AND NOW, THE NEWS

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

mcdavid-v-crosby-ev-rookiemcdavid-crosby-pp-rookie-comp

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!

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100 Responses to "AND NOW, THE NEWS"

  1. Litke 94 says:

    Very excited for this release. Going to school full time while also working full time makes it incredibly difficult to invest as much time as I would like into learning all of the numbers.

    Love when it can be presented in a digestible way. Should be a terrific read.

  2. OF17 says:

    It’s been so long since Klefbom skated I almost forget what it’s like to have him on the team. After being used to Sekera-Fayne holding down the fort and Davidson bringing up the rear, it’s going to be something else to add an entire pairing that supersedes that.

    We’ve essentially added a Boychuk + Leddy this summer compared to last, it’s just that one of them came from in house.

  3. PaperKurtRussell says:

    As fun as the World Cup should be, it’s great that Rookie Camp and main camp are right around the corner as well. I think an area that has improved a lot on this team that we don’t talk about much, is the maturity in the bottom of the roster. What I mean is that regardless of who gets those final spots out of camp, the AHL recalls and press box crew will all have a fair amount of pro experience. Whether it’s Lander, JJ, Pitlick, Reinhart, Nurse, Oesterle, etc… all have been there before and won’t look like a deer in the headlights as we have seen in years past.

    Don’t get me wrong, there is always room for improvement in the system, but cutting back on raw rookies will be key to turning north in the face of some injury/performance issues.

  4. frjohnk says:

    Wheat needs to start a blog.

  5. kinger_OIL says:

    OF17:
    It’s been so long since Klefbom skated I almost forget what it’s like to have him on the team. After being used to Sekera-Fayne holding down the fort and Davidson bringing up the rear, it’s going to be something else to add an entire pairing that supersedes that.

    We’ve essentially added a Boychuk + Leddy this summer compared to last, it’s just that one of them came from in house.

    – Yes a healthy Klef would be great game-changer for us. I really discount Davidson given his myriad of health issues, and have him as a 3rd pairing (and prepared for upside)

    – How pumped would we be if able to snag another legit D? Either now or trade deadline.

  6. Litke 94 says:

    kinger_OIL: –

    – How pumped would we be if able to snag anotherlegit D?Either now or trade deadline.

    My only concern with this move is that if we were to do this prior to the expansion draft, wouldn’t that create a difficult situation in who to protect? I know it probably isn’t a massive risk because of the talent on other teams, but I would hate to lose a guy like Davidson if it could be avoided.

  7. Ducey says:

    Have we any idea why Krueger is keeping Leon’s minutes so low?

    Less than 12 minutes for a C that is lighting it up is a little strange.

    Maybe he thinks he is running the Oilers farm team.

  8. stush18 says:

    Litke 94: My only concern with this move is that if we were to do this prior to the expansion draft, wouldn’t that create a difficult situation in who to protect? I know it probably isn’t a massive risk because of the talent on other teams, but I would hate to lose a guy like Davidson if it could be avoided.

    I don’t want to be a Debbie downer, but we should halt our expectations of Davidson. He’s 25 yrs old, and expecting defensemen to continue developing at this rate at that age is unheard of.

    Small sample size, so let’s wait and see how this season plays out. Could be he struggles after knee surgery as well.

  9. kinger_OIL says:

    Litke 94: My only concern with this move is that if we were to do this prior to the expansion draft, wouldn’t that create a difficult situation in who to protect? I know it probably isn’t a massive risk because of the talent on other teams, but I would hate to lose a guy like Davidson if it could be avoided.

    – Yeah that’s the thing, untill he plays injury free why worry? You don’t know what he is.

    – Davey wouldn’t be protected if draft was today, and he wouldn’t be picked up either

    – While we might be “upset” with who is picked , it’s a zero sum game: all teams will be “upset”, and all weakened by the relative same amount

  10. Litke 94 says:

    kinger_OIL,

    Yeah I definitely see it from that perspective as well. For sure I am guilty of a little bit of wishful thinking, but I think even if Davidson stays level with how he performed last year he is still a decent #4.

    I also see the point made that, there will always be some excuse not to make another move (i.e., expansion draft), so we might as well go ahead and do what it takes to make our team better, if reasonable.

  11. Melman says:

    Oscar’s comments re: 25 mins. a night are encouraging, but also reminded me of the 11F & 7D line up discussion a few threads back. I think this is an idea with real merit – using an extra D as an extra 3rd pair/specialized role of PK PP could very well have a more positive impact on the game than 7 minutes of mud from a less skilled F. That extra D could also play some W if needed. There’s all kind of options, which could result in allowing your top D to play more EV mins and their best specialty team usage.

    Unfortunately, it won’t happen until Belichick starts coaching in the NHL.

  12. Jethro Tull says:

    Melman: That extra D could also play some W if needed.

    Ah, the Jason Strudwick gambit.

  13. Bruce McCurdy says:

    stush18: I don’t want to be a Debbie downer, but we should halt our expectations of Davidson. He’s 25 yrs old, and expecting defensemen to continue developing at this rate at that age is unheard of.

    Not only is it “heard of”, it’s fairly common for d-men to continue to improve deep into their 20s and even into their young 30s.

  14. Pouzar says:

    RE: Davy

    I’d take “more of the same”.

  15. Mustard Tiger says:

    I think Davidson has a good chance of being a stud defenceman.
    To me, he plays similar to McDavid, in that he always makes the right play with the puck, and there are few weaknesses in his game.
    He’s got the numbers, and the skill set to do it.

  16. magneto says:

    Pouzar:
    RE: Davy

    I’d take “more of the same”.

    If he is as good as last year, and no major injuries then that is a big win.
    I don’t think he will progress much more but he is already a top 6 D on a lot of teams, what more can you ask for? I hope he plays 3rd pair for years to come.

  17. RPG says:

    Yost with an interesting read today.

    ” One thing I was curious about was whether any available metric could reasonably forecast a player’s impact on save percentage in the subsequent year.
    The answer to that question is an emphatic no.”

    http://www.tsn.ca/defencemen-and-their-impact-on-team-save-percentage-1.567469

  18. Drew says:

    Mustard Tiger:
    I think Davidson has a good chance of being a stud defenceman.
    To me, he plays similar to McDavid, in that he always makes the right play with the puck, and there are few weaknesses in his game.
    He’s got the numbers, and the skill set to do it.

    Not sure about a stud, but i have nicknamed Davidson “Calm” he just calms things down and is very efficient in play selection.

    Sounds like Charlie Huddy?

  19. Fog of Warts says:

    For me, by far the worst outcome of the Decade of Debacle is that the conversation on Lowetide has actually gone backwards on a couple of key issues. It contributes in a small way to me writing less (by far the biggest contribution to this change is that my metabolism sucks less that it used to, proving, I guess, that no good turn goes unpunished).

    Two books I found extremely useful to read back to back:
    * Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction (Tetlock, 2015)
    * The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It . . . Every Time, (Konnikova, 2016)

    A third book to complete the triad (always the best way to consume challenging ideas) might be the following:

    * The Success Equation: Untangling Skill and Luck in Business, Sports, and Investing (Mauboussin, 2012)

    Tetlock is great, the other two are merely adequate foils. This is why one must read in triads: it helps you figure out who is really driving the play.

    For the kind of person who reads Tetlock’s chapter on the common character traits of superforecasters and cries out “that’s meeeeeeeee!” loud enough to wake the neighbours, Konnikova’s book is extremely aggravating. Her basic thesis is that we are all, at some level, dumb enough to fall for a confidence swindle. Then she goes on to relate a story about how a romantically distressed woman put $10,000 cash into a glass jar and handing it to her medium for “safe keeping” on the grounds that having this giant wad of cash in her own possession was interfering with the completion of a karmic adventure from a past life, in which Money Boob was Egyptian royalty … well, I’m just not seeing superforecaster potential here, the “forec” is weak in that one. There are maybe three swindles in the entire book that your typical superforecaster would fall for on his or her worst day.

