Tell No One

The strangest firing of a coach—technically a demotion—saw Al MacNeil take over as head man of the Nova Scotia Voyageurs only weeks after coaching the Montreal Canadiens to the Stanley Cup in 1971. MacNeil’s crime? Correctly identifying that John Ferguson was eroding (replaced by Bobby Sheehan for a time, and then carried to the finish line by a young Rejean Houle who played wing on the other side and did all the checking) and that there were nights when the Habs had three centers better than Henri Richard.

One minute MacNeil was saying “I have no comment on my decision to bench John Ferguson”, the next minute Henri Richard said “(MacNeil) is incompetent. The worst coach I’ve ever played for” and bam! Scotty Bowman is the new head coach in Montreal. Firing the coach is the easiest, and therefore the busiest, way of addressing a team’s shortcomings. Todd McLellan’s Oilers have been an opportunity missed so far, we’ll see if today brings any news. My guess is we’re close to a move, with the season in the balance and recent performances so very poor. No one likes to see people lose jobs, but there is an inevitability about this situation hanging in the Edmonton air this morning. The Oilers spent the weekend worrying about Matt Tkachuk and what Ryan Strome didn’t bring, and they gifted four points to the enemy. Very bad.

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: A list of which Oilers are likely to be traded.
  • New Tyler Dellow: Ryan Strome for Ryan Spooner looks like a change for change sake
  • New Lowetide: Oilers No. 1 Prospect winter 2018: Evan Bouchard.
  • Jonathan Willis: Tobias Rieder will miss a critical month, creating problems for Edmonton but opportunities for its players.
  • Tyler Dellow: If nothing changes, Oilers should buy out Milan Lucic next summer.
  • Lowetide: The past, present and future of the Andrej Sekera contract.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Elmer Benning on his 47 years as a scout (excellent article).
  • Jonathan Willis: After several failed attempts to fix their issues on the wings, it’s time for the Oilers to explore the trade market.
  • 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.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Klefbom-Larsson were 15-12 in 18:21, 13-8 shots, 0-2 goals and 4-3 HDSC. A weird weekend, the top pairing was porous, Larsson had three shots to Klefbom’s two and Oscar blocked five shots! Duo played in some poor luck but need to be better. Karlsson line went 7-5 Corsi 5-on-5 with a pair of goals against the Swedes.
  • Garrison-Russell went 8-13 in 11:19 together, 2-6 shots, 2-5 HDSC and no goals.  Russell is more effective on third pair, I like him with Kevin Gravel more than Garrison. Pair were 3-6 against the Tuch line but were also 1-0 in goals.
  • Nurse-Benning were high event and that shouldn’t be their role. Were 10-19 in 13:58, 5-9 shots, 2-2 goals and 2-3 HDSC. The Benning pass to Drake Caggiula was a Monty Python sequence and an instructional video for ‘is our children learning?’ Gack! Were 3-8, 1-1 goals against the Eakin line. The pairings minutes were reduced on the weekend, partly due to Nurse’s Saturday night fight.
  • Cam Talbot stopped 25 of 31, .806. I think he is a little lost these days, but the Golden Knights are a fine shooting team. Doesn’t matter of course, Mikko Koskinen is eating his lunch. Still, I’m not going to bury Talbot, Edmonton still has a chance and they’ll need him. Talbot is bleeding free-agent dollars now though. Man.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Lucic-Marody-Russell is the least likely combination ever, but were 15-8 in 11:40, 9-4 shots and 5-1 HDSC. I mean honestly. Went 9-5 in five minutes against McNabb-Miller. I wonder what Tyler Benson would look like on this line.
  • Caggiula-McDavid-Draisaitl were 18-17 in 16:31, 10-9 shots, 2-2 goals and 5-4 HDSC. Went 11-3 against Engelland, 11-7 against McNabb, 9-4 against Holden and 5-7 against Miller. McDavid looked frustrated for much of the game, perhaps trying to do too much. However, he also did some things that were other-worldly.
  • Spooner-Nuge-Chiasson were 7-15 in 10:21, 6-6 shots, 0-1 goals and 0-3 HDSC. This line isn’t working so far, Nuge can’t seem to pass the puck lately and Spooner is serving as an alarm for impending doom when stepping on the ice. Lordy.
  • Khaira-Brodziak-Kassian were 1-12 in 12:16, 0-1 goals. Disaster. 0-5 HDSC. Barf.

OBSERVATIONS

The stats above. Do you enjoy them? Let me know.

  • Ryan Spooner: He’s a good NHL player but in two games Spooner is showing up in some bad video. He lit the runway for Pacioretty while never impacting a thing. Classic ‘also in photo’ play.
  • Ty Rattie was a healthy scratch.
  • In the two games since Ryan Strome has been traded, the PK hasn’t been able to keep opponents off the scoresheet.
  • Cooper Marody did some good things with the puck last night.
  • Leon Draisaitl is a fine young player, needs a little more refinement without the puck but he’s going to have a long successful career as an above average NHL player. In my opinion.
  • Zack Kassian isn’t as noticeable as Patrick Russell.
  • Alex Chiasson sure scores goals a lot.

OILERS AFTER 20

  • Oilers in October 2015: 7-12-1, 15 points; goal differential -8
  • Oilers in October 2016: 11-8-1, 23 points; goal differential +7
  • Oilers in October 2017: 7-11-2, 16 points; goal differential -13
  • Oilers in October 2018: 9-10-1, 19 points; goal differential -9

The 2018 team is now closer to the 2017 edition than the playoff group of 2016. The current Oilers are on pace to finish about the same as the group from last year. The 2017-18 team was 36-40-6 for 78 points, this year’s team would come in about 37-41-4, 78 points. That’s going to get everyone fired. This season needs a turnaround quickly, that usually means a coaching change.

OILERS IN NOVEMBER

  • Oilers in November 2015: 3-5-1, seven points; goal differential -2
  • Oilers in November 2016: 2-6-1, five points; goal differential -11
  • Oilers in November 2017: 4-4-1, nine points; goal differential +3
  • Oilers in November 2018: 3-6-0, six points; goal differential -7

The gales of November have been a consistent issue for McLellan’s Oilers, the team is bleeding out in real time. What’s more, and this is going to be an issue for this week, much of the future is in Bakersfield. Is that a good idea? Does playing the complementary players above (Spooner, Patrick Russell) give the team productive time to further develop Jesse Puljujarvi and Kailer Yamamoto? Or are they the first two men back from Bakersfield when the change comes.

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 0-1-0)
  • At home to: Vegas (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • 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: 3-6-0, 6 points in 9 games

This isn’t yet a complete disaster and it cannot be one. I have the Oilers winning three more games this month, that gets them to 12 points in 14 games. You can recover from that kind of a run, but man it can’t be worse than 6-8-0 on November 30.

PERSONAL OPINION

I believe the Oilers are going to replace the coach in the coming days. A strong trip to the west coast could save Todd McLellan’s job but we’re not even sure he’ll be on the plane. My stated opinion has been this all along: He didn’t have the horses. I can’t tell you how much impact he had on the trades that sent away all the goals, but if we agree the coach coaches and the general manager procures, then firing the coach today means ownership didn’t aim high enough. In my opinion.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we’ll kick start Grey Cup week in Edmonton! Scheduled to appear:

  • Cameron DaSilva, Ramswire. We’ll preview Chiefs-Rams.
  • Jason Gregor, TSN1260. Oilers in peril, Grey Cup week gives us a dynamite rematch.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Stay close to your electronic devices, we might see something.

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347 Responses to "Tell No One"

« Older Comments
  1. BONE207 says:

    Oilman99,

    good love boys”club

    Did they confuse the hockey club with the Whore house?

  2. bendelson says:

    stevezie,

    Hockey game aside, yesterday was a wonderful day. My wife got me a pair of Stevezie socks for my birthday.! True story.

  3. Lowetide says:

    VOR: Tim is a fascinating option. The problem is that there is a lot more to being a GM than being good at hockey analytics. And Tim is of course one of the pioneers of the field. But he has no management training or experience that I know of anyway.

    And no offense to Tim, he’d tell you this himself, but there is a new generation of analysts out there with new stats and new ways of thinking about stats and I’d prefer to move to the cutting edge, especially since real time tracking is about to revolutionize hockey data.

    Heading up your stats department you need somebody who can handle massive data sets, build technology, find opportunities, turn it into meaningful stats for coaches and managers. I’d be trying to recruit Alyssa Longmuir if I was GM. But I’d also be asking Toronto for permission to talk to Sheldon Keefe. Keefe is the only coach I have ever heard of who uses analytics in real time while actively coaching a game. I think that is the future.

    I’m absolutely certain Tim Barnes is at the cutting edge of hockey analytics. Going to call you on this one, VOR. There’s simply zero reason to suggest Mr. Barnes is behind anyone in analytics. He’s not injured or close to retirement. 🙂

  4. Ribs says:

    I imagine Vic would not be free to take on the role anyway. There’s gotta be some heavy non-compete clauses in these analytics position contracts.

  5. pts2pndr says:

    UnjustEnrichment:
    The psychology of effective coaching has been ignored for far too long by the current head coach. You need to use more than a whip to get the players playing for you. And you have to talk to them in ways that elicit their support and confidence. You need to teach and show, not lecture and demean. Todd Nelson understood that. The current coach does not.

    Correct and it’s called leadership!

  6. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    godot10:
    This is the defense that Dallas beat Trotz’s stingy surprising Islanders last night (6-2) with on the road.

    Heiskanen age 19 career GP 20
    Lindell age 24 career GP 177
    Honka age 22 career GP 77
    Polak age 32 career GP 705
    Gleason 20 career GP 3
    Hanley 27 career GP 26
    Bayreuther 24 career GP 2

    A good coach (in Dallas, Montgomery, Bowness, with Nelson running the D) can still win with nothing.

    McLellan’s roster is still far better than the one Krueger and the one Nelson had when they coached the Oilers, and he is only in the 70 something point range that they achieved with far less.

    Heiskinen is going to ruin my bet on Dallas single-handedly.

    The Athletic DAL writer (don’t know his name) says people are saying they remind them of Niedemeyer and Lidstrom.

    Doesn’t make mistakes ever and skates like the wind.

    He’s 19 and is their #1Dman with Klingberg out.

    I bet when Klingberg gets back they feed Heiskinen to the wolves (like they did with Hamhius-Pateryn last year) and give Klingberg all the offensive situations where he excels.

  7. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Ribs:
    I imagine Vic would not be free to take on the role anyway. There’s gotta be some heavy non-compete clauses in these analytics position contracts.

    When you hire away from another org it has to be a promotion.

    Tim is “Director of Analytics” for WSH.

