SEVEN OF NINE

Craig MacTavish always used to say a teams win one or two games at the end of a winning streak without earning them, and (conversely) lose a couple at the end of a losing streak that were earned. I think the Oilers were on borrowed time before last night, and they paid for it. Still, seven of nine (heh) is a damned good October.

THE MONSTER MASH, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in October 2015: 3-6-0, goal differential -6
  • Oilers in October 2016: 7-2-0, goal differential +10

This is a terrific start, let’s not allow the loss to Ottawa last night to cloud the view. The trick for Edmonton is to immediately right the ship, meaning a big game in the Big Smoke tomorrow night. Seriously. Maybe the Oilers can pay them back for ‘Dubnyk’s Nightmare’ a game I will never forget.

  • HDSC: 5-6
  • Todd McLellan: “We had no substance, no attack, no tenacity to recover pucks… We needed some better performances.” 

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

defense-last-night-oct

  • Nurse—Gryba had a good night by the numbers, their TOI cut back from previous evenings. Darnell was skating very well—had a fabulous sortie that ended in a Nuge SOG—and Gryba had a good look late (that he did not do a lot with, but this is the world we live in). Played the Pageau line mostly, that guys is a living hornet’s nest.
  • Sekera—Russell had another uneven game to my eye, spent a lot of time against the Turris line. Not a lot about last night was seamless, but this pair had a tough time passing the puck effectively. Russell did a nice job by carry a few times, but the sortie generally died on the vine. I would call the pairing somewhat high event and a little chaotic compared to previous outings—but the coach trusted this duo more than his top pairing—on merit.
  • Klefbom—Larsson did not have a good night by their own standards. The winning goal came on a play where both men were not on their marks, and the usual calm these two have was disrupted time and again. Struggled badly against the Turris line and seemed to have Erik Karlsson in their faces all night. Love this pairing, but for me this was their least impressive effort.
  • Cam Talbot was outstanding. Really good.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

forwards-last-night-oct

  • Nuge was fire last night, he is entering a zone and Pouliot can play his usual consistent game, there will be goals. Man he looked good. The line (Pouliot-Nuge-Kassian) had 10 shots on goal, and were 2-0 in high-danger scoring chances. The line got the Phaneuf pairing and the Pageau line, and my belief is they earned a goal that never came. Have to cash those chances, and this line is shy offensively, but not much to quarrel over with this trio last night.
  • Connor McDavid got 11:36 of Erik Karlsson and went 10-10 head to head. I think that is a compliment to both men, and they threw the Brossard line out there for good measure. McDavid’s trio got the HD scoring chance edge 3-1, but part of that was 97 moving around. Lucic (9:52) got dropped for Leon (5:10) and Maroon (1:26) as possibly a harbinger of things to come on this road trip. Lucic was 7-9 with McDavid, Leon was 7-2. Interesting in a small sample size kind of way.
  • The power play sucks and blows.
  • Jesse Puljujarvi sat for a big part of the game, once Leon’s line was Borged for the McDavid line. I have no idea if that means he will get sent out, but he got a hammer chance in the second period. I wonder if he had the Eberle one timer or the Gryba chance late, would things have been different?
  • Mark Letestu was 5-1 against Mark Borowiecki, but Edmonton needed their top lines to dominate that third pairing. McDavid (3-2), Leon (3-1), Nuge (1-2) could not find the range, and for me that is disappointing. Home game, matchup opportunities, and the coach and players could not find the soft underbelly.
  • Source
  • Source
  • Source

CHIARELLI DISCUSSED

Dan Barnes is the best sports writer in town. One of the really cool results of what must have been a difficult adjustment (media morph division) was his return to the sports pages a little while ago. I rarely disagree with Barnes, and in fact his recent article is another quality item. I disagree with the title, something Mr. Barnes may or may not have been a part of in any way. It is called With the Oilers at 7-2, critics of Taylor Hall deal fall silent. I don’t find it to be true, and in fact one of the impressive things about Oilers fans is their due diligence when it comes to keeping the record straight on this Hall deal.

I have no wish to relitigate it, but it is important for history to know it was not an exchange for equal value. In fact, many of Chiarelli’s trades have either been clear wins or clear losses, with the losing end deals often being of the spectacular variety. Let’s quickly review the major trades.

