Six Degrees of Separation

Lowetide
July 14 2010 08:20AM

Earlier this week, I was listening to NHL radio on XM/Sirius. They're running old playoff series during the summer, and this particular day it was G1 SCF 2006. I turned the radio so quickly it startled the passengers. I don't know that I'll ever be able to watch or listen to G1 SCF 2006. However, there are some things to be learned from that hockey club.

The 2006 Edmonton Oilers had a lot of very good players before the trade deadline. Pronger and Peca arrived in summer, and they had an immediate impact on the team. The deadline (adding Roloson, Spacek, Tarnstrom, Samsonov) marked Oiler management's high water mark for the decade and we all enjoyed that wonderful team and their terrific run to the Stanley cup finals. Many look back on that team's regular season (barely won 8th in the conference) and suggest it was a weak team that got hot at the right time. Rubbish. It was an outstanding team in search of goaltending until the deadline. Anyone who watched that spring knew this team could win a playoff round or more.

It would be a mistake to give too much credit to the hired guns that season. The 2005-06 Edmonton Oilers were blessed with 6 stunning "value contracts" and their presence gave the team exceptional depth (especially up front) and more than one line capable of outscoring the best opposition. Here are the players, their contracts and their accomplishments that season (in alpha order):

  • Marc Andre Bergeron ($931k). Bergeron played 1600 minutes in the 05-06 season, 350 of that on the powerplay. He delivered 2.74/60 with the man advantage but was pretty solid at EVs (1/60) and his 15-20-35 for the season was exceptional for the price.
  • Ales Hemsky ($901,740). Hemsky played 1375 minutes in the 05-06 season, slightly over 400 of them on the powerplay. His PP/60 number (6.17) was very nice, his EV number 2.25 was a little better than he managed this past season (2.09); that PP number helped him lead the team in scoring (19-58-77) and he delivered 6-11-17 in the playoffs too. A wonderful payoff for less than a million, a season to remember.
  • Shawn Horcoff ($1M). Horcoff played almost 1600 minutes, almost 300 on the PP and 225 on the PK. In 05-06 he went 3-3-6 on the PK (about 1.6/60), went 4.82/60 on the PP and then 2.44 at EVs and this was against the other team's good players. A very underrated season when all was said and done.
  • Fernando Pisani ($611,800). In 05-06 he was excellent in the regular year and ridiculous in the postseason. Pisani played 1100 minutes in 05-06, 150 on the PP. He did a lot of heavy lifting at EVs and still managed to score 1.84/60 and 3.59 on the PP. Pisani was Guy Lafleur in the post season, 14-4-18 in a run I will never forget. At $611,800 he was ridiculous value.
  • Jarret Stoll ($501,600). Stoll played 1500 minutes in 05-06, 410 on the PP and 200 on the PK. He was a pretty valuable hockey player. On the PP he was 4.53 and at EVs he was 2.35 on the way to 82gp, 22-46-68 totals. At the price, he was extremely valuable.
  • Raffi Torres ($875,000). Raffi played 1100 minutes in 05-06, 224 of them on the PP. He's pretty famous for wandering out there but his results have always been solid. His EV number in 05-06 (2.07) and his PP number (2.95) were very good considering he spent little time on the club's top line or #1 PP. Torres' biggest moments in the season came during the playoffs when he made some massive hits (one of which had an impact on the SJS series). At this price, he was a bargain.
     

Taylor Hall is a huge part of the Edmonton Oilers future, but his entry level contract (with bonuses) is $3.75 million dollars a year. Since the club will no doubt start burning that entry level deal this fall, chances are that Hall won't over-deliver on that contract based on expectations for a teenager in the NHL. A young man like Tyler Pitlick--should he stay in junior and sign at age 20--has an excellent chance of being a "value contract" at a time when the Oilers should be pushing for a deep run into the playoffs (2012, 2013, 2014).

Which players could deliver the most value this season? Colin Fraser (.825M); Smid (1.3M); Dubnyk (.800M). RFA's Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano and Gilbert Brule could also deliver more than their contracts, but we don't know their cap number yet. The rookies mentioned here are unlikely to outperform their cap hits as rookies, but in year two and three it is entirely possible.