    I’m not sure if assistant GM is a promotion.

    If they push K.Gretzky to the GM chair I’d certainly call WSH about Vic.

  8. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    stephen sheps:
    It’s time for the 3rd edition of the Weekly Yak.

    SKA played in 4 games this week, winning all 4.

    Yak played in 3 of 4 games, registering a goal and 4 shots.
    His current stat line is 18gp, 8-5-13, good enough for 3rd on the team in goals and 8th in points despite only playing in 18 of SKA’s 29 games.

    Ex-Oiler Anton Belov scored his 1st goal of the season this week as well, just in case anyone cared.

    SKA has now played approximately 50% of their season, and while Yak is not an every day player, he seems to be contributing on a very talented and deep team.

    This has been your weekly Yak.

    Thanks for the update Stephen

  9. frjohnk says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Heiskinen is going to ruin my bet on Dallas single-handedly.

    The Athletic DAL writer (don’t know his name) says people are saying they remind them of Niedemeyer and Lidstrom.

    Doesn’t make mistakes ever and skates like the wind.

    He’s 19 and is their #1Dman with Klingberg out.

    I bet when Klingberg gets back they feed Heiskinen to the wolves (like they did with Hamhius-Pateryn last year) and give Klingberg all the offensive situations where he excels.

    Klingberg is one of the better Dmen in the league.

    Heiskenen will be better than him.

  10. VOR says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I had lunch with Tim a month ago.

    What’s he’s doing now is years and years past the old days.

    The volume of data some teams have access to is massive and what they’re able to do with it to identify player characteristics (both good and bad) is fascinating.

    Oh I have no doubt Tim’s thinking has progressed since 2014. Nor do I doubt for a moment that he has been inspired and reinvigorated by access to all that data. However, we are talking about an approaching paradigm shift and the teams that get on board first will gain real advantage.

    So how do you get on board?

    You hire a GM who believes in math and science and in working their butt off to stay current and get out in front of new technology and trends. They hire the best mid career number managers and the best mid career science managers they can find. Those managers hire great young minds from top data science, bio science, bio-medical engineering, bio-mechanics, and computer science, AI, and business analytics programs – with the odd outlier, hired for their creativity and drive. Then you start hiring coaches who can and will use data and bio-science in their day to day coaching practice. But what all those people share in common is they speak jock, mostly because they are jocks.

    You start with the Philadelphia Eagles model and you jump far, far ahead of that. You don’t want people who can use statistics to do analytics. You don’t want people who can think of new statistics, you want people who can create entire new statistical tools, even new entire new statistical disciplines. A bold new world is coming and the Oilers can make up for years of crap and ineptitude by being early adopters.

  11. frjohnk says:

    Woodguy v2.0: When you hire away from another org it has to be a promotion.

    Tim is “Director of Analytics” for WSH.

    I’m not sure if assistant GM is a promotion.

    If they push K.Gretzky to the GM chair I’d certainly call WSH about Vic.

    If the Oilers hire an “ analytics GM” certain media in Edmonton would have their heads explode.

  12. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    GriffCity:
    Bob Nicholson at the end of last season, and i am paraphrasing. ” If the fans could just understand the plan, we have a plan at work, we need to stick with the plan”

    Really Bob? Was trading Strome for Spooner part of the master plan all along? Good grief. That was like a few years ago when the Oilers fired all the equipment staff and stick boys lol, that’ll show em, that’s true accountability right there.

    Oilers defence is a mess and goaltending not nearly good enough to bail out the mistake-laden defence. Really glad they didn’t sign Nurse to a big money long term deal because he is junk. Benning? Woof – AHL defenceman. Klefbom has been munching a lot of minutes but plays too soft, never hits ever, and has 0 goals to show for all his ice time.– Not an elite offensive d-man at all. Larsson, mostly steady, but the trade is one for one…FML. Russell, honest, hard worker, bottom pair type. This back end coupled with sub-par goaltending is going to lead to nowhere. PC, you’re fired. TM, you’re fired. Bob, you’re fired!

    Hi Griff.

    It’s been a while.

    Good post.

    Not a word out of place.

  13. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    frjohnk: If the Oilers hire an “ analytics GM” certain media in Edmonton would have their heads explode.

    It would be the gift that keeps on giving!!

  14. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    frjohnk: Klingberg is one of the better Dmen in the league.

    Heiskenen will be better than him.

    Klingberg is one of the best “offensive Dmen” in the leauge.

    He’s like Burns and Karlsson in that they give up a ton and can go through stretches of giving up way more than they create.

    That said, DAL has done a good job of sheltering him from the toughest matchups and his fancies shine like a diamond because of it.

  15. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Heiskinen is going to ruin my bet on Dallas single-handedly.

    The Athletic DAL writer (don’t know his name) says people are saying they remind them of Niedemeyer and Lidstrom.

    Doesn’t make mistakes ever and skates like the wind.

    He’s 19 and is their #1Dman with Klingberg out.

    I bet when Klingberg gets back they feed Heiskinen to the wolves (like they did with Hamhius-Pateryn last year) and give Klingberg all the offensive situations where he excels.

    Like I told you at beginning of season. They have their #1 D. They just don’t know it yet. He will beat Klinberg by the end of the year
    Gave Pronman plenty of warnings about his Heiskanen and Pettersson ratings. If they weren’t in your top 5 then what are you doing

  16. leadfarmer says:

    who: No you wouldn’t.
    Do you really think Russell would have signed here for 2 mil?

    I think we were negotiating with ourselves. He didn’t want to go anywhere other than here Or Calgary

  17. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    leadfarmer: Like I told you at beginning of season.They have their #1 D.They just don’t know it yet.
    Gave Pronman plenty of warnings about his Heiskanen and Pettersson ratings.

    I’m a lot like McLellan in that I don’t trust rookies at all.

    Most take a while to learn the NHL.

    Heiskinen and Petterson are unreal out of the box (neither saw the NHL in their draft +1 year)

    Dahlen is killing it too, but everyone expected that (he’s getting 2nd pair minutes now, but that will change)

    All 3 are high high end skaters too.

    Not a coincidence.

    That’s why Bouchard will take a while to stop leaking 5v5.

  18. VOR says:

    Lowetide: I’m absolutely certain Tim Barnes is at the cutting edge of hockey analytics. Going to call you on this one, VOR. There’s simply zero reason to suggest Mr. Barnes is behind anyone in analytics. He’s not injured or close to retirement.

    I am going to call you right back.

    Ask yourself this, would you rather have the Philadelphia Eagles Analytics Department or the Washington Capitals?

    If it is the Eagles you want to emulate it isn’t Tim you want, is it?

  19. VOR says:

    What I am saying is this:

    I don’t want to be at the cutting edge of hockey analytics. I want to be at the cutting edge of analytics.

  20. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Dr. Taboggan:
    I think the scariest part of this season is Chia making more bad trades. Chia & Tmac don’t survive another lost season. Chia might fire the coach. He will also likely make trades. How much more talent will the oilers bleed?

    I think the trade was ok.

    Off to a shitty start.

    Playing Spooner with RNH and Chiasson and giving them 2nd line comp is a disaster though.

    I’d go:

    23-97-8(should be 98)
    93-29-39

    97 needs guys who can shoot.

    29 needs 93 to play F1 with 22 out, 39 can shoot.

    Putting 23-93-39 together isn’t good.

    39 isn’t fast enough to help on the back check on 23 is good in the ozone and not really anywhere else.

    It will cause more GA vs 97’s line, but I think they score enough to compensate.

  21. stephen sheps says:

    frjohnk: If the Oilers hire an “ analytics GM” certain media in Edmonton would have their heads explode.

    I for one welcome that day, both in terms of the potential results that an analytics GM might bring and to see that collective explosion occur. Hell I’d even fly back to Edmonton to see it in the flesh.

  22. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I’m a lot like McLellan in that I don’t trust rookies at all.

    Most take a while to learn the NHL.

    Heiskinen and Petterson are unreal out of the box (neither saw the NHL in their draft +1 year)

    Dahlen is killing it too, but everyone expected that (he’s getting 2nd pair minutes now, but that will change)

    All 3 are high high end skaters too.

    Not a coincidence.

    That’s why Bouchard will take a while to stop leaking 5v5.

    Heiskinen and Dahlen (obv) are two more data points (among many others) who point to “future #1 Dmen make themselves known early in their career’

    If they player is going to be a solid #1 you know pretty quickly. No 200 games needed.

  23. stephen sheps says:

    VOR: I don’t want to be at the cutting edge of hockey analytics. I want to be at the cutting edge of analytics.

    Yup, absolutely. You and me both!

    It’s possible to be both, though and it’s also possible that “Vic” is at that edge in his role in WSH. We simply don’t know for sure.

    You want the Eagles? I want the Houston Astros. Jeff Luhnow is still finding ways to innovate years after the tank job that brought them Altuve, Correa and Bregman, and their pro scouting department might be even better than their amateur scouting.

  24. Lowetide says:

    VOR: I am going to call you right back.

    Ask yourself this, would you rather have the Philadelphia Eagles Analytics Department or the Washington Capitals?

    If it is the Eagles you want to emulate it isn’t Tim you want, is it?

    I think if you’re going to imply Tim Barnes is lagging you need to bring more than fancy verse. I’ve seen no evidence for your claim, and since Barnes was once part of this (and others) community, I’m going to send it back over the net. You are framing an issue. That’s fine. However, Barnes is working in the NHL with information at a level none of us can detail. So, failing written confirmation of the gap between Barnes actual knowledge and that of the outer marker you are suggesting, I’m going to side with Mr. Barnes.

  25. digger50 says:

    McSorley33:
    Milan Lucic is 4th on the team for TOI / gm – nearly 15 minutes per game.

    Sabotage.

    Meanwhile Pontus Aberg continues to show that he may have more talent than say…..

    Brodziak or Kassian or Lucic or Khaira or ….

    At 24 years oldand a $650k salary is it possible Aberg is a better player than Lucic?
    ( Aberg: 6 goals + 2 Assists = 8 points in 16 games)

    No, this is just not possible. Hes just not good enough to make the Oilers!

    Seriously, I don’t know, but it does appear that Pontus is just another example of poor evaluation. You always miss on a few, but it seems to be happening over and over.

  26. CrazyCoach says:

    I’m surprised there is not word from the upper echelons of Oilers management today. Is there a huddle going on or is Katz hiring a group of indiscriminate people dressed in black suits to clean out the entire front office tomorrow?

