Did Craig MacTavish move Ladislav Smid to Calgary just in time?

Jonathan Willis
January 14 2014 07:37AM

Something funny has happened since Craig MacTavish made the highly criticized trade that sent defenceman Ladislav Smid to the Calgary Flames in exchange for futures. Smid has imploded with the Flames, and that oh-so-weak Oilers defence seemingly hasn’t gotten any worse.

In fact, Smid’s departure appears to have marked bit of a turning point for the Oilers; after going 4-14-2 to start the year Edmonton won the first game post-Smid and has put together a still bad but much improved 11-14-3 record since.

As interesting as that won/lost record is, it’s nothing close to definitive. A lot goes into a win or a loss and often a team’s record with a given player on it is more luck than anything else. All it does is show that the sky hasn’t fallen in Edmonton post-Smid.

But other metrics show a lot more than that.

Ladislav Smid in Calgary

There’s something interesting that happens to Flames defencemen when they get paired with Smid: They get worse. Calgary gets out-shot by a 3:2 margin when Smid is on the ice, and no matter who he is paired with the partner has been better off with almost anybody else.

The following chart shows the percentage of all attempted shots taken by Calgary with a given defence pair on the ice. The break-even mark is 50 percent, with higher being better and lower being worse:

For pure puck-moving defencemen, like Mark Giordano and Dennis Wideman, the addition of Smid to their pairing hurt. In Giordano’s case – and he’s the guy most worth paying attention to since a) we know he is an exceptional defenceman and b) he’s played the most with Smid – the difference was roughly 3.5 shots out of every hundred. In other words, Calgary went from being out-shot 52-48 with Giordano and X on the ice to being out-shot 56-44 with Giordano and Smid.

For guys who aren’t puck-movers, Smid was kryptonite. We’ll ignore T.J. Brodie, since the sample size is so small, but Chris Butler and Shane O’Brien both go from being bad without Smid to being outshot 2:1 when paired with Smid.

In short: in Calgary, Smid has been worse than useless when paired with anybody other than an exceptional puck-mover, and even in the latter pairing he has dragged down the results of that puck-mover.

Ladislav Smid in Edmonton

There is an idea floating around that Smid – a big, tough, physical defenceman who knew what do in his own zone – was carrying regular partner Jeff Petry and that with Smid gone Petry has been exposed as a bad defenceman.

It isn’t a theory that harmonizes with available fact. Let’s start by looking at Petry’s numbers with various partners this year:

The idea that Petry’s a trainwreck just doesn’t work because almost everybody he partners with gets better in the process. Petry has played with five regular partners this year, and it’s not a fantastic list – he’s played with Andrew Ference against tough opposition or he’s played second-pair minutes with a rookie (Anton Belov, Martin Marincin) or the remains of Nick Schultz or Ladislav Smid, who we’re discovering has major holes in his game.

Unsurprisingly, Petry’s looked bad at times. More surprising is this:

  • Ference has been at his best with Petry.
  • The Oilers out-shot the opposition by a wide margin with rookie Belov on the ice with Petry
  • The Oilers out-shot the opposition by a wide margin with rookie Marincin on the ice with Petry

What about Smid’s Oilers numbers?

We’re looking at pretty small sample sizes here, but Smid was a disaster when not paired with Petry and this season he’s been a disaster with anybody other than Petry, Giordano or Wideman.

What to Make of It All

Ladislav Smid has been one of my favourite players to watch for a long time. In interviews he comes across as funny, upbeat and a consummate professional. On the ice, whatever his faults, I’ve never had any reason to doubt he was giving it his all. Blocking shots, making hits, taking hits, whatever; Smid was a guy who always showed up.

So it brings me no pleasure to say this: It looks like something has gone very wrong with the player. With numbers like he’s posting in Calgary, he’ll be lucky if he can hang on as a third-pair defender, and only then if he’s playing with a competent puck-mover. Maybe this is all temporary, and he’ll rebound (I hope so; I’ve always liked the way he plays) but this is an awful stretch of hockey for a guy who has three seasons left at $3.5 million.

As for Craig MacTavish, he was harshly criticized for the Smid trade. But right now, it looks like he cleared a bunch of money, added some prospects and moved a player who wasn’t furthering the cause. If trends continue as they have since the trade, that will be a monumental victory for Edmonton’s general manager. At the very least, it may be wise to tone down the rhetoric condemning him for making the unpopular move.

