A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

by Lowetide

Justin Schultz looked good by eye and by math last night. Justin Schultz looked good by eye and math last night. He received lots of positive words after the St. Louis game, but for me the Nashville game was far better. Before we get to the numbers for the blue, a few things:

  • Lots of people all over Sekera for the first GA last night and he certainly did stickhandle himself into a corner. That said, Mark Letestu needed to offer support there (staying high, making sure Edmonton wasn’t outnumbered by Preds). You can blame Sekera and that’s fine, but it’s also true the rest of the team has to be better in terms of positioning and awareness there.
  • I expect it’s going to be a very difficult year for Andrew Ference, wrote about it here.  The only thing that may change? Ference may end up playing fewer than 28 games. There’s no defense of the mistake by the former captain last night, so I will offer none. When a veteran makes a rookie play, well I guess that must be hockey’s circle of life. The contract ends summer 2017, Edmonton can buy him out next summer. Todd McLellan will have to decide how many games the veteran will see in the coming months. Not an easy situation on either side of the equation.

THE BLUE LAST NIGHT, IN A BOX

oct 10 d

The ZS’s didn’t really have a dungeon last night, but the Klefbom—Schultz pairing faced the toughest and came out above 50%. Sekera was in fact used in a strong OZone role and I like that adjustment—for me that’s good usage, although would have thought Schultz was the more obvious choice. Ference—Gryba were solid by the numbers and Gryba impresses me as a guy who can actually defend (he has no offensive potential at all, however). Ference we discussed above.

THE CENTERS LAST NIGHT, IN A BOX

oct 10 c

Nuge was splendid last night, I’m loving his progress as a player. He’s not perfect, and when he makes a mistake it’s back of the net because Oilers, but he’s an excellent NHL center. McDavid got the push (like he should) and for me there’s simply too much there to worry about two games without a point. When he breaks out, he’ll probably score two extra to make up for the last two games. DO NOT WORRY about Connor McDavid, he’ll be fine. The Lander and Letestu lines had tough nights.

I wanted to highlight McDavid’s night because it may have seen a turning point for Todd McLellan and his search for hockey chemistry. Remember, McD was 59% overall 5×5 Corsi for %.

MCDAVID LINEMATES LAST NIGHT

  • Nail Yakupov 8-4 .667 Corsi events (6:23 EV TOI)
  • Benoit Pouliot 8-6 .571 Corsi events (8:38 EV TOI)
  • Lauri Korpikoski 5-5 .500 Corsi events (4:42 EV TOI)
  • Source

The McDavid—Yakupov chemistry may kill Don Cherry, but we’re going to have to risk it. The young Russian looked effective and rapido out there, with the added appeal of Hall emerging on the Nuge line with nine shots. These things take time to develop and never say never with regard to Hall—McDavid, but Don Cherry may be wise to start looking at the Kingston phone books for the “Yakupov” surname. MUST be a connection!

WINGERS LAST NIGHT, IN A BOX

oct 10 f

People are all over Purcell, but he made a splendid pass to Hall for the point blank last night, should have been a goal and will be when Hall finds the groove. I think McLellan will run Hall with Nuge and Purcell until Eberle gets back, and would be shocked if we don’t see McDavid with Yak and Poo next game.

Which brings me to Slepyshev. I think we may see him sent to Bakersfield in the next few days, with Leon Draisaitl a possible recall. TC impressions can fool people and I think it’s wise to allow this young man to find his game. I felt at the time the right call involved keeping Draisaitl and sending out Slepy and the handling of Anton Lander compels Peter Chiarelli to make this move.

Edmonton is between a rock and a hard place with Andrew Ference, but there’s no such barrier for a Slepyshev—Draisaitl swap. That should happen today.

217 comments
0

You may also like

0 0 vote
Article Rating
217 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
raventalon40

Guys, it’s just game two. And St Louis and Nashville crying out loud! Arizona is 2-0 and Pittsburgh is 0-2. I’m not worried.

geowal

Tulo!

G Money

*** NERD ALERT ***

https://oilersnerdalert.wordpress.com/2015/10/11/the-fancystats-mystery-that-was-nikita-nikitin/

Got this half baked article out of the oven at the same time as the turkey.

Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving, everyone!

G Money

Магия 10: ~ You and your obsession with moral victories. The season will be over by the time you start to even care about results. ~

Guilty.

Gret99zky

Meh, we just need to beat a team 6-1 (with a 4 point night for McDavid) and everything around here will be “music” again.

Close but no Ciger

Woodguy,

Thanks

Woodguy: 5 year sample 09/10-14/15

SJS:

ShotsFor/60 31.3 – 2nd
CorsiFor/60 59.9 – 1st
GoalsFor/60 2.22 – 18th

Still holds true.

Source: http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/teamstats.php?disp=1&db=201015&sit=5v5&sort=GF60&sortdir=DESC

Now I’ll eliminate last year from the sample.I don’t like doing this, but you asked:

5 year 08/09-13/14

SJS:

ShotsFor/60 31.5 – 3rd
CorsiFor/60 59.4 – 1st
GoalsFor/60 2.33 – 12th

Still holds true, although removing that year and replacing it with 08/09 increases their scoring 0.11G/60

Source: http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/teamstats.php?disp=1&db=200914&sit=5v5&sort=GF60&sortdir=DESC

sorry I didn’t mean to say that you shouldn’t include the latest season. I also thought their 08 season was better in terms of GF60.

I however don’t find x year data useful without seeing the trend line as it can be a bit misleading- They have been up and down in terms of GF60 – 2009-2011 and 2013 being strong years.

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Tim-Chiasson/Where-Are-The-Sharks-Shooting-From/214/63710 can confirm that the sharks do indeed shoot from everywhere so you’re right about that.

However I never noticed the Sharks as a team that shoots without a purpose – they usually have a guy or two crashing the net. So it may have worked some years, not worked some other years for whatever reason – I think maybe that’s something you or someone else can examine (not me, I’ll be stuffed with turkey ;)) Also as I said, the sharks retooled a bit after the ’12 season. Further I’ve never heard Mclellan – and he doesn’t strike me as a guy that does this – talk about Corsi being a goal in of itself.

The last couple games looks like Eakins hockey, but I doubt that he’s happy that they are taking shots anyone going to the net to cash in those rebounds, or taking shots to the inside.

Halfwise

oliveoilers: Uh-oh.Guys, Dad’s just crushed his beer can without realising it and has that tick in his eye.

It all started when he hit me back!

Jethro Tull

Lowetide: No.

Uh-oh. Guys, Dad’s just crushed his beer can without realising it and has that tick in his eye.

John Chambers

Halfwise,

That’s fantastic ammunition

Halfwise

John Chambers:
Btw where does Dys come from?

Chirping my canucklehead cousin at the game in Van next week.

A reference to the Dynasty that they once imagined themselves becoming.

Halfwise

G Money: I see those things – lots of them – so far, and I also saw an improvement (Ference notwithstanding) from Game 1 to Game 2.

So at this point, I’m not that worried about the results.

But the results do have to start coming at some point.

If we’re at game 10, and the team has had some games at home and some games against non-elite teams, and you don’t start seeing the process translate into results, then I’d start considering changes.

But so far, in context I haven’t seen anything to suggest that the team isn’t about where it should be.

I watch specifically for blueline turnovers on attempted Oiler breakouts, and entering the O-zone with possession or a chip-and-chase with good chances of recovery. The team is better, by eye and by LRBP (Living Room Blood Pressure).

Playoffs are a distant bell because they are coming from the sub-basement. That is not the fault of either the current coach or his boss.

N64

G Money: it’s the process moreso than the result right now

~ You and your obsession with moral victories. The season will be over by the time you start to even care about results. ~

G Money

Магия 10,

If anyone asks ‘are we there yet’, I SWEAR, I’M STOPPING THE CAR!

John Chambers

Btw where does Dys come from?

Chirping my canucklehead cousin at the game in Van next week.

G Money

Woodguy: -disagreed with Gmoney on Scrivens

You … you … disagreed with me?

Dammit, why is it so dusty in here!??

*walks away sadly*

John Chambers

Halfwise: I think the Pens wanted Weber for Malkin. They could of made that deal if they weren’t such loosers.