    I feel for TMAc, I really do. As a member of the coaching fraternity, getting released is not easy. It’s never happened to me personally, but I have been in the position he is in right now. Almost 20 years ago, the association I coached for, in its finite wisdom, decided that the best way to get kids ready for their second year in bantam and more importantly, the WHL draft, was to ice a team of primarily 1st year bantams (cap of 5 2nd year kids) and call it a Bantam “minor” team as opposed to the “Major” team. Forget all the research on growth and development and Long Term Athlete Development and let’s go for a strategy drawn up on a napkin. Good theory, but the reality was we were listed as a “AAA” team with “AA” talent at best with kids who weren’t quite there due to many maturation calendars. We got hammered all season long and I do believe we once tied another team in our league, but the rest was lopsided victories. It was hard to play well, because we simply didn’t have the talent, and no AA teams were going to allow us into their tourneys. Two did and I believe we placed third in both. As an aside, I remember playing KofC out of Edmonton and this kid named Shawn Belle totally decimated us physically.

    Anyway, after a long season, we went to play in the Abbottsford Intl. tourney where we got smoked and thoroughly injured. I couldn’t wait for the season to end, but my girlfriend at the time, who knew her hockey kept telling me I simply didn’t have the talent to compete and that I should just keep it positive for the kids and help them develop. It was a tough year trying to make diamonds out of horse crap.

    But, on the other hand, I once inherited a team that was 2-5 in a 16 game season (university) then took them on a 9 game winning streak which saw us lose the final 2 games to 1. Nothing changed really. Same players, but I was more of a tactician than an authoritarian and I simply let the boys play and play they did.

    Sometimes, a breath of fresh air is needed, and it’s nothing personal between coaches.

    Just my two cents

  27. --hudson-- says:

    Don’t know if any of you saw this. Last night Anaheim’s dcore consisted of:
    Josh Manson 279 gp
    Montour 129 gp
    Marcus Pettersson 42 gp
    Jacob Larsson 15 gp
    Andy Welinski 15 gp
    Josh Mahura 1 gp

    They went to OT last night and lost to the Avs. Will be interesting to see what the Oilers bottom 6 can do against competition of that inexperience later this week.

  28. Bank Shot says:

    frjohnk: If the Oilers hire an “ analytics GM” certain media in Edmonton would have their heads explode.

    I just want them to hire someone good. More importantly they need to clean out the residue that keeps sticking around.

    I remember Dellow opining that an educated lawyer type would run circles around the ex-jocks that mostly populated the GM crowd ten years ago.

    Now the Oilers have a lawyer in charge and everyone is pining for Yzerman the ex-jock.

    Hiring an analytics guy would be good if they can find one with a proven track record of success managing in hockey. Dubas has done well. Chakya not so much. OIlers tried to go analytics under Eakins and that was a colossal failure.

  29. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Heiskinen and Dahlen (obv) are two more data points (among many others) who point to “future #1 Dmen make themselves known early in their career’

    If they player is going to be a solid #1 you know pretty quickly. No 200 games needed.

    I think there are two peaks. The early guys and the not early guys

  30. drglen says:

    Has anybody been fired or traded yet. Or are the oilers doing the ostrich strategy

  31. Bank Shot says:

    leadfarmer: I think there are two peaks.The early guys and the not early guys

    Chara and Giordano would fall in the latter category.

  32. CrazyCoach says:

    Bank Shot: Now the Oilers have a lawyer in charge and everyone is pining for Yzerman the ex-jock.

    As much as analytics guys don’t want to be seems Eggheads with no social life, I’m pretty sure guys like Steve Yzerman don’t want to be seen as merely an ex jock. Yzerman is/was successful as a GM, because he asked a lot of questions to seek answers he didn’t have.

    Let’s not dismiss the man because of his stellar career as an athlete.

  33. Kaptain Vikarious says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I’m a lot like McLellan

    🙂

  34. Dustylegnd says:

    VOR:

    You start with the Philadelphia Eagles model and you jump far, far ahead of that. You don’t want people who can use statistics to do analytics. You don’t want people who can think of new statistics, you want people who can create entire new statistical tools, even new entire new statistical disciplines. A bold new world is coming and the Oilers can make up for years of crap and ineptitude by being early adopters.

    I can not think of anything less likely happening in Edmonton as long as McTavish, Green, Howson and Sutter have an organizational pulse, what is more likely, is Chia somehow keeps his job and hires Darrel Sutter as head coach

  35. Dustylegnd says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I’m a lot like McLellan in that I don’t trust rookies at all.

    All 3 are high high end skaters too.

    Not a coincidence.

    That’s why Bouchard will take a while to stop leaking 5v5.

    The Oilers need to get Bouchard in touch with Barb Underhill stat……once again the Oilers have a sub-optimal solve re their skating coach….I have heard no one sing the praises of David Peltier……much like our Goalie coaches….this stuff is not that hard…..is it?????

  36. Glovjuice says:

    GriffCity:
    Bob Nicholson at the end of last season, and i am paraphrasing. ” If the fans could just understand the plan, we have a plan at work, we need to stick with the plan”

    Really Bob? Was trading Strome for Spooner part of the master plan all along? Good grief. That was like a few years ago when the Oilers fired all the equipment staff and stick boys lol, that’ll show em, that’s true accountability right there.

    Oilers defence is a mess and goaltending not nearly good enough to bail out the mistake-laden defence. Really glad they didn’t sign Nurse to a big money long term deal because he is junk. Benning? Woof – AHL defenceman. Klefbom has been munching a lot of minutes but plays too soft, never hits ever, and has 0 goals to show for all his ice time.– Not an elite offensive d-man at all. Larsson, mostly steady, but the trade is one for one…FML. Russell, honest, hard worker, bottom pair type. This back end coupled with sub-par goaltending is going to lead to nowhere. PC, you’re fired. TM, you’re fired. Bob, you’re fired!

    All this is said perfectly according to Glovjuice. This poster is brilliant. luv it. More please. Holy crap, the Strome for Spooner is ALREADY TERRIBLE – WTF.

  37. Bank Shot says:

    Dustylegnd: The Oilers need to get Bouchard in touch with Barb Underhill stat……once again the Oilers have a sub-optimal solve re their skating coach….I have heard no one sing the praises of David Peltier……much like our Goalie coaches….this stuff is not that hard…..is it?????

    The person with the biggest name isn’t necessarily the best.

    I mean Gary Roberts blew up after it got out that Stamkos trained with him, but lots of scrubs also attend Biosteel camps every offseason.

  38. Bag of Pucks says:

    Why would Maclellan insert a player like Spooner into the lineup before he’s even had a chance to practice with the team? Seems like hubris for Maclellan to think that was ever going to work, especially in a rough rivalry game. Russell and Marody at least play a comparable system in Bakersfield.

    So the player gets off to a poor start and suddenly everyone’s second guessing the trade already. Dumb.

  39. McSorley33 says:

    Dustylegend nails it……we are calling for change yet this organization actually STILL
    employs McTavish and Howson.

    They do so with a straight face.

    Cannot believe there has been no announcement….

  40. Dustylegnd says:

    Bank Shot,

    Her results speak for themselves….where is the compelling stories of exponential improvement associated with Peltier

  41. Gerta Rauss says:

    McSorley33: Cannot believe there has been no announcement….

    I think there was an indirect announcement when Stauffer tweeted “wheels up”

    The team plane was in the air and TMac was on it

    I think he’s still on the clock, and I’d guess the Oilers would rather do the deed while on the road anyway

  42. Dustylegnd says:

    Bank Shot: The person with the biggest name isn’t necessarily the best.

    I mean Gary Roberts blew up after it got out that Stamkos trained with him, but lots of scrubs alsoattend Biosteel camps every offseason.

    Pretty sure Connor still trains with Roberts…..what a scrub

  43. Professor Q says:

    Dustylegnd: The Oilers need to get Bouchard in touch with Barb Underhill stat……once again the Oilers have a sub-optimal solve re their skating coach….I have heard no one sing the praises of David Peltier……much like our Goalie coaches….this stuff is not that hard…..is it?????

    And to think Edmonton once hired a renowned Power Skating Skills coach for quite a long period. Whatever happened to Steve Serdachny, anyway? Why was that the relationship to sever, and not those with the poor management heads?

    Hopefully he’s doing well with Pro Hockey Selects.

  44. Dustylegnd says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    I think some of Todd’s family still lives in SJ, maybe they can call him a cab after the game and send him to his real home

  45. Gerta Rauss says:

    Dustylegnd,

    lol

    I feel bad for him-he’s a good coach and (I’m assuming) he’s a good man, but it’s time for him to go

    Pete as well, but we know that won’t happen

  46. Bank Shot says:

    Dustylegnd: Pretty sure Connor still trains with Roberts…..what a scrub

    Paul Bisonette was a big Biosteel guy as well.

    I’m just trying to say that a skating coach or a goalie coach or Gary Roberts can only do so much with the talent of the student, and I don’t know if just going out and chasing the biggest names is going to necessarily have tangible results.

  47. Dustylegnd says:

    Bank Shot,

    Fair point, and I do have confirmation bias after reading the article in the Athletic about how she changed Brayden Point’s skating from “adequate” to exceptional….maybe it was just the student

  48. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bank Shot,

    OIlers tried to go analytics under Eakins and that was a colossal failure.

    That’s not really true though.

    What exactly are you referring to?

    Now the Oilers have a lawyer in charge and everyone is pining for Yzerman the ex-jock.

    Well he wasn’t a Harvard educated lawyer like most assume.

    He did his undergrad at Harvard on a hockey scholarship and then tried to play pro hockey in England for a year so he’s kinda a “failed jock” type with a U of Ottawa law degree. (U of Ottawa isn’t a bad law school, middle of the road for Canadian Universities if what I read is to be believed.)

  49. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    leadfarmer: I think there are two peaks.The early guys and the not early guys

    No question.

    The vast majority are early guys though.

    Many fans have looked at many “toolsey” 23 year old Dmen wishing them to be the late ones only to be disappointed.

  50. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bank Shot: Chara and Giordano would fall in the latter category.

    Yeah, that’s 2 for sure.

  51. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Glovjuice: All this is said perfectly according to Glovjuice. This poster is brilliant. luv it. More please. Holy crap, the Strome for Spooner is ALREADY TERRIBLE – WTF.

    Strome for Spooner is not terrible.

    The first two games are horrid, no question.

    If he’s going to be 2LW with 93 the RW needs to be stronger than 39 though.

  52. Dr. Taboggan says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Yeah I think the Strome for Spooner trade was pretty meh. Spooner is probably a little faster and skilled. I just thought the timing was bizarre, why trade away a player that the coach knows and depends on right before back-to-back divisional games?

    What I am concerned about is future trades. If Chia is worried about his job (and he should be) what kind of dismal deal does he make to try and save his job? I guess the positive is that he has precious few assets left to dumpster so maybe it wont be that bad.

