NASHVILLE: DOUBLE FISTING FRIDAY

Jason Gregor
March 08 2013 12:15PM

*We encourage everyone to drink responsibly.*

Friday is one of the best days of week. The work week is over, you look forward to a few days off and you've usually got something planned. Most of you will watch tonight's game in Nashville despite how frustrated you were watching last night's game in Detroit.

That's what Oiler fans do. You're a veteran when it comes to dealing with hockey disappointment. You loathe the feeling, yet you still show up and watch the next game. Despite this seemingly endless cycle of losing, you still find the strength and courage to watch your beloved Oilers.

You went to bed last night with the intention to do anything but watch the Oiler game tonight. However, just like when you know that extra shooter at 1 a.m. will make you feel worse in the morning, you just can't say no, and tonight you will hunker down and watch the Oilers battle the Predators.

Don't worry you aren't alone. Thousands of Oiler fans feel the exact same way, and if you want company to drown your sorrows you'll find hundreds of Oiler fans watching at the Pint off Whyte tonight.

LINEUP

At this point does it really matter? Just ice 18 skaters who will play smart and with the intensity and passion necessary to compete in the NHL.

Ales Hemsky will be a game time decision after being hit by a puck last night. If he can't go Lennart Petrell or Ben Eager draw in. Not a great trade off.

Also Chris Vande Velde has been sent down to OKC, which is a bit odd considering Shawn Horcoff isn't ready yet. Moving Smyth back to C, where he has to skate more, on back-to-back nights is a tad perplexing.

This team's "Give-A-Crap" meter needs to increase, so who plays where is secondary.

Devan Dubnyk is a better goalie than Yann Danis. Dubnyk can handle playing back-to-back and on paper he gives them the best chance to win, which is why he'll start tonight. Many didn't like the first goal last night, and I can respect that, but until the Oilers produce some offence it is hard to blame the goalie.

It might not be fair, but Dubnyk has to stand on his head until the Oilers score the first goal of the game. If they score first they will have a chance.

QUICK HITS

Some have suggested that hitting can impact the outcome of games and some say it doesn't. 

It is hard to argue either side with any accuracy, since the statisticians/hit counters from building to building all judge a hit differently, but that is all we have to go on so let's take a close look at the Oilers record when they out hit the opposition and when they get out hit.

I didn't include the four games that went to SO, since winning or losing that way isn't "real" hockey. The Oilers went 2-2 in shootout.

Let's start with games the Oilers get out shot, but they out hit the opposition. 

Location Dec  Opp  GF  GA  SF  SA  HF HA
Road L MIN 2 4 21 43 16 15
Road L CGY 3 4 20 35 19 14
Road O CHI 2 3 19 34 42 29
Road W CBJ 3 1 14 40 26 13
Road L DET 3 0 22 28 26 15

Not great. They are 1-3-1 and the only win came when Devan Dubnyk was outstanding.

Here are games where the Oilers have out hit the opposition, but this time they out shot them or were tied in shots. Tied in shots or hits only happened once, so I chose to keep it in. 

Location Dec  Opp  GF  GA  SF  SA  HF HA
Home L DAL 1 4 36 29 26 25
Road W DAL 5 1 38 34 29 28
Home W COL 6 4 56 29 34 33
Home L MIN 3 1 28 28 34 19

Oilers went 2-2. What is interesting is that in the nine games the Oilers have out hit the opposition 6 came on the road and 3 came at home. Tyler Dellow wrote an article that illustrated how across the league the home building usually marks hits in favour of the home team, but so far this year that isn't the case with the Oilers.

In total the Oilers are 3-5-1 in games where they've out hit the opposition.

Here is the Oilers record when they've been out hit and out shot. 

Location Dec  Opp  GF  GA  SF  SA  HF HA
Road L STL 2 4 17 30 16 27
Home L LAK 1 3 24 38 17 32
Road L DET 1 2 24 30 14 24
Road L COL 1 3 26 40 16 25
Home L SJS 3 6 29 31 11 13
Home O VAN 2 3 25 40 17 19
Road W PHX 2 1 21 28 24 44
Home W COL 4 1 27 38 25 26

The Oilers are 2-5-1 and not surprisingly these games were some of their worst efforts of the season.

