up.

    Also Nelson team dumps the puck in more than what Eakins team did. This affects possession. Maybe they do it more often when tied to play it safe.

    Just a couple of my thoughts.

  41. Ryan says:

    GCW_69,

    I have a few thoughts.

    I have the sense tha Eakins saw Corsi as a means to an end. Whether that meant the Oilers inflated their team Corsi under Eakins at the expense of the team shooting percentage or rather the low team shooting percentage was simply ‘bad luck’ is another debate.

    From Eberle’s quote on the powerplay, we some glimpse into the player’s mindset towards shooting if not a compelling data set to support that hypothesis. Apparently, Frjohn’s analysis based in shot location alone does not support it. Shot location analysis alone is insufficient to refute it.

    Around the interwebs, I came across an interesting piece of work (don’t have the link at the moment) that looked at shooting percentage based on various scenarios. What I vaguely recall is that shots after a pass have a much higher percent of success than direct shots on net. There were other factors explored… We already know that shots after a rebound are more likely to result in a goal. As far as I know we don’t have this data, but it would go along way to shedding light on this debate.

    Regardless of the luck vs inflated corsi debate, we do know that Eakins was vehemently preoccupied with maximizing corsi success. Dellow’s job from what I can gather involved monitoring corsi effects of different set plays after faceoffs in different zones and other systems. In that regard, it’s pretty clear that Eakins found a some strategies to tweak the Oilers 5v5 Corsi that worked.

    The other thing really bugging me is the early success of the dig line. I would have to find some Parkatti numbers to see how long that anomaly lasted. In short, I don’t know how much their unsustainable early success could have skewed the data.

  42. hoser313 says:

    G Money:
    I am OK with Nuge—Roy—Lander—Gordon if the D gets fixed.

    The beauty of signing Roy is that he should be cheap. He should be willing to play for less dollars to get 2nd line ice time.

    That leaves more dollars to spend on defence.

  43. rickithebear says:

    i HAD #13- 30 ohL/ qmjhl/ whlL
    Calculated EVEN Age NHLE
    wa just finishing Chlapik and the whole planrt triped!

    Fuc………………………

    Saving
    the Plant Nat gas appliane codes review for transfer of Nat gas sys control to us thru absa.
    and
    the Foomis desognation of Pressure differrential Code acceptance.

    But not my hockey stats!

  44. G Money says:

    Ryan: Whether that meant the Oilers inflated their team Corsi under Eakins at the expense of the team shooting percentage or rather the low team shooting percentage was simply ‘bad luck’ is another debate.
    From Eberle’s quote on the powerplay, we some glimpse into the player’s mindset towards shooting if not a compelling data set to support that hypothesis. Apparently, Frjohn’s analysis based in shot location alone does not support it. Shot location analysis alone is insufficient to refute it.

    The problem with the folks who want to believe that Eakins artificially inflated Corsi at the expense of shot quality is that John’s work clearly indicates that Eakins team did as well or better in every regard – that is, they Corsi’d more, they shot more, they shot as or higher quality, and they scored as or more goals at EV. Same thing defensively.

    You can attribute it to roster or score effects and not worry about it, or you can attribute it to coaching and worry about it. The only foolish thing to do is pretend it isn’t happening because Eakins.

    And Eberle’s statements (while no doubt true) also demonstrate the conundrum that the single biggest sustainable change from Eakins to Nelson is that the PP Corsi has gone up. Way way up. From bottom tier to top tier. So they were thinking about shooting more but were actually shooting way less.

    What that likely tells you is that using Corsi as an assessment tool is valuable (PP shot quality has gone way up in tandem with PP Corsi, to the surprise of no one who’s looked at the results anywhere else), but using it as a coaching tool is stupid.

    But we knew that before.

    Ryan: What I vaguely recall is that shots after a pass have a much higher percent of success than direct shots on net. There were other factors explored… We already know that shots after a rebound are more likely to result in a goal. As far as I know we don’t have this data, but it would go along way to shedding light on this debate.

    You’re probably referring to Chris Boyle’s shot quality project. He deconstructs shots in terms of the adjustments they force the goalie to make (very interesting and compelling stuff), and without a doubt, shots taken after quick passes are by far the most dangerous.

    Capturing and ranking teams in terms of rebound and cycle effects are the nut that I’m trying to crack with my Temporal Corsi project.