  53. VOR says:

    CrazyCoach: As much as analytics guys don’t want to be seems Eggheads with no social life, I’m pretty sure guys like Steve Yzerman don’t want to be seen as merely an ex jock.Yzerman is/was successful as a GM, because he asked a lot of questions to seek answers he didn’t have.

    Let’s not dismiss the man because of his stellar career as an athlete.

    Interesting side note. Multiple, extensive studies done of College (University) athletes have shown they have more difficult majors, more academic honours, and higher GPAs than the average student. Hard to believe when you consider the number of scholarship athletes in the US who are encouraged to take sham degrees and discouraged from studying or attending class.

    The kids I coached at the UofA trained 15 to 25 hours a week, often worked part time jobs and still graduated at a higher rate and with better GPAs and degrees than the average student. The most common major was Electrical Engineering. In fact, you want to meet some incredibly bright, highly educated people, go to a rugby park. I used to parkour, before my knees went, with this group of PhD students in Computing Science and Petrochemical Engineering.

    Most people’s definition of jock is way too narrow and their assumptions about the mental abilities of jock’s absurd. I know a rock climber/swimmer who posts here from time to time who doesn’t think of himself as a jock. Though he is. You only need to talk to him for a few minutes about how much he loves these activities and how they make him feel to know that. But that narrow definition of jock has confused him, and he is wicked smart, PhD and all.

  54. drglen says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    He has good accelleration and good instincts. A conversion would have been nice

    But as someone who wanted strome traded. We suffered defensively and we should have kept him. He didnt deserve to be trsded per se. But i had hoped hed be bundled with 2 or 3 players for a high level d man

  55. frjohnk says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Strome for Spooner is not terrible.

    The first two games are horrid, no question.

    If he’s going to be 2LW with 93 the RW needs to be stronger than 39 though.

    I wonder how much Lucic cratered Stromes offense this year. I liked Strome as 3line center. A bit overpriced but he had some skill and some versatility.

    If the team is running McDavid, Drai, and RNH in the top 6, that means our bottom 6 centres are Marody, Khaira and Brodziak. 1 rookie and 2 guys who have been scratched at times this year. Our bottom 6 center spots could have issues.

  56. drglen says:

    VOR,

    Interesting ideas. On the one hand athletes learn to budget time and work towards goals. Able to bresk it down i to smaller steps. Generslly too busy to get into trouble. Wasnt a hamilton football player canadas smartest person ?

    But

    Thete is also something called a “communications “major. That many athletes take espevially in us. And well its a lttle bit jive

    Simon fraser actually has a commmunications degreee

  57. drglen says:

    Dr. Taboggan,

    My theory is he made the trade to take media focus off the losses. But it backfiref now because tbey kept losing

  58. Dustylegnd says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I have worked with numerous Harvard grads (as well as Princeton, Yale, MIT, U of Chicago, IIT, IIM,Berkley) undergrad degrees from Harvard and all Ivey league schools are considered more prestigious than masters degrees from the same schools.

    Harvard Law is very prestigious and certainly much more respected than the University of Ottawa. Keep in mind Brian Burke has a Harvard law degree….how did that work for him in Calgary?

    Stevie Y is a highschool grad with a father that worked within the diplomatic ranks of the Canadian government,(hence the move from Cranbrook to Ottawa) Stevie has always had a reputation as an exceptionally intelligent individual who is clearly very articulate.

    The best gift Stevie Y ever received was team success later in life, the cups came after many many failures and discouraging years within a mediocre organization. The Stanley cups came to Stevie after the blood sweat and tears were shed.

    What I am trying to say, is Stevie was never subjected to the arrogance and Hubris of the 1982-1988 Oilers. MacTavish and Lowe’s formative years were served under the cult of Glen, Peter and Barry’s personality.

    When you trade commodities for a Hedge fund you are constantly reminded that Hubris Kills, and there is no lack of Hubris still existing within this Oilers organization, from Peter to Kevin to MacTavish, to the myths associated with the Sutter clan.

    My bet is that not only is Stevie Y exceptionally intelligent (even though he doesn’t have a University degree) he is probably a superior communicator, who keeps and open mind, and who is willing to adapt, “it is neither the strongest nor the most intelligent who survive, it is the most adaptable” I am betting Stevie has hand picked people who are excellent at their jobs and then done a masterful job of delegating and with some good luck…..he has built an awesome organization.

    Chia Pete believes he has a formula for success, but the game changed and passed him by (please see the Lucic signing) he is stubborn and refuses to admit his own failures (see the interview in the Athletic) Pete also chose to trust people who are not good at their jobs Mactavish, Howson, Green, Sutter……and the results speak for themselves

    Succes in life hinges on much more than having a degree from the “right school”, I have met many dumb asses who are supremely educated, and amazing successes with GED’s….

    I think to be successful in this NHL you need a model much closer to the Maple Leaf model than the Oiler model, the combination of Dubas and Hunter seemed to be Manna from heaven, but Shanny decided he needed to pick one over the other…it seems to me the Oil could higher a super bright analytics candidate and pair him with a Hunter who would be in charge of Amateur and profession player procurement…….etc etc….what we have is total Bull SHit

  59. hunter1909 says:

    Dustylegnd:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I have worked with numerous Harvard grads (as well as Princeton, Yale, MIT, U of Chicago, IIT, IIM,Berkley) undergrad degrees from Harvard and all Ivey league schools are considered more prestigious than masters degrees from the same schools.

    Harvard Law is very prestigious and certainly much more respected than the University of Ottawa. Keep in mind Brian Burke has a Harvard law degree….how did that work for him in Calgary?

    Stevie Y is a highschool grad with a father that worked within the diplomatic ranks of the Canadian government,(hence the move from Cranbrook to Ottawa) Stevie has always had a reputation as an exceptionally intelligent individual who is clearly very articulate.

    The best gift Stevie Y ever received was team success later in life, the cups came after many many failures and discouraging years within a mediocre organization. The Stanley cups came to Stevie after the blood sweat and tears were shed.

    What I am trying to say, is Stevie was never subjected to the arrogance and Hubris of the 1982-1988 Oilers. MacTavish and Lowe’s formative years were served under the cult of Glen, Peter and Barry’s personality.

    When you trade commodities for aHedge fund you are constantly reminded that Hubris Kills, and there is no lack of Hubris still existing within this Oilers organization, from Peter to Kevin to MacTavish, to the myths associated with the Sutter clan.

    My bet is that not only is Stevie Y exceptionally intelligent (even though he doesn’t have a University degree) he is probably a superior communicator, who keeps and open mind, and who is willing to adapt,“it is neither the strongest nor the most intelligent who survive, it is the most adaptable” I am betting Stevie has hand picked people who are excellent at their jobs and then done a masterful job of delegating and with some good luck…..he has built an awesome organization.

    Chia Pete believes he has a formula for success, but the game changed and passed him by (please see the Lucic signing) he is stubborn and refuses to admit his own failures (see the interview in the Athletic) Pete also chose to trust people who are not good at their jobs Mactavish, Howson, Green, Sutter……and the results speak for themselves

    Succes in life hinges on much more than having a degree from the “right school”, I have met many dumb asses who are supremely educated, and amazing successes with GED’s….

    I think to be successful in this NHL you need a model much closer to the Maple Leaf model than the Oiler model, the combination of Dubas and Hunter seemed to be Manna from heaven, but Shanny decided he needed to pick one over the other…it seems to me the Oil could higher a super bright analytics candidate and pair him with a Hunter who would be in charge of Amateur and profession player procurement…….etc etc….what we have is total Bull SHit

    It’s all very nice to attend a top school. Unfortunately, attendance at said school does not guarantee anything aside from college memories.

    College dropouts seem to be the leaders in silicon valley.

    LOL this is what following the Oilers has been reduced to: arguing semantics re college qualifications.

  60. CrazyCoach says:

    VOR: Most people’s definition of jock is way too narrow and their assumptions about the mental abilities of jock’s absurd. I know a rock climber/swimmer who posts here from time to time who doesn’t think of himself as a jock. Though he is. You only need to talk to him for a few minutes about how much he loves these activities and how they make him feel to know that. But that narrow definition of jock has confused him, and he is wicked smart, PhD and all.

    Some of the guys I’ve coached now advise me on legal and medical matters. Hockey was more of a high performance hobby to these guys.

    Sure the other exists, where the cognitive skills don’t match the physical skills, but most kids I coached were driven in all areas.

  61. drglen says:

    hunter1909,

    Actuslly this is true. I know several programmers who dropped out of phd and masyers

  62. hunter1909 says:

    As far as I and everyone else can see(other than Katz and Oilers management) TMac is dead in the water. There’s no point in having him coach another game, yet there they go, preparing for yet another game with a lame duck.

    Which rebuild number does this new one count as? Does Chiarelli remain at the helm, after sewering the team last rebuild?

  63. Wilde says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Strome for Spooner is not terrible.

    The first two games are horrid, no question.

    If he’s going to be 2LW with 93 the RW needs to be stronger than 39 though.

    I’m at the point that I think it has to be 29 on that line

  64. drglen says:

    hunter1909: It’s all very nice to attend a top school. Unfortunately, attendance at said school does not guarantee anything aside from college memories.

    College dropouts seem to be the leaders in silicon valley.

    LOL this is what following the Oilers has been reduced to: arguing semantics re college qualifications.

    Yes and romantic christmas movies

  65. drglen says:

    hunter1909:
    As far as I and everyone else can see(other than Katz and Oilers management) TMac is dead in the water. There’s no point in having him coach another game, yet there they go, preparing for yet another game with a lame duck.

    Which rebuild number does this new one count as? Does Chiarelli remain at the helm, after sewering the team last rebuild?

    I dont think coach getting fired. Time has past.

    I think they are going to take the heat and keep crawling

  66. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Strome for Spooner is not terrible.

    The first two games are horrid, no question.

    If he’s going to be 2LW with 93 the RW needs to be stronger than 39 though.

    I can’t imagine getting traded, grabbing your things, flying to a new town and playing a tough divisional game right away.
    That sounds rough.
    I wonder if just not playing him for a couple days is more beneficial

  67. Buddy says:

    Professor Q: And to think Edmonton once hired a renowned Power Skating Skills coach for quite a long period. Whatever happened to Steve Serdachny, anyway? Why was that the relationship to sever, and not those with the poor management heads?

    Hopefully he’s doing well with Pro Hockey Selects.

    My son went to a couple of his camps in Calgary. They were outstanding, by far the best of any camps he’s gone to.

