A BIG RED BEACON, A FLAG AND A MAN ON A RAIL

by Lowetide

Cam Talbot posted a .950 save percentage last night, no one mentioned his name. That’s rather unfair, since he is one of two men (97) most responsible for this team’s current standing (first place, Pacific Division). The truth is that Edmonton’s 21 club (everyone but the goalie and 97) did not play especially well, and the result was predictable based on that single fact. HDSC: 7-11.

  • Todd McLellan: “We weren’t sharp enough for two points, so we’ll take the one, but we should expect more on a nightly basis.”

FOUR STRONG WINDS, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in October 2015: 4-8-0, goal differential -7
  • Oilers in October 2016: 7-2-0, goal differential +10
  • Oilers in November 2015: 4-7-2, goal differential -5
  • Oilers in November 2016: 5-6-2 goal differential +1
  • Oilers after 22, 2015: 7-14-1, goal differential -12
  • Oilers after 22, 2016: 12-8-2, goal differential +11

The Oilers have a galling tendency to stub their toes on opposition (remember the Sabres), they are not exactly mature performers in games when they haven’t brought all of their tools. Last night was there for them, they grabbed one point, damn near two, but lost in Bettman bingo. We’re on to Rogers Place.

Our November deal (15 points in 15 games) is in a little trouble. Edmonton has played 13 games, and has 12 points—meaning a win and an OT loss will be required to make the grade. Can they do that against Scottsdale and Don Mills?

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

defense-nov-25

  • I believe every defenseman listed here made at least one play with major wobble.
  • Klefbom—Larsson teamed up on a dynamic goal, Klefbom driving down the off wing and passing to Larsson who was his mirror with a hammer. Music! Without that goal, Edmonton doesn’t get a point last night. They went 13-4 against the Dvorak line, 7-4 against Rieder and 4-3 against Hanzal.
  • Sekera—Russell went 7-7 against the Hanzal line, that’s kind of the key to Arizona. Tippet ran that line against Sekera—Russell 7:15, and less than three and a half minutes against any other lines. This is the lineup he wanted, and it worked out well for them imo. Sekera seemed hesitant to me at times, but for me he is a player I can be confident in consistently. Russell had a shot block hit the net—that is the kind of thing that luck brings—and was not effective with the puck.
  • Nurse—Benning went 3-5 against Hanzal and 0-7 against OEL in 4:34. Nurse had the yips on his passing, seemed a little slow to places, too. I have been generally pleased with his recent play, but last night was poor. Full stop.
  • If Todd McLellan is going to get Eric Gryba a game, Sunday might be it. The question is who does he take out?
  • Oscar Klefbom is taking another step forward. He reminds me of a young Serge Savard, who was always a great defender but who also could make plays with the puck. I am not suggesting a Hall of Fame career, but that assist last night was just like Savard, swear to God. Brilliant.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

oilers-no-26

  • Maroon—Nuge—Eberle played most with Klebom and Larsson—that group scored the second goal of the game. Nuge went 4-5 in 4:09 against Hanzal and saw OEL only 2:52 (2-5). Only one scoring chance, you would like this line to do more, but they seem to have more going on and we can hope Todd McLellan keeps them together to see if there is chem.
  • Lucic—McDavid—Puljujarvi got the first goal, McDavid set up both wingers for easy peasies but neither man could cash. They will get there. 5-0 in HDSCs is pretty crazy, Oilers can win games just with this line. Seriously. Gotta cash. McDavid went 9-11 in 11:03 against OEL (man, that guy is terrific) 9-5 against the Hanzal line. Five HDSCs against that. Mother. Puljujarvi is going to be my favorite Oiler (non-McDavid division) by Christmas. I cannot help it. He is in so many good places every night. He needs to score on at least some of the gifts from 97, though.
  • Kassian—Letestu—Pitlick were 8-7, Letestu was FO man a bunch and his at-bats are tough to read because of it. The 4line has lost its way now, since Caggiula came in. Pitlick is getting lost here, he doesn’t get good looks because his linemates are not as good. They need something. I would like to see a real LW on this line on Sunday.
  • Pouliot—Leon—Caggiula had some dash to my eye, they were out most with Sekera and Russell. Went 0-4 in 1:49 against Hanzal, but that is par for the course. Going 5-5 against the Dauphin line is the issue, Leon needs to chew this matchups like a chihuahua attacking a smelly old sock. It is a little vexing, gotta say. It was a new line, and he was on a point scoring streak, but road wins need Leon goals this year. He is in a sweet spot.
  • Jordan Eberle had a good game to my eye, made some aggressive and effective plays with and without the puck, grabbed an assist on the Larsson goal. He is getting phenomenal looks on the PP and won’t rip it—suggesting to me there may be some lingering issues from the shoulder injury a year ago. If that is the case, it is going to be very difficult to keep him on the feature power play.
  • HockeyStats.ca
  • NaturalStatTrick.
  • NHL.com