  45. G Money says:

    hoser313: The beauty of signing Roy is that he should be cheap. He should be willing to play for less dollars to get 2nd line ice time.
    That leaves more dollars to spend on defence.

    This is true.

    The main point I was trying to make is that, given the sheer number of gaps to fill (G, 2xD, C), it’s unreasonable to expect MacT to fill them all. Hell, we need to worry he won’t fill any!

    But given limited time, money, etc. I would rather MacT go with an easy solution for C (Roy), and then worry about the D. I think Roy will be just fine in front of a better defense.

    On the other hand, put Sidney Crosby as 1C in front of this tire fire, and we STILL might not be a playoff team.

    Gotta fix the defense.

  46. Ice Sage says:

    frjohnk: My order of who I want the Oilers to pick is:

    Mcdavid
    Eichel
    Hanifan
    Marner

    I do think the gap between Hanifan and Marner is extremely small and could easily be flipped around.But I do believe that the need for a top pair D man is bigger than the need for a first line player, that’s why I like Hanifan over Marner.

    Bingo. K.I.S.MacT

  47. Ryan says:

    Ryan,

    John’s work? Sorry which John, there’s an awful lot in the Oiligosphere. Links?

    Anyway, typing on my iPhone sucks because I’m not a 15 year old who can type 80 words per minute with my thumbs.

    The other idea is deployment. I watched enough Eakins to see that he deployed the dig line for d-zone starts against softer comp. He used The Nuge line quite often for d-zone starts against tough competition. Draisatl and arcobello got the ozone starts.

    While draisatl and arcobello didn’t shoot lights out in terms of points. They were successful at producing corsi events.

    In another sense, this is another scenario how the Oilers could have been successful on the corsi tally while still losing epically.

    The Nuge line seemed to do a fair amount of heavy lifting in terms of both competition and zone starts.
    Hence their crappy production under Eakins. In turn, while the other two lines avoided getting their teeth kicked in on the corgis, they didn’t produce offense.

    I haven’t watched enough Nelson to see the company ntest in terms of how he deployed his top line. I suspect they may have been deployed more in the ozone.

    Anyway, just throwing some ideas out there. 🙂

  48. Acumen says:

    Rondo:
    Kyle Woodlief of Redline Report has a top 10 ranking today.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nhl/columnist/woodlief/2015/03/19/march-red-line-report-draft-column/25025395/

    Interesting to see Jeremy Roy dropping. He has been my ‘guy’ since the start of the season. Really hoping he falls to our Pittsburgh pick.

  49. sliderule says:

    I have my own theory why Eakins shot attempts were up but results were worse than Nelson.

    It’s the panic factor.

    Ebs and Nuge shooting right into pads without looking for holes .Yak fanning on one timers

    They looked like they were rushing the shots .Nelson talks about burying your chances.

    Subtle difference in tactics.

  50. G Money says:

    sliderule,

    OK, but be careful what you mean by ‘results were worse’. Eakins team actually scored just as much as Nelson’s team at EV, while giving up fewer EV shots/goals/chances/etc.

    So you can if you want to, but you don’t actually need to delve too far into subtleties to explain the difference. You can attribute it 100% to the fact that the PP is now top of league and before it was bottom of league.

    That’s 100% on the coaching, and lauding Nelson and/or trashing Eakins on that aspect is completely fair.

    Most of the rest seems to be recency, hindsight, and confirmation bias.

  51. GCW_69 says:

    frjohnk:
    GCW_69,

    I would throw out the argument that Nelson has an inferior roster. Yes center depth is improved. But our winger depth has been decimated with injuries Hall, Pouliot and by the trade of Perron.And Nelson just lost his best D man.

    Nelson has had more AHL regulars in his line up.

    Also Nelson team dumps the puck in more than what Eakins team did. This affects possession. Maybe they do it more often when tied to play it safe.

    Just a couple of my thoughts.

    I would have expected an inferior roster to show in all situations, not just tied. That’s what’s so interesting about it.

  52. G Money says:

    Ryan: John’s work?

    Frjohnk I meant. “Father of four, John K” as I understand it!

  53. godot10 says:

    G Money: The problem with the folks who want to believe that Eakins artificially inflated Corsi at the expense of shot quality is that John’s work clearly indicates that Eakins team did as well or better in every regard – that is, they Corsi’d more, they shot more, they shot as or higher quality, and they scored as or more goals at EV.Same thing defensively.

