NOVEMBER HAS TIED ME TO AN OLD DEAD TREE

Griffin Reinhart and Matt Hendricks will be back, and soon too Jordan Eberle. The Edmonton Oilers, 4-8-0 on this morning, haven’t had a full lineup all year. It is possible Darnell Nurse and Leon Draisaitl will be sent to Bakersfield in the early days of November. Is that a good idea? Yes and no. Will it happen? I’ll bet no in both cases, unless performances dip this week. Let’s have a look at October.

THE OCTOBER BLUE

oilers d fancy october 2015

I’m bringing back CorsiRel on these charts, as we suss out how best to express the current reality. Brandon Davidson’s numbers are sublime and ridiculous, a reflection of his impressive five games in the NHL this season. Lots has been written about Mark Fayne over the last 48 hours, but the numbers like him (it’s possible to have good numbers and get noticed for negative things—single moments and events can have super importance while being exactly single moments and events).

Andrej Sekera has disappointed many but we’re early days of his contract. The numbers aren’t grand, and four assists isn’t plenty, but there’s a reason NHL coaches are very patient with veterans. When Sekera comes around, he should be a key player for Edmonton’s (hopefully) spike in performance. Oscar Klefbom has also had some ghastly shifts and periods, but even with all of that he’s close to do (as in do-re-mi) so far this year. Klef is also delivering more offense than we should have expected, once again those frugal Swedish assist makers are screwing with our estimates!! He’s on pace for more than 30 points this year, and leads the defense in points.

Justin Schultz has been working hard on improving defensive play, and turned a lot of heads before getting hurt. There’s a chance we won’t see him in the coming month, and that may mean an extended look at big minutes for Darnell Nurse. We’re early days and Nurse has had good games and less impressive games, but overall he is as expected: Easily one of the six best options available to Todd McLellan.

If we could all (magically) agree that CorsiRel was the best way to judge defensemen, then Eric Gryba’s presence in all 12 games would be as universally curious as it should be based on math and eye. He’s big, he’s strong, he cannot effectively move the puck. One of the true mysteries for me this season is the number of minutes going to Gryba and men like Jared Cowen in Ottawa. It isn’t working, surely the coach sees that, so I’m beginning to wonder if there are other powers involved (GM who signed or drafted said player). I’m beginning to think this is the case in Edmonton, Todd McLellan is too smart to take 12 games to suss this out.

Andrew Ference has played five games and in those contests has had a difficult time passing and covering. Those are important items—the left side defender has to be a good passer unless playing with Justin Schultz—and should contribute to Ference playing far less than he has so far this season. He’s on pace for 34 games over the year.

Griffin Reinhart is either active or about to be activated, and his October numbers come from (mostly) the early losses. Hard to put a full grade in on him, Davidson, Ference, Nurse.

With all but Schultz healthy for November, I would like to see:

  • Sekera—Fayne
  • Nurse—Klefbom
  • Reinhart—Davidson

Relying too much on Klefbom, but Ference and Gryba are my extra’s and I do believe that’s with good reason. When Schultz gets back, one suspects the decision will be between Nurse and Reinhart, so those two need to impress over the next 30 days.

THE OCTOBER FORWARDS

oilers F fancy october 2015

If Taylor Hall were a different man, cool and distant like November, perhaps the verbal surrounding him would ring true. As it is, we’re staring at an enormous talent entering his prime and posting numbers that have him inside the league’s top 10 scorers—in the tough conference. For those who would call him lesser—child, please. Enough. Taylor Hall is an impact player in the NHL—whether you like it or not. Incredible that sentence can exist as anything past comedy.

Matt Hendricks is missed, whether it be 1 or 4line. His ability to dig and prolong the opposition exits made up for his lack of skill when he played on the Nuge line. We await his return, and that could come tomorrow night. One hopes he is paired with Lander or Letestu on a third line that can do something—anything!—to hold back the water.

Connor McDavid is magnificent, he stops the clocks and calms the town and drives the memes and the vines—and the locals already speak of him in hushed tones normally reserved for immortals. Mr. Webster keeps the light on all night these days, thinking of new words to describe his brilliance.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins still battles giants to a draw every night, but these days he does it with less attention being paid. For some of us, that makes his excellence even more impressive, as the overall success of the McDavid line owes a glove tap and a wink for all the heavy lifting. Oh, and he’s on pace for 55 points.

Benoit Pouliot has great strengths (absolute definition of a strong complementary player, they have real value) and weird foibles (‘and Benoit Pouliot takes a penalty four miles from his own net. Again!”) but we love him just the same. Brings size and grit and an edge to the McHeyHey line.

Nail Yakupov is one of the real feel good stories of this early season and it’s so good to see him in a good place. Nail has never really fit in to the lineup so I’ll give full credit to Todd McLellan for finding him a home right away and then improving the conditions when better opportunities came available. That credited, Yakupov himself has earned this and I’m thrilled the points are adding up (he’s on track for 68 points!). As long as the line is clicking, Nail should be on solid ground and has the potential to be an extreme value contract this and next year.

Leon Draisaitl has both impressed with his early scoring (out of his brain on the 5:15) and created a roster problem the moment Jordan Eberle returns. As Leon occupies the Eberle spot on the Nuge line, I hope we see Leon with Anton Lander and perhaps Matt Hendricks or Anton Slepyshev (or even Iiro Pakarinen) sometime this month.

There’s not much to say about 3F and 4F lines this season, we have no feel for them because neither trio (in any form) has shown itself to be effective in any meaningful way. That’s a problem, and frankly veteran Lauri Korpikoski needs to be better. A lot has been written about Anton Lander’s failings, and even some about Teddy Purcell (although his two point game on Saturday should quiet the jackals), but the 87 minutes Lander and Korpikoski have spent together is revealing. Lander is markedly better after the disaster duo is split, but incredibly Korpikoski is worse! Big, big problem if the veteran can’t perform in the Pisani role. Bring back Ryan Jones!

GOALIES AND MOMENTS

  • Cameron Talbot 10GP, 2.88 .897SP, .903 EV SP
  • Anders Nilsson 3GP, 3.92 .902SP, .895 EV SP

Goalies. Goalies. Words. Words. Words. Dammit! Sigh. Hope! Not really. Voodoo! Candles? Yes.

there will be blood

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260. Lots to get to, and maybe we’ll have an Oilers roster move before Jamieson hits the air at noon. Scheduled to appear:

  • Scott Burnside, ESPN. How much longer can teams like Philly (who are here tomorrow) wait before pulling the trigger to improve the team?
  • Andrew Bucholtz, 55-Yard Line. The Edmonton Eskimos broke through for the first time in a dozen years to win the Western Division title (Brian King predicted it btw). We’ll talk about a terrific season and what it means for November.
  • Sunil Agnihotri, The SuperFan and Copper & Blue. We’ll talk Leon, Darnell, defense and what to expect from a tough week ahead.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

 

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134 Responses to "NOVEMBER HAS TIED ME TO AN OLD DEAD TREE"

  1. zatch says:

    This team is exhausting to follow. I don’t know how you do it LT. I still can’t believe this organization refuses to work on defence. I don’t get it. I don’t get the posters here who refuse to think of trading anything of value to get better D. Golly gee, don’t wanna risk losing our shot at being twenty-fucking-fifth in the league. Again.

    I dunno. The fact some people are trying to rationalize this stings too. This team will in all liklihood match the NHL RECORD playoff drought this year. Un-fucking-sat. This IS bad. It’s historically bad, and no amount of “jeeze, people over-react so much here” changes that.

  2. Martin Lundén (dohfOs) says:

    The impact of Ebs and Hendy missing out is ridiculous (and I suppose speaks volume on how fragile the Oilers NHL-ready depth actually is).

    With all but Schultz healthy for November, I would like to see:
    Sekera—Klefbom
    Nurse—Fayne
    Reinhart—Davidson

    so, more or less switch Fayne with Klef.. that could be a dumb thought by me obviously (is Nurse ready to be the puck mover etc?) but I’d love to have Klef with an actual veteran (he’ll thrive) and they could be a 25 mins pairing. Fayne could work well with Nurse, but it all depends on their ability to move the puck.

  3. rich says:

    If I don’t see Ference play another shift this season it will still be too much. Great person who can’t do it anymore. He did not complete a single pass in Saturday’s game, not one.

    Pairing him w/Gryba was just asking for a disaster and hoping that we could get away with it because CAL was playing it’s 3rd in 4 nights was a miscalculation. Hopefully the coach is learning something too.

    Hope that they don’t return Nurse to Bakersfield when Shultz comes back and instead send Gryba down. Maybe we’ll get lucky and he’ll be claimed too.

    Watching the Oilers right now is very bi-polar. Love watching the forwards. Holding my breath every time the puck is in our zone expecting disaster.

  4. Martin Lundén (dohfOs) says:

    PS. Love the embedded BeerLeagueHeroe tweet and Korps is… perhaps the worst forward (except Gaz, but he’s supposedly ‘good in the room’) in the current group of forward. Happy to see it wasn’t just to my eye but the underlying numbers as well.

  5. RMGS says:

    “With all but Schultz healthy for November, I would like to see:

    Sekera—Fayne
    Nurse—Klefbom
    Reinhart—Davidson”

    Wow. Three rookies, a sophomore, and a couple of 2nd pairing vets. Better take your blood pressure medication, folks. And yet somehow this may be better than the alternative.

  6. Martin Lundén (dohfOs) says:

    rich,

    Aye. Matt Henderson explained it the best over at ON (http://oilersnation.com/2015/11/1/two-teams)

    “Edmonton has two teams. Team 1 is a highly potent offensive club that controls the puck and keeps solid possession numbers. Team 2 is offensively limp and is getting caved in by shot attempts.”

  7. alice13 says:

    Question for G Money:

    Wrt shot distance metrics, I don’t know what your raw data looks like (is the shortest shot 10′, or 5, or 2…? )

    but it might be interesting to look at the median rather than the average, as – for example – 5, 5, 10, 40, 40 averages out the same as 15, 15, 20, 25, 25, where the former would obviously be a much more dangerous set. Once the sample size gets large enough this might be helpful in fine-tuning the DFF assessment. Cheers,

  8. alice13 says:

    TMacs comment on missing Hendricks in the room opened a question for me: why can’t he be in the room? Joey Moss is in the room, hell he could stand on the bench with a clipboard and one of the assistants could watch from the pressbox and tell him things over a headset. If it’s actually a thing, there seems to be nothing preventing them from using the easiest solution: if you’re missing Hendricks, why not add some Hendricks?

  9. Caramel Obvious says:

    For all the badness, the inconsistent play, the mediocre goaltending, the Oilers are also incredibly unlucky.

    12 games, two of them decided by instant replay, both times the replay got it wrong.

    Remember that the next time someone tells you that instant replay is about getting the calls right. It doesn’t and it won’t. Replay destroyed football and is in the process of destroying baseball.

    Never forget that instant replay is the single worst thing that has ever happened to sports.

  10. LMHF#1 says:

    alice13:
    TMacs comment on missing Hendricks in the room opened a question for me: why can’t he be in the room? Joey Moss is in the room, hell he could stand on the bench with a clipboard and one of the assistants could watch from the pressbox and tell him things over a headset. If it’s actually a thing, there seems to be nothing preventing them from using the easiest solution: if you’re missing Hendricks, why not add some Hendricks?

    He doesn’t mean it literally. Not the same when you’re not playing.

