The McDavid-Draisaitl Speedway

I knew we were in for something special Tuesday night when, earlier in the day, reports had Connor McDavid lingering on the ice after an optional practice to “work on things” in preparation for last night’s game. When the world’s best hockey player sets his jaw and gets that determined look, batten down the hatches, hasten down the wind. Connor McDavid blew the doors off the Montreal Canadiens, celebrating his reunion with Leon Draisaitl by setting up his winger once for each Stanley the opposition owns over a lifetime. It happened just this way.

THE ATHLETIC!

The Athletic Edmonton is going to bring it all season long. Proud to be part of a lineup that is ready to cover the coming year. Outstanding coverage from a large group, including Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis, Lowetide, Minnia Feng and Pat McLean. If you haven’t subscribed yet, now’s your chance. Best available offer is here!

  • New Jonathan Willis: After several failed attempts to fix their issues on the wings, it’s time for the Oilers to explore the trade market.
  • New Lowetide: Connor McDavid, a 50-goal season and chasing Phil Esposito’s magical 1970-71.
  • Lowetide: Oilers send Puljujarvi and Yamamoto to Bakersfield; recall Marody
  • Lowetide: Oilers trade options: Dealing from strength is finally a possibility.
  • Lowetide: What happens to the Oilers when Alex Chiasson’s hot streak ends?
  • Jonathan Willis: Under the circumstances, playing in the AHL affords Jesse Puljujarvi the best chance at career redemption.
  • Lowetide: A new day dawning for Oilers prospects in Bakersfield as increased usage means greater success.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: In depth: Embattled Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli defends his record, remains bullish on the future.
  • Lowetide: Future Oilers bubbling under in Bakersfield may get a look sooner rather than later.
  • Lowetide: Oscar Klefbom takes a step forward for the Edmonton Oilers.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Forty years later, remembering the forgotten trade that brought Wayne Gretzky to Edmonton.
  • Lowetide: Oilers reach a pressure point on defence and right wing.

OILERS AFTER 18

  • Oilers in October 2015: 6-12-0, 12 points; goal differential -11
  • Oilers in October 2016: 9-8-1, 19 points; goal differential -1
  • Oilers in October 2017: 7-9-2, 16 points; goal differential -7
  • Oilers in October 2018: 9-8-1, 19 points; goal differential -4

The 2018 team finally caught the 2016 playoff edition, and the goal differential corrected in a quick hurry as well. The issues that were exposed during the four game losing streak are still there, but the goaltending, second pair and secondary scoring showed up against the Habs. Quality of competition needs to be mentioned, despite its record the Canadiens had some issues maintaining the blue line last night. Then again, the Oilers were flying.

OILERS IN NOVEMBER

  • Oilers in November 2015: 2-4-1, five points; goal differential -5
  • Oilers in November 2016: 2-4-1, five points; goal differential -6
  • Oilers in November 2017: 3-3-1, seven points; goal differential -2
  • Oilers in November 2018: 3-4-0, six points; goal differential -2

Another nice correction, the win last night coming just in time. November under Todd McLellan has been nervous norvous the entire damned time. I’m not going to predict the rest of this month, but will say the turnaround in performance game over game by this Edmonton team Sunday to Tuesday was impressive.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM NOVEMBER?

  • At home to: Chicago (Expected 1-0-0) Actual (1-0-0)
  • On the road to: Detroit, Washington, Tampa Bay, Florida  (Expected 2-2-0) (Actual 1-3-0)
  • At home to: Colorado, Montreal (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • On the road to: Calgary (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Vegas (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: San Jose, Anaheim, Los Angeles (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Dallas, Los Angeles  (Expected 1-0-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 8-5-1, 17 points in 14 games 
  • Current results: 3-4-0, 6 points in 7 games

I had the first seven games going 4-3-0, so we’re just a little off but a win against the Flames gets things back to do (doe). I think this period, beginning against Colorado and then through Montreal, Calgary and Vegas, will define November. Could go either way.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Nurse-Benning had a fine evening, going 21-13 in 13:01, 14-9 shots, 3-1 goals and 5-4 HDSC. They were 12-6 in 6:04 with McDavid, meaning 9-7 without (and that’s good). Both men scored goals. Went 8-7 in 7:10 against Tatar-Danault-Gallagher, it was the best night by a second pairing in some time. A key key area, if Nurse-Benning can deliver as a second pair Edmonton has a much improved chance at making the playoffs. Encouraging, miles to go.
  • Gravel-Russell were 18-12 in 11:28, 8-4 shots, 2-0 goals and 2-1 HDSC. Went 1-0 with McDavid (13 seconds) so 17-12 without (!!) and that’s an impressive total for a third pairing. Went 8-6 in 5:37 against Deslauriers-Hudon-Peca, looks like Julien and McLellan agreed not to get too crazy on the line matches.
  • Klefbom-Larsson went 21-14 in 18:27, 10-9 shots 0-0 and 4-2 HDSC. Were 10-9 in 10:37 with McDavid, so 11-5 in 7:50 without, these are good numbers and have been (mostly) all season. Went 8-7 against Drouin-Domi-Shaw, 2-4 shots, 0-1 goals and 2-1 HDSC.
  • Mikko Koskinen stopped 27 of 29, .931. There is no goalie controversy. There is no goalie controversy. There is no goalie controversy. There is no goalie controversy. There is no goalie controversy. There is no goalie controversy. There is no goalie controversy. There is no goalie controversy. Right?
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Khaira-Brodziak-Kassian were 15-6 in 9:34, 7-3 shots, 1-1 goals and 1-1 HDSC. The only glaring item I saw was Khaira not anticipating the Hab coming out of the penalty box and a moment later Domi sniped the first Montreal goal. Kind of a fluke play. On the other hand, the entire line (plus Gravel and Russell) touched the puck on the Russell goal late in the game. It was nice to see, although Khaira was the only forward who got a point.
  • Caggiula-McDavid-Draisaitl went 22-12 in 15:07, 14-8 shots, 3-1 goals,  7-4 HDSC. McDavid was setting up Leon all night using everything but the score clock. Honestly, it was kind of insane how many chances didn’t go in the net. Could Leon have scored five? Yes. Yes he could have. Went 12-6 in 10:31 against Schlemko (poor guy, 97 slipped him like the pickpocket in Oceans Eleven) and Petry. Supreme night.
  • Rieder (3-6)/Lucic (4-2)-Nuge-Chiasson went 10-9 in 9:12, 3-7 shots, 1-0 goals and 2-2 in HDSC. Line settled down nicely with Lucic on it, were more effective that way in my opinion. Went 6-5 in 6:07 against Reilly-Juulsen. No report after the game on Rieder, beyond the fact not returning is in indication we might be looking at something substantial (via Todd McLellan).
  • Lucic-Strome-Rattie went 16-10 in 9:49, 10-4 shots, 1-0 goals and 2-0 HDSC. I liked the line, good things happening and they worked hard to keep things going in the right direction.Went 8-3 against Benn-Mete. Strome is starting to gather points here and there now has a goal and an assist in recent games.