    Shot location is not the only determination of shot quality. Whether a shot is screened or not, and the interval between shots (the thing you are studying) determine “shot quality” also.

    So stuff is known about shot location, but very little is still known about shot quality.

  54. G Money says:

    godot10: Shot location is not the only determination of shot quality.Whether a shot is screened or not, and the interval between shots (the thing you are studying) determine “shot quality” also.

    So stuff is known about shot location, but very little is still known about shot quality.

    That’s right. We have no perfect measure of shot quality. Shot location gives us a higher level of resolution. So too will the temporal stuff.

    That said, and this is the point that gets missed – history shows that shot quality and quantity are tied at the hip. It is extraordinarily difficult to separate the two. Usually where the two separate (where a team scores inordinately high relative to shot rates, or inordinately low, it is ephemeral and disappears over time – the much maligned observation of regression to the meat).

    That doesn’t mean it is impossible, or that Eakins didn’t manage to find the loophole in the universe that allowed him to inflate Corsi and deflate results. I just don’t think he’s that brilliant, such that he could achieve what pretty much no other coach has managed to do. Occam’s Razor and all.

    Pretty much all the difference in the visuals of the two teams can be attributed to the morale difference (which I believe is very much a thing).

    Pretty much all the difference in the on-ice results of the two teams can be attributed to the red-hot PP (which shows clearly in the PP Corsi, indicating it is both real and sustainable, even if the current sh% is likely not).

    All the rest of the differences people bandy about is conjecture unsupported by actual data.

  55. oilersfan says:

    if the oilers pick third overall would it make sense to trade the pick to boston for dougie Hamilton? gets boston out of cap hell, gives boston a local product for a generation, gives oilers a guy ready to play now, a right hand shot to play with Nurse for 12 years, more offense than Hanifin is projected to have, a big guy, and 3 years experience with a good team.

    seems to me to make a lot of sense for both teams.

  56. judgedrude says:

    Ryan,

    But he’ll get it right this time!

  57. rickithebear says:

    Even point ranks from 13-14
    EVg
    27 top 5
    23 top 15
    20 top 30
    17 top 55
    15 top 80
    13 top 120
    10 top 180

    EVP
    60 top 5
    50 top 15
    45 top 30
    40 top 55
    35 top 85
    30 top 130
    25 top 190

    Age translated Even NHLE
    button ranks:

    #10 Meier .52
    58gm 21EVG 34 EVA
    15EVG 39EVP

    #11 Crouse .69
    41Gm 18EVG 28 EVP
    24 EVG 37-38EVP

    #13 Harkins .67 translation
    68gm 16EG 53EVP
    12 EVG 42 EVP

    #14 Merkely .67
    70gm 13 EVG 50 EVP
    10EVG 38P

    #16 Beauvillier .68
    66gm 22EVG 42 EVP
    18EVG 36 EVP

    #17 Svechnikov .53
    53GM 20 EVG 47 EVP
    16-17 EVG 38-39 EVP

    #18 Barzal .67
    42gm 9EVG 30 EVP
    11-12 EVG 38 EVP

    #22 Debrusk .52
    70gm 27 EVG 49 EVP
    16-17 EVG 30 EVP

    #23 Kocnecy .62
    51gm 21g 44 EVP
    20-21 EVG 43EVP

    #24 Bittner .54
    51gm 22EVG 49 EVP
    18-19 EVG 41-42 EVP

    #25 Sprong .62
    66gm 22evg 44 EVA
    16-17 EVG 33 EVP

    #28 Zacha .64
    31 gm 10 EVG 6 EVA
    16-17EVG 26-27 EVP

    #30 Chlapik .68
    62gm 21EVg 42 EVP
    18-19 EVG 37 EVP

    #50 Speers .58
    55gm 13EVg 37EVA
    11EVG 31EVP

    #59 NOEL .69
    58gm 14EVG 34 EVA
    13-14EVG 33EVp

    #61 ROY .60
    50Gm 9EVg 27 EVP
    8-9 EVG 34-35 EVP

    #65 Senyshyn .63
    40gm 19 EVG 30 EVP
    24 EVG 38 EVP

    #70 Marsh .74
    58gm 20 EVG 32 EVP
    20-21EVG 33 EVP

    #74 D. YAN .64
    57gm 22EVG 40 EVP
    20 EVG 36 EVP

    #23 Konecny 5’10” 176lb
    #30 Chlapik 6’1″ 190lb
    #65 Senyshyn 6’2″ 195lb
    #70 Marsh 6’0″ 160lb
    #74 Yan 6’1″ 188lb

  58. flyfish1168 says:

    G Money,

    Hi G-Money

    Is there a measure developed with zone time and quality shot combine as a analytic?
    example total 30 minutes in offensive zone with 15 peripheral shots and 20 from arrow zone.
    something along this line? just wondering.