  11. djs says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    I mostly agree with you. But the call on the ice in the LA game was no goal. Without instant replay, how would the game’s end have changed?

    Didn’t watch the CGY game after it was 2 zip (i’m too emotionally fragile), but I agree they got it wrong.

    Fuck I hate the Flames.

  12. stephen sheps says:

    Caramel Obvious:

    Remember that the next time someone tells you that instant replay is about getting the calls right.It doesn’t and it won’t.Replay destroyed football and is in the process of destroying baseball.

    Never forget that instant replay is the single worst thing that has ever happened to sports.

    I’m not convinced it has destroyed football – in many cases it’s actually been good for the game, particularly in terms of scoring plays (breaking the plain, was the knee down? etc. etc.,) as it seems NFL zebras look for ways to keep scoring plays rather than overturn them. The issues in the NFL are the ever-shifting and bizarrely nebulous definition of what constitutes a ‘catch’, and inconsistent officiating (what’s holding? everything or nothing – like schrodinger’s flag) more than replay and phantom coach’s challenges.

    The NHL has the same issue with officiating, particularly inconsistencies from one ref to the next. However replay and the challenge, which should give the benefit of the doubt to the scoring play rather than to the defence, does the complete opposite. If goalie interference is now a challengeable call, why is it not a penalty every time? Why is incidental contact not a penalty but enough to waive off a goal? The lack of consistent application and execution of the rules is what drives me batshit, not the technology.

  13. Caramel Obvious says:

    djs,

    That’s true. Of course he initially signaled goal and then changed it mid-motion. Which is another thing instant replay does. It undermines the quality of the initial call.

    That said, that was a very close play either way. Call it a 50-50 proposition. But they didn’t get that call and they didn’t get the next call. The Oilers never get the calls. Never.

  14. djs says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    djs,

    The Oilers never get the calls.Never.

    It sure as hell feels that way LOL. I’d say the game is rigged against the Oilers, but…you know…McDavid and all.

  15. Caramel Obvious says:

    stephen sheps: I’m not convinced it has destroyed football – in many cases it’s actually been good for the game, particularly in terms of scoring plays (breaking the plain, was the knee down? etc. etc.,) as it seems NFL zebras look for ways to keep scoring plays rather than overturn them. The issues in the NFL are the ever-shifting and bizarrely nebulous definition of what constitutes a ‘catch’, and inconsistent officiating (what’s holding? everything or nothing – like schrodinger’s flag) more than replay and phantom coach’s challenges.

    The NHL has the same issue with officiating, particularly inconsistencies from one ref to the next. However replay and the challenge, which should give the benefit of the doubt to the scoring play rather than to the defence, does the complete opposite. If goalie interference is now a challengeable call, why is it not a penalty every time? Why is incidental contact not a penalty but enough to waive off a goal? The lack of consistent application and execution of the rules is what drives me batshit, not the technology.

    You hit the main point straight on regarding what is a catch? This is fundamental to the game. Instead of the game following the natural law of what counts as a catch it has rewritten the rules to create an objective standard that is discernible to cameras so that they now have rules that violate the natural law of the game.

    This makes the game non-sensical in the strict sense of the term. What goes into the record books does not accord with the senses. That destroys the game. You can’t watch a sport if the results and your eyes contradict each other.

    Or how about the non-sense of breaking the plain of the end zone. Somehow it’s a touchdown if you break the plain by a milimeter and then fumble the ball but not a touchdown if you catch the ball all the way in the actual end zone.

    Then there is the interminable delays in which the natural connection between event and emotion is broken while everyone sits around and waits for the technocracy in the sky to make it’s arbitrary decision concerning what may or may not have happened. I mean why watch the games if every important moment in the game is going to be decided by an irrational decision coming from up above that has nothing to do with what actually happened.

    You may not think this destroys the game. That’s a value judgement. But my description of what happens is a fact. Instant replay is fundamentally irrational. It substitutes a false objectivity for the reason that is embedded in the rules, in such a way that the rules loses their inherent connection to the game-itself. The game becomes something other than what it was. This is undeniable at this point. It is what reason dictates and this reason has been confirmed by the empirical evidence in football and baseball.

    The problem is the technology, because the technology dictates the conditions under which human beings exercise their judgement. They didn’t make a mistake on the weekend. They did as the technology required of them. You are a sociologist. You should know this.

  16. stevezie says:

    It really amuses me that Rishaug and Gregor have described Korps as one of Edmonton’s best forwards.

    I swear I’m not saying this just to seem cool to you people, but I never saw it.

    Hendricks, on the other hand…. I don’t remember the last time a 4th liner was this conspicuous by his absence.

  17. Snowman says:

    I think one of the major items for me this year is the re-emergence of Hall as an absolute force. He’s been flying this year and I honestly think its the best hockey he’s ever played. This is a wonderful player.

  18. LMHF#1 says:

    djs:
    Caramel Obvious,

    I mostly agree with you. But the call on the ice in the LA game was no goal. Without instant replay, how would the game’s end have changed?

    No, it was goal, then no goal. Between the Kings yelling and the ref’s assumption that replay would solve it for him, it is likely he thought no goal is the safer call of the two and amended his call. Brutal indecisiveness from that guy.

  19. godot10 says:

    //If we could all (magically) agree that CorsiRel was the best way to judge defensemen,//

    It isn’t.

    The best way to judge defensemen is the best way to judge every player:

    expected goals for / expected goals against ( should be > 1 for good players )

    Corsi Relaitve is only a proxy for expected goals for. One is missing the denominator, which is where GMoney’s (and other work) will be critical.

    For forwards, they have far less impact on expected goals against, so expected goals for (with Corsi Relative as a proxy) is a reasonable first order advanced stat.

    For D, expected goals against, defensemen have far greater impact than forwards, and thus the denominator should NOT be ignored. (This is my hypothesis.)

    For defensemen, Corsi Relative is only half the story. One also has to get a handle on expected goals against.

    So GMoney (and others) are chasing down the right path in trying to figure out the next order advanced stat for D. Danger adjusted Fenwick is an attempt to incorporate an estimate of expected goals against.

  20. McSorley33 says:

    Mare Fayne *earned* his benching….

    This team goes *nowhere* if 2 of ..Mark Fayne, Eric Gryba and Andrew Ference are on the roster..

    Best we can do is watch Taylor Hall and CMD play hockey….and enjoy what we have.

    Anyone still want to trade our 1st round pick in 2016?

    I didn’t think so…..

  21. LMHF#1 says:

    rich:
    If I don’t see Ference play another shift this season it will still be too much.Great person who can’t do it anymore.He did not complete a single pass in Saturday’s game, not one.

    He completed a ton of passes to guys in the wrong jersey. I also counted 1, to Hall, in the third. That was it. It was a notable even and that is incredibly sad. Making passes as a defenceman is honestly one of the easiest tasks in hockey. You often have time, space and multiple options.

  22. Sugar Reijo says:

    Snowman:
    I think one of the major items for me this year is the re-emergence of Hall as an absolute force. He’s been flying this year and I honestly think its the best hockey he’s ever played. This is a wonderful player.

    Completely agree. Have had almost as much fun watching him as I have McDavid.

    And then the third and fourth lines hop the boards and it’s like driving off a cliff. It’s usually about the point I figure I’m about to explode on impact when one of the first two is back. Then it’s back to cruise control for a couple glorious minutes.

    Same thing can happen on both sides of the centre line.

  23. Ribs says:

    Andrej Sekera has disappointed many but we’re early days of his contract. The numbers aren’t grand, and four assists isn’t plenty, but there’s a reason NHL coaches are very patient with veterans. When Sekera comes around, he should be a key player for Edmonton’s (hopefully) spike in performance.

    I’m sensing a bit of déjà vu here, as there seemed to be some unreasonable expectations placed on Ference when he got here as well. Sekera’s running at 0.33 Pts/G right now and I think that’s probably all we should expect from him points-wise. Not grande, but not horrible, either. Help will need to come from other sources, I’m afraid.

  24. 4th_Line_Plug says:

    The Oilers need to get out from under the Sekera and Fayne contracts while they still can. Sekera has found more skates than sticks with his 10 foot breakout passes and he takes more hits than a piñata. In two years he will be in the same spot as Ference.

  25. stephen sheps says:

    Caramel Obvious:

    The problem is the technology, because the technology dictates the conditions under which human beings exercise their judgement.They didn’t make a mistake on the weekend.They did as the technology required of them.You are a sociologist.You should know this.

    That is precisely my point – how the technology is deployed is the issue, not the technology as such. The existence of the technology is neither problematic nor emancipatory – how the technology is utilized is what drives change.

    We’ll probably butt heads over the ‘false objectivity’ you described, as I see the issue here as an inherently subjective application of an objective (yet increasingly fluid) set of rules and things.

    In any event, we are both frustrated by the same sets of circumstances and conditions and most certainly agree that over the weekend the refs got it wrong and it cost the Oilers despite the fact that they used the technology correctly. I think we also agree that the refs have basically ruined football, but I don’t think that the technology itself is inherently bad for the sport – it’s that the people in place who use it are not using it with a degree of consistency, and that lack of consistency juxtaposed with the sort of overwhelming need to slow the gameplay down and surveil the players, not quite but verging on pantopticon-esque, makes watching the NFL (and increasingly the NHL) even more frustrating than before the technology was put into place. Despite the existence of the technology, decisions are still left up to human error and the subjectivity of the viewer.

  26. godot10 says:

    Defensemen in the eastern conference are not as good as they seem to be (although the difference between the conferences is shrinking).

    Sekera, moves west, goes from an elite #3 in the eastern conference, to a #4 in the west.

    Jeff Petry, moving east, goes from nearly universally derided heap of junk in the mainstream media, to an elite #3 in the eastern conference.

    It was nearly universally accepted in hockey that Sekera > Franson >> Petry, based on what they were traded for at the deadline.

    Turns out Petry >> Sekera > Franson.

    Mark Fayne was considerd a top #4 in the eastern conference. Third pairing at best in the Western Conference.

  27. Water Fire says:

    The neutral zone is where the possession battle is won or lost as studies have shown. It sucks that most everyone’s stats work has disappeared, can’t remember who looked into it.

    It’s also intuitive and meets that eyeball test. The Oilers have struggled exiting their zone with control and entering with control, for years. They are most dangerous off the rush, or basically broken play because of the skill so many Oilers have.

    Player performance is a big part of success in possession, but I see system play as more so. The reason so many players play below established levels as Oilers is they are exposed and have to think too much.

    Even the goalies, having to wonder what is going to happen in front of them instead of knowing where the attack will be directed to, sprinkled with the odd breakdown. The Oilers are still breakdowns sprinkled with the odd successful D zone stand.

    Once McLellan reigns the keepers in and teaches the youth what to do, we should see a much more consistent level of team play, but it will take some time, and some of the guys aren’t good enough or won’t engage the whole game and have to be replaced with better players as we know. Chia will get better players, my hope is he doesn’t try to regress to the meat too much.

    The Oilers slogan should be “still frustrating, at least we have McDavid!”

  28. Sevenseven says:

    I was mocked in preseason for mentioning drai, slep and pak would all graduate to the NHL this year and form the best 3rd line in hockey. ZS push and soft parade. I hope it happens. It is plausible from where I sit. Lander Hendricks and “x” could make s hell of a wagon line.

