STAND BACK!

by Lowetide

If you’re projecting NHL scoring this week for fantasy purposes, add a few goals and points to Connor McDavid’s total. My spies tell me that he’s stronger and faster than a year ago, and even more delightful he’s gained a couple of feet on his shot. If 97 spent time on his marksmanship this offseason, veteran goalies may want to consider retirement. When the best work doggedly to be even better, complete dominance could be the result. Music!

LOWETIDE RE PROJECTIONS (FORWARDS)

My projections gave a handsome increase to McDavid, from 30 to 37 goals. Are you sure that’s enough? I’m no longer certain. Man. I’ll leave my projections as they are, but will say the increase in offense year over year that is being projected by my numbers is mostly 97. If he dances past the projected number, stand back!

MATH, AND YOU

It’s established that the Oilers have dabbled in analytics at the draft table. Marco Roy was a player Edmonton liked and math recommended, plus it’s possible the club used an analytics approach in 2015, 2016 and 2017. It makes sense to run these kids through some kind of model to see if there’s a way to suss out talent. Do you remember back on draft day 2014 when my list included names like Andrew Mangiapane and Reid Gardner? The only reason those players were on my list was their NHLE performance. They passed through the draft and the following summer (2015)—in a deep draft year mind you—Mangiapane was ranked No. 49 and Gardner came in at No. 77 on the Button 2015 list. Craig Button had a very successful scouting background before becoming an NHL general manager, but whatever math he is running this is a man whose draft list is stronger than most I see every summer. Maybe he doesn’t use math, maybe he sees these kids good without the calculator.

I’m not a scout and absolutely there are people who would have more sophisticated math models than me. However, each summer my little basement list makes an important point: amateur numbers DO matter and there’s a tipping point where size or speed or whatever scouts value gives way to the boxcar numbers.

WHO IS PAYING ATTENTION TO THESE NUMBERS?

I think the Oilers apply advanced math to the draft and teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning do as well. Back in the spring, I wrote an item called “Who on earth is Cole Guttman?” based on NHL equivalencies. The Oilers grabbed one of the stars in that article (Kailer Yamamoto) and Tampa Bay grabbed an obscure forward named Cole Guttman in the depths of the draft. Tracking the numbers, while also sending talented scouts to confirm ten fingers and toes, is a key element in drafting.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

We know the Oilers are paying closer attention to these things, the club has been spending some time with major league baseball’s Kansas City Royals in an effort to improve the overall development and assessment (source: Jeff Krushell). An example might be playing time being monitored more closely in the AHL (wrote about it here).

2018 DRAFT

We always look at the draft on this blog, and this year I thought it might be a good idea to get a head start. Here are the OHL kids who are first-time eligible for this year’s draft, along with their estimated 5×5 points per 60 (Prospect-Stats.com) and Brock Otten’s rankings at OHL Prospects.

  1. LC Allan McShane Oshawa Generals 2.50 (No. 6)
  2. RC Akil Thomas Niagara Ice Dogs 2.06 (No. 1)
  3. L David Levin, Sudbury Wolves 2.06 (No. 16)
  4. LC Ryan McLeod Mississauga Ice Dogs 1.90 (No. 3)
  5. L Barrett Hayton, SSM Greyhounds 1.71 (No. 7)

Going into this season, McShane is the most interesting player for me in the OHL. He won’t go No. 1 (McShane is a smaller forward and lacks elite speed) but his scoring rates in the OHL at 16 were tremendous (62gp, 17-27-44). By the way, Kirill Maksimov posted a 1.86/60 estimated points-per-60 via Prospect-Stats.com), ranking him No. 27 in that category among OHL forwards who were 17 one year ago. That junior league develops so many good players even a prospect at that level may have NHL potential. The more I look at these amateur leagues, the more convinced I become of the Ontario league.

KIRILL MAKSIMOV

The 2017 draft gave me real hope for the Oilers and their use of math in the amateur procurement area. I have zero proof that the team applied a slide rule to the 2017 amateur class, but there are strong clues. Kailer Yamamoto had the third best NHLE equivalency in the draft (behind only Elias Pettersson and Nick Suzuki), Edmonton taking the young winger at a point in the draft where he was considered a massive bargain (I had him No. 11, he went No. 22).

Ostap Safin was one of the few skill forwards outside the first round that I really liked as a prospect, the Oilers grabbed him No. 115 overall (I had him No. 52). Perhaps most encouraging is Maksimov, a player who didn’t make my list but should have based on a late surge in scoring. After being dealt to Niagara, Maksimov had 19 goals in 33 games. If he posted that over an entire season? 35 goals in the best junior league in the world.