  • Acquired Griffin Reinhart for the picks that turned into Mathew Barzal and Mitchell Stephens. One of the main reasons to make a deal like this is to hurry the development timeline, but Reinhart did not come to the NHL in year one, and is not in the NHL in year two. Meanwhile, Barzal is in the show as a teenager. This was an extremely poor trade and it didn’t look good the day it was made—that isn’t revision of history, this blog said so at the time.
  • Acquired Cam Talbot and the pick that turned into Ziyat Paigin for the picks that turned into Jonas Siegenhalter, Sergey Zborovskiy and Adam Huska. I think this was a terrific trade for Edmonton, and settled a position that had been filled with loose cannon options for some time. You have to wait five years to see what happens with the prospects, but unlike the Reinhart deal, Talbot was an immediate and substantial upgrade. This was an excellent trade by Peter Chiarelli.
  • Acquired Eric Gryba in a series of deals that cost Martin Marincin. I think Edmonton lost this trade, but it is true they received a righty in the deal. Gryba (for me) has been an adequate third-pairing D, while Marincin has been better than that (he players up the order). It was a win for Toronto, but I don’t think it is a trade we should get our gonch in a knot over.
  • Acquired Zack Kassian for Ben Scrivens. A good trade, sometimes forgotten because Scrivens is no longer in the NHL to remind us of the piece sent away. Kassian is playing too high up the order, but is also an actual NHL player and I think helping this team.
  • Acquired Patrick Maroon for Martin Gernat and the pick that turned into Jack Kopacka. So far (25gp, 10-6-16) I think this trade ranks with the best made by PC since his arrival. Maroon is beginning this season slowly (9gp, 2-0-2) but has contributed to wins and been a good LW for Leon in my opinion.
  • Acquired Adam Larsson for Taylor Hall. Chiarelli lost this trade, and the fact I have no banner at the top of this blog screaming it does not mean it is not true. I very much like Adam Larsson, and am pleased that he is playing so well, but the fact remains Peter Chiarelli lost this deal and that won’t change. Taylor Hall does more to help his team win games than Adam Larsson can do no matter how well he plays. That isn’t meant as a putdown, I like Larsson as a player and value his player-type far more than you do. Folks, it is important to establish these things, because if we are going to be the thinking person’s version of fans/observers, then right is right and there is no neutral ground. It is possible to value Adam Larsson fully for what he brings and also believe it was a poor value trade. These are the facts. I respect Dan Barnes enormously, but vehemently disagree with the headline he may or may not have written.
  • Acquired Zach Pochiro and a conditional third-round pick for Nail Yakupov. This is a recent one and I am torn on it. Nail Yakupov is 9gp, 2-2-4 so far—basically Zack Kassian’s production. Nail is a confounding player, and someone who Todd McLellan would have had a full chance to evaluate. He is a gifted but flawed player, and the organization has chosen to move on. I don’t know that it is reasonable to bury Chiarelli for this trade, because there is every chance Nail was not going to blossom here. I have settled on being happy for the young Russian and his second chance, but can gather no anger for the GM who did the deed. Perhaps that will change in time, but it is how I feel about it at this time.

Chiarelli has acquired solid to excellent solutions in Cam Talbot, Adam Larsson, Zack Kassian and Patrick Maroon. He sent away a highly-rated but struggling Nail Yakupov while also paying an extreme price for the same problem in Griffin Reinhart. I think it is fair to say that Chiarelli’s additions have been on point and productive, but the price paid is searing, and that price will define his time in Edmonton unless he can bring the Stanley Cup back to this city.

And you may say that was his assignment and you have to give to get, and that his fine. My response to you is this: He better be right. I think Mr. Barnes would be justified in writing that story, and he should write the headline, too.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Scott Burnside, ESPN. The brilliant and touching story that Craig Anderson and his wife wrote this week, culminating in Anderson’s shutout at Rogers Place last night. Also, McDavid heads east to Toronto and Pittsburgh, and those games should be national stories while the team is away.
  • Andrew Stoeten, BlueJaysNation. WS goes to Game 6 and back to Cleveland. Is this the year the city of lights, city of magic grabs an NBA and MLB championship? Or is it to be heartbreak by the Cuyahoga river?
  • Jason Gregor, TSN1260. A crazy weekend for the Oilers, Eskimos, MLB and NFL. We will review.
  • Sunil Agnihotri, Copper & Blue and The SuperFan. What is good and what is bad and what is true about these Edmonton Oilers?

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. A fun show ahead!