FIRE SIDE CHAT

We need to chat. One of the things we need to do from time to time is remind ourselves of where we are in life. Back in the summer, when I refused to publish the balance photo, it was for many of the reasons we saw last night. Peter Chiarelli is using this season both to turn north and to audition. Todd McLellan said as much when calling the Oilers a growth team this season.

All manner of auditions are currently going on, Jesse Puljujarvi with Connor McDavid, Drake Caggiula with Leon Draisaitl, Matt Benning in the NHL and on it goes. Zack Kassian on the PK, Kris Russell on the power play. Some I like, some I hate, but these are experiments and each of them is a small tell about what—exactly—this season is about for the Edmonton Oilers.

I know you are impatient, I know you want to win the Stanley Cup this season, but the reality is that we knew about this team back last summer. This is us. I honestly don’t think blaming the players is productive or fair.

If we made a list of players we expect to be here on the morning Edmonton wins their next Stanley, how many are there? 12? 15? Your Edmonton Oilers are still in growth mode, and as difficult as it might be to view the team through those eyes, we are here. Did you read the Peter Gzowski book? Yeah. The Oilers are about there.

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GMB3

I worry about what JP’s offensive potential is at times, probably jumping to conclusions, but a wide open look is a wide open look. He will be one hell of a hockey player but I dont know if he will ever produce great offensive numbers. I was hoping for more of a trigger man.

Thumbs up to Larsson with the beauty finish on one knee though, looked like a goal scorer there.

Woodguy

Aivis Kalniņš ‏@A_Kalnins
Heard rumblings that Leafs are talking to Flames regarding Dougie Hamilton, now people reporting that Flames GM is at ACC.

Guy is a hockey writer in Europe.

No idea if he’s credible, but hmmmmmmmmmm

Since Gulutzan put Hamilton with GIo they are 57.8% together and play 1st pair.

I’d like to see him gone from Calgary too!

Woodguy

Bank Shot: What’s wrong with 71 starts?

Tired goalies are not at their best.

Tired goalie are more prone to injury.

Top 10 gp by a goalie in one season over the last 5 years:

BRADEN.HOLTBY 20142015 73
JONATHAN.QUICK 20142015 72
TUUKKA.RASK 20142015 70
CORY.SCHNEIDER 20142015 69
JONATHAN.QUICK 20152016 68
DEVAN.DUBNYK 20152016 67
BRADEN.HOLTBY 20152016 66
CAREY.PRICE 20142015 66
PEKKA.RINNE 20152016 66
HENRIK.LUNDQVIST 20152016 65

So at 71 Talbot would be 3rd on this list never having played more than the 56 he did last year.

I just don’t think good things come from over-working your goalie.

Interesting that only Holtby appears on this list twice.

Rest is important.

Woodguy

Scungilli,

Goals per game during Mullen’s career:

1996-97 5.84
1995-96 6.28
1994-95 5.98
1993-94 6.48
1992-93 7.26
1991-92 6.96
1990-91 6.92
1989-90 7.36
1988-89 7.48
1987-88 7.42
1986-87 7.34
1985-86 7.94
1984-85 7.78
1983-84 7.88
1982-83 7.72
1981-82 8.02

Average: 7.166

Average goals per game for Eberle’s career:

2016-17 5.40
2015-16 5.42
2014-15 5.46
2013-14 5.48
2012-13 5.44
2011-12 5.46
2010-11 5.58

Average= 5.462

So the correct factor for Mullen to Eberle for era effects is .7622 (I could be more accurate by doing this with gp per season, but this is close enough)

So, Mullen’s goals per game translates into .358 for this era.

Eberle is .34 as you noted, so its a pretty good comp.

Bank Shot

Woodguy: He’s getting a lot of work.

Too much imo.

He got tired once already.

1 goalie at 20gp already (Talbot)

1 at 19 (Budaj)

2 at 18 (Crawford/Jones)

Talbot is on pace for 71 starts.

Too much work.

What’s wrong with 71 starts?