  68. drglen says:

    Im not happy with staples article and guys going on and on sbout lucic on the top line. In calgary

    This was a hunch and a strategic move to get a net front presense goal.

    The problem in that thirdperiod was they could not gain the zone. They needed to get to first base and couldnt because they lacked that puck moving d man to get the plan started.

    The high end guys perform under duress and our d coulndt quite pull it off

    Enough about lucic on top line.

  69. VOR says:

    CrazyCoach: Some of the guys I’ve coached now advise me on legal and medical matters.Hockey was more of a high performance hobby to these guys.

    Sure the other exists, where the cognitive skills don’t match the physical skills, but most kids I coached were driven in all areas.

    Me too.

  70. ArmchairGM says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Heiskinen and Dahlen (obv) are two more data points (among many others) who point to “future #1 Dmen make themselves known early in their career’

    If they player is going to be a solid #1 you know pretty quickly. No 200 games needed.

    Dahlin? or Dahlen?

  71. texmex says:

    4-0 flames with 6mins to go in the first.

    Oilers must have tuckered the knights out last night

  72. GMB3 says:

    drglen:
    Im not happy with staples article and guys going on and on sbout lucic on the top line. In calgary

    This was a hunch and a strategic move to get a net front presense goal.

    The problem in that thirdperiod was they could not gain the zone.They needed to get to first base and couldnt because they lacked that puck moving d man to get the plan started.

    The high end guys perform under duress and our d coulndt quite pull it off

    Enough about lucic on top line.

    Lucic has two goals in 70 games??! How is it “enough about Lucic on the first line”? Is this trolling?

  73. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    5-0 flames now

  74. drglen says:

    GMB3,

    no not at all. Hey played a hunch that lucic was ‘on’… and besides he didn’t expect lucic to score the goal.. just screen and occupy. He knows he hasn’t score and knows he doesn’t handle the puck well. I’m sure he was told ‘just go stand in front’… period… but we couldn’t get the zone. My point is, and then I’ll leave it ( and should have ) is that the Calgary loss was a roster loss from lack of puck moving D man. Doesn’t matter who’s on Connors line if they can’t even get a good breakout through the neurtral zone.

    Coach made a move that didn’t work out, which is different than not making any moves.

    I do blame coach for not taking a time out ,,, which is tougher to do than it sounds because you admit your getting the shit kicked out of you.. its a concession to take a timeout in the NHL.. . but he still should have done that.

  75. Bank Shot says:

    hunter1909: It’s all very nice to attend a top school. Unfortunately, attendance at said school does not guarantee anything aside from college memories.

    Yeah. I’m not sure why the pedigree of the university should matter all that much.

    I’ve never attended a prestigious college but I’ve talked to a few people that have.

    They left me with the impression that the people that attend those universities based on exceptional brain power are a minority compared to those who attend based on the exceptional wealth of their parents.

  76. frjohnk says:

    Réal Goudenyéu:
    5-0 flames now

    6-0 now.

    Vegas has 7 shots

  77. Gerta Rauss says:

    Tkachuk with 4 points..lol…

    Lordy

  78. Dustylegnd says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    Tkachuk with 4 points..lol…

    Lordy

    Good ….they will have to pAY HIM $8 MILL PER

  79. Ben says:

    GMB3: Lucic has two goals in 70 games??! How is it “enough about Lucic on the first line”? Is this trolling?

    I feel like this is worthy of further investigation.

    I mean, it was a given that the contract would look bad over time, but it really seemed that over the course of a couple of games last December the player experienced a near-immediate decline in basic skills and awareness.

    I don’t think 27 has really slowed down. But his puck skills essentially evaporated overnight. He has trouble completing a pass, making a play up the boards, jamming in a rebound…just no hands.

    It’s not the part of his game that I thought he’d lose first.

    Anyone have any experience with/perspective on this?

  80. ArmchairGM says:

    drglen: couldnt because they lacked that puck moving d man to get the plan started.

    Why can’t the coach develop a gameplan around the players he has? He’s been 2 years with basically the same corps, you’d think that he’d have something figured out by now.

  81. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Lucic could use his pride to either retire or LTIR and be traded to a cap floor team. I’ve defended him but having some kind of NHL ability is part of the deal.

    Perhaps mental health is an issue for him, fair enough, go LTIR. Edmonton isn’t dark that much earlier than the rest of Canada or Northern US and Boston has winter.

    As for a new GM and cap, next summer a lot of relief comes available. Russell and Sekera are moveable and IIRC Lucic’s salary in terms of cash starts to drop off, meaning he has the cap hit but gets paid less dollars. Talbot can be dealt for assets. Room can come.

    There is less a lack of options than a lack of vision and understanding right now IMO.

  82. Bank Shot says:

    Ben: I feel like this is worthy of further investigation.

    I mean, it was a given that the contract would look bad over time, but it really seemed that over the course of a couple of games last December the player experienced a near-immediate decline in basic skills and awareness.

    It’s not the part of his game that I thought he’d lose first.

    Anyone have any experience with/perspective on this?

    Scott Gomez had the same thing happen. His scoring just dried up overnight.

    And he was a guy that would be a nu-nhl poster boy. Great skating.

  83. frjohnk says:

    Watching Jets and Canucks.

    Jets are loaded up front. My pick in the west.

    Pettersson might be top 10 most skilled player in the league right now.

  84. who says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Strome for Spooner is not terrible.

    The first two games are horrid, no question.

    If he’s going to be 2LW with 93 the RW needs to be stronger than 39 though.

    We don’t have a right winger stronger than 39.

  85. ArmchairGM says:

    who: We don’t have a right winger stronger than 39.

    Yes: 29.

  86. npanciroli says:

    I was depressingly looking at our roster. Need a new GM, a compliance buyout on Lucic and Russell and Sekera contracts to end.

    McDavid, Draisaitl and Klefbom only ones signed after that.

  87. frjohnk says:

    Bank Shot: Scott Gomez had the same thing happen. His scoring just dried up overnight.

    And he was a guy that would be a nu-nhl poster boy. Great skating.

    Other than a 33 goal season. He never posted more than 19 goals. He was a great skater. But not fast and was not a guy who kept himself in shape like some of the NHL players.

    With Lucic I thought there was no way he wouldn’t rebound somewhat this year. It looked like he had a bad shooting % and that would regress somewhat. Also, with our poor winger depth, he would be playing with a pretty darn good center.

    Well, his shooting % is even lower this year.

    His centres last year, Strome,RNH and Drai.

    For the rest of this year, his centres will be Marody, Khaira and Brodziak.

    He ain’t rebounding.

  88. Scungilli Slushy says:

    frjohnk:
    Watching Jets and Canucks.

    Jets are loaded up front. My pick in the west.

    Pettersson might be top 10 most skilled player in the league right now.

    Petterson will be Connor’s challenge for point scoring going ahead IMO. Matthews and Laine or somebody will have better goal scoring, but Petterson has another level that nobody else but Connor has in their general age group.

    Health is always the biggest determinant in superior careers IMO. To play 20 years shows another skill set in knowing how to avoid injury. Luck of course matters, but over that many games the sample says there is more to it.

    It seems ‘fingers crossed’ Connor figured it out quickly.

  89. who says:

    ArmchairGM: Yes: 29.

    I’m not sure he’s better defensively. I thought that was the requirement.

  90. Ben says:

    npanciroli:
    I was depressingly looking at our roster. Need a new GM, a compliance buyout on Lucic and Russell and Sekera contracts to end.

    McDavid, Draisaitl and Klefbom only ones signed after that.

    You need is a near-impossible number of prospects to hit big.

    If Yam and JP can play 1-2 RW, Benson or Marody can anchor a 3rd line, and two of Bouchard, Bear and Jones can push into the top-4, then you’re looking at a competitive lineup.

    All that assuming G can be stabilized.

    The team is so thin in part because the GM has made awful trades. But also because amateur scouting has hardly pissed a drop in a decade.

  91. who says:

    Ben: I feel like this is worthy of further investigation.

    I mean, it was a given that the contract would look bad over time, but it really seemed that over the course of a couple of games last December the player experienced a near-immediate decline in basic skills and awareness.

    I don’t think 27 has really slowed down. But his puck skills essentially evaporated overnight. He has trouble completing a pass, making a play up the boards, jamming in a rebound…just no hands.

    It’s not the part of his game that I thought he’d lose first.

    Anyone have any experience with/perspective on this?

    I don’t think Lucic skills have declined that much. He has never exhibited good puck skills in his time in Edmonton. And I doubt he showed a lot more skill in LA or Boston.
    His declining effectiveness is more a function of how fast and skilled the league has become.
    Lucic NEVER had the skill set for this NHL.

  92. godot10 says:

    Bank Shot: Yeah. I’m not sure why the pedigree of the university should matter all that much.

    I’ve never attended a prestigious college but I’ve talked to a few people that have.

    They left me with the impression that the people that attend those universities based on exceptional brain power are a minority compared to those who attend based on the exceptional wealth of their parents.

    The elite send their kids to ivy league schools, not for the education, which can be obtained anywhere, but for the social networks.

    The elites control all the “influence” industries because entry into them is threw unpaid internships which the social networks and the ability to work without pay serve as gatekeepers.

  93. frjohnk says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Petterson will be Connor’s challenge for point scoring going ahead IMO. Matthews and Laine or somebody will have better goal scoring, but Petterson has another level that nobody else but Connor has in their general age group.

    Health is always the biggest determinant in superior careers IMO. To play 20 years shows another skill set in knowing how to avoid injury. Luck of course matters, but over that many games the sample says there is more to it.

    It seems ‘fingers crossed’ Connor figured it out quickly.

    I said this a couple of times. First time I read about Pettersson was here. LT NHLEs calculator was crazy high for Pettersson. I thought the calculator was broken. But funny thing is that Pettersson will most likely pass that estimate.

  94. Bank Shot says:

    frjohnk: Other than a 33 goal season. He never posted more than 19 goals. He was a great skater. But not fast and was not a guy who kept himself in shape like some of the NHL players.

    Scott Gomez was absolutely a fast skater and he retained that speed even after his scoring touch left him.

    Its subjective of course but if you search old Gomez articles on the webz you will see lots of mentions about his superior skating.

    I agree Lucic isn’t rebounding. No one rebounds in Edmonton.
    They just spiral downwards. Its an Edmonton thing.

  95. Ben says:

    who: Lucic NEVER had the skill set for this NHL.

    So you think the entire league changed over the course of a few games last December, instantly devastating the player’s PTS/60?

  96. godot10 says:

    Ben: So you think the entire league changed over the course of a few games last December, instantly devastating the player’s PTS/60?