Finally: It isn’t easy to say nice things about Jeff Petry to Oilers fans. He’s a favoured whipping boy and he probably always will be. But it’s funny how good his partners always seem to look. First, it was Smid. Then it was Anton Belov – whose play fell off at right around the same time he got bumped to the third pairing. Now it’s Martin Marincin, a second-year professional in North America who miraculously seems to be handling second pairing minutes in his first dozen games in the majors. Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to ask whether Petry has something to do with that.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
Avatar
#101 Ed in Edmonton
January 14 2014, 01:17PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
13
cheers
pkam wrote:

The problem with Petry is even he is playing well for most part of the game, he will make one or two mind boggling mistakes and usually it ends with the puck in our net.

Absolutely correct. I'm wondering if the Petry kind of player, who plays well most of the time but when he makes an error it's a big one, will always have "advanced stats" that make him look better than he might really be. When I am always concerned when Petry is on the ice.

Avatar
#102 Raine
January 14 2014, 01:22PM
Trash it!
9
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers

I wrote about Smid and his blocked shots as being over rated prior to his contract extension. I knew putting value on Smid blocking shots was wrong and he was going to be awarded. http://www.oilogosphere.com/blog/dont-base-smids-contract-on-over-rated-blocked-shots/

Smid's blocked shots were highly over rated. When you get hemmed in your own zone and allow more shots towards the net it's likely you'll have a higher blocked shots count. Problem with Smid is he's always premeditated blocking a shot rather than forcing a turn over or preventing the shot. He simply collapses and everyone calls him a warrior. Blocking a shot should be done in desperation and not premeditated, in Smid's case he allowed the shooter to take the shot - whether Smid blocked it or not I'd much prefer the defensemen forcing a turnover and gaining possession of the puck.

Avatar
#103 Johnnydapunk
January 14 2014, 01:23PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

I admit I always like articles that surprise me, meaning they pull out a fact that I was unaware of and changes the way I look at something. Well done Willis!

I can't say that I wasn't happy or sad over the trade, I thought that it was maybe a personality clash of some sort that just couldn't be fixed and the easiest solution was moving Smid. He was alright but seemed to be typical of the Oil player that kindof did my head in, he was good but not that good and the fact that he was good in a bad group made him look better. His contract was a bit fat for a player of his calibre, but he seemed to put an effort in and that was nice to see.

The only little thing about one of the comments made which also kindof makes me crazy is when people use a double negative "I don't disagree" for example. It seems more common nowadays and I'm baffled why.

Avatar
#104 Raine
January 14 2014, 01:45PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
CDean wrote:

What I find amusing is this is the last contract that Tambo negotiated and MacT trades it away. You can see the differences right there. If Lowe was making all the decisions then this wouldn't have happened. Further evidence that both Tambo and MacT have the reins.

Why does Tambellini always get the blame with contracts? Just easier to blame the guy not here anymore I suppose.

MacTavish was on that staff and was working with Tambellini at the time. Smid is right up MacTavish's alley with the blocking of shots - which was odd that he traded the guy. Lowe was on staff and each contract is run by Katz. Also, from my understanding, RICKY OLCZYK is the most heavily involved in contract negotiations - he's still on the staff.

Avatar
#105 Raine
January 14 2014, 01:50PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers

I really don't find these stats that significant either. Smid has been paired with Giordano the majority of time in Calgary. When he's not, small sample size, it's only a different of -3.6%. Not even worth noting imo.

Avatar
#106 Raine
January 14 2014, 02:00PM
Trash it!
9
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers
Raine wrote:

I really don't find these stats that significant either. Smid has been paired with Giordano the majority of time in Calgary. When he's not, small sample size, it's only a different of -3.6%. Not even worth noting imo.

Also to add to that, I don't take stock in stats from someone who isn't watching the games. Stats based on analyzing video footage by a competent viewer is one thing - you watch the game and by watching the game something triggered the viewer to analyze a specific area of the game. Huge difference.

Simply taking stats from a stats page off a website doesn't weigh heavily in favour of making a proper conclusion on whether or not it's true. Is Smid really struggling in Calgary or is there other areas that may contribute to these stats (even the stats aren't that significant).