TRAINING CAMP ROSTER A YEAR AGO

A lot changes in one year, Edmonton’s training camp roster this time around is going to include a tremendous change in the “Bakersfield Condors” section of this chart. Gone are Eetu Laurikainen,, Jordan Oesterle, Griffin Reinhart, David Musil, Mark Fraser, Frankie Simonelli, Jere Sallinen, Mitch Moroz, Joey Benik, Scott Allen, Anton Lander, Tyler Pitlick, Taylor Beck and Jaedon Descheneau. Not everyone left because the Oilers had no interest, my guess is Griffin Reinhart and Tyler Pitlick would be welcomed back.

What does it mean? New general manager. If you look at that list, most of the group was procured by previous managers. Chiarelli brought in Reinhart, lost him to expansion. Brought in Sallinen, this year we didn’t see any pipeline from the European leagues. That’s one frontier the Oilers need to shore up, perhaps they did that with some of those summer moves.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A fun show to kick start the weekend, beginning at 10 this morning, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, BigMouthSports. Who will win the big fight this weekend? Are you ready for the hockey?
  • Matt Cauz, CFL.ca. CFL weekend underway, big game tonight!
  • Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. Hard to know this Eskimos lineup without a program. Matthew will fill us in.
  • Jeff Krushell, Krush Performance. Are the Dodgers historic?

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Weekend!

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JD_Wry

Woodguy v2.0: I’m filler for him

Wood filler!

Woodguy v2.0

Munny: I’m not usually a podcast guy–too much to read and listening/watching stuff slows me down–but I checked your segment out a few minutes ago and thought you did very well. Bob likes to poke and test and you had his respect by the end.

I enjoyed your points, and always nice to put a voice to an avatar.

Thanks.

I’ve known Bob personally for going on 5 years now.

I’m filler for him when guests cancel or its August and the regulars aren’t working.

godot10

frjohnk: Dont show Godot this article.

I’ve moved on. I just hit the #RussellReset button when someone mentions the dementor.

I have #mediocre fish to fry these days.

Munny

Woodguy v2.0:
Going on Bob’s show at 12:35pmto talk about Dcorps,

I’m not usually a podcast guy–too much to read and listening/watching stuff slows me down–but I checked your segment out a few minutes ago and thought you did very well. Bob likes to poke and test and you had his respect by the end.

I enjoyed your points, and always nice to put a voice to an avatar.

Munny

Lowetide: I’ll suggest Jeff Krushell.

That’s a pretty good call.

Munny

Checking McDeity’s splits… He was at 8.25 shots/60 pre All Star and 9.42 shots/60 post AS break, all situations. So there was some signs of more selfishness there; not sure if a third of a shot per game more is enough though.

Munny

frjohnk:
“My projections gave a handsome increase to McDavid, from 30 to 37 goals. Are you sure that’s enough?”

How many times did McDavid get into a prime scoring chance area and then pass the puck?He has a good accurate shot and if he improved it this summer PLUS got a bit selfish, he hits 40, maybe more.

I think this is precisely it. Has there been a change in mentality or instincts?

Or maybe he needs a winger with speed to work give and goes with?

The Royals item is an interesting note, LT. That screams relationship to me…any idea who knows who in the two orgs?

flyfish1168

Bag of Pucks:
I missed this article the first time around:

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/ex-oilers-coach-dallas-eakins-sees-firing-gift/

Man, that is one galling quote for Oiler fans.

“Looking back at major issues there’s not many things that I think we would change,” Eakins said.

I like his comment :
“I know there’s a lot of criticism of my time there and I’m fine with that,” he added. “And usually the opinions being expressed, they are so far off it’s amazing. I know what went on in the locker-room and no one else does.”

Well he obviously couldn’t handle the locker room and never was able to gain it.

Woodguy v2.0

leadfarmer: So maybe he won’t lead this team in EV ice time this year?

When I did my study I didn’t use TOI to describe if a player was a top 4 Dman.

If I did then every team has them.

I used a different set of rules. They’re in the piece.

Gayfish

Bag of Pucks:
I missed this article the first time around:

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/ex-oilers-coach-dallas-eakins-sees-firing-gift/

Man, that is one galling quote for Oiler fans.

“Looking back at major issues there’s not many things that I think we would change,” Eakins said.

That guy was a moron, and I blame him more than anyone for the failure of the second rebuild. He should have been fired 15 days into his tenure, but he hung around, because the apologists kept saying “we can’t fire another coach.”

frjohnk

Bag of Pucks:
I missed this article the first time around:

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/ex-oilers-coach-dallas-eakins-sees-firing-gift/

Man, that is one galling quote for Oiler fans.