    Pretty much the entire M.O. of superforecasting serves to part a swindle from its rube.

    One of the strongest traits of superforecasters it to adjust your model incrementally with each new piece of information (with negative information leading to a negative adjustment—this can not be understated—as nearly every rube reacts to disappointment by doubling down).

    I made three small adjustments to my own model on reading this book.

    * morally or ethically tainted “opportunities” where you would be reluctant to discuss the circumstances openly with your usual friends and family are generally exactly what they first appear to be (for any competent value of “first”)
    * doubling down once you’ve already strayed down the aforementioned path needs to be reconsidered ten times over (then change days to weeks, and multiply by one thousand)
    * and here’s the kicker: 99% of the time, when a stranger says “well, I trusted you first” the form of trust under discussion is a false flag operation

    Suppose some swanky, high-living grifter—perhaps a real-estate mogul who made his original fortune on the back of undocumented workers—”accidentally” leaves a wallet with $5000 cash in your hotel room overnight, and then a calamity ensues where some sure-fire windfall must be immediately rescued by a large quantity of short-term grease—yours, of course, is the smallest of the three contributions—and, well, the other chap already bought you a $300 bottle of scotch in appreciation of your returning his wallet will all the cash still present—lucky for you you chose this option, as you still have two kneecaps to call your own—isn’t it glorious that you’re such a trustworthy (and now trusting) chap.

    Ask yourself this: Did they really trust you to return their $5000 prop? Or did you just mortgage your own kneecaps on their correct assessment of your character and tendencies?

    Of course, you deeply wish to receive the esteem of the man who bragged about briefly owning the tallest building in Manhattan (the tall part, not the brief part) so you’re all primed up to go along with the trust conversion.

    Moral of the story: just because you had the option to quietly pocket $5000 cash that wasn’t your own, does not mean that anyone trusted you with a damn thing. Pocket money, walk outside hotel, turn down alley to fetch car, lose both wallet and kneecaps. Well, it felt like you were in the cat-bird seat to pocket a crooked windfall for all of ten minutes after you scratched the wrong “lucky” square. When you don’t scratch the wrong square (almost always how this plays out) it felt like you occupied the cat-bird seat until your bank account is tits up in deep overdraft.

    The mug thug sells just just how vulnerable he felt about losing possession of his cash-stuffed wallet with a great display of relief and reward. “Well, of course, you could trust me” and instantly you’re suffused with exactly the same chemical released—as known to those who have ever had this experience—when you courteously allow another driver to nudge in front of your onto a rapacious thoroughfare from the side-street of doom (the nearly invisible street positioned all of twenty meters upstream from the three-sailing-wait quadruple-cycle red light, just this side of the payday loan strip mall with all those happy half-hour titty bars and, kee-rist!, it’s already sixteen to the half past).

    The incremental mental-model update: always double-check with a clinical eye the “well, he trusted me first” decision path. Did he? Really? And WTF if he did? Why should that even matter in the first place?—which, come to think of it, smelled a bit dodgy right from the get go.

    ———

    Here are two salient traits of superforecasters:
    * superforecasters begin with an ‘outside view’ and then proceed to adjust it with an ‘inside view’ based on the specifics of the case
    * the best forecasters start by trying to define a base rate chance of something occurring and then adjust it up or down in the light of evidence about the specific circumstances in a particular case

    At last we get to my allegation about how the Decade of Debacle seduced the great river Lowetide down the wrong side channel at the treacherous rock bed of rock bottom.

    So here’s my profound management insight: you don’t deliberately lift $5000 bills out of your colleague’s pocket—one after another—and expect to be friends for long.

    For a person of the trustworthy, superforecaster temperament, the base rate assumption is that the correct development path for a shiny young prospect (or even a prospect with less than shiny lip burns after mishandling here a swig, there a swig from a polystyrene cup or two) is to choose the development path that maximizes the prospect’s career earnings prospect (CEP), bearing in mind that you go into the regular season with the bench that you have. We’re not asking here what would maximize a player’s CEP in Detroit, unless we’re actually Detroit, and actually still Detroit. We are concerning ourselves with what maximizes a young prospect’s CEP in Big Smoke or Big Tire, and strip malls of this general ilk, what with the 5-minute or 10-minute happy hours and the payday loan debt-consolidation second-mortgage drive-thru kiosks.

    The hockey code and it’s granite foundation is your ally here, but it only takes you so far: thou shalt suck it up and earn one’s stripes in the A and suffer slings and arrows to one’s optimal CEP with a stiff upper lip—probably a stiff and puffy upper lip—only in so far as the parent club is icing players who are actually performing better, in the here and now, or at least in a here and now so close you can taste it (if you’re Yakimov stuck behind Drai while he works through a twenty game sucky patch, so be it).

    As soon as you break this rule, as the GM majordomo, and you elect to play some scrub on the Big Club, while a prospect already superior in talent and performance pines away on the pittance side of a two-way contract—all in the name of slow, superior cooking—you’re lifting $5000 bills that won’t soon be forgiven.

    Easy solution—for some—just build a Big Club with no scrubs, balanced and buff. But suppose instead, you’re Big Smoke, or Big Tire, or Big Cowpoke. Then what?

    “Okay, we know that keeping you down in the A is lifting $5000 bills from your pocket on a weekly basis, but that’s only the here and now. Think of the future! [This line is reported to work even better if your fingers are encrusted with giant rings.] When we do call you up, you’ll have the A) the best possible coaching, B) a tried and true game plan, C) optimal veteran cover, D) and, if we go deep in the playoffs (as we usually do) we’ve got you penciled in bold as the hot spare of last resort, a veritable certainty, as you well know. Once you get some of these special feathers under your cap, your CEP will tilt upward like the mythical hockey stick investment graph. Trust me on this one. It’s what I do.”

    Whoops, we’re back in Detroit, Dorothy.

    Back at the farm in Big Tire, A/B/C/D mainly appear on the insurance claim form, a form much folded, spindled, and mutilated, that we continue to laboriously flatten out and resubmit, year after year.

    “Hand me the clothes iron, would you Kevin?”

    “Hand me the clothes iron, would you Steve?”

    “Hand me the clothes iron, would you Craig? WTF! It’s already hot! Sheesh.”

    Craig [sheepishly]: “Uh, sorry, forgot to unplug it.”

    Chia: “A whole damn year?”

    Craig: “Well, I thought it was auto-off.”

    Chia: “Are you kidding? I once bought a clothes iron with more advanced features for three bucks from Value Village back in the early nineties.”

    Craig: “The guys around these parts like this one, it’s extremely heavy. They just don’t make them like they used to, you know. I just forgot, that’s all. There’s no crumple it can’t mend. See for yourself.”

    ———

    “So you see, even though it’s not at all obvious how your CEP recovers when we finally promote you to the big club on merit (over the mid-career replacement-level schlubs we’re using to block your path on the best possible coaching advice), we’ve got this magic insurance form, which, if thoroughly ironed into pristine flatness, and shaken year after year after year after year, summons—without fail!—the Cluster of the Gods.”

    “Really? How did that work out the last time?”

    “Grand larceny! Don’t you even read the news?”

    “Yeah, unfortunately, it was hard to avoid. You know what? I’m not that thrilled about sacrificing my CEP to no apparent benefit, about toiling down here in the A behind some mid-career schlub whose NHL numbers are worse than my own.”

    “Suck it. That’s the nature of the ELC. We can do whatever we damn well want to do.”

    “Oh, yeah? Well, I’ll see you in arbitration, and if we survive that phase of our relationship, you can kiss my ass on the bridge contract, as I jump to free-agent hyperspace at the nearest available exit.”

    “Ouch. You seem a bit touchy about protecting your CEP. I had no idea.”

    ———

    These young studs probably accept their stint in the A without complaint, if they actually believe it’s good for their CEP in the long run.

