There is something wrong with Taylor Hall

Jonathan Willis
January 16 2014 09:05AM

 

According to the general manager Edmonton Oilers, Taylor Hall is coming along nicely as a hockey player. He is making good decisions and playing better than ever this season.

Maybe he's right. But the data emphatically points to something having gone sideways in the game of the Oilers’ best offensive player.

MacTavish

David Staples, in his fantastic interview with Craig MacTavish last week, mentioned to the G.M. that most of the Oilers’ young stars had seen their play slide under Dallas Eakins. MacTavish disagreed, and specifically noted Hall’s play.

“I don’t think it’s accurate in what I’m seeing,” said MacTavish. “When you talk to people that know hockey very well they will tell you that they are seeing structural changes in Taylor Hall. His game is changing.”

MacTavish specifically noted Hall’s play on a goal against Tampa Bay on January 5:

MacTavish described the play as “living to fight another day” – Hall opting for the dump-in rather than trying to beat two players and turning the puck over and favourably compared that style of play to the one employed by Anaheim’s top line.

The Data

Here’s the thing: if Hall’s game has improved, over time we should see that in the results. So, for example, if he’s avoiding the bad high-risk plays he did in years past we should (all else being equal) expect to see that reflected in numbers like his shots against totals. If his two-way play overall is improved, the Oilers should be out-chancing the opposition more frequently than they have in prior years.

But that isn’t what’s happening.

The chart above looks complicated, but it’s really very simple. What we’re looking at is Oilers shot totals with Hall on and off the ice over the last two seasons.

Last year, Edmonton out-shot their opposition by six shots an hour with Hall on the ice. They were out-shot by nearly 10 shots per hour with Hall off the ice; in other words, the Oilers shot differential improved by 16 (a massive, massive number) when Hall stepped on the ice.

This year, it’s a disaster. The Oilers have actually improved significantly with Hall off the ice – instead of getting out-shot by 10 shots per hour, they’re only being out-shot by half that (and yes, that’s pathetic, but it still represents a pretty big improvement). The problem is that suddenly the Oilers are terrible with Hall on the ice. Not only are they allowing 2.5 shots more per hour than they did a year ago, but they’ve gone from generating 36 shots per hour with Hall on the ice down to 27. That’s a massive drop, a 25 percent reduction in shots for.

Well, maybe Hall’s playing tougher minutes. Except that he isn’t; we can go back and look at who Hall is playing and to quote from that linked Tyler Dellow post, “At home, where Eakins has more control over the matchups, Hall seems to be getting matchups as easy or easier than last year.”

Well, is Eakins is starting him less in the offensive zone? Nope; according to Behind the Net 55 percent of Hall’s non-neutral zone shifts were in the offensive zone last season. This year that number is 57 percent.

Hall’s still scoring, but if the shot numbers don’t improve that isn’t going to last.

The chart above shows two statistics. The first is on-ice shooting percentage, and there’s a pretty clear pattern. With Hall on the ice in three of the last four years, the Oilers have done a slightly better job than the NHL average of finishing on their shots, scoring on between 9.0 and 9.5 percent of all shots taken. This year, the total is 11.3 percent.

That means either the Oilers’ top line has evolved into the league’s best finishing line… or it’s riding a streak of goals going in that isn’t going to last.

The second number is “individual points percentage,” which is a fancy way of saying the percentage of goals a player is on the ice for that he gets points on. So a player who is on the ice for 10 goals and picks up nine points, he would have an IPP of 90.0 percent. What we’ve found looking over years of data is that some years a player picks up points on a weirdly high number of the goals scored when he’s on the ice (generally coinciding with a career year) and sometimes doesn’t get those points (generally coinciding with a terrible points year). Over time, though, those totals average out.

Sidney Crosby is the best player in the league at this (big surprise, he’s driving the offence on his line) and generally averages out in the 85 percent range. Taylor Hall topped 90 percent last year and this season is over 100 percent - somehow he has 29 five-on-five points despite only being on the ice for 27 five-on-five goals.