STATS

  • Connor McDavid has moved up to No. 1 in the overall scoring race.
  • Leon Draisaitl is No. 7 in NHL goal-scoring.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is tied for No. 36 in NHL points.
  • Oscar Klefbom is tied for No. 37 in points by a defenseman.
  • Mikko Koskinen is No. 20 in SP by starters (five or more games), Cam Talbot is No. 41.
  • Cam Talbot is No. 28 in EV SP, Mikko Koskinen No. 30.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A fun show this morning, TSN1260, beginning at 10. Scheduled to appear:

  • Craig Button, TSN Opinionista, TSN Analyst & TSN Scout. We’ll talk about NHL teams and the best ‘Core 4 Under 24’ in the league.
  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal. I get to talk to Bruce after a win! That’s like a holiday!
  • Jon Campbell, Oddshark. We’ll talk Patriots Super Bowl odds, who gets Le’Veon Bell in the offseason and reporting injuries by league.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.

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271 Responses to "The McDavid-Draisaitl Speedway"

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  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: Todd Nelson’s 4.5 years in OKC, non-first rounders to NHL

    Wayne’s Flemings 3 years in Bakesfield, non-first rounders to the NHL:

    Brad Hunt
    Andrew Miller
    J. Khaira
    J. Laleggia
    Jordan Osterle
    Rob Klinkhammer
    T. Pitlick
    Anton Shlepyshev
    Dillong Simpson
    Bodgan Yakimov
    Iiro Pakarinan
    Anton Lander
    Laurent Brossoit
    Brad Malone
    Ethan Bear
    Keegan Lowe

  2. workaroundaccount says:

    VOR:
    So we are going to have Cam do a very simple version of the sort of training Steph Curry does:

    https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2693694-steph-currys-secrets-to-success-brain-training-float-tanks-and-strobe-goggles

    Every time the Oilers have a practice day we are going to train Cam Talbot’s ocular motor control. I am not going to bore you with either the math or the science just describe the simple exercises that would improve his performance on all three tasks. I will gladly explain in excruciating detail if you wish.

    Talbot is in in goal – by the way the purpose here is to overwhelm him with information. If you don’t train in information enriched environments you can’t increase your ability to process information. So the idea is to force his ocular motor muscles and his eyes to work very hard at the same time we are overwhelming his processing capacity.

    So four players are going to work with Cam Talbot on these drills. They can be anywhere on the ice as it happens as long as two are on each side of the royal road.

    So player 1 has the puck. He can’t shoot it. He has to pass it. Across the royal road. The next player can pass or shoot. And they can pass to a player on their side of the royal road or across it. Simple drill right.

    Except for a few things. Hockey players are competitive. And if they aren’t competitive enough you could always incentivize them one way or another. Also, after the first five shots on net you add a second puck. After the next five shots you add a third item, a tennis ball. After the next five you add a racquetball ball. Then you let the four players score on rebounds. Now chaos reigns.

    You keep doing this until every player on the team and all the coaches have done a set of 20 shots on net. Over a period of a few weeks Cam Talbot’s information processing ability and gaze fixing and Saccade speed will improve immensely. He becomes less likely to let in an early goal because he is processing the risk faster. His rebound control improves because he has been shaken out of the way he thinks about the objects being shot at him. He will react far earlier to the HDSC on the power play.

    No fancy equipment needed just a commitment from the players and coaches to innovation and team building – you all get it is a team building exercise right? Try playing hockey with a racquetball ball. Now try doing it with two hockey pucks and a tennis ball also in play. Improves everybody’s processing speed and makes fools of every player on the ice.

    Do I expect the Oilers to do it any time soon? Nope. But would it work? The science and math says it would.

    If there are any coaches who would like to try this with their teams, feel free.

    Group out of Edmonton has been doing that stuff with goalies for years. Jonathan Quicks breakout year came after working with them. Not sure the details on other clients they’ve had.

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10:
    Ty Rattie, the new #NailYakupov, discuss amongst yourselves.Loses his spot with McDavid because of an injury, and never gets a real chance to get it back.

    Huh? He was immediately returned to the top line for multiple games upon his return to the lineup. The line struggled mightily at 5 on 5 during those games. He’s played 1 full game away from 97.

  4. littleenglish says:

    VOR,

    I’d like the excruciating detail version please, I’m sure others would too.

    Also McDavid is no stranger innovative training, and as you probably knew, Sather and the Oilers too in the 80’s – though not sure if you are familiar with their involment with sports vision training.

    Here is a link: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/for-connor-mcdavid-freakish-athleticism-is-only-thebeginning/article34641993/

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: It was one game.

    It didn’t work against Anaheim in the playoffs two years ago.They had to be spit to be competitive.Nashville is three lines and four D deep.It likely won’t work against them.

    Begin as you mean to proceed is probably the best course of action.They have their contracts.Individual point totals don’t matter.Only playoff wins.

    It certainly worked during the regular season in 2016/17.

    A team needs to make it to the playoffs in order to win in the playoffs.

  6. VOR says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    Here are some Median’s you may find interesting. (note: BP = best player = leading 5v5 scorer.I know the leading 5v5 scorer is not always the “best” player, but its a good line in the sand for this type of study)

    17/18
    Median GF% BP On of Playoff Team 57.3%
    Median GF% BP On of Non-Playoff Teams 53.2%

    Median GF% BP Off of Playoff Team 50.1%
    Median GF% BP Off of Non-Playoff Teams 44.3%

    16/17
    Median GF% BP On of Playoff Team 57.5%
    Median GF% BP On of Non-Playoff Teams 52.6%

    Median GF% BP Off of Playoff Team 50.8%
    Median GF% BP Off of Non-Playoff Teams 43.4%

    15/16
    Median GF% BP On of Playoff Team 57.1%
    Median GF% BP On of Non-Playoff Teams 52.4%

    Median GF% BP Off of Playoff Team 49.9%
    Median GF% BP Off of Non-Playoff Teams 45.2%

    14/15
    Median GF% BP On of Playoff Team 57.4%
    Median GF% BP On of Non-Playoff Teams 50.9%

    Median GF% BP Off of Playoff Team 50.2%
    Median GF% BP Off of Non-Playoff Teams 46.3%

    13/14
    Median GF% BP On of Playoff Team 61.4%
    Median GF% BP On of Non-Playoff Teams 52.7%

    Median GF% BP Off of Playoff Team 49.6%
    Median GF% BP Off of Non-Playoff Teams 43.3%

    2013 (lock shortened)
    Median GF% BP On of Playoff Team 62.6%
    Median GF% BP On of Non-Playoff Teams 51.3%

    Median GF% BP Off of Playoff Team 50.3%
    Median GF% BP Off of Non-Playoff Teams 44.0%