With Pääjärvi (1.525M), Eberle (1.158M) and Linus Omark (.875M) joining Hall as possible rookies, years two and three of their entry-level contracts offer a real opportunity for creating a list similar to the 2006 group above (although Hall will have his work cut out for him). Add Vande Velde, Peckham, Lander, Plante, Petry and a host of young pro level kids, plus Pitlick, Marincin and a few other quality picks (should they develop) and this team should have a nice group of value contracts in the next few seasons. We can only hope for a group as strong as the 2006 six.

This is the most important area for the team. Big name free agents, high cost offer sheets, even #1 overall picks bring their own cap hits and a team must pay 100 cents on the dollar. Those value contracts--like the ones we saw in 2006--will allow the Edmonton Oilers some separation from the rest of the NW division.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
Avatar
#151 rindog
July 14 2010, 11:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Chris. wrote:

We should be cool man.

We just disagree about one specific horrific play... A play that will resonate and be debated by enthusiates for the balance of Oiler history. If I met MAB in an airport twenty years from now I'd have him sign my future grandson's hockey card. (No hate) The blog can be a funny animal that lends itself to hyperbole.

Hockey debate is great no matter what the topic.

I am just puzzled as to how any knowledgable hockey fan can blame MAB (and that play specifically) as the reason the Oilers lost the cup?

I guess I would feel better about our debate if you were able to come up with an alternative way that MAB should have played it?

Avatar
#152 Jonathan Willis
July 14 2010, 11:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Leopard wrote:

I have a Entry Level contract question. Do the contracts only count in the number of contracts allowed if the players play in the NHL?

Thanks in advance if anyone knows the answer.

This is from memory, but I'm fairly sure I'm correct here:

There's a 50 contract limit, which includes all the players with an NHL clause in their deal except (and this is the part I'm a little hazy on) the junior age players whose deals can slide a year if they don't play professional hockey (for instance, if Taylor Hall goes back to junior, his three year Entry Level deal won't kick in until next season, and he wouldn't count against the contract limit).

There's another limit - 100, I think - of players whose rights a team can own, a limit that includes RFA's and drafted players who have yet to sign a contract but also have yet to be eligible to re-enter the draft.

Avatar
#153 Bank Shot
July 14 2010, 11:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Nate Full of Hate wrote:

Stats can be skewed depending on your point of view or what you find relevant.

When you're watching a game at ice level, you can see you keeps up, who players avoid, and who looks the other way in fear.

Cameras only cover so many angles,(HD included)

A person's memories will likely be more skewed towards their point of view or what they find relevant.

Average fan is going to remember his favourite player's best moments rather then dwell on the negatives. Likewise, he is going to remember every single mistake made by his whipping boy, and gloss over the good done by him. That's human nature.

At least with stats you can come up with substantial reasons for why things happen. For instance Horcoff's 50 points in 53 games season. In this season he faced relatively easy competition (Stoll-Who was billed as future captain by many got the hard matchups and had a terrible year prompting a lot of fans to turn on him). Horcoff also had a high shooting percentage.

Average fan's reason for his quality season was that Horcoff found some magical sticks in Mexico.

Avatar
#154 Leopard
July 14 2010, 11:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Jonathan Willis wrote:

This is from memory, but I'm fairly sure I'm correct here:

There's a 50 contract limit, which includes all the players with an NHL clause in their deal except (and this is the part I'm a little hazy on) the junior age players whose deals can slide a year if they don't play professional hockey (for instance, if Taylor Hall goes back to junior, his three year Entry Level deal won't kick in until next season, and he wouldn't count against the contract limit).

There's another limit - 100, I think - of players whose rights a team can own, a limit that includes RFA's and drafted players who have yet to sign a contract but also have yet to be eligible to re-enter the draft.

Thanks Johnathan,

Is there a reason capgeek.com does all their calculations with a 23 contracts per team? Is it only because that is how many players are allowed on a teams roster at once?

Thanks again.

Avatar
#155 Racki
July 14 2010, 11:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Leopard wrote:

Thanks Johnathan,

Is there a reason capgeek.com does all their calculations with a 23 contracts per team? Is it only because that is how many players are allowed on a teams roster at once?

Thanks again.

You are allowed up to 23 players maximum on your active NHL roster.

Avatar
#156 Chris.
July 14 2010, 11:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
rindog wrote:

Hockey debate is great no matter what the topic.

I am just puzzled as to how any knowledgable hockey fan can blame MAB (and that play specifically) as the reason the Oilers lost the cup?

I guess I would feel better about our debate if you were able to come up with an alternative way that MAB should have played it?

Please don't draw me back into this circular argument.