  59. flyfish1168 says:

    oilersfan:
    if the oilers pick third overall would it make sense to trade the pick to boston for dougie Hamilton? gets boston out of cap hell, gives boston a local product for a generation, gives oilers a guy ready to play now, a right hand shot to play with Nurse for 12 years, more offense than Hanifin is projected to have, a big guy, and 3 years experience with a good team.

    seems to me to make a lot of sense for both teams.

    I would do it if it include justin to boston

  60. frjohnk says:

    G Money: Frjohnk I meant.“Father of four, John K” as I understand it!

    Ha Ha.

    To further that what you were talking about earlier.

    Eakins team compared to Nelson

    -more shots for per game
    -more shots for from the “box” per game ( box is the high and medium danger shots, not unlike “arrow”)
    -more scoring chances for per game using the databases from Cult of Hockey and War on Ice

    Some possible reasons for this

    – score effects

    – Nelson has had more AHL regulars in his lineup and more players playing above their proper placing in the lineup. Just for instance, Eakins got 78 games out 93 possible games from Hall, Pouliot, and Perron. These are 3 of the 4 best wingers on the team and are the guys that get the shots away from the tough areas and drive possession.

    Nelson got 37 games out of 93 possible games from those same 3 guys due to injuries and Perron being traded. The guys that were put into the lineup were Hamilton, Fraser, Pakirenen, and Gazdic. Hardly players that drive possession or get to the areas to increase the “box” shots.

    – Nelson had to learn about his team, the players, the coaching staff, even analytics on the fly

    I think those and maybe a few other things have affected the possession and shot metrics.

    I don’t think Nelson came in and re invented the wheel. Other than the PP, the systems have not changed much. We have to remember that when in OKC, Nelson had similar systems to what Eakins had in the NHL.

    The forecheck is pretty much the same. To continue OZ pressure, the D are still pinching along the boards in the Ozone, but the high forward ( F3) is covering better and not leading to as many odd man breaks now. But I did notice this a few games just before Eakins was canned, so no real change there. The break out has not changed much. On a side note: remember last years wingers doing the “jailbreak”? Yikes! Rare that happens anymore.

    Nelsons team does dump the puck in more, but that might be more a roster change ( and a lack of skill) than a coaching thing.

    Nelson is also using players differently. One is Yak. Eakins sheltered Yak by giving him 72% OZ starts and butter soft competition but could only give Yak an AHL player and a CHL player as his center. With Nelson, the OZ starts are 55% and Yak is facing tougher competition but has an experienced NHL center to play with.

    We could all debate Eakins vs Nelson, but in the whole scheme of things, both coaches have not had complete NHL rosters and that is the main problem.

  61. G Money says:

    flyfish1168,

    Not that I know of – except the one I’m working on!

    I’m actually working on two projects at once. One is trying to define shot quality (using location and type as the proxy). I’m pretty close to being there now (per the heatmaps I posted a few days ago, I can post them again if you missed).

    Second is the shot timing, using rebounds and zone time (uninterrupted sequence of Corsi events), what I’ve been referring to as temporal Corsi. I hope to have this within a couple of days.

    The first step is to lock those two measures down i.e. have a robust metric that we can actually use to compare players and/or teams. I will be looking for help from the bright minds on this site to refine that!

    After that is locked down, the next logical step will be to try and combine the two. But I don’t yet have a sense of how we’ll be able to do that.

    If and when we do get there, I think if we can combine score-adjusted Corsi with shot quality with temporal effects, we will have the “ultimate Corsi” calculation until such time as the NHL has SportVu up and running.

  62. commonfan14 says:

    godot10: Shot location is not the only determination of shot quality. Whether a shot is screened or not, and the interval between shots (the thing you are studying) determine “shot quality” also.

    I know it’s my imperfect memory talking, but for me the Eakins era will always be symbolized by that totally open shot that Lupul got to tee up for an hour on a helpless Dubnyk from point-blank range in Toronto last year.