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244 Responses to "SEVEN OF NINE"

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  1. Lowetide says:

    kinger_OIL:
    Lowetide,

    – I promise I won’t bring it up either: but for those who say it was a overpay, etc: what else had to come back besides Larsson and $1.8MM in cap?

    – I suspect no one has answered because once they do reply it will become apparent that the gap between what they think and market reality is laughable…

    – If you added in a 3rd rounder, or a prospect, or a bottom-line player is that enough?Because that is my “what else”.So basically sure a slight overpay, but you were not going to get another immediate impact player plus Larsson plus $1.8MM in cap, so it is quibbling, IMO

    Let’s say Hall is a 15, that is his worth in gold or aluminum or wood. Let’s say Adam Larsson is an 11. No amount of 4’s gets you back, because a 15 is a rare thing, even when we are talking about 11s.

  2. ashley says:

    Bruce Wayne:

    Sixth, how the Oilers do is immaterial.Wins and losses prove nothing.Winning the Stanley Cup will prove no more than finishing last.Scoreboard is not an argument.

    How the Oilers do is certainly material. That is the essence of the existence.

    This argument is starting to sound a lot like “No matter what other things happen from this point forward, I will still be right”.

  3. Bruce Wayne says:

    Nate780:
    Bruce Wayne,

    Improving records mean nothing about improvement, winning the stanley cup will prove nothing about the quality of the team…..

    then there’s nothing to talk about

    Au contraire. If winning records were what matters there would be nothing to talk about. It is precisely because wins and losses don’t tell you what you need to know that there is plenty to talk about.

    Otherwise, there would only be two posts.

    Oilers Win: Fans Happy.

    Oilers Lose: Fans Angry.

    Now I know that this actually is a pretty good description of how things sometimes go. But there is more going on than wins and losses.

  4. GMB3 says:

    Bruce Wayne: I wouldn’t.The initial reaction at the time was correct, when we thought it was a 3-1 including a first round pick and a prospect, and still hated it.

    If you trade Taylor Hall you need to get a player better than Adam Larsson.

    If they had traded him for Lindholm you could swallow it.

    If they already had Larsson and traded him for Klefbom, you could swallow it.

    Larsson is not in the same class as Lindholm and Klefbom.

    Wow I wish our gm was as smart as you *rolls eyes*. One day can you move on?

  5. classict says:

    Nate780:
    Bruce Wayne,

    Improving records mean nothing about improvement, winning the stanley cup will prove nothing about the quality of the team…..

    then there’s nothing to talk about

    I disagree with the way he makes the point but there is something there. Here’s how I’d frame the idea:
    Name the biggest contributors to the Bruins cup
    Name the players that Chia actually brought to the team
    Name the players that Chia threw away for next to nothing.

    Did Chia’s ability as a GM win them that cup or would they have won a cup with pretty much any decent GM. Could they still be a cup contender if he hadn’t overpaid some players and thrown away some very good young talent? I think so and there’s some merit to the idea the Oilers could end up in the same spot.

    But Connor McDavid

  6. Bag of Pucks says:

    kinger_OIL:
    Lowetide,

    – I promise I won’t bring it up either: but for those who say it was a overpay, etc: what else had to come back besides Larsson and $1.8MM in cap?

    – I suspect no one has answered because once they do reply it will become apparent that the gap between what they think and market reality is laughable…

    – If you added in a 3rd rounder, or a prospect, or a bottom-line player is that enough?Because that is my “what else”.So basically sure a slight overpay, but you were not going to get another immediate impact player plus Larsson plus $1.8MM in cap, so it is quibbling, IMO

    Let’s see, if I trade you my motorcycle for your car, how many hockey cards and bottles of whisky do I need to throw in to balance the scales?

    If you subscribe to the maxim that the team getting the best player wins the deals, then it’s going to be very difficult to balance between a 1st overall river pusher vs a 4ov defender with limited offensive upside.

    For me, it’s not what do you need to add to Larsson to make it fair? It’s what D would be a better fit to make Hall comparable return. And the answer to that for me, is a Top Pairing D with more offensive upside.

    We parted with our best tradeable asset and still need a PP QB. So, Brent Burns I guess?

    Nuge or Ebs for Larsson would’ve been acceptable for me. Nuge because C depth and Ebs cos he’s a complimentary piece and JP was on the way.