“Hey Geno – Jim here. Yeah we want you to waive your no-trade to go to Phoenix. What? No no, that was just one season, they’re on the upswing. Of course we’re trading for that blueliner who can wheel do there won’t be anybody who can get you the puck.”

“Shit. Geno won’t accept the trade. I’m going to be fuckin fired”.

N64

G Money: OK, back to the regularly scheduled … whatever it is.

They all did it first. Make them all stop.

G Money

VOR:
GMoney,

How long would you wait before you made major changes to the Oilers roster? If they still haven’t gelled at game twenty do you really shake things up? I get that you think it takes time for all the changes to take effect but in your model is there an absolute drop dead date?

Good question.

I kind of laid out some of my baseline expectations in my last NerdAlert, which talked specifically about the horrific early season schedule. At best, this team with this roster is a mid-pack bubble-playoff team. Reasonable expectations? .333 against elite teams, .500 against fellow mid-pack teams, .667 against bottom-feeders.

But temper that down a bit in the early going (for gelling purposes) and a bit higher later in the season (where the roster should be mature and fully versed in the system, just as the schedule becomes a whole lot easier).

I guess the challenge here is – because of that brutal schedule, roster turnover, new system – it’s the process moreso than the result right now.

Patience would be for as long as the team looks like they are getting the hang of it. ‘It’ being in particular, five man breakouts with support, uptempo puck pressure in the offense and neutral zone, better defensive positioning, and some position battles in front of the bad guys net (lots of stuff this team needs to work on).

I see those things – lots of them – so far, and I also saw an improvement (Ference notwithstanding) from Game 1 to Game 2.

So at this point, I’m not that worried about the results.

But the results do have to start coming at some point.

If we’re at game 10, and the team has had some games at home and some games against non-elite teams, and you don’t start seeing the process translate into results, then I’d start considering changes.

But so far, in context I haven’t seen anything to suggest that the team isn’t about where it should be.

G Money

HOLY SH*T. I hate to interrupt the family feud with positivity but …

About two months ago, I was at a bit of a standstill and on the verge of giving up on a variety of my data projects, because I just couldn’t get some of the NHL scraping of key data working properly. Time on ice (shifts for players) in particular, rosters secondarily.

Then war-on-ice decided to release all of their data as play by play files! Whoop! Problem solved! I rewrote all my scripts to read their files instead of my own scraped files, and I was off to the races.

Once I got the key calculations working, my plan is/was to release a bunch of shot type / distance / location / difficulty / score adjusted metrics after each game. Other sites do this too, but one thing that is hard to find is to get that info on a player + d pair + forward line + 5 man unit basis, which I was planning to include as well.

Which worked great until I realized a week ago that it doesn’t look like war-on-ice will be releasing this stuff game by game. Only the whole shebang at the end of each season. I’ve nagged them and also @MannyElk via Twitter about it, but so far nothing.

So its great for retrospective looks, but in-season … not so much.

Yesterday, with much reluctance, I figured I better start seeing if I could get back to scraping this stuff myself. Dug into my old scripts with a fresh eye. Discombobulated the various NHL pages. Tested a few different heuristics for extracting the relevant data and ignoring all the extraneous crap.

Took a break for hockey and football. Tested some more.

Got it working this afternoon.

Yeah baby! THAT IS SOME *FINE* LOOKIN’ DATA! Back on track!

OK, back to the regularly scheduled … whatever it is.

Halfwise

verdad2.0:

Still waiting for the likes of RNH or Hall to actually take a game and assert their will on it.
Never happens.

Based on this line of reasoning, Oilers should have never traded GoneYay.

Halfwise

VERDAD3.0:
Crosby doesn’t have a shot in 2 games.

As I have said for months until he he trades Malkin for OEL the Penguins are loosers.

Max Domi more dominate than any Pens forwards.Thats all you need to know.

I think the Pens wanted Weber for Malkin. They could of made that deal if they weren’t such loosers.

VOR

GMoney,

How long would you wait before you made major changes to the Oilers roster? If they still haven’t gelled at game twenty do you really shake things up? I get that you think it takes time for all the changes to take effect but in your model is there an absolute drop dead date?