  29. Water Fire says:

    godot10:
    Defensemen in the eastern conference are not as good as they seem to be (although the difference between the conferences is shrinking).

    Sekera, moves west, goes from an elite #3 in the eastern conference, to a #4 in the west.

    Jeff Petry, moving east, goes from nearly universally derided heap of junk in the mainstream media, to an elite #3 in the eastern conference.

    It was nearly universally accepted in hockey that Sekera > Franson >> Petry, based on what they were traded for at the deadline.

    Turns out Petry >> Sekera > Franson.

    Mark Fayne was considerd a top #4 in the eastern conference. Third pairing at best in the Western Conference.

    The east seems to play a more playoff style, McLellan mentioned something non specifically about what they do in the neutral zone that some west teams are starting to use.

    It seems mobility is *less* of an issue for defense there, though team speed is getting more focus with who is having success now, Montreal, Tampa, Caps, Rangers. It will be interesting to see what happens with east west parity as the current dominant teams start to head to the declining phase and new teams rise up.

  30. Melman says:

    godot10,

    It’s kind of bizarre that the west is harder than the east thing has lasted so long and that it’s the same in the NBA – also for years. Due to travel you’d instinctively think it’d be the other way around.

  31. Water Fire says:

    Melman:
    godot10,

    It’s kind of bizarre that the west is harder than the east thing has lasted so long and that it’s the same in the NBA – also for years.Due to travel you’d instinctively think it’d be the other way around.

    Part is team cycles with players, and perhaps weak conferences trying new things. Detroit was strong for years but that was predicated on a group of players rising up and playing a long time at a high level. Not looking so good now, only the coach has changed off the ice.

    Since the Oilers last cup, the east has won 15 cups to the west’s 9, four of those in the last 4 playoffs of course.

    The west’s strong teams are peaking or fading, the east’s have mostly already done that. The way it looks right now the east has as many youthful teams with a lot of talent. The Oilers are of course the cream of the crop. It might be even soon.

  32. McSorley33 says:

    Speaking of Fayne, Gryba and Ference…..

    Austin Mathews is injured….

    Will update on Jakob Chychrun later…

  33. Doug McLachlan says:

    Ok, have gotten over my frustration/anger about how the Oil played on Saturday – for the most part. The Flames are a team you simply have to be beating if you are the Oilers.

    That said, trying to see some rays of light here and think that LT’s defensive pairings look right. Gryba is #7, Ference is #8. Shultz is trade bait, if he comes back early.

    Enjoyed Matt Henderson’s ON article on the two Oilers and think he is on to something.

    While I think that Woodguy’s article on how to create three scoring lines (unicorns) by putting Drai on the third line once Eberle returns is a great long-term solution but short term I really think the way you push the third line is to put your big engine there – Hall.

    Pouliot – McDavid – Yakupov
    Draisaitl- Nuge – Eberle
    Hall – Lander – Hendricks
    Korp – Letestu – Purcell

    Even if it is only to get Lander a boost for a game or two. A couple of assists to reset the settings and then you go back to something more expected:

    Pouliot – McDavid – Yakupov
    Hall – Nuge – Eberle
    Draisatl – Lander – Purcell
    Korp – Letestu – Hendricks

  34. dustrock says:

    Love how bad Reinhart looks there, and how good he looks when woodguy or whoever was looking at Fenwick and high danger scoring chances or whatever.

  35. kinger_OIL says:

    – Great write-up LT

    – Boy Lander’s numbers are smelly, aren’t they. Yes he’s been playing a lot with plugs, but 0 points, to accompany brutal fancy stats. This is Lander from 3 years ago, and in trouble again.

    – At least the Oil have really only been blown out of one game this year. In the first 12 games last year, they lost half the games by 3+ goals. This year only one 3 goal loss.

    – Kind of like golf: scoring doesn’t go down a lot right away when improving, but you go from having to drain 7 footers to save bogey, to tap-in bogeys, then slowly, your scoring improves.

  36. Bruce McCurdy says:

    kinger_OIL:

    – Boy Lander’s numbers are smelly, aren’t they.Yes he’s been playing a lot with plugs, but 0 points, to accompany brutal fancy stats.This is Lander from 3 years ago, and in trouble again.

    Today at practice Lander between Gazdic and Pakarinen.

    Not quite Eager & Petrell, but too damn close by half.

  37. Pouzar says:

    kinger_OIL: Yes he’s been playing a lot with plugs, but

    There is no ‘but’.
    This IS the issue.
    This is Petrell/Eager all over again.

  38. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Melman:
    godot10,

    It’s kind of bizarre that the west is harder than the east thing has lasted so long and that it’s the same in the NBA – also for years.Due to travel you’d instinctively think it’d be the other way around.

    So far this year, the East is .544 with a +10 goal differential; the West is .554 with a -10. Not much to choose between them at this point.

  39. Woogie63 says:

    PC report Card …So Far IMO

    Letestu C+
    Korpi C
    Sekera C
    Reinhart C
    Talbot C+
    MCL B

    Cap Moves A
    Cleaning out the old management D

  40. G Money says:

    alice13:
    Question for G Money:

    Wrt shot distance metrics, I don’t know what your raw data looks like (is the shortest shot 10′, or 5, or 2…? )

    but it might be interesting to look at the median rather than the average, as – for example – 5, 5, 10, 40, 40 averages out the same as 15, 15, 20, 25, 25, where the former would obviously be a much more dangerous set. Once the sample size gets large enough this might be helpful in fine-tuning the DFF assessment. Cheers,

    Hi Alice,

    I think there are two parts to your question. First, I do show the average shot distance (by team and by shot type), and you are correct, this is the mean rather than the median. And it might indeed be the case that the median is more representative, since a single shot from the d zone (aka successful icing) could skew the mean quite a bit.

    Fortunately, though, that doesn’t really affect the way DFF is calculated. The raw data has the NHL shot distance for every shot. The only real magic that I’ve done is applied what I feel is a better mathematical model than what has been used before (at least in the work that I’ve seen so far) to figure out how dangerous a particular shot is based on its distance.

    I use that to weight every shot, which is what then is added up to create the Dangerous Fenwick number.

    godot10,

    I think there is truth to this. I’m quite surprised at how well Dangerous Fenwick Against/60 is tracking both the eye test and the coaches deployment of defensemen and defensive pairs.

    I’ve gone back and run the DFF numbers on every Oiler game, and I’m tracking the DFA/60 numbers for every defenseman and every defensive pairing (will publish that soon), particularly as an assessment tool for which pairings and which D are tracking well and should stay, and who needs to go. Early returns: not many surprises.

  41. AsiaOil says:

    Of course you trade the 2016 first pick – what do you want 20 years out of the playoffs. It’s likely worth max value now as we will be better after Christmas. I also want to trade one of the old core – Nuge or Eberle – depending on the return. The effect of getting a top pair dman who can stabilize that pair and play big minutes will ripple through the lineup – pushing Sekera to the 2nd pair – the kids where they belong – and Ference/Gryba/Shultz out of town.

    ……and yes Brandon Davidson has been good which is not a complete surprise to a few here. He won’t clear waivers now and would have been claimed last month – man that would have stung.

    McSorley33:
    Mare Fayne *earned* his benching….

    Anyone still want to trade our 1st round pick in 2016?

    I didn’t think so…..

  42. Bulging Twine says:

    G Money:

    godot10,

    I think there is truth to this.I’m quite surprised at how well Dangerous Fenwick Against/60 is tracking both the eye test and the coaches deployment of defensemen and defensive pairs.

    I’ve gone back and run the DFF numbers on every Oiler game, and I’m tracking the DFA/60 numbers for every defenseman and every defensive pairing (will publish that soon), particularly as an assessment tool for which pairings and which D are tracking well and should stay, and who needs to go.Early returns: not many surprises.

    Please let us know when you have those Oiler numbers. Good job

  43. Bag of Pucks says:

    It’s interesting to compare +/- of the D core to those Rel Corsi numbers.

    Gryba in particular comes out looking better by the comparison

    Of the D who’ve played 11games min (Sekera, Fayne, Gryba, KBom), this is the rundown
    Sekera -1
    Gryba -1
    Klefbom -5
    Fayne -3

    The much improved Justin Schultz
    GP 9 -6

    The only + players are Reinhart and Nurse

    Obviously over small sample sizes, +/- is not very indicative of overall play in the stats community. But I wonder if NHL coaches feel the same way?

    There’s a very real possibility that TMac looks at numbers like this and deduces that Gryba and Sekera are his guys. That would certainly help to explain Gryba’s TOI numbers.

    I suggested yesterday that Gryba and Nurse might be an effective pairing for punitive ZSs and I’m still hoping to get a look at that.

    I think Nurse’s range and recovery speed makes a nice compliment for Gryba. Conversely, Gryba being the true stay at home type is likely a good compliment for Nurse as/when he does go walkabout. Most importantly, I think you could throw these two towers out against pretty much any sized line and rest comfortably that they can break the cycle or collapse the slot to grab rebounds.

    To me, there’s a disconnect when you’re looking at Gryba expecting pretty outlook passes. It’s like looking at a farm tractor and expecting tight cornering. Try looking at his play away from the puck. He punishes people in the D zone. That’s a big part of being ‘harder’ to play against. You can’t just waltz into the slot, park and wait for a rebound when Gryba’s on the ice. That has value that doesn’t readily present to the eye if you aren’t watching those crease battles.

  44. Water Fire says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Today at practice Lander between Gazdic and Pakarinen.

    Not quite Eager & Petrell, but too damn close by half.

    Pakarinen is a player albeit inexperienced, but far better than those two. I suppose Gazzer trumps that.

  45. Bulging Twine says:

    Appears Fayne back in, Gryba bumped down. Ference still in.

    Defensive Pairings at Practice:

    Klefbom-Davidson
    Sekera-Fayne
    Nurse-Ference
    Reinhart-Gryba

  46. PDL says:

    OT, but looking for some advice on craft beer. I’m in charge of curating our friends’ craft beer advent calendar this year and was wondering if any of you gents had suggestions. I believe it was Eastern Oil who mentioned he loved craft beer but if anyone else had ideas, I’d like to hear them. Thanks and sorry for straying off topic but after that last goal on Saturday, I think everyone needs a break.

  47. jonrmcleod says:

    I did a comparison of a few Oilers’ top 10 prospects lists and took a stab at making my own.

    http://www.theoilersrig.com/2015/11/who-are-the-oilers-top-10-prospects/

  48. Bulging Twine says:

    With the first few rushes, the lines looked as follows:

    Hall-RNH-Draisaitl
    Pouliot-McDavid-Yakupov
    Hendricks-Letestu-Purcell
    Gazdic-Lander-Pakarinen
    Korpikoski-Slepyshev-Eberle

    Purcell holds onto his spot.
    Lander bumped, Letestu jumps.
    Slepyshev odd man out. Gets sent down when Korpikoski or Eberle are back?

  49. Water Fire says:

    PDL:
    OT, but looking for some advice on craft beer. I’m in charge of curating our friends’ craft beer advent calendar this year and was wondering if any of you gents had suggestions.I believe it was Eastern Oil who mentioned he loved craft beer but if anyone else had ideas, I’d like to hear them.Thanks and sorry for straying off topic but after that last goal on Saturday, I think everyone needs a break.

    Hey PDL
    A guy I know runs a craft beer site for Asia, I emailed him as to what he likes at home right now, I’ll put it up if he responds.