  7. RexLibris says:

    wheatnoil: Wouldn’t that just bring them to 49.9%? They need an extra .89% math nerd!

    No.

    You tithe that 0.01% to the Hockey Gords.

    Have a little Puck Piety.

    😉

    (also, math is hard)

  8. Bruce Wayne says:

    ashley: How the Oilers do is certainly material.That is the essence of the existence.

    This argument is starting to sound a lot like “No matter what other things happen from this point forward, I will still be right”.

    Quite the opposite. Indeed, during the summer I asked the other side to provide criteria in advance of what constituted an unsuccessful trade. The only stipulation I made was that simply winning or losing could not be considered sufficient evidence. No one took me up on the challenge, because no matter what happens they are going to defend the trade.

    By contrast, I laid out specific criteria. I can’t recall exactly but it was something like 22-25 minutes playing time a night, outplaying or at least breaking even against top competition, and 40 points.

    The other day I laid out similar criteria without the points qualification. It was something like a first pairing defenders plays the top competition, break even, while being the best player in your pairing.

    If you are not the best player in your pairing then you must beat the best.

    This is somewhat complicated by the McDavid factor, but right now Larsson is not a first pairing defender even without the points qualification, and hence the trade is not a good one.

    If he was a first pairing defender, the trade would be more defensible.

    That is what establishing rational criteria does. It lays the groundwork for transforming opinion into knowledge.

    If you don’t like my criteria, provide a better one. Team wins and losses are not a better criteria.

  9. Bruce Wayne says:

    GMB3: Wow I wish our gm was as smart as you *rolls eyes*. One day can you move on?

    Non-responsive. Asked and answered. One of us is making a substantive contribution to the thread. Once again the lack of respect is from the same crowd that chased Gmoney away.

  10. RexLibris says:

    classict: That’s why I said “I would have”

    Gotcha.

    I was reading this as a “they should” rather than a “they should have”.

  11. npanciroli says:

    Lowetide,

    What if Larsson is a different, but equally as valuable, type of material as gold. Both worth 15. That is sort of how I view it. I know a lot of people don’t agree though and there are stats that show Larsson as not being that impressive.

  12. Nate780 says:

    Bruce Wayne,

    all that matters in winning the stanley cup, but to you, that doesn’t matter.

  13. Lowetide says:

    npanciroli:
    Lowetide,

    What if Larsson is a different, but equally as valuable, type of material as gold. Both worth 15. That is sort of how I view it. I know a lot of people don’t agree though and there are stats that show Larsson as not being that impressive.

    I think the one argument you can make is that:

    1. Hall was the only 15 on the roster that was pure 15 at the time of the pressure point
    2. PC knew he could now wait for Nuge to become pure 15 again
    3. Larsson was pure 11 and the cap hit got things to 13.
    4. Chiarelli made the risk that going was better than waiting

    I do not agree, but you could make the case.

  14. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: Let’s say Hall is a 15, that is his worth in gold or aluminum or wood. Let’s say Adam Larsson is an 11. No amount of 4’s gets you back, because a 15 is a rare thing, even when we are talking about 11s.

    Well, that depends on how you market and sell that gold, aluminum or wood, doesn’t it?

    Consider the case of Simpson’s Individual Stringettes (a wonder of the early modern period of advertising!)

    Adrian Wapcaplet: Aah, come in, come in, Mr….Simpson. Aaah, welcome to Mousebat, Follicle, Goosecreature, Ampersand, Spong, Wapcaplet, Looseliver, Vendetta and Prang!

    Mr. Simpson: Thank you.

    Wapcaplet: Do sit down–my name’s Wapcaplet, Adrian Wapcaplet…

    Mr. Simpson: how’d’y’do.

    Wapcaplet: Now, Mr. Simpson… Simpson, Simpson… French, is it?

    S: No.

    W: Aah. Now, I understand you want us to advertise your washing powder.

    S: String.

    W: String, washing powder, what’s the difference. We can sell *anything*.

    S: Good. Well I have this large quantity of string, a hundred and twenty-two thousand *miles* of it to be exact, which I inherited, and I thought if I advertised it…

    W: Of course! A national campaign. Useful stuff, string, no trouble there.

    S: Ah, but there’s a snag, you see. Due to bad planning, the hundred and twenty-two thousand miles is in three inch lengths. So it’s not very useful.

    W: Well, that’s our selling point! ‘SIMPSON’S INDIVIDUAL STRINGETTES!’