    Players also have imperfect memories, and I think something like that can be just as tough for them to shake off as it is for us.

    G Money: That doesn’t mean it is impossible, or that Eakins didn’t manage to find the loophole in the universe that allowed him to inflate Corsi and deflate results. I just don’t think he’s that brilliant, such that he could achieve what pretty much no other coach has managed to do. Occam’s Razor and all.

    One thing that we might need to keep in mind is that it’s entirely possible that Eakins was the first coach in NHL history to specifically focus his coaching tactics on improving the team’s Corsi. If true, that could create some serious irregularities with the data.

    Dellow himself did a whole study last year on the negative side effects that came up when the Oilers changed their coaching tactics to focus specifically on pumping up Nuge and Gagner’s FO percentage.

  63. flyfish1168 says:

    G Money,

    A few years ago, maybe you saw this also. Toews, Kane and Quenville were being interviewed. They talked about the importance of shooting for the goalies pads. Creating that rebound and chaos, having someone come up the middle for that rebound.

    After that interview I must admit I started looking at shots from our players, flying down the wing and shooting for the top corner and missing the net to watch it ring around and out of the offensive zone. I just think that is a selfish shot to take. I have to admit I see less of this with Nelson taking over.

    I always like shots between the dots, less that 30 feet out , rebounds in goalies crease and the Mike Bossy leg or skate bank shot from back of net.

  64. G Money says:

    commonfan14: Dellow himself did a whole study last year on the negative side effects that came up when the Oilers changed their coaching tactics to focus specifically on pumping up Nuge and Gagner’s FO percentage.

    That’s right. But what he found is that the post-faceoff Corsi fell dramatically after that tactical change was implemented. It’s easy to buy the idea that a tactical change resulted in poorer Corsi and poorer results.

    I have a tough time believing that a tactical change results in better Corsi and poorer results. The world rarely works that way, and NHL defenders would have a thing or two to say about it as well.

    Dellow is one of the guys that I think inspired the whole idea of temporal Corsi. To my knowledge, only three people have worked on this stuff before.

    Dellow, with his work on Corsi post-faceoff.

    Parkatti, with his work on high frequency shots i.e. rebounds.

    Fangda Li, who’s been looking at time effects in Corsi to try and see if there is some ‘deep structure’ in games that time data can reveal. (I corresponded with him as I was getting my project underway)

    Interesting to note that, if I dare to include myself in that august group, we have three Oiler fans and a Leafs fan.

    Presumably, this work isn’t going to happen in LA or Chicago, as the fans of those two teams are too busy enjoying winning hockey!

  65. G Money says:

    flyfish1168,

    Absolutely. This is where one of the visual confirmations of the correlation between Corsi and shot quality comes from I think.

    If you watch the better teams, it is NOT that they wait and wait until they get a better quality shot. It is that they shoot from everywhere, and the chaos that results drives their success in converting. Same thing on elite powerplays like San Jose. They don’t hesitate to shoot.

    So the idea that you ‘goose’ Corsi tactically while weakening results just doesn’t compute. Poor teams wait for the ideal shot and end up never getting it. Poor Corsi, poor results. Good teams take shots from everywhere. Good Corsi, good results.

    There have been suggestions that somehow Eakins broke that correlation, that somehow his team went for perimeter shots – and he managed to accomplish that without actually having that show up in the shot rates for perimeter shots. Or conversely that shots are not causative of goals … at which point I’m left wondering if the person asserting that even watches the damn game!

  66. flyfish1168 says:

    G Money,

    I total agree, waiting for something that may never come. Now to combine this with minutes in the offensive zone.

  67. G Money says:

    commonfan14: One thing that we might need to keep in mind is that it’s entirely possible that Eakins was the first coach in NHL history to specifically focus his coaching tactics on improving the team’s Corsi. If true, that could create some serious irregularities with the data.

    Yep, it is – but I find it hard to give him that much credit. Despite the fanfare about Edmonton and Toronto and their foray into fancystats, we do know that some of the best teams out there have been using fancystats for quite some time.

    If there was a cogent explanation, even one, of how you could increase Corsi AND every other measure of shot effectiveness yet still weaken results, I might buy it. But no one comes close. You scratch the surface of the explanations and they all boil down to the same thing: “I hate Eakins”.

    Understandable, but hardly an objective explanation!