Lastly, here is the Oilers record in games they've been out hit, but out shot the opposition.

Home W LAK 2 1 39 31 12 18
Home O DAL 2 3 29 28 10 12

The Oilers went 1-0-1. Also of note they were out hit in 6 home games and 4 road games. When you consider Dellow's article about home bias, it means either the Oilers stats guys call it as they see it, or they used their bias just to make it look close. Likely the former.

TOTALS

The Oilers are 3-5-1 when they've out hit the opposition and are 3-5-2 when they've been out hit. Basically they have the same record whether they out hit a team or get out hit. They lose either way, which is the most concerning.

I don't believe the majority of hits have a direct factor in the outcome of most games, the odd big hit that leads directly to a goal can, but most are used to hopefully wear down the opposition or make them rush a pass that could lead to a scoring chance.

When I suggest the Oilers need to be grittier and tougher it isn't just about hits, far from it actually. I've never said they just need a guy who can hit. I wrote yesterday why I think they added Mike Brown, because he'll be an improvement over Ben Eager. Brown won't be taking minutes away from more "skilled" players.

Make no mistake, when I talk about the need for grit and toughness it is more about a dedication to out working the opposition. Stop turning the puck over at the offensive blueline (mental toughness), don't be afraid to take the puck to the net and win more one-on-one battles. Some of those battles will involve body contact, but many  will just be a flat out battle to get the puck. The Oilers need to start winning more of them and start playing smarter.

The bigger concern for the Oilers is their inability to get shots on net. Not surprisingly the Oilers are 2-8-2 when they've been out shot and 3-2-1 when they've outshot the opposition. Again, just using shot totals as the main factor in losses would be deceiving as well, but it does give you an indication of how the game will end.

Take last night for instance. The Oilers were outshot 28-22 which doesn't look awful, but David Staples had the scoring chances were 22 to 6. That's brutal.

Either way the Oilers need to improve many aspects of their game, but suggesting that hitting hurts the Oilers is misleading. They have much bigger concerns that if they are hitting too much.

POSITIVE FRIDAY

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The good news is that the Oilers can't possibly play worse than they did last night, and last year they crushed the Predators 6-2 and 6-3 in Nashville. I see a better effort, but it results in a 3-2 SO loss.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The sight of Adrianna Lima gets you in a better mood. Sometimes you just need some "Lima-Time." With Horcoff's return getting closer, many will say how much the team misses him. Of course this means the end of the world is coming, but at leat you got to see Lima one more time.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Lima will read this post and send me a tweet thanking me for the support. She also offers to mail 100 Nation readers a never-been-seen-before-behind-the-scenes calender of her most recent photo shoot if the Oilers win. Just when you thought a loss couldn't hurt anymore than it does now.... 

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#201 hemi
March 09 2013, 06:41AM
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I have stayed away from the constant thrashing of management but as much as I have tried to see something positive in our management, I simply cannot be blinded by my love of the Mighty Oil. Shameful performances on ice and even more shameful on managements part. This city has been nothing but 100% behind the Oil for all of it's basement dwelling status of the last too many years. We deserve a better team than what we have been privy to for far too long. Shake up time? Management first, then players! Enough is enough already.

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#202 Jay
March 09 2013, 06:45AM
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I think just about everyone thought the oilers would improve this year with the roster we had. Obviously there's somthing desperately wrong with this team other than simply management.

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#203 MAC962
March 09 2013, 08:00AM
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Katz and Company- I hope you all sleep well knowing you are ripping us off, especially the poor dude who puts out half his pay cheque to take his kids to a game and watching this crap. Oh there is talent there but you have done squat to bring in those to help build. Are you scared for your jobs yet ? You should be , other than that recluse of an owner we have who is scared to apologize for not having done anything. Would you let Rexall fail like this Katz ? I have seen crap hockey before, this is a joke, this team is the laughing stock of the league once again.