Woodguy

Scungilli,

Joey Mullen in 1062 NHL games was + 163, .47 GPG.
Jordan Eberle is – 56 in 447 games played, .34 GPG, the majority of those games with a major river pusher who tilted the ice in Edmonton’s favor. So usage is not against Eberle.

2 things to consider:

1) Era effects. Mullen played from 81-97, there were many more goals per game during his career than during Eberle’s (I’ll dig it up in a bit)

2) Mullen played with Federko, Gilmour, Niewendyk and Lemiuex. Those guys could push a river or two

lynn

Woodguy:
Oiler’s twitter account just tweeted that Talbot starts tomorrow.

I know ARI played well yesterday, but if you can’t give your backup 1 game vs the 30th place team……..

This a choice from a team that has missed the playoffs for ten years and has a new barn to fill.

Man.

Woodguy

Lowetide: Meh. Talbot shouldn’t be tired.

He’s getting a lot of work.

Too much imo.

He got tired once already.

1 goalie at 20gp already (Talbot)

1 at 19 (Budaj)

2 at 18 (Crawford/Jones)

Talbot is on pace for 71 starts.

Too much work.

New Improved Darkness

Bruce McCurdy: 7 seasons later I’m confident to say Eberle is a helluva lot closer to Mullen than he is to my low end comp (David Oliver).

I love the way the mere presence of the digit ‘7’ curbed and curtailed ‘happy’ in favour of ‘confident’.

———

By the rule of three, I was going to add a topical curettage joke (keep your eyes on the Jewish Kryten for the days and weeks after his custom mohala attachment arrives from Amazon.)

Then I read that curettage only applied inside the body.

Now I’ve heard of genital frigophobia and the southern duosphere Florida syndrome (testicles head north to sit in the hot tub and drink hot chocolate), but never the frank and the beans altogether. (I’ve also never been in the same room with Kryten the day after his shiny mohala arrived with a spiffy 7-day money-back guarantee—does “your money back” never strike anyone else as somewhat less than being made entirely whole again? Reason for return: “blades improperly sharpened”.)

But then it turns out that curettage is also used in chalazion, a form of surgery to relieve giant, red, bulbous, pussy cysts of the eyelid due to blocked oil glands (reason for return: “unfortunate miscommunication concerning a blocked-up gland in Oil Country”).

Yikes. Getting warmer.

———

Once upon a time, a few people died from eating bad pork. Or so we suppose.

Three thousand years later, we are here:

A 2013 review of cases of neonatal HSV infections in Israel identified ritual circumcision as the source of HSV-1 transmission in 31.8% of the cases.

———

Oops. I meant to attach this sales verbiage from the Kona Bicycle Company:

The Mohala is designed around our female-specific geometry that is aggressive and confidence inspiring for those looking to push their riding skill further. Based around a 27.5-inch wheel that is known for its quick handling traits, the Mohala retains a good footprint that makes solid contact with the trail and boosts confidence.

Woodguy

Oiler’s twitter account just tweeted that Talbot starts tomorrow.

I know ARI played well yesterday, but if you can’t give your backup 1 game vs the 30th place team……..

Man.

stephen sheps

jfry,

I did a 48 hour prime rib roast about 6 weeks ago that turned out perfectly. Normally I hate slow cooking but the sous vide is different somehow.

As I’m sure you know from your own experiences with it, the danger with certain cuts is that if you cook it too long, the marbling ends up breaking down too much and you end up with mushy meat. It’s very finicky and cut dependent I find, but when it works, oh boy does it ever work.

The ribs are definitely an experiment but I’m confident they’ll turn out well. I’ll keep you posted.

theres oil in virginia

Bruce McCurdy: EDIT: found a report i wrote for C&B in early 2010 setting Mullen as a high-end comp for Eberle. 7 seasons later I’m confident to say Eberle is a helluva lot closer to Mullen than he is to my low end comp (David Oliver).

For shame! 🙂

I have a David Oliver hockey card somewhere. I remember the 20 goal season. Those were rough times, but I still enjoyed being an Oilers fan.

Scungilli Slushy

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
The Eberle haters may wish to look up Joey Mullen.

Secondary scoring is vital to winning in this league. One-timer or not this is a consistent 25 goal scorer. Is he worth 6m? Perhaps not, but it’s not his fault that management offered him that deal.

There are a lot of other things you can gripe about before you get to blaming Eberle.