    As I noted earlier, Occam’s Razor. Lot’s of simpler, objectively supported reasons why Eakins was unsuccessful. He was a bad coach and did many dumb things! But he did do a few things well, and one of them was get the team to own the puck more, offensively and defensively. No need to put forth explanations of how Eakins became the first coach to break Corsi!

  68. ACalgaryOilFan says:

    rickithebear:
    Even point ranks from 13-14
    EVg
    27 top 5
    23 top 15
    20 top 30
    17 top 55
    15 top 80
    13 top 120
    10 top 180

    EVP
    60 top 5
    50 top 15
    45 top 30
    40 top 55
    35 top 85
    30 top 130
    25 top 190

    Age translated Even NHLE
    button ranks:

    #10 Meier .52
    58gm 21EVG 34 EVA
    15EVG 39EVP

    #11 Crouse .69
    41Gm 18EVG 28 EVP
    24 EVG 37-38EVP

    #13 Harkins .67 translation
    68gm 16EG 53EVP
    12 EVG 42 EVP

    #14 Merkely .67
    70gm 13 EVG 50 EVP
    10EVG 38P

    #16 Beauvillier .68
    66gm 22EVG 42 EVP
    18EVG 36 EVP

    #17 Svechnikov .53
    53GM 20 EVG 47 EVP
    16-17 EVG 38-39 EVP

    #18 Barzal .67
    42gm 9EVG 30 EVP
    11-12 EVG 38 EVP

    #22 Debrusk .52
    70gm 27 EVG 49 EVP
    16-17 EVG 30 EVP

    #23 Kocnecy .62
    51gm 21g 44 EVP
    20-21 EVG43EVP

    #24 Bittner .54
    51gm 22EVG 49 EVP
    18-19 EVG 41-42 EVP

    #25 Sprong .62
    66gm 22evg 44 EVA
    16-17 EVG33 EVP

    #28 Zacha .64
    31 gm 10 EVG 6 EVA
    16-17EVG 26-27 EVP

    #30 Chlapik .68
    62gm 21EVg 42 EVP
    18-19 EVG 37 EVP

    #50 Speers .58
    55gm 13EVg 37EVA
    11EVG 31EVP

    #59 NOEL .69
    58gm 14EVG 34 EVA
    13-14EVG 33EVp

    #61 ROY.60
    50Gm 9EVg 27 EVP
    8-9 EVG 34-35 EVP

    #65 Senyshyn.63
    40gm 19 EVG 30 EVP
    24 EVG 38 EVP

    #70 Marsh .74
    58gm 20 EVG 32 EVP
    20-21EVG 33 EVP

    #74 D. YAN .64
    57gm 22EVG 40 EVP
    20 EVG 36 EVP

    #23 Konecny 5’10” 176lb
    #30 Chlapik 6’1″ 190lb
    #65 Senyshyn 6’2″ 195lb
    #70 Marsh 6’0″ 160lb
    #74 Yan 6’1″ 188lb

    Hey Ricki, have you ever gone back to past drafts and seen how EVG rates translate into actual draft success. ie. if you look at same 2008 or 2009, does this EVG play out into who was drafted and who had success in the NHL.

    Just curious as it would be interesting to see how accurate that information is against draft history.

    Thanks!

  69. frjohnk says:

    commonfan14: One thing that we might need to keep in mind is that it’s entirely possible that Eakins was the first coach in NHL history to specifically focus his coaching tactics on improving the team’s Corsi. If true, that could create some serious irregularities with the data.

    Eakins team last year had a score adjusted fenwick of 43.2%. 4th worst since 05-06
    This year his team had a score adjusted fenwick of 49.5%

    That is an increase of 6.3%. That is significant.

    The hiring of Dellow and this increase was not just a coincidence.

    There were 4 main changes that I wrote about earlier in the year ( but I can only remember 2 right now)

    1. The D engaged more this year in the offensive zone along the boards to keep the puck in. This helped keep the play in the other end longer and led to more shots and chances for. ( The negative to this was the inability of the high forward not covering the pinch and if the pinch was lost, it was usually an odd man rush the other way)

    2. The had more controlled entries in the Ozone compared to last year when they just dump and chased majority of the time.

    3.??????

    4.??????