Younger Oil

VERDAD3.0:
Crosby doesn’t have a shot in 2 games.

As I have said for months until he he trades Malkin for OEL the Penguins are loosers.

Max Domi more dominate than any Pens forwards.Thats all you need to know.

I love you.

VERDAD3.0

Crosby doesn’t have a shot in 2 games.

As I have said for months until he he trades Malkin for OEL the Penguins are loosers.

Max Domi more dominate than any Pens forwards. Thats all you need to know.

GCW_69

Woodguy:
Bag of Pucks,

Since 11/12 Eberle is tied for 25th in points per game

That’s pretty good.

Minimum 160 games played.

For those who don’t like links:

1Sidney Crosby1.29
2Evgeni Malkin1.2
3Steven Stamkos1.06
4Claude Giroux1.04
5John Tavares1.03
6Patrick Kane0.99
7Alex Ovechkin0.99
8Nicklas Backstrom0.98
9Pavel Datsyuk0.97
10Jamie Benn0.95
11Ryan Getzlaf0.94
12Taylor Hall0.94
13Henrik Zetterberg0.94
14Phil Kessel0.93
15Tyler Seguin0.93
16Martin St. Louis0.91
17Jonathan Toews0.91
18Erik Karlsson0.89
19Jason Spezza0.89
20Joe Thornton0.89
21Henrik Sedin0.88
22James Neal0.87
23Anze Kopitar0.86
24Corey Perry0.85
25Jordan Eberle0.84
26Max Pacioretty0.84
27Zach Parise0.84
28Daniel Sedin0.84
29Marian Hossa0.83
30Patrick Sharp0.83

Goals per game he is 23rd, which is also pretty damn good. Hall is 24th.

He is also 18th in offensive point shares. Hall is 28th.

Goals created Eberle is 17th, Hall is 38th.

No matter how you slice it, Eberle is a very very good player and a key to the Oilers offence.

"Steve Smith"

Woodguy:
VerfreakingDad Two.Oh,
You are the worst poster ever.

Challenge accepted!

Jethro Tull

Last 4 posts all pure gold, Jerry.

Talk to you all later, got to get the pies out of the oven and start on the meal.

Peace out, and keep her shiny side up.

N64

I can’t read worth beans today.comment deleted.

Woodguy

VerfreakingDad Two.Oh,

Max Domi more dominant than any Oiler forward.

This is a great example of hyperbole with no evidence.

Still waiting for the likes of RNH or Hall to actually take a game and assert their will on it.
Never happens.

RNH-Hall-Purcell run over 60% against Weber and they’re dog shit.

You are the worst poster ever.

At least DSF included some semblance of reality in his posts.

Woodguy

kinger_OIL,

plus guys will tell you that you and your post is sh%t because its not consensus

No, its shit when there’s not proof.

As for “consensus”, in the last week I:

-disagreed with LT on DrySaddle.
-disagreed with Gmoney on Scrivens
-disagreed with most on Yak
-disagree with most on Gryba

No ones pushed me out for disagreeing yet….. (*checks twitter DMs*)

What most here don’t like is hyperbole not backed up with any facts.

That’s the only consensus I’ve ever seen.

N64

oliveoilers:
Hey LT, what’s the criteria for a comment moderation?

Is it random?

23 across. I need a 6 letter name beginning with a V.

No doubt to keep the fire friendly.

Jethro Tull

Hey LT, what’s the criteria for a comment moderation?

Is it random?

Bad Seed

kinger_OIL,

WTF? What are you doing back?

🙂

Jethro Tull

verdad2.0:
AsI have said for months this team is going to start no better than Eakins.
It needs to deconstructed.

Its core players are losers. Flat out true.
Still waiting for the likes of RNH or Hall to actually take a game and assert their will on it.
Never happens.

This team needs to be rebuilt. We know this. They are just shameful to watch.
Max Domi more dominant than any Oiler forward. That tells you all you need to know.

Happy Thanksgiving, Verdad!

Jethro Tull

Магия 10: Looks like a little compelting is in order then.

Gonna be compelting myself to eat turkey leftovers for the rest of the week.

verdad2.0

As I have said for months this team is going to start no better than Eakins.
It needs to deconstructed.