All of this is a long way of saying that Taylor Hall’s great point totals are not to be trusted. The Oilers aren’t generating shots when he’s on the ice. He’s getting away with it because Edmonton is scoring on a high percentage of their shots when he’s on the ice and because he’s picking up points on all of those goals and some other ones besides. History suggests, rather strongly, that these things will not continue.

What to Make of It All

So we find ourselves in a situation where the data we have directly contradicts the statements of the general manager. MacTavish sees Hall’s play as progressing nicely; the data says he’s fallen off a cliff.

Neither of these is to be dismissed lightly.

MacTavish was an excellent coach in Edmonton, something which was dramatically emphasized by what happened to the team when he was replaced by Pat Quinn. He knows much, much more about how players should execute a system than I do, and much, much more than the comments section here knows too.

On the other hand, I’ve lost track of the number of players I’ve seen riding a percentage bubble who have seen their numbers fall dramatically in the years that followed. Jordan Eberle is probably the best recent Oilers example because people will remember the debate following his breakthrough 2011-12 campaign (76 points in 78 games). In the 96 games since he has a total of 74 points, a 63-point pace over 82 games. It’s a fall that was predicted for the same reasons I’ve cited above with Hall.

I hate to disagree with MacTavish, but the data has been awfully reliable in the past and there’s really only one way to interpret it. Something has gone sideways with Hall’s game this season.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

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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.
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#51 Bleed blue
January 16 2014, 01:49PM
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Bad coaching. Period.

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#52 Marty62
January 16 2014, 02:19PM
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curcro wrote:

Nothing at all wrong with looking at the performance of a person and seeing if underlying statistics indicate he will continue on his track.

For instance, if you had a sales person who in month A - made $1.2M in sales on 25 clients, then in month B - made $1.4M in sales on 20 clients, then in month C - made $1.2M in sales on 21 clients, and then in month D made $1.5M sales on 14 clients.

Although the figure that matters is consistent and good, there is a trend there that tells me perhaps it may not continue.

Same is with any of the players on the Oilers

You missed my point. I was stating that its fairly obvious that all the Oilers are struggling on both sides of the ice and getting worse. This must seem like Groundhog day for all of them. They don't need guys like yourself and Willis pointing it out at every opportunity. So pack up your calculator and pocket protector and move on please.

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#53 Freewheeling Freddie
January 16 2014, 03:49PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

As wins and losses are the only stat that matters, what do wins and losses tell you about whether David Perron is better off with Hall or with Yakupov. Also, I'm curious about whether Eric Staal or Colin Fraser would be a better addition to the Oilers - and I'm really, really interested in how the wins and losses answer that.

I'll hang up and wait for your wins-and-losses driven answer to those questions.

When free agents are deciding to go to a team, do you think they care about the advanced stats or corsi numbers on another team? No I would think they would care more about a teams wins and losses. Most tier 1 free agents want to go to a team that puts up several W'S. Did'nt Colin Fraser get a Stanley cup ring?

Do you really believe the Hawks and Ducks care about advanced stats? No they care about the W'S

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#54 DisappointedFan
January 16 2014, 03:53PM
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@redhot1

When you're trying to spray the stats to suggest a player is "turning the wrong corner", when in actuality Willis was incorrectly arguing stats it turns some heads to do a little digging. Example, if you actually go to the site he is using you can find strong supporting evidence that nullifies his claims.

If I did the same on Smid...well let's just say there isn't a whole lot of glaring data to suggest that Smid was anything more than a shot blocking checking defensemen who should never be allowed to hold the puck in his own zone. Was Smid a solid guy, yah he was. But he didn't fit on the new Oilers table and no amount of data scraping is going to change the facts on him.

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#55 Chris
January 16 2014, 05:32PM
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"Lies lies and damn statistics!" Please stop this madness

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#56 J.R.
January 16 2014, 07:14PM
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Oh yeah, Taylor Hall is a terrible hockey player who is obviously on the rapid decline.