Oh and you players - collecting the big payday huh , nice effort boys, grow up and get after it. I think you need a dose of Lindy Ruff or Brent Sutter , not passive Ralph. Tom Renney 2.0.

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#204 Spurzey
March 09 2013, 08:20AM
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Mom just went back to the kitchen. This is a fackin joke. I have the opportunity to flip the tv on at work to watch the game and I chose not to. I kept working!!

ps. never broke my legs

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#205 Gerald R. Ford
March 09 2013, 08:35AM
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Whenever we, the fans, have to eat one of the many, massive crap pies that the NHL puts on our plates (labour disputes, insane prices, way too many teams watering down the product), the league, the individual teams, and the all-knowing MSM tell us, "Shut up, fan. It's a business. You don't know anything about business. This is all necessary, and just the way it is."

Well, Daryl Katz is not running this franchise like a business. The "optics", as Stauffer used to love to say, are that he's running it like a very expensive hobby. He's a fanboy, not an owner, who desperately wants to make it 1984 and, be a boy on the bus. This horrific dark cloud must be lifted. Every game feels like a wake, not a celebration. We are now looking back NOSTALGICALLY, longing for those ragtag, held-together-with-duck-tape-and-chewing-gum teams of the late 90s and early 2000s, who had almost zero talent, but sacks of forged steel, and enough guts and pride to limp into the playoffs, just long enough to be cannon fodder for Dallas.

NO MORE!

The line must be drawn HERE! This far! No further! If this is a business, let's see some accountability, like everyone in the real world has to deal with everyday.

Cuz, this bitch is ugly, and we have had enough!

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#206 Chaz
March 09 2013, 08:47AM
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Management must go.

I like Krugs, but reading his post game comments he inferred that the issue with this team is about not being willing to drive to the net.

NOTE TO RALPH: A team has to gain the zone first before they can drive to the net. Every team in the league knows they can stand your team up at the blue line and they can't get into the zone. Change your game plan up a bit and maybe your players will be in a position to drive the net.

I can't even believe I'm wasting my time watching and commenting on these bums. Great fans, terrible franchise.

Management must go.

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#207 A-Mc
March 09 2013, 08:59AM
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Ouch. These games are hurting me, Oilers. Plz stop

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#208 michael
March 09 2013, 09:05AM
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Get out the pitchfork,Get out the firebrands.Lets all march down to Oilers head office and demand everyone get traded.

Breath everyone. 6-0. The one comment I read related the 11-0 loss to the Hartford Whalers back in 82-83.You want to see angry then you should have been lucky enough to be an Oiler fan back in the day when guys like Coffey ere being traded every second game by the fans because he coughed up the puck so much. Messier. Trade the bum. He was nothin without Gretzky who with Kuri was injured at the time of that 11-0 loss.

The loss last night was ugly for all sorts of reasons. The biggest is that the Oilers now have gone 2 games without drawing a penalty.Big neon sign on QE@.It says "NO Effort". If you don't draw a penalty in 2 games it means that you are not working hard enough to make the other team take a penalty. No matter who you are you can't explain that stat away.That is a big time red flag.

The best Oiler in the past 2 games.Mike Brown. 2cd best MP. Worst.Ebs and RNH.They are getting schooled right now like nobody's buisness. Time to sit them in the press box and give them a rest for a couple of games. They look mentally exhausted. The seasons lack of production is starting to erode their confidence to a point that they are becoming ineffectual. They need to step back no matter the cost to the team. Horcoff is back against Chicago. If Hemsky is ready play Horc,Hemsky and Smyth as your first line for the night and Gagner,Hall and Yak. Belanger,Jones and MP.Petrell,Brown and Eager as the fourth line.

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#209 Hemipower
March 09 2013, 09:14AM
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I'm mad too and feel like throwing up but this is not a management problem right now.