    S: What?

    W: ‘THE NOW STRING! READY CUT, EASY TO HANDLE, SIMPSON’S INDIVIDUAL EMPEROR STRINGETTES – JUST THE RIGHT LENGTH!’

    S: For what?

    W: ‘A MILLION HOUSEHOLD USES!’

    S: Such as?

    W: Uhmm…Tying up very small parcels, attatching notes to pigeons’ legs, uh, destroying household pests…

    S: Destroying household pests?! How?

    W: Well, if they’re bigger than a mouse, you can strangle them with it, and if they’re smaller than, you flog them to death with it!

    S: Well *surely*!….

    W: ‘DESTROY NINETY-NINE PERCENT OF KNOWN HOUSEHOLD PESTS WITH PRE-SLICED, RUSTPROOF, EASY-TO-HANDLE, LOW CALORIE SIMPSON’S INDIVIDUAL EMPEROR STRINGETTES, FREE FROM ARTIFICIAL COLORING, AS USED IN HOSPITALS!’

    S: ‘Ospitals!?!?!?!!?

    W: Have you ever in a Hospital where they didn’t have string?

    S: No, but it’s only *string*!

    W: ONLY STRING?! It’s everything! It’s…it’s waterproof!

    S: No it isn’t!

    W: All right, it’s water resistant then!

    S: It isn’t!

    W: All right, it’s water absorbent! It’s…Super Absorbent String! ‘ABSORB WATER TODAY WITH SIMPSON’S INDIVIDUAL WATER ABSORB-A-TEX STRINGETTES! AWAY WITH FLOODS!’

    S: You just said it was waterproof!

    W: ‘AWAY WITH THE DULL DRUDGERY OF WORKADAY TIDAL WAVES! USE SIMPSON’S INDIVIDUAL FLOOD PREVENTERS!’

    S: You’re mad!

    W: Shut up, shut up, shut up! Sex, sex sex, must get sex into it. Wait, I see a television commercial- There’s this nude woman in a bath holding a bit of your string. That’s great, great, but we need a doctor, got to have a medical opinion. There’s a nude woman in a bath with a doctor–that’s too sexy. Put an Archbishop there watching them, that’ll take the curse off it. Now, we need children and animals. There’s two kids admiring the string, and a dog admiring the Archbishop who’s blessing the string. Uhh…international flavor’s missing…make the Archbishop Greek Orthodox…. why not ArchBishop Makarios? No no, he’s dead. Never mind, we’ll get his brother, it’ll be cheaper. So, there’s Archbishop Makarios’s brother… (fade out)

    http://www.montypython.net/scripts/string.php

  15. Alpine says:

    misfit:
    RNH is playing the best hockey of his career IMO, and it just so happens that it’s also the time that a lot of Oiler fans are most critical of him.

    You gotta love how so many of the “don’t trust stats, just watch them play” guys are the ones who rely on the box scores to tell them who played well in any given night.

    Nuge’s place in the fandom is definitely very interesting. His eye test performance has almost always exceeded his statistical prowess, but statty types love him more than the eye testers.

  16. lynn says:

    Pouzar:
    Jezzuz every 2nd thread derailed with the Ghosts of Hall n Yak….we are 7-2 FFS.

    Meanwhile back at the ranch….
    Oilers up to 16th in Score Adj Corsi and holding steady at 6th for HDCF%

    I’m tired of threads rehashing trades to the point of exhaustion, too. I usually leave this site quickly when that happens.

  17. leadfarmer says:

    And oh god no to Burns. The last thing we need is to blow our salary cap space on a ageing forward masquereding as a defensemen. That would definitely mean Nuge is out the door and instead of talking how can we make 3 scoring lines were talking how do we piece together two scoring lines. It didnt take long for Chicago to regret the Seabrook signing and it wouldnt take us long to regret signing Burns, unless Joe Thornton and Vlasic come with him.

  18. Alpine says:

    For the record, I agree with Caramel Bruce on this matter of narratives taking precedence over what’s exactly going on. And I say that as someone who has been a big defender of Larsson (and even Chia) since the trade happened.

    What we’re seeing now is what I and many others figured would happen eventually with this crew once they had McDavid and Klefbom fully healthy and performing. McDavid is world class, and Klef might in fact be a real, live driver on the back end. So maybe that certain trade was never necessary, as much as I might have believed originally.