He clearly brings the whole team down. Trade him now if you can (as if any other GM would be stupid enough to take him). We'd be lucky to get a bag of pucks back for a bum like him.

Seriously, the language in this article is over the top bordering on ludicrous. You lost me on this one Mr. Willis.

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#57 JackFromRedDeer
January 16 2014, 07:22PM
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Dumbest article I've read on here. Taylor Hall does nothing but produce.

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#58 J.R.
January 16 2014, 07:24PM
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@JackFromRedDeer

Exactly.

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#59 s2H
January 16 2014, 08:19PM
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Willis your articles always blow, but this has to be the worst one I've had the misfortune of reading yet. Hall's the best player on this team, period.

here's some stats;

Hall is 15th in league scoring in te NHL Willis is the 15th best "writer" on oilers nation

go home

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#60 Taylor Gang
January 17 2014, 12:03AM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Feel free to argue or disagree all you want folks, but the ban hammer is going to come out for those issuing personal attacks at the writers of this site.

Lowe is that you?

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#61 EasyOil
January 17 2014, 12:36AM
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Wow, a lot of misunderstanding going on in the room tonight.

Willis is of course not saying "Taylor Hall blows and should be traded". Take a step back, breathe, and re-read the article. He's saying that his usually brilliant underlying numbers have taken a huge fall this season, and asking why that is? And in conjunction with that, he's surmising that perhaps some of Hall's offence is the product of inflated percentages. Willis is basing this on similar instances with countless other players, a method that has proven time and time and time again to be correct.

Is it foolproof? No, and JW never claimed it was. It's just another way of measuring a player, and it generally works - if you choose to understand it. If you don't, then don't worry yourself about commenting, you look dumb. It's fine to not care for advanced stats, but don't berate those that do simply because they like to see more data on WHY a player/team is playing the way they are.

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#62 camdog
January 16 2014, 09:33AM
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Don't know what to make of this article, but do have to give you credit for the articles you wrote in respect to Eberle a year or two back. His output wasn't sustainable and so far you have been 100 percent right.

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#63 Dave
January 16 2014, 10:40AM
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DisappointedFan wrote:

Here's a good read for you Willis

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation

I swear to God this is only a revelation to the people who bring it up. Willis knows this. Everyone knows this. It isn't a bloody epiphany. It also doesn't imply things are completely unrelated either so let us drop the high school philosophy crap and get back to reality.

Something has made Taylor Hall's numbers dip. Maybe it's the coach, maybe it's luck, or maybe the Oilers franchise is a negative vortex that absorbs talent and it has finally impacted Hall. But most of his numbers are down, and the ones that aren't are *likely* to go down as well, because there is a correlation between underlying numbers being bad and then the scoring numbers going down (and that correlation remains true even if the cause is unrelated).

Having Eakins as the coach is the first true departure from the old guard since Renney and Krueger were both with the young kids from the start, so maybe it's part of transitioning to learn a new style of play. Do we have numbers looking at if he's slowly getting better as the year goes by? That might suggest it's part of his learning curve (and I wonder if there was a similar curve when he cracked the NHL).

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#64 gm_armchair
January 16 2014, 10:41AM
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I think the biggest difference is Hall's linemates and him playing center earlier in the Year. Eakins needs to put Hall and Yakupov together more often, they're a dynamic duo when playing together, for a short stint last year they probably averaged 2 pts a game each, this year they had 2 good games together then Eakins broke them up cuz the third game they didn't generate much.

It's clear that Hall and Yakupov don't like each other very much, but it's better than having Yak and Ebs together on a line who hate each other (I'm only half joking with this last paragraph)..