The players are not playing with any intensity or heart. They are NOT shooting on net. If Eberle or Hall does one more toe drag instead of shooting - I will puke. The one chance last night, Eberle toe-dragged and ended up in the corner with the puck. Ther was 2 trailer's coming in on that play and would have banged in the rebound if Ebs shot it onto the goalie!

It is like 5they are protesting to Kreuger or the system isn't working. I will add I am extremely dissapointed how Krueger is failing to rile up and motivate the players's. I thought he would excel at that.

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#210 Hemipower
March 09 2013, 09:18AM
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@michael

Props - I am still o.k. with the suffering and losses. It is the lack of effort which is so dis-heartening. Firing management won't solve anything, in fact it could make it worse.

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#211 GVBlackhawk
March 09 2013, 09:28AM
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Hemipower wrote:

Props - I am still o.k. with the suffering and losses. It is the lack of effort which is so dis-heartening. Firing management won't solve anything, in fact it could make it worse.

Who assembled the current roster? Can you draw any comparisons to the team that finished in 29th place last season? That's correct -- it is nearly the same roster.

The team is not good enough to compete at the NHL level. The kids are getting thrown to the wolves. It is management's job to surround them with quality veteran role players and some reasonable defensemen.

Management has chosen to bury their heads in the sand. Yours is buried alongside theirs.

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#212 GVBlackhawk
March 09 2013, 09:34AM
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michael wrote:

Get out the pitchfork,Get out the firebrands.Lets all march down to Oilers head office and demand everyone get traded.

Breath everyone. 6-0. The one comment I read related the 11-0 loss to the Hartford Whalers back in 82-83.You want to see angry then you should have been lucky enough to be an Oiler fan back in the day when guys like Coffey ere being traded every second game by the fans because he coughed up the puck so much. Messier. Trade the bum. He was nothin without Gretzky who with Kuri was injured at the time of that 11-0 loss.

The loss last night was ugly for all sorts of reasons. The biggest is that the Oilers now have gone 2 games without drawing a penalty.Big neon sign on QE@.It says "NO Effort". If you don't draw a penalty in 2 games it means that you are not working hard enough to make the other team take a penalty. No matter who you are you can't explain that stat away.That is a big time red flag.

The best Oiler in the past 2 games.Mike Brown. 2cd best MP. Worst.Ebs and RNH.They are getting schooled right now like nobody's buisness. Time to sit them in the press box and give them a rest for a couple of games. They look mentally exhausted. The seasons lack of production is starting to erode their confidence to a point that they are becoming ineffectual. They need to step back no matter the cost to the team. Horcoff is back against Chicago. If Hemsky is ready play Horc,Hemsky and Smyth as your first line for the night and Gagner,Hall and Yak. Belanger,Jones and MP.Petrell,Brown and Eager as the fourth line.

Your comments were valid a couple of years ago. This team should be showing progress by now but they are not. Have a look at their record, their goal differential, the horrific 5v5 play.

The team is not improving. Take your "Be patient everybody" line and shove it.

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#213 Hemipower
March 09 2013, 09:40AM
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GVBlackhawk wrote:

Who assembled the current roster? Can you draw any comparisons to the team that finished in 29th place last season? That's correct -- it is nearly the same roster.

The team is not good enough to compete at the NHL level. The kids are getting thrown to the wolves. It is management's job to surround them with quality veteran role players and some reasonable defensemen.

Management has chosen to bury their heads in the sand. Yours is buried alongside theirs.

I agree 1000% we need quality veteran players and defence.

If Tambo had a chance to get these player's and choose not to - then he should be fired yesterday.

But what players are you refering to? We have nothing to offer right now - that's the problem. I don't think Tambo is playing golf or playing with himself and not trying. I am sure he has contacted all 29 teams and the usual response is " Sure - we will take RNH, Hall or Eberle " I am not ready to trade them right now. ( A year from now if we are playing like this - then it has to be a possibility )

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#214 @Oilanderp
March 09 2013, 11:14AM
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This team has no heart, no battle, no "compete". They just don't want it. All the acquisitions in the world aren't going to give the tin man his heart or the lion his courage. This group needs to find it in themselves. It's going to take as long as it takes - it's completely up to them.