    But Klef with Larsson, is better than Klef with any other right D we’ve had over the last year ( i think Larsson is better now than Petry was in his first few seasons). And I suppose that’s probably the best way to gauge the value we got out of that trade. We might not have traded driver Hall for another driver but we got a guy who can complement a driver really well and take the pressure off said driver.

    We still overpayed and lost a driver up front, but it’s reasonable that there’s a Hall-lite or two in the young Fs. I still wanna see RNH-Eberle back together, because they seem like they make each other look like drivers.

    I got to find another word for driver goddamnit.

  19. frjohnk says:

    Im in the Bruce Wayne camp in regards to the Hall trade.

    Lowetide: I think the one argument you can make is that:

    1. Hall was the only 15 on the roster that was pure 15 at the time of the pressure point
    2. PC knew he could now wait for Nuge to become pure 15 again
    3. Larsson was pure 11and the cap hit got things to 13.
    4. Chiarelli made the risk that going was better than waiting

    I do not agree, but you could make the case.

    I also think having JP fall to 4, may have made it easier to trade Hall, as Chia may believe JP could be a river pusher in a few years and eventually step into Halls spot as the best winger on the team. Lucic is a place holder until JP is ready.

    So JP needs to become a river pusher, because as of now, we dont have any ( McDavid pushes the ocean)

  20. wheatnoil says:

    RexLibris,

    That skit was one of my favourites. Haven’t thought of it in years! Thanks for that.

  21. RexLibris says:

    wheatnoil:
    RexLibris,

    That skit was one of my favourites. Haven’t thought of it in years! Thanks for that.

    I have the Monty Python Contractual Obligation album, that is one of the skits on it.

  22. RexLibris says:

    frjohnk: McDavid parts the ocean

    Fixed.

  23. Georges says:

    Bruce Wayne,

    Hi Bruce. A question to your fourth point: what makes a first pairing defenseman? Are there 60 of these players in the league? Is there a stat you’d pick over any other to identify these guys?

    I would pick time on ice. Whichever two defensemen on each team play the most minutes are first pair. I believe Larsson fit the bill last year in New Jersey. Is that naive?

  24. Revolved says:

    I believe that Chia did what he had to in order to end the rebuild now. We paid for his wood and aluminum currency with years of depressing futility, and that is what hurts the most.

    At least winter 08-09 bought an essential piece. I am actually more bothered that winter 10-11 bought us so little, even if the player was easier to see go.

    As LT stated: he just better be right! We will be lucky to go .500 in the eight game set that started last night, but we should all wait until at least the end of it to judge even early returns on our wasted years.

  25. frjohnk says:

    Georges:
    Bruce Wayne,

    Hi Bruce. A question to your fourth point: what makes a first pairing defenseman? Are there 60 of these players in the league? Is there a stat you’d pick over any other to identify these guys?

    I would pick time on ice. Whichever two defensemen on each team play the most minutes are first pair. I believe Larsson fit the bill last year in New Jersey. Is that naive?

    TOI is one of metrics to use.

    But just because a player plays “top pairing minutes” does not mean he is top pairing otherwise Justin Schultz says hi.

    Plays top pairing AND does not get his head caved in is a start.

  26. Bruce Wayne says:

    Georges:
    Bruce Wayne,

    Hi Bruce. A question to your fourth point: what makes a first pairing defenseman? Are there 60 of these players in the league? Is there a stat you’d pick over any other to identify these guys?

    I would pick time on ice. Whichever two defensemen on each team play the most minutes are first pair. I believe Larsson fit the bill last year in New Jersey. Is that naive?

    This is a good question. In terms of ordinal rankings, my first cut would be to define top pairing D as top 30 in the NHL give or take. However, that would only be my first cut. If I had the time to be more systematic about it, I would group the players into buckets, where top pairing would include all the players in the top one or two buckets, however number of players that happened to be.

    As the padre said, TOI would be a necessary but not sufficient condition for the top pairing bucket. No one who plays 15 minutes can be top pairing, but not everyone who plays 22 minutes is necessarily top pairing.

    On that basis you can start putting together criteria. Something like:

    1) Plays at least top four minutes in terms of quantity.
    2) Plays at least top four minutes in terms of competition
    3) Is the better player on a pairing
    4) Beats the competition with good teammates or breaks even with poor teammates

    In terms of measures, I’d use more than one. Fenwick, relative fenwick, xGF%, relxGF%, and points per 60 to start with. And then I’d have to do some kind of qualitative filter for competition and teammates (though this will be somewhat addressed by the relative measures).