I watched that game several years ago with my heart in my hand. I saw a d-man (That I always saw as a weak link) drive a large forward onto a potential Conn Smythe winner. I saw the debaucle that followed. I saw Jussi let in four unanswered goals a game later.

Maybe MAB should have slashed Ladd over the skull. Maybe MAB should have done nothing and let Roli take the shot... Point is, at any level, defencemen should never direct a forward towards the net! It gives the opponent an excuse to make vicious contact.

MAB may have been screwed by fate... much like Steve Smith. I forgave Smith a year ago. Maybe I just need more time.

*Edit* Thanks for calling me a knowledgable hockey fan!

Avatar
#157 Jonathan Willis
July 14 2010, 11:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Leopard

Racki nailed it. Ony the 23 contracts (or less) in the NHL at any one time count towards the team's cap hit.

So when Brad Moran gets assigned to Oklahoma City, he'll count against the 50-player limit because he has an NHL component in his contract, but not the Oilers' salary cap because he isn't on the 23-man roster.

Avatar
#158 Racki
July 14 2010, 11:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Chris. wrote:

Please don't draw me back into this circular argument.

I watched that game several years ago with my heart in my hand. I saw a d-man (That I always saw as a weak link) drive a large forward onto a potential Conn Smythe winner. I saw the debaucle that followed. I saw Jussi let in four unanswered goals a game later.

Maybe MAB should have slashed Ladd over the skull. Maybe MAB should have done nothing and let Roli take the shot... Point is, at any level, defencemen should never direct a forward towards the net! It gives the opponent an excuse to make vicious contact.

MAB may have been screwed by fate... much like Steve Smith. I forgave Smith a year ago. Maybe I just need more time.

*Edit* Thanks for calling me a knowledgable hockey fan!

I hate to fuel this any longer.. but he didn't direct Ladd into Roli (I mean, intentionally). Bergeron was clearly trying to drive Ladd away from the net, but Ladd's momentum wins versus Bergeron's puny frame. Really due to the timing involved, Bergeron didn't have much of a choice there, so I don't see why people blame him for that play. I can understand the argument that maybe that play did change the series outcome... but I wouldn't say something like "Bergeron lost the series for us".

You are absolutely right... defencemen should never direct a forward towards the net, and Bergeron wasn't doing that. That just so happened to be the outcome though, unfortunately.

A bit more speed/strength from Bergeron or a slight less strength/speed from Ladd, and Bergeron looks like a hero. Or, perhaps if Greene were less of a slug and/or covered his man properly, that play doesn't even happen.

Anyways, sorry to throw more fuel on this :P

p.s. off to bed now, so I assure you, I won't drag this topic out any longer. :P

Avatar
#159 rindog
July 15 2010, 12:05AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Chris. wrote:

Please don't draw me back into this circular argument.

I watched that game several years ago with my heart in my hand. I saw a d-man (That I always saw as a weak link) drive a large forward onto a potential Conn Smythe winner. I saw the debaucle that followed. I saw Jussi let in four unanswered goals a game later.

Maybe MAB should have slashed Ladd over the skull. Maybe MAB should have done nothing and let Roli take the shot... Point is, at any level, defencemen should never direct a forward towards the net! It gives the opponent an excuse to make vicious contact.

MAB may have been screwed by fate... much like Steve Smith. I forgave Smith a year ago. Maybe I just need more time.

*Edit* Thanks for calling me a knowledgable hockey fan!

So...

What am I to do if I feel your interpretation of the play is incorrect? I know there are cases where people can agree to disagree, but when the replay clearly shows MAB's shoulder aimed at the end boards and making contact with Ladd's side (as opposed to his back), it is difficult to let it go.

I don't believe in your "screwed by fate" logic or anything like that.

MAB made a good hockey play that resulted in a bad outcome for Roloson.

MacT and his staff had no answer for a team that could ice 3 scoring lines (and they couldn't put Pronger out for 45 minutes/game). MacT's plan (to play the crap out of Pronger) worked well against the previous teams that didn't have as balanced of a scoring threat.

***Note: if those suggestions you made are for real, I may have to take back my knowledgable hockey fan comment...

Avatar
#160 Chris.
July 15 2010, 12:08AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Racki wrote:

I hate to fuel this any longer.. but he didn't direct Ladd into Roli (I mean, intentionally). Bergeron was clearly trying to drive Ladd away from the net, but Ladd's momentum wins versus Bergeron's puny frame. Really due to the timing involved, Bergeron didn't have much of a choice there, so I don't see why people blame him for that play. I can understand the argument that maybe that play did change the series outcome... but I wouldn't say something like "Bergeron lost the series for us".