    Now lets say for a moment that Eakins told his players just to shoot from the perimeter ( data says otherwise, but for the sake of argument ) this would increase the shots for, but it would also increase shots against as well because perimeter shots especially with no traffic, easily change possession to the other team. And if the other team has the puck more this would lead to more shots against. If this was true, then would have seen differences in corsi and fenwick events per 60 min

    Corsi events for and against/60 min 9 score adjusted with Eakins
    2013-14 =105
    2014-15 =104.5

    Fenwick events for and against/60 min 9 score adjusted with Eakins
    2013-14 =79
    2014-15 =77.6

    I didn’t/don’t like Eakins and tried to find the “he is cheating for corsi” holy grail.

    Nothing but dead ends.

    Dead ends people.

    Dead ends.

  70. SwedishPoster says:

    Didn’t Staples do some work on scoring chances after fo in the o and d-zone respectively? I recall something on CoH in that regard. I think the argument was on the value of winning fos. The point was that wins or losses didn’t affect scoring chances as much as you might think and his idea was that since a faceoff is a set play, everyone is already in a good defensive position when the play starts making it harder to create a good scoring chance. Couldn’t this be extended to zone starts? We do know that zone starts affect corsi. Which makes sense. We also know that transitions have a higher percentage of goals scored than plays where all five defenders are back in the own zone. Which also makes sense. When you start the play with everyone in place that should make it more difficult to create a scoring chance.
    So the question is, should you start your worst defensive players in the offensive zone or should you start them in a controlled setting in the defensive zone? Especially if part of their strength offensively is the transition game as is the case with Hall and Yak for example. Good cycle players like Nuge and Ebs are likely to benefit from o-zone starts but guys who are best when going full throttle? All this is ofc depending on situations, how good your breakouts are, how good you are at holding the zone and so on. But in the case of Yak his zone starts have gotten worse and his production has gone up while his corsi is worse. Have we traded corsi for production? Would be interesting to see some work in this regard. Might change perceptions

  71. Big Dan says:

    There is a bias on this blog towards marner and against fucale.

    Am I the only one that doesn’t want the oilers to draft 5’11 167 lb marner? Hanifan is WAY better and can play in the ahl next year. Strome and marner are too risky for my liking.

    Also, this site loves marincin (I agree). Did you know the hockey news ranked him our #6 prospect- behind broissoit, moroz, and khaira? Huh?

  72. Lowetide says:

    Big Dan:
    There is a bias on this blog towards marner and against fucale.

    There’s no bias towards Marner, he got to No. 3 on my list because he earned it. The guy is incredible. Fucale is not incredible.

  73. prairieschooner says:

    If MacT lets Marincin go (and I can’t believe I am saying this)
    How big a jpb is it to replace him?

  74. Woodguy says:

    Big Dan:
    There is a bias on this blog towards marner and against fucale.

    Am I the only one that doesn’t want the oilers to draft 5’11 167 lb marner?Hanifan is WAY better and can play in the ahl next year.Strome and marner are too risky for my liking.

    Also, this site loves marincin (I agree).Did you know the hockey news ranked him our #6 prospect- behind broissoit, moroz, and khaira?Huh?

    You seem to have a bias on size.

    Also,

    Fucale has the 9th best SV% this year in the QMJHL.

    What is there to get excited about?

  75. sliderule says:

    G Money,

    How have the sog changed under Nelson?

    I assume you have access to this as you have nearly all the other statistical information.

    If the sog / game has gone up it might give credence to my theory.

    The only other basis for thinking there was panic is comments by Ebs and Hall inferring that they are playing calmer under Nelson.

    Of course there is the mostly discredited view of using my eyes and watching Yaks whiffs and rushed shots.

  76. G Money says:

    sliderule: How have the sog changed under Nelson?

    It’s a tale of two cities.

    On the power play, the SF/60 has gone through the roof – jumped from around 45 S/60 to an almost unbelievable 59 S/60. This is what I talk about when I say that the PP has gone from being bottom tier to top tier. 59 per 60 would put the Oilers #2 in the league!

    Conversely, at even strength, SF/60 has dropped from 27.9 to 25.9. That’s a significant decline. And that decline persists even if you account for score effects.

  77. Ca$h-Money! says:

    G Money: It’s a tale of two cities.

    On the power play, the SF/60 has gone through the roof – jumped from around 45 S/60 to an almost unbelievable 59 S/60.This is what I talk about when I say that the PP has gone from being bottom tier to top tier.59 per 60 would put the Oilers #2 in the league!