    Lucic wasn’t good in his first year in Edmonton. His even strength scoring cratered from historical levels. He went on a McDavid/Draisaitl fueled power play heater.

    At the beginning of last year, he had a lot of lucky points, like Caggiula this year.

    Things don’t fall apart linearly. They fall apart slowly, and then quickly. i.e. nonlinearly.

  97. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Bank Shot: Scott Gomez was absolutely a fast skater and he retained that speed even after his scoring touch left him.

    Its subjective of course but if you search old Gomez articles on the webz you will see lots of mentions about his superior skating.

    I agree Lucic isn’t rebounding. No one rebounds in Edmonton.
    They just spiral downwards. Its an Edmonton thing.

    IIRC Gomez was discussed here lots and was a black hole statswise, and was one of the later hosings by Sather in getting McDonaugh. He was about 30 when Slats robbed the Canadiens. Maybe there was some backstory we don’t know but he dropped fast a season after joining the Habs. Slats had that sense often enough.

  98. digger50 says:

    drglen:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    He has good accelleration and good instincts.A conversion would have been nice

    But as someone who wanted strome traded. We suffered defensively and we should have kept him. He didnt deserve to be trsded per se. But i had hoped hed be bundled with 2 or 3 players for a high level d man

    A creative trade. We do t have enoughvalue so we bundle.

    That is simply out of Peters abilities ties, it really is.

    I’m sick of his work.

    We needed scoring wingers , we also need to keep what we have. Keep Strome and you had Lontus. That kid will outs ore Spooner. We need to keep adding incrementally.

    Petercannot do it.

  99. digger50 says:

    Gerta Rauss: I think there was an indirect announcement when Stauffer tweeted “wheels up”

    The team plane was in the air and TMac was on it

    I think he’s still on the clock, and I’d guess the Oilers would rather do the deed while on the road anyway

    To me, that was a signal to the Lowtide world.

    There was a poster here yesterday who mentioned something about “wheels up” would indicate Tmac was on board. I believe Bob is saying hello.

  100. Glovjuice says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Driving to work this morning, listening to Rishaug reluctantly sharpening the axe for Maclellan, I was trying to think of a silver lining to this mess. And I landed on Denis Potvin.

    Potvin was drafted 1OV in 1973 by an absolutely brutal hockey team. Unlike VGK, the Islanders inaugural season as an expansion team brought them 12 wins over a 78 game schedule with a goal differential of -177.

    For crawling through 500 yards of shit that season, Islanders fans were rewarded with Denis Potvin and he was a true generational talent you could build a Cup dynasty upon. He’s rarely thought of that way these days because he followed so closely on the heels of Bobby Orr and everyone suffers by that comparison, but the kid from Vanier could dominate a game from the back end like the very best who ever played. It was nigh impossible to score when he was on the ice and if you were foolhardy enough to take a penalty against those teams, he was absolutely lethal as a PP QB.Closest comparable is probably Nik Lidstrom. Kids, he was that good.

    And yet, despite drafting this absolute horse in 73 and the stellar run at the draft table that followed and brought in the likes of Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy and Clark Gillies, it still took that extremely well managed team a full 7 years more before they won their first Stanley Cup. And as we all know, they won 4 in a row and challenged for their 5th a full 14 years after Potvin was drafted.

    So what’s the moral of the story? Connor still has time. This team still has time. No, this current rebuild to quote Marseulls Wallace has been ‘pretty fucking far from ok” but just like the Islanders team in 73, this Oilers franchise was still in a horrible state when Connor McDavid arrived. Draft and development processes were fundamentally broken and this once proud franchise had tanked for high draft picks so often and so obviously, they had frankly become a league embarrassment.

    The fact we’re talking about firing the HC today is actually progress from that DoD time because it’s acknowledgement that mediocrity (1 game below .500) is no longer acceptable for this franchise. Results matter.

    Chiarelli did not hire Todd MacLellan. He signed off on his hire prior to taking the job. There’s a big difference between those two things. He deserves to get a shot with his guy. Can you imagine if the right coach can find a way to effectively use Lucic again? He could be the Bob Nystrom in this tale. Imagine if Tyler Benson, after everything he’s gone through, finally makes the dance and plays like that kid that was granted exceptional status. He could become the Mike Bossy in this story. Stranger things have happened. Leon? Bryan Trottier of course.

    Like Potvin, it’s Connor McDavid’s destiny to win Cups. But he needs his Al Arbour behind the bench. We may be a step closer to that today than we were yesterday. That’s a silver lining.

    ok then – yikes

  101. Glovjuice says:

    godot10: I’m pretty certain that Chara signed in Boston because he knew Chiarelli was going there.Do you think that Chara and Chiarelli never talked in Ottawa?

    Chara didn’t give anyone a number, not Ottawa, not Edmonton, because he wasn’t going anywhere but Boston.

    Gorton is currently the GM of the Rangers…the guy who just traded a worse turd of a Ryan for the Oilers’s turd of a Ryan. To be worse than Strome is pretty hard to do, but Spooner seems to have it covered.But I will give him a few more weeks grace to change my blink evaluation.

    I’ll save you two weeks. Spooner is awful. Terrible trade (and I’m no Strome booster-but still didn’t get caved every dam shift like Spooner will) / awful, terrible, horrendous trade.

  102. Glovjuice says:

    Buddy:
    After four epically incompetent GMs in a row, I rather fear that the real problem is the guy doing the hiring. And how on earth are you going to solve that problem?

    A couple thoughts on Katz.

    (1) Since he took over the Oilers, Katz has paid a lot of players and coaches an awful lot of money to not play for and not coach the Edmonton Oilers. The fun of that experience might just be fading. Which means maybe he does nothing now. Sacking McLellan and Chiarelli is the equivalent of a multimillion dollar bonfire.

    (2) Whatever the reason was for Katz moving out the OBC just a couple days after winning the McDavid lottery, I think it must have been some form of outside pressure, and that Katz bowed to it very reluctantly. Which would explain why he moved them sideways, rather than out the door. So I suspect he might be very resentful about the whole thing, and wishes that he’d just stuck with the guys who know a lot about winning, rather than having had Chiarelli imposed on him from outside. Just a guess, to be sure. But as for what replaces Chiarelli, don’t be afraid — be very, very afraid.

    Nothing, I repeat, nothing that MacT did as GM even comes close the the damage Chia has done on terms of asset depletion.

  103. Bank Shot says:

    Glovjuice: Nothing, I repeat, nothing that MacT did as GM even comes close the the damage Chia has done on terms of asset depletion.

    That’s only because MacT basically did nothing besides bleed away picks.

    Every acquisition he made was a failure.

    Throwing Dubnyk under the bus before his last season in Edmonton was a great move. He also kicked Petry to the curb while showering praise on Schultz.

    Just terrible work from start to finish. There’s no reason for him to still be in an important position on an NHL hockey club, but here we are.

    I think he’s a nice guy though.

  104. oilersfan says:

    I once saw an interview with Gretzky where he said that john muckler told him “it isn’t
    Your legs that go first, it’s the hands and the eye-hand coordination”

    Gretzky said that as he got into his 30’s that’s what he found, before he slowed down materially he couldn’t do things with his hands that his mind and body told him he could do and that he had done before. This stuck with me as I Think this interview was shortly after he retired.

    It appears to me that this is what happened to lucic, it isn’t his speed that is his problem it’s his hands. He needs to work on his puck skills for hours each day instead of whatever he is doing just to stop his current meager skills from eroding even further.

    Truthfully the best place for him is either in the press box as a sunk cost or on the fourth line far away from the PP the Pk and the 6×5

    It was a terrible contract but for now it is just a sunk cost unless another compliance buyout comes along

  105. Ben says:

    oilersfan,

    This is great, thanks.

  106. Glovjuice says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I’m a lot like McLellan in that I don’t trust rookies at all.

    Most take a while to learn the NHL.

    Heiskinen and Petterson are unreal out of the box (neither saw the NHL in their draft +1 year)

    Dahlen is killing it too, but everyone expected that (he’s getting 2nd pair minutes now, but that will change)

    All 3 are high high end skaters too.

    Not a coincidence.

    That’s why Bouchard will take a while to stop leaking 5v5.

    Bouchard was a risk at 10 due to skating but they still took him. Unnecessary.

  107. who says:

    Ben: So you think the entire league changed over the course of a few games last December, instantly devastating the player’s PTS/60?

    No, but I think the league has changed a lot in the last 5 years.
    Don’t be fooled by small spurts of point production. Lucic has had trouble making and taking a pass since he got to Edmonton.
    I said he wasn’t very good in his first year here and I stand by it. Banging home a few points on the powerplay didn’t change my opinion. I didn’t see how anyone could watch him play over an 80 game season, even the 53 point one, and call him a good hockey player.

  108. Glovjuice says:

    CrazyCoach:
    I’m surprised there is not word from the upper echelons of Oilers management today.Is there a huddle going on or is Katz hiring a group of indiscriminate people dressed in black suits to clean out the entire front office tomorrow?

    I feel for TMAc, I really do.As a member of the coaching fraternity, getting released is not easy.It’s never happened to me personally, but I have been in the position he is in right now.Almost 20 years ago, the association I coached for, in its finite wisdom, decided that the best way to get kids ready for their second year in bantam and more importantly, the WHL draft, was to ice a team of primarily 1st year bantams (cap of 5 2nd year kids) and call it a Bantam “minor” team as opposed to the “Major” team.Forget all the research on growth and development and Long Term Athlete Development and let’s go for a strategy drawn up on a napkin.Good theory, but the reality was we were listed as a “AAA” team with “AA” talent at best with kids who weren’t quite there due to many maturation calendars.We got hammered all season long and I do believe we once tied another team in our league, but the rest was lopsided victories.It was hard to play well, because we simply didn’t have the talent, and no AA teams were going to allow us into their tourneys.Two did and I believe we placed third in both.As an aside, I remember playing KofC out of Edmonton and this kid named Shawn Belle totally decimated us physically.

    Anyway, after a long season, we went to play in the Abbottsford Intl. tourney where we got smoked and thoroughly injured.I couldn’t wait for the season to end, but my girlfriend at the time, who knew her hockey kept telling me I simply didn’t have the talent to compete and that I should just keep it positive for the kids and help them develop.It was a tough year trying to make diamonds out of horse crap.

    But, on the other hand, I once inherited a team that was 2-5 in a 16 game season (university) then took them on a 9 game winning streak which saw us lose the final 2 games to 1.Nothing changed really.Same players, but I was more of a tactician than an authoritarian and I simply let the boys play and play they did.

    Sometimes, a breath of fresh air is needed, and it’s nothing personal between coaches.