“Looking back at major issues there’s not many things that I think we would change,” Eakins said.

Dont show Godot this article.

Bag of Pucks

I missed this article the first time around:

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/ex-oilers-coach-dallas-eakins-sees-firing-gift/

Man, that is one galling quote for Oiler fans.

“Looking back at major issues there’s not many things that I think we would change,” Eakins said.

OriginalPouzar

Jagr is definitely an exciting player to think about but more because he’s “Jaromir freaking Jagr” and less because of the impact he will likely have on the team. I like him more as a mentor than anything else. He had a 20 point regression last year – yes, his team had a ton of injuries but, at 45 turning 46, one might think age is part of it.

I think Chia wants to see what the young wingers can do (Slep, Strome, Caggulia, etc.), evaluate and keep his powder dry for in-season improvements.

I think I’d be more interested in a Cody Franson as I’m worried about injuries piling up on the back-end.

Wonder Llama

Drew Stafford for $800,000. Nice job, NJD!

I agree with those who suspect Chia wants to see what he has with Slepy, JP, and Caligula [sic] this year, but I wonder if it’s worth checking on some UFA prices now?

leadfarmer

Woodguy v2.0: Actual legit.Here’s the thing: http://becauseoilers.blogspot.ca/2016/04/playoff-teams-in-nhl-average-60-of-dman.html

I’m very close to calling Russell a top 4.

Even guys like Spector and Bob call Russell a 4/5 and I agree that his slot.

I think I’d count Russell on his left, but not his right.

His historical numbers are much better on the left.

So maybe he won’t lead this team in EV ice time this year?

Gayfish

Lowetide: Probably. Math has found its way into all areas of hockey, but this blog’s author was applying math to prospects at the dawn of its existence.

I think you got what I meant, but morning brain forgot to mention I was just talking draft.

jp

Georges: I have to give you props for the math on your RE’s. I thought your forward and defense assists totals looked a little biased. I checked and I was wrong. It lines up with the Oilers from last year. They were a little lopsided compared to the league in relying more on forward production. I maybe would’ve regressed to the mean a bit and switched some of the assists to the defense. But, hey, you actually did the work whereas I just thought about doing the work.

The Oilers run 4F/1D on both PP units, so that probably skews assists to the forwards vs league average.

anjinsan

RNH is going to do much better than you project…30g and 40a, something like that.

OriginalPouzar

Woodguy v2.0: Actual legit.Here’s the thing: http://becauseoilers.blogspot.ca/2016/04/playoff-teams-in-nhl-average-60-of-dman.html

I’m very close to calling Russell a top 4.

Even guys like Spector and Bob call Russell a 4/5 and I agree that his slot.

I think I’d count Russell on his left, but not his right.

His historical numbers are much better on the left.

Yes re: historical numbers which is a reason why I really want to see him on the left side if playing top 4 ES minutes.

The bummer there is I’m cheering for Auvitu and can’t see a way to keep Russell on the left if Auvitu is in the lineup (assuming the rest of the lineup is healthy minus Reggie).

Georges

Lowetide: Probably. Math has found its way into all areas of hockey, but this blog’s author was applying math to prospects at the dawn of its existence.

I have to give you props for the math on your RE’s. I thought your forward and defense assists totals looked a little biased. I checked and I was wrong. It lines up with the Oilers from last year. They were a little lopsided compared to the league in relying more on forward production. I maybe would’ve regressed to the mean a bit and switched some of the assists to the defense. But, hey, you actually did the work whereas I just thought about doing the work.

Woodguy v2.0

OriginalPouzar: Is the analysis (a) the top 4 D on the team play 60% of the available minutes or (b) actual legit NHL top 4 D play 60%?

I’m assuming (b) and, to start the season, with Reggie out, do the Oilers even have more than 2 top 4 D? Does Russell count if he’s on the right side?

Actual legit. Here’s the thing: http://becauseoilers.blogspot.ca/2016/04/playoff-teams-in-nhl-average-60-of-dman.html

I’m very close to calling Russell a top 4.

Even guys like Spector and Bob call Russell a 4/5 and I agree that his slot.

I think I’d count Russell on his left, but not his right.

His historical numbers are much better on the left.

OriginalPouzar

Woodguy v2.0:
Going on Bob’s show at 12:35pmto talk about Dcorps,

Is the analysis (a) the top 4 D on the team play 60% of the available minutes or (b) actual legit NHL top 4 D play 60%?