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#65 Wigswag
January 16 2014, 11:47AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Player shot attempts percentages with and without Hall this season:

  • RNH: 43% with/46.9% w-o/-3.9% change
  • Eberle: 46.2% with/47.7% w-o/-1.5% change
  • Gagner: 39.3% with/47.7% w-o/-8.4% change
  • Hemsky: 40.8% with/50.0% w-o/-9.2% change
  • Perron: 40.8% with/48.7% w-o/-7.9% change
  • Arco: 49.0% with/48.6% w-o/+0.4% change
  • Yakupov: 40.0% with/47.2% w-o/-7.2% change

That's the whole list of forwards to play more than an hour with Hall this year.

Some of it's likely related to getting tough competition, but the pattern seems pretty clear.

All this means is Taylor Hall has the puck more when they play with him.

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#66 **
January 16 2014, 11:53AM
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The thing that worries me the most is that Taylor himself believes what Mac Tavish and Eakins are telling him, that his game is improving. How is going to get better if he already things is doing pretty good?. This is a terrible example of Oilers mismanagement of player development.

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#67 BIGDAWG
January 16 2014, 12:04PM
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Hall was only in the Top 10 in scoring last year and if he keeps up his currant pace(which doesnt seem to be slowing down) he will be in the top 10 again.. Run the numbers all you want but this 22 yr old stud is coming along just fine.. Stop looking for things to nit pick

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#68 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
January 16 2014, 12:19PM
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GriffCity wrote:

Tough questions? Or stupid ones? I certainly don't have any problem with articles or questions that "ruffle feathers" but when it's a bunch of drivel, then that's something else.

Why not write an article on how players face-off percentage is lower on days when they shave their beards, or how too much sock tape can be a bad thing? Those would make as much sense as the correlations in these ridiculous blogs.

Just saying, there are other players to criticize more before Hall.

What you said earlier was that you wanted JW to criticize a player who is already a consensus goat - unless I'm totally misinterpreting your post.

I'm starting to doubt that you actually read the article. Willis is not suggesting that Taylor Hall is the problem with the Edmonton Oilers.

This is much closer to a meteorologist saying that the barometric pressure outside is dropping. I wouldn't bet my life on rain but I'll probably toss an umbrella in the back seat of my car because more often than not it's a pretty decent indicator.

Similarly, Willis is pointing out that there are some indicators in Taylor Hall's advanced statistics that often accompany a drop-off in production. This doesn't mean that he's going to crap out and put up a 30-point season next year, but it's certainly something to think about. A good reaction - as many "by eye" observers have already mentioned - would be for MacT to hedge by surrounding Hall with a better supporting cast so dips in his individual production don't directly translate to team losses.

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#69 A-Mc
January 16 2014, 12:25PM
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Too much analysis...

Reading this article and thinking about it makes me feel like I'm over thinking things. There is nothing to worry about with Taylor.

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#70 curcro
January 16 2014, 01:47PM
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marty62 wrote:

Statistics are a wonderful thing, properly manipulated you can make them back up whatever point you see fit. In the midst of our Oilers having one of the worst seasons I can remember, you choose to write an article picking holes in the game of one of our young kids that is making the most of what he can in a very bad season that has had a lot of hurdles for him. If you watch the games closely at all, you don't have to use advanced stats to see that Hall as well as many of the other Oilers are struggling defensively and offensively this year. What you don't seem to see is that Hall is finding a way to get it done despite all this. I would rather you take your slide rule and calculator and go spread your bad vibes somewhere else please.

Thanks

Nothing at all wrong with looking at the performance of a person and seeing if underlying statistics indicate he will continue on his track.

For instance, if you had a sales person who in month A - made $1.2M in sales on 25 clients, then in month B - made $1.4M in sales on 20 clients, then in month C - made $1.2M in sales on 21 clients, and then in month D made $1.5M sales on 14 clients.

Although the figure that matters is consistent and good, there is a trend there that tells me perhaps it may not continue.

Same is with any of the players on the Oilers.

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#71 Ol' Jase
January 16 2014, 02:22PM
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@nina russo

How on earth can you possibly cite this as a player getting WORSE?? Are you seriously claiming Taylor Hall is the weak link in offensive production on this team right now??

Again, this is a unit derived stat extrapolated to individual assessment through a suspension of basic logic.