    But exactly how do you sell that story in Big Tire, without first turning the corner on flaming wheels?

    Is it really viable to sell the Detroit model to young prospect, while Big Wheels Keep on Burning, year after year? Or does this notion ultimately contribution more to the cause than the cure?

    ———

    As much as I would have liked to do so, I was unable to turn this narrative into a question you could pose to Vollman on your show, with only an hour to dynamite the beaver dam.

    Munger on Slavery and Racism

    Because one thing that could have happened is that Southerners could have said, ‘You know, this argument really doesn’t work. We have to free the slaves, and it doesn’t matter how much it costs.’ What happened instead was that a lot of very smart people–without having a meeting, without coming up with any sort of conspiracy–concocted a different story. Which by 1835 was basically universally held. …

    And before, in 1831, the Virginia legislature had held famous debates about whether slavery was okay: it was an open question; it was okay to talk about it. After 1835 the door slammed shut. No more can you question slavery: ‘We all agree that slavery is a positive good; it benefits the slaves. They used to live in Africa. They were cannibals. They didn’t live for very long. They didn’t have health care. They come here, and we treat them well. We feed them, we clothe them, we give them houses. They are way better off than they were in Africa.’ …

    The second thing in letters that you find, that I find shocking, is 40 years later, 1863, 1864, Yankee Armies—you can tell where my sympathies lie—Northern Armies, I should say, go through the South. And slaves would just flock, follow them. And Southern slave owners would write letters to each other: ‘They’re so ungrateful. I raised them. All this time I fed them and clothed them. And, first chance they get, they run off.’ Really?

    I share Munger’s surprise. Apparently, some don’t.

    “Trust me! Slow cooking (in the tire smoker) is good for you, and it’s good for me, too. A few years from now, things will be all peaches and cream, lovey-dovey, with a homer discount in every stocking, and a rightorium stuffed with Petrys as far as the eye can see.”

    ———

    I remain unconvinced that a tire fire represents a prime slow-cooking opportunity. Never seen a tire fire yet with a glowing bed of uniform coals.

    “Hey, Detroit, can be borrow your school zone fire stick?”

    “Fuck! Still no glowing bed of uniform coals.”

    Husky, geezerish voice from Detroit: “Wellll, it’s sure been a long time since I cooked over a heap of flaming tires, but I don’t recall slowing the process down. Seem to recall this being a near-run-thing, seat of the pants style, and we only slowed things down after we fixed the fuel supply. But, hey, if you can slow-cook over tires, more power to you; I ain’t never seen this done yet, but I suppose there’s always a first time.”

    ———

    Dear Mr Vollman,

    Is there any data at all to support slow cooking over a tire fire?

    Yours truly,
    the man formerly known as DMW

  20. Richard S.S. says:

    Regarding Leon Draisaitl’s minutes:

    1) Leon is expected to play 18-20 or more minutes a game (more in OT) over 82 games (plus expected Postseason).
    2) Training Camp, the usual time Leon starts working hard, hasn’t started yet (still about a week or so away).
    3) Leon barely finished the Season before he was training hard for and playing in Olympic Qualification Trails.
    4) Leon has been playing as hard as he’s been permitted in the World Cup and would play more of he could.
    5) Playing tired increases the likelihood of injury.

    So will Leon Draisaitl have enough left for the season after playing two or more months already? Is it more likely now that he’ll miss time due to injury? Who do you want Leon Draisaitl playing for:
    a) Germany;
    b) Team Europe; or,
    c) The Edmonton Oilers?
    Pick one.

  21. Chachi says:

    Fog of Warts,

    That was a great post.

  22. Showerhead says:

    Fog of Warts,

    Oh this is delightful.

    Regarding your 10 year assertion, I will take a Lowetide quote out of context: “The trouble is you develop a past.”

    Being humans, we talk to and at each other in human ways and feel human things when people disagree with us or say things we don’t like. Especially if they are WRONG.

    In 2016 we get to talk with the same emotions but with 10 years of history. This one time that one guy said that one thing. This other time that other guy said that other thing.

    There are so many posters here now that I can’t keep them all straight in my mind. I used to be able to say, with confidence, who said what. There was a famous Spoiler line for example: “get out yer shinebox, Robbie!!!” that used to get attributed to me and a famous Showerhead fancystat “eyeglow / 60” that got attributed elsewhere but I could trace these back to their roots with confidence because there were so few posters.

    Now there are so many that I can’t help but group some together in the same mental filing cabinet. Now there are so many groups that sometimes I feel good or bad towards a comment because of something a different commenter said years ago.

    We have long memories for feelings in a way that we don’t for facts.

    *

    As for slow cooking over a tire fire? That is a phenomenal question. The 80’s Red Wings couldn’t possibly have slowplayed Datsyuk / Zetterberg / etc like the 90’s version could have… could they?

    I think one of the worst consequences of being terrible is that there are aftershocks. The Hall cluster got thrown to the wolves – immediately being asked to prop up an empty husk of a team (just look at those ghosts-of-rosters-past that Lowetide posts from time to time.) When they failed to do the impossible, they were blamed for it.

    At least McDavid gets an team that resembles an NHL team. But what if he (or Hall, for that matter) got to play with Bergeron and Chara or Benn and Spezza?

    The path from awful to OK is riddled with aftershocks of awful… Unless you or Vollman or someone (anyone?) has other ideas?

  23. Spydyr says:

    The Oilers are a better team whenever Connor is on the ice. Play him in every situation.

  24. wheatnoil says:

    frjohnk:
    Wheat needs to start a blog.

    Hah! I need to write for the existing blog that I contribute to!

    It’s easier for me to just do the work than it is to sit down and actually write it up. I hope to put it all together and throw it up on The Oilers Rig so people can find it later. I can actually post a graph for every team but maybe that’s too much.

  25. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    So a few week back I remember folks commenting on TFCAF participating in triathlons and how that may affect him being put on LTIR.

    Matty at the Journal has a interview up with him. TFCAF said that while he’d been biking and swimming enthusiastically since his surgery he has yet to lace up a pair of runners and go for a jog. Hasn’t ran at all since last winter and fully expects to be declared “medically unfit” to play once TC opens for physicals.

    Just thought it was worth mentioning.

  26. Fog of Warts says:

    After my post-submit hiatus—before I returned to fix the b tag error—I had a premonition of writing this same post again, ten years down the road, this edition citing—among the usual suspects—the Big Smoke, the Big Tire, the Big Cowpoke, and the Big Zika.

    Godspeed, Winnipeg, don’t let this happen to you.

  27. hunter1909 says:

    Richard S.S.: So will Leon Draisaitl have enough left for the season after playing two or more months already?

    It sounds better if he’s tired from scoring too many World Cup hat tricks.

  28. OF17 says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
    So a few week back I remember folks commenting on TFCAF participating in triathlons and how that may affect him being put on LTIR.

    Matty at the Journal has a interview up with him. TFCAF said that while he’d been biking and swimming enthusiastically since his surgery he has yet to lace up a pair of runners and go for a jog. Hasn’t ran at all since last winter and fully expects to be declared “medically unfit” to play once TC opens for physicals.

    Just thought it was worth mentioning.

    The piece is worth reading. In it, Ference also mentions that he has no doubt that McDavid is ready to be a captain and that Lucic and Hendricks will be great vocal buttresses to McDavid’s leadership. Also sees an opening for the team to be remade in McDavid’s image, specifically with regards to work ethic and competitiveness.

    Here’s the link: http://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/edmonton-oilers/oilers-d-man-andrew-ference-knows-his-hockey-days-are-over

  29. kinger_OIL says:

    Showerhead,

    – Nice exchange between you and FoW. I like this: “The Hall cluster got thrown to the wolves – immediately being asked to prop up an empty husk of a team ”

    – I think as fans we might be more forgiving if there wasn’t so many false starts. Take the Leafs rebuild: they have telegraphed their expectations, and the fans haven’t been expecting playoffs

    – LT used to expect playoffs, and would predict it every year (now he’s gained a lot of knowledge and experience, and didn’t forecast playoffs last year or this). The organization used to talk about playoffs, but I haven’t heard Chia or McL say this is the year for it.