    Just my two cents

    Sounds like you were putting those kids in harms way. Wasn’t it your responsibility to stand up and push back to the powers that be in the interest of safety for minors.

  109. Nailer Yakumoto says:

    Wow what a football game.

  110. oilersfan says:

    What happened to Scottie Upshall? With the injury to Rieder and with KY and Jesse in the minors can he do his PTO now? Has his knee healed? Anybody know?

    Or Jason Chimera?

    Would have preferred to keep Strome and try one of those guys than bring in Patrick O SullivAn part two

  111. franksterra says:

    Yeo out in St Lou.

  112. Glovjuice says:

    frjohnk:
    Watching Jets and Canucks.

    Jets are loaded up front. My pick in the west.

    Pettersson might be top 10 most skilled player in the league right now.

    Petterson has a real chance to be 2nd in scoring after McDavid every year moving forward. He has Gretzky like feel for the game.

  113. flea says:

    oilersfan,

    I remember reading upshall had knee surgery.

    I feel if the Oilers win tomorrow, they could potentially sweep this roadie. Tomorrow is the tough one. They’ve done some ok things in the last couple games. Just need to put a complete game together. Everyone needs to stop trying to play like McDavid and just play their game.

    Think the Sharks will be motivated to potentially get their old coach fired AGAIN from his new team?

    They’re gonna come out like demons…

    Let’s hope the Oilers bring a similar intensity.

  114. Its All About Coaching says:
  115. Material Elvis says:

    Glovjuice: Sounds like you were putting those kids in harms way.Wasn’t it your responsibility to stand up and push back to the powers that be in the interest of safety for minors.

    Typical modern day response to a cultural norm that took place 20 years ago. Keep wagging that finger!

  116. GMB3 says:

    Caleb Jones and William Lagesson are off to wonderful starts in the AHL this season.

  117. Material Elvis says:

    drglen:
    GMB3,

    no not at all.Hey played a hunch that lucic was ‘on’… and besides he didn’t expect lucic to score the goal.. just screen and occupy. He knows he hasn’t score and knows he doesn’t handle the puck well. I’m sure he was told ‘just go stand in front’… period… but we couldn’t get the zone. My point is, and then I’ll leave it ( and should have ) is that the Calgary loss was a roster loss from lack of puck moving D man. Doesn’t matter who’s on Connors line if they can’t even geta good breakout through the neurtral zone.

    Coach made a move that didn’t work out, which is different than not making any moves.

    I do blame coach for not taking a time out ,,, which is tougher to do than it sounds because you admit your getting the shit kicked out of you.. its a concession to take a timeout in the NHL.. . but he still should have done that.

    The coach did not make the correct in-game adjustments that the team required to be successful against Calgary.

  118. oilersfan says:

    Nick Shore is playing in the KHL. Are the oilers allowed to sign him?

    Or do we have to wait until the khl season is over?

  119. Professor Q says:

    Glovjuice: Petterson has a real chance to be 2nd in scoring after McDavid every year moving forward. He has Gretzky like feel for the game.

    Pettersson and Rantanen are unreal. Two young talents that are simply sublime. MacKinnon, Marner, and Tkachuk aren’t that old, either.

  120. VOR says:

    I didn’t mean to offend our host or Tim Barnes.

    I meant to imply that hockey analytics is lagging far, far behind other sports. If the Oilers are going to hire an analytics person they should hire one that is doing innovative work in other more advanced sports using more sophisticated tools than are used in hockey analytics. Now hopefully that person will also have established chops in hockey analytics and some management skills and be an outstanding communicator. Bonus points if they have also been or are serious competitive athletes.

    So far I have identified a half dozen possible contenders. All of them women as it happens.

    There is a reason why they are all women. Data science and applied mathematics are proving very hospitable work environments for young women. This is proving particularly true in bio modelling.

    This is the year of biological mathematics. I bet you didn’t know that. Biological mathematics includes Sports Analytics. So at the dozens of conferences worldwide in honor of the year of Biological Mathematics there nearly always at least part of the conference devoted to sports analytics. Nearly ever major sport is represented by at least one speaker presenting to at least one conference. Most have many speakers at many conferences.

    I will give you all one guess which professional sport has none. That would be the same sport that has the fewest published papers in major journals of any professional sport. Year after year after year.

    I am admittedly in a bad mood. I feel like crap and in the middle of the night I am getting on a plane to fly to Melbourne, Australia. From Melbourne I am flying to Orleans in France. Then back to Edmonton. All in less than a week.

    I am going to Melbourne for the second day of BAM. That is the Biarri Applied Mathematics Conference. And I can’t imagine any reason you would have heard of it.

    I am going to hear Jess Tavrou speak. Then we are going out for dinner.

    You all know Jess right? The brightest young mind in sports analytics. The elegant algorithms, the TV appearances, the cult following, the cutting edge bio-mechanical research. None of this is ringing any bells is it? Well maybe for some of you, there must be some Aussie Rules fans here.

    Jess is the Director of Football Analytics for Carleton Football Club in the AFL. Jess is presenting on the use of algorithms to assist coaches. See that is what Jess does, sits in the room with the coaches and analyses game film and during games talks in their ear providing real time data. That is when she is not appearing on TV providing fans with analytical insights.

    Jess has a Master of Football Analytics from Victoria University. Wait, there are sports analytics with with their own graduate programs? Yup. True story. Haven’t heard about the NHL doing that.

    When Jess steps up to speak the room will be filled with management people from various professional and amateur sports and from around the globe. I will give you long, long odds there won’t be a single person from the NHL present. Not one. Lord knows we wouldn’t want to know about dumb things like how to use math to improve our understanding of game films and game play.

    But I am not in Melbourne because of my interest in algorithms. I am there talk to Jess about the work she is doing on integrating bio-mechanics into sports analytics. Wait, you mean you can actually combine bio-mechanics and analytics? Indeed you can. Jess can you tell you if a player is tiring, if they are playing hurt, and many other useful things from her bio-mechanical analysis and predict what if any effect these things are having on their metrics long before the naked eye can detect anything.

    I want Jess’ IP and I want her mind. I am there to recruit her. That is why nobody else can go in my place.

    There is very little bio-mechanical work (tip of my hat to the Laval team whose work on skating is ground breaking) being done in or on pro hockey in North America. Most of the work is being done on young kids and college students. That is not true in Europe, particularly Sweden and Germany, which is why I am flying on to Orleans from Melbourne.

    Everybody knows what happens in Orleans every November right? Now I am just being sarcastic as hell though the answer is utterly fascinating. Orleans is the meat market where you buy brilliant young mathematicians. And unless you employ mathematicians there is no reason at all you would know that. But sports teams are in the business of employing mathematicians and you might as well recruit the best from around the world, right?

    Every year young mathematicians from all over the world summit papers trying to get a chance to present at Orleans. The conference actually has a coordinator to work with all the headhunters who are attending. Student mathematicians start arriving the week before the conference and so do headhunters. Now why haven’t you heard about this conference?

    Because until 2012 only female mathematicians were allowed to present and it still skews heavily female. North Americans don’t think women and math go together but that bias is not shared by most of the world. Every industry you can think of will have managers and recruiters at Orleans. That includes sports teams because every year ground breaking new work in the math underlying sports analytics is presented at Orleans. Guess what sport probably won’t be represented at Orleans?

    This year what we would call the key note speech is being presented by Sylvie Meleard. Sylvie is probably the world’s leading authority on accounting for luck in mathematical models. She is a very serious academic but has quite a number of sports, leagues, and teams as consulting clients. Not to mention some very large book making operations.

    I am there to meet a group of young German scientists and mathematicians who have been working on a project with the DHLE to integrate real time bio metrics, bio-mechanics, and analytics in sports management. I assume at some point NHL teams will be knocking down their doors and offering them the sun the moon and the stars. But they assure me I am the first person from North America to express any interest.

    Years ago I posted here repeatedly that the future was sports tracking. I can’t say I found many supporters. Now I am here to tell you that the future is bio-mathematics.

    The immediate future will see the integration of biology, physiology, bio-mechanics, psychology, neurology, and kinesiology with analytics to create real time advice for coaches in all sports. The amount of data is going to be unimaginably huge and impossibly tiny and specific and most of it won’t come from the game play itself but rather from the athletes playing the game. And your coach will only be as good as the algo-runner whispering in their ear. I will go a step further and predict the majority of those algorithm analyzing coach whispering bio-mathematicians will be women.

    The very math of sports analytics is about to change. Parametric statistics (the kind you grew up with and know) will at best be subservient to non-Parametric statistics. This is because the minute you move to giant data that has to be analyzed very quickly the first and most important task will be smoothing the data. Every bio-mathematician and modeler knows this. It is the first task of what we call AFDA, Applied Functional Data Analysis.

    Smoothing techniques like Base Spline Regressions and penalized P splines are non-Parametric. In essence a non-Parametric statistic trades certainty for insight. You may miss stuff in a non-Parametric analysis but what you see is true if not exact.

    The easy way to understand this is to say that linear regressions and similar parametric tools give you a way to test relationships between variables but produce a remarkable number of false positives. These tools work only when the tested variable has a normal or predictable distribution. Huge data sets with many variables, that is a high degree of dimensions typically do not present as normal or predictable distributions. Small data classically lacks the information required to identify distribution. Non-Parametric statistical tools let you analyze huge data and tiny data where parametric methods fail.

    So the future belongs to insight without certainty. The best hockey analytics people of the future will be those that can run non-Parametric tests see the insights, including those hidden from most, translate those into algorithms that predict on ice behavior and communicate that information simply to the coaches. And do all that in real time.

    I want my head of analytics to already be working in the new paradigm. I would propose the ability to do AFDA as the minimum competency every candidate must possess. This limits your search considerably. And because there is no known AFDAs being published or presented by anybody in hockey (Journals, Sloan-MIT, etc.) it pretty much eliminates anybody who hasn’t worked in sports analytics outside hockey. If anyone knows of AFDAs being done in hockey please share – I am working on one and think it will be the first – that is the one that comes out of Georges challenging me to show him the curve in CF vs GF.

    This brings me back to where I started. Five years from now, when everybody here can read an AFDA and understand it (they are highly visual) and quite a few of us can do one (the tools are already mostly available in Matlab and R and more and more in Excel) we will be ruing the day the Oilers didn’t get somebody who was out there pushing the boundaries of AFDA. In that future world we will look at the possession metrics generation as hopelessly out of touch and what is currently state of the art hockey analytics as quaint anachronisms.

    Few of the old guard will survive the paradigm shift. The ones that do will find it difficult to innovate and lead in this new paradigm. Now maybe LT and Woodguy are right and Tim Barnes will be the exception. I just don’t like the odds.