You are absolutely right... defencemen should never direct a forward towards the net, and Bergeron wasn't doing that. That just so happened to be the outcome though, unfortunately.

A bit more speed/strength from Bergeron or a slight less strength/speed from Ladd, and Bergeron looks like a hero. Or, perhaps if Greene were less of a slug and/or covered his man properly, that play doesn't even happen.

Anyways, sorry to throw more fuel on this :P

p.s. off to bed now, so I assure you, I won't drag this topic out any longer. :P

I remeber it differently. I posted a link to a replay on post #57 in response to this debate: I've watched this replay 30X's.

My flawed analysis: I think Bergeron gave Ladd an excuse to crush Roli. I think Roli's injury cost us the cup. I think (by extension) that Bergeron's "punny frame" cost us the cup. I don't care if Bergeron was a "value contract". He was always a very flawed player...

There is a real danger in putting fundamentally flawed players on your roster. IMO, everything positive Bergeron contributed to the Oilers that season for $931K will never be offset by what he cost us that game.

Forgive me if I'm being irrational... this is my gut take.

Avatar
#161 Chris.
July 15 2010, 12:09AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@rindog

Cheers man.

Avatar
#162 TigerUnderGlass
July 15 2010, 12:10AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Racki wrote:

Sorry this whole stats thing has been a bit of a sore spot for me lately. I do agree that teams use advance stats (and all forms of stats, really). I think some people are just arguing that there is no substitute for watching a game. Stats can tell you a little bit about a player, but you really have to watch them to see the whole picture.

But I'm definitely not one who believes stats are useless. I just believe they are less important than some people make them to be. Or perhaps I should they they're just to widely open to interpretation for the average person to use them to tell the whole picture well enough. As I mentioned in the post you quoted, I think stats should be used to add a bit of support to an argument, but they shouldn't be the whole basis (which unfortunately, many people too often use them in that way).

What percentage of NHL players/NHL prospects have you seen play live? How many of them have you seen play live more than once? More than twice?

I would be willing to be a very large sum of money that a more complete picture of a players potential or ability can be had through statistics than through seeing them play 3 or 4 times.

Watching a player tells us what he seems like he should be able to do, but stats are able to quantify the results of those observations. In short, watching tells us who should be batter, but stats can verify which player actually has better results.

I would rather have both tools in my belt, but if I have to choose I'd rather know the practical effects a player has on the game than simply a vantage point to observe which skills a player could potentially choose to utilize.

Here is a small challenge for you. Tell us who is your favorite player and explain why using no stats.

Avatar
#163 TigerUnderGlass
July 15 2010, 12:12AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Chris. wrote:

I remeber it differently. I posted a link to a replay on post #57 in response to this debate: I've watched this replay 30X's.

My flawed analysis: I think Bergeron gave Ladd an excuse to crush Roli. I think Roli's injury cost us the cup. I think (by extension) that Bergeron's "punny frame" cost us the cup. I don't care if Bergeron was a "value contract". He was always a very flawed player...

There is a real danger in putting fundamentally flawed players on your roster. IMO, everything positive Bergeron contributed to the Oilers that season for $931K will never be offset by what he cost us that game.

Forgive me if I'm being irrational... this is my gut take.

An interesting take considering 97% of the leagues players are fundamentally flawed in some way.

Avatar
#164 Chris.
July 15 2010, 12:27AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
TigerUnderGlass wrote:

An interesting take considering 97% of the leagues players are fundamentally flawed in some way.

Forgive me if I'm being irrational... this is my gut take.

If the Oilers make a magical run this season; and Strudwick is beat wide for the game winning goal against in overtime of game seven; don't expect me to herald the virtues of his "value contract"! (Even if he made positive contributions along the way.)

*Remember I've been drinking... and have alrteady confessed to being overly emotional and prone to hyperbole.*

I can't believe I'm still typing... Yuo gyus aer the bset.... I rellay maen taht....

*Edit. I guess I hold Bergeron in the same esteem as Strudwick... and always did... except Strudwick is a stand up guy. MAB's Talent? Fast? Good shot? Irrelevent. MAB is the kind of player that Predergast would have drafted. Nuff said.