    – We didn’t get Crosby/Malkin or Ovie/Backstrom: Hall/RNH weren’t at that level. But McD/Pool-party have that chance…

    – Most fans are guilty of over-valuing their players. Our team was an “empty husk” to be sure. And our management pre Chia/McL were either learning on the job/promoted above their pay-grade/ not qualified. But on top of it: we were unlucky that our #1’s just weren’t that elite:

    RNH/Hall/Yak vs say Ovie/Crosby/Kane: luck of the draw.

    But: CONNER MCDAVID!

    – Next 10 years will be a lot better

  30. fifthcartel says:

    I’m very curious to see what Puljujarvi does his first couple seasons. There doesn’t seem to be many comparable players so Puljujarvi’s NHLe seems low, but Barkov scored a lot more and put up ~36 point pace his first season, although I think he had a lot more ice time in Finland than JP.

  31. G Money says:

    Re: Davidson: Davidson is 25 and though he’s only played ~60 NHL games, he does have another ~140 A/E games to his credit. I include the minor league games because history suggests that *all* pro experience matters to the development of defensemen, and that puts Davidson at the critical ~200 game mark.

    At this point we should have a real good bead on who he’s going to be. He’s now far enough along that a major dropoff from last year shouldn’t be considered likely. I’d be more worried about his knee.

    Suspect he also has room to improve, but likely we’ve passed the inflection point on the derivative of his improvement curve.

    Re: Yost’s article per RPG, it’s a good article and worth a read, but I’ll quibble with this wording: For now, there is simply zero evidence that a player can truly impact his team’s save percentage over long periods of time.

    It doesn’t really make sense from what we know of hockey that a good defensive player wouldn’t impact his teams shot rates and shot distances (we know that *does* happen). Those in turn should impact sv%.

    What’s buggering the program here is that sv% is an incredibly volatile metric. The volatility of that metric swamps the likely sv% effect that any defenseman can have. We simply can’t see that signal through the noise.

    But it doesn’t mean the signal isn’t there, especially given the other evidence we have for the existence of that signal.

    It’s a quibble, but the distinction between the two is actually quite significant.

  32. Showerhead says:

    kinger_OIL,

    I agree with you, especially about the false starts. The worst thing about Edmonton’s awful run is that it started when they were trying so hard to be good. Khabibulin wasn’t supposed to bring us Hall – he was a marquee veteran addition. Management tripped and fell into the rebuild, not realizing the size of the holes they’d blown through the hull of their own ship.

    McDavid is a game changer in the way few others could be. Of course… we got him by accident too. At least he is good enough and the team around him is good enough that, even if Edmonton misses the playoffs this year, we won’t have to worry about shellshock or permanent trauma.

  33. godot10 says:

    stush18: I don’t want to be a Debbie downer, but we should halt our expectations of Davidson. He’s 25 yrs old, and expecting defensemen to continue developing at this rate at that age is unheard of.

    Small sample size, so let’s wait and see how this season plays out. Could be he struggles after knee surgery as well.

    Not unheard of. Brian Rafalski was still in Europe at 25.

    Davidson did NOT have knee surgery, at least I don’t believe so. He just rehabbed a severe MCL strain.

  34. Water Fire says:

    Showerhead: As for slow cooking over a tire fire? That is a phenomenal question. The 80’s Red Wings couldn’t possibly have slowplayed Datsyuk / Zetterberg / etc like the 90’s version could have… could they?

    I think one of the worst consequences of being terrible is that there are aftershocks. The Hall cluster got thrown to the wolves – immediately being asked to prop up an empty husk of a team (just look at those ghosts-of-rosters-past that Lowetide posts from time to time.) When they failed to do the impossible, they were blamed for it.

    I read a Holland interview a few years ago in which he said that the way they took had everything to do with circumstances. They couldn’t draft a big Canadian centre because of draft position, so they did what they did.

    They played hockey instead of gooning it up, but if he had tougher players they probably would have done that more.

    They slow cooked the youth because there weren’t any NHL spots they could win. If the team was weak they probably would have brought guys up sooner, which we see more now.

    They got stupid lucky in the draft. The Oilers have been too, now they need to cash it.

    The NHL is a very fluid league year to year. Some teams manage to stay at the top, but there are so many fluctuations with players in age and quality of play, the cap and free agency, injuries, each season a good team makes the best decisions possible with all the change to stay in the hunt.

    There is no one way, or right way. There is the wrong way however, and we know it so very well.

  35. hunter1909 says:

    fifthcartel:
    I’m very curious to see what Puljujarvi does his first couple seasons. There doesn’t seem to be many comparable players so Puljujarvi’s NHLe seems low, but Barkov scored a lot more and put up ~36 point pace his first season, although I think he had a lot more ice time in Finland than JP.

    If they don’t destroy his development first(rookie shines ala MPS with meaningless exhibition hat tricks followed by 9 games ala Sam Gagner when the veterans are still shaking the rust out from last season); I hope they let him learn how to play NA hockey in the AHL until the real team is preparing for the playoffs.

    The team has Connor McDavid. Chiarelli + Nicholson we expect have learned from all of that free advice coming from…NOT to do anything like the lame ducks – which basically means tossing everyone in to drown until they eventually find Mark Spitz(come to think of it, it worked!).

  36. godot10 says:

    RPG:
    Yost with an interesting read today.

    ” One thing I was curious about was whether any available metric could reasonably forecast a player’s impact on save percentage in the subsequent year.
    The answer to that question is an emphatic no.”

    http://www.tsn.ca/defencemen-and-their-impact-on-team-save-percentage-1.567469

    Yost is being extremely dated here, and is spouting BS.

    There are new metrics out there which have have not been looked at in terms of this question….i.e. Dangerous Fenwick (and the Woodmoney methodology) and Expected Goals.

    His emphatic NO is emphatic nonsense.

    He is becoming an analyst who doesn’t know what he doesn’t know because he is not keeping up to a fast moving field.

  37. hunter1909 says:

    Water Fire: They got stupid lucky in the draft. The Oilers have been too, now they need to cash it.

    Have you seen any of the Europe/Young NA games yet? It’s practically like watching last season.

    I’m going to keep pretending Hall is still on the team, until I see him playing in Edmonton for the other team. No idea when that’s scheduled.

  38. stush18 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Not only is it “heard of”, it’s fairly common for d-men to continue to improve deep into their 20s and even into their young 30s.

    For every dman that comes out of nowhere at the age of 25 and continues to improve, I’ll show you another five that did not.

    Just because giordano or rafalski have done it, doesn’t mean Davidson will. I’ll be pumped if he does, but I’ll pencil him in at 3r/3l and be happy if he stays a third pairing/occasional second pairing guy.

  39. hunter1909 says:

    Showerhead: even if Edmonton misses the playoffs this year, we won’t have to worry about shellshock or permanent trauma.

    I think many Lowetide regulars got turned into zombies long ago.

  40. stush18 says:

    godot10: Not unheard of.Brian Rafalski was still in Europe at 25.

    Davidson did NOT have knee surgery, at least I don’t believe so.He just rehabbed a severe MCL strain.

    Sure ill be happy if Davidson turns into rafalski. However, as LT says, history suggests otherwise.

    Be happy with him being a third pairing guy.

  41. hunter1909 says:

    Since Lucic is one of my fave former non-Oiler NHLers I think I can hazard a guess that’s he’s 100% motivated to help lead the “new’ Edmonton Oilers to the promised land.

    Lucic gets called lazy but he’s anything but. He’s one of the few players who can enter the zone and take over the game. That’s a rare skill.