We need someone who regularly watches and analyzes the Flames to weigh in. This article needs to be posted at Flames Nation.

Avatar
#107 Time Travelling Sean
January 14 2014, 02:04PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
13
cheers

From EDM to CGY maybe all this losing is wearing him thin. It must be hard to be upbeat and confident when you've been in a losing organization and a losing culture for so long.

Avatar
#108 Disagree
January 14 2014, 02:08PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

@Dman09

No, disagree.

No other city really cares what happens in Edmonton, all they want is a good hockey player.

Lowe punched out way too early and got nothing.

Avatar
#109 Still Hopeful
January 14 2014, 02:13PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers
pkam wrote:

The question is why Eberle was still available at pick 22nd? Why 21 GM passed on Eberle and Lowe and Tambellini didn't?

Other than Stamkos, Doughty, Pietrangelo, and Karlsson, who was drafted ahead of Eberle do you think is better?

No credit when they did a good job and only count their mistakes. All management will fail by the way you rate them.

I don't need to rate them. They are the worst team in the league overall since Lowe took over.

The facts speak for yourself. And that includes with Eberle playing (although I do think he is a great player).

Time for a change in management.

Would any other business or organization be so bad and not get rid of the problem. The losing stigma is not going to change with other players in the league until they see fresh faces in the front office.

Hey I wonder how many people employed by the Oilers are replying to the blogs right now? My guess, a lot!

Avatar
#110 Cubro
January 14 2014, 02:15PM
Trash it!
13
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

This is the best article of the year!! Bravo JW, Bravo.

Avatar
#111 Jonathan
January 14 2014, 02:22PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
11
cheers

The one issue I see with this article is the omission of quality of competition tracking. I haven't watched much of Smid in Calgary but, at least to the best of my recollection, he was always used primarily in the main defensive shut down pairing.

I think this data could just as easily suggest which players were more or less equipped to tackle the "heavy lifting" playing against other teams' best players. As Smid was primarily used against top lines, players on the ice without him could arguably simply be playing against lower end players.

Aside from that, still interesting to see the differential of players playing with, or without Smid.

Avatar
#112 Still Hopeful
January 14 2014, 02:24PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

You know the interesting thing is the radio interview done where Lowe states he is involved in all hockey transactions.

It doesn't matter who is GM. The man at the top controls and drives the ship. If the ship is lost at sea (which seems to be the case when you look at the team standings in the league - last place over Lowe entire management career) it's is time to change the captain.

The thing is, it is statistically impossible over his time as GM and President to do any worse, which means, any one without any hockey experience could do as well, and statistically better than Lowe. This, of course, does not say that person is any good, but what is does say is Lowe is really really bad.

Avatar
#113 pkam
January 14 2014, 02:57PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Jonathan wrote:

The one issue I see with this article is the omission of quality of competition tracking. I haven't watched much of Smid in Calgary but, at least to the best of my recollection, he was always used primarily in the main defensive shut down pairing.

I think this data could just as easily suggest which players were more or less equipped to tackle the "heavy lifting" playing against other teams' best players. As Smid was primarily used against top lines, players on the ice without him could arguably simply be playing against lower end players.

Aside from that, still interesting to see the differential of players playing with, or without Smid.

The fact is O'Brien is worse with Smid than with someone else.

Do you mean Bob Hartley only used Shane O'Brien against tough competition when he was paired up with Smid?

Avatar
#114 Jonathan
January 14 2014, 03:18PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

@pkam

As I said, I haven't watched how Smid has been used in Calgary. Was merely commenting based on personal observations.

I certainly won't argue Smid shortcomings.. he has never been a strong puck handler, has limited offensive abilities, and these would play a large part in the numbers listed. My point is that, at least in Edmonton, he routinely saw stronger competition on average than the other d-men.

Avatar
#115 FireKLowe
January 14 2014, 03:51PM
Trash it!
9
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
Zarny wrote:

Spare me your drivel you dumb tard.

Lowe got a 1st round pick which turned into Eberle. That isn't pure fluke. Good fortune perhaps, but the intent of getting the 1st round pick was to draft a player of that caliber.

No different than Bos using the 2nd overall pick from the Kessel trade to draft Seguin. It wasn't a fluke. It was good fortune that the pick turned out to be #2 overall but a quality 1st round player is exactly what Bos knew they would draft with the pick. Same with Edm.