  50. Snowman says:

    Bulging Twine:
    Appears Fayne back in, Gryba bumped down.Ference still in.

    Defensive Pairings at Practice:

    Klefbom-Davidson
    Sekera-Fayne
    Nurse-Ference
    Reinhart-Gryba

    That’s interesting because Reinhart is off IR if I’m not mistaken.

  51. PDL says:

    Water Fire,

    Thanks for doing that!

  52. Jaxon says:

    hopefully, once Eberle, Hendricks and Reinhart return from injury, the lineup resembles this:

    Hall / Nugent-Hopkins / Eberle
    Pouliot / McDavid / Yakupov
    Slepyshev / Draisaitl / Pakarinen
    Hendricks / Lander / Letestu

    I think Eberle has that top spot being kept warm for him. I think Slepyshev and Pakarinen give Draisaitl the most scoring potential and they have both looked good even though they’ve been stuck with stinker linemates for much of their time. I think Hendricks, Lander and Letestu can get the puck out and sustain some pressure with 3 players who are able to take a draw for tough ZS.

    Match ups at home, put out 1st pair as often as possible & limit 3rd pair time:
    Klefbom / Sekera
    Nurse / Fayne
    Davidson / Reinhart

    Roll 3 balanced pairs on road:
    Reinhart / Sekera
    Davidson / Klefbom
    Nurse / Fayne

    Talbot
    Nilsson

  53. rickithebear says:

    Oiler HSCA/60
    Rheinhart 3rd comp 8.95
    @ STL 6.6
    VS STL 25.4
    @ CGY 7.7

    Klefbom 12gm 1st comp 9.39
    @ STL 18.7
    @ NSH 7.2
    @ DAL 7.0
    VS STL 6.1
    @ CGY 8.6
    @ VAN 13.4
    VS DET 4.8
    VS WSH 18.9
    VS LAK 8.9
    @ MIN 9.4
    VS MTL 4.2
    VS CGY 4.1

    Fayne 11gm 1st/2nd comp 9.78
    @ STL 0.0
    @ NSH 13.5
    @ DAL 37.6
    VS STL 11.4
    @ CGY 0.0
    @ VAN 10.1
    VS DET 15.6
    VS WSH 11.5
    VS LAK 3.1
    VS MIN 3.5
    VS MTL 7.2

    Nurse 3gm 1st comp 10.52
    @ Min 10.4
    VS MTL 3.7
    VS CGY 17.0

    Sekera 12gm 2nd comp 10.92
    @ STL 0.0
    @ NSH 17.6
    @ DAL 36.7
    VS STL 14.0
    @ CGY 0.0
    @ VAN 10.8
    VS DET 15.6
    VS WSH 9.0
    VS LAK 0.0
    @ MIN 9.0
    VS MTL 3.6
    VS CGY 17.8

    Davidson 5gm 1st comp 11.20
    @ DAL 29.9
    VS LAK 10.0
    VS MIN 4.3
    VS MTL 4.7
    VS CGY 4.2

    Schultz 9gm 1st/2nd 12.0
    @ STL 18.7
    @ NSH 8.3
    @ DAL 10.1
    VS STL 9.3
    @ CGY 8.8
    @ VAN 17.0
    VS DET 4.7
    VS WSH 17.6
    VS LAK 12.7

    Gryba 12gm 3rd comp 14.6
    @ STL 7.8
    @ NSH 14.6
    @ DAL 31.4
    VS STL 24.6
    @ CGY 7.2
    @ VAN 3.0
    VS DET 15.7
    VS WSH 27.7
    VS LAK 9.3
    @ MIN 10.7
    VS MTL 17.0
    VS CGY 9.8

    Ference 5gm 2nd/3rd 15.9
    @ NSH 19.4
    VS DET 18.2
    VS WSH 18.2
    VS MTL 13.7
    VS CGY 9.2

  54. Eastern Oil says:

    PDL,

    Where abouts are you from? I’d be happy to help with suggestions from Ontario as the wicked LCBO limits my ability to really branch out. Or even just my favourites that I have had over the past years.

    @BraydenLord is my twitter handle, or braydenlord83@gmail.com works too. Or on this fine blog as well.

  55. bbf_iii says:

    Bulging Twine:
    Appears Fayne back in, Gryba bumped down.Ference still in.

    Defensive Pairings at Practice:

    Klefbom-Davidson
    Sekera-Fayne
    Nurse-Ference
    Reinhart-Gryba

    Are we sure it’s Gryba being pushed down and not Nurse, with Reinhart drawing back in?

  56. Bag of Pucks says:

    Gmoney, how does Gryba look on the DFF side of the ledger compared to the other D?

  57. Kevin McCartney says:

    The case of Mark Fayne is a really instructive one for what this team wants to be and how McLellan wants his defence to play. Much like Ryan Whitney gave us the best chance to study Ralph Krueger (sp?), Fayne is showing insight into McLellan more than he is proving anything about hockey writ large.

    The other day LT linked the post about dangerous fenwick, finding McLellan was playing his defenders in accordance with those numbers. I think we can all agree that it’s unlikely he’s looking at those numbers, but instead he’s measuring something that overlaps with those numbers. Scoring chances for certain. We see them all taking their notes on that. But I also think it’s about geography. I think Fayne shows us the value McLellan places on where players should be rather than how they do. From a coach’s perspective, you can see that as process over product.

    The Oilers are running a 1-2-2 in the NZ, but rather than overload the entry side, the Oilers have the strong side defender challenge toward the blue line and try to maintain a competitive gap while the winger fills in the passing lane toward the middle. Gryba gets minutes because he’s standing guys up inside the blue line often. Sekera gets minutes because he’s challenging often right to the line (though we all remember him getting walked on the wide-man pass to Gaudreau during a Flames PP in Calgary game 1). I think it’s an adjustment for Sekera (it’s not a typical NZ system). I also think there’s a read being made that I haven’t sorted out completely because sometimes the challenge is made to a more shallow spot. Anyone seeing the pattern yet?

    Mark Fayne isn’t just having pucks go off his skates and giving up shot attempts from the dangerous ice. He’s not gapping as instructed. His mobility isn’t a problem for him – he manages it extremely well and is defending competently from the hashmarks-down. So we see him good (or, see him okay), his passing isn’t as bad as it could be, his corsi numbers are strong for this team and he’s playing tough opponents. But I think the reveal is simply that he’s not playing the system – that his mobility is a problem for McLellan. Not only is Fayne not playing the system, he’s also struggling while doing it (scoring chances, goals against, etc.) and interrupting the structure.

    Ference will challenge (and get walked). Gryba will challenge (and hit someone 1 time out of 5, getting passed around the other 4 times). Sekera is challenging (and it caused a lot of chaos to start the year). Fayne recognizes his limits and plays within them. That’s all you can ask of a veteran, bottom-4 defenceman of his type. But it’s not the expectation for the team. In that way, his limits reveal McLellan’s intent: challenge high in the zone, force the chip-and-chase, collect with the weak side dman for a double reverse (weak side dman picks it up strong side, skates weak side and passes back strong side to a now arriving and unchecked strong side dman) and move vertically.

    If you never force the chip/dump, then the weak side defender is flat footed to take a man attacking the net, the back-checking winger doesn’t have a defined place to ‘stop’ back checking and release his man, and the centre has to haul ass to cover the top of the crease (where all the centres appear to be getting exposed right now). That challenge and gap is the first part of a system – the options start After that first play, not before it.

    Fayne is not long for the Oilers, but he’s definitely one of their top-6 defenders. He’s too smart to expose himself and too stubborn not to, I guess. He just doesn’t fit.

    Now – Krueger lost games on trying to get Ryan Whitney to have a competitive gap from the offensive blue line (what he called pre-gapping, what Bruce Boudreau calls ‘the f*%$in’ system’). It’s possible we’re seeing the reverse – McLellan putting in Ference to support the rest of the team’s learning and habits, thereby risking games with a lesser lineup. Is that good long-term thinking? I dunno. I’m so tired of watching Ference I could vomit. So it seems like torture to me.

  58. Woogie63 says:

    PDL:
    OT, but looking for some advice on craft beer. I’m in charge of curating our friends’ craft beer advent calendar this year and was wondering if any of you gents had suggestions.I believe it was Eastern Oil who mentioned he loved craft beer but if anyone else had ideas, I’d like to hear them.Thanks and sorry for straying off topic but after that last goal on Saturday, I think everyone needs a break.

    I spent last wekend in Portland (home of the Craft beer) we rode bikes and toured Craft breweries, some of my favorites were, 10 Barrell, Fat Head, Rock Bottom and the granddaddy BridgePort so many flavours, it would be impossible to pick just one!

  59. PrairieOil says:

    KEVIN MCCARTNEY, thanks for the summary. I love it when there are systems posts here – helps me to appreciate the game more. Anyone have a recommendation for a systems primer book(s) for a guy who’s only ever played unstructured rec hockey? Thanks in advance.

  60. Eastern Oil says:

    Kevin McCartney,

    This is fantastic stuff, thank you very much.

  61. Centre of attention says:

    Hall nominated 3rd star of the week, with 7 points in 3 games. What a bum. He’s dragging this team down hogging all the points…

    Connor McDavid named rookie of the month too, with some tough competition no doubt.

  62. vinotintazo says:

    bbf_iii: Are we sure it’s Gryba being pushed down and not Nurse, with Reinhart drawing back in?

    if i’m guessing ference/nurse are out.

  63. Centre of attention says:

    Also, Rienhart activated as per Oilers twitter.

  64. Bulging Twine says:

    bbf_iii: Are we sure it’s Gryba being pushed down and not Nurse, with Reinhart drawing back in?

    Could be. Would be surprising hey?

  65. remlap says:

    PDL,

    Hey PDL. I’ve been drinking probably one craft beer per week for a few months now. This past weekend I tried a wet hopped beer for the first time. Blew my mind. Get one of those in there somehow!

  66. Caramel Obvious says:

    stephen sheps,

    I suppose we mostly agree. But I still think the technology shapes the conditions under which decisions are made in a way that I’m not sure you allow for. For instance, there is a reason the rulebook is rewritten after the technology is adopted. The rules are made to conform to the technique. This is done in an effort to eliminate the requirement of practical judgement on the part of the official. Now since everything has been done in an effort to eliminate the practical judgement of the official it’s not so easy to turn around and say that the official should have exercised judgement. The technology, the rules, and their bosses have all told them not to exercise judgement.

    Technology is not a neutral instrument to be used as we choose. It changes the world in which these choices are made, it changes what we think about and it changes the words we think with.

    To wit:

    LMHF#1: No, it was goal, then no goal. Between the Kings yelling and the ref’s assumption that replay would solve it for him, it is likely he thought no goal is the safer call of the two and amended his call. Brutal indecisiveness from that guy.

    His indecisiveness wasn’t simply a mistake. It was conditioned by the technology in the first place. The technology creates the circumstances in which his actions are the most reasonable course of those available to him.

  67. GCW_69 says:

    godot10:
    Defensemen in the eastern conference are not as good as they seem to be (although the difference between the conferences is shrinking).

    Sekera, moves west, goes from an elite #3 in the eastern conference, to a #4 in the west.

    Jeff Petry, moving east, goes from nearly universally derided heap of junk in the mainstream media, to an elite #3 in the eastern conference.

    It was nearly universally accepted in hockey that Sekera > Franson > > Petry, based on what they were traded for at the deadline.