Hey NYC. Plus minus is not a liked stat here, but over time and especially a career it has some validity, particularly for long retired players where other stats aren’t available.

Joey Mullen in 1062 NHL games was + 163, .47 GPG.

Jordan Eberle is – 56 in 447 games played, .34 GPG, the majority of those games with a major river pusher who tilted the ice in Edmonton’s favor. So usage is not against Eberle.

Is your comparison size based? Not the same player as I see it and remember. It is fine that Eberle is a one dimensional decent scorer and nothing more at this point. He is valuable, contributes, and is a very one dimensional player. He can be upgraded on reasonably easily and many would like to see it, not because he might not be a Free Mason or doesn’t have an Apron and didn’t get in at Hendon, or has sideburns, but in the name of the team being better, stronger.

jfry

OT: has anyone watched much bakersfield this year? looks like david musil is having a very strong year. and posting .42 pts/game. i wonder if he’s the d prospect we trade for a forward prospect. he appears to be fully cooked and ready for some games in the show.

jfry

stephen sheps,

please let me know how this goes! i use my sous vide every week, but i’ve never cooked something so long in it. really curious to hear how it goes.

Atc-Nate

Re Eberle. I know “they all count” but just to throw it out there, pretty sure he’s had a pair of empty netters. Considering the expectations I’ve had for him, maybe I need to lower the bar. We are winning games and if Pou and Ebs both start putting the puck in the net, not to mention RNH, we should be in good shape.

Also, in regards to the Oilers not really improving except JP (see Bruce Wayne’s post).. I’d suggest that Klefbom, Nurse and Larsson on D to start, have significantly more to show… Based on 28 being peak for NHL players. I’m also a firm believer that RNH has more there too, in a very Datsyukian way. Leon is young, has way more… This team has so much left from a potential. Did I mention Connor? He’s 19. You could almost pick the player and know they aren’t at the ceiling except maybe Lucic, Eberle…. Russell? The veteran side of the roster, sure. The young guns still have lotsa bullets in the chamber.

flyfish1168: To be fair JP is the youngest player in the NHL and has shown a pretty good defensive acumen. It is a hard job to play on any teams top line. Jordan is a veteran of 7 seasons and still young enough have another level. so we all waited and waited and grew impatient to see the next level from him. I agree Slepy should get a chance on Connors starboard side.

You might have waited. Others probably knew Eberle is what he is. Hockey players tend to peak offensively in their early-to-mid twenties. Eberle is imperfect, sure, but there are precious few scoring wingers on this team now, especially with Hall gone.

So 25-35 as a baseline, 30-40 as a top line. Seems about right. Expecting him to add a strong one timer to his game over summer seems out of place. He is a sniper, not a slapper. He probably has a weak slap shot and you need an elite slapper to use it effectively in the NHL. I doubt a summer of working on it makes his slap shot effective enough to go to, away from his effective wrist shot and backhand.

Anyway, the team is learning to win and is good but not great yet. These things take time and it seems we may want to enjoy this process, not feel the need to always have a scapegoat?

I mean, I love the Nuge but his numbers need to improve. Lucic has been riding shotgun to McDavid and he is on pace for a season right on his own standards without McDavid after a 4 point game to catch up. Curious why Eberle has been singled out here as the latest “piggy” incarnation.

leadfarmer

Woodguy,

Some vary a lot more than others. There is definitely players out there that routinely go on prolonged cold streaks and prolonged hot streaks and players who fairly routinely chip in points

lynn

Lowetide: I talked to Ryan Holt earlier this week and he said Lander had some things to get done before going down to Bakersfield. Could be anything, but that was the word at this time.

Thanks, LT. It must be tough for Anton to return to the AHL at this stage of his career.

Anton will have many good years in the SHL before he retires.

stephen sheps

Lowetide: I talked to Ryan Holt earlier this week and he said Lander had some things to get done before going down to Bakersfield. Could be anything, but that was the word at this time.

Wouldn’t be surprised if it was visa related. He probably didn’t anticipate being on the farm. Hopefully he’s still getting practice reps while he waits.

That said I won’t be surprised to see him back up with the big club before the season is done. Maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part.

stephen sheps

VOR,

Those are two good cents my friend! Thank you for your input and suggestions.