Had Eberle been drafted with a 6th round pick from the trade...that would have been a fluke because very few players drafted in that position turn out like Eberle. Middle first round? Not even in the same vicinity as surprising.

Like it or not, Lowe made a good deal under the circumstances.

But, of course, idiots like you who drivel away never actually have an answer for what Lowe missed out on...so let's hear it...what trade did Lowe miss out on when Pronger was moved?

If I were Lowe I would've asked for someone of Scott Niedermeyer's stature in return. That would've been an apples to apples trade. Plain and simple dumb$hit!!!

Avatar
#116 GriffCity
January 14 2014, 03:58PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers

Petry is dust...JW what is with your weird love of this guy? Must be your 3rd of 4th article with undertones of "Petryism".

Who knows, maybe I am wrong. Lets watch tonight's game with a little extra scrutiny and dissect Petry's game. We will reconvene here tomorrow and see if he is as good as you think or as bad as I think.

Same bat time....same bat channel

Avatar
#117 Ed in Edmotnon
January 14 2014, 04:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers
FireKLowe wrote:

If I were Lowe I would've asked for someone of Scott Niedermeyer's stature in return. That would've been an apples to apples trade. Plain and simple dumb$hit!!!

A couple of years after the Pronger trade someone asked Lowe if there was anything he would have done differently over the previous few years. Lowe answered, surprisingly frankly, that he should have mage Pronger sit longer. I think this suggests that in hind site Lowe thinks he could have done better. Getting Eberle at 22 is quite fortunate.

Avatar
#118 pkam
January 14 2014, 04:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers
Ed in Edmonton wrote:

Absolutely correct. I'm wondering if the Petry kind of player, who plays well most of the time but when he makes an error it's a big one, will always have "advanced stats" that make him look better than he might really be. When I am always concerned when Petry is on the ice.

I won't be too critical on Petry and neither should Oilers fans.

He has been asked to do a job which is over his ability when he is still supposed to be under training.

I think most believe he is a potential 2nd pairing defenseman with only about 200 game experience. He should be transitioning from the 3rd pairing to 2nd pairing with a veteran to mentor him. But in most games he is the better of the pair defending against the top lines of our opponent, who consistently putting pressure on you and can turn any of your mistake into a goal.

All I want to point out is that he is not quite ready to be considered solid and reliable yet.

Avatar
#119 mr.patient
January 14 2014, 04:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

@Cold Hard Truth

No you can't just "isolate any statistic" you want to prove a point. It can somethimes be unclear what the numbers mean but they never lie or "say whatever you want" Math doesn't work that way. And in this case, what the numbers say seems pretty obvious: Letting Smid go was, sadly, a good move.

"MacTavish's trade doesn't look as stupid as it initially did? So what. The bottom line is the same; that's the only thing that matters"

That's just silly. Are you suggesting that EVERY trade the OIlers make is bad unless it immediately improves the team to a winning record?! Have you seen this roster? There isn't a trade out there that can do that, short of trading our entire roster for Chicago's. Whatever improvements MacT (or perhaps a different GM in the near future will make will be incremental, as even a blockbuster trade will unlikely fix all this team's problems. Meanwhile we can at least be satisfied that this seemingly minor deal looks to be working out well for the OIlers.

Avatar
#120 Zarny
January 14 2014, 05:48PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
FireKLowe wrote:

If I were Lowe I would've asked for someone of Scott Niedermeyer's stature in return. That would've been an apples to apples trade. Plain and simple dumb$hit!!!

And you wouldn't have gotten it because that trade wasn't available.

You can ask for whatever you want; it doesn't mean sh*t if no one will pay it.

Avatar
#121 Czar
January 14 2014, 05:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers
pkam wrote:

I hated Greg Chase as a Hitmen, now that he's an Oilers prospect he's dear to me.

Edit: Still can't believe he is a 7th round pick. Hope more 6th/7th round picks like him by MacT in the coming drafts.

Chase is the only thing worth cheering for in Calgary.

I hated Alex Plante as a Hitmen and even more as an Oiler draft pick.

Avatar
#122 BLAKPOO
January 14 2014, 05:59PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
pkam wrote:

I won't be too critical on Petry and neither should Oilers fans.

He has been asked to do a job which is over his ability when he is still supposed to be under training.