Its core players are losers. Flat out true.
Still waiting for the likes of RNH or Hall to actually take a game and assert their will on it.
Never happens.

This team needs to be rebuilt. We know this. They are just shameful to watch.
Max Domi more dominant than any Oiler forward. That tells you all you need to know.

N64

oliveoilers: Bowman just called back and said there’s no way he’s throwing in a seventh.Toews for Eberle or the deal’s off.

Looks like a little compelting is in order then.

Update: If we cave it’s a least 7 years of LT saying he likes Toews but technically it was an overpay.

Jethro Tull

Магия 10: Basically a saw off. So throw in a 7th and call it a deal

Bowman just called back and said there’s no way he’s throwing in a seventh. Toews for Eberle or the deal’s off.

SwedishPoster

G Money,

I agree as well. This is a much more sound team already. The basic structure looks better. With a working PP there would be far less arguing as that tends to hide offensive issues 5v5 as long as the D is there. In a way it might be blessing that the PP has been cold as it puts a light on 5v5. But as a whole I’m actually encouraged by the start.

kinger_OIL

Walter :
– Don’t worry I feel you pain – plus guys will tell you that you and your post is sh%t because its not consensus, and wish you good riddance

flyfish1168

Lowetide: My sphincter didn’t even get up today.

Maybe a 2nd helping of turkey is what you need. LOL 🙂

G Money

Fun thread!

godot10: Vancouver and Calgary are not St. Louis and Nashville.

100%. I think the 39.8% CF% the Oilers put up against St Louis last year was their worst game of the year. A big tough Hitchcock coached dead-puck team is kryptonite to the Oilers.

To play them at home so close to breakeven in the very first game is no minor feat.

I don’t get why there is so much consternation.

Just saw a tweet a little while ago that the consensus from folks attending the current RITHAC (Rochester Inst of Tech Hockey Analytics Conference) is that Nashville has the best D in the league right now.

As long as the Oilers (who are still the youngest team in the league) do not lose their trust in the system and the coach as a result of this brutal early stretch, when they do finally play one of the weak sisters, I’m hoping it will feel like a walk in the park by comparison.

russ99,

I’d suggest we give the new roster players at least 5 games to get adapted to the NHL, and the players overall about 10 games to get a handle on TMc’s systems.

Short term results aside, I can already see a significant improvement in their game this year from last year (notwithstanding the PP, and when Ference is on the ice).

Am I the only one that thinks this? [Thankfully Rex sees much the same – whether that means he and I are watching for the same things, or alternatively, share the same brand of crazy … remains to be seen]

N64

Woodguy: 18 Jordan Eberle 241
19 Jonathan Toews 241

Basically a saw off. So throw in a 7th and call it a deal

hunter1909

Walter Gretzkys Neighbour:
Ok, disclaimer here – this isn’t going to be anything meaningful in the way of hockey analysis. But, I have been doing soul searching last night and this morning (I’m in Ontario in case the handle didn’t suggest that). I’m not much of a regular poster here – I chime in now and then. But I am very interested in this site and the views and opinions of those of you who are regular and those of you who do so much analysis and research. Hats off to you guys. You make this site a treat and of course LT – who puts such heart into this, you are a gem. It’s really a credit to the depth of emotion we all feel about hockey and the Oilers specifically when we see the passion of everyone here.

My soul searching has to do with this very fundamental issue. For so many years I have expended energy, anxiety, emotion and thought on this team. I grew up in Edmonton, watched this franchise in the WHA (went to the first ever game at “Northlands”), watched and agonized as they lost the last Avco Cup, celebrated as they made the jump to the NHL and followed with joyful anticipation through the great years and the Cup wins and the domination of teams like Calgary and Vancouver etc.

I’ve never been able to loosen the hold the Oilers have on my heart – despite the fact that I have essentially been an Ontario resident since 1982. But I am feeling today after the years of losing and the last two games – I’m not sure I can dedicate my self to this anymore. I am not writing this to be convinced or anything. I’m writing this because this is the first place I have ever been able to really SAY stuff like this about the Oilers – you know out loud! I feel like this is a group of people who understand the pleasure and the pain of being an Oiler fan.