    Turns out Petry > Sekera > Franson.

    Mark Fayne was considerd a top #4 in the eastern conference. Third pairing at best in the Western Conference.

    You mean this Cody Franson:

    Season …..CF%……..CF% rel
    2009-10 …..60.5……..9
    2010-11……55………..6.1
    2011-12 …..54.3……..5.6
    2012-13……50.4……..6.8
    2013-14……48.5……..5.8
    2014-15……50.1……..5.2
    2015-16……57.4……..8
    3 yrs………….57.4……..6.7
    4 yrs………….50.4……..5.5
    Career………52.6……..5.4

    Source: http://www.hockey-reference.com/players/f/fransco01-additional.html

    Based on the numbers, I am not sure how we conclude Sekera as better than Franson, especially if we are looking at this year’s numbers?

  68. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    The black hole of the bottom two lines was avoidable. Guys like Stempniak were on PTOs. It wouldn’t have hurt anything to bring him in and have a look. That said, when guys are healthy I would like to see an extended run of:

    Hall-Nuge-Eberle
    Pouliot-McDavid-Yakupov
    Hendricks-Lander-Draisaitl
    Pakarinen-Letestu-Purcell
    Korpikoski

    Give that line-up a dozen games to grow together and then assess at the 30 game mark where things are.

    Send Gazdic down

  69. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Jaxon,

    I don’t understand the logic of taking Drai off that line. His numbers are top notch, and on top of that it just makes sense relative to bringing a size element to the line.

    3rd line is Sleppy/Lander/Eberle. Sleppy can sub out for Iiro or Korp as required.

  70. Centre of attention says:

    Line rushes went as follows, great to see Hendy dressed, concerning to see Rienhart activated then skate with the Extras while Ference is paired with Nurse….

    Hall-RNH-Draisaitl
    Pouliot-McDavid-Yakupov
    Hendricks-Letestu-Purcell
    Gazdic-Lander-Pakarinen

    Extras: Korpikoski-Slepyshev-Eberle

    Defensive Pairings at Practice:

    Klefbom-Davidson
    Sekera-Fayne
    Nurse-Ference

    Extras:Reinhart-Gryba

  71. G Money says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Gmoney, how does Gryba look on the DFF side of the ledger compared to the other D?

    He’s second last, ahead of only Ference.

    One thing I’m doing as I’m looking at the numbers is having to remove the DAL game. In that particular game, Sekera/Fayne got absolutely ripped to shreds, and that skews their performance quite a bit. Here’s the order of the D including the Dallas game (best to worst, bearing in mind that these guys have played different teams for the most part, so grain of salt applies):

    Davidson
    Nurse
    Klefbom
    Sekera
    Reinhart
    Schultz
    Fayne
    Gryba
    Ference

    If you remove the Dallas game, the order becomes

    Davidson
    Nurse
    Sekera
    Klefbom
    Fayne
    Reinhart
    Schultz
    Gryba
    Ference

    If you want to look at the raw DFA/60 numbers for the D and the D pairs (anyone who played at least 3:00 in at least one game gets counted), they are in 2 CSV files in the zip file you can download here:

    https://app.box.com/s/mbzitd7acvqs5cyl2e2478k3h5z5lbdz

  72. Pouzar says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    Jaxon,

    I don’t understand the logic of taking Drai off that line. His numbers are top notch, and on top of that it just makes sense relative to bringing a size element to the line.

    3rd line is Sleppy/Lander/Eberle. Sleppy can sub out for Iiro or Korp as required.

    As President of the Eberle Scrapbook Club I endorse this post.
    To start anyways. 😛

  73. G Money says:

    Kevin McCartney,

    Fascinating stuff as always, Kevin.

    Gives me some hope that we have/will/are seeing some adaptation problems from Sekera, and that he will get better as time goes on.

    Interesting commentary about Fayne in that one of the questions I think every coach is faced with is whether to adapt the system to the players you’ve got, or force the players to adapt to the system.

    And if they don’t have the chops to do the latter (as you’re suggesting might be the case with Fayne), and what point does not adapting the system become self-destructively stubborn?

  74. dustrock says:

    Pouzar: As President of the Eberle Scrapbook Club I endorse this post.To start anyways.

    Yeah, we’ll see if Eberle needs some time, but Draisaitl having a great 2 games aside (and I’m as big a Draisaitl fan as they come), Eberle is a proven elite scorer for years in the NHL. He doesn’t get the 3rd line stint for long, if at all.

    Draisaitl’s biggest contribution would be if he could get 3rd line going.

  75. Bulging Twine says:

    Kevin McCartney:
    The case of Mark Fayne is a really instructive one for what this team wants to be and how McLellan wants his defence to play.

    Truth

    From a coach’s perspective, you can see that as process over product.

    Preach

    But I think the reveal is simply that he’s not playing the system – that his mobility is a problem for McLellan. Not only is Fayne not playing the system, he’s also struggling while doing it (scoring chances, goals against, etc.) and interrupting the structure.

    Fayne recognizes his limits and plays within them. That’s all you can ask of a veteran, bottom-4 defenceman of his type. But it’s not the expectation for the team. In that way, his limits reveal McLellan’s intent: challenge high in the zone, force the chip-and-chase, collect with the weak side dman for a double reverse (weak side dman picks it up strong side, skates weak side and passes back strong side to a now arriving and unchecked strong side dman) and move vertically.

    Fayne is not long for the Oilers, but he’s definitely one of their top-6 defenders. He’s too smart to expose himself and too stubborn not to, I guess. He just doesn’t fit.

    It’s possible we’re seeing the reverse – McLellan putting in Ference to support the rest of the team’s learning and habits, thereby risking games with a lesser lineup. Is that good long-term thinking?

    A team has to have a system. The players HAVE to play the system or it breaks down. The coach chooses the system, gotta get players to play it. So i think it is good long term thinking. New coach has to implement the system. Build the foundation.

    Great post btw, thanks for that.

  76. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Shooting percentages on the far right:
    4 L TAYLOR HALL 12 5 8 13 5 8 1 0 1 47 10.60
    97 C CONNOR MCDAVID 12 5 7 12 -3 6 2 0 1 22 22.70
    10 R NAIL YAKUPOV 12 2 8 10 2 6 1 0 0 30 6.70
    93 C RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS 12 3 6 9 0 2 1 0 0 24 12.50
    67 L BENOIT POULIOT 12 3 4 7 0 10 0 0 0 19 15.80
    29 C LEON DRAISAITL 2 3 2 5 3 0 1 0 1 7 42.90

    Sustainable: Hall, Nuge
    Unsustainably high: McDavid, DRAISAITL
    Questionably high: Pouliot
    Unsustainably low: Yakupov

    I think by the time Eberle is back, has eased back in, and is in good form again, Draisaitl will be ready to slide down to 3rd line duty.

    Yak is going to start to fill the net and hopefully offset any slow-down in goal production for Pouliot and McDavid.

    Team is going to look a lot better when 3 lines can produce, as opposed to 2 and then a giant black hole. As others have said, ride the top 3 lines a ton when this happens.

  77. stephen sheps says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    stephen sheps,

    Technology is not a neutral instrument to be used as we choose. It changes the world in which these choices are made, it changes what we think about and it changes the words we think with.

    The technology creates the circumstances in which his actions are the most reasonable course of those available to him.

    Caramel Obvious,

    yup, we do mostly agree. In fact the thing I said in my reply to you was “The existence of the technology is neither problematic nor emancipatory – how the technology is utilized is what drives change.” The implication I was trying to get at (albeit poorly) was both how we use the tech and how its use/deployment makes changes to existing systems and structures. I just wasn’t as clear as I ought to be and failed to remember my standard criticism of my own students – be explicit in your argumentation and be more precise – when I replied. We all have off-days, I suppose…

    anyhoo…

    Kevin McCartney,

    Man do I ever wish you’d drop by these parts more frequently. That’s some excellent systems analysis. Thank you.

  78. dustrock says:

    McLellan confirmed: Nilsson is in. Regular, pre-planned rotation, nothing to do with Calgary game.

  79. Caramel Obvious says:

    McCartney’s post was excellent. It also got me thinking.

    On my men’s league team we have a D who is really excellent. He’s younger than me, clearly played at a reasonably high level as a kid. He can match speed going backwards and has good lateral movement.

    As a result he has great gap control, stands guys up at the blue line all the time.

    I on the other hand play like Mark Fayne.

    What playing like Fayne gets me is more shots allowed but these tend to be further to the outside. So in the last two games we’ve given up nine goals and I was on the ice for one, a bad goal from outside. He’s been on the ice for four or five goals.

    All of which is to say I’m not sure I buy these explanations. Fayne’s style should result in a worse Corsi number, but he actually has a pretty good one.

  80. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Water Fire: Since the Oilers last cup, the east has won 15 cups to the west’s 9, four of those in the last 4 playoffs of course.

    Well, Detroit was technically in the West when they won their four Cups, which makes it 13 Cups in the west, 11 in the east since 1990. Make that 13-6 since 1995.

  81. ashley says:

    With Hall, I think some of the criticism is valid. Simply looking at points made is a crude measure of a player. There is much more happening out there than the endpoint.

    Hall is in a great zone right now. He does so many things well. He doesn’t have the hands of Seguin or even Teddy Purcell (he has great hands for all his other deficiencies), but makes up for it in so many other ways. However, I think he could be even better with improved decision-making.

    He has the puck a lot so yes he gets points. But the play dies on his stick a lot (turnover or low percentage shot). A couple of simple tweaks could improve things.

    He often attracts a couple of defenders at once with his speed. This is the time to put on the brakes and look toward his own net for a supporting trailer. He rarely does this. Maintaining possession should be more important to him at this point as the likelihood of any scoring chance happening by moving the puck forward into the 2 defenders is low.

    He skates into the O zone with incredible speed. Sometimes it is 1 v 2 or even 1 v 3. He almost always shoots, not infrequently with a set of defensive shin pads 2 feet from his stick. This is not a smart play. There is no other way to look at it. This is something he should have learned before age 12.

    Sometimes he skates in to the O zone with numbers. I remember a 3v2 on Saturday. Again, he takes an off balance shot from the side half a second after zone entry with a goalie well positioned. Ramo was shitting bricks on that play and had never been so relieved to feel the puck hit the flaming C for an easy save. This isn’t 1979. Hardly anyone scores on such a play in the modern NHL without a body in front creating some chaos. He needs to think pass or button hook if the pass isn’t there. A higher quality chance would be produced by most NHL teams in that circumstance.

    He needs to get more value out of these O zone sorties for the team.

    Yes he’s an impact player. Yes he’s one of our best. But that doesn’t mean he can’t be even better. Imagine his point total with some better decisions out there. Inside the top 2 league-wide, I would guess.

  82. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Water Fire: Pakarinen is a player albeit inexperienced, but far better than those two. I suppose Gazzer trumps that.

    Pakarinen is just another crazy Finn. #IsMental

  83. Eastern Oil says:

    remlap,

    Trafalgar Ales & Meads in Oakville, ON has a nice Harvest Ale which is wet-hopped, very good.

  84. hags9k says:

    stevezie,

    So a Steve Zissou doppelgänger walked past me in the Crappy Tire parking lot the other day, so I followed up the lead by watching The Grand Budapest Hotel on Netglitch. Can’t believe I let that one slip through the cracks this long! Laughed hard, that Anderson makes some very artistic, very good films.