It's just too bad that I have to watch it LOL.

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#215 NewAgeSys
March 09 2013, 07:37PM
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Nice article, it provides a nice statistical overview of how many people choose to quantify hitting in hockey,by the numbers.

Traditional hockey definitions are sometimes very vague and open to interpretation, as a result each team must define these concepts to the men definately as they apply contextually to the specific system the team will be useing.

Think of the phrase'Kind of the same but different".

If we give every player a cookie recipie that is identical and then give them all the same excat ingredients and exact same physical enivronment and the same time limits and then we line all of the results up we will solve the Oiler main problem today. An hour in a high school Home Ec class, or whatever they call it today would help this group. They are totally lacking in intuative communication ability as a group, there is NO group mindset, no common base for everyone to work off of. No way to define a natural pecking order.

You need to have a hands on example of the dynamic to get it through to everyone at the same time, you need a way to make all the lightbulbs come on at once, not just come on period. This is the dynamic reality people often miss, the individual players responsibility extends only to turning the light bulb on their beanbags.

The COACH is responsible for creating a dynamic situation where all the bulbs come on in a syncronised manner at the same time, this is a dynamic sweet-spot, just like when you take a solid wrister or slapper and release the puck off of the sweet-spot of your blade, or like when you hit a solid long drive off the sweet-spot of your baseball bat or golfclub.

The NewAge Hockey System I created for the Oilers posting as Moma2 utilises Intuative Dynamic Analysis as its core value driving force. It brings players all onto the same page instantly. hahaha,as quickly as they all land on the same page when they are all asked to pick a number so they will be able to find the randomly chosen plates of cookies their teammates made so nicely for them,ha ha ha ha that they will be eating. Just like game results everyone has to share equally and without predjudice.

My point is that if we dont start everything on the same page we will not win squat, as soon as we are all on the same page wins will come freely.

There is a reason my posts get long, situational dynamics are complicated and need to be thoroughly discussed. Heres an example, define "hitting" in Hockey. We can ask twenty professional players coaches and managers and we will get twenty slightly and sometimes drasticlly different answers, this fact is unassailable, it is written in stone.

How do we bring all of these different definitions together into a common one everyone can understand to the same degree on the same level? Well simply put we take a bunch of 1-D{verbal} or one dimensional prespectives and we walk them gently into a more paralell 2-D{written} perspective and then we take them a step further into a catalysing 3-D{visual} perspective which they all see the same way.

So far we have as facts that "hitting" is currently defined many different ways by everyone we query, we know that among each individuals mental warehouse somewhere exists each perspective others see, so we need to teach players to not only consider their own definitions but to bring up everyones perspectives as well and then they need to learn to adjust their own perspective to meet in the middle of everyone elses. We must use our intuition to find each persons profile in our mental warehouse.

Attempting to quantify hitting in statistical perspective pigeonholes it into just one dimension and traps it there and this is not only impossible to see happen naturally but it is confining and is intentionally decietfull.

So first we who embrace the NHS find and embrace a 3-d perspective of hitting and then we incorporate that definition and its application into our system, in the process deleting from our mens mindset all the many individual perspectives and definitions of "hitting" they hold in their mental warehouses-- we rewire everyone. We "lighten the load" so to speak, we clear up the static if you will, and within the NewAge Hockey System every core value component is manifested this way, taking conventional 1-D perspectives and graduating them to a refined 2-D perspective and then we evolve that into a fully integrated 3-D perspective.

This is called getting everyone on the same page and as you can see it is a complicated challenge at the best of times, but this elite Intuitively driven communications platform is THE most critical building block of a winning culture that can produce winning results consistantly. No hockey system in the world can be executed if an adequate communications format has not been implemented, elite results require elite communications, not good, not very good, not top of the line, but ELITE communications, your key player on the ice holds no more value than your key communications facillitator, and the level of speed , read, execution, committment and hard work required from each is equal on every level.