    11/12
    Median GF% BP On of Playoff Team 58.3%
    Median GF% BP On of Non-Playoff Teams 51.0%

    Median GF% BP Off of Playoff Team 48.1%
    Median GF% BP Off of Non-Playoff Teams 45.1%

    10/11
    Median GF% BP On of Playoff Team 58.3%
    Median GF% BP On of Non-Playoff Teams 51.4%

    Median GF% BP Off of Playoff Team 51.6%
    Median GF% BP Off of Non-Playoff Teams 45.2%

    09/10
    Median GF% BP On of Playoff Team 57.4%
    Median GF% BP On of Non-Playoff Teams 53.5%

    Median GF% BP Off of Playoff Team 49.3%
    Median GF% BP Off of Non-Playoff Teams 44.1%

    08/09
    Median GF% BP On of Playoff Team 56.6%
    Median GF% BP On of Non-Playoff Teams 50.8%

    Median GF% BP Off of Playoff Team 50.0%
    Median GF% BP Off of Non-Playoff Teams 45%

    07/08

    Median GF% BP On of Playoff Team 59.7%
    Median GF% BP On of Non-Playoff Teams 51.9%

    Median GF% BP Off of Playoff Team 46.1%
    Median GF% BP Off of Non-Playoff Teams 45.6%

    Just a quick question or two or three.

    What does the distribution look like? Is the mean greater or lesser than the median? And what is the range?

  7. JimmyV1965 says:

    Primetime: Really?You feel the Devils are the best team we have played, or the team that looked best against us?We’ve played Boston, Nashville and Washington twice, Winnipeg and Tampa Bay…you think NJ is better than all of those teams?

    The Devils played us better than any other team this year. They were fast, aggressive, they clogged up lanes. I watched the Devils first four games and they dominated every opponent they played. Very well coached. Not sure what happened since then. Somehow they lost their groove.

  8. innercitysmytty says:

    VOR,

    Another issue with Talbot is because of his lack of puckhandling skills he covers the puck for a stoppage far too often which kills our transition game. This is noticeably better with Koskinen and many other goalies.

  9. VOR says:

    workaroundaccount: Group out of Edmonton has been doing that stuff with goalies for years. Jonathan Quicks breakout year came after working with them. Not sure the details on other clients they’ve had.

    There are actually a number of people who do sports vision training as it is most frequently called and others including researchers out of Laval who do information processing enhancement. There are even people who combine the two. All I am suggesting is that you do the exercises with the actual team the goalie plays on and my version was designed to use no fancy tools or expensive equipment and to be easy to execute.

  10. innercitysmytty says:

    VOR,

    Another issue with Talbot is because of his lack of puck handling skills he covers the puck for a stoppage far too often which kills our transition game. This is noticeably better with Koskinen and many other goalies.

    Edit: damn iPhone!

  11. VOR says:

    The point I am working towards is that innovation is everywhere in hockey and what was once the domain of a few pro teams is now in wide use with teams of all ages and playing abilities.

  12. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Wayne’s Flemings 3 years in Bakesfield, non-first rounders to the NHL:

    Brad Hunt
    Andrew Miller
    J. Khaira
    J. Laleggia
    Jordan Osterle
    Rob Klinkhammer
    T. Pitlick
    Anton Shlepyshev
    Dillong Simpson
    Bodgan Yakimov
    Iiro Pakarinan
    Anton Lander
    Laurent Brossoit
    Brad Malone
    Ethan Bear
    Keegan Lowe

    Nelson has a lot more if you could players who only had a game or two. I only counted players who stayed in the NHL for a significant period of time…more than a cup of coffee.

  13. JimmyV1965 says:

    Side: Not to poopoo on NJ but, Oilers now don’t seem to be the same team that played game 1.

    NJ’s success seems to depend on Hall and their goalie playing well.

    The Devils absolutely stream-rolled teams early on. It helped that Palmeiri was lights out. Obviously it was some kinda short term heater, but they were very good early. They were the best team I watched during the first couple weeks of the season.

  14. OriginalPouzar says:

    JimmyV1965: The Devils played us better than any other team this year. They were fast, aggressive, they clogged up lanes. I watched the Devils first four games and they dominated every opponent they played. Very well coached. Not sure what happened since then. Somehow they lost their groove.

    It happens all the time to teams – look at the Oilers, did the team that played against FLA and COL in any way resemble the team during the previous 10 games or the team we saw last night?

    PIT is a cup contender but just came off a 5-game losing streak – my guess is they didn’t look very good in those 5 games as compared to when they are playing well.

  15. JimmyV1965 says:

    OriginalPouzar: The Habs were 9-5-3 going in to the game last night.

    Any team can beat any other team on any given night and, given the Habs’ record with 9 wins, they are beating lots of teams.

    Full marks for the win.

    I think we sometimes put too much emphasis on a team’s record early in the season. The day we played Florida I made a post saying I had a terrible feeling about the game because the Panthers roster was much better than their record. They haven’t lost a game since then. Although I’m happy with the win last night and the team deserves full marks for their play, Montreal is a bad team and they played that way last night. I think they’re better than the preseason predictions, but they won’t make the playoffs.

  16. OriginalPouzar says:

    From LeBrun (at The Athletic):

    NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly did update Seattle expansion in the GMs meeting and his main message was that if the group was granted the franchise at the Dec. 3-4 Board of Governors, the one open issue remains the fact the league can’t say for sure right now if Seattle would open play in the fall of 2020 or the fall of 2021 because of the uncertain timeline with the KeyArena reconstruction. One GM, according to a source, asked Daly in the meeting if the expansion draft rules would indeed be the same as what Vegas got and the answer was a firm yes from Daly. So that’s that.

  17. Melvis says:

    leadfarmer: Yeah lived there 89-95.Just in time to get hooked.
    The North Stars moving away ensured that I would hate Dallas for life and remain an Oil fan. Them beating the Oil made me hate them more.
    Haven’t been to Edmonton in 25 years.
    Would like to make it back some time for a home game.
    But Chias Oilers keep pushing that back.
    So I usually get my Oil fix at the Xcel center in St. Paul

    That’s a prettay good hockey town. Your comment reminded me of a sweet moment caught in the glare of of a spotlight wearing a North Stars jersey back in the 70’s, resulting in a standing O.

    Both embarrassing and heady.

  18. leadfarmer says:

    innercitysmytty:
    VOR,

    Another issue with Talbot is because of his lack of puck handling skills he covers the puck for a stoppage far too often which kills our transition game. This is noticeably better with Koskinen and many other goalies.

    Edit: damn iPhone!

    Smith is probably the best puck handling G in the league
    And this season the worst goalie
    Puck handling for G is like thunderous body checks for D
    Sure it’s nice to have but far from a necessity

  19. leadfarmer says:

    Melvis: That’s a prettay good hockey town. Your comment reminded me of a sweet moment caught in the glare of of a spotlight wearing a North Stars jersey back in the 70’s, resulting in a standing O.