How it is possible to claim Hall is an anchor for anyone that plays with him and cite this as prove is beyond ridiculous.

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#72 MessyEH
January 16 2014, 03:46PM
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Willis, Why do you hate Taylor Hall?

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#73 The Swarm
January 16 2014, 03:58PM
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Willis

I haven't read all the comments but one obvious difference is that he played RW exclusively last year versus C and RW this year.

Take the games he played C out of the equation and see what happens.

He was a turnover machine earlier in the year when he was playing C AND trying to execute Eakins brilliant swarm system.

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#74 DisappointedFan
January 16 2014, 04:19PM
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@Dave

Maybe go look up Willis' stats site and take a tease at the numbers. You'll notice a few things that don't completely correlate with his tunnel visioned analysis on the Hall Effect.

So to come to the conclusion of a correlation between Hall and a drop in quality between last year to this year, or his negative effect on his linemates who apparently have a "higher shots attempted" when not with him but have poor production when not with him kinda goes to show that maybe tunneling in on one stat but avoiding the rest isn't how you write a convincing article, bud. Just goes to show that that this correlation isn't causation for Willis' perceived poor play.

Just a little pointer bud, the high school philosophy crap that you so despise here is what most people around the league, outside our pitchfork crazed city, would recite when someone tries to overanalyze the numbers on the game we so enjoy to watch. So don't go trying to find all the tiny numerical little pitchforks to stoke Hall with when he's leading this team in points.

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#75 RexHolez
January 16 2014, 05:20PM
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Plus I hate stat guys like Willis. You argue that shots are the only way to judge how good a player is?? If I was jones I'd put absolutely everything on net from anywhere and I'd become Willis' favorite player

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#76 Kr55
January 16 2014, 05:24PM
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MacT saying Hall's game is actually better and Eakins raving about how Hall's defensive game has improved tells you all you need to know. Hall is being told to do things that don't work in the NHL and doing it so well that it's making him a less effective player. It's just a case of bad coaching. We're becoming the leafs West now without the awesome goaltending and without the easier conference to play in.

Sucks we're stuck with Eakins 3 more years and MacT loves him because his personality is like a mirror image of MacT's.

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#77 Taylor Gang
January 16 2014, 05:36PM
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No offense Willis, but to suggest something is "wrong" with Hall because he doesn't generate as many shots is absurd. Besides, what point are you proving by writing this article? Even the most casual of fans can simply look up his boxcars and realize he is leading this team in points despite playing in fewer games than second place. In conclusion, take a step back and don't suggest he took a turn for the worse in his development, because from where the hockey world is looking this player is becoming more well rounded every game.

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#78 JASON
January 16 2014, 05:55PM
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Freewheeling Freddie wrote:

When free agents are deciding to go to a team, do you think they care about the advanced stats or corsi numbers on another team? No I would think they would care more about a teams wins and losses. Most tier 1 free agents want to go to a team that puts up several W'S. Did'nt Colin Fraser get a Stanley cup ring?

Do you really believe the Hawks and Ducks care about advanced stats? No they care about the W'S

I would suggest to you, Freddie, that the better teams do CARE about advanced stats. They just don't WORRY about it too much because their #'s are good. Hence the win's.

Oilers advanced stats are not so good. Hence the losses.

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#79 JackFromRedDeer
January 16 2014, 07:28PM
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J.R. wrote:

Exactly.

That's what he is paid to do. Score. 42 GP 45 PTS. Do you people want Taylor Hall to start playing goalie and defense too? He does his job and he does it damn good!

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#80 Chris.
January 16 2014, 10:21PM
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Hall is becoming frustrated... you can see it in his body language and it is reflected in his play.

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#81 Truth
January 16 2014, 09:25AM
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Hall gets a point 108% of the time when a goal is scored while he's on the ice? Nice.