    Add it all up and you’d have a good way to put players into buckets. Ranking them within those buckets would require a more case study approach, I think.

  27. Georges says:

    frjohnk,

    Hmm, Schultz…

    Coaches have to play the players they have. And they have to maximize their probability of not losing (not taking into account any organizational pathology that makes the coach’s decisions for him).

    If a team’s d-men play roughly the same minutes, then the coach doesn’t believe he has a true first pair that gives him an edge in play. So, to be a true first pair, your minutes have to be well above the other options.

    Reasonable?

  28. theres oil in virginia says:

    RexLibris,

    So, reading this from top to bottom, my progression was: (1) RexLibris has lost it, (2) Maybe this is some skit from something, (3) Oh my, this is Monty Python for sure, (4) I saw the link confirming such.

  29. frjohnk says:

    Georges: If a team’s d-men play roughly the same minutes, then the coach doesn’t believe he has a true first pair that gives him an edge in play. So, to be a true first pair, your minutes have to be well above the other options.

    Reasonable?

    Yes to the first part and no to the second part.

    If your team has 1 good Dman and the rest are 3rd pairing Dmen/AHL, the 1 good Dman will play the most minutes and could by quite a bit, but that does not mean he is a top pairing Dman.

  30. Eh Team says:

    Bruce Wayne: As the padre said, TOI would be a necessary but not sufficient condition for the top pairing bucket. No one who plays 15 minutes can be top pairing, but not everyone who plays 22 minutes is necessarily top pairing.
    On that basis you can start putting together criteria. Something like:
    1) Plays at least top four minutes in terms of quantity.
    2) Plays at least top four minutes in terms of competition
    3) Is the better player on a pairing
    4) Beats the competition with good teammates or breaks even with poor teammates

    But you already have come to the conclusion that Larsson isn’t a top pairing defenseman.

    I’d be interested in knowing who you think are the top 15-20 RHD in the league.

    I’m not sure that point 3 is a criteria. Going back through the ages, does that mean Savard- Robinson- LaPointe could only be top pairing defensemen if they didn’t play on the same pairing?

  31. leadfarmer says:

    Bruce Wayne,

    I think to decrease confusion you should refer to your top pairing d as #1 d, since top pairing typically refers to the number 1 and 2 guy.

  32. frjohnk says:

    Just using TOI is not enough.

    This year, Klefbom is averaging 20.8 minutes a game.
    Larsson is averaging 20.1.

    Nurse averaged 20.2 minutes last year.

    Schultz averaged 22 minutes two years ago.

    Two years ago Nikitin averaged half a minute less than Larsson per game.

    Im pretty sure those 5 are not all top pairing.

  33. Bruce Wayne says:

    Eh Team: But you already have come to the conclusion that Larsson isn’t a top pairing defenseman.

    I’d be interested in knowing who you think are the top 15-20 RHD in the league.

    I’m not sure that point 3 is a criteria.Going back through the ages, does that mean Savard- Robinson- LaPointe could only be top pairing defensemen if they didn’t play on the same pairing?

    I don’t think there are necessarilly 15-20 RHD who are top pairing D. And in any case, I coudln’t name them off the top of my head without just making stuff up. Which is precisely the point.

    The point isn’t that the lesser of a pair cannot be a top pairing guy, only that if your partner is better than you, you need to be doing better than you would otherwise because at least some of your numbers can be attributed to their excellence and not your own. It matters who is zooming who.

  34. frjohnk says:

    This is what our Dmen are averaging per game.
    ANDREJ.SEKERA 21.9
    KRIS.RUSSELL 21.0
    OSCAR.KLEFBOM 20.8
    ADAM.LARSSON 20.1
    DARNELL.NURSE 16.9
    ERIC.GRYBA 16.6

    Now if we are using TOI, it would suggest to me that the coaches see the top 4 as a top 4 and not really a top pairing and a 2nd pairing.

    EDIT: Unless we have 4 top pairing Dmen!!!!

    Nurse and Gryba are of course 3rd pairing.

  35. Bruce Wayne says:

    leadfarmer:
    Bruce Wayne,

    I think to decrease confusion you should refer to your top pairing d as #1 d, since top pairing typically refers to the number 1 and 2 guy.