    Not sure how to tie this one back into the hockey convo so I’ll just go with,

    GOILERS!!

  85. Revolved says:

    It seems to me that TMc does not believe in unicorns. The top loading of the current roster reflects what he did in SJ and could be one of their reasons for underachieving. We have the horses, but some tough decisions will need to be made.

    I would like to see Drai split the C duties with Lander on the third line along with a left wing with speed (Slepyshev or Klinkhammer). A fourth line with Hendricks and Letestu should not get caved in. Korpikoski and Gadzic need to be sat along with Ference.

    I am quite disheartened by our possession numbers and I think evening the talent across the roster would help.

  86. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Eastern Oil:
    remlap,

    Trafalgar Ales & Meads in Oakville, ON has a nice Harvest Ale which is wet-hopped, very good.

    I hear Hemsky Ales of Pardubice has a pleasant bouquet but leaves a lingering aftertaste that is slightly on the bitter side.

    Sorry, every time I see that word “ales”, especially capitalized, I get sidetracked like this.

  87. RMGS says:

    Kevin McCartney:
    The case of Mark Fayne is a really instructive one for what this team wants to be and how McLellan wants his defence to play. Much like Ryan Whitney gave us the best chance to study Ralph Krueger (sp?), Fayne is showing insight into McLellan more than he is proving anything about hockey writ large.

    The other day LT linked the post about dangerous fenwick, finding McLellan was playing his defenders in accordance with those numbers. I think we can all agree that it’s unlikely he’s looking at those numbers, but instead he’s measuring something that overlaps with those numbers. Scoring chances for certain. We see them all taking their notes on that. But I also think it’s about geography. I think Fayne shows us the value McLellan places on where players should be rather than how they do. From a coach’s perspective, you can see that as process over product.

    The Oilers are running a 1-2-2 in the NZ, but rather than overload the entry side, the Oilers have the strong side defender challenge toward the blue line and try to maintain a competitive gap while the winger fills in the passing lane toward the middle. Gryba gets minutes because he’s standing guys up inside the blue line often. Sekera gets minutes because he’s challenging often right to the line (though we all remember him getting walked on the wide-man pass to Gaudreau during a Flames PP in Calgary game 1). I think it’s an adjustment for Sekera (it’s not a typical NZ system). I also think there’s a read being made that I haven’t sorted out completely because sometimes the challenge is made to a more shallow spot. Anyone seeing the pattern yet?

    Mark Fayne isn’t just having pucks go off his skates and giving up shot attempts from the dangerous ice. He’s not gapping as instructed. His mobility isn’t a problem for him – he manages it extremely well and is defending competently from the hashmarks-down. So we see him good (or, see him okay), his passing isn’t as bad as it could be, his corsi numbers are strong for this team and he’s playing tough opponents. But I think the reveal is simply that he’s not playing the system – that his mobility is a problem for McLellan. Not only is Fayne not playing the system, he’s also struggling while doing it (scoring chances, goals against, etc.) and interrupting the structure.

    Ference will challenge (and get walked). Gryba will challenge (and hit someone 1 time out of 5, getting passed around the other 4 times). Sekera is challenging (and it caused a lot of chaos to start the year). Fayne recognizes his limits and plays within them. That’s all you can ask of a veteran, bottom-4 defenceman of his type. But it’s not the expectation for the team. In that way, his limits reveal McLellan’s intent: challenge high in the zone, force the chip-and-chase, collect with the weak side dman for a double reverse (weak side dman picks it up strong side, skates weak side and passes back strong side to a now arriving and unchecked strong side dman) and move vertically.

    If you never force the chip/dump, then the weak side defender is flat footed to take a man attacking the net, the back-checking winger doesn’t have a defined place to ‘stop’ back checking and release his man, and the centre has to haul ass to cover the top of the crease (where all the centres appear to be getting exposed right now). That challenge and gap is the first part of a system – the options start After that first play, not before it.

    Fayne is not long for the Oilers, but he’s definitely one of their top-6 defenders. He’s too smart to expose himself and too stubborn not to, I guess. He just doesn’t fit.

    Now – Krueger lost games on trying to get Ryan Whitney to have a competitive gap from the offensive blue line (what he called pre-gapping, what Bruce Boudreau calls ‘the f*%$in’ system’). It’s possible we’re seeing the reverse – McLellan putting in Ference to support the rest of the team’s learning and habits, thereby risking games with a lesser lineup. Is that good long-term thinking? I dunno. I’m so tired of watching Ference I could vomit. So it seems like torture to me.

    Somebody please hire Kevin McCartney to write about the Oilers regularly.

    This type of informed qualitative take on play is a conspicuously missing piece of the puzzle when relying primarily on limited quantitative measures like shot attempt percentages.

  88. Bulging Twine says:

    ashley:
    With Hall, I think some of the criticism is valid.Simply looking at points made is a crude measure of a player.There is much more happening out there than the endpoint.

    Hall is in a great zone right now.He does so many things well.He doesn’t have the hands of Seguin or even Teddy Purcell (he has great hands for all his other deficiencies), but makes up for it in so many other ways.However, I think he could be even better with improved decision-making.

    He has the puck a lot so yes he gets points.But the play dies on his stick a lot (turnover or low percentage shot).A couple of simple tweaks could improve things.

    He often attracts a couple of defenders at once with his speed.This is the time to put on the brakes and look toward his own net for a supporting trailer.He rarely does this.Maintaining possession should be more important to him at this point as the likelihood of any scoring chance happening by moving the puck forward into the 2 defenders is low.

    He skates into the O zone with incredible speed.Sometimes it is 1 v 2 or even 1 v 3.He almost always shoots, not infrequently with a set of defensive shin pads 2 feet from his stick.This is not a smart play.There is no other way to look at it.This is something he should have learned before age 12.

    Sometimes he skates in to the O zone with numbers.I remember a 3v2 on Saturday.Again, he takes an off balance shot from the side half a second after zone entry with a goalie well positioned.Ramo was shitting bricks on that play and had never been so relieved to feel the puck hit the flaming C for an easy save.This isn’t 1979.Hardly anyone scores on such a play in the modern NHL without a body in front creating some chaos.He needs to think pass or button hook if the pass isn’t there.A higher quality chance would be produced by most NHL teams in that circumstance.

    He needs to get more value out of these O zone sorties for the team.

    Yes he’s an impact player.Yes he’s one of our best.But that doesn’t mean he can’t be even better.Imagine his point total with some better decisions out there.Inside the top 2 league-wide, I would guess.

    yeah, there’s still more upside with this player which is very exciting.
    best is yet to come!

  89. remlap says:

    Eastern Oil:
    remlap,

    Trafalgar Ales & Meads in Oakville, ON has a nice Harvest Ale which is wet-hopped, very good.

    Awesome. I’ve written down the info, and I’ll be on the lookout.

    I can’t remember who made the one I had on the weekend. It was a Blonde. That’s all I remember.

  90. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Kevin McCartney,

    Fantastic post, thanks for this.

  91. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Eastern Oil:
    remlap,

    Trafalgar Ales & Meads in Oakville, ON has a nice Harvest Ale which is wet-hopped, very good.

    I read that as Ah-Lesh, as in Ales Hemsky. Still haven’t gotten over him, I guess.

    ashley,

    I understand what you are saying, but Hall is playing very effective hockey as it stands. No one is perfect and the play dies on the stick of guys like Crosby and Tavares, too. Hall is, along with maybe Yakupov, the only Oiler actively firing shots on goal. He has 47 shots in 12 games, roughly 4 per. Yak has 30 and is next. A guy like McDavid has only taken 22.

    The Oilers need to generate more shots more frequently, like the rapid-fire corsi events. So what if the goalie freezes it, then the team gets an offensive zone face-off. The Oilers need to follow Hall’s lead more, not shoot more selectively and try to make too many plays.

    At least, that’s how I see it.

  92. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I hear Hemsky Ales of Pardubice has a pleasant bouquet but leaves a lingering aftertaste that is slightly on the bitter side.

    Sorry, every time I see that word “ales”, especially capitalized, I get sidetracked like this.

    Ha, me too!

  93. rickithebear says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Gmoney, how does Gryba look on the DFF side of the ledger compared to the other D?

    G money:

    Since analyzing goal results of D is the desired trending.

    I am wondering if you have Done a shot version rather than Fewick which ignores defensive dmens affect between fenwick and shots.

    And

    provided us with which gives us a more accurate measure.

    Fenwick
    or
    Defencemen broken down into low; med and High shots allowed.

    you do not want a less accurate baseline as the standard.

    I have real faith in you!

    Suspect Fenwick is the answer.

    Cause you would not be dumb enough to grab that without checking to see if shot based metric is a better standard!

    PS: I am sure your assumption Pucks shot into the Golaie are the same as pucks shot into targeted open space is a mountain to die on!

  94. Eastern Oil says:

    remlap: Awesome. I’ve written down the info, and I’ll be on the lookout.

    I can’t remember who made the one I had on the weekend. It was a Blonde. That’s all I remember.

    If I had a dime for every time that was the only thing I remembered from my weekend!! *

    * Never actually happened.

  95. Pouzar says:

    RMGS: Somebody please hire Kevin McCartney to write about the Oilers regularly.

    This type of informed qualitative take on play is a conspicuously missing piece of the puzzle when relying primarily on limited quantitative measures like shot attempt percentages.

    This.

    As a Pittsburgh Steeler fan I am lucky enough to have a blogger that is excellent on the X’s and O’s of football and it’s been quite the education. So much going on schematically it boggles the mind. But what a read this guy is.

  96. barry.moore23 says:

    Kevin McCartney,

    Excellent stuff. Thanks. True or not it opens up the possibility that Chia and McLellan may know what they’re doing. Or they may not. Heck I don’t know. I’m going to enjoy 97 and not worry about it.

    ** immediately know he’s lying about not worrying **

  97. Bulging Twine says:

    Revolved:
    It seems to me that TMc does not believe in unicorns. The top loading of the current roster reflects what he did in SJ and could be one of their reasons for underachieving.

    yeah it seemed to me that SJ went with 2 scoring and two non-scoring lines (scoring lines can check too!). (just cuz a guy can’t score doesn’t mean he is a better ‘checker’, just cuz a guy can score doesn’t mean he’s worse defensively) I too think it hurt them in the playoffs. How many times have we seen the champs get contributions from down the lineup. I was hoping this was a Wilson (GM) thing rather than a MacLellan thing. Chiarelli has a record of having a 3rd line that can produce doesn’t he? I think I recall MacLellan at the beginning of the year saying, “we” have talked of having 3 balanced scoring lines.

  98. ashley says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: I read that as Ah-Lesh, as in Ales Hemsky. Still haven’t gotten over him, I guess.

    ashley,

    I understand what you are saying, but Hall is playing very effective hockey as it stands. No one is perfect and the play dies on the stick of guys like Crosby and Tavares, too. Hall is, along with maybe Yakupov, the only Oiler actively firing shots on goal. He has 47 shots in 12 games, roughly 4 per. Yak has 30 and is next. A guy like McDavid has only taken 22.

    The Oilers need to generate more shots more frequently, like the rapid-fire corsi events. So what if the goalie freezes it, then the team gets an offensive zone face-off. The Oilers need to follow Hall’s lead more, not shoot more selectively and try to make too many plays.

    At least, that’s how I see it.