    Conversely, at even strength, SF/60 has dropped from 27.9 to 25.9.That’s a significant decline.And that decline persists even if you account for score effects.

    I’m not sure a shots/60 decline of 2 is a significant difference over a small sample. As I recall they had 1 or 2 really bad games against some very good teams, which would be enough to substantially effect number, no?

  78. sliderule says:

    G Money,

    I thought you might have the shots on goal not shot attempts..I believe the stats you have given are shot attempts not sog?

    If the oilers are taking fewer shots by taking more time and should I say better aim they should be hitting the net somewhat more.

  79. G Money says:

    sliderule,

    Those are shots, not shot attempts (though shot attempts aka Corsi have also declined).

    Ca$h-Money!,

    True, it is a modestly small sample in both cases, so grain of salt applies.

    That said, you have to remember that the entire range of the league (best to worst) is only about 10 shots per 60 right now. So a drop of 2 shots per 60 from 27.9 to 25.9 would drop you about 5 places in the league tables (i.e. from 10th last to about 5th last).

  80. frjohnk says:

    Bohologo: Apologies for this cringe-inducingly pedantic correction. Increase of 6.3 percentage points, increase of 14.5%, right?

    So it’s even more significant an increase.

    You r right

  81. Woodguy says:

    G Money: Yep, it is – but I find it hard to give him that much credit.Despite the fanfare about Edmonton and Toronto and their foray into fancystats, we do know that some of the best teams out there have been using fancystats for quite some time.

    If there was a cogent explanation, even one, of how you could increase Corsi AND every other measure of shot effectiveness yet still weaken results, I might buy it.But no one comes close.You scratch the surface of the explanations and they all boil down to the same thing: “I hate Eakins”.

    Understandable, but hardly an objective explanation!

    As I noted earlier, Occam’s Razor.Lot’s of simpler, objectively supported reasons why Eakins was unsuccessful.He was a bad coach and did many dumb things!But he did do a few things well, and one of them was get the team to own the puck more, offensively and defensively.No need to put forth explanations of how Eakins became the first coach to break Corsi!

    I love you.

    I just wanted you to know that.

  82. SVR says:

    Off topic, but I was thinking about what the Oilers can possibly do to improve the back end. Getting a top pairing d man is so difficult as no one is trading them. We may be stuck with smaller upgrades a waiting for the prospects to mature.

    Any one been following Dylan McIlrath s development in NY? He shoots right, is huge, and turning 23 soon. Looks like the Rangers drafted him too early in 2010, and he hasnt been able to break in with them yet. Would he be worth a call to Slats? Maybe we could get him for one of our second rounders. Would he be able to make our team ahead of Nikitin or Ference.

  83. Woodguy says:

    Bohologo: Apologies for this cringe-inducingly pedantic correction. Increase of 6.3 percentage points, increase of 14.5%, right?

    So it’s even more significant an increase.

    I thought the rule of “never take a percentage of a percentage” should hold true here.

  84. spoiler says:

    Woodguy: I love you.

    I just wanted you to know that.

    Yeah, I’m reading through this thread right now and have to agree. Thank Gord for G Mon.

  85. jake70 says:

    Man, gutsy 2nd set over Nadal for Raonic, speaking of center stage.

  86. GCW_69 says:

    G Money: However, I can speed up your access to the data you need by 1000x!

    That would be awesome!

  87. G Money says:

    Woodguy,

    spoiler,

    LOL, if I could blush, I would!

    GCW_69,

    Asked and answered, my friend!
    https://app.box.com/s/7gepxy56ee28ttc2xhcz8mpxagroqkem

    That’s the complete play by play for the first 1038 games this season, about 56M or so, converted into a CSV. That would be as of maybe 4 or 5 days ago, I only run the update scripts every week or two.

    My scripts have also thrown in some handy value-adds, like the shot locations from RTSS, numbering Corsi and Fenwick events, calculating Corsi time deltas, and extracting from the description field things like shot distances and shot type. The headings should be reasonably clear, but let me know if anything is unclear.

    Data quality I think is decent, the scripts do a fair bit of error checking, but let me know if there are any busts. (If so, I blame Bettman)

  88. Talking Oilers, centers and player development on the Lowdown with Lowetide | The SuperFan says:

    […] had an excellent post up this morning that framed our discussion. Going into next season, the Oilers have RNH, Lander, Gordon and possibly Derek Roy, who is set to […]

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