I’m assuming (b) and, to start the season, with Reggie out, do the Oilers even have more than 2 top 4 D? Does Russell count if he’s on the right side?

Woodguy v2.0

Going on Bob’s show at 12:35pm to talk about Dcorps,

dustrock

Cameron:
dustrock,

Doug has probably geeked about this to you already, but the FUNHL specifically doesn’t track most of those stats, and only allows PIM to count for two roster spots. More complicated isn’t necessarily better.

If your fantasy league is telling you that Ovevhkin is obviously more valuable than McDavid (or Crosby, or Malkin) you are doing it wrong.

Hopefully you can read this through your tri-focals, Cameron. We’re beyond cutting out the Wednesday stats section to do our hockey drafts.

😀

Also no keepers, different teams every year. You guys complicate it in your own way.

matt

A. Concerning total Oilers scoring, I expect less from McDavid/Draisaitl than shown here (~10-15%), and slightly more from RNH, Lucic, and Kassian (again, 10-15%). The latter are smart, motivated, healthy veterans who should return to form. I think Caggiula is likewise smart and healthy and will continue to figure out where on the ice he is effective in this league.

B. Concerning comments above re Eberle, I don’t fault him for shot work following his shoulder injury, in an attempt to rehab and improve his shot. He’s a smart guy, and at least smart enough to hire professional help over the summer. He’ll be doing that this summer, including figuring where he had a prolonged cold spell in his scoring, where he had success during warm streaks, and what the best bet is for improvement (probably just further conditioning to let him better execute McLellan’s lessons). I expect him to score 60 points next year, marked by hot and cold streaks mixed in there, puck luck being what it is.

Bag of Pucks

Thinker:
Am I the only one who is anti math in procurement?

On this site? Probably.

flyfish1168

godot10: Eberle should not have read the press reviews/criticism of his shot.He has always scored, not with shot velocity, but with shot deception, shifting the angle of his shot. An off-speed pitcher shouldn’t try to make a living throwing fastballs.

He also had a coach telling him to shoot more and more quickly….i.e. basically to forget about all that deception and changing the shot angle by holding onto the puck a split second longer.

McLellan just wants you to bang the puck on net as fast as possible and go hunt down rebounds.Finesse skill on the wings is not viewed as an asset by this coach.

Jordan does not have a shoot 1st mentality. he rather do the dirty dingle dangle to the back of the net for YouTube. Fast hands but hands of stone for shooting. His 1 timer was worse than Nails. JMHO

Chachi

godot10: Eberle should not have read the press reviews/criticism of his shot.He has always scored, not with shot velocity, but with shot deception, shifting the angle of his shot. An off-speed pitcher shouldn’t try to make a living throwing fastballs.

He also had a coach telling him to shoot more and more quickly….i.e. basically to forget about all that deception and changing the shot angle by holding onto the puck a split second longer.

McLellan just wants you to bang the puck on net as fast as possible and go hunt down rebounds.Finesse skill on the wings is not viewed as an asset by this coach.

LOL!

Eberle has averaged 200 shots per 82 games throughout his career so far. Last season he took 208. “McLellan ruined him!” HA!

flyfish1168

Bag of Pucks: True dat.

If you’ve ever had a female stalker in your life, it’s better known by its alternate title. “THE SCARIEST MOVIE EVER MADE!!!”

Especially if they wear Prada

Gayfish

Am I the only one who is anti math in procurement? We just have nowhere near a reasonable amount of data.

Philosophil

I just have to ask – the roster chart lists Darnell Nursex…is this part of the Fatal attraction theme? asking for a friend.

Side

godot10: Eberle should not have read the press reviews/criticism of his shot.He has always scored, not with shot velocity, but with shot deception, shifting the angle of his shot. An off-speed pitcher shouldn’t try to make a living throwing fastballs.

He also had a coach telling him to shoot more and more quickly….i.e. basically to forget about all that deception and changing the shot angle by holding onto the puck a split second longer.

McLellan just wants you to bang the puck on net as fast as possible and go hunt down rebounds.Finesse skill on the wings is not viewed as an asset by this coach.

I disagree with this completely.

There were far too many times where Eberle received a pass, dusted the puck off, and by the time he was ready to shoot the goalie slid over and was in position to save it.

To suggest that McLellan just “wants you to bang the puck as fast as possible” makes it seem as if you don’t think one timers are a thing or are not more effective in certain situations.

I think it’s actually kind of insulting to Eberle to suggest that he somehow forgets how to score just because he was told he should release the puck more quickly…

godot10

jtblack:
frjohnk,

Eberle went from 25 Goals down to 20 after hiring a shooting coach and working on his shot ………..