    It’s a balance, to be sure. We don’t want to pass the puck endlessly looking for the elusive wide open net opportunity.

    But I can’t agree with your sentiment. SOG is a very crude measure of a player. Buchberger used to shoot from everywhere too, but that didn’t make him good.

    Not only does the team miss a good opportunity, but it is incredibly deflating for linemates. 3v2 happens only a few times a game and the excitement for the offensive players is near peak only to have one guy launch a wrister into the chest of the goalie without looking sideways. It doesn’t take much to make this a much better scoring opportunity.

    I’ve played with girls like that. It’s not fun, and it saps your energy for the next shift.

  99. Jaxon says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!,
    Pouzar,
    dustrock,

    It’s definitely a tough one. Draisaitl has had 2 extremely good games. I’m not sure 2 games can supplant the dependability of Eberle’s offence just yet.

    That’s where the value might be. Draisaitl’s newfound confidence just might translate to the 3rd scoring line unicorn. It might also give Slepyshev an opportunity if they consistently get out against 3rd line competition. As mentioned, I think Pakarinen (or Purcell) will give them the best opportunity to score.

    Before the season started, I thought McDavid might benefit from more veteran wingers and hoped they’d give Yak a chance with top level players and this would be best:

    Hall / Nugent-Hopkins / Yakupov
    Pouliot / McDavid / Eberle
    Slepyshev / Draisaitl / Pakarinen (Purcell)
    Korpikoski (Hendricks) / Lander / Letestu

    And I still like that lineup, but I now think that it’s possible that McDavid might be the only player who can recognize where Yakupov is going to be in all his chaotic meandering. Not sure Nuge would be able to find him as often. McDavid is so good at that touch pass and Yak seems to be doing some of that as well. Beautiful.

    I may be seeing things your way as I write this. Maybe Pakarinen can play with Hall and Nuge. He has the speed and provides that line with a physical element and he has as much scoring skill as anyone else available after Eberle and Yakupov. Would definitely go a long way to balance in the top 9.

    Hall / Nugent-Hopkins / Pakarinen
    Pouliot / McDavid / Yakupov
    Slepyshev / Draisaitl / Eberle
    Hendricks / Lander / Letestu

    If Slepyshev can find some scoring touch and Draisaitl can keep things going with Eberle on his wing, then that is a very dangerous 3rd line. I’d be tempted to roll those 3 lines fairly evenly. Pairs: Hall/Nuge, McDavid/Yak, Draisaitl/Eberle. Hmmm. You may have brought me around.

    Coming back around to edit this yet again:
    Hall / Nugent-Hopkins / Pakarinen
    Slepyshev / McDavid / Yakupov
    Pouliot / Draisaitl / Eberle
    Hendricks / Lander / Letestu

    If Hall/Nuge are consistently going up against other teams’ best then I like Pakarinen there. I think McDavid has already established that he doesn’t need any help and could maybe unlock Slepyshev as well. I think Pouliot and Eberle would give Draisaitl the best chance to succeed. Holy balanced, if Slepyshev, Draisaitl and Pakarinen could take off in this scenario.

  100. Bulging Twine says:

    Kevin McCartney:

    what he called pre-gapping, what Bruce Boudreau calls ‘the f*%$in’ system’).

    hahahah
    Boudreau definitely has a blue mouth

  101. cadooo says:

    PDL,

    Not sure what you can get in Alberta but from BC I suggest Driftwood, Phillips and Red Racer. Also suggest checking out https://untappd.com/

  102. Snowman says:

    ashley,

    I don’t think that what Hall does in the offensive zone is a problem. He’s a volume shooter. Volume shooters have to shoot. Now if that was all that Hall did, it would be a problem but he’s vastly underrated as a playmaker and to me this is not coincidental to his shooting more often than not.

    Everyone knows Hall loves to shoot. Common knowledge. Dman and goalies all play him for the shot every single time. That’s why so many of his linemates have easy tap ins for goals. Hall draws everyone to him with his speed, he makes goalies cheat because he’s a volume shooter and they know there’s a better than not chance he’s going to shoot.

    If you change that part of his game, you’re going to change how people play him and I think make the best part of his game (his passing) suffer as a result.

    Sure sometimes he can pull a Nuge and hit the brakes but I’d rather not have that become his MO.

    There’s a reason Hall gets so many assists, in my opinion, its because he shoots lots.

  103. Bulging Twine says:

    MacLellan preaching offensive contributions from the third line in his avail today!
    He believes in unicorns!

  104. Bulging Twine says:

    Pouzar: This.

    As a Pittsburgh Steeler fan I am lucky enough to have a blogger that is excellent on the X’s and O’s of football and it’s been quite the education. So much going on schematically it boggles the mind. But what a read this guy is.

    Which blog is that? I would like to have a look.

  105. Jaxon says:

    RMGS,

    I believe he’s a regular contributor over at Jets Nation who has done a bunch of guest posts for Oilers Nation in the past including a great one about the infamous swarm.

    http://oilersnation.com/2013/10/1/systems-analysis-different-looks-at-the-swarm

  106. Eastern Oil says:

    cadooo:
    PDL,

    Not sure what you can get in Alberta but from BC I suggest Driftwood, Phillips and Red Racer. Also suggest checking out https://untappd.com/

    I enjoy using this app as well if anyone else is on it. Great to keep track of different beers your friends, and yourself, have had.

  107. Bag of Pucks says:

    G Money: He’s second last, ahead of only Ference.

    One thing I’m doing as I’m looking at the numbers is having to remove the DAL game.In that particular game, Sekera/Fayne got absolutely ripped to shreds, and that skews their performance quite a bit.Here’s the order of the D including the Dallas game (best to worst, bearing in mind that these guys have played different teams for the most part, so grain of salt applies):

    Davidson
    Nurse
    Klefbom
    Sekera
    Reinhart
    Schultz
    Fayne
    Gryba
    Ference

    If you remove the Dallas game, the order becomes

    Davidson
    Nurse
    Sekera
    Klefbom
    Fayne
    Reinhart
    Schultz
    Gryba
    Ference

    If you want to look at the raw DFA/60 numbers for the D and the D pairs (anyone who played at least 3:00 in at least one game gets counted), they are in 2 CSV files in the zip file you can download here:

    https://app.box.com/s/mbzitd7acvqs5cyl2e2478k3h5z5lbdz

    Thanks G. Brutal numbers for Gryba.

    I think I know what’s going on here. Someone posted on the weekend that Gryba is on the ice an inordinate amount of time with McDavid.

    I’m clearly so myopically focused on the artistry of McDavid that I’m missing out on the idiocy of Gryba. My bad.

    Somehow I can’t see that changing however….

  108. Bag of Pucks says:

    Eastern Oil: I enjoy using this app as well if anyone else is on it.Great to keep track of different beers your friends, and yourself, have had.

    Certainly better than keeping track of the different girls you and your friends have had.

    That was really more of a ‘pre-AIDS’ thing anyway.

    Even better was keeping track of the kind of beer you had by the girls you ended up with.

    Corona girls. Good. Labatt Blue girls. Bad!

  109. Doug McLachlan says:

    Bag of Pucks: Thanks G. Brutal numbers for Gryba.I think I know what’s going on here. Someone posted on the weekend that Gryba is on the ice an inordinate amount of time with McDavid.I’m clearing so myopically focused on the artistry of McDavid that I’m missing out on the idiocy of Gryba. My bad. Somehow I can’t see that changing however….

    There is a physicality to Gryba’s game that was a key reason for his acquisition. Hard on the puck sort of thinking. I’m not sure I’ve seen that out of him but he can hit and that has a value if employed correctly. Pairing him with a Ference is foolishness, but if he’s paired with a Klefbom or a more experienced Nurse, this may not be so problematic.

  110. Bulging Twine says:

    Kevin McCartney:
    Fayne is not long for the Oilers, but he’s definitely one of their top-6 defenders. He’s too smart to expose himself and too stubborn not to, I guess. He just doesn’t fit.

    Possible landing spots:

    New Jersey. Played a lot with Greene and they seemed to have success.
    SJ: Coach who Fayne played for and went to the Stanley Cup final with.
    Toronto: GM who had Fayne in New Jersey. Of course same GM let him go for not a huge contract.

  111. Bulging Twine says:

    MacLellan said there are a couple of Dmen banged up who, “we will see how they feel after practice today”
    Suspect that is Darnell Nurse who was holing his lower back/side/oblique and wincing last game.
    Also Davidson took a hit from behind in his own zone and skated off looking in some pain.
    May affect who gets the start tomorrow.
    Anyways having this depth is kinda fun – makes it interesting to see who is winning jobs, what kind of players the coach and GM like, how they want them to play.

  112. Kevin McCartney says:

    Jaxon,

    I actually don’t write anywhere any more. It was impossible to make myself watch the Jets – it’s like watching people hammer nails. Even if they do well at it, it’s an experience somewhere between boring and frustrating. Probably better this year with Ehlers and Petan on the roster, but there’s only so much a person can take of Chris Thorburn and Jim Slater and Matt Halischuk.

    I keep meaning to write something for OilersNation, but same as everyone – work and life are enough to fill most days. If you have ideas for posts you’d like to see (somewhere, some day), you can message me on twitter. @kevinmccart

  113. G Money says:

    Bag of Pucks: I think I know what’s going on here. Someone posted on the weekend that Gryba is on the ice an inordinate amount of time with McDavid.
    I’m clearing so myopically focused on the artistry of McDavid that I’m missing out on the idiocy of Gryba. My bad.

    Yup, and I think that is what is skewing the Corsi numbers (and presumably the full DFF% numbers though I haven’t looked at them specifically) upwards for Gryba. But he’s a passenger when it comes to the offensive side of the equation, not part of the solution.

    DFA on the other hand is capturing what he and his partners are giving up in terms of danger-adjusted unblocked shots in the defensive zone – and it’s not good.

    It’s interesting to see how Schultz (who also has good Corsi numbers, though I think he’s more instrumental in helping create the Corsi For than Gryba is) and his defensive problems show clearly in the DFA numbers – which I have to admit I believe is part of the eye test confirmation of the stat.

  114. Pouzar says:

    Sidebar: Anyone have any experience with the U-Brew outlets?
    I’ve always wanted to try brewing my own beer but space is limited at my house and this is the next best thing.

  115. Pouzar says:

    Bulging Twine: Which blog is that?I would like to have a look.

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/

    Many contributors but Alex Kozora in particular is excellent.
    He has many articles where he embeds animated .gifs to breakdown various plays.
    A great twitter follow as well.

  116. G Money says:

    rickithebear,

    Ricki, these are good questions, and I’ll tackle three of them:

    1 – Fenwick vs Shots. I’m using Fenwick (rather than Corsi) because I think it is fair to give defensemen credit for blocked shots (even if they didn’t block them). I’m using Fenwick rather than shots because of the data volume advantage. (I can generate a ‘danger adjusted shot’ metric instead of ‘danger adjusted fenwick’ literally by changing a single word on a single line of code in my scripts, switching the ‘event type’ filter from isFenwick to isShot).

    The difference between Fenwick and shots is that Fenwick includes missed shots.

    So the question of which is a more accurate measure for defensemen between the two hinges on one question: to what extent do defensemen cause a shot to miss the net?

    There is no way to answer this question with 100% accuracy, because even if you can show that a defenseman pressured a shooter immediately prior to a missed shot, you’ll never know for sure whether that shot would have hit or been missed anyway. Just ask Daniel Sedin!