All Eakins talks about is his improvement as a defensive player. Hall himself talks about altering his style to extend his career. I think the two of them in conjunction mean a player that takes less offensive chances and leans to safe play over taking the risk for a scoring chance. If the data doesn't lie, he would be better off for the team as a risk taking wild man like he was in his first couple of years, no?

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#82 eljosho
January 16 2014, 09:59AM
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Is it anything to do with D pairings on the ice with Hall? Not sarcasm, just curious

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#83 wintoon
January 16 2014, 10:11AM
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Do the figures Willis has developed in any way reflect the lilelihood that everybody is funneling the puck through Hall in the offensive zone rather than playing to their personal strengths. When you have an alpha male like Hall, somewhat lesser players tend to defer to the alpha player. Can this, in part, explain the lower numbers with Hall than without? Curious.

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#84 jim
January 16 2014, 10:13AM
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Shifty203 wrote:

Silly Willis, You can't write an article criticizing #4 here. He is the messiah, the 2nd coming of christ. He could shoot the puck directly into his own net, and it would be someone else's fault.

Yeah, Any more negative articles you'll be traded to Flamesnation....

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#85 The Real Scuba Steve
January 16 2014, 10:23AM
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Too bad no other player is feeding on his evolution of his game, What happens when Hall is comfortable with his game and is sick of his team? Hemsky made the play-offs what? 3 times in his whole career while playing for us. I don't think Taylor Hall will finish his contact here, and that is being realistic.

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#86 Truth
January 16 2014, 10:23AM
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MacT wrote:

Willis, no story here MOVE ON!!! Hall is a great player ...try and be more creative in your posts!

You're reading this!? You should have requested a second opinion after reading Willis' article on overvaluing your players. You dropped the ball on that Hendricks trade yesterday.

Just let us all know, on which extremity does Lowe wear his Stanley Cup rings?

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#87 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 16 2014, 10:31AM
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It could be a classic case of "hero syndrome" wherein a team is so bad, so deficient in so many areas, that certain individuals, because of their finely honed competitive spirit, take it apon themselves to carry the team, to provide above and beyond effort to compensate for those around them. Of course it is unsustainable over time.

I think MANY Oilers players have suffered this syndrome over the past several years. It's why so many players hit the crapper here, get traded, and eventually rebound somewhere else.

It's the reason that our injury rate is so high. Asking players to make up for overall team deficiencies by blocking more shots, taking more risks physically....like Arcobello taking runs at players much bigger than himself...like Hemsky being constantly injured because he feels forced to go into the tough areas because there is no power forward to do it for him, It's the reason why Petry shows flashes of brilliance then looks pathetic. It's like asking the engine in your eight cylinder car to run on six cylinders, it might get you to the gas station, but it's going to breakdown soon enough.

On the good teams, the balanced teams, the effect is the exact opposite. The effect of good overall TEAM play is that it takes a load off of individual players. It's the reason these teams can take players from anywhere and make them look better than they looked before....ala the Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Black Hawks.

SO, is there something wrong with Taylor Hall?....Yes there is.....What's wrong with Taylor Hall is that he plays for the Edmonton Oilers.....and there would be something wrong with Sidney Crosby if he played here too......and that my friends is on the management.

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#88 admiralmark
January 16 2014, 10:57AM
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Well thats great! You took 1 of maybe 2 bright spots on the entire Oilers season and analyzed it to tell us... Ummmm guess what?! Thats not actually a bright spot either. Thanks.

My question is how would it be possible for "any" player playing on a team this far down in the dumps with more goals scored on it then any other team in the NHL... How can any player look all that great statistically speaking.

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#89 Brass Bonanza City
January 16 2014, 11:20AM
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I don't think anyone here would argue that (by numbers or by eye) Hall had a sub-par first couple of months to the season due to playing out of position and being injured (and we don't really have any idea what kind of lasting effects the knee injury had/has on his speed & comfort out there).

You've helpfully shown a split between his linemates' play with and without him from 12/13 to 13/14, but do you have a chart that could show the same split pertaining to Oct/Nov vs. Dec/Jan this season?