Ralph Krueger needs help, he is obviously already an above average communications facillitator, but the question is wether he has been able to or is able to step back far enough from his Head Coaches prespective to provide , present and implement an unbiased set of communication dynamics at the ELITE level. To make the challenge more formiddable he has inherited a system that is labor intensive in the communication department.And to add to that he has a Rookie laden roster.But on the upside he has many nearly clear slates to work with in those Rookies so it should be eaisier to implement a 3-D perspective for them than it will be for the veterans , which coincidentally is where we seem to be the most disconnected right now.

There is only one way to epedite ELITE communication and that is to utilise the best facillitator you can find, not the statisticlly assesed best one, the one that best executes your specific systems perspective, just like the cookies we talked about, its the recipie in front of us that matters not the one we made yesterday. If you want the most accurate representation of your perspective or recipie you need to survey the results of all of the differently manifested perspectives available and then simple pick the best one, You walk down the aisle and look at every plate of cookies and you let your professionalism guide you and park your personal biases and preferences at the door. This allows you to use a truly results based baseline for your ultimate decision. This cannot be accomplished in there is a silent judge picking the best cookies for the coach, as we might have happening here in Edmonton.

Take the realtime decisions of Ralph and his crew, take the realtime hypothetical decisions of the Eye in the Sky the Oilers must have watchng the game from above, and then assign a specific number of defined perspectives and have them also do a realtime online sequence of adjustments to hypotheticlly manage the game, put all of these results on a graph over a five or ten game period and then tell yourself the absolute unadultered truth about what you see. It is a simple process, and it is a cleansing process of self-discovery for an Organisation. One set of results will DOMINATE the rest, this is a natural and unavoidable dynamic reality and result. Then simply act on that data, that set of properly quantified , defined, and attained results that is dominant must be identified, recognised,conceptuialised and initiated ASAP.

You will see statistical evaluation and analysis thrown out with the bathwater immediatly and put back in Pandoras Box where those limited use concepts and their applications belong.

Identifying the Oilers biggest challenge isnt rocket science, it is simply a lack of effective and well balanced intuatively catalysed communication, and can be remedied quickly with the proper direction and managment. |Even the system we use now can be executed at its maximum potential and produce consistant wins if the communications base is solid and results based and driven.

The single weakest link I can identify with the Oilers organisation is a lack of integrity, an inability to seperate the wheat from the chaffe, this seems to be a syndrome or an affliction within the organisation, there are to many levels of static in place that prevent anyone from getting a clear results based assesment completed, to many levels of job protection for to many people, the oganisation has had to many years to put these barriers in place that absolutely prevent the analysis of individual responsibility, results, and assesment of accountability.

Put it this way results talk and BS walks, formalitys walk and biases walk, or the team will continue to under perform and will never produce consistant winning results.

It is no different in hockey than in the entertainment industrys other sectors, just watch Americas Got Talent or any of the REALITY shows and try to tell the PEOPLE who the best singers are, the Peoples Court decides and all salesmanship and BS walks. No one needs the incredibly expensive, cumbersome , industry infrastructure that was created over generations to define BEST, the internet has streamlined the process and outed all of the pretenders, if you have got it today all you need to do is put it on the internet and you will be recognised eventually by the more progressive data miners. Results talk and BS walks. There is nowhere to hide for underachievers and con-artists.

There are people online consistantly managing the Oilers better than they are being managed in reality, this is not a joke and these peoples results are absolutely valid and quantifiable in realtime. So lets find these individuals pro-actively based on their results and hire them as consultants like everyone else in the business world does, evey sucessful business today mines the internet for resources, that is where its at today. What kind of deluded fool would try to dispute realtime results? The definition of positive results isnt that loose, it doesnt contain that much wiggle room. So its simply a matter of implementing integrity, and honesty, looking at a simple set of dynamic results and assesing them with integrity and truth and then acting professionally on those assesments and analysis. Putting the best results in a position to lead the organisation.