    Lucic likes to run on high octane/motivation. That doesn’t translate over 82 boring regular season games.

  42. kinger_OIL says:

    Showerhead,

    – And I’m not as snarly as many here, because this team has met my expectations for years.

    – A lot of this snarl that is festering on LT can be attributed to the false expectations: false expectations as you said by inept management who failed to grasp the severity of the “empty husk”, but also by fans on this blog and in general, who too failed to grasp how bad this team really was.

    – But generally that is what a fan is: enthusiastically devoted to something, mostly blindly, with an impaired ability to assess rationally or be subjective.

  43. hunter1909 says:

    stush18: Be happy with him being a third pairing guy.

    I would have been happy to see Justin Schultz as a third pairng guy.

  44. Lowetide says:

    My feeling is that people come to this blog to find conversation and kindred spirits. Some turn into friendships that last several years and some have been here since the beginning, while others fall away.

    I think this is probably as it should be, and ask only respect. When I interfere and timeout or delete posters, it is never certain to me if I am choosing wisely—so I try not to do it much. I don’t pine for the olden days like many of you, because the olden times had good people and assholes mixed in and some days the assholes and good guys switched.

    As always, you are welcome and free to leave as you wish. Please do not feel badly for some perceived fall in quality or lack of direction, or that we have somehow become an imperfect blend.

    this is us. Same as it ever was. We are all struggling humans. There is nothing to mourn here beyond the moment you stopped respecting others. If you wish to return to the good old days, surely you returning to that moment is the beginning of something good.

    If you still respect others, and they you, carry on and apologies for the intrusion. Carry on.

  45. rickithebear says:

    Wholly crap is yost a F….. Tool.

    the main reason HSCA area is the kill zone is targeting affect.

    take a Hunting rifle:

    when shooting an animal like an elk or moose.
    your target area is 20 inches.

    A 7mm rem mag rifle shooting a 140 grain Bullet zeroed for 100 yards
    will have a drop of:
    2.4″ 200 yd out
    9.2″ 300 yds out
    21.1″ 400 yds out.

    I am just learning to shoot at distance with a scope.
    Because I am not steady enough yet.
    I am going to shoot with a Mono pod my gun sits on.

    cause of gun movement.
    I would not shoot beyond 300 yards cause it gives me a 150% range of error aiming slightly high.

    when you look at langes league average for shots.
    the successful targeting range is displayed by the amplitude.

    the further you move away from target. There is less open space visible.
    therfore the further away.
    Less successful the shooter.

    HSCA area is an area that allows 8.5 to 30% success rates for shots by distance.

    Those curves show the same drop in targeting affect as you get to close to the Kill zone (net.)

    Were the Dmen have a major affect is HSCA shot variance.

    We know Price .889 HSCA save% last 3 years.

    Facing webers 7.32 HSCA shots/60
    7.32 X (1.000 – .889) = .81 GA/60

    Facing Subbans 12.00 HSCA shots/60
    12.00 X (1.00 – .889) = 1.33 ga/60

    goalie is saving at the same rate.
    Huge GA variance.
    how can that be?
    cause the only other option is?

    weber gives up
    1 – (7.32/12.0) = .39; 39% less shots.

    therefore
    .81/1.33 = .61; 39% less GA.

    Now take 2 other goalies.
    #1 Price (MTl) .889
    Weber .81 GA/60
    Subban 1.33 GA/60

    #10 Bernier (ANA) .874
    7.32 X (1.000 – .874) = .92 GA/60
    12.0 X (.126) = 1.51 GA/60

    #24 F. Andersson (TOR) .862
    7.32 X (1.000 – .862) = 1.01 GA/60
    12.0 X ( .138) = 1.66 GA/60

    Notice a bottom of League HSCA save% goalie with top of the league HSCA D.
    1.01 GA/60
    is superior to
    #1 HSCA save% goalie with a bottom of the league HSCA D.
    1.33 GA/60

    according to Yost and PDO (total bullshit stat) it is luck.

    No it fucking is not.

    the potential 6 shot difference in HSCA shots at even and PK/PP decides the game!

    the closer you get to the net:
    1. the more open space in the net the eyes and brain can see.
    2. the more fine tuned the shooter the more room for error in targeting that open area a shooter has.
    3. these kind of players develop an ethical shot on net measure.
    4. So penetrators with fine targeting skills have high career shooting %

  46. pocession charge says:

    Lowetide,

    The only constants around here are your hatred of Smid and love of Marc Pouliot. Everything else is in a state of flux.

  47. pocession charge says:

    rickithebear,

    Glad to hear that you are channeling your inner rage into something calming like guns. The hunters will be shocked when you fire back.

  48. rickithebear says:

    hunter1909: I would have been happy to see Justin Schultz as a third pairng guy.

    Nakladal 7.7 HSCA shots/60
    Schultz 12.88 HSCA shots /60

    Talbot (1.00 – .886) = .114
    7.7 X .114 = .88 GA/60
    12.88 X .114 = 1.46 GA/60

  49. Lowetide says:

    pocession charge:
    Lowetide,

    The only constants around here are your hatred of Smid and love of Marc Pouliot.Everything else is in a state of flux.

    When Pouliot returns, the blog will abide.

  50. hunter1909 says:

    Lowetide; As you appear to be in the hockey business, and you live in St Albert, have you considered buying Eddie Joyal a beer while you unobtrusively record an interview?

    In olden times he was the only NHLer from St Albert. He had a fairly decent career, too.

    Eddie’s old fave used to be The Bruin Inn(back in the day the only saloon in town) – You can improvise.

    Otherwise he’s going to drop dead then it’s lost.

  51. Lowetide says:

    hunter1909:
    Lowetide; As you appear to be in the hockey business, and you live in St Albert, have you considered buying Eddie Joyal a beer while you unobtrusively record an interview?

    In olden times he was the only NHLer from St Albert. He had a fairly decent career, too.

    Eddie’s old fave used to be The Bruin Inn(back in the day the only saloonin town) – You can improvise.

    Otherwise he’s going to drop dead then it’s lost.

    Mr. Joyal is a former resident, alas he no longer lives here.

  52. hunter1909 says:

    Lowetide,

    Thank you.

  53. Oilspill says:

    stush18: For every dman that comes out of nowhere at the age of 25 and continues to improve, I’ll show you another five that did not.

    Just because giordano or rafalski have done it, doesn’t mean Davidson will. I’ll be pumped if he does, but I’ll pencil him in at 3r/3l and be happy if he stays a third pairing/occasional second pairing guy.

    Davies main partner is gone. Will the other partner work out.

  54. Lowetide says:

    hunter1909:
    PS: Please try to make sure to get some Bruin Inn stories. For everyone who was ever too young to go to a real Old West saloon.

    I drank and may have passed out at the Bruin Inn. Worked a little with the owner’s son for a time as well. Something I found for you onJoyal

    https://stalbert.ca/cosa/news/releases/former-resident-mr-eddie-joyal-honoured

  55. rickithebear says:

    pocession charge:
    rickithebear,

    Glad to hear that you are channeling your inner rage into something calming like guns.The hunters will be shocked when you fire back.

    My boys expressed interest in guns.

    Making sure my boys know they are only for filling the freezer. (you shoot it you eat it!
    and
    Defending from dangerous animal in yard.

    Semi – auto 30-06 with high volume filled 250 Grain at 50 to 100 yards will punch a grizzlies skull and chest.

    Hand guns and Semi-auto rifles should be banned in cities Period.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hTonR2yS34&index=2&list=PLEqqUN_KZnGHTyqxF1BbGkIPbWCPV7PLs

    I have a separate ammo safe with Box mags looked in smallerr gun hand gun safe inside the ammo safe.

    with the rifles locked in another safe away from ammo and drop mags. with a cable lock through the reciever and a separate trigger lock.

    Gun safety!