My reasoning for creating a binary (the two camps), something I rarely do in my scholarly work is for the sake of simplicity, playing up the ‘know your audience’ angle, as that is the sort of approach that seems to be used around here a lot of the time. As today’s article is part of a projected series as well as related to my actual research on analytics in hockey, the next few articles will be devoted to showing a lot of the nuance and shades of grey between the binary that I’ve created. Rather than just Kuhning the hell out of it, which I must admit was an awesome turn of phrase on your part, I’m probably going to Marx it up a little too and play with (his version) of dialectics and historical materialism, which is necessary since I’m working with a Gramscian construct (Organic Intellectuals).

Thanks again for your insights!

Centre of attention

flyfish1168: To be fair JP is the youngest player in the NHL and has shown a pretty good defensive acumen. It is a hard job to play on any teams top line. Jordan is a veteran of 7 seasons and still young enough have another level. so we all waited and waited and grew impatient to see the next level from him. I agree Slepy should get a chance on Connors starboard side.

I dont know about Slepy on McDavids wing but he is the logical choice to add back into the line up if Pulju gets scratched.

I wasn’t trying to bash Pulju there just saying he’s whiffed on a ton of open looks, that will happen with young players. If it were up to me he would stay on 97’s line and get some powerplay time but I am not the coach. I was merely predicting what I think the Oilers will do, which is scratch Pulju.

Agree Eberle could break the 30 goal 70 point ceiling with a bit more get up and go, but there is still plenty of hockey left in the season and Eberle is one hot streak away from being on a 30 goal 70 point pace so there ya go. I have no issues with Eberle, I prefer to not have a whipping boy constantly. It leads to you missing the big picture, which is that Eberle is a fantastic offensive player and we need a guy like him in our top 6. He will be dearly missed if we don’t find a good replacement.

And I don’t think Puljujarvi will ever, EVER be able to put up numbers close to Eberle’s career so far, he will be more of a two-way player which is fine but we still need that offensive type in our top 6. If people think Puljujarvi will plug an Eberle-sized hole in the top 6 without another addition you’re all crazy. Connor can’t do all the scoring himself.

lynn

What has happened to Anton Lander? Long demoted, yet to play a game for the Condors. Injured? Looking for a return to Sweden?

The Condors, a bottom team in the AHL, could use Anton.

flyfish1168

Centre of attention: To be fair, if Eberle continued to be glued to Connor he would probably have score at least 2 more goals by now. Puljujarvi has had some wide-open looks that even snake bitten Eberle could have burried.

Puljujarvi played under 14 minutes last night with 0 power play time. me thinks he gets scratched and Slepy gets back in next game. Just a hunch.

To be fair JP is the youngest player in the NHL and has shown a pretty good defensive acumen. It is a hard job to play on any teams top line. Jordan is a veteran of 7 seasons and still young enough have another level. so we all waited and waited and grew impatient to see the next level from him. I agree Slepy should get a chance on Connors starboard side.

VOR

Stephen,

Great article. I mean what follows as friendly input that I hope enriches your thinking.

I think you need to avoid the tendency to create two camps among people who are “analyzing” hockey. I believe the sets you have developed are arbitrary and false. I use qualitative and quantitative methods in my own work as an example. Many NHL teams use both.

Then there is a yawning gulf within the quantitative camp between the reductionists who are in the majority and the synthesizers. There are also quite a few people who are expressing doubts about the current choices and application of quantitative tools who are not vaguely anti-math and fall squarely in the quantitative camp. I am guessing the same thing is true in the quantitative camp and worry you are creating over simplified categories and limiting the parameters of your research and thinking.

Try this simple thought experiment. Let’s pretend for a moment that a significant amount of the criticism levelled against quantitative approaches to understanding hockey came from people who firmly believed in the primacy of the quantitative approach. How then would you characterize the response of the quantitative community to their critics? By having only two camps you miss the opportunity to exam how the quantitative community responds to different sorts of critics and how it incorporates new ideas. In other words you miss the chance to Thomas Kuhn the hell out of it.

Just my two cents.

Centre of attention

flyfish1168: That is without a doubt good stats for most. But he achieve these numbers without Connor. Myself anyway I felt Jordan should be able to achieve more with Connor. Especially if he worked on his shot this summer. I was looking for a quick release and a one timer.I was looking for a step up in stats. Maybe I’m wishing for to much. JMHO

To be fair, if Eberle continued to be glued to Connor he would probably have score at least 2 more goals by now. Puljujarvi has had some wide-open looks that even snake bitten Eberle could have burried.

Puljujarvi played under 14 minutes last night with 0 power play time. me thinks he gets scratched and Slepy gets back in next game. Just a hunch.

flyfish1168

Bruce McCurdy:
Btw the so-called “Ebs slump” has him on pace for 26–37-63 which is pretty much indistinguishable from his last few seasons.