I would guess - without looking at an ounce of data, admittedly - that the "quarterly" split would indicate Hallsy's linemates have been much better with him on the ice than w/o over the last 1 1/2 months. And if there is only a slight drop in career numbers vs. his last two months, I'd be pretty comfortable pinning that on Eakins encouraging him to play a stronger & less-risky defensive game.

I understand the numbers don't lie, but how much more accurate, really, is a 3 1/2 month sample vs. a 1 1/2 month sample in this case? I really might be wrong here, just trying to figure out a possible flaw in your logic because he's looked so damned good most nights since November.

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#90 Raine
January 16 2014, 11:33AM
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I think if you are going data, in the NHL it's team influenced, to argue a case against a player you need to look at more recent games when it comes to the Oilers. Especially with Hall considering he started the year at centre and struggled mightily. The team also struggled big time when it came to defense and goaltending at beginning of the season. Those first dozen games need to be ignored, we all know it was a mess - it still is.

I'm not worried about Hall at all. By my eye he is much better than the beginning of the season. Took out some of the riskier plays like the toe drag and trying to burn everyone wide and losing the puck in the corner. MacT is right about those plays being eliminated from his game.

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#91 Muji
January 16 2014, 11:36AM
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I'm a fan of advanced stats and Taylor Hall has looked a little off at times, but saying that saying that "THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH TAYLOR HALL" seems a bit sensational.

Especially considering: - he's over 1PPG - he started the year at C - he has a new coach this year, again - he suffered an injury during the season (is he still wearing that knee brace?)

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#92 billythebullet
January 16 2014, 11:36AM
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What's really interesting to me, is although Halls advanced stats have fallen off the face of the earth, his traditional stats are still magnificent. So on a positive note, I for one, can't wait to see what Halls traditional stats look like when his advanced stats catch up again!

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#93 DisappointedFan
January 16 2014, 11:41AM
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@Jonathan Willis

If we want to look at causes for Halls drop off we don't have to look further than the offensive zone play of the team. When they get into the zone and it's not an odd man rush they get into this board grind system that causes some seriously lacking opportunities for quality shot totals. Now regardless of who it is that is on the ice we see this same convergence taking place to the boards instead of a quality developed passing cycle ever developing like we see from other teams.

If you want to look at the GF% of other Oilers when playing with and not with Hall you'd see that he's providing them, on average, higher numbers of point production. How can you suggest that because they are generating more Shot Attempts, that this is somehow providing better quality shot attempts when their point production is significantly lower without him on the ice. Now maybe I'm reading all their charts wrong but it's a pretty glaring difference to look at the numbers that matter in terms of Goals and overall Points and try to say that they are doing better without him.

Is he maybe providing an unrealistic IPP when compared to Crosby, sure? But he's putting pucks in the net and if you watch the way plays I don't see that changing so long as he's healthy. He's a high-risk high-reward player that takes advantage of the few opportunities he gets and despite the glaringly terrible play of the defense to keep the puck in the zone or for Justin Schultz not to jump into a 4 forward role every time he's on the ice, I'd say Hall is doing alright with what he's working with.

Is there a correlation between his shots for drop and his points, no. If it turns into a 30 pointless streak for Hall after this post because it finally catches up to him, well I'll send you a message filled with regrets and tears Willis. Until then I'd like to think that he's the one real shining light on this team that consistently brings an entertaining game to watch.

If you feel I didn't full answer your question it's weird trying to write a full response that meshes when you're trying to work. But I'll gladly try to clarify any thought in another reply.

In short there are 5 other guys on the ice whenever he's out there and they aren't exactly bringing the heat to the party either, but that's just my opinion.

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#94 S cottV
January 16 2014, 12:34PM
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RNH is going to get progressively better and in 2 to 3 years, he will be a dominant 1C.

Hopefully - Hall will get a bigger / tougher - go to the blue paint goal scorer - sniper, on the opposite wing.

Hopefully - Hall will get legitimate first pairing d men in the back end at some point in time.