The Oilers Hackathon was a prime example of this lack of integrity, the very reason it was conceptualised and initiated was part of this BadMedicine the Oilers are gulping down, ask yourself what catalysed the idea of the Hackathon, what driving force caused that dynamic action to happen? Find the source, the Oilers have an Analytical Team and it is catalysed around statistical analysis completely, because statistical analysis is snake-oil beyond a very few applications they have built a Straw House.

Two years ago the Organisation was put on the alert via internet sources that they were lacking hugely in the Intuative Dynamic Analysis department, so what did they do? Did they identify contact and retain this source? Ha ha ha ha,not at all in fact the Oilers asked their Analytics Team to come up with a way to generate this Intuative Dynamic Analysis, ha ha ha, they asked the Robber to lock the door, ha ha ha. So whoever they hired to provide them with statistical analysis support came up with the Hackathon in an attempt to dredge up or mine the internet for a product they have no clue about and cant even quantify or identify themselves, and the Oilers are in my opinion clueless to the tenth degree, I know because I am an Intuit and you cant BS me, I can expose stats based salesmanship for what it is easily simply by comparing results, statistical analysis has no quantifiable definable results from which to create a baseline to asses its value, its like the gift that keeps on giving, but Intuative Dynamic Analysis produces immediate and definable results on the ice that can be reproduced consistantly and adjusted in quantifiable defined MEASURABLE ways.

Stats tell you how many hits a player makes per year, per game, per shift, but it has no method of defining appropriatness or accuracy of dynamic, in other words why the players was throwing the hit, maybe you take a guy who has huge hitting numbers but they are huge because he has immense holes in his overall game he covers up by utilisong the hitting to an unbalanced degree. maybe he is a poor hitter who plays in a system that requires him to make contact a lot and this pumps up his numbers artificially. I could go on forever ripping apart statistical analysis ,but it is boring and repetative and easy to do.

Hitting is defined by the dynamic action the COACH wishes to create from within his system and as a result statistical analysis of a players hitting numbers is useless, for example maybe Ralph defines hitting as making contact enough to change an opponents body position and then breaking away and recovering yourself back into the play first, or maybe he defines hitting as removing the opponent completely from the playaction and staying on him long enough to prevent both of you from reentering the playaction. Do you see the difference in the dynamic results provided to the system by these two perspectives? This is why the team needs to find common ground even on the most basic hockey fundamentals, it is not relearning the game it is learning a new way to understand the game from a group consensus perspective.

At the end of the day nothing superior can be built without something else inferior being broken to facillitate that growth, it is just the way our world is designed, so yes I am afraid it is akin to a battle and the truth is that to develop a winning attitude and gameplan you need to FIGHT, you need to take a stand for truth and integrity and trust,and then let history to carry you in the right dynamic direction. But you need to FIGHT and take on and crush all comers useing purely SUPERIOR RESULTS, if you cannot do this , if you cannot decisively crush the loseing attitudes support network you are DOOMED. This means many small dirty and ugly little battles picking off each weak link of the loseing culture one by one patiently and utterly destroying each one you encounter and engage. Its not a great way to make friends, ha ha ha, and it is like a crusade if you stick it out at the end you have a lot of friends and no enemies ha ha ha, the committment level is so high that you truly must believe in what you are doing.

The Oilers need to address a lack of system generated hitting, not individual players statistics, if we focus on statistics it will influence players to step out of system support to provide positive numbers which will give us a false positive result we will use when we asses effectiveness and adjust tactics.

For example if our d-zone coverage wants to step up and follow through on a hit on an opponent d-man setting up on our blueline to initiate his systems offense then we need to have system generated support for the player initiating contact for us. Guys cant just randomly step out of their system support roles and break their Gapping to make a maverick move. The Gapping has to be altered or the system playaction adjusted to initiate a supported contact or hit on the blueline opponent and this is a coaching move not a player move or decision. We all want to make it seem like its the players themselves dictating the physicality of the game and how and when they throw a hit or dont throw a hit.