That is without a doubt good stats for most. But he achieve these numbers without Connor. Myself anyway I felt Jordan should be able to achieve more with Connor. Especially if he worked on his shot this summer. I was looking for a quick release and a one timer. I was looking for a step up in stats. Maybe I’m wishing for to much. JMHO

stevezie

Bruce McCurdy,

Woodguy,

This is fair and sober commentary, but is it fair to expect playing with McDavid to raise his scoring?

I’m not sure if it is, but that seems to be the standard he is being judged against. Especially in light of what McDavid did to Maroon and Nail.

Woodguy

Bruce McCurdy:
Btw the so-called “Ebs slump” has him on pace for 26–37-63 which is pretty much indistinguishable from his last few seasons.

Reminds me of one rule about hockey players everyone should remember:

“All scorers are streaky”

All of em.

Every time I read “streaky scorer” I cringe a bit.

None of em score “at a regular pace” ups and downs are the norm.

Variance makes for narratives.

Bruce McCurdy

Btw the so-called “Ebs slump” has him on pace for 26–37-63 which is pretty much indistinguishable from his last few seasons.

JimmyV1965

MattyIce:
I get your point and I appreciate it. Not trying to be a troll.

Were how many games in and he is still in a slump? My point was I would prefer in IMO a player like Eriksson instead of Eberle. Someone that is a shooter and has better defensive acumen.

All I’m saying is that it would make this team better. Eberle shows nothing to me for 6 million. Maybe 2-3 million. He is living off a couple dangles from a past era.

I PRAY he starts putting up goals cause we do need a right hand shot that can bury.

Prove me wrong Ebs please!

You’re nervous about the Ebs slump and you argue in favour of Ericksson? Look at his numbers over the last five years. Outside of Ladd, I think Ericksson was the worst free agent available this year; certainly the most inconsistent.

stevezie

Great discussion today. And the shots have all been clever.

Bruce McCurdy

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
The Eberle haters may wish to look up Joey Mullen.

Secondary scoring is vital to winning in this league. One-timer or not this is a consistent 25 goal scorer. Is he worth 6m? Perhaps not, but it’s not his fault that management offered him that deal.

There are a lot of other things you can gripe about before you get to blaming Eberle.

Joey Mullen was my comp for Eberle before Jordan even played in the NHL, & I still haven’t had reason to change that. Similar player type. Mullen used to kill the Oilers as a Blue, (especially) as a Flame, & later as a Penguin. He was never seen as the best player on his team or even on his line, just a guy who would kill you with second line scoring. Was 25 before he even made the NHL. little guy, right shot, deadly in tight, and dangled his way right in to the Hall of Fame. Always had a good centre like Doug Gilmour or Ron Francis who sound like first liners but we’re actually 2C on their teams during the times they were ripping it up with Mullen in their flank.

Did I mention he struck fear in the heart of this Oilers fan? Sometimes to properly evaluate a player it helps to consider him from an opposing fan’s viewpoint. On the home side seeing him 82 times a year we sometimes tend to focus on warts.

EDIT: found a report i wrote for C&B in early 2010 setting Mullen as a high-end comp for Eberle. 7 seasons later I’m confident to say Eberle is a helluva lot closer to Mullen than he is to my low end comp (David Oliver).

GCW_69

I want to see the following lines for 10 games:

Maroon – McDavid – JP

Lucic – Nuge – Eberle

Pouliot – Leon – Slepy

Not sure about the 4th line. I want to see Lucic and Nuge because I see similarities with Nuge and Krejci.

On the Pp (formation)

Eberle – Lucic – McDavid
JP Klefbom

That allows McDavid to use JP and Klefbom for point shots, and Eberle in close on the right side, I with Lucic screening and cleaning up the garbage.

That still leaves Leon, Maroon, Nuge, Slepy, Pouliot and Drake to build a second unit around.

Centre of attention

Psssssst.

*looks around, makes sure nobody is paying attention*

McDavid is on pace for 37 goals.

bassguy

Hey Dustrock, not a big deal but the tune is written by an Albertan, Ian Tyson…did any one think the ice was horrific last night in Pheonix?

bassguy

dustrock:
LT –nice shout out to my favorite Neil Young song.

Gotta say didn’t like the Drai-Pou-Caligula line. Pouliot just seems completely ineffective this year, and I thought he was probably the best LW for McDavid last season. Caligula should go back to Bakersfield I think.