Avatar
#165 Yakman
July 15 2010, 01:02AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Great Article!

I always get frustrated with revisionist history about the 2006 cup run... it was a well put together and well coached team... it is a shame that it all fell apart so quickly...

Avatar
#166 Nate Full of Hate
July 15 2010, 04:45AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Bank Shot wrote:

A person's memories will likely be more skewed towards their point of view or what they find relevant.

Average fan is going to remember his favourite player's best moments rather then dwell on the negatives. Likewise, he is going to remember every single mistake made by his whipping boy, and gloss over the good done by him. That's human nature.

At least with stats you can come up with substantial reasons for why things happen. For instance Horcoff's 50 points in 53 games season. In this season he faced relatively easy competition (Stoll-Who was billed as future captain by many got the hard matchups and had a terrible year prompting a lot of fans to turn on him). Horcoff also had a high shooting percentage.

Average fan's reason for his quality season was that Horcoff found some magical sticks in Mexico.

Shawn Horcoff's Easton sticks are manufactured in Mexico...

Shipped out of Lajala Cali....

Avatar
#167 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
July 15 2010, 07:09AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Racki wrote:

I agree. Stats can give you a quick glance at someone, but there is no substitute for good old fashioned watching games.

Some people get far too wrapped up in players stats, whether it be the old box cars, or the more advanced stats. As much as I dislike when people quote stats like they're the law though, they can help support an argument, to some extent. But generally people overanalyze stats and often twist them to completely explain an argument, rather than use them sparingly to help support an argument (I do like though if someone uses them briefly to support an argument more so than driving their whole argument with stats).

OB1 - Team Hall wrote:

Kind of strange that real live NHL teams use them then. I guess the anti-math crew on the net know more about evaluating talent though.

Are you trying to tell us all that if say the Penguins were looking for a left winger, they would scroll through the stats and then pick their guy? I'm afraid not. They use the stats as a quick glance, and truly pick the right player by evaluating video tape as well as watching them in person. Stats aren't useless, but they're only one part of it. Watching the games is a far more important part of evaluating talent.

many teams use a version of advanced stats that a former GM (Mike Smith i think?? will double check) is spear heading. The stats are used for everything from player comparison, to UFA and RFA evaluations, to arbitration cases.

obviously, it wont be the only variable in trying to build a roster, but it is taking on a larger role within the NHL

Avatar
#168 Racki
July 15 2010, 07:36AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
TigerUnderGlass wrote:

What percentage of NHL players/NHL prospects have you seen play live? How many of them have you seen play live more than once? More than twice?

I would be willing to be a very large sum of money that a more complete picture of a players potential or ability can be had through statistics than through seeing them play 3 or 4 times.

Watching a player tells us what he seems like he should be able to do, but stats are able to quantify the results of those observations. In short, watching tells us who should be batter, but stats can verify which player actually has better results.

I would rather have both tools in my belt, but if I have to choose I'd rather know the practical effects a player has on the game than simply a vantage point to observe which skills a player could potentially choose to utilize.

Here is a small challenge for you. Tell us who is your favorite player and explain why using no stats.

So you're asking me to use no stats when I've said that stats should be used to add a bit of support to an argument? Like I said, stats aren't useless, so I shouldn't have to argue without stats, but I will.

Hemsky is my favorite player because I've seen him with my own eyes go into corners fearlessly for pucks. As well, his stickhandling and vision are superior. I've seen some pretty incredible highlight reel dekes from him as well as numerous seeing-eye passes. That makes him a pretty tremendously gifted playmaker as well as a danger as a scorer.

No stats ;)

As far as seeing players "live"... I'm not sure if you mean in person or on TV, but I believe that seeing them on TV is all you need to do. Anyways, I watch as much Junior television as well as occasional College hockey (thank you Big10 Channel) to familiarize myself with players..

That said, I would never say that I know enough about most players to know who we should draft, and this is why *I am not a scout*.

Don't mistake my comment that stats are less important than people make them to be as saying that stats are useless (at least 2 people have now responded to me in the same way, so either I didn't make myself clear very well or a couple of you jumped to conclusion on that - but I'm not trying to be rude about it, so sorry to be blunt). Stats are very good in helping you get a quick view of a player. You can really dig pretttttty deep with advanced stats. I've used them to support arguments before, so I'm familiar with them too. But I'm not going to entirely base an opinion on a player in stats alone. So what I'm saying is it takes a combination of the stats as well as seeing player to get a true opinion of how a player is.