    So when a shooter misses a shot, I think in the absence of that information, you default to including more data than less. If a deadly shot came from a deadly distance, it is a mark against the defense, even if the shooter subsequently missed the shot.

    However, I think if you ran a study and checked a few games and could show evidence that the majority of missed shots occurred under pressure from the D while shooters when not under pressure from the D rarely missed the net, I think that would make for a strong argument that ‘danger adjusted shots’ would in fact be a better metric than ‘danger adjusted Fenwick’.

    Does that make sense?

    2 – I think war-on-ice’s high/med/low chances are a terrific contribution to the shot metric literature, but please understand that Danger Adjusted Fenwick is intended to directly address two major weaknesses in the war-on-ice metric.

    The first weakness is that they don’t incorporate shot type. This makes a big difference. For example, w-o-i will treat a 20 ft slapshot as being a medium danger chance, and a 15 ft backhand as being high danger.

    My calculated shot adjustment factors show that a 20 ft slapshot is 1.75x as dangerous as an ‘average’ shot, while a 15 ft backhand is 1.35x as dangerous. So if Andrew Ference gives up 3 20 ft slapshots, he’ll get docked for zero high danger chances, while if Sekera forces the shooter to the offside and gives up 3 15 ft backhands, he’ll get docked for 3 high danger chances – even though the shots given up by Ference are about 30% more likely to score.

    The second weakness is that just by separating the numbers out into h/m/l, you are now forced to either look only at part of the data (which is what filtering by high danger chances does), OR you are forced to compare three numbers.

    If in the same amount of TOI, Ference gives up 2 high danger, 10 medium danger, and 30 low danger shots, and Sekera gives up 3 high danger, 3 medium danger, and 3 low danger shots, using ONLY high danger shots will give you a very skewed picture of Sekera vs Ference.

    Danger adjustment will on the other hand give you a single number for comparison while incorporating every single shot, weighted in proportion to exactly how dangerous it was estimated to be.

    3 – I know you love to speak to the idea of pucks ‘shot at the goalie’ vs ‘pucks targeting open space’. Here’s the thing, though, Ricki. No one I know has any objection to that concept – it is an obvious truth on the face of it. A shot into the goalies numbers or his glove is useless unless it subsequently causes a rebound. The problem is not whether it is true, it is that it at the current time, it is not a useful analytical distinction because NO ONE HAS THAT DATA GATHERED!

    Until you actually have a robust data set that gives you the targeting of shots, it remains a purely theoretical (though, as I said, objectively true on the face of it) concept.

  117. Pouzar says:

    Kevin McCartney: If you have ideas for posts you’d like to see (somewhere, some day), you can message me on twitter. @kevinmccart

    Kevin McCartney(Quote) (Reply)

    I would like to see articles that show specific plays or instances where a player or player(s) followed or didn’t follow the team system. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, there is a great fellow who does this for football and it is an unreal read.

    Cheers

  118. Bulging Twine says:

    Pouzar: http://www.steelersdepot.com/

    Many contributors but Alex Kozora in particular is excellent.
    He has many articles where he embeds animated .gifs to breakdown various plays.
    A great twitter follow as well.

    thanks

  119. PDL says:

    Eastern Oil: I enjoy using this app as well if anyone else is on it.Great to keep track of different beers your friends, and yourself, have had.

    Wow, that app is pretty neat. Will definitely use it. Thanks to everyone for all the suggestions so far. We have been doing this calendar for 4 years now and it’s hard to remember sometimes which ones we’ve had. Hopefully there are some of your suggestions available here in Edmonton.

    Off the top of my head, a couple of great ones were Ugly Sweater milk stout and Innis & Gunn highland cask edition.

    Does anyone else wonder if Ference’s contract, in addition to having a NMC, also includes some type of guaranteed-games-to-be-played-unless-injured clause? I can’t even believe I’m typing something so dumb but it’s pretty difficult to come up with any reasonable explanations for playing him.

  120. Магия 10 says:

    G Money: So the question of which is a more accurate measure for defensemen between the two hinges on one question: to what extent do defensemen cause a shot to miss the net?

    Here’s a look by @DTMAboutHeart where he concludes that causing misses is a repeatable skill for goalers. But what if some of that is the D corps in front?

    http://hockey-graphs.com/2015/10/23/xsv-is-a-better-predictor-of-goaltending-performance-than-existing-models/

    (i assume xSV% is calculated with the same set of adjustments as xG%)

  121. Bulging Twine says:

    Erik Gustaffson, Oilers 4th round pick from 2012 getting his second game tonight for the BlackHawks

  122. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Bulging Twine:
    Erik Gustaffson, Oilers 4th round pick from 2012 getting his second game tonight for the BlackHawks

    I know this is everyone’s favorite sore point du jour, but I propose we spend as much time wringing our hands over letting him go as Florida does over Iiro the Hero.

    Not retaining Erik Gustaffson is not the reason we are bad at hockey.

  123. Water Fire says:

    GCW_69: You mean this Cody Franson:

    Season…..CF%……..CF% rel
    2009-10…..60.5……..9
    2010-11……55………..6.1
    2011-12…..54.3……..5.6
    2012-13……50.4……..6.8
    2013-14……48.5……..5.8
    2014-15……50.1……..5.2
    2015-16……57.4……..8
    3 yrs………….57.4……..6.7
    4 yrs………….50.4……..5.5
    Career………52.6……..5.4

    Source: http://www.hockey-reference.com/players/f/fransco01-additional.html

    Based on the numbers, I am not sure how we conclude Sekera as better than Franson, especially if we are looking at this year’s numbers?

    The real question is why did only the worst team in the league want a 6’5″ puck moving young right hander at a reasonable price? They can’t all be meatheads.

  124. SoCaloil says:

    If drai keeps humming, I keep him on that first line to provide size
    It’s inline w Lucic-Carter-Toffolli

    Stick Ebs w lander and Hendricks on the 3rd and you may have your unicorns
    Plus lander has some experience to help him mature

    Korps lottesu and IRO/Slappy can have some limited time on the 4th

  125. McSorley33 says:

    Kevin McCartney,

    Mark Fayne isn’t just having pucks go off his skates and giving up shot attempts from the dangerous ice. He’s not gapping as instructed. His mobility isn’t a problem for him – he manages it extremely well and is defending competently from the hash-marks-down
    ************************************************************
    He cannot gap as instructed -because Mark is very aware of his speed limitations. As David Staples pointed out – you can tell he plays to stay in that position -by the hash-marks.

    Like Ryan Whitney in his last year here – Mark is actually playing to compensate for his weakness.

    On dump ins – Ryan would actually not go for the puck ( he knew he was going to lose the race ) he would position himself to take on player who retrieved the puck.

    I do agree with you on how Mark manages from the Hash-marks down to the goalposts. No question that is his strength.

    But we are talking a lot of territory outside that zone that offenders have near free reign.

  126. Bulging Twine says:

    Korpikoski is producing points at the same or about the same rate as he has for the last 3 years.

    15-16: .30 pts/Game
    14-15: .30
    13-14: .39
    12-13: .31

    a couple better years before that;

    11-12: .45
    10-11: .51

  127. Doug McLachlan says:

    Idle speculation on the inexplicable decision to keep playing Andrew Ference.

    As opposed to buying out a player, the preference would be to trade said player (even with salary retained).

    Would anyone be interested in a veteran, Cup-winning, defenseman at the trade deadline given the attrition that can occur if the Oilers were to retain maximum salary? Perhaps. You can’t offer up a player who has no games under his belt.

    So you shelter him as much as you can (he didn’t play against DAL, STL, LA or VAN) only played against CAL and MTL with Justin Schultz hurt.

    The value wouldn’t even be the return but the cap space.

  128. Bulging Twine says:

    Related to the quest for the unicorn:
    Regular season pts/GP of Western Conference Champions 3rd lines according to EV TOI/GP for past three years.

    12-13 Chicago Blackhawks
    Shaw .31
    Bickell .48
    Stalberg .49

    13-14 Los Angeles Kings
    before they acquired Gaborik who played 19 regular season games
    Stoll .35
    Toffoli .47
    Lewis .15

    after Gaborik Richards bumps down Lewis
    Richards .50

    14-15 Chicago Blackhawks
    Richards .49
    Shaw .33
    Teravainen .26

    Teravainen played in 34 Games. Next in EVTOI/GP was Bickell who played 80 games and scored at a .35 rate

  129. Bulging Twine says:

    Oilers 3rd line

    Purcell .33
    Korpikoski .30
    Lander .00

  130. Halfwise says:

    Doug McLachlan:
    Idle speculation on the inexplicable decision to keep playing Andrew Ference.

    As opposed to buying out a player, the preference would be to trade said player (even with salary retained).

    Would anyone be interested in a veteran, Cup-winning, defenseman at the trade deadline given the attrition that can occur if the Oilers were to retain maximum salary?Perhaps.You can’t offer up a player who has no games under his belt.

    So you shelter him as much as you can (he didn’t play against DAL, STL, LA or VAN) only played against CAL and MTL with Justin Schultz hurt.

    The value wouldn’t even be the return but the cap space.

    Seems pretty far-fetched as he has another full year on his contract and he isn’t setting the world on fire.

    Chia filed to take Jultz to arbitration in July, which opened a buyout window, that the Oilers then didn’t use. It seemed very odd at the time. One explanation could have been Chia was trying to get Ference to retire rather than face the shame of being bought out. But Ference didn’t blink. Maybe Chia did.

  131. Bulging Twine says:

    Interesting the goals per game for those 3rd line players were:

    12-13 Chicago
    Shaw .19 = 16 goals over 82 GP
    Bickell .19
    Stalberg .19

    13-14 LAK
    stoll .10 = 8
    Toffoli .19
    Lewis .08 = 7
    Richards .13 = 11

    14-15 Chicago
    Richards .16 = 13
    Shaw .19
    Teravainen .12 =10
    Bickell .18 =15

    They all had at least one 15 goal scorer on their 3rd line

  132. Zelepukin says:

    dustrock: Yeah, we’ll see if Eberle needs some time, but Draisaitl having a great 2 games aside (and I’m as big a Draisaitl fan as they come), Eberle is a proven elite scorer for years in the NHL.He doesn’t get the 3rd line stint for long, if at all.

    Draisaitl’s biggest contribution would be if he could get 3rd line going.

    I think Ebs starts on the third line. It will give him a bit of time to get his game legs back and hopefully spark Lander with some scoring opportunities.

    More importantly the longer Drai stays on the top line the faster it will improve his confidence and adjustment to the reaction speed required in the NHL. I think the third line is going to slow him right now in progress.

    Having said that, I’d put money on it that the Ebs-Drai 1st to 3rd line switch will happen with 2 games or right after the 1st line has a bad period. You can’t keep our most consistent scorer and best RW away from the top minutes, for very long.

  133. Zelepukin says:

    Doug McLachlan: Would anyone be interested in a veteran, Cup-winning, defenseman at the trade deadline given the attrition that can occur if the Oilers were to retain maximum salary? Perhaps. You can’t offer up a player who has no games under his belt.

    The real question is, who in the NHL has worse D than Ference? And not just in their 6-7 D but in the farm? To me it’s rather obvious that if it weren’t for his contract and the fact that he was the captain and with a new coaching staff coming in, he’d not be here right now.

  134. stevezie says:

    hags9k,

    Exactly. You get it.

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