In the meantime, he has to adjust his game - keeping it simpler with more emphasis on all 200 feet out there. While maybe a short termnegative having to worry about this stuff, it will make him a more complete player anyway.

When it all comes together, Hall with better complimentary players around him and Hall a better 200 foot player in his own right - it will be a very awesome sight.

Advanced stats will be off the charts, plus minus will be great and more importantly - the Oilers will be in a position to be a contender.

In the meantime, the advanced stats cant be ignored. Hall has to continue working on his overall game and adjusting to the realities of who he plays with at this point in time.

Otherwise - yeah he will get points, but the top line will go minus on the night and the Oilers will just keep on losing.

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#95 Pizzy
January 16 2014, 12:46PM
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Willis, your an Idiot! Do you even watch the hockey games? Just another article that proves your advance stats are a joke. Taylor Hall is a stud and by far the best Oiler. Plus your choice of a title for this article is bush league! 83 goals, 107 assists, 190 points in 213 games! Ya, what is wrong with this guy?

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#96 S cottV
January 16 2014, 01:09PM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

I wonder if part of the explanation lies in how often Hall's scoring chances result in odd-man rushes in the opposite direction. That would seemingly explain why people see Hall's game as improving, while the stats show that the shot differential when he's on the ice is less-favourable than it was last year.

Basically what I'm getting at is... are the Oilers' inexperienced defencemen more likely to pinch or get out of position when Hall's on the ice because they see more opportunities for offence?

It would be more likely that Hall's line mates do not sufficiently adjust, on an attack led by Hall.

Attacking requires width and depth between the 3 forwards on that line. The drive wide - say by Hall, a line mate going to the back post creating width and a line mate backed off, puck side creating depth.

The depth is for offensive back pass support but also - just as important, is a defensive safety valve - in case of a turnover and counter attack.

The Hall line in general, is much too quick to abandon depth in their attacks. They tend to press all in - deep, and leave themselves open to 3 on 2 counter attacks.

In addition, they tend to carry more than they should and pass east - west more than they should, resulting in the same thing. If the puck carrier gets stripped of the puck, with his line mates pressing forward - it is often a 3 on 2 counterattack. Same with an errant - east west pass that gets picked off through the middle.

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#97 The Real Scuba Steve
January 16 2014, 02:13PM
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This may sound kind of weird but this trade sure came fast after all media and fans were gunning for Kevin Lowe, think maybe a little part it has to with putting the spotlight on these trades instead of the Hockey God Kevin Lowe thinks he is?

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#98 Taylor Gang
January 16 2014, 03:39PM
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In the top 15 in the league in points on arguably the worst team in the NHL.

Seems to be among the only bright spots if you ask me.

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#99 GregDonaldson
January 16 2014, 03:53PM
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@Jonathon Willis

Big difference between last season and this season is the fact that Hall's line is playing the opposition's 1st line rather than having whatever line Horcoff was on playing them last season.

Playing better opposition will mean that more chances are given up.

Number sometimes lie...or at the very least, don't tell the whole story ;)

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#100 Oilers89
January 16 2014, 04:12PM
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First off: Willis is not calling Hall a bad player. It is incredible how many people have misinterpreted his message. This article is more of a "Taylor Hall's underlying numbers are off." It is useful.

My explanation for why his numbers are off is the Oiler's poor goaltending (hear me out). Every game I watch it seems as though the opposition is throwing everything on net, and this is most likely because they know that the Oil have weak goaltending. Therefore, they are likely to score by shooting and shooting often.

Combine that with what others have alluded to (that the Oil have been coached into a grind it out on the boards style, and that this style seems to end with the Oil spending an entire shift in the opponents zone without even a shot attempt) and you get a drop off.

I'm guessing Eakins prefers that his team stays in the opponents zone and therefore doesn't want the Oil to take "nothing shots." Which in turn leads back to not wanting the other team firing on your weak goaltending and exposing your lacklustre D corps. It's a defence mechanism.

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