Eberle should not have read the press reviews/criticism of his shot. He has always scored, not with shot velocity, but with shot deception, shifting the angle of his shot. An off-speed pitcher shouldn’t try to make a living throwing fastballs.

He also had a coach telling him to shoot more and more quickly….i.e. basically to forget about all that deception and changing the shot angle by holding onto the puck a split second longer.

McLellan just wants you to bang the puck on net as fast as possible and go hunt down rebounds. Finesse skill on the wings is not viewed as an asset by this coach.

frjohnk

Jethro Tull: This is where player tracking would come in handy, because if I didn’t know better, I swear that “McDavid should have shot there” is becoming a narrative.

As I mentioned before McDavid led the league in shot attempts from the slot last year.

He was 5th last year in “passes before shots/60” behind Crosby, Malkin, Getzlaf and Thornton.

But these stats do not track how many times a player gets into the prime shooting area.

My money bets that McDavid led the league in getting the puck into prime scoring spots last year.

Bag of Pucks

flyfish1168: Fatal Attraction

True dat.

If you’ve ever had a female stalker in your life, it’s better known by its alternate title. “THE SCARIEST MOVIE EVER MADE!!!”

Cameron

dustrock,

Doug has probably geeked about this to you already, but the FUNHL specifically doesn’t track most of those stats, and only allows PIM to count for two roster spots. More complicated isn’t necessarily better.

If your fantasy league is telling you that Ovevhkin is obviously more valuable than McDavid (or Crosby, or Malkin) you are doing it wrong.

flyfish1168

Bag of Pucks:

There’s hockey obsession and then there’s rabbit stew hockey obsession : )

Fatal Attraction

Bag of Pucks

Lowetide: God gives us all the same day, how we spend it is our personal choice. Tell me more about this rabbit stew of yours.

To quote every Hollywood Producer who ever lived, “You’re beautiful babe. Don’t ever change!”

leadfarmer

Brantford Boy:
McShane/McDavid would be a commentators worse nightmare… like covering a Swedish/Finnish game… McShane to McDavid, back to McShane, McShane saucers to McDavid, he McShoots and McScores!

I think we are going to see many more European players in the system with the recent signing of Vaclav Burda.

Stupid calendar says its stupid August still, bring on the hockey!Thanks for the 2x daily posts LT, you are a godsend…

Hockey would be taken over by Scottish football commentators

Jethro Tull

frjohnk:
stush18,

Jethro Tull,

Crosby went from 33 goals to 51 after working on his shot and knowing he was usually deferring to teammates in scoring chance opportunities.

On this blog during every game, it would be mentioend that McDavid should shoot more as he would be in a prime scoring location but pass the puck.Im sure he and the Oilers coaches saw in video many plays where he should have shot the puck.

With that said, McDavid did lead the league in shot attempts from the slot at 5 on 5.

And here I want him to get more selfish!!!

This is where player tracking would come in handy, because if I didn’t know better, I swear that “McDavid should have shot there” is becoming a narrative. Like “Hall falls over and turns that puck over alot.” When it can be proven that Hall is actually middle of the pack for turnovers and two of the top turnover players are Subban and P Kane.

magneto

frjohnk,

Sidney Crosby
2009-10
PIT
C
81 gm
51 G
58 A
109 P
1.35 P/GM

Sidney Crosby
2008-09
PIT
C
77 GM
33 G
70 A
103 P
1.34 P/GM

Interesting that his P/GM basically stayed the same, sacrificed playmaking for scoring

jtblack

frjohnk,

Eberle went from 25 Goals down to 20 after hiring a shooting coach and working on his shot ………..

jtblack

How much has player development changed? They used to draft a kid and wait for him to show up to camp and hope he was “in shape”. I see this has one of the biggest areas teams can improve in.

There has to be a way to Draft Better (Predictors like LT mentions); then with draft picks who already have a better chance to make it, there has to be better ways to develop the draftees for next level success.

Improve 10% – 25% in both areas and all of a sudden, the Pipeline is ALWAYS full and kids always graduating anf making an impact at the NHL level.

frjohnk

stush18,

Jethro Tull,

Crosby went from 33 goals to 51 after working on his shot and knowing he was usually deferring to teammates in scoring chance opportunities.

On this blog during every game, it would be mentioend that McDavid should shoot more as he would be in a prime scoring location but pass the puck. Im sure he and the Oilers coaches saw in video many plays where he should have shot the puck.

With that said, McDavid did lead the league in shot attempts from the slot at 5 on 5.

And here I want him to get more selfish!!!