    Both embarrassing and heady.

    The NHL did itself a huge disservice by letting North Stars move.
    Now they are still the third biggest hockey game in town
    After gophers hockey and high school hockey
    If you make it to the twin cities during the state high school hockey tournament find a local bar
    You will not regret it. Some of the most fun I’ve ever had watching hockey
    At least the parts I remember

  20. Richard S.S. says:

    Any place with long cold (sub-zero) winters has Hockey. Lots of Hockey, just to keep people/young people out of trouble.

  21. Side says:

    godot10: It is like McLellan doesn’t even realize what he said about Rattie in a press conference a month ago…that teams bringing him up played him in the bottom six, a different role that he had in the AHL, where he was top six.So he failed.

    So Rattie is being set up for failure again.Just like Yakupov.Just like Puljujarvi.

    Now I am rather skeptical of Rattie’s ability to play top six.But I am even more certain that it is more likely he will fail in the bottom six than in the top six.

    First Rattie is not an NHL player, then you’re comparing him to Nail Yakupov, now you’re saying he deserves a chance in the top six.

    I think you need a break from the internet for awhile.

  22. VOR says:

    littleenglish:
    VOR,

    I’d like the excruciating detail version please, I’m sure others would too.

    Also McDavid is no stranger innovative training, and as you probably knew, Sather and theOilers too in the 80’s – though not sure if you are familiar with their involment with sports vision training.

    Here is a link: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/for-connor-mcdavid-freakish-athleticism-is-only-thebeginning/article34641993/

    Thanks for the link. I knew about the stuff the Oilers were doing in the 1980s.

    Now remember that you asked.

    This is still going to be a gross simplification and I will gladly peel off layers of the onion but I worry about losing people if I get to complicated right of the bat.

    All the research I am about to describe was done using the EyeSeeCam Gaze, a high-speed, portable videooculography system that recorded eye and head velocities, eye positions, and eye and head accelerations (angular and linear) at 300 frames/sec. To obtain head position, the head velocity was numerically integrated using the Trapezoidal Rule and a reference starting head position as the
    integration constant.

    I think sometimes I don’t explain myself at all well. I do biomechanical research and build models and I never get around to explaining exactly what I do. When I have time and resources I do original and highly proprietary bio-medical research, usually as part of a much larger team.

    As part of my longest running project over the last few years I did a long series of experiments on large amplitude gaze movements in goalies (I used other players and members of the public as control). The goalies ranged in age from 12 to 60 included both sexes and a large number of races. They had a wide range of experience, talent, and skill. Most had some formal training – goaltending workshops primarily.

    Large amplitude gaze movements are those in which you move both your head and your eyes.

    I looked at two things. Saccadic speed – how long to refocus once you have moved your head and eyes. And ability to process what you are seeing, as measured by catching a thrown ball. During these tests I kept adding more and more complexity to the visual field. Basically I was doing a version of Steph Curry’s catching tennis balls while dribbling a basketball but while we were doing it we were measuring gaze movements.

    Then we did the exercise I described above once a week for ten weeks. Then I retested. The exercises improved Saccadic speed very slightly on average but it wasn’t statistically significant. But the ability to catch the thrown ball as visual confusion and complexity increased improved immensely.

    We then followed the test subjects over the next year to see if their goal tending performance improved. It did. And if it sustained, which it did. These effects were modest but widely distributed throughout the test population.

    I did Saccade tests on the subjects before and after the program and the following year.

    My colleagues and I are working on replicating all of this work and refining the process then we plan to publish. By the way, the goal tenders are just Guinea Pigs. We are chasing much bigger fish starting with understanding how the brain uses neural networks to turn visual input into processed information. But hockey players make great test subjects for visual information processing since the sport is so visual, complicated and fast.

    I am 33 years into studying this problem and think I may finally be getting close to understanding it.

    In a very real way it has lead directly or indirectly to all the other projects I am engaged in. What I coach/teach athletes is how to process better and faster. If you like, how to think about their sport at a better, higher level. Then I started working with scouts, rather accidentally. Talk about having a visual processing challenge. I am doing work on skating biomechanics because, as is probably apparent it isn’t how fast you skate it is how fast you think the game that matters – the better you process the faster you skate in terms of effective skating.

    And I only mention all of this because there seem to be people, a lot of people, who think hockey is stuck in the 1950s and there is no innovation. No, there are hundreds, probably thousands of people like me doing interesting research, producing new technologies, and changing the face of coaching. Most don’t work for the NHL or NHL teams but the number with access to the pros keeps going up and up.

    If the Oilers don’t use the innovations of others I would be surprised and a little disappointed.

    Later this evening I will provide a similar summary of the math involved. I am wondering if anybody would be interested in me going in greater detail and explaining what we learned about goaltenders eye movements in greater detail. Maybe there are some goaltenders or goaltending coaches who might be interested.

  23. Halfwise says:

    VOR,

    I would be interested in how you deal with people who don’t believe that it is possible to think the game at a higher level.

    I am at the stage of my working career where I get to coach younger people. Obstacle #1 is the belief that there is nothing more to be learned.

  24. Glovjuice says:

    VOR:
    And here is a fascinating article introducing some of the ideas of the extremely innovative neuro-psychologist Dr. Sonia Coelhe Mosch.

    I was gonna be one those but didn’t.

  25. OmJo says:

    godot10: It is like McLellan doesn’t even realize what he said about Rattie in a press conference a month ago…that teams bringing him up played him in the bottom six, a different role that he had in the AHL, where he was top six.So he failed.

    So Rattie is being set up for failure again.Just like Yakupov.Just like Puljujarvi.

    Now I am rather skeptical of Rattie’s ability to play top six.But I am even more certain that it is more likely he will fail in the bottom six than in the top six.

    The thing about the Rattie demotion is he played well. He didn’t earn being demoted to the Strome line.

    That said, he did look good on that line, too. Could have had a couple of goals yesterday.

    Can’t pass up a chance to zoom Caggiula.

  26. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    Aside from you moving the goal posts, I mostly agree.

    It is disappointing that the only non-first rounder drafted and developed by the Edmonton Oilers on the current roster is Jujhar Khaira. And Kyle Brodziak.

    Miles to go.

    Thankfully the current crop looks promising, even by outside observers.

  27. OriginalPouzar says:

    OmJo: The thing about the Rattie demotion is he played well. He didn’t earn being demoted to the Strome line.

    That said, he did look good on that line, too. Could have had a couple of goals yesterday.

    Can’t pass up a chance to zoom Caggiula.

    but its not necessarily about any individual player or players being demoted or promoted, its about finding combinations that are going to give the team the best chance to win that night.

    I agree that Rattie had generally played well on the first line but the line wasn’t producing recently and definitely not at the levels that the team needs from a McDavid long to consistently give them a chance to win the game.