But here are my thoughts early in this season. Fundamentally there is something WRONG with the Oiler franchise. I watched the game last night (well most of it anyway) and then I watched a good deal of the Vancouver Calgary game. There’s literally no comparison between these 3 teams. Two of them are very similar and one of the look totally out of place.Calgary’s young small players can DOMINATE when they turn it up. No Oilers can seem to match that level of intensity and performance.

There was energy, action, heart, emotion, excitement in the Calgary Vancouver game. Oilers? And honestly, I’m REALLY trying to be objective – I just don’t see it. Goaltending with Talbot – WAY better. After that nothing. This is a team that has Hall, RNH, Yakupov, McDavid – all first overall picks. The defence corp is appalling bad, just mindnumpingly bad really – even with an admirable and welcome uptick in the play of Justin Schultz. But as a team, it seems like they have no energyor intensity at all.

What I’m trying to get at is the Oilers – no matter who is on the ice – always look the exact same. Weak, soft ineffective, confused, out of position, flatfooted, on the receiving end of checks never dealing them out, often falling, scrambling, whiffing on passes, missing the net and on and on.Where are we with coaches now? Five in the lat 6 years?

They are a terrible looking team. No matter what some advances stats may say specifically about last night’s game. They drive no play, they dominate no area of the ice, they create no spark, excitement or really anything. Hell even Nick Kypreos is starting to lighten up on them.

My son says I’m not really objective and I suspect that maybe true. But I am truly worn out from hoping this team will turn it around and gel and show something. I said I think there is something wrong with the organization. I thought with Chiarelli and McLellan , new assistant coaches, cleaning out the scouts etc would change this but I am really concerned that they won’t matter either.

So what I have decided is this, as someone said in the game thread yesterday – I am not going to watch any further Oiler games until such time as there is a significant change either on the roster to address the issues or in the manor in which the current team plays. They have zero identity, zero chemistry and put out a substandard product.

I love reading ideas and thoughts of you allhere and I’ll stay reading, maybe chiming in now and then. I just can’t stand watching the continual frustrations, failure and futility.

I really think Lowe, McTavish and Howson should just be summarily fired – maybe that will start the process. I don’t know.

I will conclude this aimless post by saying thanks in advance to any of you who may read this and who understand the frustration. This has been such a great franchise in the long ago past – I’d like to see it come back to that some day. Thanks for listening to me vent.

That’s all very well, but…

What exactly do you think is wrong?

Woodguy

hunter1909: The same reason Katz does anything. There’s money to be made.

*whooosh*

Woodguy

hunter1909: Might I recommend two person basketball? That’ll show her!

Great idea.

I’ll give her a knee to the chops when I go downtown too

Woodguy

godot10: Vancouver and Calgary are not St. Louis and Nashville.

Yes and 2 games is small sample.

Eakins entire sample is Oct 1/13 to Dec 15/14

SCF/60 = 25.4 – 19th in NHL
HDSC/60 = 10.6 – 14th in NHL.

The narrative that Eakins had them “shoot from the outside” has no basis in reality.

Data via War on ice

hunter1909

Woodguy: My 6 year old and I are playing Chutes and Ladders and she aggressively cheers every time I hit a chute.

Might I recommend two person basketball? That’ll show her!

striatic

Walter Gretzkys Neighbour,

What you’re saying feels true, with the exception of the games Nurse played in the pre-season. It’s not strictly about the fact that he fights, that’s a symptom, but about how he gives a damn.

Late in preseason Nurse threw away a puck in the defensive zone, was left puck watching as it turned into a turnover and as a result screened the goalie on the ensuing shot.

Rookie mistake, cost him any shot at the opening roster, and a lesson learned. The important bit was that skating off the ice after the goal, Nurse was absolutely, thoroughly *disgusted with himself* and Pissed Off. Like that scene from Boys on the Bus where the Oilers enter the locker room after a loss, simply irate.

Before Nurse, that was what Taylor Hall used to be like until he had half the passion beat out of him from years of losing.

The Oilers have young players by age, but they are old in NHL experience unlike the players on CGY and VAN or Oilers like Nurse and Draisaitl who are in the AHL because you can’t teach passion but you can certainly un-learn it.