  56. Cameron says:

    kinger_OIL: – We didn’t get Crosby/Malkin or Ovie/Backstrom: Hall/RNH weren’t at that level. But McD/Pool-party have that chance…

    Hall may not be in the Ovie/Crosby/Malkin tier, but he is definitely in the Backstrom tier (first line forward, just not a godling).

  57. Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons says:

    Reading RTB’s opening line of his 3:09 post immediately after reading LTs post at 3:02 made me laugh.

    Same as it ever was, indeed.

  58. tsg says:

    godot10: Yost is being extremely dated here, and is spouting BS.

    There are new metrics out there which have have not been looked at in terms of this question….i.e. Dangerous Fenwick (and the Woodmoney methodology) and Expected Goals.

    His emphatic NO is emphatic nonsense.

    He is becoming an analyst who doesn’t know what he doesn’t know because he is not keeping up to a fast moving field.

    My understanding of the current state of affairs is that things like expected goals and DFF are better at predicting future goals within season, but the shot metric statistics are still slightly better at predicting goals year over year which would fall in line with what Yost is saying. I also believe DFF (correct me if I’m wrong Gmoney I may not be up on your latest advancements), is more valuable currently as a comparison tool between players for effects surrounding save percentage in a given time period than a year over year predictive tool.

    I would expect refinements in shot quality metrics that will change that very soon, however.

  59. VanIsleOil says:

    Same as it ever was…
    Same as it ever was…
    Same as it ever was…
    Same as it ever was…
    Same as it ever was…

    Once in a lifetime…gotta love The Talking Heads

  60. blainer says:

    Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons:
    Reading RTB’s opening line of his 3:09 post immediately after reading LTs post at 3:02 made me laugh.

    Same as it ever was, indeed.

    Me too. I think Mr Bear missed the memo.

    Possession Charges was excellent too. Love the shooting back talk..

    Can’t have guns in my house .. I have a wife.. I would have most defianntly been shot by now if i did..

  61. stephen sheps says:

    Lowetide,

    just out of curiosity, which Bruin Inn owner’s son? My great Uncle Benny owned the place for a real long time and his son (my cousin) Phil has done a lot of business in St. Albert over the years. if you worked with him… small world indeed.

    Edit: my mom and most of her family spent time working in the bar at the Bruin back in the 70s and early 80s. From what I have heard, it really was like an old-west saloon

  62. Lowetide says:

    stephen sheps:
    Lowetide,

    just out of curiosity, which Bruin Inn owner’s son? My great Uncle Benny owned the place for a real long time and his son (my cousin) Phil has done a lot of business in St. Albert over the years. if you worked with him… small world indeed

    Phil. I worked with him when he was running Soda Jerks. Soda Jerks was stunning, honestly.

  63. stephen sheps says:

    Lowetide: Phil. I worked with him when he was running Soda Jerks. Soda Jerks was stunning, honestly.

    Unreal – that was my first job! It was stunning. Phil always had a boat load of ambition, and in the last 10 years he’s really made that ambition into something remarkable.

    I wonder if that means we actually met when I was a teenager back in the mid 1990s? Man… that would be something.

  64. bendelson says:

    stephen sheps,

    Curious, did you get your undergraduate degree at U of A?

  65. Alpine says:

    blainer,

    To be fair to ricki, he was attacking a prominent journo, and not a member of this blog. Something not exclusive to him among commenters here.

    Yost is a smart guy, while he was mostly right on the Hall trade, his reasoning behind his tirade was pretty flimsy for such a smart guy (basically Larsson’s relCF% was negative). I’ve found that him and several other analyticists have become narrative spinners almost in a way that they’ve often criticized the MSM for doing. I feel like the mantra of the stats community has become Corsi above all and ignore other newer metrics that give us some detail on defensive play.

  66. Richard S.S. says:

    A posting on this blog is an opinion regardless of what it says. It can be agree with, it can be disagreed with or it can be ignored. An opinion is never right or wrong, it’s just an opinion. When an opinion is right or wrong then we are living in a repressive society.

  67. Woodguy says:

    Fog of Warts,

    Love you.

    Missed you.

  68. G Money says:

    tsg,

    This is correct, good sir. (or maam)

    Let’s not go overboard with what Yost is saying – he’s talking specifically about defenseman impact on sv%, and technically he is correct. There is no repeatable influence detectable using statistical methods.

    My main point – and this is more signal processing, for which I have a minor fetish, moreso than statistics – is that he’s taking the information and concluding that there is zero evidence for the existence of the effect, which I think is not technically correct. (It’s a very statistical “null hypothesis” thing, which is slowly falling out of favour)

    Or to put it another way, he’s saying it is all noise, and there is no signal.

    My point is that the effect is swamped by the inherent volatility of sv%. The noise is much greater than the signal.

    That we think the signal is there is based on other evidence.

    “The signal, which we can reasonably believe exists, is not detectable within the noise”

    is very different from

    “There is no evidence the signal exists, because we can’t detect it within the noise.”

    As I said earlier, I believe this is a subtle but important distinction.

  69. Lowetide says:

    stephen sheps: Unreal – that was my first job! It was stunning. Phil always had a boat load of ambition, and in the last 10 years he’s really made that ambition into something remarkable.

    I wonder if that means we actually met when I was a teenager back in the mid 1990s? Man… that would be something.

    I used to visit him on Wednesday’s, around 4:30. It was on my way home. He loved to talk about media and radio, and would sometimes spend a little on advertising and then tell me his dreams. I loved talking to him.

  70. G Money says:

    Alpine: I feel like the mantra of the stats community has become Corsi above all and ignore other newer metrics that give us some detail on defensive play.

    I think it remains true that at the team level, traditional shot metrics remain more or less King. Shot danger effects mostly disappear across teams.

    As with the comment about sv%, I don’t think this means they don’t exist, just that they are swamped by other things, especially shot volume effects.

    I believe at the player level, shot danger effects do exist, are detectable, and do persist.

    We’re in the middle of figuring out the extent of this effect, and I’d guess the tests, the results, and the conclusions will continue to bend back and forth for a while yet.

    Then they’ll all be made obsolete by the player/puck tracking stats!

  71. OilClog says:

    Seems to me that the coach is forgetting that he does have a Bergeron to place alongside his McDavid.

    Nugeron.

  72. Ducey says:

    http://www.eliteprospects.com/league.php?season=2016&leagueid=KHL

    Interesting who is doing what in the KHL in the early going.

    Scoring
    3 Vladdy Tkachev (he is listed as Tkachyov but he is the same guy) 8 6 6 12 (MacT was right!)
    36 Omark (9 1 6 7)
    45 Brule (9 3 3 6) Nice to see him still playing. 47 PIMs in 9 games – whoa.
    62 Jon Blum (9 0 6 6). Remember when he was another great D with NSH? Righthanded!
    66 Alex Bumagin (9 4 1 5) Another useful pick.
    100 Teemu Hartikanen (9 4 0 4) Ditto

  73. Woodguy says:

    Showerhead,

    I’m at your 2:15pm post at this point.

    So refreshing to read sane, lucid and insightful posts.

    Miss you too.

  74. tsg says:

    G Money,

    I agree. It is a very important distinction, and I for one am very curious as to how large of an effect is hidden within that noise for the vast majority of defensemen in the league.

  75. Caramel Batman says:

    G Money:
    tsg,

    This is correct, good sir. (or maam)

    Let’s not go overboard with what Yost is saying – he’s talking specifically about defenseman impact on sv%, and technically he is correct.There is no repeatable influence detectable using statistical methods.

    My main point – and this is more signal processing, for which I have a minor fetish, moreso than statistics – is that he’s taking the information and concluding that there is zero evidence for the existence of the effect, which I think is not technically correct.(It’s a very statistical “null hypothesis” thing, which is slowly falling out of favour)

    Or to put it another way, he’s saying it is all noise, and there is no signal.