    Perhaps McLellan took a look at the Habs defence without a true top pairing and, with last change, knowing if he creates the duo that he knows can be the most dynamic in the league on any given night, they will almost assuredly have a strong game?

    Maybe he was looking to give a little spark to the third line, give them a different look and try and get them going?

    All four lines played well last night – sure, the Habs aren’t great and had a tough night for a middling team (their record notwithstanding) – the Oilers took advantage of that.

    I give full kudos to the coach for a number of adjustments that worked out.

  28. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    VOR: Just a quick question or two or three.

    What does the distribution look like? Is the mean greater or lesser than the median? And what is the range?

    All the data is in the link.

  29. --hudson-- says:

    VOR,

    I’ll read tomorrow if you have time, currently at an event.

    Your discussion on decision making is really interesting as well. The field of machine learning has a discipline called reinforcement learning (although I’m sure you already know this). Similar to markov decision processes. Also similar to Boyd Cycles or agile frameworks. Observive > Orient > Decide > Act
    http://www.richardhughesjones.com/john-boyd-strategy/

    “Boyd’s was guided in his work by one simple principle: he wanted to give pilots a fighter that would outmaneuver any enemy. He knew it mush have a high thrust-to-weight ratio if it were to have neck-snapping acceleration. And he knew it had to have lots of wing in order to maneuver quickly into the firing envelope. It had to have the energy to disengage, go for seperation, then come back into the fight with an advantage. It had to have the fuel to penetrate deep into enemy territory and sustain a prolonged fight.“

    I like the RL approach a little more since it’s nondeterministic. Sometimes when you decide to take action 1, event A happens and other times event B occurs. (These are the algorithms used for self driving cars.)

    Really interesting stuff, you hear the media talk about it as fast hockey now.

  30. VOR says:

    Woodguy v2.0: All the data is in the link.

    What link?

  31. innercitysmytty says:

    leadfarmer,

    I was responding to VOR’s question about other things that Talbot may be poor at, so just pointing that out. I agree that puckhandling in the Brodeur or Smith sense is certainly not a necessity and is somewhat over-rated. My point should have been more clear around the fact that he tends to needlessly cover the puck for a whistle far more often than I see from a lot of goalies in the league, which I think tends to stifle our transition play. By puckhandling, I meant more the little chip plays to D, etc to keep the play going. By not doing that it slows down our transition and leads to more defensive zone faceoffs than necessary.

  32. OriginalPouzar says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    Aside from you moving the goal posts, I mostly agree.

    It is disappointing that the only non-first rounder drafted and developed by the Edmonton Oilers on the current roster is Jujhar Khaira.And Kyle Brodziak.

    Miles to go.

    Thankfully the current crop looks promising, even by outside observers.

    There are 3 that have legit shots at some NHL games this year (although I hope they stay where they are for as long as possible) in Lagesson, Jones and Bear.

  33. dangilitis says:

    “There is no goalie controversy. Right?”

    If I had to think about the top 3 players I wish the team had not given up on, who could have really helped the current team, it would be:

    Devan Dubnyk
    Taylor Hall
    Jeff Petry

    In that order. Steady goaltending is invaluable.
    Funny to think that had they kept Petry, they wouldn’t have had to go after Reinhart or Larsson. If they had Dubnyk, we wouldn’t be spending 5+ million per year on mediocre to below replacement goaltending tandems

  34. Bank Shot says:

    dangilitis:
    “There is no goalie controversy. Right?”

    If I had to think about the top 3 players I wish the team had not given up on, who could have really helped the current team, it would be:

    Devan Dubnyk
    Taylor Hall
    Jeff Petry

    In that order. Steady goaltending is invaluable.
    Funny to think that had they kept Petry, they wouldn’t have had to go after Reinhart or Larsson. If they had Dubnyk, we wouldn’t be spending 5+ million per year on mediocre to below replacement goaltending tandems

    The only one I regret is losing Hall.

    If the Oilers had kept Dubnyk and Petry they probably don’t end up with McDavid, and the core of Hall-RNH-Eberle was never going to win anything.

  35. dangilitis says:

    Bank Shot,

    I don’t think Petry or Dubnyk would’ve kept the team out of the basement that season

  36. drglen says:

    Bank Shot: The only one I regret is losing Hall.

    If the Oilers had kept Dubnyk and Petry they probably don’t end up with McDavid, and the core of Hall-RNH-Eberle was never going to win anything.

    Nobody saw Dubnyk coming back. Those were dark, dark days. Over and over again Bob Stauffer saying … ‘that’s a save he’s just gotta have Jack!”

    And didn’t he go to Montreal first, and then was a backup and then actually demoted to the farm in the Montreal system? (or am I thinking of Scriverns) ..

    Anyway, it looks like a terrible move now but he was just not stopping pucks. What are you supposed to do.

    I do agree that they were never going to win with Eberle… I still think that .. but he keeps scoring for New York.

    Hall, it’s too bad. Could have been a room /culture issue. But man could we use him now. Most nights Hall was our best player pre McDavid, but I also remember he kept trying to beat the other team 1 on 1 with drag moves and such, and resulted in many many turnovers. I really see how he has matured and the leadership he demonstrates.

    Petry was actually a good defenseman. Maybe it was just an issue that he wanted to much. Petry was definitely not the problem with those teams.

  37. drglen says:

    OriginalPouzar: but its not necessarily about any individual player or players being demoted or promoted, its about finding combinations that are going to give the team the best chance to win that night.

    I agree that Rattie had generally played well on the first line but the line wasn’t producing recently and definitely not at the levels that the team needs from a McDavid long to consistently give them a chance to win the game.

    Perhaps McLellan took a look at the Habs defence without a true top pairing and, with last change, knowing if he creates the duo that he knows can be the most dynamic in the league on any given night, they will almost assuredly have a strong game?

    Maybe he was looking to give a little spark to the third line, give them a different look and try and get them going?

    All four lines played well last night – sure, the Habs aren’t great and had a tough night for a middling team (their record notwithstanding) – the Oilers took advantage of that.

    I give full kudos to the coach for a number of adjustments that worked out.

    I think Todd really likes and values Rattie actually. I don’t think it’s a demotion , .. He just had a hunch about the muckiness and chaos that drake might add on that top line, .. and a hunch that Rattie would get into scoring position for some good passes on the other line, and he did.

    Drake, and Rattie, Rieder, Chaisson, will move up and down the lineup on given games. I think this is good actually.

  38. drglen says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    Aside from you moving the goal posts, I mostly agree.

    It is disappointing that the only non-first rounder drafted and developed by the Edmonton Oilers on the current roster is Jujhar Khaira.And Kyle Brodziak.

    Miles to go.

    Thankfully the current crop looks promising, even by outside observers.

    Ya JJ has turned out to be pretty effective…. he’s playing heavy and has a bit of speed. When he checks with that momentum, he can be intimidating. I’m real happy for him and I like him on the team. Having said that, he would also be a valuable trading piece in some scenerios.