I think most believe he is a potential 2nd pairing defenseman with only about 200 game experience. He should be transitioning from the 3rd pairing to 2nd pairing with a veteran to mentor him. But in most games he is the better of the pair defending against the top lines of our opponent, who consistently putting pressure on you and can turn any of your mistake into a goal.

All I want to point out is that he is not quite ready to be considered solid and reliable yet.

To be fair though, Ed is right. Petry will be lights out for 57 minutes, then with 3 minutes left and the game on the line he'll make that "WTF was that?!" blunder that costs us the game.

It's not that he's bad, and it's really not about top pairing minutes - he can take those and run with them better than anyone else on this team right now, it's the mistakes. If he wasn't prone to making those god-awful mental errors at exactly the wrong time, we'd all easily consider him a #1 or #2 dman right now.

Avatar
#123 Sean
January 14 2014, 06:11PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Neilio wrote:

So you're making conclusions based on a half seasons work on two of the worst, most chaotic teams in the league? He was a good defenceman before and he will be a good one again. Smid's poor play with the Oilers this year coincides with Eakins' failed Swarm system, BTW.

Regarding the trade, take this for what its worth. I have it on good authority that Smid asked for a trade because the locker room had become unbearable. Eakins plays favorites heavily and it has divided the room. Eakins made no bones about Ference being Smid's replacement, and the first time he actually spoke to Smid was when he told him he'd been traded.

His agent?

Avatar
#124 camdog
January 14 2014, 06:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

"Unsurprisingly, Petry’s looked bad at times. More surprising is this:

•Ference has been at his best with Petry. •The Oilers out-shot the opposition by a wide margin with rookie Belov on the ice with Petry" •The Oilers out-shot the opposition by a wide margin with rookie Marincin on the ice with Petry

I personally thought all of the Oilers played bad when the organisation played the "SWARM"? As to the Flames I thought their entire team struggled after Burke's speach about not liking the team. In both cases all of the players on both teams suffered by incompetant managment/coaching.

Avatar
#125 pkam
January 14 2014, 06:27PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
BLAKPOO wrote:

To be fair though, Ed is right. Petry will be lights out for 57 minutes, then with 3 minutes left and the game on the line he'll make that "WTF was that?!" blunder that costs us the game.

It's not that he's bad, and it's really not about top pairing minutes - he can take those and run with them better than anyone else on this team right now, it's the mistakes. If he wasn't prone to making those god-awful mental errors at exactly the wrong time, we'd all easily consider him a #1 or #2 dman right now.

Not sure what you are talking about. When did we allow a goal which is not an empty netter or penalty goal in the last 3 minutes of the game this year?

Avatar
#126 Hangin@Bangin
January 14 2014, 07:01PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

@JonathanWillis

Sometimes Jonny I don't know where you cook up these half baked ideas. Did you consider the fact that Smid got traded to a god awful team with possibly worst complete team defense than the Oilers posess. C'mon Jonny I know it must be hard to come up with new and insightful stories but geez put this one to bed.

Avatar
#127 BLAKPOO
January 14 2014, 07:32PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
pkam wrote:

Not sure what you are talking about. When did we allow a goal which is not an empty netter or penalty goal in the last 3 minutes of the game this year?

Perhaps "In the dying moments of the game" would be a better fit? Or "In the latter stages of a hotly contested match"? This will also include overtime, if you require specifics. 3 minutes wasn't meant to be a literal time, but a figurative one meant to draw attention to part of the game where any mistake made will more than likely be the last one. Not sure how you missed that.. not sure why you're arguing semantics either.

Petry pinching on Yandle during the Phoenix game that led to the winner would be most recent one that comes to mind. You can look up the exact time on the scoreboard yourself, if it makes you feel better.

Honestly though, if you're having difficulties recalling games that were blown due to a muffed play by Petry, you're not watching enough games. Or paying enough attention. Or both.

Avatar
#128 Burnward
January 14 2014, 09:14PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

I think this is one of those scenarios where we have to be careful.

The way that Smid plays...keep the guy to the outside, force shots from there, don't let them into the middle...lends itself to added shot attempts against.

Based solely on the numbers he would appear to be a terrible defensive liability.

But to the eye, anyone telling me Petry plays better defense than Smid is on crack.

The answer is probably somewhere in the middle though.

