I am going to let you in on a secret nobody knows: There have been a few dead spots in this Oilers summer. Oh sure, we had that week where the Red Sea parted and Jesse Puljujarvi landed in Edmonton’s lap, and there was that time the Oilers traded Hall. Plus, Milan Lucic July 1 was worth a pretty large font on the headline, and those college kids were fun to read about and youtube.
Mostly though, we had a quiet August and early September. No news is good news, as they say. Yesterday, there were two substantial items that are worth noting, and in both cases it could be we’re into something good.
Oscar Klefbom on @OilersNow " I think I am 100% for sure, I've been skating for weeks, if it was a game tomorrow I would play for sure"
— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) September 14, 2016
Klefbom said he would be capable of 25 minutes, and it sounds reasonable. I mean, if Klefbom, who played 22 minutes a night, says he can play a few more with new partner Adam Larsson, it seems possible. It isn’t a crazy, out of the realm of possibility statement. If Oscar said he planned on taking a bad photo, that would clearly indicate he was no longer making sense. Playing 25 minutes? Yeah, I think he can make it as long as that damned boot doesn’t start causing problems. Dr. Scholl, get to work!
— Team Europe (@TeamEUR_WCH) September 15, 2016
Leon gets a hat. It sounds like one of those scary Euro children’s stories that ends with some strange witch boiling poor Leon in a giant hat-pot while reading strange poetry from a giant book. Leon’s hat-trick was pretty damned impressive for two reasons: He did it in less than 12 minutes and he scored three times against freaking Sweden.
Stat Shot has been officially released!
This is an exciting day for all those involved, and we hope you enjoy it!https://t.co/3FJUxi7rnv
— Rob Vollman (@robvollmanNHL) September 13, 2016
Today’s Lowdown is devoted to Rob’s new book, and I think this is a groundbreaking moment for analytics. Along with Tom Awad and Iain Fyffe, Vollman has taken some fairly involved metrics and made them easier for an everyman to figure out. Now, two things: First, math people will say the idea of NHLE or Corsi are not especially difficult to understand and certainly that’s true if you are into the nuts and bolts. Most people are going to be spending their days working or with family, so in order to reach a large audience with this information, it has to be delivered in a way similar to that of Bill James and his Abstract’s. I think that is the market for this book—targeted at intelligent people who want the final paragraph and trust the math. Cannot wait to talk to Rob about it, we will start a little after 10 this morning and devote the entire two hours to the project.
Here's Bakersfield's numbers compared to league average by weighted eTOI / game and by total TOI in the season. pic.twitter.com/1LhTpXrRqb
— WheatNOil (@WheatNOil) September 14, 2016
WNO is doing fantastic work here (with a h/t to G for some fine tuning) and this graph is very insightful. Edmonton is not giving their entry-level players enough work while also riding Matt Ford, Ryan Hamilton, Andrew Miller and Rob Klinkhammer heavily. This is very important information. Seriously. I hope Keith Gretzky finds this on his desk at some point this fall.
Note: Did you notice McDavid on the point during one of Team NA’s power plays? I am sure it is nothing, but an interesting item. One of the things we have discussed on the blog this summer is increased playing time for 97. I think he will be used in all three disciplines and may provide some offense on the 4×5—all that speed is a threat from anywhere on the ice.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, we will devote most of the two hours to Mr. Vollman and the new book. Please consider sending a question or comment (10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter), and feel free to ask Rob anything. Really looking forward to this!