  39. OriginalPouzar says:

    drglen:

    I do agree that they were never going to win with Eberle… I still think that .. but he keeps scoring for New York.

    5 goals and 4 assists this year to go with his -6 – on a team with a positive goal differential of plus 10.

    All advanced metrics negative, all relative metrics negative including -16 RelGF%.

    A quarter of the way in (almost), he is NOT having a good season.

  40. drglen says:

    Bank Shot,

    Well. Actually mcdavid was an absurdly lucky random number generation. Unless you mean if we kept those guys we would not qualify for the lottery. Just slightly too good. Maybe. But. Nahh. Wed have still been bad

  41. drglen says:

    OriginalPouzar: 5 goalsand 4 assists this year to go with his -6 – on a team with a positive goal differential of plus 10.

    All advanced metrics negative, all relative metrics negative including -16 RelGF%.

    A quarter of the way in (almost), he is NOT having a good season.

    Yikes. Thats yak like

  42. Bank Shot says:

    drglen:
    Bank Shot,

    Well. Actually mcdavid was an absurdly lucky random number generation. Unless you mean if we kept those guys we would not qualify for the lottery. Just slightly too good. Maybe.But.Nahh. Wed have still been bad

    I was just thinking of the butterfly effect. If MacTavish would have made good decisions instead of bad ones the Oilers might have missed out on McDavid.

    So I wouldn’t change a single decision leading up to the lucky number generation that granted us McDavid.

  43. SwedishPoster says:

    How about this for debuts. 17 year old Joshua Karlsson, 2020 eligible, 6’8 D, in his first game with the men’s team in allsvenskan gets a match penalty after demolishing his opponent after 5 minutes of play.

    https://www.expressen.se/sport/hockey/hockeyallsvenskan/17-aring-far-matchstraff-efter-den-fula-tacklingen/

  44. drglen says:

    You know there were still alot of scorable looks for montreal in that game. We were lucky a few times

    By my eye it was more on the forewards than the d.

  45. Pescador says:

    Bank Shot: I was just thinking of the butterfly effect. If MacTavish would have made good decisions instead of bad ones the Oilers might have missed out on McDavid.

    So I wouldn’t change a single decision leading up to the lucky number generation that granted us McDavid.

    Agreed, this can’t be overstated.

  46. Pescador says:

    SwedishPoster:
    How about this for debuts. 17 year old Joshua Karlsson, 2020 eligible, 6’8 D, in his first game with the men’s team in allsvenskan gets a match penalty after demolishing his opponent after 5 minutes of play.

    https://www.expressen.se/sport/hockey/hockeyallsvenskan/17-aring-far-matchstraff-efter-den-fula-tacklingen/

    fick straff efter Indeed!!
    He got blowd da fuckup

  47. Soup Fascist says:

    SwedishPoster:
    How about this for debuts. 17 year old Joshua Karlsson, 2020 eligible, 6’8 D, in his first game with the men’s team in allsvenskan gets a match penalty after demolishing his opponent after 5 minutes of play.

    https://www.expressen.se/sport/hockey/hockeyallsvenskan/17-aring-far-matchstraff-efter-den-fula-tacklingen/

    If that kid is 17, Lowetide is like 29.

  48. Bruce McCurdy says:

    leadfarmer: Smith is probably the best puck handling G in the league
    And this season the worst goalie
    Puck handling for G is like thunderous body checks for D
    Sure it’s nice to have but far from a necessity

    I’d make the case that a good puckhandling goalie is like a good fielding pitcher, he can really help himself but not if he can’t get anybody out doing his primary function.

  49. Professor Q says:

    drglen: Nobody saw Dubnyk coming back. Those were dark, dark days. Over and over again Bob Stauffer saying … ‘that’s a save he’s just gotta have Jack!”

    And didn’t he go to Montreal first, and then was a backup and then actually demoted to the farm in the Montreal system? (or am I thinking of Scriverns) ..

    Anyway, it looks like a terrible move now but he was just not stopping pucks. What are you supposed to do.

    I do agree that they were never going to win with Eberle… I still think that .. but he keeps scoring for New York.

    Hall, it’s too bad.Could have been a room /culture issue. But man could we use him now.Most nights Hall was our best player pre McDavid, but I also remember he kept trying to beat the other team 1 on 1 with drag moves and such, and resulted in many many turnovers. I really see how he has matured and the leadership he demonstrates.

    Petry was actually a good defenseman. Maybe it was just an issue that he wanted to much. Petry was definitely not the problem with those teams.

    It went:

    2 games with Nashville, with their goalie coach being appalled with how he was taught (not the first time Edmonton’s goalie coaching staff would take heat…hence why Chabot was fired, and I’m not sure Peeters was any better), and I believe was expressing doubt in him learning anything or something along those lines.

    A few games with the Hamilton Bulldogs (when they were an AHL team).

    A few games with Arizona, where he was 5-0-1.

    Then finally, Minnesota, and we know how that turned out.

  50. OriginalPouzar says:

    SwedishPoster:
    How about this for debuts. 17 year old Joshua Karlsson, 2020 eligible, 6’8 D, in his first game with the men’s team in allsvenskan gets a match penalty after demolishing his opponent after 5 minutes of play.

    https://www.expressen.se/sport/hockey/hockeyallsvenskan/17-aring-far-matchstraff-efter-den-fula-tacklingen/

    Match penalty for being 3/4 of a foot taller than the attacker who had his head down and was leaning forward putting himself in a vulnerable position.

  51. OriginalPouzar says:

    Professor Q: It went:

    2 games with Nashville, with their goalie coach being appalled with how he was taught (not the first time Edmonton’s goalie coaching staff would take heat…hence why Chabot was fired, and I’m not sure Peeters was any better), and I believe was expressing doubt in him learning anything or something along those lines.

    A few games with the Hamilton Bulldogs (when they were an AHL team).

    A few games with Arizona, where he was 5-0-1.

    Then finally, Minnesota, and we know how that turned out.

    EDM traded him of Matt Hendricks

    NSH traded him for future considerations

    MTL waived him (no takers)

    MTL traded him for for a 3rd round pick (Brendan Warren – a low scoring winger for Michigan)

    Seems EDM did the best (other than MIN of course)

  52. Dee Dee says:

    Professor Q,

    http://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/18219503/nhl-career-salvation-minnesota-wild-goalie-devan-dubnyk-did-not-come-easy

    From Dubnyk himself.

    During the 2013 draft MacTavish goes shopping for Schneider from the Devils and it gets into Dubnyk’s head. He gives up 22 goals in the first 5 games.

    Dubnyk has no bitterness toward the Oilers, grateful for them for giving him his start.

    “[But] my journey is that I had to really crash and burn, and it took me to Arizona,” he said, “where I was just so grateful at that point just to have a job in the NHL.”