Avatar
#129 Chainsawz
January 14 2014, 09:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Raine wrote:

I wrote about Smid and his blocked shots as being over rated prior to his contract extension. I knew putting value on Smid blocking shots was wrong and he was going to be awarded. http://www.oilogosphere.com/blog/dont-base-smids-contract-on-over-rated-blocked-shots/

Smid's blocked shots were highly over rated. When you get hemmed in your own zone and allow more shots towards the net it's likely you'll have a higher blocked shots count. Problem with Smid is he's always premeditated blocking a shot rather than forcing a turn over or preventing the shot. He simply collapses and everyone calls him a warrior. Blocking a shot should be done in desperation and not premeditated, in Smid's case he allowed the shooter to take the shot - whether Smid blocked it or not I'd much prefer the defensemen forcing a turnover and gaining possession of the puck.

I might buy that if you could break out 5v5 blocked shots from 4v5 blocked shots. Then compare shots against 5v5 with Smid to shots against 5v5 without Smid along with QOC.

Instead that's a link to an opinion piece. You might be right, I don't know, but I'm left wondering about those stats after reading that.

Avatar
#130 Chainsawz
January 14 2014, 09:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
Raine wrote:

I wrote about Smid and his blocked shots as being over rated prior to his contract extension. I knew putting value on Smid blocking shots was wrong and he was going to be awarded. http://www.oilogosphere.com/blog/dont-base-smids-contract-on-over-rated-blocked-shots/

Smid's blocked shots were highly over rated. When you get hemmed in your own zone and allow more shots towards the net it's likely you'll have a higher blocked shots count. Problem with Smid is he's always premeditated blocking a shot rather than forcing a turn over or preventing the shot. He simply collapses and everyone calls him a warrior. Blocking a shot should be done in desperation and not premeditated, in Smid's case he allowed the shooter to take the shot - whether Smid blocked it or not I'd much prefer the defensemen forcing a turnover and gaining possession of the puck.

Did MacTavish move Smid in time? That'll be determined at the trade deadline if Calgary moves him and we might get to see what they get in return. Even if they move at sometime prior to his contract being up, an answer could be had to that question.

Was it a good trade? The only stats I need are Smid 30 games played for Calgary to 1 game played by Horak and Brossoit for Edmonton to make a call on that for now. If, and that's a HUGE if, one of those guys can become something of an NHL regular, the trade can re-evaluated.

As for the stats... Are there any historical numbers on Smid showing that he was ever a player that improved another defensemans shot attempts?

Avatar
#131 Sorensenator
January 14 2014, 10:12PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Petry is a good skater with decent puck moving ability but seems to be missing a chromosome half the time on the ice. He costs the Oilers one goal almost every game because he makes poor decisions. Willis, your lost.

Avatar
#132 Kypreos
January 14 2014, 10:16PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers

Wait until Edmonton signs Justin Schultz this year to 4.5-5.0 million per year this off season. Then we will talk about overpaid and a liability!

Avatar
#133 Mac
January 14 2014, 11:41PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers

Reading these comments condemning various Oilers for being the cause of their lack of success shames our city and the status as true sports fans. I as tired of losing as the next guy but I refuse to resort to this type of name calling. I believe the Oilers are a young team still learning how to win and as a group are lacking some yet to be acquired key ingredients. Until they get there, we as fans should be offering encouragement and support.

Avatar
#134 Ryan
January 15 2014, 12:30AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

@mr.patient

Quite often statistics can be played with and misrepresented in order to produce a desired outcome. Governments do this quite often when they want to persuade society and change laws. It's being selective on using certain statistics and what you want to deliver to the people. Heck, I'm sure we could draw up a few statistics and make Smid look like a fine defenseman. We've done it before with shot blocks, as one example.

This is why the hipster bloggers love it so much. They can play with it and come out looking intelligent. It appears like effort. Yet, the biggest effort would be to watch the games and analyze the game - rather than simply taking stats from a stats page.

Avatar
#135 Raine
January 15 2014, 12:49AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Chainsawz wrote:

Did MacTavish move Smid in time? That'll be determined at the trade deadline if Calgary moves him and we might get to see what they get in return. Even if they move at sometime prior to his contract being up, an answer could be had to that question.

Was it a good trade? The only stats I need are Smid 30 games played for Calgary to 1 game played by Horak and Brossoit for Edmonton to make a call on that for now. If, and that's a HUGE if, one of those guys can become something of an NHL regular, the trade can re-evaluated.