Also rolled my eyes seeing Lucic and Eberle on the PP in OT.Knew it would be ineffective.

flyfish1168

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
The Eberle haters may wish to look up Joey Mullen.

Secondary scoring is vital to winning in this league. One-timer or not this is a consistent 25 goal scorer. Is he worth 6m? Perhaps not, but it’s not his fault that management offered him that deal.

There are a lot of other things you can gripe about before you get to blaming Eberle.

For starters his shooting coach.

Centre of attention

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
The Eberle haters may wish to look up Joey Mullen.

Secondary scoring is vital to winning in this league. One-timer or not this is a consistent 25 goal scorer. Is he worth 6m? Perhaps not, but it’s not his fault that management offered him that deal.

There are a lot of other things you can gripe about before you get to blaming Eberle.

I feel like Eberle’s offensive value is placed mainly in his shot by some people. This is folly. If you look at Eberle as an overall offensive player, most of his value comes from his smart playmaking and ability to protect the puck.

People call Eberle soft but when he has the puck in the offensive zone he is slippery as hell and can hold onto it threw a surprising amount of pressure (example: Larsson goal last night), allowing other teammates to move into position. Once they are in position, Eberle can pass the puck with the best of them.

People talk about his consistent goal scoring (25 goals) but what about his consistent ~35 assist seasons? Eberle can control & dish the puck under pressure and THAT ladies and gentleman is a rare skill, & one that this team will miss when/if he is traded.

I think in 2015/2016 Eberle had found a bit of a sweet spot mid season and was burying regularly on the powerplay until later in the year. One thing I have observed is I think Woodcroft moved his spot a bit this season closer to the boards where as Eberle likes to be more bottom of the circle there so he can quickly cut to the front of the net. Might be why he’s flubbing chances, just not hitting him in his wheelhouse/too far from the net.

Also possible shoulder injury is an interesting theory from LT. When was the last time Eberle went backhand bar down? That is his signature move, but if that shoulder is bugging him it would be hard to put a lot of zip in your backhand wouldn’t it? Having to reach across your body with the bad shoulder and zip it back with force? That hurts just thinking about.

The Eberle haters may wish to look up Joey Mullen.

Secondary scoring is vital to winning in this league. One-timer or not this is a consistent 25 goal scorer. Is he worth 6m? Perhaps not, but it’s not his fault that management offered him that deal.

There are a lot of other things you can gripe about before you get to blaming Eberle.

MattyIce

That penalty Pouliot drew last night was money.

Wish he could do that more often! Be a pain without slashing and tripping on the fore-check every time.

I’m super happy about the Oilers progress this season. Not being negative its just my opinion about Eberle.

Look how a veteran like Russell changed the dynamic. I think a mix of guys in the late 20’s early 30’s would not hurt this team on the back half of the season. Hey what do I know I just played junior A.

On a positive note lets win tomorrow and not lose to a Raptors buzzer beater again. Me and my brother thought it was a 50/50 chance that Flash (McD) scored that… maybe the wine got to me.

Scungilli Slushy

I think it is important to remember how much a player like McDavid can zoom other players. I know it is often mentioned and Woodguy and Frjohnk post numbers, but almost anybody decent will be a lot better than normal with him. That being said they need to be chosen based on what else they bring, like how Tikk won the Gretzky line job after a lot of others auditioned.

Material Elvis

The one thing that really bugged me about last night’s game was all the backhand reverse passes that were attempted. This is such a bad play — I hope the coaching staff really drills this home. It was attempted multiple times by forwards and defencemen. Each time it was deflected or resulted in a turnover. NHL players are not going to be fooled by this play. They need to stop doing this now.

stephen sheps

Bruce Wayne,

see this is why I tag you in posts that I write. Brilliant response, as always.

The problem of anticipation is precisely why I pointed out that in this particular iteration of the methods wars, we are dealing with descriptive, not predictive measurements and forms of analysis.

In hockey it is even more difficult to anticipate what will come next, both in terms of game-flow in an isolated sequence of events on the ice, or in terms of larger, more macro-level trends, because the speed of the game and the random chance of puck bounces often create too much noise in the measurements, especially in short-term, shift-by-shift analysis. The analytics we have here, like the xGF measurement, gives us our first, useful real window into anticipation-based measures, which may move the conversation from descriptive towards predictive value… interesting times.

frjohnk

russ99:
Leon’s line is a problem. If we’re not moving him to wing. It would be best to consider his play like Puljujarvi, as their play on the wail and without the puck are exemplary, but they don’t have the chops (linemates in Leon’s case) to put up repeatable levels of offense. So focus on what’s working and when scoring happens it will be a bonus.