    That isn’t to denigrate Tim Barnes or the great work he has done. It is just to recognize a fundamental human truth. We all know that change is hard and that massive rapid change is a bitch. Paradigm changes end careers and make what came before irrelevant.

  121. JimmyV1965 says:

    Ben: So you think the entire league changed over the course of a few games last December, instantly devastating the player’s PTS/60?

    I agree. Lucic is slow, but that’s the least of his problems. It’s his stick. He can’t shoot and he can’t make a play. He doesn’t have a plan once the puck is on his stick. I also question this whole pride narrative. Gregor has said on his show multiple times that he has never seen Lucic take extra work before or after practice.

  122. JimmyV1965 says:

    Glovjuice: Nothing, I repeat, nothing that MacT did as GM even comes close the the damage Chia has done on terms of asset depletion.

    MacT was part of the crew that couldn’t draft crap. While it’s not as sexy, it probably did even more damage than anything Chia has done. I’m not a big Chia fan, but at least he recognized the issues with this team and tried to address them. He failed miserably at it, but I’m not even sure MacT and the OBC even understood the deficiencie in the roster. If MacT and the rest of the OBC have any meaningful input into the future of this team, we will never win shit. The one thing Chia can look back on is the players he’s drafted. The new GM will inherit an infinitely better farm system.

  123. Professor Q says:

    JimmyV1965,

    I don’t think the impact the stability of a personal farm team in general, and a steady new influx of skilled young players (despite egregious missteps which have caused holes in essential restocking areas via multiple tossed picks, and *SHOULD* cost multiple jobs in turn), can be for Edmonton can be overstated. This is new for them. The stability and system must develop and grow itself, along with the players.

  124. Pescador says:

    Its All About Coaching:
    leadfarmer,

    Brillant post,
    possibly your finest contribution

  125. JimmyV1965 says:

    Professor Q:
    JimmyV1965,

    I don’t think the impact the stability of a personal farm team in general, and a steady new influx of skilled young players (despite egregious missteps which have caused holes in essential restocking areas via multiple tossed picks), can be for Edmonton can be overstated. This is new for them. The stability and system must develop and grow itself, along with the players.

    Agreed. MacT, Lowe and company sewered this team for years. A smart GM can undo the mistakes Chia has made because he will actually have meaningful players coming up from the farm system. I don’t like Chia, but I’m very worried about his replacement. If MacT finds his way into a meaningful position, this team is doomed.

  126. RonnieB says:

    St. Louis was shut out by LA’s 4th string goalie, then Yeo was fired.
    I hope the Oilers aren’t looking at this week’s LA game as the free space on their bingo card.
    On the other hand, i think that if the Oilers don’t win at least 2 out of 3 in California McLellan’s ride back to Edmonton will be the last time he is seen on an Oilers charter flight.

  127. SwedishPoster says:

    who: I don’t think Lucic skills have declined that much. He has never exhibited good puck skills in his time in Edmonton. And I doubt he showed a lot more skill in LA or Boston.
    His declining effectiveness is more a function of how fast and skilled the league has become.
    Lucic NEVER had the skill set for this NHL.

    Lucic is a very uniqe player to end up as a, once, star in the NHL. That’s why the Oilers attempts to draft the “new Lucic” by grabbing a bunch of rah-rah coke machines was always going to be unfruitful. He never had the usual high end offensive skills to be a productive NHLer, most guys have one or two things that are really high end to give them an edge, but he maximized the things he had incredibly well and combined it with his physical presence to be efficient. What I think has happened now is that his processor was just fast enough for the old NHL and as the pace has gone up his game falls apart as he has no one thing that is a stand out skill he can use to compensate, except physicality which has limited use if the rest isn’t up to par. And once he starts to falter with a big contract and high demands his confidence starts to fade which makes the decline so much steeper. Confidence is a massive deal. Especially if you have to reinvent yourself as a player, which is likely the only way Lucic can salvage something out of the rest of his career.

  128. --hudson-- says:

    VOR,

    Wanted to say thanks for the comments on the Philadelphia Eagles earlier. Had no idea on the type of analytics they were doing. I too could see a future where an opponent puts out their 4 skaters on a penalty kill and an AI agent informs the coaching staff on what players to put out and which strategy to employ for a power play.

    You could feed the agent data on fatigue for both teams, weaknesses exposed by previous power plays across all teams, strengths of your power play unit, etc. Update your Bayesian priors on how many times the puck has bobbled on Klefbom at the blue line and run thousands of Monte Carlo simulations on your model to decide what to do before the ref puts his arm down.

    Interesting information on the non-parametrized statistics you describe. I believe in the world of machine learning we would call that sparse data. Good luck on your recruiting trip!

  129. SwedishPoster says:

    VOR,

    What would be your recommended reading with regards to biomechanics in sports? Both as a stand alone subject and in relation to analytics and mathematical models.

  130. russ99 says:

    who: I thought 3×3 was the proper contract.
    Can’t see Russell agreeing to sign for 2 million. If you could get him to sign for that I would nominate you for GM.

    He was making more than $3M in his previous contract.

    What FA takes a pay cut to sign?

    Contract not the issue, NMC was.

  131. Professor Q says:

    The worst would be to go on a 5-6 win streak like Buffalo and Toronto, and having the fires die down to smouldering again. Get rid of them both, even while hot in the other sense than seats.

  132. Jaxon says:

    VOR: Few of the old guard will survive the paradigm shift. The ones that do will find it difficult to innovate and lead in this new paradigm. Now maybe LT and Woodguy are right and Tim Barnes will be the exception. I just don’t like the odds.

    That isn’t to denigrate Tim Barnes or the great work he has done. It is just to recognize a fundamental human truth. We all know that change is hard and that massive rapid change is a bitch. Paradigm changes end careers and make what came before irrelevant.

    But plus/minus is still the bee’s knees, right?

  133. texmex says:

    Yeo canned in STL after an unacceptable start through 20 games. Hmmm

  134. Kraz says:

    Glovjuice: Petterson has a real chance to be 2nd in scoring after McDavid every year moving forward. He has Gretzky like feel for the game.

    I agree that he is a special player but right now he is a highly skilled rookie off to a hot start. I think he is most likely a point per game player in this league but that is still a long ways off from what McDavid projects to be.

  135. Dicky94 says:

    texmex,

    Trying to get Quenneville before the Oilers even think about it.

  136. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Nailer Yakumoto:
    Wow what a football game.

    – This is the future for the NHL: might take awhile, but the league will figure out that scoring more = more interest. Might take untill the next commissioner for it to be full-board…

  137. UnjustEnrichment says:

    godot10,

    Lucic is a “dead zone'” on the team, created by the GM. He is stuck there, taking a spot, and ensuring mediocrity or much less than mediocrity. (that said, I give him points for the clean hit on Giordano. But one hit does not earn someone a permanent spot in the line-up or $6 million a year.) How can you build a proper line-up when there is an anchor sinking the ship on one end at all times?

  138. UnjustEnrichment says:

    The Oilers’ management is paralyzed, and while the decision-makers sit there, unable to act, St. Louis will quietly scoop up Quenneville.

    Fire McLellan and replace with Quenneville or temporarily with MacT and then hire Todd Nelson as Head Coach for next year.

    Fire Chirelli and replace with Keith Gretzky. But the new GM should have an assistant GM who is a contrarian–someone unable to participate in group think.

  139. drglen says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    For sure. Id make the ice bigger

  140. UnjustEnrichment says:

    I think, in assessing players going forward, management needs to put a premium on players who are able to play well WITH other players. Talent is useless unless it can work with other talent to achieve a result. We need players who can skate, pass and interact creatively and effectively on the ice. No more straight up and down types who dump and chase and who cannot give or receive a pass.

  141. drglen says:

    Mike yeo is avail?

  142. drglen says:

    UnjustEnrichment,

    A creative flow game. The russian style

    Khaira can be traded

    Kassian can be traded

    Rattie should not be sitting

    Bring up bensen ?

  143. Jaxon says:

    JimmyV1965: MacT was part of the crew that couldn’t draft crap. While it’s not as sexy, it probably did even more damage than anything Chia has done. I’m not a big Chia fan, but at least he recognized the issues with this team and tried to address them. He failed miserably at it, but I’m not even sure MacT and the OBC even understood the deficiencie in the roster. If MacT and the rest of the OBC have any meaningful input into the future of this team, we will never win shit.The one thing Chia can look back on is the players he’s drafted. The new GM will inherit an infinitely better farm system.

    In his two drafts, MacT drafted Nurse, Draisaitl, Slepyshev (who should still be an Oiler), Lagesson, Vesel, In other transactions, he turned Paajarvi and Barbashev pick into Perron, which he turned into the pick that could have got Barzal (except Chiarelli turned it into Reinhart) as well as the compensation for hiring TMaC. Acquired Scrivens for a 3rd round pick (Scrivens later traded to acquire Kassian). Signed Bryzgalov, traded him for the pick used to draft Lagesson. He turned Hemsky and Petry into the two picks used to draft Talbot. Jeff Petry trade was also used to draft Caleb Jones. He traded Smid and Roy for Horak and Brossoit. Brossoit currently has a SV% of .959 over 4 games.

    I know there was a lot of talk about MacT being responsible for Petry leaving, I may be wrong but I’ve never seen proof of that. Petry was going to be a UFA and may have decided he wanted to test the market no matter what. I’ve never seen proof that MacT screwed up the negotiations. But he did make the best of a player he was about to lose and turned him into the picks that have been used for Talbot and Caleb Jones. He turned a young fringe player (Paajarvi) into Perron who he turned into compensation for TMac and the 1st round pick that could have been used for Barzal and compensation.

    MacT was also the one who met with Justin Schultz in Toronto to convince him to come to Edmonton. Schultz started out fairly well, then wasn’t used properly and was traded for the pick that drafted Filip Berglund.

    Nikita Nikitin was, perhaps, his worst move. He signed him to a big contract. But it was only 2 years, so it was fairly easy to move past it. Dropping Krueger for Eakins was pretty bad, too, although I think Eakins gets a worse reputation than he deserves. Goaltending went .902 that season. Not sure a team goalie SV% has been as low since.

    Also, the best thing MacT did was not mortgage the future to win in 2014-15. If he had done that, then the Oilers wouldn’t have McDavid. He could have traded some picks and young players to improve the team in the present and they would have been okay that season, but their future would not be as bright.

  144. Old Timer says:

    So Todd is gone and Hitch has arrived. Does anyone see any light yet?

  145. Katz_kat says:

    I was about to say, I’m surprised there’s no comments about the Hitchcock hire yet. Don’t think it’s going to help :/

  146. Katz_kat says:

    Or is ON in shock?

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