    Sean Burke goalie whispered him

    from: https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/big-read-dont-ever-count-minnesota-wild-keeper-devan-dubnyk/

    His goals against soared to 3.36 and his save percentage dipped into the .890s. Fans and media were on him. “It’s not a place to be when things aren’t going good,” Dubnyk says, roughly akin to an ant pinned under a magnifying glass bemoaning the sun.

    ” I was thinking about every game way too much. In Edmonton and the rest of that awful year, I dug myself deeper and deeper, game to game.”

    That’s how things went sideways for Dubnyk before, but he thinks that Minnesota sets up for him much better than Edmonton did. “It’s a different environment here,” he says. “The fans are so supportive. Away from the rink they’re just very respectful and that’s not always the case other places.” He didn’t want to exhume stories about the struggles in Edmonton. “What’s done is done,” he says.

    and finally ….

    Minnesota could wind up facing Edmonton, where fans and media chased him out of town.

    Notice that Team and Coaches are not on that list.

  53. Ryan says:

    godot10: It was one game.

    It didn’t work against Anaheim in the playoffs two years ago.They had to be spit to be competitive.Nashville is three lines and four D deep.It likely won’t work against them.

    Begin as you mean to proceed is probably the best course of action.They have their contracts.Individual point totals don’t matter.Only playoff wins.

    It did work during the regular season.

  54. Ryan says:

    drglen: Nobody saw Dubnyk coming back. Those were dark, dark days. Over and over again Bob Stauffer saying … ‘that’s a save he’s just gotta have Jack!”

    And didn’t he go to Montreal first, and then was a backup and then actually demoted to the farm in the Montreal system? (or am I thinking of Scriverns) ..

    Anyway, it looks like a terrible move now but he was just not stopping pucks. What are you supposed to do.

    Hall, it’s too bad.Could have been a room /culture issue. But man could we use him now.Most nights Hall was our best player pre McDavid, but I also remember he kept trying to beat the other team 1 on 1 with drag moves and such, and resulted in many many turnovers. I really see how he has matured and the leadership he demonstrates.

    Petry was actually a good defenseman. Maybe it was just an issue that he wanted to much. Petry was definitely not the problem with those teams.

    – “If you have to ask the question…”

    – “We really challenged him on a one-year contract…”

    – “You can only have so many four million dollar defenseman.”

    Yeah, certain things the Oilers did in the past really drive me crazy.

    The Petry debacle was one of them for a multitude of reasons.

    1. The Oilers failed to both realize that puck moving right shot d have tremendous value around the league and to get any value from the player in trade.

    2. The one-year contract was such a horrible way to manage the asset.

    3. I think they saw Sekera as an upgrade at the same cap cost and really didn’t focus on maximizing the asset.

    4. They were the last team in the league to realize the importance of that “lefty righty” thing.

  55. frjohnk says:

    Talbot in the first 5 minutes has allowed a goal in 3 of his 13 starts.
    Koskinen in the first 5 minutes has allowed a goal in 1 of his 5 starts.

    Geez, I thought Talbot was allowing a goal in every game within 5 minutes.

  56. Professor Q says:

    Dee Dee,

    Yeah, thanks for adding. Not to be in a competition with you or anything but sorry for forgetting about our terrible fanbase (it happens to too many players).

    I still stand by the goalie coaching being a part of it, even if you disagree. I think the proof being in the pudding there with Peeters and then Chabot (even if a wee bit “scapegoat” style).

    He really noticed differences training with Ancilia, Mason, Josh Tucker, Burke, etc. Changing his personal fitness plan and using strobe goggles to add distraction and barriers while trying to stop balls and pucks.

    None of which was occurring in Edmonton.

    Now, he does credit Chabot with laying his foundation. So there is absolutely that. But I do remember the Nashville staff (Trotz, etc.) questioning what was going on in Edmonton with Dubnyk having so many flaws still. So there is also that.

    https://thehockeywriters.com/dubnyk-standing-tall-in-wild-crease/

    “Upon his arrival in Music City, Dubnyk was subject to some harsh criticism from then-Predators head coach Barry Trotz, “We got Devan from Edmonton, and what we realized very quickly was that Devan has a lot of… I’ll say bad habits he’s picked up this year.”

    After Dubnyk stumbled out of the gate and allowed five goals in his Nashville debut Trotz added, “I don’t want to throw him under the bus. He’s got to be a lot better. He’s a veteran hockey player in the National Hockey League. I felt that three of the five goals were very stoppable in this league. It wasn’t a great game for him, but at the same time it was his first game, first trade, new city, so we’re getting used to him and he’s getting used to us.””

    Another eye-changing plan would be Hall, who decided to use that eye tracking brain-trainer thing after going to New Jersey. Interesting science, this.

  57. frjohnk says:

    I was curious on how Drai and McDavid compare to Crosby and Malkin over the years.

    5 on 5
    Drai/McDavid since 15-16 have a GF/60 of 3.83 in 1238 mins. GF% of 59%
    Crosby/ Malkin since 2007 have a GF/60 of 4.52 in 1355 mins. GF% of 60%

    Pens duo from 07-08 to 09-10 GF/60 of 4.64 in 879 mins
    10-13 GF/60 of 6.29!!!! in 248 mins
    Since 13-14, GF/60 of 2.1 in 228 mins.

  58. Glovjuice says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I’d make the case that a good puckhandling goalie is like a good fielding pitcher, he can really help himself but not if he can’t get anybody out doing his primary function.

    I good puck handling G can make a D’s function easier and less dangerous on occasion.

  59. Glovjuice says:

    Dee Dee:
    Professor Q,

    http://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/18219503/nhl-career-salvation-minnesota-wild-goalie-devan-dubnyk-did-not-come-easy

    From Dubnyk himself.

    During the 2013 draft MacTavish goes shopping for Schneider from the Devils and it gets into Dubnyk’s head. He gives up 22 goals in the first 5 games.

    Dubnyk has no bitterness toward the Oilers, grateful for them for giving him his start.

    “[But] my journey is that I had to really crash and burn, and it took me to Arizona,” he said, “where I was just so grateful at that point just to have a job in the NHL.”

    Sean Burke goalie whispered him

    from: https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/big-read-dont-ever-count-minnesota-wild-keeper-devan-dubnyk/

    His goals against soared to 3.36 and his save percentage dipped into the .890s. Fans and media were on him. “It’s not a place to be when things aren’t going good,” Dubnyk says, roughly akin to an ant pinned under a magnifying glass bemoaning the sun.

    ” I was thinking about every game way too much. In Edmonton and the rest of that awful year, I dug myself deeper and deeper, game to game.”

    That’s how things went sideways for Dubnyk before, but he thinks that Minnesota sets up for him much better than Edmonton did. “It’s a different environment here,” he says. “The fans are so supportive. Away from the rink they’re just very respectful and that’s not always the case other places.” He didn’t want to exhume stories about the struggles in Edmonton. “What’s done is done,” he says.

    and finally ….