Again, Leon is getting his best looks on the powerplay, so he can still put up numbers and play a defensive role on a more defensive oriented third line,

I wonder if we dont see Draisaitl up in the top 6, most likely on McDavids wing in the next few games.

Cassandra

frjohnk,

Interesting. So much of the better play comes from the subtraction of Schultz and Korpikoski and the improvement of Nurse. Though I can’t help but point out what has happened to Draisatl in the absence of Hall.

Cassandra

stephen sheps,

Nice piece. I won’t have time to get into this today, but some quick thoughts.

The problem with the “eye test” is the problem with perception (see Max Scheler). Human beings do not (nor do animals for that matter, see Jacob Von Uexkull) see (or perceive) the world as it is, in an unmediated fashion. Rather all seeing requires, amongst other things, anticipating, and this quality of anticipation is not found in the thing itself (the object of sight, the thing that we are seeing).

This doesn’t mean that everything is relative (i.e. everything is opinion) only that in order to see better we need to anticipate better, and anticipating better depends upon what foregrounds our seeing (i.e. knowledge). Ironically, in the methods wars between quantitative and qualitative approaches, both have this issue. The question of anticipation cannot be answered, even indirectly, empirically. It is not at all the case in general that quantitative methods necessarily see better than qualitative methods, you can only measure what you attempt to measure, i.e. what you anticipate you are going to measure.

The reason quantitative methods work in hockey better than qualitative methods is that in hockey, unlike in life, we know the purpose of the game in advance. This allows us to provide the fixed ground of meaning around which quantitative methods may be grounded.

frjohnk

Bruce Wayne: It is on the team page, under skater advanced statistics.http://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/EDM/2017.html

Thanks

Here is how each player fares.

Connor McDavid 9.1
Patrick Maroon 7.3
Jordan Eberle 5.5
Matthew Benning 3.9
Oscar Klefbom 3.2
Milan Lucic 2.9
Jesse Puljujarvi 2.5
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 1.4
Adam Larsson 1.2
Anton Slepyshev 0.8
Andrej Sekera 0.6
Darnell Nurse 0.4
Matt Hendricks 0.2
Zack Kassian 0.1
Taylor Beck 0
Mark Fayne -0.1
Eric Gryba -0.4
Kris Russell -0.5
Brandon Davidson -0.6
Anton Lander -1.2
Drake Caggiula -1.5
Benoit Pouliot -1.6
Leon Draisaitl -3.1
Tyler Pitlick -3.5
Mark Letestu -3.7

McDavid, Maroon and EBERLE are 1,2 and 7 in the entire league!

In the 1st quarter of the season, my “eyes” told me that Maroon has been the best left winger for McDavid and EBERLE the best right winger, this list helps.

Probably see this trio shortly again.

For our D.

Benning is 28th in the league
Klefbom is 52nd

The sample size for Benning is getting bigger from “small” but man the numbers love this kid.
Klefbom no surprise. Our best Dman.

2.3 or better gets you into the top 100.

Compare the first list with last years ( more than 10 games)

Player Age

Connor McDavid 9
Taylor Hall 7.7
Leon Draisaitl 6.5
Brandon Davidson 3.9
Eric Gryba 2.2
Nail Yakupov 2
Jordan Eberle 1.5
Andrej Sekera 1.2
Patrick Maroon 1.1
Benoit Pouliot 0.7
Teddy Purcell 0.3
Jujhar Khaira 0.1
Nikita Nikitin 0.1
Oscar Klefbom -0.2
Adam Clendening -0.4
Zack Kassian -1
Mark Fayne -1.1
Griffin Reinhart -1.2
Anton Slepyshev -1.4
Brad Hunt -1.9
Rob Klinkhammer -2.2
Luke Gazdic -2.3
Anton Lander -2.5
Jordan Oesterle -2.9
Iiro Pakarinen -5
Justin Schultz -5.1
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -5.6
Matt Hendricks -5.9
Mark Letestu -7.3
Lauri Korpikoski -9.2
Darnell Nurse -10.8

Other than McDavid and Hall ( Draisaitl was dragged up by Hall) nobody really had great numbers.

Last years team = Woof!