So how do we communicate to the players that we need more system generated and supported contact, EASY we coach it into the system execution and stop putting the accountability on the players, we put the pressure on the system where it belongs and in the coaches wheelhouse where it also belongs. If we just tell the players to "hit more" they wont know when to hit or how to do it to best support the system ,we will actually weaken our systems integrity instead of bolstering it.

Yea right , we need more physical players, yea right we arent tough enough, yea right we dont hit enough, this is all just a smokescreen for the real problem which is that our system execution does not require the physicality people want to see to replace the goals they arent seeing produced, they want the team to give a pound of flesh if they cant give offense, but we now know that this cant happen without abandoning system integrity or altering the system to be more defensive which once again reduces the goal totals and tightens the noose that is making us choke even more. We need to better manage the systems execution to establish a more balanced physicality on the ice, this is a fact, we cannot abandon any of our offensive focus that is also a fact, so we need to dig deep into our system understanding and develop some dynamic tactics that will implement properly managed and defined hitting in a controlled up-tempo manner and will catalyse offense for us. We need our hitting to catalyse offensive plays for us, we just got hammered on by a team that does this exact thing, uses the glancing type of hitting to pinball guys just out of position long enough to initiate offensive pressure. Our hits must be system generated and maintain our gapping that way and they also must catalyse offensive playactions, so we hit to create offensive opportunitys, we dont step up and contact a d-man on the blueline unless that decision can catalyse offense by our support hitting us for a breakaway by taking advantage of the fact we are now so far behind the play we have become an offensive option. If the system supports the man stepping up then the offensive opportunity can be actioned, but if the man just randomly decides to step up that far we will lose system integrity totally and screw up our gapping. We need system execution to remove that decision from the player we need the system to move him up for the contact with support, and this means we need elite communication between the players and the coaches.

We can debate things forever but if the word system doesnt litter that debates context we are blowing smoke out our arses, all roads lead to Rome and in hockey all roads lead to the System.

This post is a personal record length and it doesnt cover much at all, the issues the Oilers are dealing with are complicated and there is no way to deal with them in a condensed manner, that type of communication is what caused the problems in the first place. Everyone tries to Twitterize their communication format so much we lose to much in the translation.

By the way this entire post could be verbalised in a very very short time and because I only need each person to take out their one perspective from the entire communication the results materialise as fast as each person can identify their perspective and jump onto the common page. This happens very very quickly in realtime when you verbalise and takes bloody forever when you need to write your way through it.

I need a break from this posting, this is literally a job, and if i am in I am all-in , so I am getting out for a few days, ha ha ha.

It will take that long for anyone to read all this anyways, ha ha ha. I could have said this in 5 mins. I miss actually coaching, it is much less labor intensive compared to posting data the long way. And you get the rewards immediatly when you see results materialising, same with loyalty and Esprit de Corps, and by god you dont have to listen to the Twittering of every contrarian mindset out there you can snuff those out of the dynamic, you have the power to eliminate all of the indecisive contrarian influences that prevent the winning dynamic from catalysing. Winning always entails a fight, how quickly you can end the fight is what defines you as a winner, and that takes a tremendous amount of energy to maintain.

Cheers to the Oilers figuring out their woes, I hope they can find their way. They seem to need hope and are willing to do nearly anything to succeed, that dynamic is a coaches dream if he has the right system supporting him, or an organisation that can find him a system that is superior. We are nearly there, we have the coach and we have the willing men, all we need is to make sure we give them a superior system that dynamiclly suits their group skillsets.

God I feel like I just woke up ten years ago, I am a die-hard and am getting vertigo just trying to keep up with this rollercoaster of bad to worse results. I am distancing myself from this dysfunction it is even making me begin to doubt myself, its like a frigging black-hole of desperation.

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#216 Readers Digestion
March 09 2013, 08:17PM
Trash it!
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Cheers
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@NewAgeSys

Wow...just wow.

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