    My point is that the effect is swamped by the inherent volatility of sv%. The noise is much greater than the signal.

    That we think the signal is there is based on other evidence.

    “The signal, which we can reasonably believe exists, is not detectable within the noise”

    is very different from

    “There is no evidence the signal exists, because we can’t detect it within the noise.”

    As I said earlier, I believe this is a subtle but important distinction.

    Bill James wrote an essay about this. He called it “Mistaking the fog for the noise.”

    This whole debate is BABIP all over again. So I can tell you what we are going to find.

    1) Defenseman do have an effect on save percentage.
    2) However, it is difficult/impossible to detect this effect in season length samples, i.e. there will always be statistical outliers, those who seem to suppress (or increase) save percentages, however there is no way from the numbers alone to separate random variation from causation. By the time the numbers stabilize enough to infer causation the ability may have changed.
    3) To the extent that it is possible to detect the effect it will be more pronounced in poor players, i.e. those that increase save percentages because the NHL already selects for this ability.
    4) Therefore for the majority of NHL players the effect on save percentage will be relatively meaningless.

  76. Woodguy says:

    G Money:
    tsg,

    This is correct, good sir. (or maam)

    Let’s not go overboard with what Yost is saying – he’s talking specifically about defenseman impact on sv%, and technically he is correct.There is no repeatable influence detectable using statistical methods.

    My main point – and this is more signal processing, for which I have a minor fetish, moreso than statistics – is that he’s taking the information and concluding that there is zero evidence for the existence of the effect, which I think is not technically correct.(It’s a very statistical “null hypothesis” thing, which is slowly falling out of favour)

    Or to put it another way, he’s saying it is all noise, and there is no signal.

    My point is that the effect is swamped by the inherent volatility of sv%. The noise is much greater than the signal.

    That we think the signal is there is based on other evidence.

    “The signal, which we can reasonably believe exists, is not detectable within the noise”

    is very different from

    “There is no evidence the signal exists, because we can’t detect it within the noise.”

    As I said earlier, I believe this is a subtle but important distinction.

    Amen.

    “It doesn’t exist because I cannot measure it” is something that I hate reading, but read often.

  77. G Money says:

    Richard S.S.:
    A posting on this blog is an opinion regardless of what it says.It can be agree with, it can be disagreed with or it can be ignored.An opinion is never right or wrong, it’s just an opinion.When an opinion is right or wrong then we are living in a repressive society.

    I actually disagree with this quite a bit.

    The idea that everything is an opinion and all opinions are equal and deserve equal validation can and does lead to some very harmful effects across society as a whole.

    The statement conflates two very different concepts.

    If when you say “an opinion is never right or wrong” you’re reflecting the idea that no-one has the right to stop people thinking and saying whatever they want, or the opinion is with respect to an individuals tastes or preferences, then the statement is true (though somewhat trivial in practice).

    And certainly when society as a whole aims to censor either aspect of the matter, that is indeed repressive.

    (I do believe that anyone who is not a Rush fan is simply wrong and bad, and I hold this to be a self-evident truth, not an opinion)

    But if by “an opinion is never right or wrong” you mean that to apply to opinions with respect to factual matters about the world (and you can extend that well beyond something as trivial as hockey, but to views grounded in technical expertise, such as legal or scientific opinions), then what you’re effectively arguing is that “every opinion is equally valid, and has the equal right to be treated as a serious candidate for the truth”.

    This is not just false, but demonstrably harmful.

  78. stephen sheps says:

    bendelson,

    sure did. was there from 99-06. While I may have this fancy PhD thingy now, I was a grade A dummy in undergrad… even my victory lap had a couple victory laps!

    When were you there?

  79. Lowetide says:

    Caramel Batman: Bill James wrote an essay about this.He called it “Mistaking the fog for the noise.”

    This whole debate is BABIP all over again.So I can tell you what we are going to find.

    1) Defenseman do have an effect on save percentage.
    2) However, it is difficult/impossible to detect this effect in season length samples, i.e. there will always be statistical outliers, those who seem to suppress (or increase) save percentages, however there is no way from the numbers alone to separate random variation from causation.By the time the numbers stabilize enough to infer causation the ability may have changed.
    3) To the extent that it is possible to detect the effect it will be more pronounced in poor players, i.e. those that increase save percentages because the NHL already selects for this ability.
    4) Therefore for the majority of NHL players the effect on save percentage will be relatively meaningless.

    Rob Vollman was on today, discussing something that was similar (in my mind). A lot of what we see in the new metrics is trying to re-do the old metrics, instead of moving forward. I don’t really have an answer for it, but Vollman early and you late reminded me of each other.

  80. stephen sheps says:

    Lowetide: I used to visit him on Wednesday’s, around 4:30. It was on my way home. He loved to talk about media and radio, and would sometimes spend a little on advertising and then tell me his dreams. I loved talking to him.

    he was and still is a fun guy to chat with. Still full of energy and ideas too, despite an ailing father and 2 wee ones to tend to now. Too small a world. I definitely worked evenings after school, so it’s very possible we met all those years ago.

  81. Lowetide says:

    stephen sheps: he was and still is a fun guy to chat with. Still full of energy and ideas too, despite an ailing father and 2 wee ones to tend to now Too small a world.

    Well, say hi for me! 🙂

  82. stephen sheps says:

    G Money,

    I did an entire lecture last year teaching the difference between opinion vs. informed perspective in order to show my students what was necessary to construct a reasonable academic argument. Personal reflection and a bit of instinct/shooting from the hip isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can’t be the entire basis for an argument. The points still need to be grounded by something…

    (Man I miss being in the classroom… anyone have any leads for unemployed sociologists?)

  83. Lowetide says:

    stephen sheps:
    G Money,

    (Man I miss being in the classroom… anyone have any leads for unemployed sociologists?)

    Well, we can’t pay you, but….. 🙂

  84. stephen sheps says:

    Lowetide: Well, say hi for me!

    I certainly will 🙂

  85. stephen sheps says:

    Lowetide: Well, we can’t pay you, but…..

    you and G both already know what I’m working on… and I know it won’t get me paid, but if it works, it should be a springboard back into the comfortable confines of the ivory tower

  86. Caramel Batman says:

    stephen sheps:
    G Money,

    I did an entire lecture last year teaching the difference between opinion vs. informed perspective in order to show my students what was necessary to construct a reasonable academic argument. Personal reflection and a bit of instinct/shooting from the hip isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can’t be the entire basis for an argument. The points still need to be grounded by something…

    (Man I miss being in the classroom… anyone have any leads for unemployed sociologists?)

    Did you reference the preface to the Philosophy of Right? That is one bad ass Swabian conducting an academic evisceration. Poor, Mr. Fries.

  87. Bank Shot says:

    Lowetide: Rob Vollman was on today, discussing something that was similar (in my mind). A lot of what we see in the new metrics is trying to re-do the old metrics, instead of moving forward. I don’t really have an answer for it, but Vollman early and you late reminded me of each other.

    The future of hockey stats won’t be calculated using metrics or proxies at all.

    It will be player and puck tracking based which eliminates the need for corsi. You can track any other number of metrics.

    Things like puck proximity for instance. Good players will be closer to the puck on average than poor players over the course of a season.

    You can track time that a defensive forward spends “behind” the puck and in a good position to defend.

    This tech will give the NHL the true ability to separate the offensive side of the game from the defensive.

    corsi can’t tell if a player is a good defender, or just a good offensive player. Player and puck tracking will be able to. It’ll be a game breaker for stats guys.

    It’s supposed to be used in this World Cup tourney. Have any of the media guys been talking about it.

  88. Lowetide says:

    Bank Shot: The future of hockey stats won’t be calculated using metrics or proxies at all.

    It will be playerand puck tracking based which eliminates the need for corsi. You can track any other number of metrics.

    Things like puck proximity for instance. Good players will be closer to the puck on average than poor players over the course of a season.