However, I find that most of the stats guys formulate opinions almost completely on stats alone and pick and choose the stats to use, as well as who to use them on.

Anyways, for a scout, a team is going to use those stats to identify players who they should take a look at. Then they're going to go in person and go watch those players and really see what they do in a game situation.

There is no stat that tells you that Horcoff got kicked out of the circle on a phantom hand pass, is there? This is just one small example, but all these unmeasurable factors add up in the course of a game/season. There's reasons that certain things happen, and that's what stats can't reliably tell you.

We both agreed that it works best with both tools in the belt, and that's where the argument should have ended. However, I feel I can judge a player by seeing them enough times more than I can judge a player by stats without ever seeing them (in most cases).

Avatar
#169 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 15 2010, 07:51AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
TigerUnderGlass wrote:

What percentage of NHL players/NHL prospects have you seen play live? How many of them have you seen play live more than once? More than twice?

I would be willing to be a very large sum of money that a more complete picture of a players potential or ability can be had through statistics than through seeing them play 3 or 4 times.

Watching a player tells us what he seems like he should be able to do, but stats are able to quantify the results of those observations. In short, watching tells us who should be batter, but stats can verify which player actually has better results.

I would rather have both tools in my belt, but if I have to choose I'd rather know the practical effects a player has on the game than simply a vantage point to observe which skills a player could potentially choose to utilize.

Here is a small challenge for you. Tell us who is your favorite player and explain why using no stats.

"Watching a player tells us what he seems like he should be able to do, but stats are able to quantify the results of those observations. In short, watching tells us who should be batter, but stats can verify which player actually has better results."

Exactly.

A great example to back this up:

If you were to remove the name off the back of the jersey of say Chad Kilger and Luc Robitaille and simply watch both guys play a couple of games (without looking at the score sheet after) I'd bet almost everyone would walk away thinking Kilger is and will be the far better player.

Avatar
#170 Crash
July 15 2010, 08:35AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Chris. wrote:
Forgive me if I'm being irrational... this is my gut take.

If the Oilers make a magical run this season; and Strudwick is beat wide for the game winning goal against in overtime of game seven; don't expect me to herald the virtues of his "value contract"! (Even if he made positive contributions along the way.)

*Remember I've been drinking... and have alrteady confessed to being overly emotional and prone to hyperbole.*

I can't believe I'm still typing... Yuo gyus aer the bset.... I rellay maen taht....

*Edit. I guess I hold Bergeron in the same esteem as Strudwick... and always did... except Strudwick is a stand up guy. MAB's Talent? Fast? Good shot? Irrelevent. MAB is the kind of player that Predergast would have drafted. Nuff said.

So the truth is for sure now starting to show itself. You never liked Bergeron to begin with so you've chosen to lay losing the cup on his shoulders because you don't like him. If it had been someone you liked then you more than likely wouldn't have this opinion.

You chose to blame Bergeron yet you make no mention at all about the guy who got beat wide (Matt Greene) for that play to happen in the 1st place...yet you say if Strudwick gets beat wide for the game winning goal in OT of game seven that we shouldn't expect you to herald the virtues of his "value contract"....why would you come down on Strudwick in this case when you had nothing bad to say about Greene for getting beat wide on the play that Bergeron tried to cover for him?

Avatar
#171 Racki
July 15 2010, 08:53AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

You guys do know that when people watch players play, they don't close their eyes when a player scores a goal, right? :P

It would be incorrect to say that people who are pro-"game watching" don't use any stats at all in determining how good a player is (really it's natural human behaviour to quantify things). I'm not so sure it can be said that some of the stats guys have ever seen some of the players they rate via stats, however.

Really, for best results, it takes a combination. Stats have come a long way... I use advanced stats as well as normal stats all the time too, but it's only a small portion of how I determine how good a player is. Really though, if I can't see first hand (i.e. on TV, or in person) how good a player is, I might dig up wads and wads of stats, but chances are I'll read a scouting report on a player to really make a determination. The scouting report would be an account of another person who watched the player play... they base these mostly on watching a player "in person" as opposed to reading stats later.