    Minnesota could wind up facing Edmonton, where fans and media chased him out of town.

    Notice that Team and Coaches are not on that list.

    A great example of YEG fans contributing to an environment which I posit could conceivably make it ‘impossible’ to ever win a cup again. Which, of course, is being enabled and exacerbated by the modern digital-information overload age. I think most other Canadian cities are in the same boat – with YEG and YYZ being worst.

  60. OriginalPouzar says:

    frjohnk:
    Talbot in the first 5 minutes has allowed a goal in 3 of his 13 starts.
    Koskinen in the first 5 minutes has allowed a goal in 1 of his 5 starts.

    Geez, I thought Talbot was allowing a goal in every game within 5 minutes.

    I generally don’t derogate Talbot for the early goals (as often they are mainly a function of team breakdown – although make a damn save) but, in addition, I think he gave up the first shot of the game in one game where it came at about the 10 minute mark so wouldn’t be included in your stats above.

  61. pts2pndr says:

    Halfwise:
    VOR,

    I would be interested in how you deal with people who don’t believe that it is possible to think the game at a higher level.

    I am at the stage of my working career where I get to coach younger people. Obstacle #1 is the belief that there is nothing more to be learned.

    So you are working with teenagers!😉

  62. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Glovjuice: A great example of YEG fans contributing to an environment which I posit could conceivably make it ‘impossible’ to ever win a cup again. Which, of course, is being enabled and exacerbated by the modern digital-information overload age.I think most other Canadian cities are in the same boat – with YEG and YYZ being worst.

    – This is for sure the case…Edmonton is an outlier market in professional sport

    – It’s the most northern professional sport, amongst the smallest population base, amongst the least wealthiest in terms of demographics and corporate bases. Based on a random event, we built a great hockey team in the 80’s, and it has created today a sense of entitlement (and legacy management) that is on par with the Yankees.

    – Green Bay is kind of the closest example: but they have had an amazing run for decades (and a league structure that makes them very rich)

    – Playing in Edmonton: a one sport town, a small town, so many eyes focused on the team.

    – My impression was the teams that most suited the local fans psyche were those 90’s Oil teams, that had a lot of heart, fought like heck and lost to more talented, better run, wealthier organizations.

    – Teams that making the playoffs had a material effect on the ownership

    – But as the owner of the Oil: it would be awesome: get the best player in hockey in a random event, get the fans to pay for the arena, hang out with your buddies

    * and if/when we win Cup(s), the fan base will be “it could have been more” It’s a fascinating local fan base…

  63. pts2pndr says:

    Glovjuice: I good puck handling G can make a D’s function easier and less dangerous on occasion.

    The puck in hockey is somewhat like a grenade in combat. Being good at throwing a grenade is preferable to not being good in that being bad at it can be a killer. Therefore if you aren’t good at it don’t do it. Slight over simplification but I’m sure everyone gets the point! A goalie passing the puck back to the shooter rather than freezing it being a case in point! Talbot is not a good puck handler Koskinen appears to be a good puck handler. ( small sample size)

  64. Wilde says:

    Dee Dee: Notice that Team and Coaches are not on that list.

    This sentiment, echoed by two posters after you, is not correct in my view.

    The traditional media is an extension of the team in Edmonton.

    The media ran quotes about Dubnyk that MacTavish didn’t have to give them.

    Several reporters at several different times have come down on Puljujarvi; Yakupov before him.

    Horcoff, Hall, Eberle, Schultz.

    The media IS the team. They’re operating in unison, they carry out the team’s will in terms of shaping the view to the fans. They are not innocent, not even accessories or merely complicit, they are the perpetrator themselves.

  65. Lowetide says:

    For The Athletic: The past, present and future of the Andrej Sekera contract and its possible impact on the Oilers’ trade deadline:

    https://theathletic.com/652205/2018/11/15/the-past-present-and-future-of-the-andrej-sekera-contract-with-the-oilers/

  66. Wilde says:

    I think if the ownership, coaching, and management staffs were all fiercely protective of the players and the team, the fanbases view would be different and the weather would be the worst part about playing there.

    Also, the team would win more.

  67. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Wilde:
    I think if the ownership, coaching, and management staffs were all fiercely protective of the players, the fanbases view would be different and the weather would be the worst part about playing here.

    Also, the team would win more.

    – Here’s the challenge this team has though on that IMO:

    a) management is not protective of the the players (as there are different “management” structures), and they have conflicting agendas.

    b) The GM and coach aren’t on the same page (and the Coach wasn’t hired by the GM)

    c) Based on the 80’s team, there is a culture of entitlement that is difficult to reconcile with the realities of professional sport (I think I know something about winning is the summation of this ethos)

    – Having all of Gretz, Lowe, MacT, then another lawyer of operations (Chia and Coach), then Nicholson, and of course Katz on the top: it’s not run properly: all of ownership, coaches, management tiers and fans have allegiances to different factions, and that’s not going away

    * for instance MacT and Lowe got fired from their jobs, and replaced by on paper more competent Managers and Coaches. yet they co-exist: that doesn’t occur in management of any company that I would invest in.

  68. Professor Q says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    Bill Scott and Duane Sutter are the true puppet masters, I think.

    :p

  69. Wilde says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: c) Based on the 80’s team, there is a culture of entitlement that is difficult to reconcile with the realities of professional sport (I think I know something about winning is the summation of this ethos)

    – Having all of Gretz, Lowe, MacT, then another lawyer of operations (Chia and Coach), then Nicholson, and of course Katz on the top: it’s not run properly: all of ownership, coaches, and fans have allegiances to different factions, and that’s not going away

    C) I don’t know how true that is anymore. It was nigh-impossible to publicly criticise the Oilers in 2016-17 in front of the Oilers fanbase without facing backlash. This place was about the only one where you wouldn’t get torn apart for merely mentioning past missteps, and even here you’d still get ample push-back. When the team won, that was good enough for literally every single Oilers fan I talked to irl – or, they were too afraid to mention their doubts. Either way, my (anecdotal) experience runs counter to this assertation.

    Just take in the atmosphere when this team is on a winning streak. Note the ratio of positive to negative verbal. Just a playoff team will satisfy most fans, with the other part freely mentioning that it should be more when you have McDavid, but still in good spirits.

    I agree re: my ideal of ownership/management/coaching PR strategy versus what we have now. It’s not possible, people at this stage of their life and career won’t flip all the way to the other side. I was more speaking to one of my three wishes, and something somewhat unpopular that I truly feel strongly about. The team should protect itself, the coach protect the players during losing streaks, bark back at ill-spirited questions. It’s the right thing to do in the digital age. Don’t criticise your own in public, at least not in the first 40 options.

    If you had that, and you were winning, I think the fans would join the same side, even with the spirit of discussion and criticism still alive. It’d come from a better place when the media isn’t influencing them with the most convenient dollar number.

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