    If you think of it in terms of buckets I think what you will find is that the difference between #1 and #2 is much larger than between #2 and #3.

    So the buckets would look something like this:

    Top pairing(between 15-30 guys): can anchor a defense
    Second pairing ( 30-60 guys?): all these guys can play in a top pairing and not embarrass themselves but they won’t stand out either
    Soft minutes killers: plays weak competition and does well
    Replacement players: plays weak competition and doesn’t do well.

  36. GMB3 says:

    Bruce Wayne: Non-responsive.Asked and answered.One of us is making a substantive contribution to the thread.Once again the lack of respect is from the same crowd that chased Gmoney away.

    Yes your substantive contribution that is bemoaning the loss of your sweet sweet Taylor Hall day in day out. Same story different day. Is there anything else you care about besides trying to prove on an Internet forum that your smarter than a guy making big money to be the GM of an NHL team? As you stated in an earlier post about the “little things”, that implies that the observer “knows” more than the “unsophisticated” viewer, isn’t this the exact reason why someone like Pete Chiarelli is the GM of an NHL team? He works in hockey, he’s built a cup winner. He knows the market value of Taylor Hall better than you, and he know the market value of Adam Larsson better than you… He is the sophisticated viewer.

  37. who says:

    The whole Hall for Larsson trade just boils down to how much you value Hall and how much you value Larsson. Those of us who think it was fair value obviously value Larsson more and Hall less then the trade haters do.
    I view Hall comparables as guys like Pacioretty or Marchand. These are first line wingers who provide a lot of offense for their teams but who don’t quite control the play like a Patrick Kane or Johnny Gaudreau. Hall seems to have the physical tools to be that type of player but he has never done it for an extended period of time. Maybe the fancy stats say he is that type of player but I just don’t see it.
    I also think that someone like Vlasic is a very good comparable for Larsson. Doesn’t provide a ton of offense but can shut down the other teams best forwards. I see that as the most important skill for a defenseman.

  38. Statsman says:

    IMO, Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson was not an overpay. The market at that time dictated that the cost of a top-notch right-handed defence man was a winger of Hall’s caliber. Eberle or Nuge were not going to get you anything close to Larsson in value.

    There were rumblings that Chia offered Hall for both Subban and Weber just before the Larsson trade was consummated and that he was told by the other two GM’s that Hall was not enough. I can neither refute nor verify these claims but I did hear it from some sources close to the team.

    In that context, Chia did what he had to do in order to shore-up a very weak position on the team (as someone said earlier in the thread, we really needed an orange and we had to trade one of our best apples for it).

  39. commonfan14 says:

    If the boys get blitzed by the Leafs tomorrow night, how long a win streak will be needed before people would be able to calm down?

    I think my number is 6.

  40. frjohnk says:

    commonfan14:
    If the boys get blitzed by the Leafs tomorrow night, how long a win streak will be needed before people would be able to calm down?

    I think my number is 6.

    Mine is Rel 6

  41. McSorley33 says:

    Demers vs Larsson….

    Pretty close as players. Demers does get some PP time. For the sake of the argument – I will give Larsson a slight edge.

    However, Florida did not give up Huberdeau or Barkov to get him.

    ****************************************************************************
    Florida gets Demers – retains **all** its star forwards in the process.

    Edmonton gets Larsson – gives up one of the best wingers in the NHL.

    ****************************************************************************
    Just a reminder – Roman Polak is allegedly playing on the *** 2nd Pairing ***
    for the Leafs tomorrow.

    Wow.

    It would have been fascinating to watch Taylor Hall chew on 2nd pairings for a FULL year.

    Edit: ** Cuz Taylor is sitll producing against **1st pairings** in the NHL. But I doubt the Roman Polak’s of the NHL will see much of Taylor in NJ

  42. Pouzar says:

    I do Hall for Larsson all day.

    How bout dem Oilers!

  43. leadfarmer says:

    Bruce Wayne,
    No. top pairing is a pair and a pair is two. You can’t claim a pair is one. That is just nonsensical

    Second of all you can’t generalize d men usage across the league. Some have a number 1 and then others like Pittsburgh, some have a top pair like wild now, and some use a top 4 like we do and SJ does.

  44. JOHNNY OPERATOR76 says:

    Given the depth on the wing and lack of cannon on the PP, would have been nice to see Yak have a go with that shot and McDavids sweet feeds. Could’ve been magic.

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