Another example. Let's get granular here, and let's exaggerate things a bit. At a game between the Ducks and Oilers, Joe Smith for the Oilers has 1G, 0A and is a +1 with 10:00 TOI. Dave Madeupguy of the Ducks has the same stats, and also faced the same quality of competition, while playing with the same quality of teammates. How do you know which player is better in that game? Let's say I watched the game. I could tell you that Joe Smith was better in that game because on the goal he scored, he had to battle his way out of the corner, and then deked and dodged through defenders to score the goal, whereas Dave Madeupguy scored his goal by staying parked at the side of the goal and tapped it in (or I could tell you something different... he was parked at the side of the net, but he stickhandled in a phone booth to score his goal). We could look at the hits stat and see that Madeupguy threw 5 hits to Smith's 2. However, I could tell you by watching the game that Madeupguy's 5 hits were pretty soft hits, or hits on guys that were out of the play, or I could tell you that Smith's hits were huge, and one of them caused the recipient of the hit to slow down for the rest of the game.

Stats can get very fine, but people using stats in an argument are only going to go so fine. And unfortunately, that's where stats then become a rough estimation of player performance vs. a real account of performance.

Contrary to popular belief, saying something like "there is no substitute for watching a player play" doesn't mean you ignore how many goals they scored in a game or how many hits they threw though. I think what we're saying is, I'm not going to dig up some numbers in a paper to judge how good a player is. But I might watch a game, see Hemsky's wizardry with the puck and remember how many goals / assists he got in a game. But I might not see any goals or assists in that game, but I might see some crazy effort there though that still makes me feel he's a good player. Anyways, I'm rambling now.. so time to end it.

Avatar
#172 madjam
July 15 2010, 09:22AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Futuristic move by Oilers i might be interested in . Talk of Souray and the Islanders who are way under the cap this season in Journal today .

Souray , Horcoff , Khabibulin , Cogliano and 3rd round pick next season for Yashin and Roloson . Sounds rediculous but economically wise ! Gives team incredible cap space to work with .

Avatar
#173 TigerUnderGlass
July 15 2010, 09:23AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Racki

You do know that just because a person prefers statistics do reach a conclusion it doesn't mean they close their eyes during play right?

I've seen him with my own eyes go into corners fearlessly for pucks. As well, his stickhandling and vision are superior. I've seen some pretty incredible highlight reel dekes from him as well as numerous seeing-eye passes. That makes him a pretty tremendously gifted playmaker as well as a danger as a scorer.

Sounds an awful lot like Robert Nilsson during one of his good stretches. If only there was some way to differentiate between them...

Your example of Smith and Madeupgay works more often the other way. Stats are intended to be used within the framework of the largest sample size possible. Watching games cannot match that unless you are the player's mother.

It doesn't end at you should use both tools, because you are arguing that watching gives MOST of the picture and stats adds a small part. Stats actually gives to much much more of the picture, and watching the player fills in the blanks on how his stats are generated.

I'll repeat the key phrase again from last post; watching tells us who should be better, but stats can verify which player actually has better results. That is not a "small part" in analysis. It is the most important part, otherwise you could end up with a team of Nilssons and never understand why you keep losing.

Avatar
#174 mike
July 15 2010, 10:35AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Goals and assists are obviously a useful stat.

But so are shots and shot location, goals for/against while on ice, strength of opponents/linemates, shifts starting/ending in defensive zone etc.

And then there are subjective stats from assigning errors from video, to scouts giving games scores on all subjective measures of interest to the team.

Every scout, gm, and agent wants to know if the results are equal to the shifts given and are likely to repeat.

Every objective stat and subjective stat and subjective opinion is in competition to see what contributes to assessing the results players are likely to deliver going forward.

Hockey stats are harder than baseball stats but in a world where every shift in on video everything of value that can be plotted down will be evaluated for predictive power. Side by side with the assessment of the various subjective scouting measures.

Avatar
#175 dawgbone
July 15 2010, 03:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

A couple of points on the comments.

1). MAB played it very poorly. His job isn't to try and kill Ladd, his job is to keep Ladd from getting to the front of the net. All he needs to do is cut the front of the net off and Ladd has no play. Instead he tries to hit Ladd and puts him right into Roloson. Where the hell else was Ladd going to go when he hit him there?

2). Conklin dressing in game 1 over Jussi. Both goalies were horrible all year. That's the reason both finished with the worst sv% in the league. They alternated dressing as the backup throughout the playoffs, it just so happened Roli got hurt that night.

Avatar
#176 Oil_Loc8or
July 15 2010, 06:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I think every one has watched numerous games live, do you think there is people that don't watch just read stats and decide who they like ?

Comments are closed for this article.