    You can track time that a defensive forward spends “behind” the puck and in a good position to defend.

    This tech will give the NHL the true ability to separate the offensive side of the game from the defensive.

    corsi can’t tell if a player is a good defender, or just a good offensive player. Player and puck tracking will be able to. It’ll be a game breaker for stats guys.

    Cannot wait!

  89. G Money says:

    Caramel Batman: 3) To the extent that it is possible to detect the effect it will be more pronounced in poor players, i.e. those that increase save percentages because the NHL already selects for this ability.

    I think your points are true.

    The idea of a detectable decline in sv% also has another point in your favour, which is asymmetry.

    Sv% for NHL goalies cluster around 92%. So even the most perfect defenseman ever who allows no shots or chances at all can only ever affect a goalie by +8%.

    On the other hand, there is a LOT of room to fall from that 92% (Ben Scrivens tried to demonstrate this to us singlehandedly).

    Do you know if anyone has tried this? Taking a sample of only demonstrably terrible defensive players and seeing if they create a detectable negative influence on sv%?

  90. tsg says:

    G Money:

    I believe at the player level, shot danger effects do exist, are detectable, and do persist.

    I happen to agree with you on this, but the next question I have to ask is simply does this fact have any value? If the effects are swamped by randomness or other effects should it be something a team goes out pays for with player assets / cap space?

    It may create value at the margin, narrowing the bands of randomness to some extent, which is where value is often to be found. I look forward to the day when we can suss out the size of the effect.

  91. Caramel Batman says:

    G Money: I think your points are true.

    The idea of a detectable decline in sv% also has another point in your favour, which is asymmetry.

    Sv% for NHL goalies cluster around 92%. So even the most perfect defenseman ever who allows no shots or chances at all can only ever affect a goalie by +8%.

    On the other hand, there is a LOT of room to fall from that 92% (Ben Scrivens tried to demonstrate this to us singlehandedly).

    Do you know if anyone has tried this?Taking a sample of only demonstrably terrible defensive players and seeing if they create a detectable negative influence on sv%?

    I don’t know. But that would also be a good way to measure the effect of quality of competition. Right now QoC measures don’t work because they are circular. But if you calculated them solely with players you know in advance are replacement players (AHL callups for instance) they wouldn’t be.

    There still would be a selection effect but I think it would be easier to isolate.

  92. bendelson says:

    stephen sheps,

    I was there a decade before you…
    My wife went UofA, Queens, UVic to get to her Soc PhD over a similar time frame as yourself.
    Based on your account of your time at the UofA however, your paths would likely not have crossed.

  93. Water Fire says:

    I respect a lot all those including our special own that put so much into hockey stats. It takes a lot of time and brain smoke and probably money.

    Yet it remains that stats are so complex statisticians don’t agree on lots of things.

    People delving in it without requisite background make lots of mistakes, people with background make lots as well.

    The growth will start again if they chip players and share, and then the blogs can start vetting what come out.

  94. godot10 says:

    Lowetide: Rob Vollman was on today, discussing something that was similar (in my mind). A lot of what we see in the new metrics is trying to re-do the old metrics, instead of moving forward. I don’t really have an answer for it, but Vollman early and you late reminded me of each other.

    Moving forward often involves redoing everything.

    Special relativity re-did classical mechanics, and demonstrated where classical mechanics was wrong or the limitations of the old metrics. Special relativity also unified classical mechanics with Maxwell electrodynamics. The main failure of classical dynamics was the inherent contractions with Maxwell electrodynamics.

    Quantum mechanics re-did special relativity.

    General relativity re-did quantum mechanics at long length scales.

    The Standard Model re-did quantum mechanics at short length scales.

    String theory is attempting to unify General Relativity with the Standard Model.

    What was settled in the old paradigm often becomes unsettled as one probes deeper or farther, and new paradigms emerge.

    Yost’s post was a guy still believing he is living in a “classical mechanics” world, and the new leaders in the field are closing in on “special relativity”.

  95. hunter1909 says:

    stephen sheps:
    G Money,

    I did an entire lecture last year teaching the difference between opinion vs. informed perspective in order to show my students what was necessary to construct a reasonable academic argument. Personal reflection and a bit of instinct/shooting from the hip isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can’t be the entire basis for an argument. The points still need to be grounded by something…

    (Man I miss being in the classroom… anyone have any leads for unemployed sociologists?)

    Back when I was in college Sociology/Psychology were the next big thing.

    What happened? Did they graduate tens of thousands, into a marketplace that can only handle thousands?

    I always liked writing and English came naturally and once took a screenwriting course – the very first day the prof says to the film production students who took up most of this course: “There are 20 Hollywood movies made each year with new directors. There are 25,000 graduates of film schools each year, all want to direct – then the prof likened the production student’s chances to crab egg hatchlings etc.

  96. Showerhead says:

    Water Fire,

    I just wanted to say this is excellent stuff.

    The NHL, like you say, is a fluid league. For all of the reasons you mention, there are too many variables at play for the “best” manager to always field the “best” team. All you can do is make the best strategic play given your circumstances. Enough smart bets over enough transactions over enough years will give you a fighting chance.

    It drives me crazy every year when whoever wins the Cup is held up as a rigid / absolute template.

    Life and hockey overlap a lot. Sometimes people who are successful don’t know the truth about why they have found success. Sometimes, even those who know fairly accurately why they have success get too attached to the model that worked.

    Anyway, I feel like I’ve cut myself off of a fairly OT rant but the point is that I dig those Holland thoughts and I’m glad you shared them.

  97. Richard S.S. says:

    G Money: I actually disagree with this quite a bit.

    The idea that everything is an opinion and all opinions are equal and deserve equal validation can and does lead to some very harmful effects across society as a whole.

    The statement conflates two very different concepts.

    If when you say “an opinion is never right or wrong” you’re reflecting the idea that no-one has the right to stop people thinking and saying whatever they want, or the opinion is with respect to an individuals tastes or preferences, then the statement is true (though somewhat trivial in practice).

    And certainly when society as a whole aims to censor either aspect of the matter, that is indeed repressive.

    (I do believe that anyone who is not a Rush fan is simply wrong and bad, and I hold this to be a self-evident truth, not an opinion)

    But if by “an opinion is never right or wrong” you mean that to apply to opinions with respect to factual matters about the world (and you can extend that well beyond something as trivial as hockey, but to views grounded in technical expertise, such as legal or scientific opinions), thenwhat you’re effectively arguing is that “every opinion is equally valid, and has the equal right to be treated as a serious candidate for the truth”.

    This is not just false, but demonstrably harmful.

    I must apologise, but selectively editing a sentence to prove a point makes it an opinion. The sentence reads:
    “An opinion is never right or wrong, it’s just an opinion.”
    I didn’t think I had to add, ” A posting on this blog…” to every sentence.
    I will endeavor to be less ambiguous in my postings.

  98. G Money says:

    Richard S.S.,

    So when you wrote “When an opinion is right or wrong then we are living in a repressive society”, you still meant your post to be interpreted strictly within the confines of this blog, and not in a broader societal context?

    OK then.

    If that’s what you actually meant (*cough* bullshit *cough*), perhaps for clarity what you needed to put instead was “repressive blog.”

  99. digger50 says:

    Not sure how to respectfully say this, but I wish the authors at Beer League Heros would post thier names. Some articles are good but many are not so good and I would be interested in the authors and who to follow.

  100. G Money says:

    digger50,

    The author of each article can be found just above the title, beside the date.

    If it says “Beer League Hero” as the author, that’s actually the founder of the site, not a generic handle.

    I may be biased, but the two statsy writers for BLH are Walter Foddis and myself, and both are worth a follow 🙂 if you’re into that kind of silliness.

    The rest of the writers have their own unique voices, you’ll want to decide for yourself which you find interesting. Besides Beer, the two most active writers are Michael Sifeldeen and Kosmic Burrito (the latter posts here occasionally).

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