As for the stats... Are there any historical numbers on Smid showing that he was ever a player that improved another defensemans shot attempts?

The biggest concerns in the Oilers game I saw, by watching, last season was the lack of a transitional game, an inability to take possession of the puck and effectively break out of their zone and finally enter the offensive zone. They had defensemen, which included Smid, that were being hemmed in their own zone. A swarm of offence usually came the Oilers way and they couldn't do a good enough job of breaking it up and taking control. I wrote about this last year.

Obviously MacTavish saw something similar as he tried to stock up on puck moving defenders this offseason and he eventually traded Smid. Unfortunately the players he brought in were the poor mans version and not at a strong enough level to compete against the stronger teams in this league. I imagine this will be MacTavish's focus once again as we get closer to the deadline and more likely again in the offseason. This team needs players that can drive the play up ice.

Yes it would be nice to have better stats, which you mentioned. But you need a trained eye to sit and watch the game and make ticks on a piece of paper. Time consuming and sometimes you just want to get up and grab that beer and/or take a piss.

But if you watch hockey often and know what you're watching jotting down occurrences is unnecessary. Your brain does a damn good job at estimating and coming to a good conclusion, if there is something you are watching for in particular. Unfortunately, for those that allow instincts to do the work, our word isn't good enough and people need numbers behind it.

Avatar
#136 camdog
January 15 2014, 07:03AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

For what it's worth I talked with a coworker today and he said that yesterday on the Calgary talk shows they were all pumping up Smids game, saying that they loved it. Sort of ironic that the Edmonton media are saying he is struggling and the Calgary media are saying the opposite on the very same day...

Avatar
#137 CMG30
January 15 2014, 07:37AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Well, if the premise of this article is accurate it just goes to show why I'm not a GM.

Avatar
#138 nick
January 15 2014, 09:06AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

This is the most ridiculous article you have ever written Willis and you have come up with some bad ones. You can take your stats and bend them whichever way you want but the bottom line is it was not a good trade. I think someone should come up with some stats on how bad your articles are on days ending with a Y.

Avatar
#139 Chainsawz
January 15 2014, 10:26AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
nick wrote:

This is the most ridiculous article you have ever written Willis and you have come up with some bad ones. You can take your stats and bend them whichever way you want but the bottom line is it was not a good trade. I think someone should come up with some stats on how bad your articles are on days ending with a Y.

While I won't say it was the most ridiculous, I think there might be other underlying stats here that are being ignored however. Are the shot attempts excluding special teams? That'll swing the numbers one way or the other. How about zone starts and quality of competition and teammates? I'm lazy so no way I'm digging that up. How about quality of shots? Historical numbers - is he regressing or maybe he has always been put in situations where he will bleed shots while getting near 0 offensive zone starts and PP time (for good reason though).

There is more than just shot attempts that define Smid as a player.

Avatar
#140 Andy7190
January 15 2014, 12:35PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

Smid is fine. He hasn't imploded. I watch a ton of Flames games, and Smid is about what was expected, someone who keeps it simple, blocks shots and can play some minutes. He's alright.

Flames have more problems defensively than Smid, for instance (this should be familiar to Oiler fans) the smurf-like forward crew gets pushed around to much in both ends. This is probably the real reason Feaster was fired. Too small.

I'd rather have Smid than not have Smid, put it that way. The Oilers moved him because the weren't gonna use him going forward. Doesn't mean he isn't useful to the Flames.

Avatar
#141 Jibmeister
January 16 2014, 10:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

I think Corsi and other advanced stats are a very good way of evaluating players. I also think that Smid has not been that good in Calgary, although I don't think he has been terrible either. But... you need to combine these stats with the knowledge of actually watching the damn game, you can't judge a player solely by looking at a website with stats.

Solely watching a player does not work either, the two must be combined. Things go unnoticed when only one way of judging a player is used.

Avatar
#142 Cactus
January 26 2014, 04:31PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

You state your charts show the percentage of all attempted shots taken by team with a given defence pair on the ice.

That is certainly not enough of a statistic to draw the wide ranging conclusions you have made.

In fact it's silly and misleading. Either that or you don't have a clue about how to evaluate a defenceman.

Cactus

Comments are closed for this article.